When will the Watchtower Society be desolated?

by Hiddenservant 23 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Vidqun
    · Literary Style: Revelation employs symbolic language and imagery. The shift might be a literary device to create a specific effect.

    Hiddensevant, you’re right in the first instance. On the other hand, the shift might just be part of normal Koine. I know of no-one making such a distinction or placing special emphasis on the collective singular and plural used in the same passage. I see it was quite frequently used in Hebrew, and with John’s Semitic background, it follows that he would have used it as part of his speech:

    Number is a grammatical feature of nouns that does not always correspond to extra-linguistic reality. For example, collective nouns are singular nouns that refer to more than one object, e.g. עוֹף (birds) and הָעָם (the people).

    Christo Van der Merwe et al., A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar, electronic ed. (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999), 182.

    . גְּוִיָּה n.f. body, corpse — 1. living human body (sg., of many persons); of man in Daniel’s vision (body apart from extremites); also of the living creatures in Ezek.’s vision. 2. dead body, corpse, carcass: a. of man (sg. of several persons); collective; b. of lion.

    Richard Whitaker et al., The Abridged Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament: From A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament by Francis Brown, S.R. Driver and Charles Briggs, Based on the Lexicon of Wilhelm Gesenius (Boston; New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906).

    You stick to AI, I stick to reliable sources. I go for the two witnesses displaying the spirit of Moses and Elijah. They will function as God’s spokesmen, similar to Moses and Aaron (Rev. 11:3-6; cf. Ex. 4:10-16). Based on the miracles they are to perform, they will be like Elijah (commanding fire to devour enemies and shutting up the sky so that it does not rain, Rev. 11:5, 6; cf. 1 Kings 17:1; 2 Kings 1:10–14; James 5:17), and Moses (water turned to blood, the earth smitten with every plague, Rev. 11:6; cf. Exod. 7:20; 9:14; etc.). At this stage we do not know the identity of the two witnesses, so you are allowed the benefit of the doubt. But it’s going to be a hard act to follow with an unpleasant outcome. Time will tell whether you are chosen and have what it takes.

    However, I do think your thinking will remain stunted by clinging to the Watchtower as God’s chosen nation. You’ll have to broaden your horizons. At this stage, JWs don’t feature at all. Jesus said: “Most truly I say to YOU, Unless YOU eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, YOU have no life in yourselves. He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I shall resurrect him at the last day” (John 6:53, 54 NWT). This means that the majority of Witnesses 'have no life in themselves.'

    As to the sealing of the 144,000, according to the context, it is to be a future occurrence. The transition between chapter 6 and 7 of Revelation is introduced by the Greek phrase Καὶ μετὰτοῦτο (Rev. 7:1 Tischendorf’s New Testament, 8th edition; cf. NA28 footnote), “and after this,” “this” referring to the breaking of the sixth seal, specifically the kings of the earth and their followers, finding refuge in their underground shelters. Those claiming to be of the anointed are either liars or seriously deluded. If you insist on following their tenets, be my guest, but I see no future in them or their organization.

  • peacefulpete
  • Vidqun

    Peacefulpete, I notice Leolaia dismissed the first few chapters as mythical stories of Daniel and his friends in Babylon. That's a cop out. She conveniently skipped an important key, summarizing the dreams and visions. No wonder she got bogged down with Antiochus Epiphanes. Fact of the matter is, Dan. 2 explains is all in a nutshell, taking us all the way to the end of human civilization.

    44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,
    45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure." (Dan. 2:44-45 ESV)

    Summary of a rebuttal of some of Driver's reasons for a late-date Daniel, for those that might be interested:

    1. Masoretic Divisions: “This suggests that the book was not known by 200 B.C., about the time when the collection of prophetic writings was assembled.” It should be observed that this argument has no validity whatsoever, in view of the fact that Jesus divided the OT into the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms (Luke 24:44). Also the eminent Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus (ca. A.D. 100) clearly indicates that in his day the Book of Daniel was included among the Prophets, rather than with the third division of the Hebrew canon.366

    2. Ecclesiasticus and Daniel: “The apocryphal Book of Ecclesiasticus, written around 180 B.C., fails to mention Daniel by name, although many of the other prophets are referred to in this work.” From this it is inferred that Daniel could not have been written by 180. But it should also be noted that Ecclesiasticus makes no attempt to list all the important leaders in Israel’s history; even so outstanding a hero as Ezra fails to receive a single mention in his text. Yet it is universally admitted that Ezra was the chief architect of the spiritual reconstruction of Jewry after the Babylonian Exile.

    3. Daniel and Dan’el: “No Old Testament contemporary of the sixth-century Daniel makes any reference to him. The Daniel referred to in Ezekiel (14:14, 20 and 28:3) must have been the ancient hero named Dan’el, whose life story is narrated in the Ugaritic legend of Aqḥat (dating from about the fifteenth century B.C.).” However, Dan’el was an idol worshiper, a drunken party goer, contemplating murderous revenge. Ezekiel, a zealous prophet and the son of a priest, would never have used a Baal-worshiper as a paragon of righteousness and purity.

    4. Belshazzar and Nabonidus: “Historical inaccuracy: The relationship of Belshazzar in Daniel 5:11 is stated to be that of a “son” to Nebuchadnezzar, whereas it is known that actually Belshazzar was the son of Nabonidus.” Yet, Nabonidus was in all probability married to Nitocris, the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, at least as early as 585 BCE. And it hardly needs to be mentioned that a grandfather in Hebrew usage is often referred to as a “father” (Heb. אב and Aram. אבּא ), as, for example, in Genesis 28:13 and 32:10. Indeed, there is no other term for “grandfather” besides this in the Old Testament.

    5. Darius and Cyrus: Darius the Mede is given the credit for the capture of Babylon, instead of Cyrus the Persian, and that he is described in 5:31 and 6:28 as the king of Babylon. Albright remarked: “It seems to me highly probable that Gobryas did actually assume the royal dignity along with the name ‘Darius,’ perhaps an old Iranian title, while Cyrus was absent on a European campaign.”

    6. The term Chaldeans: “The term Chaldeans ( כשׂדּים ), “Kasdim” (in Dan 2:2 and elsewhere), refers to a class of astrologers, even though it could never have been used in this way during the sixth century B.C.” Yet, in Daniel 5:30 the author uses the term Chaldeans in an ethnic sense when he calls Belshazzar “king of the Chaldeans.” The ethnic use of this term is utterly irreconcilable with the Maccabean-date hypothesis, for it demonstrates that whoever wrote Daniel was perfectly aware of the fact that Belshazzar ruled over the Chaldean nation. His second use of Chaldeans may have derived from a completely differing origin, and that it happened to come out as a homonym, sounding just like the name of the Chaldean nation. In other words, it may have come from an old Sumerian title, GAL.DU (“master builder”), which later became altered to the pronunciation Kas.du (the singular of Kasdim) through a sound-shift well known in thedevelopment of the Babylonian language.

    7. Predictive prophecy: “Daniel shows consistent accuracy only in connection with later history, the history of the Seleucid and Ptolemaic empires during the Greek period, from the time of Alexander the Great (ca. 330 B.C.) to the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.).” Yet, Dan. 11:40–45 was written in the same period even though it does not predict events which then took place. The defenders of the Maccabean-date hypothesis also steers clear of the ascendancy of Rome, which is supported by the evidence, i.e., the 4th kingdom of Dan. 2 and 7.

    8. Greek and Aramaic: “Linguistic evidence, i.e., the appearance of Greek words in the Aramaic portion of Daniel (i.e., 2:4b–7:28), demonstrates that the work must have been composed in the Greek period, that is, in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes.” Three well attested loan-words from Greek in the Aramaic of Daniel, occur in one verse (3:5):

    פּסנתּרין ,קיתרֹס , and סוּמפּנֹיה . Greek traders had been selling their wares, including music instruments, on the Near Eastern markets from the Mycenean age onwards. And since there are at least fifteen Persian loan-words (largely pertaining to government functions and administrative titles) to be found in Daniel’s Aramaic, it is perfectly evident that Official (Reichs) Aramaic, the lingua franca of the Babylonian capital, readily adopted foreign terms. But the fact that no such Greek terms are to be found in Daniel demonstrates beyond all reasonable doubt that this work was composed in the Persian period rather than after Greek had become the language of government in the Near East.

    9. Daniel as Scripture: At the Council of Jamnia, held after the A.D. 70 fall of Jerusalem to discuss whether certain books should be maintained as Scripture, the place of Daniel was clearly secure. From what we know of the deliberations of the Jewish religious leadership, Daniel’s place in the canon was never even a matter of discussion. It had already been fully accepted. This is established even more firmly by the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered at Qumran in 1947. Not only were several copies of the book of Daniel discovered, but other scrolls were found which were based upon Daniel-related material. These include the Prayer of Nabonidus, Pseudo-Daniel and the Book of Giants. Roger T. Beckwith discusses different computations of the Seventy Weeks prophecy. In his book he states that the Essenes’ “interpretation of the 70 Weeks is first found in the Testament of Levi and the Pseudo-Moses Documents . . . , which probably means that it was worked out before 146 B.C.” Having also examined dates based on Daniel 9 as calculated by Jewish sects other than the Essenes, Beckwith concludes: “These considerations do not make easier but more difficult the problem of the origin of the Book of Daniel. Nevertheless, they are among the data which, especially since the Qumran discoveries, have been accumulating to necessitate a reconsideration of the common Maccabean dating of that book.” The latest studies indicate that much of the messianic Qumran literature that depends on Daniel can be dated to before 150 BCE. In other words, by the time of the Maccabees, Daniel had clearly already been accepted as Scripture. On that basis the writer of Daniel could not have been contemporaneous with the Maccabees and the writers of the Qumran material. This adds credence to the Jewish Talmudic teaching that the book was written (or edited) and included in the canon of Scripture by the Great Synagogue before it ceased to operate during the time of Simon the Just (circa 300 B.C.). Jews believed that the canon of Scripture was closed at that point—nothing more could be added. This would also suggest that, contrary to critics, Josephus’s claim about Alexander the Great and the high priest cannot simply be dismissed as patriotic propaganda (see also Ivor C. Fletcher’s Internet article, “Daniel in the Critics’ Den,” Vision-Insights and New Horizons).

  • vienne

    Another prophet with mental health issues.

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