1914 Was Originally Just 40 Years Past the End Date of 1874, That's All it Was!

by OnTheWayOut 18 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • OnTheWayOut

    You don't need to understand complicated ways to go from 607BCE to 1914CE. You don't have to go back to the late 1700's to understand the founding of Jehovah's Witnesses on the back of William Miller's teachings. You just need to know that Watchtower math and past doctrines along with changes in teachings are all based on lies.

    You don't even need to fully understand the ridiculous methods that they did date setting from.

    Here's a really short version of what happened and all you really need to know-

    William Miller said that Jesus' Return would be in 1844. (See The Great Disappointment at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Disappointment ) People who believed what he said were known as "Millerites." Jesus' return didn't happen. This return of Jesus was also known as his second advent, and believers came to be known as Adventists.

    Adventist Jonas Wendell suffered in his faith at the Great Disappointment, but later carried the same type of "Millerites" talk in a sermon where Wendell had picked the new date of 1873 or 1874 for Jesus' return (after studying Bible chronology and being wrong about 1868). 18 year old C. T. Russell heard Wendell in 1870 speak of such a date. Wendell had already published The Present Truth, or Meat in Due Season highlighting such dates. So Wendell invented those terms that would haunt the WT organization and morph into New Light and food at the proper time.

    Wendell died in August of 1873, probably confident that his 1873 to 1874 date was correct. When Jesus didn't appear as expected, Russell still believed it (or at least wanted to keep selling pamplets that explained it). He taught that Jesus must have returned invisibly, meaning that Jesus was ruling from Heaven starting in 1874. He taught that 40 years later, a literal application of how long a "generation" was, in 1914, Jesus would take power on the earth. That would mean an end to the Gentile Times in 1914 and an end to the last days- destruction and death and stuff.

    Because World War One (coincidentally) started in 1914, Russell used that as a sign that he was correct in his complicated doctrines. He was already good at reinventing understanding rather than admitting he was wrong.

    All the rest is just calculated backwards- the stuff about 607 BCE and the 2520 years and the Seven Times.
    All of it was just made to fit that understanding. When things didn't work out as planned (again) the people in charge just reinvented the understandings and adjusted the math to fit whatever they wanted it to fit to sell more pamphlets/magazines/books. The end of the last days became the beginning of the last days. 1874 was forgotten. They just kept changing the end-date. They even made terrible errors and just changed the math to fit- they forgot there was no "Year Zero" and changed 606 BCE to 607 BCE.
    They kept 1914 because it was so well-known to the followers and they already said "See, we were right" when World War One started. Everything about Nebuchadnezzar and the destruction/building of the temple was just made to fit the math. You can find anything if you work backwards. It's like writing a Sherlock Holmes story. Just work backwards from what a great detective would expect to find and make him look like a genius in discovering those things.

    It is so unnecessary to understand the ridiculous theories of WT's present understanding when you can see what it was based on and how it changed to suit their need to get a following and sell pamphlets/magazines/books. It saddens me that I bothered to understand it at one time.

  • Sigfrid Mallozzi
    Sigfrid Mallozzi

    My dad said that 1954 was also an expected armageddon date because the "generation" was believed to be 40/years.

  • Anders Andersen
    Anders Andersen

    What was the earliest that Watchtower literature mentioned 606/607 in connection to 1914 and 2520 years?

    Was it before or after 1914?

  • btlc

    @AA: I believe the earliest mention is in 1877 book "The Three Worlds" (N.H.Barbour, C.T.Russell) page 83:

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    did we really believe all this crap ?

  • Finkelstein

    When your forced fed this information from birth with your parents sitting beside you handing you this information, its understandable how mentally indoctrinated one can get .

    The WTS's doctrines were speculative theory to incite emotions and appealing thought of Jesus returning to heal mankind's problems.

    Only problem is it wasn't fact based or backed by the bible.

    This date setting was actually apostasy in action, directly against Jesus's instructions for preaching his kingdom to come.

  • btlc

    About "zero year" thing, even C. T. Russell was aware of that, but he rather shift deadline to October 1915 (WT December 1, 1912):

  • Finkelstein

    The fictitious date setting made by the WTS (1874, 1914, 1925,) was deliberately created to attract further attention to the literature the WTS produced , that goes for 1975 as well.

    Call it commercialized apostasy.

    Claiming that god had chosen these men in 1919 was another act of sinning apostasy but nevertheless advantageous for literature proliferation .

  • peacefulpete
    As I recall the 40 years was supposed to have been foretold by the 40 years in the wilderness (defining a generation) waiting for the promised land. The 30 years added to the 1844 was explained as parallel to the 30 year delay for Jesus to begin his preaching. I used to spend late nights in the little library in the 119 building that had material that went back to the 1800's. They shifted calculations and used many contrived methods to arrive at a shameful number of predictions. The most audacious was to adapt the phony measurements of the great pyramid to corroborate their calculations. lol
  • peacefulpete

    The way Wendall recalculated Millers numbers involves switching the order and concurrence of the numbers in Daniel.

    Here is the booklet that persuaded Russell the Bible was inspired: https://archive.org/details/PresentTruthByJonasWendell/page/n17

    Note of page 13 shows his calculations as opposed to Miller's. Also its worth mentioning that absolutely all of this was claimed to be about the Papacy as the evil empire. Russell basically reused some of his math with a different spin.

    Doing a google quickly reveals many many different spins and calculations postulated by people determined to see something supernatural in this book of Daniel. The simplest and most reasonable explanation is the 2nd century author was referring to then recent history and pretending to be a prophet.

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