How do JWs know that less than 150,000 Christians existed before the 20th Century?

by Vanderhoven7 43 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Vanderhoven7

    According to Watchtower, only anointed Christians existed between the first and 20th centuries. The Great Crowd of other sheep only began forming after the 20th century started.

    How do they support this conclusion?

  • TonusOH

    I recall thinking about that a few times. I don't believe that they ever tried to explain it. I think the split between the heaven/earth expectations was Rutherford's idea. He doesn't strike me as the sort who cared if the math wasn't quite right.

  • FFGhost

    As Tonus suggested, the math doesn’t work.

    But of course, most JWs are incapable of anything resembling intelligent analysis so they just kind of shrug and ignore it.

    The few attempts I’ve heard are a type “no true Scotsman” fallacy:

    “Not everyone claiming to be a Christian really was a Christian, the apostasy was already working in the apostle Paul’s time, yada yada yada, hand wave here, misdirection there, why are you asking that question? Have you been reading apostate literature?”

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    i cant quite remember the bit in the bible where Jesus refers to his bride being 144,000 virgin men, but i wont lose sleep over it.

    In due course some lower echelon Gov Bod helper speaking at an assembly will use the words "144,000" and "symbolic" in the same sentence--and the rest will become history.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Excellent Point Stan! Their number theory is untenable.

  • Diogenesister

    I read somewhere by the 4th century Christians were 10% of the Roman Empire. That's 6 million people. Watchtower numbers are waaay off.

  • Ding

    I'm sure there were more than 144,000 martyrs in the first couple of centuries.

    Were the vast majority of them counterfeit Christians?

  • Vanderhoven7

    In a conversation I'm having

    Me: Do you think it is possible that over 200,000 of the millions who were martyred for the name of Jesus prior to the 2Oth century might have been faithful Christians as well? How would you know otherwise?

    Him: Jesus foretold the apostasy in his illustration of the wheat and the weeds. John as the last surviving apostle stated that the apostasy had already begun as of 96 CE while he was still living. By the council of Nicaea in 325 CE, the church was already neck deep in apostasy. So, while there may have been faithful ones scattered about, they did not come from the the Catholic or Orthodox apostates.

    So as I have noted, through no fault of their own, most people (as in 99.999% of them) had no access to scriptural truth. There were surely “faithful” Jews with the Torah and the OT, but they had officially rejected Jesus as the Messiah and continue to do so as of February 2024.

    Martin Luther and John Calvin had the opportunity to break free from the “antichrist” tenets of the Catholic church. Instead, they simply adopted a modified version of it while maintaining its most egregious apostate doctrines.

    The Anglican Church was nothing but a political tool in the hands of Henry VIII. No spiritual truth was going to flow from that unholy mess. The one positive that did eventually emerge, however, was the King James authorized version of 1611 that put truth into the vernacular of the “ploughman” as Tyndale so aptly put it.

    Me: (So as I have noted, through no fault of their own, most people (as in 99.999% of them) had no access to scriptural truth.))

    And your source for this stat is?

    It's amazing that you know what was missing in the minds of millions of martyrs for the name of Christ that determined they were not true Christians.

    So what exactly was the saving scriptural truth that was missing from the minds and hearts of these martyrs that prevented them from knowing and loving the Father and the Son?

    Since you can read the minds and hearts of millions of martyrs to judge them as false Christians perhaps you can tell me how many people became true Christians in the first century alone after the gospel was preached throughout the then inhabited world.

    Him: As far a the first century Christians are concerned, maybe there were 100,000. IDK. I’m attempting to have a respectable conversation but your snarky comments attacking me are pointless. I don’t have access to exact numbers from 2000 years ago any more than you do.

    Me:(I don’t have access to exact numbers from 2000 years ago any more than you do.))

    True, but I'm not the one setting the limit or judging millions of martyrs as counterfeit Christians.

    The apostles taught many as did the disciples who were scattered abroad after the death of Stephen. Remember, the gospel was published throughout the entire inhabited world. Do you really know how many faithful Christians existed in the first century? You guess about 100,000. How do you know it wasn't 200,000 or much more?

    The fact is you don't know. All you are doing is presenting the the Slave's untenable guesswork based on an unrealistic number theory.

    Stop guessing and tell me what you know for a fact.

  • Rattigan350

    "only anointed Christians existed between the first and 20th centuries"

    Not so.

    There were Christians, but God did the choosing as to whom he would anoint.

    But then the weeds were mixed in with the wheat so any that God didn't have a good batch to choose from.

    During the middle ages, Jehovah chose whom he needed to choose so that there were wheat during all of those centuries. There didn't have to be many, just one or two.

    There are those that believe the church is orthodox and believe all of those doctrines because they are taught in orthodoxy. But if orthodoxy is the touchstone to them, why was there a need for a reformation?

  • Rattigan350

    You have to remember that to be Born Again into the new covenant, one must be born of water and spirit.

    Anointed by God with holy spirit. Why would he anoint people entrenched in false worship?

    And baptized in water. Catholic baptisms were not recognized by God.

    So his choices were slim to none.

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