Vanderhoven won't address your question Slim, it's not how he 'debates'.
Watchtower's Illogical Teachings
Don Cameron's book Captives of a Concept is an excellent summation of points like these. It is presented in an easy-to-understand layout and exposes many of the obvious contradictions and fabrications by the WBTS.
It is so logical - yet a True Blue Dub will be unable to grasp it. They will simply switch to Parrot Mode and answer with the illogical rhetoric they've been programmed to believe and recite.
I have to check where I got that estimate. I've recorded it somewhere. But whether it was 1 million or 7; the fact is that 144,000 doesn't cut it. Even WTS literature confirms this.
"The data, attributed to the late researcher David B Barrett, puts the number of Christians martyred since the time of Jesus at 70 million."
I'll get back to you.
Vanderhoven7 - "Watchtower's illogical teachings..."
Otherwise known more simply as "Watchtower teachings"... :smirk:
Nice to be proven wrong.
Doing a little research. Hard to come up with verifiable numbers. But here is what I have come up with so far.
How many Christians were martyred in the first three centuries?
The early Christians suffered severe persecution from the pagan Roman Empire. The persecutions lasted for the first three centuries, until the Roman Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in the year 313.
The following are the emperors under whose rule you find the 10 major persecutions of Christians during the Roman Empire.
Nero (64 A.D.)
Marcus Aurelius (161-181)
Septimus Severus (202-211)
Maximus the Thracian (235-251)
Diocletian / Galerius (303-311)
From this early period of AD 313 to around AD 1600 over fifty million(50,000,000) Christians were killed by this new state church because they would not yield to the dominance of it and their new order of baptism. Even with all the continued persecution from Judaism, Paganism and now the Catholic church, the true Christians grew, flourished and spread through out much of the known world. This period also spawned four major Protestant religions who opposed the Roman Catholics: Lutheran of Germany, Presbyterian of Switzerland and Scotland, the Greek Orthodox Catholic--the first of the Protestants and finally the Henry VIII church of England. These new Protestants were not innocent in the persecution of the true Christians either.
These fifty million are well documented and I would estimate a minimum of an additional million, perhaps as high as three million, during the period of time from the death of Jesus the Christ until the beginning of the forth century(AD 300).
Quoted from an article on Yahoo
Still looking for the article on the 7 mil estimate. At this point I don't really think anyone can really verify either a high or low number of martyrs during this period.
According to Rodney Stark there were around 40,000 Christians in the first century in total.
See full discussion including references to Stark here:
So technically the JW claim about 144,000 could still be correct given a few assumptions:
1. Stark is correct there were only 40,000 Christians in total in the first century.
2. The vast majority of those who professed to be Christians between apostasy in 100 AD and Bible Stidents in the late 19th century were not spirit anointed.
3. The total number of anointed in the modern period amounts to fewer than 100,000.
If the number of anointed keeps rising it will become more difficult to maintain. But as it stands it's a pretty good fit, given JW assumtptions.
<<The vast majority of Christians between 100 AD and the late 19th century were not spirit anointed>>
Slim, according to the WTS all Christians during this period were anointed.
The Watchtower September 1, 1951, in a wonderful article entitled “Hated For His Name”(pp.518, 519) describes the persecution and martyrdom of steadfast Christians in the first 3 centuries AD.
By the year (A.D.) 64 Christianity was prominent throughout much of the Roman Empire, including the capital city Rome itself. Their individual characteristics, form of worship and steadfast refusal to compromise thereon had made the Christians sure targets of hostility and ridicule. That year, the tenth in the reign of Emperor Nero, Rome was swept by a conflagration so great it is yet the object of poetry and legend....Diocletian assumed the crown A.D. 284.
At first he seemed friendly to the Christians,but in the year 303 he gave in to persuasion and opened the tenth persecution, probably the most ferocious of all. Suffocation by smoke, forcible drinking of melted lead, mass drownings and bumings,breaking on the rack of men and women alike ran the empire with blood. In a single month 17,000 were slain. In the province of Egypt alone, 144,000 such professed Christians died by violence in the course of this persecution, in addition to another 700,000 who died as a result of fatigues encountered in banishment.
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Actually it is estimated that millions of Christians were martyred in the first 3 centuries alone.
So What's the problem?
The problem is that the religion of Jehovah Witnesses has set a limit of 144,000 faithful Christians that could have possibly existed in the 19 centuries prior to 1914. How does 144,000 = millions?
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WT 1952 1/15 p. 62 Questions From Readers
According to the article “Hated for His Name” in the September 1, 1951, Watchtower, hundreds of thousands of Christians died in the “ten persecutions” starting in Nero’s time, 144,000 dying in Egypt alone during one of the persecutions. How can this be harmonized with the Scriptural limitation of 144,000 placed on the number being in Christ’s body, and which position was the only one open to Christians during those centuries?—J.A., Dominican Republic.
The article did not class with any finality the individuals that died during these persecutions, but spoke of the results in a general way. Note that a key qualification was made in the case referred to in the question: “In the province of Egypt alone, 144,000 such professed Christians died by violence in the course of this persecution, in addition to another 700,000 who died as a result of fatigues encountered in banishment or under enforced public works.” The victims are identified as “professed Christians”, not Christians in fact. Many of those persons might have been caught in the wave of persecution, but may never have actually preached the truth or followed in Jesus’ footsteps, being only professed Christians. They knew the world they lived in was rotten and they were listening to the message of the Christians and willing to die for it even though not in line for the high calling in Christ Jesus. Many professed Christians today might be willing to die for their faith, but still not be Jesus’ footstep followers and meeting the Scriptural requirements for such.
Isn't that insulting to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for staying true to their Christian beliefs?
Guys like Richard Carrier state that the number of Christians was small and only grew about at the same pace as the Mormon church. It wasn't until after 313 AD that the number really started taking off. The later persecution of the pagan religions are what force the numbers to then go way up. It's also been brought out by many historians that the number of Christians persecuted and killed was way less then later reported.
The point of all this is simply to show that the WTS' idea that less than 150,000 faithful Christians existed in 1900 years before 1914 is illogical.
For those interested in PDFs of any WT publication try
For those who want to see the "Hated For His Name" article: