Need Help: My Correspondence with the Headquarters

by Lobsto 154 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Sanchy

    I find it silly when religious apologists find one supposed scholar with a particular discrepancy with mainstream conclusion and use that to claim "You see? There isn't a consensus".

    If the overwhelming majority (possibly all) experts in the matter conclude that 607 is not correct, I would call that a consensus.

  • Finkelstein

    Religionists dont set their ideology within the constraints of intellectual honesty or Truth based upon a broad scope of information, secular or otherwise.

    As far as the JWS and their dating of 1914, much of that came from the novice bible theologian C T Russell, the once executive director of the Watchtower Corporation and no he was not a academically trained bible theologian, either was the man who followed him J Rutherford. They were head editorial directors of the Watchtower publishing house and they propagated doctrines which to them were valuable toward literature proliferation, not necessarily accurate interpretation of the bible itself.

  • Diogenesister
    Sir 82 Their reasoning is specious, of course, but at least they acknowledge the sources which discredit their attempts to use 607. That's more than they've ever done in print.
    It might well be a form letter as Room 215 suggests. It would be interesting for someone else to submit another query and see if they get the same reply.

    I'm absolutely amazed they sent you such a detailed letter. Many have submitted similar queries with zero response. I think, too they must have had so many inquiries they've decided to trott out a standard response from now on.

    I say they're getting more worried about some of the big criticisms they are getting - 607, micro managing, beards the list goes on.

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Hi Scholar,

    It's been a while since we chatted.

    No chronologist says that 539 BCE is an Absolute Date. If it were an Absolute Date, why did Russell and Rutherford use 538 BCE? When and why did the WTS change?

    There is NO universal agreement on the date when the first of the Exiles returned. Dates range from 538 to 535 BCE.

    The Bible writers do not say that the Exile's Return marked the end of a 70-year period. 2 Chronicles 36, written 200 years later, mentions the 70 years in terms of Cyrus defeating Babylon (see verses 20 and 22). Jeremiah spoke only of several nations serving Babylon for 70 years, not just Judah, and the nations served Babylon while remaining in their own land. Jeremiah told the people they had to continue living in Babylon because their 70 years had yet to continue running its course.

    Even though Jeremiah decreed 70 years of servitude to Babylon, he pleaded with the king to accept the situation, so that Jerusalem did not need to be destroyed.

    We must not impose 21st century mathematical attitudes upon their ancient cultural attitudes. The number 70 had a cultural meaning.

    You are one of the few people who knows that the WTS does not start their "70 years" with Jerusalem's destruction.

    As I wrote, I am genuinely pleased to "see" you again.


  • Esse quam videri
    Esse quam videri

    " ...Also, please keep in mind that our letter is for your personal use only, so no photocopies of it should be made and it should not be placed on any electronic system.,".

    Such a thoughtful explanation. But make sure you don't tell anyone else. So much for not hiding your light under a basket.


    Doug Mason

    Having written to my uncle about 607 he says he has spent the last few months working on a reply, I am sure he would have written after the society, when I spoke to him recently he mentioned the letter and said did I know that Josephus had also put 70 years desolation for Jerusalem in his book Against Apion a few pages before saying 50 years desolation for Jerusalem, I had told him I wasn’t aware of this, but did go home and look it up, but having read the letter that has been put on this chat as well as other comments it is quite clear that this must be a new ‘book reply’ from the watchtower Regarding 607, having really enjoyed the way you destroy their arguments from the watchtower 2011 if you have time could you do the same with this letter? Hope you don’t mind me asking, all the best

  • scholar

    Doug Mason

    Hi Doug

    Edwin Thiele in his MNHK, 1983, p.67 states "In the Old Testament no absolute dates are given and it becomes our task to establish. if we can, some absolute date in the history of Israel that can be used as a starting point to establish other dates in the desired chronological scheme". WT scholars have selected the Fall of Babylon universally accepted in the year of 539 BCE. Such date in current WT literature is classed as a pivotal date rather than considered to be an Absolute Date but tatter term is my preferent.

    Scholars seem to prefer 537BCE for the Return rather than 538 or 535 BCE and WT publications have carefully constructed the facts underlying the determination of 537 BCE.

    2 Chronicles 36 in connection with the 70 years omits any reference to Babylon's Fall but only the ist year of Cyrus which is the Return of the Exiles. This means that the 70 years could not have ended in 539 but in 537 BCE. Judah alone was to serve Babylon for 70 years marked by their deportation and the desolation of the land. Other nations also were brought into servitude to Babylon

    That is simply your interpretation that the 70 years has symbolic meaning but other authorities who wrote after the event stated that these years were literal a definite historical period.

    The 70 years began in the same year as the Fall namely 607 BCE beginning in the seventh month of that year.


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    OK Scholar,

    Show me:

    (1) Where the Bible says the moment when the 70 years ended.

    (2) How to guarantee the exiles returned in 537. (Google with 536 BCE -- then with 536 BC -- then with 538 BCE -- and then with 538 BC).

    (3) Who says that 539 (or 538) is a "pivotal" date? (Google with pivotal date or with pivotal dates).

    Edwin was correct -- and I have personal letters from him - that no dates can be obtained from the Bible in BCE format.

    When Jeremiah declared the 70 years it was made against several nations. If they obeyed, they could remain in their land and serve out their servitude to Babylon. Jeremiah told Zedekiah there was no need for Jerusalem to fall. All that was required was to accede to the subjugation.

    Thank you for your comments as these are making it clearer for others who are reading this Thread.

    I say it is absolutely impossible for the Judahites to exile into Egypt a bare two months after Jerusalem's destruction, following Gedaliah's murder.

    All the best,


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Borg Off,

    I will take a close look at key points in their letter.

    I spent some time looking for the text of the Adad Guppi stele (also: Adda Guppi stele / stelae) as reported by Gadd in Anatolian Studies in 1958. I do have the original text "somewhere" but maybe you or someone can dig it up.

    These are two identical tablets written about that time and it provides the chronology.

    I will come back to you tomorrow (it's late Sat night and bitterly cold - snowing nearby) and I will check out key points in their letter. Always feel free to email me.



  • Finkelstein

    537 or 539 becomes irrelevant in the acceptance and realization of all what happened to Jerusalem when Nebuchadnezzar took over the throne of Babylon from his father in 605 BCE.

    There is sequence of specific events involving the accession by Nebuchadnezzar over Jerusalem, such the Kings set in place, the gradual slaves that were extricated to Babylon etc. which further confirms the final destruction date of Jerusalem in 586 BCE.

    The so called " Celebrated Scholars " said by Scholar were novice bible scholars at best, but nevertheless were sinning apostate charlatans running their own publishing house, that is a notable truth .

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