Retractions in the Watchtower

by Elsewhere 44 Replies latest jw friends

  • Elsewhere

    Every magazine, newspaper or other periodical I have ever read would from time to time print a retraction to correct mistakes in past articles. Any reputable publishing house does this.

    Has anyone ever seen a retraction printed in the Watchtower, Awake, or any other WTS publication?

  • Bendrr

    Yeah. Right above the ads for aluminum foil and low-cost internet access.


    <walks away laughing, "retractions in the watchtower! best one I've heard all day!">

  • blondie

    I have seen retractions in the letters to the Awake when a picture was inaccurately identified or a technical aspect of an article was challenged by someone writing in.

    But nothing doctrinal.


  • Stephanus

    Isn't every instance of new light a retraction??

    A Watchtower retraction of previously held doctrine is usually prefaced by "Some of Jehovah's people have speculated...", and blames the R&F - very neat and tidy, if a little transparent...

  • rocketman

    I've only seen true retractions of the type that Blondie mentioned.

  • onacruse

    In the 20s and 30s there were some rather substantial retractions/disclaimers in the WT.

    Pretty old stuff, but I could post a couple, if anybody's interested.


  • wednesday

    I would be interested in seeing that,Craig,

    The only thing i have seen , other than what Blondie said, is statements that SOMEHOW INDIVIDUALS CAME TO THIS MISTAKEN CONCLUSION, or something like that, and how of course the WTS never said that, but the overly enthustic brothers somehow got that idea.


  • onacruse

    wednesday, here's one that's rather humorous. Also referred to in Apocalypse Delayed (pp. 66-69), this has to do with Clayton Woodworth's "theocratic calendar." I'll quote the entire passage from the Watchtower, to show how typically adamant they initially were that this was another piece of "new light."

    w3/1/35 80


    THE English word “calendar” means a system of reckoning time by dividing time into days, months and years. The ability of man is very limited; and when man attempts to do anything of importance and, in doing so, ignores Jehovah’s Word, he is certain to get into difficulty. Since the time of the rebellion in Eden that old Serpent, also called Satan, Dragon and Devil, has employed all manner of subtle and deceptive methods to divert the attention of man from Almighty God. This is particularly noted with reference to the calendars for the division of time. Naturally men have desired to divide time in such manner that they could keep an accurate record of events. In doing this had men adhered strictly to the Word of Jehovah God and diligently sought to be guided by the Most High, they would have fared far better. The ancient Greeks and Romans made calendars, but in doing so they disregarded the Word of God entirely and employed the wisdom of men, which is foolishness in the sight of God. Satan saw to it that they were turned away from Jehovah.

    Many persons of the present day have the idea that the calendar generally in use is of divine origin; but in this they are entirely wrong. The calendar now used was prepared and came into use in this manner: An Italian physician called Aloysius Blius projected a plan for amending the Julian calendar, which was used for some time; and after his plan was made then it was presented to Pope Gregory XIII. Gregory called in the wise men of the Catholic Hierarchy for a consultation about this calendar; and this occurred about the year 1577. In the year 1582 Gregory issued a brief abolishing the Julian calendar, and introduced in its stead the calendar that is now generally in use and which is known as the Gregorian calendar. According to the Word of God the Gregorian calendar is entirely wrong, and this alone is proof that the making of that calendar and its introduction were not by God’s direction but were done under the infiuence of Satan, the enemy of Jehovah.

    Now, since the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and his enthronement and his gathering together of his faithful followers, the time seems at hand to more clearly understand God’s purposes as expressed in his Word, and this includes the manner of measuring time. It seems proper and fitting that we should try to ascertain the correct way of measuring time and give publication thereto.

    In its Year Book for 1935 this Society has published a sample calendar, and a detailed explanation of this calendar shall also be published. The space in The Watchtower is hardly sufficient for such publication, because that space is needed for other truths. The Golden Age magazine is one of the publications of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, and The Golden Age will publish the explanation of the division of time, or the calendar, and The Watch tower readers are requested to give careful consideration to the same. A series of articles covering this matter will appear within a short time in the Golden Age magazine.

    Well, this only lasted a couple of months, and Rutherford backed off big time:

    w5/1/35 142


    TO HAVE a correct system of reckoning time is desirable. It is well known that the calendars heretofore used have been incorrect and unsatisfactory. For this reason The Golden Age published facts concerning a system of reckoning time, obtaining the important data from the Scriptures, and some from astronomy. Seeing there is a danger of giving importance to this and to the exclusion of weightier matters, this note of warning is here sounded. God’s people should keep in mind the “pyramid” delusion and the speculations that accompanied the study of chronology, and the pitfalls into which these things led many. Do not fall into a similar trap. It is of far more importance to understand our commission and to perform it than to understand at just what time Adam was created. Be reasonable and moderate. Avoid wild speculation as to at what time and in what manner things future will come to pass. Be sure that you always are guided by the counsel of the Lord’s Word. The statements in The Golden Age are not dogmatic, but are worthy of due and careful consideration.

    Apparently, in spite of being published in the Golden Age and the Yearbook, and being touted in the Watchtower, this new calendar was quickly discarded as comparable to Russell's pyramidology.


  • cat1759

    Interesting Craig.

    Humility is not part of the GB's vocabulary.

    It takes humility to say we were wrong!

    They spew it out like the next injection but don't practice what they preach themselves.

    Now brothers and sisters be humble and enjoy cleaning the crapper for this is where you learn true humility, any complaints lodged will go against your permanent record.


  • ozziepost
    Has anyone ever seen a retraction printed in the Watchtower, Awake, or any other WTS publication?

    Presumably, Jehovah doesn't allow it. After all the Borg is His earthly organisation, isn't it?.....well, isn't it?????


Share this