In defense of the OP I was at an apostafest some 3 years ago where
this subject drew heated attention. The question was raised as to how
old that publication was when it was published. More important, the
question was raised as to whether WT had rescinded that teaching.
None of us knew the answers.
However, one of the
group, a recent exiting elder told us this: that just before he
resigned, a soon-to-be disfellowshipped (use of tobacco) person
(gender not important) lamented how he/she was told by the elders
that if he/she was living in the days of the Israelites he would be
getting stoned to death! The person was understandably taken aback at
this statement and justified to him/herself that this elder's
statement was the key to refusing to attend a subsequent meeting with
the judicial committee. Naturally, that person was disfellowshipped.
Getting back home
from this fest I dug into my WT Lib for this topic. While this all
can be considered anecdotal, I found no evidence from WT publications
that they've rescinded what they said back in 1952.
I suppose that can
be said of many silly WT teachings of the past. However, the onus is
on their back, not ours, to defend teachings they’ve published.
As to quoting old
publications, Watchtower literature has no qualms referring to early
Zion's Watch Tower magazines when it suits their purpose,
reinforcing whatever it wants to show
its readers. . A case in point, among many, is from a recent
Watchtower magazine: “One of the reasons why Zion’s Watch
Tower was first published in July 1879 was to defend the Bible
teaching of the ransom. Its pages provided "food at the proper
time," for in the late 1800’s, a growing number of professed
Christians began to question how Jesus’ death could be a ransom for
our sins.” The Watchtower 2010, 8/15 p. 12 par. 2.
Watch Tower reference reasonably implies that there is no statute
of limitations for "food at the proper time". And it is
only one of some 360 references to the older “Zion's Watch Tower”
(1879-1908) within its modern literature since 1950.
[I find it
interesting that in an essay I wrote in 2012, the number of WT
Library finds to their abbreviation “ZWT” [for Zion’s
Watch Tower] was 1,507
instances . Moments ago, however, using my more recent 2013 Library,
searching for the term “ZWT” yielded a “not valid” response]