The Watchtower's method to show that it was appointed in 1919 CE

by Doug Mason 24 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    Interesting to see your thoughts and experiences. Thank you.

    Since my focus is on the most current interpretation of the derivation of "appointment in 1919", I did not visualise that the Jonadab class would be pertinent, and perhaps could indeed form a distraction. As I noted, this presentation does not delve into every nook and cranny at every step, and I make no apologies for that.

    If you wish to see references to the "Jonadabs" I refer you to my Study at:

    The file is searchable.

    I suspect that the name "Jonadab" fell into disuse in the mid to late 1940s when the designation "Jehovah's witnesses" was extended to the "Great Crowd". Under Rutherford, the term "Jehovah's witnesses" was confined to the anointed 144,000.

    I had thought of including a "circular reasoning" graphic. Maybe I should have followed through with the idea. (Why do you believe what the Bible says? -- Because it's in the Bible) (How do you know the Bible is inspired - Because the Bible says so) (How do you know the Society was selected by Jehovah and Jesus in 1919? - Because the Watchtower's interpretation says so -- How do you know this is valid? -- Because it was selected in 1919).

    Please do not worship the Bible as if it is a god.


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    Yes, I suppose my determination to limit the depth of information likely leaves holes such as you mention.

    Although the Jews had two calendars, one starting with Nisan (March/April) and the secular calendar starting with Tishri (Sept/Oct), nevertheless the months were numbered from Nisan. Hence the seventh month was Tishri (Sept/Oct).

    While Parker and Dubberstein provide the corresponding Julian date for the start of each month, I do not see this to be directly transferrable to any Watchtower dates inasmuch as the Society inserts an unjustifiable 19 years into the neo-Babylonian chronology.

    So the short answer is that the Bible speaks of the number of a month -- the 5th for Jerusalem's destruction, for example, we would equate that to July/August.

    It should be noted also that the WTS is not certain whether it starts its "70 year/2520 year" period from 1 October or 15 October. How they can say this when the Bible writers did not think it important enough to state the month when Jews entered Egypt is rather baffling.


  • oldskool

    Impressive book Doug, I will have to spend some time with it.

    Personally, I have always felt the bigger story regarding the 1914/19 teachings, including the 1935 'miracle', was the rhetorical power behind the story.

    Most JWs I knew understood very little about these teachings. While lots of attention is paid in writings about JWs regarding the specific workings of how the Watchtower arrives at a point, the basic concept of what is actually going on in the mind of somebody that hears the teachings doesn't get as much attention.

    I think most JWs hear:

    - Smart sounding bible stuff i don't have time to understand

    - Must be right

    - I'll figure that out later, boy the WTS is really smart!

    The most 'learned" JWs I have known never really got beyond repeating this stuff verbatim, usually without much comprehension because how could there be any, its all nonsense.

    Which leads me back to my other question, and maybe it's in your book. What is the last prophecy the WTS fulfills, according to current belief? I'm really curious to figure this one out.

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    It works like this - the Watchtower starts out with the conclusion they want to arrive at. When you look at a typical paragraph in a Watchtower magazine, the para contains the argument and then a Scriptural reference is appended as a supposed support. This is a backward way of reasoning; it is termed eisegesis, which says that a meaning is read into a text of Scripture. They are looking for "support" of their position.

    Instead of dong this, we need to extract the meaning. The proper way to understand any Scripture is to recognise that they are human creations, with each written at a particular point in time and with its own immediate context. None of them was writing to us or for us. In each case, the writers intended to influence their own immediate community.

    Therefore, to understand what any of them was saying, we need to know the full context, not only literature structures, chiasms, and such, but equally importantly, we need to know the contemporary context of the writers, the editors (redactors), such as their secular and religious politics, geography, idiomatic expressions, and so on.

    Let me give you just two examples: (1) Much of the Hebrew Scriptures [religious propaganda by one section of the community] was formed during and as a result of the neo-Babyonian captivity/exile - the so-called Deuteronomic History, (2) Although Isaiah lived in the 8th century BCE, from chapter 40 on of the document that bears his name was written 200 years later, again during that captivity period.

    Knowing these contexts helps us understand the "what", "why", and so on.

    The Watchtower Society hides the Bible from its followers as completely as did the Church of the Middle Ages.


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Hi Cyberguy,

    Yes they do present some confusing positions as the result of the GB taking over exclusive right to the FDS removing designation from the (earthly?) 144,000.

    It would help if we were able to draw a picture that illustrates their situation. Perhaps another picture that illustrates the slave parable. And another that links the progression of the series of parables. It's not as if Matt 24-25 is a literal historical record; it is a collection of stories that have been put togther in one place, possibly for the purpose of preaching to the early Church. Matthew's gospel was written about 80 CE, some 50 years after Jesus had been executed. It results from oral and possibly written traditions and was intended for the Jewish community of the Church (Ebionites??).

    I wonder whether each "new" Watchtower idea results from the ideas brought in by a new member of the GB but he was unable to express previously.


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    I had another look at the presentation in light of your comments on the "7th month" and I hope I have addressed them adequately. That was a place where I had provided too much information.

    Thank you for your observation and help.


  • prologos

    DM: "I suspect that the name "Jonadab" fell into disuse in the mid to late 1940s when the designation.

    Was not the mandatory classification "anointed" , and/or "Jonadab", used on the Publisher record card until the late 1950s?

  • Vidiot

    Numerology is like smoking.

    It feels good at the time, but in the long run, it's bad for you.

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    I have absolutely no idea regarding that procedure. Sorry.

    There is too much detail regarding the evolution of the classes (Great Crowd, the Christ, Anointed, etc.) to present here, so have a look at the following and search for "witnesses", "jonadabs", etc.


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    The ancient Hebrews were into the spiritual meanings of numbers. For example, each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet was assigned a numerical value. This meant that each word was also a number, by adding the value of each letter. It did not matter which order the letters were in. The term to look up on the www is gematria.

    In addition, spiritual meanings were ascribed to each letter of the alphabet. Look up Kabbalah to get an idea of mystical Judaism.

    This is important when reading the Bible. It is a collection of ancient Jewish documents and they need to be read in the context of each community that produced it and edited it. It is overlaid with these spiritual overtones. It is religious history, not a literal record.

    Reading it through modern eyes fails to recognise the intention of a document. When they wrote 7 or 12 or 70, they did not have a calculator or a computer in mind, not even an abacus. Rather, they were using numbers to provide meaning (compare: 12 tribes, 12 disciples, 12 gates.)


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