The 31 date blunders of Watchtower

by FatFreek 2005 11 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • FatFreek 2005
    FatFreek 2005

    Dates (AD) of events once taught by Watchtower as significant but no longer supported since nothing happened.

























    1. "But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble. Zion's Watch Tower 1894 Jul 15 p.226 Incredibly, today’s JW’s dishonestly prefer to rewrite history, claiming "Jehovah's witnesses pointed to the year 1914, decades in advance, as marking the start of "the conclusion of the system of things." Awake! 1973 Jan 22 p.8

    2. Most JW’s felt that this decade would be the final one based on Rutherford’s strong words, " . . . remaining months before Armageddon." Watchtower 1941 Sep 15 p.288

    3. Perhaps Watchtower’s most egregious date teaching known, the only one I know of where Watchtower actually apologized for its 9 year hype that implied Armageddon would be history by the time that 1975 rolled around, " . . . It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years." Watchtower 1968 Aug 15 p.499

    4. "Shortly, within our twentieth century, the "battle in the day of Jehovah" will begin against the modern antitype of Jerusalem, Christendom." The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah p. 216

    For those who like to count, there are 31 dates on this list. For those who like to find significance in numbers you won’t find it here. Yes, Baskin Robbins has advertised its 31 flavors of ice cream for many years but they would be insulted, and properly so, if someone linked them to Watchtower’s history of false teaching.

    The only significance in the above number is that Watchtower has been guilty of teaching the wrong things far too many times. That doesn’t mean that those exposing such blunders can’t capitalize on keeping a good count of the blunders.

    Therefore, “The 31 date blunders of Watchtower”, is the title of this post.

    Thanks to Paul over at JWFACTS.COM for a well documented expose' of these dates. Check him out at

    Len Miller

  • Crazyguy

    Don't forget 1931, Rutherford wrote that Jesus kingdom would be fully established on earth by then.

  • FatFreek 2005
    FatFreek 2005

    Hmmmm ... Paul doesn't seem to mention that one. Can you source that?

    Interestingly, he does bring up 1931 but in another prediction,

    "A noteworthy example is the date for the sealing of the 144,000, a date constantly changed. Russell originally set it as being 1878. This was moved to 1881, 1910, 1914, 1925, 1931 and finally 1935. In 2007 it has admitted as unknown.
  • Crazyguy

    I'll have to find the book I can't remember if it was the Harp of god or maybe millions will never die, anyway not sure I'll try to find it.

  • Splash

    Here's my list, some of which are the same.


    606 BC - Studying God's Word, we have measured the 2520 years, the seven symbolic times, from that year 606 B.C. and have found that it reached down to October, 1914, as nearly as we were able to reckon. We did not say positively that this would be the year. (Watchtower, November 1, 1914, p. 325)

    1798 - Napoleon began this Egyptian campaign in 1798, finished it, and then returned to France on Oct 1, 1799. The campaign is briefly, yet graphically described in the prophecy, verses 40-44; and its being completed in 1799 marks, according to the prophet's own words, the beginning of "the time of the end. (Creation; 1927; p. 293)

    1799 - The indisputable facts, therefore, show that the "time of the end" began in 1799; that the Lord's second presence began in 1874. (The Watchtower, March 1, 1922)

    1872 - In this chapter we present the Bible evidence which indicates that six thousand years from the creation of Adam were complete with A.D. 1872; and hence that, since A.D. 1872 are chronologically entered upon the seventh thousand or the Millennium. (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 33, 1889)

    1873 - If, then, the seventh thousand-year period of earth's history be an epoch specially noted as the period of Christ's reign, we shall by showing that it began in 1873, be proving that we are already in it. (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 40. 1889)

    1874 - We have no doubt whatever in regard to the chronology [for] the dates of 1874, 1914, 1918, and 1925. It was on this line of reckoning that the dates 1874, 1914, and 1918 were located; and the Lord has placed the stamp of his seal upon 1914 and 1918 beyond any possibility of erasure. (w1922, 5/15 p.150)

    1878 - Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874, A.D... and the formal inauguration of his kingly office dates from April 1878, A.D. (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol.4, p.621, 1897)

    1881 - To our understanding the general call to this joint heirship with our Redeemer as members of the New Creation of God, ceased in 1881. (The New Creation; 1899; 1915 ed.; p. 95)

    1910 - According to our expectations the stress of the great time of trouble will be on us soon, somewhere between 1910 and 1912, culminating with the end of the 'Times of the Gentiles,' October, 1914. (The New Creation, Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 6, p. 579, 1904)

    1914 - In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that the date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. (The Time Is At Hand, 1888, p. 76, 77)

    1914 - Complete destruction of the 'powers that be' of 'this present evil worlds - political, financial, ecclesiastical - about the close of the Time of the Gentiles; October A.D. 1914. (Studies in the Scriptures, IV, p. 622, 1897)

    1914 - When Uranus and Jupiter meet in the humane sign of Aquarius in 1914, the long-promised era will have made a fair start in the work of setting man free to work out his own salvation. (w1903 5/1 p.130)

    1915 - In the coming 26 years, all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved. (C.T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 98-99, 1889) [1889 + 26 years = 1915]

    1915 - While it's possible that Armageddon may begin next Spring, yet this purely speculation to attempt to say just when. We see, however, that there are parallels between the close of the Jewish age and this Gospel age. These parallels seem to point to the year just before us part particularly the early months. (Watchtower Reprints, VI, Sept 1, 1914, p. 5527)

    1915 - In view of strong Bible evidence concerning the Times of the Gentiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the kingdom of God, will be accomplished near the end of A.D. 1915. (The Time Is At Hand, 1915 edition, p. 99)

    1918 - Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by million, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of Christianity. (The Finished Mystery, 1917 edition, p. 485)

    1920 - Even the republics will disappear in the fall of 1920. And the mountains were not found. Every kingdom of earth will pass away, be swallowed up in anarchy. (The Finished Mystery, 1917 edition, p. 258)

    1924 - Even if the time of our change should not come within ten years, what more should we ask? Are we not a blessed, happy people? Is not our God faithful? If anyone knows anything better, let him take it. If any of you ever find anything better, we hope you will tell us. (Watchtower, Dec 15, 1914, p. 376.)

    1925 - 'There will be no slip-up... Abraham should enter upon the actual possession of his promised inheritance in the year 1925. (Watchtower Oct. 15, 1917, p. 6157)

    1925 - There is evidence that the establishment of the Kingdom in Palestine will probably be in 1925, ten years later than we once calculated. (Studies In The Scriptures, Vol 7, The Finished Mystery, p. 128)

    1925 - Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old. (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 89-90)

    1925 - The difficulty was that the friends inflated their imaginations beyond reason; and that when their imaginations burst asunder, they were inclined to throw away everything. (Watchtower 1925, p. 56)

    1932 - They had preached that in an early time God would overthrow "Christendom". Many had emphasized the year 1925 as the date, and then when that date did not materialize the date was moved up to 1932. Again, 1932 came and ''Christendom'' was not destroyed, and now it was discovered that "Christendom" would be spared for a while longer for the sake of the Jonadab class. (w1938 2/15 p. 54)

    1934 - True, it is expecting great things to claim, as we do, that within the coming twenty-six years all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved. (The Time Is At Hand; 1889; 1908 ed.; p. 99)

    1940 - The year 1940 is certain to be the most important year yet because Armageddon is very near. It behooves all who love righteousness to put forth every effort to advertise The Theocracy while the privileges are still open. (Informant, April, 1940, p. 1)

    1975 - Discussion of 1975 overshadowed about everything else. 'The new book compels us to realise that Armageddon is, in fact, very close indeed,' said a conventioneer. (Watchtower 15/10/1966, p 629)

    1975 - Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then ? Possibly... It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years. (Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1968, p499)

    1975 - There are only about ninety months left before 6,000 years of mans existence on earth is completed... The majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out, and there are no resurrection hopes for those who are destroyed then. So, now more than ever, it is vital not to ignore that spirit of wanting to do more. (KM, March 1968, p. 4 [1968 + 90 months = 1975])

    1975 - "Yes, the end of this system is so very near! Is that not reason to increase our activity?... Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world's end." (Kingdom Ministry, May 1974, p. 3)

    2000 - If the wicked system of this world survived until the turn of the century [the year 2000], which is highly improbable in view of world trends and the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, there would still be survivors of the World War I generation. However, the fact that their number is dwindling is one more indication that "the conclusion of the system of things" is moving fast toward its end. (w80 10/15 p. 31)

    20th Century - Shortly, within our twentieth century, the "battle in the day of Jehovah" will begin against the modern antitype of Jerusalem, Christendom. (The Nations Shall Know (1971); 2nd ed.; p. 216)

  • Vanderhoven7

    Thanks FF and Splash

  • ElderEtta

    Great list Splash perhaps someone can merge the two lists into one list

  • Watchtower-Free
  • OrphanCrow

    Good lists...and, wasn't there a trumpet blast in 1919 as well?

    Not prophesied, but claimed later.

  • berrygerry

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