1914—The Turning Point in History - Really?

by berrygerry 52 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Vidiot

    Simon - "The 1914 date was something they plucked out of the air..."

    You sure they didn't pull it out of their ass? :smirk:

  • NewYork44M

    They got lucky with 1914

    If you read very early Wt literature you will find that they identified pretty much every year as the year. It wasn't luck related to 1914 - it was "spin."

  • Mephis
    Vidiot12 hours agWhy?


    Have they been overly kind to you?

    Mainly because I'd imagine not a single one of them has done even a post-16 educational course in either history or literature, where they'd get slapped down for confirmation bias, selective quotation and inability to use sources properly. Instead they're in a bizarre echo chamber which reinforces their inability to perform basic reasoning. An unkinder view is to question whether anyone can be stupid enough to read Russell proclaiming that these were the Time of the End and then portray it solely as a Anglo-American upper class idyll shattered by the war.

    To quote the 15 July WT, 1894:

    "Now, in view of recent labor troubles and threatened anarchy, our readers are writing to know if there may not be a mistake in the 1914 date. They do not see how present conditions can hold out so long under the strain. We see no reason for changing the figures - nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. 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."


    @ NewYork44M - well, yeah, they named several dates. But they got lucky with something very major happening in 1914. They airbrush over that they were saying October 1914 Armageddon arrives, and make it sound like they were predicting the World War. But whatever. They got the year right for something happening somewhere which would be seen as pivotal to world history. By luck. And in advance and with a lot of attempts around it they like to forget. But if nothing had happened in 1914, it would have joined the rest of the dates they don't like to mention 100 years afterwards.

  • kaik
    WT overblown the importance of WWI. WWII had far bigger impact than WWI. While there were political and cultural changes from the Great War (disintegration of Austria-Hungary, collapse of German and Russian monarchies, and women could vote in USA), the effect from the war disappeared during the Roaring Twenties. French III. Republic survived until 1940. Countries that were part of Austria-Hungary did not change internally. They still had capitalistic Gilded Age economy, the judicial system established in 1852 lasted till 1950's-1960, and so on. The ethnic and economic structure of Europe changed little during the Great War. However, WWII totally uprooted European and East Asian economic and political structures with massive population transfers (Germans, Poles, Russians). It also established socially aware states. With all these changes Russell and Rutherford failed to predict WWII. Even USA was transformed by WWII. A few Americans prior 1941 envisioned USA involved in any alliance (last alliance with France ended in December 1800); but after 1945 USA became an active player on global scene. For US-based religious denomination like WT, it missed a lot on this prediction.
  • truthseeker100
    Kaik remember CANADA was there in 1939
  • bennyk

    They do claim that the WTS was expecting massive upheaval and catastrophe in 1914.

    *** The Watchtower 1971 8/1 p. 468 ***

    5 From Bible chronology, Jehovah’s witnesses as far back as 1877 pointed to the year 1914 as one of great significance. The Watchtower as of March 1880 said: “‘The Times of the Gentiles’ extend to 1914, and the heavenly kingdom [of God] will not have full sway till then.” While they were not yet clear on just what the details would be, in the nearly four decades preceding 1914 they sounded the warning that the future for this present system would not be one of peace, security and prosperity for mankind, but that in 1914 the world would come to the greatest time of trouble ever. In 1897 the book The Battle of Armageddon, (at first entitled “The Day of Vengeance”) published by Jehovah’s witnesses, said that this trouble would be “more general and widespread, and more destructive, as the machinery of modern warfare signally suggests. Instead of being confined to one nation or province, its sweep will be over the whole world, especially the civilized world, Christendom.”

    6 The momentous year of 1914 came, and with it World War I, the most widespread upheaval in history up to that time. It brought unprecedented slaughter, famine, pestilence and overthrow of governments. The world did not expect such horrible events as took place. But Jehovah’s witnesses did expect such things, and others acknowledged that they did.

    What Russell actually had to say was significantly different:

    How refreshing the prospect brought to view at the close of these seven times! Neither Israel nor the world of mankind represented by that people will longer be trodden down, oppressed and misruled by beastly Gentile powers. The Kingdom of God and his Christ will then be established in the earth, and Israel and all the world will be blessed under his rightful and righteous authority. […]

    But at the end of the Gentile Times the sure signs of spring will not be lacking, and rich will be the summer fruitage and glorious the autumnal harvest to be reaped and enjoyed in the eternal ages of glory to follow. […]

    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; but we are living in a special and peculiar time, the "Day of Jehovah," in which matters culminate quickly; and it is written, "A short work will the Lord make upon the earth." (See Vol. I, chap. xv.)

    In view of this 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. 1914.

    [1912 edition reads: “will be accomplished near the end of A.D. 1915.”] (The Time is at Hand (1889):p. 98f)

  • Beth Sarim
    Beth Sarim

    Yeah, they may have got lucky with 1914.

    Another date in history you could throw out there is September 11,2001. Just increased paranoia with security issues and heightened increase of terrorists.

    That is of course, if Sept. 11 was actually caused by terrorists.

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Simon said, "The 1914 date was something they plucked out of the air..."

    Not entirely. If you add 40 years to 1874 you arrive at 1914. The "Bible Basis" for this was 40-days-for-years to allow for the sanctification of the tabernacle. Today there are certainly very few JWs who understand this detail of "Bible-based chronology".

    The pivotal year 1874 is thus entombed in Watchtower doctrine.

    "God has a set time for every feature of his plan, and that we are even now in this "Day of Vengeance," which is a period of forty years; that it began in October, 1874, and will end in October, 1914 [very shortly]." Studies In the Scriptures Series IV - The Day of Vengeance -pp.546, 547"

  • Bobcat


    I started a thread (here) with almost the identical name back in February 2015 ... no wait, 2014 (my, how time flies!).

    It was based on a comparison of the idea of 1914 being the ultimate turning point in history (per the WT) versus what Paul said in Acts 17:30, 31.


  • Beth Sarim
    Beth Sarim
    It just seems like the WT makes dates up as they go along to fit their agenda.

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