The New World Translation doesn’t use the term “grace,” but instead opts for the phrase “undeserved kindness.” Now that I’m out, this really gets on my nerves.
Back when I was a good dub and didn’t know any better, I remember believing their propaganda that stated that the NWT was the best and most accurate bible translation that the world has ever seen, bla bla bla. If the NWT said “undeserved kindness,” then who was I to question that choice of phrasing.
Even when I left, I still clung to the thought that at least the NWT is the best bible ever, even if I am no longer one of jw’s.
But one day, when I was still in the process of leaving the religion, I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a born-again Christian. She knew almost nothing about jehovah’s witnesses, so she didn’t understand how difficult it is to leave.
This one particular conversation, we were talking about what things I had believed as a jw. She asked if we taught that we can all become saved “by god’s grace.” As a well-programmed watchtower apologist, I smugly told her that actually, the bible says we are all given the opportunity to be saved “because of god’s undeserved kindness.”
She was like, WTF are you talking about? I explained that the best way to express the idea is to call it “undeserved kindness,” not “grace.” She said she had never heard that, and she thought it was an AWFUL way to describe grace, because it implies that we are worthless pieces of crap and that no matter what we do, we will never deserve any of the goodness that god offers.
I had never heard a reaction like that, but it clicked with me. She was right. Why do they have to always include the adjective “undeserved”? And if they are going to start qualifying god’s kindness as “undeserved,” then why stop there? Why not rewrite the bible and replace every instance of “love” with “undeserved love”? We should also be told that god offers us “undeserved forgiveness,” “undeserved justice,” “undeserved mercy,” “undeserved compassion.” Hell, we don’t even deserve to have a written message from god, so why don’t we call it the “New World Translation of the Undeserved Scriptures”?
The funny thing is: I remember back when I was a good little witness and we had watchtower studies that discussed god’s “undeserved kindness” and I remember hearing people make comments about how amazingly beautiful the term “undeserved kindness” is, and how it reminds us that god doesn’t owe us anything but still gives us good things.
And now that I’m out and deprogrammed, I realize… “undeserved kindness” is just another example of the watchtower cult creating their own language that keeps their followers psychologically imprisoned.
No, my entire point is not to bash the witnesses. I hope that some witnesses can read what I say and think for themselves. I was a witness for almost my entire life, and I never permitted myself to do any kind of critical analysis. When I finally did learn to think critically, I realized that I no longer believed any of it.
I apologize if things I’ve said or posted are offensive.
The watchtower tells us that the new world translation (NWT) is the most accurate translation in the world because it “restores jehovah’s name” to the New Testament.
But there IS one glaring place where the NWT translators didn’t add “Jehovah. For some reason they chose not to add “jehovah” in the prayers that Jesus said to his father.
As far as I was able to find, here are the prayers that Jesus said that were recorded in the bible (all quotes from NWT).
(Matthew 6:9-13) 9 “YOU must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. 10 Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth. 11 Give us today our bread for this day; 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one.’
(John 11:41, 42)Now Jesus raised his eyes heavenward and said: “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 True, I knew that you always hear me; but on account of the crowd standing around I spoke, in order that they might believe that you sent me forth.”
(John 17:1-26)Jesus spoke these things, and, raising his eyes to heaven, he said: “Father, the hour has come; glorify your son, that your son may glorify you, 2 according as you have given him authority over all flesh, that, as regards the whole [number] whom you have given him, he may give them everlasting life. 3 This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ. 4 I have glorified you on the earth, having finished the work you have given me to do. 5 So now you, Father, glorify me alongside yourself with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was. 6 “I have made your name manifest to the men you gave me out of the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have observed your word. 7 They have now come to know that all the things you gave me are from you; 8 because the sayings that you gave me I have given to them, and they have received them and have certainly come to know that I came out as your representative, and they have believed that you sent me forth. 9 I make request concerning them; I make request, not concerning the world, but concerning those you have given me; because they are yours, 10 and all my things are yours and yours are mine, and I have been glorified among them. 11 “Also, I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world and I am coming to you. Holy Father, watch over them on account of your own name which you have given me, in order that they may be one just as we are. 12 When I was with them I used to watch over them on account of your own name which you have given me; and I have kept them, and not one of them is destroyed except the son of destruction, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and I am speaking these things in the world in order that they may have my joy in themselves to the full. 14 I have given your word to them, but the world has hated them, because they are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world. 15 “I request you, not to take them out of the world, but to watch over them because of the wicked one. 16 They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world. 17 Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth. 18 Just as you sent me forth into the world, I also sent them forth into the world. 19 And I am sanctifying myself in their behalf, that they also may be sanctified by means of truth. 20 “I make request, not concerning these only, but also concerning those putting faith in me through their word; 21 in order that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union with us, in order that the world may believe that you sent me forth. 22 Also, I have given them the glory that you have given me, in order that they may be one just as we are one. 23 I in union with them and you in union with me, in order that they may be perfected into one, that the world may have the knowledge that you sent me forth and that you loved them just as you loved me. 24 Father, as to what you have given me, I wish that, where I am, they also may be with me, in order to behold my glory that you have given me, because you loved me before the founding of the world. 25 Righteous Father, the world has, indeed, not come to know you; but I have come to know you, and these have come to know that you sent me forth. 26 And I have made your name known to them and will make it known, in order that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in union with them.”
(Matthew 11:25-30)At that time Jesus said in response: “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to babes. 26 Yes, O Father, because to do thus came to be the way approved by you. 27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one fully knows the Son but the Father, neither does anyone fully know the Father but the Son and anyone to whom the Son is willing to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all YOU who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh YOU. 29 Take my yoke upon YOU and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and YOU will find refreshment for YOUR souls. 30 For my yoke is kindly and my load is light.”
(Luke 10:21, 22)In that very hour he became overjoyed in the holy spirit and said: “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have carefully hidden these things from wise and intellectual ones, and have revealed them to babes. Yes, O Father, because to do thus came to be the way approved by you. 22 All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and who the Son is no one knows but the Father; and who the Father is, no one [knows] but the Son, and he to whom the Son is willing to reveal him.”
(John 12:27, 28) 27 Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me out of this hour. Nevertheless, this is why I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Therefore a voice came out of heaven: “I both glorified [it] and will glorify [it] again.”
(Matthew 26:39)And going a little way forward, he fell upon his face, praying and saying: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
(Mark 14:35, 36)And going a little way forward he proceeded to fall on the ground and began praying that, if it were possible, the hour might pass away from him. 36 And he went on to say: “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you; remove this cup from me. Yet not what I want, but what you want.”
(Luke 22:41, 42)And he himself drew away from them about a stone’s throw, and bent his knees and began to pray, 42 saying: “Father, if you wish, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, let, not my will, but yours take place.”
(Matthew 27:46)About the ninth hour Jesus called out with a loud voice, saying: “E′li, E′li, la′ma sa·bach·tha′ni?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
(Mark 15:34)And at the ninth hour Jesus called out with a loud voice: “E′li, E′li, la′ma sa·bach·tha′ni?” which means, when translated: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
(Luke 23:34)[[But Jesus was saying: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”]] …
I love pie charts, so let’s put this all in a pie chart so that we can easily see what’s going on.
That’s right. The translation committee of the New World Translation added the name “Jehovah” all over the New Testament… except for in the 12 prayers that Jesus said to his father.
One of the fundamental teachings of jehovah’s witnesses is: Jesus set the example in how we should address God.
But Jesus apparently never called his father “Jehovah.” He overwhelmingly addressed him as “father,” with some other similar titles sprinkled in for variety.
This brings up a few questions:
A Witness would probably retort: “But in the model prayer, Jesus said “YOU must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.” So Jesus was telling us to use the name “Jehovah.” However, I found that at least some bible commentators and scholars have differing views on what “your name” refers to in Matthew 6:9. For example, Albert Barnes wrote, in Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament:
The word name here includes the attributes or character of God. Jesus had made known his character, his law, his will, his plan of mercy — or, in other words, he had revealed GOD to them. The word name is often used to designate the person, Jn 15:21, Mt 10:22, Rom 2:24, 1 Tim 6:1
An example I found was when a police officer says: “Stop in the name of the law!” He isn’t saying that the law has a name, he is referring to the authority of the law.
So… in the model prayer, was Jesus telling us: “Let your name (Jehovah) be sanctified”… even though Jesus didn’t use the name Jehovah? Or was Jesus saying: “Let your name (your authority, your character, your attributes) be sanctified?”
Just to give a balanced view of things, I did some searching in the wt library and found this:
*** w93 11/1 p. 30 Did the Early Christians Use God’s Name? ***
Did Jesus’ disciples use God’s name (normally rendered “Jehovah,” or “Yahweh” in English)? The evidence says yes. Jesus taught his followers to pray to God: “Let your name be sanctified.” (Matthew 6:9) And at the end of his earthly ministry, he himself prayed to his heavenly Father: “I have made your name manifest to the men you gave me out of the world.” (John 17:6) Besides, early copies of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures used by Jesus’ disciples, contained God’s name in the form of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton.
“The evidence says yes.” Then they cite two of the prayers that I listed above, neither of which has Jesus saying “Jehovah,” but rather has him mentioning “your name.” If, as Barnes and others are correct, Jesus was using “your name” to refer to “your characteristics,” then this is NOT evidence for Jesus using the name “Jehovah.”
Even the Watchtower acknowledges that “name” can sometimes refer to something other than your actual name:
*** w98 11/15 p. 32 What Kind of Name Do You Have? ***
IN THE Bible, the word “name” sometimes refers to one’s reputation. For example, wise King Solomon wrote: “A name is better than good oil, and the day of death than the day of one’s being born.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1; compare Proverbs 22:1.) According to Solomon’s words, a person is not born with a good name. Rather, it is during the course of his life that he gains a reputation with real meaning. His name identifies him as to his personal qualities, whether he is generous or selfish, compassionate or cold, humble or haughty, even righteous or wicked.
Imagine this scenario: Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society are transported via a time machine to the time of Jesus’ birth. Let’s assume (I know this is a stretch, but work with me) that Mary and Joseph are baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses. Joseph is an elder, Mary is a pioneer.
They’re engaged to be married.
All of a sudden, inexplicably, Mary gets pregnant. As soon as she starts to show, Mary and Joseph, who haven’t been dating very long and have NEVER even gone on an unchaperoned date, are immediately brought to the back room where a committee is waiting to hear the details. Joseph and Mary insist that they have not had sex. The committee members press them with questions: “When were you together without a chaperone? Have you been involved in kissing? Necking? Heavy petting?” The elders remind them that they are under obligation to confess. The couple sticks to their story: “We never boinked!!!” Finally, the frustrated elders dismiss them from the back room while their fate is decided. Five minutes later, they are brought back in to hear the verdict. “You two are unrepentant fornicators. Our decision is to disfellowship you.” They have one week to appeal.
At the next Service Meeting, a hush falls over the audience as the somber Coordinator of the Body of Elders approaches the microphone. He reads, in an emotionless tone, from a slip of paper in his hand: “Brother Joseph is no longer serving as an elder in the Bethlehem South congregation. Sister Mary is no longer serving as a pioneer in the Bethlehem South congregation.” A gasp can be heard from the publishers in the audience. After the meeting, everyone is whispering… “Oh my god, I can’t believe it! Do you think Mary is pregnant??? They fornicated! Do you think they’re going to get df’ed?”
The week passes. Joseph and Mary file an appeal. A new committee is formed, this one from the Jerusalem East (English) congregation. These three elders are even more cynical than the first. They unanimously uphold the decision, adding that the couple is obviously not repentant since they continue to lie and say that they never had sex.
At the following service meeting the COBE of Bethlehem South again comes to the microphone. “Joseph and Mary are no longer Jehovah’s Witnesses.” After the meeting, nobody even looks at the couple. Many tears are shed, for they were very popular… spiritual pillars in the congregation.
The same announcement is made in Bethelehem North since those publishers had all known Mary and Joseph before the congregation split into North and South.
Devastated, the couple returns home. As Mary’s due date approaches, she is deeply depressed at the fact that none of her friends or family are sharing in the joy of her upcoming birth. Even her cousin Elizabeth, who is also pregnant, won’t talk to her. Joseph, a freelance carpenter who did a lot of subcontract work for an elder’s construction company, is now unemployed. He is forced to leave carpentry and return to window cleaning, something he’d done as a teenager.
The blessed day arrives and the baby is born. Word spreads that Mary had the baby, but none of her former friends will go visit her in the manger. Three wise Witnesses from another circuit, who knew that Mary and Joseph were pregnant but had not kept in touch with the couple and didn’t know they were disfellowshipped, arrive in town with baby gifts. They are intercepted before they reach the manger and told that the couple is DF’ed. Dejected, the three wise Witnesses bring their gifts to Mary’s cousin Elizabeth instead.
Joseph and Mary try repeatedly to get reinstated. Each time, the elders tell them the same thing: “As long as you keep denying that you had intercourse before marriage, we can not extend mercy to you. You’re showing no evidence of repentance.” Finally, when Jesus is about 5 years old, the couple decides to lie. They send a letter to their elders, falsely confessing that they committed fornication. Their original committee is reconvened and meets with them. They are told they will need to demonstrate the legitimacy of their repentance by faithfully attending meetings for another year or more. Finally, when Jesus is 6, the couple is reinstated.
Six years later, Jesus, who is 12 now, goes with his parents to the assembly in Jerusalem. On the way home, Joseph and Mary realize that Jesus isn’t with them. They return to the Jerusalem Assembly Hall to find Jesus surrounded by elders. The elders are commending Jesus, telling him that he has shown wonderful spiritual progress and that he should get baptized at the next assembly. Joseph and Mary hear what the elders are saying and they intervene: “Our child is too young to get baptized!” The elders still hold a grudge against Joseph and Mary, even six years after their reinstatement. They tell Joseph and Mary with dogmatic firmness: “You are stifling this boy’s spiritual progress by not allowing him to get baptized.”
Word spreads around the congregation that Joseph and Mary are still spiritually weak. The elders tell publishers that they should limit their association with the couple. Jesus spends his teen years with few friends in the congregation because of the friends’ unwillingness to spend time with his parents. As Jesus approaches 20 years old, he is still showing no signs of being ready for baptism. He is friendless and alone as he goes with his dad on the window cleaning route every day.
To make matters worse, Jesus decides to grow a beard and hang out with prostitutes and tax collectors. The Witnesses in his congregation avoid him because of his worldly looks and his poor choice of associates.
Finally, when Jesus reaches 28 years of age, he decides that he wants to get baptized. “Shave off that beard and stop associating with worldly people,” the elders tell him. He complies, and a year later when he is 29, he finally gets baptized at a Special Assembly Day.
After he returns home from the Special Assembly Day, he has a lot to think about. He decides to go spend some time alone in the woods, praying and meditating. He remains in the wilderness for over a month… 40 days, to be exact. While there, he is tempted by Satan, but he remains faithful.
Finally, he returns home. He has several messages on his answering machine from the congregation elders.
“Jesus, we haven’t seen you at the meetings since you got baptized. Just want to make sure everything is okay.”
“Jesus, you haven’t been out in service. You do realize that your baptism means you are now officially one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, right?”
The last message is from the congregation’s secretary: “Jesus, I’m compiling the monthly field service report and you haven’t turned in your time… I need to get that from you as soon as you get this message.”
Jesus returns the phone call and informs the secretary that he spent 40 days in the wilderness after his baptism.
“What did you do while you were in the wilderness?”
“I prayed and meditated for 40 days.”
“I see. Did you preach to anyone while you were there?”
“No, I was completely alone.”
“Jesus, do you realize that you went over a month without preaching? That means you are now IRREGULAR!”
“Well, I suppose I could count the time I spent talking to Satan.”
“You talked to Satan in the woods? Jesus, you do realize this means you were dabbling in the occult. We’re going to have to form a committee to investigate this.”
And so, just over a month after he got baptized, Jesus is brought in for a judicial committee, accused of practicing Satanism.
Poor Jesus. He would never have survived a JW upbringing. The
Pharisees elders would have been all over him for just about everything he did.
Here is something that has always bothered me.
The Watchtower frequently tells us that our day is just like the days of Noah. Back then, just like today, Jehovah decided that he was going to execute judgment on all of the unrighteous people in the world. So he gave Noah instructions on how to save himself and his family, and he also commissioned Noah to preach to his neighbors.
Some biblical historians estimate that the earth’s population at the time of Noah’s flood may have been as much as 20 million. When Jehovah decided that he was going to wipe out those 20 million people, he warned Noah. Was his warning vague? Did he gradually reveal details so that Noah had to keep making wrong guesses and preaching an incorrect message? Did Noah get the message from Jehovah via a slow progression of “increasing light,” which he had to painstakingly interpret? Did Noah have to make intricate calculations using details he found in various prophecies?
NO! In Genesis chapter 6, Jehovah spoke DIRECTLY INTO NOAH’S EAR and told him PRECISELY what was about to happen. He told him, in EXACT DETAIL, how to build an ark for survival. He gave him CLEAR instructions on how to save animals. Then a few verses later, Jehovah told Noah: “(Gen 7:4) For in just seven days more I am making it rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will wipe every existing thing that I have made off the surface of the ground.”
Noah never had to guess about anything. Noah never got a mixed message. Noah didn’t rely on “the light getting brighter.”
AND THERE WERE ONLY 20 MILLION PEOPLES’ LIVES AT STAKE. TODAY, THERE ARE 7 BILLION LIVES AT STAKE!
If Jehovah was able to give clear, correct instructions before he executed 20 million people back then, why is he having such a hard time getting the correct message to Jehovah’s Witnesses today? Why have they had to continuously change their teachings as he gradually reveals the light to them? Why is he working in such a mysteriously vague way today, when 7 billion lives are at stake?
Is it possible that the watchtower society is NOT actually getting their message from Jehovah? Or is Jehovah now incapable of giving clear, unambiguous warning messages like he did in Noah’s day?
The Watchtower frequently warns warns you that you shouldn’t look at anything online about Jehovah’s Witnesses, aside from the official information on their websites.
Does that sound right to you? Do you really believe that just one glance at a website or blog could be enough for you to lose your spiritual balance and fall prey to Satan?
If you believe the Watchtower’s warnings that critical information can quickly erode your faith, does that seem plausible? The Watchtower constantly tells us that we have “The Truth.” We are the only religion in the world who has the Truth.
Shouldn’t Truth, real truth, be able to stand up to critical thinking?
Let me put it this way: think of other facts that you hold as “truths” in your life. For example, you know beyond all doubt that the earth orbits the sun. This is a truth. No amount of critical thinking, no alternative theories, could change your faith in that “truth.” If you visited a website that claimed to have reliable proof that the earth was the center of the universe and every star, including the sun, actually orbits the earth… could that information shake your faith in what you know to be true? Absolutely not.
Truth can stand up to scrutiny.
So, shouldn’t the same be said about the body of teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses? It is called “The Truth.” Shouldn’t it stand up to scrutiny?
At this point, you might be thinking to yourself: “But the end is SO CLOSE. I don’t have time to be doubting! What if I get myself involved in critical research and I begin to doubt. I will be caught unprepared when the Great Tribulation breaks out!”
This is what the Watchtower Society wants you to think. This is what psychologists call a “thought stopping process,” and it can cause you to remain mentally trapped in a path of circular logic.
When I first had questions about my beliefs, I had to break that cycle before I could make any progress. For me, I was basically stuck in a feedback loop. It went something like this:
…and on, and on, and on.
I had to break the loop by forcing myself to answer the question: NO, the world is NOT about to end at Armageddon, at least not before I address some of my doubts.
The Watchtower wants you to think that YOU DON’T HAVE ANY TIME to do additional research.
Salesmen frequently use a similar strategy: the “Limited Time Offer” strategy. When a salesman is really pressuring you for a sale, he may tell you that “this offer will be gone tomorrow… you need to act NOW if you want to get this! You DON’T HAVE TIME TO COMPARE THIS PRODUCT TO OTHER PRODUCTS, BECAUSE TOMORROW THE DEAL WILL BE GONE!” This builds a false sense of urgency and is designed to convince the buyer to just go ahead and get this thing right now, while it’s available, since it will be gone tomorrow.
The Watchtower creates that same false sense of urgency in all of us. We are told that there is NO TIME to investigate the veracity of our beliefs. “YOU CAN’T RESEARCH THIS! THE END WILL COME WHILE YOU’RE DOING IT!”
You’ll just have to go with your gut on this one. I went with my gut almost two years ago, and so far Armageddon has not stopped me from investigating “The Truth.” The facts that I have found in my research have been eye-opening and spiritually reorienting.
Others Witnesses went with their guts 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20, 30 or more years ago.
You have time to research.
Again, go with your gut. Trust yourself. You’ve got all the time you need. There’s no rush. No urgency needed. Take your time. Dig deep and let it sink in. Don’t let anyone rush you.
This was something that bothered me even back when I was a good jw. The watchtower explains that the date 1914 C.E. is calculated by adding 2,520 years to 607 B.C.E.
Bear with me, this is a bit confusing, but I’ll try to simplify their explanation as much as possible.
The watchtower explains that Daniel 4:10-16 says that a tree would be chopped down and it wouldn’t grow back until “seven times” passed over it. They say that this tree was chopped down when Jerusalem was destroyed in 607*. But how long is “seven times”? Well, to get that answer, they jump from Daniel to Revelation, where it explains that three and a half times equals 1,260 days. Thus, “seven times” is 1,260 x 2, or 2,520 days.
But, as they always explain, the 2,520 days can’t be literal days, because nothing significant happened 2,520 days after 607. So they use scriptures in the book of Numbers and also in Ezekiel that say “a day for a year.” This allows them to say that the “seven times” of Daniel = 2,520 years.
Are you with me so far?
Ok, so let’s start doing the math.
First, let’s figure out what kind of year the bible writers had in mind when they wrote this prophecy.
As the good witnesses will point out, 2,520 ÷ 7 = 360… NOT 365. But this is okay because, as we were all told, the Hebrews used LUNAR years, and a lunar year has 360 days. In prophecy, we use LUNAR years. The All Scriptures Inspired book calls the 360 day year a “prophetic year.”
So in our prophecy, “one time” = 360 years; “seven times” = 2,520 years.
So let’s count forward 2,520 “prophetic years” (360 x 2,520) starting in 607. Where does that put us?
Well, in order to maintain consistency, and since the bible writers were using lunar years of 360 days each, then we would logically count forward 2,520 LUNAR years to find out when the seven times ended.
In other words, using lunar years only, the seven times ended 907,200 days after 607. That is the equivalent of 2,520 years of 360 days each. So what year is that?
If you count 907,200 days forward from 607 B.C.E., you arrive at the year 1878 C.E.!
Uh oh, what went wrong???
If you have been following this, you can already see where I strayed off of the watchtower’s script.
The watchtower uses LUNAR years of 360 days in order to decipher that the Seven Times is equal to 2,520 years. But… when they count forward from 607 B.C.E., do they count 2,520 lunar years of 360 days each? No. They count using 365.25 day years.
For the record, the 365.25 day “solar year” wasn’t even conceived at the time that Daniel wrote this prophecy. To Daniel, a year equaled 360 days, no if’s and’s or but’s. The Gregorian/Julian SOLAR calendar year of 365.25 days wasn’t even initiated until 45 B.C.E., over five centuries AFTER Daniel wrote about the “seven times.”
Soooo let’s try to understand this.
God inspired Daniel and John to construct an elaborate numerological puzzle. He had them write out these cryptic numbers that could be translated by referring to a LUNAR calendar of 360 days.
BUT… in order to actually apply the formula, you have to start out with lunar years to get 2,520… THEN, you switch over and start counting forward from 607 B.C. using SOLAR years of 365.25 days, even though that measurement of time wasn’t created until over 500 years after 607?
With all of the other mental gymnastics and logical leaps that are required to arrive at the 1914 date, this is just yet another complete absurdity: “Do all of the calculations using 360 day LUNAR YEARS, but when you have to start counting, use 365.25 day SOLAR YEARS.”
*Every scholar, historian, anthropologist and archaeologist in the world agrees that Jerusalem was destroyed in 587 B.C.E. So this entire discussion is a moot point anyway.
Thanks! One day, I hope to finally run out of things to say about the jw cult… but for now, I’ve got plenty to talk about!
This is a holdover from my first 39 years of life as a jw. And it’s something that I need to continue to work on.
The jw’s repeatedly stressed to us that IMAGE matters. OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS OF YOU matter. They drilled it into our heads from childhood on, with such teachings as:
-Be careful not to stumble fellow believers.
-Let yourselves be wronged, rather than making an issue over something.
-Do not take your brother to court.
-Put aside your own personal preferences for the sake of other peoples’ consciences.
And one thing that my mother told me over and over while I was growing up was:
You must always be an exemplary witness. When people see you do something wrong, they won’t think: “Oh, Chris did this bad thing,” they will think: “Oh, that jehovah’s witness boy did this bad thing.” So I always felt that I was being scrutinized from all angles in just about everything I did.
All of this had the effect of training me to ALWAYS think of how OTHER PEOPLE would perceive my actions. What will other witnesses think if I buy this shirt/listen to this music/drive this car/play this game, etc? What will worldly people think of jehovah’s witnesses if they observe me buying this shirt/listening to this music/driving this car/playing this game, etc?
So basically for 39 years, my default way of making a decision was:
1) Take into consideration how fellow witnesses will view me if I do this;
2) Make sure what I do doesn’t bring j-ho’s organization into disrepute; and then, if I got past those 2 criteria, I would finally get to:
3) What do I personally want to do?
In other words, I ALWAYS gave primary consideration to how other people would perceive me, rather than just focusing on what I wanted to do.
And now that I’m out, this is an area that I have to work on. If someone doesn’t like what I’m doing, and as long as I’m not infringing on their own rights or personal space, then screw ‘em. Let them look the other way, because I’m not going to change for their sake.