Watchtower Study: Research, Notes, & Comments

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Kosonen
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Re: Watchtower Study: Research, Notes, & Comments

#41 Post by Kosonen » 1 year ago

Bobcat, I can not either accept WT's explanation of the hailstones.

And really as you wrote the first century Christians had fled approximately 3 and half years prior to Jerusalem's destruction. Apparently there was no need this time to warn the Jews until the end. That is quite different from how it was during Jerusalem's first destruction when Jeremiah was serving as God's prophet right till the end of Jerusalem inside the city, though in captivity.

The WT organization makes you feel quilty if you are not constantly warning even the same people that have been already visited. Because it seems that in ancient Israel Jeremiah was doing that. But Jesus gave clear instruction how to perform the preaching. He told to go into a city and find the deserving ones. And in other words leave the uninterested in peace.

Matthew 10:13 If the house is deserving, let the peace you wish it come upon it;+ but if it is not deserving, let the peace from you return upon you. 14 Wherever anyone does not receive you or listen to your words, on going out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.+ 15 Truly I say to you, it will be more endurable for the land of Sodʹom and Go·morʹrah+ on Judgment Day than for that city.

Bobcat
Posts: 3220
Joined: 7 years ago

Re: Watchtower Study: Research, Notes, & Comments

#42 Post by Bobcat » 1 year ago

Hi K,

Good points! Thanks.

Sodom and Gomorrah were an adroit example for the 1st century Jewish nation. Lot and company were taken out of the city before the judgment arrived. Any effort to get others to repent happened before "the end" arrived. (Cmp Mt 24:14 & Mr 13:10; Rev 14:6-7)

Once "It is finished!" (Rev 16:17), here is the only action to take place: Rev 14:17-20.

Incidentally, once the Christians fled (shortly after Nov 14/15, 66 CE), the destruction mentioned in Mt 11:20-24 began on or around Passover 67 CE. Vespasian began his Jewish campaign in the spring of 67 CE. And even before that it became dangerous to be in Judea if you were not all for the Jewish revolt. (See here for a timeline.)


Bobcat

Bobcat
Posts: 3220
Joined: 7 years ago

Re: Watchtower Study: Research, Notes, & Comments

#43 Post by Bobcat » 7 months ago

In connection with the WT Study of 7/12/2020 (WT 5/2020) in the article entitled, The King of the North in the Time of the End (pp. 2-7), there was an interesting discussion and application of Dan 11:25, 26. (p. 5 pars. 9-10).

The WT regards Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany to be the "King of the North" in the fulfillment of Dan 11:25, 26. Here is how paragraphs 9 and 10 of the WT article read:
THE KING OF THE NORTH REAPPEARS [this is the sub-title pars. 9 & 10 appear under]

9. When did the king of the north reappear, and how was Daniel 11:25 fulfilled?

9 In 1871, the year after Russell and his associates formed their Bible study group, the king of the north reappeared. That year Otto von Bismarck was instrumental in establishing the German Empire. Prussian King Wilhelm I became its first emperor, and he appointed Bismarck as the first chancellor.* Over the next few decades, Germany became a colonial power, controlling countries in Africa and the Pacific Ocean, and began challenging the power of Britain. (Read Daniel 11:25.) The German Empire built a powerful army and the second-largest navy in the world. Germany unleashed them against its enemies in the first world war.

10. How was Daniel 11:25b, 26 fulfilled?

10 Daniel then points forward to what would happen to the German Empire and the military force that it had built. The prophecy states that the king of the north “will not stand.” Why not? “Because they will plot schemes against him. And those eating his delicacies will bring his downfall.” (Dan. 11:25b, 26a) Back in Daniel’s day, those eating “the king’s delicacies” included royal officials in “the king’s service.” (Dan. 1:5) To whom does the prophecy here refer? It refers to high-ranking officials of the German Empire​—including the emperor’s generals and military advisers—​who eventually helped bring down the monarchy.* The prophecy not only foretold the fall of the empire but also mentioned the outcome of the war with the king of the south. Speaking of the king of the north, it states: “As for his army, it will be swept away, and many will fall down slain.” (Dan. 11:26b) In the first world war, just as foretold, the German army was “swept away” and many did “fall down slain.” That war proved to be the deadliest in human history up until that time.

The footnote after the word "monarchy" in paragraph 10 says:
They [i.e. Kaiser Wilhelm's "generals and military advisers"] hastened the fall of the [German] empire in a number of ways. For instance, they withdrew support for the kaiser, leaked sensitive information about losses in the war, and forced the kaiser to abdicate.
[Formatting is as it was in the WT — Bobcat]

Notice how the WT applies Dan 11:25-26. Paragraph 10 says (starting almost half way into the paragraph),
To whom does the prophecy here refer? It refers to high-ranking officials of the German Empire​—including the emperor’s generals and military advisers—​who eventually helped bring down the monarchy.* The prophecy not only foretold the fall of the empire but also mentioned the outcome of the war with the king of the south. Speaking of the king of the north, it states: “As for his army, it will be swept away, and many will fall down slain.” (Dan. 11:26b) In the first world war, just as foretold, the German army was “swept away” and many did “fall down slain.” That war proved to be the deadliest in human history up until that time.

So, what is the problem with this application? Well, first, most commentaries apply Dan 11:21-35 to Antiochus IV Epiphanes. (175—164 BCE) All the details of the prophecy can be found fulfilled in that time frame. This is not to say that there might not be a future fulfillment beyond that. But, specifically, is it possible to apply Dan 11:25-26 to Germany of the World War I time frame?

Look again at Dan 11:25-26,
25 “And he will muster his power and his heart against the king of the south with a large army, and the king of the south will prepare himself for the war with an exceedingly large and mighty army. And he will not stand, because they will plot schemes against him. 26 And those eating his delicacies will bring his downfall.

“As for his army, it will be swept* away, and many will fall down slain. (Dan 11:25-26 NWT)

Here is how those same verses read in the ESV translation:
25 And he shall stir up his power and his heart against the king of the south with a great army. And the king of the south shall wage war with an exceedingly great and mighty army, but he shall not stand, for plots shall be devised against him. 26 Even those who eat his food shall break him. His army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain. (Dan 11:25-26 ESV)

There is a small but significant difference between the NWT and the ESV. In verse 25 the NWT reads (in part),
. . . and the king of the south will prepare himself for the war with an exceedingly large and mighty army. And he will not stand, . . .

Now notice the difference with the ESV:
And the king of the south shall wage war with an exceedingly great and mighty army, but he shall not stand, . . .

The ESV has a "but" where the NWT has an "and." What difference does that make?

The WT is interpreting the prophecy to be saying that it foretold the fall of Germany (i.e. the King of the North) in WWI. And that is historically what happened to Germany in WWI.

But when you read the ESV translation it is saying that it is the King of the South that "will not stand." So why does the ESV read that way? (See how other translations render Dan 11:25 here.)

The reason becomes clear when you read Dan 11:29-30a. Those verses read:
29 “At the time appointed he [i.e. the King of the North] will return and come against the south. But this time will not be as it was before, 30 for the ships of Kitʹtim will come against him, and he will be humbled. (Dan 11:29-30a NWT)

As you might see in these verses (Dan 11:29-30a), the King of the North "will return" and "come against the south" a second time. "But this time will not be as it was before (in Dan 11:25-26), for the ships of Kitʹtim will come against him, and he [i.e. the King of the North] will be humbled."

So, if you are following this, the King of the North is not successful in his effort against the King of the South this second time. And the way the verses (Dan 11:29-30) read, this failure is different from the first time. In other words, Dan 11:25-30a describes two campaigns by the King of the North against the King of the South. In the first campaign the King of the North is successful. And it is the King of the South who 'does not stand, because of internal plots against him.' But in the second campaign the King of the North is not successful in his move against the south. The "ships of Kittim" (of "Cyprus" or possibly "of the West") intervene and 'humble' the King of the North.

Do you see the problem in trying to apply these verses to the WWI and WWII time-frame? In reality, the Anglo-American empire (the King of the South) won both wars. But Dan 11:25-30a describes the North winning the first campaign, and then being humbled in the second campaign.

This analysis exposes the fact that the WT's explanation of these verses is deficient. Something in their interpretation is clearly amiss.


Bobcat


Notes:

1. Curiously, where the NWT renders "and" in Dan 11:25 (as in, "and he will not stand . . ."), the very same conjunction construction occurs in Dan 11:29 where the NWT renders the conjunction as "but", as in "But this time . . ." The Hebrew of these two verses, as seen at BibleHub, describes these two conjunctions (at Dan 11:25, 29) as "Conj-w | Adv-NegPrt." (Conjunctive waw - Adverb Negative particle). In both verses the conjunctions are exactly the same in Hebrew. One wonders why the NWT did not render the "and" in Dan 11:25 as "but", just like they did in Dan 11:29. (The Hebrew of both verses can be seen here: Dan 11:25 and Dan 11:29.

The word rendered "and"/"but" is wə·lō (see here). It is the conjunction waw combined with the negative adverb lo (here). Literally, "and not." In English "but" often has the same effect (as evidenced by the many translations that use it in Dan 11:25, 29).

The earliest NWT (1950s) has "and" in Dan 11:25. On the other hand, the Your Will Be Done on Earth book (1958) used Isaac Leeser's translation which has "but." The WT book applies the King of the North in Dan 11:25 to Roman Emperor Aurelian (270-75 AD). (pp. 257-58) The King of the South is said to be Zenobia, and it is she who "does not stand" before the KIng of the North. So it is sometime after this that the WT reverses regarding who "does not stand" in Dan 11:25.

As best as I can tell, it is in the 1995 book, Daniel's Prophecy that the WT changes who it is that "does not stand" to the King of the North (Emperor Aurelian). (dp 240-41) It appears that it was the rendering in the NWT that influenced the change.


2. Just as an aside, paragraph 18 of the above quoted WT article says about the UN:
The United Nations organization is described as a “disgusting thing” because it claims to be able to do something that only God’s Kingdom can do​—bring world peace.

This is some sorry reasoning. Is someone or something "disgusting" to God because they attempt to arrange peaceful relations among peoples and nations? The UN charter itself says nothing about competing with God or His Kingdom in their efforts to secure peace. (Mt 5:9; UN charter here. See "Article 1.") Nor does the UN charter make any claims that it has already secured peace between nations. It only states its aim is to do so. And such an aim would be inline with what Paul told Timothy about who and what we could pray for. (1Tim 2:1-2)


3. Paragraph 10 in this study article ends by saying, "That war [WWI] proved to be the deadliest in human history up until that time." As a point of interest in comparison with this statement, look at the chart on this page. WWI comes in at number 17. To be fair, if deaths per year of war were used, WWI would probably rank much higher.

Bobcat
Posts: 3220
Joined: 7 years ago

Re: Watchtower Study: Research, Notes, & Comments

#44 Post by Bobcat » 1 month ago

Comments related to the November 2020 WT Study article #47, Will You Continue to be Readjusted:

First off, here is the review of the article on the BP web site.

The article asks the reader if they will be humble enough to be readjusted after hearing counsel and/or changes from (1) God's Word, (2) a fellow mature Christian, (3) God's earthly organization.

Number 1 is a given if someone believes the Bible is God's Word. As demonstrated in the NT, Jesus always used God's written word as a basis for his actions.

Number 2 makes sense as long as the counsel given is actually Bible based and doesn't fall in an area of personal choice and/or personal responsibility.

Number 3 is interesting. At first glance it would appear to follow along with Number 2 above. But the article assumes that if something comes from "God's earthly organization" it must be right. But we can take a lesson from the 1st century. From 29 to 36 CE, during which time God was "keep[ing] the Covenant in force for the many for one week" (Dan 9:27a NWT and WT understanding of the verse), Jesus and his disciples came into conflict with the legitimate leaders of "God's earthly organization.," namely, the Jewish nation under the Mosaic Law Covenant. (Compare Mt 23:1-2) Was every judgment that came from the leaders of "God's earthly organization" right? (Compare Ps 82:1-2, 5, 6, 7 with Jn 10:33, 34, 35, 36) And did the disciples feel that they had to obey every decision that came from these leaders? (Compare Acts 4:17; 5:28, 29; Mr 7:1-13; Compare also this post.)


Bobcat

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