"The Calendar of Jehovah God"

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    cabasilas posted Sat, 25 Nov 2006 12:05:00 GMT(11/25/2006)

    Post 365 of 1801
    Joined 10/28/2005

    1935 saw the brief attempt by Jehovah's Witnesses to adopt a new calendar freed from any connection to other religions or with names derived from paganism.

    The 1935 Yearbook published without much explanation a chart showing "Jehovah's Year of Ransom 1903." The Yearbook said: "A series of articles in explanation will appear in The Golden Age. Watch for them."

    Then the March 1, 1935 Watchtower (page 80) referred to this upcoming series of articles in the Golden Age and said: "Now, since the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and his enthronement and his gathering together of his faithful followers, the time seems at hand to more clearly understand God's purposes as expressed in his Word, and this includes the manner of measuring time. It seems proper and fitting that we should try to ascertain the correct way of measuring time and give publication thereto."

    The Golden Age issues of March 13th, 27th, and April 10th of that year contained a series of articles entitled, "The Second Hand in the Timepiece of God" which was subtitled "An Explanation Respecting a Complete Change of Calendar, with Suggestions as to How the Calendar of Jehovah God Can Be Put Into Effect Easily and Naturally, Without Any Confusion." The articles were written by Clayton J. Woodworth, editor of the Golden Age magazine.

    Such a dramatic change of calendar never took off among Jehovah's Witnesses. Rutherford's apparent support for the "Calendar of Jehovah God" diminished and the May 1, 1935 Watchtower (page 142) saw fit to give a "note of warning" that there was a "danger of giving importance to this and to the exclusion of weightier matters." This later statement does not refer to the calendar as being Jehovah God's, but says: "The statements in The Golden Age are not dogmatic, but are worthy of due and careful consideration."

    As far as I can tell there has been no other mention of this in Watchtower literature. For those interested, the aritcles involved have been collated together into a pdf:

    http://www.catholic-forum.com/members/popestleo/Jehovah's%20Calendar.pdf

    The first part of the series was shared here on the board by Charles Chasson. I apologize that there were some problems with some of the scans from the second and third parts of the series. The older Golden Ages are not in good shape. They were printed on very cheap paper and scanning them is not easy. The text should be readable, however.

    M fokyc posted Sat, 25 Nov 2006 12:35:00 GMT(11/25/2006)

    Post 186 of 1873
    Joined 5/30/2006

    That is really interesting, thanks for the information and the download, this is the first time I have heard about this. I have been involved with the JW's since the early 50's

    fokyc

    M moggy lover posted Sat, 25 Nov 2006 13:31:00 GMT(11/25/2006)

    Post 339 of 768
    Joined 11/25/2005

    Thanks for revealing this well concealed piece of WT nonsense. Like fokyc, I too was in the borg since the mid 50s and was not made aware of this.

    Cheers

    Satanus posted Sat, 25 Nov 2006 14:25:00 GMT(11/25/2006)

    Post 11147 of 21303
    Joined 8/31/2001

    Interesting. They have earthday, manday, but no womanday. I read somewhere that the 7 day week thing was a pagan concept, based on the 7 planets that they saw at the time. I suppose that it's long enough, anyway.

    In pre-literate societies weeks of 4 to 10 days were observed; those weeks were typically the interval from one market day to the next. Four to 10 days gave farmers enough time to accumulate and transport goods to sell. (The one week that was almost always avoided was the 7-day week -- it was considered unlucky!) The 7-day week was introduced in Rome (where ides, nones, and calends were the vogue) in the first century A.D. by Persian astrology fanatics, not by Christians or Jews. The idea was that there would be a day for the five known planets, plus the sun and the moon, making seven; this was an ancient West Asian idea. However, when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire in the time of Constantine (c. 325 A.D.), the familiar Hebrew-Christian week of 7 days, beginning on Sunday, became conflated with the pagan week and took its place in the Julian calendar. Thereafter, it seemed to Christians that the week Rome now observed was seamless with the 7-day week of the Bible -- even though its pagan roots were obvious in the names of the days: Saturn's day, Sun's day, Moon's day. The other days take their equally pagan names in English from a detour into Norse mythology: Tiw's day, Woden's day, Thor's day, and Fria's day. http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/Astronomy/7day.html

    S

    Pahpa posted Sat, 25 Nov 2006 14:38:00 GMT(11/25/2006)

    Post 46 of 564
    Joined 8/20/2006

    Didn't I read someplace that this whole calendar idea was originated by Clayton Woodworth who was also the source of the medical quackery that was often published in the Golden Age magazine? As I recall, even Rutherford rejected the notion.

    minimus posted Sat, 25 Nov 2006 16:23:00 GMT(11/25/2006)

    Post 18703 of 36379
    Joined 7/3/2002

    This is one of the most enlightening threads I've seen! I got thru about 10 pages of Golden Age and OMG! these JWs are wacky! This research shows how the Witnesses blame the Devil for EVERYTHING.....Priceless!! Thankyou!!!

    cabasilas posted Sat, 25 Nov 2006 18:34:00 GMT(11/25/2006)

    Post 366 of 1801
    Joined 10/28/2005
    Didn't I read someplace that this whole calendar idea was originated by Clayton Woodworth who was also the source of the medical quackery that was often published in the Golden Age magazine? As I recall, even Rutherford rejected the notion.

    Woodworth, the editor of the Golden Age, was the mastermind behind the new proposed calendar. But, Rutherford was on board with the idea initially. There is no doubt that Rutherford authorized its inclusion in the 1935 Yearbook and also authorized the March 1st WT advertisement for the Golden Age series. M. J. Penton is probably correct that Rutherford had the "good sense" not to impose this calendar on JWs. Perhaps he finally realized it would make them look too odd. Perhaps he and Woodworth had a falling out. But, if Rutherford had not changed his mind this calendar could still be in effect among JWs today.

    minimus posted Sat, 25 Nov 2006 18:40:00 GMT(11/25/2006)

    Post 18704 of 36379
    Joined 7/3/2002

    Can you imagine saying, "I can hardly wait til the month of Jehovah comes by"? Rutherford must've been drunk to even let this get into the publications in the first place!

    M dedpoet posted Sat, 25 Nov 2006 18:53:00 GMT(11/25/2006)

    Post 742 of 1614
    Joined 7/24/2005

    That is interesting information, thankyou so much for posting it. I have never seen that, and I doubt many current ws are aware of it.

    Clayton Woodworth had some crazy ideas about a number of subjects, but this has to be the craziest of them all.

    cabasilas posted Sat, 25 Nov 2006 19:01:00 GMT(11/25/2006)

    Post 367 of 1801
    Joined 10/28/2005

    I just noticed something else. Russell and the early Bible Students believed that the end of 6,000 years of human existence had occurred in the 1870s. According to the 1973 book God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached, pp. 205ff, this idea was 'corrected' in 1943.

    THE

    CORRECTINGOFAMISUNDERSTANDING

    48

    It is true that the editor and publisher of Zion’sWatchTowerandHeraldofChrist’sPresence calculated that the "presence" or parousia of the heavenly Bridegroom began in the year 1874 C.E. Also, that the date of the first man’s creation by Jehovah God was in the year 4128 B.C.E., which meant that six thousand years of man’s existence on the earth ended in the year 1872 C.E., as calculated by Russell and his associates. This reckoning began to be announced on the front page of Zion’sWatchTowerandHeraldofChrist’sPresence beginning with the issue of July 1, 1906, and this practice continued down through the issue of September 15, 1928. For instance, on the first of such mentioned issues appeared the date of issue: "July 1, A.D. 1906—A.M., 6034"; whereas the dating of the last mentioned issue was: "Anno Mundi 6056—September 15, 1928." The AnnoMundi or "Year of the World" date was calculated to be the year 4128 before our Common Era.

    49

    Two years, however, were allowed for the innocence of the perfect man and woman in the Garden of Eden before sin entered, and hence the year of sin’s entrance was calculated as 4126 B.C.E. This resulted in their calculating six thousand years of sin as ending in 1874 C.E., in which year also, in the autumn, the seventh millennium began, for the instigator of sin, Satan the Devil, to be bound and cast into the bottomless pit and for Christ to start reigning for the foretold thousand years. This meant that the year of the start of Christ’s reign was also the year of his return and the beginning of his invisible presence or parousia.

    50

    The above chronology followed the suggestion that was made in Wilson’s TheEmphaticDiaglott, in its footnote on Acts 13:20, which verse read: "And after these things, he gave Judges about four hundred and fifty years, till Samuel the prophet." The footnote on this reading of the verse said:

    A difficulty occurs here which has very much puzzled Biblical chronologists. The date given here is at variance with the statement found in 1 Kings 6:1. There have been many solutions offered, but only one which seems entirely satisfactory, i.e., that the text in 1 Kings 6:1 has been corrupted, by substituting the Hebrew character daleth (4) for hay (5) which is very similar in form. This would make 580 years (instead of 480) from the exode to the building of the temple, and exactly agree with Paul’s chronology.

    51

    Accordingly, on page 53 of the book entitled "The Time Is at Hand," author C. T. Russell wrote, referring to 1 Kings 6:1:

    It evidently should read the five-hundred-and-eightieth year, and was possibly an error in transcribing; for if to Solomon’s four years we add David’s forty, and Saul’s space of forty, and the forty-six years from leaving Egypt to the division of the land, we have one hundred and thirty years, which deducted from four hundred and eighty would leave only three hundred and fifty years for the period of the Judges, instead of the four hundred and fifty years mentioned in the Book of Judges, and by Paul, as heretofore shown. The Hebrew character "daleth" (4) very much resembles the character "hay" (5), and it is supposed that in this way the error has occurred, possibly the mistake of a transcriber. I Kings 6:1, then, should read five hundred and eighty, and thus be in perfect harmony with the other statements.

    Thus, by inserting 100 years into the Bible chronology during the period of the Judges, man’s creation was pushed back 100 years to 4128 B.C.E., and the six thousand years of man’s existence on earth ended in 1872 C.E. (TheTimeIsatHand, page 42) Then the allowance of two years before the entry of sin led to the year 1874 as the year in which six thousand years of human sin terminated and the seventh thousand years for the elimination of sin by Christ’s reign began. So the Grand Jubilee was then due to begin.

    52

    According to the oldest manuscripts of the Christian Greek Scriptures, however, the reading of Acts 13:20 is different from that given in TheEmphaticDiaglott and the King James Authorized Version of the Bible. So, according to the most ancient manuscripts, the four hundred and fifty years are not applied to the period of the Judges. In verification of this, TheNewEnglishBible (of the year 1970) renders Acts 13:20 as follows: "for some four hundred and fifty years, and afterwards appointed judges for them until the time of the prophet Samuel." TheJerusalemBible (English translation of 1966) reads: "for about four hundred and fifty years. After this he gave them judges, down to the prophet Samuel." The Revised Standard Version Bible of 1952 reads similarly, and so does the American Standard Version Bible of 1901 C.E.

    53

    Furthermore, the oldest Hebrew manuscripts extant, like those of the Dead Sea Scrolls, spell out the numbers of the Bible and do not use alphabetic characters for numerals, thus not allowing for a transcriber’s visual error at 1 Kings 6:1.

    54

    The insertion of 100 years into Bible chronology during the period of the Judges is thus seen not to rest upon Scriptural grounds. The insertion should therefore be dropped and the Bible should be accepted just as it reads concerning its chronology. Unavoidably, then, this would affect the date for the parousia of the Bridegroom Jesus Christ to begin. With the WatchTower magazine’s issue of January 1, 1939, the title was changed to TheWatchtowerandHeraldofChrist’sKingdom, and with the issue of March 1, 1939, to TheWatchtowerAnnouncingJehovah’sKingdom. This did not mean that the publishers of the magazine no longer believed in the presence or parousia of Christ as being then in progress. It meant, rather, that more importance was given to the Kingdom, to the kingdom of Jehovah God by Jesus Christ, for it is Jehovah’s kingdom by Christ that will vindicate Jehovah’s universal sovereignty.

    55

    In the year 1943 the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society published the book "TheTruthShallMakeYouFree." In its chapter 11, entitled "The Count of Time," it did away with the insertion of 100 years into the period of the Judges and went according to the oldest and most authentic reading of Acts 13:20, and accepted the spelled-out numbers of the Hebrew Scriptures. This moved forward the end of six thousand years of man’s existence into the decade of the 1970’s. Naturally this did away with the year 1874 C.E. as the date of return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the beginning of his invisible presence or parousia. The millennium that was to be marked by the detaining of Satan the Devil enchained in the abyss and by the reign of the 144,000 joint heirs with Christ in heavenly glory was therefore yet in the future. What, then, about the parousia (presence) of Christ? Page 324 of the above book positively says: "The King’s presence or parousia began in 1914." Also, in the Watchtower issue of July 15, 1949 (page 215, paragraph 22), the statement is made: " . . . Messiah, the Son of man, came into Kingdom power A.D. 1914 and . . . this constitutes his second coming and the beginning of his second parousía or presence."

    Yet, notice pp. 412 & 413 of this Golden Age series. Paragraph 3 on pg. 412 starts out by saying: "In the past some thought..." as it argues against the idea that there was an extra 100 years in the received chronology. The chart on page 413 puts the year 1935 as being 5,962 years from creation. That means the 6,000 years would now be considered 38 years distant. Add 38 years to 1935 and you get 1973. This shows that it was not the book The Truth Will Set You Free which changed the chronology. Apparently, it happened with this Golden Age series. Now 6,000 years from man's creation was a future event and not a past one.

    Notice how the Golden Age deals with the emotions likely aroused with this change. On page 413 he says:

    Would any of the "millions now living" be stumbled by the discovery that they have a hundred years longer to live than they once thought? Hardly, Would they be stumbled because they were consecrated with the understanding on their part that six thousand years of human history ended in A.D. 1874? One can but smile at the thought. Any person consecrated with a condition or codicil attached to his consecration may as well forget the whole matter: he is not consecrated at all, and does not love God.

    But, then, the Golden Age holds out the hope the End may come sooner than the 6,000 years:

    Nothing in the Scriptures says that Christ Jesus would have to wait until the beginning of the seventh thousand years of human history before the second advent would occur and the Day of Jehovah begin, in which Christ, as Jehovah's viceregent, rules in the midst of His enemies. As a matter of fact thse events occured in Y.R. 1882 (1914 A.D.); not earlier, and not later.
    Leolaia posted Sat, 25 Nov 2006 19:28:00 GMT(11/25/2006)

    Post 8063 of 16234
    Joined 9/1/2002

    Rutherford publically rebuked Woodworth over the calendar:

    "Shortly after coming to Bethel we were shocked to witness the spectacle of our brethren receiving what is designated as a 'trimming' from you. The first, if memory serves me correct, was a tongue lashing given to C. J. Woodworth. Woodworth in a personal letter to you stated something to the effect that it would be serving the devil to continue using our present calendar. For that he was humiliated, called a jackass, and given a public lambasting" (Moyle v. Fred W. Franz, et al., pp. 1732-1733).

    Woodworth's math also does not appear to have been accurate. On p. 380 of the 13 March 1935 issue of the Golden Age, he writes that "in the autumn of 4129 B.C. the new moon rose at, Jerusalem time, 8:23: 27.504592 a.m., Sunday, September 22." According to Skyview Cafe, moonrise occurred on - 4128-09-22 (the year is not -4129 because 1 BC is counted as year 0) in time zone UT +2 in Jerusalem, ISR at 02:13 am, not at 8:23 am, and this fell on a Wednesday in the Gregorian calendar. More to the point, the new moon itself rose on Friday, September 25, at 06:32 a.m. So Woodworth's calculations ended up being three days out of whack with the actual passage of time. Three days out of six thousand years however is not too bad.

    Leolaia posted Sat, 25 Nov 2006 19:40:00 GMT(11/25/2006)

    Post 8064 of 16234
    Joined 9/1/2002

    Interesting find, cabasilas! Looks like Woodworth's article was indeed ahead of the 1943 in dispensing with the extra 100 years. On the other hand, Rutherford already had begun to push 1874 to the side, by publishing such statements as: "The year 1914, therefore, marks the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of glory" (1 December 1933 Watchtower, p. 362). I wonder how long Woodworth was engaged in his research and whether it already influenced Rutherford before 1935.

    M chasson posted Sat, 25 Nov 2006 19:49:00 GMT(11/25/2006)

    Post 588 of 861
    Joined 4/2/2001

    thanks cabasilas for the two others Golden-Age !!!

    Bye

    Charles

    cabasilas posted Sat, 25 Nov 2006 20:03:00 GMT(11/25/2006)

    Post 368 of 1801
    Joined 10/28/2005

    I have to apologize to everyone. I inadvertantly left out some pages in the "Jehovah's Calendar" file and I've just fixed it. If you downloaded it earlier you will want to do it again and overwrite. It just goes to show one shouldn't do such editing at the wee hours of the morning. Sorry about that!

    The complete file (including the missing pages from earlier) is here:

    http://www.catholic-forum.com/members/popestleo/Jehovah's%20Calendar.pdf

    The first Golden Age issue to discuss the new Calendar was entirely devoted to that subject. The second two issues also included other regular items. The above "Jehovah's Calendar" file is limited to the subject of the Calendar. Those who might want all 3 issues can download them here:

    http://www.catholic-forum.com/members/popestleo/g35MAR13-APR10.pdf

    I've included the other info from the 35 YB and the Watchtower statements at the end of that file.

    Again, I'm sorry about the mix-up with the missing pages from earlier but it's all fixed now.

    cabasilas posted Sun, 26 Nov 2006 04:12:00 GMT(11/26/2006)

    Post 369 of 1801
    Joined 10/28/2005

    More on the change in the date for creation. Page 382 (in the first GA issue of the series) says:

    "None may say at just what time 'Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7, A.R.V.), but this series of articles contains the strong evidence that it was in the spring of the year 4060 Before Ransom (4028 B.C.)."

    Looks like this signalled the dropping of the extra 100 years in Russell's chronology which had given the 1872 date. As Leolaia has already said JFR had already just discarded 1874 for the date of the parousia of Christ in favor of 1914. This continued the move from Russell's chronology to a new chronology that JFR was formulating.

    cabasilas posted Sun, 26 Nov 2006 04:33:00 GMT(11/26/2006)

    Post 370 of 1801
    Joined 10/28/2005

    Just was reading some more from the 1935 Watchtower bound volume. Notice this from the lecture "The Great Multitude" which JFR delivered at the Washington DC convention on May 31, 1935. (This is the famous lecture where JFR announced that the "Great Multitude" of Revelation chapter 7 was an earthly class.) He throws out an odd statement but it makes sense considering what had been going on amongst the JWs during this period:

    The year 1918, according to the worldly calendar, marks the time when the Lord came to the temple of Jehovah, and also marks the end of the Elijah period of the Church.

    The text of JFR's lecture was published in the August 1, 1935 Watchtower. This statement is on page 231. If the lecture was delivered on May 31st JFR certainly had been preparing it beforehand. Perhaps it reflects the anti-Gregorian calendar sentiments which had fueled the Golden Age series?

    Atlantis posted Sun, 26 Nov 2006 22:04:00 GMT(11/26/2006)

    Post 770 of 3288
    Joined 11/12/2004

    Some of the very best research I have seen for quite some time concerning time tables!

    Excellent work Cabasilas!

    Keep them coming old friend!

    Cheers! Atlantis-

    M IP_SEC posted Sun, 26 Nov 2006 22:28:00 GMT(11/26/2006)

    Post 3949 of 7575
    Joined 1/21/2005

    Eccl 12:12 But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion [to books] is wearying to the body

    What a waste of good ink and paper

    Atlantis posted Sun, 26 Nov 2006 22:38:00 GMT(11/26/2006)

    Post 771 of 3288
    Joined 11/12/2004

    Watchtower-1966-May-1st-p.279 The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields, sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison, are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.—Pages 355, 371, 373, edition of 1881. Scan: http://x5.freeshare.us/view/?125fs389280.jpg Cheers! Atlantis-

    cabasilas posted Sun, 26 Nov 2006 22:55:00 GMT(11/26/2006)

    Post 372 of 1801
    Joined 10/28/2005

    Here's a scan of the JW Calendar that was published for 1935. It was listed as 1903 Y.R. (in the Year of the Ransom):

    Now, the reason the new calendar was proposed was because the current one in use in most of the world (the Gregorian) was connected to "false religion" (they called it a "papal" calendar) and because the days and months of the year had pagain origins. It was a similar concern that led Quakers to use terminology like "first day" and "eleventh month" instead of Monday and November, though Quakers did not try to change the overall scheme of the calendar. (Most modern Quakers do not make issues of these things today.)

    I think that this illustrates the fallacy of seeking "pagan origins" in our current customs. When we refer to Wednesday are we honoring Woden? Or Thor on Thursday? Or, when a bride wears a veil at her wedding is she doing so because she's trying to ward off demons? Or, when Americans use the American dollar bill which has the all seeing eye of Horus on the reverse (and a pyramid to boot!) are they involved in demon worship? Or, when someone puts up a Christmas tree in their home are they honoring ancient pagan deities? No. These things have lost any association to paganism today.

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