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Submerged Cities

This is actually art two of the mysterious remains. SInce there was so much material on both we decided to separate the two topics.

11. http://weburbanist.com/2013/04/22/submerged-cities-7-underwater-wonders-of-the-world/

Dwarka, Gulf of Cambay, India

Could the undeniably geometric ruins in India’s Gulf of Cambay be the lost city of Lord Krishna? Many Indians believe so, designating Dwarka as an important site for Hindu pilgrimage. The ruins are located just off the coast of modern-day Dwarka, one of the seven oldest cities in India. The ancient Dwarka was a planned city built on the banks of the Gomati river but was eventually deserted and submerged into the sea, as documented in texts like the Mahabharata and Purana, though some experts maintain that it was mythological.

As the story goes, Lord Krishna had a beautiful and prosperous city built, with 70,000 palaces made of gold, silver and other precious metals. It was his death that supposedly sent Dwarka sinking into the sea.

The ruins, discovered in 2000 and investigated with acoustic techniques, are known as the Gulf of Khambat Cultural Complex. They’re 131 feet beneath the surface. One of the artifacts dredged up by scientists was dated around 7500 BCE, which could support the theories that it is, in fact, the ancient Dwarka.

The Pyramids of Yonaguni-Jima, Japan

Experts can’t seem to agree whether the Yonaguni Monument, a strange geometric formation found off the Ryukyu Islands of Japan, is natural or man-made. But looking at photos of the terraced stone, cut into triangle shapes in some areas, it’s difficult to imagine how it could have been created by nature. The site is a popular diving location despite strong currents, especially because it tends to be a congregation point for hammerhead sharks.

Rising 250 feet from the sea floor, the Yonaguni Monument is not a series of stacked stones; rather, it’s a single construct connected to the underlying rock mass. Some divers believe they have found traces of drawings and other markings upon it. If this structure really is man-made, it would had to have been constructed during the last ice age, around 10,000 BCE, when the sea level was 130 feet lower than it is today. Geologists, however, argue that the geometric shapes could have been formed by fractures caused by earthquakes.

12. http://www.urbanghostsmedia.com/2015/01/10-lost-underwater-cities-ancient-world-sunken-civilisations

Thonis-Heracleion, Egypt

It was called Heracleion by the ancient Greeks and Thonis by the ancient Egyptians. Once situated on the northern coast of Egypt and established as one of the most important port cities of the Mediterranean, the city has been sitting at the bottom of the sea that it once served. Recently excavated after 1,200 years underwater, Thonis-Heracleion has been slowly giving up its secrets.

Artifacts brought to the surface indicate that the city was once a massive trading center and bustling port city. More than 60 ancient shipwrecks have been found in the immediate area, along with hundreds of anchors, coins from across the sea, tablets inscribed in ancient Greek and Egyptian, and massive sculptures that were thought to have once adorned the city’s temples. Those temples have also remained eerily intact, complete with offerings and votives once given to the ancient Egyptian gods.

The city was once the official port-of-entry for Egypt, somewhere around 664 to 332 BC. Now, the city is far from the coastline – the first concrete evidence of the civilization was found 6.5 kilometers off the current coast.

Phanagoria, Russia/Greece

The ancient city of Phanagoria is a case of fiction and mythology becoming truth. According to Roman history, an uprising in 63 BC ended with a huge part of the city being burned and the wife and children of Mithradates VI being murdered by the angry mob. For years, it was thought the whole thing was a story – it was completely unsubstantiated, after all.

Until an archaeological expedition to the underwater necropolis of Phanagoria uncovered a gravestone that read, “Hypsikrates, wife of Mithradates VI”. Hypsikrates is the masculine form of her name Hypsikratia; the gravestone immortalizes part of her legend, that she was so bold, outspoken and courageous that her husband often referred to her in the masculine.

Phanagoria is the largest Greek city that now sits on Russian soil. Located on the Black Sea, it was founded in the 6th century BC and now about a third of the city is underwater, earning it the nickname of the Russian Atlantis. Much of the underwater portion of the city is covered with sand, and includes port structures and a massive section of the city’s necropolis. Divers have also found marble plinths that were once the base of massive statues, along with a huge amount of artifacts left behind by those that once occupied the city.

Cleopatra’s Palace, Egypt

Part of ancient Alexandria sit at the bottom of the ocean, and the 2,000 year old city has been the target of decades of excavation. It’s a long and painstaking progress, but the same poor visibility and heavy waters that hinder excavations and archaeologists now have protected the city for generations, from the time it slid into the ocean after an earthquake.

Shicheng, China

The Chinese city of Shicheng was founded 1,300 years ago, and much of it was built over the next 300 years. The city’s distinctive architecture includes buildings that date to the Ming and Qing dynasties, beginning with a rule in 1368.

The entire city was flooded in 1959 – and, weirdly, it was flooded on purpose. More than 300,000 residents were relocated, and for some, that meant leaving their ancestral home; families were able to trace their history back through the generations, and it had always involved Shicheng.

Olous, Crete, Greece

While many underwater cities are either difficult to reach or the protected sites of archaeological digs, the remains of the Minoan city of Olous are accessible to all.

Olous once sat on the northeastern end of Crete, and was a thriving city with somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 residents. Thought to have been in its heyday sometime before 800 AD, the city was built not on rocky ground – like other Cretan cities – but instead was constructed on the soft, unstable sands of the coast. A major earthquake struck the area, and the city quite literally shifted and slid into the surrounding waters.

Today, divers and snorkelers can poke around amid the ruins of the ancient city. The clear water means that it’s the perfect opportunity to explore the underwater ruins, and occasionally artifacts – like coins – are still found. Some of its features – like an ancient city wall – are still above water, showing exactly where the rest of the sunken city is. There’s also still remnants of murals, floors and walls on land.

The Mulifanua Site, Samoa

The Lapita were the original settlers of Micronesia and Polynesia. They settled the islands after leaving Taiwan and Eastern Asia around 2,000 BC, and by 500 BC they had created numerous settlements throughout the Pacific islands. Incredibly skilled fishermen and sailors, the culture is also known for their very distinctive pottery.

The discovery of more than 4,000 of the distinctive pottery shards off the coast of the Samoan island of Upolu have confirmed that the ancient settlement now submerged beneath the Pacific waters was one of the region’s Lapita villages.

Archaeologists have dated the site to an occupation that happened around 3,000 years ago, during the period of migration and settlement throughout the islands. The site off Upolu is the only confirmed site of Lapita habitation found in Samoa or American Samoa; it’s believed that at the time people were living there, the area was a wide, sandy beach. While little beyond the pottery shards remain of the village, it’s thought that at one time it was the site of one of the Lapita’s distinctive stilt villages. It’s not known how many other villages could still be found in the islands, as the water levels have been extremely variable over the centuries and what was once coastline could now be in the center of an island.

Gulf of Cambay, India

In 2002, the ruins of an incredibly ancient city were found in India’s Gulf of Cambay. Sitting beneath almost 40 meters of water, they were found quite accidentally by an organization conducting a study of water pollution – and they’re forcing archaeologists to rethink the timeline they have in place for our most ancient of ancient history.

The city predates everything that’s currently known as far as archaeological ruins go – by 5,000 years.

Previously, the 4,000-year-old city of Harappan was considered the cradle of life. A thriving Mesopotamian city, Harappan was remarkably advanced for the time, with systems of water storage, straight, well-made streets, ports and fortifications. Now, some believe that the people who founded Harappan were descended from this earlier city, perhaps forced from it when it was swallowed by the waters.

Lake Titicaca’s Pre-Incan Ruins, Bolivia/Peru

As the world highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca has long been shrouded in mystery. Even today, locals believe the lake is sacred and for a while, its depth and the difficulty in diving in the lake made it seem incredibly likely that its secrets would be kept forever.

Recently, dive teams from Akakor Geographical Exploring made more than 200 dives to document the ruins that they found sitting at the bottom of the lake. Not dissuaded by the challenges deep diving at high altitudes presents, archaeologists uncovered the ruins of an ancient temple complex that pre-dates the Incas. Estimated to be around 1,500 years old, the complex includes a temple, roads, walls, and terraces that would have been used for growing crops.

The find comes after generations of stories have been passed down through local families. The stories tell of a long-lost underwater city beneath the lake, and until recently, technology hasn’t been sufficient to make the dives. The temple complex was found in water only about 20 meters deep, and it was only found when divers first discovered a road – then followed that to the temple.

According to Inca lore, the lake is the location of the birthplace of their entire civilization. It’s long been said to be the site of an ancient city called Wanaku, and it’s also been rumored to be the final hiding place of gold stolen by Spanish conquerors and then lost.

Numerous artifacts have been recovered, including gold fragments, ceramic statues, stone statues and vessels, human and animal bones, and incense containers.

Atlit-Yam, Israel

Atlit-Yam is the name given to the site of several Neolithic settlements found along the Carmel coast. The sprawling site includes ancient stone wells, the foundations for homes and other buildings, round foundations, and ancient roads. It’s been estimated that the buildings were constructed between 7,550 and 8,000 years ago, and it’s believed that it was submerged suddenly after a tsunami engulfed the area, probably caused by a volcanic eruption

At the center of the settlement there are ancient stone circles, which form religious worship grounds that include fresh-water springs. It’s thought that the sites were devotional, probably dedicated to the water spirits. Some of the stones are standing upright as in traditional stone circles while other stone slabs seem to have been used as altar stones.

Human remains have also been found at the site, including the skeletons of 65 men, women and children. Examination of the skeletons has shown that several died from tuberculosis, making the site the home of the earliest known cases of the deadly disease.

Baiae, Italy

Baiae was an ancient Roman city that was a little bit Sodom, a little bit Gomorrah, and a lot Las Vegas. It was the playground of the elite, the rich and the famous, the site of permanent vacation homes for people like Julius Caesar and Nero. Part of the allure was the city’s hot springs; it sat on a series of volcanic vents, and ensured a regular source of hot water for baths and spas.

In the 8th century, the Saracens moved through the area and sacked the city. It never recovered, and was ultimately abandoned sometime around 1500. It was inevitable, though, as waters were rising and slowly flooding the city, which had already sat low on the bay. The volcanic vents that had been such a draw to the city in the first place were shifting; other cities in the area, like Pozzuoli and Miseno, were also sunk beneath the waves.

Now, the entire site is an archaeological dive site, where visitors can take a boat tour above the ruins or even scuba dive through them.

13 http://blog.world-mysteries.com/mystic-places/ancient-cities-and-megalithic-sites-underwater/

Seahenge Norfolk, England

Seahenge, also known as Holme 1, consisted of a ring of fifty-five oak trunks that formed a circular enclosure with a large inverted oak stump in the centre. The trunks were placed in a trench and not in individual holes with their bark facing outwards and split sides facing inwards. Placed about 3 ft into the ground, we will never know how tall the trunks actually were. It was built around the 21st century BC. After its discovery in 1998, the site was excavated despite protests from Neo-pagan groups and the timbers were cleaned and placed in permanent storage. A recreated Seahenge was placed at the original site and a museum opened to the public in 2008.

Pavlopetri Peloponnese, Greece

Pavlopetri is unique as it is the earliest submerged archaeological city to have been discovered. It had a layout of streets, courtyards, tombs and various buildings that has largely remained as it was millennia ago. Accurately mapped for the first time in 2009, archaeologists were amazed to discover the site sprawled more then 30,000 square meters. The town was engulfed around 1000 BC by an earthquake. A protected underwater cultural heritage site as listed by UNESCO, it remains in danger of being damaged by thieves, tourists and boat anchors.

The Shore Temple Mahabalipuram, India

The famous Mahabalipuram temple has always been encased in folklore. The legends spoke of seven temples that were so dazzling; the gods grew envious and sent a flood that submerged all but one of them, leaving the Shore Temple companionless. After the Tsunami of December 2004, a collapsed temple as well as several other structures and primordial rock sculptures used in the same era to decorate walls and religious shrines were exposed. It revived theories that Mahabalipuram formed part of the Seven Pagodas the first Europeans wrote about.

Bimini Road

The Bimini Road, sometimes called the Bimini Wall, is an underwater rock formation near North Bimini island in the Bahamas. The Road consists of a 0.8 km (0.50 mi)-long northeast-southwest linear feature composed of roughly rectangular to subrectangular limestone blocks.

Although it is generally considered to be a naturally occurring geological feature, as a result of the unusual arrangement and shape of the stones some believe that the formation is the remains of an ancient road, wall, or some other deliberately constructed feature. For example articles published in Argosy (an American pulp magazine) and either authored or coauthored by Robert F. Marx, a professional diver and visitor to the Bimini Road, argued that the Bimini Road is an artificial structure.

MEGALITHIC RUINS near Yucatan Channel, Cuba

A team of scientists continues to explore megalithic ruins found in the Yucatan Channel near Cuba. They have found evidence of an extensive urban environment stretching for miles along the ocean shore. Some believe that the civilization that inhabited these predates all known ancient American cultures. So far, only computer models of this mysterious underwater city exist.

Samabaj Lake Atitlán, Guatemala

Discovered in 1996, researchers have concluded that the ruins were originally an island until volcanic activity or a landslide sunk it 1700 years ago.

The buildings were drowned before the era of Mayan rule and artifacts discovered have left the impression that the area was abandoned in a hurry. Several ceremonial monuments have been uncovered as well as altars, incense burners, ceramics and other artifacts. Excavations are extremely demanding as the visibility is close to none and everything is covered with a very thick layer of silt

14 http://www.ancient-code.com/underwater-worlds/

All over the world, there are sunken cities, in every single corner of our Globe we will find evidence of cities that crumbled and were devoured by the ocean. There’s more than 200 known sunken cities in the Mediterranean alone and what we’re looking at are the remains of cities at a time when mainstream archaeology tells us there were no cities, anywhere in the world, now it really does not take long to connect these ancient underwater ruins with unidentified objects.

Throughout history we have reports of strange lights coming out of the oceans, strange phenomena that you cannot explain. Some of these lights are attributed the lesser-known marine counterpart to UFO‘s, the USO or Unidentified submerged objects.  Is it possible that Alien civilizations have underwater bases on our very own ocean floor? Ancient Astronaut believers say yes.

Covering more than 71% of the planet, the Earth’s oceans are a vast and largely unexplored mystery and even today we have trouble accessing and mapping the ocean floor. For most of recorded history, man could only guess at what lay beneath the ocean’s surface, but thanks to today’s technology we are able to explore our oceans with greater detail then ever before.

Today we have equipment that can access areas and depths that some years ago were inaccessible to us and we could only guess what was really down there, how many amazing underwater worlds are just waiting to be found?

Scientific theory suggests that during Earth’s last Ice Age, ocean levels were once much lower than they are today.“You have to envisage a world in which there are two mile-deep ice caps sitting on top of northern Europe and North America, in which are accumulated enormous quantities of water we know that this water began to melt about 21,000 years ago, and finished melting about 10,000 years ago.” – Graham Hancock

 

The Use of Culture & Inclusive-Exclusive

The Use of Culture

 One of the advantages of living in a different culture is that one has the opportunity to observe how other people look at life. This experience also allows one to review one’s own upbringing and compare the differences between different cultures and how they affect understanding the Bible.

For the past 40 years or so the sentence, ‘we must look at the culture of that time…’ has become a popular tool in grasping what the Bible says to the people of today. Many professors like to use the ideology of different cultures as justification to change what God has said to believers and use the altered words to allow the church to follow secular ideas and teachings.

They fail to think things through as the danger of using culture as an interpretive tool overshadows the benefits gained. Most of the time the professors and scholars only compare 2 cultures when doing exegetical work—the ancient middle Hebrew and the western ones.  The problem with this narrow focus is that most of the nations of the world do not subscribe to the western way of thinking and what is right in the west is not always correct in the other cultures and what is wrong in the west is not necessarily wrong in those same countries (and vice versa).

Cultures have developed along their own lines of thinking, sometimes invaders or visitors influence their development. They generally follow the whims and will of the nations developing their own particular idea of how their society or civilization should function. They depend upon several factors that play large roles in developing societal rules for their people to follow. There is no one human cultural way greater than another. One is not superior or inferior as they all have their pros and cons.

This makes using culture a danger when it comes to scripture reading because of its limited nature, its fallibility and its lack of being the ideal. Culture is human created not divine thus there is no ultimate standard, no one human culture that is free of sin or corruption which makes it the best choice to judge the rest by. Culture just fails as a Biblical tool.

For the believer then using human culture to interpret the perfect words of God found in the Bible is a wasted effort beyond understanding certain ancient acts—Sarah giving her maid to Abraham to bear children as one example.

At no time does ancient human culture change what God has said is His will nor do they alter His or Jesus’ commands and teachings. The Bible is not a human product and was not authored by humans. Its source is the divine which makes it and its content superior to anything humans could construct, even culture.

Thus when the Bible says that women are not to be preachers, not to teach men then the modern secular culture cannot nor is able to alter the meaning of those words to excuse a change in practice in the church or believer’s lives.  What God said 2000 years ago for His followers to abide by still applies today regardless of what the secular world or ‘enlightened believer’ thinks.

To use culture as an exegetical tool means to elevate it to above divine authority and make the latter subject to whatever human ideas permeate their present cultural norms. It also means demoting God’s word to fallibility status and allowing the idea that it can be wrong. Both acts are not correct. God’s word is the authority which governs culture and guides it in the direction it should go, not vice versa.

God’s word does allow some flexibility, for example the verse in Proverbs which states, ‘Spare he rod spoil the child.’  This verse does not mean that parents are only allowed to use a stick in punishing their children and that they are to beat the offspring until they are bleeding.

It means that the parents are to use discipline when the child does wrong. Now that verse does not eliminate correctly administered corporal punishment from being used nor does it outlaw non-corporal punishment. Other verses come into play, not culture, on how parents are to discipline their children.

This means that the parents are free to decide what punishment they will use upon their own children as long as it follows the rules God has laid out in other verses. Those rules fall under the guidelines of being fair, honest, just and leaves room for mercy and compassion The also include the disclaimer that punishment is to bring repentance, which tells the parent how far they can actually go when disciplining their children.

Culture cannot do this for all it produces are subjective ideas that eliminate God’s direction (for the most part) from the disciplinary equation.  In today’s western culture the ideology of ‘no tolerance’ has taken root and people, children, students have been reprimanded unfairly because of this mentality. ‘No tolerance’ leaves out justice, fairness, mercy, compassion and installs one set of ideas by one person or group who have rejected other forms of punishment.

What makes this method subjective is that it is not perfect nor the ideal and other people or groups have their own ideas which often disagree with the current person or group in power. The standard for punishment changes with each new group or leader that replaces the previous one. This constant change only brings chaos and confusion to the people.

This is why culture cannot be used as an exegetical tool. Its use depends upon the person or group wielding it and its definitions or results will or can change when another group or person gains dominance over the rest.  The culture of the time of Christ did not influence God’s writing of the New Testament nor did the apostle’s personal thoughts. They wrote as God directed and spread those teachings to all so that God’s followers would know how they are to live. There was no cultural time limit on those words and were meant to be followed till the end of time.

Sadly, the modern Christian has allowed the secular world to influence their thinking which has lead to the altering of God’s word in these times. False teaching has crept into the church and distorted right from wrong, truth from error and how a believer is to live.

The Bible, Jesus, the disciples did not teach that the believer is to follow culture when seeking the truth or what God meant by certain verses. It does teach to follow the Holy Spirit but unfortunately many do not because the direction the Holy Spirit wants believers to travel is often not the one humans desire.

So just like the Israelites of the book of Judges, they see how the unbelieving world goes and follow it, leading God to say—‘why do ye call me lord, lord, when you do not do the things I say.’

 

 

Inclusive or Exclusive

One of the main arguments unbelievers have against Christianity is that they think that God’s kingdom is very exclusive.  They base this argument upon the reasoning that their rules and criteria should be used in determining who enters heaven and not God’s.

Because they do not allow God the right to manage His own realm, like they do the governments of the world, they come to false ideas about entrance into heaven.  But is God exclusive? Does He bar certain people from entering His domain when from all human appearances they should be allowed to enter?

I. Inclusiveness

If we look at the words found in some scriptures we find that God really does open the door to all. In the famous born again passage all believers use we find the word ‘whomever’ used in John 3:16 and then in verse 18 we find it used again twice.

This tells us that the path of salvation is open to all. It does not matter their age, their sex, their wealth, or lack of it, or their social standing.  The broadness of the invitation or criteria covers all of God’s human creation.

This means that people as good as the Dali Lama or as evil as Hitler have the opportunity to enter into salvation and be allowed to live in heaven when their earthly lives are done. But is it that simple?

II. Exclusiveness

The unbelievers often argue that people who live good lives should be allowed to enter God’s kingdom when they die and they get very turned off of the gospel when they are informed that people like the Dali Lama or others who do no human wrong will be excluded from entry and sent to eternal damnation.

Their anger is not justified nor is their rejection of Jesus because they ignore the criteria of God and replace it with their own standards of morality, no matter how inferior they are to God’s measure. Yes, we can say that God is exclusive because He has set the limits on who can or cannot enter into His eternal rest.

Those people who have not repented of their sins and accepted His son as their Savior will not be allowed to enter into heaven, regardless of how good a life they lived. Why? Because God has excluded one thing from entering His kingdom– sin. He does not want any part of evil in His presence.

God’s kingdom, God’s heaven, God’s rules.  So yes, God is exclusive. Not all people , even those who claim to have preached in Jesus’ name, will enter into heaven. This is evidenced by the scriptures Mt. 7:22-24, Rev. 20:15, 21:27 and many other passages found throughout the Biblical pages.

Why won’t the Dali Lama enter God’s heaven—because he served a false religion and rejected salvation. Why won’t others of celebrity and fame enter into God’s heaven- because they did not repent of their sins and followed evil throughout their lives.

III. The Reason for This

Why does God act in this manner, shunning those who broke no human law or helped the poor etc.?  It is simple. To allow any and everyone to enter into His heaven, God makes a mockery of His son’s life and sacrifice. Jesus’ blood was shed then for no reason and served no purpose. His suffering went for not if God broadened the way to His kingdom.

The Bible would be made moot and would not need to be written as it would not matter how one lived their lives for entrance into heaven was guaranteed with the removal of exclusion. Morality and laws would mean nothing and anarchy would reign on earth and people maimed and killed for the sport of it because the value of morality and the law was destroyed by the removal of the exclusionary clause.

IV. Conclusion

God has reasons for His rules and actions and if people were honest enough to look beyond the surface they would see some of the reasons behind such implementation. Life as we know it would not exist if God did not exclude sin and sinners from His plan of salvation and His kingdom. God is a holy God and he would lose his holiness and paradise would not be paradise if he allowed sin to corrupt him and his kingdom

 

Creeds of the Church

Creeds of the Church

What follows is a list of creeds, and scripture verses which are part of the history of the Church. The information all comes from the Master Christian Library created by Ages Software but is no longer published in this format.

The first part will be made up of the Bible verses that may have influenced the subsequent human originated creeds

Part One: Biblical Foundation:

1. Deut. 6:4— Hear O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD alone.

2. 1 Kings 18:39— And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.”

3. Mat. 16:16— Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

4. Mat. 28: 19— Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

5. John 1:49— Nathaniel answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

6. John 6: 68-9— Simon Peter answered him, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

7. Acts 8:36-7— And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?” And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

8. 1 Cor. 8:6— . yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

9. 1 Cor. 12:3– Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says: “Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

10 1 Cor. 15: 3-7— For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.

11 Phil. 2:6-11— who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12 1 Tim. 3:16— Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

13 Hebrews 6:1-2— Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, with instruction about ablutions, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment

14 1 John 4:2— By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.

Part Two: The Creeds:

1. Rule of Faith– SECOND CENTURY, AS RECORDED BY IRENAEUS

“. . .this faith: in one God, the Father Almighty, who made the heaven and

the earth and the seas and all the things that are in them; and in one Christ

Jesus, the Son of God, who was made flesh for our salvation; and in the

Holy Spirit, who made known through the prophets the plan of salvation,

and the coming, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the

resurrection from the dead, and the bodily ascension into heaven of the

beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and his future appearing from heaven in

the glory of the Father to sum up all things and to raise anew all flesh of

the whole human race. . .”

2. A Baptismal Confession– THIRD CENTURY, HIPPOLYTUS

“When the person being baptized goes down into the water, he who

baptizes him, putting his hand on him, shall say: ‘Do you believe in God,

the Father Almighty?’ And the person being baptized shall say: ‘I believe.’

Then holding his hand on his head, he shall baptize him once.

And then he shall say: ‘Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God,

who was born of the Virgin Mary, and was crucified inder Pontius Pilate,

and was dead and buried, and rose again the third day, alive from the dead,

and ascended into heaven, and sat at the right hand of the Father, and will

come to judge the living and the dead?’ And when he saya: ‘I believe,’ he is

baptized again. And again he shall say: ‘Do you believe in the Holy Spirit,

in the holy church, and the resurrection of the body?’ The person being

baptized shall say: ‘I believe,’ and then he is baptized a third time.”

3. The Apostles Creed– THIRD CENTURY (?)

“The Symbolum Apostolorum was developed between the 2nd and 9th

centuries. It is the most popular creed used in worship by Western Christians.

Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator.

“Legend has it that the Apostles wrote this creed on the tenth day after

Christ’s ascension into heaven . . . each of the doctrines found in the creed

can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period. The earliest

written version of the creed is perhaps the Interrogatory Creed of Hippolytus

(c.215 A.D.). The current form is first found in the writings of Caesarius of

Arles (d 542).

“The creed was apparently used as a summary of Christian doctrine for

baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome, and, thus, became known as

The Roman Symbol. As in Hippolytus’ version it was given in question and

answer format with the baptismal candidates answering in the affirmative that

they believed each statement.” (Introduction author unknown)

TRADITIONAL ENGLISH VERSION

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the

Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was

crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose

again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand

of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick

and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of

saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life

everlasting. AMEN.

4. The Nicene Creed– 325 A.D. ENGLISH VERSION 1549 (WITH A FEW MINOR UPDATES)

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,

and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of

the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of

Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by

whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came

down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin

Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius

Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again

according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the

right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both

the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who

proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son

together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we

believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one

baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the

dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

5. The Definition of Chalcedon– 451 A.D.

Following, then, the holy fathers, we unite in teaching all men to confess

the one and only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. This selfsame one is perfect

both in deity and in humanness; this selfsame one is also actually God and

actually man, with a rational soul [i.e., human soul] and a body. He is of

the same reality as God as far as his deity is concerned and of the same

reality as we ourselves as far as his humanness is concerned; thus like us in

all respects, sin only excepted. Before time began he was begotten of the

Father, in respect of his deity, and now in these “last days,” for us and

behalf of our salvation, this selfsame one was born of Mary the virgin,

who is God-bearer in respect of his humanness.

We also teach that we apprehend this one and only Christ-Son, Lord,

only-begotten — in two natures; and we do this without confusing the

two natures, without transmuting one nature into the other, without

dividing them into two separate categories, without con- trasting them

according to area or function. The distinctiveness of each nature is not

nullified by the union. Instead, the “properties” of each nature are

conserved and both natures concur in one “person” and in one reality

[hypostasis]. They are not divided or cut into two persons, but are

together the one and only and only-begotten Word [Logos] of God, the

Lord Jesus Christ. Thus have the prophets of old testified; thus the Lord

Jesus Christ himself taught us; thus the Symbol of Fathers [the Nicene

Creed] has handed down to us.

6. The Athanasian Creed– EARLY FIFTH CENTURY

Whoever wills to be in a state of salvation, before all things it is necessary

that he hold the catholic [apostolic/universal] faith, which except everyone

shall have kept whole and undefiled without doubt he will perish eternally.

Now the catholic faith is that we worship One God in Trinity and Trinity

in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. For

there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy

Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,

is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit; the

Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; the

father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father

eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet not three

eternals but one eternal, as also not three infinites, nor three uncreated, but

one uncreated, and one infinite. So, likewise, the Father is almighty, the

Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet not three almighties

but one almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God; and yet not

three Gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy

Spirit Lord; and yet not three Lords but one Lord. For like as we are

compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to

be both God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say,

there be three Gods or three Lords.

The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the

Father alone, nod made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the

Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. So

there is one Father not three Fathers, one Son not three Sons, and Holy

Spirit not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity there is nothing before or

after, nothing greater or less, but the whole three Persons are coeternal

together and coequal.

14

So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the trinity in Unity and the Unity in

Trinity is to be worshipped. He therefore who wills to be in a state of

salvation, let him think thus of the Trinity.

But it is necessary to eternal salvation that he also believe faithfully the

Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The right faith therefore is that we

believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and

Man.

He is God of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, and

He is man of the substance of His mother born in the world; perfect God,

perfect man subsisting of a reasoning soul and human flesh; equal to the

Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His

Manhood.

Who although He be God and Man yet He is not two but one Christ; one

however not by conversion of the GodHead in the flesh, but by taking of

the Manhood in God; one altogether not by confusion of substance but by

unity of Person. For as the reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God

and Man is one Christ.

Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again from the

dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, from

whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming

all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their

own works. And they that have done good shall go into life eternal, and

they who indeed have done evil into eternal fire.

This is the catholic faith, which except a man shall have believed faithfully

and firmly he cannot be in a state of salvation.

 

Astronomy

Introduction:

Astronomy has actually been around for a very long time. Even Korea has a 5,000 year old=/- observatory preserved in Gyeong-ju, just east of Daegu. It is not a modern invention by secular people.

The Bible speaks about the universe a lot, usually using the word ‘heavens’ and here is one verse that should be of particular interest to those interested in the size of the universe:

37 Thus says the Lord,“If the heavens above can be measured And the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel For all that they have done,” declares the Lord. (Jer. 31 NASB)

This tells us that no one can measure the size of the universe or search out the complete area underneath the surface of the earth. The Bible also tells us

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. (Ps. 19:1 NASB)

Everything we see in the universe points to God not some natural catastrophe billions of years ago. Even though unbelievers see the glory of God in all they view through their telescopes, they still attribute that glory to some ancient event they never witnessed and only guess that it took place

“And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you [a]have understanding,5  Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, (Job 38 NASB)

Astronomers only guess at how the universe works or was made, God knows but it is through astronomy that we get to see more of God than we would if we restricted our view to just the earth.

What follows are different articles and websites that bring the glory of God down to earth so we can see it without too much trouble. Again, only a blurb of each will be provided and to view more of each site or article you will have to copy and paste the website address and go to the story.

#1. http://hubblesite.org/

–Since the earliest days of astronomy, since the time of Galileo, astronomers have shared a single goal — to see more, see farther, see deeper.

The Hubble Space Telescope’s launch in 1990 sped humanity to one of its greatest advances in that journey. Hubble is a telescope that orbits Earth. Its position above the atmosphere, which distorts and blocks the light that reaches our planet, gives it a view of the universe that typically far surpasses that of ground-based telescopes.

Hubble is one of NASA’s most successful and long-lasting science missions. It has beamed hundreds of thousands of images back to Earth, shedding light on many of the great mysteries of astronomy. Its gaze has helped determine the age of the universe, the identity of quasars, and the existence of dark energy.

–Like a well-oiled machine, Hubble’s optics, science instruments, and spacecraft systems work together to capture light from the cosmos, convert it into digital data, and transmit it back to Earth.

–Orbiting the Earth for over two decades, Hubble has helped to answer some of the most compelling astronomical questions of our time – and uncovered mysteries we never knew existed. Investigating everything from black holes to planets around other stars, Hubble has changed the face of astronomy, ushering in a new chapter of humanity’s exploration of the universe.

–Capture the extraordinary. Explore the universe through Hubble’s eye, and witness the most dangerous, spectacular and mysterious depths of the cosmos.

#2. http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/science/astronomy-ancient-astronomy.html

–Astronomy is the oldest of the physical sciences. In many early civilizations the regularity of celestial motions was recognized, and attempts were made to keep records and predict future events. The first practical function of astronomy was to provide a basis for the calendar, the units of month and year being determined by astronomical observations. Later, astronomy served in navigation and timekeeping. The Chinese had a working calendar as early as the 13th cent. B.C. About 350 B.C., Shih Shen prepared the earliest known star catalog, containing 800 entries. Ancient Chinese astronomy is best known today for its observations of comets and supernovas. The Babylonians, Assyrians, and Egyptians were also active in astronomy. The earliest astronomers were priests, and no attempt was made to separate astronomy from astrology. In fact, an early motivation for the detailed study of planetary positions was the preparation of horoscopes.

 

–The highest development of astronomy in the ancient world came with the Greeks in the period from 600 B.C. to A.D. 400. The methods employed by the Greek astronomers were quite distinct from those of earlier civilizations, such as the Babylonian. The Babylonian approach was numerological and best suited for studying the complex lunar motions that were of overwhelming interest to the Mesopotamian peoples. The Greek approach, on the contrary, was geometric and schematic, best suited for complete cosmological models. Thales, an Ionian philosopher of the 6th cent. B.C., is credited with introducing geometrical ideas into astronomy. Pythagoras, about a hundred years later, imagined the universe as a series of concentric spheres in which each of the seven “wanderers” (the sun, the moon, and the five known planets) were embedded. Euxodus developed the idea of rotating spheres by introducing extra spheres for each of the planets to account for the observed complexities of their motions. This was the beginning of the Greek aim of providing a theory that would account for all observed phenomena. Aristotle (384–322 B.C.) summarized much of the Greek work before him and remained an absolute authority until late in the Middle Ages. Although his belief that the earth does not move retarded astronomical progress, he gave the correct explanation of lunar eclipses and a sound argument for the spherical shape of the earth.

#3. http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/980215e.html

–There are many ancient astronomers from many cultures all around the world, many of whom have their name lost over the ages. For example, we do not know who or when the planets were recognized as being different from stars. In some sense, most ancient people were ‘astronomers’ since all lived under non-light-polluted dark skies and everyone wonders what is up there. The names of the Egyptian, Mayan, and Chaldean astronomers are all lost, even if we know of some of their results. The best known astronomers are those associated with the development of the modern scientific results. For example, Hipparchus (Greek ~3 century BC) discovered the precession of the equinoxes, Ptolemy (Greek in Alexandria ~100 AD) systematized the geocentric system of planets, Copernicus (Polish, 1500s) proposed the heliocentric system, Kepler (Czech?, ~1600) came up with detailed laws for planetary motion, Galileo (Italian early 1600s) made great discoveries with his telescope, Newton (English, late 1600s) discovered the basic laws of Physics that allow us to understand the cosmos, and Edwin Hubble (American, died ~1940) who discovered that the Universe is expanding.

The history of astronomy is a very long one and astronomy has been pursued by all cultures, so there is a very wide range of tools. Before the discovery of the telescope, the only observing devices that people could use was the human eye, perhaps aided by any of a variety of sighting devices. Thus, the Chinese used armillary spheres, Tycho Brahe (Danish late 1500’s) used long sighting ‘tubes’, neolithic farmers made Stonehenge to point to midsummer sunrise, and Ptolemy noted planet positions with respect to stars. After the discovery of the telescope, there was a steady push to larger-and-larger telescopes. Starting around the 1800’s, various instruments, like micrometers and spectrometers, were constructed to give very detailed measures of the light coming from stars. Starting around 1900, the photographic plate and then the CCD camera, have revolutionized astronomy due to their great sensitivity.

#4. http://www.spacetoday.org/SolSys/Earth/AncientAstronomy.html

–For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been fascinated by the patterns of stars in the sky above Earth. Early on, they noticed that the Moon changed shape from night to night as well as its position among the stars.

Early people noticed constellations of stars in the sky that looked like animals and people, and made up stories about what they thought they saw. In fact, the oldest records we have of astronomical observations are 30,000-year-old paintings found on the walls of caves.

Calendars. The first astronomers created calendars from changes they saw in the Moon. Some ancient people around 5,000 years ago set up large stones to mark the movement of the Sun and other stars.

–Ancient natives of North American lined up circles of stones with the Sun and stars to chart the rising Sun and the begining of summers.

In southern Mexico, the Mayans built special buildings to watch the Moon and the planet Venus. They had a calendar by 800 A.D. that was more accurate than the calendar used in Europe.

Ancient Egyptians depended on the Nile River to flood their fields and make it possible to grow crops. They became the first to use a calendar with a 365-day year after their priests discovered that flooding returned about every 365 days.

#5. http://www.sir-ray.com/Ancient%20Astronomy.htm

–Around 3000 BCE, the first Stonehenge consisted of a ditch and bank enclosing a ring of 56 pits.  These were later named Aubrey Holes after the 17th century antiquarian John Aubrey who discovered them.  Around 2500 BCE, the 4 ton bluestone megaliths were brought from the Preseli mountains in Wales.  Around 2300 BCE, 30 sarsens (sandstone uprights), each weighing over 25 tons, were positioned in a circle and capped with morticed stone lintels.  Seven centuries later two mysterious rings of pits were dug around the Stones.  Over time, the landscape around Stonehenge underwent substantial change and development. In the Neolithic period long barrows and huge earthworks such as the Cursus and Durrington Walls were created.  During the Bronze Age hundreds of round barrows were built for the burial of chieftains or leaders, often with supplies to support them on their journey into the next world.  The Avenue, a ceremonial approach to the Stones aligned on the midsummer sunrise, was also built around this period.

–The Big Horn Medicine Wheel is a prehistoric Native American rock structure laid down about 2,500 years ago by an Aztec-Tanoan culture that occupied the infamous Bighorn Canyon and adjacent areas between 1500 BCE and 500 CE.

The Wheel lies at an elevation of 9,642 feet, 11 miles south of the Montana Boundary.  Medicine Wheel was first discovered by Crow Indian hunters nearly 300  years ago. They became deathly afraid of its “bad medicine” and no Indians of any tribe dared go near it after the news had spread across the Plains. Because of the structure’s resemblance to a giant wagon wheel with hub, spokes, and a rim, white trappers called it a wheel. Until 1992 its true interpretation was unknown, although many theories were advanced without real study.

As an archeolinguistic artifact, the Medicine Wheel tells how the first people on earth, (Uto-Aztecan) emerged as spirits out of the Underworld via a conduit topped by the large central rock cairn, to be driven by a spirit vectored force into an inwardly opening rim-touching cairn where they became born as human beings.  Where an offset cairn lies 12 feet outside the Wheel’s rim, the greatly feared evil ghosts of dead Uto-Aztecans were uplifted  into the Afterworld in the Milky Way directly above the structure’s central exit cairn.

The rim of the structure symbolized the cosmological horizon of the Milky Way. Four external rim-touching cairns symbolize the four preceding eras in the world’s history closed completely in time; they could not be entered by either the spirits rising from the Underworld nor by the ghosts en route to the  Afterworld. On the inside a rim-touching, larger cairn opens toward the central cairn via a spoked channel to symbolize the Fifth Era of Current Existence in  which all humanity plays its varied parts.  In this era the Underworld spirits become human beings living a normal life span.

#6. http://www.crystalinks.com/greekastronomy.html

–Most ancient civilizations watched the heavens as patterns in the sky that allowed the to know when the seasons changed – among other things. They built great stone monuments called astronomical observatories such as Stonehenge as celestials clocks to mark these events and the passage of time.

They believed their gods lived in the skies and named them and the constellations after them. This is the reason astrology, astrology and mythology all follow the same patterns. In the end – the answers are in the sky as they come from above. In metaphysics we call this moving into higher frequency than what we experience in our third dimensional bodies. Our creators are from higher realms. They have powers that are lost to us in the physical body. Many seek to activate those powers now.

Since the first Egyptian farmers discovered the annual reappearance of Sirius just before dawn a few days before the yearly rising of the Nile, ancient civilizations around the Mediterranean have sought to explain the movements of the heavens as a sort of calendar to help guide them conduct Earthly activities.

Counting phases of the moon or observing the annual variations of day length could, after many years of observations, serve as vital indicators for planting and harvesting times, safe or stormy season for sailing, or time to bring the flocks from winter to summer pastures.

With our millennia of such observation behind us, we sometimes forget that seeing and recording anything less obvious than the rough position of sun or nightly change of moon phase requires inventing both accurate observation tools (a stone circle, a gnomon used to indicate the sun’s shadow, a means to measure the position of stars in the sky) and a system of recording that could be understood by others.

The ancient Greeks struggled with these problems too, using both native technology and inquiry, and drawing upon the large body of observations and theories gradually gleaned from their older neighbors across the sea, Egypt and Babylonia.

Gradually moving from a system of gods and divine powers ordering the world to a system of elements, mathematics, and physical laws, the Greeks slowly adapted old ideas to fit into a less supernatural, hyper-rational universe.

As ancient peoples began to realize that sun, moon and stars follow certain rhythms in step with the seasons, they made the leap of thought to postulate that some conscious set of rules must be dictating these movements and seasonal changes which, for agrarian or pastoral societies, were a matter of life or starvation. Who or what could be causing these all-important changes to come about? Certainly nothing on earth, no beast or human, had the power. Thus gods were born.

#7. http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/Ancient-Astronomers-Were-No-Fools-138048718.html

–There’s no doubt ancient astronomers were clever folk. Realizing Earth was round, estimating the Sun’s distance, discovering heliocentricity — it’s quite a list. But Brad Schaefer (Louisiana State University) suggested at the 2012 American Astronomical Society meeting in Austin that we should add another light bulb to the glow shining from history: ancient astronomers may have corrected for dimming caused by the atmosphere, centuries before anyone came up with a physical model for it.

–This dimming is called atmospheric extinction. Extinction happens because starlight has to pass through Earth’s atmosphere in order to reach us. But the effect isn’t uniform: if you spend time stargazing you’ve probably noticed that a star high up in the sky’s dome looks brighter than it does as it slides toward the horizon. That’s because light coming to us from near the horizon passes through more atmosphere than if it shines straight down from overhead. (The Sun looks redder at sunset and sunrise for the same reason.)

Astronomers have catalogued stars’ magnitudes for at least two millennia, all the way back to an ancient document called the Almagest. It was the Almagest that Schaefer began with — but his goal wasn’t to determine if astronomers in olden days accounted for extinction. He wanted to use the brightnesses reported in it to decide a long-standing debate over who wrote the catalog in the first place, Hipparchus of Rhodes (circa 150 BC) or Ptolemy of Alexandria (circa AD 150).

–When Schaefer looked at catalogs from two other renowned astronomers, al-Sufi (10th century) and Tycho Brahe (16th century), he also found extinction corrections.

The result has surprised many astronomers because there are no historical records mentioning extinction. The first physical explanation for extinction came in the 1700s from the French scientist Pierre Bouguer, and while extinction is obvious to an experienced observer, “it’s rather surprising that [the ancients] did a sophisticated and pretty accurate correction for something they don’t talk about and no one ever knew they knew about,” Schaefer says.

#8. http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/ancient-astronomers-developed-first-known-writing-001098

–Scientists need theories, archaeologists perhaps even more so, but despite countless scientists studying countless archaeological sites for thousands of years, we are no-where closer to answering the important question: Did an ancient civilization travel the world thousands of years ago, and seed the creation of multiple later civilizations?

Though Pyramid structures and unusually large stone structures are routinely discovered throughout the world, it is impossible using current theory to say that they are connected. Archaeologists to put it bluntly are simply not very good at comparing “similar” objects. For a match to be made the artefacts have to be identical, and as no two archaeological artefacts discovered to date are identical they cannot ever be linked, no matter how similar they may look.

Now that position has been turned entirely on its head. A recent hypothesis made by Dr. Derek Cunningham, an independent researcher, might be on the point of changing everything. By joining four separate scientific fields, astronomy, the study of early written languages, cartography, and archaeology, Dr Cunningham has put forward an entirely new theory that ancient civilizations developed writing from a very archaic geometrical form that is based on the study of the motion of the moon and the sun.

–As a theory, the idea is very simple and most important of all, it is easily tested. The theory has also shown incredible consistency, with the idea fully explaining the development from archaic primitive proto-writing to the earliest modern writing styles starting from proto-Cuneiform.

The data also explains numerous gaps in current theories, such as the structure of until now unexplained lines present on the Stonehenge Bush Barrow Lozenge, an intricate gold foil pendant uncovered on the body of a high ranking person.

The theory also question the structure of the causeways located in front of the Great Pyramids, and presence of large enigmatic Giants, such as the Atacama Giant.

#9. http://www.telescopes-for-amateur-astronomers.com/ancient-astronomy.html

–In ancient astronomy such an idea of the universe was held by men from the earliest of times. In their perspective the earth was of vital importance.

The sun and moon were simply lamps for the day and for the night; and these, if not gods themselves, were at any rate under the charge of extraordinary deities, whose task it was to guide their motions across the vaulted sky.

Slowly and gradually, however, this simple estimate of nature began to be overturned. Challenging problems agitated the human mind. On what, for instance, did the solid earth rest, and what prevented the vaulted heaven from falling in upon men and crushing them out of existence?

In ancient astronomy extraordinary misguided beliefs sprang from vain attempts to solve these riddles. The Hindoos, for instance, believed the earth was supported by 4 elephants which stood on the back of a massive tortoise, which, in its turn, floated on the surface of an elemental ocean.

The early Western civilisations conceived the fable of the Titan Atlas, who, as a punishment for revolt against the Olympian gods, was condemned to hold up the expanse of sky for ever and ever.

–In his system the Earth occupied the centre; while around it circled in order outwards the Moon, the planets Mercury and Venus, the Sun, and then the planets Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Beyond these again revolved the background of the heaven, upon which it was believed that the stars were fixed.

The Ptolemaic system persisted unshaken for about fourteen hundred years after the death of its author. Clearly men were flattered by the notion that their earth was the most important body in nature, that it stood still at the centre of the universe, and was the pivot upon which all things revolved.

#10. http://www.crystalinks.com/egyptastronomy.html

–One of the earliest advanced civilizations, Ancient Egypt, had a rich religious tradition which permeated every aspect of society. As in most early cultures, the patterns and behaviors of the sky led to the creation of a number of myths to explain the astronomical phenomena. For the Egyptians, the practice of astronomy went beyond legend. Huge temples and pyramids were built with specific astronomical orientations. Thus astronomy had both religious and practical purposes.

–The stars in Egyptian mythology were represented by the goddess of writing, Seshat, while the Moon was either Thoth, the god of wisdom and writing, or Khons, a child moon god.

The horizon was extremely important to the Egyptians, since it was here that the Sun appeared and disappeared daily. A hymn to the Sun god Ra shows this reverance: ‘O Ra! In thine egg, radiant in thy disk, shining forth from the horizon, swimming over the steel firmament.’ The Sun itself was represented by several gods, depending on its position. A rising morning Sun was Horus, the divine child of Osiris and Isis. The noon Sun was Ra because of its incredible strength.

The evening Sun became Atum, the creator god who lifted Pharoahs from their tombs to the stars. The red color of the Sun at sunset was considered to be the blood from the Sun god as he died. After the Sun had set, it became Osiris, god of death and rebirth. In this way, night was associated with death and day with life or rebirth. This reflects the typical Egyptian idea of immortality.

–An alternative building method was to gradually narrow successive doors into a specific room, in order to concentrate the sunbeams onto a god’s image on the wall. The designs sometimes became quite complex. At the temple of Medinet Habu, there are actually two buildings which are slightly off-kilter. It has been suggested that the second one was built when the altitude of the other temple’s orientation stars changed over a long period of time.

The Egyptians were a practical people and this is reflected in their astronomy in contrast to Babylonia where the first astronomical texts were written in astrological terms. Even before Upper and Lower Egypt were unified in 3000 BCE, observations of the night sky had influenced the development of a religion in which many of its principal deities were heavenly bodies.

In Lower Egypt, priests built circular mud-brick walls with which to make a false horizon where they could mark the position of the sun as it rose at dawn, and then with a plumb-bob note the northern or southern turning points (solstices). This allowed them to discover that the sun disc, personified as Ra, took 365 days to travel from his birthplace at the winter solstice and back to it. Meanwhile in Upper Egypt a lunar calendar was being developed based on the behavior of the moon and the reappearance of Sirius in its heliacal rising after its annual absence of about 70 days.

After unification, problems with trying to work with two calendars (both depending upon constant observation) led to a merged, simplified civil calendar with twelve 30 day months, three seasons of four months each, plus an extra five days, giving a 365 year day but with no way of accounting for the extra quarter day each year. Day and night were split into 24 units, each personified by a deity.

 

Ancient Education 2

Ancient Literacy

  1. Setting the Scene:

This is a topic that have scholars under-estimating the educational level of the ancient world. Dr. Craig Evans in his most recent book, Jesus and His world pg.66, states:

“Surely such great quantities of written material argue for widespread not limited literacy? You might think so, but that is not the conclusion historians have reached. Most agree that literacy rates were somewhere between 5 and 10 per cent…”

Dr. Evans does not disagree with those figures but I do. The reason I do is that the amount of written material that has been uncovered over the years. Plus, there are just some logical reasons why the literacy rate could not be that low.

Over the next few pages I will be quoting extensively from Dr. Evans book simply because he has gathered together a large amount of information lacking in many other archaeological works.  The quotes will be noted by page numbers only and any other work will be noted fully.

To set the scenario we need to discuss two things. First, the amount of people who were alive in the ancient world needs to be taken into consideration. According to Juliette Lapidos in her article 25,000 inhabitants, 2,500 years ago, talks about the major problem with knowing how many people were inhabiting the ancient world:

“No matter the methodology, population estimates always involve broad assumptions. Even evidence drawn from an ancient census can be unreliable. Some omitted women, slaves, and children, and we only have access to incomplete records of others. As a result, figures issued by different research teams often vary wildly. Estimations for ancient Alexandria, for example, range from less than 100,000 to almost 1 million” (Lapidos:2008)

In other words we do not know exactly how large the ancient population was. Given the 5-10% scholars literacy conclusion we end up with about 5,000-50,000 people on the low scale and up to 10,000-100,000 on the upper end who would be considered literate just for Alexandria.

These figures raise some important questions that we will get to later.  The second thing we must consider is how many people actually were authors and how many books or other works did they write? I don’t usually use Wikipedia for reference work but for this purpose their list of prolific authors provides a good example to work from in for the comparison.

On their list is about 20-25 authors who spent most of their lives writing, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prolific_writers, and they included those who wrote non-book material (scripts, novella etc.) These are the exceptional ones and if one totaled up their works the figure reaches approximately 22,000 pieces of written material.

Far below the 34.5 million books and other printed material gathered at the Library of Congress (http://www.loc.gov/about/facts.html). Who wrote these other works? They certainly could not have been produced by prolific authors alone nor could those type of authors produce that much material over the 200 years the Library has been collecting them. It is just impossible, which means that normal folk had to be literate and contribute to the collection over time.

This is just one country, who can count all the books held by the rest of the countries of the world? Clearly modern people who would fall into the historians’ conclusion of the 95-90% illiterate conclusion had to contribute written material to allow the Library to gain such an impressive collection.

When we look at the amount of material left by 1 ancient city, we cannot come to the conclusion that the modern day historians are correct in their assessment of a 5-10% literacy rate for the ancient world.

  1. The Ancient Reality:

Now we turn to Dr. Evans book and the information he has published:

“Writing in the third century CE a Roman official orders a number of mayors in the Hermopolite district in Egypt to post copies of his letter ‘in the metropolis an din well known places…so that no one may be unaware of my pronouncements’ (P.Oxy. 2705).” (pg. 63)

-Here we have the understanding that people could read. There would be no point in posting the letter if the literate people were gathered in one location and part of the elite.

“In every city from late antiquity we find dozens of , if not hundreds of public inscriptions…These inscriptions are dedications, lists of names, imperial decrees, statements or reminders of law, quotations of famous men and even pedestrian things, such as directions. Many gravestones and tombs are inscribed with more than the name of the deceased; some have lengthy, even poetic obituaries; others have threats and curses against grave robbers.” (pg.64)

-The ancient world is full of evidence for literacy and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“To the inscriptions we must add the enormous numbers of documents from late antiquity that have been found. One thinks especially of the finds at Oxyrhynchus ranging from 300 BCE to  500 CE. Close to half a million documents, mostly made of papyrus were recovered from the dry sands just outside the city limits…In places the heaps of papyri recovered ran as much as 9 meters deep…In rough terms this could mean that the half-million documents recovered represent only about one third of those thrown into the dump. One wonders how many millions of other documents circulated in Oxyrhynchus that were never thrown into this dump-and Oxyrhynchus was but one city.” (pg. 65)

-9 meters equals approx. 30ft or roughly a 3-4 story apartment modern apartment building. That is a deep pile and though the width is not given, we can conclude it was not just a one meter pile. Even if you multiplied wiki’s list by 10 you would not get close to the amount of written material produced in one city in the ancient world over a 1,000 year period.

On Rhodes we have a piece of a catalogue and it tells us that some ancient authors only wrote or had 1 book in the library thus not all ancient authors were prolific writers which tells us that many people wrote for whatever reason. (Casson:2001:59)

“Presumably other cities in the Mediterranean world were every bit as literate as Oxyrhynchus. One thinks of Alexandria (Egypt) and Ephesus (Asia Minor) with their impressive libraries. The former in its heyday…boasted almost half a million volumes…A nearby temple held another 36,000 books. The Celsus library at Ephesus had some 12,000.” (pg.65)

-Lionel Casson wrote a book on ancient libraries entitled Libraries in the Ancient World, though not a large volume it does give the reader the impression that literacy was well above the modern scholar’s conclusions.

“What about Corinth, Athens, Rhodes and –by the first century CE- Rome? Recall too, that Marcus Antonius apparently gave Cleopatra…some 200,000 books. Pliny the Elder claims that in preparing to write his Natural History he read 2,000 books.” (pg. 65)

-It would stand to reason that those cities would collect books to be used for communication, entertainment, research and so on. One cannot think that all the ancients did was sleep, work, pray and eat during their lifetimes.

“The same thing is observed at Vindolanda, the site of a Roman fort and settlement just south of Hadrian’s wall in Northumberland, England, where writing tablets were found in 1973…Some 500 tablets… have been discovered” (pg. 68)

“For our concerns, the biggest find was the excavation of the so-called Villa of Papri in Herculaneum. The Villa is halfway up the slope of Mount Vesuvius and was discovered in 1750…workers recovered some 1,100 scrolls, a few tablets and broken pieces of both.” (pg. 69-70)

-Here we see that private libraries existed. Hard to say if these people were part of the elite but we know now that private parties collected and probably read books.

From the work of Dr. Evans we can see that large caches of works have been uncovered. These do not include the more famous discoveries like the Amarna letters and other great ancient literary finds. Nothing we have found supports the idea that the ancient world was illiterate. Of course, this does not mean that everyone was educated or literate. Some were not. Even in a modern country like America which prides itself on educating its youth, many still are not literate.

  1. The Questions:

Given the evidence discovered by modern archaeologists then looking at the conclusion made by modern historians and scholars the two just do not correspond. This realization brings us to the first question—why did they write so much material?

There are two basic reasons why people write, one they want to communicate whether it is quoting, recording, or acknowledging a departed loved one, they are communicating a message to future readers. Two, they want to make a living. As modern publishing houses can attest the people who write are far more in number than those who get published.

Since archaeology is a very limited field, one must wonder how much written material we have lost to erosion and other destructive forces? It is not wise to draw conclusions based upon the amount of evidence we do recover for it only tells part of the story.

The second question is—Who were they writing to?  If 90-95% of the population were illiterate, why waste time writing information down? It would be lost on the intended audience and a very wasted effort. Not to mention a waste of time and resources.

If only the elite knew how to read and write, why would they need to produce so much written material? Their small number would not require such a large use of writing or resources nor would it demand that inscriptions be placed upon tombs or other personal property of the common folk.

Since authors write to make a living, what good is writing if so few people would buy their works? A mass market would mean more income but if no one could read then there would be no point in writing, the income just wouldn’t be there to sustain an author for very long.

The amount of written remains contradict the conclusions of the scholars and historians. There is just no logical reason for the ancient world to spend so much of their time producing material if the projects were ignored and left to rot. Writers would be discouraged and stop writing. Even governments would not see the need to spend valuable tax dollars on producing records if no one would be able to read them. They would return to an oral system of communication.

  1. Conclusion:

Literacy does not depend upon production of written materials. Not everyone writes but yet they have that ability and the ability to read as well.  As evidenced by the modern world, some people went to school, were educated yet all they produce(d) throughout their lives were a few personal letters and a weekly shopping list.

This is the injustice inflicted upon the ancient world. Modern scholars and historians stand in judgment over a people long dead while using a limited amount of materials and a warped sense of human behavior and what literacy really is.

It is unrealistic to expect the majority of the ancient world to sit down and write long tomes or epic poems. The ancients may have been too busy, have no interest in writing novels or poems or other works and on it goes. There are a variety of reasons why written material is limited, and we only have to look to the modern age to see them.

2000 years from now, I can see future archaeologists calling the western world illiterate because the amount of written material left behind was as sparse as the ancient world’s remains. Yet people in the western world spent 12 years in school becoming literate. Archaeological remains do not tell the whole story and it is not wise to draw conclusions about the past when the evidence or reality are just not there to support them.

Given what Dr. Evans has published in his book, I cannot agree with those who conclude that the ancient world was 5-10% literate. It just doesn’t make sense and when you add in population size, there is no way such wealth of material would be produced by so few people. It doesn’t work mathematically or logically.

The need to keep a society or civilization functioning demands that more of its people be literate than just the elite. Slaves do not even come into the argument simply because so few of them would have the chance to learn how to read and write. Such accomplishment relies too much upon a benevolent nature of their owner and so few had that towards their slaves.

The evidence that we have seen from Dr. Evan’s book also demands that more than a few were educated or the production of written materials does not make any sense at all.  The pro-illiteracy group seem to want to create an ancient world that is to their liking and not the reality.

 

 

Ancient Education

Viewing Ancient Writing and Education

I recently read a paper written by Dr. Rollston, titled Scribal Education in Ancient Israel: The Old Hebrew Epigraphic Evidence, and I am not picking on him at all but his article just happened to have some of the best points to use to present a counter opinion.

I disagree with the idea that education in the ancient world was only for the elite and feel that depending on the attitude of the ancient nation education was much broader and more inclusive than some scholars allow. For this presentation, I am going to quote a blurb from Dr. Rollston’s paper and address the issues raised in them. This is not an attack on him at all but questioning his conclusions and providing an alternative position to consider.

 

  1. “For example, regarding the fact that there is no reference to ‘schools’ in the Hebrew Bible, Golka has stated that ‘the best explanation for the fact that no schools are mentioned is still that there were none.’”

This is an argument that atheists often use when creationists say that evolution wasn’t mentioned in the Bible. They say that planes and trains aren’t mentioned nor computers yet they all exist today.

The same idea can apply to the above point. Just because something is not mentioned doesn’t mean it did not exist at that time. Ecc 1:9 tells us: ‘What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun’

What that means is that education and schooling, even in a public system like today’s nations have, is not a modern invention but has been done before and done again and again.  Schools do not have to be mentioned in the Hebrew Bible to have been an educational option for the ancient world, including the Hebrews.

Then, the Bible speaks often on teaching, teachers, learning, training thus it speaks volumes on the subject. The word ‘school’ may not have been used but the important parts of education are. How the ancients educated their children, whether public, private academies or even homeschooling, was up to them but the Bible provided important guidelines on how to carry out that process.

  1. “Some attention as well is given to the rapid pace ay which some scholars have assumed that an ancient alphabetic writing system could be learned…The writing systems developed and employed in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt were complex non-alphabetic systems.”

It is easy to assume but if one looks at today’s students, it isn’t difficult for many people to learn a system of writing very quickly. South Korea loves to study English and its kindergarten pupils pick up the English alphabet and can write, according to their abilities, quite easily. The same goes for the learners of the Korean language. It doesn’t take long to master their alphabet and learn to write their characters.

The problem with the latter half of the point above is that the author of that article forgets that when learning one’s native tongue and writing system the information is available all the time and correction is not limited to the classroom. Relatives, friends, and even enemies play a role in helping one learn one’s own language

The bushmen of Africa have a language which is done by the clicking of their tongues, {Khoisan} and its people have no trouble learning how to do it. Dr. Rollston, here, makes the very mistake he claimed those scholars quoted above made. He assumes that native people are incapable of learning their own language without enduring long periods of schooling.

In the modern scholar’s mind it may be difficult but they are coming at the language when the ancient tongue is no longer spoken by natives and there is no one left alive to correct any of the mistakes or point out the nuances.  The people born into those civilizations have innumerable speakers and were taught all the nuances while they were growing up.

There is a big difference in perspectives here and one should not impose their learning situation onto the ancients.

  1. “Lemaire (1981) has argued that there were numerous schools throughout much of Israel and Judah in the Iron Age…Lemaire’s decision to propose such a pervasive system of education was an Achilles heel, because the evidence could not carry the load he saddled with it.”

Dr. Rollston has been around archaeology and scholars enough to know that the lack of evidence does not prove something did not exist. We all know that archaeology only provides the modern world with minute fragments of what took place in the past and much of that is left up to the archaeologist’s speculative powers.

We also have the problem with mis-identification of buildings and their purpose. Too often the archaeologist decides to label a building a temple when in reality, that probably is far from the truth. We do not really know which structures were temples, in most cases, and which were not. Most ancient structures are not accompanied with undamaged, complete manuscripts detailing the buildings use.

K.A. Kitchen, in his book The Bible In its World, details how much is lost at a site, how much is uncovered and how little is printed material. We cannot state with any confidence that a public school system did not exist in some ancient civilizations. We cannot state that a home schooling idea did not exist nor can we say that schooling was only for the elite few.  What undermines that latter idea is that there are just too many employment/governmental positions requiring literacy to be filled by the elite alone.

They just did not have the manpower to do it. Plus, some of those trained in schools were needed to replace aging or dying teachers, reducing the literate workforce even further, creating a need for more citizens to be educated.

  1. “…the morphology of the letters…Finally it should also be noted that some Old Hebrew inscriptions can be dated to the ninth century…”

Everyone knows that most languages change over time. Old English is vastly different from its modern counterpart. But the problem with this idea is that people do not let the older versions die out and use them for special occasions. This fact alone destroys a lot of the dating ideas floating about.  We can guess when an inscription was written and we can be close but we can never be sure because we do not know the intent behind what was written.

Dating an inscription is too subjective because we also do not know who ordered the writing, who wrote it and many other factors that seemed to be ignored in Dr. Rollston’s paper. There are just too many mitigating factors that come into play and assumption plays a large role in the modern scholars’ attempts to decipher the words.

One such factor is that the inscription may have been found amongst, let’s say, 8th century BC artifacts but that doesn’t mean the inscription was written in the 8th century. It is a possibility but it is also possible that the inscription was a family heirloom written much earlier than the supposed dating or it was moved to that location for preservation sake. There are many reasons why an inscription is found where it is and very few have to do with the actual time period.

  1. “For the Old Hebrew script there is basic uniformity…The script of Old Hebrew seals is normally a formal cursive script (rather than a semi-formal cursive script)…The fact of the matter is that no trained palaeogapher would suggest that there was some sort of uniformity without development or variation during the course of some two centuries”

The problem with this so-called uniformity is that it ignores use of scripts for ceremonial or special occasions. I have multiple from schools on 3 different continents and each diploma uses Old English. Two are completely in Old English though that style was never used other official or unofficial paperwork throughout my tenure at those institutions and one is in partial Old English.

Another degree is in modern English but both printed and cursive style of printing. I have also looked at other degrees from other institutions and they do the exact same thing. What this means is that uniformity does not indicate general usage of a particular script. It does mean that a certain style is reserved for commemorating achievement or other honors; while other styles of writing are used for other purposes.

Of course those ancient seals would use a formal script as most likely their purpose was for official work and not for everyday communication. The same idea goes for the supposed development of a language. One thing I noticed in this paper was that the fact that different people write differently was completely omitted.

To say that different letter lengths indicate a change in a language is naïve as people do not write exactly the same way in the same time period. Everyone has their style of handwriting. Some women put hearts over their ‘I’s’, while others put flowers or dots, yet they are writing in the same time period and even attended the same school and had the same teachers teaching them how to write.

The evidence really does not support a developmental theory, simply because we know so little about the origin of languages or writing. In the article Who began writing? Many Theories Few Answers, John Noble Wilford wrote: “In exchanging interpretations and new information, the scholars acknowledged that they still had no fully satisfying answers to the most important questions of exactly how and why writing was developed”

So we really do not know which style was the original and which were affected by the personality of the inscriber. Many scholars throw out the word, ‘proto’ but that is a mis-used term as we do not really know what the original language looked like and how they developed to their ancient forms.

We are simply getting fragmentary samples written by different people with different personalities who wrote as they wanted. The artifacts do not come with labels describing the needed information to draw a development conclusion. We can assume and speculate but what if the scholars have the inscriptions backwards and put them in the wrong order?

How would we spot the error?  How can we verify beyond a shadow of a doubt so that we can use that conclusion to categorize subsequent finds? How can we be sure? We can’t because too many factors play a role in the written language.

  1. “ For Old Hebrew, there is no evidence for the use of internal matres lectionis during the lion share of the eighth century…”

Possible but what about spelling errors, fads or other ideas that influence writing. In todays English world many people shorten a word down to one syllable. Do we call that a development or just bad English?

How can we know that the samples we dig up are infallible and no mistakes are contained within? Or that no fad or special creativity influenced the written style for a period of time? In studying the past, I have noticed that too many ideal assumptions are placed upon the written word and the concept of mistakes or creativity are ignored or not grasped. Remember, nothing is new under the sun and the changes to modern language for whatever reason probably took place in the ancient world as well.

We cannot assume that everyone wrote exactly the same like little mindless robots. The changes I mentioned are they development of a language or just creativity trying to gain attention for some business or entertainment? It is difficult to say with the ancient world because we lack so much information and researchers are left to their own devices and bias.

  1. “My own suspicion is that scribal education in Israel could have occurred…(but always with trained scribal personnel at the helm)…”

This reminds me of the arguments of some scholars who state that literacy was only among the scribes and elite but that is like saying that today’s literate people were taught only in Bible Schools and only Christians could read and write.

Of course, I do not argue that scribal schools did not exist but their existence does not mean that other schools for non-elite people did not exist. Those who oppose that idea ignore the wishes of parents (especially mothers) who want their children to have more than they did; it ignores the fact that an illiterate nation cannot survive or be dominant in the world. Even the world’s worst dictators sent their people’s children to school, even if it were for nefarious reasons. We cannot assume that every nation had a public school system but we cannot assume, either, that they did not.

Finally, in regards to this elite scribal education system one must ask the question: If the elite only were educated why would they write on cheap pottery?  They were the elite and the elite had money thus they had access to the finest writing materials of the time and would have no use for writing on common clay items.

It would seem that pottery would be the domain of the commoner who did not have access or the money to better writing materials. They would be more inclined to write as they pleased changing the language as they saw fit whereas the elite’s handwriting would be very sophisticated and neat using proper letters with proper grammar because they would have been educated by the best teachers who exacted perfection.

It just doesn’t make sense to eliminate education and literacy from the common folk and limit it to a small group of people, the evidence just isn’t there to support that thinking.

 

What They Believe 20

Prophecies of Jehovah Witnesses and Other Information

The following information has been taken from the book:

Reed, D. A., Reed, D. A., Huntoon, S., & Cornell, J. (Eds.). (1990). Index of Watchtower errors, 1879 to 1989 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

These are excerpts only so that you get a better understanding of the cult Jehovah Witnesses. You can see more of what they believe on our page Comparative Religions.

Introduction

To Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is God’s sole channel for communicating truth to humankind today. Persons associated with the Watch Tower Society are considered to be “in the truth”—as opposed to outsiders who are “of the world.” Just as Christians speak of being “in the Lord” by virtue of having accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord, in like manner Jehovah’s Witnesses speak of being “in the truth” by virtue of having accepted the Watch Tower Society as God’s “channel of communication.”

So, the very mention of error in connection with the Watch Tower is enough to throw JWs into mental turmoil. How can the organization they call “the truth” be guilty of error? How can it be so full of errors that an Index listing the Watch Tower’s major mistakes, doctrinal changes, false prophecies, frauds, and deceptions fills an entire volume? Hopefully this Index will prove such a challenge to the Jehovah’s Witnesses who come across it that they will actually use it to verify the Watch Tower quotes and references listed.

Although most outsiders are unaware of such a restriction, Jehovah’s Witnesses know well that they are forbidden to read the literature of other religious organizations. They have been told that “it would be foolhardy, as well as a waste of valuable time, for Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept and expose themselves to false religious literature that is designed to deceive” (WT, 5/1/1984, p. 31). And they have been taught that “reading apostate publications” is “similar to reading pornographic literature” (WT, 3/15/1986, p. 14). Any who violate these commandments by reading non-JW religious material face trial before a closed-door “judicial committee” with the possibility of being “disfellowshiped”—expelled from the congregation and shunned by all former associates, even family.

For this reason books refuting Watch Tower teachings are seldom read by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Only one who is already considering leaving the sect will accept the risks involved. Even then, precautions are taken. I have received letters from Witnesses who pulled such a forbidden book off the shelf at a bookstore or library, quickly read portions of it (all the while glancing furtively about lest they be observed and reported to the elders), and then replaced the book and slipped out of the building, only to return after a few days for another clandestine encounter. One JW told me how after anonymously purchasing such a book, he ripped off the cover and threw it away, keeping only the pages so that anyone who spotted him reading it could not easily identify what it was.

But the Witnesses who look up the materials cited in this Index need not worry about being caught reading forbidden books written by “apostate” ex-JWs. Rather, they will be looking deeply into the publications of their own organization. And, instead of venturing onto the foreign turf of a Christian bookstore or public library, they will be pulling books off the familiar shelves of the “Theocratic Library” in their own Kingdom Hall. So they should have no reason to fear, if they are really “in the truth.”

What if the Watch Tower publications cited reveal that the organization is a false prophet—not simply having made an occasional mistake, but having promulgated false prophecies repeatedly throughout its history? What if the prophetic dates were presented by the leaders as “God’s dates, not ours” as stated by the Watch Tower of July 15, 1894 (Reprints, p. 1677)? Then the sincere Witness must pay special attention to God’s words at Deuteronomy 18:20–22 (Watch Tower’s New World Translation):

… the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak … that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: “How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?” when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it…

Rather than discuss other strange teachings here, we leave it to the reader to examine the evidence on the pages that follow. As its documented errors pile up, the organization’s claim to being “the truth” erodes. Remember, the testimony presented in this volume is not that of the Watch Tower’s critics, enemies, or accusers; on the contrary, it consists of statements by leaders and spokesmen writing in their official capacity in the organization’s books and magazines. As Jesus said, “by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:37).

Prophecies

  1874

Christ’s presence and the harvest began in 1874.

STUDIES, Vol. 2, p.239

Time chart of church history

STUDIES, Vol. 3, p. 131

Second advent in 1874; the Lord took power in 1878.

STUDIES, Vol. 3, p. 234

“ … a most reasonable inference … that in the spring of 1878 all the holy apostles and other ‘overcomers’ of the Gospel age who slept in Jesus were raised spirit beings.… ”

STUDIES, Vol. 3, p. 234

“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, Vol. 4, p. 621

“The Laodicean period of the Church extends from the fall of 1874 to the spring of 1918, three and one-half years of preparation, and forty years of harvest.”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 58

After the Second Adventist hopes were disappointed in 1874, Barbour convinced Russell that Christ actually returned invisibly in 1874.

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 54

“Fall 1874 A.D. Second Advent of the Lord”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 60

“the beginning of the Times of Restitution, A.D. 1874”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 64

Scriptures prove that the Lord’s Second Advent was in 1874.

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 68

Eighty-eight proofs that the Lord’s Second Advent occurred in the fall of 1874

STUDIES, Vol. 7, pp. 68–71

“ … six thousand years of evil which ended in 1874.”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 301

“The Millennium began in 1874, with the Return of Christ.”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 386

“The second coming of the Lord therefore began in 1874.… ”

CREATION, p. 289 early editions, p. 310 later editions

“ … the clergy would not understand these times and seasons, because they form a part of Satan’s organization.… ”

CREATION, p. 291 early editions, p. 312 later editions

“To understand the events concerning the Lord’s second presence from 1874 to 1914 requires one to be spiritually minded; and the clergy are not spiritually minded.”

CREATION, p. 291 early editions, p. 312 later editions

“The Scriptural proof is that the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 A.D.”

PROPHECY, p. 65

“ … the Scriptural declaration that the Millennium of peace and blessing would be introduced by forty years of trouble, beginning slightly in 1874 and increasing until social chaos should prevail in 1914.”

WT 10/1890, p. 1243

“The date of the close of that ‘battle’ is definitely marked in Scripture as October, 1914. It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October, 1874.”

WT 1/15/1892, p. 1355

The end of 6000 years is 1873.

WT 7/15/1894, p. 1675

“Pastor Russell … believed and taught that we are living in the time of the second presence of our Lord, and that his presence dates from 1874.… ”

WT 12/1/1916, p. 5998

“No one can properly understand the work of God at this time who does not realize that since 1874, the time of the Lord’s return in power, there has been a complete change in God’s operations.”

WT 9/15/1922, p. 278

“The Scriptures show that the second presence [of the Lord] was due in 1874.… This proof shows that the Lord has been present since 1874.”

WT 3/1/1923, p. 67

“Surely there is not the slightest room for doubt in the mind of a truly consecrated child of God that the Lord Jesus is present and has been since 1874.”

WT 1/1/1924, p. 5

“From Adam’s creation to the end of 1943 A.D. is 5,971 years. We are therefore near the end of six thousand years of human history.… ”

TRUTH … FREE, p. 152

“In the year 1943 … published the book The Truth Shall Make You Free.… 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 the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.… ”

1000 YEARS, pp. 209–10

  1910

“ … this date, 1910, indicated by the Pyramid … we may well accept as correct the testimony of the Great Pyramid, that the last members of the ‘body’ or ‘bride’ of Christ will have been tested and accepted and will have passed beyond the vail before the close of A.D. 1910.”

STUDIES, Vol. 3, early editions, p. 364

  1914

By 1914 the Lord will have full control. Gentile governments will be overthrown; body of Christ will be glorified; Jerusalem will no longer be trodden; Israel’s blindness will be turned away; there will be world-wide anarchy; and God’s kingdom will take the place of man’s governments.

STUDIES, Vol. 2, early editions, pp. 76–78

“ … within the coming twenty-six years all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved.… the full establishment of the Kingdom of God, will be accomplished by the end of A.D. 1914.”

STUDIES, Vol. 2, pp. 98–99

Above changed to “near the end of A.D. 1915” in later editions.

STUDIES, Vol. 2, pp. 98–99

“ … the ‘battle of the great day of God Almighty’ (Rev. 16:14.), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership … ”

STUDIES, Vol. 2, early editions, p. 101

Above changed to “1915” in later editions.

STUDIES, Vol. 2, p. 101

“the full establishment of the Kingdom of God in the earth at A.D. 1914”

STUDIES, Vol. 3, p. 126

“And, with the end of A.D. 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men call Christendom, will have passed away, as already shown from prophecy.”

STUDIES, Vol. 3, p. 153

“That the deliverance of the saints must take place some time before 1914 is manifest.… Just how long before 1914 the last living members of the body of Christ will be glorified, we are not directly informed.” [Italics added.]

STUDIES, Vol. 3, 1913 edition, p. 228

“That the deliverance of the saints must take place very soon after 1914 is manifest.… Just how long after 1914 the last living members of the body of Christ will be glorified, we are not directly informed.” [Italics added.]

STUDIES, Vol. 3, 1923 edition, p. 228

“Then measuring … we find it to be 3416 inches, symbolizing 3416 years from the above date, B.C. 1542. This calculation shows A.D. 1874 as marking the beginning of the period of trouble; for 1542 years B.C. plus 1874 years A.D. equals 3416 years. Thus the Pyramid witnesses that the close of 1914 was the chronological beginning of the time of trouble.… ”

STUDIES, Vol. 3, 1903 edition, p. 342

“Then measuring … we find it to be 3457 inches, symbolizing 3457 years from the above date, B.C. 1542. This calculation shows A.D. 1915 as marking the beginning of the period of trouble; for 1542 years B.C. plus 1915 years A.D. equals 3457 years. Thus the Pyramid witnesses that the close of 1914 was the chronological beginning of the time of trouble.… ”

STUDIES, Vol. 3, 1923 edition, p. 342

“ … the great church-state systems of Europe, whose destruction began in 1914.… ”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 58

“The chronology as it appears in the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES is accurate. The year 1914 brought the end of the Times of the Gentiles, but not the end of the Harvest work.”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 61

“Reexamine … Vol. 2, pages 246 and 247; change the 37 to 40, 70, to 73 and 1914 to 1918, and we believe it is correct and will be fulfilled ‘with great power and glory.’ ”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 62

“No doubt Satan believed the Millennial Kingdom was due to be set up in 1915.… Be that as it may, there is evidence that the establishment of the Kingdom in Palestine will probably be in 1925, ten years later than we once calculated.”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 128

Destruction of Christendom in 1914–1918

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 398

“The present great war in Europe is the beginning of the Armageddon of the Scriptures.”

SERMONS, p. 676

“All of the Lord’s people looked forward to 1914 with joyful expectation. When that time came and passed there was much disappointment.… They were ridiculed by the clergy and their allies in particular, and pointed to with scorn, because they had said so much about 1914, and what would come to pass, and their ‘prophecies’ had not been fulfilled.”

LIGHT, Vol. 1, p. 194

“ … the Scriptural declaration that the Millennium of peace and blessing would be introduced by forty years of trouble, beginning slightly in 1874 and increasing until social chaos should prevail in 1914.”

WT 10/1890, p. 1243

“The date of the close of that ‘battle’ is definitely marked in Scripture as October, 1914. It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October, 1874.”

WT 1/15/1892, p. 1355

There is no reason for changing the figures; they are God’s dates, not ours; 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but the end!

WT 7/15/1894, p. 1677

The trouble in October 1914 is clearly marked in Scriptures; the severe trouble to start no later than 1910, with severe spasms between now and then.

WT 9/15/1901, p. 2876

Chronological chart; 1914 begins millennial age.

WT 6/15/1905, p. 3576

“Armageddon may begin next spring, yet it is purely speculation to attempt to say just when.”

WT 9/1/1914, p. 5527

“We did not say positively that this would be the year.”

WT 11/1/1914, p. 5565

“ … our eyes of understanding should discern clearly the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty now in progress.… ”

WT 9/1/1916, p. 5951

In 1878 the process of setting up the kingdom began. The Lord raised the sleeping saints.

WT 6/1/1922, p. 174

“Jesus was obviously speaking about those who were old enough to witness with understanding what took place when the ‘last days’ began.… Even if we presume that youngsters 15 years of age would be perceptive enough to realize the import of what happened in 1914, it would still make the youngest of ‘this generation’ nearly 70 years old today.… Jesus said that the end of this wicked world would come before that generation passed away in death.”

A 10/8/1968, p. 13

“Thus, when it comes to the application in our time, the ‘generation’ logically would not apply to babies born during World War I.”

WT 10/1/1978, p. 31

“It is the generation of people who saw the catastrophic events that broke forth in connection with World War I from 1914 onward.… If you assume that 10 is the age at which an event creates a lasting impression … ”

WT 10/15/1980, p. 31

“If Jesus used ‘generation’ in that sense and we apply it to 1914, then the babies of that generation are now 70 years old or older.… Some of them ‘will by no means pass away until all things occur.’ ”

WT 5/15/1984, p. 5

1918

“Reexamine … Vol. 2, pages 246 and 247; change the 37 to 40, 70 to 73 and 1914 to 1918, and we believe it is correct and will be fulfilled ‘with great power and glory.’ ”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 62

“The seven days before the Deluge may represent seven years, from 1914 to 1921, in the midst of which ‘week of years’ the last members of the Messiah pass beyond the veil.… Our proposition is that the glorification of the Little Flock in the Spring of 1918 A.D. will be half way … between the close of the Gentile Times and the close of the Heavenly Way, A.D. 1921.”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 64

“It seems conclusive that the hour of Nominal Zion’s travail is fixed for the Passover of 1918.… the fallen angels will invade the minds of many of the Nominal Church people … leading to their destruction at the hands of the enraged masses.… ”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 128

Complete overthrow of nominal spiritual Israel, i.e., Babylon, in 1918

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 129

“ … the destruction … of Christendom in 1914 to 1918 A.D.”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 398

“It is the Day of Vengeance, which began in the world war of 1914 and which will break like a furious morning storm in 1918.”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 404

“the Harvest period, from 1878 to 1918”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 422

“THE CHURCHES TO CEASE TO BE … culminating in 1918, to remove it with a stroke or plague of erroneous doctrines and deeds Divinely permitted.” [Italics added.]

STUDIES, Vol. 7, 1917 edition, p. 484

“THE CHURCHES TO CEASE TO BE … culminating shortly, to remove it with a stroke or plague of erroneous doctrines and deeds Divinely permitted.” [Italics added.]

STUDIES, Vol. 7, 1926 edition, p. 484

“The Battle of Armageddon, to which this war is leading … will signify the complete and everlasting overthrow of the wrong, and the permanent establishment of Messiah’s righteous kingdom.”

WT 4/1/1915, p. 5659

“ … our eyes of understanding should discern clearly the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty now in progress.… ”

WT 9/1/1916, p. 5951

“ … the Great Pyramid, the measurements of which confirm the Bible teaching that 1878 marked the beginning of the harvest of the Gospel age.… the harvest would close forty years thereafter; to wit, in the spring of A.D. 1918.… we have only a few months in which to labor before the great night settles down when no man can work.”

WT 10/1/1917, p. 6149

“What will the year 1918 bring forth?… The Christian looks for the year to bring the full consummation of the church’s hopes.”

WT 1/1/1918, p. 6191

“That the harvest began in 1878, there is ample and convincing proof. The end of the harvest is due in the spring of 1918.”

WT 5/1/1918, p. 6243

  1925

“No doubt Satan believed the Millennial Kingdom was due to be set up in 1915.… Be that as it may, there is evidence that the establishment of the Kingdom in Palestine will probably be in 1925, ten years later than we once calculated.”

STUDIES, Vol. 7, p. 128

“ … we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected … ”

MILLIONS, p. 88

“Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old.… ”

MILLIONS, pp. 89–90

“ … 1925 shall mark the resurrection of the faithful worthies of old.… ”

MILLIONS, p. 97

After 1925 expect shortly Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.…

WAY TO PARADISE, p. 224

The undertakers will decorate these new rooms for the resurrected ones.

WAY TO PARADISE, p. 228

“There will be no slip-up.… Abraham should enter upon the actual possession of his promised inheritance in the year 1925 A.D.”

WT 10/15/1917, p. 6157

It is the message of the hour, that must go to all Christendom: “Millions now living will never die.”

WT 10/15/1920, p. 310

“This chronology is not of man but of God … of divine origin … absolutely and unqualifiedly correct.”

WT 7/15/1922, p. 217

“1914 ended the Gentile Times.… The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures.… by then the great crisis will be reached and probably passed.”

WT 9/1/1922, p. 262

“1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures.… the Christian has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had (so far as the Scriptures reveal) upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge.”

WT 4/1/1923, p. 106

“The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in the Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914.”

WT 7/15/1924, p. 211

“The year 1925 is here. With great expectation Christians have looked forward to this year. Many have confidently expected that all members of the body of Christ will be changed to heavenly glory during the year. This may be accomplished. It may not be,”

WT 1/1/1925, p. 3

“It is to be expected that Satan will try to inject into the minds of the consecrated the thought that 1925 should see an end of the work, and that therefore it would be needless for them to do more.”

WT 9/1/1925, p. 262

Some anticipated the work would end in 1925. The Lord did not so state.

WT 8/1/1926, p. 232

“The year 1925 came and went. Jesus’ anointed followers were still on earth as a class. The faithful men of old times—Abraham, David and others—had not been resurrected to become princes in the earth. (Ps. 45:16) So, as Anna MacDonald recalls: ‘1925 was a sad year for many brothers. Some of them were stumbled; their hopes were dashed.… Instead of its being considered a “probability,” they read into it that it was a “certainty,” and some prepared for their own loved ones with expectancy of their resurrection.’ ”

1975 YEARBOOK, p. 146

“ … Brother Rutherford … May 1–3, 1926 … ‘It was stated in the “Millions” book that we might reasonably expect them to return shortly after 1925, but this was merely an expressed opinion.’ A mistake had been made but, as Brother Rutherford stated, this was no reason to stop serving the Lord.”

1980 YEARBOOK, p. 62

  World War II

The Nazis will destroy the British.

FIFTH COLUMN, p. 15

“ … those faithful men of old may be expected back from the dead any day now.… In this expectation the house at San Diego, California, which house has been much publicized with malicious intent by the religious enemy, was built, in 1930, and named ‘Beth-Sarim’, meaning ‘House of the Princes’. It is now held in trust for the occupancy of those princes on their return.”

NEW WORLD, p. 104

“ … Job is due to be resurrected shortly with those faithful men and to appear on earth with them.”

NEW WORLD, p. 130

The new book titled Children will prove useful “in the remaining months before Armageddon.… ”

WT 9/15/1941, p. 288

The end of Nazi-Fascist hierarchy will come and will mark the end forever of demon rule.

WT 12/15/1941, p. 377

  1975

The end of 6000 years s 1873.

WT 7/15/1894, p. 1675

Man’s creation was 4026 B.C.E.; 6000 years from man’s creation will end in 1975; the 7th period of 1000 years will begin in the fall of 1975.

LIFE EVERLAST, pp. 29–30

In order for the Lord Jesus Christ to be “Lord even of the sabbath day,” his thousand-year reign would have to be the seventh in a series of thousand-year periods or millenniums.

APPROACHING, p. 26

Adam at age 130 had a son, Seth.

AID, p. 333

Eve at age 130 had a son, Seth.

AID, p. 538

“In what year, then, would the first 6,000 years of man’s existence and also the first 6,000 years of God’s rest day come to an end? The year 1975.”

A 10/8/1966, p. 19

“Also, as reported back in 1960 … Dean Acheson declared that our time is ‘a period of unequaled instability, unequaled violence.’ And he warned, ‘I know enough of what is going on to assure you that, in fifteen years from today, this world is going to be to dangerous to live in.’ ”

TRUTH, editions after 1975, p. 9

“Also, as reported back in 1960 … Dean Acheson declared that our time is ‘a period of unequaled instability, unequaled violence.’ Based on what he knew was then going on in the world, it was his conclusion that soon ‘this world is going to be too dangerous to live in.’ ”

TRUTH, editions after 1975, p. 9

“ … there are only about ninety months left before 6,000 years of man’s existence on earth is completed.… The majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out.… ”

KINGDOM MIN. 3/1968, p. 4

“Hence, the first six thousand years since man’s creation could be likened to the first six days of the week in ancient Israel. The seventh one-thousand-year period could be likened to the seventh day, the sabbath, of that week.—2 Peter 3:8 How fitting it would be for God, following this pattern, to end man’s misery after six thousand years of human rule and follow it with His glorious Kingdom rule for a thousand years!”

A 10/8/1968, p. 14

“Does this mean that the above evidence positively points to 1975 as the time for the complete end of this system of things? Since the Bible does not specifically state this, no man can say.… If the 1970’s should see intervention by Jehovah God to bring an end to a corrupt world drifting toward ultimate disintegration, that should surely not surprise us.”

A 10/8/1968, p. 14

heading of chronological chart: “6,000 Years of Human History Ending in 1975”

A 10/8/1968, p. 15

“Discussion of 1975 overshadowed about everything else. ‘The new book compels us to realize that Armageddon is, in fact, very close indeed,’ said a conventioner.”

WT 10/15/1966, p. 629

“ … 1975 marks the end of 6,000 years of human experience.… Will it be the time when God executes the wicked?… It very well could be, but we will have to wait to see.”

WT 5/1/1967, p. 262

“ … it is logical he would create Eve soon after Adam, perhaps just a few weeks or months later in the same year, 4026 B.C.E.”

WT 5/1/1968, p. 271

title of article: “Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975?”

WT 8/15/1968, p. 494

“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? Possible.… It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years.”

WT 8/15/1968, p. 499

Do not pursue higher education. There is very little time left! Make pioneer service, the full-time ministry with the possibility of Bethel or missionary service, your goal.

WT 3/15/1969, p. 171

Since there is such a short time left, study no longer than six months with a prospective convert.

WT 5/15/1969, p. 312

“Would there be another creative ‘day,’ a seventh ‘day,’ at the close of the ‘morning’ of which the whole earth would be populated with a human family and be a global Paradise? ‘Evening’ of seventh creative ‘day’ begins, 4026 B.C.E.”

ETERNAL PURP., p. 51

“ ‘Morning’ of seventh creative ‘day’ begins, 526 B.C.E. The first half or ‘evening’ period of God’s seventh creative ‘day’ was now closing, 3,500 years from creation of Adam and Eve.”

ETERNAL PURP., p. 131

“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 MIN. 5/1974, p. 3

“It also tells us that this millennium must be preceded immediately by the most destructive war in all human history. We can now see the political rulers … being gathered … for that War of all wars.… ”

WT 7/1/1974, p. 397

“The publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses have shown that, according to Bible chronology, it appears that 6,000 years of man’s existence will be completed in the mid–1970’s. But these publications have never said that the world’s end would come then. Nevertheless, there has been considerable individual speculation on the matter.”

WT 10/15/1974, p. 635

A great crowd of people are confident that great destruction is imminent, which has been a major factor in their decision not to have children.

A 11/8/1974, p. 11

“Does this mean that Babylon the Great will go down by 1975? Will Armageddon be over, with Satan bound, by then? ‘It could,’ acknowledged F. W. Franz, the Watch Tower Society’s vice-president … ‘But we are not saying.’ ”

1975 YEARBOOK, p. 256

6000 years of human history will end in September, but there is a short time interval between Adam’s creation and that of Eve.

WT 5/1/1975, p. 285

“ … the Bible record shows … a time lapse between the creation of Adam and that of his wife, Eve.… Whether that period amounted to weeks or months or years, we do not know. So we do not know exactly when Jehovah’s great ‘rest day’ began, nor do we know exactly when it will end. The same applies to the beginning of Christ’s millennial reign.”

WT 10/1/1975, p. 579

The time of Adam’s creation can be determined, but the beginning of God’s rest day cannot because there was a time lapse of unspecified length between Adam’s creation and the creation of Eve.

WT 1/1/1976, p. 30

“But it is not advisable for us to set our sights on a certain date.… If anyone has been disappointed through not following this line of thought, he should now concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint, seeing that it was not the word of God that failed or deceived him and brought disappointment, but that his own understanding was based on wrong premises.”

WT 7/15/1976, p. 441

“Considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975.… Statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability than a mere possibility. It is to be regretted … the publication of the information that contributed to the buildup of hopes centered on that date.”

WT 3/15/1980, p. 17

“This Generation”

“Jesus was obviously speaking about those who were old enough to witness with understanding what took place when the ‘last days’ began.… Even if we presume that youngsters 15 years of age would be perceptive enough to realize the import of what happened in 1914, it would still make the youngest of ‘this generation’ nearly 70 years old today.… Jesus said that the end of this wicked world would come before that generation passed away in death.”

A 10/8/1968, p. 13

“ … the generation alive in 1914, some will see the major fulfillment of Christ Jesus’ prophecy and the destruction.… ”

A 10/8/1973, p. 19

“Thus, when it comes to the application in our time, the ‘generation’ logically would not apply to babies born during World War I.”

WT 10/1/1978, p. 31

“It is the generation of people who saw the catastrophic events that broke forth in connection with World War I from 1914 onward.… If you assume that 10 is the age at which an event creates a lasting impression.… ”

WT 10/15/1980. P.31

“If Jesus used ‘generation’ in that sense and we apply it to 1914, then the babies of that generation are now 70 years old or older.… Some of them ‘will by no means pass away until all things occur.’ ”

WT 5/15/1984, p. 5

“Before the 1914 generation completely dies out, God’s judgment must be executed.”

WT 5/1/1985, p. 4

Awake! magazine discontinues statements in masthead about the generation that saw 1914.

A 3/8/1987, p. 4

Awake! magazine resumes statements in masthead about the generation that saw 1914.

A 3/8/1988, p. 4

“The Hebrews … reckon seventy-five years as one generation.… ”

A 4/8/1988, p. 14

“Most of the generation of 1914 has passed away. However, there are still millions on earth who were born in that year or prior to it.… Jesus’ words will come true, ‘this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened.’ ”

A 4/8/1988, p. 14

“He [the apostle Paul] was also laying a foundation for a work that would be completed in our 20th century.”

WT 1/1/1989, original magazine, p. 12

“He [the apostle Paul] was also laying a foundation for a work that would be completed in our day.”

WT 1/1/1989, bound volume, p. 12

“Watch Tower” or “Watchtower”?

“Watch Tower” or “Watchtower”—which is it? The answer is both. Jehovah’s Witnesses are governed by a collection of legal corporations, some of which feature the name “Watch Tower” as two words and some of which spell it as one word. Moreover, the sect’s principal magazine has used both spellings over the years.

In 1879 Charles Taze Russell began publishing Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. In 1909 he changed its name to The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. Russell’s successors changed the magazine’s title to: in 1931, The Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence; on January 1, 1939, The Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Kingdom; on March 1, 1939, The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom, the title as of this writing.

In 1884 Russell incorporated the Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society, which has since been renamed and continues to function today as the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvannia, the “parent” corporation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In 1909 Russell set up operations in Brooklyn, New York, and formed the People’s Pulpit Association as his legal arm there. This corporation was renamed Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc. in 1939, and then in 1956 Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, of New York, Inc., its present name.

A British corporation was also established in 1914 under the name International Bible Students Association. Since then, corporate bodies have also been established in other lands. The primary purpose for the multiple corporations has been to meet the requirements for owning real estate under the various legal jurisdictions where the sect operates.

Although Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide are governed from offices in Brooklyn, New York, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania remains as the official parent corporation with ultimate financial and decision-making responsibility. There is no conflict, however, because the same leaders set as officers and board members of the different corporations.

 
 
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