Hi Rev. Murphy,
I have read on the JW site about this 1975 prediction. So now 40 years from 1975...that's another prediction of the end of this system. Why is 1975 so significant if the Soceity didn't predict 1975 was the end. I've read so many takes on it. I go to the hall & no one has ever mentioned it. The claim is that many of the witnesses sold their homes, didn't go to college all because of the end was expected in 1975. Then the society turns it around & says, it wasn't us that said it. Was it a rumor. I have seen plenty of literature on line of what the society said about 1975. I've read the profile of one of the witnesses that said, that's when they left. So where did the congregation get the year 1975? Or was it one of those things that the Society doesn't want to take credit for & say it's the congregations fault. In one of the public WT's it says how wrong they were about the dates, but the end of this system is still coming..if you want I will copy & paste it for you. They do get letters from readers so maybe many readers were pointing that out to the Society & they had to address it..But guess what, not one peep about it from the congregation, it's like they read it but never talked about it. I thought it was a big step for the society to admit they were wrong. Rev. Murphy did you not become a witness because you found something different from what you were learning ? Hope to hear from you.
Hello Dee. Thank you for posing this question to me, for it is a very very sensitive issue and one I have personal experience with. Before I begin, I would like to apologize for the amount of time it took for me to respond too you on this matter.
Now 1975. Of all the predicted dates by the WTBS, this one is the biggest of all failures and caused(at least to my knowledge) the most damage to the reputation of the WTBS and Witnesses.
You: Why is 1975 so significant if the Society didn't predict 1975 was the end
Dee..Until now, 1975 was not significant to the WTBS. As with all the failures, they brushed that date away into the closet. However if you have been folling the Witness side of the site lately, 1975 has come up again. But this time as a date to add 40 years too in order to justify 2015 being the year of the Great Tribulation. Now I do not at this time know this to be an official teaching, but so called Witnesses are definitely speculating dates.
You: Then the society turns it around & says, it wasn't us that said it. Was it a rumor. I have seen plenty of literature on line of what the society said about 1975.
No it was not a rumor. You have seen the online literature and non of it is a lie as the WTBS tried on many occasions to say. The date was such a failure that the WTBS even tried to twist things and say that it was the individuals fault for reading more into it than what was there. As I have stated, I was brought up in a Witness home and remember as if it were yesterday all the studies concerning 1975 from the Watchtower magazines and other books. Some of them I still have or have access too to this very day.
You wont hear it from the congregation. Most don't know it existed because after the failures, they were never talked about. If they see something from a former Witness about it, they will write him off as an apostate and wont read anything from him or talk to him. If they see another religion or person talking about it or pointing it out, then they say it is a persecution against the WTBS,FDS and Witnesses and a tactic of Satan to blind others from the truth.
You: "I thought it was a big step for the society to admit they were wrong"
Well Dee, unfortunately I don't share the same opinion. I do not think it was a big step because it was not something done on their own. The time to admit the wrong was when the wrong was committed. You have to understand the Internet was not fully developed until the 80s-90s, so getting and making public information on things was a challenge. Now, because it is all easy accessed public information, it is harder to hide things under a rug..or as back then, in a book.
To combat growing access to information this is what the WTBS says:
Watchtower 2000 May 1 p.10
"Some apostates are increasingly using various forms of mass communication, including the Internet, to spread false information about Jehovah's Witnesses."
Now I am not saying that false information about the Witnesses is not given via Internet, however, because of the way a Witness is indirectly taught, anything said about them coming from anywhere other that the WTBS and FDS is considered either a "Tactic of Satan" or of "apostates".
So, the WTBS claims they were wrong..Ok..but only partially..because they venture to give excuse saying the information was misunderstood, and now they have" New Light". So, we know that if there is "New Light' there was "Old Light" correct? Isn't the purpose of "Light" to see? So if God is shedding "Light" on something, then he is allowing you to see. So anything that was not according to the "Light" using JWS own philosophy would have to come from the "Dark". If it came from the darkness, again according to their own philosophy it would have to be from the "plate of Demons" and a "Satanic Tactic" to keep those searching for the truth from seeing it. So again, from their own philosophy they would be guilty of having and teaching "FALSE BELIEFS".
Even in the Book..."Jehovahs Witnesses Proclaimers of God's Kingdom" you only see brief talk about the dates, especially 1975 on pages 104 and 633. You see excuses blaming the use of the King James version and its inferior translation throwing off the dates, and as the say "other factors", you even see a quote from Knorr discouraging expectation. However, nowhere do you see the Watchtower quotes etc etc promoting the beliefs and expectations of 1975 and claiming them to be Biblical truths from God. It should be noted that even the meaning of 1914 was changed.
So here is the problem. The Proclaimers book is supposed to be the History of the Witnesses and is actually only supposed to be given to the Witnesses. I know this to be true because it took a death in my family and an unknowing family member for me to get a copy of it. Every other time I asked for a copy, my family firmly said...Its only for Witnesses. But now if a Witness who is taught not to look at any other information other than what the Society and FDS gives, goes looking for answers, he will definitely not get them and will be led only to believe what is published in that book. After all...everything else is Satanic tactic or from Apostates right?
So no...I cannot give them credit for admitting wrong..because in essence, that is not what they did, and they still continue to practice date setting to this very day.
You: Rev. Murphy did you not become a witness because you found something different from what you were learning ?
Well my friend, I guess the answer to this is somewhat obvious. Yes. It was because of things that don't line up as well as many other things. The real kicker is, if the WTBS didn't take the stance of Papal Authority in interpreting scripture as well as other things, I may have become a Witness. As a Witness..it is a dangerous thing to question the WTBS, FDS and their teachings. You face the risk of being shunned as apostate.
"Persons who deliberately spread #stubbornly hold to and speak about# teachings contrary to Bible truth as taught by Jehovah's Witnesses are apostates." Pay Attention to Yourself and to All the Flock p.94
I will give you a little test. In the Witness book "Pay Attention to Yourselves an all the Flock" it states:
"Jehovah is the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls ( I Pet.
Now lets look at a couple translations:
1 Peter 2:25 KJV
25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
Holman Christian Bible
25 For you were like sheep going astray,[ad]
but you have now returned
to the Shepherd and Guardian[ae] of your souls.
American Standard Version
25 For ye were going astray like sheep; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
Finally the NWT
25For YOU were like sheep, going astray; but now YOU have returned to the shepherd and overseer of YOUR souls.
Now...Read 1 Peter 1 in context. In fact you can start at verse 20 and ask yourself:
1. Who does the scriptures say is the shepherd and overseer over your soul?
2. Why do the Witnesses say here that it is Jehovah?
Now according to scripture it is clear that the shephard is Jesus. So what excuse or twist of words will they have to justify saying Jehovah? Are they saying Jesus is Jehovah or is in this passage called Jehovah? Does it line up?
Problem? Yes. If you take it to them and show them they are wrong, what do you think is gonna happen? Understand, this book is given to the Elders and is not to be given or used by anyone else. If he is no longer an Elder, he is supposed to return the book.
Now Dee..with all I have stated, I will state again...I am not and will not discourage you from becoming a Witness. Along with all the faults they may have, the have very strong and beneficial things about them, especially in learning the Bible and Living a Godly Life.
You will have to pray and make up your own mind on what to do. There is no perfect organization with all the truth, just those that try to come close. As I told you in past writing, if you ever have questions about JW Doctrine verses what the Bible really says, I will be more than happy to share information with you.
Rev. Darryl Murphy