Jehovah's Witnesses and the date 1914AD

Recently, I've been looking into why the Jehovah's Witnesses are so fascinated by the year 1914AD. It turns out, they claim they predicted when Christ would return again by accurately "interpreting" Bible prophecy, and the date for that was October 1914AD. Further, by getting this "right," they claim God rewarded their WatchTower Society with being His official Spokesmen for mankind. Obviously, a lot is riding on this date, and if it goes, so does the entire foundation of their religion.

If the WatchTower speaks for God, then a JW will listen to them before they listen to a non-JW on any doctrine, which is why it is always an up-hill battle when discussing any doctrine with them. Also, they are constantly facing the threat of being shunned by all their family and friends if they question the Society, so it's safer not to, and this added level of "security" keeps them in line. It's a sad thing to think about.

Anyway, if the 1914 Doctrine can be undermined, then there goes all the credibility of the WT, and thus the whole religion will be sunk. While most people focus on the false predictions that took place in 1914, I can't find a single Catholic apologetics article discussing the actual calculations behind 1914! Here is what I found, and why it's so devastating. The following link will take you to a major JW theology book called "What Does the Bible Really Teach," I will focus on Appendix 10 which explains the calculations behind 1914AD. Now I will show the following "steps" they take to reach 1914AD:
  1. Luke 21:24 says Jerusalem will be trampled on by Gentiles until the "appointed times" are fulfilled, then Christ will become King.
  2. This "trampling" began in 607 BC, when Jerusalem was conquered by the Babylonians.
  3. Daniel chapter 4 records a vision of a kingdom being cut down for a period of "seven times," then restored.
  4. Revelation 12:6,14 says "three and a half times" equals 1,260 days.
  5. To get "seven times" you double "three and a half times," resulting in 2,520 days.
  6. But since nothing happened 2,520 days after 607BC, so the "days" must really represent years.
  7. Using Num 14:34 & Eze 4:6, which speak of “a day for a year,” we get 2,520 years.
  8. Doing the math: 607BC + 2,520 = 1914AD.
That's the logic, plain and simple. This can be found all over JW literature, and any JW you ask will tell you this very information.

Now I'm sure that if a Catholic Apologist at CAF would look at this they could tear this logic to shreds without any difficulty. The logic and interpretations are so faulty that they can be knocked down various ways. Here are some examples:
  • Luke 21:24 is speaking of a future catastrophe that will take place, not one that has been on going since 607BC. The captivity of 607BC was long over with, and the Jews had already long built the Second Temple. The Haydock Commentary on Luke 21:24 gives a very clear and concise Catholic interpretation.
  • Luke 21:24 says nothing about Christ being installed as King - plus Jesus was already King long before 1914AD.
  • The date 607BC for Babylon conquering Jerusalem is not derived from Scripture, since Scripture doesn't record time in that manner. Not even secular historians accept this date (but rather 586BC), and it's all guess work anyway based on the unreliable and scant secular historical records available. No Christian should base their salvation on such 'data' and educated guesses.
  • Daniel 4 (read it!) says nothing about the Jews or anything related. It is explicitly and strictly talking about the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, who loses his kingdom and gets it back. Nothing more. The "seven times" mentioned are totally unrelated to Luke 21 and any other such event.
  • Revelation 12:6,14 does say "3.5 times" is "1,260 days," but there is no evidence it can be or is applied to Daniel 4. Further, Daniel 12:7,11 says "3.5 times" is equal to "1,290 days," a whole 30 days longer, yet the JWs ignore this for obvious reasons. In short: the Bible is not a secret-code book!
  • Revelation 11:2-3 speaks of a time when the Gentiles will trample Jerusalem, and uses the same Greek word for "trample" as Luke 21:24. But 11:2 says this trampling would last 42 months and equates this to 1,260 days, making the JW calculations off by half! Of course, they ignore this as well.
  • Since "nothing happened" after 2,520 days, the JWs jump to the conclusion these "days" must really represent "years." That's ridiculous. It means they will "keep trying" until they make this (already wrong) number mean something. Further, Num 14:34 & Eze 4:6 are not speaking prophetically, but rather in a specific case, not to be applied at will.
  • The final calculation...607BC + 2,520 = a blatant math error! The years 607BC and 1914AD are Roman Years, while 2,520 is Jewish Years. It's adding the wrong units! It's like adding "2feet + 3meters = 5feet." The Roman calendar is 365days/year while the JewishBiblical Year is 360days/year (see Gn7-8 where 5 months = 150 days = 30days/month and especially Rev 11:2-3 which says 42 months = 1,260 days = 3.5 years).
With all this in mind, the date1914 is truly a house built on sand.

Spread the word!!