Thursday, September 2, 2010

6,000 years from Adam's Creation - 1872 or 1873?

The following appears on a site as amongst alleged prophecies of the JWs:

6,000 years from Adam ended in A.D. 1872. (Daily Heavenly Manna, inside cover page).

6,000 years of human history ended in 1873.(The Time is at Hand, p.33)

Actually, neither statement is a prophecy, but simply a statement, as related to the chronology that Russell had adopted. Additionally, it appears that the quotes are given in the above manner to make it appear to be in contradiction to each other, whereas in reality they are not. In this manner, the two quotes, appear to be an attempt to deceive one into thinking a contradiction exists, wherein reality, there is no contradiction.

We need to point out that "The Time is At Hand", on the very same page quoted, refers to the end of 6,000 years from Adam's creation to also be 1872.

IN this chapter we present the Bible evidence which indicates that six thousand years from the creation of Adam were complete with A.D. 1872; and hence that, since 1872 A.D., we are chronologically entered upon the seventh thousand or the Millennium--the forepart of which, the "Day of the Lord," the "day of trouble," is to witness the breaking into pieces of the kingdoms of this world and the establishment of the Kingdom of God under the whole heavens.

How could both be right? How could it be that 6,000 years from Adam's creation be both 1872 and 1873?

The answer lies in the chronology that Russell adopted. The basis of the chronology adopted runs from fall to fall (Jewish years), not from January to January as does our modern calendar. 1872 would end in September/October of 1872 according to our modern calendar, and thus 1873 would begin in September/October of 1872 as found on our modern calendar. It is from this perspective that the two statements above are found to be in harmony, since September/October of 1872 would be 6,000 years from Adam's creation, and since September/October of 1872 would begin 1873, Jewish reckoning of autumn to autumn years.

Although Russell was never associated with the JW organization (that organization did not exist until after Russell died), what the JWs believe are often read back into what Russell stated, since the JWs claim that Russell was a JW, and they often falsely extend their organization back to the days of Russell. Thus, authors often quote Russell as part of their attack on the JW organization, without noting or distinguishing between what Russell taught concerning organization and how it differs greatly from what the JWs teach.

At any rate, Russell never gave any prophecies; he did discuss possible expectations regarding various dates that study of Bible prophecy had revealed, but he distinguished between the prophecies and his expectations. Russell, however, never gave his expectations with any idea that all Christians must accept them. Russell did not consider his teachings on prophecy to be essential for Christian fellowship, and, indeed, allowed his associates in the Bible Students movement to have differing opinions on prophecy. He never tried to usurp authority over fellow Christians or the congregations, as did Rutherford after Russell died.