Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the Bible’s book of Revelation (or The Apocalypse) offers an account of what is to come sometime within their lifetime. This is not unique to the Witnesses, but shared by several other so-called “millennial” religious groups.
A fact that is not well-known (except by historians and serious Bible scholars) is that every generation for the last 1900 years has believed that “the end” would come during their lifetimes. It is obvious that every generation has been wrong. And yet each successive generation is convinced that the end-time prophecy is about them and their generation – including ours.
A majority of reputable Bible scholars believe that the book of Revelation (also called the Apocalypse of John) was not written to describe the future for people living today. Rather, they feel it was written for first century Christians who lived in and around Rome.
While the Bible’s book of Revelation is a rather bizarre document by today’s standards, all sorts of apocalyptic books were quite common in the ancient world.Read More
James Ussher (1581-1656)
Your name is Ussher – James Ussher – and you are the Archbishop of all of Ireland.
You are living in the 1600s and are OCD (“obsessive-compulsive disordered”) when it comes to studying all things scholarly – especially speculative ideas. You are convinced that you alone have the intellect to figure out when all the major events in the Bible actually occurred. Your critics whisper to each other that your ego is bigger than your credentials.
However, for just a moment imagine that you are declaring out loud and waiting for all the world to gasp in astonishment – that you, and you alone – know the exact day and time of Adam’s creation!Read More
There is little doubt among reputable Bible scholars that the Bible, a book purported to contain “eternal truths,” was actually authored by men who did not always tell the truth. Let me offer some examples:
- Scholars know that Moses did not write the first five books of the Bible, but that’s what is recorded in the Bible.
- We also know that Daniel didn’t write the book bearing his name. Nor was it written at the time and place the author claimed.
- Solomon didn’t write Ecclesiastes. In fact, whoever actually wrote the book did it 600 years after he claimed to have written it.
In the New Testament (the “Greek Scriptures”) we also know:
- The “three letters” known as 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus were credited as written by the Apostle Paul. Reviewing the evidence, we know that is not the case. Bible scholars also know that Paul did not write 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.
So why would the actual writer want us to think he was Paul? How do we know it wasn’t Paul?Read More
Most of what Jehovah’s Witnesses “know” about the Hebrew Bible, more commonly referred to as the “Old Testament” or the “Hebrew Scriptures,” is simply “not so.”
They know much that “ain’t so” because they live in an insulated world where their references to it are prolific, giving them a false sense of familiarity.
They also know too little because they’ve allowed others to read and interpret it for them through the filtering lens of an unchallenged theology. Their “knowledge” is based on misconceptions created by their own rigid theology.
Fact: the Hebrew Bible is not a book. It wasn’t written by a single author in one time and place. It’s a small library of books that were composed and edited over a period of a thousand years by people responding to a wide range of local issues and historical circumstances. Because it’s not a book (the name “Bible” comes from the plural Greek form ta biblia, meaning “the books”), it does not have a uniform style or a common message.Read More