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This Generation

This Generation

Since the late 1800s Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Bible Students as they were known back then, have attempted many times to define and interpret ‘This Generation” mentioned in Jesus’ prophecy at Matthew 24:34.  Looking at the evidence, one would have to admit that they have become a false prophet in modern times. Matthew 7:15. They have chosen various dates and amended them numerous times using the same logic to justify the alterations.

The question that needs to be asked of every reader is this: If you can use the same scriptures to present your logic for contradicting theologies, are you not being deceitful and blasphemous? (Mark 7:15, 22) Indeed if you present a biblical idea as fact and it proves false, are you not a liar? – John 8:44.

Changes to “This Generation”

  1. 1875:”This Generation” began April 6th 1875.
    (The Midnight Cry and Herald of the Morning – see pp. 71-72 of linked file)
  2. 1878: “This Generation” began in 1878.
    (Herald of the Morning, 1878, July p. 5)
  3. 1879: “This Generation” began in 1840, would last 74 years and would end in 1914.
    (Herald of the Morning, 1879, January p.3)
  4. 1882: “This Generation” refers to Christ being present “before the regeneration” and began in the spring of 1878.
    (Zion’s Watch Tower, 1882, April p. 6; May p. 5)
  5. 1908: “This Generation” will end by October 1914.
    (Zion’s Watch Tower, 1908 January p.3)
  6. 1909: “This Generation” began in 1878 and will terminate in 1914.
    (Zion’s Watch Tower, 1909 February 15 p.57)
  7. 1909: “This Generation” may not end in 1914 but the “Gentile Times” will conclude in October 1914.
    (Zion’s Watch Tower, 1909 December 1 pp. 371-372; Zion’s Watchtower, 1912 July 15 pp. 221-223)
  8. 1912: “This Generation” may not end in 1914 but we still believe that the time could not be very far distant.
    (Zion’s Watch Tower, 1912 October 15 p. 327)
  9. 1916: Admission that 1874, 1878 and 1881 were chronological mistakes upon which they apportion blame to the Lord. However October 1 1914 is unmistakably the end of the Gentile Times.
    (Zion’s Watch Tower 1916 February 1 p. 38)
  10. 1950: ‘This Generation” began in 1914 and applied to the 20th century generation of people.
    (The Watchtower Sep 15 1950 p. 324)
  11. 1952: “This Generation” began in 1914, included overlapping generations of individuals, each generation spanning some 33 years each, and would end with Armageddon happening before some of those living in 1914 had died.
    (The Watchtower Sep 1 1952 pp. 542-543; Feb 15 1953 p.124 para. 35)
  12. 1953: “This Generation” has only a few years remaining.
    (The Watchtower Oct 15 1953 pp. 615-616) Italics added for emphasis.
  13. 1956Jesus said that the generation that saw 1914 “will by no means pass away until all these things occur.”
    (The Watchtower Oct 15 1956 pp. 615-616) Italics added for emphasis.
  14. 1959: The world events since World War I of 1914-1918 have fulfilled those prophecies. The time has finally come for Jehovah God to clean up the earth and to bring permanent peace to man. The generation living in 1914 will see it.
    (The Watchtower Sep 1 1959 p. 519) Italics added for emphasis.
  15. 1961: “This generation” that is still alive from A.D. 1914 is the generation Jesus said would see “all things occur,” including this world’s end. Deliverance for Jesus’ true followers into God’s new world is due within this generation!”
    (The Watchtower Mar 1 1961 p. 132) Italics added for emphasis.
  16. 1995: “This Generation” refers to both an unbelieving generation of Jews in the first century and to a wicked generation of people in modern times. Furthermore, the length of a “generation” is unimportant. Jehovah’s Witnesses must still consider Armageddon as being imminent and must remain “keeping separate from the evil contemporary generation and zealously doing God’s will.”
    (The Watchtower Nov 1 1995 pp. 10-21)
  17. 2008: “This Generation” refers to both the apostles in the first century and to anointed Jehovah’s Witnesses in modern times. The length of a “generation” remains unimportant. Jehovah’s Witnesses revised understanding “helps to intensify … feelings of urgency.”
    (The Watchtower Feb 15 2008 pp. 21-25).
  18. 2010: “This Generation” continues to refer to both the apostles in the first century and to anointed Jehovah’s Witnesses in modern times. However, although acknowledging that they cannot measure the exact length of “this generation”, its length has become important once again:  its modern length would begin with the generation of anointed Jehovah’s Witnesses who witnessed events in 1914 and would overlap with anointed Jehovah’s Witnesses who would see the start of the Great Tribulation.
    (The Watchtower Apr 15 2010 pp. 10-11 para. 13-14; Jan 15 2014 pp. 30-13 para. 14-16 )

“This Generation” is core to Jehovah’s Witnesses’ doctrine. Additionally, “The Faithful & Discreet Slave” is core to their doctrine. However, these very doctrines constantly change. If the understanding of these doctrines are “gifts” from Jehovah, why do they change? – James 1:16-18.

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Jason Wynne is a husband to one wife, father to two children, and writes extensively on the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses having been baptized as a member in 1995.

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