(Investigator 26, 1992 September)
According to Watchtower founder and first president Charles T. Russell, Christ's parousia and the beginning of the kingdom in heaven took place in the year 1874.
This year was one of the pillars of the original chronological doctrine of the Watchtower Society.
But in 1930 the date for the beginning of
Christ’s parousia was moved from 1874 to 1914:
Surprisingly, the book God’s Kingdom
Thousand Years Has Approached places this change in the year 1943
It is very unlikely that it was by mistake. The book God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached was written by Frederick W. Franz (so his nephew Raymond Franz told me personally).
Frederick Franz, now the president of the
Watchtower Society, had been proofreading all of the materials
by the Society since 1927:
Is there any reason he would not want to mention the original statements in which the new doctrine was originally introduced?
If we carefully examine the early statements dating the parousia to the year 1914, we will see that they just stated the new date without any explanation or support of the changed doctrine.
The change from 1874 to 1914 was made solely because of the necessity to deal with the failed prophecies for the year 1914, and it was not based on any new chronological information.
On the other hand, the explanation offered in God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached comfortably avoids any mention of unfulfilled prophecies for the year 1914. Instead, the change from 1874 to 1914 is attributed to new chronological information regarding the length of the period of the Judges.
Thus, a reader unfamiliar with the background will get the impression that the dating of the parousia was moved from 1874 to 1914 for sound chronological reasons based on biblical research, rather than because of failed prophecies for the year 1914.
The only logical explanation for the incorrect statement in God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached is that the writer tried to hide the true reason for the changed doctrine, because it is not favorable to the Society.
For obvious reasons, this explanation
remain only a theory. However, it is consistent with how the Watchtower
Society misrepresents its own history and teachings in order to cover
mistakes and present an image as God’s organization.