How many times the Watchtower's definition of "generation" has changed over the years?

Does the same biblical passages actually give any clues as to what the term "generation" actually meant in the 1st century?

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  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    About 16 times...some of the highlights below:

    “The irresistible conclusion therefore is that Jesus REFERRED TO THE NEW CREATION [the anointed] when he said: “This generation shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled.” This then would be a strong indication that some members of the new creation will be on the earth at the time of Armageddon.” WT 2-15-27 p62

    "The actual meaning of these words is, beyond question, that which takes a “generation” in the ordinary sense...or for those who are living at the given period...This therefore means that from 1914 a generation shall not pass till all is fulfilled, and amidst a great time of trouble." WT 7-1-51 p404

    Some persons living A.D. 1914 when the series of foretold events began will also be living when the series ends with Armageddon. All the events will come within the span of a generation. There are hundreds of millions of persons living now that were living in 1914, and many millions of these persons could yet live a score or more years. Just when the lives of the majority of them will be cut short by Armageddon we cannot say." WT 9-1-52 pp542-543

    "Many are the people alive since 1914 who will still be living when it is time for Armageddon to begin." Paradise Lost, 1958, p205

    "Was Jesus using the word 'generation' in a symbolic way? No, we should not say that the word “generation” here has a symbolic meaning...The “generation” of Matthew 24:34 includes persons alive at the time that the war in heaven began in 1914...Members of that generation will see the end of this world." Awake! 9-22-62 p27

    "Jesus was obviously speaking about those who were old enough to witness with understanding what took place when the last days began...Even if we presume that youngsters 15 YEARS OF AGE would be perceptive enough to realize the import of what happened in 1914..." Awake! 10-8-68, p13

    "Our generation will see the end of the present pressure-ridden order. In fact, there is even good reason to hope that a new order of God’s making may begin within the present decade...The generation living in 1914 when ’these things started to occur’ has now grown old...That means that the due time for their full occurrence must be near at hand, very close." Awake! 10-8-71, p26

    "Thus, when it comes to the application in our time, the ‘generation’ logically would NOT APPLY TO BABIES born during World War I." WT, 10-1-78, p31

    "It is the generation of people who saw the catastrophic events that broke forth in connection with World War I from 1914 onward...If you assume that 10 IS THE AGE at which an event creates a lasting impression..." WT, 10-15-80, p31

    "If Jesus used ‘generation’ in that sense and we apply it to 1914, then the BABIES of that generation are now 70 years old or older...Some of them will “by no means pass away until all things occur," WT, 5-15-84, p5

    "Most of the generation of 1914 has passed away. However, there are still millions on earth who were BORN IN THAT YEAR or prior to it...Jesus’ words will come true, ‘this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened." Awake! 4-8-88, p14

    "Remember, Jesus said of those living through the last days, STARTING IN 1914: "Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur." (Matthew 24:34) Yes, peace will really come within this generation..." WT 4-15-91 p7

    Therefore, in the final fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy today, "this generation" apparently refers to the PEOPLES of earth who see the sign of Christ's presence but FAIL TO MEND THEIR WAYS… WT 11-1-95 p20

    As a class, these anointed ones make up the modern-day "generation" of contemporaries that will not pass away "until all these things occur." This suggests that some who are Christ's ANOINTED brothers will still be alive on earth when the foretold great tribulation begins." WT 2-15-08 pp23-24

    From The April 15, 2010 Watchtower:

    How, then, are we to understand Jesus’ words about “this generation”? He evidently meant that the lives of the anointed WHO WERE ON HAND WHEN THE SIGN BEGAN TO BECOME EVIDENT IN 1914 WOULD OVERLAP WITH THE LIVES OF OTHER ANOINTED ONES WHO WOULD SEE THE START OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION. That generation had a beginning, and it surely will have an end.

    The first answerer to the question linked below did an excellent job extracting the 1st century understanding of a "generation" from the passage in question, based on its immediate fulfillment in 70 AD, which should determine the criteria concerning future fulfillment:

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=Al16B...

  • 10 years ago

    About two times,but we should really focus on what Mathew 24;14 says "This good news of the kingdom will be preached for a witness to all the nations and then the end will come". When the good news reaches the very last corner of the earth then the end will come. We know for a fact that the preaching work is almost covering the whole earth,because of the field service preaching reports that we are receiving every year from all over the world. It's only a matter of a short period of time. In the meantine we need to keep busy spreading the Bible message. 1Timothy 4:16

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    They never did have it right. A generation according to Jewish tradition was about 35 years. Satan I mean Jehovah needs to work on the "New Light" thingie

  • 3 years ago

    1

    Source(s): Universe Might Finish http://givitry.info/EndTimesProphecy/?0Et4
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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    no.

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