23 June, 2000
I am in receipt of your reply to me dated 5 June 2000 with the reference EF. Whilst I thank you for a speedy reply, I was very disappointed in that you had not addressed any of the questions that have been troubling me. In my original letter I had listed 7 questions that I needed answers to. I have listed these again and am asking PLEASE can you answer them:
The first and second questions are the most important to me. Jeremiah 25:12 Says "And it must occur that when the seventy years are fulfilled, I shall call to account against the King of Babylon and against that nation, is the utterance of Jehovah, their error even against the land of the Chaldeans and I will make it desolate wastes to time indefinite". This is a statement that can not be read any other way. This statement is not like the "generation" or "the superior authorities" statements that could have two or more meanings and we will have to wait and see what meanings they have. This statement tells of a specific period of time and an event that would happen at the end of that specific period of time .It can not have two meanings and it is quite clear as to what it means. 70 years would have to pass and THEN Babylon would be destroyed. That was the order of events. That is what Jehovah told the Jews through Jeremiah. That is what Jehovah saw fit to be recorded in the Bible. Can you please explain to me why we say that 68 years was the time period that elapsed between the fall of Jerusalem and the fall of Babylon? Also where in the Bible does it say that the 70 years would be fulfilled and then the Jews would return? You ask me to wait on Jehovah but in this instance, our belief is different from what the Bible says and I would like to know why. I have been going from door to door now for 27 years and using my Bible to show churchgoers that what their church is teaching them is wrong, because the Bible says so. Are you now telling me that now that I have found something that is contradicting scripture, I have to just accept it because the Faithful and discreet slave tell me to? The Bible should be our authority and that should dictate what we believe in.
I would like to make some comments on the material you presented in order that you can help me sort this problem out.
As explained to you, I have spent about 8 months of my time, energy and money in trying to sort this problem out for my self. I have already searched the WTCD for the answers, but could not find them, so your comments in the second paragraph, pointing to material in the WT publications did not help me at all as I have already looked at these. You also point to the Appendix to Chapter 14 of the " Kingdom come" book, which you say "I referred to". If you look again at my letter, you will see that it is based solely on the above-mentioned appendix.
In the third paragraph you state that "This date of 586 B.C.E. is by no means as well attested to as the pivotal date of 539 B.C.E. for the overthrow of Babylon". I respectfully suggest that you do a bit of research and you will find that this is certainly not the case. The dating of 539 B.C.E is based on the SK 400 tablet, which has a lot of errors on it although the Astronomical Observance used to date 539 B.C.E is a sound one. 587 B.C.E. is based on a lot of Astronomical data (not one as the 539 B.C.E date) and lots of other data, as I explained in my first letter. You also quote from Robert Newton. Robert Newton caused quite a stir before his death in 1991, with his claims. Newton did accuse Ptolemy of falsifying his own astronomical observations, but he did not accuse him of falsify the Babylonian astronomical observations that he recorded from Babylonian sources. Newton had no argument with these. I again spoke to Mr Walker at the British Museum and he said that historians started dating ancient history about 300 years ago and Ptomelys cannon was used to date things. Mr Walker said that since that time, Archaeologists have dug up thousands of artefacts and in Mr Walker's words and I quote " It amazes me how it all fits in with what Ptomely had recorded." You seem to be forgetting one very important fact regarding the dating systems: If for arguments sake, Ptolemys cannon was a fake, then this would throw out the 539 B.C.E date as well as the 587 B.C.E date which are both partly based on Ptomelys cannon.. The cannon is not a "principal source" of dating, but is a very small part in a very large jigsaw. If you reread my original letter you will see how Ptomelys Cannon fits in with the rest of the Kings lists, astronomical observances, Cuneiform data as well as other history (i.e. Egyptian).
You state in your reply "We feel sure that you appreciate that questions on the details of chronology are not always easy to resolve". If this were a case of the Bible Verses Chronology, then I would take the Bible every time. If you reread my original letter you will see that the Bible and History go hand in hand. There are no discrepancies. I do not want to go over what I have put in the original letter, but every scripture that talks about the desolation of Jerusalem has to be read in the light of the original prophecy as only recorded by Jeremiah. Where in that scripture does it say that the seventy years would be fulfilled and then the Jews would be released? Where does it say that the Jews returning to Jerusalem would mark the end of the seventy years? If the seventy years talked about did not mean Babylon a s a world power, what did the seventy years mean to "these other nations"?
I look forward to your comments please with anticipation.
Your Brother in Jehovahs service