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The 144,000 Maths & Madness by Jason Wright

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The 144,000 Maths & Madness

by Jason Wright 


If you are a Jehovah’s Witness you are no doubt eagerly looking forward to the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth wherein you, as a faithful Witness, will live eternally in perfection. As a subject of Jehovah’s kingdom you will also believe that 144,000 hand chosen humans, who reside in heaven, will rule over the earth. The official Watchtower position states:

“[Gods kingdom is] an actual heavenly government with a King—Jesus Christ—and 144,000 corulers, who are “bought from the earth.” (Revelation 5:9, 10; 14:1, 3, 4; Daniel 2:44; 7:13, 14) They will rule over the earth, which will be cleansed of all wickedness and will be inhabited by many millions of God-fearing humans.—Proverbs 2:21, 22. [1]

Before we go on, let me just say, this article is not an attack on Jehovah’s Witnesses, despite what you may think. Rather this article is an encouragement to dare to turn over the proverbial coin and see what’s on the other side. If the above statement is absolutely true then you have nothing to fear and the evidence will indict me an apostate. However, if the Watchtowers claim is false, then you need to know (2 Corinthians 10:5; 2 Timothy 2:25-26) your eternity depends on it! Therefore, I earnestly encourage you to approach this subject with an open mind as we objectively investigate the veracity and credibility of the 144,000 doctrine.

To do so this article will focus on the “144,000” doctrine from the perspective of the following:

  • Who make up the 144,000?
  • Does the mathematics work?
  • What is the significance of 1935 and 2007 to this doctrine?
  • What do the scriptures say?

Overall it will be argued that the “144,000” doctrine is a man-made non-biblical doctrine which was formulated by Joseph Rutherford in the 1930’s to fit the needs of the society at that time. As such, the “144,000” doctrine is not biblical and should therefore be rejected by Christians. This is my thesis, lets see if it holds water.

Who make up the 144,000?

According to the Watchtower organization, Jehovah has been choosing a select number of faithful Witnesses for heavenly life since Pentecost 33 A.D. The number of “true believers” is said to have plummeted after the death of the Apostles due to apostasy. Consequently, only a handful of men and women over the centuries are deemed “true anointed believers” and subsequently fit for heaven.

Who then during this so-called “age of apostasy” were the “true believers”? The Watchtower does not provide a list, however one group regularly features in Watchtower literature, viz. Bible translators. Why choose Bible translators? Well, the organization sees itself as part of the history of biblical interpretation.[2] In reality the Society had no orthodox “heritage” before its founding in 1879 by C.T. Russell, nevertheless, it engages in subtle revisionism wherein fictional links are created between past biblical translators and the organization. The result is a tapestry of so-called faithful biblical translators with whom the Watchtower Society identifies. By painting themselves into history the Society lays claim to a “biblical” heritage. The terminus point to this long heritage of translation and interpretation is the Watchtower Society itself. The “truth” essentially ends with them.[3]

I wonder though how many Jehovah’s Witnesses, when reading articles about John Wycliffe or William Tyndale, actually take the time to research the theological convictions of such men? After all, the Watchtower often claims these men were actually “Jehovah’s Witnesses”.

“Jehovah’s Witnesses have a history almost 6,000 years long, beginning while the first man, Adam, was still alive … [Abel was] the first of an unbroken line of Witnesses … Jesus’ disciples were all Jehovah’s Witnesses …” [4]

“Throughout the centuries there have always been truth lovers. To mention just a few: John Wycliffe (c. 1330-1384) and William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536) furthered the work of Bible translation even at the risk of their lives or freedom. Wolfgang Fabricius Capito (1478-1541), Martin Cellarius (1499-1564), Johannes Campanus (c. 1500-1575), and Thomas Emlyn (1663-c. 1741) accepted the Bible as God’s Word and rejected the Trinity. Henry Grew (1781-1862) and George Storrs (1796-1879) not only accepted the Bible and rejected the Trinity but also expressed appreciation for the ransom sacrifice of Christ. Although we cannot positively identify any of such persons as “the wheat” of Jesus’ illustration, certainly “Jehovah knows those who belong to him.”” [5]

Note in the above quotes how we are told that Jehovah has had an “unbroken line of witnesses” throughout human history. Examples of “truth lovers” listed above include biblical characters as well as Trinitarian and anti-Trinitarians. Yes that’s correct Trinitarian and anti-Trinitarians side by side. Do you know which is which? The effect is subtle yet powerful. The reader is lead to believe that all the aforementioned individuals are, at their spiritual core, “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. Other Watchtower publications frame men like Robert Morrison[6] and John Foxe[7] in a positive light, however these men were devout orthodox Christians and Trinitarians! How ironic, that the Watchtower – an ardent anti-Trinitarian organization – would choose to list such men as “faithful servants of Jehovah”. What a strange situation; Trinitarian apostates picked out of history and provisionally deemed “truth lovers” by the Watchtower! Even more profound is the suggestion that together such men could make up part of the 144,000!

Jehovah’s Witnesses will no doubt disagree and point out that just because someone is mentioned in a positive light it does not mean they are one of the 144,000. Of course not, how silly of me! Furthermore, they would argue that it’s down to Jehovah to choose the 144,000, not man, so we should not make assumptions. That’s true. However, by drawing on Christians from past history the Society is making assumptions. They are misleading their followers into believing that these various men shared the same views as the modern day Watchtower organization; that there is some faint trail of “truth” which bridges the centuries. Nothing could be further from the truth. Firstly, not even the anti-Trinitarians believed the same doctrines as modern day Jehovah’s Witness; secondly, men like John Knox would be mortified to think that an anti-Trinitarian organization had hijacked his faithfulness and subtly linked him with their heretical teachings. In this respect the Society has no scruples and sadly members are not encouraged to research the facts themselves. Let me repeat: there is absolutely no connection between the Watchtower organization and previous generations of Christian and pre-Christian believers. Such notions are pure fabrication.

Do the mathematics work?

Yet an even odder aspect of this, other than identifying some Trinitarians as “truth lovers” and possible candidates for the heavenly calling, is the bizarre mathematics of this doctrine. Numerically speaking, we have only 144,000 heaven-bound humans. That number, we are told, is spread over approximately 2,000[8] years of human history. That’s seventy-two people per year. I know what you’re thinking, as many as that! (Sarcasm intended).

Let us remind ourselves of when Jehovah drew a line in the sand and stopped calling his 144,000 because the total had been completed. The final “sealing” of this limited number, according to the Watchtower, occurred in 1935 – which is actually less than 2,000 years. On “May 31, 1935 at the Washington, D.C. Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses, it was announced anyone coming into the organization from that day on would compose an earthly class of Christians, and without question they [the members] accepted this change”[9]. In other words, after May 31st 1935, there would be no more new members of the 144,000 anointed class.

“Logically, the calling of the little flock would draw to a close when the number was nearing completion, and the evidence is that the general gathering of these specially blessed ones ended in 1935.” [10]

What though do the official Watchtower records reveal? Let us see. “In 1935 the Memorial attendance worldwide was 63,146 … and of those 52,465 were participants”[11] That means that between Pentecost 33. A.D. and 1935 a period of 1,902 years, there were only 91,535[12] true believers, that’s 48.1 individuals per year! Furthermore, if we accept that large numbers of true believers were martyred in the early centuries under Roman rule then the percentages drop further. The Watchtower acknowledges this.

“Brief respite followed the death of Nero, but by the latter years of the first century the second great persecution, under Emperor Domitian, flared up. It is said that in the year 95 alone some 40,000 suffered martyrdom. Also, it was in this period that John, last living of the twelve apostles, was exiled to the isle of Patmos, from where he recorded the inspired Bible book of Revelation about A.D. 96.” [13]

Now the Watchtower Society acknowledges that most Christians before the end of the first century were true believers and that the great apostasy took place after the death of John. A low estimate is that by the end of the first century there were at least 65,000 Christians. If we add that figure to the 1935 figure of 52,465 anointed Watchtower followers, what happens? Let’s do a quick calculation.

  • 144,000 total number of places
  • less 65,000 first century Christians
  • less 52,465 anointed in 1935
  • That leaves 26,535 true Christians called during the remaining 1,835 years between 100 A.D. and 1935

That would mean that during this period God could only find an additional 14.46 true Christians per year throughout the entire world.[14] This figure does not take into consideration the 40,000 martyrs that died in the year 95 A.D.! (Cf. Halley’s Bible Handbook, Pages 843-845) Oh dear – It’s not looking good for the 144,000 doctrine, the figures just don’t add up!

To seal this historically I return to John Foxe. Watchtower literature hails this Puritan leader as a hero, a man who spoke out against Catholicism and high-Anglicanism.[15] During his lifetime Foxe wrote a book entitled, Foxe’s Acts and Monuments of the Church (better known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs). According to the book of Revelation a Martyr (μάρτυς) simply means a “witness”. Jesus is called the “Faithful μάρτυς – or faithful witness (Rev 1:5). Likewise, those who would die rather than deny Jesus are called faithful μάρτυς – witnesses (Rev 2:10, 13). Martyrs are promised heavenly life (Revelation 2:26, 6:9-10, 20:4-5; Matthew 10:28-33).

How many Martyr’s or faithful witnesses does John Foxe list? According to calculations by Russell Warren[16] the total stands at 254,502, which includes mass killings. This figure is 110,502 more than the 144,000 limits! How then can the Watchtower acknowledge Foxes work yet ignore the figures? Well it’s easy when you are the “creator” of “truth” – you simply ignore, change, or adapt “truth” as required, which is exactly what the Watchtower organization has been doing since its inception.

The significance of 1935 and 2007

Let us see if we can make more sense of the figures between 1935 and 2015. According to Watchtower doctrine, with the passing of each subsequent year from 1935 onwards, the 52,465 partakers should naturally decrease as individuals die and go to heaven. Therefore, by the year 2015, of those 52,465 partakers in 1935, how many would we expect to still be alive and partaking? If we say the youngest “anointed” Witness in 1935 was 15 years old he/she would be 95 years of age by 2015 – so at a rough guess I would expect memorial partakers to be very, very, old and miniscule in number.

In fact if we look at the demographics for the UK, in 2011 476,000 people were over the age of 90 (0.8 of the population).[17] According to online statistics there are approximately 132,000 active Jehovah’s Witnesses in the UK. Applying the population demographics for people aged 90: 0.8 percent of 132,000 is 1.056. In other words only one person in the UK should still be partaking of the emblems! However, when you compare that figure with the official Watchtower records there are perplexingly different statistics.

In the 2013 yearbook[18] of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Society records an annual gathering of 19,241,252 – 13,204 of which claimed a heavenly calling and partook of the emblems. Of those 13,204 how many were alive in 1935? The Watchtower makes no record of ages, but I hazard a guess that not many were 95 or over! The truth is that many modern partakers are relatively young. Here are two graphs, the first showing the strange fluctuation in partakers since 1991, the second the rapid increase of partakers after 2007:


 memorial-partakers-2005(Graphs courtesy of

How did the Watchtower Society deal with these anomalies? Did they objectively go back over the “144,000” doctrine and re-examine its validity against scripture and common sense mathematics? No, instead in 2007 the Society changed its official policy announcing that 1935 was NOT necessarily the terminus date for the anointed class! Am I hearing you right? For 72 years you said the heavenly door was closed in 1935, now you say it’s still open? On whose authority was this decision made? Where is the scriptural evidence for this change? No such verse exists. Interestingly since the 2007 revision the number of partakers has increased significantly.[19] The Watchtower addresses these continuing anomalies by suggesting that not all partakers are genuine.

“Does this total represent the number of anointed ones on earth? Not necessarily. A number of factors — including past religious beliefs or even mental or emotional imbalance — might cause some to assume mistakenly that they have the heavenly calling. We thus have no way of knowing the exact number of anointed ones on earth; nor do we need to know. (Watchtower 2011 Aug 15 p.22).

How arrogant, to suggest that some partakers have mental or emotional imbalances or previous religious hang-ups! Another excuse proposed by the Watchtower is that those now partaking replace formerly unfaithful individuals from previous generations. Maybe a youthful Jehovah’s Witness is replacing John Wycliffe or William Tyndale. How ludicrous! But oh how convenient! Yet despite the rhetoric the numbers partaking continue to increase. There is, I might suggest, a quiet rebellion occurring, especially among younger members who are beginning to uncover the universal breadth of Jesus New Covenant.[20] For example, one Jehovah’s Witness discussion board I came across stated under the heading “Our Purpose”:

“The purpose of this discussion area is to provide a forum for honest-hearted Jehovah’s Witnesses who wish to deepen their understanding of Scripture through the interchange of thoughts, findings and research with other like-minded brothers and sisters around the world. We want to examine everything we’ve been taught in the light of Scripture and determine what is true and what is not.”[21]

Under the heading ‘Memorial 2015’ this same discussion board wrote the following under the sub-heading “Are we children of God?”

“According to the Governing Body there are more than 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses who should consider themselves privileged to be called God’s friends. Being his children is not on the table. These ones are warned that it would be a sin for them to partake of the emblems at the upcoming memorial of Christ’s death on April 3rd, 2015… this belief originates with Judge Rutherford and is based on supposed prophetic antitypes which are not found in Scripture.”[22]

Clearly many Jehovah’s Witnesses are re-examining scripture. Sadly many remain Jehovah’s Witnesses but return to pre-Rutherford doctrines (as appears to be the case above), but at least these ones are going in the right direction, thinking for themselves and seeking truth. If you are a born again believer please pray for these lost but searching Jehovah’s Witnesses. If you are a confused Witness please read on.

What do the Scriptures say?

So then, let us take a step back – can we be a little more honest about the “144,000” doctrine? Could it be that this doctrine is seriously flawed? Could it be that this doctrine is the invention of Judge Rutherford not Jehovah God? After all, prior to Rutherford’s tenure every Bible student believed they were heavenly bound. The doctrine of the 144,000 is indeed contrived. It conveniently fitted the 1935 Watchtower metanarrative; furthermore this doctrine is blatantly alien to scripture and has done untold damage to thousands if not millions of truth seeking individuals. This being so it stands to reason that there is no elite “heavenly class”, instead the NT offers eternal life – heavenly life – to all who would believe in Jesus. Listen to Jesus’ words:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28)

“…that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:15-18)

Please note Jesus is speaking to “whoever”, not a special “144,000” class. The call is to “anyone and everyone” who believes in Jesus. Paul likewise said:

“So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:15-16)

Note again Paul speaks in universal terms, “everyone who believes” – no mention is made of a limited class. Salvation, i.e. eternal life, is offered to all.

“In him [Jesus] we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined[23] according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:11-14)

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness please read carefully the promises that Jesus has made to all who believe. An eternal heavenly home is offered to all. At the consummation of the age a new earth and new heavens will be created in which the true believer will live eternally, face to face with Jesus. Wow! (cf. 2 Peter 3:10-12).

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling [literal habitation] place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4).

Please read the revelation carefully. God promises to “dwell with man”. Don’t be fobbed off with a “Paradise Earth” wherein you live apart from Jesus – such notions are the inventions of men. Just as Jehovah walked with Adam in Eden so again a full relationship with Jehovah will be restored (Genesis 3:8; Galatians 3:26). Therefore I urge all Jehovah’s Witnesses to “come to Jesus”, the source of eternal life (Romans 8:11). Enjoy and experience fellowship with the living Christ, the divine Son of God. Jesus promised; “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:3). That is the future of all who believe in Jesus; salvation by “Faith alone in Christ alone” (cf. Romans chapter 5).


We began by investigating the “144,000” doctrine from the perspective of “who makes up the 144,000?” In doing so we touched on the curious way the Watchtower Society attempts to link itself with a so-called “remnant” of Jehovah’s Witnesses from past Church history, especially those who were involved in biblical translation. We noted how by conjoining Trinitarians William Tyndale and John Wycliffe with Socinianists such as Wolfgang Fabricius Capito, a mythical bridge to the past was created. However, let us be clear, to suggest these men were all “truth lovers” and on the same page as the modern day Jehovah’s Witnesses is pure fiction and should be rejected as nonsensical. These men do not make up the mythological “144,000” nor are they the spiritual fathers of the Watchtower.

Our mathematical investigation considered the period between Pentecost and 1935. We discovered that the opportunity to be one of “144,000” during that period was pathetically low with various estimates from 48.1 to 14.46 people per year. Even if we accept these low averages, when we examined the number of martyrs for that same period we found those killed for confessing belief in Jesus – ranged from 40,000 under Nero (95 A.D.) to an overall estimate of 254,502 – the latter figure destroys the “144,000” limits. Furthermore, after examining the inconsistencies between the final calling of the 144,000 in 1935 and the increase in memorial partakers after 1991, we noted that such anomalies resulted in the complete overhaul of a 72 year old truth, viz. that in 2007 the door to heaven which was thought to be closed in 1935 was actually still open! When we evaluate these discrepancies, mathematical inconsistencies, age anomalies of modern day partakers, the revisionism of the 1935 doctrine etc. the incontrovertible evidence is that the “144,000” doctrine is a lie – it simply does not work – it is simply “maths and madness”.

Therefore our overall analysis strikes a deathblow to this aberrant Watchtower doctrine. We can declare that the “144,000” doctrine is the man-made invention of Joseph Rutherford and therefore non-biblical, so should be rejected by Christians. The truth of the matter is far from limiting heavenly life – as Rutherford proposed – the scriptures declare that “whosoever believes in Jesus” will attain to heavenly life. That number is not fixed at 144,000. Instead the equation is a simple one; through “faith alone in Christ alone” a person, here and now, can be eternally saved and destined to heavenly life. There you have it. There are no hidden “clauses” or “special knowledge” required. The door is open to all and Jesus is knocking!

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.“ (Revelation 3:20)

I pray that Jesus’ words find resonance in your heart. If you are an active or inactive Jehovah’s Witness please don’t accept the 2007 revision or the various lame excuses presented in Watchtower literature. Don’t be fooled by the smooth talking. Instead take a deep breath, pray for courage and boldness and take a step of faith: do your own research on the “144,000” doctrine. I promise you Jehovah will bless your efforts and lead you into all truth, viz. Jesus.

For a detailed review of the “144,000” and being “born again” see:

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.” (Galatians 6:18)


Jason Wright

Memorial changes



[2] The only factual connections are to the Seventh Day Adventists and earlier heretics such as Henry Grew. The Society has no connection whatsoever with biblical scholarship outside of itself nor with any historical translators.

[3] Although the society continues to quote modern day scholars where it fits their theological bias.

[4] Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Divine Purpose pp.8-9.

[5] Jehovah’s Witnesses-Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom” p.44



[8] I have approximated a figure of 2,000 years; a more accurate figure would be 1,982 years beginning at Pentecost 33 A.D ending 2015 – the date of this article.


[10] Watchtower Magazine, 1995, Feb 15, p.19

[11] Jehovah’s Witnesses Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom p.717.

[12] 144,000 total places, less 1935 figures, 52,465 = balance of places 91,535.

[13] Watchtower 1951 Sep 1 p.516



[16] Outnumbered – exploding the myth of the 144,000 by Russell Warren



[19] “…we cannot set a specific date for when the calling of Christians to the heavenly hope ends.” (w07 May 1 p.31)




[23] Various “theologies” have evolved around this term. Personally I believe God foreknows those who by God’s grace will respond to the Gospel. In other words, that which God foreknows he “predetermines or appoints”. However I reject hard determinism,  while at the same time respecting those who hold to this philosophy.


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Categorised in: 000, Born again, Memorial Meal

33 Responses »

  1. Outstanding piece of work, Jason. I pray God will use it to reach out to those Witnesses who are still in thrall to the organization.

    • Many thanks – your encouragement means a lot to me – God bless Jason

      • Jason, your articles mean so much to me and others who have come out of the darkness into the light. The Lord brought me to saving faith on 30 March 1996 – a day that transformed my life. May God continue to use you in your outreach and bless you and your ministry.

      • Thank you so much – oh to be alive in Jesus! Amen Amen!

  2. Jason,
    I am sure you will find the following of interest, another self inflicted death blow to the 144,00 doctrine which I am sure younger JW’s will be unaware of:-

    Diocletian assumed the crown A.D. 284. At first he seemed friendly to the Christians, but in the year 303 he gave in to persuasion and opened the tenth persecution, probably the most ferocious of all. Suffocation by smoke, forcible drinking of melted lead, mass drownings and burnings, breaking on the rack of men and women alike ran the empire with blood. In a single month 17,000 were slain. In the province of Egypt alone, 144,000 such professed Christians died by violence in the course of this persecution, in addition to another 700,000 who died as a result of fatigues encountered in banishment or under enforced public works.
    Diocletian’s abdication in 305 left the empire divided among six emperors. Constantine murdered his way to supremacy in the west and ceased the persecutions, with the aim of forming a fusion religion between Christian and pagan, thus strengthening the unity of his people.
    What was typified by these ten persecutions by no means ended with them. The Devil’s vicious assaults by violence against Christianity continued through the Dark Ages, the Reformation and right into the present days. Only the hand of the persecutor, not the basic reasons for persecuting, has changed. To find what those issues were and are, hear how those early Christian stalwarts gave firm answers to questions still asked by modern-day “Caesars”.

    Watchtower Sept 1, 1951 page 518

    So 861,000 “professed” Christians with the heavenly hope died in the third century when there are only supposed to be 144,00 places available!!!

    Hence the attempt to correct the blunder:-

    Questions From Readers
    ● According to the article “Hated for His Name” in the September 1, 1951, Watchtower, hundreds of thousands of Christians died in the “ten persecutions” starting in Nero’s time, 144,000 dying in Egypt alone during one of the persecutions. How can this be harmonized with the Scriptural limitation of 144,000 placed on the number being in Christ’s body, and which position was the only one open to Christians during those centuries?—J.A., Dominican Republic.
    The article did not class with any finality the individuals that died during these persecutions, but spoke of the results in a general way. Note that a key qualification was made in the case referred to in the question: “In the province of Egypt alone, 144,000 such professed Christians died by violence in the course of this persecution, in addition to another 700,000 who died as a result of fatigues encountered in banishment or under enforced public works.” The victims are identified as “professed Christians”, not Christians in fact. Many of those persons might have been caught in the wave of persecution, but may never have actually preached the truth or followed in Jesus’ footsteps, being only professed Christians. They knew the world they lived in was rotten and they were listening to the message of the Christians and willing to die for it even though not in line for the high calling in Christ Jesus. ????Many professed Christians today might be willing to die for their faith, but still not be Jesus’ footstep followers and meeting the Scriptural requirements for such.
    Watchtower Jan 1, 1952 page 62.

    Notice in the extract from the first article “professed Christians” is only mentioned once and the other examples are not referred to as “professed Christians” but are viewed as true Christians. Not a convincing response to the blunder!!

    It should also be noted that the Kings and Priests (Rev 5:9, 10) who rule on (in the original Greek, JW’s check your interlinear) not over (NWT) the earth are not limited in number to 144,000. Neither are those kings referred to at Rev 20:4 limited to a specific number.

    Excellent article Jason


    • Hi Mike, many thanks for your comments and additional information. It is most upsetting to see the Watchtower write articles on Christian History, quote events such as these mass killings by Diocletian then have the gall to suggest that these thousands of Christians we not actually Christians! If they are not Christians then I guess they were apostates? Their blunder shows how ludicrous the 144,000 doctrine is. The QR reply is nothing short of staggering, but they have no other choice other than ditching the 144,000 doctrine. We will wait to see what “new light” they can come up with as memorial partakers increase.

      Finally your reference to ruling “on earth” is an important one. I remember looking through my Kingdom Interlinear Bible when I began reviewing WT teaching. The interlinear has a diagram of basic Greek in the front which shows the Greek word in Rev. to be clearly “on” NOT OVER.

      ἐπίa: a position on a surface of an object, whether vertical or horizontal, and in contact with the object—‘on, upon.’ (Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Vol. 1: Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.) (718). New York: United Bible Societies.)

      When I first discovered the “Kings & Priests rule on earth” I was amazed, but at the same time it made complete sense. Thanks again – God bless Jason

  3. I agree , great article Jason . Do Jw’s ever sit back and look at just how unstable , inconsistent, vacillating , their leaders teachings have been since 1879 ? It’s truly an incredible amount . It’s so sad that Jw’s can submit to men who have exhibited a pattern that clearly means they are just guessing in their scriptural interpretations instead of providing trustworthy spiritual food from Jehovah , and one of these guesses is their 144,000 doctrine . As you rightly have proved it does’nt add up . God loves the Jw’s and so do we . May they soon come to discover the answer does not come from a small group of men in Brooklyn New York . May they turn from these men and look into God’s Word for themselves because Jw’s have been short changed by these men . Keep up the good work Jason .

    • Sadly, the Witnesses don’t look back to examine former teachings. Also, the old literature is no longer available so the current “intake” have no idea of what Russell taught and how it was all changed after he died. My parents became Witnesses in the late 1930’s after the announcement that the number of the 144,000 had been sealed. They were quite happy to settle for an earthly hope.

      If only they would read the Bible and believe what it says in Ephesians 4:4-6 about all believers being called to one hope. But they prefer to believe the Governing Body and the anonymous “Faithful and Discrete Slave” who claim that not all of the first century Christians had a heavenly hope! They even say that the promises of the New Testament apply only to the 144,000.

      Only the Holy Spirit can open their eyes, unstop their ears and soften their hearts so they can grasp the true gospel message, which is all about Jesus Christ. It’s good to know that God is still drawing the Witnesses out of the dark into the light, just as He did with me almost 20 years ago.

      • “Also, the old literature is no longer available so the current “intake” have no idea of what Russell taught and how it was all changed after he died”.

        However a great deal of the old literature is available on the internet, so younger generation JW’s can check out changing and contradictory JW teachings if they so desire. See Watchtower Archive at

      • Thanks for this additional resource. God bless Jason

      • Hi Lesley – you are quite right modern day witnesses neither have access to old literature nor are they encouraged to seek it out because its “old light” – like you say “if only they would read the Bible and believe…Ephesians 4:4-6” – keep praying the LORD is good we can trust in his timing. God bless Jason

  4. An excellent article Jason, well thought out and reasoned and packed with thoughtful information. You know I wish I have accessed this year’s ago… To think that I spent years of my life believing this guff, but to be honest I always had doubts about some of the dates and the latest Generation teaching really got me thinking back in 2007…. Keep up the good work Jason, hopefully it will help others ‘ see the light ‘ as I am beginning too…

    • Thanks for your kind remarks, the LORD is faithful, in his own time and according to his purpose I’m sure the article will be helpful to others. I am glad to hear you are “seeing the light” – it is wonderfully bright is it not?! May the LORD Jesus lead you into all truth and may his love reach into your heart and touch your very soul. May you know his love for you. God bless – Jason

      • Yes the ” the light is bright ” Jason and I know that the love on offer is unconditional, in Christchurch, unlike love in the J W Organisation where as long as you do and even think, exactly as they do, you’re alright. However…As soon as you start to question things and develop ‘critical thinking’ you’re out the door.

      • This is so true. The funny thing is Jesus DID encourage open-minded, objective “thinking” – Jesus wanted his listeners to think beyond the rabbinic teachings of their day which had suffocated the true meaning of the Mosaic law and hindered the revelation of Christ.

        The Watchtower is the same. Adding endless “red-tape” and Gnostic revelations added to scripture, hindering and blinding people to the truth. The truth is the WT just cannot go head-to-head with the Bible. When I was a JW and started asking awkward questions it was not long before the people I loved turned on me. The same experience is repeated year in year out, millions of “truth seeking” people tossed aside. But Jesus is the good Shepherd! He does not abandon his sheep. He announces that he will not loose any of his own! What a wonderful assurance for those “in Christ” – true freedom at last – God bless Jason

  5. I was in my home Town today and saw a couple of JW’s with their cart full of literature. You know they really have to jump through hoops just to be there, having to be in good standing with the congregation and be approved and all that. What really struck me was how false it all seems to me now, there was no joy, no love, just looking on to see if anyone might be interested in their publications.The Org really is a Billion Dollar Pook Publishing Corporation! Certainly no love in Christ there that I could see, the light really is getting brighter…With help with websites like this one. Keep up the good work Jason, regards, Innocent Son.

  6. The devil has succeeded in blinding the minds of unbelievers so that the light of God cn nt shine through.I call all what u published as garbage from the devil’s dumb. All what u published are fabricated lies I wonder were u got them maybe from The devil himself. I just pity those that were and will b deceived by this article and I pray they will all oneday realize that Jehovah has his people on earth today who are representing him as his witnesses declaring his name and his excellency in over 236 lands and I also pray they should all come to their senses. Any who has left Jehovah’s org I wonder were he/she will go.This article is not an attack on JW.As u rightly said,but it’s an attack against Jehovah and recent experiences has shown that any who attempt to do so will have no success. Adolph’s hitler of Germany tried and he failed and today their are more witnesses in Germany than in some part of Europe.

    I did a careful analysis on all ur blasphemous lies and I can authoritatively say they are all fabricated lies. The following are my results:

    -I agree with the fact that once Jehovah’s people as a whole had a wrong view of 1935.and now their are refinement, that is a clear fulfilment of what prov said that the light kept getting brighter and brighter until the day is firmly established.
    N/B:Russell did not claim to be the founder of JW.
    Unlike christiandom who still hold on to their false TEACHINGS,such as immortality of the soul, Trinity,Recarnation, evolution and so many false doctrine, even though some of them has clearly seen that this TEACHINGS are purely false because they don’t wnt to lose face and be labeled as false teachers they adhere to this TEACHINGS.. the followings are comments made by some religious leaders:
    Philip from Nigeria said:
    I know u people are the true religion because u teach and practice true religion.
    Michael from S/A:
    we know the truth but we just have to tell them what they want to hear.
    Oshimole of kICC:
    This people(JW )know the Bible like crazy.
    This can be illustrated this way: A father who later realize that he had given a wrong information about a subject to his children would it b wrong if he politely call his children Attention and explain his new understanding on the subject or will d father withhold his new understanding because he feared he will b ridiculed and be painted as a false teacher? A loving father not withstanding that will go on and explain his new understanding on the subject.
    (Let the reader use )
    . Decernment.
    THE Bible shows that Jehovah enables his servants understand his purpose in a progressive manner (prov 4:18;john 16:12)thus the prophets who were divinely inspired to write portions of the Bible did not understand the meaning of everything that they wrote. (Dan 12:8,9;1peter 1:10-12)the apostles of Christ realized that there was much they did not understand in their time. (Acts 1:6,7;1cor 13:9-12)the Bible shows that there would b a great increase in knowledge of the truth during the time of the end. (Dan 12:4)increased knowledge often requires adjustment in ones thinking. Jehovah’s witnesses are willing humble to make such adjustment.
    Plz can u answer the following questions?
    -Which org that has the must translated website? (
    -who are doing the preaching of the kingdom as Jesus instructed? (matt 24:14)
    -which is the most translated magazine in the world?
    -who are known for their political&military neutrality?
    Their are two things involved in this life u rather be God’s witness or devil’s choose d choice is urs life and death.

    • Hello – thank you for your comments. My apology for not replying sooner I have been snowed under with other responsibilities. You have asked me to reply. I am happy to do so.

      May I begin by addressing the idea of “the light getting brighter” please understand when we exegete scripture we must allow for the plain sense to dictate our interpretations. This was the apostles hermeneutical methodology and it should be ours.

      Hence before quoting Proverbs 4:18 to justify the Watchtower’s flip flop theology you must ask yourself what does this verse mean in it historical setting, then you must ask yourself can I justifiably imbue the text with an idea foreign to the original authors intent? The answer should be a resounding NO! – You cannot change the word of God by trying to make it fit an idea. Let me show you why.

      To begin what is a Proverb? What is its literary genre? Let an expert explain:

      “”In its basic form, the proverb is an ancient saying that takes wisdom and endows it with youthful vigor. In a few, piquant phrases the proverb capsulizes a practical idea or truth in such a way as to lift the common- place to a new level of mental consciousness. It reweaves the threadbare idea and shows the ordinary to be quite extraordinary.”
      (C. Hassell Bullock, An Introduction to the Poetic Books of the Old Testament, pp. 155, 156.)

      The question then arises who wrote proverb 4:18? Obviously we believe God inspired or oversaw the utterance but as to the human author we do not know. We then have to ask ourselves what is the context of this proverb? Well verse 18 must be understood in the context of verses 10-19 wherein the author speaks of “Two paths” which lay before the youth: the way of wisdom (vv. 10-13) and the way of folly (the way of the wicked; vv. 14-17). Let us read verse 18 in context:

      Pro 4:10 Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many.
      Pro 4:11 I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
      Pro 4:12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble.
      Pro 4:13 Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.
      Pro 4:14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil.
      Pro 4:15 Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.
      Pro 4:16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
      Pro 4:17 For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
      Pro 4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
      Pro 4:19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.

      The writer is simply pointing out that there are two paths a youth can take, one path leads to darkness and misery the other leads to life. The author encourages his reader through the proverb to make the right choices in life, to “keep hold of instruction” and “walk the path of righteousness” These are moral teachings which are grounded in knowing God. So in the context verse 18 is simply reinforcing the authors idea of taking the correct path. If he does so life will be like the dawn which grows brighter and brighter until the day dawns, i.e the sun rises! This is simply metaphor, the “text speak to us of the progressive brightness, and the ultimate, which is also the progressive, radiance of the righteous”. (Alexander MacLaren “Exposition of the Holy Scriptures” – accessed This is the primary (Peshat) meaning.

      The verse may be applied typologically to Jesus the “Son of Righteousness” who leads his followers into his righteousness but such an understanding would be a secondary, not primary interpretation (remez in Jewish exegesis).

      Now how may I ask can you strip this verse of its context and meaning and apply the verse to the changing theology of the Watchtower Society? You simply cannot, it is an impossibility. It is exegetical insanity! Consequently if the Society were truly humble – as you suggest – rather than fall back on proverbs 4:18 they would explain this verse to its members correctly and recant of its misuse to explain doctrinal changes. To repeat if you imbue Proverbs 4:18 with an alien concept you do violence to the inspired verse. Hence I reject your explanation as to why the Watchtower changed its 1935 policy on the final sealing of the 144,000 – and so should you! Don’t be fooled by an out of context proof text.

      For more on this subject see this article:

      You next present a list of questions which are to be frank “red herrings” which simply act as a smokescreen to your rude insinuations that my article was “fabricated”. Yet nowhere do you debunk my propositions, instead you simply rant and rave, a clear indication that you cannot deal with the propositions presented.

      Let me answer your questions:

      What does it prove if is the most translated website? answer nothing

      Who are preaching the Kingdom that Jesus instructed? certainly not Jehovah’s witnesses – they preach a false message about earning salvation through obedience to the Watchtower, so what they are preaching is definitely not the Gospel of scripture (cf. 1 Cor. 15:1-4)

      What is the most translated magazine in the world? – I’m guessing your going to say the Watchtower – but my question to you is “so what”? all this proves is they can print lots of literature. It has no bearing on whether or not God is backing their enterprises.

      Who are known for their Political and Military neutrality? It may come as a surprise but many people and groups object to Political and Military participation. JW’s are not unique. Moreover I would ask you to be absolutely sure that this doctrine is correct biblically. You just may be surprised with what you uncover

      It may also be worth checking out why male Jehovah’s witnesses were permitted by the Governing body to bribe officials in Mexico with money in order to avoid conscription while across in Africa thousands of JW’s were persecuted for refusing to carry a political card. Why did the Governing body sanction two different standards? Please read carefully this article:

      I hope this answers some of your questions. If you really want to know about the true Gospel and salvation then I’m happy to help. If you want to rant and rave and throw statistics at me then I’m not interested.

      Finally your last sentence I agree with. You say “Their are two things involved in this life u rather be God’s witness or devil’s choose d choice is urs life and death.” – I agree entirely the difference is YOU MUST CHOOSE JESUS NOT THE WATCHTOWER. Eternal life is found in and through JESUS not through this false organisation. The Watchtower may boast of en-mass printing and multiple language outreach, but if the message is a lie then its all a lie.

      My friend please ponder on Jesus words:

      Joh 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
      Joh 5:40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

      I urge you to search the scriptures again “with eyes for Jesus”. God will reveal his Son to you and you can become a child of God. No need to join an organisation, salvation is a free gift to all who believe. The truth is not a list of doctrines but a person; Jesus. I pray you find the real Jesus.

      God bless

      PS For information on the tri-unity of God see this article:

      For information on the Soul see this article:

      General speaking Evangelical Christians do not believe in evolution and they definitely do not believe in reincarnation.

      While CT Russell did not officially claim to be the “founder” of either the Bible Students or the Jehovah’s witnesses he DEFINITELY IS the founder of the Watchtower magazine and therefore the antecedent Father of all which followed.

    • Sir, my parents became Jehovah’s Witnesses in the late 1930’s after it had been announced that the “sealing” of the 144,000 was complete and so the heavenly calling was no longer open. My parents were told they could not have a heavenly hope. Turns out that the number of the 144,000 is still increasing, 80 years on.

      They were also told that they were part of the generation Jesus spoke of who would be alive to see the end of this wicked system of things at the battle of Armageddon. Turns out that was wrong too, because 100 years after 1914, “the generation” teaching has had to be changed.

      With all due respect to you and to your passionately held beliefs, the bottom line is that heaven is not restricted to a mere 144,000 persons – although Revelation does say 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel will be joint heirs and rulers with Jesus in heaven.

      The danger with the Jehovah’s Witness teaching that only 144,000 persons can enter into the New Covenant, that only they can have Christ Jesus as their mediator and that only they can be born again, is that millions of Witnesses have been excluded from God’s grace. Right now, 8 million Witnesses can not lay claim to the promises of justification and sanctification that are the right of every born-again Christian believer. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God – not the result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8). Nowhere does the Bible say that promise is only for 144,000 persons since the time of Jesus!

      Oh, how sad that your religion teaches two hopes, not one. How tragic that your leaders have taken two verses in Revelation and twisted them to create a false doctrine.

      Sir, your faith is commendable, but I fear everyone who believes that only 144,000 persons since the time of Jesus can be born from above and spend eternity with the Lord have been blinded by the ruler of this system. The “reasoning” of men has blinded you to the glorious good news of the gospel, which is salvation for ALL who call on the name of Jesus.

      • Jason, my comments were in response to what Human Activist said, not you! I must have left my reply in the wrong box. I wholeheartedly agree with the orthodox view that heaven has not been restricted to a mere 144,000 persons since the time of Jesus. Untold millions of persons have been deceived by the the Watchtower Society into thinking they need not be born again and cannot enter into the new covenant.

        I am no longer a Jehovah’s Witness, but although I respect their faith, they preach another gospel and they do not understand who Jesus REALLY is. They hold out two hopes whereas the Bible says there is but ONE hope to which ALL believers are called (Ephesians 4:5).

        It is tragic to see how the Witnesses have been deceived. I pray God will bless this ministry to reach out to them and help them come to saving faith in Christ Jesus.

      • Hi Lesley – sorry I did not notice the comment was from yourself! No worries, I thought for a moment I had not written a very clear article! Thanks for reassuring me! We pray for you Human Activist! God bless – Jason

  7. Hello lovelly friends u wont believe this the truth is beginning to suffice on his own.
    The truth is like a Spring if u bend it to ur direction it will bend, wether north or south it will surely bend both immediately u leave hold of it ,it will surely stand in it rightfully position.
    False religion has succeeded in covering d truth like a lamp that is covered with basket, but for how long will they continue to hold the snail has left it’s shell and he is about to tell who kept him in that shell.
    80Years ago people strongly hold the HELLFIRE doctrine tight as a the teeth to the gum it was only the Jehovah’s witnesses that was preaching and fighting against it for that reason they were cretize and hated for the teachings they carry several attempt we’re made to terminate their work or their life. Many were sent to prison some never faced trial in court and some faced but were falsely condemned. Their businesses were shot down in several countries such as EUROPE, AFRICA, ASIA, AUSTRALIA Their work was put on ban for years all because they spoke out the truth.THEIR places of worship was closed and heavy taxes was put on their publications and the church has continued to instigate the government in making sure Jehovah’s witnesses are silence all because they bear and spoke out the truth.
    One man who is out to
    open many old “secrets”
    in the Catholic church is
    Pope Francis.
    Some of the beliefs that are held in the church
    but contrary to the loving nature of God are now
    being set aside by the Pope who was recently
    named The Man of The Year by TIME Magazine.
    In his latest revelations, Pope Francis said:
    “Through humility, soul searching, and
    prayerful contemplation we have gained a new
    understanding of certain dogmas. The church
    no longer believes in a literal hell where
    people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible
    with the infinite love of God. God is not a
    judge but a friend and a lover of humanity.
    God seeks not to condemn but only to
    embrace. , we
    see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a
    metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all
    souls ultimately will be united in love with
    In a shocking speech that is reverberating across
    the world.
    What other
    kind of truth
    is there? In
    the past, the
    church has
    been harsh
    on those it
    wrong or
    sinful. Today,
    we no longer judge. Like a loving father, we
    never condemn our children. Our church is big
    enough for heterosexuals and homosexuals, for
    the pro-life and the pro-choice! For
    conservatives and liberals, even communists
    are welcome and have joined us.
    These comments were made by the father of Christaindom.

    Please answer this questions?
    why have their been so much hatred to the witnesses?

    why is it that its only the witnesses that has preached against this HELLFIRE teaching?
    Y is it that nearly all the world’s religion believe on the HELLFIRE but the witnesses do not? Could they be different from the world’s religion?

    • Hello again,

      I hope you are well. I appreciate you are upset with the various information on this site. However I’m not entirely sure what you are arguing or suggesting? Let me be clear, none of the Christians who work on this website would agree with liberal or compromising theologies as espoused by many liberal Protestants and Catholics. We would not align ourselves with such error.

      Despite the ranting I’ve allowed your post to be seen for comment. Please rest assured we do not “pick on” Jehovah’s Witnesses for the fun of it. We are deeply concerned about each and every human who has not yet come to know the Lord Jesus. Studies in Watchtower doctrine forms only part of our overall ministry. We would refute all so-called “Christians” who move away from the authority of scripture and who conform to post-modern trends such as you describe in your post.

      For answers to your questions that deal with internal apostasy in the Church search the articles on the following websites:

      Be careful not to bunch all Christians into the same pen. Not all who call themselves Christian are truly saved.

      If you are genuinely searching for biblical truth and more importantly want to know Jesus Christ as your personal saviour then we are happy to help. The Gospel is free to all. However if your objective is to defend Watchtower doctrine then your wasting your time.

      May the LORD guide you into all truth
      God bless – Jason

  8. Human Activist ,

    Your attempt to rescue your prophet ( Gov Body ) from being truly a faithful and wise servant was terrible . You simply use red herrings and straw man tactics to prove Jw’s have not been detoured into joining a false prophet led organization . The reasons you give that supposedly proves Jw’s are God’s true followers is filled with half truths and faulty assumptions . First you claim that because Jw’s were so persecuted 80 years ago for teaching what you call “Hellfire” that therefore this caused them to be thrown in prison , lose their jobs ,etc . If that’s what you are claiming then you put your spin on the facts because in America 80 years ago when Watchtower Pres Judge Rutherford was ranting against “hell” that made Jw’s very visible and disliked by many but what got them persecuted to the point of being jailed or losing their jobs was because of their refusal to salute the flag , vote , join the military and defend the country in war . They were seen as unpatriotic , and therefore looked at with suspicion . In other countries they fared somewhat better and somewhat worse . But is was NOT because they preached against hell .

    Secondly , you believe that “Finally Finally ” people are beginning to see the hidden truth .
    And so have a lot of Jw’s because they’ve summoned the strength to examine the history of the W.t. and have discovered things that the Gov Body tried not to fully disclose to their followers for a long time — things like the real reason Beth Sarim was built and to whom was it deeded ; and also how extensive the W.t. has flip flopped on doctrine since 1879 .

    You also apparently feel that it’s important to note that the current Pope was named Time magazine’s ” Man of the Year ” . But so was Hitler in 1938 . So who cares .

    You also claim that Pope Francis is out to open many old “secrets ” in the Catholic church .
    Yet you need to know that a very serious “secret ” of the Gov Body is finally out in the open
    and it is similar to a dark secret that the Catholic church had for a while , namely sexual abuse by some church leaders — ( even pedophiles ) it was being largely covered up and stonewalled for years .
    This news has been on major news stations (NBC) and right now Australia’s Royal Commission is investigating the W.t. as a rash of complaints have surfaced . In America this has been exposed for several years now .

    Considering from what you quoted about how Pope Francis may soon no longer be against homosexuals , communists , and abortionists just like he is now against his former belief in
    “hellfire ” why would you use him as a authority in Biblical interpretation for all Christians ?
    He’s not .

    Lastly , you said , ” Please answer this questions?
    1. ” Why is it that it’s only the witnesses that has preached against this HELLFIRE teachings ?”
    My response : they are’nt the “only ” ones .

    2. Why is it that nearly all the world’s religion believe on the HELLFIRE but the witnesses do not? Could they be different from the world’s religion?”

    My response : again you’re exaggerating . Also, Jw’s are different from the world’s religion in many things , but that proves nothing really . A better question is are Jw’s different then those in the Bible who were taught the gospel and how to gain God’s approval for everlasting life by
    Jesus, Paul or John etc , the answer is : yes .

    Now , hopefully you can see that you have really not provided any good reason why anyone should submit to the Watchtower Hierarchy as the authority in their life . One does’nt need the Catholic Hierarchy either , and it’s sure not about whether there is a “hellfire ” or not . It’s about the truth recorded in Jn 5:39 ,40 and Matt 11:28 i.e complying with the Father’s arrangement for receiving a personal relationship with Him and thus everlasting life — come directly to Jesus first and he will introduce you to the Father because he is the “way ” to Him and life — Jn 14:6 .
    Jw’s , by following the Gov Body , have been short changed about that fundamental truth . Nothing else really matters if a person gets that one wrong .

    I’ll be praying that Jehovah will open your eyes to see His Son .
    Take care .

  9. “This figure does not take into consideration the 40,000 martyrs that died in the year 95 A.D.!”
    What is the histiorical source for this figure?

    • David, I hope Jason won’t mind me responding on his behalf, but this is the quotation from the 1 September 1951 Watchtower: “Brief respite followed the death of Nero, but by the latter years of the first century the second great persecution, under Emperor Domitian, flared up. It is said that in the year 95 alone some 40,000 suffered martyrdom. Also, it was in this period that John, last living of the twelve apostles, was exiled to the isle of Patmos, from where he recorded the inspired Bible book of Revelation about A.D. 96.” [13]

      Jason then went on to say: “To seal this historically I return to John Foxe. Watchtower literature hails this Puritan leader as a hero, a man who spoke out against Catholicism and high-Anglicanism.[15] During his lifetime Foxe wrote a book entitled, Foxe’s Acts and Monuments of the Church (better known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs). According to the book of Revelation a Martyr (μάρτυς) simply means a “witness”. Jesus is called the “Faithful μάρτυς – or faithful witness (Rev 1:5). Likewise, those who would die rather than deny Jesus are called faithful μάρτυς – witnesses (Rev 2:10, 13). Martyrs are promised heavenly life (Revelation 2:26, 6:9-10, 20:4-5; Matthew 10:28-33). How many Martyr’s or faithful witnesses does John Foxe list? According to calculations by Russell Warren[16] the total stands at 254,502, which includes mass killings. This figure is 110,502 more than the 144,000 limits! How then can the Watchtower acknowledge Foxes work yet ignore the figures? Well it’s easy when you are the “creator” of “truth” – you simply ignore, change, or adapt “truth” as required, which is exactly what the Watchtower organization has been doing since its inception.”
      [13] Watchtower 1951 Sep 1 p.516
      [16] Outnumbered – exploding the myth of the 144,000 by Russell Warren

  10. “This figure does not take into consideration the 40,000 martyrs that died in the year 95 A.D.!”
    What is the historical source for this figure?

  11. Many thanks for your question. My apology for not adding the reference. Below are three examples of the figures quoted:

    Halleys Bible Handbook (Henry Halley) Zondervan reprint 2012. Heading: The Age to Come (page 843)
    “The second Imperial persecution was under Emperor Domitian (A.D. 95). It was short but extremely severe. More than 40,000 Christians were tortured and killed”

    McClintock & Strong Biblical Cyclopedia (online)
    “The second general persecution was under Domitian. In the year 95, 40,000 Christians were supposed to have suffered Martyrdom”

    “The History of the destruction of the City of Jerusalem and of the ruin and dispersion of the Jewish Nation (Thomas Brown) Albany 1825 page 242:
    “In the year 95, 40,000 were supposed to have suffered Martyrdom”

    See also “History of the Church” by Eusebius and his description of early Christian persecution under Domitian.

    It would seem the Watchtower employs the same quotes. In the Watchtower Magazine of September 1st 1951 (pg. 516) they state:
    “by the latter years of the first century the second great persecution, under Emperor Domitian, flared up. It is said that in the year 95 alone some 40,000 suffered martyrdom.”

    Realistically exact figures are impossible to ascertain, however as shown above scholars of different theological persuasions as well as the Watchtower agree that the overall number was huge.

    I trust this answers your query.

  12. Thanks for the answer but this does not answer my question. I asked for the historical sources for this figure, i.e., made at the time or within 50 years. You will not find such an outlandish figure is not quoted by other writings.

    • Early Christian Persecution Numbers

      Diocletian assumed the crown A.D. 284. At first he seemed friendly to the Christians, but in the year 303 he gave in to persuasion and opened the tenth persecution, probably the most ferocious of all. Suffocation by smoke, forcible drinking of melted lead, mass drownings and burnings, breaking on the rack of men and women alike ran the empire with blood. In a single month 17,000 were slain. In the province of Egypt alone, 144,000 such professed Christians died by violence in the course of this persecution, in addition to another 700,000 who died as a result of fatigues encountered in banishment or under enforced public works.

      Hated for His Name
      Watchtower September 1st, 1951, page 518

  13. For David Mitchell: You will find reference to the 40,000 Christians killed in A.D. 95 in the fourth paragraph, preceded by (2), in this link:

    This link also discusses the Christian persecutions under Nero in A.D. 65.

    They are from McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia, an entirely reputable source. At the bottom of this article about the persecution of Christians it gives sources.

  14. I am making this short comment because I must presume that everyone who comments here and all associated with this site are sincere. It is not for me to judge because I cannot read hearts or minds. And I am making the comment short because I don’t want to drown the reader in details. I hope I will not be misunderstood, although I can almost guarantee that I will be. All I can do is modestly suggest that you meditate and consider what I have to say.

    I do not agree with a literal interpretation of the 144,000 as it seems at odds with the other details in Revelation 7. However, I must point out that a careful consideration of what the scriptures have to say shows that it is quite possible that those who go to heaven could be that number or even less. This certainly might be disputed by both the commenters here and the Watchtower Society. But it all depends on what qualifies a person to be sealed. Are all sincere Christians sealed, or only those who are especially chosen? Why has the sealing not already taken place if all sincere Christians are sealed? Wouldn’t they already be sealed? If those sealed are a chosen few, and all others are rewarded with eternal life on an earthly paradise, what is amiss with that? If everyone is ruling with Jesus in heaven, and none of the faithful are on Earth, who are they ruling over? There is much more I could say about this, and many scriptures I could quote, but I will leave it at that.

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