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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Did Jehovah's Witnesses Really Believe That God's Throne Dwelled in the Alcyone Star System in the Pleiades Group?

On occasion, opposers of Jehovah's Witnesses have on offered this eons-old quote to try and discredit them:

"Alcyone, the central one of the renowned Pleiadic Stars... Alcyone, then, as far as science has been able to perceive, would seem to be the 'midnight throne' in which the whole system of gravitation has its seat, and from which the Almighty governs his universe..." - Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. III, 1891, p 327 and Reconciliation, 1928, p. 14

Some astronomers of that time long ago (1891) calculated that the Pleiades group of which Alcyone is the brightest was the center of our universe and the source of all gravitational attraction. Astronomers felt that the Pleiades were veiled by an unusual amount of "nebulous matter, a cosmical fog." The Bible uses the direction "north" often in referring to God and His actions. The Bible Students at that time and theologians from other religions assumed that all this gave evidence that God's throne or dwelling was in this system.

Note that even armed with the best astronomical data at the time, the quote above still does not make absolute statements (i.e. " far as science has been able to perceive", and "...would seem to be".)

Just like all other religions of the time, the early Bible Students were simply using the scientific knowledge of their day and trying to relate it to what the Bible says regarding God and His heavenly dwelling.

Just one example: All religions used to believe that the Earth and heavenly bodies were held up by an invisible "fluid" called "ether." But now everyone has changed this view as more accurate scientific information has become available.
So is it really fair to go back more than a hundred years to a religion's roots and point out everything that was wrong, especially if it has corrected it's understandings? These claims against Jehovah's Witnesses are hypocritical because they fail to tell others that EVERY religion has changed it's beliefs and practices over the same time period.

The very fact that critics of Witnesses constantly resort to such ridiculous arguments only proves that they realize that they have no real evidence against their beliefs now.

Additionally, is it really fair to say that this disproves what Jehovah's Witnesses believe now?

Jehovah's Witnesses have always been willing to change any belief in order to harmonize better with increased knowledge of Scriptural teaching. On the other hand, most other religions have proved that they will not change MAJOR doctrines such as the Trinity, the immortal soul, and hell fire even though their own scholars admit these beliefs are not taught in Scripture.

While Witnesses still adjust minor understandings of prophecy and periphery beliefs, major doctrines will not be changed. This is because the doctrinal knowledge has increased tremendously, so any recent changes have not been to doctrine but simple refinements in knowledge.

For those who wish to learn more about Jehovah's Witnesses, instead of relying on unreliable sources, you may wish to visit THE source at the Official Website of Jehovah's Witnesses:

What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe? (JW.ORG)

About Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW.ORG)

Frequently Asked Questions About Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW.ORG)

Questions Often Asked by Interested People (JW.ORG)