Jehovah's Witnesses' end of the world predictions
Predictions for the years 1925 & 1975
For earlier predictions, see the
The next estimate of the TEOTWAWKI after 1920 was set at sometime in 1925.
As the year approached, the WTS appeared to back-peddle somewhat:
||In 1918, J.E. Rutherford -- the WTS' second president and the author of "Millions now living will never die"
"...there will be a resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and
other faithful ones of old ... we may expect 1925 to witness the return
of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being
resurrected and fully restored to perfect humanity and made the visible,
legal representatives of the new order of things on earth.... Therefore
we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham,
Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named
by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection."
||In 1922, Rutherford wrote:
"Fulfilled prophecy shows beyond a doubt
that (Christ) did appear in 1874. Fulfilled prophecy is otherwise designated
the physical facts; and these facts are indisputable....We understand that
the jubilee type began to count in 1575 B.C.; and the 3,500 year period
embracing the type must end in 1925....It follows, then, that the year 1925
will mark the beginning of the restoration of all things lost by Adam's
||In 1923, a Watchtower article predicted:
"Our thought is, that 1925
is definitely settled by the scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has
much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his
faith in a coming deluge." 3
||Watchtower magazine predicted in mid-1924:
"The year 1925 is a date
definitely and clearly marked in the Scriptures, even more clearly than
that of 1914; but it would be presumptuous on the part of any faithful
follower of the Lord to assume just what the Lord is going to do during
that year." 4
||At the beginning of 1925, a Watchtower article commented:
expectations Christians have looked forward to this year. Many have
confidently expected that all members of the body of Christ will be changed
to heavenly glory during this year. This may be accomplished. It may not
be... Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire
this year." 5
1925 also came and passed uneventfully.
Additional predictions: 1932 and 1941:
||"Christendom to be overthrown" in 1932. 6
||1941-Fall: The world is "...in the remaining months before
Some Witnesses expected a dramatic event to occur in 1966-JUN (6/66) because
the number 666 was referred to as the Mark of the Beast in Revelation
13:18. It was in this month that the WTS published "Life Everlasting in
Freedom of the Sons of God." It contained a chronological chart which shows
that 1975 was the "end of the sixth thousand year day of man's existence."
They regarded the year 1975 a promising date for the end of the
world, based on their original belief that it was the 6,000th anniversary of creation of both
Adam and Eve at the Garden of Eden in 4026 BCE. They
believe, along with many other conservative Protestant denominations, that the world would exist for exactly 1,000 years for each day of the creation week. Their
Watchtower or Awake magazines
||"according to reliable Bible chronology Adam was created in the
year 4026 BCE, likely in the autumn of the year, at the end of the sixth
day of creation." 9
||"According to reliable Bible chronology, Adam and Eve were
created in 4026 BCE" 10
||"Are we to assume from this study that the battle of
Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the
long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then?
Possibly, but we wait to see how closely the seventh thousand-year
period of manís existence coincides with the sabbathlike thousand-year
reign of Christ....Our chronology, however, which is reasonably accurate
(but admittedly not infallible), at the best only points to the autumn
of 1975 as the end of 6,000 years of manís existence on earth." 11
|How you got here:
This prophecy was reinforced in their publications, notably Watchtower and
Awake!, and at their assemblies. The close proximity of the end times encouraged
the membership to increase their proselytizing efforts.
significantly in the years leading up to 1975. Some members sold their
possessions, cashed in their insurance policies, etc. in anticipation of the
It never came.
For subsequent predictions, see the
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
"Millions now living will never die," (1918), Page
"The Watchtower," 1922-NOV-1, Pages 333 & 346.
"The Watchtower," 1923-APR-1, Page 106.
- Watchtower magazine, 1924-JUL-15, Page 211).
"The Watchtower," 1925-JAN-1, Page 3.
Cited in: Rado Vleugel, "2004: Jehovah's Witnesses still on the watch
for the end of this world," WatchTowerInformation Service.org, at:
"The Watchtower," 1941-SEP-15, Page 288.
Mathew Schmalz, "When Festinger Fails," Chapter 13 of Jon Stone,
Ed., "Expecting Armageddon: Essential readings in failed prophecy," Routledge,
(2000), Page 239. Read
reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store.
- The Watchtower Magazine, 1968-APR-1.
"Awake," 1968-OCT-8, Page 14. Online at:
"The Watchtower," 1968-AUG-15.
Copyright © 2003 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2003-DEC-28
Latest update: 2009-AUG-31
Author: B.A. Robinson