printer friendly version



Is The Light Getting Brighter?



Jehovah's Witnesses


Witnessing Tips





Other Groups


Contact Us


It is no secret that the Watchtower Society’s teachings have changed often over the years. To a Jehovah’s Witness, this is one of the proofs that the Watchtower is God’s visible Organization on earth. To support this, one will frequently hear a Witness quote Proverbs 4:18: “But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established”. - NWT

The Watchtower, 12-1-81, contains an article called, “The Path of the Righteous Does Keep Getting Brighter”. The article states, “The light on the pathway of Jehovah’s servants from earliest times to the present has kept on increasing.” However, has the Watchtower’s new light ever gone backwards to a previous teaching, one that was once held by the Society as truth but later abandoned for a new teaching? This article addresses this very question. It says, “However, it may have seemed to some as though that path has not always gone straight forward. At times explanations given by Jehovah’s visible organization have shown adjustments, seemingly to previous points of view. But this has not actually been the case. This might be compared to what is known in navigational circles as “tacking.” By maneuvering the sails the sailors can cause a ship to go from right to left, back and forth, but all the time making progress toward their destination in spite of contrary winds.”

So, according to the Watchtower, it has never gone backwards to a previously held teaching, but it has always moved forward toward its current teaching. Let’s examine this claim and see if it’s true by reviewing three of the Society’s teachings over it’s century-long history.

1) “Will the men of Sodom be resurrected according to the following publications?”

YES - The Watchtower, July, 1879, p.8

NOThe Watchtower, June 1, 1952, p.338

YES - The Watchtower, August 1, 1965, p.479

NO The Watchtower, June 1, 1988, p.31

YES - Insight on the Scriptures, vol. 2, 1988, p.985

NOOur Kingdom Ministry, December, 1989, p.7


2) “Who are the superior authorities in Romans 13 according to the publications listed below?”

Governments - The Divine Plan of the Ages, 1916, p.266

Jehovah God & Christ Jesus - Make Sure of All Things, 1953, p.369

Governments - The Watchtower, 5-15-80, p.4


3) “When was the beginning of the second presence of the Lord Jesus based on the subsequent publications?”

1874  -  Prophecy, 1929, p.65

1875 - The Watchtower, 10-15-1930, p.308

1878 - The Watchtower, 9-15-1931, p.283

1874 - The Watchtower, 6-1-1933, p.174

In all the above cases the Society has reverted backwards to a teaching that it once taught, abandoned as incorrect, and adopted as truth again, even though the above quoted Watchtower said that it didn’t. An honest Witness, given the above facts, would have a difficult time determining if the current teaching is really the truth or subject to change again. Is Proverbs 4:18 an accurate assessment of the Organization’s teachings? Or, is Proverbs 4:19 a better description? “The way of the wicked ones is like the gloom; they have not known at what they keep stumbling.” - NWT

top of page

Jehovah's Witnesses Main Page

printer friendly version