The Society's next discussion of "absolute dates" is found in the 1963 book All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial. The last of these is from The Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, Vol. It is not clear from this reference that the Eleventh Edition was published in 19.Paragraph 2 on page 85 quotes three secular sources that support the 539 B. Not many readers would know this, so the information is concealed from the reader. Because it establishes that the correct information had been known by historians for a long time, and the Society did not want to stimulate its readers into thinking about the implications.This date is made Absolute by reason of the archaeological discovery and deciphering of the famous Nabunaid Chronicle, which itself gives a date for the fall of Babylon and which figure specialists have determined equals October 13, 539 B.
The Society has revised its version of biblical chronology many times since Nelson Barbour and Charles Taze Russell published the first version of it in 1877, in a joint work called Three Worlds, and the Harvest of this World. By the 1940s, it had become evident to those writing the Society's publications that these dates were untenable in the face of much historical evidence.The army of Nabonidus was defeated; Babylon itself attempted no resistance, but surrendered on the 16th Tishri ... The last sentence is immediately followed in the Encyclopedia by a parenthetical reference to another name for Gobryas: "(Gaubaruva, see the chronicle of the reign of Nabonidus....)" This is a clear reference to the Nabonidus Chronicle, which shows that the Chronicle was well enough known in 1910/11 to be referred to in an encyclopedia.It proves that the Society has not always tried "to keep its associates abreast with the latest available scholarship on Bible chronology." Significantly, this discussion was dropped from the 1990 edition of the All Scripture book.See also page 14, P1, under "Cyrus," of Babylonian Chronology 626 B. Next, in paragraph 18, the 1968 Watchtower article states: Recognized authorities of today accept 539 B. In addition to the above quotations the following gives a small sampling from books of history representing a cross section of both general reference works and elementary textbooks.These brief quotations also show that this is not a date recently suggested, but one thoroughly investigated and generally accepted for the past sixty years. It should be noted that the date was accepted by many, but not all, scholars, at least as far back as the 1864 edition of Smith's Bible Dictionary.