Almost every day will include one of these. Some will have modern-day settings; others will be put on in the dress of Bible times. One drama will feature King Saul and his son Jonathan, David the son of Jesse, and lovely Abigail. As you watch, you will come to appreciate more fully its meaning for us today.
An audio presentation will let us relive the unusual experiences of the prophet Jonah. Another will take us to the court of King Belshazzar just before the collapse of the ancient Babylonian Empire. Here we will be able to review the experiences of the prophet Daniel, who was God’s spokesman at that significant time in history, and see how they should affect us.
PARENTS AND CHILDREN
In connection with parents and children, many families today have problems that cry out for solutions. A series of discussions will be presented to help families overcome difficulties. Practical suggestions and demonstrations will rivet your attention to the platform. And these suggestions really work, for thousands of families throughout the world are enjoying the benefits of them right now, building a happy family life.
Too, an entire day of the assembly has been set aside for young people. It is a day filled with frank talks, dramas and engrossing discussions and demonstrations on how to deal with the many problems that youths have to face these days.
LEARNING ABOUT THE FUTURE
What about the future? The Bible book of Revelation is a prophetic book that tells us about the future. But so many people have difficulty understanding it. This assembly can help you to appreciate the meaning of this wonderful prophetic book.
There is also a session designed to help God’s people to stand firm against all types of persecution. Servants of God expect Satan’s final all-out assault soon. Now is the time to prepare for it. How can we do so? The assembly will help us to answer that question.
The public talk on the final day also concerns the future. It is entitled: “The Approaching Peace of a Thousand Years.” Every person who longs for peace to come to this earth will want to hear it. It will bring comfort, encouragement and great hope in these critical times.
BE THERE FROM THE START!
How can you enjoy and benefit from all these outstanding features of this international assembly? By being there right from the start! And speaking of being there from the start, make it a point to be in your seat from the start of each session. At the opening of almost all sessions there will be enlightening and encouraging reports from branch servants and missionaries who are serving in all parts of the world. You will not want to miss them.
You are invited, yes, urged to come to this great gathering from start to finish. How important is it? It is Jehovah God who had this command recorded in his Word: “Congregate the people, the men and the women and the little ones . . . in order that they may listen and in order that they may learn, as they must fear Jehovah your God.”—Deut. 31:12; Heb. 10:24, 25.
Questions From Readers
● Did Jesus tell the apostle Peter to forgive seventy-seven (77) times, or seventy times seven (490)?—A. L., U.S.A.
This question is based on Matthew 18:21, 22. In the New World Translation those verses read: “Peter came up and said to [Jesus]: ‘Lord, how many times is my brother to sin against me and am I to forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him: ‘I say to you, not, Up to seven times, but, Up to seventy-seven times.’”
As can be seen, in this modern and careful translation, Jesus tells Peter to forgive seventy-seven (77) times. And there are good reasons for this rendering. However, there is no need to be dogmatic as to Jesus’ answer. A noted professor of Greek, A. T. Robertson, observed: “It is not clear whether this idiom means seventy-seven or as the Revised Version has it (490 times).”
By taking note of Jesus’ answer as found in Greek manuscripts we can appreciate the problem. Christ’s reply was hebdomekontakis hepta, which is literally translated “seventy times seven.” The difficulty arises with the suffix kis added to the word for seventy, hebdomekonta. In Greek this suffix is used in two ways. It can be used as a multiple meaning ‘times.’ So ‘seven times seven’ (7 x 7) would be heptakis hepta. But kis can also be added as a suffix to indicate ‘times’ in the sense of occurrences or instances. For example, ‘How many times did the boy fall?’ ‘He fell seven times (heptakis).’ Hence, the problem is whether Jesus’ answer, “seventy times seven,” should be understood as ‘seventy times (multiplied by) seven’ or ‘seventy and seven times (occurrences).’
One reason for preferring the latter, and rendering it as in the New World Translation, is the form of Peter’s question. He did not use posas, meaning ‘how many?’ Rather, he asked posakis—‘how many times?’ Then he continued, ‘Up to heptakis?’ that is, ‘Up to seven times?’ Logically Jesus would respond in accord with Peter’s phraseology. He would answer, ‘Up to seventy-seven times.’
Lending additional weight to the rendering “seventy-seven times” is the account in Genesis 4:24. Jehovah had stated that he would avenge seven times any who harmed Cain. (Gen. 4:15) Later Cain’s descendant Lamech boastfully said: “If seven times Cain is to be avenged, then Lamech seventy times and seven.” (Gen. 4:24) The Hebrew text is exact in showing this as 70 times and 7, or 77 times. But what is an equivalent in Greek? The Greek Septuagint uses hebdomekontakis hepta. Since this is the precise expression found in Matthew 18:22, it suggests that “seventy-seven times” is the way Jesus’ reply to Peter should be rendered.
It might be added that it is quite possible that Christ had Lamech’s threat in mind. What a fine contrast Jesus’ words would be! Instead of being a braggart threatening vengeance seventy-seven times, a Christian should be the opposite, forgiving seventy-seven times. Jesus emphasized that we should not be hesitant to forgive, but liberal and ready to forgive. He said earlier: “Happy are the merciful, since they will be shown mercy.”—Matt. 5:7.
Farmers know that to get a bumper crop of good grain it is necessary to sow good seed. This is true in everything we do, is it not? We reap what we sow. The Bible says: “He who is sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh.” The converse is also true: “He who is sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit.” (Gal. 6:8) To know how to sow with a view to the spirit and to reap spiritually, it is necessary to know what God’s Word says and to apply its principles. Jehovah’s witnesses are interested in providing people with a Bible, as well as an understanding of it. Hence in their house-to-house ministry in June, they will be offering a copy of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, for $1; or they may combine the Bible and a copy of the book The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life, for $1.25.
INTERESTING, BUT IS IT PRACTICAL?
Many persons today question the practical value of the Bible. Do you? Do you know someone who does? Now you have proof that the Bible is beneficial. It is in the book “All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial.” Here you will learn of the Bible’s thirty-nine known writers, their backgrounds and qualifications and the value of their writings to their own generations and to us. You will find a capsule account of each of the Bible’s sixty-six books and proof of its authenticity and inspiration. It is a fascinating look at the Bible as a book to heighten your appreciation of this ageless masterpiece as the most practical guide to modern living available. Only $1. Send today.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
June 29: Joyful Endurer or Unhappy Dropout—Which? Page 361. Songs to Be Used: 39, 23.
July 6: Can You Imitate Jeremiah’s Endurance? ¶1-23. Page 367. Songs to Be Used: 29, 58.
July 13: Can You Imitate Jeremiah’s Endurance? ¶24-46. Page 373. Songs to Be Used: 14, 44.