People are wrong if they think that The Watchtower Society in its short history had only one chronology determining the creation of Adam and 6,000 years of human existence. There were several such calculations. The Watchtower Society do not hide that fact, but states that it ‘corrected’ its calculations:
Bible chronology is an interesting study by which historic events are placed in their order of occurrence along the stream of time. The Watch Tower Society over the years has endeavored to keep its associates abreast with the latest scholarship that proves consistent with historic and prophetic events recorded in the Scriptures. (The Watchtower August 15, 1968, p. 500).
Here is the list of several different chronologies of The Watchtower Society, presented in the chart.
|The Time Is at Hand 1917||“The Truth Shall Make You Free” 1943||The Kingdom Is at Hand 1944||New Heavens and New Earth 1953||Life Everlasting - In Freedom of the Sons of God 1966|
4129 - Creation of Adam (see p. 53);
“from creation to the beginning of the Christian era (A. D.) - in all, a period of four thousand one hundred and twenty-eight (4128) years” (p. 51);
compare The Watchtower August 15, 1974, p. 507:
“Man’s creation was placed in 4128”;
|4028 - Creation of Adam (see p. 152);||4026 - Creation of Adam (see p. 171);||
“4025 B.C. Adam's creation (in the fall)” (p. 364);
compare The Watchtower May 15, 1958, p. 297:
“from the creation of Adam to 1 B.C., whereas The Watchtower calendar gave 4,024 (from fall of 4025 B.C. to fall of 1 B.C.)”;
|“4026 - Creation of Adam (in early autumn)” (p. 31);|
“the year 1872 A. D. to be the year of the world 6000 (p. 54; see also pp. 33, 242);
“from the creation of Adam to A. D. 1873 was six thousand years” (p. 39);
“We are already living in the seventh millennium - since Oct. 1872” (p. 363);
|5971 years ends in 1943 (see p. 152), so 6,000 years ended in 1972.||
According to the above 6,000 years ends in 1975;
compare The Watchtower January 1, 1977, p. 14, quoting The Watchtower September 15, 1944 p. 280:
“six thousand years of human history will end first in the coming seventies”;
|According to The Watchtower February 1, 1955, p. 95, 6,000 years of human existence will end in 1976;||“1975 - 6000 - End of 6th 1,000-year day of man’s existence (in early autumn)” (p. 35);|
Lack of data;
compare The Finished Mystery (1917):
“Fall 2875 A. D. - Restitution completed”;
“Fall 2914 A. D. - Dominion restored to mankind” (p. 60).
|Lack of data.||Lack of data.||Lack of data.||“2975 - 7000 - End of 7th 1,000-year day of man’s existence (in early autumn)” (p. 35).|
|Teaching in force from the beginning of The Watchtower Society to 1935.||Teaching in force from 1935 (The Golden Age March 27, 1935, p. 413) to 1943.||Teaching in force from 1944 (The Kingdom Is at Hand 1944, p. 171) to 1951.||Teaching in force from 1951 (The Watchtower April 1, 1951 p. 221) to 1963. (compare The Watchtower September 1, 1962, p. 528).||Teaching in force from 1963 (“All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial” 1963, p. 285).|
Let us add that in 1967 “year 1975” had an ‘alternative’ date, namely “year 1974”, what is mentioned by Raymond Franz, a former member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, its originator, Vice President Frederick Franz did not succeed to force it through, because the President of The Watchtower Society Nathan H. Knorr (d 1977) opposed the change of date (see Crisis of Conscience R. Franz, 2004, p. 73-74).
In spite of that, a handbook (a Bible dictionary) contained as though ‘by compromise’ both key dates, namely 1974 and 1975, and two dates of Adam’s creation: 4027 and 4026 B.C.E.:
There are no actual records of ancient man, his writing, agriculture, and other pursuits, extending into the past before 4026 (or 4027) B.C.E., the date of Adam's creation. According to Bible chronology, 6,000 years of man's history will end about 1974 or 1975 C.E. (Aid to Bible Understanding 1971, p. 1100; compare p. 23 [on 4027 B.C.E.], p. 642 [on 4026 and 4027 B.C.E.]).
Strangely enough that dates 1974 and 4027 were not included in any magazine of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and they could be found only in the quoted dictionary (see unimportant mention about 1974 in The Watchtower November 1, 1969, p. 668).
However, in a newer Bible dictionary, published in 1988, the above statement was changed and shortened. Here it is:
There are no actual records of ancient man, his writing, agriculture, and other pursuits, extending into the past before 4026 B.C.E., the date of Adam’s creation. (Insight on the Scriptures 1988 vol. 2, p. 303; compare vol. 1, p. 29; vol. 1, p. 919 [the dates mentioned above are lacking]).
The first four changes of chronology, discussed in the chart, are mentioned in The Watchtower February 1, 1955, pp. 93-95. But later, in 1963 the correction was made, but to tell you the truth, it was a return to the concept of 1944-1951.
Moreover, it seems that Vice President F. Franz had also other ideas, reaching beyond 1975 and 1974. He also suggested “year 1976”, as R. Franz recalls his statement of 1975:
“he went on to talk about the possibility of a year or so difference due to some lapse of time between Adam’s creation and Eve’s creation” (Crisis of Conscience R. Franz, 2004, s. 249).
But such opinion was not a novelty at all (see the above chart).