Whenever challenged on the false dates set by the Governing Body (representing the “faithful and discreet slave” class) such as 1914, 1918, 1925 and 1975, a Jehovah’s Witness will likely fall back on the official Watch Tower Society defence, and it will probably go something like this;
“Well, the apostles had false expectations about Christ’s return. Just read Acts 1! They had a wrong expectation!”
What’s being referred to is the following (from the New World Translation);
A straightforward reading of this account shows that apostles had a very simple question, rather than holding to a “wrong expectation”.
Yes, they expected Jesus to return with full Kingdom glory to restore the nation of Israel to a position outwith Roman bondage. But here we see them asking Jesus if this restoration was to come at that time (33AD).
Jesus doesn’t leave them wondering;
Very quickly Jesus puts to rest their “wrong expectation”.
So, the link is tenuous at best between the apostles’ “wrong expectation” and the Watch Tower Society’s predicting and preaching false dates.
However, if the apostles had been like the Governing Body, we could have expected this:
1. apostles have some “wrong expectations” about when Christ would return (let’s say they thought he’d return, or it would be “fitting” for him to return, in the year 75)
2. Christ offers correction and states that it does not belong to man to know such things (which would be a little unfair of Jesus, considering the Watch Tower Society maintains that such information is hidden – esoterically – within the pages of the Bible and that they, and they alone, have such knowledge of Christ’s return)
3. apostles choose to ignore Jesus discipline
4. apostles pay for mass reproduction of scrolls containing the details of their “wrong expectations”
5. apostles organise themselves to make sure that said scrolls are distributed around all of the 1st century Christian churches (that met in private homes)
6. apostles organise groups of older men to make sure that all of the Christians in the known earth hold to, believe and do not publicly question their “wrong expectations”
7. apostles, subsequent to the year 75 passing without incident, revise their “wrong expectations” and repeat steps 4-6
But’s not what happened.
Instead, the apostles devoted themselves to the preaching of Christ, and became “his witnesses” to the most distant parts of the earth.
A wrong expectation based on a sincere hope is a very different concept from actually setting dates and claiming they’re from the Bible or were revealed by an “angel”.
Why are Jehovah’s Witnesses confused about the “wrong expectations” of the apostles and the preaching and teaching of false dates (prefixed with the words “it would be fitting if”) such as 1975?
And if a teaching is proven to be false, does that mean Jehovah’s Witnesses still have “the truth“?