Nathan Knorr ( 3rd President of WTB+TS) blamed Jehovah God for failed prophesy in the past saying "Jehovah caused to be preached"
as usual the Governing Body take no responsibility for failures in prophecy today they teach followers
"The light gets brighter"
The Watchtower has promoted six different and contradictory explanations of what this generation refers to. Many Witnesses based their life choices on the generation doctrine that Armageddon would arrive before all those born prior to 1914 had died. Can an organization that makes such critical errors rightfully claim they alone are directed by God?
At the 2010 annual meeting, John Barr presented the latest understanding of the generation. 97 year old Barr was an apt choice to deliver this talk, being the last of the Governing Body born before 1914. He explained the generation is now to include 2 groups whose lives "overlap" since 1914:
"John Barr ... twice read the comment: "Jesus evidently meant that the lives of the anointed ones who were on hand when the sign began to be evident in 1914 would overlap with the lives of the other anointed ones who would see the start of the great tribulation." We do not know the exact length of "this generation," but it includes these two groups whose lives overlap. Even though the anointed vary in age, those in the two groups constituting the generation are contemporaries during the part of the last days. How comforting it is to know that the younger anointed contemporaries of those older anointed ones who discerned the sign when it became evident beginning in 1914 will not die off before the great tribulation starts!" Watchtower 2010 June 15 p.5
There is no Scriptural reason to believe a generation referred to two overlapping groups, other than wishful thinking and a need to prop up the 1914 teaching as still relevant. Can any credence be given to this explanation? The following review of the history of contradictory generation teachings shows there can be no doubt that these teachings are neither directed by holy spirit nor Scripturally sound.
The Watchtower understanding of "this generation" has changed constantly through the entirety of Watchtower history; both regarding who it has been applied to and the timeframe. It is a classic example of the Watchtower's Eisegesis approach to interpretation - forcing a meaning that does not exist. With four different contradictory and sometimes regressive teachings between 1995 and 2010, this subject nullifies any reason to believe the Watchtower excuse for changes as their light getting brighter
A key factor to the growth of the Watchtower Society is the promise that this system will end at any moment. The shorter the expected time left, the higher the growth. (Immediately prior to dates the end was specifically expected, such as 1914, 1925 and 1975, growth increased to as high as 20 %.) When there has been no specific date set, the concept that "this generation will by no means pass away" has been used to stimulate urgency. Looking retrospectively, it is remarkable to see the number of changes to the "generation" teaching, in order to make each decade in the 1900's appear to be the decade Armageddon would come. Source
Who the Generation Applies to
The Watchtower has swung between whether generation has a positive connotation that applies to the Anointed, or has a negative connotation applying to worldly contemporaries. It has also varied on whether the period was over an unspecified time frame or was a fixed period. In brief, the changes have been as follows:
1897 - A group of contemporary people
"Other uses of this Greek word (genea) prove that it is not used with the significance of race, but in reference to people living contemporaneously.... In other words, the signs mentioned will occur within a generation - epoch in the close of the age." Studies in the Scriptures Vol 4 pp.602,603
1927 - The anointed
"The irresistible conclusion therefore is that Jesus referred to the new creation [the anointed] when he said: This generation shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled. This then would be a strong indication that some members of the new creation will be on the earth at the time of Armageddon." Watchtower 1927 Feb 15 p.62
1951 - A fixed period of time from 1914 applied to worldly people
"The actual meaning of these words is, beyond question, that which takes a generation in the ordinary sense, as at Mark 8:12 and Acts 13:36, or for those who are living at the given period. So it was on this generation that the accumulated judgments were to fall. (Matt. 23:36) This therefore means that from 1914 a generation shall not pass till all is fulfilled, and amidst a great time of trouble." Watchtower 1951 Jul 1 p.404
1995 - A group of contemporary worldly people
"Jesus was not departing from his established use of the term this generation, which he consistently applied to the contemporary masses with their blind guides who together made up the Jewish nation. ... Jesus refers principally to contemporary people of a certainhistorical period, with their identifying characteristics." Watchtower 1995 Nov 1 pp.14,20
2008 - The anointed
"As a class, these anointed ones make up the modern-day "generation" of contemporaries that will not pass away "until all these things occur." This suggests that some who are Christ's anointed brothers will still be alive on earth when the foretold great tribulation begins." Watchtower 2008 Feb 15 p.24
2010 - A fixed period from 1914 applied to the anointed
"He evidently meant that the lives of the anointed who were on hand when the sign began to become evident in 1914 would overlap with the lives of other anointed ones who would see the start of the great tribulation." Watchtower 2010 April 15 p.10