[This article was contributed by Apollos]
You may have noticed in this past week’s Watchtower study that one of the “READ” scriptures was James 5:7,8? (w 9/15 p21 para 13)
Exercise patience, therefore, brothers, until the presence of the Lord. Look! The farmer keeps waiting for the precious fruit of the earth, exercising patience over it until he gets the early rain and the late rain. YOU too exercise patience; make YOUR hearts firm, because the presence of the Lord has drawn close.
This is not a scripture that is referenced in our literature very often. In this particular case the writers of the article wanted us to focus on the aspect of patience, but notice how the true context of the scripture becomes obscured. The whole point of the verse is that we exercise patience until the parousia begins. Indeed our Lord’s presence has drawn close (v8). That is what gives us the basis for patience. It is not here, but rather it is close.
The paragraph creates a cyclical illustration out of the farmer sowing and reaping, which clearly is not the intent of James’ text. He is not asking us to think in terms of repeated seasons of sowing and reaping, but rather to view this system as a single season awaiting the presence of Christ.
It is the same analogy as used by Paul in Gal 6:9 “In due season we shall reap if we do not tire out.”
As far as I can see we do not explain the true meaning of James 5:7,8 anywhere in our literature. If someone can find a reference that I’m missed please point it out.
This is yet another scripture completely at odds with our assertion that Jesus’ presence began in 1914 and has been in progress for almost a century.