(Investigator 103, 2005 July)

Japan has 1 million people aged over 90 and 23,000 centenarians. (The Advertiser 2005 June 4, p73)

This is relevant to Jehovah's Witnesses because they teach that the generation that would see Armageddon consists of people who saw 1914 and were old enough to understand what was going on – hence people born before about 1905.

Some Pentecostal groups such as Australia's Christian Revival Crusade (now called Christian Family Centre) have a similar teaching – apparently no longer mentioned – that the final generation is the generation that experienced 1917.

If we extend the Japanese figures across the globe, we get a world estimate of about 1,200,000 centenarians!

Investigator Magazine No. 46 gave a list of quotations from JW publications that linked the meaning of "generation" to the ordinary human life span, that is to a number of years such as 70 or 80.

In 1995 the JW Leaders altered their doctrine – they changed the meaning of "generation" so that a "generation" can be as long as they say it is. That is, the meaning of "generation" became meaningless.

However, when making the change The Watchtower also said:

Does our more precise viewpoint of "this generation" mean that Armageddon is further away than we had thought? Not at all! (w1995 11/1 20)
It follows that many people born by about 1905 will still, according to JWs, live to experience Armageddon!

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