Here is the new definition of 'generation' from the "faithful and discreet slave class" as stated in the April 15, 2010, Watchtower magazine. The article is entitled, "Holy Spirit’s Role in the Outworking of Jehovah’s Purpose". This new teaching and belief is specifically brought out in paragraphs 13 and 14:
"Third, holy spirit is at work in bringing Bible truths to light. (Prov. 4:18) This magazine has long been used by “the faithful and discreet slave” as the primary channel for dispensing increased light. (Matt. 24:45) For example, consider our understanding of those who make up “this generation” mentioned by Jesus. (Read Matthew 24:32-34). To what generation did Jesus refer? The article “Christ’s Presence—What Does It Mean to You?” explained that Jesus was referring, not to the wicked, but to his disciples, who were soon to be anointed with holy spirit. Jesus’ anointed followers, both in the first century and in our day, would be the ones who would not only see the sign but also discern its meaning—that Jesus “is near at the doors.”
"What does this explanation mean to us? Although we cannot measure the exact length of “this generation,” we do well to keep in mind several things about the word “generation”: It usually refers to people of varying ages whose lives overlap during a particular time period; it is not excessively long; and it has an end. (Ex. 1:6) How, then, are we to understand Jesus’ words about “this generation”? 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. That generation had a beginning, and it surely will have an end. The fulfillment of the various features of the sign clearly indicate that the tribulation must be near. By maintaining your sense of urgency and keeping on the watch, you show that you are keeping up with advancing light and following the leadings of holy spirit.—Mark 13:37."
The Watchtower Society is now teaching Jehovah's Witnesses that when you read 'generation', it doesn't mean one generation, but an overlap of generations starting with the anointed in 1914. It's funny how the Watchtower Society can manipulate and interpret words as well as scriptural passage to fit their doctrines as they continue to make less and less sense.
It was not too long ago, another publication referencing the same word "generation" also used the highlighted scripture in Exodus to explain the 'correct' understanding. The Insight on the Scriptures book Volume 1, page 917 makes this statement:
"A generation commonly refers to all persons who were born about the same time. (Ex 1:6)"
However, now the Watchtower Society states according to the April 15, 2010, Watchtower:
"It usually refers to people of varying ages whose lives overlap during a particular time period; it is not excessively long; and it has an end. (Ex. 1:6)"
Two completely different takes on 'generation' using the same bible verse as support. In one occasion, it supports people “born about the same time”, and then in another instance the same verse supports “varying ages whose lives overlap”. The Watchtower Society has a knack for twisting the application of scriptures to suit their agenda and interpretation of 'truth' at any given time.
Additionally, they try to support their teachings by using weasel words or crafty grammatical styling to make their information and doctrine sound concrete and appear to be "the truth". As can be seen in paragraph 14 of the April 15, 2010, Watchtower study article, they make the statement regarding Jesus words:
"He evidently meant..."
Where and what is the evidence? There is no evidence. All that's present is the Watchtower Society's spin on matters when the facts go against their grain of beliefs. Anytime you see the Watchtower Society use the word "evidently", often what they are really stating is "there is no evidence, we are telling you and you will believe it means". They are placing words and exaggerated convoluted meaning into what the Bible states Jesus said.
Using their logic and interpretation of scripture, a child born in 2010 is actually part of Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation" because there are still plenty of World War II veterans alive today and the generations overlap. Additionally, today's kindergartener child is a part of the World War I generation because Kama Chinen of Japan, one of the oldest living people, born in 1895, overlaps with the child's life. According to the Watchtower Society, if these generations "overlap" starting with those who witnesses the events of 1914, they are a part of the same generation.
The problem the Watchtower Society is dealing with is the constant increase of Memorial partakers. In fact, the 2010 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses shows the number of partakers is 10,857 for the year 2009. This marks a significant increase from the previous year of 2008 where partakers totaled 9,986. The Watchtower Society taught that the decrease in number of partakers was a sign that Armageddon was soon to take place. Consequently, what would it mean to Jehovah's Witnesses if that number kept increasing? Obviously, they needed to fix the mess they started, since that number is indeed increasing.
The facts and real evidence makes them peddle back and perform a different explanation of their interpretation of the scriptures. Looking at the Watchtower from October 15, 1988 on page 4 under the heading, "The Sign — Are You Heeding It?" The following was taught as "the truth":
"Might it be, though, that the sign could occur over the span of many human generations? No. The sign is to occur during one particular generation. The same generation that witnessed the beginning of the sign will also witness its climax.
There is, however, the danger of becoming impatient. Seventy-four years have passed since the outbreak of World War I in 1914. From a human viewpoint, this may seem a very long time. But some eagle-eyed Christians who saw World War I are still very much alive. Their generation has not passed away."
Now with so-called 'increased light', that one human generation from 1914 spoken of in the Watchtower can completely pass away and not witness the climax because of the next generation (according to the Watchtower Society current 'truth') is an 'overlapping generation' which is equal to the same generation that Jesus was recorded to have stated in the Bible. Clear as muddy water, is it not?
Let's take a final look at the Watchtower Society's teaching of 'generation'. This time from a longer historical perspective:
Generation (Mathew 24:34)...
-1927 = The Anointed
[Watchtower February 15, 1927 page 62]
-1942 = Anyone alive to see 1914
[Watchtower July 1, 1942 page 204]
-1995 = Wicked People alive today
[Watchtower November 1, 1995 page 19]
-2008 = The Anointed
[Watchtower February 15, 2008 page 24]
-2010 = Overlap Generations of the Anointed since 1914
[Watchtower April 15, 2010 page 10]
In summary, the Watchtower Society’s teaching concerning the meaning of 'generation' as recorded in Matthew was first 'correctly' understood to be 'The Anointed' in 1927. But brighter light caused it to become an incorrect teaching of a couple of different things over the course of 81 years, only to return back to the original ‘correct’ 1927 teaching of 'The Anointed'. However, in a little over two years that now has proved to be not completely accurate and needed more 'tweaking' to overlap generations of the Anointed since 1914.
All the above is "The Truth" and the way God directs his chosen people...
...According to the Watchtower Society.