Then I suppose that you must have some consensus on your own (popular?) interpretation.
I don't quite know what you mean here. My argument isn't about consensus. My argument was that Daniel's prophecies (at least the earlier ones) interpret themselves. They all spring, in some sense, from the meaning of the Nebuchadnezzar dream, of which Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar himself to be the "head of gold", followed by an inferior kingdom of silver, etc.
The four beasts are the easiest to interpret simply because they correspond with the four kingdoms in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, which also arise in succession... and which MUST start Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom.
Having said that, while there is general consensus on the meaning of the four beasts, people differ on the things afterwards, i.e. the "small horn", and especially the more complicated "king of the north vs Negev" prophecy.
The reason, however, is always the same. The confusion arises because many commentators want the later things to fit into their "end times" scenarios.
The perfect example is the Watchtower's interpretation of Daniel 11, which is good up until Tiberius, and then essentially skirts 1,800 years of history so that the prophecy conveniently jumps to 1914.
However, many other Christian denominations are guilty of this. Another example is the final 7 week of Daniel 9... conveniently cast into the future so it can be fulfilled in the "end time".
It is ALWAYS a case of wanting prophecy to fit their own "end times" scenarios, rather than allowing the prophecies to interpret themselves naturally. For example, if the WT were honest, after correctly identifying Augustus and Tiberius in Daniel 11, they would at least consider seeing if the life of the next emperor, Caligula, continued the match-up.
It does... but they probably realized they'd be on a dangerous path, because then it becomes increasingly clear the next emperor after Claudius was NERO... the one who actually warred with the Jews. And they can't have Daniel 11 ending in the 1st century... because that don't fit their "end times"... so they had to make up some mumbo jumbo about the prophecy jumping to Queen Zenobia and then the British Empire.
This "private interpetation" dishonours the God who inspired it, and worse... it weakens the true predictive power of the prophecy... a prophecy so accurate, scholars attempt to date its authorship to hundreds of years AFTER Daniel's day!
So which Christian organization do you belong to that adheres to your popular interpretation which you support simply through an argument about consensus?
I imagine it must therefore be a very large organization which, does not include Catholicism.
Well, I think you're making the same mistake that many Witnesses subconsciously make. They imagine Peter as saying, "Where else shall we go?" In other words, if The Truth isn't the truth, where can we go? What organization can we look to?
In reality, Peter said, "Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life". (John 6:68)
You are looking for an "organization" that represents God. However, Jesus said:
"For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst." (Matt 18:20)
To put it another way... any gathering of two or three believers in Christ, is essentially a "church" to Christ! The "spiritual house" Peter talked about is simply all of these believers, collectively.
Now, let me explain on a more personal level how I view where the truth resides.
I recently found out that Christadelphians are closer to believing some of what I now believe prophetically. They also have many beliefs similar to Witnesses (although they believe the Devil and Demons are of pagan origins, like hellfire).
However, I'd probably find it difficult to join Christadelphians, for the same reason I'd find it hard to go to the Kingdom Hall. At this stage in my life, I prefer the freedom of working out for myself what the Bible teaches, than have someone teach it to me dogmatically.
However, I'm pretty sure a good many Christadelphians are Christian. The same applies to many other "brands" (denominations) out there.
I no longer believe there is "one true religion". Of course, technically speaking there is... that of Christian. I mean that there is no "one true religion" that God is exclusively using today.
I think Christ is capable of spreading truth in many different ways, and through many different "vehicles" and "vessels".
With hindsight, I am happy to say that the founder of JWs, Charles Taze Russell, contributed to speading that truth, and shedding further light on scriptures. And I am happy to give JWs credit, in the sense that they HAVE helped to spread the knowledge of God among the world.
I certainly may not have come to know God if it weren't for JWs and their massive publishing empire.
They call themselves the "mother organization", and perhaps they are right in one sense. That sense is that, once the child has grown into adulthood, he no longer clings to his father and mother, but goes out, stands on his own two feet, and perhaps meets a wife and they become "one flesh".
The same is true, in a spiritual sense. When we were spiritual babes, we needed the guidance, direction, protection and companionship of an organization, just as a child needs these things from his mother.
However, there comes a time when you realize that mother may not be right in everything, and that you eventually have to stand on your own two feet, and take responsibility.
Eventually, you realize that all that really matters, is your relationship with Christ. It needs no other mediator... whether Mary (for the Catholics), or the "faithful and discreet slave" (for the Witnesses).
I suppose what this mini epistle is saying... is...
There is no "one true religion" today embodied in any one organization... because Christ has his followers all over the place, in many different organizations, and some in no organization.
This is why I can't accept your interpretation... because it holds that JWs are THE exclusive organization used by God to accomplish His will.
That implies God's hand is cut short... that He cannot act unless someone carrying a Watchtower comes along.
Worse, it suggests (not necessarily explicitly, but the implication is there) that there are very few Christians elsewhere (except perhaps ex-JWs like yourself).
Personally, I think that is insulting to Christadelphians, Seventh-Day Adventists, Jews For Jesus, etc etc.
Yes, all of them have their own "brands", doctrines and interpretations... but their interpretations aren't necessarily any more right or wrong than the JW doctrines!
We may have had a valid case when we believed JWs were 100% right... but now that we know some of their doctrines and teachings are plain wrong, what superiority do JWs have over Christadelphians, Seventh-Day Adventists, Jews for Jesus etc.
You say they bear God's name... but so do "Jews For Jesus"... THEY bear the name that God gave over every name!
You say only JWs do "the preaching work"? Then how do these denominations (that didn't exist 200 years ago) get members?
My point is that... I think JWs have done a good job of convincing us both of their "exclusivity"... but when we look at that belief in the cold, hard light of day... I would suggest to you that they are but ONE way in which Christ spreads his truth in the world.