Why Charles Russell's Fascination with Numbers?

by VM44 7 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • VM44

    This question deserves its own thread.

    Why did Chartles Russell have this fascination with numbers from the Bible?

    144,000, 1,260 days, 2,520 days, 7 times, 70 years, Three and a half times, and so on. Note that these numbers come from two Bible books, Daniel and Revelation. (and well as Ezekiel)

    Add to that his fascination with pyramid numbers!!!

    It appears he was deeply involved in a Numbers Racket!


  • DannyBloem


    I think those thoughts were also popular at that time....

  • Honesty

    Numerology and the occult were his trademarks.

  • kid-A

    I have read several of CT Russells original works including Thy Kingdom Come where he obsessively details his pyramidology calculations. There are honestly parts of this book that come across as a mathmatics text book. His writing style is so dense, it is incredibly difficult to grasp how his thought process worked. I was methodical, obsessed with the most minute details.

    When you read his passages they come across as almost 'manic' in that he clearly has about 1 million thoughts in his head at any given time and trys to write them down in a frantic manner. Despite the zaniness of many of his ideas, he was extremely bright and extremely creative in many of his approaches. I suspect if he had chosen another career path his obsessiveness with details, methods and calculations would have made him a brilliant scientist while his oratory skills would have made him a brilliant politician or lawyer. What a shame his talents were wasted with bible babble and predicting the apocalypse.

  • slimboyfat

    Yet he rarely came up with his own calculations, he borrowed them from others.

    Crompton has the best discussion of his chronological system.

    I would actually challenge that Russell himself was not so interested in the numbers per se, as he was in the idea that Christ would act soon and that his preaching was eschatologically significant.

    Similarly with the pyramid: I think a bigger thing was made of the pyramid in the couple of years following Russell's death by Edgar Morton, Woodworth and Fisher than Russell actually did during his lifetime.

    Russell was fascinated by hellfire.

  • blondie

    I think if you look at the religious groups in the US that originated in that time period, you will find a similar fascination with numbers. He reflected his time. Even today many religious groups are just as fascinated with the numbers in the Bible and their meaning today. Once I started listening and reading other groups interpretation of prophecies, I saw many similarities.

  • garybuss

    William Miller, George Storrs, and Nelson Barbour were numerologists and they were Russell's teachers and predecessors. It was their use of numerology and the Edgar brother's application of numerology to pyramidology that interested Russell. It's the untrained teaching the gullable how to apply pseudo-science to end time religion.

    Now just add a business manager, some high speed printing presses and six million superstitious people to the stew and we have Jehovah's Witnesses.

  • VM44

    "I think a bigger thing was made of the pyramid in the couple of years following Russell's death by Edgar Morton, Woodworth and Fisher than Russell actually did during his lifetime."

    Yes, I agree. Russell only wrote about the pyramid in a couple of article published in the Watchtower, in chapter 10 of volume 3 of Studies in the Scriptures ("Thy Kingdom Come").

    So while he might have believed that the Giza pyramid was "God's stone witness", Russell really did not promote that belief.

    There are indications that the numbers used by Russell in the pyramid calculations in Vol 3 could not be rigourously documented, if that is so, then Russell probably did not want to bring too much attention to the subject for fear that someone would raised questions about where exactly did the measurment numbers come from.

    Someone DID raise the question in 1904, and Russell answered in the Watchtower saying that he saw no reason to believe the numbers in SiS3 were inaccurate.The following year (1905) Russell changed the pyramid numbers in question for all future editions of SiS3.

    As you mentioned, the promotion of the significance of the Giza pyramid was done by others. In particular by Morton Edgar, who wrote many books on the topic, and was particularly upset when Rutherford disposed of the idea that the pyramid had any significance in two Watchtower articles published I believe in 1927 or 1928 (I am still trying to find those articles).

    Judge Rutherford called the Giza pyramid "Satan's Bible"

    Morton Edgar called Judge Rutherford "this evil servant"

    Morton probably discontinued association soon afterwards.


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