Once a year, I attend the Sunday afternoon session of the District Convention with my wife. My wife and her family would like me to attend more JW functions, but besides not being terribly religious at all, I am put off by the open dishonesty of the JW parent organization.
This has led to a "Bet" of sorts. If I can make it through the Sunday session without hearing a single demonstrably false statement made from the stage, I will attend more functions at the local level.
Things are usually just fine until the Bethel speaker takes the stage. This year was no exception.
In years gone by, it was common for JW literature to claim that the split between Russell and Barbour occurred because the latter rejected the Ransom. (See for example, The Watchtower 3/1/1989 p. 23)
Although Barbour and Russell had a sharp disagreement over the mechanics of the Ransom, Barbour certainly never rejected it. He actually explained his position at length in the August 1877 issue of The Herald Of The Morning on pages 26-28.
Russell advocated Atonement; Barbour advocated Substitution. The question of whether Christ died for you (Atonement) or whether he died in place of you (Substitution) is a question that generates disagreement amoung religious people even today. Those that advocate the former believe that the Ransom effects immediate forgiveness of sins. Those that advocate the latter believe that Christ removed the death sentence that was hanging over your head, but your sinful state is unchanged in God's sight
The Proclaimers book did not explain this at any great length, but it did correct past mistatements about Barbour (pages 135 and 622) which was a refreshing departure from the past. Jehovah's Witnesses are indepted to Barbour for the one single chronological element taught during the Russell era that is still retained. They should give credit where credit is due.
Instead however, they are back to repeating the tired old canard about Barbour rejecting the Ransom. This was explicitly stated in the final talk on Sunday entitled, "Remain in the Secret Place of the Most High."
Maybe they'll do better next year....