The Books That Redefined C.T. Russell's Beliefs
According to WT history, as a youth/young man, CT Russell was unsatisfied with a number of explanations he was taught about the bible. As a result he went on a quest to 'study' the bible himself. Ultimately this led to an organization that now REQUIRES its members to read bible aids to help them understand the bible. Since most folks on this site don't believe Holy Spirit guided Russell to his beliefs, I'm wondering what books, materials, teachers(other than those mentioned by WT) were available to him at that time.
Does anyone happen to have a compiled list of books,material, literature or propaganda Russell may have or actually read during his day?
From what I have read mainly from posts on this board C.T.Russell was influenced by such men as Barbour , Miller , and the 2nd Adventist movement and their writings , he didnt come up with anything original , that was not already taught by someone else.
He just cherry picked what he liked from various sources and the I.B.S.A. was formed.
It doesnt sound like Jehovah/Yahweh had anything to do with it.
I can only provide a pen-picture of people who influenced CTR. My compilation, including the WTS's first President (not CTR) is available at:
For comprehensive studies see the two books by Schulz and de Vienne: "Nelson Barbour: The Millennium's Forgotten Prophet", and "A Separate Identity: Organizational Identity Among Readers of Zion’s Watch Tower: 1870-1887"
I suggest that the people with the greatest influence were Rutherford and Fred Franz. The former ditched much of Russell's ideas (1874, pyramidology, etc) while the ideas that Rutherford introduced (1914, "Jehovah's Witnesses", etc.) shaped the organisation. Franz built on Rutherford's framework. Rutherford was "crash-through". Knorr was a businessman.
The WTS therefore looks at Russell through the lens of his successors. The reality is that Russell was a product of his time - the 19th century US prophetic speculators.
It is worth noting that there are innumerable splinter groups which owe their origin to Russell. He would not recognise the current Watchtower Society as having succeeded him.
Great information. This is a great start to a long journey.
For the moment, I'm investigating the religious movement that occurred in the late 1800's and early 1900's. I've come across a number of books written at that time which appear to be contributory to the growth of a number of religions. Since I've spent most of my time as a JW, I wanted to dive into the origins of this movement. In my very limited research thus far, it would appear that Russell had a number of influences. Your .pdf file is quite interesting and supportive of that.
The religious movement at that time spurned a number of movements, none being more prevalent than a Zionist movement. I working on confirming that. But it would appear that Russell may have been supporting a Christian Zionist movement. But with Rutherford making changes that ultimately became the organization it is today, perhaps Rutherford had a more of CZ movement in mind than Russell. It's difficult to tell.
However, early on there was (I'm assuming) at least for a short time, agreement between Russell and Rutherford in their doctrinal beliefs.
I'm after the origins of those doctrines...
I liked the part where sister Russell interrupted Russell at a Christmas dinner.
She "caught herself" and Russell said, "Go ahead, you're the head of the house!" which hurt her feelings.
Russell admits it was sarcastic.
A little peek into the pettiness of daily living. And at Christmas, no less.
Miller and Barbour...yep! Probably the two greatest biblical scholars to have ever walked the earth. Proof that simple math skills and a bible can make you a star!
Russell never read anything Miller wrote. Russell's principal anticedents were not adventists but British Literalists.
Wizard of Oz maybe?