Freddy Franz, One of the smartest men of his day????

by DwainBowman 70 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • fulltimestudent

    There's little doubt that FF was an 'interesting' character.

    And before I go to my main point, may I say that my understanding of Freddy's education was that he had studied for the first year in a classics course in some US. university.

    However the Wikipedia entry (which of course, may have been edited) notes:

    He graduated from Woodward High School in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1911 and attended the University of Cincinnati where he studied liberal arts and later (for two years) Biblical Greek,[1][3] with the intention of becoming a Presbyterian preacher.[2] He learned German and could read Latin and Greek and in later years learned Spanish, Portuguese and French and a basic understanding of Hebrew.[3] His association with the Bible Students began after he read some of the literature of Charles Taze Russell. He was baptized as a Bible Student on either November 30, 1913,[4] or, according to Franz, April 5, 1914.[5]
    In 1920 he joined the Watch Tower headquarters staff in Brooklyn, New York[2] and in 1926 became a member of the editorial staff as a Bible researcher and writer for the Society’s publications

    There is no explanation as to why he dropped out of the course in which he was enrolled. But it seems to have something to do with his interest in Charlie Russell's mob. His years of university study were likely 1912 and 1913, and he was baptised as a Bible Student in 1913 or 1914, which I guess was a critical date in BS thought.

    I wonder what he did between his baptism and his joining Brooklyn HQ in 1920?

    I've always thought of him as a frustrated Bible scholar, and perhaps his appointment to the WTS editorial staff in 1926 was the culmination of his own dream. But maybe he did have greater ambitions.

    I think that he became the 'ghost writer' for Joe Rutherford, and was likely filling an important role in NY Bethel by the 1940's as Knorr was starting his era of authority.

    How the partnership of Knorr/Franz developed would be one of the more interesting stories about the WTS.

  • fulltimestudent

    Another aspect of Freddy's "scholarship" has to do with his personal studies. Did he cease all reading of papers by academic scholars?

    I've tried to find out whether, either Freddy personally or the library at Brooklyn bethel subscribed to any of the many journals that focus on OT or NT studies, but no one seems to be able to answer that question.

    In the many readings that have been assigned for class readings over the past few years, I often experienced "echoes" of WT study articles. That may be purely coincidental, or it may be because Freddy had also read some of those journal articles.


    The really positive thing to come from this thread is that it raises questions about "religious" personalities. Some very strange people populate the centuries of Christian history.

    We can start with Jesus himself. Do the popular images have any validity?

    Here's a forensic reconstruction of what a typical Galilean may have looked like.

    Computer generated image from Son of God TV series

    You can find that image in this BBC item:

    More importantly, how did he think? What were his public statements of his ideas really like? Did he sound "noble and distinguished" or was he more like Freddy?

    The Gospel records are at least second hand and unlikely to be by anyone who actually knew him.

    Then there are all the strange people in Christian history. Have you ever studied the life of St Symeon the stylite. A really strange man, but one who came to exercise enough influence to be able to berate an Emperor.

    Simeon Stylite Louvre.jpg

    He lived for most of life on top of a pole, his food passed up to him in a bucket and his body wastes passed down in the same bucket.

    There's many more, but I'll save them for another day

  • Finkelstein

    As I mentioned previously Franz reused the 6000 year dating scheme which he used back in 1943 to create 1975.

    So from that endeavor, was he intelligent as fox or sly as fox ?

    Oh those fear mongering charlatans.

  • blondie

    This is obviously one of those unconfirmed rumors. So easy to check the records now online and even send an e-mail to Guinness.

    But a jw would rather believe someone they barely know or have never met as long as they are labeled a jw. And cannot confirm or will not. Like the Borg does.

  • joe134cd
    Although I never personally knew Freddie, I can certainly back up what barbra said about his memory recall. I remember seeing an unoffical vhs video recording of Freddie taken by someone who had visited Brooklyn bethel on vacation. I remember him been able to recall bible verses word perfect. The impression I got of freddie at the time although (and this must of been late 80s early 90s & sorry I don't know the exact date of his death) his physical body was breaking down, intellectually and mentally he was as sharp as a razor.
  • Esse quam videri
    Esse quam videri
    '... I remember being told that he knew the entire Bible, completely memorized...'

    I heard he memorized it forwards AND backwards. Which explains some of the screwball teachings he came up with.
    Always talked like he had just just received his grandiose bluff and fluff from Mt. Sinai itself.
  • Fisherman
    Sparky saw and heard NHK speak and what he posted about him is accurate.
  • eyeuse2badub

    Freddy was a legend--------------in his own mind!

    just saying!


  • pbrow

    If memorizing the bible is a dub's reason to exalt a person then I would say every witness should read Thomas Paine's Age of Reason.

    or really any ex witness should read it as well.


  • Vidiot

    "Freddy Franz, One of the smartest men of his day..."

    "Smart men" wear clothes Herb Tarleck wouldn't be caught dead in and wander around talking to their shoes?

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