Else, thanks for those scans! I remember when I first saw that original article...my eyebrows practically fell off. And then when I saw they had changed it in the bound volume...well, it was yet another dart that moved me farther away from "the center." But, ya know, in all honesty, when I first read those words, my heart jumped a little and I seriously considered that they might just be right..I wanted it to be right. Such was the depth of my brain-washing.
The 1930s Watchtowers had quite a number of "this was obviously incorrect" statements, as Rutherford and Franz proceeded to discredit and discard the majority of what Russell had taught. Another example, where they do a switcheroo even on themselves. (bold added):
Who is “the avenger,” or the one who executes vengeance antitypically upon such wrongdoers? The very language of the law of God makes “the avenger ” God’s official executioner. According to the Hebrew for “avenger” the execution of vengeance devolved upon one by reason of kinship, family relationship, such as the relationship of Boaz toward Naomi and Ruth, and against the defiling near kinsman. The
Watchtower of 1925, page 182, paragraph 51, says: “It seems that Satan is the avenger of blood.” Clearly that statement is wrong, and The Watchtower hereby retracts it. It is true that Satan has the power of death, given him when he was appointed man’s overseer, and that he does cause the death of many, even of some of the faithful followers of Christ Jesus. But that does not mean that he is the offeial executioner of Jehovah, and particularly so far as the cities of refuge are concerned. Satan was never the kinsman of man so that he could fulfil the office of avenger or revenger by reason of being the near kinsman. Satan is a spirit creature; hence that alone would preclude him from filling the place. He was in no wise a kinsman of the Israelites, and holds no commission or appointment in connection with the cities of refuge.
This "avenger of blood" and "cities of refuge" teaching may seem a little obtuse to JWs who've come in over the last 25 years (since 1978 the Watchtower has only discussed it once [ w95 11/15 pp. 10-20]) , but it used to be a "hot" topic for many years, even into the early 70s.