The Harp of God book

by blownaway 36 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • careful


    How about the idea that Fred Franz realized the spiritual Israel thing—and probably many other things that CTR had wrong—and finally won over JFR to his view? I suspect this was a major overlooked factor in WTS history of the post-CTR period.

  • OrphanCrow

    Slim, what I have claimed is online. I am not at home at the moment to access my computer's archives and I don't have time or the resources to do it on my phone. My dad is taking almost all of my energy to attend to him in the hospital

    What I have "claimed" shouldn't be that hard to find with a bit of effort. I found it and so can you

    Sorry. Gotta go and give a dying man a drink of water

  • Earnest

    OrphanCrow : Rutherford spent a lot of time in Germany in the years leading up to his reorganization of the WTS in 1931. Germany was the testing ground for all his changes. And besides, the lawyers for the German WTS were members of the Nazi party.

    I have checked all the Watchtowers from 1925 to 1931 inclusive.

    In 1925 Rutherford went to a number of conventions in Europe including Germany. The convention in Germany was at Magdeburg from May 29-June 1 inclusive. On the night of 1st June he took a train to Cologne and then a plane to England for the convention there.

    In 1926 there was a convention in Magdeburg from May 13-16 inclusive. On the concluding day R. J. Martin of the Brooklyn addressed the convention and said, in part:

    In December last Brother Rutherford delivered to me manuscript for a new book called Comfort for the Jews. By the end of one month we had printed 225,000 copies. These were practically all disposed of in six weeks. Another edition of 150,000 was placed in the factory, and at the time Brother Rutherford and I sailed for Europe a great many of them were disposed of.
    This book is another stroke of lightning that will sweep away darkness from the earth. It tells why so many wonderful things are taking place in Palestine. Nathan Straus, perhaps the wealthiest Jew in the world, was given the first copy off the press, and he read it with a great deal of joy. He has written Brother Rutherford two very fine letters about the book. It is a most remarkable book.
    ...This book has already been translated into German, Yiddish and Hebrew.
    Books in these three languages are being manufactured in the factory here at Magdeburg and will soon be in your hands for distribution to the people.

    In 1927 a number of conventions were held in Europe including Switzerland and Germany. The Watchtower, December 1 1927, pp.355,356 reports on the convention in Zurich:

    On Sunday evening the Jews had been invited to hear an address by the president of the Society on “Palestine for the Jew : Why?” The theatre building was packed to its capacity; and it was estimated that in the audience were about three hundred Jews, the others being Gentiles. Rapt attention was given to every word of the address, and many times comforting points were vigorously applauded by the Jews. At the conclusion one Jew was heard to say, “This is the happiest day of my life.”
    Why should not this be true with every real Jew ? When the Jew comes to hear that Jehovah is the great God of love, that he has been long-suffering with them and their fathers, and that now the time has come to restore the Jews to his favor, these facts should bring joy to the heart of all Jews who believe. One of God’s purposes concerning his anointed ones at this time is that they are to obey his command given through his prophet, to wit: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins” .— Isaiah 40: 1, 2.
    On the occasion of this meeting seventy Comfort for the Jew books were sold, together with a number of other books.

    From Zurich they went to Magdeburg where they attended to some business matters and then to Berlin for the convention. Immediately after the convention they flew to Denmark for the convention there.

    In 1929 there were again conventions in Europe including a convention at Leipzig, Germany from May 18-21 inclusive. Other meetings were held in Magdeburg and elsewhere and then they flew to London for a convention held May 31-June 4 inclusive.

    In The Watchtower, December 15 1930, p.374 states:

    The Society now publishes the following clothbound books: The Harp of God, ...; and in addition thereto, the following small books, paper covered: ...Comfort for the Jews...; and additional thereto, publishes The Watch Tower and The Golden Age, all of these containing the message of the kingdom.

    In 1931 there was a convention at Berlin from May 30-June 1 inclusive.

    In summary, Rutherford did go to Germany with his entourage during these years but it was specifically as part of a number of European conventions and it doesn't seem that he ever spent more than a week there except 1929 when he spent just over two weeks. Comfort for the Jews was released in Germany in 1926 and it continued to be printed at least as late as 1930.

    I didn't find anything to suggest that Witnesses were members of the Nazi Party at any time.

  • slimboyfat

    Sorry about your dad OrphanCrow.

    That's excellent research Earnest thank you very much. I wonder if you have an opinion why Rutherford changed his mind about Zionism. The idea that Rutherford was very involved in Germany and used it as a testing ground for "theocratic" policies was promoted in the (in)famous book Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave by William Schnell. Have you ever read that? A fascinating book in many ways, but not to be terribly relied upon for matters of fact. I had to laugh when I found that an active JW had written a book called Forty Years as Jehovah's Willing Slave, or something similar.

    careful, maybe Franz was behind the change, but reading what Rutherford wrote about the subject it's hard to avoid the impression he took it personally.

  • OrphanCrow

    Thanks Slim

    Check out Shnell's book 30 Years a Watchtower Slave. He talks about the WTS in Germany

    I think Lady Lee has a thread on here somewhere concerning that

  • slimboyfat

    I did just mention Schnell's book to Earnest above. I have read it a couple of times. Schnell was a very interesting character for sure. Tony Wills has a good discussion of him in A People for His Name. The actual reason he left JWs I find intriguing. Which as far as I can make out is because Watchtower didn't like Schnell making money selling books. Schnell is listed as an ordained minister of Watchtower in the yearbooks of the 1930s and 1940s, plus a number of his letters to Watchtower were published in the magazine. Wills claimed that some of these undermined claims Schnell would later make in Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave.

  • Earnest
    slimboyfat : I wonder if you have an opinion why Rutherford changed his mind about Zionism.

    I am inclined to agree with careful that Fred Franz probably won over JFR to his view.

    Although the 144,000 had long been viewed as a spiritual Israel, there seemed to be a gradual acceptance between 1927 and 1935 that the great crowd were not part of the anointed ones. It must have perplexed Rutherford where they fitted in, and the analogy of spiritual Israel with a spiritual great mixed crowd must have been too great to resist.

    OrphanCrow may be right that the unpopularity of the Jews also influenced Rutherford, but I don't see any evidence for it.

    I haven't read Schnell's book, "Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave". Many years ago I dipped into it, found it to be prejudiced, and discarded it without reading further.

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