1879-1916 WT Tidbits--Then and Now

by blondie 30 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • blondie

    I have been using a website to go through the WTs from 1879 to 1916. I find things that amaze and astound me. I will post some here that I think may be of interest.

    JULY 1879


    (Changed 1909, The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ?s Presence (title and cover change, January 1)

    w74 8/15 507 No Spiritual "Energy Crisis" for Discreet Ones

    According to Bible chronology thereafter adopted, it was understood that 6,000 years of man?s existence on earth ended in 1872, whereas six millenniums of human sin concluded and the seventh millennium began in 1874. Christ?s presence was thought to have begun in October 1874, at the start of the great antitypical Jubilee.?Lev. chap. 25; Rev. 20:4.

    From that understanding, it was thought that the "chaste virgin" class began going forth to meet the Bridegroom in 1874. (2 Cor. 11:2)
    Hence, when C. T. Russell began publishing a new religious magazine in July 1879, it was called "Zion?s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ?s Presence." It was heralding Christ?s presence as having begun in 1874. This invisible presence was expected to continue until the Gentile Times ended in 1914, when the Gentile nations would be destroyed and the remnant of the "chaste virgin" class would be glorified with their Bridegroom in heaven by death and resurrection to live in the spirit. (1 Cor. 15:42-44) Thus would the "discreet virgin" class enter through the door into the wedding.

    C. T. RUSSELL, Editor and Publisher.


    J. H. PATON, . . . . ALMONT, MICH.
    W. I. MANN, . . . . ALLEGHENY, PA.
    B. W. KEITH, . . . .DANSVILLE, N.Y.
    H. B. RICE, . . . W. OAKLAND, CAL.
    A. D. JONES, . . . .PITTSBURGH, PA

    Proclaimers book 620 28 Testing and Sifting From Within

    In July 1879, Russell began to publish a new magazine?Zion?s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ?s Presence?which was from the start a special advocate of the ransom. But that was not the end of it.

    Two years later,

    Paton, who was then serving as a traveling representative of the Watch Tower, also began to turn away, thereafter publishing a book (his second one entitled Day Dawn) in which he rejected belief in Adam?s fall into sin and consequently the need for a redeemer. He reasoned that the Lord himself was an imperfect man who by his life simply showed others how to crucify their sinful propensities.
    In 1881, A. D. Jones , another associate, started a paper (Zion?s Day Star) along the same lines as the Watch Tower but with the idea that it would set out simpler features of God?s purpose. At first it seemed that all was well. Yet, within a year, Jones? paper had repudiated Christ?s atoning sacrifice, and within another year, it had rejected all the rest of the Bible. What had happened to those men? They had allowed personal theories and fascination with popular philosophies of men to lead them astray from the Word of God. (Compare Colossians 2:8.) The paper published by A. D. Jones continued for only a short time and then faded from view.

    In no case will the Editor be responsible for all sentiments expressed by correspondents, nor is he to be understood as indorsing every expression in articles selected from other periodicals.



    In Advance--includes postage.

    As its name indicates, it aims to be the lookout from whence matters of interest and profit may be announced to the "little flock," and as the "Herald of Christ's Presence," to give the "meat in due season" to the "household of faith." (yes, from the beginning they said this)

    The terms, fifty cents a year, (postage paid,) are moderate; but to all interested and desirous of having it, who cannot afford to pay, we will gladly send it free, but you must ask that ye may receive.



    A truth presented by Satan himself is just as true as a truth stated by God.

    How often do they in controversy overlook and ignore truth presented by their opponents. This is particularly the case when arguing with an infidel. They feel at perfect liberty to dispute everything he says on religious subjects.

    Many infidels are honest--as anxious to speak and believe the truth as are Christians--and if in converse with them we ignore truths which they may advance, we not only fail to convince them of our truths, but put an end to all hope of reaching them


    (no mention of "Jehovah" in this edition)


  • stillajwexelder

    I have already copied and pasted into a word document - as usual Blondie - -thanks for your hard work

  • RR

    Maybe it's me, but I don't get the point of this post!


  • sf

    Bringing to the 'table':



  • DevonMcBride

    Very interesting!



  • blondie

    RR, just contrasting Bible Students of yesteryear with JWs of today and how they are ignorant of their history.


  • RR


  • simwitness

    Thank you for the link... I found the following tidbits quite interesting... In an article intitled "Interpetation" ->http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbnon/r24.htm

    Many friends of the Bible, instead of regarding it as containing a system of truth, look upon it as a compilation of facts, commandments and promises, that are not susceptible of arrangement. Such persons are weak and vacillating, and often at the mercy of the bold unbeliever, who finds in his "God of Nature" the embodiment of law and order. He sees order in Geology, Astronomy and other sciences, but only confusion in the Bible, and he rightly reasons that God's works should be harmonious. He knows the principles of those sciences, and can read the book of nature, we will suppose (though but few are free from the domination of leaders who give us ideas second hand), but he knows little, if anything, of the plan of the Bible, and therefore cannot read it. One man has as much right to reject Astronomy because he cannot understand it, as another man has to reject the Bible for the same reason.

    Because, while learning, men differ and quarrel over their opinions does not militate against the truth of any system. If men were more fully controlled by the Spirit of Christ, they could differ in opinion without quarreling.

    To understand any science or book it should be read according to its own principles of interpretation. "No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." 2 Pet. 1:21. Moved by one Spirit it should be taken as a whole, and not disconnectedly. If we would compare scripture with scripture, we would learn that--

    "God is his own interpreter,
    And He will make it plain."

    We affirm that a piece-meal interpretation is the cause of confusion in the Christian world, and gives rise to the profane proverb that "the Bible is just like an old fiddle on which any tune may be played." Very few pretend to use much of the Bible; only a few practical precepts, and enough to prove the particular creed, are valued by the many. They virtually blame the Lord for giving a large book when a small one would have been all-sufficient.

    We do not accuse men generally of dishonesty; we are glad to believe that all parties have some truth, and that they defend their errors with sincerity. None of us are perfect in knowledge, and doubtless all have in the past sincerely believed to be truth, and earnestly defended what is now regarded as error. This should make us feel kindly toward all who differ with us, and who cannot yet see all we can see.

    The sects are too much like men backing [R24 : page 6] into a corner, and defending themselves with a text.

    We are not more intelligent or pious than our fathers, even if it be true as we claim that we have advanced truths. Let all bear in mind that "to whom much is given much is required." If we are advanced in truth we should also be advanced in holiness, and obedience to God's will is an important aid in knowing the truth. John 7:17.

    He that values reputation more than truth, how can he believe? John 5:44.

    Well, all things since then considered, I can actually begin to understand why Russell had so many adherents...

  • simwitness

    I've allways liked this one as well:

    If the six volumes of 'Scripture Studies' are practically the Bible topically arranged, with Bible proof-texts given, we might not improperly name the volumes - the Bible in an arranged form. That is to say, they are not merely comments on the Bible, but they are practically the Bible itself since there is no desire to build any doctrine or thought on any individual preference or on any individual wisdom, but to present the entire matter on the lines of the Word of God. We therefore think it safe to follow this kind of reading, this kind of instruction, this kind of Bible study. Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the 'Scripture Studies' aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years - if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the 'Scripture Studies' with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the light at the end of the two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures." {ZWT Sep 15 1910 298}

  • RR

    Everyone loves to quote that article as proof that Russell believed his writings were superior to the scriptures. They neglect to quote the trst of the article:

    The six volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES are not intended to supplant the Bible. There are various methods to be pursued in the study of the Bible and these aids to Bible study are in such form that they, of themselves, contain the important elements of the Bible as well as the comments or elucidations of those Bible statements, on exactly the same principle that our Lord and the Apostles quoted from the Old Testament, and then gave elucidations of those Old Testament passages. Many of the elucidations were such that if we had not had them, had not had specific interpretations, we might never have been able to discern the proper application of them.


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