What is Russell's motive when he started examining the Bible with a group of bible students? Did he intend to form a cult and to mislead others?
What is CT Russell's motive?
To put it concisely, sell literature and draw attention to himself as a publicized faithful servant to Christ and his Gospel.
Another viewpoint might be he saw the wrong of mainstream Christianity by information gathered by others so he pursued and supported other teachings, like the return of Christ (1874) and the new kingdom (1914)
Ironically they were also wrong teachings or bible interpretations , thereby actually identifying himself as a false prophet.
The 1976 yearbook has some "beautiful" stories about young Russell and his motives. We know how the WTBTS loves to polish and whitewash their organisational history, but I truly believe that in his first years, Russell was the most sincere and tolerant of all WT leaders (he was not the 1st president, as a side note). I believe that his obsession with bible-chronology (as part of finkelstein's 2nd point) was the spark and motivation that started the movement, not an evil masterplan to start a sect and gain control over people's minds and money. I think he really believed his own BS and might have even been surprised by his "succes". We know he got more doubts as 1914 came closer, but being seen as Jehovah's mouthpiece by his followers, he already had reached a point of no return. He invested money, and by writing a publishing, he was getting it back. This cumulating process sucked everybody in the loop of becoming business based religion.
The Russell that died was a completely different man as the Russell who started a bible study-group of 6 people. He became his own victim. We know he died a broken and disillusioned man but still the Watchtower 1919, oct. 1 p. 297 called him "one of God's great reformers and prophets." Sigh... proof that the organisation had no intention at all to come clean. Until the 20's, Rutherford continued to promote several false Russell dates. Therefore, I would nėver contribute any sincerity to Rutherford but young Russell at least gets some credit from me.
To put it concisely, sell literature and draw attention to himself - Fink
All of the available evidence suggests otherwise.
Russell was turned off from religion until he was later attracted by the Adventist movement and became convinced that the problem was not the bible but the way it was preached by mainstream christianity. His motive was to be part of a restoration of 'true doctrine' and to promote an apocalyptic message.
At this stage he rejected all attempts to put a date on the parousia. He invested heavily using his own money and resisted appeals by his readers to form a new church or organisation. He taught that Christ's 'sheep' were to be found in every church.
I agree with redpilltwice that he died a very different person from the one that began his religious quest.
Ask Maria, the wife he divorced. She would have a thing or two to say about his motivation - especially his dalliances with a certain Miss Ball.
The Russell that died was a completely different man as the Russell who started a bible study-group of 6 people. He became his own victim. --redpill
Can you elaborate more? Never heard of how he died.
At this stage he rejected all attempts to put a date on the parousia. He invested heavily using his own money and resisted appeals by his readers to form a new church or organisation. He taught that Christ's 'sheep' were to be found in every church.-- cofty
So he started off with a good motive. But he later set the date of christ's parousia at 1874 and then change it to 1914.
There is another thing I want to know. Did he ever claim to be god's prophet?
Here is another link:
Of Interest at this site is A simplified chart of historical developments of major groups within Bible Students.
It shows all of the schisms starting in 1909 Under Russell and rest under Rutherford.
About 1869 17-year-old Russell attended a meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania of a group he called "Second Adventists" and heard Advent Christian preacher Jonas Wendell expound his views on Bible prophecy. Wendell, influenced by the teachings of William Miller, rejected traditional Christian beliefs of the "immortal soul" and a literal hell and interpreted scriptures in the books of Daniel and Revelation to predict that Christ would return in 1873. Russell became convinced that God would reveal his purpose in the last days of the "Gospel age" and formed an independent Bible study group in Pittsburgh.
Eventually Russell was profoundly influenced by the Adventist's.
When I was a teenager, I remember Ed Brenneisen's wife saying that 'Brother' Russell was the kindest, most loving person she had ever known. So perhaps his motives were pure and then his ideology took on a life of its own. In essence, maybe he 'became a victim of his own success'. Just my 'two cents'.
This accumulating process sucked everybody in the loop of becoming business based religion.
Even when the core doctrines of Russell ie.1914 failed, there was still a publishing company with a good portion of money within it. $$$
In comes J Rutherford who knew of the wealth that Russell had built supporting WTS. and he took it upon himself to continue on the publishing agenda, reworking doctrines to still allure people to the WTS's literature.
He reestablished the continuing distribution of that literature, all in supposedly endeavoring act of preaching the true and accurate version of Gospel ........... it wasn't