In 1913, Russell sued Baptist minister J.J. Ross in the Ontario High Court for libel for a tract Ross wrote about Russell the previous year.
Of course, what Ross meant by this is that Russell had never been appointed as "pastor" by what Ross considered to be acceptable sources for such an appointment by men educated in the Protestant doctrines of men and their philosophies, that is, by a Baptist, a Methodist, or similar school, whom Ross evidently considered to have exclusive authority to appoint anyone to minister the Word of God. And yet, how many denominations that can give scriptural authority for its own ordinations and the scriptural right to forbid it to others, or to question the scripturalness of other denominations' or religious groups' ordination than its own? Some have tried, but all such, in the end, leads to assumptions being read into whatever scriptures are presented.
As far as "pastor" is concerned, as it is often used today, this is not described in the Bible as being a separate "office", such as elder, deacon, etc. The word "pastor" simply means "shepherd".
Jehovah is the Most High Shepherd (Pastor), who is the source of all power and authority (1 Corinthians 8:6); Jesus is the “genuine” (Greek, transliterated, Kalos, Strong’s #2570) shepherd (pastor) appointed over the sheep by the Most High Shepherd (Pastor), as opposed to the false shepherds. The Most High Shepherd (Pastor) Jehovah judges His sheep through, by means of the genuine shepherd whom he has appointed. — Psalm 23:1; 96:13; 98:9; Ezekiel 34:2-24; John 5:22,23; 10:11-17,29; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Romans 2:16; 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10.
Nevertheless, the Bible states: "He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets (public speakers); and some, evangelists (preachers of the good news); and some, shepherds (pastors) and teachers." (Ephesians 4:11, World English) "He" is evidently referring to the appointed Pastor Jesus, who had ascended to be at God's right hand (John 15:26; Acts 1:8; 2:32,33; 5:31; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:3,17-23; 4:10; Philippians 2:9; Hebrews 10:12), and whom God used to pour out His spirit on the church. Those whom Jesus appoints as pastors, however, are "servants", not rulers or lords over the flock. -- Matthew 20:25,26.
Additionally, none of us are perfect, and Brother Russell never claimed to be perfect, or infallible. Indeed, the claimed the opposite, that the conclusions he presented were NOT infallible, and the he could make mistakes. Brother Russell was interrogated for hours without let up during the Ross trial and most people often become very confused after such prolonged interrogation; one is almost bound to make some mistakes based on misunderstanding of what he was being asked under such interrogation. At most, this appears to be what happened with Brother Russell, but he was never allowed to explain himself in court, but he did explain himself outside of court.
Ross accused Russell of being undereducated in areas of religious concern, such as theology, classical languages and philosophy.
"Do you know the Greek?" asked the Attorney.
"Oh, yes," was Russell's reply.
Here he was handed a copy of the New Testament in Greek, by Westcott & Hort, and asked to read the letters as they appear on the top of page 447. He did not know the Greek alphabet. "Now,"
Mr. Staunton asked [sic], "Are you familiar with the Greek language?"
"No," said Mr. Russell without a blush.
Question: "You don't profess, then, to be schooled in the Latin language?"
Answer: "No, Sir."
Question: "Or in Greek?"
Answer: "No, Sir."
Question: "Do you know the Greek alphabet?"
Answer: "Oh, Yes."
Question: "Can you tell me the correct letters if you see them?"
Answer: "Some of them, I might make a mistake on some of them."
Question: "Would you tell me the names of the letters of those on the top of the page, page 447 I have got here [from Westcott and Hort]?"
Answer: "Well, I don't know that I would be able to."
Question: "You can't tell what those letters are, look at them and see if you know."
Answer: "My way ..." [At this point he was interrupted by the court and not allowed to explain.]
"Are you familiar with the Greek language?"
AN IRREGULAR (John 7:15). That is what they all say. The crime of Christ was that He had not taken a course in their college. 'Whence hath He learning?' There are some professional policemen who must protect all learning; medicine, law, gospel, or what not. If you never went through their schools of learning you are a freak, and there is something suspicious about your good sense. These men thought there was only one way of learning -- they would ask a certificate of the sun! There are many schools and schoolmasters in God's universe. Cease your criticism of any Christian scholar. Let him learn in his own way; the Kingdom of God is going to make great progress when some of these high brows are removed to Heaven. Sometimes a man's utterance of profound Truths is stated in poor grammatical form, and the philosophers are puzzled by his power. They wonder where he got it: I do not know -- probably his alma mater was his mother's knees -- then let him speak. Remember today: 'God hath chosen the weak things of this world to confound the mighty.
Some of Brother Russell's own defenses, which contain much of which he was not allowed to present in court:
Russell Responses to J. J. Ross
Pastor's Russell's Reply to Critics
For more concerning the alleged "perjury" of Russell:
The Late Walter Martin's Sham Scholarship -- by James Penton
Did Pastor Russell lie under oath about his knowledge of Greek?
Did Pastor Russell Lie Under Oath?
St. Paul Enterprise: Defences of Pastor Russell — Discusses accusations and misrepresentations made by William T. Ellis, W. B. Riley, and others. Some statements seem to exalt Brother Russell too highly, making him a prophet (which Russell himself disclaimed, QB272; 675:1), but most is good information.
Some of the material in this presentation has been adapted from:
A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens