Saturday, March 18, 2017

Russell and the Year 1925

Sometimes we find statements that claim that Brother Russell expected this or that to happen in 1925. Actually, Russell had examined claims being made for 1925 and rejected those claims. I will give here a brief summary relating to Brother Russell and the year 1925:

1925 was one of the dates floating around among the Bible Students long before 1914.
Sometime before 1911, Brother Russell mentioned 1925 in an article he had written for the Overland Monthly regarding the Jews, entitled: "Their Sabbath and Jubilee". He stated:

Each cycle was forty-nine years, and its Jubilee, the fiftieth year. Seventy times this number would be 3,500 years. And this period measured from the time Israel entered Canaan marks the year 1925 as the time when the antitypical Jubilee will be due to begin. However, there is still another method of reckoning the matter, which, we believe, is the proper one, namely, to count nineteen cycles with their Jubilees partially observed totaling 950 years, and then to count the remaining fifty-one cycles as forty-nine years each, because the Jubilees were omitted. This would total 2499 years plus 950 years with Jubilees totaling 3449 years. This period of 3449 years reckoned from the entering of Canaan ends October, 1874.

It should be apparent that although he presented the year 1925, he also rejected that method of calculating the jubilee cycles in favor of the method that brings one to 1874.
Nevertheless, in 1911, Brother Russell presented -- without comment -- some work of Kal Kaup (Watch Tower, March 1911, pages 76,77) which includes calculations related to 1925:

At this point, one should note that Brother Russell often presented such views by others without comment, allowing the readers to make up their own mind concerning such views. This does not mean that Brother Russell was himself endorsing such views.
Nevertheless, some began to use these calculations to teach that the church would be glorified in 1925. The problem, however, was that some were evidently saying that this was Brother Russell's own view.
In 1915 (Watch Tower, July 1, 1915, page 207), Brother Russell presented a letter (without comment) from a brother signed "W. M. Wisdom" under the title of "False Reports Injurious". Brother Wisdom speaks of some who were claiming that Brother Russell had endorsed the claim that the church "will not be gathered until 1925". Brother Wisdom realized, however, that Brother Russell had NOT endorsed such a view.

In 1916, Brother Russell presented a letter (Watch Tower April 15, 1916, pages 126,127) from one who was concerned about some unnamed elder pointing to the year 1925 as being the view of Brother Russell. In giving his response concerning his own conclusions regarding 1925, Brother Russell stated:

We are not looking forward to 1925, nor to any other date.

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