Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Did Charles Taze Russell Deny the Bible Doctrine of Hell?

Something we keep seeing repeated over and over concerning Russell is that the denied the Bible doctrine of hell. In reality, he did not deny the Bible doctrine of hell, but rather he upheld and defended what the Bible said about hell, as opposed to what self-proclaimed orthodoxy would have us imagine and assume on the scriptures. What Russell denied was the added-on so-called "orthodox" view of hell, which is not found in the Bible, except that one use the great spirit of human imagination in order to "see" that doctrine in the Bible.

Some of Russell's works in which he presented the Bible doctrine of hell as distinguished from the man's self-proclaimed orthodoxy which would add heathen mythology to the Bible.

The Subject of the Atonement - Man

What Saith the Scripture About Hell?

Adam Went to the Bible Hell

Christ's Ascension From Hades

Yahoo Search of Russell's Works for the Expression "Bible Hell"

We have expanded on Russell's findings, giving more detail and refuting some of the arguments of those who wish to uphold adding to and blending into Scripture the Hellenistic mythology. See:

Hell in the Bible - What Does the Bible Really Say About Hell (A Brief Outline with Scriptures)

Examining the Word "Hell"

Links to some sites that are making this claim (we do not agree with claims made on these sites): 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5

Thursday, September 2, 2010

6,000 years from Adam's Creation - 1872 or 1873?

The following appears on a site as among alleged "failed" prophecies of the JWs:

6,000 years from Adam ended in A.D. 1872. (Daily Heavenly Manna, inside cover page).

6,000 years of human history ended in 1873.(The Time is at Hand, p.33)

Actually, neither statement is a prophecy, but simply a statement, as related to the chronology that Russell had adopted. Additionally, it appears that the statements are given in the above manner to make it appear to be in contradiction to each other, whereas in reality they are not. In the manner in which they presented, the two quotes, could be an attempt to deceive one into thinking a contradiction exists, wherein reality, there is no contradiction, or the person(s) who present the quotes may be ignorant of how Brother Russell presented chronology.

We need to point out that in "The Time is At Hand", on the very same page references, we find a statement that 6,000 years from Adam's creation to also be 1872.Yet, on the same page, he presents this as being 1873.

IN this chapter we present the Bible evidence which indicates that six thousand years from the creation of Adam were complete with A.D. 1872; and hence that, since 1872 A.D., we are chronologically entered upon the seventh thousand or the Millennium--the forepart of which, the "Day of the Lord," the "day of trouble," is to witness the breaking into pieces of the kingdoms of this world and the establishment of the Kingdom of God under the whole heavens.

How could both be right? How could it be that 6,000 years from Adam's creation be both 1872 and 1873?

The answer lies in the manner of application of chronology that Russell adopted. The basis of the chronology adopted runs from fall to fall (Jewish years), not from January to January as does our modern calendar. 1872 would end in September/October of 1872 according to our modern calendar, and thus 1873 would begin in October of 1872 as found on our modern calendar. It is from this perspective that the two statements above are found to be in harmony, since October of 1872 would be 6,000 years from Adam's creation, and since September/October of 1872 would begin 1873, Jewish reckoning of autumn to autumn years. In reference to the ending of the 6,000 years, it would be 1872; in reference to beginning of the year, it would be 1873.

Although Russell was never associated with the JW organization (that organization did not exist until after Russell died), what the JWs believe are often read back into what Russell stated, since the JWs claim that Russell was a JW, and they often falsely extend their organization back to the days of Russell. Thus, authors often quote Russell as part of their attack on the JW organization, without noting or distinguishing between what Russell taught concerning organization and how it differs greatly from what the JWs teach.

At any rate, Russell never originated any prophecies; the only prophecies he believed in were those of the Bible. He did discuss possible expectations regarding various dates that he believed study of Bible prophecy had revealed, but he distinguished between the prophecies of the Bible and his expectations. Russell, however, never gave his expectations with any idea that all Christians must accept them. Russell did not consider his teachings on prophecy to be essential for Christian fellowship, and, indeed, acknowledged differing opinions among his associates in the Bible Students movement  Russell never claimed authority over fellow Christians or the congregations, as did Rutherford after Russell died.