Did (Jehovah's Witness) Charles Taze Russell Predicted Christ's Return In 1874?

CT Russell wrote, "So, then, if we measure backward down the 'First Ascending Passage' to its junction with the 'Entrance Passage,' we shall have a fixed date to mark upon the downward passage. This measure is 1542 inches, and indicates the year BC 1542, as the date at that point. Then measuring down the 'Entrance Passage' from that point, to find the distance to the entrance of the 'Pit,' representing the great trouble and destruction with which this age is to close, when evil will be overthrown from power, we find it to be 3416 inches, symbolizing 3416 years from the above date, BC 1542. This calculation shows AD. 1874 as marking the beginning of the period of trouble; for 1542 years BC plus 1874 years AD. equals 3416 years. Thus the Pyramid witnesses that the close of 1874 was the chronological beginning of the time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation -- no, nor ever shall be afterward." (Studies In thr Scripture, Vol. 3, 1904 ed.)

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    Absurdly, the questioner pretends that a writer made a prediction in 1904 about something that supposedly occurred thirty years EARLIER!

    Of course, even in the 1800's Jehovah's Witnesses did not pretend that they were infallible or inspired. Jehovah's Witnesses have never pretended that they experience miraculous messages from God or Christ. For more than a century, Jehovah's Witnesses have always presented their suppositions as the result of sincere bible research, rather than as "predictions" or "prophesying".

    Interestingly, however, even those Christians who did enjoy direct communication from heaven at times came to wrong conclusions; these wrong conclusions were even communicated "out among the brothers"!

    For example, the apostle Peter enjoyed remarkable privileges in the early congregation, but it seems that he was the source of an incorrect teaching about the apostle John that was not formally corrected until several DECADES had passed, and John himself finally wrote his gospel about 98 C.E.

    (John 21:21-23) Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, what will this man do [that is, the apostle John]?” Jesus said to him: “If it is my will for him to remain until I come, of what concern is that to you? You continue following me.” In consequence, this saying went out among the brothers, that [the apostle John] would not die. However, Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but: “If it is my will for him to remain until I come, of what concern is that to you?”

    Jehovah's Witnesses apply the term "prophet" only in a very limited sense to themselves as a religion, not to individuals. The Scriptures indicate that whenever Jehovah purposes to execute judgment upon a people, he always makes arrangement for a 'prophet's work' as a warning. Their self-description as a "prophet" (in this limited sense) does not indicate special inspired knowledge or foreknowledge, but their willingness to perform Christ's assigned warning work in our day leading up to Armageddon.

    What group is working harder than Jehovah's Witnesses to preach God's message globally (as Noah did before the Deluge)?

    (Amos 3:7) For the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will not do a thing unless he has revealed his confidential matter to his servants the prophets.

    (2 Peter 2:5) Noah, a preacher of righteousness...

    (Matthew 24:14) And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Russell was captivated by the idea that pyramids had built-in chronological values that supposedly held divine secrets. It was believed that the measurements of interior passageways represented years – an inch for a year instead of a day for a year.

    By such means Russell calculated that 1914 would be the year the world would end. After Russell’s death the Watchtower junked pyramidology but kept 1914 as the year that Christ’s parousia began. (Russell taught that Christ’s presence began in 1874.)

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In the book "The Battle of Armageddon, 1912 ed.

    it says "

    Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874, A. D. according to the testimony of the prophets, to those who have ears to hear it…"

    The Watchtower, September 15, 1922

    "No one can properly understand the work of God at this present time who does not realize that since 1874, the time of the Lord’s return in power, there has been a complete change in God’s operations."

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes it was predicted to be 1874, then they predicted it to be 1914 to be "the end". They later understood it as the start of Christ's rulership.

    1975 was rumored to be the "end" also. But i haven't heard that from my fellow witnesses because we don't talk about the failed prophesies.

    Now The Watchtower organization prefers not to guess the "end" because of past failures.

    But Christ return is different than the end. So Christ return happened in 1914 according to Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Source(s): Jehovah's Witness for more info http://www.watchtower.org/
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