Was Charles Taze Russell one of Jehovah's Witnesses?


@Ben fyi Russell died in 1916, it was Joseph Franklin Rutherford who did coin the name in 1931.

Update 2:

@biblestudent...The Watchtower claims that Russell was a Jehovah's Witness, and they claim that Russell as a jw advocated that 1914 was the 'beginning of pangs of distress'. Of you and I know that is not what Russell a 'Jehovah's Witness' actually taught.

In the next breath jw will disown Russell as the founder of Jehovah's Witnesses. They want to have their cake and eat it too. I have been reading Studies in the Scriptures and I see why you and the Bible Students wanted nothing to do with the 'blow hard' stuffed shirt of man that gave jw their name. He was in every sense of the word a true cult leader.

9 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Best Answer

    Charles Taze Russell was never associated with the Jehovah's Witnesses organization. The JW organization came into existence after Russell died. Russell did not believe in such authoritarianism, nor in the message concerning Armageddon that is preached by the JWs. Their message concerning Armageddon is almost the opposite of what he taught. Likewise, the JWs, in effect, deny the basis of the ransom for all which Russell spent almost his entire life upholding.

    Russell never referred to himself as being one of "Jehovah's Witnesses", nor did he speak of the Bible Students as "Jehovah's Witnesses". He did, however, in the Watch Tower state concerning what he believed that the scriptures preach, "That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age.--Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6" This appear in each issue of the Watch Tower. It does show that Russell considered the church to be God's witness to the world.

    As to Isaiah 43:10, this does not directly speak of Christians. Yahweh speaks to His covenant people Israel, whose very existence bears witness to Yahweh's formation of Israel (Isaiah 43:1), their affliction and deliverance from Egypt, and their settling in the land of Canaan. Their very existence testifies that Yahweh's promises, made long before, were fulfilled. Israel, however, is a prophetic type of the Messiah, for Yahweh says: "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, And called my son out of Egypt." (Hosea 11:1) Matthew 2:15 tells us that this was fulfilled in Jesus. Thus, any application of Isaiah 43:10 to Christians would be indirect, as by type and antitype, not a direct application.

    Aside from Isaiah 43:10, however, we do find that Jesus is called the "faithful witness." (Revelation 1:5; 3:14) In the first century, the disciples were told that they were to be witnesses of Jesus in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth. (Acts 1:8) In bearing such witness concerning Jesus, they also are said to be 'God's witnesses', in that it was Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who raised up Jesus, and who had exalted Jesus to Yahweh's right hand. (Acts 3:13-26; 5:30-32) Having the example before us, all who belong to Jesus, and who bear witness that Yahweh raised Jesus up as a prophet like Moses, are also Yahweh's witnesses, for one cannot bear witness concerning Jesus without also bearing witness concerning the God of Jesus, since it was Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who raised Jesus as a prophet like Moses, and who raised Jesus from the dead, and who then exalted Jesus at His own right hand. -- Exodus 3:14,15; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Acts 3:13-26; 5:30-32; Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 15:14-18; 1 Peter 1:21.

    None of this, however, has anything to do with joining an sectarian organization that is called "Jehovah's Witnesses" that is headed by men who claim to be God's sole agency for truth. Russell never taught such an idea, and even preached against such an idea. It was Joseph Franklin Rutherford who came up with such an idea after Russell died, which caused the greater majority of the Bible Students to remain Bible Students rather to take the organizational name, "Jehovah's Witnesses", as Rutherford wished all who joined his new organization to be called by.

    Charles Taze Russell was not a believer at all in "pyramid worship", but he did believe that Great Pyramid is God's Stone Witness in Egypt. His book has a chart that uses pyramids to show the development and completion of God's Kingdom; many others have used similar charts to illustrate organizations. The "Chart of the Ages" has nothing at all to do with "pyramid worship."

  • 8 years ago

    That is of course a misconception. Charles Taze Russell was the organizer of the International Bible Students Association. It was this loosely formed association that helped published the [Zion's] Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence journal, and the [Zion's] Watch Tower Society.

    This Society was an organizer of Bible Student conventions and other activities, but it did not dictate any creeds or rules to the independent congregations.

    After Pastor Russell's death, The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society began to rise as a hierarchy over the once independent congregations. Many refused to surrender their Christian liberty and here started the work of separation. As early as 1917 this exodus from the Society began, and those who appreciated the wonderful harmony of the Bible as taught by Pastor Russell are today known as Bible Students.

    By 1930, the Society no longer resembled that of its former self. Many Bible Students abandoned the Society, and by 1931, the name "Jehovah's Witnesses" was adopted by the new leadership to differentiate between the Society's Bible Students and those independent of the Society.

    There are some similarities between the two groups. Both believe in two salvations, an earthly and a heavenly. Both believe in the Kingdom of God as the means of bringing about true peace on earth. Both deny the existence of a place of fiery torment and deny the Trinity doctrine. Apart from these similarties, the two groups are world's apart.

  • It might be better to say Charles Taze Russel was the founder of the group that now calls themselves Jehovah's Witnesses. It is the same organization just a different name.

    He was a nut. But in my opinion he was much more reasonable than Rutherford. Just my opinion.

  • pizana
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    You must become aware of they're known as Jehovah's Witnesses, now not Russellites. What must be famous so much approximately the person Charles Russell is that he held his floor within the subject of adapting his devout ideals by way of scrutiny of the scriptures. As time went by means of he with ease rooted out many fake doctrines of Christendom. He began a course that used to be endured right down to this present day. Do you, for illustration become aware of, that many today's and new Christian firms are starting to undertake the transparent teachings this guy had the bravery to get up and proclaim? I no of non witness believers who've tossed out easter, christmas or even the trinity, matters that I doubt could have occurred had now not C T Russell stood company for the Bible truths, and been inclined to publicly denounce the pagan practices that were grafted onto Jesus actual message. You sound like person who is straining out the gnat, and swallowing the camel. The reality is that this: This is the time of the top, and at the same time the JW's look to have bought tons of oil for his or her lamps, the leisure of Christianity is proving to be looking for to shop for their's too past due. I myself can't discover fault with a faith that we could pass of it is errors, and with no trouble makes the wanted changes once they come to extra correct information. This is practically special to this faith as so much different Christian religions look to feel that in the event that they admit their errors, they'll lose their individuals. Kind of unhappy that almost all of so-known as Christians have extra worry of men and women than they do of Almighty God.

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  • 8 years ago


    He sold his prospering business, gradually reduced other business interests, and then used all his earthly possessions to help people in a spiritual way. (Compare Matthew 6:19-21.) It was not something that he did for merely a few years. Right down till his death, he used all his resources—his mental ability, his physical health, his material possessions—to teach others the great message of Messiah’s Kingdom. At Russell’s funeral an associate, Joseph F. Rutherford, stated: “Charles Taze Russell was loyal to God, loyal to Christ Jesus, loyal to the cause of Messiah’s Kingdom.”

    The name of Jehovah's Witnesses is taken from God's words at Isaiah.

    (Isaiah 43:10-12) 10 “YOU are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that YOU may know and have faith in me, and that YOU may understand that I am the same One. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none. —I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior.” 12 “I myself have told forth and have saved and have caused [it] to be heard, when there was among YOU no strange [god]. So YOU are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “and I am God.

    Source(s): for more info see watchtower.org available in over 400 languages and ASL.
  • Jesse
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    Yes, he was a witness of Jehovah, that is why he used the name when speaking of God.

    Isaiah 43:10,11

  • 8 years ago

    He actually FOUNDED the silly religion, no matter that it was just called The Watchtower Society then. He was also a convicted perjurer and a con man who sold bogus "miracle wheat" door to door.

  • 8 years ago

    At Hebrews 11:4, Paul identifies Abel as the first witness of Jehovah, saying: “By faith Abel offered God a sacrifice of greater worth than Cain, through which faith he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness respecting his gifts; and through it he, although he died, yet speaks.” In what way did Abel serve as a witness for Jehovah? The answer centers around why Abel’s sacrifice was of “greater worth” than Cain’s.

    Put simply, Abel made the right offering with the right motive and backed it up by right works. As his gift, he gave a blood sacrifice representing the life of the firstlings of his flock—whereas Cain offered lifeless produce. (Gen. 4:3, 4) Cain’s sacrifice lacked the motivation of faith that made Abel’s offering acceptable. Cain needed to modify his worship. Instead, he manifested his bad heart attitude by rejecting God’s counsel and warning and by murdering faithful Abel.—Gen. 4:6-8; 1 John 3:11, 12.

    Abel displayed the faith that his parents lacked. By his faithful course, he made known his conviction that Jehovah’s sovereignty is righteous and worthy. During the century or so that he lived, Abel demonstrated that a man can be faithful to God to the point of sealing his testimony by death. And Abel’s blood continues to ‘speak,’ for the inspired record of his martyrdom was preserved in the Bible for future generations!

    By this standard the answer is yea he was.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Didn't he coin the name? If so then yes.

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