Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 6 years ago

Who is Charles Taze Russell?

What can you tell me about this man?

7 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Best Answer

    Charles Taze Russell was born on February 16, 1852 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was raised as a Presbyterian Congregationalist but could not reconcile the concept of a loving God with a literal place of eternal torment. Russell came from a wealthy family.

    When Russell was 23 years old he came under the influence of Adventist Nelson H Barbour and his belief that Christ returned invisibly in 1874, although Adventist William Miller had previously claimed the second coming was due around 1843. Barbour and his group rendered 'coming' as 'presence' and came up with the view that the Second Coming was an invisible event. Russell and Barbour believed that Christ's invisible return in 1874 would be followed (in the spring of 1878) by the Rapture. When the Rapture failed to materialise, Barbour came up with 'new light' on this and other doctrines, but Russell was not persuaded.

    Russell withdrew from the Adventist movement (which went on to become the Seventh-Day Adventist Church under the leadership of Ellen G. White). In 1874 Russell established a religious group known as Bible Students. In July 1879 Russell published Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence. In 1882 Russell openly rejected the doctrine of the Trinity. Up until that point the literature had been Trinitarian in theology. Russell died in 1916.

    The 1874 date for the invisible second presence was still being advocated well beyond 1874. “We would like to correct this misapprehension once for all, by stating that we do not expect Jesus to come this year (1881), nor any other year, for we believe that all time prophecies (bearing upon Jesus’ coming) ended at and before the fall of 1874, and that He came there, and the second advent is now in progress and will continue during the entire Millennial age. We believe that His presence will be revealed to the eyes of men’s understanding gradually during the ‘Day of the Lord,’ (forty years – from 1874 to 1914) as it now is to ours; except that we discern it through the world of prophecy revealed by the Spirit, and they will recognize His presence by His judgment upon Nominal Zion, and the World.” (Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, 1 May 1881)

    “This date, therefore, when understood, would certainly fix the time when the Lord is due at his second appearing. Applying the same rule then, of a day for a year, 1335 days after 539 A.D. brings us to 1874 A.D., at which time, according to biblical chronology, the Lord’s second presence was due. If this calculation is correct, from that time forward we ought to be able to find evidence, marking the Lord’s second presence. There are two important dates here that we must not confuse, but clearly differentiate; namely, the beginning of “the time of the end” and the beginning of the presence of the Lord. ‘The time of the end’ embraces the period from 1799 A.D. to the complete overthrow of Satan’s empire and the establishment of the kingdom of messiah. The time of the Lord’s second presence dates from 1874 and is during the latter part of the period known as ‘the time of the end’.” (Creation, 1927, page 319)

    In 1892 Russell said Armageddon had started in October 1874 and would end in October 1914. He applied all the signs of Christ’s ‘parousia’ to events from 1874 onwards (Zion’s Watch Tower 15 July 1894 and Pastor Russell’s Sermons published 1914, page 676). He said this ‘parousia’ was a presence, not a visible return to earth - it was invisible. That enabled one-word changes to be made in 1916 editions, switching belief from 1914 marking the END of the time of trouble to 1914 marking the START of the time of trouble! Jesus was now said to have been invisibly ‘present’ as King in 1914 and not 1874.

    Clearly, Russell was wrong about 1874, 1878 and 1914. The Rapture did not happen in 1878 and Armageddon did not start in 1874 and end in 1914. Neither is there any evidence to support the unbiblical view that Jesus’ second coming happened invisibly in 1914. With regard to his theology (anti-Trinitarian, no place of eternal torment, only 144,000 will go to heaven, the dead who are resurrected will have 1,000 years before they are judged and salvation has to be earned), there is no evidence in the Bible to support any of it. His views were not orthodox Christian but based on several heresies. He was a false prophet and preached a false gospel.

    By the way, Russell founded the International Bible Students, but after he died and Rutherford wrested control and made himself the second president, he changed the name to Jehovah's Witnesses. Thousand of Bible Students voted with their feet and left because Rutherford created a publishing corporation and insisted everybody had to be "publishers."


  • 6 years ago

    Some things stated in the "Best Answer" are misleading, and some of the other comments made are also misleading; I cannot address all, but will look at some of them.

    Charles Taze Russell was not the founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses; he did not believe what the JWs teach, nor did he believe in such an organization. It was Jospeph Rutherford who created the Jehovah's Witnesses organization.

    I believe Russell was right about 1874, 1878, and 1914, at least as far as the dates themselves are concerned, although he was obviously wrong concerning of his expectations related to 1914. Sometime after 1879, Russell dropped Barbour's thought that Armageddon, the time of trouble, had begun in 1874; in 1904 -- ten years before 1914 -- he stated that the time of trouble was begin, not end, in 1914. From 1904 to 1914 he presented this thought many times, so there was nothing knew in this thought in any of the 1916 editions of the Studies in the Scriptures. He died in 1916 still with the belief that Christ had returned in 1874, that the sleeping saints had been raised in 1878, and that the time of trouble had begun in 1914. Russell never once presented any idea that Christ returned in 1914. I do believe that Armageddon -- time of trouble -- did begin in 1914 and that it may last for many more decades yet.

    The Bible Students in general (more than 75%) did not accept Rutherord's new organization. The Bible Students did not accept the name change to "Jehovah's Witnesses." The Bible Students still exist today apart from the organization that Rutherford created.

    The Seventh-Day Adventists came into existence as a part of the Second Adventists movement. It may be somewhat misleading to say that the Second Adventists movement BECAME the 7th Day Adventists.

    There is no cross on Russell's tomb, but there is one of Rutherford's pyramid monument.

    Russell never actually forwarded 1914 to 1918, but he did present someone's parallels that point to 1918. 1918 had been circulating amongst the Bible Students, however, long before 1914, and was mentioned in the Watch Tower before 1914.

  • Mike K
    Lv 7
    6 years ago
  • TeeM
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Below is an interesting excerpt from the book: Where Else but Pittsburgh !

    It's a book written by George Swetnam, an ordained Presbyterian minister, who wrote for years for the Pittsburgh Press newspaper, and is regarded as the foremost historian of the Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania areas.


    "It is an amazing thing that no Pittsburgh history has ever even so much as contained the name of C.T. Russell, since his influence has easily been the widest of any man who ever lived in a city, including Andrew Carnegie.

    "He was a pioneer in the Chain store, the Motion Picture industry and other important ventures. He was one of the most prolific and widely read authors of his day, turning out many books and a column carried by more then 1500 newspapers, with some 15 million readers. Russell traveled over a million miles, delivering more than 30,000 sermons and lectures.

    "He was always interested in religion, writing Bible verses on the sidewalks with chalk when a youth. As a boy he was quick & alert, so his father took him into partnership in his general store at the age of 11. When he was 15 he was sent out as a buyer.

    "Like many other youths Charles was troubled in mind. He battled over the doctrine of predestination and was pondering these things for while he was unable to accept religion he was unable to let it go. It was a successful but skeptical businessman of 18 that he stepped into a dingy basement to see if a handful who met there had anything more sensible than the creeds of the churches. What he heard set him searching the Bible again, which he did for 46 years!

    "Soon he rented a hall & started a Bible School where for 5 years he lectured. Then, convinced he had a divine mission, he did a strange thing for a young man of 26 with no formal theological education. He invited ALL the ministers of Pittsburgh to a meeting, explained his beliefs and urged them to unite with him! The fact that they accepted his invitation shows how high young Russell stood in the community. Yet after hearing they declined his offers.

    "Rebuffed by the ministers in his home town Russell turned himself to a life of evangelism. He carried on his haberdashery business for some time but his interest in commerce gradually waned and he closed his store for the next year.

    "Russell was nearly 6 feet tall, well built, with piercing gray eyes. His manner was always CALM, stressing argument rather then emotion, sometimes adding a touch of humor. In later life he was snowy haired, white bearded, and saintly in appearance.

    "In 1914 he completed work on the first epic motion picture: "The Photo Drama of Creation" 15 years before any other sound pictures were produced. It ran for eight hours and was viewed by some eight million people!

    "Late in life he set up his entire fortune, by now amounting to well over a million dollars, into a trust fund for the W.T.B.& T Society, the business organization for Jehovah's Witnesses.

    "He made many close friends and bitter enemies. He was the target of many stories accusing him of all sorts of crimes and wrong doing in regard to his marriage, although there appears to be little if any basis for such charges.

    "All through his life Russell told his followers NOT to revere him; He taught them this so well that the publishing house he founded has never published a biography of "Pastor Russell".

    "The movement he founded now has worldwide scope & is still one of the world's fastest growing religions. In 1958 some 250,000 came to NYC to hear the same doctrines Russell preached to the unreceptive clergy 80 years earlier".


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  • 6 years ago

    He was a Pyramidologist, who predicted in 1878, that Jesus HAD ALREADY returned to Earth, and was going to take 40 years to gather his 144,000 Elect.

    He predicted that in 1914, Jesus would manifest,, and destroy all Governments and the Papacy.

    His followers were called "Russellites."

    His predictions were not based on The Bible,

    But on measurements inside the Great (Cheops)

    Pyramid in Egypt.

    When what he predicted did not come to pass in 1914n he forwarded it to 1918. He, however, died in 1916.

    Source(s): . CULTS & ISMS, by J. Oswald Sanders.
  • Diane
    Lv 6
    6 years ago

    oH, Im sure you know more than most people already

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago
    Source(s): Is everybody too lazy to use wikipedia tonight?
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