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Pastor Russell Founded the Bible Students, Not the Jehovah’s Witnesses

The picture is clear. The historical data reveals beyond a doubt that the Bible Students founded by Pastor Russell and Jehovah’s Witnesses founded by Judge Rutherford are two separate movements.

Pastor Russell founded the Bible Students. The movement had its beginning in 1872 at Allegheny, Pennsylvania, where a newly formed Bible Class selected Charles Taze Russell as its Pastor. At that time other earnest Christians were forming independent Bible classes for in-depth Bible study to meet the then rising wave of infidelity. While many clung blindly to the creeds that originated in the “Dark Ages,” the Bible Students emerged to challenge intelligent unbelief and unintelligent belief.

Pastor Russell became a leader of thought and activity among these congregations. In 1879 Zion’s Watch Tower was formed, later known as the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (not to be mistaken with Jehovah’s Witnesses). This society did not become the central authority of the Bible Student movement. It could not because all cooperating congregations of Bible Students held strictly to congregational self-government. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was basically a publishing house and lecture bureau that constantly employed Bible lecturers who traveled throughout the Western Hemisphere—some to the far reaches of the world.

Read more by clicking below:

Bible Students not Jehovah Witnesses.pdf final

Also check out:  C.T. Russell – The most influential American minister that no one has heard of.

11 comments to Pastor Russell Founded the Bible Students, Not the Jehovah’s Witnesses

  • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

    I found this on jwfacts, a nice read.

  • Chuck Russell Jr

    Not to idolize Brother Russell, but he was, by a longshot, the greatest preacher since the Apostle Paul as far as driven work.

    But it’s not done, yet.

    JW org goes down soon, as Daniel 8:13-14. The GB will be destroyed on CNN for ALL to watch.


    hello friends, in fact, there are many things that Rutherford introduced the writings of Russell to change the institution name to Jehovah’s Witnesses, which gives the impression that Russell has been a mentor to so many changes.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Hi Peter,

    Small world, isn’t it!

    I attended Camp Blessing, but in Vermont, so I doubt we have met. I’ve appreciated messages given by Andrew Polychronis at various conventions. He must be getting on now.

    I’d be glad to email you the essay. Drop me a note at Vanderhoven7@gmail.com and I’ll send you a copy in Word format.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Hi Peter,
    I used to attend the Grove City Conferences as a young Christian and know some of the brethren from there. Larry Urbaniak was one of these. I co-authored a paper “Lazarus and the Rich Man as Satire” with him. I have been getting “The Berean News” for years and Jim’s name comes up regularly for prayer (heart problems) and so I incorrectly assumed he was still attending.

    Although they do not believe in the Trinity or Eternal Torment, it seems from their statement of faith, that both Pastor Russell and 1914 hold little or no spiritual significance for them.


    • Peter K. (admin)

      Vander – Is it possible that we ever met at a camp blessing in the State of Washington? I used to go there as a teenager. My brother used to go to Grove City and my cousins are the Polychronis families. I know Larry Urbaniak. He is a good brother. We had lunch together the last time my brother was out visiting. I also get the Berean News. I heard good things about your “Lazarus and Rich man as Satire.” I would love to read it, if you have it in electronic format and want to email it to me.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Hi Peter,

    A personal note here.

    My roots are in the Bible Student Movement.

    Have you heard of, “The Berean Bible Students Church, 535 East Maple Street, Lombard, Illinois ?
    Jim Penton, author of “Apocalypse Delayed” has been a member there for years.


    • Peter K. (admin)

      Vander, I met Jim Penton many years ago. He has not really been to the Lombard Church for many years, but I do have many friends there and I hope your experience with the brethren at the Lombard Church was a blessing.

  • Anonymous

    The Pyramid Teaching and it’s claim to 1914 as “God’s Stone Witness” taught by Russell, based upon measurements within the Great Pyramid but rejected by Rutherford around 1927 onward as coming from Satan is one. Russell passed away believing this teaching and Rutherford continued with it until he finally rejected it and claimed it came from Satan. Thus in saying such a thing he in effect was saying Russell was not the “Faithful Steward” but was under influence from Satan. Thus do Jehovah’s Witnesses realise that what Rutherford in effect said about their so called Founder? IT may shock some, but sadly it’s true as Rutherford authorised this view in writing’s later.

    The way in which Rutherford ousted Russell’s Will appointments in 1917 and appointed his own directly was in opposition to what Russell had taught in his last Studies in the Scriptures book “The New Creation” as the most recent book Russell wrote whereby Rutherford’s actions where in direct violation of what was written in that book of how matters are settled in matters of “Dispute” which JW’S current “Disfellowshipping and Shunning” also is. A CD entitled “The Pastor Russell Anthology” put out by Research Applications International with a web site researchapplications.org includes a vast array of Russell’s Writings including a PDF copy of the above book. Another CD from same source has “Rutherford’s Rainbow’s” which gives most of the books that Rutherford either wrote or authorized. By getting both these you should be able to research what both taught and do cross references in answer!

  • Mrs.Researcher

    Here is an example of a JW version of their origins in which no mention is made about Judge Rutherford or that he was the one to name the JWs or that 3/4 of Bible Students
    did not become JWs. They even mention in detail C.T. Russell’s Studies in The Scriptures but not what they contained that was refuted later by Judge Rutherford.


    Does anybody know which were the doctrines that Rutherford rejected from Russell’s teachings?

  • Neon Bible

    Zion’s Watchtower has continued to this day as the Watchtower. The corporations and physical property continued being used from what Charles Russell formed and the torch was passed(taken by force against the Will left by C.T.R.) over to Joseph Rutherford’s control at this turning point. He was responsible for the re-branding, doctrine changes and the name “Jehovahs Witnesses. Bible students were disunited by the Rutherford’s tyrannical, Iron fisted house cleaning that many left the on those terms. Bible students that follow Russell’s original teachings still exist, although they are not very organized or well known still meet.

    To be honest from a legal standpoint of Inheritance it is fair to say that in fact it is one movement although Rutherford got “new light” and changed things. It is also fair to say if a current JW had the same false beliefs that were considered new light and current truths that Russell and Rutherford taught, they would be disfellowshipped today for spreading those apostate doctrines by todays JW standards.

    It seams the writer is just trying to state that since the names have changed and the presidents and Governing Body’s and teachings have changed that they are not the same now and denying their own history. History clearly shows that C.T. Russell founded the Watchtower bible and tract society and publishing company that is used to this day by the Jehovahs Witnesses and its sister corporations any many branches.

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