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Overview

Riding on the heels of the United States’ Second Great Awakening, the Bible Student Movement (the precursor to modern-day Jehovah’s Witnesses) seemingly appeared overnight, and grew at an alarming rate. In fact, the Jehovah’s Witnesses had their earliest beginnings in the Bible Student Movement. Its charismatic founder, Charles Taze Russell, instantly drew the attention of pastors and church leaders around him, as thousands left traditional churches to attend Russell’s. As potent as it was controversial, Russell’s teaching both attracted many and disturbed many, sparking debates and prompting publications of books and tracts in response.

This collection comprises works of strong opposition to Russell’s teachings by prominent American and Australian ministers in the early twentieth century. Concern over Russell’s movement—then known variably as the Bible Student Movement, Russellism, Millennial Dawnism, and later, Rutherfordism—and its rapid growth are evident throughout these 10 volumes. As Russell gained a strong following across the United States, pastors issued warnings of blasphemy and heretical teaching, citing Scripture and historical precedent against Russell’s claims, systematically refuting his doctrines.

With Logos Bible Software, these valuable volumes are enhanced by cutting-edge research tools. Scripture citations appear on mouseover in your preferred English translation. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful topical searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Tablet and mobile apps let you take the discussion with you. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Offers a glimpse into early twentieth-century theological debate in America
  • Unpacks objections to Russell’s teachings from a variety of Protestant perspectives
  • Presents text from both public debates and court cases

Individual Titles

Errors of Russellism

  • Author: J. E. Forrest
  • Publisher: Gospel Trumpet Company
  • Publication Date: 1915
  • Pages: 140

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

J. E. Forrest critiques the teachings of “Pastor” Charles Taze Russell as they appear in Russell’s six-volume Studies in the Scriptures. Forrest presents what he believes are “fundamental errors relating to the doctrines of the gospel,” involving the gospel age and the final destiny of thousands of souls. He describes Russell’s Plan of the Ages, referencing this work with direct quotations and drawing upon the American Standard Bible for comparison. With “no motive other than the proper handling of the Word of God,” Forrest allows readers to draw their own conclusions about Russell’s teachings.

J. E. Forrest was a Protestant minister who also wrote An Exhortation to the Unsaved.

“In the Cult Kingdom”: Mormonism, Eddyism, and Russellism

  • Author: John Elward Brown
  • Publisher: International Federation Publishing Co.
  • Publication Date: 1918
  • Pages: 128

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

American evangelist John Elward Brown takes a strong stance against movements in the United States, such as Mormonism, Eddyism, and Russellism. Brown states, “If a man is helping to promulgate a religious theory that is all out of harmony with the fundamentals of God’s holy Word, then we do him the greatest possible injury by assisting him, even in silence, in his destructive work.” In this volume, Brown addresses the dangers he sees in such movements to orthodox Christianity.

John Elward Brown (1879–1957) was the founder of John Brown University. He became a prominent evangelist after being converted to evangelical Christianity at a Salvation Army revival meeting in 1897. He dedicated much of his life to education, founding the Southwestern Collegiate Institute (now known as John Brown University) in 1919. He pioneered evangelization in radio broadcasting, buying a radio station in Missouri in 1928 and eventually founding one of the oldest continually operated radio stations in the United States: KUOA. He was also the president of the International Federation of Christian Workers, and wrote several books.

Why I Reject the “Helping Hand” of Millennial Dawn

  • Author: W. C. Stevens
  • Publisher: M. G. McClinton & Co.
  • Publication Date: 1915
  • Pages: 147

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Concerned with what he felt was Charles Taze Russell’s “tampering with the Word of God,” W. C. Stevens published this work in order to acquaint those in ministry with the doctrines and philosophy of Millennial Dawnism.

William Coit Stevens (b. 1853) was principal of the Missionary Training Institute for the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Nyack, New York, and author of The Book of Daniel: A Composite Revelation of the Last Days of Israel's Subjugation to Gentile Powers.

Russellism Unveiled

  • Author: William Edward Biederwolf
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1950
  • Pages: 32

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

In this volume, Presbyterian evangelist William Edward Biederwolf subjects Russellism to scrutiny. Originally published in the 1930s, this book dissects Charles Taze Russell’s movement Millennial Dawnism, and expresses concern for the effect of the “self-appointed prophets” on the average Christian.

William Edward Biederwolf (1867–1939) earned his MA from Princeton College in 1892, and graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1895. He studied at three universities in Europe before returning to America to pastor the Broadway Presbyterian Church in Logansport, Indiana, and served as a chaplain in the Spanish-American War. In 1900, he became a Presbyterian evangelist, eventually founding the Interdenominational Association of Evangelists in 1904. He became president of Winona Lake School of Theology in 1933. He conducted missionary campaigns around the world, establishing leper colonies and eventually becoming director of the American Mission to Lepers. He wrote The Millennium Bible, as well as many other works.

Some Facts and More Facts about the Self-Styled “Pastor” Charles T. Russell

  • Author: J. J. Ross
  • Publisher: The Northwest Bible and Tract Depot
  • Publication Date: 1913
  • Pages: 57

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

This tract presents the history of the libel case against The Brooklyn Eagle by Charles Taze Russell. In this court case, Russell objected to the Eagle’s published reports of fraudulent behavior, accusing Russell of profiting from the sale of an alleged “Miracle Wheat” to the public. Russell ultimately lost the case.

John Jacob Ross (1871–1935) was pastor of James T. Baptist Church in Hamilton, Ontario.

The Teachings of “Pastor” Russell

  • Author: W. T. Connor
  • Publisher: Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention
  • Publication Date: 1926
  • Pages: 36

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

American Baptist Walter Thomas Connor addresses the teachings of Charles Taze Russell, mainly based on the first volume of Russell’s Studies in the Scriptures. Connor’s intent is to simply state his teachings, declaring that “[Russell’s] teachings are so absurd and so contrary to commonly accepted Christian principles that a statement of what he taught is enough. To state his teaching is to refute it.”

Walter Thomas Connor (1877–1952) was professor of systematic theology at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. He also wrote A System of Christian Doctrine, The Resurrection of Jesus, and The Teachings of Mrs. Eddy.

Three of the Blasphemies of Millennial Dawn

  • Author: E. B. Hartt
  • Publication Date: 1905
  • Pages: 12

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

In this short tract, E. B. Hartt highlights three points from Charles Taze Russell’s Millennial Dawn that he believes are blasphemous, and refutes them with Scripture. His three objections are the teaching that Jesus Christ was not always divine, that Christ is no longer a man with a corporeal body, and that the Holy Spirit is not a divine person.

E. B. Hartt also wrote Bring the Little Ones to Jesus, Akin to the Man of Sorrows?, and A Collection of Poems, Hymns and Spiritual Songs.

Witnesses Out of the Bottomless Pit

  • Author: George S. Lloyd
  • Publication Date: 1933
  • Pages: 23

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Australian minister George S. Lloyd investigates “Rutherfordism,” also known as Millennial Dawnism, in order to present its claims to the wider Christian audience. Coming across this movement in Melbourne in the spring of 1933, Lloyd found these claims contrary to accepted Christianity and chose to refute them in this tract.

George S. Lloyd was minister of the Methodist Church of Victoria and Tasmania and chaplain to the metropolitan prisons of Melbourne, Australia.

Russell-White Debate

  • Authors: Charles Taze Russell and Lloyd Smith White
  • Publisher: F. L. Rowe
  • Publication Date: 1908
  • Pages: 196

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Over the course of six nights—from February 23 to February 28, 1908—Charles Taze Russell and Lloyd Smith White engaged in a public debate at Cincinnati’s Music Hall on six propositions on scriptural teaching. During an eight-month correspondence with publisher F. L. Rowe, Russell requested that Rowe seek out a “fair, honorable, straight-forward servant of truth” who would be willing to undertake the debate. Rowe presented White as a candidate, and the two opponents divided the format into six propositions, each beginning with, “The Scriptures clearly teach. . . ” This debate was transcribed by an objective stenographer and presented to the public.

Charles Taze Russell (1852–1916), or “Pastor” Russell, was the original founder of what is now known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. A charismatic speaker and ardent minister, Russell began publishing Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence (still published today as The Watchtower) in 1879. He cofounded Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society in 1884. He published a widely popular six-volume series, Studies in the Scriptures, from 1886 to 1904, and wrote many other works over his lifetime. His teachings were originally referred to variously as the Bible Student Movement, Russellism, Millennial Dawnism, and later, Rutherfordism. The Bible Student Movement developed from his teachings and ministry, which eventually led to the establishment of the Jehovah’s Witnesses under Joseph Franklin Rutherford in the 1930s. A controversial figure who started a controversial movement, Russell had a profound impact on North American church history.

Lloyd Smith White was minister of Pearl and Bryan streets Church of Christ, Dallas, Texas, and a champion debater.

The Russell-Eaton Debates

  • Publisher: The Pittsburgh Gazette
  • Publication Date: 1903
  • Pages: 30

On March 10, 1903, Ephraim L. Eaton—who had already attacked Charles Russell’s teachings in his book The Millennial Dawn Heresy—addressed a letter to Russell, requesting a series of public debates to take place on the theological issues that divided Russell’s teachings from those of traditional Protestantism. The debates, which took place on five occasions between October and November of 1903, were each moderated by ministers from different Protestant denominations. This volume contains the Pittsburgh Gazette’s account of each debate, having complete transcriptions recorded by the Gazette’s own stenographers. These papers represent a complete and penetrating look into the debate—featuring Charles Russell and E. L. Eaton’s exact words as they debated the theological topics that marked the differences between Russellism and Protestantism.

Ephraim Llewellyn Eaton (1846–1931) was pastor of the North Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His other works include The Science of Mental Healing and Winning the Fight against Drink.

Product Details

  • Title: Early Studies on Jehovah’s Witness Theology
  • Volumes: 10
  • Pages: 801

About Charles Taze Russell

Charles Taze Russell (1852–1916), or “Pastor” Russell, was the original founder of what is now known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. A charismatic speaker and ardent minister, Russell began publishing Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence (still published today as The Watchtower) in 1879. He cofounded Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society in 1884. He published a widely popular six-volume series, Studies in the Scriptures, from 1886 to 1904, and wrote many other works over his lifetime. His teachings were originally referred to variously as the Bible Student Movement, Russellism, Millennial Dawnism, and later, Rutherfordism. The Bible Student Movement developed from his teachings and ministry, which eventually led to the establishment of the Jehovah’s Witnesses under Joseph Franklin Rutherford in the 1930s. A controversial figure who started a controversial movement, Russell had a profound impact on North American church history.