Watchtower History & Leaders

This category focuses primarily on the history of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, its founders, leaders and major personalities.

The following articles document events, books, teachings and decisions the organization’s founders and their successors made, implemented and enforced. They guided the Watchtower and Jehovah’s Witnesses through the end of the 19th and all of the 20th centuries. While there is very little left of their original teachings and practices, those influences are still felt and frequently referenced. Most modern Jehovah’s Witnesses have little real knowledge of the origins of their religion but still hold many of the founders up as examples of “great and righteous men” who promoted “the truth” and acted “under the influence of Jehovah’s holy spirit.”

Note: Many of the documents and books mentioned in the following articles and elsewhere on this website can be found in our “DOCUMENTS LIBRARY.”  Feel free to visit, read or download any of the documents archived in those archives.

[Please note: Some of the articles listed below may also appear within other category collections.]


 

William Miller’s 6000-year Theory

In spite of all the prediction failures, most nineteenth-century Christian denominations taught that God would bring an end to an evil and selfish world in their century although details varied. Disagreements were plentiful as to when in that century the end would occur; nevertheless, all …

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Who are the “False Prophets” today?

In 1991 Colin Quackenbush, one of the Watch Tower Society’s senior writers, told me in the privacy of his office about letters which the Society had received from “prominent and credible elders, not apostates” (that’s exactly what he said), who were concerned about the increase …

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The Watchtower and “Date Setting”

Former Witness and WT critic, Ronald Fry, couldn’t state it any better when he observed: “The pattern or modus operandi of the Watchtower Society has evolved over the years but has basically remained the same. The same magazine that counseled the Witnesses against looking to …

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Rutherford Blames the Bible Students

By the time 1925 rolled in, Rutherford’s backpedaling about his predictions for that year was in high gear when he said in the February 15, 1925 Watch Tower: “No one may safely predict exactly what will take place, even within the next year; but God has given general indications in his Word of many things which are yet to come to pass. He has not specified exactly their chronological order…”

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Jehovah’s Witnesses Obstruct Truth-Seeking

Jehovah’s Witnesses are discouraged from doing extensive personal research into their modern-day history. Such action can cause a truth-seeking Witness to be labeled “apostate” and be shunned by family and friends. Yet, scrutiny of ancient Biblical history is allowable and thought to be important. So …

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History of the Bible Students in Britain

Long out of print, A.O. Hudson’s book Bible Students in Britain (1989) documents in detail the first 100 years of IBSA / Watchtower history in the British Isles. When a few used copies occasionally become available on Amazon.com, the sellers typically demand rather high prices (usually …

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Fred Franz – Rewarded For Being Inept

In the spring of 1975, Frederick W. Franz, considered since the mid-1920s to be the Watchtower’s “official oracle,” stressed the urgency of the Christian preaching work during his public speeches. Why? Because he believed that 6,000 years of human history would end that next September …

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Examining Apocalypticism

Are you studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses? Or are you no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses? Or perhaps you are a Witness who is considering leaving the religion? Whatever your circumstances, do you assume that the Witnesses are probably right about the nearness of …

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A Letter From Sweden

The Finished Mystery, considered as Volume 7 of Studies in the Scriptures, was first published in 1917 by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. It was advertised as the posthumous work of Pastor Charles Taze Russell but written by C. J. Woodworth and George Fisher …

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