Was Russell Expecting the End of the World in 1874?

Posted on August 9, 2013. Filed under: Is it true what they say? | Tags: , , , , , |


Many are making all kinds of unsubstantiated claims about Charles Taze Russell. One of the claims that I keep seeing in forums, blogs and websites, is that Russell predicted the end of the world in 1874. One claims that “Watchtower society false prophets declared the end of world in 1874, 1878, 1881,
1910, 1914,”, which, of course, leaves the false impression that Russell predicted the end of the world was to come in 1874. In reality, he never predicted the end of the world for 1874, 1878, 1881, nor 1910. One could read into Russell’s earlier statements that he was expecting the end of the world for 1914, but from 1904 onward, Russell was definitely NOT expecting the end of the world for 1914.

Another states that Russell had a falling out with Barbour “over (what else?) dates for the end of the world! (1844 and 1874“, which is totally false.

Russell never “predicted” anything at all concerning 1874. Why do we say this? Because until 1876 he did not believe anything at all concerning the year 1874. in 1876, two years after 1874, Russell did come across N. H. Barbour’s presentation that Jesus had already returned invisibly in 1874. Having already concluded that Jesus would not return in a physical body, Russell was interested in what this said. As a result of studying with N. H. Barbour, Russell became convinced that Jesus had already returned in 1874. However, before 1876 he was held no interest in 1874, and certainly never predicted the end of the world in 1874 sometime before he ever accepted 1874 (in 1876, two years after 1874) as being the year of Christ’s return. In other words, how could he “predict” something to happen after it was supposedly to have been predicted to happen?

In reality, Russell did not even believe in the “end of the world”, as that term was usually used to mean the “end of human history,” or the end of the planet earth. He denied that there would ever be an end to “human history,” or to the planet earth.

He believed that the expression “end of the world” as it appears in the King James Version should have been rendered “end of the age”. He believed that the end of the age referred to a period of time, not to a single event. He viewed the “end of the age” as a transitional period of time “between the ages”. He believed that the “end of the age” had begun in 1874. Earlier in his ministry he did believe that the transition would be over in 1914, but in 1904 — ten years 1914 — he had come to see that the scriptures do not say exactly when the transition was to end.

Related:

CTR’s Expectations Concerning 1914

Beginning of the Time of Trouble – Quotes From Russell

1844 Failed Prophecy?

Supplement to the First Issue of the Watch Tower

Parousia – Searches of Russell’s works

Parousia “Didn’t Happen” in 1874?

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12 Responses to “Was Russell Expecting the End of the World in 1874?”

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Thanks for this information clearing up the many mis informed stuff thats out there, i have found most sites of disinformation seem to have some link to someone called Danny Haszard.

Regards
Frank Downie

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[…] https://ctrussell.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/predicted-end-of-the-world-in-1874/ […]

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[…] Was Russell Expecting the End of World in 1914? – Many may be surprised to learn that Russell was not expecting the end of the world in 1914. […]

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[…] https://ctrussell.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/predicted-end-of-the-world-in-1874/ […]

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[…] Did Russell Predict the End of the World in 1874? […]

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[…] See our research: Was Russell Expecting the End of the World in 1874? […]

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[…] Was Russell Expecting the End of World in 1914? – Many may be surprised to learn that Russell was not expecting the end of the world in 1914. […]

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[…] Did Russell Predict the End of the World in 1874? […]

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Most people do take isolated verse and twist them;
http://mccainvrsobama.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/most-people-do-take-isolated-verse-and-twist-them

If you wish to go to Paradise
http://mccainvrsobama.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/if-you-wish-to-go-to-paradise/

JW are not the sheep belonging to Jesus,

https://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/jw-are-not-the-sheep-belonging-to-jesus/

Are you a false Watchtower slave?
http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/are-you-a-watchtower-slave

Are you JW for real?
http://postedat.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/are-you-jw-for-real/

Messianic Jews, Judaizers, Seventh day Adventist have many false teachings in common
http://wittnessed.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/god-is-not-being-fooled/

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thenonconformer,

There is much on the links provided I agree with, and much I disagree with. This site, however, is not owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, nor is it about the Jehovah’s Witnesses but rather about Charles Taze Russell.

Russell was never a member of the JW organization, nor did he promote any central authority on earth, other than what is revealed in the Bible itself.

See:
Russell, Authority and Organization
http://rlctr.blogspot.com/2016/12/authoritylinks.html

Some other links that may be related to the links given:

Paradise
http://bible-hope.blogspot.com/2017/05/p-paradise.html

Jesus and His God
http://jesusnotyhwh.blogspot.com/p/posts.html

Ransom for All
http://ransomforall.blogspot.com/p/on-this-site.html

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According to Fredrick Zydek’s autobiography of Russell – Russell and his group were indeed looking to 1874 as Christ literal return. He states concerning the year 1874:

“When the predictions of J H Paton and Nelson H. Barbour concerning the second coming of Jesus are not fulfilled, a new wave of disappointment washes through the Adventists and certain among the group meeting with the Russell’s. Once again more than a few have purchased white robes they expected to put on the moment they heard the trumpet that would announce the coming of their Lord. While many loose all confidence in Barbour’s timelines for the return of Christ, Charles is persuaded that the timetable set up by Barbour is correct”

Cf. “Charles Taze Russell – His Life and Times, The Man, the Millennium and the Message” by Fredrick Zydek 2010 Winthrop Press.

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If Zydek is saying that Russell and his group were expecting — before 1874 — that Christ was to return in 1874, then he is in error. Russell did not accept the date of 1874 as being the date of Christ’s return in 1876, two years after 1874.

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