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Brother Russell Founded the Bible Students, not Jehovah’s Witnesses

This early Bible Student history book is written by Bro. Ken Rawson, a Bible Student elder who knew more Bible Students from Pastor Russell’s and JF Rutherford’s time than any other Bible Student elder alive today.

After the death of Pastor Russell in 1916, the purpose of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society changed drastically. Joseph Rutherford, whom Pastor Russell had recently dismissed from his staff, seized legal control of the Watch Tower, dismissed the majority of the Board of Directors, and established dictatorial authority. The Watch Tower became the central head and authority over all congregations willing to yield their sovereignty. Basic doctrines of the “new society” seriously digressed from the teachings of Pastor Russell as the writings of Pastor Russell were discarded. The methods of conducting the evangelistic work were altered. The more sensational digressions, such as refusing blood transfusion and saluting the flag, caught the public’s eye.  But many individuals and whole congregations refused to surrender their Christian liberty or accept the new teachings. As early as 1917, the exodus from the newly declared sovereign headquarters
began. By 1918 one-fourth of the Bible Students left Judge Rutherford and remained true to the teachings of the late Pastor Russell.

To read more click on the pdf file below.

Bible Students not Jehovah Witnesses.pdf final

101 comments to Brother Russell Founded the Bible Students, not Jehovah’s Witnesses

  • Emerson Andrade

    Olá, sou ex JW do Brasil, hoje faço parte do corpo de Cristo e estou liberto desta seita. Vi que vocês tem crenças bem parecidas com os da Torre de vigia.

    Legal ver que os verdadeiros estudantes da bíblia ainda existem, porque a Torre de Vigia faz questão de esconde-los para seus adeptos.

    Vou orar para que o Espirito Santo os dirija e lhes de entendimento.

    Emerson – Brazil

    Hello, I am ex JW from Brazil, today I am part of the body of Christ and I am freed from this sect. I saw that you have beliefs very similar to those of the Watchtower.

    Nice to see that the real students of the bible still exist, because the Watchtower makes a point of hiding them from their adherents.

    I will pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you and give you understanding.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Emerson – Thank you for your prayers on our behalf. Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV) ““The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”

      TRANSLATED to Portuguese
      Emerson – Obrigado por suas orações em nosso nome. Números 6:24-26 (NVI) “O Senhor te abençoe e te guarde; o Senhor faça resplandecer o seu rosto sobre ti, e tenha misericórdia de ti; o Senhor sobre ti levante o seu rosto e te dê a paz.”

  • Diana

    Hello I am a recent Ex JW and am confused to your relation with JW’s. Are you the same or associated with the IBSA in England? There is a charity/organization that handles JW real estate by your same name. Its pretty confusing to me? Thank you for your time.

    • Diana

      Im sorry I just realized you are not IBSA. I apologize.

      • Richard.Tazzyman

        Hello Diana,The IBSA In England is the Legal name used by the JWs In the UK.We are the original Bible Students which the JWs broke away from when Pastor Russell died.We have members all over the world & In the UK as well.If you need any help of if you have any Questions regarding the bible students pls ask on this site & we will be able to help you,Christian Love from Richard.Tazzyman,Bible Student,Australia.

        • Tony

          Hi Richard..I’m a ex JW (2years) and have moved to Australia from New Zealand I’ve known that the JW broke away from Charles Russell believes after his death and would love to attend a meeting or gathering if they do so ??,..I’m living in Perth (Collie) could you maybe help me or direct me so as to attend please

          Regards Tony Walker

          • Peter K. (admin)

            Hi Tony – Richard wanted other Bible Students to follow up with you. I got in contact with Ray from Australia and he left a phone message for you. Feel free to call Brother Ray back and he can help you get in contact with the Bible Students in Perth. You are welcome to discuss any Bible topics here on this website if you are so inclined. God bless you brother.



    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      John are you asking who baptized Br Russell? Or, are you asking who was baptized by him? Clarify. Welcome, I don’t think we have an answer to either question however.
      Are you a witness still? Tell us your story please, we love to hear it.
      Thank you.

  • Mike

    please can you explain why blood tranfusions are ok and why do you celebrate birthdays and xmas and why is the cross ok i ask this as i am confused, i was bought up as a jw but i am not in it now as certain things the organization says and does and the way certain individuals act and behave incorrectly has made me think alot and question but this is wrong in jw eyes

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Hello Mike and welcome. You are among friends we break your items down into little pieces and answer. Your struggles are like most of the thousands on this site.
      First we dont have an organization so answers will be based on whether the bible prohibits a thing and individual choices. This mind change from God says to what the Governing body says can be difficult at first but you are on the way. There isnt a herd action among our association.
      I was a witness for over 60 years and birthdays were celebrated if a person chooses. Baby showers are very popular among witnesses celebrating the birth of a child even today. Jehovah celebrated His son’s birthday with Angels singing. He even provided His star upward of 2 years later to provide gifts for his child and with theses the parents could flee to Egypt.
      Birthdays were commonly celebrated as the two mentions in the Bible shows. Jesus never said anything about the birthday or party when John was beheaded. It was the mother of the dancer that was wicked. Like wedding anniversaries and other events it is up to the individual as the Bible does not prohibit. Something good came out of the other mentioned a birthday, Joseph’s interpretation of the dream came true thus setting up the beginning of saving Israel in the future.
      Today the witnesses uses this prohibition on celebrating birthdays as a control tactic and to make it appear different and more holy by denying oneself of any normal or pleasurable event. But Jesus attended a wedding and dinner events even put on a few himself. Hope this simple answer adds to the conversation.
      This is just my imput on one aspect of your question. Take care.

      • Mike

        Hi many thanks for your reply Like i said i was bought up as a jw and its hard sometimes as fear of not making it through to the new system was instilled at a young age and i was often scared that i would not make it through that it would cause me stress and anxiety, I totally believe in the bible and know now that Jehovah has so much love as my father who was a ministerial servant recently pass away due to ill health at the age of 86, I prayed so much and we had Jehovah’s help on a number of occasions but like i said i am confused.

        • greg (Bible Student)

          Hello and Welcome, Mike.

          It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.

          I totally “get” it when you say you are confused. I, too, was totally bewildered by all the conflicting ideas that I was taught while I was part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization. In my experience, that confusion, while unpleasant, is necessary and quite healthy. Doubt and confusion are what you feel when your mind and heart are needing clarity and (accurate) information.

          I like to imagine two clocks that tell different times. Which one do I believe? Which one do I change? Are they both incorrect? The very first thing I need to do in this instance is to acknowledge that I see a conflict. I call this process “embracing uncertainty.” Once I notice I’m feeling confused, it’s my cue that I need more information from a reliable, trustworthy source. Anything else is just guess-work. And in order to find trustworthy information, I need to re-learn to trust my own eyes, my own ears, my own ability to seek truth.

          Some of the most difficult things to regain after involvement with the Jehovah’s Witness organization is your ability to trust and to know. While learning takes time and effort, unlearning (de-programming) can take even more time and effort.

          So, if I may please offer you a warm and friendly suggestion, it would be this: Take your time.

          Give yourself permission to slow down long enough to breath, to notice all the things you’ve been too busy, too panicked, or too distracted to notice before. Then you’ll find things can start to make sense again, errors can be detected and corrected, and new ideas can be explored with curiosity and critical thinking and then those ideas can be integrated, rejected, or left pending further investigation.

          And of course, feel free to ask as many questions as you can dream up.

          Again, I extend to you a very warm welcome, and pray for God’s continued care and blessing upon you in your journey towards clarity, answers, and confidence.

          • mike

            Hi Greg

            Many thanks for your warm welcome its the fear i have trouble with even tonight a family member and jw has phoned me to tell me that north and south korea are talking and this is could be the peace and security cry and its the end, this really scares me as im not a jw and will die this is whats been instilled in me all of the years as a child and a teenager, so i am experiencing alot of anxiety which also effects my health


            • greg (Bible Student)


              Yes, that fear of dying the second death is a real distress to most recovering Jehovah’s Witnesses. I well remember it myself. Even still, I sometimes start to sense anxiety coming up in myself and then I have to take a moment and reflect on what I’ve learned.

              Earlier today Ellis spoke of similar concerns. My reply to him might be of some small comfort to you? Here’s the link for sake of ease:


              I’d also like to invite you to join us for our testimony meeting on the weekend. There are three different time-zones to choose from. We’d love to converse with you in real-time if you’re willing and able. We can listen, and maybe answer a question or two. Many who have joined have really found it warm, friendly, encouraging and supportive.


        • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

          Mike I saw your reply to Greg about your relative calling you about the two Koreas and world peace. The ignorance of these relatives on the global situation is shing thru. They aren’t even aware of what is happenning in the United States or just why North Korea has been acting up. They need to look up the forgotten war: The Korean conflict. A loose end like America’s president had to have a signal sent by Korea. This is politics.
          The scare tactics of the witnesses have gone on for decades in this regard. Chistians don’t fear The return of Christ. They lift their heads up because their deliverance is near. (Like 21:18) Being within a congregation of a religion will not save you. For armageddon isn’t judgement day and there will be billions perhaps surviving the great time of trouble. There will also be a “Great Multitude” that have washed their robes and made them clean in the blood of the Lamb also that will be among those.
          So please don’t worry about dying. Get to know God, beg him for his holy spirit and we will help you.
          I think your time table is for the Europe testimony meeting. We here in North America and Canada (Greg) can come on to meet you on Saturday because it is 10am on Saturday here. This Saturday I will be attending a funeral for a Bs sister that passed in my area and so won’t be able to attend the europe testimony meeting but others will. I plan on attending the North America one at 7 pm Saturday, I think it might be 1am Sunday at your home. https://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2017/12/20/testimony-meeting/
          I like you was born into the religion but I have seen it change over my seventy years. We never shunned in my day and even what you would call an elder now but was on the 3 man committee in my day (we didn’t have elders, just one minister) had a Christmas tree up every year and gave huge birthday parties of some milestone years for his children and grand children. They even celebrated xmas in Bethel.
          The watchtower says only this “Mature Christians don’t celebrate birthdays.” Most witnesses aren’t aware that they know they don’t have a leg to stand on. Saturday, Wednesday and most of our days and months are named after Gods. Jw.org flys flags at the conventions just like a National flag and they wear the pins just as Christians wear a cross pin to indentify that they are Christian. The JW pins are worn to show they ar a part of the corporation of Jehovah witnesses. Their governing body is modelled after the Papa system because it works to keep people in bondage.
          We will stick with you until you get to a safe place in your mind and can get one on one with Jehovah thru his channel JESUS CHRIST the Saviour of ALL mankind.
          He isn’t as weak as the witnesses paint him up to be, He is a King and his life had more than enough value to redeem Adam and thus you, me and all of mankind.
          Welcome my brother, don’t worry God got this.

    • Ted R. (Bible Student)

      Bible Students do not “worship” the Cross. They do respect the Cross and what it stands for; the Ransom Sacrifice of our Lord. Whether Jesus died on a Cross or torture stake, to me is a minor issue compared to the fact that Jesus gave his life as a Ransom for ALL!
      As far as holidays that is a personal decision based on conscience. No where in the Bible does it condemn holidays in fact Paul tells us not to judge whether a person puts one day above another. Each one has to judge for himself whether they celebrate a holiday by examining the scriptures. There is a lot of information on this website and also on JWFacts.com in this regard that can help answer this more thoroughly.

      • Mike

        Thanks for your reply I was always taught that the bible condems all of this and I will now thanks to this site do my own investigations I am so glad i came across this site its almost like i was guided

    • zionsherald


      Excellent questions. I will do my best to give a “short” rundown of them. Before we begin I want to share the Apostle Paul’s advice on rules and regulations.

      I have had some difficulty posting this for a couple of days (so I am now using my admin account here).


      Colossians 2:13-14 — “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made youd alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. Freedom From Human Rules

      The Apostle Paul calls such rules “false humility” and that following such rules would “disqualify” the individual because they are “puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.” Paul even goes as far as saying that such a one has lost connection with their head, Jesus.

      Colossians 2:16-19 — “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.”

      Paul comments that the rules by those who attempt to force regulations upon their flock “are all destined to perish with use.” Such rules are “based on merely HUMAN COMMANDS AND TEACHINGS.” He says that the ‘rules’ “have an appearance of wisdom and SELF-IMPOSED worship” but is really is based on “FALSE HUMILITY and HARSH TREATEMENT” but lacks “ANY VALUE.”

      Colossians 2:20-26 — “Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”

      Now with all the preliminary out of the way, I find much of the JW reasoning similarly. When I look at the early 1920s-1930s and the doctrinal changes as a means to set themselves apart, as a means to “prove” they were Jehovah’s organization, and as a way to impose control on those who remained with the society. Over time more and more rules were imposed, and more doctrines changed, and more rules and regulations enforced on those “left behind” in the organization.

      By these words, I believe the Apostle Paul is stating that there is a severer judgment on those who try to put more rules and regulations on their Brethren than those who stand in the Liberty of Christ. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)


      With Paul’s words from Colossians in mind, since there is no direct Scriptural indication that says “Thou shalt NOT” have a birthday or Christmas party, then how can we as followers of Christ add a requirement on other followers of Christ?


      The JWs correctly state that the cross is a pagan symbol. After all, it was the pagans that killed Jesus! Why wouldn’t the pagans kill someone using a pagan symbol? Not only does archeology confirm that there were crucifixions of individuals on pagan crosses by pagan Rome, Scripture alludes to the manner by which Jesus would die over and over.

      “So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” English Standard Version, John 20:25

      The Greek word in John 20:25 for “nails” is plural. If Jesus was crucified on a stake there would be room only for one nail. The fact that the Apostle John records in his Gospel that there were more than one “nails” used in his death confirms the manner of crucifixion.

      The Old Testament Tabernacle sacrifices alludes to this as well when the High Priest on the day of atonement took blood into the Most Holy and sprinkled it toward the Ark of the Covenant and before it in the shape of the cross.

      “Moreover, he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; also in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.” Leviticus 16:14, New American Standard Bible.

      The pattern by which the tribes were camped around the tabernacle was in the direction of the four points of the compass, also in the shape of the cross. The Tribe of Judah was nearest the gate that allowed entrance. Jesus is our gate (John 10:9). (I don’t know if this will work but an illustration of it can be found in a simple google search).



      What many JWs do not realize is that there have been other attempts at “avoiding paganism” by the JWs that have been dropped. Organ donations had been prohibited at one time in the organization. This was later changed. Another JW change of avoiding ‘paganism’ is one of the strangest ones. In the early 1930’s it was realized that the names of our months and days of the week originated in and are steeped in paganism. [Thors-day (it’s Hammer time!) Saturns-Day, Janus-ary (based on the worship of the pagan Roman ‘god’ Janus.)] After this realization, the JWs created a new calendar, renaming the days of the week and names of the months, and even recalculated the year because of the close association with paganism.

      This ‘calandar’ can be found in the “Golden Age Magazine” here — (The magazine was later renamed “AWAKE”.)


      Many modern JWs are also not aware that their policy regarding blood has evolved over time. It wasn’t until 1945 when the JWs stated that you could not enter the paradise on earth if you have taken a blood transfusion. In 1958 the Governing Body decided that indivdiuals could receive some blood anti-bodies (like tetanus). It wasn’t until 1961 that those who took blood transfusions were disfellowshipped. Later the JWs stated that even pets could not get transfusions and then inoculations and vaccinations were denied. Since this prohibited travel as missionaries to other countries and prohibited children from attending schools, this was retracted shortly thereafter. In 1975 the Governing body made a rule that hemophiliacs could not receive any blood clotting medications and then retracted it four months latter.

      Where is any of this found in Scripture?

      On this subject the JWs use Scriptures that they think support their point of view, while ignoring many others. Moses commanded the Israelites stating: “You shall eat neither fat nor blood” (Leviticus 3:17). Do the JWs really Witnesses avoid all “fat”?

      Jesus said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” (John 6:53). Yet the Witnesses do not do this. When the emblems of the memorial of our Lord’s death are passed around, the great majority do not partake of the symbols Jesus commanded us to partake in.

      The argument suggested is that transfusing blood is the same as eating it, since food can be given intraveneously. The science of blood transfusions was not known in Bible times, and the Scriptures the JWs suggest as prophetic contextually point to something other than what the JWs have interpreted.

      Genesis 9:4 — The instruction God gave to Noah undoubtedly emphasized the value to be placed upon blood. Before the flood men at only fruits, vegetables and grains (Genesis 1:29). It was only after the flood (Genesis 9:3-4) that God allowed men to eat animals. The JWs generally look at Genesis 9:4 outside of its context and then interprets it as a prohibition against human blood, but the context specifically states that it is the blood of the animals that the Lord was telling them they could eat! Every beast, bird, and fish are included in this provision from the Lord.

      “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the [a]sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. 3 Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. 4 Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” (Genesis 9:1-4)

      Leviticus 17:11 – Human blood was not offered in the Sacrifices mentioned in Leviticus. The law given by the Lord through Moses here specifically references ANIMAL BLOOD. Yet, there really was no life in the blood of the bulls and goat sacrifices mentioned in Leviticus 17:11. The Apostle remarks on this in Hebrews 10:4 declaring, “For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.” The sacrifices were symbolic, and pointed to Jesus’ blood shed on the cross which would be the ultimate atonement for all.

      1 Samuel 14:32-34 has a similar prohibition against ANIMAL BLOOD just like the Leviticus passage.

      Acts 15 – The drinking of blood that the Apostles had to deal with in Acts was that of the pagan practice of drinking animal blood. The Apostles had to make suggestions about the meats offered to idols (Acts 15:29) and the fornication that was so frequently practiced by the Gentiles who were beginning to enter the Church.

      Yet later Peter himself went against some of this by stating it was up to the conscience of an individual whether or not they would eat meat offered to idols. The only ‘law’ Peter suggested here was not to do it in front of an individual who felt it was wrong so that they would not be offended. (1 Corinthians 8).

      1 Chronicles 11:17-19 – Note carefully that there is nothing in this context about drinking either human or animal blood. David was referring to drinking WATER. David realized that his friends had risked their lives to bring the water to David and David was not going to enable them by drinking it. Instead the water was given to the Lord. David poured it out as a DRINK offering because he realized that they endangered their lives by the risky behavior and he was not going to give them a reason to proceed in such risky behavior again in the future.

      While there are other passages which the JWs have used, these should be sufficient to illustrate the context of the misinterpretation of the Governing Body on these doctrines (and others) that they teach.

      Again and again in the WT literature, the JWs make a big deal about Bro. Russell’s adherence to the Ransom doctrine after Nelson Barbour had changed his mind on it. What the witnesses do not tell their followers is that they did not stay with Bro. Russell’s view of the Ransom. They’ve changed it. The Ransom is no longer for Adam or Eve, and it is no longer for “all.” Yet the Scripture says that Jesus “who gave himself as a ransom for all people.” (1 Timothy 2:6.)

      I studied with the witnesses for a couple of years in our home. I was never baptized as a witness. Today I still have many JW friends who are more open minded. One of them recently visited me from another state in my home and he reminded me of something he told me over a decade ago. He said that we were cousins (his term), and that he was sure that the WT Society would change their view that the Bible Students were the “Evil Slave” class. This doctrine has indeed changed. I have even collaborated on a history of the WT society that is mainly written by a Jehovah’s Witness. A Second volume is nearing completion and will soon be published. The book has the most information I’ve seen in one place on this history, and probably one of the most accurate. It doesn’t shy away from the realities of the history. It is extensively footnoted and full of rare photos.

      Send me an email if you are interested in purchasing the book and I will send you a link.

      Despite our differences with our “cousins”, I believe our attitude is different. The JWs believe that if you are not in their Organization then you will die in Armageddon. We believe that the Scriptures teach that ALL those who do not believe now are included in Jesus’ “ransom for all” and they will all be taught and instructed of the Lord in his coming Kingdom.

      • Mike

        Hi many many thanks for the time and. Effort you have all put into your answers I really appreciate it and it has answered in great detail my questions and I feel much more at ease , when I was at work the other day I had a fantastic reminder of gods love and creation while watching our peregrine falcons at play it really made my day and reminded of gods love for us all and I would like to extend my Christian love to you all for helping me feel much less confused and more focused in my quest to get to know god and Jesus and their purpose in more detail

        Kind regards mike

        • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

          Mike you are so welcome. Now lets make sure you know how the site works.to your left ate all the articles on any given subject. We have a calendar for conventions, click on it and the program comes up often with the adobe connect. Plus if you come on Saturday with the European testimony meeting we can actually talk. There are lots of electronic books etc below the comments. There is an app “Christian Resources” download and click on audio sermons. Use the search box to put in a subject that you are interested in, armageddon or Holy spirit. All talks on that subject will pop up. Uou can download them to listen too offline. Hopes it brings uou blessing from Our Father. Peace

  • Roy Robert S

    Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the below.
    1. Jesus’ ransom sacrifice did not include Adam.
    2. Jesus did not die on a cross but on a stake
    3. Only their church members will be saved,
    4. Only the 144,000 may take communion.
    5. Blood transfusions are a sin
    6. The Cross is a pagan symbol and should not be used
    7. Bible Students do not believe in a centralized organization.
    8. Bible Students believe that most of the prophecies regarding the restoration of Israel are actually to be fulfilled on literal Israel. Russell was a strong Zionist. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that God has abandoned fleshly Israel in favor of the anointed JW class, which they view as “spiritual Israel.”
    9. Many of the peculiar doctrines of Jehovah’s Witnesses were introduced in later times; therefore Bible Students have no problem with celebrating birthdays and holidays, voting, saluting the flag or accepting blood transfusions

    The above is not the teaching of bro Russel. The JW modified some of the basic doctrines which Bro.Russel never said in his teachings.

  • Where can I get in contact please with the followers of the original Religion that was the ‘ International Bible Students ‘ (of whom my Grandmother was one) as it is very confusing and misleading that J.W s still utilise as their Headquarters the International Bible Students ‘ original address in London ? !

    I will be obliged for a relephone number and postal address with email if possible please. Thank you !

    • Richard Tazzyman

      Dear Allen,Good to hear from you.If you let us know where you are based,e.g,country,city etc we will be able to point you in the right directrion.Your Brother,Christian Love ,Richard Tazzyman,Australia.

    • Peter K. (admin)


      I am Peter K., an elder annually elected by the Chicago Bible Students Congregation. The Chicago Bible Students is just one of many Bible Student congregations worldwide. We are the original Bible Students because most of our congregations existed in the early 1900s when Br. Russell died in 1916. There is much information on the history of the JWS and Bible Students on this site. It takes a while to absorb. Basically JF Rutherford forced a hostile takeover upon Russell’s death. By 1931 75% of the original Bible Students had left the free association which had transformed into a controlling and oppressive organization. You can find Bible Student websites in the right column of this site. You can email us at BibleStudents1@GMail.com.

      I will email you with my personal email address and provide my phone #.

      • Ellis Green


        Happy New Year! Please forgive my curiosity, but who was going to be President after Bro. Russell if Rutherford hadn’t stepped in? I found that Rutherford was on the Writing Committee but never found who the official successor was. And what really happened to Bro. Russell’s wife?

        • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

          Hi Ellis, I am sure bro Peter will answer but here is the link to the answers you seek. Bro. Rutherford had been dismissed from Bethel when Br. Russell passed and go down the list until you get to the “Will” part and you will understand that he was the lawyer that drew up the will. Take Care
          PS. Perhaps you can come on out testimony meeting for Australia, Europe or North America, we would love to hear from you.

        • Richard Tazzyman

          Hello Ellis,To answer your question,Bro Russell was grooming Bro McMillian(who later wrote a book called faith on the march).He was the one who sent the telegram to Judge Rutherford Informing him of Bro Russells Death.He stayed with the Witnesses & his nick name was always Mac

        • Richard Tazzyman

          Ellis, the book was written in 1957,& his full name was A.H. Macmillan.Sorry for misspelling his name.Regards,Richard

        • Peter K. (admin)


          Brother Russell had “directed that a self-perpetuating Editorial Committee of five, the names of whom he supplied along with possible alternates, be set up to have full charge of the religious aspect of the work.” See more by clicking here:

          Where did you find Rutherford to be on the Writing Committee? I believe that is not correct, however I am ready to stand corrected if you have good evidence.

          Brother Russell’s wife lived with here niece and died Mar 12 1938 – Saint Petersburg, Pinellas, Florida, USA. You can find more by clicking here:

          • Ellis Green


            Thanks for your replies; I’ll look them up tonight. I saw a copy of Bro. Russell’s will that someone had shown me and Rutherford’s name was on the proposed list for the writing dept. But I wasn’t paying much attention at the time as my phone went off so I could easily have been mistaken. So I asked as my knowledge is limited, so your info is more accurate. Thanks again.


  • George Loumbardas

    I agree

  • Anonymous

    JWs do not claim that they are founded by our Lord Jesus Christ either.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      I see the point you are making anonymous. Jesus is the founder of Christianity and not men. Point taken. Thanks

    • JML

      “Anonymous”, the thought you expressed that the JW’s do not claim the Lord Jesus Christ as their founder is incorrect. Their Watchtower magazine throughout the decades has consistently stated that they accept only the Lord Jesus as their Leader and Head of their worldwide congregation or organization. They claim to be in that long line of “witnesses” of Jehovah (Yahweh) that started with Abel and includes Abraham, Issac, Jacob, the nation of Israel, the Lord Jesus and the first-century Christian congregation. (Isaiah 43:10-12) However, you are very correct that they do not proclaim Brother Russell as their founder as they believe he was only one of the 144,000 anointed one who was also one of Jehovah’s Witnesses like all who are truly faithful to their consecration.

  • Wyatt

    Hello Greg and thanks for ur input…
    I can only sit here and imagine your journey as a survivor. To say I understand would reflect my own lack of empathy. All strength and courage to you!
    Yes, after looking into the history of Rutherford I have to agree with you. He shaped the current lack of true empathy evident. The only reason I looked into and researched the organization a bit (and I have just started) was because of my experience with df and reinstatement 4 yrs ago. I had no problem with the decision to discipline me through the judicial process because I believed it was underpinned by love and mercy and it reflected Jeh qualities and I also was guilty of a pattern of wrongdoing in a relationship which was tumulteous and destructive over a period of 7 yrs. Thankfully I am free of that and since met a wonderful woman whom I married in mere months from meeting.
    Getting back to the subject…
    The lack of support and follow thru on promises made by the committee after reinstatement caused disillusionment in me and then anger. The anger took me over the edge. I never missed one meeting during the period I was out. I had gone forward with my wrongdoing of my own accord. And I believed and trusted the process.
    What I found is that there is NO process. One is left on ones own and I even found the shunning to continue, albeit unspoken, after reinstatement. The people who showed understanding were the people who have always been my friends or connected to my immediate family anyway and who by nature are that way and have always been that way toward me due to the history I have with them.
    As far as deliberate and direct extensions of mercy toward me by those ‘reflecting Jehovahs decision’ (as I was told my df represented) …there was nothing. Except one elder asked me to be an informant on other wrongdoing in the cong. because as he said it ‘I must know of others’ since I obviously mixed with other people in the same boat. When he said I must not worry because ‘this is how Jeh works’ I told him politely that it was not how Jeh works. It was how he works and I have not spoken to him since.

    Bottom line is: for the first time in my life (witness since birth) I am taking a step back to look at truth… not ‘the truth’ as a term that is thrown about so ficklely by Jw’s but simply what is right and what is wrong. What is really being said and on what basis it is being said and with what support. And I am astounded at what is being revealed to me.

    A small Eg. Did Rutherford as a person qualify to be handed the mantle by Christ in 1919 of Faithful and DS (if that ever even happened scripturally)? What does the evidence really show?
    Well, he overturned Russell’s will with a legal loophole, appointed his yes men as directors, took sole control, bullied and slandered and expelled many faithful bros who tried to respect Russells legacy, he wrote a while bunch of unscriptural mumbo jumbo in the Finished Mystery which led to imprisonment for all the top boys and all this while he was slugging down the booze in a seperated/divorced state with his estranged wife.
    And this is the ‘humble christian beginning’ i must believe in and show unquestioning obedience toward, of an organization directly appointed by the son of God that has never apologised for anything, despite changing guise more than Houdini and its intepretations of whats written more than the average African state…..in 100 yrs???

    How many straight jackets shall I order along with that?

    • greg (Bible Student)


      I’m still laughing when I read “How many straight jackets…”

      We all experience challenges that seem acutely tuned to our “Achilles’ Heels”.

      In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote: Suffering ceases to be suffering when a) one forms a clear and precise picture of it, and b) one finds meaning in it.

      I can confirm that such has been true for me and my family in our life.

      I hope, pray, and trust that you will find meaning, purpose, and relief (eventually) in your own struggles. I also hope you will reach out to others and actually receive truly helpful support when you need it most. Above all, be reassured that “God cares for us” even as Jesus cared about (and healed) lepers. -Luke 5:12,13; 1 Peter 5:6,7

      Perhaps you wanted empathy, and not advice? Then I beg you to try and hear my empathy even if my words sound like advice. I want to say that I find it very comforting to know that God empathizes with me, you, all of us, and knows those that love him. 1 Corinthians 8:3 says, “But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.” (NLT)

      Never forget Biblical persons like Joseph, Job, David (while a fugitive from Saul) and many others, who loved God, and were despised and/or falsely accused by others, even those who claimed to represent God. We’re in good company when we suffer for righteousness’ sake. -1 Peter 3:14


  • WyattEarp2nd

    Hi and thanks for response…

    It struck me that he did not really know very much when pushed for specifics. He was also vague and evasive when it suited him. Understandably he could not talk on behalf of the body and obviously he wasn’t going to agree to any policy changes. I accept that as reasonable. But he said repeatedly when pushed for a committed answer that ‘your honor, that’s not really my field of expertise’ to some questions that I could have answered when I was 15.
    How can such serious matters not be your expertise as a brother of Christ destined for heavenly glory, when u sign off final approval on policies and procedures that directly impact the lives of millions of well intentioned people?
    The dilemma they face is that regardless of personal knowledge or lack thereof of what’s going on at congregational level, because they are determined to enforce that they are the F&DS and speak for Christ and Jehovah God,they are directly accountable for any and all results and consequences.
    The conclusion I came to after the testimony is the same conclusion I came to after my committee case some years ago: when u get past the mumbo jumbo of ‘we are directly appointed by God’ and take a step back, look and listen to what is really being said, then u realize how ridiculous the claim is.
    Jesus kept things very simple. He said ‘by their fruits’ you recognize true from false.
    It appears that the results of the commission may lead to policy changes in a few areas and women may now play a more active role in the findings of a judicial procedure. If this were to happen, this means that the policy change toward protection of a child would have been initiated by the ‘uncaring Satanic world and it’s legal commissions acting only for selfish interests and the demise of JW’s’, and not the JW’s themselves who advocate such a caring loving attitude toward the human race. Unless the rest of the world brought this abuse issue to everyone’s attention, the GB would have been quite happy to let things carry on as normal. How is this possible if they have special insight as an appointed slave to ‘care’ for the spiritual needs of the flock?
    Pray tell?

    • greg (Bible Student)

      I agree with your sentiments. From my own personal experience, I know the kinds of issues I’ve faced, and the countless times I pleaded with the local elders for assistance, only to discover that it’s “satan’s world” that offers the care, support, healing, and assistance that I now understand JW’s could NEVER DO because they have been taught to fear their hearts and emotions, and have thus turned their hearts completely off. All me and my wife and children ever needed was compassion and understanding. And there is none to be found in an organization that claims love to be their defining characteristic. Blech! When I see the kind of love that does exist in the organization, I think to myself, I don’t like their definition of love.

      And these events that are finally making the news only confirm to me the absolute lack of spirit and truth that Jesus talked about as being necessary if one wants to please God.

      I guess that’s what stands out to me most of all, is that ever since Bro. Russell died and Rutherford took over, love died too. Along with compassion. So did Spirit of the Law, being instead replaced with an ever increasing attempt to split hairs regarding the letter of the law. And the more they split hairs, the more they bog themselves and others down with confusing details, oppressive rules, head games, suspicions, and intellectualized (heartless) prescriptions that endeavour to strain out gnats while requiring the gulping down of camels.

      See: John 4:21-24; John 9:40,41; 1 John 3:17,18; Romans 2:12-16; 2 Corinthians 10:18; 1 Corinthians 4:5


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