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IBSA2Mark Twain once said, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”  The same can be said of the association of International Bible Students.  It has often been reported that we died off back in the days of J.F. Rutherford.  Actually, we have existed continuously since the days of Brother Charles Taze Russell to the present.

Find the IBSA (International Bible Students Association) website by clicking here:

In Brother Russell’s day, the IBSA was a cooperative association of Bible Student congregations worldwide, all united by their love for Jehovah, Jesus, and the Truth.  The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society was merely a publishing house and lecture service, with NO central control over these thousands of associated, but independent congregations worldwide.  In those early days, full Christian liberty was encouraged for each brother and sister to study and determine the Truth form themselves.   Guided by the Holy Spirit, these independent congregations, worked together cooperatively under the loving and gentle leadership of Brother Russell.

After the death of Brother Russell in 1916, J.F. Rutherford took control of the WBTS, contrary to the instructions in Brother Russell’s Will and the Watchtower Bylaws.  By 1931 J.F. Rutherford had fundamentally transformed the WBTS into an authoritative theocratic organization.  J.F. Rutherford renamed the group from Bible Students to “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” in order to distinguish itself from the various groups formed by the 75% of original Bible Students no longer associated with the WBTS.  Hundreds of these Bible Student congregations worldwide have continued to the present, thus constituting a continuation of the original IBSA.

The International Bible Students have always been actively engaged in witnessing the Truth to the world and our beliefs remain unchanged since the days of Brother Russell.  We continue to treasure the Studies in the Scriptures, early Watchtowers and other writings of Brother Russell.   We believe that the light continues to shine brighter (clearer), but that it never changes.  If we agree that the Truth has changed, then it never was the Truth in the first place.

To find out more about the early history of the Watchtower Bible Students, click here:


  • Anonymous


  • George Sanders


    Can anyone tell me if the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society printed Russells literature up to and including 1980?

    Is there a dedicated bookshop where these books can be found in reprint form?

    • Peter K. (admin)

      As far as I know the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has not published any of Brother Russell’s writings since at least the 1930s. By this point, there were many doctrinal and prophetic differences, greatest of which was their change of the Ransom for All.

      • George Sanders

        Thanks Peter for the update.
        Perhaps i might ask it a different way.
        Obviously in 1935 Rutherford split off forming the JW’s.
        But as far as Im aware, the publishing rights/copyright was still owned by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society Pennsylvania.
        However there appears be to an unwritten agreement that IBSA could continue to print those works even though the copyright was held by WTBS (aka JW’s).
        The copyrights I believe were purchased or given back circa 1980.
        Is anyone aware of this or can shed some light?

        • Peter K. (admin)


          The last thing the Governing Body and JW Organization would want to do is bring Bible Students to court over publishing rights. This would draw attention to the existence of the original Bible Students (who supposedly died out according to JW Org). Also, an investigation of the history would reveal a hostile and illegal takeover of the Watchtower by Rutherford and his supporters, which would be a public relations nightmare. The original Watchtower Directors eventually decided not to take legal action as some brethren pointed them to these Bible verses.

          1 Corinthians 6:1-6 (ESV) “1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!”

          The original Watchtower Directors received legal council from a law firm supporting the illegality of the Rutherford takeover. Had the brothers chosen to take Rutherford to court, they would have likely won. However, in the end, they determined to accept the Lord’s providence in the matter and not take their brothers to court. This was a good decision on their part because it helped divide the Bible Students into those who wanted to follow a human organization verses those who wanted to follow Jesus and in the spirit of Christian liberty and tolerance.

          Here is the link from the Watchtower Directors with the legal letter from a law firm. http://www.pastor-russell.com/legacy/july_letter.pdf

          I don’t know if you are already aware of these sites where you can find historical watchtower literature.



          • Richard.Tazzyman

            How right you are Bro Peter,The Most high& his Son were behind the split.The Seventh(Last Messenger) Messenger had passed the Veil. Now the sifting had to be done. Satan was given a free hand to sow distrust, greed and Power among the Brethren. Rutherford was certainly his man! How glad we are that we have the Truth That sets us free bondage to a Man Made ORG. Bro Richard, Bible Student

            • Peter K. (admin)

              Brother Richard – We appreciate the Christian Liberty Jesus has given us. This allows us to honestly study the Bible without fear of punishment from an organization if we come to a different conclusion.

              2 Timothy 1:7 (Amplified Bible) – For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of calm {and} well–balanced mind {and} discipline {and} self–control.

              Gal 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. NKJV

              The following article might be of interest to those who don’t know how Rutherford got control of the Watchtower.

              How did J.F. Rutherford Succeed in Seizing Control of the Society against the Instructions of Pastor Russell?

    • Richard.Tazzyman

      Hello George,Although the WTB&T Society did not republish any of Bro Russells books after the Late 20s,The true Bible Students do,& have reprinted many of his works & have continued to do so.Let us know what you are Interested in & we could give you Info where you Might obtain them.Christian Love,Bro Richard,(Bible Student)Australia

  • brathers,sisters,ms,mrs, all of god’s word member all of jehovah’s witnesses societes appliciated all of god’s word jehovah’s witnesses societes is all of enjoye good is organized all of happier all of very far all of book’ all of jehovah’s witnesses librares jehovah’s word very far’ all of booklet’ all of good no happen’ all of very far’ all of jehovah’s witnesses societes book’ all of thems.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Okay, you are real. Welcome and thank you for coming on. What is your native language? Are you now a witness?

      • greg (Bible Student)


        For what it’s worth, I’m puzzled too. I’ve read both comments a few times to try to decipher it, and I also notice that the “name” given, “musoni victor bible stu…” is hyperlinked to j w . o r g.


    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Hi Musoni you are probably coming in from facebook but we dont really understand what you are saying. I want to tell our audience not to click on any links you present however because you are from jwdotorg.So make yourself clearer and we will talk about what you want to say. Are you a witness? Yes or no. Thank you

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