Matthew Chapter 24
An explanation of what we Bible Students refer to when we mention the Reprints or Volumes.
* The Watch Tower Reprints referred simply as the “Reprints” by Bible Students have been a useful treasure house of information for the Bible Students since they constitute a comprehensive Bible commentary by Pastor Russell.
First printed in book form by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1919 (three years after the death of the Pastor), the Reprints contained all the articles that had appeared in the monthly/semi-monthly Watch Tower magazines from inception in July 1879 through June 1919. (The magazine was called Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence from the start; in January 1909 the name was changed to The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.)
When the limited number of copies of the 1919 printing could no longer meet the needs of the next generations of Bible Students, in 1967 the Chicago Bible Students Ecclesia republished the Reprints. The page numbering and content of each page remained the same as in the earlier edition to avoid confusion in referencing them, but they were provided in slightly larger print for ease of reading. There were six large bound books plus a slim index book containing four indices: Listings by Elaborated Texts; by Scripture Citations; by Article Titles; and by Topics. This and subsequent editions covered the Watch Tower articles from 1879 through 1916. In more recent years, five additional printings were undertaken, including loose-leaf and twelve-volume editions. The Reprints are now also available on Bible Student Internet Web sites and computer CD ROMs, with expanded index capability by individual words and phrases.”
NOTE: reference here is made to the ORIGINAL reprint articles those written up to 1916, i.e. those written prior to the Watch Tower having been taken over by Judge Rutherford and those associated with him who would later become what is known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Although it is believed that they still have copies of these original reprints in their library we don’t believe they use them in their studies, in fact it is evident they don’t use them as much of what was written contradicts many of their present day teachings. They’re probably only kept around for their historical significance. We can be certain that they use only those materials specifically written and approved by the society itself.
Anyone who attempts to tell you that these Reprints and or the Volumes are the works of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is a liar and doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
*The “Volumes” refer to the six volume series entitled, "Studies in the Scriptures”.
“The author of the first six volumes of Studies in the Scriptures, Charles Taze Russell, reported that he did not write them "through visions and dreams, nor by God's audible voice," but that he sought "to bring together these long scattered fragments of truth". The first volume was written in 1886. Originally titled The Plan of the Ages as part of a series called Millennial Dawn, it was later renamed The Divine Plan of the Ages. The name of the series was changed to Studies in the Scriptures in 1904 in order to clarify their nature as biblical textbooks.
The series was written as a Bible study aid (NOT as a supplement to the Bible, but as a help in its study). The intention was that by studying the Bible topically, rather than verse by verse (as most commentaries do); details of God's purpose might become clearer. The series progresses from elementary topics, such as the existence of God and promoting the Bible as God's word, to deeper subject matter throughout the series.”
“One must not ignore the aids to Bible study (concordances, Lexicons, commentaries, dictionaries and etc.) which God has providentially furnished; to do so would be as unwise as for a pupil in astronomy to ignore the astronomical instruments and findings of others who have preceded him in the study of the same science.”
The Six Volumes include:
1. The Divine Plan of the Ages (1886)—elementary topics and attempts to show God has a clear purpose for mankind;
2. The Time is at Hand (1889)—an interpretation of biblical chronology, keys to time prophecies, the second advent of Christ, and the identification of the Antichrist;
3. Thy Kingdom Come (1891)—describes biblical prophecies in further detail, along with the fate of Israel and information on the Great Pyramid of Giza as being built under God's direction. The section on Pyramidology was influenced by the theories of Charles Piazzi Smyth, who also helped review it;
4. The Day of Vengeance (1897) later renamed The Battle of Armageddon—suggests causes of the dissolution of the present order, with the biblical remedy as God's kingdom;
5. The At-one-ment Between God and Man (1899)—discusses the nature of humanity, the work of redemption, and the Holy Spirit;
6. The New Creation (1904)—discusses the seven days of creation found in Genesis, and the duties and personal responsibilities of a Christian.
Since our Witnesses friends did not even exist until 1931 it should be self-evident that these materials are not the works of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In our next post we return to Verse 48 in our study of Matthew Chapter 24
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