From Zion’s Day Star for January 1884
In fact, we were never so thoroughly convinced as now, that the Four Gospels of the New Testament have comparatively no inspiration about them! Very many of the New Testament teachings do not correspond with those of the Old, but do, on the other hand, flatly contradict them! Peter draws a clear-cut line between Jesus as the man and his after exalted state as Lord and Christ. Note this well, for it is a death blow to the Miraculous Conception theory!
We question the inspiration of the Four Gospels, and we challenge those who teach such a theory to harmonize it with Daniel’s prophecy! To claim that Peter, James and John were inspired, is simply child’s talk! Let us look well to what we pin our faith; or upon what we build an argument; and especially when using statements found in either of the four Gospels or Acts of the Apostles!
You ask, then, what is our opinion of him? (Jesus). We answer, it is that he was a man.
By January 1884 there was a doctrinal gulf between CTR and Barbour and CTR and Paton. But in comparison the theological chasm between CTR and Jones had now reached Grand Canyon proportions.
I have been asked if I have a copy of the January 1884 Zion’s Day Star which is quoted above. Alas, no. The only two copies of this paper that I know to be in circulation are December 25, 1884 (by which time it was simply the Day Star) and August 19, 1886. There is a bound volume covering most if not all of 1886 in the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. But it is fragile and oversize, and the library has resolutely decided it can only be copied through one process – and that in about 3-4 years time. Perhaps.
So where does the January 1884 quote come from? It comes from an article in the Church of God/Age to Come weekly paper called The Restititution for July 27, 1887, page 3.
A lengthy sermon by Dr L C Thomas is reprinted as given at Wyoming, Delaware, and Thomas quotes as above from the January 1884 Day Star. The quote is probably a series of extracts that Thomas had put together as one to give the flavour of Jones’ theology. Thomas was NOT impressed, and specifically attacked the editor of the Day Star for being a Josephite. A Josephite is someone who denies the concept of miraculous conception for Jesus, and who therefore believes Joseph to be his natural father. Many Age to Come readers of The Restitution were Socinian in outlook (i.e. they disbelieved in a literal pre-existance for Jesus). Josephites would argue that they were simply taking the concept one step further.
CTR of course had a great deal to say about how he viewed Jones’ changing theology in both early ZWTs, as well as a summary in Harvest Siftings.