Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Thanks!



            Several blog readers have tried to help, sending us links and pointing to various sources. This is good. With the exception of one item, we knew of, had, or owned as an original all of these things. Was their effort wasted? No. We now have two important documents, one the direct result of a link sent by email and the other the result of following up on an idea suggested to me by one of the links. So no effort was wasted, even if we are familiar with almost everything sent. Keep it up!
            As a result of this effort we can narrow the time period for Keith, Paton, and Barbour’s discussion of an invisible parousia to between April 8, 1875 and June 1875. This may seem like a minor detail, but it is significant. It shows that the discussion was brief, limited to a few weeks. This fits with the pattern of quick recovery already established by Barbour. In this same period, Barbour promoted the idea that the dead saints were resurrected in April 1875.
            Every fragment of detail makes our understanding of events clearer. So this is a huge thank you to those who contacted me in the last three weeks.
            I’m still writing a history textbook, but we are working on volume 2 of Separate Identity. If you want to help in a more focused way, we need details about individual congregations as they were in the period 1875-1895. Names, locations, names of those associated, how they functioned, are all important details. A persistent search of online newspaper archives would help. Be inventive, imaginative. Do not focus on the United States alone, though probably most information will come from US newspaper archives.
            We are developing in outline form the debates between Russell and Barbour as they developed between 1879 with the founding of Zion’s Watch Tower and 1886. If you want to contribute to that, please email me with your ideas. While Mr. Schulz is on the mend, please don’t email him at this time. I’ll pass on anything important, but his time is filled with misery and doctors.

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