Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Out of Babylon: Current Work - Temporary post

If you copy this for personal use, please don't share it off the blog.

Out of Babylon

            There is almost no record of the earliest congregations’ internal structure or of the nature of their meetings. Though meeting guidance was given as early as 1884, a standard meeting format wasn’t introduced until the 1890s, and nature of meetings varied by place. To understand them we must rely on comments made in later decades. While some of his observations were appropriate to later years, the anonymous author of the Watchtower series “The Modern History of Jehovah’s Witnesses” accurately describes affiliated congregations in the period before 1900:

Thanks for the comments, everyone! Helpful and encouraging. The rest of this post is deleted.


Anonymous said...

Dear Rachael and Bruce

This is stunningly interesting. If the 'story is in the details' and the details continue to get better, so does the story.

Among the very best of articles ever to have appeared on the blog. And there have been many fine ones.

Son of Ton

Miquel Angel Plaza-Navas said...

Excellent article!!!
One question. Is there any place at your history for M.L. McPhail?
He knew Russell doctrines at the beginning of 1890s and he was an active preacher at least until 1908.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

McPhail come too late for this volume. If we write the third book, and I hope we will, he'll play a large part. Though there is overlap, we end this book at near 1890. An outline for book three is shaky but developing. It's evident that we don't know the period from 1890 to 1916 nearly as well as we thought we did. This doesn't surprise us. We expect it. It's part of the research experience, as you know.

roberto said...

Rachael and Bruce, what are you doing? What? (It is a compliment). Bravi!

Miquel Angel Plaza-Navas said...

Another quotation of the new sect found by B.F. Weatherwax:
"Divine Love the Basis" In: Davenport Daily Republican (Davenport, Iowa), 1901, November 5, p.2"
Sorry, but I could not save a copy of this page in pdf.

"Divine Love the Basis.
It is the Link Which Holds Together a New Sect in Syracuse, N.Y.
Syracuse, N.Y., Nove. 4.--A new religious society, to be known as the church of 'The Little Flock', has been started by Rev. B.F. Weatherwax, who for more than 30 years was a Methodist preacher, but who , at the recent conference held at Syracuse, withdrew from the Methodist church. The new denomination has now but six members, but regular services are held in their homes. They claim to have no cree outside the Bible and that the are held together by divine love."

Hope this adds something!

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Excellent find, thanks.

roberto said...

In Italy, about 1903-1908, the first Watchtower adherents were called Darbisti (Darbysts)

jerome said...

I wonder if in Italy the Bible Students were being lumped together in the public's mind at the time with the followers of John Nelson Darby - who helped found the Brethren movement? Darby's Dispensationalism and Christian Zionism would strike a familar chord with readers of Watch Tower literature.

roberto said...

The Brethren are present in Tuscany (Central Italy) since the year 1833. In the second part of the 1800s they sent missionary in Piedmont (Northen Italy) between the Waldesians to convert some of them, so the Brethren doctrines like Dispensationalism, Zionism, and Millenarianism were well known between the Waldesians believers and clergy. The Watchtower movement started in Italy in the year 1903 (well, this is a controversial issue), the first adherents were almost all Waldesians and when they were disfellowshipped from their Church, the documents refer to them as Darbysts until the year 1910, and in a case as Baptists. In Italy today there are about 20.000 Brethren, and yes there is a relationship between the Watchtower movement and the Brethren. Am I right?

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

I think that's right, Roberto. I haven't researched that yet, because it's outside the scope of Separate Identity. Next book, if we can write it, will cover that and similar things. Bruce is tentatively calling it On the Cusp of Fame. I'm not certain I like that title.