Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Marginally relevant

One of our blog readers sent me this. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And I can say without too much of a smile that I've introduced my share of classes with something similar.


We've asked before that readers not link to this blog through facebook. The message was clear, but apparently some still do not understand. Show some respect. Delete links to this blog from your facebook account. Today.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Return of the Very Temporary Post

I despair of receiving analytical comments. But at Bruce's request, here it is with some additions and revisions. Usual rules.

Evangelical Voice

            The Barbourite movement was narrowly focused, drawing almost entirely from non-Seventh-day Adventists, Age-to-Come believers and other Millinarians. Barbour saw those without a millannialist point of view as worldly and lost. He saw himself as God’s appointed voice for the Last Days. Paton believed he was divinely appointed, and he saw “advances” in spiritual insight as God’s special revelation to him. Both published tracts, Paton many more than Barbour who relied on the Herald of the Morning to further his ideology. The focus of both was narrow, and they didn’t seek a wider voice.           
            Russell’s view was more expansive. He believed God’s people were scattered in all of Christendom, and some were as yet unfound in non-Christian religions. Connecting good-hearted Christians with ‘truth’ was urgent because they were, he believed, in the time of final judgment, the harvest time of Jesus’ parables. To explain Zion’s Watch Tower’s mission, he quoted from the Millerite hymn Alarm:

"We are living, we are dwelling
In a grand and awful time;
In an age on ages telling
To be living is sublime."[1]

        post was deleted.

Roberto's analysis

With some English language assistance from Rachael:

            The article of ZWT February 1881, entitled “Lay up for yourselves treasures”, is a sequel of previous articles written by Russell about the obligation of the Saints, the Bride of Christ, to spread seriously and meaningfully the message. Bruce and Rachael have posted a previously “Temporary post … VERY temporary” to introduce us to the argument, and that article is the basis for my comments.
            Russell’s article is addressed to the regular readers and believers of ZWT, to encourage them to spread the “truth”, but I suspect, on the base of the previous article of Bruce and Rachael, it was also an (in)direct message to some leading characters of the movement, I suspect Paton and Allen. This suspicion came to me reading this:

Do I hear you say that the prize for which you are running is a heavenly one and that you are laying up your treasure in heaven? I am glad that when you hold these treasures up before your mind you recognize them all as earthly, which the moth and rust of time will soon destroy. I am glad if your hearts have not become so fond of these things, that you worship them and think them beautiful. But let me put it plainly: Would your neighbor judging from your daily acts not suppose that you are bending all of your energies for some of these prizes? Is he deceived, or are you, with reference to your real aim? Do not your actions, as well as his, speak louder than words--What is your real treasure-- the thing which you really love?

            Russell speaks of “daily acts” and “actions”, and that they “speak louder than words”. What are these acts and actions? He quoted a hymn, “All for Jesus! All for Jesus! All my beings ransomed powers; All my thoughts and words and doings, All my days and all my hours.” In quoting the hymn he implicitly says that the Christian deeds should be in thoughts, words and doing, and at this point Russell reports his personal experience in thoughts, words, and doings for Jesus:

I found that I had three hours for my consecrated work … I daily spend one hour not in reading, but in earnest study. I searched and found daily spiritual food and my "daily bread" sometimes took two instead of one hour. How should I use my other hours? … my chief object should be to give spiritual help, or secondly, any temporal aid or comfort to those needing it.

            Russell made clear the point reporting to the readers two of his personal experiences in preaching: First he gave testimony to his next-door neighbor who had sickness and trouble, and then to a lady of whose deep piety and Christian character he had heard much, giving her WT tract n.1. Thus his time was spent from day to day, until the three hours were not enough. So we understand that in the mind of Russell, acts and actions were: studying the Bible and preach the truth 3, 4 hours every day.
            Russell states that his article is directed to the consecrated saints:

These five pictures represent persons who have consecrated all to God, who have covenanted to become dead to earthly aims, and ambitions and prizes, and have entered the list of those who will strive for "The prize of our high calling" and "seek for glory, honor and immortality"--the honor, the glory and the life promised only to the Bride--the overcomers, who keep their covenant.

            Russell underlined the necessity to increase the witnesses saying: “He (God) has given us many ways and opportunities of doing this. It may be spent in spreading the truth.” The rest of the article is an exhortation to evangelize. The exhortation was directed to every sort of Saints: the rich, the poor, mothers, housewives, etc. Every kind of Saint must spread the truth.
            In ZWT of April Russell was explicit again. He launched an appeal for 1.000 preachers, and published the article: “How to teach”. Paton in the same time published three articles: “Number Three, part 1”, “Number Three, part 2”, and “Foundation of the World”.



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Adolphe Weber

Below are some scans sent in by Franco. In order, they are:

Portrait of Adolphe Weber
Postcard with Weber’s stamp
Weber’s copy of the book Deliverance (1926)
Close up of Weber’s signature from same
Letter about Weber’s background - born 1863, died 1947.

See also editorial comment after pictures

Editorial comment

For any who do not know Weber’s story, he came into contact with Zion’s Watch Tower while working as a gardener for CTR in Pittsburgh. He went back to Europe in the late 1890s to spread the message, and remained loyal to the Watchtower Society throughout his life. He died in 1947. For a fuller history of his life see the history of the work in France in the Yearbook for 1980.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Research on the wild side ...

            This is really fringe material, but we do need to know. I’m turning to our readers who are probably better at this particular research than we are. We have two lines of research, one fairly urgent, the other important later.
            There is slight evidence that the Russells [or just C. T.] had a son who died in infancy. Yes, I know, it seems improbable given the amount of research put into their life. But we need to confirm or deny this.
            The Internet repeats suggestions that Rutherford had a mistress or two. The ‘evidence’ never seems to reach the threshold of established fact. We need to know.
            We need solid research, even if it only concludes there is no evidence. On the supposed Russell child, we’d need to find a grave or death records that match. He would have died in 1880 or 1881. He might not be buried with the rest of the family. The name may only be “baby boy Russell.”
            I have several reasons for turning this over to our readers. I have a strong point of view on both of these issues. I’d rather the research proceed without a PoV clouding it. We do not have easy access to Allegheny County records, many of which perished in a fire. On the other hand, I do not want to turn this into the wild speculations found on controversialist sites.

Are you up to the challenge?

From Bruce:

We can dismiss the 'hairpin' story out of hand. There is no first hand confirmation of that story which is alternately set in Buffalo NY and in one of the Carolinas but with no firsthand documentation. If a hotel maid [supposedly also a Bible Student] found a woman's hairpin in his bed, there is a simpler explanation. Rutherford was experiencing hair loss. Quack remedies involved soaking your hair in an elixir or emulsion and wearing a cap. My grandfather, Rutherford's contemporary, used Lucky Tiger hair restorer in the vain hope that he could rescue his hair. [When it's gone, it's gone. Believe me, I know.] The cap was secured with "women's hairpins."

Jesus used the phrase 'eye is evil' for greed and evil supposition. If this happened at all, we can point to an evil supposition. Apparently no-one bothered to ask Rutherford about it. [Assuming it happened] But some were willing to believe an evil report when a simple explanation would do. 

This is similar to the photo that supposedly shows a drunk Rutherford that really shows a group of Witnesses sitting by a root beer dispenser common in the 1920s -1940s. They were used to make homemade root beer, using Hires Extract, and then to dispense it.

History is not sourced from "evil reports," but from provable events.

However, I second Rachael's request for additional research by our blog readers.

Friday, March 24, 2017

We need ...

We need the exact Watch Tower by date where Rutherford first condemns "Character Development." Anyone?

Last Year of Herald of the Morning

To answer Chris G.s question ...

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Your opinion, thoughts, comments?

Please read the article entitled "Lay up Treasures for Yourself," found in the February 1881 Watch Tower. We are interested in your assessments.

F. L. Alexandre Freytag

from Franco

Alexandre Freytag was appointed by CTR as branch manager in Geneva, Switzerland. It did not end well. You will note that the caption to his photograph calls him “the faithful and prudent servant”.

Quoting from the 1980 Yearbook on the history of Bible Students/Witnesses in France:


Starting with the April 1919 issue, Freytag printed his name on the second page of each French Watch Tower, no longer as “manager” (gérant responsible  in French language), of the Geneva office,

but as “editor” (rédacteur in French language) of the Watch Tower.

As the official French edition of the Watch Tower represented less and less the English edition, some brothers in Switzerland took it upon themselves to publish a more accurate translation of the English-language Watch Tower. Thus there were for a time two French editions of the Watch Tower circulating among the brothers!
In August 1919, Freytag transferred a part of the Society’s literature stock and other property to his own address. Knowing that in January the Paris Congregation had informed Pittsburgh of what was going on, and that on March 25, 1919, Brother Rutherford had been released from prison, Freytag doubtless realized that the Society would certainly soon take action against him. So he began stowing away the property that he intended to keep for himself.
(above taken from 1980 Yearbook 1980 page 49 - The History of the Work in France)

Below is Freytag’s last Watch Tower.

At the bottom of page 2, Freytag put in this announcement:


The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, having taken our name, and publishing a newspaper that is titled the same as ours, now we prefer, to avoid confusion, to publish our newspaper under the name: "The Angel of the Eternal, the Kingdom Messenger of God"

Editorial note
Ultimately the Society took Freytag  to court on three occasions to finally recover the property he had taken (see 1987 Yearbook page 127, History of the Work in Switzerland). The movement Freytag formed  still exists in places like France (1980 Yearbook page 51) and Germany (1974 Yearbook page 85)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Temporary Post ... VERY Temporary

This is in rough draft the first few paragraphs of current work. Tentative title for this chapter is Evangelical Voice. Usual rules. Do not copy elsewhere, though you may copy for your own use. It will change. Do not rely on this in this form. Do not share it with others. It will come down in a day or two.

We're posting it for comments. Your comments are valuable feedback. When there are no comments I doubt we've done well.

Evangelical Voice

            The Barbourite movement was narrowly focused, drawing almost entirely from non-Seventh-day Adventists, Age-to-Come believers and other Millinarians. Barbour saw those without a millannialist point of view as worldly and lost. He saw himself as God’s appointed voice for the Last Days. Paton’s believed he was divinely appointed, and he saw “advances” in spiritual insight as God’s special revelation to him. Both published tracts, Paton many more than Barbour who relied on the Herald of the Morning to further his ideology. The focus of both was narrow, and they didn’t seek a wider voice.       

remainder of this post is deleted.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bible Companion Jan 1915

Suggestive Hints

Suggestive Hints to New Colporteurs made its first appearance in 1887. We have a much later edition, but we need to see the first edition. If you have one, or one much earlier than the 1912 edition, please scan it and send it to us.

Wrong title given above: This is what we're seeking:

R967 : page 1
Any one desirous of engaging in the
spread of the truth can find grand opportunities
and plenty of them, selling paper-bound
DAWN, VOL. I. The present price,
25 cents, brings it within the reach of all.
We state again that ten cents per copy is
allowed for expenses out of the Tract
Fund. According to your zeal, faith and
talents united, will be your success. Take
your sample book and make a trial before
ordering books. For particulars of how
to succeed in selling DAWN, write to us
for a copy of our Hints to MILLENNIAL
DAWN Canvassers, just printed. It will
be sent free by mail.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The seal ...

From about 1870 to well into the 20th Century, envelope and advertising seals were commonly used in Germany. These copied official government seals used on correspondence. So it's not surprising to find that the Watch Tower society used them too. Here is an example found on the front end paper of Der Krieg von Harmagedon.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Arthur Pennock

The 10:30 Bible study of Watch Tower. Millennial Dawn and Old Theology readers will be conducted by Arthur Pennock of Taylor. Any one is welcome. -- June 6, 1908, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, the Evening News from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania · Page 4

We need basic biography for Pennock. Anyone?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Your observations wanted ...

Please read the article "To Communicate Forget Not" found in the August 1880 ZWT and give us your observations.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Readers in the UK ...

This is found in the University of Manchester Library. We need a scan or photocopy. Acquiring it from the USA is very expensive. If you live near Manchester or visit there, would you acquire this for us:

"Millennial dawn" : a word of warning, etc.



Available at Special Collections (Main Library) Christian Brethren Printed Collection (11323 )

There are a number of journal articles and booklets at the Manchester U. Library we'd like to see. Contact me if you're up to volunteering. 

Are you a good detective? We need help tracing this to its source

From the Restitution Herald of April 26, 1938

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Katherine Hankey

I posted a hymn she wrote and that met Russell's approval a ways back. Really two related hymns ... Based on her long poem, An Old, Old Story. Russell published the long poem entire as Old Theology Quarterly No. 7. This is often wrongly attributed to Maria Russell.

Russell published without attribution as did the American Tract Society. It was widely known, and neither the Watch Tower nor ATS saw a need to append a name.

Old Theology Quarterly No. 7
You will notice that Russell altered wording as he did with many hymns and poems.

Taking the story further back

from Franco

Above is a postcard dated November 9, 1911, sent from St Peter Port, the English capital of the Island of Guernsey in front of the French coast.

The sender is named Bocolaud (ed. note - checking the U’s and the N’s that may well be Bowland) and the recipient is Adolphe Weber, Tour de Garde, Convers [Canton], Berne, Suisse.

The writer had been circulating copies of the volumes (Studies) in Guernsey.

In 1986 the "Awake" magazine had an article about the Channel Islands. It stated:

Seeds of Bible truth were sown here back in 1925 when Zephaniah and Ethel Widdell arrived from England with their bicycles to organize a regular program of Bible studies. As a direct result of their work, congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses were soon formed in both Jersey and Guernsey.

This is not exactly so, because according to the postcard "Seeds of Bible truth" in Guernsey island were already sown in 1911, if not before…

Editorial notes from Jerome

This is of interest, not just because Weber was a very well-known figure in the continental Bible Student community, but also because it takes a little bit of history back a further 14 years from what has previously been known. The postcard shows there was a Bible Student presence of some sort back in 1911, and probably before that. It speaks of "still selling a good number of volumes," which could well be pre-1911. And it is noted that the writer used English rather than French when writing to Weber.

I could only find one male named Bowland (the variant Boland) in Guernsey in the 1911 census, which was taken in April 1911, living in a street quite near Union Street in St Peter Port, from whence the postcard was later sent that year. This Bowland/Boland is a labourer working in the stone industry, aged 31, with a wife and two children. Of course, there is no guarantee that this is the right person, and the initials don’t seem to match. There is no-one with a name approaching anything like Bocolaud.

As for the Awake magazine (Awake April 22, 1986, page 19) detailing the start of “seeds of truth” for 1925, one must remember that there was never any official attempt to document the growth of interest in places like the Channel Islands at the time. We have to rely on people looking back long after the event. In 1970 the Society sent a lengthy letter to all old-timers asking for their reminiscences. The letters sent by return will have numbered into their hundreds, possibly thousands, around the world, and formed the basis for the various histories that subsequently appeared in the Yearbooks. These covered not just countries like the United States and Britain, but everywhere. This testimony was supported by documented proof in some cases. For example, the son of one of the editors of the St Paul/New Era Enterprise was moved to send his files to the Society. However, in many cases it was simply the anecdotal memories of older people looking back. The account in the 1986 Awake may well date from that 1970 initiative. No-one alive in 1970 or thereabouts had any memory of events before 1925 for the Channel Islands. So the “find” of a post card sent to a well-known figure like Weber is significant as far as Channel Island history is concerned. It shows that even the smallest piece of ephemera is worth checking in the search for completeness.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Where I insult all my British friends and acquaintances and everyone else ...

            Since Separate Identity was published in 2014, we’ve had two complaints about the writing style, both from UK residents. Both reject our style as un-academic. What they mean is that we do not write as they do in the United Kingdom. We don’t. We’re not British; we don’t pad our writing with euphemisms, circumlocutions, misused prepositions, and we don’t use passive voice.
            Passive voice is endemic in British writing. It allows one to escape responsibility for opinions, observations and conclusions. It defers responsibility to authors cited or to a non-existent ‘other.’
            British academics avoid any blunt statement. They wouldn’t call ‘a spade a spade’ if their life depended on it. Americans are usually plain-spoken. If something is wrong, we usually say so with little quibble.
            Bruce, my writing partner, has a complex ancestry. But he is American, on the conservative side, a teacher with significant peer recognition. He is separated by a century and a half from the last immigrant family. His family’s presence in America started in 1607. I share some of his ancestry. But I’m separated by a generation from Austria, and I am a dual US-Austrian citizen. I am, despite the duality, an American. As does Bruce, I write like an American. And I find British academic writing stultifying. Say what you mean. Drop the extraneous words you use to pad your writing. Get to the point. And take responsibility for your thoughts.
            Both of those who complained about our style are bound to the circumlocution that characterizes British writers. Frankly, if you experienced the hand of an American editor, you would not come off well. [I’ve read your stuff.] One of those who complained about our writing style is caught up in the arguments about the value of popular [public] history and academic history. Both fill important slots. It’s a meaningless argument, only meant to preserve history as the field of assistant professors. [The life of an adjunct professor is not an easy one. I know.] But having academic credentials does not elevate one to a special position in life. Besides I’d set my BA x 2, MA x 2 and PhD against yours any day.
            Another difference between American and British writers is the kind of analysis each brings to their writing. Brits are more likely to quote every available opinion, sensible or not, to make some sort of indifferent, indirect analysis. Facts can be manipulated. But for British writers, facts are ephemeral things, hardly real. Most American writers do not see evidence in that light. British writers like to pretend that academic competition does not exist. Dear heart, it does both there and here. It’s intense, sometimes nasty.
            Amazon ranks books by sales. I think it is telling that Separate Identity outsells the books of both of those who complained. It ranks about two million places ahead of both. I think that says something about its content and worth.
            I repeat, take responsibility for your work and opinions. Use direct sentences. Avoid passive voice. Be plain. Don't be an academic snob.

Herewith is a power point presentation on British academic writing. Note that it advises use of Passive Voice. It makes them feel good. No competent American writer would use passive voice. The reasons given for using it in this video are, frankly, idiotic.

Two Hymns that strongly impressed Russell

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Several things ...

Several things:

Someone from University of California at Long Beach visits regularly. I suspect they’re looking for something specific. If you are that person, let me know how I can help.

German Girl: Thanks for your offer to translate. We’re having a scarce German booklet scanned. I do need help translating it. My German is very poor. Email me directly, and when it’s scanned I will send it to you. [r m de vienne @ yahoo dot com]

We still need von Zech family papers belonging to his German relatives if they are relevant to Otto’s evangelism. I haven’t a clue how to look for those.

Watch Tower presence in Germany before 1903 is impossible to document in a meaningful way. Yet, we know it existed. Anyone? The same is true of Norway and France. There was at least one Barbourite in France in the 1870s. We can’t follow that up, or we haven’t with any success.

We are very dissatisfied with our history of the earliest work in Canada. Most significant documentation is from the late 1890s, outside the scope of Separate Identity. Can you add to our understanding of the work in the 1880s?

We need scans of any letters, postcards or memoranda signed by Russell, no matter how brief or mundane they may seem.

Letters between Bible Students sent in the Russell era would help. Have one? Please scan it.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

To answer an email question ...

Two people have asked through email if I recommend Zydek's biography of Russell, Charles Taze Russell: His life and time: The man, the millennium and the message. I wouldn't try to stop any one from buying it. Some of our readers have. Jerome reviewed it when published.

It is inaccurate, poorly researched, flawed and not worth the money you spend on it. But it's your money. Buy it if you wish.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A letter to our readers ...

            A huge amount of work stands behind this blog. Though there is a donation button here, we get about twenty dollars per year on average. We fund this research out of the sale of our books and out of our own pocket. Original research is expensive. In the past four months we’ve spent more than good sense would permit. Off the blog we get support for which we are truly grateful. One long time blog reader purchased material for us. Others have done the same in years past. We appreciate this.
            I did not write this to ask for donations. While we have monthly expenditures, we’re usually capable of handling them on our own. And we get unexpected help. A university librarian found our work important. She scanned a booklet from their library, the only surviving copy, and waved their fees. So instead of costing us the forty-five dollars we expected, it cost us nothing but politeness. And the booklet is useful. We will quote from it, though probably not in volume two. Certainly we will in volume 3. We’ve already added a paragraph to a ‘finished’ chapter.
            The work that our contributors and Bruce and I put into writing our books and posting on this blog merits something more than a parasitical use of our work. We live in an age when people do not feel responsible for the use they make of other’s work. This is wrong. Blog statistics tell us that we get something under 100 return visits a day. And we get new visitors who may read one article and not return, their curiosity satisfied. Of the regularly reoccurring visitors, fewer than ten comment on anything like a regular basis. Visitors to this blog reap the work of others. It satisfies your curiosity; it interests you; some use it as resource material for their own work.
            But you do not comment. One of our contributors excuses that by saying comments or not, we’re generating interest in the subject. However, the original purpose of this blog was to further our research. One way for you to do that is to comment. Comments, like reviews, need not be elaborate. And I realize that most readers do not understand Watch Tower history, or any aspect of religious history, at much depth. But a simple, “oh, how interesting” would do. As it is, you’re eating from our plate of cookies and drinking our milk without a simple ‘thank you.’
            The ideal comment is one that informs or leads us to something new. Sometimes a question from a reader does that for us. I feel very unappreciated. I’d have left this project a long time ago, except Bruce is dependent on my help given his health issues. No-one knows this subject as well as he does.
            This letter to our readers will not improve anything but my disposition. And that is doubtful. But it is my belief that we owe something to those who produce important work. Apparently most of those who read this blog [And Roberto’s forum posts] do not believe they owe anything to anyone.

Tell me ...

L. A. Allen wrote an article entitled Straight Gate for the June 1880, ZWT. You can find this online. We want to know your impression of this article.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


When you leave a comment, make certain you're leaving it on the appropriate post. Some recent comments were appended to posts for which they had no relevance. The evident intent was to comment on a post above or below the one where the comment was inteneded.

We need to identify ....

We need to identify a "Mr. McClure of Scotland" who sometime before the fall of 1910 wrote against Russell and "Millennial Dawn."

We need the exact source of this:

Monday, March 6, 2017

Franz Zürcher

Although relating to events a little more recent than the general focus of this blog, this is an account that many may find of interest. Thanks are due to “Franco” who kindly sent the scans used in this short article.

Franz Zürcher (1891-1978) worked at the Bible Students/Jehovah’s Witnesses Central European Office in Switzerland for nearly 55 years. He started in 1923, although his first couple of years were spent taking the Photodrama of Creation film out to Belgium, Alsace-Lorraine, along with locations in Switzerland. For many years he was the Branch Servant in Switzerland. In the 1930s he was the editor of the German edition of The Golden Age magazine. In 1943 he was sentenced to gaol [ie: jail] for his activities.

He is known for writing a book published by the Society, which apparently was never officially translated into English. Crusade Against Christianity was first published in German in 1938, and then translated into French and Polish in 1939. It detailed the persecution of the witnesses under the Nazi regime, and some of the material appeared in the English edition of Golden Age.

Here are some covers of the three language editions.

First published in German in 1938. The publisher was Europe-Verlag, Zurich-New York.

Translated into French and Polish (both 1939)

The French translation was also published by Europe-Verlag, Zurich-New York. However, you will note that the Polish translation added Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, Berne.

Franz Zürcher remained an active witness in the Berne Bethel until the end of his life, and is one of the comparatively few witnesses to have an obituary in the Watchtower magazine. See Watchtower for August 1, 1978, page 31.

Friday, March 3, 2017

First few paragraphs in rough draft - Current research

Evangelical Voice

            The Barbourite movement was narrowly focused, drawing almost entirely from non-Seventh-day Adventists, Age-to-Come believers and other Millinarians. Barbour saw those without a millannialist point of 

This post was deleted.

Anyone near Santa Clarita, California?

We have located the booklet by Tucker noted in an earlier post in a library in Santa Clarita, California. If you live close and are willing to photocopy it for us, please let me know.

We no longer need this.

A return visitor ...

Oops! Or - What's in a Name?

The Welsh language humorous magazine Papur Pawb started in 1893, and was published weekly from Carnarfon in North Wales until 1917, and then was relaunched in the 1920s. One would hardly think this could be confused with a religious tract posing such questions as Where Are the Dead? But such was the perception in Wales; so an announcement was necessary in the Yr Herald Cymraeg (Welsh Herald) newspaper for April 21, 1914.

When the Watch Tower Society started publishing its new monthly tract series from Brooklyn in 1909, they hit upon two titles, People’s Pulpit and Everybody’s Paper. The tracts soon also came to be known as Bible Students’ Monthly, and ultimately most early issues were reprinted under that masthead.

So when it was decided to publish tracts in Welsh (as advertised in Watch Tower November 15, 1911) they had several choices of name. They apparently settled on Papyr Pawb, which literally means the paper for all - e.g. Everybody’s Paper. Even though they used the old Welsh spelling of “Papyr” rather than the more modern “Papur” (as used by the North Wales comic) it was enough for someone to complain - hence the apology.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tabernacle Shadows - In Welsh

Images courtesy of the Mike Castro collection

A few weeks ago I put out a special request for anyone out there who had ever heard of a Welsh edition of Tabernacle Shadows. I had a vague memory of seeing one several decades ago, but had never had it confirmed since. I reasoned that, if it existed at all, it probably originated in America, with all the Welsh immigrants, including people like William Hickey of Tredegar, South Wales, who was in CTR’s group back in the mid-1870s.

Well, I was right, and I was wrong. First, I was right, the book does exist. It is 144 pages, and was published in both hardback and paperback. The hardback cover is shown at the head of this article, and grateful thanks are due to the Mike Castro Collection for providing the images. But in another aspect, I was wrong, as shown by the title page below.

Image courtesy of the Mike Castro Collection

As noted above, I assumed that the book, if it existed, originated in America. But the title page clearly shows the publisher to be Watch Tower, with an address in Eversholt Street, London. This dates the book to between 1903 and 1914, when IBSA became the publisher’s imprint from Craven Terrace, London. The printers were Hazel, Watson and Viney, a well-known British company that also printed British editions of Studies. The copy pictured was originally purchased on eBay from the UK.

Armed with the correct Welsh name I found that the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth has a copy. Their index states that it is translated into Welsh from English, and they give an estimated date of 1913, which is when it first appeared on their shelves and in their catalog. Quaintly they ascribe the authorship to one Charles Theodore Russell. I have a reader’s ticket to this library, but my last visit was to examine ancient Welsh Bibles, while Mrs J was hunting up Welsh folk songs. I never thought to check Watch Tower history. The next time I visit I will examine the volume, and maybe even get them to adjust the author’s middle name!