Russell, Charles Taze


Russell, Charles Taze
born Feb. 16, 1852, Pittsburgh, Pa., U.S.
died Oct. 31, 1916, Pampa, Texas

U.S. religious leader who founded the International Bible Students Association, the forerunner of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

He was raised in the Congregational church but rejected its teachings, unable to reconcile God's mercy with the idea of hell. Influenced by the Adventists, he adopted a doctrine of millennialism. He founded the International Bible Students Association in 1872 (renamed Jehovah's Witnesses in 1931) and taught that the final days would come in 1914 and that Christ's kingdom on earth would begin after a war between capitalism and socialism. In 1884 he founded the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, today one of the world's largest publishers. His books, pamphlets, and periodicals were widely circulated, and he won many converts despite the apparent failure of his apocalyptic prediction.

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▪ American religious leader
byname  Pastor Russell  
born Feb. 16, 1852, Pittsburgh, Pa., U.S.
died Oct. 31, 1916, Pampa, Texas

      founder of the International Bible Students Association, forerunner of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

      By the time he was 20, Russell had left both Presbyterianism and Congregationalism because he could not reconcile the idea of an eternal hell with God's mercy. He had drifted into skepticism when a chance encounter with some followers of the Adventist movement begun by William Miller (Miller, William) introduced him to the idea that the Bible could be used to predict God's plan of salvation, especially as the plan related to the end of the world.

      With the help of tutors, Russell managed to master the use of Hebrew and Greek dictionaries to study the Bible, and he formed his first Bible classes in 1872. With N.H. Barbour of Rochester, N.Y., Russell published Three Worlds and the Harvest of the World in 1877. Basing his judgment on complex biblical calculations, he preached from 1877 that Christ's “invisible return” had occurred in 1874 and that the end of the Gentile times and the beginning of a golden age would come in 1914, followed by war between capitalism and communism or socialism, after which God's kingdom by Christ would rule the earth. Russell dedicated his life and his fortune to preaching Christ's millennial reign. In 1879 he started a Bible journal, later called The Watch Tower, and in 1884 he founded the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, which became an extensive publishing business. His own books and booklets (notably seven volumes of Studies in the Scriptures) reached a circulation of 16 million copies in 35 languages, and 2,000 newspapers published his weekly sermons. He was president of the society until his death.

      Russell's movement survived the problem caused by the apparent failure of his eschatological prediction.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Russell, Charles Taze — (16 feb. 1852, Pittsburgh, Pa., EE.UU.–31 oct. 1916, Pampa, Texas). Líder religioso estadounidense que fundó la Asociación internacional de estudiantes de la Biblia, precursora de los Testigos de Jehová. Se crió dentro de la iglesia… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Charles Taze Russell — (* 16. Februar 1852 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania; † 31. Oktober 1916 in Pampa, Texas) war Mitgründer der religiösen Verlagsunternehmung, in Kurzform bezeichnet als Wachtturm Gesellschaft (in Varia seit 1884 Watchtower Bible and …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Charles Taze Russell — Charles Taze Russell, (16 de febrero, 1852 31 de octubre, 1916), fundador de la Asociación de los Estudiantes de la Biblia, lo que evolucionó en lo que hoy en día se conoce como los Testigos de Jehová. Russell nació en , Pennsylvania, EE.UU.. Fue …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Charles Taze Russell — noun United States religious leader who founded the sect that is now called Jehovah s Witnesses (1852 1916) • Syn: ↑Russell • Instance Hypernyms: ↑religious leader …   Useful english dictionary