Due to various electronic necessities, insignificant formatting, punctuation, capitalization, etc. and other minor editing has taken place. Spelling has been addressed especially where scanning has caused errors.



Navigation is at the bottom of the page


Jehovah's Witnesses In The Divine Purpose

CHAPTER 32

Theocracy's Increase Manifested in Preaching and Printing Opportunities

TOM: Last week when Lois said something about the perseverance of Jehovah's witnesses in Canada being rewarded it reminded me of something you said a couple of weeks ago, John, when you were reporting on the New World Theocratic Assembly in 1942 at Cleveland, Ohio.

JOHN: Is that why you came over to borrow our volume of 1942 Watchtowers the other day? What did you find out?

TOM: I remember you said the keynote speech was summed up in the convention Report in the two words "Go ahead." May I read a paragraph or two from that talk "The Only Light"?

JOHN: Go ahead.

TOM [reading]:


At the Lord God's call for willing volunteers, they have without any compulsion responded, "Here am I; send me." Not from any earthly religious institution, but from the all-highest One, the King of heaven and earth, come the words of their commission: "Go and tell this people, Hear ye indeed"; even tell the people who refuse to understand and to see and to make tender their hearts and be healed.

How long shall such willing volunteers keep going and telling? Till dictators, till totalitarian rule, till the new order of the "abomination of desolation", come into power and start regimenting all nations? No, but till they go out of power, being junked in "the lake of fire and brimstone". The specific command from the great Commissioner of Jehovah's witnesses is: "Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, and the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land." (Isa. 61:1-12) That means till the door-to-door work is useless because there are no people in the houses to answer your doorbell ringing, because God has wiped out all who have refused to heed his message by his witnesses; and the cities that mischievously framed laws and mobbed you out of town have suffered the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Matt. 10:13-15) Here, then, is the "Go ahead" signal from the Highest Authority to keep going on in his "strange work" of witness no matter what happens before Armageddon comes and desolates the earth of the "goat" class. Fear not what may stare you in the face. The spirit of the Lord upon you He will not remove; that invincible power will stay with you and bring you off more than conquerors by Christ Jesus. a


In view of the many events occurring since 1942 that you've related in the last couple of weeks, I find those statements highly interesting. Did the same advancement of theocratic activity continue on through the 1950 international assembly?

"THEOCRACY'S INCREASE ASSEMBLY"

JOHN: It certainly did. In fact, it was called "Theocracy's Increase Assembly of Jehovah's Witnesses." It was scheduled to be held in New York city at Yankee Stadium July 30 to August 6, and what a joyous eight-day theocratic festival it was, never to be forgotten by those attending!

251

Much encouragement was received at that assembly too to continue in well-doing.

The war had been over now for five years and it was possible for 10,000 non-American Witnesses from sixty-seven different countries to travel to New York to make this by far the most extensive world convention ever held by Jehovah's witnesses at one site. Hundreds came from war-torn Europe itself. Other hundreds came from Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Asia, too, was represented and so were the islands of the Pacific. Latin Americans came by the hundreds, and thousands came from Canada. These world travelers journeyed in every conceivable way: by sea, by air, by rail, by bus and by automobile. This influx of foreigners into New York city was so great prior to the assembly itself that the U.S. Immigration Service became alarmed and brought discriminatory indignities upon visiting Witnesses that were later vigorously protested by the assembled delegates. b

In spite of these difficulties, however, on Sunday, July 30, 1950, the opening day, 79,247 were present for the graduation of Gilead's fifteenth class of 120 students and by the climax of the assembly on the final day, Sunday, August 6, 123,707 attended to hear the president of the Watch Tower Society speak on the subject "Can You Live Forever in Happiness on Earth?" You will recall the peak attendance at the last preceding international convention, the Glad Nations Theocratic Assembly, August 4-11, 1946, in Cleveland, Ohio, was 80,000. What a truly remarkable evidence this was of the expansion that had taken place within the ranks of Jehovah's witnesses in just five years of postwar activity! This convention was well named "Theocracy's Increase Assembly"!

The management of the convention, designed after the pattern set at that Cleveland assembly in 1946, provided all the necessary departments to handle the unusual operations of this convention. Rooming accommodations were secured for 75,000 incoming Witnesses and, in addition, a trailer city, located forty miles out of New York, accommodated 15,000 more. All this unusual activity could not escape the notice of the public press and, as might be expected, extensive publicity was given the entire operation. c

At the opening session Sunday morning came the first surprise, the release of a new book of songs called "Songs to Jehovah's Praise." On Monday, July 31, came another release, the effective booklet Defending and Legally Establishing the Good News. This publication of ninety-six pages was by far the most comprehensive and valuable aid the Society had published over the preceding decade and more to assist the brothers in their legal struggle. d

Tuesday, August 1, The Watchtower was presented to the delighted assembly in an entirely new format, following the reading of the strongly worded "Resolution Against Communism" and its enthusiastic adoption by the 84,950 present at the afternoon session. The booklet Evolution versus The New World was released at the evening session.

Wednesday, August 2, proved to be one of historic moment when the Society's president presented to an amazed and totally surprised audience the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures. You'll be interested in some of the remarks the president made about this new Bible version, and we'll talk a little more about that in a moment.

252

Thursday was an exciting day, the morning, afternoon and evening sessions being devoted to reports from Gilead missionaries. On this day, too, 3,381 persons were immersed. "Branch Day," which came Friday, was also a thrilling day of news of world-wide theocratic expansion.

THE TIME FOR "THE PRINCES" TO APPEAR

Then on Saturday, August 5, came stimulating and enlightening "Knowledge of God Day." The Society's president released simultaneously in English and Spanish the new book "This Means Everlasting Life." Also on this day the Society's vice-president delivered an epoch-making speech. It was called "New Systems of Things," and the conventioners present will never forget its effect on the audience. For many years it had been the view of The Watchtower that the faithful men of old who served God faithfully before Jesus' time would be raised from the dead even before Armageddon to join in organizing Jehovah's modern-day people and to share in shouldering the remnant's responsibility of representing the Lord Jesus Christ in the capacity of overseers of the flock of God on earth. e These men were variously referred to as "ancient worthies," "faithful men of old," and "the princes" in the light of Psalm 45:16. Perhaps you'd like to read that, Lois.

LOIS [reading]: "In place of your forefathers there will come to be your sons, whom you will appoint as princes in all the earth."

JOHN: Thank you. Because of the understanding of this text that had prevailed for so long, many of Jehovah's witnesses expected at every convention to greet Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and the others, welcoming them back from the dead. You can imagine, then, the electrifying effect on the audience this statement of the speaker made:


Would this international assembly be happy to know that HERE, TONIGHT, in our midst, there are a number of prospective PRINCES OF THE NEW EARTH?


The convention Report describes the audience's reaction and answer to this question:


A tremendous and sustained clapping of hands and shouting for joy assured the speaker that nothing at the moment interested them more. A hushed and profound silence then settled over Yankee Stadium. Every ear strained in order not to lose a syllable as Brother Franz began a discussion of some very important facts concerning Psalm 45:16 . . .

In this year, 1950, the speaker observed, there are hundreds of thousands of "other sheep" who are fully dedicated to Jehovah. These have gone farther in belief than Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, for those ancient people merely looked forward by faith to the coming Seed, Christ, but these "other sheep" of today have actually accepted Jesus as the Savior and King. Instead of pointing into the indefinite future toward the Kingdom, these sheep now declare the Kingdom actually established.

Moreover, these modern witnesses have suffered just as much for their faith as Jehovah's witnesses of old. They have been killed, have gone about in animal skins, have been ill-treated and have been forced to seek shelter in desert and mountain retreats. When Brother Franz noted that there was nothing that Scripturally argues against Christ's making many of these "other sheep" "princes in all the earth" as required, thunderous applause again interrupted his momentous speech. f


The speaker then explained that the word "prince" is translated from the Hebrew word sar and does not always designate a person of royal birth. In fact, he pointed out, "It means the first, foremost or chief in any class, the head of any company or group." g The term "prince" would not be applied as a title therefore, but would merely designate an office of a "servant."

253

This interesting point was also brought out:


Back in 1904 the first president of the Watch Tower Society wrote the sixth volume of Scripture Studies, entitled "The New Creation". In chapter 3, entitled "The Call of the New Creation", he had this to say, at the top of page 157: "And we may be sure that any consecrating and performing a full sacrifice of themselves in the interest of the Lord's cause after the heavenly class is complete, will find that the Lord has plenty of blessings of some other kind still to give; and that all of his blessings are for such consecrators, self-sacrificers. Possibly they may be counted in with the ancient worthies who had the sacrificing disposition that is pleasing to God, prior to the beginning of the 'high calling'." h


Another reference years after that one was also quoted. It was in The Watch Tower in its issue of September 1, 1915. In an article on the "harvest work," paragraphs 5 and 6 (pages 268, 269) suggested that those dedicating themselves to God after the "door" to the heavenly class was closed, yet before the "inauguration of the restitution work," would be accepted "not to the spirit plane of being, but to the earthly plane. Such would come in under the same conditions as the ancient worthies who were accepted of God." i

It was in this same talk at the Saturday evening session that the Society's vice-president explained the relationship of the "new heavens" and "new earth" and pointed to them as a part of the "new systems of things." Then, in the conclusion of this memorable discourse, the speaker summarized this new and fuller appreciation of Jehovah's witnesses in the divine purpose:


With these transporting prospects so close before us, let us keep theocratic organization and let God continue improving it as a new world society. Never may we look back to this modern Sodom which is reserved for destruction; but we will keep faces forward in full faith. Onward, then, steadily, all of us together, as a new world society! j


Sunday, August 6, was the assembly's climax. This was "New World Living Day" and the day for the highly advertised public talk: "Can You Live Forever in Happiness on Earth?" Pouring into Yankee Stadium and assembling at the trailer camp forty miles away, a total of 123,707 persons heard President Knorr present the many Scriptural facts in an affirmative answer to this question. No room for doubt! And repeated enthusiastic response showed this vast assembly did not doubt!

NEW BETHEL AND FACTORY DRAW CROWDS

Now the crowds hated to leave. And many did not! The next few days saw thousands of brothers, keenly interested in their new headquarters, descending on Bethel in droves at the Society's cordial invitation. Nor were they disappointed. The beautiful new addition to Bethel at 124 Columbia Heights and the vastly expanded printing plant at 117 Adams Street were all that they had anticipated—and more—ever since they had so enthusiastically approved the president's announcement of this proposed expansion program on Thursday, August 6, 1946, at the Glad Nations Theocratic Assembly in Cleveland, Ohio. k

TOM: Did you erect a completely new factory building?

JOHN: Yes. It was really an addition to the old building, so when it was completed the entire structure was like one building. The property adjacent to the old building was purchased, and after the buildings had been evacuated they were demolished. Excavation for the new factory began on December 6, 1948, and by January, 1949, construction had begun. The new structure that was added to the existing factory was a concrete building nine stories high and

254

the entire enlarged factory now occupied the block bounded by Adams and Pearl Streets and by Prospect and Sands Streets. The new addition almost doubled the original floor space.

Bethel, too, had to be enlarged accordingly. Furthermore, to the rear of Bethel the city was putting through a new cantilever highway of two levels for motor vehicles, and a promenade. Consequently, fifty feet of the Society's property facing on Furman Street was condemned and eventually demolished. This was a portion of the structure completed in 1911. The 1927 building continued intact and the new structure, completed in 1950, was erected on property fronting on Columbia Heights that the Society had purchased adjoining these buildings to the south. The beautiful new building was 100 by 200 feet and rose ten stories or 143 feet above the Columbia Heights street level. The basement and subbasement provided space for the new kitchen and dining room and other facilities needed for maintenance that were lost by the demolition of the rear portion of the old building. The new Bethel building now extended along Columbia Heights between Orange and Pineapple Streets. Accommodations at Bethel had now been increased to living quarters for more than 450 persons, two in a room. 1

It was at this same time that facilities for WBBR were expanded. But even before this, new transmitter equipment had been installed on the Society's farm at Staten

views of Bethel
255

Island. Three new steel towers, 411 feet high above grade, were erected. Tuesday night, May 25, 1948, at 7 p.m. the old radio equipment was signed off the air and the new equipment with power increased from 1,000 to 5,000 watts was switched on to send a program in a directional beam across the hitherto impenetrable and populous metropolitan area of greater New York city. Then, with the new addition to Bethel going up in Brooklyn, new studios were erected for the station in the building and on Sunday, March 12, 1950, 8 a.m., WBBR initiated its broadcasting from these new studios with the Society's president presenting the day's text and, after a musical interlude, the Watchtower's extended comment. m The new Bethel home was dedicated January 30, 1950, and the new factory April 3 that same year. n The colorful Kingdom Hall used for meetings of the Bethel family and for the local congregation had a seating capacity of 500. Below it the large dining hall seated 450, with the kitchens adjoining. On the eighth floor was a well appointed and equipped library with small work rooms for some of those on the writing staff, and on the ninth floor were offices of the treasurer and legal department, while the administration offices of the Society's president were on the tenth floor.

A BIBLE-PRODUCING SOCIETY

LOIS: Tom and I have been hoping someday we can see your headquarters. Now, could you tell us more about the New World Translation that was released at this assembly? You mentioned, too, on previous occasions that the Society had released editions of the King James Version and the American Standard Version and said you were going to tell us more about them. Can you do that now? Didn't you say, too, that these were not the first Bibles that the Society had produced?

JOHN: Quite true; the Society has always been primarily a Bible society. When the president released the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures on Wednesday, August 2, 1950, he pointed out this important fact in his talk:


From the time of its organization the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society has used the King James Version of 1611 as its basic version for Bible study. Our chief aim has been to make clear to the people the pure Bible teachings in the light of unfolding prophecy. We seek to advance with the brightening light of truth and to rid ourselves of all the bedarkening traditions of men and pagan philosophies of this world. When first formed in 1881 it was called the Watch Tower Tract Society, to indicate its purpose to spread the revealed truths of the Bible. (The Watchtower, April, 1881 [p. 7]) In 1884 it became incorporated as Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, o but in 1896 it was called Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. p True to its name, it has engaged in distributing Bibles as well as publishing books, tracts, and other papers for disseminating Christian knowledge based on the rock-bottom teachings of God's Word. Its Bible education for the people has been unsectarian, and this type of education alone allows a Christian the freedom to cut through religious tradition and worldly philosophy and get back to the "faith that was once for all time delivered to the holy ones". So from the time of publication of the magazine The Watchtower in 1879 the English publications of the Watch Tower Society have till now quoted, cited and referred to more than seventy different Bible translations in English and other languages. Thus the Society has recognized the value of them all and has made use of the good in them all as needed for setting forth God's true message and clearing away religious confusion. q


We have already learned that in these early days the Society was not even printing its own bound books written as explanations of the Bible. So no Bibles were actually printed on Society presses at this time. However, as early as 1896 the Society had caused to be printed a Bible bearing on the title page the name "Watch Tower

256

Bible and Tract Society, Allegheny, Pa., U. S. A." This was Joseph B. Rotherham's New Testament, Twelfth Edition Revised.

In The Watch Tower, issue of July 15, 1901, the Society proposed to have printed a Bible with a wide margin containing opposite each verse appropriate and applicable reference memoranda to the five volumes of Millennial Dawn, Tabernacle Shadows and Zion's Watch Tower, 1895 to 1901. For this purpose it was decided to use the Holman Linear Bible containing the Authorized and Revised Versions of the "Old" and "New Testaments." The text of this Bible was arranged to demonstrate variant readings in these two versions. Identical words and phrases were presented in a single line in large, clear type, whereas all differences were shown in double lines of smaller type, the Authorized Version above the Revised Version. r

The Society arranged for 5,000 copies of this special edition to be printed at a special price. s By April of 1902 the first thousand had been shipped out t and early in May letters of appreciation had already begun to pour into the Society's headquarters. u By the first of the following year, 1903, the entire edition of five thousand was gone. v

A BIBLE-PRINTING SOCIETY

Of course, in these instances the Society merely arranged for these Bibles to be printed in the name of the Society and did not own the plates or print the Bibles in its own factory. The first forward step in Bible production by the Watch Tower Society was described by the president in his talk "Turning to the Peoples a Pure Language" at the 1950 convention:


In 1902 the Watch Tower Society came into possession of its first plates of a Scripture edition and could become a Bible-printing society. These were the plates of an emphasized translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures known as "The Emphatic Diaglott". This had first been published by its author, Benjamin Wilson, a newspaper editor of Geneva, Illinois, in 1864, and who was never associated with the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. This emphatic translation had some notable features that made for a better understanding of the truth. However, it was not until December 21, 1926, that The Emphatic Diaglott was printed on our Society's own presses and cased in at a printing plant of its own.

This led eventually to the desire of the Society to print the complete Bible on its presses. World War II made the need for independent publication of the Bible itself even greater. In the throes of that global conflict the Society succeeded in purchasing plates of the complete King James Version of the Bible. On September 18, 1942, the New World Theocratic Assembly of Jehovah's witnesses opened up, with its key convention-assembly at Cleveland, Ohio. There the Society's president spoke on the subject "Presenting 'The Sword of the Spirit' " and as a climax he released this the first complete Bible printed on our presses. In its appendix it had many helpful features added for use in Bible study. In America 35,000 copies were disposed of immediately, since which beginning 700,000 copies of this Watch Tower edition have been distributed in many lands.

An excellent Bible translation of the twentieth century is the American Standard Version. Besides being a great improvement over the King James Version it has the remarkable and commendable feature of rendering God's name "Jehovah" at the 6,823 places where it occurs in the Hebrew Scriptures. After long negotiations and by a financial arrangement the Watch Tower Society was able in 1944 to purchase the use of the plates of the complete American Standard Version of the Bible for printing this version on its presses with a specially prepared Appendix of Bible-study helps. On August 10, 1944, at Buffalo, New York, the key city of 17 simultaneous assemblies of Jehovah's witnesses linked together by private telephone lines, the Society's president delighted his vast audience by releasing the Watch Tower edition of the American Standard Version. Already 252,000 copies have been produced, and it has proved an additional instrument in sounding abroad God's holy name and publishing the grand news of his kingdom of the new world of life and peace.

257

PREPARING AND RELEASING THE "NEW WORLD TRANSLATION"

We acknowledge our debt to all the Bible versions which we have used in attaining to what truth of God's Word we enjoy today. We do not discourage the use of any of these Bible versions, but shall ourselves go on making suitable use of them. However, during all our years of using these versions down to the latest of them, we have found them defective. In one or another vital respect they are inconsistent or unsatisfactory, infected with religious traditions or worldly philosophy and hence not in harmony with the sacred truths which Jehovah God has restored to his devoted people who call upon his name and seek to serve him with one accord. Especially has this been true in the case of the Christian Greek Scriptures, which throw light and place proper interpretation upon the ancient Hebrew Scriptures. More and more the need has been felt for a translation in modern speech, in harmony with revealed truth, and yet furnishing us the basis for gaining further truth by faithfully presenting the sense of the original writings; a translation just as understandable to modern readers as the original writings of Christ's disciples were understandable to the simple, plain, common, lowly readers of their day. Jesus reminded us that our heavenly Father knows the needs of his children before they ever ask him. How has he made provision for us in this need which we now keenly feel?

Particularly since 1946 the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society has been in quest of such a translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures. On September 3, 1949, at 8 a.m., at the Brooklyn headquarters (Bethel) the Society's president convened a joint meeting of the boards of directors of the Pennsylvania and New York corporations, only one director being absent. After the meeting was opened with prayer the president announced to these eight fellow directors the existence of a "New World Bible Translation Committee" and that it had completed a translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures. This it had turned over to the possession and control of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, Pennsylvania corporation, just the preceding day. He read the committee's document by which it assigned the translation manuscript to the Society in recognition of the Society's unsectarian work of spreading the sacred Word of God and of promoting the knowledge and understanding of its teaching among the people of every nation, kindred, people and language, and in order that the translation might be a new means toward the expanding of its Christian educational activities throughout the world.

The president himself had read the manuscript of the entire translation, and on request he read to the meeting several entire chapters to let the directors see the nature of the translation. This reading was followed by favorable comments by all the directors present. One of the Pennsylvania corporation directors then moved the Society's acceptance of the gift. This was seconded. The motion was unanimously adopted by all the directors of the corporation, and thus the translation became legally the property of the Society's Pennsylvania corporation. But it had to be printed at the plant of the New York corporation here in Brooklyn, N. Y. On September 29, 1949, the president turned over the first of the manuscript to the Brooklyn factory force to start working on it.

With all the other work to be turned out by the factory and with all the features that the committee produced to accompany the translation, an immense amount of labor was involved to produce the completed publication. A group of 40 members of the Brooklyn headquarters (Bethel) family was organized to do extra proofreading and checking to insure accuracy of the publication's features. On February 9. 1950, the New World Bible Translation Committee submitted to us its important Foreword of the translation. It long appeared a problem whether the work could be accomplished on schedule for the outstanding event in the summer of 1950. w


But it was accomplished, as we have already seen, and was received with the greatest of enthusiasm and appreciation by the vast throng of many thousands drawn to the assembly from seventy-two lands of earth. Tens of thousands of copies were eagerly taken up by the conventioners that very afternoon and many thousands more by the close of the assembly on August 6.

FEATURES OF THE "NEW WORLD TRANSLATION"

LOIS: Why was it called a translation of the "Christian Greek Scriptures"?

JOHN: That term is used as a more accurate and Scriptural designation of the collection of Bible books from Matthew to Revelation, which is commonly called

258

the "New Testament." You see, this new translation was a complete departure from the religious traditions of creed-bound Christendom. It is unscriptural and misleading to call the twenty-seven Christian books of the inspired Scriptures a "New Testament."

TOM: Was this translation a revision of the King James Version or the American Standard Version?

JOHN: No it was a brand-new rendering from the original Greek text, using the standard text prepared by the two recognized British scholars, Westcott and Hort. But Greek texts by scholars of other lands were also consulted by the translation committee. All old-fashioned or out-of-date style of speaking was eliminated, even as the original Scriptures were written in the people's natural way of talking to one another at the time. However, a literal translation was striven for as far as possible. This makes for a better understanding and hence enjoyment of the translation.

One outstanding feature that has caused some controversy among modern translators and religious leaders of Christendom is the use of God's own given name in this English rendering of the Christian Greek Scriptures. The divine name is represented by a four-letter Hebrew word, called a "tetra-grarn'ma-ton" by the Latin translator Jerome. The name occurs 6,823 times in the old Hebrew Scriptures, and while no one is certain of its correct pronunciation, as far as the records show, this name has been read as "Jehovah" since the twelfth century and has been popularized in that form in Christendom. That is the form that is used 237 times all together in the main reading text, not to speak of seventy-two additional times where it occurs only in the marginal reading at the bottom of the page.

"But you can't do that!" said one critic to whom the manuscript of the translation was read for his comments. The committee, in its Foreword of twenty-nine pages, shows how it can be done on valid grounds; and it does so. x

LOIS: Who were the ones on the committee that translated the Bible?

JOHN: The one request of the translation committee was that its members remain anonymous even after their death.

SONGBOOKS OF THE SOCIETY

LOIS: Well, I've certainly enjoyed my copy of the translation. It does make reading the Bible more understandable and more pleasurable. Now, what about the songbook that you said was released at that assembly? It seems to me that I remember you mentioned another songbook being released at a previous assembly.

JOHN: The Society has had a number of songbooks. The first one was called Songs of the Bride and was used in 1879. y Then in 1890 the Society published a volume entitled "Poems and Hymns of Millennial Dawn." This book contained "151 choice religious Poems and 333 select Hymns." These were published without music. While most of these were the works of well-known writers, some were written by the Witnesses themselves. Following the 1890 release several editions were published, including one containing just the poems. z

In 1896 one entire issue of The Watch Tower was devoted to songs, words and music, written by Witnesses. This was the February 1, 1896, issue, and the eleven songs it contained appeared under the title "Zion's Glad Songs of the Morning." Then in 1900 the Society released a paper-bound book of eighty-two songs, most of them written by the same brother and

259

under the title "Zion's Glad Songs." Commenting on this, The Watch Tower stated:


It is not at all the thought that the new book will supplant the old one; for many of the grand old hymns cannot be equaled by any new ones, either in words or tunes. The thought is to make it supplementary. As such we recommend it to you all. Our first edition of 6000 is now ready and orders will be filled as received. aa


By 1909 this songbook was no longer handled by the Society. bb

Perhaps one of the first important releases that the Society made in the form of a songbook appeared in 1906. This was called "Hymns of the Millennial Dawn" and contained the same collection of 333 hymns published in 1890, with the addition of music. The book was copyrighted in 1905 and the prefatory written in July of that year. But it was not until April, 1906, that it was ready for release. cc The words in this book were changed only to delete doctrinal error as found in the denominational church systems from which they were borrowed. In 1909 these hymns were published in a small pocket-sized edition without music for use of the brothers at conventions and other meetings. dd

In 1924 it seemed advisable for the brothers to produce a songbook particularly for the children. The preface is dated June, 1924, but the book was not copyrighted until 1925 and not ready for distribution until early in 1926. This was a small hard-bound book of eighty songs with music and entitled "Kingdom Hymns." ee

In 1928 a brand-new book of 337 songs was released called "Songs of Praise to Jehovah." This contained many new songs written by the Witnesses, although it contained many of the older hymns familiar to the brothers from their earlier songbooks. ff

We mentioned to you already the red-covered paper-back Kingdom Service Song Book. It contained sixty-two songs and was released at the United Announcers Theocratic Assembly in Buffalo, New York, Wednesday, August 9, 1944. gg

LOIS: I remember. You said that congregational singing was to be revived following that assembly using the new songbook.

JOHN: That's right. Singing had been a pleasurable part of the meetings before; so the brothers were happy to have this new songbook with arrangements by the Society to use it. It contained a number of original songs.

The new book of ninety-one songs released in 1950 on Sunday, July 30, the opening day of the Theocracy's Increase Assembly, contained many more original compositions, written by Jehovah's witnesses to express in words and music their way of worship, which was so completely different from anything known to apostate religion, a constant reminder in song of their exclusive place in the divine purpose.

LOIS: What happened in 1951? I don't suppose you had another international assembly so soon, did you?

JOHN: No, we didn't. In his closing remarks at the 1950 international assembly at Yankee Stadium the Society's president announced that during the summer of 1951 the international family of Jehovah's witnesses would meet in Europe in a series of assemblies there and that all should begin at once to make preparations to attend. Many did so, and when 1951 arrived with no international conflict to hinder transportation, the gathering began at the Clean Worship Assemblies.



Valid CSS! Valid XHTML 1.0!