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But they do not often admit this to outsiders; nor do many Witnesses know the details themselves.
Jehovah's Witnesses are accustomed to defending themselves against the charge that they are a new religious cult.
Was this mere wishful thinking, coupled with a stubborn refusal to admit the error of failed chronological calculations?When this expected Rapture failed to occur on time in 1878, The Herald's editor, Mr.Barbour, came up with "new light" on this and other doctrines.They will often respond that theirs is the most ancient religious group, older than Catholic and Protestant churches.In fact, they assert that "Jehovah's witnesses have a history almost 6,000 years long, beginning while the first man, Adam, was still alive," that Adam's son Abel was "the first of an unbroken line of Witnesses," and that "Jesus' disciples were all Jehovah's witnesses [sic] too." ( An outsider listening to such claims quickly realizes, of course, that the sect has simply appropriated unto itself all the characters named in the Bible as faithful witnesses of God.
Russell, however, rejected some of the new ideas and persuaded other members to oppose them.