by Epiphany Bible Students

No. 396B


We Appeal To Pope John Paul II: Return these precious Hebrew Manuscripts to their rightful owners: The Jewish People!

“The traveling exhibition of sacred Hebrew manuscripts held by the Vatican is now, after a year‑long country‑wide tour, reaching New York. The people of New York deserve an insight into the true background of this collection.

“It is well known that the Church, for centuries, as part of her deliberate plan to eradicate Judaism, engaged in a systematic campaign to seize Hebrew books and destroy Jewish libraries. This was done for several reasons. Firstly, to create and maintain the absurd notion that Judaism, after the death of Jesus, was a sterile and unproductive religion. Secondly, to deprive Jews of their means of education and thereby to throttle the unusually high level of Jewish scholarship. Thirdly, to search in Jewish writing for some glib arguments which could be turned against Judaism and force conversions to Christianity. Lastly, while most of the Hebrew manuscripts thus wrested by force from the persecuted Jewish communities were burned at stake, or hidden in churches or monasteries, some were torn apart to be sold, retail, parchment folio by parchment folio, as book binding material – a lucrative business in the Middle Ages.

“Pope Urban II unleashed blood‑thirsty mobs for the First Crusade in 1096 who promptly slaughtered thousands of outstanding Jewish scholars in communities along the Rhine River and destroyed their libraries. In 1244, under Pope Paul Innocent IV, twenty four cart loads of Hebrew manuscripts, mainly copies of the Talmud, were burned in public in Paris. Pope Paul IV, before he died in 1559, destroyed every Hebrew book owned by the Jews of Rome. His successor, Pope Pius V, punished any Jew caught still owning a single book.

“This on‑going cultural genocide was so thorough that only one single hand written copy of the Talmud survived the Popes’ crusade against Jewish writings – the famous Munich Talmud manuscript.

“Can anyone imagine that Jews, thus constantly fighting to preserve their sacred books, would sell or give even one of their precious possessions to some Italian noblemen, to be ‘donated’ by them to the Vatican, as the promoters of the Vatican exhibition want us to believe? NO! Every manuscript in the Vatican has its blood‑drenched roots in pogroms and massacres of Jewish communities throughout the centuries. The heroic and ultimately successful fight for survival of the Jews to preserve their unbelievably rich religious literature, is evidence of their superior intellectual prowess and religious piety and, of course, of Divine Providence.

“In view of the tragic trail of suffering and persecution which these precious books represent in Jewish history, it must be considered highly inappropriate to use them as a kind of traveling circus, for the financial gain of the Vatican and the Reform promoters of the exhibition. Certainly, the whole enterprise betrays gross insensitivity to Jewish suffering and pride.

“Now let us look more closely at the composition of the Vatican collection. The so‑called Palatine Collection of Hebrew books has its roots in the sacking of the Jewish community of Heidelberg in the 14th century.

“Almost two hundred years ago, France, Germany and the Vatican were still fighting over who should hold them. But while neither party could claim title, no one can deny the primary claim to them by the Jews.

“The ‘Reginenses’ collection in the Vatican represents the Hebrew manuscripts which Sweden’s King Gustav II Adolph plundered during the 30‑Year‑War after sacking the Jewish community of Prague. His daughter, Queen Christina, brought them with her to Rome.

“The most sinister group of Hebrew manuscripts is the so‑called Neofiti Collection. These were consigned by the Vatican to a special building where renegade Jews, most of them converted by coercion or bribery, were kept. These manuscripts were not used, as the exhibition promoters want us to believe, to ‘educate’ these disgraced Jews, but to induce them to fabricate ammunition against Judaism in rigged disputations which rabbis were forced to attend.

“The exquisite manuscripts, painstakingly penned by skilled Jewish scribes and artists, were produced generation after generation to be used for religious devotion and Jewish scholarship. The mint condition of most of them proves that they were snatched from their owners before their purpose could be fulfilled for any length of time.

“We call on Pope John Paul II to let them return to their rightful owners, the Jews, to be used again for the purposes for which our ancestors intended them. These manuscripts should be housed in the National Library in Jerusalem, again the center of Jewish scholarship, in the midst of the Jewish capital, again a thriving center of Jewish religious devotion and practice.

“While many other expectations which Jews everywhere had of the Pope have been dashed, this gesture would bring about a small measure of atonement and conciliation which would not be costly to the Vatican in either theological or political terms. While it is impossible for the Church to atone fully for the centuries of persecution of the Jews and Judaism – reaching from early pogroms to the Vatican’s silence or collaboration during the Holocaust – the return of the Hebrew manuscripts now in its custody, would bring a degree of goodwill and honour to the Pope. We sincerely hope the Pope will seize this opportunity to fulfill our hope.

For From Zion Shall Again Go Out The Torah, And The Word Of God Again From Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2)” (Committee for the Recovery of Jewish Manuscripts, New York Times, October 12, 1988)

Address for the Committee for the Recovery of Jewish Manuscripts:

6039 Collins Avenue

Miami Beach, Florida 33140

Phone: (305) 861‑3197

Pope Travels To Death Camp: Mauthausen, Austria – Pope John Paul II on Friday condemned Nazism on the site where 110,000 World War II prisoners died, but the pontiff angered Austria’s chief rabbi by not making a specific reference to Jewish victims.

“On his arrival, six U.S. Jews who were opposed to the pontiff’s meeting Thursday with President Kurt Waldheim scuffled briefly with police outside the camp. The group was kept away from the pope, and it was not known if he saw the altercation.

“The pontiff mentioned Marcel Callo, a Catholic activist who died in Mauthausen, Polish priest St. Maximilian Kolbe, and two other Catholics who died in Nazi camps. But the Roman Catholic leader made no reference specifically to Jews.

“That angered Chaim Eisenberg, Austria’s chief rabbi, who told reporters in Vienna: ‘A visit to Mauthausen without mentioning the word Jews once is not satisfactory.’

“‘The only Jew he mentions who suffered is Jesus Christ, and he didn’t die in Mauthausen,’ Eisenberg said. [It seems the pope didn’t mention that Jesus Christ was a Jew, either.]

“The pontiff met earlier with Austrian Jewish community President Paul Grosz and five other Jewish leaders in Vienna. Grosz appealed to the pope to work with Jewish leaders to ‘seek a way to solve the problem of the Middle East together.’

“‘I regret that full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Holy See have not yet been established,’ Grosz said.

“‘The Jewish people have the right to a homeland, as any other nation has according to international law,’ the pope said. ‘The same goes for the Palestinian people, many of whom have become homeless and refugees.’” (Orlando Sentinel, June 25, 1988)

The pope repeated the same malarkey that he gave in Miami in September, 1987. God is allowing the “international law” to do what it can for the homeless and refugees, but He has not promised them refuge during this “evil world.” (Galatians 1:4) The Lord is pleased with those who are benevolent and merciful to the poor and needy. However, God’s inspired Word has given the Jewish people a specific homeland. Israel is the homeland of the Jews. The Jews have an unbreakable deed to their homeland – God’s promise to them: “I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.” (Jer. 24:6) “And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.” (Ezek. 36:24‑28)

Why should the Jews “appeal to the pope” when they could get no help from the popes in the Dark Ages during Papacy’s heyday? The popes of our day cannot give orders to torture and murder the Jews, as our laws at the present time will not allow it. But it is self‑evident that the pope does not abide by God’s inspired Word, although he claims to have respect for “international law.” Doesn’t he know that God’s Law is above any earthly law? However, no doubt the pope doesn’t consult God’s Law. Many Catholics don’t have a Bible in their homes. They depend upon their Catholic priests to give them all the information they need. There must be a Bible in the Vatican, but it is evident that the pope doesn’t consult it. It seems he relies on “international law” instead of God’s inspired Word. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a counterpart of Papacy. They do not recognize the Jews and God’s promises to them, nor do they recognize the State of Israel.

However, the faithful Jews consult the Scriptures and rely on God’s promises to them. Even though Israel is in much turmoil today, the faithful Jews know that it will not always be so. In Messiah’s Kingdom, “Many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isa. 2:3)

“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isa. 11:9) The pope will recognize Israel in that day and so will the Jehovah’s Witnesses – at least outwardly. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” (Isa. 60:1,3)

God’s promises to the Jews are unconditional. “God is faithful that promised.” (Heb. 10:23) “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22)

Arafat Urges New Policy From Bush, Pushes Demands For Homeland: Algiers, Algeria – PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat on Saturday urged President‑elect George Bush to change Washington’s Middle East policy, and he said Palestinians won’t stop fighting until their flag flies over Jerusalem.

“Support of Palestinians has increased during the 11‑month Arab uprising against Israel’s occupation of the territories. More than 300 Palestinians and 11 Israelis have died.

“Arafat wore fatigues, a headdress and a pistol on his hip.

“‘I urge President Bush to reconsider the American policy in the Middle East and lay down a new one, based on right and justice, not just bias toward Israel,’ Arafat said. ‘Is it logical that 130 member states of the United Nations vote in support of our cause and Israel and the United States vote against?’ he said.

“Arafat repeated his policy of employing military and diplomatic tactics to realize his people’s aspiration for an independent homeland.

“‘This revolution will continue until the Palestinian flag is hoisted over Jerusalem – the guns and the stones and the RPG [rocket‑propelled grenades]. But we also carry the olive branch,’ he said.

“Arafat walked into the heavily guarded hall, 15 miles west of Algiers, arm‑in‑arm with President Chadli Bendjedid of Algeria.” (Orlando Sentinel, November 13, 1988)

Arafat reminds us of the giant Goliath and the youth David. Arafat comes with “fatigues, headdress and a pistol on his hip.” “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” (1 Sam. 17:45) We trust President‑elect Bush will have the faith and the courage as did President Truman.

When all nations are gathered against Israel, “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle” (Zech. 14:3) when He fought for Joshua against the six Amalekite kings at Gibeon, when He fought for David against the Philistines at Perazim, and when He miraculously delivered Israel from the hosts of Midian by Gideon and his band.

After Israel’s deliverance Israel will “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” (Isa. 60:1,3)

German Official Quits In Hitler Speech Flap: Bonn, West Germany – The president of the West German Parliament resigned Friday, saying he was ‘shocked and depressed’ by the political storm he set off with a speech in which he tried to show how Germans were taken in by Hitler 50 years ago.

“‘My speech was not understood in the way I meant it by many of those who heard it,’ Philip Jenninger, a senior member of the governing Christian Democratic Party, wrote in his letter of resignation as Parliament president. ‘I regret this deeply, and I am very sorry if I wounded anyone’s feelings.’

“Jenninger emphasized his record as a foe of totalitarian regimes, and as a friend of Jews and ‘the vital interests of the state of Israel.’

“After late night deliberations that followed the speech Thursday, government and opposition parties apparently agreed that Jenninger had to step down.

“Although he was not accused of sharing the pro‑Nazi feelings he had tried to describe, the consensus among politicians, newspapers and many Germans was that Jenninger had seriously erred in the style and timing of his presentation.

“‘He had no sense of occasion,’ said Sebastian Haffner, a prominent publicist who has written extensively about German history and identity. ‘He said true things at the wrong moment.’

“Jenninger’s address was the keynote speech of a special session of Parliament on the 50th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the nation‑wide pogrom that first signaled the fury of Nazi Germany’s war on the Jews.

“But Jenninger’s idea, as he said at the opening and conclusion of his statement, was to demonstrate how Germans had been ‘blinded and seduced’ by the Nazis, to remind Germans of the complicity of enthusiasm of their ancestors in the rise of Hitler.

“He described the positive feelings of many Germans in the early Hitler years: ‘Didn’t Hitler bring to reality what [Kaiser] Wilhelm II had only promised, that is to lead the Germans to glorious times?’

“Hans‑Jochen Vogel, leader of the opposition Social Democrats, said after Jenninger’s resignation: ‘This event shows us how the darkest chapter of German history is still a present‑day thing.’

“The leftist Greene said, ‘The background of what happened is the inability of many Germans to stand up to their own past.”‘ (Orlando Sentinel, November 12, 1988)

Behind The Scenes At The United Nations: “President Reagan’s Historic Succoth UN Speech – United Nations – President Ronald W. Reagan delivered a very impressive and meaningful speech here last week, more in the spirit of a sermon stressing the importance of human rights and the imperative need of accepting belief in a Higher Power.

“While this spiritual aspect of his historic address appeared to be its basic theme, he did not fail to touch upon the major political issues facing the world organization in a manner offering some new hope of their eventual resolution.

“In his stress on the violation of human rights, the President reminded the assembled delegates on this first day of Succoth of their own grievous violation in having allowed a number of anti‑Israeli resolutions, some bordering on anti‑Semitism, to be adopted through the maneuvering of the Soviet‑Arab‑third world‑dominated automatic majority.

“Noting that the UN had not done enough in the battle against human rights violations, the President declared: ‘More must be done. The UN must be relentless and unyielding in seeking change... And we must also see to it that the universal declaration itself should not be debased with episodes like the ‘Zionism is Racism’ Resolution. Respect for human rights is the first and fundamental mission of this body, the most elementary obligation of its members.’

“That Mr. Reagan – even during the remaining months of his Presidency – intends to do something about erasing this blemish on the UN face was borne out by a statement made by Secretary of State George Shultz’ assistant Richard Williamson at a recent Conference of Presidents’ briefing to the effect that the U.S. was working with other countries to repeal the ‘outrageous’ 1975 Assembly resolution describing Zionism as a form of racism. He termed the draft ‘a cancer in the soul of the UN.’ which ‘cannot be tolerated.’

“Williamson, who heads the State Department’s Bureau of International Organizations, added: ‘If we can’t do it this year, we will at least have a game plan for the next Administration to implement in seeking passage of a new resolution countermanding the 13‑vear‑old anti‑Zionism resolution.’

“In addition to the President’s stress on human rights, he put great emphasis on ‘freedom of Faith,’ on the acceptance of a Higher Power, a faith and belief he himself has maintained all through his life from childhood, hence his recognition of Israel’s right to the land promised to the People of the Book from the time of Abraham. It might now be understood why he opposes Arafat and the PLO and an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank. His answer is Camp David and the autonomy plan approved by the majority of Israelis.

“One may better understand Mr. Reagan’s inner spirit from this statement he made during the 100th anniversary celebration of the Statue of Liberty: ‘Some have called it mysticism, but I have always thought that a Providential hand had something to do with the founding of this country. That God had His reasons for placing this land here between two oceans to be found by a certain people.’

“And now before the U.N. he elaborated on this strong belief. Declared he: ‘A truth embodied in our Declaration of Independence – that the case for inalienable rights, that the idea of human dignity, that the notion of conscience above compulsion can be made only in the context of a higher law, a higher order. Only in the context of what one of the founders of this organization, Secretary‑General Dag Hammarskjold, has called devotion for Something which is greater and higher than we are ourselves.’

“‘This is the endless cycle, the final truth to which humankind seems always to return. That religion and morality, that faith in something higher, are prerequisites for freedom. And that justice and peace within ourselves is the first step towards justice and peace in the world and for the ages.’

“The great Hebrew Prophet Isaiah was brought before this 43rd session of UN: The President continues, ‘And cannot help but think this morning of other beginnings. Of where and when I first read those words, ‘and they shall beat their swords into plowshares...’ and ‘your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams...’ This morning, my thoughts go to my mother who gave me many things in life but whose most important gift was the knowledge of the happiness and solace to be gained in prayer. It is the great help I have had in my Presidency and I recall here Lincoln’s words when he said only the most foolish of men would think he could confront the duties of the office I now hold without turning to Someone stronger, a Power above all others...”‘

“To which, this Succoth, let us say Amen!” (By David Horowitz, October 6, 1988)

A Bright Spot In Poland: In a country that is as drab as its communist philosophy: that is still trying to explain away its complicity in the Holocaust; whose borders encircled more death camps than any other nation; whose anti‑Semitism still continued after World War II upon the few Jews who tried to return; whose propaganda machine continues to grind out anti‑Israel grist; the Bible Students are a beacon of light in Poland.

“I went to Poland on a fact‑finding mission to barometer the Bible Student attitude on Israel and Zionism. I lectured on Zionism to Bible Student congregations in five major cities, including Warsaw. The lecture lasted for one hour and was followed by an enthusiastic question period that varied from 1 1/2 to 3 hours. They couldn’t hear enough about Israel. Although I spoke through an interpreter, the enthusiasm of their questions and eager faces evinced their strong support of Israel. At one point they spontaneously broke into a spirited singing of HATIKVAH. I also visited in their homes and found this same enthusiasm.

“They were thrilled to learn of the high acclaim Benjamin Netanyahu (while yet the Israeli Ambassador to the U.N.) gave to the book PASTOR CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL: AN EARLY AMERICAN CHRISTIAN ZIONIST by David Horowitz. Bible Students in Poland fully embrace the pro‑Zionist, non‑proselytizing position of Pastor Russell, the founder of the Bible Student movement. This position earned him the friendship and trust of the leaders of American Jewry until his death in 1916. A Bible Students’ publishing house in Poland is now in the process of translating and publishing this work.

“It was overwhelming to meet Bible Student families who helped and hid Jews during the Holocaust. They testified that the Polish people knew very early in the Holocaust that the Jews were going to their death.

“One Bible Student family in Bialystock owned a farm that extended to the train station where Jews were herded like cattle into boxcars for the Treblinka death camp. These desperate souls extended their arms through narrow slits holding out watches and jewelry as they pleaded for water in return from curious Poles. Most of the time the gold was snatched without giving anything in return. This Bible Student family tried to give the Jews food and water whenever they could, of course, without taking anything in return. They were also able to save a young Jewish girl from being taken by the Nazi.

“There was a Jewish ghetto in Bialystock. A fact not too well known. A Bible Student family nearby could see the gruesome details from their upstairs window. Although over 40 years have passed, the dastardliness of the Holocaust etched deeply into the memory of Bible Students vivid scenes of horror. At times blood flowed in the streets as Jews were dragged from their homes. It was a time of silent heroism as some Jews cherished the words of the prophet Job, ‘Yea though he slay me yet will I trust him.’ It was also a time of moral pigmies as many Gentiles turned on their Jewish neighbors for personal gain. Unfortunately, Jewish blood has always been cheap. It is still difficult for the few Jews remaining in Poland today. Some try to disguise their Jewish identity by changing their name. However, these are still discriminated against on the job. (By Kenneth W. Rawson)



Dear Brethren,

Thank you for the publication of Charles Taze Russell and The Divine Plan of the Ages. I would like to order the other five volumes. Also put me on your mailing list. I note that David Horowitz says that Pastor Russell was the ‘second son.’ What was the name of his brother? What is known of him? Did Pastor Russell have any other brothers and sisters?

What do you know of H. B. Rice, Pastor Russell’s early associate who published the Last Trump? Thank you for your help. Sincerely, ------- (CALIFORNIA)


Dear Brethren,

I would like to thank you for sending me the recent papers on the Evolution Theory. I would be interested in The Divine Plan of the Ages and the book on Pastor Charles Taze Russell. Thank you! ------- (CANADA)


Dear Madam,

I believe that I have previously sent you a letter asking if you could send me information about your religion. Since then I have come into contact with two books dealing with your founder, as well as with your philosophy. I was wondering if you would send me the books entitled PASTOR CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL, An Early American Christian Zionist by David Horowitz and the book THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES? Could you please send them as soon as possible!! Yours truly, ------- (CANADA)




I would be very much interested to learn about your organization. If you would send me any literature on your beliefs and other facets, it would be greatly appreciated!

Sincerely, ------- (CANADA)



SISTER ADA BASTIEN finished her course October 15, 1988, at the age of 89. She had a long life of faithful service to the Lord, the Truth and the brethren. Her parents came into the Truth under Brother Russell. She was faithful in all her commitments, doing what she could. We will miss her very much, and grieve for her – even as her family and all the friends will miss her.

We cherish her memory, but are persuaded that she is now “asleep in Jesus,” awaiting the resurrection of “the Just.” (Acts 24:15) We repeat for her the words of the Apostle Paul a few days before when he knew the Romans were to chop his head off:

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim. 4:7) To this we can add nothing, as it expresses everything we believe to be true.

Sister Bastien was secretary of the Trinidad Ecclesia, and faithfully served the brethren for many years. We quote an excerpt of a letter from one of the brethren in Trinidad:

“Sister Bastien was the mother of ten children – was well grounded in the Truth and joyfully survived two siftings. At the end she had no regrets for the many hardships, physical and otherwise, she endured in her service for the Lord, the Truth and the brethren.”


We wish to express our thanks and appreciation for the many beautiful Christmas cards received – and our special gratitude for the love and prayers of our brethren. Our best wishes to all our readers for a Blessed New Year.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The date for our Memorial is March 20, 1989, after six p. m.