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Because of disappointment over the changes and unfulfilled predictions, tens of thousands of defections occurred during the first half of Rutherford's tenure, leading to the formation of several Bible Student organizations independent of the Watch Tower Society, On July 26, 1931, at a convention in Columbus, Ohio, Rutherford introduced the new name – Jehovah's witnesses – based on Isaiah : "'You are my witnesses,' declares Jehovah, 'Yes, my servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and have faith in me And understand that I am the same One.
Before me no God was formed, And after me there has been none.'" (New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures 2013 Edition) —which was adopted by resolution.
Knorr commissioned a new translation of the Bible, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, the full version of which was released in 1961.
He organized large international assemblies, instituted new training programs for members, and expanded missionary activity and branch offices throughout the world.
In 1919, he instituted the appointment of a director in each congregation, and a year later all members were instructed to report their weekly preaching activity to the Brooklyn headquarters.
Significant changes in doctrine and administration were regularly introduced during Rutherford's twenty-five years as president, including the 1920 announcement that the Hebrew patriarchs (such as Abraham and Isaac) would be resurrected in 1925, marking the beginning of Christ's thousand-year earthly Kingdom.
As their interpretations of the Bible evolved, Witness publications decreed that saluting national flags is a form of idolatry, which led to a new outbreak of mob violence and government opposition in the United States, Canada, Germany, and other countries.
Nathan Knorr was appointed as third president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1942.
During the course of his ministry, Russell disputed many beliefs of mainstream Christianity including immortality of the soul, hellfire, predestination, the fleshly return of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the burning up of the world. Barbour; later that year they jointly produced the book Three Worlds, which combined restitutionist views with end time prophecy.In June 1917, he released The Finished Mystery as a seventh volume of Russell's Studies in the Scriptures series.The book, published as the posthumous work of Russell, was a compilation of his commentaries on the Bible books of Ezekiel and Revelation, plus numerous additions by Bible Students Clayton Woodworth and George Fisher.The book taught that God's dealings with humanity were divided dispensationally, each ending with a "harvest," that Christ had returned as an invisible spirit being in 1874From 1879, Watch Tower supporters gathered as autonomous congregations to study the Bible topically.Thirty congregations were founded, and during 18, Russell visited each to provide the format he recommended for conducting meetings.