The man who founded Christadelphianism

"Here and there throughout American society you meet men filled with an enthusiastic, almost fierce spirituality such as cannot be found in Europe. From time to time strange sects arise which strive to open extraordinary roads to eternal happiness. Forms of religious madness are very common there" - Alexis de Tocqueville



Dr John Thomas
1805-1871
As a child nurtured in the Christadelphian faith from my mother's womb my infant mind was steeped in Christadelphian myth and legend from an early age. My father would tell me the bedtime story of how the founder of Christadelphianism, the brave Dr John Thomas at the age of twenty eight in 1832 was nearly shipwrecked aboard the Marquis of Wellesley ship while en route to America. He made a vow to God that if his life was spared he would devote himself to discovering the truth about religion. God saved the good doctor from his distress and upon reaching New York he set about reading his Bible. He soon discovered The Truth that humans had lost for nineteen hundred years and published his findings in his book "Elpis Israel" in which he also predicted the return of the Jews to Palestine. He later explained every word and phrase of the Biblical book of Revelation in intricate detail in his three volume work "Eureka". Dr Thomas was a man "raised up by God for this great work" I was told and my young, impressionable mind believed every word, not realising that I was being indoctrinated into a religion that made about as much sense as Flat Earth Theory. I read “Elpis Israel”, “Eureka”, “Faith in the Last Days”, “Exposition of Daniel” and “Christendom Astray” when I was eleven and I made up my mind that baptism was a primary goal in my life.

It was twenty years later that my dearly beloved and greatly missed friend, brother John Allfree gave me a very old copy of the five volume work "Horae Apocaliptica" by a writer named Eliot. It is a preterist exposition of the Biblical book of Revelation. The book was published prior to Dr Thomas's work Eureka. In Eureka Dr Thomas frequently heaps fiery scorn and derision on Elliot and his work, so I was interested to read this work that I thought would be junk. Imagine therefore my shock when I discovered that practically 80% of Eureka had been lifted out of Hoare Apocaliptica! Eureka was NOT an original work at all; Dr Thomas had plagiarised Elliot's work mercilessly and passed it off to the Christadelphians as an original.

Further investigation convinced me that much of "Elpis Israel", "Anatolia", "The Exposition of Daniel" and practically everything else that Dr Thomas wrote had been taken from other writer's work but not acknowledged by him. Even most of the doctrinal material and the prediction that the Jews would return to Palestine was NOT original work. He was simply lashing together other people's material and publishing it as his own ideas. The man that I had venerated as someone "raised up by God" to rediscover The Truth was a charlatan as bad as any corrupt American TV evangelist in our own times.

It would take me many hundreds of pages to thoroughly expose Dr Thomas's plagiarism in full and as I have disposed of all my religious books it is now an impossible task for me. But I strongly recommend that others take up the task of repeating the work that I undertook in the early Nineteen Eighties. I would have written it all down then, but I got so far and gave up in disgust that I had been hoodwinked by Dr Thomas for so long. However it would be unfair to leave this subject without at least one illustration of what I mean, so I submit the following as a tiny fraction of the material that is available.

"Anatolia is original throughout" wrote Doctor Thomas in the introduction to that work. Let us test that statement by comparing the following quotations from "Anatolia" with another work published forty years earlier in 1814 by Granville Penn entitled "The Prophecy of Ezekiel concerning Gog":

Dr John Thomas in "Anatolia":
"The question as to what nations are signified by Rosh, Meshekh, and Thuval has long since been determined by the learned. The celebrated Bochart, about the year 1640 observed in his elaborate researches into sacred geography, that ROS, Ros, [the Hebrew word is omitted] is the most ancient form under which history makes mention of the name of RUSSIA; and he contended that Rosh and Meshekh probably denote the nations of Muscovy and Russia. 'It is credible,' says he, 'that from Rosh and Meshekh (that is the Rhossi and Moschi) of whom Ezekiel speaks, descended the Russians and Muscovites, nations of the greatest celebrity in European-Scythia.' We have indeed ample and positive testimony that the Russian nation was called Ros by the Greeks in the earliest period in which we find it mentioned, as Ethnos de oi Ros Schnthichon, peri ton archtoon Towron; that is, the Rosh are a Scythian nation bordering on the northern Taurus! and their own historians say, 'It is related that the Russians (whom the Greeks call Ros, and sometimes Rosos, Rosos) derived their name from Ros, a valiant man who delivered his nation from the yoke of its tyrants.'" p. 65

Granville Penn in "The Prophecy of Ezekiel Concerning Gog":
"If we next enquire what nations are signified by those three proper names we shall find that this question also has been long determined by the learned. The celebrated Bochart, about the year 1640, observed in his elaborate researches into sacred geography that ROS, Ros, is the most ancient form under which history makes mention of the name of RUSSIA; and he contended that the two first of those names properly denote the nations of Russia and Muscovy. 'It is credible,' says he, 'that from Rosh and Mesech (that is the Rhossi and Moschi) of whom Ezekiel speaks, descended the Russians and Muscovites, nations of the greatest celebrity in European-Scythia.' We have indeed ample and positive testimony that the Russian nation was called Ros by the Greeks in the earliest period in which we find it mentioned. Ethnos de oi Ros Schnthichon, peri ton archtoon Towron. 'The Ros are a Scythian nation bordering on the northern Taurus.' This testimony is given by Cedrenus, Zonarus, Leo Grammaticus, and Tzetzes; and their own historians thus report, 'It is related that the Russians (whom the Greeks call Ros, ROS, and sometimes Rosos, Rosos) derived their name from Ros, a valiant man who delivered his nation from the yoke of their tyrants.'" p. 19

John Thomas:
"And thus the three denominations, Rosh, Meshekh, and Thuval, united in the prophecy point out, with equal capacity and conciseness, those widely extended regions, which, at the present day, we denominate collectively THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE." p. 66

Granville Penn:
"And thus the THREE DENOMINATIONS united in the prophecy point out, with equal capacity and conciseness, those widely extended regions, which, at the present day, we denominate collectively THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE." p. 22

John Thomas:
"Since the name of Scythae, or Magog, is to be considered not by itself, but in geographical connection with Galatae, or Gomer, we have only to enquire, whether any geographical affinity is really ascribed by the Greeks to the Scythae and Galatae? and to ascertain to what regions of the earth those names so associated, were applied. If we can discover these two points we ought thereby to have discovered specifically the Magog of the prophecy, which is to be associated with the region, or people, of Gomer." - p. 67

Granville Penn:
"But, since the name of Scythae (i.e. Magog,) is here to be considered, not by itself, but in geographical connection with GALATAE, or GOMER, we have only to enquire, whether any geographical affinity is really ascribed by the Greeks to the Scythae and Galatae? and to ascertain, to what regions of the earth, those names, so associated, were applied. If we can discover these two points, we ought thereby to have discovered specifically the Magogue of the prophecy, which would be able to associate to themselves the region, or people of Gomer." - p. 41.

John Thomas:
"From the Hebrew Scripture we learn that Magog and Gomer were the names of two of the sons of Japhet; and it is to ancient Hebrew authority alone that we can resort to ascertain where, according to the common repute of the Israelites, the nation which descended from those two heads of families, and which long retained the proper names of those heads, were spread and established. Josephus says, 'That Japhet, etc., etc.' [and so on, with a quotation from Josephus, the same as given by G. Penn.] It only therefore remains for us to ascertain which were the nations that the Greeks at the time of Josephus called Scythae, and which they then called Galatae; and to observe whether the geographical affinities of these nations are such as answer to those which are plainly required by the prophecy for Magog and Gomer."

Granville Penn:"We know from the Hebrew Scriptures that these are the names of two sons of Japhet! and it is to ancient Hebrew authority alone that we can resort, to learn where, according to the common repute of the Hebrew people, the nations which descended from those two heads of families, and which long retained the proper names of those heads, were spread and established. Josephus is the earliest Hebrew authority of weight and learning, to which we can address ourselves; and he distinctly informs us, 'That Japhet, etc., etc. [The quotation following being ANATOLIA] Scythae and which they styled Galatae; and to observe whether the geographical affinities of these nations are such as answer to those which are plainly required by the prophecy of Magog and Gomer."

Does that look as if "Anatolia" is "original throughout" as Dr Thomas claimed? I leave you to judge for yourself. Much of the "Anatolia" material was also lifted from "Dissertations on the Prophecies" by Bishop Thomas Newton. For example the paraphrase of Daniel 11 found in Anatolia is very similar to a paraphrase of the same chapter in Newton's work.

Christadelphian brother Alan Eyre has published two excellent books exposing the lie that Dr Thomas "rediscovered The Truth" about Bible teaching. For example in the preface to "The Protestors" one time editor of the Christadelphian magazine brother FT Pearce wrote:
"It is a matter of great encouragement to us, whose religious views are regarded as unorthodox by our contemporaries, to find that in a number of cases where major doctrines are concerned, these early believers had come to the same conclusions as ourselves." In his Introduction to the same work brother Alan wrote: "The writer, once naively and unquestioningly accepting a popular view that Dr. John Thomas "discovered", as if from a void, the totality of Bible truth as believed by Christadelphians, was amazed to discover source after source which showed that this was at least a serious misrepresentation"....... "The nineteenth century, however, was one in which few intellectual debts were acknowledged."

So not only do we find that the founder of Christadelphianism stole his ideas about prophetic interpretation from previous writers, but it is evident that his "rediscovery of The Truth" is "at least a serious misrepresentation" as brother Eyre diplomatically words it.

It is simply not true that Dr Thomas arrived in America in 1832 and fulfilled his pledge to God made on the sinking Marquis of Wellesley and rediscovered The Truth by studying his Bible. What actually happened was that he arrived as a young man twenty eight years of age and threw himself with vigour into the American "Restorationism" movement. Wikipedia explains it thus:

"In the United States, Restorationism, sometimes called Christian primitivism, refers to the belief held by various religious movements that pristine or original Christianity should be restored, while usually claiming to be the source of that restoration. Such groups teach that this is necessary because Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christians introduced defects into Christian faith and practice, or have lost a vital element of genuine Christianity. Specifically, restorationism applies to the Restoration Movement and numerous other movements that originated in the eastern United States and Canada and grew rapidly in the early and mid 19th century."

Soon after his arrival in America Dr Thomas joined the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement which was one of the most prominent of dozens of different sects all competing to "rediscover The Truth" at that time. They advocated a total return to the faith of the apostolic churches, as found in the New Testament. They took no denominational title, calling themselves only by Scripture names, such as "Disciples", "Brethren", (now you know why you Christadelphians call each other "brethren and sisters) and "Christians". Mr. Thomas Campbell and his son Alexander were prominent advocates of this restoration of apostolic ways. Another leading member of that group was Mr. Walter Scott, whose acquaintance Dr. Thomas made soon after his arrival, the result being that he was baptized by Mr. Scott in 1837. Dr Thomas wrote to Alexander Campbell of his baptism:
"I am a Christian, and glory in the name, and am jealous of the honours and privileges and immunities attached to it; so much so that I am not content to share them with the innumerable pretenders to the title in the Protestant and Papal sections of the kingdom of anti-Christ. Bro. W. Scott can testify that I believed the Gospel, and obeyed it before witnesses".

During the course of the next ten years Dr Thomas continued to mix with a wide variety of different sects within the American Restorationism movement including the Millerites who later split and became the Jehovah's Witnesses. Please understand that these different sects believed in a very wide variety of different religious doctrines including all of the doctrines that Dr Thomas later formulated into the Christadelphian religion and they also rejected all of the doctrines that Dr Thomas rejected. You can truly make the Bible prove whatever you want it to prove and those people did exactly that. Every Christian belief and unbelief was promoted at one time or another by one or more of the groups, but not of course all at the same time in one sect. The different sects all competed and fought with each other like cat and dogs and castigated each other in the most virulent of language. Each claimed to hold "The Truth" and accused the others of apostasy and heresy.

After a decade of this madness Dr Thomas selected from this mêlée the beliefs and unbeliefs that suited his particular slant on the scriptures and baptised himself for a second time, saying of his previous baptism and beliefs:
"We confess that the whole matter was a mistake, and as such make this public abjuration thereof. ...... Having been immersed into an erroneous system....... I abjure the whole transaction in which I once firmly thought I had once believed the one only true Gospel of Christ".

This was sixteen years after the shipwreck incident. The man that the Christadelphians claim was raised up by God to rediscover the Truth had spent all that time going around in circles trying to discover the Truth. He had only "discovered" the Truth by stitching together different bits and pieces of the American Restorationism movement into something that suited his frame of mind. One hundred and forty years later brother Alan Eyre called it a "serious misrepresentation" to claim that he had rediscovered the Truth and the editor of The Christadelphian magazine agreed with him!

Do you really think that a God who created the entire Universe would let the rediscovery of the Gospel happen in such a crazy mixed up and deceitful way? Where were the angels and the power of the Holy Spirit in all this? Would it not have been helpful for them to have put a bit of effort into reviving the Truth instead of sitting back and watching Dr Thomas run around the American Restorationism movement like a headless chicken getting baptised and re-baptised as he constantly changed his mind about what he believed? How does all this compare to the conversion of Saul/Paul, or the work of John the Baptist or the calling of Peter? It does not compare at all! In my opinion Dr John Thomas the founder of the Christadelphians was a fraud and a liar like any of the current day American TV evangelists who are either inside or outside of jail. To quote the words of Dr Thomas himself: "Pride and ambition were the leading characteristics of my early manhood". - I could not agree more!

But wait - there is more. Soon after Dr Thomas had decided to start his own religion he and his daughter dumped his sick wife Ellen (who was suffering from tuberculosis) in Richmond, Virginia and sailed off to Britain in 1848. He then applied for fellowship at the Church of the Disciples in London which was one of approximately a hundred churches affiliated to the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement in Britain. In other words he joined the very church that he had rejected a few months previously and did not tell them that he had baptised himself into a different religion. He did this because he wanted to tour Britain poaching their members to join his new faith.

Dr Thomas wrote of this: "Having made his arrangements accordingly, I arrived in London, June 28th, 1848; and in July following I received an invitation to visit Nottingham, and to deliver a course of lectures upon the times, in connection with the prophetic word. The interest created during his short stay was great and encouraging, and became the occasion of invitation to visit other towns and cities also. During this tour I visited Derby, Belper, Lincoln, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Paisley, and addressed thousands of the people. who heard me gladly". - No mention of the fact that he was masquerading as a member of the Church of the Disciples in order to convert their members to Christadelphianism. In his defence Dr Thomas claimed that he had only rejected many of the doctrines of the Church of the Disciples and not the Church itself. This was doublespeak to hide the fact that he was blatantly lying to them.

One of the Disciples wrote in a magazine at the time:

“We have heard through the medium of some of the Second Advent proclaimers that Mr. John Thomas, M.D., from Richmond, Virginia, is on his way to England, if he has not already landed. We feel justified in stating to the brethren, and to our readers, that Mr. Thomas, in his magazine, some time ago, publicly abjured all connection with the Churches of the Reformation in the United States, more especially with brother Campbell and his associates. He not only renounced what he had learned from them, but also what he taught whilst among them, as being altogether erroneous. He has also been re-baptised, or baptised for the first time, into what he calls the hope of Israel; so that he has discovered not only that the baptism of all others of our brethren is faulty, but that his own also which he received some years ago from the hands of brother Walter Scott, and for which he has pleaded so strenuously, has no foundation in truth.”

For a fuller account of how Dr Thomas attempted to trick his way back into the Disciples Church in London see "Dr Thomas his life and work" by Robert Roberts Chapter 31.

This action caused a row with the elders of the Church of the Disciples who later threw Dr Thomas out of their fellowship but not before he had caused numerous splits amongst their own churches. These splinter groups formed much of the core of the new Christadelphian religion being formed by Dr Thomas and Robert Roberts. One of the elders of the Church of the disciples later commented about this subterfuge: "Thus we were deceived by the founder of Christadelphianism, in order to aid its introduction into churches in this country". Brother Robert Roberts who was aware of all this, wrote of Dr Thomas in his biography: "The part of friends has been rather to hide than expose infirmity. Gratitude threw the ample fold of protection over what may have been deemed the faults of an otherwise great and noble and extraordinary character." In other words he covered up the lies of Dr Thomas. One wonders what else was concealed by Robert Roberts.

Contrary to Christadelphian myth, Dr Thomas continued to evolve his new religion after the publication of Elpis Israel. That book was primarily devoted to the exposition of Bible prophecy and much of the detail relating to doctrine was skipped over. The changing views of its founder caused many splinters and splits within the new group. For example when Dr Thomas stated that the saints would be raised in mortal bodies at the resurrection, a breakaway group that he called "The Dowieties" formed in Britain and another group in America whom he named "Benjamites" - presumably after the leaders of the groups. They started a magazine called "The Gospel Banner" and in Sep 1867 they complained in their magazine about the nasty-minded manner in which Dr Thomas reviled them. To give you a flavour of the unpleasant character of the founder of the Christadelphians, here are some of his words that they quoted:

"We have a great many speculators in the faith on this side of the Atlantic, who profess to be the Ecclesia, mere theorists, who are a sort of amalgam, made up of a little Storrism, a little Adventism, a little Campbellism, and a hodge-podge of traditions, of which water, pork, alcohol, tobacco, salt, leaven, raisins, and the everlasting nigger, are the prolific head-centers." ... "They would rather be notorious for abomination than not notorious at all." ... "The Benjamin Mark Paper is a truly blood-thirsty and diabolical sheet." ... "His own selfishness has been the god of his idolatry; and to gratify this such a man will slander, lie, steal, or play the hypocrite, if it will only pay." ... "They have thought that their new paper might be their old, dirty, and blood-thirsty banner, new revised ... for editing at other people's risk, little Ben has discovered, pays better than printing on his own hook." ... These dishonest, mean-spirited traitors to good faith sought excuse and justification in the devil's law of incorporation." ... "I have put you in possession of these details that the real friends in Britain may know by what sort of natural brute beasts I am assisted." ... "I have hitherto taken no notice of him, nor his confederate, the ex-theatrical candle snuffer, being too much occupied with the Apocalypse." ... "We Christadelphians in America are a distinct generation from the so-called Benjamites - we are strong in the faith and unspoiled by accursed crotchets, which, when blended with it, make it ineffectual and generative of knaves and hypocrites."

This sort of disgusting language is sprinkled liberally throughout Dr Thomas's works, causing in the year 2000 the then editor of the Christadelphian magazine to write this note in a new edition of Elpis Israel: "At the time when it was written, frank speech expressed in robust language was indulged in without offence, and in this matter the book reflects its age. The forthrightness of the writer is seen in the vigour of his words and modern readers must make some allowance for this".

I can think of no better way to persuade Christadelphians to leave their religion, or to dissuade others from joining than by encouraging them to read the book in its entirety. It is bad tempered rambling nonsense from start to finish. Dr Thomas even claims that the Earth was inhabited by a race of alien angels before Adam and other rubbish that would cause modern day Christadelphians to cringe if they ever read it.

Let us continue to consider the writings of Doctor Thomas in this quotation from "Elpis Israel":

"The Judgment upon Ireland has been sitting since 1786. That crisis was the beginning of a retribution of seventy-five years. This period is called 'THE END' ......... After 1864 Ireland and the rest of the world will enter upon a new era, in which peace, righteousness, and blessedness will reign in the midst of the nations."

Not only did Christ not return in 1864 but Sinn Féin and later the IRA wrought terrorism and havoc in Ireland and the British mainland for over a hundred years after 1864.

Or this from Dr Thomas:

"My conviction is that the judgment upon Babylon will be announced as about to set; and that the ancient of days and the saints will meet in the air and among the clouds, in the common A.D. 1866, or 1290 years from A.D. 606."

This from Dr Thomas in "Anatolia":

"My conviction is that the judgment upon Babylon will be announced as about to set; and that the ancient of days and the saints will meet in the air and among the clouds, in the common A.D. 1866, or 1290 years from A.D. 606." ............... "But in a few years, that is, about 1866, when the 1335 years terminate, he will 'arise to his inheritance' in the Kingdom of God". ............. "How highly important is this exhortation now, seeing that in about a dozen years the resurrection will have transpired, and no further invitation to inherit it be presented to the world. The glory that shall follow is great for the approved (the Christadelphians). The world is theirs, when all nations come and do homage before the Prince of Israel, because His judgments are made manifest. But before they can have 'power over the nations,' they must bind the strong that rule them. This is their mission at the end of the 1335 years: 'To execute vengeance upon the nations, and punishment upon the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written; this honour have all his saints.' From A.D. 1866 to A.D. 1911, a period of over forty years, they will be engaged in this work and in the organizing the world upon new and better principles."

Not only did Dr Thomas erroneously and repeatedly state that Christ would return in 1866 but he also said that "the approved" (Christadelphians) would execute vengeance on the nations for forty years up until 1911.

Elsewhere Dr Thomas elaborates in detail how his immortal immoral Christadelphians will steal and plunder from the mortal population of the world:

"The estates of all the misers of this present evil world will be turned to righteous and beneficent account by and bye, in the hands of Jesus and His brethren. Only when that time comes they won't have to wait the death of the misers. They will take possession, and turn the owners adrift, in most cases into the grave." ... "All the earth will learn at the cost of much blood and treasure......"

This from Dr Thomas writing in "Elpis Israel":

"The sword only, can prepare the way for this. Mankind must be made to lick the dust like a serpent, before they will consent to change their creeds for eternal truth. Judgment will bring them to reason"............. "Nothing but violence in the beginning, in order to punish and crush the tyrants, can prepare the way for the amelioration of society. This is the order, as I shall show, which God has ordained as preliminary to the setting up of His kingdom."

This from Robert Roberts the first editor of the Christadelphian magazine and close friend of Dr Thomas:

"He (Christ) will enter into conflict with the world, drive Gentile power from every throne, and establish His kingdom under the whole heaven. Christadelphian operations will then be transferred from the arena of debate to that of military coercion."

More detail of this Christadelphian instigated genocide is given by Robert Roberts in Christendom Astray lecture 15:

"God Himself will operate in visible judgment upon the nations of the earth.......... a divine manifestation in the person of the Son of Man accompanied by sweeping judgments of fire and sword which will destroy large masses of mankind.......... The vengeance in relation to mankind will be destruction to the majority, and discipline to the remnant. Multitudes will perish by war and pestilence; multitudes more will fall victims to the fire which will descend............... The earth's population will be greatly thinned; its reprobate elements expurgated, leaving a residue composed of the meek and submissive, and well–disposed of mankind, who will constitute the willing subjects of Messiah's kingdom........ The saints co–operate with Christ in executing the judgments written. ...........It will be their privilege "to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people.......Thus it is obvious that in the closing judgment–scenes of this dispensation, the saints will be associated with the Lord Jesus in destroying the political, ecclesiastical, and social systems.............. This is a work of devastation ................ will involve much destruction of life, ....... Widespread will be the desolations produced; bloody and scathing the judgments ministered at the hands of Jesus and the saints. (Christadelphians)"

The corruption of the various American TV evangelists who are currently languishing in US jails is eclipsed by the evil that the founders of Christadelphianism proposed to unleash on the World. They were planning to kill and maim millions, perhaps billions of humanity in a forty year Holy Spirit empowered orgy of death and violence ending in 1911. The one hundred million deaths in the two World wars and the work of Hitler and Stalin seem tame by comparison with what Dr Thomas and Robert Roberts were planning. In their paranoia they imagined that the result of this great work would be to "Leave a residue composed of the meek and submissive, and well–disposed of mankind, who will constitute the willing subjects of Messiah's kingdom". - What planet were they on? Did they really think that such a plan would succeed? A reign of terror more horrific than The Great Terror of the French revolution, worse than the purges of Stalinist Russia, more brutal that Hitler's Final Solution, more awful than the Killing Fields of Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge reign of death? What would the relatives of those who were killed think about Christ's Christadelphian Kingdom? They would NEVER forgive the Christadelphians and their leaders for inflicting such pain and suffering on the world.

Little wonder that the nations were predicted to rise up at the end of the millennium in one final act of rebellion against Christ. It would be the equivalent of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto rising up against their Nazi tormentors and murderers in a last but futile gesture of defiance and desperation against their evil rulers.

But of course none of this will ever happen. Dr Thomas was wrong about Christ returning in 1886. He was wrong about Ireland, he was wrong about the Christadelphian forty year reign of terror, he was wrong about the Kingdom and he was wrong about everything else. I again urge you to read Elpis Israel. Practically everything that the doctor predicted in that book did NOT come true. Moreover it is obvious that the events that he foretold that did happen were merely the result of coincidence. Even Christadelphians who read the book and see the endless detail about events in the Nineteenth Century, which Dr Thomas called "The Last Days", must surely realise that the Bible could not possibly have been so obsessed with Nineteenth Century history and then completely miss out all of the next century without a word!

The modern day TV evangelist tricksters daily predict that we are in the "End Times" and that the return of Christ is imminent. They have no more idea what is going on than Doctor John Thomas. They are continuing the long tradition of American Revisionists and snake oil salesmen of which the founder of the Christadelphians was but a minor participant.

It must be obvious that this man that the Christadelphians claim was raised up by God to rediscover the Truth was clueless when it came to interpreting Bible prophecy correctly. But again I ask - what did God think that he was doing as he watched all this insanity unfold? Was it too much to ask that he use the Holy Spirit to nudge Dr Thomas in the right direction so that his chosen people would not be led by erroneous teaching?

What assurance can we have that their writings about other Biblical matters were any more correct than their mistaken ramblings about Bible prophecy? What is the difference? The difference is that we can prove by the passage of time that Dr Thomas was unable to expound Bible prophecy but we can't prove that he was mistaken about the doctrinal matters. We have to hope that he was as accurate about expounding the Gospel as he was inaccurate about expounding Bible prophecy.

But what guarantee do we have that Dr Thomas selected exactly the right mix of the many thousands of different beliefs and unbeliefs doing the rounds of the Nineteenth Century American Restorationism movement in order to rediscover the Truth? You  can make the Bible prove whatever you want it to prove and then dig your heels in and defend your position. But the same can be done with thousands of other beliefs about the Bible, many of them contradictory to each other. Don't fool yourself that you are smart enough to spot the genuine article amongst the thousands of flaws. And what if all of those beliefs are wrong?