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The Branch Davidians of WacoThe History and Beliefs of an Apocalyptic Sect$
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Kenneth G. C. Newport

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199245741

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245741.001.0001

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‘A Pale Rider’ (cf. Revelation 6.8): Vernon Howell and the Branch Davidians, 1959–1985

‘A Pale Rider’ (cf. Revelation 6.8): Vernon Howell and the Branch Davidians, 1959–1985

(p.171) 9 ‘A Pale Rider’ (cf. Revelation 6.8): Vernon Howell and the Branch Davidians, 1959–1985
The Branch Davidians of Waco

Kenneth G. C. Newport

Oxford University Press

Like other religious groups before it, the Branch Davidians depended on an imaginative reading of various prophetic parts of biblical texts, and this gave them a purpose and an urgency, and even an eschatological task. While fragmentation surely was going to happen, the hope that Ben Roden brought about for the Branch Davidians entailed the promise of rejuvenation. Although Ben Roden's reign was not as eventful as that of his wife Lois's, the original theology of Roden nonetheless served as grounds for appropriating the needs of the new community. However, the doctrine of both the central and Branch Davidians that the literal kingdom was to be established in Israel persisted. This book's focus now shifts to the leadership of David Koresh and this chapter provides an account of Koresh's life through introducing Vernon Wayne Howell and his rather problematic Seventh-day Adventist life.

Keywords:   Vernon Wayne Howell, Branch Davidians, David Koresh, leadership, physical abuse, Seventh-day Adventist

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