Familiar with Trail of Blood

Anyone know about this stuff?

Yep! The Trail of Blood (1931) is a booklet by the Baptist minister, Dr. James Milton Carroll.

I have not read it in a long time,but if I am correct he basically states Baptists are the “true” Christians and can trace their roots back to Jesus. It lacks serious evidence if I recall.

He pretty much just grabs onto whatever movement existed at a given time that wasn’t mainstream and doesn’t exist today and says those where Baptists.


You may want to visit this thread for a discussion of similar stuff…


Especially if they were repressed by the Catholic Church - which usually amounted to physical persecution by the state.

The Trail of Blood was a booklet that (as was already pointed out) basically made the case that the Baptist denomination was the descendant of Apostolic christianity, by linking it historically through various Christian groups all the way back to the Apostles.

The historical succession is up for debate in Baptist circles; some believe it and defend it, others dismiss it as not very relevant due to some of the groups that it links to historically. There is also quite a bit of debate in the Baptist circles about whether the various groups referenced are actually heretical. To its defenders, the Waldenses are considered “orthodox” Christians (although my personal observation with Protestants is that they equate “orthodox” with their doctrine, under the presupposition that their beliefs are “true Christianity” and they just go lost for 1500 years, unless you follow this outline in the Trail of Blood…maybe…yet I digress).

No one outside of the Baptist faith really takes it seriously, and it seems to me as an outsider looking in that there is a neverending discussion and debate within the Baptist faith about whether or not it should be taken seriously.

That is Trail of Blood (1931), a booklet by Baptist minister, James Milton Carroll.

Here is a partial quote:

  1. A spiritual Church, Christ its founder, its only head and law giver.
  2. Its ordinances, only two, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They are typical and
    memorial, not saving.
  3. Its officers, only two, bishops or pastors and deacons; they are servants of the
  4. Its Government, a pure Democracy, and that executive only, never legislative.
  5. Its laws and doctrines: The New Testament and that only.
  6. Its members. Believers only, that are saved by grace, not works, through the
    regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.
  7. Its requirements. Believers on entering the church to be baptized, that by immersion,
    then obedience and loyalty to all New Testament Laws.
  8. The various churches separate and independent in their execution of laws and
    discipline and in their responsibilities to God but cooperative in work.
  9. Complete separation of Church and State.
  10. Absolute Religious Liberty for all."
    Link: bryanstation.com/online-media/books/trail-of-blood-english.

The Fundamental Doctrines in Trail of Blood reveal serious problems.

In number five, we find **Its laws and doctrines: The New Testament and that only. **They have, like Marcion in 150 CE, eliminated the Old Testament. Trail of Blood becomes a source of doctrine in its place. Even in their use of the New Testament; they have corrupted what is clearly revealed in Holy Scripture. The booklet is, also, vehemently anti-Catholic.

The booklet isn’t very long, if you want to click on the link and check it out. Most Baptists don’t take it seriously.


I have a friend who actually buys into this nonsense. I know church history so I know how outrageous its claims are. If they actually knew what Marcion taught or the Cathari, they would never claim them as spiritual ancestors. I once thought I’d tell her how nonsensical this theory was, but then decided why bother. I may still talk to her about it some day.

I prefer old line sci-fi myself. Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Andre Norton.


This. If you read it, jot down a list of the groups he traces the Baptists through and go look them up later. Almost none of them were Christian by any stretch of the imagination.

I agree, however those who put faith in it will counter that very little was known about these groups, and they will either imply (or possibly state quite candidly) that the Church tainted the historical record to suit the Catholic agenda.

Which is easily responded to. If so little was known about these groups that we can’t be sure that they weren’t Christian, then so little was known about them that we can’t know that they are Christian either, and so Carrol has no justification for using them.

And the claim that the Church tainted the historical record is simply answered by the fact that, if the Church has done so, then how did Carroll come by the truth? If the Church destroyed documents that support the notion, then Carroll has no documents from which to derive his “truth”, and thus he simply made it all up. If right, he is right in the exact same way that a broken clock is right twice a day.

I agree.

The very sad truth is many Baptist churches still look at this as historical fact.

Here’s a good article by Steve Ray on the topic of the Trail of Blood.

Of course they do, but they have no valid reason to do so, and when they bring up the booklet, this should be made clear to them. I know most won’t listen, but you’ve got to at least try.

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