1844 and the Future of Adventism

(Nathan Robinson) #66

This comment might get burried in the weeds, but after rereading Daniel 8, I feel like adding my thoughts.

First, I have always found the pronoun-noun-gender agreement argument to be logical, but a bit of a stretch. If we only had the content of the vision then grammar would be our only refuge.

However, the explanation that the angelic interpreter gives leads me to believe that the little hornish power is an individual, not a vast empire, Roman or Papal.

The angel is quite clear, calling the little horn a “king,” singular, at least in the Septuagint. I like the Septuagint, by the way. Too little attention is paid it when doing OT exegesis.

Am I wrong in my observations? It almost feels like adventists stop reading Daniel 8 at verse 14 and forget to read vv. 19-26.

(André Reis) #67

Good observation. The Hebrew is good too; in Dan 8:23 has melech, “king.”

(jeremy) #68

this is just the point i have in mind…

(Weiers Coetser) #69

I’ve been wondering on what basis you justify this dating? Given the acceptance of the scholarly evidence that point towards Antiochus IV Epiphanes, I wonder if a consistent textual analysis of the rest of Daniel would not also lead to an acceptance of a date for the final composition of Daniel that falls right in the middle of this intertestamental period conflict. I’m rusty on the details, but one scholar told me that you can trace how Daniel 11 plays out in the historical conflict at the time, right up to a particular point where the prophecy no longer fits the historical details. This person argued that this point where the facts of the Maccabean history and the prophecy diverge, is the best clue that we have for when the composition of Daniel was concluded.

(Nathan Robinson) #70

I remember Dr. Doukhan (sp?) describing with great fervor how Rome was the fulfillment of the little horn in Dan 8, all based on the gender agreement issue. But he could never explain v. 23 where the little horn is described as arising in the latter time of “their kingdom,” i.e. the four greek kings/horns.


10/25/18 - #1

Checkmate? There was “an entire system of thought” backing up phlogiston theory also.

“Entire systems of thought” are a dime a dozen.

They all develop cracks and wax old, to be superseded by new or revised systems of thought.

I’m astonished at the straws being confidently grasped here. There is no hope of making a deductive argument out of this material, but an attempt could at least be made at a convincing inductive argument. Hopefully one that doesn’t involve 5% chances!

What is Babylon but a system of thought?

All such idols are straws in the Wind.

The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?


While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.

And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.


Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

In the Mirror
(Gillian Ford) #72

Phil, have you read Roy ingram’s book on 1844 in which he specifically refutes Clifford Goldstein, Marvin Moore and Roy Gane. You may find it helpful even if you don’t agree. It’s very carefully done using what the scholars are saying on both sides.

(Mikecmanea) #73

And, once again, we are having difficulties exegeting statements written in plain English a few hours ago while arguing about the exegesis of symbolic imagery written in a dead language 2500 years ago.

Going back to my analogy, let’s say a guy reads a random paragraph from a random book and tells you that the probability is 95% the paragraph means one thing and 5% that it means another thing, so he strongly recommends going with the 95% meaning. A second guy comes along who has read the entire book and tells you the 5% likelihood meaning is actually the correct one for that paragraph. If your life depended on it, which one would you trust?

My point is that this is a ‘system of thought’ debate, not an exegesis debate. If the Adventist system of thought is correct, we are perfectly justified in our interpretation of Dan. 8 as well, regardless of any exegetical evidence Andre and others might bring up. As long as there is room in the text for the Adventist interpretation (and there’s plenty,) it is the greater context of the rest of Scripture that determines the correct interpretation, even if the probability seems low when looking at the text alone. Constantly harping on about this or that grammatical construct has zero relevance here.

Again, the possibility does exist that the Adventist system itself is wrong (although chances are fairly high that I could poke at least as many holes in anyone else’s alternative system as they can poke into mine). But that is what is under debate; not any of the things this article brings up.


10/25/18 - #4

What about the possibility that all systems of thought are wrong, Mike?

The Tower of Babel is in the mind; a tower to reach the heavens.


10/25/18 - #5

Not enough information, Mike.

If the book is about physics and the first man is a physicist, and the second man is an accountant, the first man is the likely bet.

But experts are often wrong.

Stephen Hawking: At first, I believed that disorder would decrease when the universe recollapsed.


This was because I thought that the universe had to return to a smooth and ordered state when it became small again. This would mean that the contracting phase would be like the time reverse of the expanding phase.

People in the contracting phase would live their lives backward: they would die before they were born and get younger as the universe contracted.

Cosmology and Theology are devilish difficult to pin down.

(Darrel Lindensmith) #76

This would support a subjectivist epistemology that says meaning is not in the text but in the individual.

(Mikecmanea) #77

Sure it will… because the person going off the information in just one paragraph always knows more about the meaning of that one paragraph than the person reading the entire book including that paragraph.

(Elmer Cupino) #78

You forgot verse 27, the most important verse and which gives the clue to the whole vision “it was beyond understanding,” If Daniel could not have understood the vision, what makes anyone of us be able to do so?



10/25/18 - #6

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

(Elmer Cupino) #80

But how can we be certain about when is “the time of the end?” Ancient prophets thought their time was “the end” but yet here we are.


10/25/18 - #7

Knowledge Doubling Curve

Buckminster Fuller created the “Knowledge Doubling Curve”; he noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today things are not as simple as different types of knowledge have different rates of growth. For example, nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every two years and clinical knowledge every 18 months. But on average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. According to IBM, the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours.

Human Brain Indexing Will Consume Several Billion Petabytes

In a recent lecture at Harvard University neuroscientist Jeff Lichtman, who is attempting to map the human brain, has calculated that several billion petabytes of data storage would be needed to index the entire human brain. The Internet is currently estimated to be 5 million terabytes (TB) of which Google has indexed roughly 200 TB or just .004% of its total size. The numbers involved are astounding especially when considering the size of the human brain and the number of neurons in it.

Linear to Exponential Growth of Human Knowledge

A transition from the linear growth of human knowledge to the exponential growth of human knowledge has taken place… According to researchers dealing with this information will necessitate the development of vastly more complex software, shareability, and artificial intelligence.

In the Mirror

10/25/18 - #8

Ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?

(Elmer Cupino) #83

Planck, originator of quantum theory, was discouraged from pursuing physics because "in this field, almost everything is already discovered, and all that remains is to fill a few holes” as his professor told him. Little did his professor know what was to shake physics.


(Robert Lindbeck) #84

@gford1 I am so glad you raised this point. I was reading through looking for someone to raise it, so I wouldn’t double up. When people dismiss Antiochus as not being important and therefore could not be the little horn, they do it from a modern perspective. His impact needs to be viewed from the people of the time.

(Nathan Robinson) #85

Daniel certainly did not understand. Perhaps with Holy Spirit guidance we are in a better position at this point in the timeline.

I still wonder why we pay so much attention to the “visions” and seemingly so little to the divine interpretations.

What haunts me most about SDA theology is that it all seems to hang on one verse - Dan 8:14. I hate to think in such absolute terms, but it truly seems that SDA identity, eschatology, even soteriology, hang on this single verse. What would the SDA church look like if this verse were not in the Bible? Who would we be? What would we teach?

For the SDA church to exist, we must be absolutely sure that we are absolutely right on Daniel 8, the meaning of 8:14, and the identity of the little horn as the papacy. To be who we are, we must be abolutely right and all others must be wrong, absolutely wrong.