1844 and the Future of Adventism

(Mikecmanea) #211

Since these conversations started, I’ve tried to read Dan. 8 from every Bible translation I could get my hands on. And, all of them are compatible with both views (little horn = Epiphanes vs. little horn = Rome) with some parts of the text fitting better with one and some parts better with the other.

Is there a ‘more accurate’ Bible translation I should be looking at or is there an original translation of the entire chapter with the ‘correct’ rendition of all the key sections?



I am not sure that you really paid attention to what I wrote. I keep telling you that I have never said that “acharyith” means “after the end” but that one the meaning of this word is “end” (not just “posterity”) as any good lexicon will tell you and I made references to several Bible translations (Septuagint, Vulgate, Wycliffe Bible, etc) that translate Daniel 8:23 using that meaning, that is, translations that don’t follow your interpretation of that verse.

This is why I told you that there were two views based on how this verse is translated.

So, you chose a particular meaning and this is your right. But to be sure that one’s analysis is
sound one needs to recognize that there are other renditions of Daniel 8:23 and it is a fact that you refuse to acknowledge.

And because of this, your article appears to be more partisan and biased than scholarly which is unfortunate because I am sure that there are a lot of things to be said about the future of Adventism.

(jeremy) #213

it’s these kinds of impasses that the early visions of egw solved…

the bottom line with our understanding of parts of Daniel that we believe support 1844 and IJ is that it’s based on the visions of egw…other alternatives to the text are possible, but they’re not based on the visions of egw…once again, we can see that things boil down to whether the visions of egw are accepted as authoritative, or not…

(André Reis) #214

I didn’t “choose” arbitrarily, “posterity” is a legitimate meaning of the word as are “end” and “latter part”. I also said that the Greek interpretation is not in any way dependent on the meaning “posterity” per se and that “latter part” as the NIV translates it does not in any way weaken or change the Greek interpretation.

What I continue to affirm is that acharith never means “termination” or “after the end” as you have repeatedly claimed. Regardless of whether some Bible versions may have mistranslated it as “after the end”, this is never the meaning of acharith elsewhere in the OT.

The Roman interpretation, however, among other narrow meanings, requires that Dan 8:23 mean what it cannot mean, that is, that the little horn appears “after the end of their reign” which is the only possible fit for Rome’s rise against the Jews.


This is a good question.

It is never easy to accurately translate a foreign language and when we are dealing with texts which are thousands of years old it is even more challenging. We all know how the position of a comma can radically change the meaning of a text.

This is why it is good to have several Bible translations not just in one’s language but also in other languages if possible (of course, being able to read the Bible in the original languages is a plus but even if it is not possible there are excellent lexicons that are available, even online).

Concerning my Bible translations that give the “correct” rendition :wink:, I have the Louis Segond translation (French), the rabbinical translation of the Old Testament (which is the official Jewish translation) in English and in French, the Septuagint, the Vulgate. I consulted the Wycliffe Bible online. I also consulted another translation online which can be interesting though it is in French: the André Chouraqui translation of the Bible in which this Jewish translator kept the original meaning of the Hebrew words without trying to find the proper equivalent in French.


Okay, now I am sure that you didn’t pay attention to what I wrote since you keep repeating things I didn’t say.

What I have repeatedly claimed is that the word “acharyith” means “end” (among other things) not just “posterity”. I even gave you a reference showing this, Isaiah 46:10 which says:

"Declaring the end (acharyith) from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (KJV)

As for translations, I am not sure that you are in a good position to decide which one is incorrect or not.



While I believe that we can understand the book of Daniel without EGW (at least, most of it), it is true that these kinds of situations show why we need prophets.

Many of our Protestant friends don’t believe in (or are very suspicious of) prophets but without an input from God, we see that we can be stuck for ever between different opinions like the Pharisees and Sadducees of old.

This is why you are right when you say that, at least for our church, “things boil down to whether the visions of egw are accepted as authoritative, or not”.

(André Reis) #218

Incorrect translations are actually an extremely common occurrence in Bible versions. We can tell quite certainly that acharith never had the meaning of “after the end” and any Bible translation that has that is incorrect. And yes, you have appealed several times to the rendition “after the end of their reign” to make it “fit”.

Again, even in the occurrences when acharith can be translated as “end”, it never carries the connotation of termination, as I’ve repeatedly explained. In other words, we can refer to the “end” of something as its most posterior part but not necessarily to a period after that something has ended; like placing a plate of food at the “end” of a table, not after the table as “ended”. Even in Isaiah 46:10 acharith can be translated as “future” since that’s what “the things that are not yet done” actually means. In sum, acharith refers to a future/later/latter period of whatever is being discussed.

In essence, that’s the whole point of the explanation of the four kingdoms and their relationship to the little horn, it rises at the “latter part” as the NIV correctly renders it. It’s obvious that if the little horn is also part of the four Greek kingdoms (Dan 8:9), it’s also part of their Greek “posterity”. It works either way.


Sure, I guess that even the rabbinical translation of the Bible got it wrong (and no, even this one doesn’t go in your direction). It is a good thing that you are here to let us know which rendition is the good one.

With some many translations not following your reasoning, don’t be surprised if your conclusions are taken with a grain of salt. Like I said before, I am not sure that you are in a good position to decide which rendition is the correct one or not (though, of course, it doesn’t mean that you are automatically wrong. It just means that there are alternatives).

But anyway, I thank you that you took the time to exchange with me. I hope that it was not too frustrating for you. But even if we cannot reach an agreement, I still believe that exchanging with other people is one of the best ways to discover the truth. So, may God richly bless you. And thank you for your time.

(Denny) #220

I wonder how scholarly based the books of Daniel and Revelation were/are supposed to be… Surely if we are to just leave our understanding of the Word to scholars who can dissect Greek from Hebrew etc, then we might as well fold up our bibles and wait for the scholars to teach us even John 3v16…! God intended the Word to be easily understood even by a lay man or uneducated person who at least is literate.

The book of Daniel MUST be read in conjuction with Revelation especially for us in the last day church… It is very easy to see the sequence of prophecy and the rise of the little horn as papacy. no amount of “schoolishness” or intellect will change that. The bible is clear that the little horn has nothing to do with Antiochus Epiphanes etc… Otherwise we might as well even disregard the 7 day Creation week, the incarnation of Jesus and whole Bible and “close up shop” as George Knight was previously quoted on another topic.

And P.S. While EGWs visions substantiate the prophecies, we dont need her visions to interpret the Word… There was no "“Ellen White” when the reformers were identifying the little horn and antichrist as the papacy. This desire to marry EGW and prophetic interpretation of the apocalyptic books becomes a subtle excuse to then say the interpretation of Adventism is wrong about the papacy because EGW had a vision etc… Lets not find convenient excuses. Leave EGW out of this if youre doubtful about her (we can deal with that topic separately) and lets see what the Word says. Simple. And it has not changed! Adventism is not wrong in its historical interpretation.

(Elmer Cupino) #221

What impresses me most about rabbis (AJ Levine and Jonathan Sacks, among many) is their ability to dig deep and find meanings to parables that touch our current lives and relationships. I often wonder whether training for a rabbi includes personal analysis. Unlike us SDAs who are constantly connecting everything from the bible to Orion, cosmos, little horns and to future events at the expense of the here and now lessons. Thus it makes it easier for us as a church to shame and humiliate others because of having poor quality of relationships.

(Denny) #222

This has nothing to do with the modern understanding of naming and shaming persons etc. We dont go by modern or current trends. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for a whole chapter in matthew 23, was He wrong? No… Nevertheless to the studious reader of the prophetic books, they will remember that prophecy does not point to individuals but to united systems and organisations. This is one reason why the Antiochus thing falls apart. Daniel started with the precedent of of metals/beasts i.e. religio-political entities who ruled at a particular time… Antiochus was just a political entity and not that significant historically even.

When the Lord desires us to know the times we are in and reveals clues and tips by exposing the workings of systems, why are we quick to judge God by saying no naming and shaming?? Did we write the Bible with Him? Did He call us to be His editors??Take the Bible as it reads simply and plainly. It is to warn those in the systems to be alert and to come out and not be associated with those systems lest they perish eventually.

Otherwise the whole Bible right from Genesis will become useless (to you) because "“naming and shaming” of systems had already started then.

(Elmer Cupino) #223

Although you may consider yourself part of a very select group of people in the history of the universe, it is important that we deal with the here and now.

Do you travel by foot or do you have a gas-driven vehicle? Do you walk around in a robe or do you go to a local Macy’s to buy yours trousers?

(Mikecmanea) #224

I would actually like to read the text in a translation that Andre considers correct. In fact, I would love to read Andre’s personal translation of the entire chapter 8 with everything exactly the way he wants it. I have a feeling that even then I would still think there is room for both views and that in fact Andre has some strange expectations of what a text SHOULD say if it were referring to Rome.

(Mikecmanea) #225

I disagree. If I thought I needed EGW to arrive at 1844 I would have left the church a long time ago.

These problems we are having are because, ever since QOD, the church bought into the fundi mentality that these are questions for the exegetes to solve, when in fact, exegetes have neither the tools nor the training to properly address these issues. We’ve basically created a monster with our own hands.

(jeremy) #226

well, it’s a fact that the visions of egw solved biblical impasses in the early days of our mvt, and in effect established our doctrines…

(Tim Teichman) #227

Sometimes in these cases I find this online interlinear bible helpful (link below). If nothing else, it does show how much translators change the original text and order of words, and how they sometimes pick from a variety of English words to give the meaning they think the original has. This has made me very wary of hanging too much on any translation’s specific wording, of reading too much meaning into the words compared to the overall message.


(For those unaware) when reading using the link above, read the phrases from right to left, top to bottom.

So, the last verse of Daniel 8, seen below is read as:
“And he said to me for evenings days - two thousand and three hundred then shall be cleansed the sanctuary.”

From this we get:
NIV: He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.”

NRSV: And he answered him, “For two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”

NKJV: And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”

KJV: And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

ISV: “He told me, ‘For 2,300 days. Then the Holy Place will be restored.’”

Note from one root Hebrew word, the translators arrive at “reconsecrated”, “restored to its rightful state”, “cleansed”, and “restored”. All seem quite different to me.

Also I note that the original seems to insinuate that right at the end of the period the temple will at that point be cleansed, that the work was perhaps happening already for a time. Not that it will start being cleansed at that point. But all the translations could be read as if the cleansing might start at the end of the period.

It could be read “After 2300 days then we will start to cleanse the temple” or “At the point that 2300 days have elapsed the temple will once again be in a state of cleanliness.”

A further complication is that “cleansing” sounds like it could take awhile and could be a huge effort of some kind, while “reconsecrated” seems like a ceremony that might take 20 minutes.

I don’t really care which way it is read, but it could matter if you’re trying to predict the future - as we are told not to do in the bible.

But to me the original seems to point to the latter meaning, or the meaning is lost. In any case it certainly does not say “2300 days will pass and then we will start the process of cleansing the temple, which might take awhile.”

(André Reis) #228

The different renditions of Dan 8:14 exist because the word nitsdaq is not used anywhere in Scripture so we don’t have any other context to compare it with. We do know that the verbal form is the Niphal of the verb tsadaq (as the indicated by the ni) which means “to justify” and in Dan 8:14 could mean “to be vindicated” or “justified”.

The KJV translation as “cleansed” on which the entire 1844 theory has been built by EGW and the pioneers is not really the primary meaning of the word to begin with, it can only be inferred by analogy with the sanctuary rituals where “justification” is actually the main theme. That’s why the evangelist I mentioned in the piece had a special edition of the KJV just for this purpose. The KJV has the influence of the LXX which renders it katharidzetai, “cleansed” as the Vulgate, which probably indicates that the translator was thinking of the purification after Antiochus IV.

Anyone familiar with the sanctuary service knows that the inauguration of the tabernacle and the temple in the OT required hattat sacrifices = “sin offerings” for the priests and the people so that the tabernacle could be used for sacrifice (Lev 8:14–15; 33–35; Num 29:7–11). In essence, the people and the sanctuary became one: if one needed “justification”, the other did too. Ultimately, the sanctuary housed Yahweh and needed to be worthy of his presence.

This is probably what is intended here in the word nitsdaq in Dan 8:14, especially considering that all of the sanctuary services had been interrupted by the desecrations of the “little horn” in Dan 8:11–13, requiring that it be “made righteous” again to restore the ritual system and Yahweh’s presence.

(Tim Teichman) #229

Yes I noticed that when I looked it up. Rather curious given its meaning.

It’s amazing what you find when you actually study the bible.

(Denny) #230

We can be all scholarly about the words cleansed or restored bla bla… But fact is that on October 22 1844 something of world importance was predicted to happen. Thats the fact. And if the saints were to be following as close as they could, further light would still be revealed. Simple… Remember right up till the day they had the wrong interpretation, which was not an issue because it was predicted they would misfire on the interpretation… But the date God made sure they would pin point it. Fact.

So lets stop majoring over minors and minoring over majors. The elephant in the room (22 October 1844) cannot and will never be ignored.