1844 and the Future of Adventism

(Gillian Ford) #42

From Des: it would be well for readers to consider my section in the book Daniel and the Coming King, where I give reasons for differences between the black Daniel with the lion on the cover and later books on Daniel. The first book was requested by the church in and whenever there was any possibility of doubt, I gave the benefit of doubt to the church. Keep in mind also that it’s nearly fifty years since I first wrote a book on Daniel, and my latest book on the same topic. Most people learn a thing or two in fifty years.


perhaps Des would like to tell us in a few short sentences what he now considers a horn symbol represents.

(André Reis) #44

In Dan 8 we certainly see it. The goat’s “great horn” points to a person, Alexander, the Great.

BTW I’d take Ford’s Daniel commentary pre-Glacier View with a grain of salt.

(Gillian Ford) #45

Des: This is off the cuff. My understanding is that the horn interpreted as A.E. by almost all researchers is correctly defined. It is a Greek power dominated for a time by Antiochus. It should be remembered that in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7, as in chapter 8, world powers are being set forth, and their leaders are seen as part of those powers. In Daniel 8 this little horn first fulfilled by Antiochus is to have increasing and enlarged fulfillments, ending with the final antichrist when world governments will unite with defective world religions to compel uniformity to evil.

Ranald, this is Gill, Des is recovering from being nearly blinded by a drug (eyedrops) used for a relatively benign condition. He was in hospital to save the left eye, and then later had surgery. As he is nearly ninety, he is not going to get into long discussions over these things. He has written on it all elsewhere, and his days for debate are over.

At Glacier View, Des was trying to help the church reinterpret its prophetic ideas not destroy them. Note what Cottrell said in Spectrum, He stated that in his ‘personal acquaintance, both at Glacier View and over a period of many years, with the thinking of approximately three fourths of the Bible scholar present, indicated that four-fifths of this number (24% of the 115 delegates) acknowledge the same problems in interpreting Daniel and Hebrews to which Ford has called attention.’ Cottrell, ‘Sanctuary Consensus’, Spectrum 11:2 (November 1980), 19.

This would not necessarily include Antiochus (Elder LaRondelle told us he’s never heard of him), but would be about Des’s main points concerning the problem in our interpretations of the sanctuary. Not all scholars agreed with Des’s solutions—but not all believe in forensic justification like Des. However, in Des’s mind, his solutions were up for grabs if the scholars came up with something better.

The consensus statements produced at G.V. show Cottrell’s affirmation to be true. Des was happy with these statements. But the father of Ted Wilson didn’t judge Des by the opinion of the scholars in the small groups at G.V… He used the Dallas Statement, which in his mind was just a modern revision of our traditional views. Neal Wilson said very clearly things were not going to change. Read the Ministry magazine Sept 1980, and you will see what I am saying is true. So G.V. was a charade (nothing happening here except what NW dictated). Several people of the six who wrote the ten-point statement (about where Des differed from traditional Adventism), could not have agreed with it themselves—Arthur Ferch, Alwyn Salem, Norman Young. Neal Wilson was smarter than his son—when Fred Veltman, head of the religion department at PUC said to Wilson that he agreed with Des, NW said that’s OK. Just don’t go public. What do you think of that? But now Ted won’t take any hostages. He is of a different more purist bent.

Sorry, some will think this off track and it’s more than a few sentences.

(Mikecmanea) #46

This entire debate can be summed up in one simple question:

Is there even a 5% chance that the little horn in Daniel 8 could be referring to Rome instead of to Epiphanes?

To say no requires an unreasonable amount of confidence in one’s ability to correctly decipher symbolic imagery in a 2500 hundred year old text.

If yes however, the Adventist position is fully justified, given that there is an entire system of thought backing up our interpretation. Someone might reject our system, but what they cannot do is reject our interpretation of Dan. 8 without first disproving our system.

Check Mate.


Hi Gil,

Thanks for the response it is clear Des has changed his position on this aspect regarding horn symbols.
Unfortunately Daniel does not provide a precedent to back up dual or multiple applications of horn symbols.

I believe Des was treated in a shabby way, at and post GV and as a result the divided parties appear to be more interested in defending their particular views, than considering there is a better interpretation to be had.



Correct, so who and what kingdoms do the four notable horns of the goat point to?

(Phillip Brantley) #49

Here is Roy Gane’s paper that sets forth that Antiochus IV Epiphanes is nowhere to be found in Daniel 11. https://zapdoc.tips/the-un-manifestation-of-antiochus-iv-epiphanes-in-daniel-11.html.

(André Reis) #50

Daniel 11 is tough, but Gane appears to repeat the same error of translation in Dan 8 when he says:

For one thing, whereas the “little horn” and the “king of the North” grow to become exceedingly powerful, the trajectory of Antiochus’s strength went in the opposite direction.”

The Hebrew watigdal yeter in Dan 8:9 certainly does not indicate that the “little horn” in Dan 8 is “extremely powerful.” The best translation is “grew in preeminence” as I argued in the paper.

Gane’s paper depends heavily on historical arguments throughout, not strictly exegetical ones:

“Just as Daniel 11 skips the remaining Medo-Persian rulers after Xerxes and goes immediately to Hellenistic Alexander the Great and his successors, so the chapter skips the remaining Seleucid kings after Antiochus III and goes immediately to Rome.”

Such certainly could only be sustained if we had flawless historical records of what happened in the Seleucid dynasty that could be matched with the biblical text, which is not the case. Conversely, it’s easier to make the case for Antiochus IV in Daniel 8 both from textual and historical evidence than in Daniel 11 which is not to say necessarily that he is not in 11. “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

Be that as it may, for Adventists, it is the little horn of Daniel 8 that impacts 1844 most severely.

(jeremy) #51

andre, just so i understand where you’re coming from before delving into your link, are you saying you don’t find adventist arguments against AE convincing, although you agree that the little horn isn’t AE, or are you saying you don’t find adventist arguments against AE convincing, and that you believe the little horn is AE…
and are you saying that you could conclude that the little horn isn’t AE if more convincing arguments were generated, or are you saying that the little horn must and can only be AE, given the textual evidence…

(George Tichy) #52

This is exactly why prophecy never interested me a bit. It generates a lot of talk and discussion - even fights! - but has absolutely no pragmatic value. None!

Nobody knows anything about anything for sure. Everyone has a different opinion, and fights fiercely for it. This SDA “prophetic bug” is really insane!

(George Tichy) #53

Oh my, Jeremy? Are you that much confused? … :wink:

One thing seems obvious: The 1844 theory is as strong as all the positions presented in this unending debate. Actually, the debate only happens because there is no Biblical basis for the 1844/IJ theory. It’s all a futile effort to find a way to adjust the writings to what the SDA need them to mean.

I personally couldn’t care less about the mysteries in the book of Daniel. I jump to the book of Hebrews, and voilá, I no longer have to waste time trying to decipher what NOBODY ever deciphered in full. Hebrews elucidates all that is truly necessary.

(Gillian Ford) #54

I wouldn’t say that, André. There’s a lot in the appendices. However, when Des wrote Crisis in the summer of 1979 and read all the Rev. commentaries at the library of congress, he realised more clearly the shortcomings of historicism.

(André Reis) #55

Hey Gill,
What I meant is that I doubt the publishers would accept some things Des knew about Daniel so it’s a pretty Adventist commentary. It would be interesting to know what they changed during editing.

(jeremy) #56

no, george, i’m not confused - i’m not the type to get confused…i’m just interested in understanding where andre is coming from…i think this would help identify the likely set of assumptions he’s working with…

everything i’ve ever read in theology is based on a set of assumptions…of course everybody claims to be faithful to the text, so this assertion is pretty much meaningless…

(André Reis) #57

Start by reading the materials vandieman. Do your own homework :slight_smile:

(George Tichy) #58

Well, this is true, reading the materials can indeed be of some help… :innocent:

(Gillian Ford) #59

Des says they changed very little if anything. It took a long time to get it through the book committee, but on Antiochus Epiphanes, Siegfriend Horn said it was ridiculous to leave him out. Des put non-traditional ideas in the footnotes and epilogues. He had one on Hebrews 9 for instance. However, in the main text, Des gave the church the benefit of the doubt. He was writing it for the church.

(Elmer Cupino) #60

Our pioneers believed they can outdo Daniel by predicting dates on the prophecy. They missed the most salient point of Daniel 8 which was verse 27 “I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.” Since it was “beyond understanding” the next best thing was to continue “about the King’s business.” But we can forgive our pioneers as they were nursing the biggest disappointment of their lives. They had to find an excuse for no other reason than to maintain the hope that started the movement. As in cognitive behavioral therapy, the main points are to develop appropriate psychological defenses to accept cognitive distortions and correct them. In no time I have confidence that we as a church would be mature enough to accept our past mistakes and continue “about the King’s business”

(George Tichy) #61

It is obvious that we can see a “worn out” Church now, one that has been tired by a GC group that keeps focusing, obsessively, on only one thing, grabbing power in order to become a dictatorshi that puts everyone of their knees. It looks like they completely forgot their mission: support and expand the SDA missionary project around the world.

It is true that the GC has, for a moment, knocked down the real Church. But the real Church is gradually waking up from the hit, and rejecting pronouncements are already popping up.

At least in terms of discrimination of women, it is obvious that certain areas of the world are not going to budge. Unfortunately other regions will keep embracing discrimination of women, but it’s their culture, they need to deal with it accordingly.