1844 and the Future of Adventism

(Nathan Robinson) #123

Regarding the dating of Daniel, one argument for an early date is its inclusion in the several canon lists. It seems that in the second temple period books were accepted as canonical based on their age, not just on the name of the author. Books like Jubilees, Sirach, etc. were not accepted because they were self-evidently young. For Daniel to be canonical, it had to be understood as old by the compilers of the canon lists. The age of Daniel cannot be guaged by whether it is in the prophets or the writings.

This is not a strong argument. However, it is a strangely logical argument. Daniel passed the canonical sniff test and was given the same status as Genesis, Judgea, Psalms, Isaiah, and Micah.

That said, it is interesting to read Daniel in the Septuagint! Have I mentioned that I like the Septuagint? Just a quick plug for Martin Hengel’s “The Septuagint as Christian Scripture.” Well worth the read. Many thanks to Dr. Richard Choi for introducing me to the Septuagint.

(André Reis) #124

The value of the Septuagint for the study of Daniel is dubious at best. It botches several important passages, the most notorious is Dan 9:24-27. Nothing beats the original Hebrew though! (and Aramaic) :slight_smile:


10:26/18 #8

Do you have an academia.org account, Phil?

(Phillip Brantley) #126

I log in with my Facebook login and password.


10/26/18 - #9

Did you write, The Reformation and the Remnant, Phil? Sounds interesting!

(Nathan Robinson) #128

Ah…you have your can opener ready for the Masoretic Text vs. LXX worm can. :exploding_head:

The LXX of Daniel is certainly different. Explaining the differences is the fun part.

The LXX is actually much friendlier, overall, to Christian Theology than the Hebrew. I never use the LXX without my BHS, nor do I get out my BHS without consulting the LXX.

(Phillip Brantley) #129

No, that was written by Nicholas Miller, as pictured in your comment.

(Gillian Ford) #130

This is going back a bit, but Phil said no-one had mentioned Roy Gane, and I said , have you read Roy Ingram’s book? Roy is both smart and thorough, and if anyone is interested in the issues in Daniel 8, it is on the topic and many have found it helpful. 1844, the Investigative Judgment is part of the title. There are different types of intelligence. Roy has the intuitive type. As for anonymity, if you are in the work and have a contrary opinion to Ted Wilson, you are likely to be fired if you speak up.


10/27/18 - #2

Recollections on the investigative judgment doctrine and the "unanimous" vote

By Raymond Cottrell, D.Div. (1912-2003)

In 1958 it fell to my lot, as a Review and Herald Publishing Association editor, to revise the perennial classic Bible Readings (published for nearly 100 years)…The old plates had worn out and we had to make new plates… The Review and Herald thought it would be highly desirable to bring Bible Readings into harmony with the Seventh‑day Adventist Bible Commentary) so that we wouldn’t be saying something out of one corner of our mouth and something else out of the other corner.

It fell to my lot, then, to come to Daniel 8:14, the Sanctuary and the Investigative Judgment. And with all these statements – of Martin and Barnhouse and Lindsell and DeHaan and name them — reverberating in my mind just like an echo that kept going back and forth …, I decided that I would try to find some way to say what we wanted to say about the Sanctuary and the Investigative Judgment in a way, that would take the ammunition out of these people’s hands so they couldn’t criticize us like they were ‑‑ present it as Biblical.

And after struggling, I found that it couldn’t be done!

So I went to Elder Nichol (then Editor of the Review and Herald ) one day and I said, ‘Elder Nichol, what do you do in a case like this"’ I was really trying my very best to present the Sanctuary and the Investigative Judgment in the book Bible Readings — I couldn’t do it! He said, ‘Well, what do (our) college Bible teachers have to say? … Write them a letter.’ So I composed a letter in which I asked a number of key questions on getting the sanctuary doctrine out of Daniel 8:14. And I sent this questionnaire out to every teacher of Hebrew in our colleges we didn’t have any universities at the time ‑ and to the head of every Bible department and a number of other Bible teachers I was personally acquainted with. And I protected them by assuring them their names would never be associated with any responses they made.

I asked these questions and all twenty-seven I wrote to replied. Without exception the responses expressed the opinion that there is no linguistic or contextual basis for applying Daniel 8:14 to the antitypical Day of Atonement and the Investigative Judgment.

There was not one college Bible teacher who came out and said there is a basis in exegesis – that is in the language or the context.



Raymond F. Cottrell, D. Div.

Obscurantism and the Sanctuary Doctrine

Webster defines obscurantism as “depreciation of or positive opposition to enlightenment or the spread of knowledge, esp. a policy … of deliberately making something obscure or withholding knowledge from the general public.”

Here, the word “obscurantism” is used in the specific sense of making presumably authoritative decisions and/or statements with respect to the sanctuary doctrine on the basis of untested, preconceived opinions and/or without first weighing all of the available evidence on the basis of sound, recognized principles of exegesis and basing conclusions exclusively on the weight of all the evidence.

Obscurantism has characterized the official response of the church to every question raised with respect to the traditional interpretation of Daniel 8:14, the sanctuary doctrine, and the investigative judgment.

In at least most instances this obscurantism has been inadvertent and not intentional, but its effect has been the same as if it had been intentional.

It is high time for the church to be done with the traditional clichés with which it has heretofore responded to questions regarding the sanctuary doctrine.

It is time to face up to and to deal fairly and objectively with all of the evidence.


(George Davidovich) #132

Thanks for the great quote!

You can find the day-year principle in Scriptures as early as Gen. 29:27 as well as many other biblical references in Numbers 14 and Ezekiel 4 (I won’t mentioned all the Daniel and Revelation references), even Jesus himself used it as referenced in Luke 13; but if you must have a historical non-biblical point of reference you should note Visctorinus of Pettau (300 AD), Ticonius (380 AD), or how about those Jewish Rabbis, pre and post advent, who cursed anyone attempting to calculate the year of the first Advent as pretold by Daniel 9?

(André Reis) #133

That’s a shocker.

In fact, there’s not one single example of the application of said “principle” by any biblical authors. The reason is simple, it didn’t exist.

The Jews had both 7-day and 7-year cycles. There’s no “conversion” of day to year going on in Dan 9, weeks of years were actual time measurements as evidenced by the sabbatical years and the jubilees.

(George Davidovich) #134

I’ll respond to your comment after you respond to my pending question to you.

(André Reis) #135

There’s nothing in chapter 9 that demands that it be dependent on Dan 8. Each has its own objective.

About the 70 weeks of years, i.e., 490 years, this was a common way of Jewish thinking about time calculations as I laid out in the comment above. The 490 years must of necessaity start from the decree of Cyrus (ca. 538 BC) according to Isaiah and Jeremiah, which Josephus states contains a command to rebuild both city and temple. The Hebrew text of Dan 9:24-27 is very obscure and many think it’s not about Jesus but about some other hamasiach that brings the 490 years to and end which still remains unknown.

If Dan 9:24-27’s hamasiach is Jesus then the period of 490 years commencing from 538 BC is not exact but a round figure. I have no problem accepting this since prophecies are always dependent on human free will so there’s both a conditional and a relative nature to them (see the “failed” prophecy in Ezek 29:17-18).

Either way, the decree of Dan 9 cannot be the one by Artaxerxes in 457 BC because Daniel and all the Jews in Babylon to whom this promise was made would have been dead by then. It was fulfilled by Cyrus.


Boy my reading list keeps getting bigger…it is so gratifying to be able to read this kind of rethinking and approach to questions that we have had for so long…:slight_smile:


Just a little note on the gender argument in Daniel 8. Originally the argument was given as an antidote for Des Ford, and then published in Daniel & Revelation Committee books vol 1 page 41. Unfortunately I made the mistake of reading the text in Hebrew and the argument collapsed. You cannot make a gender based argument on a text replete with gender mistakes.

Let me illustrate. In principle “horn” in Hebrew is always femine - except in Daniel 8 where it is sometimes feminine and sometimes masculine (sorry DarrelL, your list of the genders was not correct). Dan 8.8-9: – the great(f) horn(f) was broken(f); and instead of it(f) there came up(f) four(f) notable horns(f) toward the four(f) winds(f) of the sky(m). [up to this point all genders are correct] Out of one(f) of them(m) came forth(m) a little(f) horn(f), which grew(f) exceeding great –

Now “came forth” should have been feminine but is masculine, and “one of them” is odd because you have one feminine out of four masculines, though one feminine horn could come out of heavens (four corners of) as Daniel&Revelation committee argued. But when you have a wrong gender just before and a further half a dozen mistaken genders in the text that follows (e.g. in v. 11 horn is again used with a masculine verb), the argument is left paralyzed - you really cannot make a gender based argument on this text.

This is like a Finn speaking English (there are no genders in the Finnish language). “Jane is a pretty girl. He always smiles…” So who smiles? No one knows, because Finns frequently make that mistake. What horn, where from? No one really knows because Daniel often confused the genders. Please, base your exegesis on anything but the genders when interpreting the last chapters of Daniel. :slight_smile:


10/28/18 - #1

Cottrell described the theological climate of the church as open, favourable and honest during the 1950s when the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia was published.[8] Nearly all of Cottrell’s papers in his Manuscript Collection were unpublished.

He said of his “significant work” Eschatology of Daniel which was never formally published, “the manuscript awaits a climate of openness and objectivity in the church, which is essential to a fair examination of the facts.”[15].

Cottrell has been said to have taken a few progressive positions.[16] It has been argued that Cottrell’s began to take more progressive viewpoints after retirement.[17][18]

16. Raymond F. Cottrell: A Contextual-Linguistic Analysis of Daniel 7 (26 pp., 1963). A paper presented to the super-secret ad hoc GC Committee on Problems in the Book of Daniel. This committee was appointed by R. R. Figuhr and the GC Officers in response to a questionnaire I addressed to every college Bible teachand others versed in Hebrew, who responded unanimously that there is no linguistic or contextual basis for the traditional Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8: 14. My complete file of the forty-five papers considered by the committee is on file in the General Conference Archives. Three papers mentioned in the official list never came before the committee.

:exclamation: This committee met intermittently from 1961 to 1966, when it adjourned sine die without reaching a consensus. :exclamation:


Cottrell: Anomalies in Interpretation of Daniel 8:14

Dr. Cottrell, in reply to an inquiry about his current research and interest in returning to San Diego Forum, sent a copy of a paper he presented recently to the LLU theology facculty.

That paper, titled as noted above, is most enlightening – and challenging. In fact, if you must miss any meeting of the San Diego Adventist Forum during the 97/98 Forum year, don’t let it be September 13.

Rather, come prepared to examine – in depth from the original text – the passages which precede and which follow what may be the most discussed text by SDAs in the entire Bible. Bring your Bible(s), several translations, as well as a note pad. Dr. Cottrell has distilled into this Anomalies presentation the most succinct, the most precise, and the most concise treatise on an understanding of Daniel 8:14 I have ever seen.


@pattigrant is a descendant of Ray Cottrell, and knows a lot of the history, I imagine. She rarely speaks of it, and I don’t want to pressure her.

(George Davidovich) #139

I am not surprised you reject the day-year principle, your position on Daniel 8 requires it, but this methodology, which is consistent in Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation as a teaching and reference device was essentially accepted by virtually all prophecy students until the 19th Century, including all reformers and Sir Isaac Newton.

(André Reis) #140

My exegesis doesn’t “require” it because the text doesn’t but if your method requires it, then you end up seeing it in the text. This is clear example of the power of presuppositions in exegesis.

(Darrel Lindensmith) #141

Andre, you fail to deal with the fact that the year/day principle actually works-historically

For example, In Rev. 2:10 Jesus tells the early church: “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”

The ten days here obviously were fulfilled in the last and greatest (most extinsive) persecution of Early church. From 303AD to 313AD Diocletian perpetrated the attempted the complete decimation of Christianity.

These dates are quite solid as any historian will tell you.

Even if you don’t believe in predictive Prophecy you have to admit that at least the year/day principle was recognized by the early church otherwise this verse would not have historical meaning!

I pray we all do actually believe in predictive prophecy; if not, then our discussion is fruitless!!

(Harry Elliott) #142


  1. The evening/morning sacrifices were suspended, as described.
    2, After 2300 were missed (at two per day) they were resumed, as described. Right there in the Jerusalem temple.
  2. No sacrificing in heaven to suspend. No sacrificing in heaven, to resume.

Sadly, our pioneers invented a rather self-serving distraction from the real mission of all Christians. We should humbly let go of it.