How Healthy is Adventist Hermeneutics? The Hypertrophy of the Interpreting Church (Part 5)

A user with a method of understanding (hermeneutic?) that sees someone suggesting the opposing viewpoint as “ad hominem”, who himself has publicly, from the pulpit, called we spectrumites names is so much like the kettle/black scenario.
A user that interprets (again, flawed hermeneutic) the salient GC actions and the policy manual, as well all their lawerly doublespeak constitutes “biblical justification” for ongoing gender discrimination and as settled doctrine, lawful, moral even, and that persists in whataboutism to continue his judgmental namecalling usurpation of perceived moral highground has lost both logic and love.

The spiritual shellgame must end-it misrepresents God, his character, and governance. And despite said commenter attesting repeatedly that he is not against WO per se, and would honor church legislation affirming it has lost any claim to balance. His bias is like a great big freudian slip, and his knotted knickers are waving flaglike.

I’d suggest even further that this very well exposed scenario represents the very mindset that has resulted in our present corrosive faith community environment which Hans has highlighted in the article. Perhaps we ought petition the GC to change the name to “hismeneutic”, you know, just for congruity.

I say, well, done. .


Years ago, soon after Glacier View, the Review carried an editorial commenting on a meeting the editor had attended in which he was critical because all the discussion was about “”mere justification”.I wrote a letter in protest in which the message was that one could not look at the Cross and comment “Mere”.I got no reply. The problem as I observe is that Official Adventism still stresses Sanctification and applauds the Last Generation theology which has no Biblical foundation.


Perhaps Truth, real and meaningful truth, is hid in the stories.
And those imperative “thus saiths” are of men, as they may have mistakenly interpreted the stories.

Either that, or “the little child” who can lead us has his hermeneutics on steroids.

Stories always can have hidden meanings, or a number of hidden lessons
that can be ferreted out, parsed out especially in a group setting.
Sometimes the same story told is not heard in the same way by the receiver.


Hi Hans,

Re. How Healthy is Adventist Hermeneutics?

The simple answer appears to be revealed below as none of our leaders are willing to confirm which of the following applications of Dan. 8:9-11, applies to Daniel 8:9-14, and consequently, to Fundamental Belief 24, the Foundation Doctrine of the SDA Church.

  1. 1844-1980. The generally accepted SDA interpretation considered Daniel 8:9-11 applied to the pagan phase of the Roman Empire, the crucifixion of Christ, and the destruction of the earthly temple. The identity of the daily remained for a better day.

  2. 1980-2002. The generally accepted SDA interpretation applied Daniel 8:9 to pagan Rome’s horizontal attack on earth. Verses 10-11 applied to the Papacy’s vertical attack in heaven. The daily applied to Christ’s ministry that was taken away by the Papacy.

  3. 2002-2019. The current SDA interpretation applies Daniel 8:9-11 to the actions of the Papacy only. As it is considered Rome is not present in chapter 8, it is said a Papal host has entered heaven, overthrown the heavenly host, killed some of the people there, and currently controls the ministry in the MHP.

If we are the “People of the Book,” why can’t we get a clear answer from the Book? Could it be Adventist Hermeneutics!


By your own parameters, this sounds so “ad hominem” to me… :anguished::anguished: :thinking: :disappointed:


I believe he @ajshep wouldn’t dare to call his parishioners “fools.” This is what he called all of us who see some issues differently from him (on video on YouTube). And his latest tactic has been to accuse us (who disagree with him) of posting ad hominem comments targeting him when we express our opinions that he doesn’t agree with.

Go figure!


Being so much immersed in “the boox” (the red books) often prevents people from understanding what is actually in “the Book.”


You hit the nail on the head Ranald11. This issue has always bothered me. The leadership’s inability to answer the question tells me that they just don’t know. I’ll give you my two cents for what their worth.

The little horn of Daniel 8:9-11 comes out of one of the Hellenistic kingdoms that emerged after Alexander’s death. It is my belief that the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt is the correct kingdom and the Decree of Canopus is the source of the little horn.

The little horn is the leap year day of the 365 1/4 day year.

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As much as I enjoy reading this author’s articles, I have to still ask the question that never seems to get answered: what alternative is being offered for our consideration? Is there a theological perspective out there that was produced using a healthier hermeneutic that we should consider? Or is the author himself working on one?

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Hi George,

Have you ever wondered why we as a church, continue to prefer traditional dates as opposed to historical dates when it comes to the rise and fall of the Roman Empire in Daniel 2, 7 and 8. Or why we have discarded the SOP counsel regarding the identity, and application, of the four clay symbols of Daniel, cf. 2:33, 41-43.

I agree we should place the “Book” first, however I propose we take a bold step, and are on “shaky ground” when we reject a latter prophet’s counsel regarding the interpretation of a former prophet’s prophecy, cf. the counsel regarding the symbols of “iron” and “clay” in Daniel 2:33, 41-44, cf. 4BC 1168.

The Pioneers did a wonderful job at the time, in establishing the foundational truth of the SDA Church, FB 24, also the foundation of our faith. However truth is progressive, and if we are wise, we will progress with it.

Hi David,

If this is the case, wouldn’t this LH be a bronze horn as opposed to an iron or clay horn?

cf. my response to George.

I’m not sure I understand your question. Greece is the bronze kingdom and the little horn comes out of one of the Grecian (bronze) kingdoms.

Dan. 8:21-22 And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king. 22 As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.

What is your view of the ch. 8 little horn? I get the impression you equate the ch. 8 little horn with the ch. 7 little horn (lots of little horns to keep track of). The ch. 7 little horn is clearly Roman, not Grecian.

I don’t think it’s wise to accept EGW’s interpretation of a former prophet’s prophecy when her interpretation contradicts the biblical interpretation of that former prophet’s prophecy.


The devil is always in the “however,” isn’t it?..
My favorite doctrine has always been the “Shut Door Doctrine,” actually supported by a vision (the Camden Vision).
:wink: :wink:

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Hi David,

“Greece is the bronze kingdom and the little horn comes out of one of the Grecian (bronze) kingdoms.”

If the LH arose out of one of the Greek kingdoms, then we would have 5, not 4, kingdoms that “stood up in his place.” However I believe you are correct when you say the LH of 8:9 is Rome. This fits with this power “coming” (from the west) to overthrow the Greek kingdoms.

The long held position of the Pioneers, historians such as Gibbon, and the SOP, is that the iron and the clay symbols represent political and religious kingdoms.

When this position is applied In Dan. 2 we find there is a consistent repeat and expansion in Dan. 7 and 8 that reveals the LH of 7:8 represents the Papacy, a clay kingdom and the LH of 8:9 represents the Roman Empire, the iron kingdom that eventually overthrew Greece.

As both kingdoms, Rome and the Papacy, were small in the beginning before becoming great, it is logical there are two “little horns” in Dan. 7 and 8 that apply to these two very different kingdoms.

When this position is applied to Dan. 2:43, we have the first union of church and state, represented by the symbol of “iron mixed with miry clay,” in 538 A.D. when the Roman Emperor, Justinian, declared the Papacy to be the head of all the churches in Eastern and western Rome.

cf. the following differences
Rome arose approximately 500 years before the Papacy.
History reveals the Roman Empire did not fall in 476 A.D.
History reveals Rome and the Papacy ruled concurrently from 538 A.D to 1453 A.D. (The Eastern division of the Roman Empire continued until it was finally overthrown by the Ottoman Turks in 1453).

They’ve been trying to shut that darn back door for awhile now but nothing seems to be working.

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“… what alternative is being offered for our consideration? Is there a theological perspective out there that was produced using a healthier hermeneutic that we should consider? Or is the author himself working on one?”

It is typically easier to point out a problem then to create a solution, but recognizing there is a problem is at least a start. The article resonated with me because I’ve been coming to a similar conclusion but from a different direction and for different reasons. But to partially respond to your question, I think it starts with each of us reassessing how we really read the Bible. Alden Thompson’s book “Inspiration” suggests a very fundamental starting point; reading the Bible as “Case Studies” instead of a “Code Book”.

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Daniel and Revelation –
Instead of looking at Beasts=Kingdoms, and Images=Kingdoms and trying to
establish dates for their transitions from one to another perhaps we should look at
Beasts and Images=Empires, bad, evil Empires [even the U.S.].
Instead look at how the children of the Heaven Kingdom, God’s Kingdom should
live peaceably in the evil Empire and promote God’s Kingdom in the Evil Empire.
All the Beasts and Images tell us is that one Evil Empire is traded for another Evil
So does all this Date Setting ACTUALLY, REALLY matter?

Perhaps in Burundi Christians need to live “wise as serpents, harmless as doves.”
This information and lifestyle does not always come easy.

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The following are my views. You may have to read it a couple of times. Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the horns, the kings, and the toes. I’ve tried to be as clear as I can. Feel free to accept or reject (I won’t be offended). You will notice that I’ve left out the identity of the Daniel 7 little horn. I did that on purpose.

Daniel doesn’t classify the little horn as a kingdom with the 4. It does clearly state though that the little horn comes out of one of the 4 kingdoms, i.e. one of the 4 kingdoms is the origin of the little horn. You haven’t identified that kingdom (and neither has the SDA leadership).

Dan. 8:8-9 …in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven. 9 And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land

Okay. Although I didn’t actually say what you said I said (little horn is Rome) I can agree with you to a point. The leap year scheme that was formulated in the Canopus decree is the basis of the Roman calendar. So yes we see it coming from the west under the guise of Rome. Rome actually annexed the Ptolemaic kingdom. Caesar had a thing with Cleopatra and it was through her and Sosigenes that he learned of the leap year scheme.

I disagree with them (not sure if Gibbon even believed the book of Daniel). The ten toes partly of clay and partly of iron simply represent the various nations of Europe. Some were strong like England, France, Spain, Germany, and some were not. People may argue that there were more than ten nations in Europe. The point is, the ten toes represent a multiple of nations, some strong, some not. (the toes are not the ten horns of Dan. 7)

Dan. 2:42 And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.

I would agree that Dan. 7 is an expansion of Dan. 2 but the actors are different.

*The ten horns of Dan. 7 are not the ten toes of Dan. 2.

*The ten toes of Dan. 2 are the same as the ten horns/kings of Revelation 13 and 17.

*The seven horns of Dan. 7 that remain after the little horn uprooted the three, are the seven heads of the beast of Revelation 13.

*The little horn of 7:8 is the false prophet of Revelation (not the papacy).

I agree that the little horn of Dan. 8 can be thought of as Rome if your concept of Rome includes the Roman calendar with its leap year day (which originated in the kingdom of Ptolemy). Caesar’s calendar was the means by which Rome governed the world. The pope takes the title of Pontifex Maximus (as did Caesar and Constantine). The Pontifex Maximus ( as the pagan high priest of Rome is the manager and protector of the Roman Calendar. It was by virtue of that position that pope Gregory reformed the Roman Calendar in 1582.

I strongly disagree with your position (as well as the “pioneers” and EGW) that the papacy is the little horn of Dan. 7.

The only thing 538 has going for it is its proximity to the date of Dionysius’ Anno Domini invention and the Easter computus.

EGW refers to the Rev. 13 beast as the papacy and claims it received its deadly wound in 1798 at the end of the 1260 years with the pope’s capture. The prophecy of Revelation 13 clearly states that the beast received the wound sometime before the 1260 years even started. It was the healing of the wound that caused the people to marvel and follow after the beast. The healing of the wound occurred at the start of the 1260 year period.

13 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast… and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. (1260 days)

I’ll take John’s word over EGW any day of the week!

It was the killing of the two witnesses that signaled the end of the 1260 years. 1798 fails miserably.

The timing of the wound isn’t the only instance where EGW contradicted a New Testament writer/prophet. See EGW’s interpretation of Matthew:

EGW: "By taking upon Himself man’s nature in its fallen condition Christ did not in the least participate in its sin. He was subject to the infirmities and weaknesses of the flesh with which humanity is encompassed, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” [Matthew 8:17]. 17MR 25.5

You can clearly see that she quotes Matthew 8:17 to support a particular view of Christ that was frequently emphasized in the early days of the SDA church.

Matthew says Christ’s healing ministry was the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:4. Matthew never said what Ellen White tried to make him say, that Christ “taking our infirmities and bearing our sicknesses” was Him taking our fallen human nature.

Matt. 8:16 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

“He Himself took our infirmities
And bore our sicknesses.”

I’ll take Matthew’s word over EGW any day of the week!

EGW along with A.T. Jones were both guilty of formulating doctrine (on the human nature of Christ) from scriptures that were never intended for that purpose.

EGW, in my view, is highly over rated. I would never go so far as to say she is the spirit of prophecy (SOP) referred to in Revelation 19:10:

"I am …of your brethren who have … the spirit of prophecy.”

That would be intellectually dishonest IMO.


Daniel image feet and toes.
I never heard the Iron and Clay mix being Political and Religious.
I always saw Iron as strong kingdoms, Clay as weak and fragile kingdoms.