Revelation: Our Options for Interpretation

(George Davidovich) #61

Agreed, I accept your additional clarification, but you still should have added “divine inspiration” in your list of advances, that is what I meant to say, and it is this specific component (yes, EGW) that has made the most dramatic advances on divine light on prophecy since the Reformation.


Isn’t it interesting though that the one given such “divine inspiration” for “the pillar” of SDA doctrine was Mr. Edson walking through a cornfield and not EGW?

(Phil van der Klift) #63

Hi George

I was replying to your suggestion that Dr Ford was being inconsistent. If you believe that not everything that Ellen White wrote was definitive truth, then Dr Ford was not being inconsistent as you claimed. Rather, Dr Ford was holding to that which has continued to be evidenced as truth while at the same time updating that which has since shown to have been (unintentional) error. No inconsistency at all.

Dr Ford is one of the most methodical seekers of truth that I know of.

(reliquum) #64

**Perhaps not even the brothers Stefanovic, @GeorgeTichy **

(Frankmer7) #65

It seems that you’re saying that EGW is responsible for the Adventist understanding of biblical prophecy, George. That makes Adventist doctrine and belief dependent upon her, and not solely on biblical study and interpretation. There are real problems with this:

Firstly, the denomination doesn’t even make those claims, even though many within it often operate that way on a practical level. Secondly, this makes her “divine inspiration” the last word. Thirdly, this ignores the gulf of biblical knowledge and understanding between her day, and today…as if theology, biblical interpretation, and prophetic understanding, are frozen after the 19th c.

With this in place, no conclusions could ever be reached that vary from what she said. It’s a totally closed, and logically fallacious system. It also relieves us of the responsibility of grappling with the text for ourselves to see what it says. It’s already been settled. That’s not the call of authentic biblical interpretation.



(Tim Teichman) #66

Well put! Adventists like to use the phrase “Present Truth” but if you try to share preset understandings from biblical scholarship - or science - you’re apt to be shut down as a heretic, or at least have your ideas ignored or derided.

Present Truth seems to mean some version of what was present in the 19th century.

(George Davidovich) #67

Frank, (and @Phil1)
Why are you and others n this forum always finnding statements that were not written, or meaning that does not exist? I fnd that very unusual and frankly, not worth pursuing.

(Phil van der Klift) #68

With respect George, if you make broad, sweeping statements without qualification or sufficient substantiation (including casting aspersions on the scholarly integrity of other persons), then you leave readers guessing and inquiring as to the assumptions you are working from.

If you want forum participants to stop “always” doing this, you will need to be more specific and state where you are coming from at the outset in your writing. And you will need to be willing to engage with other writers in the process of successive clarification of communication. There is nothing unusual about such processes in ‘academic’ forums.

I notice that you engage in the very same process yourself that you are upset about others using in regard to your writing. I quote an earlier exchange in this present topic between yourself and George T below:


I am only saying that I never saw two people agreeing on all the interpretation details about Daniel & Revelation.


150 years, as time goes on…history unfolds. We can’t possibly keep saying the same thing over and over…as we see other things happening. Like the second beast can’t possibly be the USA. Not if you actually read the passage and look at history.

(George Davidovich) #70

I mean no disrepect but on this topic it is not about making broad statements but about presuming those that are not there at all; you went from assuming that my statement about Ford’s apotelesmatic pricinple was saying something about EGW (see below)

To presuming exactly the opposite, when I indicated to you I was not refenrecing her,

…to accusing me of slanderingDesmond Ford (see refence above) when I said his positionn was unusual or inconsistent for a scholar. You probably have not been in this forun long enough to know that although I disagree with his position, I have publicly and recently (<year) stated my opinion about him in this very forum as saying I believe he is a true and sincere Christian and that I expect to see him in Heaven (assuming I will make it there). Excuse the typos, using a phone’s keyboard is challenging

(Steve Mga) #71

Paul62 –
Besides Hiram and the cornfield.
We have O.R. L Crosier in the DayStar Extra, I believe 1846.
Have you ever READ THAT ONE???
Was an Adventist, but NOT a Seventh day Adventist publication.

(Frankmer7) #72

No, George…not if he finds the former to be biblical and the latter not to be. He disagreed with EGW on the IJ on biblical grounds.

This is also why I don’t find Phil’s question to you to contain unwarranted assumption. Your above statement implies that EGW couldn’t have been wrong about this, and that Ford had to be. What if Ford was the one who actually interpreted the Bible more accurately regarding this? Do you hold that out as a possibility? If so, great. Then an unwarranted assumption has been made. If not, then the next logical step is that EGW, in your view, is an infallible interpreter of Scripture. You’ve left open that possible conclusion by your language.


(Patrick Travis) #73

George, it seems you are saying she has new inspiration and new light. So…it Is objective to say she is the foundation for “present truth” understanding of Daniel & Revelation for SDA’s. Everything she said was not wrong…or correct. Just human…

(Phil van der Klift) #74

Thank you kindly for your response.

(Leandro) #75

You’re right. We must be careful not to add to the list of wrong interpretations that we had because we claimed to have the spirit of prophesy since EGW’s time. What kind of spirit do we have that told us there was an investigative judgment going on from 1844 up to the present? What kind of spirit told EGW that there was an amalgation of man and beast before and after the flood? What kind of spirit told Mrs White that England will attack the U.S. during the civil war? Maybe we are lying that we have the spirit of prophesy and if we rectify any in our docrines, it will only prove that we don’t have the spirit of prophesy from the beginning.


My eyes have been opened to alternative readings of the Apocalypse at least three times. I was raised within the SDA fold, and so believed at 20 that the correct interpretation lay somewhere between Ellen White’s, Uriah Smith’s, and Louis Were’s views. Then in my twenties I read Mattias Rissi’s “The Future of the World” and my eyes were dramatically opened to a new way to read it. In my 30’s I read R.H. Charles Critical Commentary for the first time and began to see the writing in a reconstructed, originary context. Within a decade or two I had read 20 more commentaries, including Adela Yarbro Collins’s “Crisis and Catharsis,” (1984) a sophisticated, ethical reading, and her later “The Combat Myth in the Book of Revelation” (2001).
I doubt if I could compose my current views to satisfy Dave Larson’s five points, but thanks to these and other scholars I am intellectually satisfied that the Apocalypse well deserves its place in Christian thought.
Its just not the book I grew up with anymore.

(George Tichy) #77

I hope everyone, please, understands that there are now TWO George here. And that I am not the other one… LOL :roll_eyes: :laughing:

(Thomas J Zwemer) #78

I have found Dennis E Johnson’s book the Triumph of the Lamb the best commentary on Revelation. I found his use of Idealism the best way to understand the the players in the conflict of the ages.

(Cfowler) #79

That looks good, Tom.

I’m not familiar with him, but in looking on Amazon, I came across his book, “Walking with Jesus Through His Word: Discovering Christ in All the Scriptures”.

Have you read this one as well?

(Patrick Travis) #80

George, I think I responded to the other George that doesn’t contain your lovely face. :slight_smile: