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Seventh-day Adventists Favour Tradition over Scripture
Bible in Song Sermons and Commentaries pages have exposed flaws in the "2300 day" prophecy chart most notably used by Seventh-day Adventists.

Seventh-day Adventists in their biblical interpretation have favored the tradition of their founding fathers over Scripture and the "divine revelation" of their own prophet Ellen White.

The "2300 day" day prophecy of Daniel 8 includes several shorter time prophecies which should fit in and reconcile with the larger time period parameters. The prophetic events of the chart should also be consistent with known historical events and other Scripture. Whilst the "2300 day" chart used by Seventh-day Adventists accommodates the "1260 day" prophecy from 538 to 1798, it does not reconcile with the other shorter prophetic time periods including the "70 weeks" of Daniel 9, the "1290 days" of Daniel 12 and "1335 days" also of Daniel 12.

The "1290 day" and "1335 day" time prophecies of Daniel 12 and how they fit within the "2300 day" time prophecy are well explained in our Sermons and Commentaries pages, particularly in a Sermon on Daniel 12.

Let's briefly have a look at another short prophecy which is part of the longer "2300 day" prophecy. The "70 week" prophecy of Daniel 9 began with the decree of Artaxerxes 1. This prophecy predicted not only the coming of the Messiah at the end of "69 weeks" but that He would be "cut off" or crucified in the midst of the 70th week. The decree of Artaxerxes is generally believed to have occurred in either 458 BC or 457 BC. Since there is no universal agreement we need to examine other evidence.

Scripture tells us that Jesus died on Friday Nisan 14, the day prior to the annual Passover, during the years AD 26-36 during which Pilate governed. Astronomical records tell us that a Friday crucifixion could only have occurred in the years 27 AD, 30 AD and 33 AD. The year 27 AD is generally accepted as too early. According to Wikipedia the majority of modern scholars favour the year 30 AD, whilst the year 33 AD is also popular. The year 30 AD is generally favoured over 33 AD because it accommodates the death of King Herod in 4 BC.

There is also support for a 30 AD crucifixion from the Jewish Talmud and other Scripture passages including Matthew 23:33-36, Matthew 24:2,34, Acts 1:3 and Ezekiel 4:6. In Matthew 23 and 24 Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem which came to pass 40 years after His death and resurrection. Ezekiel 4 predicted the Roman army siege of Jerusalem (which started at Passover in 70AD) and was followed by the complete destruction of the city and slaughter of up one million of its inhabitants.  The two million Jews who survived this calamity were then sold into slavery or exiled from their own land and scattered abroad to all the nations. 

All these texts prophesied that the destruction of Jerusalem (70 AD) would occur 40 years after the iniquity of Judah (murder of the Messiah).

Now only the Seventh-day Adventists and Worldwide Church of God believe in a 31 AD crucifixion. According to astronomical records Nisan 14 in 31 AD occurred on a Wednesday. The Worldwide Church of God tries to get around this by claiming that Christ laid in the tomb for 3 complete 24 hour days before a Sunday resurrection. The Seventh-day Adventists have a lot of difficulty trying to explain a 31 AD crucifixion and end up relying upon  comments made by their prophet Ellen White in her book 'Desire of Ages' (DOA), which conformed to her church's teachings/ traditions on the subject.

Let's have a quick look at the SDA modern prophet Ellen White and how the church developed its "2300 day" prophecy time chart. In its early years the Seventh-day Adventist church believed in an 1843 prophetic chart which was recognized and attested by their prophet Ellen G. White in 1850 in the Present Truth. In her book Early Writings pgs. 74, 75 she wrote "I have seen that the 1843 chart was directed by the hand of the Lord, and that it should not be altered...". Note that these comments were claimed to have been made under "divine inspiration". However after the 1843 disappointment, SDA pioneers reset the date to 1844. The consequence of this was that prophetic events had to be put forward by 1 year, even contrary to historical events.

Initially SDA pioneers tried to fudge some figures to accommodate the "1290 day" and "1335 day" time prophecies of Daniel 12. The fudging of those years was noted but not explained. Then later they totally eliminated the 1335-day and the 1290-day periods from the chart. They simply did not understand what they meant.

It has been noted that some pastors and scholars in the SDA church have also questioned aspects of their church's 1844 chart, but in the end have reasoned, why it must be right because Ellen White said so in her later writings.

So we see from the above that SDAs in their interpretation of the "2300 day prophecy" have placed higher credence on Mrs White's writings than overwhelming Scripture, astronomical and historical evidence. Why? The reason is that they believe her writings are both inspired and authoritative. But is this belief well founded?

In her books 'Great Controversy' (GC) and DOA Mrs White commented that Jesus died in 31 AD and that the 2300 day prophecy ended in 1844. Such comments are inconsistent with her "inspired" comments about the 1843 chart in her book 'Early Writings' (EW). So which comments are we to believe? The simple answer is that not all Mrs White's comments were inspired. Some of her writings were sourced from other authors, which clearly were not inspired. Also Mrs White herself repeatedly rejected suggestions that her writings were on the same inspirational level as the Bible. Therefore to treat all her writings as gospel would be to reject Mrs White. The key is to look at the context of her writings.

A review of Mrs White's comments re the 1843 chart in EW reveal that they focussed on this specific prophetic event and were associated with claims of having been received by vision or divine revelation. This differs from her later comments in GC and DOA (written 50 years later), which are included as asides to a narrative/commentary on other topics such as the life of Christ and which were not associated with similar claims of divine inspiration. These comments were sourced from and/or conformed to the teachings/traditions of her church on this subject. Therefore they should not be held as being inspired or authoritative.

The problem with the SDA church today is twofold. First, it regards Mrs White's writings as inspired and authoritative, which is to reject her for what she claimed to be. Secondly, the church favours the teachings/tradition of its founding fathers above both Scripture and the "divine revelation" of Mrs White.

 


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