Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Marco Belmonte on 1844 Made Simple

Marco Belmonte of offers an article on 1844 Made Simple.

Here are a few paragraphs from his article along with some comments.

"Realizing that the prophecy of the 2300 days is not valid without the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel 9, one can deduce that any interpretation of the 70 weeks that differ from the one in the lesson would nullify the year 1844. With that in mind, let's look at some alternative viewpoints propagated throughout Christianity.One popular idea has been called "The Critical View" named after those who believe the book of Daniel was never actually written by Daniel, but by an anonymous author around the year 164 BC. The students of this view understand the last week of the 70 weeks as pertaining to the years 171 BC to 164 BC. The events described are the murder of the high priest Onias III (171 BC), the destruction of the Jewish temple by Antiochus Epiphanes (167 BC) and the rededicating of the temple by Judas Maccabaeus (164 BC). This is probably the most popular view among Christians finding itself within most Bible commentaries. I have a feeling that The Three Zoroastrians (you know, those three heathen wise men who didn't go to church on Saturday) who made the long journey to Bethlehem for Christ's birth would probably disagree with this view - since in all likely hood - it was the 70 week prophecy they were studying that helped them realize they were living during a special time. Furthermore, the implications that Daniel wasn't written by Daniel, or Dan, Danny or D. Aniel - well - the whole book becomes quite a paradox."

What is described as the Critical View is the common view of the Jewish religion you can read about it from the Jewish Encyclopedia

As I have mentioned earlier in the article Daniel 2, Cyrus and the problem of dating
if our doctrine is so important it seems strange that it has to be based upon accepting one specific dating of the book of Daniel. As was already discussed on this blog (Daniel 6th century vs. 2nd Century debate)there are good reasons each side has for their dating system and they are not simply based upon the idea that God could not predict the future. Most of us have realized that not all of the book of Isaiah was written by Isaiah or that the Psalms were all written by David. Inspiration does not have to depend on the inspiration given to a specific person. All of the gospels are written anonymously and the name attribution can be seen as a way to define the messages with authority that they thought the books should have, such could be the case for Daniel. As such the authority or inspiration is not cancelled if one believes in a later date for the book.

I don't know of any three Zoroastrians that came to Bethlehem. But such intrusion of speculation into the story found in the book of Matthew does not help Marco's case. Where he arrives at the number three is likely as reliable as his calling them Zoroastrians. There is no likely hood of them finding the Messiah from the book of Daniel as they attributed their search to a star, not earlier Hebrew prophecies let alone the book of Daniel.

"Another fashionable view that has become extremely popular as of late is called "The Dispensational View." Almost all Christians who claim to be Evangelicals subscribe to this interpretation of the 70 weeks - the greatest modern proponents being Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye, the co-authors of the Left Behind series. It's true that "Dispensationalism" has many variants, but all of them agree on one thing - that the last week of the 70 weeks is still waiting to happen. They also agree that Jesus Christ, The Cross, the destruction of the temple and the entire history of The Christian Church is after the 69th week. If you like this view and decide that it makes a lot of sense, and are ready to denounce the idea of 1844 and The Heavenly Sanctuary, please remember that this view makes the life of Christ, The Cross and the entire history of Christendom so trivial that it doesn't even get mentioned. Of course, these days, one would rather read books about The Anti-Christ then accept the good news of a God who would wash the feet of Judas."
Indeed this is a popular view as well as the frequently presented view in Christian circles. Though it's elements are not restricted to Dispensationalism. Of course Hal Lindsey is not a co-author of the Left Behind series he was the author of a very popular book "The Late Great Planet Earth". Marco next presents some rather incomprehensible material. He writes: "They also agree that Jesus Christ, The Cross, the destruction of the temple and the entire history of The Christian Church is after the 69th week". While this is true it is also true for the SDA version of the seventy sevens. Which means that his next line makes no sense. "If you like this view and decide that it makes a lot of sense, and are ready to denounce the idea of 1844 and The Heavenly Sanctuary, please remember that this view makes the life of Christ, The Cross and the entire history of Christendom so trivial that it doesn't even get mentioned." If Marco looked at any of the commentaries or specifically at LaHaye he would see that indeed they see the crucifixion within the prophecy of Daniel 9 just as SDA's do. The difference is that after the Messiah is cut off instead of continuing the idea that the Messiah causes the sacrifices to stop, that it is the prince of the people to come that stops the sacrifices and causes the abomination of desolation. What may have confused Marco is that the Dispensational view sees a gap between the 69th and 70th week. So Jesus life death and resurrection as well as the whole Christian dispensation occur in this gap and the 70th week will commence with the rise of the Anti-Christ. The gap idea may seem strange to SDA's but the reasoning is that in the Old Testament there is no differentation between Christ first Advent and His second coming. In fact we have seen this idea presented in our own SDA literature as we frequently show the artwork of the stone that crushes the statue in Daniel 2 as being Christ second coming. For further explanation of the Time Gap Theory in Daniel 9 click here.

The Seventy "Weeks" Prophecy of Daniel 9: A Comparison of
Major Views G.P. Hugenberger
Provides a objective explantion of the various views of the seventy sevens pointing out advantages and disadvantages of each view.

"Finally, there is the perspective which has been called "The Traditional View." This is the view which was most widely accepted by the early Christian church fathers, and it is the view which laid the groundwork for the view expressed in our Lesson Quarterly. Almost all subscribers of this view agree until they get to the last week of the 70 week prophecy where they disagree on just how long the time period is within that week. One could put their trust in this view and still not agree with 1844 but they would be supporting the viewpoint which allows the interpretation of the 2300 days to exist for those who may believe that something significant happened in 1844."

This is not really true but the point that one can combine the seventy sevens with the 2300 assumed days is indeed the only way to arrive at 1844. Though arriving at 1844 is probably not that important unless you have already decided that you want to arrive at 1844. None of the other versions, including the traditional view hold that the 2300 evening and mornings is meant to be cut off from the seventy sevens prophecy. As I started off this series this is just another of the presuppositions needed to come up with the acceptance of the Investigative Judgment.


Alexander said...

Hey Ron,

I know that you're commenting on the SS lesson these days, but thought that you'd appreciate reading this scientific discussion of Crichton's objections to climate change.

Ron Corson said...

Well what a surprise there is debate over the data! Read the Crichton speeches and look at the philosophy behind why he is critical of the global warming proponents, and the sensationalist media. He has never said Global warming is or is not man made. But for the Global warming advocate unless one claims that it is man made they are demonized like was done in the comments section of the link Alexander gave.

Anonymous said...

can 1844 be so simple i have almost ten items on my list of significant spiritual and social implications even though that was well over a hundred years ago it still has major impact on societies globally i grew up as an s.d.a. but no longer subscribe to this as the whole truth and nothing but the truth maybe god showed up, like they all said, but in many forms that humans cant even imagine.