2.0 Historical Overview

The pioneer reformer of the “Great Advent Awakening,” William Miller, interpreted the time prophecies of Dn. 8:14 and Dn. 12:11 by connecting the “daily” (or the continuance) of Daniel with the restrainer in Paul’s second epistle to the Thessalonians.(2) Miller’s interpretation of the “daily” in Dn. 12:11-12 was based on the hermeneutical principle of analogy of scripture,(3) comparing Daniel with 2 Thess. 2:7. He identified the man of lawlessness as papal Rome, while the restraining power in the development of the papacy was interpreted as paganism. Through analogous reasoning Miller concluded that the “daily” also signified paganism which gave way to papal Rome. The daily was interpreted as the “daily abomination” or the first abomination and was represented as paganism in general, or Rome more specifically. The “abomination that makes desolate” was identified as papal Rome. Thus in Dn. 12:11, the Roman empire would be taken away and papal Rome would be set up.(4)

Following the great disappointment, the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism including Joseph Bates, James White, J. N. Andrews, Uriah Smith, J. N. Loughborough and S. N. Haskell among others embraced Miller’s identification of the “daily” as pagan Rome whose sanctuary (the city of Rome) was inherited by the papacy. This connected view of the “daily” in Dn. 8:11-13; 11:31; 12:11 with 2 Thess. 2:7 was theologically part of Adventist heritage up until 1900.

Then L. R. Conradi in Germany reinterpreted the “daily” as referring to the true sanctuary service and Christ’s High Priestly ministry in heaven. Conradi believed the papacy took away Christ’s priestly ministry by substituting the mass and a system of human priesthood in which the pope had assumed the position of Jesus. This so-called “new view” of the daily was not new at all, but was taught and held in principle by many of the leading Protestant reformers.(5) In reality what many considered new light was the view embraced by William Miller and the pioneers which leads to the fundamental and foundational pillar of Seventh-day Adventism, the sanctuary doctrine. However, by 1919 many prominent church leaders, including A. G. Daniells and W. W. Prescott, accepted Conradi’s view of the “daily”.

Conradi and some others who endorsed his view of the “daily” later apostatized by gradually adopting divergent views concerning the heavenly sanctuary, rejecting the inspiration of E. G. White having opposed the message of Christ’s righteousness by faith at the 1888 General Conference. This opposition extended to Ellen White’s unequivocal endorsement of the message. Conradi later adopted the evangelical concept that Luther had heralded the three angels’ messages.(6)

Implications of Conradi’s New View. Desmond Ford was Adventism’s most notable scholar to have followed Conradi’s view of the “daily” resulting in his ultimate rejection of the sanctuary doctrine as the central pillar of the SDA church. Ford’s scholarly arguments swept away numerous Adventist ministers and bright lights. Largely in an effort to stem the tide of this rejection and to justify Conradi’s new view of the daily as Christ’s High Priestly ministry, a theological counter-attack was initiated. Some of Adventism’s foremost theologians and scholars under the auspices of the Biblical Research Institute published monumental works supporting the historical view of the sanctuary.(7) These efforts have resulted in significant and beneficial achievements; however, the exhaustive exegesis of Dn. 8:9-14 has left unresolved certain linguistic and contextual difficulties regarding the new view of the “daily” in Daniel.

2) “The Daily,” Midnight Cry, Vol.5, No. 7, p. 52-53, Oct. 5, 1843.
3) P. G. Damsteegt, Foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Message and Mission, Berrien Springs: Andrews University Press, p. 38, 1977.
4) Ibid., pp. 38, 39.
5) R. W. Schwarz, Light Bearers to the Remnant, Boise: Pacific Press, pp. 397-399, 1979.
6) Ibid., p. 475.
7) F. B. Holbrook, Ed., Symposium of Daniel, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series, Vol. 2, Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Washington, DC, 1986. (See also Volumes 1, 3-6.)


<= Previous Return to Main Menu Next =>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *