Event Title

The Revised Version in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald: 1881–1891

Location

Seminary N335

Start Date

9-2-2018 9:30 AM

End Date

9-2-2018 10:00 AM

Description

Bible translations and “King James Version-Onlyism” have remained controversial subjects in some circles of the Seventh-day Adventist church today. This paper seeks to bring new evidence to this discussion by examining the attitudes of Seventh-day Adventists writing for the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald between 1881 and 1891 during the decade that the Revised Version (RV) was first released. The purpose of this study was to determine how these Adventist writers responded to the release of a new Bible and whether they viewed the new translation as helping or hindering Seventh-day Adventist theology. All issues of the Review released between 1881 and 1891 were individually searched for the words “translation,” “revised,” and “version.” From the resulting pool of references the most substantial and specific discussions of the RV were selected and presented to demonstrate the various perspectives of Adventists writing for the Review during this decade. This study identified five major patterns in the data drawn from these Adventist sources. First, these Adventist authors saw the RV and KJV as being in doctrinal harmony in terms of the ideas expressed, even if the individual words employed differed between translations. These authors very definitely rejected the notion of verbal inspiration of the English Bible. Second, the RV was viewed as bringing greater support and clarity to a number of important Adventist doctrines, such as the doctrine of hell and the state of the dead. Third, the KJV was not viewed as being replaced by the RV, and was viewed as an important part of Adventist biblical studies. Fourth, there was greater acceptance and use of the RV with time. Finally, there is no evidence in the Review at this time that Adventist writers believed that the RV was the product of a conspiracy or that it presented any sort of threat toward Adventist theology. From these patterns, the paper draws two conclusions. First, a number of influential Adventist authors made use of the RV; the majority of articles from this decade demonstrate that the translation was viewed positively as a useful tool for Adventist believers. Second, although these writers had thoughtful criticisms of the RV translation, these were primarily directed toward awkward or difficult translations of a select few individual texts rather than at the translation as a whole. There is no evidence of the kind of animosity toward the RV that developed later in Adventism. In summary, this research helps to establish an important datapoint in Adventist history, suggesting that the historical attitude of early Adventists was one of openness toward new translations.

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Feb 9th, 9:30 AM Feb 9th, 10:00 AM

The Revised Version in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald: 1881–1891

Seminary N335

Bible translations and “King James Version-Onlyism” have remained controversial subjects in some circles of the Seventh-day Adventist church today. This paper seeks to bring new evidence to this discussion by examining the attitudes of Seventh-day Adventists writing for the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald between 1881 and 1891 during the decade that the Revised Version (RV) was first released. The purpose of this study was to determine how these Adventist writers responded to the release of a new Bible and whether they viewed the new translation as helping or hindering Seventh-day Adventist theology. All issues of the Review released between 1881 and 1891 were individually searched for the words “translation,” “revised,” and “version.” From the resulting pool of references the most substantial and specific discussions of the RV were selected and presented to demonstrate the various perspectives of Adventists writing for the Review during this decade. This study identified five major patterns in the data drawn from these Adventist sources. First, these Adventist authors saw the RV and KJV as being in doctrinal harmony in terms of the ideas expressed, even if the individual words employed differed between translations. These authors very definitely rejected the notion of verbal inspiration of the English Bible. Second, the RV was viewed as bringing greater support and clarity to a number of important Adventist doctrines, such as the doctrine of hell and the state of the dead. Third, the KJV was not viewed as being replaced by the RV, and was viewed as an important part of Adventist biblical studies. Fourth, there was greater acceptance and use of the RV with time. Finally, there is no evidence in the Review at this time that Adventist writers believed that the RV was the product of a conspiracy or that it presented any sort of threat toward Adventist theology. From these patterns, the paper draws two conclusions. First, a number of influential Adventist authors made use of the RV; the majority of articles from this decade demonstrate that the translation was viewed positively as a useful tool for Adventist believers. Second, although these writers had thoughtful criticisms of the RV translation, these were primarily directed toward awkward or difficult translations of a select few individual texts rather than at the translation as a whole. There is no evidence of the kind of animosity toward the RV that developed later in Adventism. In summary, this research helps to establish an important datapoint in Adventist history, suggesting that the historical attitude of early Adventists was one of openness toward new translations.