Date of Award
Master of Arts
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Name of advisor not identified
Statement of the problem
It is the purpose of this study to discover, if possible, the precise meaning assigned in Hebrews 6:19; 10:20 to "the veil" mentioned in each of these verses. This study is made in the belief that this epistle comes to us from the Apostle Paul and that, accordingly, though it may contain "some things hard to be understood," it was written "according to the wisdom given unto him" by God. On this account the investigation has been carried out with confidence in the ultimate possibility of determining (1) whether "the veil" of Hebrews 6:19 refers to the inner veil of the heavenly sanctuary or, as affirmed by the minority group of commentators, to the outer veil of this sanctuary; (2) whether "the veil" in Hebrews 10:20 refers to the flesh of Jesus, as is taught by the majority of commentators, or to the inner veil of the heavenly sanctuary or to the outer veil of this same sanctuary.
Importance of the study
Since this subject is so vitally connected with an understanding of the ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, its importance is apparent to those who appreciate the greater excellence of His ministry as compared with all others. Among Seventh-day Adventists, proof that the veil referred to in Hebrews 6:19 is the outer, rather than the inner veil, of the heavenly sanctuary, is little short of a sine qua non for the defense of their system of doctrine. Certainly, any proof to the contrary would belie their greatest authorities in their doctrinal teaching and constitute an effective thrust at a number of their fundamental "pillars" of faith. This is made clear in the opening paragraphs of an editorial under the title The Vail of the Sanctuary, In this quotation all emphasis is supplied.
Has the heavenly sanctuary but one vail? Did Christ, when he ascended from the earth, enter within that vail into the most holy place? Has he been carrying on the work of cleansing the sanctuary ever since his ascension? Those questions are equivalent to a few others which may be expressed as follows: Did the 2300 days, at the end of which the sanctuary was to be cleansed, end before or at the time of Christ's ascension? Did all prophetic time then end? Have the special movements based on prophetic time, Rev,10:6; 14:6,7, been fulfilled? In short, is all our present system of prophetic interpretation, and the whole advent movement, a farce and deception? If the first three questions can be answered in the affirmative, the rest must be. Nevertheless, regardless of consequences, some contend that there is no vail but that which divides the holy from the most holy place, and that Christ entered the most holy, when he ascended.
The only text urged in favor of this position, is Heb.6:19,20: "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the vail; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec." That this text refers to the entrance of our Lord into the sanctuary above, there is probably no question. And the only thing necessary to be shown to disprove the position above stated, is that the sanctuary has a vail at the entrance of the holy place, as well as the vail which divides between the holy and most holy, so that when Christ ascended and commenced his ministry in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, or holy place, he had then entered within the vail, as Heb.6:19,20, states.2
The following statement, taken, as it is, from one of the most important works of the Seventh-day Adventists' most outstanding writer, shows how closely their doctrine of the sanctuary is tied in with a definite and singular understanding of the phrase "within the veil" as found in Hebrews 6:19,20.
Emphasis supplied. The ministration of the priest throughout the year in the first apartment of the sanctuary, "within the veil" which formed the door and separated the holy place from the outer court, represents the work of ministration upon which Christ entered at His ascension.
Tabernacle--Typology; Bible. Hebrews 6:19--Criticism, Textual
Livingston, John Douglas, "A Critical Study of the Greek Words Translated Veils and an Application to the Book of Hebrews" (1949). Master's Theses. 207.
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