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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and

Discern Fact from Fiction

Other Doctrines; the Jehovah's Witnesses

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#95 & #96: "Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists have produced their own altered versions of the Bible to reflect their aberrant doctrines. Both have set false dates for the return of Jesus Christ, and failed miserably to prophesy correctly."—Leslie Martin.

#95: Both have produced altered versions of the Bible. The version used by the Jehovah's Witnesses is called the New World Translation. In its very title it thus claims to be a version or translation, while The Clear Word's preface distinctly says that it is not such. This charge is therefore false (see #80).

The documentation package under "Point 49" clearly proves that the Watch Tower Society, the organization behind the Jehovah's Witnesses, has produced its own official version. It is the publisher and it holds the copyright. In contrast, "Point 49a" proves that Dr. Blanco's The Clear Word is but a paraphrase, and that he is the publisher and copyright holder, not the church. Therefore, it can't even truthfully be said that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has produced its own paraphrase.

While paraphrases by their very nature interweave interpretations into the text, translations are not supposed to. However, as in the case of the New World Translation, they sometimes do.

#96: Both have set dates for Christ's return. Mrs. Martin would be hard pressed to prove that Seventh-day Adventists have ever set dates for Christ's return, other than a renegade member now and then. Ever since they were organized as a denomination in 1863, they have never predicted a date for the second coming.

So is Mrs. Martin referring to some incident before 1863? Let's examine the historical facts.

In the July 21, 1851, Review Extra, Mrs. White published a vision of the previous September that opposed predicting dates for Christ's return (cf. Early Writings, p. 75), a vision the video itself quoted from under #14. Before even this, in 1845 we have her opposing some first-day Adventists who were setting dates (Early Writings, p. 22; Arthur White, vol. 1, p. 91). That takes us just about back to 1844.

And what about 1844? In January of that year there were no Sabbath-keeping Adventists, all Millerites being Sunday keepers. Sometime between that spring [p. 69] and the end of the year, a single congregation in Washington, New Hampshire, began to keep the Sabbath.

James and Ellen White did not become Sabbatarian Adventists until 1846. So before Ellen White became a Seventh-day Adventist, she was already opposing the setting of dates for the second coming.

It was Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians who predicted the dates of 1843 and October 22, 1844, not Seventh-day Adventists. The group that became the Seventh-day Adventist Church was the group of Millerites which took a firm position against setting any more dates for Christ's coming.

In contrast, Jehovah's Witnesses, or more correctly, the Watchtower Society, set a number of dates from 1914 to 1975. Yet the video is even wrong here. Not one of the Watchtower dates was a prediction of Christ's return. When Barbour convinced Russell that Christ had really come in 1874 after all, it was already 1876, and the Watchtower Society did not yet exist. Likewise, the 1914 date for Christ's coming did not replace 1874 until the early 1930's. So with both the 1874 and the 1914 dates, the Watchtower adopted them as dates for Christ's return after the fact. They were not predictions.

Mrs. Martin wouldn't likely be an expert at Watchtower doctrines, even though the video presents her as such. But the one who wrote the script should be. Lorri MacGregor used to be a Jehovah's Witness, and her ministry is dedicated to disseminating "facts" about Watchtower doctrines.

Under "Point 50," the documentation package is supposed to prove that the Watchtower set dates for Christ's coming. However, it instead proves that they continued to teach as late as 1929 that Christ had come in 1874, thus showing that the Watchtower never predicted Christ's return in 1914. Regarding their predicting Christ's return in 1874, not one pre-1874 publication of the then non-existent Watchtower Society is cited.

A Response to the Video

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