The Role of Biblical Hermeneutics in Preserving Unity in the Church

icon_role_of_biblical_hermeneuticsRaymond F. Cottrell has written a presentation called “The Role of Biblical Hermeneutics in Preserving Unity in the Church”. In it he covers an entire history within the Seventh-day Adventist church, of how this method of hermeneutics called the “historical method” came to be known and used by 90% of our teaching Bible scholars and theologians from 1940-1960 and onward to the present day. His attempt is to show how unity can only be archived by a correct hermeneutic, by having trained Bible scholars to be guides to those who do not have such training. This history will open before the minds and eyes of every faithful Seventh-day Adventist where we have been and where we are going in our understanding of the place to which we have been called, and why there are a myriad of voices today speaking to us with every wind of doctrine. This study by Raymond F. Cottrell lays open a vast amount of information which is totally unknown to the majority of Seventh-day Adventist. It is a must read! With the use of this system of Bible interpretation, Raymond F. Cottrell with the help of others in the Bible Research Fellowship would eventually write and publish the commentary set (Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary) for the church. Also he would be the behind the scenes actor in writing the Questions on Doctrine, and he using the “historical method” would rewrite the Bible Readings for the Home Circle, all of these projects were done in the 1955-1957 time period. Later, using this same system, the “historical method”, he would write an eschatology of the book of Daniel (some 100 pages) that was never published. In it he completely rewrites the truths that have been believed and taught by the Seventh-day Adventist church for more than 160 years. This history is unknown to most of us including to those who have been in the church for many decades. Two generations have been influenced by this system of Bible interpretation. The church because of this is fast asleep in the face of the soon to be enacted Sunday Law. It is time to wake up! – Duane Dewey

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