Prophecy Resources

by Jimmy Akin

in Uncategorized

Second_coming_anderson_l A reader writes:

Could you recommend some good materials on understanding prophecy in Scripture? I found myself in a discussion with a Seventh-Day Adventist who is delving into how Daniel and Revelation are both meant clearly for today. 

I'm familiar enough with SDA and their narrative in National Sunday Law to know that they're laser-focused on the Second Coming, but they weave the prophets together in such a complex narrative that it's tough to unweave for them despite the rhetorical errors. 

I pointed out that it's contrived and perhaps egocentric to think the Spirit would give prophecies to 3rd century BC Jews that would only become relevant for 19th century Americans, but he just throws more Scripture at me and then links to yet another retelling of the National Sunday Law. So I need to speak in their language in order to proceed.

The point you make contains a great deal of validity regarding when in history most biblical prophecy refers to. Though there certainly are parts that refer to the distant future from the viewpoint of the original audience, most of it–at least on the literal level–was meant to have its primary application either to their own day or within a generation or two of their own day. Unless the nature of a particular passage shows otherwise, the default assumption should be that the primary fulfillment was ancient.

This is not to say that prophecies can't have secondary fulfillments. They can, and many may have secondary fulfillments close to the end of time, but normally the primary fulfillment happened near the time of the ancient audience–because that was usually the driving force in biblical prophecy: Helping people know how to live in their own day (turn away from those idols! stop oppressing the poor and the widow and the orphan!) and how to deal with calamities that could result (the Babylonians are going to kick your behinds if you fight them! here's how you should do instead!).

In terms of where to read more, I can suggest several things I've written: HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Though not dealing with Adventism specifically, these do offer the framework of a Catholic way of viewing the issue (there is lots of room for other opinion, though).

Regarding Seventh-Day Adventism and how to respond to it, you can find more information HERE.

Hope this helps!

(NOTE: Image Source.)

If you liked this post, you should join Jimmy's Secret Information Club to get more great info!

What is the Secret Information Club?I value your email privacy


Chris February 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Although I’m not at all be able to readily give quotes or any kind of decent counter-argument, the Church Fathers would be a really good resource to check out also. I’m positive that they’d have some really good exposition because for them, prophecy was the name of the game – having to show that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah from the old scriptures, etc – and because they were so excellent at that work, they also wrote a ton about eschatological prophecies.
But they’re a central part of Catholicism and the Magisterium! Their arguments aren’t acceptable grounds for debate with Adventists? Try pointing out the fact that these earliest Bishops and Church Fathers were the absolute authorities on establishing Inspired writings and are solely responsible for the same scriptures that Adventists use.
The wisdom of these Church Fathers thunders through the ages.

Joe February 26, 2010 at 5:24 am

A book suggestion: Dave Currie’s “Rapture.” It is not focused on SDA, but it picks over the visions in Daniel and Revelation first from a rapturist point of view, and then from a Catholic perspective. Because of the thorough approach, the reader can feel a bit bogged-down: it is NOT light reading. But it may help to sort things out.

Paul H February 26, 2010 at 6:54 am

This isn’t specifically about prophecy, but I have several links to articles on Seventh Day Adventism on my web site, here.

Vince C February 26, 2010 at 7:03 am

Undoubtedly, the BEST overall Catholic resource by far I have ever seen on this topic is Steve Wood’s ‘Introduction To Biblical Prophecy” found here:

Dan Cheely February 26, 2010 at 11:09 am

For one thing, their cofounding prophetess, Ellen G. White, has been wrong about many things many times — her prophecies didn’t come true, so much for their interpretations.
Secondly, try to contact David Currie. RIGHT NOW he is finishing an entire book on Daniel, which should be published before the end of the year.
He is a convert to Catholicism himself, and understands the evangelical mentality perfectly. He is also 100% orthodox Catholic now.

wayne February 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Why do people suggest that catholic writers are the best sorce of info? At least concerning spirital matters. For me, im not gonna believe one word from a person who bows befor idols made by human hands.

The Sarge February 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Don’t you feel better now, having expressed your ignorance, Wayne?

Vince C February 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Wayne, Wayne, Wayne — If that’s what passes for intelligent informed and Christian discourse from you, you are a sad, strange, little man and you have my pity and my prayers.

bill February 26, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Oh Wayne. And yet some bow to the “woman-made” writings of the SDA prophetess Ellen White.

David B. February 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Do you keep pictures of your loved ones? Why don’t you destroy them? Isn’t it true that, while you do not worship representations of your loved ones, that you cherish and respect their photographs nonetheless? Catholics have statues of the saints not because they worship stone, but because it is good to revere those who glorified God on Earth and to wish to be reminded of their example.

David F. Coady February 27, 2010 at 4:50 am

Scott Hahn’s “The Lamb’s Supper.”

Armando February 27, 2010 at 11:22 am

For Catholice – Adventist dialogue try

Watchman February 27, 2010 at 8:27 pm

My idols were made by bonobos, thankyouverymuch!

Linus, K.C., Ks February 28, 2010 at 7:51 am

I always regarded ” prophecy ” of the end times as entertainment. It is much more fun than most of the stuff on T.V. But remember the Three Wise Men did follow a star! And haven’t we had more than enough of wars and rumors of war in our time, even within the last decade or so, and haven’t we had our share of natural disasters – Katrina, Indonesia, Haiti, and now Chile!! Wow! The point is you can be struck down at any time by unforseen events, accidents, freaks of nature, or by some idiot who fired rifle into the air on the 4Th unmindful of where the slug will come down!! Does it really matter if you see the Main Event in your life time? Your Main Event is all that matters.

TeaPot562 February 28, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Linus, Matthew’s gospel simply says “wise men” or “astrologers”. It does NOT say THREE. We moderns assume three, partly because the fact that three gifts are mentioned (Gold, Frankincense and Myrhh) and partly because we have traditional names of Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. BTW, I still have trouble with the cathedral at Cologne claiming relics of “the three kings”. How could anyone know, after they returned to their home countries, and after their deaths, that they WERE the wise men who had taken the gifts to the newborn babe in Bethlehem? Perhaps a visionary, confirmed by one or more miracles.

Gerry February 28, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Amen, Linus! I remember sermons from our parish priest many years ago on this subject. His point was the same as yours: That our end of the world comes with our last breath, and that that is what we should prepare for.

Previous post:

Next post: