SDA Samuele Bacchiocchi Remembered

Samuele Bacchiocchi


Famed SDA scholar and historian Samuele Bacchiocchi died on December 20, 2008.  On this anniversary of his death, I would like to reflect on some of what he did that influenced my own work and research.

Samuele Bacchiocchi was challenged on the biblical holy days, and even though most Adventists do not observe them, he correctly decided that the Bible taught otherwise.  He also wrote several books about them, which I purchased and have found helpful.

Dr. Bacchiocchi realized that biblical scholarship supported the seventh-day Sabbath, and even was able to receive his doctorate from the the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was awarded a gold medal by Pope Paul VI for his summa cum laude class work and dissertation, “From Sabbath to Sunday: A Historical Investigation of the Rise of Sunday Observance in Early Christianity.”

Samuele Bacchiocchi realized that although many SDAs were observing Christmas, that this would not biblically appropriate.  He correctly observed, “It is a known fact that the pagan feast of the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti – the birthday of the Invincible Sun, was held on that date.”

Samuele Bacchiocchi’s writings helped me better document changes that his church made in regards to its understanding of the Godhead. (The SDAs were once “semi-Arians” but now are almost exclusively trinitarians.)

Samuele Bacchiocchi and I occasionally corresponded through emails.  He encouraged my project on Ignatius and the Sabbath (see Another Look at the Didache, Ignatius, and the Sabbath) and I encouraged him to update the book based upon his dissertation as it had one or more referential issues that needed correction as some where relying on an error he had made (see TPM: Passover on the 14th or 15th?).

Anyway, Dr.  Bacchiocchi was a valuable resource to me and personally he seemed to like me.  Because of him, I also made other contacts within the SDA movement that has helped me with some other research projects.  Samuele Bacchiocchi is still missed, however, a year after his death.

Those interested in some of the differences between the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Living Church of God may wish to check out the following article:

SDA/LCG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The Living Church of God is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White.

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