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By George R. Knight

Theological background of the 7th day adventist church

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12), Miller developed a well-thought-out set of rules for interpreting Scripture. His rules divide into two sec­ tions. The first five rules deal with general principles of inter­ pretation for the entire Bible, while the last nine deal more specifically with interpreting the prophetic writings of the Bible. Central to Miller’s general principles of Bible interpretation was the idea that “all scripture is necessary” and that we should bypass no part of the Bible in the search for truth. Beyond that, he had a firm belief that God would assuredly reveal His will to those who diligently studied His Word with an attitude of faith.

Other passages that especially shaped his understanding were Christ’s great sermon on His second advent found in Matthew 24 and 25 and the judgment hour message of the first angel of Revelation 14:6, 7. Beyond a general interest in Matthew 24 and 25, Miller and his followers found the parable of the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1-13) to be particularly helpful in 45 A S e a r c h f or I d e n t i t y understanding their last-day mission. ” Historicizing the parable, they read it as a prophecy of the preaching of the Second Coming in their own time.

51 A Se a r c h for I de n t i t y The new understanding set the stage for a revised interpre­ tation of the parable of the bridegroom in Matthew 25. It found expression in the very title Snow chose for the periodi­ cal he established to spread his seventh-month message— The True Midnight Cry. saw the ten virgins as humanity in general but as the professed believ­ ers in the Advent. Thus some of the Millerites needed to wake up before it was too late. Interestingly, Snow, who initially published his findings before the spring disappointment, was not the first to hint at the autumn date.

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