Historiography and ethics: the case with Bolton


History always deals with the past. Adventists are historicists. It means that we do not make predictions on prophecy as the Millerites did with William Miller predicting that Christ will come in 1844 and He did not. Yes we use the same historical analysis, yes we use the year-day principle for the 2300 evenings and mornings [days = years], yes we use the same starting point already strongly investigated and allocated on mathematical and astronomical reasons by Sir Isaac Newton as 457 BCE, yes we do end in 1843/1844 A.D. with our calculation too, but….We use the tabernacle typology as heavenly construct first and earthly secondary mirror of that and the Book of Hebrews emphasizing the point that Jesus went into the Most Holy in 1844 with a slight different function added to His meditorial function in the first apartment since the cross. No other denomination has this. The Reformers missed this. They died before it happen. Should they have lived in our day on this side of 1844, Calvin and Luther would be Adventists. That is my understanding of their truth-seeking attitudes.

So Adventists are using the history surrounding Ezra 7 for the dating of 457 BCE to calculate the starting-point of the 2300 years prophecy of Daniel 8:14 but also the same as the startingpoint for the precise prediction and fulfillment of the coming of the Messiah Jesus Christ to be baptized in 27 A.D. and died in 31 A.D. as Daniel also predicted in Daniel 9:24-27. This aspect the Catholic Thomas Aquinas, Calvin, other Reformers and Adventist agree 100%. Also using the year-day principle.

Parting ways was where Adventists continued to use the year-day principle consistently also for the other longtime periods mentioned in Daniel, like the 1260 days or years and the 1290 days or years and lastly the 1335 days or years of Daniel 12. For this history is necessary to explain what happened. Historicists delve into history to find the data supporting and harmonizing with the prediction. It is a tedious and careful research. Many errors were made in the history of interpretation but if you have patience with humanity and researchers, finally they come clean and right.

So Adventists like history and they like analysis of history. Historiography is a popular topic in Adventism. The Bible’s history was reality and past reality. It really happened. It was not pie in the sky imaginations. Not a self-invented “God” entity to whom humans attached their own pathos as Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx also Siegmund Freud and Carl Jung and a host of Rationalists, Atheists, Agnostics, Deists, will argue.

Agnostics have no God dictating to them what history was, is and will be. They are “gods” in their own minds and they dictate what future events or current ones should be or would be. The same with Atheists or Nihilists. The “Dead to religion” people. How does a Dead to Religion historian write history? Ask Othmar Keel the great Iconography Researcher of the Ancient Near Eastern Cultures. Always the Bible is wrong in his books and articles and presentations at conferences. The Bible always stole ideas from the Ancient Near East. If one reads something in Psalms about some animal, you need to look for iconographical depictions of the animal in various Ancient Near Eastern cultures. So they found at Kuntillet ‘Ajrud a picture of a young boy playing a lyre and a Bes monster dressed figure in fashion clothes with a phalanx between his legs or tail? with a writing in Hebrew above it dating from the time of Daniel and Jeremiah saying: “Yahweh and His Asherah…” Asherah was a female of all evil prostitution they had at that time. Keel saw it and concluded that Yahweh probably had a wife in those days in Israelite religion and history. Later the wife was dropped and He became unmarried. And the scholars followed these ideas with consensus even in Society of Biblical Literature levels. I as a young student was prompted to be impressed by this scholar at University. I was not interested. I loved my Bible too much and the realism of biblical events were too strongly in my system. Consensus look skew at me because we were in different seating positions as far as views are concerned. I was convinced in myself that this historian Othmar Keel created a skew historiography and got the whole world researchers backing him. Atheists and agnostic historians adored him. Cited him everywhere in their footnotes and books and bibliography and continue to do so even today.

Then Othmar Keel finally retired as professor Emeritus from University and announced in a newspaper article published in German admitting that as a theology professor in Iconography he was since 1968 until 2018 actually agnostic. He did not believe in God.

History analysis and study without God. All in the consensus boards of Theological societies like sheep in the whole Theological world followed him. Except Adventists because we are Biblicists and Fundamentalists, words that agnostics like James Barr hated and fought against. He was also a Baal prophet in Theology, is my perception of his work. Even from student years I could see that. Never changed my opinion regarding him.

Modern historians are guided in their historiography by their epistemology (I am agnostic and do not believe in any god or God mentality) which is the natural outcome of their ontology (the lifestyle and way they eat their snails, lobsters, dogfood sometimes, frog-eggs or anything, their free sexual views and behaviors, their alcohol and drug consumption habits and smoking habits and more) things the Bible condemns, so how can you support something in the Bible when your lifestyle is clashing with it? One professor in my past was teaching me biblical Greek and would smoke over the Greek text of Metzger with his finger pointing in Luke and making an exegesis while every now and then push the cigarette ashes from the pages. So lifestyle do affect how we think and how we think affect how we decide to do things or like things or dislike things, how we choose to spite some and reward our own fans, whether we are going to cite in our dissertations and books and articles Martin Heidegger or Spinoza and not Isaac Newton and not Hengstenberg or Keel and Delitzsch, whether it will be Rudolph Bultmann rather than Gerhard Hasel, atheists rather than faithful scholars, Evolutionists rather than Creationists. It makes a difference going all the way back to the level of “I do what I like and no one and no God will tell me what I should or shouldn’t do” as Richard Dawkins repeatedly spit out in his talks as militant atheist and agnostic.

The descriptive task of a historiographer is with a baggage of preconceived ideas, of presuppositions, of rebellious attitudes, of hate-speech to religion or God or those who profess Him, of the collection of negative adjectives and jargon protesting against any attempt to evangelize and convince the historian of his skewness or misjudgments.

I agree with Gerhard Hasel who in my conversation with him was pointing out that the atheists and agnostic live in a micro-cosmic world since they cut out God and existence in the Universe. Adventists operate with a macro-cosmic view that includes and do not excludes the existence of heavenly beings like the Trinity, angels and humans resurrected functionally like Henoch, Moses and Elijah. Atheists reality is minimalist and Adventist Biblicist reality is maximalist. It does make a difference in historiography.

Memoirs of rulers is a genre that is common since the beginning of man. Someone was keeping exact records of what happened between David and Bathseba and the killing of Uriah described in Samuel. The revelation of these David-leaks or Samuel-leaks was done according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as the Editor of the whole Word of God. After all, it is His Word and He chose this embarrassment to be open in public. The revelations of David’s sin happened while he was ruler and while the process was going on. The Prophet Nathan came to David to reveal his problem to him. It is recorded in minute detail in Samuel. No stone unturned and nothing left out. The remarkable thing is that King David did not try to diminish the revelation. He knew it was so. It was not just table-talks of commoners about their king. It was real actions that were totally true. There was no room for revenge writing, selfish gain objectives, self-justifying motives, and other opportunistic gain ideas. No monetary deals for publication of memoirs temptations. It was David’s “The Room Where it Happened”.

Co-edited by the Holy Spirit.

Character Assassination is a genre in literature. It is interesting to see the role of gossip in downplaying the power of monarchies as well as the papal power during and after the French Revolution. It is the role that media played in the transformation of power. The Paradigm shift of the Holy Roman Empire to the Secular Worldly Powers of France and the USA is a recognition that France really acted properly on USA advice. The token of appreciation for this: the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Media and public opinion became actors in their own right. Suppression of views or persecution of religious views for example went on for nearly 1260 years since the Ostrogoths took Rome in Mid-March of 538. That was the transition of Rome from Pagan Rome to the Holy Roman Empire or Papal Rome that was to dominate the scene until Berthier brought the pope to France in 1798.  

Slanderous publications attacking the Dutch politician William V was spreading gossip about him in 1781. Since 1789 in France and elsewhere, the parties started to attack each other with attacking the personal lives.

The phenomenon of character assassination before and after the French Revolution did not stop. Whereas before it was focused sometimes on the Monarchy or Papacy, after 1798 it was focused on parties involved in the struggle. Someone had to be attacked and attacking had to continue.

All this is described by Edwina Hagen (2012-2013) published as chapter 10 in the Book by Martijn Iks and Erik Shiraev in 2014 called Character Assassinations Througout the Ages.  

This is the correct perception of this phenomenon. It is since the start of this world with our first parents. Adam was blaming his wife and his wife was blaming the snake but really, reading the Scripture closely, we discover with Ellen White in her classic Patriarch and Prophets that the rebellion and gossip or character assassination modus operandi was invented by Lucifer in heaven. Rebelling against God he convinced one third of the angels to follow him. He was outcasted from Heaven and lurking in the Garden of Eden near the forbidden tree used the snake as his instrument of deception to the human race. Lucifer in his words to Eve tried to assassinate the character of God. The Ten Commandments is the character of God in ten points. All of them. Studying the ten commandments gives us the full picture of what God expects from us in relation to each other and to Him.

When one is surprised by the role of character assassination in heaven, then in Eden and said above to be at play before the fall of the papacy and the Dutch and French Revolutions, thus before 1798 and realize it did not stop there after that, one asks what role did it play with the downfall of the Roman Empire in 538?

The answer is the role of the prolific writer and gossiper and lawyer Procopius who was working for the general of Justinian, Belisarius until about 540 for the last time. His book Secret History was written to expose the evils of Justinian and his wife Theodora but he did not want to publish it until the emperor died out of fear that he may lose his life. Most scholars believe it was written around 550. It was a Paradigm Shift that occurred in 538 with Justinian more interested in Theology than in being a Soldier and he started to publish on coins himself standing with an earth and cross in his hand. A very similar style of coin was also found with Constantine the Great. This is why the real fall of Rome is 538 and it is also the starting calculation point for the Holy Roman Empire and it would continue until 1798 with the capture of the papacy by Napoleon’s troops.

Just like Procopius, Bolton was also standing where only a few are privileged to stand. He also was silently and secretly keeping notes and observed with technical focus piercing into every event not to miss anything. Unlike Procopius who decided to publish the End of the Roman Empire as the characters of Justinian and his wife Theodora, after the death of the emperor, Bolton went ahead with Simon and Schuster and published character assassination while Trump is still in office.

Bolton said in an interview on Tuesday 23rd of 2020 that he wrote the book for the liberals and conservatives and anyone with no philosophy in mind. It is hard to believe how anyone can write something without a philosophy. Let us say philosophy was playing a silent navigating part but he did not interfere with those strong currents in his thinking. He is known to be a Lutheran by religion but how religious he is, is not clear. Some of the events or people involved is not fact-checked and not correct or may not be correct. Some things are his side of the coin based on the eye of the beholder. Now the most devastating admission of Bolton is that he says he kept notes but that he burnt them at one point. Thus, he relied on his “good memory” to use his words, to write the Book. That raises a yellow card.

It may be that the Book is a revenge against Trump for kicking him out of his office. One thing is for certain, Trump faces five pistons against him for re-election: Corona, BLM, Bolton’s Book and the corruption of postal mail election, and finally Daniel 11:45 statement that the one who moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “will come to his end and no one for him”. Whether that will happen in November this year, or after his next term or during, remains to be seen. The Time of Trouble is to follow after that and judging by the role the marxistic coated BLM (see the Youtube of Voddie Baucham with even Martin Luther King as a Marxist) is operating, the Time of Trouble works on a lawless gut-feeling mechanism maybe? A primitive reaction of borderless and limitless revenge with a love of anarchism.

The antidote for BLM is of course ALM (all lives matters) but better still BTM: Biblical Truth Matters.

(Koot van Wyk reflecting on 25th of June 2020)