Date of Award

12-2015

Embargo Period

11-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Philosophy MPhil

Faculty

Arts, Nursing & Theology

First Advisor

Dr Steve Thompson

Abstract

Seventh-day Adventist scholars have long identified the ‘rest of her seed’ of Revelation 12:17 with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This identification is based on the understanding that ‘the rest of her seed’ are an ‘end-time remnant’ that appears in history after AD 1798, keeps the seventh-day Sabbath and possesses the prophetic gift. This study has two aims: (1) to undertake an objective contextual examination of the identity of ‘the rest of her seed’; and (2) to evaluate the assertion made by Seventh-day Adventists that their movement is to be identified with ‘the rest of her seed’. In Chapter One the traditional Seventh-day Adventist understanding of ‘the rest of her seed is examined and the four theological premises upon which the Seventh-day Adventist Church has made its assertion are identified and articulated. In Chapter Two consideration is given to five key contextual features that make possible a sound identification of ‘the rest of her seed’. It is argued that ‘the rest of her seed’ are believers from the entire Christian era who are faithful to the Old and New Testament Scriptures, identified elsewhere in Revelation as ‘the saints.’ In Chapter Three the four theological premises upon which the Seventh-day Adventist Church has made its assertion are examined. It is shown that these premises are not supported by the context, and therefore that ‘the rest of her seed’ in Revelation 12:17 cannot be limited in its meaning to a reference to the Seventh-day Adventist movement. This study concludes with a discussion of the implications of these conclusions for both Seventh-day Adventist self-understanding, and the Seventh-day Adventist understanding of Revelation.

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