Sometime in the 1890s, a young, Seventh-day Adventist minister found his faith shaken. J. H. Wierts learned from his Hebrew teachers, Jewish rabbis, that in 1844, the Jews’ Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) was September 23, not October 22 as Seventh-day Adventists have always said. He determined to investigate the matter.
Wierts discovered that there were differing calendars. The calendar used by modern Jews was not the same as the original Biblical calendar used by the Millerites to come up with October 22 as the Day of Atonement for 1844. He was concerned that if Seventh-day Adventists could not give a reasonable explanation for the discrepancies he had found, then the church’s adversaries would gain an advantage in denouncing the truths he loved. Wierts’ research ultimately culminated in a 283-page manuscript which, in 1932, he began trying to get members of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (world-wide church headquarters) to analyze.
At first, the church was not very interested. However, during the 1930s, there was growing agitation for a world-wide calendar change that would affect the continuous weekly cycle. Finally, in 1938, the General Conference appointed a Research Committee to investigate the matter.
The following papers are selections from the extensive Grace Amadon Collection, which is archived at the Center for Adventist Research in the James White Library at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. These were accumulated during the time the committee was studying the issues Wierts brought forth. The Research Committee never officially admitted that the Biblical calendar used by the Millerites would affect when the Sabbath falls.
However, proof of that does show up in much of their research – particularly as pertains to the date of the crucifixion. The whole matter was dealt with at the General Conference level and appears to have never been presented to the laity. If you find discrepancies in their writings, it is because they were confused with what their research was revealing: that when the Creation calendar is used to calculate the months, it will effect when the Sabbath falls.
We would like to express our gratitude to the Center for Adventist Research for giving permission to post these articles in their entirety. The studies done by the Research Committee were invaluable in writing The Great Calendar Controversy. We are grateful for the opportunity to make available their research so that the modern, sincere Bible student who sees the lunar Sabbaths can have a solid foundation for his or her belief.Grace Amadon Biography
|Grace Amadon Biography
Table of Contents
Ancient Jewish Calendar Construction
(Original manuscript of published article from Ministry, April, 1944.)
Ancient Jewish Calendation
(Original manuscript of the published article from Journal of Biblical Literature, LXI, part IV, 1942.)
The Jewish Regnal Year
Brief Review of the New Views Regarding Millerite Chronology Courageous Action of Millerites on Jewish Calendar Problem
Millerite Computation of the October 22 Date
The 1844 Millerite Time Problem
M. L. Andreasen's Letter
"When Gregory XIII reformed the calendar, the adjustment was made such that the vernal equinox should occupy the position assigned to it in the Easter tables . . . (which) date . . . from about the third century. The important point is that this adjustment placed the vernal equinox on a date that is purely arbitrary and not necessarily related to the date on which the equinox fell when the revision of the calendar by Julius Cæsar was made." Dr. Spencer-Jones, Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London, Dec. 28, 1938.