Monday, 22 December 2008

Death of Sabbath scholar

Dr Samuele Bacchiocchi, a Seventh-day Adventist scholar well known in Church of God circles, has died after a long battle with cancer. Bacchiocchi, a prolific writer, was author of From Sabbath to Sunday, and two books on the Holy Days which are often found on church members' book shelves. His website is Of Italian descent, he was the first non-Catholic to be accepted for study at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.


FT said...

XHWA said it best on his blog, "Whether or not you (or I) agree with him, I feel he more than deserves respect." I respectfully say, rest in peace Dr.Bacchiocchi until the great day that you will be revised by The Author.

xHWA said...

I love your phrase there, "until the great day that you will be revised by The Author".

Libro 66 said...

I only spoke with Dr. Sam once on the phone, and then only briefly, when he was peddling his books to Global COG members back in the 90's.

The GCG leadership had just discovered him and thought he was great -- here was a scholar who had studied at a Catholic university and had built his thesis around the transition for Saturday to Sunday -- and his thesis had been accepted as scholarly by his doctoral committee! Here was credible research from outside the COG movement that proved the Catholic church had subverted the practices of the apostles.

(Yes, I know -- the details of his thesis' approval has been questioned of late -- but this was the feeling of the time.)

Bacchiochi was given permission to contact local churches and offer his books for sale -- and boy, did he have them for sale. Three or four on the Sabbath, one on the time of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, one on the church's resurrection, and even one refuting "Hal Lindsey's Prophetic Jigsaw Puzzle." If you bought something like half a dozen, you'd get one free. He sold a bunch, I'm sure.

But the honeymoon lasted all of half a year. When GCG's magazine, The World Ahead, published an interview with Dr. Sam, members started to get edgy. How come the GCG leadership was getting so buddy-buddy with this Adventist scholar? He didn't believe Mr. Armstrong was an Apostle -- he believed Mrs. White was a Prophetess. He revered The Desire of Ages rather than Mystery of the Ages. That meant he didn't even have God's Holy Spirit!

And of course, the conspiracy theorists in the crowd didn't help. For starters, the man had a funny name that nobody could pronounce and an accent nobody could understand -- just like the evil Dr. Stavrinedes of WCG, who had pushed the Trinity to the point of absurdity. Was it possible the amiable Dr. Sam was a front man for a Jesuit infiltration of the last true Philadelphia remnant of God's Church? It was bad enough that the Masons were taking us over! Woah! Was that a black heeelicopter that just flew over my head??

So GCG ended up distancing themselves from Dr. Sam. Probably perplexed the poor guy, especially since he had recently studied into the annual Holy Days, had found out Mrs. White said they were okay, and had promptly written two new books about the subject.


(Rest in peace, Dr. Sam.)

Anonymous said...

Not even Moses got away with writing without criticism. Bacchiocchi's in good company.

Anonymous said...

Dr Bacchiocchi couldn't make it to one of his speaking engagements near Tyler, and asked Ron Dart to substitute. I wonder if he would have extended such an invitation to any other COG leader?

I noticed Bob Thiel did a piece on Dr. B. As usual, Dr T had his 2c to add, and it was over minor errors on Sam's part. With posts disabled, Bob gets the last word again.

Anonymous said...

How come this expert chose Seventh Day (who dont keep the holy days) over UCG -who do.

Purple Hymnal said...

"How come this expert chose Seventh Day (who dont keep the holy days) over UCG -who do."

He didn't want to part with a "tithe of the tithe" of 2nd tithe? Or maybe he didn't want to have to set aside an additional 10% anyway. (CoG7 still asks for 10% "off the top", doesn't it? Or is that SDA?)

Well, that, and the SDAs and CoG7 are pretty big on preaching/proselytizing Christianism. He would have had to give that up, if he'd gone over to United, since they're an Armstrongist organization, not a Christian one.

My condolences are extended to the Bacchiochi family as well.