Bacchiocchi’s Sabbath to Sunday-Take 3

December 12, 2006

I have blogged previously on the controversy surrounding Samuele Bacchiocchi’s academic credentials & his use of an imprimatur in his published books, here and here. Bacchiocchi responded to some of the allegations concerning his qualifications in his Endtime Issues newsletter #159 which may be found here. In his recent Endtime Issues newsletter #160 Bacchiocchi responds to the second part of the allegations–his use of an imprimatur.

Stephen Korsman responds to Bacchiocchi’s statement comprehensively here.

To quote Korsman:

So I think it is quite clear – the Imprimatur on the current books printed by Bacchiocchi do not apply to the books it is printed in, and it never applied to his thesis as a whole. It is being used
inappropriately, and he should stop. It is misleading.
The[n] comes the fact that the Imprimatur still is not what he claims it is – approval of the contents by the Catholic Church. The contents are not in agreement with the Catholic faith, and nobody ever thought they were. Bacchiocchi admits it was a lengthy and difficult process, involving a number of favours, to get it. So, assuming it ever existed, it is still not approval from the Catholic Church. As Bacchiocchi admits elsewhere in his part 2, Imprimatur means “It can be printed”.

Based on my reading of the evidence offered by Bacchiocchi, I agree with Korsman’s statement.

Overall, it seems that Bacchiocchi has made a number of poor decisions in his drive for self-promotion, and is now reaping the fruits of such.



  1. Well said.

  2. “It can be printed” and it was. At least in part. Why pick on such a marginal character as Bacchocchi? The “prophetic” gift of E. G. White is built on far shakier ground. Of course that is the “third rail” in Adventism. Veltmann is the only one to survive the challenge. To read E.G. White as a “Readers Digest” of Hebrew and church history is quite rewarding. To read her as the “Newest Testament” is a greivous error. Let us say that Bacchlocchi “earned his degree”
    and E.G.White “earned” a place in Adventist history and theology. Let us leave the rest to God.

  3. Thanks for your comments.

    Tom, I’m not exactly sure what your point(s) are–should we only “pick on” non-marginal people? Depending on your definition of marginal, I’d tend to disagree with your characterization of Bacchiocchi as marginal anyway–it would be difficult to quantify, but I would propose that he has played a large fairly major role in shaping popular adventist theology over the last twenty years or so, given the scope of his writings and his success at distributing them worldwide.

  4. It’s easy to take potshots at well known folks. Demonize them, and you feel a little bigger yourself. Hobbes, Swemer, Korsman- sorry, never heard of you folks, you have never even crossed my radar scope. Sam B, on the other hand, has crossed alot of radar scopes. But if it makes you feel bigger, better, more important, more whatever….. Anyway, when you folks put together many volumes of research, travel the globe, speak publically, etc, let some of the rest of us know. Then we can pick you apart too.

  5. Oh come on now, Dennis, this has got absolutely nothing to do with tearing down a well-known person to make us lesser folks feel better about ourselves. I mean, do you really think that people wouldn’t talk about the Pontifical Gregorian University’s allegations and want to know if the allegations are true or not?

  6. Dennis: “Sam B, on the other hand, has crossed alot of radar scopes.”

    Tom: “Why pick on such a marginal character as Bacchocchi?”

    It’s not a matter of picking on people. Those who have crossed a lot of radar scopes need to be held accountable if they are going to be teaching others. Bacchiocchi is not marginal; he’s prominent. And he has a lot of influence in the circles he reaches. Determining whether it is he or Gregorian who are right on this issue is important.

    Whether he likes it or not, and whether officially or unofficially, he represents Adventism to many, and Sabbatarianism to many more. Adventist scholarship and the theology of the Sabbath have come a long way since the early days. For Adventists and non-Adventists, Sabbath keepers and Sunday keepers, knowing which side of the fence Bacchiocchi is on regarding this matter is important.

    I disagree with a lot of the conclusions in “From Sabbath to Sunday”, and it comes across to me as if someone went looking for pro-Sabbath evidence that could be used to make a case, for a priori conclusions, that could be promoted as being put together at a Catholic institution. I find it all very unconvincing. The outcome of this won’t change that – the credibility of Bacchiocchi and of the Gregorian doesn’t change the content or the arguments. But knowing who is credible is good.

  7. […] Bacchiocchi’s Sabbath to Sunday, Take 3 [on the Hobbes' Place blog] […]

  8. […] Place has also got a 2nd and 3rd post on […]

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