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Seals and Trumpets : Biblical and Historical Studies


The interest of Adventist theologians and church members in the study of the book of Revelation has not diminished with the passage of time. This is understandable if we remember that the Adventist Church is an apocalyptic movement deeply rooted in the books of Daniel and Revelation. Therefore, our interest in these books is not the result of simple curiosity, but an intrinsic part of our ethos.

Alberto R. Treiyer explores in this study the seals and the trumpets in the book of Revelation and touches on such topics as the sanctuary, the judgment, and the prophetic time associated with the supremacy of the antichrist. This is possibly the most careful study done on the seals and the trumpets in recent times. He correctly rejects preterism and futurism as valid hermeneutical approaches to Revelation and employs the historicist method of interpretation. Historicism is not the common method used by scholars today in the interpretation of biblical apocalyptic prophecies. Nevertheless, it is the method the biblical text itself provides for us. Consequently, it is to be taken very seriously by the interpreter of the biblical apocalyptic books.

Historicism requires that the interpreter be well-acquainted not only with the biblical text but also with historical events that could be identified as the fulfillment of certain apocalyptic prophecies. During the last 30 years some Adventist scholars have tended to shift the emphasis of the study of the book of Revelation to the analysis of its literary structure and beauty. Although this has not necessarily resulted in a total neglect of the study of the historical fulfillment of biblical apocalyptic prophecies and its message of hope for God’s end-time people, nevertheless it has not emphasized those aspects. In fact, in a few cases the traditional interpretation of the prophetic periods has been questioned and even rejected. This situation could be the result of the difficulty of finding scholars who are well-trained not only in the area of biblical interpretation but also in the field of ecclesiastical history. The two fields of knowledge are very vast and difficult to master by one person.

In this book Alberto R. Treiyer has demonstrated that the interpreter of Revelation can combine exegetical insight and historical knowledge in the exposition of the message of that book. He has carefully examined recent historical studies and found evidence for the historical fulfillment of the encoded message of the seals and the trumpets. The reader may disagree with him in some of the details and even in some of the main applications, but he or she will not be able to overlook the fact that history continues to be the arena in which God’s prophetic message for us is being fulfilled.


By Dr. Angel Manuel Rodriguez
Director of the Biblical Research Institute
General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists
Silver Spring, MD

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