28. Are Adventists trying to be Jewish?

No.  This type of accusation is often made, although it is usually difficult to pinpoint what exactly critics are trying to argue.  Of course, Christianity is essentially a Jewish religion: worshiping a Hebrew-named God YHWH, founded by Jewish disciples, who believed an itinerant Jewish preacher from Nazareth fulfilled ancient prophecies found in sacred Hebrew scriptures (i.e. the Old Testament of the Bible), that He was the King of the Jews, Messiah (i.e. Christ in Greek, meaning the anointed) and saviour of all mankind. 
Furthermore, if the suggestion is that Adventists are trying to be Jewish by keeping the Sabbath or abstaining from eating ‘unclean’ foods such as pork, Adventists would argue such practices are not in fact Jewish but pre-date Judaism.  As noted in further detail below, the seventh-day Sabbath is part of the Moral Law, found in the Ten Commandments and first given to all mankind at Eden (Gen 2:2-3; Is. 56:2-5; Mar 2:27 and Luk 6:1-5). Certain ‘clean’ animals meanwhile were given to Noah on the Ark some centuries before Moses was even born (Gen 7:2).  Thus, for the avoidance of doubt, the SDA Church does not teach Christians are obligated to keep Jewish ceremonial laws, such as circumcision, as clearly instructed in Acts 15.
Finally, the SDA Church may seem ‘Jewish’ to the extent that it attempts to remove pagan philosophy (notably Greek-Platonism and Gnosticism) from Christianity and return to ideas actually grounded in scripture – often described as the principle of ‘Wholism’. The SDA Church believes it has a special role pursuant to Revelation 14 in imparting this message to the rest of Christianity, to call it out of ‘Babylon’. For example, as admitted by German Protestant theologian Jurgen Moltmann in Spirit of Life (1992):
“In the degree to which Christianity cut itself off from its Hebrew roots and acquired Hellenistic and Roman form, it lost its eschatological hope and surrendered its apocalyptic alternative to “this world” of violence and death.  It merged into late antiquity’s Gnostic religion of redemption.  From Justin onwards, most Fathers revered Plato as a “Christian before Christ” and extolled his feeling for the divine transcendence and for the values of the spiritual world.  God’s eternity now took the place of God’s future, heaven replaced the coming kingdom, the spirit that redeems the soul from the body supplanted the Spirit as “the well of life”, the immortality of the soul displaced the resurrection of the body, and the yearning for another world became a substitute for changing this one”. (p89) (emphasis added)
Wholism accounts for many of the SDA Church’s beliefs, including the Trinity, the Sabbath, emphasis on the physical 2nd Coming of Christ, a rejection of Antinomianism, Soul Sleep, promotion of health, many of its eschatological (end-time) systems and its remnant message.  Perhaps for the above reasons, whilst Wholsim is not one of the 28 official fundamentals of the SDA Church (as it encompasses many as a theological framework), it is often viewed by Adventist theologians as Adventism’s most valuable contribution to Christianity.


  1. And if one wants to talk about a Christian denomination trying to act like Jews, one could argue the Roman Catholic Church itself is one of the most Judaizing. Consider they:

    • Have a priesthood in much the same manner and as successors of the Levitical priesthood, rather than embracing the Protestant notion of ‘priesthood of all believers’.

    • Equate baptism as a direct successor rite to circumcision, which is part of the reason they baptise babies, unlike the Protestant notion of adult baptism by full immersion.

    • Set their Churches out in a manner somewhat patterned on the Jewish Temple, with a various apartments, including the alter becoming a type of Holy of Holies.

    • Utilise a very formal liturgical system of sacramental worship, including ‘daily sacrifice’ where the Eucharist is said to literally become the body of Christ, and the use of feast days and other holy days, compared with Protestant beliefs and practices.

    One could go on… but the point is the SDA Church is not more 'Jewish' than other Christian denominations. It is all a matter of perspective.

  2. So are SDA Jewish?

  3. So are SDA members Jewish? I myself am an SDA but I've never quiet understood the difference or whether we are?

    1. No I think Righteous Gentile would be a better description of SDAs, upholding the Alien-Noahide principles as directed by the Apostles in Acts 15:20-29. Unless you are Jewish by race, which some Adventists are, such as Clifford Goldstein.