Our conviction and strong desire is to foster biblical, theological, and historical studies that strengthen the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s message and mission.

What Is This Newsletter?

This is the first issue of the Adventist Theological Society quarterly newsletter. We hope you will benefit from reporting of the latest events, media, publications, and research of ATS members and leaders. Stay abreast of the society's initiatives and the fruit of its ministry.

In This Issue

Find JATS on the Digital Commons​

This is the first issue of the Adventist Theological Society quarterly newsletter. We hope you will benefit from reporting of the latest events, media, publications, and research of ATS members and leaders. Stay abreast of the society's initiatives and the fruit of its ministry.

Twenty-six volumes of JATS are now available in the Digital Commons hosted by Andrews University. Perspective Digest archives have also found a home in the Digital Commons and should be available now.

Terry Robertson

The Digital Commons is a versatile searchable repository for Andrews University scholarly content. According to Terry Robertson, AU associate dean of libraries, JATS qualifies to be included because the editor of the journal is an employee of the university. Benefits for the journal include increased searchability through highly capable search engine optimization (SEO) in the underlying platform, and a user-friendly search interface.

"As an indexing tool, as a finding tool, it is stronger than the archive software that you have on the original (JATS) site," Robertson said. The journal also benefits from being included in topic and author searches across the Digital Commons.

The JATS home page shows the latest issue of the journal and PDF files for all of the articles. A search box allows for browsing by issue or searching by keyword. For those interested in which topics are trending, there is a link to Most Popular Papers. A map at the bottom of the home page shows where in the world that article downloads have originated, plus the title of the article requested. The map is updated continuously as downloads occur.

From a dashboard in the Digital Commons, further analytics are available, including the institutional home of download requests. For example, two articles have been downloaded recently by someone at Moody Bible Institute, and four others to a computer at Ford Motor Company.

Visit the JATS archive at the Digital Commons.

International Bible Commentary: An Update​


International Bible Commentary: An Update​

Jacques Doukhan reports that five more volumes of the new Seventh-day Adventist International Bible Commentary (SDAIBC) are in the editorial process with Pacific Press. They follow Genesis, the first volume, released in 2016.

In addition, twenty-two volumes have been submitted to the commentary executive committee and are moving through reviews and revisions. In 2017, Doukhan expects another thirty-three submissions, with the last five arriving in 2018.

With Doukhan as the general editor, an executive committee of twelve is overseeing the project. Two scholars are assigned to conduct a close review of each volume, and they are joined by members of the committee whose expertise covers the respective Bible book. Following their work, other reviewers conduct a readability check.

Seventy years have passed since the first Adventist Bible commentary set was produced. The new commentary will still represent the Seventh-day Adventist theological interpretation of the Bible.

Asked what the new set brings to the church, Doukhan commented, "New information and new technical skills have provided us with new findings that illuminate and enrich our reading of the Scriptures while strengthening our specific theological positions." In addition, consideration of the literary aspects of the text, along with archaeological and historical data, brings more depth to the study of God's Word.

"We are planning to have the whole set of commentaries published by the GC Session in 2020," Doukhan said. "It is very consuming and sometimes overwhelming. But with the help of God, the process flows well.

New Adventist Theological Academy Is for Sharing

Adventist Theological Academy is the new video teaching ministry of the Adventist Theological Society. The Academy is found entirely online, based at http://atsacademy.org/, along with a YouTube channel. The video series called Faithful to the Scriptures is now available. At the YouTube site, other series such as Gift of Prophecy in Scripture and History and Marriage and the Family are also featured.

The goal of the Scripture video series is to lead the viewer in to a solid biblical understanding. The series "provides an introduction to all the sixty-six books of the Bible and to the biblical doctrine of Scripture in twenty-eight videos of thirty minutes each," says Felix Cortez, under whose tenure as ATS President the project was begun.

Felix Cortez

Each video features an Adventist scholar who is a specialist in the subject. The scholars include authors of commentaries, Sabbath School quarterlies, books, and articles, and all are well-known internationally.

Each video is indexed according to the questions included, so the viewer can go directly to the point in the interview that deals with his/her question.

In addition, the site provides indices to everything that ATS has published, including articles, videos, and papers in academic seminars. The indices are arranged in the following categories:

  1. Bible index (by the books of the Bible)
  2. Theological index (by biblical doctrines)
  3. Chronological index (according to the time in human history)
  4. Author index
  5. Congress index (presentations at ATS conferences and symposia through the years). Another helpful page is the alphabetical Q&A. Drop-down menus reveal the videos and articles available under each letter.

The index and the video series are suitable to share with fellow church members and with Bible searchers of all types. Direct interest to the Academy homepage.

Single-Volume Bible Commentary Progresses​


The Andrews Bible Commentary, to be published by Andrews University Press, is in the later stages of editorial work. The volume covers all the biblical books and includes a significant amount of excurses and essays addressing important topics of biblical theology. Some sixty Adventist writers from around the world, including ATS scholars, have been involved in its production.

"This is a concise, one-volume Bible commentary, the first such product the [Adventist] Church has ever produced," says Ron Knott, director of Andrews University Press. "Many of the major evangelical publishers have produced one-volume commentaries. This one is designed to be a complement to the Andrews Study Bible."

"Dr. Andreasen's vision was that particularly for laypeople around the world," Knott adds, "they might have only two Bible study resources; one would be the Andrews Study Bible and the other would be the Andrews Bible Commentary."

The goal is to provide an exposition of the Scriptures free, as far as possible, from technical jargon and that would be accessible to church members seeking a deeper knowledge and understanding of the Bible. It will be useful to pastors, students, and Bible teachers.

The writers were asked to pay particular attention to the topic of hope in the Bible as they commented on the biblical text, and the results have been very enriching.

The editors of the new commentary are Ángel Manuel Rodriguez (BRI; retired), Daniel Bediako (Valley View University, Ghana), Carl Cosaert (Walla Walla University, ATS president), and Martin Klingbeil (Andrews University). A release date has not been set.

Ángel Manuel Rodriguez

New information and new technical skills have provided us with new findings that illuminate and enrich our reading of the Scriptures while strengthening our specific theological positions.

Jacques Doukhan, commenting on the new SDA International Bible Commentary

News Shorts

Is Genesis History Documentary Releases Feb. 23, 2017

Is Genesis History? is a documentary featuring Arthur Chadwick, ATS member and research professor of biological sciences at Southwestern Adventist University, and other scholars. Using evidence uncovered at the dinosaur dig he leads in Wyoming, Chadwick explains consistencies between the state of nature today and history recorded in Genesis. The documentary will be screened in hundreds of theaters across the United States on February 23, 2017.

Kenya Presents Spring Symposium

The ATS chapter at the Adventist University of Africa in Kenya will be hosting its first ATS Symposium on the campus in Nairobi, Kenya. The symposium theme is "The Sabbath in the Bible," and the date of the Symposium is May 5-6, 2017. Contact Eriks Galenieks at Adventist University of Africa for more information.

2016 San Antonio Fall Symposium: Videos Now Online

Terry Dodge reports that all presentations from the 2016 San Antonio meetings are online. Find them on ATS's Vimeo channel. Interview videos will be added by the end of February.

Reminder: 2017 Call for Papers

Proposals for papers are still being accepted for the annual meetings to be held in Providence, Rhode Island, Wednesday, November 15 through Sabbath, November 18, 2017. The theme: "The Heritage of the Reformation." "Our meeting offers us the opportunity to focus on so many key aspects of our Protestant heritage," says Carl Cosaert, ATS president. "If the topics we have received in some of the proposals that have already been submitted are an indication of our conference as a whole, I anticipate our meetings will be a tremendous blessing." The proposal deadline is Friday, April 7, 2017. Send proposals to John Reeve.

New ATS Officers Elected

Officers elected to ATS leadership at the 2016 annual meeting are Carl Cosaert (WWU), president; John Reeve (AU), president-elect, and Gary Swanson (GC SS, retired), vice president of communications.

ATS Board Meeting

The next board meeting of the Adventist Theological Society will take place at Loma Linda University on Sunday, April 16, 2017.