Is the little horn in Daniel 7 and 8 not necessarily the papacy?

Questions & Answers June 9, 2017

Q: Recently I attended a Sabbath afternoon seminar on the book of Daniel where an Adventist theology professor said that the little horn described in Daniel 7 and 8 is not necessarily the papacy but instead may be manifested in each of us. He further stated that the 1,260-year prophecy identified in Daniel 8:14 isn’t necessarily 1,260 years. I’m wondering if this agrees with our beliefs as Seventh-day Adventists? — Daniel, from Czech Republic

A: I am sorry to hear of this Adventist theology professor who is teaching things about Daniel 7 and 8 that we as Adventists have never believed.

Based on the many identifying marks of the little horn given in Daniel 7 and the additional details given in Daniel 8, Adventists have always seen this prophecy fulfilled by Rome in its pagan and papal phases. Daniel 7 focuses on the papal phase, while Daniel 8 refers to both.

The prophecies in Daniel about the 2,300 years and the 1,260 years are actual years and incredibly important prophecies to understand and proclaim to the world. They form the basis of much of our understanding about prophetic interpretation and the end times in which we are living.

Much has been written on this topic over the years, including two books published by the Biblical Research Institute. The first book, “Selected Studies on Prophetic Interpretation” by William H. Shea, is available online as a free download here.

The second book,  “Symposium on Daniel,” edited by Frank B. Holbrook, is available for purchase from the BRI bookshop.