Biblical Research Institute

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The Biblical Research Institute (BRI) is a service department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church with the three stated functions of research, apologetics (defense of the church's beliefs), and service to the church.[1] It serves as a theological consultant to the General Conference. It consists of four Adventist theologians working at the church headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, and is currently (as of 2015) directed by Artur Steele. The institute also directs the Biblical Research Institute Committee (BRICOM) which consists of about forty members worldwide, and the Biblical Research Institute Science Council (BRISCO), which investigates the relationship between science and religion.

Woodrow Whidden has described the work of the Institute as "conservative Adventist scholarship".


The Biblical Research Institute was established as a service department of the church on September 25, 1975 by the General Conference. However it has historical roots in a number of other organizations.[2]

In 1943 church leaders established a committee to give defenses to critics of the church, including offshoot groups. This was named the Defense Literature Committee in 1952, and reorganized as the Biblical Study and Research Group in 1956. [3] In 1969 the Biblical Research Committee was formed from a merger between the Defense Literature Committee and the Biblical Study [and] Research Committee, which had previously worked independently. This committee did not have authority to represent the church on theological matters.[2]

The Biblical Study and Research Committee or Biblical Study Committee had been created on September 24, 1952. To a certain extent it took the place of the Biblical Research Fellowship, which was being dissolved at the time. The Bible Research Fellowship was an unofficial society of Adventist Bible teachers.[2] It was planned in 1940, and was materialized in 1943.[4] L. L. Caviness was the chairman and Raymond Cottrell its secretary throughout its lifetime of around 10 years. Both were religion lecturers at Pacific Union College at the time. Membership rose to 250, and included all except one Adventist college-level Bible teachers worldwide. Many others were paying members, including some General Conference employees. More than 90 formal papers were presented.[5] In 1950 General Conference president W. H. Branson wrote letters to church leaders worldwide claiming the fellowship was a "renegade organization", signaling its demise.[6]

As mentioned above the Biblical Research Institute was established in 1975. It has sponsored events such as seminars and Bible conferences. From 1982 to 1992 it published the Daniel and Revelation Series in response to the controversy surrounding Desmond Ford.[3]



As of 2011, Artur A. Stele is director, with Kwabena Donkor, Ekkehardt Mueller, Clinton Wahlen and Elias Brasil de Souza as associate directors. Ángel Manuel Rodríguez and Gerhard Pfandl, following their retirement, continue to serve the Institute in a part-time capacity.

Biblical Research Institute Committee

The Biblical Research Institute Committee examines theological issues that the Seventh-day Adventist Church faces. Its members are elected at General Conference Sessions. BRICOM members for the 2000-2005 quinquennium included: Niels-Erik Andreasen, John T. Baldwin, Matthew A. Bediako, Ivan T. Blazen, Keith Burton, Lael O. Caesar, Jaime Castrejon, Gordon E. Christo, JoAnn M. Davidson, Richard M. Davidson, Ganoune Diop, Ron du Preez, Larry R. Evans, Francisco Gayoba, Daniel Heinz, Eugene Hsu, Greg A. King, Miroslav M. Kis, George R. Knight, Robert E. Lemon, John K. McVay, Ekkehardt Mueller, Daegeuk Nam, James R. Nix, Brempong Owusu-Antwi, Jon K. Paulien, Jan Paulsen, Paul B. Petersen, Roberto Pereyra, Gerhard Pfandl, George W. Reid, Angel M. Rodriguez, Artur A. Stele, Ted N. C. Wilson, Randall W. Younker, and E. Edward Zinke.


The Biblical Research Institute regularly publishes academic books and articles that address theological issues. These books include

  • Understanding Scripture: An Adventist Approach, Biblical Research Institute Studies, vol. 1 (2006)
  • Interpreting Scripture: Bible Questions and Answers, Biblical Research Institute Studies, vol. 2 (2010)
  • Toward a Theology of the Remnant: An Adventist Ecclesiological Perspective, Studies in Adventist Ecclesiology, vol. 1 (2009)
  • Message, Mission, and Unity of the Church, Studies in Adventist Ecclesiology, vol. 2 (2013)
  • The Church, Culture, and Spirits: Adventism in Africa (2011)
  • Marriage: Biblical and Theological Aspects, Studies in Biblical Ethics, vol. 1 (2015)
  • "What Are Human Beings That You Remember Them?": Proceedings of the Third International Bible Conference, Nof Ginosar and Jerusalem, June 11-21, 2012 (2015)
  • Jesus of Nazareth: His Life, vol. 1, and Jesus of Nazareth: His Message, His Passion, vol. 2 (2015)

It also publishes the newsletter Reflections. This quarterly newsletter was established in 2003.[8]

See also


  1. "About Us". Biblical Research Institute. Archived from the original on 11 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-31. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 1996, p.205-6
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Biblical Research Institute" in Historical Dictionary of Seventh-day Adventists by Gary Land
  4. See R. A. Anderson, Minutes of Council of Teachers in Bible, Seventh-day Adventist Colleges, Washington, D.C., July 30 to August 25. 1940, p32 and L. H. Hartin's Report of Bible Teachers' Council, Angwin, California, July 23–31, 1950, p74; in the General Conference Archives. As cited by Cottrell
  5. Cottrell has a file of all papers in the Heritage Room of the James White Memorial Library at Andrews University. Some early presentations were oral only, without a written paper
  6. Index to Raymond Cottrell papers, p5
  7. "New Director for Biblical Research Institute". Adventist News Network

External links