The Yahrzeit of Samuele Bacchiocchi

Last year (5769), on the 23rd of Kislev (20 december 2008) Samuele Bacchiocchi died. Bacchiocchi was a Seventh-Day Adventist theologian who was of great significance for the Torah observant branch of modern Messianic Judaism. In his famous dissertation: From Sabbath to Sunday, he clearly demonstrated that Christian Sunday keeping has no biblical or NT roots whatsoever. Moreover, Bacchiocchi went further in his pro-Torah leanings than many of the adherents his own denomination. In his publications he shows an acute understanding of the continuing relevance of all the Appointed Times of HASHEM.

Another doctrine that has received additional light by Bacchiocchi’s research and lucid style of writing is that of the bodily resurrection. Bacchiocchi made it abundantly clear that the tradional doctrine of the immortality of the soul is thoroughly contrary to Scripture and cannot be sustained from a biblical, resurrection based point of view.

Bacchiocchi did also some fine scholarly work in his articles on the chronology of the passion and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua, in the well-known and complex controversies about a 14th or 15th Nisan crucifixion, a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday crucifixion, and a Sunday or Sabbath resurrection. Although in some points of his teachings he was not without error — note especially his complete rejection of alcohol consumption — yet on the whole he was a reliable scholar on many subjects of biblical doctrine and practice. [1]

Above that Bacchiocchi was a shining light for many in his devoted walk of faithfulness to HASHEM, and in his relentless service to his Lord and Saviour Messiah Yeshua, both in his scholarly work and his lifestyle, which was one of simplicity and conscientiousness. His death, two days before Chanukah, may symbolize his nearness to the Light of the world.

As Messianics we should be thankful for the life and works of this fellow believer and servant of G-d. We can express our thankfulness by studying Bacchiocchi’s works and by honouring his Yahrzeit.

May his remembrance be a blessing to the Messianic Community and inspire us all to give ourselves fully to the service of our Master. May the season of Chanukah remind us that the spiritual core of this festival is the message to have a dedicated heart.

Yahrzeit Prayer:

O G-d, the King of saints, we praise and magnify thy Holy Name for all thy servants who have finished their course in thy faith and fear; for the blessed virgin Miryam; for the holy patriarchs, apostles and martyrs; and for all other thy righteous servants known to us and unknown; and also for our teacher — in thee and for thee — Samuele Bacchiocchi; and we beseech thee that, encouraged and inspired by their examples, and strengthened by their fellowship here on earth, we may with them be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, in that great Day of the Appearing of our Lord and Saviour Yeshua the Messiah, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen. [2]

________________

[1] For further information on Bacchiocchi’s life and works, view the website Biblical Perspectives, At: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/

[2] Based on a prayer found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church, 1979 edition, p. 489.

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