Angel Manuel Rodríguez
Director

The Biblical Research Institute (BRI) is a service department of the General Conference. It consists of a group of biblical scholars whose main functions are to: (1) be consultants to church administrators and leaders on theological and doctrinal issues facing the church; (2) develop and distribute biblical and theological studies that contribute to a better understanding and a deepening of Adventist doctrines, theology, and lifestyle; and (3) prepare responses to critics of the message and mission of the church.

In the fulfillment of their responsibilities, these scholars are assisted by the BRI committee, composed of 40 theologians from around the world and a number of General Conference church leaders. It meets twice a year.

The BRI staff is selected from among Adventist scholars whose theological training and professional experience as church workers qualify them to provide professional, balanced, and appropriate counsel. At present it consists of four scholars whose different fields of expertise cover a broad variety of theological areas: Angel Manuel Rodríguez, director, specialist in Old Testament; Kwabena Donkor, systematic theology; Ekkehardt Mueller, New Testament and hermeneutics; and Gerhard Pfandl, Old Testament and ancient Near Eastern archaeology. They are supported by two other staff members, Brenda Flemmer, administrative assistant, and Marlene Bacchus, desktop computer specialist.

The staff has produced books on relevant issues for the church (Tradition, Method, and Contemporary Protestant Theology, Kwabena Donkor; Come Boldly to the Throne of God: Sanctuary Themes in Hebrews, Ekkehardt Mueller; Daniel: The Seer of Babylon, Gerhard Pfandl; Future Glory, Angel M. Rodríguez).

Materials are also prepared to counteract groups with a particular theological or doctrinal agenda within the church. The written responses are distributed as shelf documents wherever they may be needed. Often the institute reviews materials produced by different church departments intended for publication. Suggestions are given to clarify and strengthen their content, in order better to express Adventist thought.

Another service mainly offered to ministerial staffs is planning and carrying out Bible conferences for divisions and unions. Besides this, the institute is very often involved in ministerial councils and workers meetings, giving seminars on subjects of doctrinal and theological interest for church workers, and reaffirming the message and mission of the church.

Every year staff members teach courses in one or more Adventist seminaries around the world at the request of the local administrators (e.g., South America, Philippines, Germany, Russia, Korea). This serves the purpose of sharing the result of research with those in ministerial formation, contributing to the enrichment of theological thinking in the world church. Through the Institute, the General Conference maintains contact with theologians serving in our institutions of higher education from around the world and provides opportunity for theological exchange among Bible teachers and theologians. This has been achieved through several theological symposiums held in different divisions.

The Web site of the Biblical Research Institute provides information on a variety of topics. On the Web site interested people may access the full text of many shelf documents and a significant number of answers to Bible questions. There is also information about books prepared and edited by the staff.*

The BRI newsletter (Reflections) is published four times a year and seeks to share information concerning doctrinal and theological developments among Adventists, and to foster doctrinal and theological unity in the world church. Its intended audience is church administrators, church leaders, pastors, and teachers. Because of its specific function, the newsletter is not displayed on the BRI Web page. Adventist church elders who are interested in obtaining it are advised to approach their pastors or conference leaders.

The BRI will continue to serve the world church as a support ministry, integrating biblical-theological thinking to the message and mission of the church.
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*The Web site is biblicalresearch.gc.adventist.org.



 
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