A few years ago I had the privilege of studying, for my self (and for the first time ever), the Adventist understanding of the 2300 days in Daniel 8 and 9. I approached the issue with one purpose in mind: to discover if it was truth. If I discovered it to be erroneous I was ready to leave the church. For me, there was no sense in being part of a church whose primary contribution to Christianity was founded in fallacy. And so my journey began.*
When my journey was over I was convinced that the Adventist interpretation of the 2300 days was on solid ground. It made so much sense and was built on principles that were grounded in scripture and history. One of those principles is known as the "year-day principle." This principle basically states that in Bible prophecy "a day" is not a literal 24 hour period but a symbolic term that represents a year. Thus, 2300 days is understood to refer to 2300 years (an understanding that sets Adventisms prophetic message apart from every other denomination today.)
As is expected of any theological viewpoint, this principle has come under attack from both inside and outside of Adventism. Gerhard Pfandl, retired Associate Director of the Biblical Research Institute, has tackled this issue in the article: In Defense of the Year Day Principle. It is a great resource for anyone who is interested in this topic. Here is a small sample:
Seventh-day Adventists continue to use the historicist method of interpretation because they believe that the year-day principle is not a paradigm imposed on the text, but that it is found in Scripture itself. In Daniel 7 and 8, for example, the interpreting angel uses the historicist method to explain the various symbols as empires in history, one following the other. Read More.
* While Adventisms interpretation of the 2300 days was crucial to my acceptance of the church's prophetic heritage my final paper did not deal with the prophetic timeline. Instead I decided to focus on the implications of the investigative judgment for the gospel and Christian theology at large (a topic that was far more relevant for me). You can read my final paper by clicking here.