Alden Thompson

Alden Lloyd Thompson (19??—) is a Christian theologian, author and popular speaker and seminar presenter. He is the professor of biblical studies at Walla Walla University in Washington, United States. He has published several books and hundreds of scholarly and popular level articles, and has been considered to be a leading Old Testament theologian within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.


He graduated from Walla Walla College (now Walla Walla University) in 1965 with a BA. [cite web
last = Thompson
first = Alden
authorlink =
title = "Brief Biographical Sketch for Alden Thompson"
work =
publisher =
date =
url =
accessdate = 2007-02-16
] The same year he married Wanda Hoffman, who was also graduating from Walla Walla College, in nursing. Thompson graduated from Andrews University with an MA in 1966 and a BD in 1967.

After serving as a pastor in southeastern California from 1967 to 1970, he became a faculty member of Walla Walla University in 1970. From 1972 to 1974 the college sponsored him to go on doctoral study leave at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He was awarded with a doctorate in Old Testament and Judaic Studies in 1974, and his dissertation was published in 1977 by Scholars Press.

In 1980 and 1981 he taught at Marienhoehe Seminary in Darmstadt, Germany. From 1986 to 1990 he served as the academic vice president of Walla Walla College, returning to full-time teaching in the School of Theology in 1990.

Alden and his wife Wanda have two daughters, Karin and Krista.


Thompson is open to a small use of the historical-critical method of Bible interpretation, although many Adventists reject this method. [For example, the 1986 statement [ Methods of Bible Study] , "urge [s] Adventist Bible students to avoid relying on the use of the presuppositions and the resultant deductions associated with the historical-critical method."]


His books include
* 2005. "Escape from the Flames: How Ellen White grew from fear to joy - and helped me to do it too" (Pacific Press). ISBN 0816320853
* 1995. "Samuel: From the Danger of Chaos to the Danger of Power". Boise, ID: Pacific Press (part of The Abundant Life Bible Amplifier series) ISBN 0816312656
* 1991. "Inspiration: Hard Questions, Honest Answers", [cite book
last = Thompson
first = Alden
title = Inspiration: Hard Questions, Honest Answers
publisher = Review and Herald
year = 1991
location = Hagerstown, MD
id = ISBN 0-8280-0621-0
] (Review and Herald), now translated into German ("Inspiration: Knifflige Fragen - Ehrliche Antworten", 1998) and Dutch ("Inspiratie: Moeilijke vragen, eerlijke antwoorden", 2002)
* 1988. "Who's Afraid of the Old Testament God?" (Paternoster, 1988; Zondervan, 1989). ISBN 0310519217

* 1977 "Responsibility for Evil in the Theodicy of IV Ezra" (Ph.D. thesis) Dissertation series, Society of Biblical Literature; no. 29) [ [ Responsibility for Evil in the Theodicy of IV Ezra (Dissertation series - Society of Biblical Literature; no. 29): Books: Alden Thompson ] ]

See the favourable review of "Inspiration" by evangelical Clark Pinnock, which was published in "Spectrum". [cite journal
last = Pinnock
first = Clark
authorlink = Clark Pinnock
title = Alden Thompson's "Inspiration": Why Is It A Cause Célèbre?
journal = Spectrum
volume = 23
issue = 4
pages = 51–52
publisher = Association of Adventist Forums
date = January 1994
url =
format = PDF
id = ISSN 0890-0264
accessdate = 2006-11-21

Two chapters were withdrawn from "Inspiration" prior to publication, "Eschatology: The Angels Always Say the Time Is Short", and "The Adventist Church at Corinth", which describes three dominant strands of Adventist theology.

Thompson's speaking engagements and prolific writings cover many topics, including the Bible, especially the Old Testament, Ellen White studies, inspiration (see biblical inspiration, revelation), and Adventist history.

See also

* Walla Walla University
* Progressive Adventism

External links

* [ Alden Thompson's homepage] , which includes a brief biography and the full text of many articles.
* [ Good Word] – [ Bible study guides] and [ audio commentary] by Thompson and others for download. Broadcast on KGTS ( [ website] ) (Formerly known as "Probe"?)
* [ From Sinai to Golgotha] , a five-part sequence first published in the "Adventist Review"
* [ Interview] by Alita Byrd of "Spectrum"
* [ Interview] by Adventist pastor David Hamstra
* [ Articles by Thompson] as cataloged in the Seventh-day Adventist Periodical Index (SDAPI)


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