Independent Lay Evangelist faces Accusations of Anti-Semitism after Speaking in Germany
by AT News Team
Walter Veith, a former zoology professor from South Africa who operates an Adventist independent ministry based in British Columbia, has been investigated by police in Germany in the aftermath of a recent speaking appointment there. Prosecutors are considering whether or not to charge him with making anti-Semitic remarks and incitement against the government, he has told supporters in a statement being shared among Adventist pastors on Facebook.
“I am not … an Anti Semite,” he stated in an open letter to “Dear Brethren in Germany.” He said that “any form of racism is abhorrent to me” and that he has been “an ardent campaigner against racist injustice all my life,” referencing without specifics his background in South Africa.
Veith said that he presented a lecture on Daniel 11 and “the purpose of the lecture was to show that literal Israel (both physically and theologically) can in no way represent the ‘spiritual Israel’ of the Bible.” He points out that German is not his first language and that there is the possibility that he misused language or was misunderstood. He said “belittling remarks such as ‘gelbes Tuechlein’ stem from my linguistic inadequacy … not from malicious intent.”
The Biblical Research Institute (BRI), the official group of Bible scholars at the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, published an article in its newsletter in January 2008 critiquing Veith’s position that only the King James Version and related translations are reliable. “He arrives at this position partly because of certain conspiracy theories which he espouses rather than on the basis of a study of the original Greek manuscripts,” the article stated.
Veith is entangled in a “dark fantasy world” reported Spectrum, the journal of the largest organization of Adventist academics, a year ago. His presentations “blend nutritional advice and traditional Adventist apocalyptic” with “myth that has considerably less logic than a Dan Brown novel and a great deal more creepiness.” He is popular with many Adventists because he defends creationism and has a dramatic personal testimony about his conversion from atheism.