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Author Topic: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?  (Read 9070 times)

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reddogs

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Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« on: May 24, 2008, 04:03:22 AM »

Are Ellen White's writings the final authority on prophetic, doctrinal, or historical interpretation....?

I was going over Samuele Bacchiocchi's, noted Adventist scholar and author, article  "...A Reply To Criticism: Part I "The Use of E. G. White's Writings in Interpreting Scripture"

http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/endtimeissues/eti_87.html

He asks the right question, "Did Ellen White view her writings as the final authority for any prophetic, doctrinal, or historical interpretation of Scripture" and comes up with the right answer "The sampling of statements just cited, clearly indicates that Ellen White pointed to the Scripture as the final authority for defining church beliefs and practices", but then proceeds to give himself license then to challenge what is written in the Great Controvesy and insert his thesis as seen in the following. "It is evident that the editors were made aware of the fact that "the establishment of the papacy" did not begin in 538. In my dissertation I have shown that the development of the papal primacy began already in the second century, when the Pope exercised his ecumenical authority by imposing on Christian churches at large Easter-Sunday, weekly Sunday, and by condemning various movements like the Montanists."

This doesnt change the fact that the papacy was given formal authority in 538 by the Roman Emperor, while before it was just allowed to exist as a group of believers or religion, but not in charge or having political power. So it appears that Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, in order to support a theory on how Islam fits into biblical prophecy, a stronger postion of interpretation is pushed aside for a weaker one, what are your thougths. Here is the section of the article we are dealing with..


"..Did Ellen White view her writings as the final authority for any prophetic, doctrinal, or historical interpretation of Scripture? Did Ellen White ever sensed the need to revise and correct what she had published? Did Ellen White engage experienced workers to help her make needed corrections? Were the corrections made "peripheral" as alleged by my critics, or substantive? Are there still corrections that need to be made in Ellen White's writings?

It is evident that the questions we are addressing in this newsletter are most sensitive and fundamental to the Adventist understanding of the relationship between EGW's writings and the Scripture. We are dealing with a critical issue that is troubling our Adventist church today. It has been for me a most painful experience to read messages from a considerable number of former Adventists who have shared with me their disillusionment with Ellen White. Some of them used to be devotee of EGW's writings and lived by their teachings. Today, however, they feel so disillusioned and bitter that they have designed websites, exclusively devoted to attack Ellen White. This saddens me because Ellen White has made and is still making today an inestimable contribution to the message and mission of our church, and to the spiritual life of millions of believers around the world.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that as a church we have failed to develop rational criteria for a responsible and healthy use of Ellen White's writings. Over the years many Adventists have come to believe that Ellen White is the final authority on prophecy, history, diet, health, education, evangelism, etc. For them Biblical research consists primarily in searching out what Ellen White has written on the subject being investigated. In fact somebody wrote to me saying that I could have saved a lot of time if I had checked what Ellen White wrote about Islam. Why? Simply because she wrote nothing about it and consequently there was no reason for me to waste my time studying a subject ignored by Ellen White.

It would be presumptuous to think that this newsletter will change the mind of those who blindly believe that they can find in Ellen White's writings answers to all their questions. The most I can hope to accomplish is to lay the foundation for developing some sensible criteria for the proper use of EGW's writings in Biblical interpretation. Dealing with this divisive issue is very risky. This may explain why most Adventist scholars and church leaders prefer to ignore it. But, placing the issue under the rug only means postponing to the future the search for answers to questions many are asking today.

I anticipate that this newsletter will alienate a good number of current friends. This is not an encouraging thought. I wish I could avoid it, but my commitment is to be biblical rather than politically correct. May I kindly ask you to hold your judgment until you have had the opportunity to read my responses, which include at least the next newsletter.


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THE SEVENFOLD PROPHECY OF THE 1260 DAYS

In the next newsletter I will respond to the objections raised against my tentative interpretation of the 1260 days prophecy. My plan is to analyzes the sevenfold prophecy of the three and a half years, 42 months, 1260 days. The procedure I will follow is to consider each of the seven texts where this time prophecy is found (Dan 7:25; 12:7; Rev 11:2; Rev 11:3; Rev 12:6; Rev 12:14; Rev 13:5). This is a unique prophecy that is mentioned seven times in the Bible, with three different time designations, all of them adding up to three and a half years.

Through a careful analysis of the context of each text, I will attempt to define the various characteristics of this prophetic period given in each text. This definition will help us to determine if all the given characteristics of this prophetic period can be legitimately fitted in our traditional Adventist interpretation which delimits this prophecy to the period of the papal domination from 538 to 1798. The aim of this study is not to discard our traditional interpretation, but possibly to broaden it by including the historic antichristian manifestation of Islam.

If space allows, the next newsletter will also include my response to my critics, who content that the uprooting of the three horns of Daniel 7:20, refers exclusively to the establishment of Papacy supremacy. Our analysis of the text and of the relevant historical developments, will show that the antichristian power of Islam can be legitimately included in the historical outworking of the Little Horn Antichrist.

The ultimate aim of this study is to help us appreciate more fully the prophetic outworking of the controversy between Christ and the Antichrist during the Christian era until our times. This is a fascinating subject to explore both biblically and historically.

You might be interested to learn about a major study recently published on this subject. The title of the book is CHRIST AND ANTICHRIST IN PROPHECY AND HISTORY. The author, Edwin de Kock, is a retired Adventist professor from South Africa, now living in Texas. He has done a masterful job in reconstructing the historical setting of the controversy between Christ and the Antichrist. In many ways this study is an apologetic defense of the historical Adventist interpretation of the Antichrist. When completed the study will consists of three volumes.

I do not agree with everything de Kock wrote, but, as a church historian, I am very impressed by his historical reconstruction of events related to the outworking of the Antichrist. You can order now the first volume (390 pages) by contacting the author directly: Edwin de Kock, P O Box 2325, Edinburg, TX 78540-2325. E-mail: edwdekock@aol.com. Tel. (956) 583-2859.

Please remember that what I am submitting for your consideration is ONLY A PROPOSED INTERPRETATION, that may need to be modified, or even rejected, if proven to be devoid of biblical and historical support. Our common goal should be to come to a fuller understanding of biblical truths relevant to our lives. To accomplish this goal, it may be necessary to revise some of our traditional Adventist interpretations. This should not distress us because we are committed to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet 3:18).


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THE ROLE OF EGW'S WRITINGS IN BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION

A most serious criticism leveled by several respondents against my study on "Islam and the Papacy in Prophecy," is that my proposed interpretation of the 1260 days prophecy openly contradicts Ellen White's exclusive application of this prophecy to the period of papal supremacy from 538 to 1798. I will quote the comments of Kevin Paulsen, which are representative of several other respondents.

Paulsen begins his critique of my essay, saying: "Yet another challenge is being posed to historic Adventist prophetic interpretation--and from what many would consider an unlikely source. Samuele Bacchiocchi, noted Adventist scholar and author of various books on current denominational issues, now claims he is convinced that the Antichrist of Bible prophecy includes Islam as well as the Roman papacy, and that--in his view--the stated characteristics of Daniel's little-horn power more accurately reflect Islam than the papacy, specifically with regard to the uprooting of the three horns (Dan. 7:8,24) and the 'time and times and the dividing of time' (Dan. 7:25) during which this power would rule.

"Perhaps most seriously of all, when confronted by a respondent with Ellen White's clear endorsement of Adventism's historic dates for the 1,260-year prophecy, Bacchiocchi sought to weaken this fact by claiming that Sister White was 'committed to search for truth and recognized her limitations.'"5

Paulsen concludes his critique with these words: "Samuele Bacchiocchi has contributed many years of fine scholarship to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. His books defending the Sabbath, the non-immortality of the soul, and our historic positions on such issues as alcohol, adornment, and rock music, have been a great blessing to Adventists throughout the world. But by seeking to alter our historic stand regarding the Antichrist prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, he has stepped into theological quicksand. His position contradicts the clear statements of Inspiration, as well as the plainly-documented facts of history."6

A Serious Criticism

These statements contain a serious criticism that need to be addressed. The implication is that by submitting an alternative interpretation of the 1260 days prophecy, I am rejecting the authority of Ellen White and undermining the positive contributions my books have made in defending historic Adventist positions. If this allegation were true, then no Adventist has the right to reexamine the traditional Adventist interpretations. We must accept them as Biblical sound, even if we find flaws in them.

Is this what it means to be a committed Adventist? Are Adventists close-minded Christians who blindly accept their traditional teachings without ever testing their biblical soundness? If this were true, then those who accuse us of being a cult are not far from the truth. But this is not what I have been taught during the years I attended the Adventist Academy in Italy, Newbold College in England, and Andrews University Theological Seminary in the USA. Furthermore, this is not what I heard and taught during the 36 years of teachings at Andrews University and overseas. What I always heard and taught is that Adventists are THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK. We test our beliefs and practices first and foremost by Scripture. Let us honor this fundamental distinction of our Adventist church, and avoid becoming victim of a cultish mentality.

My Deep Respect for Ellen White's Writings

In formulating a response, I wish to state at the outset my deep respect for the writings of Ellen White. During the past 15 years, my wife and I have faithfully read EGW's writings every evening for our devotion. At the beginning of each year my wife purchases from the ABC the devotional book of the year. If the devotional book is not compilation from Ellen White's writings, chances are that we read it only for few weeks, because soon we sense the need to go back to EGW's writings. This we do by rereading one of the previous Spirit of Prophecy's devotional. For example, this year we are rereading Our High Calling, which was EGW's devotional book for 2001. The reason is simply. Ellen White speaks to the spiritual needs of our souls better than other contemporary writers.

The important role that Ellen White plays in our devotional life should serve to dispel the allegation that I fail to respect Ellen White by submitting a tentative new interpretation for the 1260 days prophecy. The question is: Does respect for the authority of Ellen White preclude any fresh investigation of Biblical or historical subjects discussed in her writings? Did Ellen White see herself as the final and infallible authority on prophetic, exegetical, theological, and historical interpretations? Did she expect Adventists to accept whatever she wrote without questioning? I do not believe this to be the case. To prove my point, I will submit two lines of evidences: (1) Ellen White's own understanding of the relationship of her writings to Scripture. (2) The 1911 revision of The Great Controversy.

Relationship Between EGW's Writings and Scripture

To my knowledge Ellen White never taught that her writings have the same normative authority of Scripture for defining church beliefs and practices. She unequivocally stated: "The Bible, and the Bible alone, is to be our creed, the sole bond of union; all who bow to this Holy Word will be in harmony. Our own views and ideas must not control our efforts. Man is fallible, but God's Word is infallible. . . . Let us lift up the banner on which is inscribed, The Bible our rule of faith and discipline"7

What impresses me about Ellen White is her humbleness and respect for the normative authority of the Bible. She never claimed to be an infallible authority to be accepted without questioning. She wrote: "In regard to infallibility, I never claimed it; God alone is infallible. His word is true, and in him is no variableness, or shadow of turning"8 A proof of the recognition of her fallibility and limitations, is provided by the 1911 revision of The Great Controversy. Shortly we shall see that in preparing this revision she asked responsible workers to help her remove disputed statements and to make the necessary corrections.

We never read that Paul, Peter, or of any other Bible writer asked competent people to help them edit their manuscripts and remove inaccuracies. Ellen White saw no problem in correcting her manuscripts, or in changing her views (like in the case of the "Shut Door"), or in asking others to help her make necessary corrections to The Great Controversy.

The most familiar statement of Ellen White's understanding of the relationship of her writings to Scripture, is found in Colporteur Ministry p. 125: "Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light." Again she wrote: "The Testimonies are not to belittle the word of God, but to exalt it and to attract minds to it, that the beautiful simplicity of truth may impress all"9

The sampling of statements just cited, clearly indicates that Ellen White pointed to the Scripture as the final authority for defining church beliefs and practices. She wrote: "I recommend to you dear reader, the Word of God as the rule of your faith and practice. By that Word we are to be judged. God has, in that Word, promised to give visions in the 'last days;' not for a new rule of faith, but for the comfort of His people, and to correct those who err from Bible truth."10 In this statement Ellen White clearly acknowledges that her writings (visions) are to serve, "not for a new rule of faith," but to comfort and correct those "who err from Bible truth"

The 1911 Revision of The Great Controversy

The 1911 revision of The Great Controversy provides a helpful case study to understand Ellen White's recognition of her limitations. My comments are based on a 14 pages document supplied to me by the E. G. White Estate office of Andrews University. The document is entitled "The 1911 Edition of The Great Controversy. An Explanation of the Involvements of the 1911 Revision." This document, which is readily available to any interested person, contains a statement read by W. C. White (Ellen White's son) before the General Conference Council on October 30. 1911. Ellen White approved the statement of her son in a statement signed on July 27, 1911.

The need for a revision of The Great Controversy was precipitated by two factors: (1) The old plates for reprinting the book were worn out and new plates were urgently needed (2) Some people challenged some of the historical data and they wanted references for the historical quotations.

W. C. White offers us an instructive account of how the revision was done. Essentially the process was carried out in two steps. First, they asked anyone who questioned the accuracy of statements found in The Great Controversy, to submit their objections in writings. Second, Ellen White instructed competent workers in Europe and America to search in libraries for the books needed "to verify the quotations and to correct inaccuracies found."11 She thanked the brethren who devoted countless hours in libraries searching the needed material.

To establish the extent of the changes that were made, it would require a comparative analysis between the old and new editions of The Great Controversy. In this moment I have no time for such a laborious project. The report of W. C. White clearly suggests that some significant changes were made.

He writes: "On pages 50, 563, 564, 580, 581, and in few other places where there were statements regarding the papacy which are strongly disputed by Roman Catholics, and which are difficult to prove from accessible histories, the wording in the new edition has been so changed that the statement falls easily within the range of evidence that is readily obtainable."12

Willingness of Ellen White to Make Corrections

What amazes me is the willingness of Ellen White to make the necessary corrections. She went as far as to ask the various publishing departments and canvassing agents, both in America and overseas, to submit in writing their request for any correction to be done. To me this shows that Ellen White recognized that in her writings there were inaccuracies that needed to be corrected.

When reading the account of the participation of European and American researchers in locating documents needed to correct some of the historical statements that "were questioned and challenged," one gets the impression that Ellen White welcomed the participation of those who could help in making the necessary corrections in the new edition of The Great Controversy. She expressly stated: "I am thankful that my life has been spared, and that I have strength and clearness of mind for this and other literary work."13

If Ellen White was alive today, would she welcome the service of competent scholars willing to correct the remaining inaccuracies found in The Great Controversy and other publications? There is no reason to think otherwise, because she was a woman who recognized her limitations, and was committed to the search for truth.. On my part I would be glad to offer my services to her, because I can never stop thanking God for the inestimable contributions she has made to my spiritual life and to the message and mission of our Adventist church.

Ellen White was a humble and open-minded woman, fully ware of her limitations. As her son, W. C. White puts it: "Mother has never claimed to be an authority on history."14 Again, "Mother has never laid claim to verbal inspiration."15 He supports the latter by pointing to the fact that his mother corrected and revised her manuscripts...."
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Chrissie

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Re: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2008, 04:37:23 AM »

The short answer is "NO".
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RND

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Re: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2008, 12:35:32 PM »

You know RD I don't see it so much as a disagreement by SB with EGW, I see it as SB injecting Islam where Islam doesn't go - which is anywhere in Daniel 7. Islam is, has been and will always be an invention of the same paganism and gnosticism that gives Rome her power.

Dr. Walter Veith has a great presentation that shows the tremendous connection between Catholicism and Islam. I think  SB has dismissed this connection prematurely.

The Islamic Connection
« Last Edit: May 25, 2008, 12:39:08 PM by RND »
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All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (1788 - 1860)

reddogs

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Re: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2008, 03:44:12 AM »

Here are some interesting quotes from EGW on the subject...

     

"When I learned that Great Controversy must be reset, I determined that we would have everything closely examined, to see if the truths it contained were stated in the very best manner, to convince those not of our faith that the Lord had guided and sustained me in the writing of its pages.
     "As a result of the thorough examination by our most experienced workers, some changing in the wording has been proposed.  These changes I have carefully examined, and approved.  I am thankful my life has been spared, and that I have strength and clearness of mind for this and other literary work."  - Letter 56, 1911.  {Spirit of Prophecy Volume IV 530}


She is not giving the slightest hint that changes were made as far as interpretation...only in the wording and typographical errors.... we are told:   

The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God's remnant people in the true testimony.--1SM 48 (1890).  {LDE 177.5} 
     The enemy has made his masterly efforts to unsettle the faith of our own people in the Testimonies. . . . This is just as Satan designed it should be, and those who have been preparing the way for the people to pay no heed to the warnings and reproofs of the Testimonies of the Spirit of God will see that a tide of errors of all kinds will spring into life.--3SM 83 (1890).  {LDE 178.1} 
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Chrissie

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Re: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2008, 04:06:37 AM »

But nowhere does she state that she was the 'final authority' on any doctrinal topic, despite many people trying to turn her writings into that.
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JohnH

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Re: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2008, 11:49:28 PM »

There's certainly more light to be discovered in the Bible.  Nobody has exhausted that well, not EGW, not anybody.  But as far as what was revealed to her goes, it's to be regarded as final w/r/t whether it's true or not.

"When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth.  No after suppositions, contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained."  {Notebook Leaflets, Volume 2, p. 157 para. 3}
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reddogs

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Re: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2008, 05:32:52 AM »

You know RD I don't see it so much as a disagreement by SB with EGW, I see it as SB injecting Islam where Islam doesn't go - which is anywhere in Daniel 7. Islam is, has been and will always be an invention of the same paganism and gnosticism that gives Rome her power.

Dr. Walter Veith has a great presentation that shows the tremendous connection between Catholicism and Islam. I think  SB has dismissed this connection prematurely.

The Islamic Connection

Well, its his veiw that he was been working on so he puts that in, but to what end as it doesnt have much in terms of points in history as followers of Islam were more nomadic so dont have much to work with..
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RND

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Re: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2008, 07:35:46 AM »

You know RD I don't see it so much as a disagreement by SB with EGW, I see it as SB injecting Islam where Islam doesn't go - which is anywhere in Daniel 7. Islam is, has been and will always be an invention of the same paganism and gnosticism that gives Rome her power.

Dr. Walter Veith has a great presentation that shows the tremendous connection between Catholicism and Islam. I think  SB has dismissed this connection prematurely.

The Islamic Connection

Well, its his veiw that he was been working on so he puts that in, but to what end as it doesnt have much in terms of points in history as followers of Islam were more nomadic so dont have much to work with..

You know RD, SB is an extremely well written man with a wealth of knowledge and scholarship that I'll never have or come close to, so I suppose it would be necessary to temper my views based on SB's credentials alone. That said, I would need to see some Biblical proofs, texts that clearly show a connection in Daniel and Revelation with Islam. I just don't see it however.

My guess is that a well educated and learned man such as SB would know and see the connections between Catholicism and Islam, specifically in the way worship is conducted and traditions are upheld between the two. Just the mere fact that both religions have "prayer beads" is an interesting facts that to me indicates the same tendency towards accepting pagan rites and rituals.



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All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (1788 - 1860)

BobRyan

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Re: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2010, 05:43:42 AM »

There are two problems here.

 When a message is attributed to God Himself - how much error can it have?

1. Wording error? syntax? (maybe -- if this is not a "God said --" kind of ten commandments statement from God) --

2. Doctrinal error? no - it cannot have doctrinal error and the TEST to see IF there is doctrinal error in the message - is the test "sola scriptura".

So if one wants to find incidentals that are NOT provided by God (as in "how many rooms are in the sanitarium at Battle Creek" ) then "yes" lots of room for correction. And "no" - not a doctrine of the church.

in Christ,

Bob

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Johann

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Re: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2010, 01:57:22 PM »

One of the most astonishing things I discovered in the writings of Ellen G. White was the story of how she wrote the Desire of Ages. When she had written another chapter or so she would mail the manuscript to her husband to have him and others read it through to make sure the doctrinal points were clear.

Here is first what her son wrote about how his mother had gathered the material:
Quote
 The great events occurring in the life of our Lord were
     presented to her in panoramic scenes as also were the other
     portions of the great controversy. In a few of these scenes,



     chronology and geography were clearly presented, but in the
     greater part of the revelation the flashlight scenes, which were
     exceedingly vivid, and the conversations and the controversies,
     which she heard and was able to narrate, were not marked
     geographically or chronologically, and she was left to study the
     Bible and history and the writings of men who had presented the
     life of our Lord to get the chronological and geographical
     connection. {4BIO 378.4}

Here is a quotation from a letter Ellen White wrote to her husband. She was in California writing, while he was at Battle Creek.

Quote
    Dear Husband: . . . In regard to publishing my book here, what do you think of it? The manuscript could at once be put in the hands of the printers. Will you please inform us in reference to this.  {MR728 12.4}

     I have liberty in writing and I plead with God daily for counsel and that I may be imbued with His Spirit. I then believe that I shall have help and strength and grace to do the will of God. {MR728 12.5}

     I am glad you are so free and happy. I never had such an opportunity to write in my life and I mean to make the most of it. . . . {MR728 12.6}

     How will it do to read my manuscript to Elders Waggoner and Loughborough? If there is any wording of doctrinal points not so clear as might be, he might discern it. (W. I mean.)--Letter 4a, 1876, pp. 1,2. {MR728 12.7}

She still wanted the Brethren to check her  manuscript to make sure the doctrinal points were clear.

I just now noticed the text got warped while saving it, so I made a correction
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 09:39:40 PM by Johann »
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tinka

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Re: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2010, 06:20:23 PM »

Johann,
Somehow I believe the question is sort of a loaded question. (I may have trouble explaining this)  but I say that because, I believe a person or persons that have that outlook and would ask that question about EGW writings is the final authority is just an issue of their ignorance of her writings or failure to have actually read and just have taken inserts. One that has made a study of the last Message to this generation will never ask that question because it is simply not intended to be a question of final authority but to make better known what was always there and we failed in our ignorance to catch.  A person that has read every book cover to cover is not led to even think of such an outcome as that. I love finer details that i missed in Scripture. Sometimes when she makes statement or tells of vision or inspiration she would relate it back to Scripture.  Then lo and behold as I went there I would ask myself, now how is it that I did not pick up on that. That My friend is the gift that was given her.

People have no trouble going to one of the new version Bibles rewrote to get clarity as they think it gives. EGW gives that clarity that is better then those that she was presented to her better then the New Age Versions of which I do not agree on having. I have many desecration's of the "New Versions" but am not going to get into that. Her books penned was never presented for final authority. She was given a message and she gave it.  Pretty simple I would say...if totally read in each and right context. So when I go to her books and say well EGW wrote this or that it is alway with the knowlege and belief in my own mind, What did Jesus tell her! (smile and this is so loving that he did all he could do by his servant that he could not do to force anyone to love him.) He took the time "In His time"  and she Loved Him enough to do all He could not do!!  as He can only work through human instrument for our salvation. My mind is so vivid at the moment on His Love for us and not to lose us. I must stop here.
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Bob Pickle

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Re: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2010, 07:32:16 PM »

Johann is correct in what he describes, despite the fact that James White was dead when Desire of Ages was published.

Desire of Ages was an expansion or rewriting of what Ellen White had written before in 2SP, which she was writing in 1876, and which she is discussing in the quote Johann gave. That quote is recognized as being part of the history of the writing of Desire of Ages.
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Johann

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Re: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2010, 09:54:44 PM »

Back in 1876 there were no typewriters available, so everything was written by hand.

Thank you, tinka, I think we are in general agreement. I was not the one who posed this question here. It is a question that has often been asked, and you know that we are to be ready to give an answer, so why not refer to what Ellen White has said herself?
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tinka

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Re: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2010, 04:23:47 AM »

Bob and Johann,
I was always aware that Ellen had always working for her others especially since she was aware of her possible grammar being not correct or displayed properly knowing the lack of schooling. Guess I was not thinking of the putting together the Desire of Ages but wouldn't that still be a compilation or gathering of her notes  with the help of others helping put into story of right sequence including all references. I can only imagine the work of it. So now at that point I see where they would be coming for her to reread and give the "final authority" to make sure it meant what she in her mind was inspired "that was right" and now I understand how that question might be asked. Sorry for that lackness of understanding.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 06:15:34 AM by tinka »
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princessdi

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Re: Are Ellen White's writings the final authority ....?
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2010, 02:17:22 PM »

I agree that having someone "prrof" her writings for grammatical errors doesn't changed them.  Accomplished writer pay proofreaders, but the thoughts are still their own.

I am in agreement with all those who believe that EGW's writings are not the final word.
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It is the duty of every cultured man or woman to read sympathetically the scriptures of the world.  If we are to respect others' religions as we would have them respect our own, a friendly study of the world's religions is a sacred duty. - Mohandas K. Gandhi
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