This material regarding the writings of Ellen G. White is part of a Field Guide profile
The following samples of obvious Biblical errors in some of the teachings of Ellen G White (EGW) are excerpted from an anonymous web collection.
There is no name of the author on the site. But he/she is obviously not a person hostile to Adventist doctrine at all. He/she appears to be a former SDA who still agrees with much Adventist teaching, but has clearly seen both the plagiarism and the Biblical error in some of EGW's writings. The site includes many more examples than the few excerpted here. The author makes some very valid points in the comments in italics below.
TEMPTED BY SATAN FOR FORTY DAYS
"As soon as the long fast of Christ commenced, Satan was at hand with his temptations...Satan told Christ ...that it was not necessary for him to endure this painful hunger and death from starvation" (Redemption of the Temptation of Christ, p. 37 1874 Edition).
"As soon as Christ began his fast, Satan appeared as an angel of light, and claimed to be a messenger of heaven. He told him it was not the will of God that he should suffer this pain and self denial" (Christ Our Saviour p. 45. 1 Selected Messages p.273).
"Forty days He was tempted of Satan"(Early Writings p.155).
NOTE: According to these first three statements, Satan came to tempt Christ at the beginning of His forty day fast in the wilderness. In the following statement, Satan appears after the forty days of fasting are completed. This is consistent with Scripture which does not say that Christ was tempted for forty days, only that Satan came to tempt Him after He was very hungry.
"When Jesus entered the wilderness, He was shut in by the Father’s glory...But the glory departed, and He was left to battle with temptation. For forty days he fasted and prayed... Now was Satan’’s opportunity. Now he supposed he could overcome Christ" (Desire of Ages p.118)
"After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry." ... "The tempter
came to him and said, 'If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread’"
ALL THE MIRACLES OF CHRIST WERE DONE THROUGH ANGELS
"The angels of God are ever moving up and down from earth to Heaven, and from Heaven to earth. All the miracles of Christ performed for the afflicted and suffering were, by the power of God, through the ministration of angels. Christ condescended to take humanity, and thus he unites his interests with the fallen sons and daughters of Adam here below, while his divinity grasps the throne of God. And thus Christ opens the communication of man with God, and God with man. All the blessings from God to man are through the ministration of holy angels." Spirit of Prophecy Volume Two pg.76, Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald January 21, 1873 pr.16
Comment: "The Father who dwells in Me does the works" John 14:10.
GRAVECLOTHES CAREFULLY FOLDED
"It was Christ Himself who had placed those graveclothes with such care. When the mighty angel came down to the tomb, he was joined by another, who with his company had been keeping guard over the Lord’s body. As the angel from heaven rolled away the stone, the other entered the tomb, and unbound the wrappings from the body of Jesus. But it was the Saviour’s hand that folded each, and laid it in its place. In His sight who guides alike the star and the atom, there is nothing unimportant. Order and perfection are seen in all His work." Desire of Ages pg.789
Comment: It was the custom, as verified in the New Testament, to prepare the corpse (after cleansing) with various types of aromatic spices. In the case of Christ’s burial, 100 pounds of spices were used. (This amount was not unusual for an important person.) The graveclothes consisted of three or more long strips of linen sewed together in which no knots were permitted. Beginning at the feet the body was wrapped with the strips of linen. At this point the aromatic spices (composed of fragments of a fragrant wood pounded into a dust known as aloes) were mixed with a gummy substance known as myrrh. This mixture was placed between the strips of linen as the body was wrapped. The body would be wrapped up to the armpits, the arms folded down, and the wrapping continued up to the neck, then down to the feet again. A separate piece was wrapped around the head. The entire encasement would weigh perhaps 120 pounds. The myrrh used was a gummy resin which adheres so closely to the body that the graveclothes could not easily be removed. The Scripture says that when John looked into the tomb "he believed." What did John see? He saw the graveclothes in the exact position where he had last seen them, wrapped around the body of his Lord. But now they were empty, perhaps a bit caved in like an empty cocoon from which a butterfly has emerged.
"But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen
cloths lying by themselves; and he departed marveling to himself at what had happened"
(Luke 24:12). "Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and
he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His
head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.
Then the other disciple, (John) who came to the tomb first went in also; and he saw
and believed." (John 20:6-
The wrapping which had been around the head was lying separated from the body wrapping. The separation was the space where the neck would have been. (The neck was not wrapped.) The words "folded together" in the NKJV are an unfortunate translation. The KJV says "wrapped together," which is more accurate and the RSV says "rolled up." The head wrapping appeared folded because it flattened out when the body disappeared.
The whole point here being that Christ could not have carefully folded these long strips of linen unless He also made the sticky resin disappear which was glueing them together. This is unlikely.
JACOB AND THE ANGEL: TWO DIFFERENT STORIES
"Jacob's wrong, in receiving his brother's blessing by fraud, is again brought forcibly before him, and he is afraid that God will permit Esau to take his life. In his distress he prays to God all night. An angel was represented to me as standing before Jacob, presenting his wrong before him in its true character. As the angel turns to leave him, Jacob lays hold of him, and will not let him go. He makes supplications with tears. He pleads that he has deeply repented of his sins, and the wrongs against his brother, which have been the means of separating him from his father's house for twenty years. He ventures to plead the promises of God, and the tokens of his favor to him from time to time, in his absence from his father's house. All night Jacob wrestled with the angel, making supplication for a blessing. The angel seemed to be resisting his prayer, by continually calling his sins to his remembrance, ....... Spirit of Prophecy Vol. 1, pg.118
"It was in a lonely, mountainous region, the haunt of wild beasts and the lurking place of robbers and murderers. Solitary and unprotected, Jacob bowed in deep distress upon the earth. It was midnight. All that made life dear to him were at a distance, exposed to danger and death. Bitterest of all was the thought that it was his own sin which had brought this peril upon the innocent. With earnest cries and tears he made his prayer before God. Suddenly a strong hand was laid upon him. He thought that an enemy was seeking his life, and he endeavored to wrest himself from the grasp of his assailant. In the darkness the two struggled for the mastery. Not a word was spoken, but Jacob put forth all his strength, and did not relax his efforts for a moment. While he was thus battling for his life, the sense of his guilt pressed upon his soul; his sins rose up before him, to shut him out from God. But in his terrible extremity he remembered God's promises, and his whole heart went out in entreaty for His mercy. The struggle continued until near the break of day, when the stranger placed his finger upon Jacob's thigh, and he was crippled instantly. The patriarch now discerned the character of his antagonist. He knew that he had been in conflict with a heavenly messenger, and this was why his almost superhuman effort had not gained the victory." Patriarchs and Prophets pg. 196
COMMENT: In the first version Mrs. White says that the angel was clearly seen by Jacob. The angel was calling his sins to his remembrance, and Jacob laid hold of the angel as he was about to leave. In the second version it is dark and the angel first lays his hand upon Jacob. Jacob thinks that the angel is a human enemy. In the second version not a word is spoken. Only when the angel touches his thigh and cripples him, does Jacob realize that this is a heavenly messenger, and he then clings to Him pleading for a blessing.
IT IS A SIN TO BE SICK
"It is a sin to be sick; for all sickness is the result of transgression" (Counsels on Health, p. 37).
NOTE: "So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. ... In all this, Job did not sin" (Job 2:7, 10).
It is a matter of record that Ellen White was quite sickly -
ANGEL’S PREDICTION NOT FULFILLED
"I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: 'Some food
for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain
upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus.’" Testimonies for the Church
Volume 1 pg.131-
Comment: Everyone who attended the conference has been dead for many years.
BURNING COAL THE CAUSE OF VOLCANIC ACTIVITY
"Before the flood there were immense forests. The trees were many times larger than any trees which we now see. They were of great durability. They would know nothing of decay for hundreds of years. At the time of the flood, these forests were torn up or broken down and buried in the earth. In some places large quantities of these immense trees were thrown together and covered with stones and earth by the commotions of the flood. They have since petrified and become coal, which accounts for the large coal beds which are now found. This coal has produced oil. God causes large quantities of coal and oil to ignite and burn. Rocks are intensely heated, limestone is burned, and iron ore melted. Water and fire under the surface of the earth meet. The action of water upon the limestone adds fury to the intense heat, and causes earthquakes, volcanoes, and fiery issues. The action of fire and water upon the ledges of rocks and ore causes loud explosions which sound like muffled thunder. These wonderful exhibitions will be more numerous and terrible just before the second coming of Christ and the end of the world, as signs of its speedy destruction." The Spirit of Prophecy Volume One pg. 81
Comment: Coal does not burn under the earth’s surface. And volcanic activity is caused by the molten core magma seeping up through fissures caused by the movement of tectonic plates, not because "God causes large quantities of coal and oil to ignite and burn."
CHILDREN WITH WINGS IN THE NEW EARTH
"We passed through the wood, for we were on our way to Mount Zion, as we were
traveling along we met a company who were also gazing at the glories of the place:
I noticed red as a border on their garments. Their crowns were brilliant-
CHILDREN RESURRECTED WITH WINGS
"As the little infants come forth immortal from their dusty beds, they immediately wing their way to their mother's arms. They meet again never more to part. But many of the little ones have no mother there. We listen in vain for the rapturous song of triumph from the mother. The angels receive the motherless infants and conduct them to the tree of life. Jesus places the golden ring of light, the crown upon their little heads. God grant that the dear mother of "Eva" may be there, that her little wings may be folded upon the glad bosom of her mother." The Youth’s Instructor April 1, 1858 pr.3
Comment: Christ did not have wings on his resurrected body, and we are to
have a body like his. The addition of wings would make us a new species. Did these
resurrected children not grow for a thousand years? Why are they still children in
the new earth -
End of excerpts from the prophecyviewpoint.com website.
Ellen G White claimed for these teachings, and, in fact, all of her teachings, that they were not just the result of her own study of the Bible, nor of the teachings of others, but rather came directly from divine inspiration. Some of them even include specific descriptions of what she was "shown" in alleged "visions."
Thus those who would accept EGW as a bona-
This short selection is only a small sample of the problems of the writings of EGW. For further examination of the facts regarding her ministry, see the main Field Guide SDA profile.
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Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.
Biblical Errors in the teachings of
Ellen G White