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Exposing Adventism - Ten Commandments a transcript of God's character?

Ellen White tells us:

We have only glimmering light in regard to the exceeding breadth of the law of God. The law spoken from Sinai is a transcript of God's character. Many who claim to be teachers of the truth have no conception of what they are handling when they are presenting the law to the people, because they have not studied it; they have not put their mental powers to the task of understanding its significance. Their God-given powers are diverted and misapplied, and they come far short of apprehending what is truth. They have a smattering of knowledge, but they do not understand the relation of Christ to the law, and cannot present it in such a way as to unfold the plan of salvation to their hearers; for they do not let Christ into their hearts, or bring him into their discourses. They do not feel in their souls that they must plow deeper in their search for truth, so that they may declare the whole counsel of God. (Review and Herald, February 4, 1890)

I have included the entire paragraph so we can see the context. The statement that I would like to focus on is the following:

The law spoken from Sinai is a transcript of God's character.

Now on the surface this sounds very good. Let take a moment to actually contemplate what she says here. When we read Ellen White's writings the natural tendency is to look for the devotional aspects, and overlook her doctrine. Adventists automatically consider her to be inspired. as a result the normal evaluation to see if what she is proposing is scriptural is short-circuited.

The doctrine she proposes in this statement is what I would like to examine today. Throughout her writings she places great emphasis on the Mosaic Law. Christianity places great emphasis on Jesus. Is it biblical to say that the Mosaic Law is a transcript of God's character?

First let's make sure we understand the meaning of the word "transcript."

Dictionary.com tells us that the word "transcript" is a noun meaning:

  1. a written, typewritten, or printed copy; something transcribed or made by transcribing.
  2. an exact copy or reproduction, esp. one having an official status.
  3. an official report supplied by a school on the record of an individual student, listing subjects studied, grades received, etc.
  4. a form of something as rendered from one alphabet or language into another.

Let's try out each of these four definitions and see which makes the most sense.

  1. The law spoken from Sinai is [a written, typewritten, or printed copy; something transcribed or made by transcribing] of God's character.
  2. The law spoken from Sinai is [an exact copy or reproduction, esp. one having an official status] of God's character.
  3. The law spoken from Sinai is [an official report supplied by a school on the record of an individual student, listing subjects studied, grades received, etc] of God's character.
  4. The law spoken from Sinai is [a form of something as rendered from one alphabet or language into another] of God's character.

The first definition makes the most logical sense. The law spoken from Sinai is [a written copy] of God's character. I propose that it is the only definition that makes any sense. But is "the law spoken from Sinai a written copy of God's character?" Like many of Ellen White's statements the have a devotional ring that sounds appealing, but a doctrinal evaluation uncovers numerous disturbing contradictions to Scripture.

Is the law spoken from Sinai a written copy of God's character?

I would like to propose that Jesus, not the Ten Commandments, is the final revelation of God’s law and as such he is the definitive factor, that is, the lense through which all of God’s laws ought to be interpreted and applied.

Additional reference material: http://www.jesusinstituteforum.org/Law-in-Christ.rtf

 

 

 

 
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Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this ExposingAdventism.com website is 2007-2008 by Gilbert Jorgensen. 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.