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How Does the SDA Clear Word Bible Compare to God's Word?

The Bible states that the people said, "let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."

Ellen White states, among other things, that the purpose of the tower was to escape another flood, as well as to "discover reasons for the flood."

Who should we believe?

 

Genesis 11:1-9 (King James Version)

1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.

4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

 

Genesis 11:1-9 (New International Version)

1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.

2 As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

3 They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.

4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building.

6 The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.

7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."

8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.

9 That is why it was called Babel —because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.


Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

 

Genesis 11:1-9 (SDA Clear Word Bible)

1 At first all the descendants of Noah had only one language.

2 As they moved eastward from Mt. Ararat where the ark had settled, they mad their home in the plain of Shinar, which is also called Babylonia.

3 After some time they said to each other, "Come, let's build permanent places to live. We'll use baked bricks and tar instead of sandstone and mortar,"

4 When they saw they were successful in doing that, they said, "Now that we've built this beautiful city, let's build a huge escape tower to protect ourselves against a possible future flood. Let's make it the most beautiful high-rise in the world and soon other cities will want to do the same. They'll all come to see it and our fame will extend around the world."

5 Then the Lord came down to take a look at the city and the escape tower they were building.

6 and when He saw it, He said, "This is only the beginning of what these people will attempt to do. They all speak the same language, and if they succeed in this, they'll think that by working together they can do anything they set their minds to.

7 We need to stop them lest they be lifted up with pride and forget who created them. Let's confuse their language so that they'll not be able to communicate with each other.

8 And that's what happened. Suddenly the people started speaking different languages and could not understand each other, so building on the huge tower and expansion of the city stopped. Thus the Lord scattered them over the face of the earth.

9 The city and that whole area where they lived became known as Babylon or Babel, which means "confusion," because that was where the Lord confounded the language of the people, and it was from there that they scattered around the world.


Texts credited to Clear Word are from The Clear Word, copyright © 1994, 2000, 2003, 2004 by Review and Herald Publishing Association. All rights reserved.

 

Spiritual Gifts, Volume 3, Page 96

Some of the descendants of Noah soon began to apostatize. A portion followed the example of Noah, and obeyed God's commandments; others were unbelieving and rebellious, and even these did not believe alike in regard to the flood. Some disbelieved in the existence of God, and in their own minds accounted for the flood from natural causes. Others believed that God existed, and that he destroyed the antediluvian race by a flood; and their feelings, like Cain, rose in rebellion against God, because he destroyed the people from the earth and cursed the earth the third time by a flood.

Those who were enemies of God felt daily reproved by the righteous conversation and godly lives of those who loved, obeyed, and exalted God. The unbelieving consulted among themselves, and agreed to separate from the faithful, whose righteous lives were a continual restraint upon their wicked course.

They journeyed a distance from them, and selected a large plain wherein to dwell. They built them a city, and then conceived the idea of building a large tower to reach unto the clouds, that they might dwell together in the city and tower, and be no more scattered. They reasoned that they would secure themselves in case of another flood, for they would build their tower to a much greater height than the waters prevailed in the time of the flood, and all the world would honor them, and they would be as gods, and rule over the people. This tower was calculated to exalt its builders, and was designed to turn the attention of others who should live upon the earth from God to join with them in their idolatry. Before the work of building was accomplished, people dwelt in the tower. Rooms were splendidly furnished, decorated and devoted to their idols. Those who did not believe in God, imagined if their tower could reach unto the clouds they would be able to discover reasons for the flood.

They exalted themselves against God. But he would not permit them to complete their work. They had built their tower to a lofty height, when the Lord sent two angels to confound them in their work. Men had been appointed for the purpose of receiving word from the workmen at the top of the tower, calling for material for their work, which the first would communicate to the second, and he to the third, until the word reached those upon the ground. As the word was passing from one to another in its descent, the angels confounded their language, and when the word reached the workmen upon the ground, material was called for which had not been required. And after the laborious process of getting the material to the workmen at the top of the tower, it was not that which they wished for. Disappointed and enraged they reproached those whom they supposed were at fault. After this there was no harmony in their work. Angry with one another, and unable to account for the misunderstanding, and strange words among them, they left the work and separated from each other, and scattered abroad in the earth. Up to this time men had spoken but one language. Lightning from heaven as a token of God's wrath broke off the top of their tower, casting it to the ground. Thus God would show to rebellious man that he is supreme.

 

 
Our Observation

Cultural and Evangelical Adventists will claim that they are not influenced by Ellen White's teachings. And yet every Adventist has been taught from childhood up that the tower of Babel was built to escape another flood. Where does this notion come from, if not Ellen White? The Biblical account in Genesis 11:1-9 makes absolutely no mention of it being built to escape another flood. A moment of thought will immediately reveal why such a notion would be ludicrous. It was built on a plain in the land of Shinar. If they were trying to escape a flood that had just exceeded the mountain tops they certainly would not pick a low spot to build it!

In typical fashion, as shown in the quotation from Spiritual Gifts, Volume 3, Page 96, Ellen White adds all manner of embellishments without any Biblical foundation. She states:

  • "They reasoned that they would secure themselves in case of another flood, for they would build their tower to a much greater height than the waters prevailed in the time of the flood"
  • "People dwelt in the tower. Rooms were splendidly furnished, decorated and devoted to their idols."
  • "Those who did not believe in God, imagined if their tower could reach unto the clouds they would be able to discover reasons for the flood."
  • "the Lord sent two angels to confound them in their work."

The first assertion demonstrates the height of absurdity. Genesis 7:19-20 states:

19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.

20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

For Ellen White's account to make any sense at all, the tower of Babel, built on the plain of Shinar, would have had to have been built taller than the highest mountain in the world after the flood! Mt. Everest is 29,000 feet high. Mt. Ararat (where Noah's ark landed) is 16,854 feet. By comparison, the world's tallest building, Burj Dubai in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is 12% the height of Mt. Ararat, at 2,063 feet. Perhaps Ellen White's vivid imagination was fueled by her vinegar (plus hard wiskey) addiction that almost killed her.

So what about our Cultural and Evangelical Adventist friends who resolutely maintain that they go by the Bible only, and they have not been influenced by Ellen White's fantasies? Do they attend a Seventh-day Adventist church? Do their children attend the Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath School? Do they have at home either the blue 10-volume "The Bible Story" series (by Arthur S. Maxwell), or the "My Bible Friends" series (by Etta B. Degering)? The Bible Stories series used to provide the foundation for the weekly Sabbath School stories in the children's divisions.

The Bible Story series is published by the official Seventh-day Adventist publishing house, Review and Herald, and is advertised as "The most complete and accurate set of Bible stories ever written for the family." After you read the acount provided below you will be able to determine how honest (or dishonest) official Seventh-day Adventist statements actually are.

The My Bible Friends series is also published by the official Seventh-day Adventist publishing house, Review and Herald, and is advertised as "Richly illustrated and beautifully written, these books are definitely the premium set of Bible stories for younger children."

Let's see whether "The Bible Story" series "accurately" presents the Biblical view, or whether it substitutes Ellen White's view.

 

 


Excerpts from The Bible Story, Volume 1, page 124-130:

Part Three, Story 7

The First Skyscraper

"By the end of the first century after the Flood, Noah's family had grown into hundreds of families and lots and lots of children. There may well have been half a million people on earth.

One of the big questions all these people talked about was where to live. Should they divide up and go away to some distant, unexplored part of the world, or should they stay near home? Most of them decided they would rather keep together. Nobody wanted to go too far from great-grandfather Noah who, you will remember, lived for 350 years after the Flood.

Many times they must have talked about the beautiful world that Noah and his sons had known before the Flood, and how it was destroyed because of sin. What a wonderful story Noah could tell of those days!

Nobody doubted the Flood then. They were too close to it. And if anybody questioned whether the story of the ark was true, he could climb Mount Ararat and see for himself.

One day somebody raised the question, How do we know there will not be another flood that will drown us as our forefathers drowned?

"But there's the rainbow," someone replied. "When we see that we are to remember God's promise that He will never again destroy the earth by a flood."

"But it isn't reasonable to trust our future and our children's futures to rainbows," argued another. "We should do something about it and make ourselves safe in case another flood comes."

And so "they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime they had for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."

The idea caught on. Led by Nimrod, "the mighty hunter," everybody was soon helping to make bricks or carry them to the building site. Everybody, that is, except Noah and some others who remembered God's promises and trusted Him to keep them.

To build a tower to reach above the clouds was a very great task and must have taken a long time and lots of hard labor. But gradually it began to take shape. Week by week and month by month the world's first skyscraper rose above the Plain of Shinar.

As it grew higher and higher, with long lines of people patiently carrying the bricks up steep ramps, everybody felt pleased. Now they could build a large city around this tower and have a safe refuge should another flood come upon them.

But God was not pleased. He does not like His word doubted, any more than you or I do."

So there we have it. There is no need to read Ellen White's books directly. Seventh-day Adventist authors have picked up her story line, and added it to the Biblical account to create a "hybrid" story that will certainly confound any non-Adventist Bible scholar. Since most Adventist parents who read this story book to their children for evening worship will have been raised themselves on Ellen White's "Conflict of the Ages" series they will just "assume" that this account agrees with the Bible. That is how Adventists can say with a straight face, "We are people of the Bible", little knowing that what they are regurgitating is not from the Bible at all, but instead from Ellen White's overactive imagination. Those who are aware of the discrepancy chalk it up to the reasoning, "Well. That is what the Lord showed her." End of discussion.

 
 
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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.