It has been since October 22, 1844
Home >> 240 Amazing Facts >> Ellen White, the Adventist "Word made flesh"!
Another Amazing Fact

Exposing Adventism - Ellen White, the Adventist "Word made flesh"!

I was reading the November 27, 1980 issue of Adventist Review (http://adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH1980-53/). There are two relevant articles in this issue concerning Ellen White's "inspiration". The second is an editorial by William Johnsson, "Reflections on Ellen White's inspiration", on page 12.

We find this most amazing statement:

"Unlike many conservative Christians, Adventists do not hold that inspiration works to dictate the words of God's prophets. We believe in inspired people, not inspired words (see Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 19-39).
While this has been our position from the days of the pioneers, many of us have never thought through the doctrine. In practical terms we have been verbal inspirationists, subconsciously holding that, because inspiration brings God's message to people, it somehow must overpower the human medium. We have not taken seriously the implications of the expression "The Word was made flesh" (John 1:14), true for inspiration as well as for the Incarnation (ibid., p. 25). We have devalued humanity by our idea that divinity must supersede it.
But the Word of God comes also as the word of man. It does not short-circuit the usual human channels for acquiring knowledge, even as it does not confer upon the inspired prophet a unique "Holy Ghost" literary style. The prophet as a total person is inspired. From the human perspective, the prophet, utilizing the common fund of human knowledge, displaying both strengths and weaknesses of expression is like any other writer. But because God is using the person as an instrument to convey His revelation, there is divine superintendence in selection of material and in the literary activity. The end result is always "Word made flesh" -- fully human but more than human." (Adventist Review, November 27, 1980, pp. 12-13)
William Johnsson notes:
"In the final analysis, however, inspiration cannot be proved -- neither of the Bible nor of Ellen White's writings. Inspiration is known in the inner being: as we read we hear God speak to us, and we know that these words of man are the Word of God.
That is why, no matter what the process that brought it about, a book like The Desire of Ages is inspired. It bears the divine credentials. It issues in fruit that nourishes the soul and leads to eternal life." (ibid., p. 13)
So you see, if Ellen White plagiarized material from her contemporaries, and included it in her writings, it was because she was "inspired" to do so. How convenient!

Furthermore it is not her writings that are inspired, but her. In Adventist jargon, she is the "Word made flesh"!

Our Observation

Review and Herald Editor William Johnsson's attempted repudiation of the official Seventh-day Adventist position is despicable.

Here is a quote from an official Seventh-day Adventist book I have in my library:

The Scriptures, in their original form, before errors of copyists and translators crept in, constituted the pure word of God and were the product of the Holy Spirit's working through holy men. And so carefully has the Spirit watched over and preserved this word in the hands of translators and scribes that even today the astonishing fact remains that although it has been translated into over one thousand languages and dialects, yet no essential truth has been lost; and the plan of redemption still shines forth from its pages with undimmed glory.

It should be carefully noted here that it is the book that is inspired and not the writers of the book. The writers "spake as they were moved by the holy Ghost." It is with what they spoke and set down in writing that we have to do. The men were only transitory instruments. They were not infallible, neither did they possess any special wisdom above that of their fellows. They were only men among men, and the Holy Ghost simply employed them as transmitting agents through which to convey messages of eternal import to the world. The instruments have long since past away, but that which was produced by them is still a quickening and regenerating agent. Thus it is truly said that the people are as grass, but the word of God shall stand forever. (See 1 Peter 1:24, 25.)

To emphasize further the fact that the inspiration of the Spirit lay in the writings and not in the writers, let it be here stated that many of the prophets themselves did not understand their own writings; and at times their prophecies were spoken without their intention or desire. Daniel, after writing out the details of a vision which pertained not to his day, but to the future, declared, "And I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it." Daniel 8:27 (The Holy Spirit, by General Conference President, William Henry Branson, 1933, pp. 24-25)


  • ExposingAdventism.com
    • Bible - SDA Pastor undermines confidence in Bible to build up Ellen White
See Also
Public Comments


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.