Ellen White’s Afterlife: Author Interview with George R. Knight

(Robert King) #82

" The foundation of our faith were laid at the beginning of our work by prayerful study of the word and by revelation". Gosper Workers . 307

The word revelation means from God and I would think any first year seminary school student would acknowledge such testimony can be used for doctrine, reproof, and instruction in faith…

(Frankmer7) #83

Right, I get it. Superior knowledge of her, of course in an unspoken, non-rational, gifted way is what counts. Only the privileged and gifted few with superior insight and spirituality can get it. A secret knowledge if you will…kind of like an EGW gnosticism. You may not have intended this Jeremy, but this is what you seem to be saying in between the lines.


(Cfowler) #84

I’m not too sure it’s “between the lines”. Seems to be exactly what is being said! It’s really sad for all of the Christians, past~present~future, who only have Christ and the Holy Spirit. Clearly something was lacking that only EGW could accomplish. :roll_eyes:

(George Tichy) #85

Well, Jeremy @vandieman actually goes much farther than that. He stated in the past, here, and not “between the lines” but actually very adamantly, that the SOP contais the whole Bible, basically saying that if one has the SOP then the Bible is not actually needed - because it is all in the SOP.

For Whiteist SDAs EGW is the undisputed source of doctrine and belief. Which does not work for the Biblical SDAs, who base their (our) belief and doctrine on the "Sola Scriptura" principle.

There is not much gain for either side in a discussion between the two parties. Oranges & Apples.


I find this hard to believe as well. some of her books like patriarchs and prophets is clearly commentary. When she said of people who disregard the testimonies that we can know they are not right it is really hard to not see her wanting to be regarded as inspired commentary. It was Morris Venden who actually used that very phrase to describe her. (inspired commentator or commentary not sure which one)

(jeremy) #87

look at it this way, george…what was more important for israel at the time of the captivity, studying the statutes of moses, which were still in effect, or studying in order to obey the prophecies of jeremiah…and who was better off, those jews who, at the time of christ, studied the sacrificial system, which was still in effect, or those people who flocked to john the baptist…

it’s a question of understanding the time frame in which you’re living, and what is essential for your salvation…like jeremiah and john the baptist, egw presents things that are only hinted at in the bible, and that are critical for our time…we’ll have to wait and see who’s better off: those who gather around the jordan leading up to jericho, because that’s where a newly minted and untested joshua was leading, or those who turned back to the red sea because they were confident that god had led his people through it before with moses…


Those would be Adventists taking the red pill confident in their “prophet” that God is leading them via the law given to Moses.

There, I fixed it.

(Johnny Carson) #89

Undoubtedly. Funny thing is that people are always afraid of change. The end of Adventism could well be the beginning of something even better, but no one has the foresight to comprehend that. Rather they engage in hand wringing and lamentations.



Copyright protection began when the printing press gave thieves easy ability to reproduce multiple copies of original work more quickly and cheaply. Before the printing press, copyists had to make the effort and take a very long time to hand-copy a manuscript.

Technology, the printing press, changed everything. Digital technology continues to provide new challenges to copyright laws.

Copyright law began in England in the 16th century. The government was already involved in sanctioning and supporting printing privileges to printers in exchange for their political loyalty. But the rights of the creators vs. the printers were not protected until the early 18th century when Parliament passed England’s first copyright law.

This law, in the 1700s, gave legal claim of ownership to the creator of the work (or to the person who purchased the rights to the work from the creator).

British copyright law was the law of the colonies until 1776, when the U.S. Constitution provided the basic authority for our U.S. copyright law. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 says “The Congress shall have Power . . . To promote the Progress of Science the useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

This gave Congress the power to legislate patent laws and copyright laws, which they did in 1790, voting a law similar to the British laws. The copyright law gave U.S. citizens/creators/authors/artists the right to protect books, maps and charts they created.

The U.S. operates under the assumption that fostering the creative spirit is a good thing for a country. There must be a protected right, a reward, for creating. As such, copyright has been called “the engine of freedom of expression.”

In 1909 a major revision of the law was enacted and then again, our current law, is based on a 1976 revision.

The copyright law gives creators, authors, of the copyright exclusive rights to reproduce their work in any form for any reason. The creator’s rights include decisions on reproducing the work, which derivative works can be prepared and created, distribution publicly of the work, public performance of the work, and now, digital sound recording.

Interestingly, facts, trivial materials, ideas and equations cannot be copyrighted.

Other related issues include “fair use” and misappropriation, parodies, trademarks, etc.

People who defend EGW’s plagiarism as a matter of God overruling the laws of earth to use angels to point out passages from other authors to copy which Adventists can then hold as holy writ, are violating the law of God, the Ten Commandments. “Thieves” abuse copyright laws, as they were called in 1700’s England. It’s not just unethical, it’s unlawful.

If Adventists want to wink at copyright law, that opens the door for a lot of other winking of laws that protect not just creators, but provide fairness and justice in many areas of life, the system upon which our laws are based. Not a can of worms you really want to open by creating an exception for copyright.

(Steve Mga) #91

Thanks for the short study of copyright laws.

(George Tichy) #93

For me the Copyright law is not actually the most significant issue.
Mere decency is!

(JRStovall) #94

Thanks for that summary! So why was EGW/publishers not prosecuted or even sued, in your opinion? That would be an interesting bit of history to know about.

(Anne Marbury) #95

Much of SDA history has been controlled by the corporate church rather than independent historians. There are several reasons that I believe this has occurred: this is a small relatively unknown group and few outside historians have been interested in deep study of SDA history, the apocalyptic nature of the group has always caused any focus on the future to seem superfluous since Adventists were supposed to be focusing on Jesus’ soon coming, therefore accurate record keeping did not receive high priority, and I suspect that a concerted effort to control information especially related to Ellen White began during her lifetime and has continued on. There must be many letters and stories or diaries sitting in trunks in attics and barns which could be turned in to the SDA Church archives–I hope that some are, but the likelihood is that the descendants are not SDA and so the potential archives are lost.

There are comparisons and the LDS church is a good one. Unlike SDA early leaders Mormon pioneers kept copious diaries and sought to record their actions for posterity. They had a real sense of the Kingdom they were building. They have also been studied quite thoroughly by non-Mormon historians, probably because they are more interesting. (Their historic polygamy and other practices are tantalizing, but they are also sociologically more complex.) The recent book by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich on women’s lives in early Mormonism is the best example of what can happen when the archives of a church such as theirs are opened to a scholar (Ulrich is LDS, but is a well-regarded Harvard professor, so is in the perfect middle ground between “insider” and “outsider”). I cannot imagine such a book being written on Adventism, but this is largely because I doubt the archives exist to support it. I would love to be wrong about this.

edit: added for clarification on Ulrich

(Kim Green) #96

lol…she beats most of the population then. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

(Kim Green) #97

Créeme … tomo a las personas más en serio que a la iglesia. :wink:

(Kim Green) #98

“True Believer”. :smiley:

(Steve Mga) #99

Something that has not been brought up here is the reported anger
of SDA members when the Original “Great Controversy” was REVISED.
It was felt that the Book was “tampered” with.
Little is remembered about THAT issue.

(Kim Green) #100

Could you expand on this, Steve?

(Kim Green) #101

Thanks for this. I agree that much of the “unofficial” Adventist archives are moldering in attic spaces…without much importance given to them. The LDS are prolific diary keepers as this is the norm and is meant for future generations. SDAs have never had an emphasis on the family like the LDS…in fact, I have been told that the family unit is regarded as more important than the church itself! We know that this has never been the case in Adventism.

Ulrich’s book would be a great read. I wish that there was an Adventist equivalent.

(Steve Mga) #102

The 1888 Great Controversy was revised. Actually I believe there was
one more after that prior to Ellen’s death.
“Spiritual Gifts” began the 5-volume series. In later articles she expanded
on the same themes.
Finally they were further expanded into a 5-volume series.
Patriarchs and Prophets, Prophets and Kings, Desire of Ages, Acts of the
Apostles [which had to be re-written], Great Controversy.
PS – 1911 comes to mind for some reason as one of the Revision Dates.