Do Seventh-Day Adventists Believe That The Writings Of Ellen G. White Are Equal To, Or An Addition To, The Scriptures? If The Bible Is All Sufficient, Why Do We Need Ellen White's Writings?
Seventh-day Adventists do not place Ellen White’s writings on the
same level as Scripture. “The Holy Scriptures stand alone, the
unique standard by which her and all other writings must be judged and
to which they must be subject” (Seventh-day Adventists Believe . . . , p.
227). Another way of framing this question is to ask why the church should
need any of the promised gifts of the Holy Spirit. Ellen White answered this
question in the Introduction to her book The Great Controversy Between
Christ and Satan:
“In His word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for
salvation. The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible
revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer
of doctrines, and the test of experience. “Every scripture inspired of God
is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction
which is in righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, furnished
completely unto every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17, R.V.).
“Yet the fact that God has revealed His will to men through His Word,
has not rendered needless the continued presence and guiding of the Holy
Spirit. On the contrary, the Spirit was promised by our Saviour, to open the
Word to His servants, to illuminate and apply its teachings. And since it
was the Spirit of God that inspired the Bible, it is impossible that the teaching
of the Spirit should ever be contrary to that of the Word.
“The Spirit was not given--nor can it ever be bestowed--to supersede
the Bible; for the Scriptures explicitly state that the Word of God is the standard
by which all teaching and experience must be tested. . . .
“In harmony with the Word of God, His Spirit was to continue its work
throughout the period of the gospel dispensation. During the ages while the
Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament were being given, the
Holy Spirit did not cease to communicate light to individual minds, apart
from the revelations to be embodied in the Sacred Canon. The Bible itself
relates how, through the Holy Spirit, men received warning, reproof, counsel,
and instruction, in matters in no way relating to the giving of the Scriptures.
And mention is made of prophets in different ages, of whose utterances
nothing is recorded. In like manner, after the close of the canon of the
Scripture, the Holy Spirit was still to continue its work, to enlighten, warn,
and comfort the children of God” (The Great Controversy, pp. vii, viii).
How Many Books And Articles Did Ellen White Write?
At the time of her death Ellen White’s literary
productions totaled approximately
100,000 pages: 24 books in current circulation;
two book manuscripts ready for publication; 5,000
periodical articles in the journals of the church;
more than 200 tracts and pamphlets; approximately
35,000 typewritten pages of manuscript
documents and letters; 2,000 handwritten letters
and diary materials comprising, when copied,
another 15,000 typewritten pages. Compilations
made after her death from Ellen White’s writings
bring the total number of books currently in print
to more than 130.
What Did Ellen White Believe Regarding the Godhead?
Ellen White never used the term “trinity,”
although she did refer to the “three living
persons of the heavenly trio” (Evangelism, p.
615). She believed in the full deity of Christ, stating
that “Christ was God essentially, and in the
highest sense. He was with God from all eternity,
God over all, blessed forevermore” (Review and
Herald, April 5, 1906). She also referred to the
Holy Spirit as “the Third Person of the Godhead”
(The Desire of Ages, p. 671). Her comments, as
collected in Evangelism, pages 613-617, suggest
that she believed that the Scriptures taught the existence
of three co-eternal divine persons.
These and other questions and answers regarding
the prophetical ministry of Ellen G. White, can be
found at http://www.whiteestate.org/