Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


Extra-Scriptural Information

In her writing in the 1870s and again in the 1890s on the life and ministry of Christ, two significant points should be noted. First, she did not fall into the pitfalls that some of the other writers fell into; second, she often introduced significant extra-Biblical points in historical narrative not mentioned by the Gospel writers—points in which she deals in sufficient detail to make it evident that her basic source in writing was the visions given to her. Limitations in space allow for but three illustrations, drawn one each from the three E. G. White published accounts of the life of Christ: 4BIO 386.1

At His trial before Herod, Spiritual Gifts, 1:51: “They spit in His face.... He meekly raised His hand, and wiped it off.” 4BIO 386.2

In feeding the five thousand, The Spirit of Prophecy 2:260, 261: “The disciples, seeing Him pale with weariness and hunger, besought Him to rest from His toil and take some refreshment. Their entreaties being of no avail, they consulted together as to the propriety of forcibly removing Him from the eager multitude, fearing that He would die of fatigue. Peter and John each took an arm of their blessed Master and kindly endeavored to draw Him away. But He refused to be removed from the place.” 4BIO 386.3

The resurrection, The Desire of Ages, 779, 780:” ‘The angel of the Lord descended from heaven.’ ... This messenger is he who fills the position from which Satan fell.... The soldiers see him removing the stone as he would a pebble, and hear him cry, ‘Son of God, come forth; Thy Father calls Thee. “They see Jesus come forth from the grave.” 4BIO 386.4

A careful reading of chapters 79, 80, and 81 of The Desire of Ages will disclose many interesting details not cited by the Gospel writers. There could have been many more extra-Biblical points of interest in the book were it not for the fact that it was intended to be widely distributed among those not familiar with Ellen White's call and work. Marian Davis explained this in a letter written to J. E. White, December 22, 1895: 4BIO 386.5

Since these books are sent out without explanation as to the authority by which the author speaks, it was thought best to avoid, as far as we could, statements for which the Bible seems to furnish no proof, or which to the ordinary reader appear to contradict the Bible. Better to give readers what they will accept and profit by than to excite criticism and questioning that will lead them to discredit the whole.... 4BIO 386.6

Sister White says that Christ was twice crowned with thorns, but as the Bible mentions only the second crowning, it was thought best to omit the first, or rather to give the second instead of the first. 4BIO 387.1

A passage in The Spirit of Prophecy, volume 2, that pictures the solicitation of Peter and John for their Lord is another example of material not included, for the reason cited by Marian Davis. The new book was intended for wide distribution beyond the ranks of those who understood Ellen White's work. 4BIO 387.2