Some critics have accused Ellen White of plagiarizing the contents of The Desire of Ages from the writings of various authors. But, did she really? Below is one analysis of an example (found in Walter Rea's book The White Lie, page 312) of her alleged plagiarizing.
It has been noted by students of plagiarism that one can make a work look plagiarized when it is not by carefully using ellipses and discarding all the material that is different. What we want to do is determine whether the critics did a fair analysis, or whether their comparisons actually distorted reality. Accordingly, we have coded the text so that you, the reader, can easily come to your own conclusion. Paragraphs that are not coded means neither the critics, nor Dr. Veltman and his team of researchers, could not, or did not, find anything worthy of note.
Material in Ellen G. White that is an exact, word-for-word match to her alleged source.
Material in Ellen G. White that is similar to her alleged source.
Words that are either an exact, or similar, match of the source, but are also an exact, or similar, match to Biblical material.
Material that is represented in either Rea's book or Dr. Veltman's study by an ellipsis.
Material dropped from the beginning or end of the paragraph of the alleged source in Rea's book.
Material clipped from the beginning or end of a sentence in Rea's book, without giving the reader any indication of such. (Either a capital letter or a period appears where it should not, hiding the fact that material is missing.)
Material that was mis-capitalized or mis-abbreviated in Rea.
Typical author's caveat: all errors are, of course, mine. If you find any errors please let me know and I'll fix them.
|Alleged Source(s)||Ellen G. White The Desire of Ages. (1898)|
It was to this Banias, or Caesarea-Philippi, that our Lord proceeded, passing through Bethsaida, and up along the eastern banks of the Jordan. In that circuit already described he may have visited it, and the attractions of the place may have drawn him back, or this may have been his first and only visit. It can scarcely be believed that he came into the few scattered villages which--lay around, and the remains of which are still visible, without entering Caesarea-Philippi itself. His presence there, out of Judea, in a district covered with tokens of heathen worship, his standing before that cave, his gazing upon those buildings, those niches, those inscriptions, now in ruins and defaced, but then telling, in their freshness, of idolatries still in living power, carries Jesus further away from Judaism, and brings him into nearer outward contact with Gentile worship than any other position in which we see him in the Gospel narrative. It were presumptuous in us, where no clue is given, to imagine what the thoughts and intents of the Saviour were; yet when we find him going so far out of his way, choosing this singular district as the place of his temporary sojourn after all his public labors in Galilee were over; when we reflect further that now a new stage of his ministry was entered on, and that henceforth from teaching the multitudes he withdrew, and gathering his disciples around him in private, began to speak to them as he had never done before, it is impossible to refrain from cherishing the idea that, surrounded now by the emblems of various faiths and worships, types of the motley forms of superstition that had spread all over the earth, the thoughts of the Redeemer took within their wide embrace that world whose faith and worship he had come to purify, and that he had, in fact, purposely chosen, as in harmony with this epoch of his life, and the purposes he was about to execute, the unique, secluded, romantic district of Caesarea-Philippi.
2. The claim for a primacy of authority over the other apostles, put forward on behalf of St Peter, rests on the assumption that he, and he exclusively, is the rock upon which the Church is said to rest. I will only say that as a mere matter of exegesis--i.e., of interpretation of words--it is extremely difficult to say precisely what the rock was to which Christ alluded. From the beginning, from Jerome and Origen down to our own times, there has been the greatest diversity of opinion. Did Jesus mean to say that Peter himself--individually and peculiarly--was the rock? or was it the confession that he had just made, or was it the faith to which he had given expression, or was Jesus pointing to himself when he spoke of this rock, as he did elsewhere when he spake of this temple--this shrine--in reference to himself? I have already offered the explanation that appears to me the most simple and natural, as flowing not so much out of a critical examination of the words as out of a consideration of the peculiar circumstances and conditions under which the words were spoken; but I cannot say that I have offered that explanation without considerable hesitation--a hesitation mainly arising from the fact which does not appear in our English version, that Jesus used two different words--Petros and Petra--in speaking as he did to the Apostle. A claim which rests upon so ambiguous a declaration can scarcely be regarded as entitled to our support.
Peter must have been greatly surprised when, shaken off by Jesus, he was spoken to as if he were the arch-fiend himself. Unconscious of anything but kindly feelings to his Master, he would be at a loss at first to know what sinful, satanic element there had been in the sentiments he had been cherishing--the words that he had used. It might at once occur to him that he had been too familiar--had used too much liberty with him whom he had just acknowledged to be the Christ, the Son of the living God. But it could surely not be simply and solely because of his being offended at the freedom taken, that Jesus had spoken to him as he did. Some light may have been thrown upon the matter, even to Peter's apprehension at the time, by our Lord's own explanatory words: "Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men." There were two ways of looking upon those sufferings and death, of which, now for the first time, Jesus had begun to speak--the selfish, earthly, human one, and the spiritual, the divine. Peter was thinking of them solely under the one aspect, thinking of them in their bearing alone upon the personal comfort, the outward estate and condition, of his Lord. He would have Jesus avoid them. He himself would stand between them and his Master, and not suffer them to come upon him; inflicting, as he imagined they would do, such great discredit and dishonor upon his name and cause. But he knew not, or forgot, that it was for this end that Jesus came into the world, to suffer and die for sinners; that the cup could not pass from him. the cross could not be avoided, without prophecies being left unfulfilled, purposes of God left unaccomplished, the sin of man left unatoned for, the salvation of mankind left unsecured. He knew not, or forgot, that he was bringing to bear upon the humanity of our Lord one of the strongest and subtlest of all the trials to which it was to be exposed, when in prospect of that untold weight of sorrow which was to be laid upon it in the garden and upon the cross, the instincts of nature taught it to shrink therefrom, to desire and to pray for exemption. It was the quick and tender sense our Lord had of the peculiarity and force of this temptation, rather than his sense of singularity and depth of Peter's sinfulness, which prompted and pointed his reproof. At the same time he desired to let Peter know that the way of looking at things, in which he had been indulging, had in it that earthly, carnal element which condemned it in his sight. Nay, more; he would seize upon the opportunity now presented, to proclaim once more, as he had so often done, that not in his own case alone, but in the case of all his true and faithful followers, suffering, self-denial, self-sacrifice, must be undergone. He had noticed the approach of a number of the people who had assembled at the sight of Jesus and his apostles passing by their dwellings. These he called to him, (Mark 8:34,) if wishing to intimate that what he had now to say, though springing out of what had occurred, and addressed in the first instance to the twelve, was yet meant for all--was to be taken up and repeated, and spread abroad, as addressed to the wide world of mankind. 'If any man,' he said, 'whosoever, whatsoever he be will come after me, be a follower of me, not nominally, but really, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. No other way there was for me, your Redeemer, your forerunner, than by taking up the Cross appointed, and on that Cross bearing your transgressions: and no other way for you to follow me, than by each of you voluntarily and daily taking up that cross which consists in the repudiation of self-indulgence as the principle and spirit of your life, in the willing acceptance of self-denial as the fixed condition of the new life's growth and progress in your souls, in the crucifying of every sinful affection and desire. "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospei's shall save it." Let it be your main, supreme, engrossing object, to save your life; to guard yourself against its ills, to secure its benefits, its wealth, its honors, its enjoyments--the end shall be that the very thing you seek to save you certainly shall lose. But if from a supreme love to Christ, and a predominating desire to please him, you are willing to lose life, to give up anything which he calls you to give up, the end shall be that the very thing that you were ready to lose, you shall at last and most fully gain. For take it even as a mere matter of profit and loss-but weigh aright what is thrown into the scale, when you are balancing earthly and eternal interests--"What is a mall profited if lie gain the whole world?"' No man ever did so; but suppose he did, imagine that one way or other the very whole, the sum total that this world--its pursuits, its possessions, its enjoyments, can do to make one happy, were grasped by one single pair of arms into one single bosom, would it profit him, would he be a gainer if, when the great balance was struck, it should be found-that in gaining the whole world he had lost his own soul? that it had been lost to God and to all its higher duties, and so lost to happiness and lost forever? For if a man once lose his soul, where shall he find an equivalent in value for it? where shall he find that by which it can be redeemed or bought again; what shall he find or give in exchange for his soul? Too true, alas! it is, that, clear though this simplest of all questions of profit and loss be, many will not work it out, or apply it to their own case, content to grasp what is nearest, the present, the sensible, the earthly, and to overlook the more remote, the unseen, the spiritual, the eternal. Too true that what hinders many from a hearty and full embrace of Christ and all the blessings of his salvation, is a desire to go with the multitude; a shrinking, through shame, from anything that would separate them from the world. Would that upon the ears of such tire solemn words of our Lord might fall with power--"Whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels." Luke 9:26. And at that coming, when the earth and the heavens shall pass away, in4 we shall find ourselves standing before the great white throne, and in the presence of that vast community of holy beings, what will it look then to have been ashamed of Jesus now? What will it be then to find him ashamed of us, disowning us?
The Foreshadowing of the Cross
[This chapter is based on Matt. 16:13-28; Mark 8:27-38;
Daniel March Walks and Homes of Jesus.
He had extended his journeyings northward to the utmost boundaries of Palestine. Out of the reach of Herod and Caiaphas, with nothing to fear from Jew or Roman, he takes this opportunity to make the terrible announcement to His devoted followers, that He must yet go back to Jerusalem, and give Himself up to die. His hour will come, and no earthly hand can stay its approach. The Sacrifice was appointed from the foundation of the world, and it must be fulfilled though heaven and earth should pass away. And, to make this declaration still more dark and afflicting to His disciples, it followed immediately upon the assurance that He was the Christ, the Son of the living God.
He had just told them, in the most solemn and explicit terms, that He would establish His kingdom in the earth so firmly that the gates of hell should not prevail against it. He had commended Peter for declaring His confidence in His divine character. He had said that His Father in heaven had made that revelation to the believing disciple. And now He says that He must got to Jerusalem, submit to shame and torture, and be put to death. Now he rebukes Peter with the utmost severity, for daring to hint that such a dreadful thing could not come to pass. After having excited their hopes to the highest pitch, He even
goes on to tell them that they too must bear the cross and suffer shame, or they can never share His glory. His own suffering must be completed in them, and His crucifixion to the world must be perpetuated in the experience of His disciples for all time.
1 Six days intervened between the time of making these startling disclosures to His followers and the transfiguration. To them the days were full of sadness and perplexity. They had many reasonings with themselves, as they journeyed southward from Caesarea-Philippi besides the waters of Merom, and along the shores of the sea of Galilee, toward the fatal city, where ignominy and death awaited their Master. As they went on day after day from village to village, and from one province to another, it must have seemed strange to them that He could go, voluntarily and unbidden, to meet the very doom which would be the ruin to all their hopes, and grief to all their hearts.
Beyond the poverty and humiliation of the present, He pointed the disciples to His coming in glory, not in the splendor of an earthly throne, but with the glory of God and the hosts of heaven. And then, He said, "He shall reward every man according to his works." Then for their encouragement He gave the promise, "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom." But the disciples did not comprehend His words. The glory seemed far away. Their eyes were fixed upon the nearer view, the earthly life of poverty, humiliation, and suffering. Must their glowing expectations of the Messiah's kingdom be relinquished? Were they not to see their Lord exalted to the throne of
Page 418David? Could it be that Christ was to live a humble, homeless wanderer, to be despised, rejected, and put to death? Sadness oppressed their hearts, for they loved their Master. Doubt also harassed their minds, for it seemed incomprehensible that the Son of God should be subjected to such cruel humiliation. They questioned why He should voluntarily go to Jerusalem to meet the treatment which He had told them He was there to receive. How could He resign Himself to such a fate, and leave them in greater darkness than that in which they were groping before He revealed Himself to them?
In the region of Caesarea Philippi, Christ was out of the reach of Herod and Caiaphas, the disciples reasoned. He had nothing to fear from the hatred of the Jews or from the power of the2 Romans. Why not work there, at a distance from the Pharisees? Why need He give Himself up to death? If He was to die, how was it that His kingdom was to be established so firmly that the gates of hell should not prevail against it?3 To the disciples this was indeed a mystery.
They were even now journeying along the shores of the Sea of Galilee toward the city where all their hopes were to be crushed. They dared not remonstrate with Christ, but they talked together in low, sorrowful tones in regard to what the future would be. Even amid their questionings they clung to the thought that some unforeseen circumstance might avert the doom which seemed to await their Lord. Thus they sorrowed and doubted, hoped and feared, for six long, gloomy days.
1 This paragraph, and the previous, do NOT appear in Rea. I have included them because I found a few more cases of verbal similarity in this particular paragraph which help to make the whole more interesting.
2 Note that Rea drops these words from the text without informing the reader he has done so. By doing so it makes EGW's text appear all the more like what March wrote.
3 See Matt 16:18 for similar wording ("the gates of hell shall not prevail against it"). Note that Rea skipped over the paragraph from March and clipped the sentence in The Desire of Ages and so he didn't see some more verbal similarity; i.e., I have helped make his case stronger by showing more of the evidence, instead of clipping it.
forms of superstition that, page 411; I found this phrase
the rock upon which the church, page 413; I found this phrase
the people who had, page 416; I found this phrase
out of the reach of Herod and Caiaphas, page 418
nothing to fear from, page 418
give Himself up to, page 418
along the shores of the sea of Galilee, page 418
all their hopes, page 418
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