We analyze. You decide!

An Analysis of the Literary Dependency
of The Desire of Ages, Chapter 5

Color Key

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 Rea's book 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 found only in Ellen G. White and in the Bible.

Material found only in Ellen G. White's alleged source and in the Bible.

On these last two there may be some similarity between all three columns but the above are used for the matches which are exact.

Material that was mis-capitalized or mis-abbreviated in Rea.

      Some critics accuse Ellen White of plagiarizing in the writing of her book The Desire of Ages. But, did she really? Walter Rea thought so, according to his book, The White Lie. Below is an analysis of his comparisons as found in his book's appendix for chapter 6, pages 321-330.

      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 Rea did a fair analysis, or whether his comparisons distort reality. Accordingly, we have color coded the text so that you, the reader, can easily come to your own conclusion.

      What makes such an analysis particularly challenging is the fact that sometimes an apparent similarity can be the result of both the source and The Desire of Ages quoting the same Bible passage. Two works following the same biblical material can also result in the same topics being discussed in the same order. Thus, great care must be exercised when arriving at a conclusion.

      William Hanna's text contains 18 paragraphs in this section. In his comparisons with The Desire of Ages, Walter Rea totally omitted paragraphs 1, 8, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17. Perhaps including these six paragraphs from Hanna in these comparisons would lower the percentage of "plagiarized" material even more, but the effort seems hardly worth it, since the percentage is already so low.

      Out of the 12 paragraphs from Hanna that Rea did use, paragraph 7 was used twice (see comparisons for paragraphs 10 and 12), paragraph 10 was used twice (see comparisons for paragraphs 14 and 21), paragraph 11 was used four times (see comparisons for paragraphs 14, 18, 20, and 21), and paragraph 18 was used twice (see comparisons for paragraphs 22 and 24).

      Typical author's caveat: all errors are, of course, mine. If you find any errors please let me know and I'll fix them.

Paragraphs 1 & 2 (analysis of page 321 of The White Lie)

The Desire of Ages (1898)
Ellen G. White, p. 50
The Life of Christ (1863)
William Hanna, pp. 32

The Dedication
This chapter is based on Luke 2:21-38.

      About forty days after the birth of Christ, Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord, and to offer sacrifice. This was according to the Jewish law, and as man's substitute Christ must conform to the law in every particular. He had already been subjected to the rite of circumcision, as a pledge of His obedience to the law.

      As an offering for the mother, the law required a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering.1 But the law provided that if the parents were too poor to bring a lamb, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering, the other for a sin offering,2 might be accepted.

      Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary carried the infant up to Jerusalem. There was a double object in this visit. Mary had to present the offering which the Jewish law required at the hands of every mother when the days of her purification were accomplished. This offering, in the case of all whose circumstances enabled them to present it, was to consist of a lamb of the first year for a burnt-offering, a young pigeon or a turtle-dove for a sin-offering.1 With that consideration for the poor which marks so many of the Mosaic ordinances, it was provided that if the mother were not able to furnish a lamb, a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons were to be accepted, the one for the burnt-offering, and the other for the sin-offering.2 That such was the offering which Joseph and Mary presented to the priest, carried with it an unmistakable evidence of the poverty of their estate. Besides discharging this duty, Mary had at the same time to dedicate her infant son as being a first-born child to the Lord, and to pay the small sum fixed as the price of his redemption.

      And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord; . . . And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.2 (Luke 2:22, 24)

      And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering,1 unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest: . . . . And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering:2 and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.(Lev. 12:6-8)

Observation: 26 words out of 131 (almost 19.85%) in The Desire of Ages are found in Hanna but not in Scripture. Is this coincidence, plagiarism, or inconsequential?


      Did Ellen White copy from Hanna or did she copy the Bible? Two facts strongly suggest that Ellen G.White picked up her material from the Bible:
1) since she included the word "and" from the King James Version text, and Hanna did not, and
2) Hanna inserted a hyphen in the words "turtledove," "burnt offering," and "sin offering," something neither Ellen White nor the King James Version does. This evidence, then, points to Ellen G. White getting her wording from Scripture rather than from Hanna.

Paragraph 3

The Desire of Ages (1898)
Ellen G. White, pp. 50, 51
The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah
Alfred Edersheim (1883), v. 1, p. 194
The Life and Words of Christ.
Cunningham Geicke

      The offerings presented to the Lord were to be without blemish.3 These offerings represented Christ, and from this it is evident that Jesus Himself was free from physical deformity. He was the "lamb without blemish and without spot." 1 Peter 1:19. His physical structure was not marred by any defect; His body was strong and healthy. And throughout His lifetime He lived in conformity to nature's laws. Physically as well as spiritually, He was an example of what God designed all humanity to be through obedience to His laws.

      The first of these was Circumcision, representing voluntary subjection to the conditions of the Law, and acceptance of the obligations, but also of the privileges, of the Covenant between God and Abraham and his seed. Any attempt to show the deep significance of such a rite in the case of Jesus, could only weaken the impression which the fact itself conveys. The ceremony took place, as in all ordinary circumstances, on the eight day, when the Child received the Angel-given name Jeshua (Jesus). Two other legal ordinances still remained to be observed. The firstborn son of every household was, according to the Law, to be 'redeemed' of the priest at the price of five shekels of the Sanctuary. [e Numb. xviii. 16] Rabbinic casuistry here added many needless, and even repulsive, details. The following, however, are of practical interest. The earliest period of presentation was thirty-one days after birth so as to make the legal month quite complete. The child must have been the firstborn of his mother (according to some writers, of his father also); [1 So Lundius, Jud. Alterth. p.621, and Buxtorf, Lex. Talmud. p. 1699. But I am bound to say, that this seems contrary to the sayings of the Rabbis.] neither father nor mother [2 This disposes of the idea, that the Virgin-Mother was of direct Aaronic or Levitic descent.] must be of Levitic descent; and the child must be free from all such bodily blemishes3 as would have disqualified him for the priesthood, or, as it was expressed: 'the firstborn for the priesthood.' It was a thing much dreaded, that the child should die before his redemption; but if his father died in the interval, the child had to redeem himself when of age. As the Rabbinic law expressly states, that the shekels were to be of 'Tyrian weight,' [a Bechor viii. 7] the value of the 'redemption money' would amount to about ten or twelve shillings. The redemption could be made from any priest, and attendance in the Temple was not requisite. It was otherwise with the 'purification' of the mother. [b Lev. xii.] The Rabbinic law fixed this at forty-one days after the birth of a son, and eighty-one after that of a daughter, [3 Archdeacon Farrar is mistaken in supposing, that the 'thirty-three days' were counted 'after the circumcision.' The idea must have arisen from a misunderstanding of the English version of Lev. xii. 4. There was no connection between the time of the circumcision of the child, and that of the purification of his mother. In certain circumstances circumcision might have to be delayed for days, in case of sickness, till recovery. It is equally a mistake to suppose, that a Jewish mother could not leave the house till after the forty days of her purification.] so as to make the Biblical terms quite complete. [c Comp. Sifra, ed. Weiss, p. 59 a and b; Maimonides, Yad haChaz. Hal.Mechusre Capp., ed. Amst., vol. iii. p. 255 a and b.] But it might take place any time later, notably, when attendance on any of the great feasts brought a family to Jerusalem. Thus, we read of cases when a mother would offer several sacrifices of purification at the same time. [4 Comp. Kerith. i. 7.] But, indeed, the woman was not required to be personally present at all, when her offering was presented, or, rather (as we shall see), provided for, say, by the representatives of the laity, who daily took part in the services for the various districts from which they came. This also is specially provided for in the Talmud. [5 Jer. Sheq. 50 b.] But mothers who were within convenient distance of the Temple, and especially the more earnest among them, would naturally attend personally in the Temple; [6 There is no ground whatever for the objection which Rabbi Low (Lebensalter, p. 112) raises against the account of St. Luke. Jewish documents only prove, that a mother need not personally attend in the Temple; not that they did not do so, when attendance was possible. The contrary impression is conveyed to us by Jewish notices.] and in such cases, when practicable, the redemption of the firstborn, and the purification of his mother, would be combined. Such was undoubtedly the case with the Virgin-Mother and her Son.

Page 122
      Her own "purification," however, was not the only object of this first visit to the Temple, after the birth of her Son. In thepatriarchal times, the firstborn son of each family seems to have been the assistant of teh Family Head in the priestly services of the household. Jewish tradition has always supported this belief, and the ancient commentators appeal to various passages in support of it. A great change
Page 123
was, however, introduced by Moses. Aaron and his sons were set apart, with the whole tribe of Levi, as the only priests, and thus the priestly services of the firstborn were no longer required. That they had originally been claimed, however, was still kept before the people by a long erelong announced at Sinai, that the eldest male, of both man and beast, was sacred to God. Of the lower creatures, some were to be offered on the altar; others redeemed at a fixed price. The firstborn son was consecrated to His service, a month after birth, but a money payment of not more than five shekels, and, in the case of a parent's poverty, of less, was accepted as a "redemption" of the rights this involved. Rabbinical law, in the time of Mary, had made a refinement on the original statue of Moses, no child being required to be "presented to the Lord" who was in any way maimed, or defective, or had any blemish, so as to be unfit for a priest--a rule which throws an incidental light on Mary's child, such as might have been expeceted. He must have been, in all points, without physical blemish.


  1. Did Ellen G. White get the idea for this lone word from Edersheim as Rea's book suggests? Or, did she get it from one of the forty Bible texts that use the phrase "without blemish," one of which she actually quoted?

Paragraphs 4 through 8 (pages 322-3 of The White Lie)

      Unfortunately, the analysis of this paragraph may seem more confusing than most of the others, since it analyzes five different comparisons from The White Lie at one time. This is necessitated by the fact that the first paragraph from Hanna was used in three of the five, and the second paragraph from Hanna was used in the other two.

      In an effort to restore these selections back to their original form, the bold and italics highlighting given by Rea to the six blocks of Scripture texts below, three each in White and Hanna, have been removed. To one skimming Rea's text, his highlighting implies that White got her wording from Hanna when she really got it from Scripture. In order to avoid giving such a false impression, we have therefore restored these passages to their original format.

The Desire of Ages (1898)
Ellen G. White, page 51
The Life of Christ (1863)
William Hanna, pages 33-4

      The dedication of the first-born had its origin in the earliest times. God had promised to give the First-born of heaven to save the sinner. This gift was to be acknowledged in every household by the consecration of the first-born son. He was to be devoted to the priesthood, as a representative of Christ among men.

      In the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, the dedication of the first-born was again commanded. While the children of Israel were in bondage to the Egyptians, the Lord directed Moses to go to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and say, "Thus saith the Lord, Israel is My son, even My first-born:4 and I say unto thee, Let My son go, that he may serve Me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy first-born." Ex. 4:22, 23.

      Moses delivered his message; but the proud king's answer was, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go." Ex. 5:2. The Lord worked for His people by signs and wonders, sending terrible judgments upon Pharaoh. At length the destroying angel was bidden to slay the first-born of man and beast among the Egyptians. That the Israelites might be spared, they were directed to place upon their doorposts the blood of a slain lamb. Every house was to be marked, that when the angel came on his mission of death, he might pass over the homes of the Israelites.

      After sending this judgment upon Egypt, the Lord said to Moses, "Sanctify unto Me all the first-born, . . . both of man and of beast: it is Mine;"7 "for on the day that I smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto Me all the first-born in Israel, both man and beast: Mine shall they be: I am the Lord." Ex. 13:2; Num. 3:13. After the tabernacle service was established, the Lord chose the tribe of Levi in the place of the first-born of all Israel to minister in the sanctuary. But the first-born were still to be regarded as the Lord's, and were to be bought back by a ransom.

      Thus the law for the presentation of the first-born was made particularly significant. While it was a memorial of the Lord's wonderful deliverance of the children of Israel, it prefigured a greater deliverance, to be wrought out by the only-begotten Son of God. As the blood sprinkled on the doorposts had saved the first-born of Israel, so the blood of Christ has power to save the world.

[skipping over a paragraph on pages 32-3; it shows up when we cover paragraphs 9 and 10]

      When Moses first got his commission from the Lord in Midian, and was told to go and work out the great deliverance of his people from their Egyptian bondage, the last instruction he received was this: "And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my first-born.4 and I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy first-born." Exod. 4:22, 23.5 As a mother reclaims her infant from the hands of a cruel nurse, as a father reclaims his son from the hands of a severe and capricious schoolmaster, so the Lord reclaimed his son, his first-born Israel, from the hands of Pharaoh. But the king's haughty answer to the demand was: "Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go?" Sign after sign was shown, wonder after wonder wrought, woe after woe inflicted, but the spirit of the proud king remained unbroken.6 At last, all lesser instruments having failed, the sword was put into the hands of the destroying angel, and he was sent forth to execute that foretold doom, which—meant to strike at the very heart of the entire community of Egypt— fell actually only upon the first-born in every family. The nation was taken as represented by these its first and best. In the simultaneous death on that terrible night, Egypt throughout all its borders was smitten. But the first-born of Israel was saved, and through them, as representatives of the whole body of the people, all Israel was saved; saved, yet not without the sacrifice of the lamb, for every household had the sprinkling of its shed blood upon the lintel and door-post. It was to preserve and perpetuate the memory of this judgment and this mercy, this smiting and this shielding, this doom and this deliverance, that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, "Sanctify unto me all the first-born, both of man and beast; it is mine:7 for on the day that I smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, I hallowed unto me all the first-born in Israel; mine they shall be: I am the Lord. And it shall be,when thy son asketh thee in time to come saying, What is

Page 34

this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: and it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the Lord slew all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man and the first-born of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the first-born of my children I redeem." Exod. 13:1; Numb. 3:135 ; Exod. 13:14, 15. During the earlier and simpler patriarchal economy, the first-born in every family was also its earliest. Had that rule been followed when the twelve tribes were organized into the Theocracy the first-born invested with a double sacredness, as peculiarly the redeemed of the Lord, would have been consecrated to the office of the priesthood. Instead of this, the tribe of Levi was set apart that it might supply all the priests required for the services of the sanctuary; and the first-born for whom they were thus substituted were redeemed or released from that service by the payment each, on the day their presentation in the temple, of a merely nominal gratuity; by the payment, the original right and title, as it were, of the first-born to the office of the priest-hood being still preserved.

      This rite, then, of the presentation of the first-born in the temple had a double character and office. It as a standing memorial or remembrancer of a past fact in the history of the Jewish people—the deliverance of their forefathers from the bondage of Egypt, and especially of the shielding of their first-born from the stroke which fell on all of the first-born of the Egyptians; but the deliverance from8 Egyptian bondage was itself a type and prophecy of another higher and wider deliverance, and especially of the manner in which that deliverance was to be wrought out.

Observation: Out of about 430 words in The Desire of Ages, 17 words that's almost 4%) are the same or similar to Hanna, but not taken from Scripture.


  1. Ellen White's use of a colon instead of a period suggests that she got this quotation from the Bible, not from Hanna.
  2. In Rea's book The White Lie, the abbreviations for these texts are changed to "Ex." and "Num.", making them appear more similar to The Desire of Ages than they really are.
  3. Rea inserted a period and then an ellipsis here when it should be the other way around.
  4. Her double use of "of" compared with Hanna's double omission suggests that she was copying Scripture rather than Hanna. Note also that both Ellen G. White and the KJV have a colon after the word "beast" whereas, Hanna has a semicolon.
  5. This selection appears on both pages 322 and 323 of The White Lie. On page 322, "deliverance" is capitalized when it should not be, and "from" is changed to "of."

Paragraphs 9 and 10 (pages 324-5 of The White Lie)

      We have removed the bold and italics from Acts 3:22 that Walter Rea added, thus restoring the selection back to its original format.

      Note also that by adding material that was dropped or ellipsed from the evidence that was presented by Rea we have actually strengthened his case, such as it is.

The Desire of Ages (1898)
Ellen G. White, page 52
The Life of Christ (1863)
William Hanna, pages 32-36

      What meaning then was attached to Christ's presentation! But the priest did not see through the veil; he did not read the mystery beyond. The presentation of infants was a common scene. Day after day the priest received the redemption money as the babes were presented to the Lord. Day after day he went through the routine of his work, giving little heed to the parents or children, unless he saw some indication of the wealth or high rank of the parents. Joseph and Mary were poor; and when they came with their child, the priests saw only a man and woman dressed as Galileans, and in the humblest garments. There was nothing in their appearance to attract attention, and they presented only the offering made by the poorer classes.

      The priest went through the ceremony of his official work. He took the child in his arms, and held it up before the altar. After handing it back to its mother, he inscribed the name "Jesus" on the roll of the first-born. Little did he think, as the babe lay in his arms, that it was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. The priest did not think that this babe was the One of whom Moses had written, "A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you." Acts 3:22. He did not think that this babe was He whose glory Moses had asked to see. But One greater than Moses lay in the priest's arms; and when he enrolled the child's name, he was enrolling the name of One who was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. That name was to be its death warrant; for the system of sacrifices and offerings was waxing old; the type had almost reached its antitype, the shadow its substance.

      There were few more common, few less noticeable sights than the one witnessed that forenoon within the temple when Christ's presentation as a first-born child took place. It happened every day that mothers brought their children to be in this way dedicated and redeemed. It was part of the daily routine work of the priest-in-waiting to take their payments, to hold up the children before the altar, to enroll their names in the register of the first-born, and so to complete the dedication; a work which from its commonness he went through without giving much attention either to parents or to child, unless indeed there was something special in their rank, of their

page 33

appearance, or their offerings.9 But here was nothing of the kind. A 10 poor man and woman, in humblest guise, with humblest offerings, present themselves before him. The woman holds out her first-born babe; he takes, presents, enrolls, and hands it back to her ; all seems over, and what is there in so common, plain, and simple an old Jewish custom worthy of any particular notice?11, 12 We shall be able to answer that question better, by considering for a moment what this rite of the dedication of the first-born among the Israelites really meant, especially as applied to this first-born, to this child Jesus.

[3 paragraphs are skipped over, to page 35]

      How little did that Jewish priest, who took the infant Saviour and held him up before the altar, imagine that a greater than Moses, one greater than the temple, was in his arms!12 How little did he imagine, as he inscribed the new name Jesus in the roll of the first-born of Israel, that he was signing the death-warrant of the Mosaic economy now waxing old and ready to vanish away; that he was ushering in that better, brighter day, when neither of the temple upon Mount Zion, nor that upon Gerizim, it should be said that

page 36

there only was the true worship of Jehovah celebrated; but when, taught by this very Jesus to know God as our Father in heaven, unfettered and redeemed humanity in every land should worship him who is a Spirit in spirit and in truth.

[This paragraph continues for another 13 lines or 4 sentences—see comparison for paragraph 12.]

Observations: Out of about 320 words in Desire of Ages, 44 words are the same or similar to Hanna, but not taken from Scripture. That's one of the highest we've seen thus far, at 13.75%. If the whole book contained this high a percentage of borrowed wording, would this have been considered a crime, or even, to be unethical, in 1898?


  1. Rea inserted an ellipsis here where there should not be one.
  2. Rea changed this letter to lowercase. By so doing it makes Hanna's wording appear more similar to Ellen White's. Not ellipsing the preceding words, "But here," only confuses the matter.
  3. While Rea did insert an ellipsis here, the position of the preceeding period hides the fact that the previous sentence is clipped.
  4. In Rea's book the punctuation is changed at this point to a period.

Paragraph 11 (analysis of page 325 of The White Lie)

      We have removed the bold and italics found in Rea from five places below, two in White and three in Hanna, in order to bring the formatting back in line with the original. In this instance, Rea even bolded and italicized words that were not direct quotations from Scripture, which artificially enhanced the apparent similarity between White and Hanna.

      The words from White that Rea bolded and italicized were "high priest over the house of God," and ""an unchangeable priesthood," the intercessor at "the right hand of the Majesty on high."" Words from Hanna that likewise highlighted were "Before Abraham was, I am," "High priest over the house of God," and "unchangeable priesthood."

The Desire of Ages (1898)
Ellen G. White, pages 52-5
The Life of Christ (1863)
William Hanna, pages 34-5

      The Shekinah had departed from the sanctuary, but in the Child of Bethlehem was veiled the glory before which angels bow. This unconscious babe was the promised seed, to whom the first altar at the gate of Eden pointed. This was Shiloh, the peace giver. It was He who declared Himself to Moses as the I AM.13 It was He who in the pillar of cloud and of fire had been the guide of Israel. This was He whom seers had long foretold. He was the Desire of all nations, the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star. The name of that helpless little babe, inscribed in the roll of Israel, declaring Him our brother, was the hope of fallen humanity. The child for whom the redemption money had been paid was He who was to pay the ransom for the sins of the whole world. He was the true "high priest over the house of God," the head of "an unchangeable priesthood," the intercessor

Page 53 is picture and page 54 is blank, page 55:

at "the right hand of the Majesty on high."14 Heb. 10:21; 7:24; 1:3.

      In the light of this explanation, let us look yet once again at our Lord's presentation in the temple as a first-born child, and see whether—as the eye of faith looks through the outward actions to that which the actions symbolize, looks through the outward form and discerns the spiritual significance—the whole scene does not become, as it were, transfigured before us. You mount the steps, and come up into this temple at Jerusalem. It is neither a feast-day nor a Sabbath-day, nor is it the fixed hour for prayer. A few priests, or Levites, or other hangers-on of the holy place are loitering in the outer courts. A man and a woman in Galilean dress, the woman bearing an infant in her arms, cross the court and go forward to where the priest is standing, whose duty it is to present whatever individual sacrifices or oblations may that day be offered. They tell the priest their errand, hand to him or to one of his attendants the two young

page 35

turtle-doves and the five shekels of the sanctuary. He in his turn goes through with his part of the prescribed ceremonial, and gives the child back again to his parents as a first-born child that had been devoted to the Lord. The father, the mother, the priest, whatever onlookers there are, all imagine that nothing more has been done in all this than is so often done when first-born children are consecrated. But was it so? Who is this child that lies so passive on its mother's breast, and all unconscious of what is being done with him, is handled by the officiating priest? He is, as his birth had proclaimed him to be, one of the seed of Abraham, and yet he afterwards said of himself, "Before Abraham was I am."13, 15 He is, as the angel had proclaimed him to be, David's son and David's heir; but as he said afterwards of himself, the root as well as the branch of David: David's Lord as well as David's son.16 He is the first-born of Mary, but he is also the first-born of every creature, the beginning of the creation of God. He is the infant of a few weeks old, but also the Ancient of Days, whose goings forth were from of old, from everlasting. Here then at last is the Lord, the Jehovah, whom so many of the Jews were seeking, brought suddenly, almost, as one might say, unconsciously into his own temple.16 Here is the Lamb of God, of old provided, now publicly designated and set apart—of which the paschal one, the sight of whose blood warded off the stroke of the destroying angel, was but the imperfect type.16 Here is the one and only true High Priest over the house of God, consecrated to his office, of whose all prevailing, everlasting, and unchangeable priesthood, the Aaronic priesthood, the priesthood of the first-born, was but the dim shadow.15 Here is the Son presented to the Father, within the holy place on earth, as he enters upon that life of service, suffering, sacrifice, the glorious issue of which was to be his entering not by the blood of bulls and goats, but by his own blood, into that holy place not made with hands, having obtained eternal redemption for us, there for ever to present himself before the Father, as the living head of the great community of the redeemed, the general assembly and church of the first-born which are written in heaven.


  1. By omitting so much material from Hanna, Rea was able to line up very closely the words "I AM" in his book, even though Hanna and White used these words to refer to totally different Bible passages.
  2. The quote marks and textual citation suggests that Ellen White copied these words from the Bible rather than from Hanna.
  3. Rea inserted an ellipsis here where there should not be one.
  4. While Rea did insert an ellipsis here, the position of the period obscures the fact that the sentence was clipped.

Paragraph 12 (analysis of pages 325-6 of The White Lie)

      The bold and italics Rea added have been removed from the Scripture quotation in The Desire of Ages in order to bring the format of the quotation back to that of the original text.

The Desire of Ages (1898)
Ellen G. White, page 55
The Life of Christ (1863)
William Hanna, pages 35-6

      Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. In the temple the Son of God was dedicated to the work He had come to do. The priest looked upon Him as he would upon any other child. But though he neither saw nor felt anything unusual, God's act in giving His Son to the world was acknowledged. This occasion did not pass without some recognition of Christ. "There was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ."

      How little did that Jewish priest, who took the infant Saviour and held him up before the altar, imagine that a greater than Moses, one greater than the temple, was in his arms! How little did he imagine, as he inscribed the new name Jesus in the roll of the first-born of Israel, that he was signing the death-warrant of the Mosaic economy now waxing old and ready to vanish away; that he was ushering in that better, brighter day, when neither of the temple upon Mount Zion, nor that upon Gerizim, it should be said that

Page 36

there only was the true worship of Jehovah celebrated; but when, taught by this very Jesus to know God as our Father in heaven, unfettered and redeemed humanity17 in every land should worship him who is a Spirit in spirit and in truth. Yet even so it was; Christ's first entrance into the temple, his dedication there unto the Lord, was no such common ceremonial as we might fancy it to be. Simple in form, there lay in it a depth a sublimity of meaning. It was nothing else than the first formal earthly presentation to the Father of the incarnate Son of God, his first formal dedication to that great work given him to do. And was it not meet when the Father and Son were brought visibly together in this relationship, that the presence of the Holy Spirit should be manifested; that by that Spirit Simeon and Anna should be called in, and by that Spirit their lips should be made to speak the infant Saviour's praise; that so within the temple, Father, Son, Holy Spirit might all appear dignifying with their presence our Lord's first entrance into the holy place; his consecration to his earthly mediatorial work?


  1. In Rea's book this word is capitalized. This hinders the reader from discovering that he omitted more than 80% of the sentence.
Chapter 5 Analysis Continued

Index of Files

© David J. Conklin (Dec. 19, 2004 - Jan. 8, 2006)