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 an analysis of the alleged comparisons.
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 and sentences that are not coded means that 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.
Charles F. Deems, Who Was Jesus? (J. Howard Brown, NYC: 1880), 613
The Passover was the feast commerative of the deliverance of the nation from the Egyptian bondage.
"In Remembrance of Me"
[This chapter is based on Matt. 26:20-29; Mark 14:17-25; Luke 22:14-23; John 13:18-30.]
"The Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come." 1 Cor. 11:23-26.
Christ was standing at the point of transition between two economies and their two great festivals. He, the spotless Lamb of God, was about to present Himself as a sin offering, that He would thus bring to an end the system of types and ceremonies that for four thousand years had pointed to His death. As He ate the Passover with His disciples, He instituted in its place the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice. The national festival of the Jews was to pass away forever. The service which Christ established was to be observed by His followers in all lands and through all ages.
The Passover was ordained as a commemoration of the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage.1 God had directed that, year by year, as the children should ask the meaning of this ordinance, the history should be repeated. Thus the wonderful deliverance was to be kept fresh in the minds of all. The ordinance of the Lord's Supper was given
1 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase). Back to text
George Pentecost, Bible Studies. page 123; as per Veltman's study
After the Passover feast proper was ended, the Lord took some remnant of the unleavened bread, and the cup out of which they had all been drinking, and proceeded to institute a new ordinance; which in all time should prove a blessing to true disciples, and forever commemorate the sacrifice and blessings of teh true Passover. The old Passover was a memorial of Israel's deliverance from an earthly bondage. The sacrifice of the true Passover, and the memorial supper symbolizing it, brought in a redemption from sin and all its dread consequences.
Johann Lange, LOLJC. page 126; as per Dr. Veltman's study
The celebrants ate it originally in travelling costume, standing, their staves in their hands.
Farrar, page 290, vol. 2 (E. P. Dutton); as per Dr. Veltman's study
The central custom of the feast was the hasty eating of the Paschal lamb, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, in a standing attitude, with loins girt and shoes upon the feet, as they had eaten hastily on the night of their deliverance.
Jones, LSFG. page 342; as per Dr. Veltman's study
... the company assembled and took their places around the table, reclining on couches, (the posture of freemen), to show that they had got out of servitude into freedom.
Farrar, page 278-9, vol. 2 (E. P. Dutton); as per Dr. Veltman's study
The couches or cushions, each large enough to hold three persons were placed around three sides of one or more low tables of gaily painted wood, each scarcely higher than stools. The seat of honour was the central one of the central "trilinium",or mat. This was, of course, occupied by the Lord. Each guest reclined at full length, leaning on his left elbow, that his right hand might be free.
Jones, LSFG. page 342; as per Dr. Veltman's study
They leaned on the left arm, a cushion or bolster under the shoulder assisting to ease the posture; . . . As the reclined slantingly to the table, so as to bring each man's head before the chest of the one next behind him, if the former wished to speak to the latter, especially if it was anything secret,he leaned his head back on the bosom of the other.
to commemorate the great deliverance wrought out as the result of the death of Christ.2 Till He shall come the second time in power and glory, this ordinance is to be celebrated. It is the means by which His great work for us is to be kept fresh in our minds.
At the time of their deliverance from Egypt, the children of Israel ate the Passover supper standing, with their loins girded, and with their staves in their hands, ready for their journey.3 The manner in which they celebrated this ordinance harmonized with their condition; for they were about to be thrust out of the land of Egypt, and were to begin a painful and difficult journey through the wilderness. But in Christ's time the condition of things had changed. They were not now about to be thrust out of a strange country, but were dwellers in their own land. In harmony with the rest that had been given them, the people then partook of the Passover supper in a reclining position.4 Couches were placed about the table, and the guests lay upon them, resting upon the left arm, and having the right hand free for use in eating.5 In this position a guest could lay his head upon the breast of the one who sat next above him.6 And the feet, being at the outer edge of the couch, could be washed by one passing around the outside of the circle.
Christ is still at the table on which the paschal supper has been spread. The unleavened cakes used at the Passover season are before Him. The Passover wine, untouched by fermentation, is on the table. These emblems Christ employs to represent His own unblemished sacrifice. Nothing corrupted by fermentation, the symbol of sin and death, could represent the "Lamb without blemish and without spot." 1 Peter 1:19.
"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."
Judas the betrayer was present at the sacramental service. He received from Jesus the emblems of His broken body and His spilled blood. He heard the words, "This do in remembrance of Me." And sitting there in the very presence of the Lamb of God, the betrayer brooded upon his own dark purposes, and cherished his sullen, revengeful thoughts.
At the feet washing, Christ had given convincing proof that He understood the character of Judas. "Ye are not all clean" (John 13:11),
2 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P3 (loose paraphrase). Back to text
3 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase). Back to text
4 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P3 (loose paraphrase). Back to text
5 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase). Back to text
6 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase). Back to text
Hanna, 615; as per Dr. Veltman's study
He had returned lok for look, as they at first scanned each other; no face calmer or less confused; no one suspecting Judas.
Hanna, 614; as per Dr. Veltman's study
When the washing of the feet was over, and Jesus sat down, and the repast began, they all noticed that there was a cloud upon thier Master's countenance, and the disciple who, sitting next to him could bestread the expression of his face, saw that he "was troubled in spirit." [sentences 17 and 18] Christ breaks the silence into which, in the sadness of his spirit, he hadfallen; he speaks in tone and manner quite different from those of his ordinary colloquial address. And he testified and said, Verily, verily I say unto you, that one of you which eateth with me shall betray me!" Betray him! how? for what? to what? Betray such a Master at such a time! Bad enough for any common disciple to use the means and opportunities that acquaintance gave to effect his ruin; but for one of them, his own familiar friends, whom he has drawn so closely round his person, upon whom he has lavished such affection--for one of those admitted to this most sacred of meals, the holiest seal of the nearest earthly bond; for one of the twelve to betray him! [sentence 23] they . . . look "one on another, doubting of whom he spake"--fixing searching looks on all around, to see whether any countenance showed the confusion of felt guilt, etc.
George Pentecost, Bible Studies. page 121; as per Veltman's study
Overwhelmed with the shame of this thing which the Lord had spoken,and not knowing who it was of them, they each for himself began to question his own heart.
Hanna, 616; as per Dr. Veltman's study
"That thou doest," said Jesus to him, "do quickly." He arose and went out immediately; and it was night. And into that night he went carrying a blacker night within his own dark breast.
He said. These words convinced the false disciple that Christ read his secret purpose. Now Christ spoke out more plainly. As they were seated at the table He said, looking upon His disciples, "I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with Me hath lifted up his heel against Me."
Even now the disciples did not suspect Judas.7 But they saw that Christ appeared greatly troubled.8 A cloud settled over them all, a premonition of some dreadful calamity, the nature of which they did not understand. As they ate in silence, Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray Me."9 At these words amazement and consternation seized them. They could not comprehend how any one of them could deal treacherously with their divine Teacher. For what cause could they betray Him? and to whom?10 Whose heart could give birth to such a design? Surely not one of the favored twelve, who had been privileged above all others to hear His teachings, who had shared His wonderful love, and for whom He had shown such great regard by bringing them into close communion with Himself!11
As they realized the import of His words, and remembered how true His sayings were, fear and self-distrust seized them. They began to search their own hearts to see if one thought against their Master were harbored there.12 With the most painful emotion, one after another inquired, "Lord, is it I?"13 But Judas sat silent. John in deep distress at last inquired, "Lord, who is it?" And Jesus answered, "He that dippeth his hand with Me in the dish, the same shall betray Me. The Son of man goeth as it is written of Him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born." The disciples had searched one another's faces closely as they asked, "Lord, is it I?"14 And now the silence of Judas drew all eyes to him. Amid the confusion of questions and expressions of astonishment, Judas had not heard the words of Jesus in answer to John's question. But now, to escape the scrutiny of the disciples, he asked as they had done, "Master, is it I?" Jesus solemnly replied, "Thou hast said."
In surprise and confusion at the exposure of his purpose, Judas rose hastily to leave the room. "Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. . . . He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night." Night it was to the traitor as he turned away from Christ into the outer darkness.15
Until this step was taken, Judas had not passed beyond the possibility of repentance. But when he left the presence of his Lord and his
7 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase). Back to text
8 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase). Back to text
9 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase). Back to text
10 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase). Back to text
11 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase). Back to text
12 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase). Back to text
13 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase). Back to text
14 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase). Back to text
15 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase). Back to text
George Pentecost, Bible Studies. page 155; as per Dr. Veltman's study
Satan now entered into Judas' heart, and the case was past redemption.
Hanna, 618; as per Dr. Veltman's study
That in dealing with him as he did in the guest-chamber,he was giving him another and last opportunity of repentance I do most thoroughly believe.
Hanna, 616; as per Dr. Veltman's study
We have Christ's own authority for saying that one of his reasons for acting as he did towards Judas was to afford to the other apostles an evidence of his Messiahship. [skipping over sentences 65-6] Had nothing been said beforehand by Jesus, had everything run the course it did, their Master remaining apparently in profound ignorance of how his arrest in the garden was to be brought about, then to the apostles' eyes this mystery would have hung around the whole procedure: that Jesus had been deceived, had suffered a traitor to enter unknown and undetected into the innermost circle of his friends; [skipping over the rest of the sentence]. [skipping over sentences 68-70] Yet when all is over, and they recall what their Master had said a year before his death, that one of them was a devil, and remember especially the sayings of the quest-chamber, how vividly would the conviction come home to the minds of the apostles, thatthey had to do with one from whom no secrets were hidden, before whose all-seeing eye every heart lay naked and bare!
fellow disciples, the final decision had been made. He had passed the boundary line.16
Wonderful had been the long-suffering of Jesus in His dealing with this tempted soul. Nothing that could be done to save Judas had been left undone. After he had twice covenanted to betray his Lord, Jesus still gave him opportunity for repentance.17 By reading the secret purpose of the traitor's heart, Christ gave to Judas the final, convincing evidence of His divinity. This was to the false disciple the last call to repentance.18 No appeal that the divine-human heart of Christ could make had been spared. The waves of mercy, beaten back by stubborn pride, returned in a stronger tide of subduing love. But although surprised and alarmed at the discovery of his guilt, Judas became only the more determined. From the sacramental supper he went out to complete the work of betrayal.
In pronouncing the woe upon Judas, Christ also had a purpose of mercy toward His disciples. He thus gave them the crowning evidence of his Messiahship.19 "I tell you before it come," He said, "that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I AM." Had Jesus remained silent, in apparent ignorance of what was to come upon Him, the disciples might have thought that their Master had not divine foresight, and had been surprised and betrayed into the hands of the murderous mob.20 A year before, Jesus had told the disciples that He had chosen twelve, and that one was a devil.21 Now His words to Judas, showing that his treachery was fully known to his Master, would strengthen the faith of Christ's true followers during His humiliation. And when Judas should have come to his dreadful end, they would remember the woe that Jesus had pronounced upon the betrayer.
And the Saviour had still another purpose. He had not withheld His ministry from him whom He knew to be a traitor. The disciples did not understand His words when He said at the feet washing, "Ye are not all clean," nor yet when at the table He declared, "He that eateth bread with Me hath lifted up his heel against Me." John 13:11, 18. But afterward, when His meaning was made plain, they had something to consider as to the patience and mercy of God toward the most grievously erring.
Though Jesus knew Judas from the beginning, He washed his feet. And the betrayer was privileged to unite with Christ in partaking of the sacrament. A long-suffering Saviour held out every inducement for the sinner to receive Him, to repent, and to be cleansed from the defilement of sin. This example is for us. When we suppose one to be in error and sin, we are not to divorce ourselves from him. By no careless
16 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase). Back to text
17 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as I2 (partial independence). Back to text
18 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase). Back to text
19 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase). Back to text
20 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase). Back to text
21 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase). Back to text
John Cumming, Cumming's Minor Works. Third Series. page 35; as per Dr. Veltman's study
Surely there is here a striking precedent for us to imitate; and yet one that is most difficult to imitate. . . . Our Lord has set us the example of judging men, not by our suspicions or our construction, but by their deeds; . . .
separation are we to leave him a prey to temptation, or drive him upon Satan's battleground. This is not Christ's method. It was because the disciples were erring and faulty that He washed their feet, and all but one of the twelve were thus brought to repentance.
Christ's example forbids exclusiveness at the Lord's Supper. It is true that open sin excludes the guilty. This the Holy Spirit plainly teaches. 1 Cor. 5:11. But beyond this none are to pass judgment.22 God has not left it with men to say who shall present themselves on these occasions. For who can read the heart? Who can distinguish the tares from the wheat? "Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup." For "whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." "He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." 1 Cor. 11:28, 27, 29.
When believers assemble to celebrate the ordinances, there are present messengers unseen by human eyes. There may be a Judas in the company, and if so, messengers from the prince of darkness are there, for they attend all who refuse to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Heavenly angels also are present. These unseen visitants are present on every such occasion. There may come into the company persons who are not in heart servants of truth and holiness, but who may wish to take part in the service. They should not be forbidden. There are witnesses present who were present when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples and of Judas. More than human eyes beheld the scene.
Christ by the Holy Spirit is there to set the seal to His own ordinance. He is there to convict and soften the heart. Not a look, not a thought of contrition, escapes His notice. For the repentant, brokenhearted one He is waiting. All things are ready for that soul's reception. He who washed the feet of Judas longs to wash every heart from the stain of sin.
None should exclude themselves from the Communion because some who are unworthy may be present. Every disciple is called upon to participate publicly, and thus bear witness that he accepts Christ as a personal Saviour. It is at these, His own appointments, that Christ meets His people, and energizes them by His presence. Hearts and hands that are unworthy may even administer the ordinance, yet Christ is there to minister to His children. All who come with their faith fixed upon Him will be greatly blessed. All who neglect these seasons of divine privilege will suffer loss. Of them it may appropriately be said, "Ye are not all clean."
In partaking with His disciples of the bread and wine, Christ pledged
22 In Dr. Veltman's study this is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase). Back to text
Himself to them as their Redeemer. He committed to them the new covenant, by which all who receive Him become children of God, and joint heirs with Christ. By this covenant every blessing that heaven could bestow for this life and the life to come was theirs. This covenant deed was to be ratified with the blood of Christ. And the administration of the Sacrament was to keep before the disciples the infinite sacrifice made for each of them individually as a part of the great whole of fallen humanity.
But the Communion service was not to be a season of sorrowing. This was not its purpose. As the Lord's disciples gather about His table, they are not to remember and lament their shortcomings. They are not to dwell upon their past religious experience, whether that experience has been elevating or depressing. They are not to recall the differences between them and their brethren. The preparatory service has embraced all this. The self-examination, the confession of sin, the reconciling of differences, has all been done. Now they come to meet with Christ. They are not to stand in the shadow of the cross, but in its saving light. They are to open the soul to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. With hearts cleansed by Christ's most precious blood, in full consciousness of His presence, although unseen, they are to hear His words, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." John 14:27.
Our Lord says, Under conviction of sin, remember that I died for you. When oppressed and persecuted and afflicted for My sake and the gospel's, remember My love, so great that for you I gave My life. When your duties appear stern and severe, and your burdens too heavy to bear, remember that for your sake I endured the cross, despising the shame. When your heart shrinks from the trying ordeal, remember that your Redeemer liveth to make intercession for you.
The Communion service points to Christ's second coming. It was designed to keep this hope vivid in the minds of the disciples. Whenever they met together to commemorate His death, they recounted how "He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." In their tribulation they found comfort in the hope of their Lord's return. Unspeakably precious to them was the thought, "As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come." 1 Cor. 11:26.
These are the things we are never to forget. The love of Jesus, with its constraining power, is to be kept fresh in our memory. Christ has instituted this service that it may speak to our senses of the love of God that has been expressed in our behalf. There can be no union between our souls and God except through Christ. The union and love between brother and brother must be cemented and rendered eternal by the love of Jesus. And nothing less than the death of Christ could make His love efficacious for us. It is only because of His death that we can look with joy to His second coming. His sacrifice is the center of our hope. Upon this we must fix our faith.
The ordinances that point to our Lord's humiliation and suffering are regarded too much as a form. They were instituted for a purpose. Our senses need to be quickened to lay hold of the mystery of godliness. It is the privilege of all to comprehend, far more than we do, the expiatory sufferings of Christ. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness," even so has the Son of man been lifted up, "that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:14, 15. To the cross of Calvary, bearing a dying Saviour, we must look. Our eternal interests demand that we show faith in Christ.
Our Lord has said, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. . . . For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed." John 6:53-55. This is true of our physical nature. To the death of Christ we owe even this earthly life. The bread we eat is the purchase of His broken body. The water we drink is bought by His spilled blood. Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food, but he is nourished by the body and the blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf. It is reflected in every water spring. All this Christ has taught in appointing the emblems of His great sacrifice. The light shining from that Communion service in the upper chamber makes sacred the provisions for our daily life. The family board becomes as the table of the Lord, and every meal a sacrament.
And how much more are Christ's words true of our spiritual nature. He declares, "Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life." It is by receiving the life for us poured out on Calvary's cross, that we can live the life of holiness. And this life we receive by receiving His word, by doing those things which He has commanded. Thus we become one with Him. "He that eateth My flesh," He says, "and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. As the living
Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me." John 6:54, 56, 57. To the holy Communion this scripture in a special sense applies. As faith contemplates our Lord's great sacrifice, the soul assimilates the spiritual life of Christ. That soul will receive spiritual strength from every Communion. The service forms a living connection by which the believer is bound up with Christ, and thus bound up with the Father. In a special sense it forms a connection between dependent human beings and God.
As we receive the bread and wine symbolizing Christ's broken body and spilled blood, we in imagination join in the scene of Communion in the upper chamber. We seem to be passing through the garden consecrated by the agony of Him who bore the sins of the world. We witness the struggle by which our reconciliation with God was obtained. Christ is set forth crucified among us.
Looking upon the crucified Redeemer, we more fully comprehend the magnitude and meaning of the sacrifice made by the Majesty of heaven. The plan of salvation is glorified before us, and the thought of Calvary awakens living and sacred emotions in our hearts. Praise to God and the Lamb will be in our hearts and on our lips; for pride and self-worship cannot flourish in the soul that keeps fresh in memory the scenes of Calvary.
He who beholds the Saviour's matchless love will be elevated in thought, purified in heart, transformed in character. He will go forth to be a light to the world, to reflect in some degree this mysterious love. The more we contemplate the cross of Christ, the more fully shall we adopt the language of the apostle when he said, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Gal. 6:14.
In this chapter Dr. Veltman and his team did not find any of the 201 sentences to be verbatim of either type. Thirty-three are considered paraphrases of some type, 25 are from the Bible (quotes, etc.), and the vast majority, 143 (71.1443%), are independent (136, or 67.66%, strictly so). Combining the independent with the Bible means that 83.5821% was not "copied" from any source. Again this lies within the range of 80-90% that the critics claim EGW "copied".
1) In his conclusion for this chapter Dr. Veltman notes, on page 521, that because of
The countless repetitions, the accumulated memories, the familiar humns, and the multiple experiences in every Christian's life have combined to produce such a common stock of phrases and of interpretations that it becomnes hardly possible to isolate any words or expressions in terms of originality or dependence. (emphasis added)
In the face of this should the critics be so dogmatic about claiming that Ellen G. White is a plagiarist? Much less than that, should they maintain the 80-90% claim and yet they continue to do so.
2) Then he notes the "veritable plethora" (page 522) of devotional texts on the subject of this chapter which Ellen G. White may have read throughout the years which would raise "havoc in identifying the source of the dependency". Note that he is stll assuming dependency.
3) After noting the above he then notes:
We found so much duplication of literary expression among the writers we were not always sure as to the one source she was using, if indeed she was borrowing in an instance of a given parallel. (emphasis added)
He then notes what every critic needs to hear over and over again: "The writers exhibiting such parallels among themselves did not always identify their sources."
He restates the matter (on pages 533-4):
The sources at times bear such striking similarity with each other that we are at a loss to know which source is being used. Perhaps Ellen White at times is merely placing her feet in the same stream [of consciousness] in which many others are wading.
He reiterates the above points (on page 537):
The location of undocumented literary parallels among the writers on the Passover meal leads us to ask about the literary conventions of the day. Evidently Ellen White is not the only writer using the works of others without admission and without giving source credits.
4) In light of the above, Dr. Veltman then asks (page 522):
What were the literary conventions followed by Seventh-day Adventists and other religious literary sources, particularly in the area of devotional comment?
Kind of hard to convict someone of plagiarism when one doesn't know what the standards of the day were, isn't it?
5) He then observes (pages 522-3):
a comparison of devotional works on the subject of the communion service might be useful in establishing a nineteenth century modelfor what is permitted by common consent and what would be unacceptable and understood as plagiarism.
This and the above factors have never been considered by any of the critics who make the claim of plagiarism.