We analyze. You decide!

An Analysis of the Literary Dependency
of The Desire of Ages, Chapter 84

      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 one chapter of The Desire of Ages for which examples of alleged plagiarism are given. This particular one is from Rea (pages 319-20) and Dr. Veltman (pages 792-857 with the evidence on pages 796-815); presenting both at the same time allows us to compare and contrast how the two handled the same evidence.

      One problem with those who are "victims" of parallelomania is that they confuse the mere presence of a few words in both texts as being evidence of plagiarism. They completely overlook the context and meaning of the words that are similar, an even more importantly, the far greater number of words that are dissimilar.

      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 dissimilar. What we want to do here is to determine whether the critics did a fair analysis, or whether their comparisons actually distorted the real situation. Accordingly, we have color-coded the text so that you, the reader, can easily come to your own conclusion. For the most part sentences in Ellen G. White's The Desire of Ages considered by Dr. Veltman to be either from the Bible or independent are not coded or footnoted.

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 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) Desire of Ages. (1898)
Daniel March, Night Scenes in the Bible. (1868, Kregel reprint)
Page 270, skipping over 6 pages in this chapter

      Reaching the walls of the city at a late hour, they probably passed around to one of the eastern gates, which was kept open all night during the great festivities of the Jewish people. [faulty ellipsing in Rea's book at this point] Having gained admission, they hurry along the narrow streets, guided now by the light of the risen moon. The doors are shut, and the blank walls of the stone houses give no sign of life within. They make their way first of all, we may suppose, to that one memorable house with the upper chamber, where Jesus spent the last evening with His disciples before He suffered. Late as is the hour, they feel confident that the band will still be together. [faulty ellipsing in Rea's book at this point] The excitement of the day has been too great to let them think of sleep.

      When they reach the door, they find it barred from within, and they cannot enter. [faulty ellipsing in Rea's book at this point] They knock, but none reply. [faulty ellipsing in Rea's book at this point] They call and announce their names, and then they hear steps and voices within, and the swift and cautious hands of their brethren unbolting the door. But they have not had time to enter or to unburden their hearts of the great joy which they bring, before the voices of all within break out in the exclamation, "The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared unto Simon!" And now, that all are within and the door is barred again, the excited and panting travellors take their turn, and tell the wondrous story of the evening walk to Emmaus, the strange companion that joined them in the way, the burning words that He spoke as He climbed the hills and toiled along the steep stony path in their company, the blessing that he pronounced at the evening meal, the print of the nails that they plainly saw in His extended hands, the familiar looks of their beloved Lord shining out upon His face, and then his vanishing out of their sight.

      They have scarcely finished their story, amid the wonder and joy of the listening throng, when, behold! another stands

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      in the midst of the room.a They are startled and terrified at the sudden apparition, even as they were when they saw the bright form walking upon the Sea of Galilee. Every eye is fixed upon the Stranger. There has been no knocking without. The door has not been unbarred.

"Peace Be Unto You"

[This chapter is based on Luke 24:33-48;
John 20:19-29.]

      On reaching Jerusalem the two disciples enter at the eastern gate, which is open at night on festal occasions.1 The houses are dark and silent, but the travelers make their way through the narrow streets by the light of the rising moon.2 They go to the upper chamber where Jesus spent the hours of the last evening before His death.3 Here they know that their brethren are to be found.4 Late as it is, they know that the disciples will not sleep till they learn for a certainty what has become of the body of their Lord.5 They find the door of the chamber securely barred.6 They knock for admission, but no answer comes.7 All is still.8 Then they give their names.9 The door is carefully unbarred, they enter,10 and Another, unseen, enters with them.11 Then the door is again fastened, to keep out spies.12

      The travelers find all in surprised excitement.13 The voices of those in the room break out into thanksgiving and praise, saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon."14 Then the two travelers, panting with the haste with which they have made their journey, tell the wondrous story of how Jesus has appeared to them.15 They have just ended, and some are saying that they cannot believe it, for it is too good to be true, when behold, another Person stands before them.16 Every eye is fastened upon the stranger.17 No one has knocked for entrance.18 No

     

NOTES

      1 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      2 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      3 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      4 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      5 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      6 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      7 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      8 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      9 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      10 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      11 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as I1 (strict independence).    Return to text

      12 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      13 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      14 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as B1 (source Bible; Luke 24:34).    Return to text

      15 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      16 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      17 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as V2 (verbatim--should be strictly verbatim).    Return to text

      18 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

Daniel March, Night Scenes in the Bible. (1868, Kregel reprint)

{picking up from where we left off above}

No sound of entering footsteps has been heard. And yet there He stands before the affrighted throng--a stranger, a spirit, a living man! What can it be? In the hush of silence which pervades the breathless group they hear a voice speaking as only their Lord could speak, and saying, "Peace be unto you." Then He shows them hands and His feet, and they lean forward with fear and wonder to look upon the print of the nails, the signs of sacrificial suffering which He wears even now upon the throne of heaven. He lays bare His wounded side, and they shudder as they see the dreadful scar where the soldier thrust his spear. He bids them draw near and lay their hands upon Him, and thus be sure that it is His real living body which they see. While they tremble and dare not approach, He calls for food and eats in their presence. And now at last they are glad and satisfied that they see their Lord. It is Jesus Himself, who died and was buried, and behold, He lives, and shall be alive for evermore.

      The first word which the risen Lord brings to the assembly of His disciples, on this first night after His resurrection is "PEACE." He stands forth in the midst of the startled company with that blessing upon His lips. And when they have recovered from their fear and excitement sufficiently to heed His words, He says again, "Peace be unto you." His first appearance on earth was announced by angel voices with the same blessed word--Peace. And after He has completed His work and passed away from the world, He comes back from the grasp of death and the grave to bring the weary and the sorrowing the blessing of peace. Peace to the troubled

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      footstep has been heard.19 The disciples are startled, and wonder what it means.20 Then they hear a voice which is no other than the voice of their Master.21 Clear and distinct the words fall from His lips, "Peace be unto you."

      "But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have. And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet."

      They beheld the hands and feet marred by the cruel nails.22 They recognized His voice, like no other they had ever heard.23 "And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And He took it, and did eat before them." "Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord." Faith and joy took the place of unbelief, and with feelings which no words could express they acknowledged their risen Saviour.

      At the birth of Jesus the angel announced, Peace on earth, and good will to men. And now at His first appearance to the disciples after His resurrection, the Saviour addressed them with the blessed words, "Peace

NOTES

      19 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as V2 (verbatim).    Return to text

      20 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      21 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      a This sentence was ignored in Rea's example. But is included in Dr. Veltman's study.    Return to text

      22 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      23 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

Daniel March, Night Scenes in the Bible. (1868, Kregel reprint)

{picking up from where we left off above}

conscience, for the blood of the cross takes away the stain of sin from the penitent soul. Peace to the weary and heavy-laden, for all who believe in Jesus shall enter into rest. Peace to those who have destroyed their own happiness, for the love of Jesus reconciles the believing to God, to duty, and to themselves. Peace to all troubled and restless and doubting and dissatisfied souls, for Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. Peace to all to whom the message of His Gospel is given; for the risen Christ lives in His truth, and He comes to breathe the blessing of His own Divine and abiding peace of the sanctuary and of the secret chamber. But He stands at the door of the heart, and knocks, and waits to be invited in.b He knocks, and knocks again. He waits, and waits long. And many never invite Him in. And yet the blessing of peace, for which every bosom longs, is never ours until we under our stony hearts and ask the waiting Saviour in.

[skipping over 4 paragraphs and onto page 274]

      The early Christians made everything of the resurrection of Jesus. To them it made their beloved Master the Lord of the dead and of the living. It made His cross a throne, His death a triumph, His open tomb the gate of heaven. It is our privilege to make as much of it as they did. If we believe in Jesus, we too shall rise, and share with Him in His victory over death. His resurrection is the pattern of our own. He came forth from the tomb exhibiting the fulness of perfect manhood in His glorified form. His voice, and look, and manner of speech, were all such as His friends and followers had known them to be in His former life. Though it seemed to some of them too much to believe that He should be alive, yet their hearts burned within them when they heard Him speak. The tone of His voice, the glance of His eye, the sacred signs upon His hands, were to them better than all arguments to prove the reality of His resurrection.

      In like manner shall our beloved, who sleep in Jesus, rise again. They shall remember the past as Jesus remembered, and reminded His disciples of His own words while He was yet with them. They shall speak so that when we meet them and they call our names, as Jesus called the name of Mary in the garden of the sepulchre, it shall be all we need in order to know them. In the shining hosts that throng the streets of the New Jerusalem, and gather in numbers without number round the throne of Jesus, and follow His steps wherever He goes, There shall be voices that we loved to hear in our earthly homes, there shall be faces that need no introduction to tell us who they are.

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[I can't find this material in March (see Rea, page 320): "However plain they looked in this earthly life, they shall still be themselves. ... Their faces shall be radiant with the soul's immortal beauty in the resurrection."]

      The great artist has skill to make a homely face beautiful in a picture, and yet everybody who knows the original will say it is a perfect likeness. And so the faces that we last saw on earth wrinkled with age or wasted with suffering, and void of all grace and comeliness, shall be the same when seen in the light of heaven, yet clothed with immortal beauty and fit for the companionship of angels.c [this paragraph continues on for another 15 lines of text]

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be unto you."24 Jesus is ever ready to speak peace to souls that are burdened with doubts and fears.25 He waits for us to open the door of the heart to Him, and say, Abide with us.26 He says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." Rev. 3:20.

      The resurrection of Jesus was a type of the final resurrection of all who sleep in Him.27 The countenance of the risen Saviour, His manner, His speech, were all familiar to His disciples.28 As Jesus arose from the dead, so those who sleep in Him are to rise again.29 We shall know our friends, even as the disciples knew Jesus.30 They may have been deformed, diseased, or disfigured, in this mortal life, and they rise in perfect health and symmetry; yet in the glorified body their identity will be perfectly preserved.31 Then shall we know even as also we are known. 1 Cor. 13:12.32 In the face radiant with the light shining from the face of Jesus, we shall recognize the lineaments of those we love.

      When Jesus met with His disciples, He reminded them of the words He had spoken to them before His death, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms concerning Him. "Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is

NOTES

      24 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      25 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      26 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      27 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      28 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      29 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      30 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      31 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase); note that Rea clipped this sentence in Ellen G. White's text and in her alleged source (marked with "c") he has "supplied" words that cannot be found.    Return to text

      32 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

{Now we turn to William Hanna's The Life of Christ, page 804; this material is not covered by Rea}

      But his Messiahship, his death, his resurrection, were not matters in which they alone, their nation alone, were interested. Now that the needful work of suffering and death was over; now that the wonderful exhibition at once of the sacredness of the Divine law, that holiness of the Divine character, the deep unutterable love of God,

Page 805

had been given; now, wide over all the world, were repentance and remission of sin to be proclaimed in his name; and they, the men to whom Jesus was then speaking, were to be the witnesses, the heralds, and preachers of this large and all-embracing gospel of peace on earth, and good-will on God's part towards all the children of men: the first and earliest hint this of the nature and extent of their great commission; a hint which they did not understand, which they did not understand even under the enlightening and quickening influence of the day of Pentecost. So far their understanding was opened, that they saw clearly now that Christ ought to have suffered these things, and then to enter into his glory; but their understanding was shut as to that proclamation of God's forgiving mercy and love, which now in the name of Jesus was to be borne abroad over the whole earth.

skipping over

And having said so, he breathed on them, and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost"--an outward and expressive symbol of the twofold truth, that dead, motionless, useless for all the common work of this earthly existence, as lay that dust which the hand of the Creator moulded into human form till he breathed into it the breath of his natural life, so dead, motionless, useless for the work of our Christian calling do we all lie, till the breath of true spiritual life be breathed into us by the Holy Ghost. And as it was from the lips of the risen Saviour that the breath proceeded, which spread out upon the little company at Jerusalem, so is it from the risen, exalted Saviour that the Spirit comes, whose life-giving influences spread over the whole church of the first-born. But specially upon this occasion was the breathing of Jesus upon the disciples, and the gift which accompanied that breathing, meant to indicate that the mission on which Jesus was sending these disciples out--that of being witnesses for him--was one that could alone be discharged by those who, through him, had received more or less of that heavenly gift.d It was this impartation of the Spirit, which was to form just the one, indispensable qualification for the work; without which it could not be done.e We know, historically, that is was but a very limited measure of this gift which was actually, upon this occasion, bestowed. The Holy Ghost has not yet in his fulness given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified. The more plentiful effusion of this gift was reserved for the day of Pentecost. That Spirit, who was to convince of sin, and to lead into all truth, began even then, indeed, his gracious work in the minds and hearts of these disciples, by convincing them of their unbelief and hardness of heart, and by opening their minds to understand the Scriptures. This was but an earnest of better things to come--a few sprinkled drops of that fuller baptism wherewith they were afterwards to be baptized; but yet enough

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to teach that it was by Spirit-taught, Spirit-moved men--by men in whose breasts the heaven-kindled fire of the true spiritual life had begun to burn--that the commission Jesus had been giving could alone be executed. And let not those to whom Jesus is now speaking, speaking as the heads and representatives of the whole body of his true followers upon the earth; let them not think, weak as they are, powerless as they appear, that, in going forth to proclaim in his name, to every penitent transgressor, the free, full, instant, gracious pardon of all his sins, they are embarking in an ideal, unreal work--a work of which they shall never know whether they are succeeding in it or not.

Page 805

written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things."

      The disciples began to realize the nature and extent of their work.33 They were to proclaim to the world the wonderful truths which Christ had entrusted to them.34 The events of His life, His death and resurrection, the prophecies that pointed to these events, the sacredness of the law of God, the mysteries of the plan of salvation, the power of Jesus for the remission of sins,--to all these things they were witnesses, and they were to make them known to the world.35 They were to proclaim the gospel of peace and salvation through repentance and the power of the Saviour.36

      "And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained." The Holy Spirit was not yet fully manifested; for Christ had not yet been glorified.37 The more abundant impartation of the Spirit did not take place till after Christ's ascension.38 Not until this was received could the disciples fulfill the commission to preach the gospel to the world.39 But the Spirit was now given for a special purpose.40 Before the disciples could fulfill their official duties in connection with the church, Christ breathed His Spirit upon them. He was committing to them a most sacred trust, and He desired to impress them with the fact that without the Holy Spirit this work could not be accomplished.

      The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul.41 The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ.42 It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ. Only those who are thus taught of God, those who possess the inward working of the Spirit, and in whose life the Christ-life is manifested, are to stand as representative men, to minister in behalf of the church.

      "Whosoever sins ye remit," said Christ, "they are remitted; . . . and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained." Christ here gives no liberty for any man to pass judgment upon others.43 In the Sermon on the Mount He forbade this. It is the prerogative of God.44 But on the church in its organized capacity He places a responsibility for the individual members.45 Toward those who fall into sin, the church has a duty, to warn, to instruct, and if possible to restore. "Reprove, rebuke, exhort," the Lord says, "with all long-suffering and doctrine." 2 Tim. 4:2. Deal

NOTES

      b The difference in the punctuation in this sentence is ignored.    Return to text

      33 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase); it also incorrectly changes the last word to "commission" which also happens to be the same word Hanna uses.    Return to text

      34 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      35 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Hanna also uses the phrase "His death and resurrection," on page 811 in a different context.    Return to text

      36 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase); Dr. Veltman includes a portion of a sentence from Hanna (10 sentences after the above) in which the only words which are similar are "the gospel of this peace".    Return to text

      37 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as V2 (verbatim).    Return to text

      38 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      39 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      40 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase); this sentence and the next (rated as I2 (partial independence)) as thought to have been "derived" from Hanna's sentence marked with "d".    Return to text

      41 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      42 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as I2 (partial independence). Note that while both (marked in Hanna with "e") use the words "impartation of the Spirit" they also have different objects in view.    Return to text

      43 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P3 (loose paraphrase of Hanna's "f").    Return to text

      44 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      45 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase; see Hanna, page 809 in the next table).    Return to text

Hanna, page 807

      'No,' says the Saviour; 'Partake of the peace I now impart, accept the commission I now bestow; go forth in my name; receive ye the Holy Ghost to guide you; announce the news of God to sinners; proclaim the remission of sins, and, verily I say, whosesoever sins ye thus remit, they are remitted; whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.' Such I take to be the real spirit and objects of these last and objects of these last words of Jesus, as spoken by him to his disciples at this time; words spoken to animate them in their work by the assurance that they should not labor in vain; that what they should do on earth should be owned and ratified in heaven. It were to misinterpret the incidents of that evening meeting; it were to mistake the simple, immediate, and precise object which, in using them, our Lord had in view, to explain these words, as if they were intended to clothe the eleven apostles, and after them, their successors or representatives--to clothe any class of officials in the church, exclusively, with a power of remitting and retaining sins.f

      [skipping over 68 lines of text(!) to page 809]

      Here, in terms not less distinct than those in which Christ gives his disciples power over the sins of men, to remit or to retain, God gives to the two prophets power over the nations to cast down and to destroy. The true interpretation of the grant or commission is in both cases the same. In the exercise of any power, inherent or delegated, natural or acquired, Jeremiah and Ezekiel were altogether impotent of themselves to overturn a nation; in the exercise of any power, original or conferred, personal or official, the apostles were just as impotent to remove any sinner's guilt. The prophet's function was limited to the denouncing of a doom which it was for the hand of Jehovah alone to execute. The church's function is as strictly limited to the announcing of a pardon which it is for the grace of the heavenly Forgiver alone to bestow. And if, in executing that simple but most honorable office of proclaiming unto all men that there is remission of sins through the name of Jesus, she teaches that it is alone through her channels--through channels that priestly or ordained and consecrated hands can alone open--the pardon cometh, she trenches upon the rights and prerogatives of Him whom she represents, and turns that eye upon herself that should be turned alone on him.

      [skipping back over 43 lines of text(!) to page 808]

      We are not in the least disposed to doubt, that while Christ speaks of the remitting and retaining of sins as pertaining to the church at large, his words cover the acts of the church in her organized capacity, the inflicting and removing of ecclesiastical censures through her office-bearers in the exercise of discipline. Here, however, we have two remarks to make: First, that it is only so far as these acts are done by spiritual men, seeking and following the guidance of the Spirit, only so far as they are in accordance with Christ's own expressed will, that they are of any avail, or can plead any heavenly ratification; and, secondly, that all the force they carry is nothing more or less than an authoritative and official declaration of what that will of the Lord is.g Neither in any man, in any pope or any priest, in any community, or in any ecclesiastical court, lies the absolute, the independent, the arbitrary power to absolve the sinner from his sins.

      [after jumping up to the sentence before f we now skip over 11 lines on page 809 (see below) and one on page 810 to-->]

Assuming that it lay with the church to extend her forgiveness to that offender, desiring to do nothing upon his own individual authority, claiming no exclusive power of priestly absolution, Paul invites the Corinthian believers to deal tenderly, forgivingly with that man, and to receive him back into their communion, telling them that he was quite prepared to go along with them in such treatment of the penitent.

      [now we skip back to the paragraph that we skipped over above to page 809]

      But it is the gracious office of the church, of every individual member thereof, of every distinct community thereof, in the sense here indicated, to absolve the sinner, to assure him of the divine forgiveness, to help him to believe in the forgiveness. Wherever the gospel of the grace of God is preached, not generally, but pointedly, to an individual man, and he is entreated and encouraged to take hold of peace, to accept of pardon, to trust in the mercy of Jesus, to believe in the forgiving love of God--then it that office of remitting sins in the name of Jesus undertaken and discharged.

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faithfully with wrongdoing. Warn every soul that is in danger. Leave none to deceive themselves. Call sin by its right name. Declare what God has said in regard to lying, Sabbathbreaking, stealing, idolatry, and every other evil. "They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Gal. 5:21. If they persist in sin, the judgment you have declared from God's word is pronounced upon them in heaven. In choosing to sin, they disown Christ; the church must show that she does not sanction their deeds, or she herself dishonors her Lord. She must say about sin what God says about it.46 She must deal with it as God directs, and her action is ratified in heaven.47 He who despises the authority of the church despises the authority of Christ Himself.

      But there is a brighter side to the picture. "Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted." Let this thought be kept uppermost. In labor for the erring, let every eye be directed to Christ. Let the shepherds have a tender care for the flock of the Lord's pasture.48 Let them speak to the erring of the forgiving mercy of the Saviour.49 Let them encourage the sinner to repent, and believe in Him who can pardon.50 Let them declare, on the authority of God's word, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. All who repent have the assurance, "He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." Micah 7:19.

      Let the repentance of the sinner be accepted by the church with grateful hearts. Let the repenting one be led out from the darkness of unbelief into the light of faith and righteousness. Let his trembling hand be placed in the loving hand of Jesus. Such a remission is ratified in heaven.51

      Only in this sense has the church power to absolve the sinner.52 Remission of sins can be obtained only through the merits of Christ.53 To no man, to no body of men, is given power to free the soul from guilt.54 Christ charged His disciples to preach the remission of sins in His name among all nations; but they themselves were not empowered to remove one stain of sin.55 The name of Jesus is the only "name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12.

      When Jesus first met the disciples in the upper chamber, Thomas was not with them.56 He heard the reports of the others, and received abundant proof that Jesus had risen; but gloom and unbelief filled his heart.57 As he heard the disciples tell of the wonderful manifestations of the risen Saviour, it only plunged him in deeper despair.58 If Jesus had

NOTES

      46 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase of Hanna's "g"--note the absence of any verbal similarity as compared with the above two).    Return to text

      47 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase; note that we have to jump back to page 807).    Return to text

      48 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      49 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      50 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      51 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase). Note that this same phrase occurs back in note 47.    Return to text

      52 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase--this can be found just after Hanna's "g").    Return to text

      53 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase--see the Hanna material above on his page 809).    Return to text

      54 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase). Note that the words "power to" were already covered under footnote #52.    Return to text

      55 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      56 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      57 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      58 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P3 (loose paraphrase). For the alleged source see the next table (I have kept the material of the alleged source together as much as possible so we can see the amount of skipping around we have to do to make this claim of plagiarism work.    Return to text

[Hanna, page 811]

      Was it his fault, or his misfortune simply, that Thomas was not present at that first meeting on the evening of the day of the resurrection? Clearly enough, we cannot charge his absence with the same kind of neglect, with which now a refusal to join in the ordinary services of the sanctuary would be loaded; for no such services had then been instituted, nor had any authority, human or divine, as yet prescribed them. That evening conference, hastily summoned under the prompting of the strange incidents of the day, was, in fact, the first of those assemblings on the Lord's day which have since become one of the established customs of Christianity. But as no such custom had as yet been established, Thomas cannot be accused of violating it. The circumstances, however, under which that conference was held, were so peculiar, the pressure which prompted it so urgent, that we cannot imagine that any slight or fortuitous impediment would have kept any one of the eleven away. It may, therefore, have been Thomas' extreme incredulity as to the fact of the resurrection, the utter and blank despair into which the death of his Master had cast him, which indisposed him to join the rest. If it were so; if he kept aloof from his brethren as believing that no good could come from their assembling; that it was all over with the hopes as to their Master which had been circulating about his having risen from the dead--then, for his neglect of all that Jesus had predicted about his death and resurrection, and for his treatment of

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the testimony of Peter and the other early visitors of the sepulchre, he was amply punished, in losing that sight of the risen Jesus given to the others, and in his being left, for the seven days that followed, to the wretchedness of uncertainty and doubt--an uncertainty and doubt which would be all the bitterer, as contrasted with the unclouded convictions and new-born joy of his brother disciples. While they, lifted from the depths of their despair, were congratulating one another on the great triumph over death and the grave which their Master had achieved, were strengthening each other's faith, and heightening each other's joy, he, alone and disconsolate, was scraping together the scanty food on which his incredulity might nourish itself.

      [now we skip to page 811]

It was not the character of the event, it was the nature of their precedent faith in, and their precedent expectations about, their Master and his kingdom, which generated the difficulty which was felt by them as to believing in the resurrection.

      [now we skip to page 816]

      "I will not believe." 'And is it even thus,' we feel disposed to make answer, 'that thy hurt vanity hopes to redeem itself from the fancied oversight; is it thus that placed, as thou thinkest, below thy brethren, by not having got the same proof given them, but is not enough for thee?

      [now we skip back to page 815]

He did not like, he did not choose to be indebted to others for the grounds of his believing.

      [now we skip back to page 816]

He had taken up a position which it behooved him to defend; but I am much mistaken, if a strong desire, an expectation, nay something even of a faith, that it was even as his brethren had told him, was not working latently, yet strongly in his breast. We often grievously err in this respect, in our judgment or representations of others. If a man is known or said to be a covetous or an ambitious man, we are too apt to make him all covetous or ambition, and nothing besides. And so, Thomas being obstinately incredulous, we might imagine him to be utterly so. Not at all likely. There was room in him, as there is in most men, for very opposite and conflicting states of thought and emotion. We believe, therefore, that it was in a very mixed state of faith and feeling that Thomas sat down that evening with the rest.

      [now we skip to page 817]

Thomas knew that for seven days none of the disciples had seen the Lord; none of them could have reported to Him the words that he had used. Yet now are these very words repeated. It is the omniscient Jesus; it is his own well-loved Master who stands before him!

      [skipping over 4 sentences]

That sight, those words of Jesus, are sufficient to rebuke and to remove his unbelief. In a moment his doubts all flee; faith takes their place; a faith purified, exalted, strengthened; a faith in the true divinity as well as in the true humanity of his risen Lord; a faith higher, perhaps, at that moment than that to which any of his brethren around had attained. Adoring, believing, loving, the fervent, affectionate Thomas casts himself at his Master's feet, exclaiming, "My Lord and my God!"

      [skipping over 9 sentences (23 lines of text) to page 818]

But though he refuses not the tendered homage, he passes no such approving judgment on him who presents it, as he had formerly done upon Peter when he made a like confession of his faith, and Christ had called him blessed. Instead of this Christ administers now a mild but effective rebuke: "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed."

      [skipping over 5 sentences]

Have we not often detected ourselves, thinking at least, if not saying, that, had we lived in the days of Jesus Christ, had we seen what those disciples saw, we would not have doubted as they did; that, give us but the evidence that they had, and our doubts would disappear?

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really risen from the dead, there could be no further hope of a literal earthly kingdom.59 And it wounded his vanity to think that his Master should reveal Himself to all the disciples except him.60 He was determined not to believe, and for a whole week he brooded over his wretchedness, which seemed all the darker in contrast with the hope and faith of his brethren.61

      During this time he repeatedly declared, "Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe." He would not see through the eyes of his brethren, or exercise faith which was dependent upon their testimony.62 He ardently loved his Lord, but he had allowed jealousy and unbelief to take possession of his mind and heart.

      A number of the disciples now made the familiar upper chamber their temporary home, and at evening all except Thomas gathered here. One evening Thomas determined to meet with the others. Notwithstanding his unbelief, he had a faint hope that the good news was true.63 While the disciples were taking their evening meal, they talked of the evidences which Christ had given them in the prophecies. "Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you."

      Turning to Thomas He said, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing." These words showed that He was acquainted with the thoughts and words of Thomas. The doubting disciple knew that none of his companions had seen Jesus for a week.64 They could not have told the Master of his unbelief.65 He recognized the One before him as his Lord.66 He had no desire for further proof.67 His heart leaped for joy, and he cast himself at the feet of Jesus crying, "My Lord and my God."68

      Jesus accepted his acknowledgment, but gently reproved his unbelief: "Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."69 The faith of Thomas would have been more pleasing to Christ if he had been willing to believe upon the testimony of his brethren. Should the world now follow the example of Thomas, no one would believe unto salvation; for all who receive Christ must do so through the testimony of others.

      Many who are given to doubt excuse themselves by saying that if they had the evidence which Thomas had from his companions, they would believe.70 They do not realize that they have not only that evidence, but

NOTES

      59 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      60 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      61 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      62 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase--see Hanna's text on page 815).    Return to text

      63 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      64 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as V2 (verbatim--see Hanna's page 817).    Return to text

      65 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      66 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      67 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase). Oddly enough, the alleged source for this sentence in Ellen G. White's book actually supplies two words for note #65!    Return to text

      68 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      69 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      70 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      [Hanna, skipping over 30 lines (or, 13 sentences) and onto page 819]

      Second: Let us take this instance of our Lord's treatment of Thomas, as a guide and example to us how to treat those who have doubts and difficulties about the great facts and truths of religion. There was surely a singular toleration, a singular tenderness, a singular condescension in the manner of the Saviour's conduct here towards the doubting, unbelieving apostle. There was much about those doubts of Thomas affording ground of gravest censure; the bad morale of the heart had much to do with them. It was not only an unreasonable, it was a proud, a presumptuous position he took up, in dictating the conditions upon which alone he would believe. What abundant materials for controversy, for controversy did his case supply! Yet not by these does Jesus work upon him, but by love--by simply showing himself, by stooping even to comply with the conditions so unreasonably and presumptuously prescribed. And if, in kindred cases--when the spirit of religious incredulity is busy in any human breast, doing there its unhappy work in blasting the inward peace--waiving all controversy we could but present the Saviour as he is, and get the eye to rest upon him, and the heart to take in a right impression of the depth and the tenderness and the condescension of his love, might not many a vexed spirit be led to throw itself down before such a Saviour, saying, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief"?

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much more. Many who, like Thomas, wait for all cause of doubt to be removed, will never realize their desire. They gradually become confirmed in unbelief. Those who educate themselves to look on the dark side, and murmur and complain, know not what they do. They are sowing the seeds of doubt, and they will have a harvest of doubt to reap. At a time when faith and confidence are most essential, many will thus find themselves powerless to hope and believe.

      In His treatment of Thomas, Jesus gave a lesson for His followers.71 His example shows how we should treat those whose faith is weak, and who make their doubts prominent. Jesus did not overwhelm Thomas with reproach, nor did He enter into controversy with him.72 He revealed Himself to the doubting one.73 Thomas had been most unreasonable in dictating the conditions of his faith, but Jesus, by His generous love and consideration, broke down all the barriers.74 Unbelief is seldom overcome by controversy. It is rather put upon self-defense, and finds new support and excuse. But let Jesus, in His love and mercy, be revealed as the crucified Saviour, and from many once unwilling lips will be heard the acknowledgment of Thomas, "My Lord and my God."

      71 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      72 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

      73 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P1 (strict paraphrase).    Return to text

      74 In Dr. Veltman's study this sentence is rated as P2 (simple paraphrase).    Return to text

Longest Phrases
(only three words or longer are included)

      the eastern gate, which is open, page 802
      the narrow streets, page 802
      by the light of the rising moon., page 802
      the upper chamber, page 802
      where Jesus spent the hours of the last evening, page 802
      The voices of, page 802
      Every eye is fastened upon the stranger., page 802
      footstep has been heard., page 803
      they hear a voice, page 803
      after His resurrection, page 803
      the door of the heart, page 804
      speech, were all, page 804
      who sleep in, page 804
      the nature and extent of their, page 805
      the sacredness of the, page 805; I found this phrase
      His death and resurrection,, page 805; I found this phrase
      gospel of peace, page 805
      The Holy Spirit was not yet, page 805
      the breath of, page 805; I found this phrase
      impartation of the Spirit, page 805
      ratified in heaven., page 806
      power to absolve the sinner, page 806
      remission of sins, page 806
      The name of Jesus, page 806; I found this phrase
      Thomas was not, page 806
      risen from the dead, page 807
      cast himself at, page 807
      treatment of Thomas,, page 808
      in dictating the conditions, page 808

Verbatim Index

      Every eye is fastened upon the stranger.,17 page 802
      No footstep has been heard.19 page 803
      The Holy Spirit was not yet fully manifested; for Christ had not yet been glorified.37 page 805
      The doubting disciple knew that none of his companions had seen Jesus for a week.64 page 807

Analysis

      Of the 138 sentences in this chapter five are considered verbatim, but when I go through the evidence given in his study I can only find the four which are given above. Sixty-six sentences are considered to be a paraphrase of one sort or another, fifteen are Bible texts, a further seven have the Bible as their source and forty-five are considered independent. Combining the Biblical material and the independent we arrive at 48.5507%; this is the lowest it gets. For the critic's 80-90% figure to work it should be less than half that.

     

CONCLUSIONS

      1) Shouldn't the sentence at footnote 17 be V1 ("strictly verbatim")? This would preserve the obvious difference between 17 and 19 relative to the "original source".

      2) Shouldn't the other two alleged verbatim sentences be considered paraphrases?

      3) Note the great number of single words that are being considered as evidence for literary dependency.

David J. Conklin (January, 2005 - February 7, 2006)

Index