References to "Great Controversy" in Christian Writings
19 references made by 14 authors.
Because the charge has been made that Mrs. White got the idea of the "Great Controversy" from H. L. Hastings,
we decided to see how common the phrase "great controversy" is in Christian writings. Our quick search resulted in
our finding the following references:
- ". . . there arose a great controversy at Laodicea concerning the time of the celebration of the Passover . . . ." (Melito the Philosopher, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 8, p. 1494)
- ". . . because it belongs to Christian discipline neither to despair of any man's amendment, nor to bar the way of repentance against any. Of which two sorts, which are wont to be attended with great controversy . . . ." (Augustine, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers First Series, vol. 3, p. 855)
- "There has been great controversy concerning the Power of Bishops . . . ." (Melancthon, The Augsburg Confession)
- ". . . respecting the doctrine of Predestination, about which there exists such a great controversy in the Church of Christ" (James Arminius, The Works of James Arminius, p. 226)
- ". . . a great controversy between the Orthodox and the Papists . . . ." (Ibid., p. 550)
- ". . . the Lord's great controversy with us . . . ." (Richard Baxter, The Saints' Everlasting Rest, p. 144)
- "This is the great controversy between Christ and sinners . . . ." (John Flavel, The Method of Grace, p. 107)
- ". . . how is the great controversy about religion and salvation shortened." (William Law, The Spirit of Love, p. 54)
- ". . . the great controversy between the Jews and the Christians." (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, Condensed Version, note for Acts 25:13)
- ". . . the great controversy which God has had with this nation . . . ." (John Owen, Of Communion with God, p. 188; Introductiuon to the Worship of God, p. 5)
- "The great controversy in the world after the coming of Christ, . . . whether he was a divine Person . . . ." (John Gill's Expositor, note on Is. 41:1)
- "Take comfort, and refresh thyself: for neither the king [Ahab], nor any of the people could have leisure to eat, being wholly intent upon the decision of the great controversy." (John Wesley's Notes on O.T., note of 1 Kings 18:41)
- ". . . the great controversy now subsisting between Carolina and Georgia" (Wesley's Works, vol. 12, p. 59)
- "Till men agree in some leading principles by which any great controversy must be ruled . . . ." (William Maxwell Herrington, History of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, p. 43)
- ". . . whereas one great controversy of these times is about the qualification of the members of churches . . . ." (Ibid., p. 164)
- ". . . the great Erastian controversy . . . . And it is so eminently the great controversy of the present day . . . ." (Ibid., p. 164)
- "The great controversy between him and God . . . ." (Albert Barnes, Barnes New Testment Notes, note on Acts 9:6)
- ". . . till the great controversy is determined which is to have the ascendency—God or the Dragon." (Ibid., note on Rev. 12:2)
- ". . . the great controversy between the orthodox and Arians . . . ." (William Miller, Miller's Works, vol. 2, p. 274; vol. 3, p. 26)
We omit the references we found in the writings of Spurgeon and others who wrote after 1858,
the year of Mrs. White's great controversy vision.
Interestingly, not one of these authors used the phrase in the manner that Mrs. White did, to refer to a
struggle between Christ and Satan. The closest is Albert Barnes' comment on Revelation 12:2, referring to a
controversy between God and Satan. Thus, we are yet unable to locate the human source of her "great controversy"
concept, if there be any human source.
Return to our analysis of "Top 7 Myths: #7: Received the Great Controversy in Vision."