Ellen G. White Prophet for Today?
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Color Key

Words that are exactly the same in both Ellen White's book and the alleged source.

Words that are similar, not exactly the same.

Words that are the same or similar, but which appear to be copied from the Bible.

The actual comparisons found in Cleveland's book

Inadequate use of ellipses, and changed capitalization or wording.

Borrowing from Conybeare and Howson: An Analysis

Distortion #4: She Plagiarized from the Bible

One of Sydney Cleveland's more serious distortions is his condemnation of Ellen White's use of the words of Scripture. Especially is this so since he elsewhere condemns her for not quoting the Bible closely enough.

For example, in the third and fourth comparisons below, 14 words are the same or similar. Out of those 14, 13 are found in the very Bible passages Conybeare and Howson and Ellen White were commenting upon. If Cleveland objects to Ellen White using those 13 words, then he is objecting to her using the words of Scripture.

Sketches from the Life of Paul
Ellen G. White, p. 57
Life and Epistles of Paul
Conybeare & Howson, p. 170
Scripture
"... the cure was so complete."—p. 57. "Such a cure ..., so sudden and so complete, ..."—p. 170.  
"... that supernatural power attended ..."—p. 57. "... that supernatural powers were present ..."—p. 170.
"... they cried out with great enthusiasm that the gods had come down to them from Heaven in the likeness of men."—p. 57. "... they exclaimed that the gods had again visited them in the likeness of men."—p. 170.
"Paul ... they believed to be Mercury; for Paul was ... eloquent with words. Barnabas was believed to be Jupiter."—p. 57. "They identified Paul with Mercury, because (of) his eloquence ... Barnabas with Jupiter."—p. 170.
20 out of 153 words are the same or similar, but not found in the Bible account. 20 out of about 402 words are the same or similar, but not found in the Bible account.
This work performed on the cripple was a marvel to all beholders. The subject was so well known, and the cure was so complete, that there was no room for skepticism on their part. The Lycaonians were convinced that supernatural power attended the labors of the apostles, and they cried out with great enthusiasm that the gods had come down to them from Heaven in the likeness of men. This belief was in harmony with their traditions that gods visited the earth. They conceived the idea that the great heathen deities, Jupiter and Mercury, were in their midst in the persons of Paul and Barnabas. The former they believed to be Mercury; for Paul was active, earnest, quick, and eloquent with words of warning and exhortation. Barnabas was believed to be Jupiter, and father of gods, because of his venerable appearance, his dignified bearing, and the mildness and benevolence expressed in his countenance.

[p. 170] And now arose a great tumult of voices from the crowd. Such a cure of a congenital disease, so sudden and so complete, would have confounded the most skilful and sceptical physicians. An illiterate people would be filled with astonishment, and rush immediately to the conclusion that supernatural powers were present among them. These Lycaonians thought at once of their native traditions, and crying out vociferously in their mother-tongue,1—and we all know how the strongest feelings of an excited people find vent in the language of childhood,—they exclaimed that the gods had again visited them in the likeness of men,—that Jupiter and Mercury were again in Lycaonia,—that the persuasive speaker was Mercury and his companion Jupiter. They identified Paul with Mercury, because his eloquence corresponded with one of that divinity's attributes. Paul was the "chief speaker," and Mercury was the god of eloquence. And if it be asked why they identified Barnabas with Jupiter, it is evidently a sufficient answer to say that these two divinities were always represented as companions2 in their terrestrial expeditions, though we may well believe (with Chrysostom and others) that there was something majestically benignant in his appearance, while the personal aspect of St. Paul (and for this we can quote his own statements)3 was comparatively insignificant.

How truthful and how vivid is the scene brought before us! and how many thoughts it suggests to those who are at once conversant with Heathen mythology and disciples of Christian theology! Barnabas, identified with the Father of Gods and Men, seems like a personification of mild beneficence and provident care;4 while Paul appears invested with more active attributes, flying over the world on the wings of faith and love, with quick words of warning and persuasion, and ever carrying in his hand the purse of the "unsearchable riches."5


1 Some are of opinion that the "speech of Lycaonia" was a Semitic language; others that it was a corrupt dialect of Greek. See the Dissertations of Jablonski and Gühling in Iken's Thesaurus.

2 See, for instance, Ovid. Fast. v. 495.

3 See 2 Cor. x. 1, 10, where, however, we must remember that he is quoting the statements of his adversaries.

4 See Acts iv. 36, 37, ix. 27, xi. 22-25, 30. It is also very possible that Barnabas was older, and therefore more venerable in appearance, than St. Paul.

5 The winged heels and the purse are the well-known insignia of Mercury.

And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. (Acts 14:11)

And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. (Acts 14:12)


The above page was found at https://www.TruthOrFables.net/conybeare-howson-cleveland-d.htm on April 14, 2024.

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