Bible

 

 

The Bible contains some mistakes

 

 

 

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church teaches that the Bible contains some mistakes. Here is what Adventists affirm: ‘In the Biblical record we find instances in which a prophet had to be corrected because of preconceived ideas. The apostles first believed that only the Jews could be saved. The Holy Spirit had to correct that idea if the gospel was to be carried to all the world. A vision in Peter's case (Acts 10, 11) and special revelations in Paul's case (Eph. 3:3-6) enlightened the apostles and thereby the whole church. In the Advent movement we also find instances when the prophet had to be corrected because of preconceived ideas. Our pioneers were greatly limited in their comprehension of mission by a theological error carried over from the Millerite movement--the shut door doctrine, the belief that the door of mercy was closed. Even Ellen White accepted it. In successive visions, the Spirit corrected the idea, first in her mind and then, through her, in the entire movement (Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 63, 64). The fact that the Holy Spirit corrected any mistaken doctrine related with global mission in the minds of Peter, Paul, and Ellen White gives us the assurance that the Spirit is in control of the inspired message. In other instances a prophet had to be corrected because the counsel or suggestion was different from the Lord's plan. Thus we find Nathan the prophet first approving David's plan to build a house for the Lord, but the Lord corrected that idea. We find parallels in Ellen White's ministry. In 1902 the publishing house operated by Seventh-day Adventists in the South of the United States was struggling financially. The leaders of the church sought inspired counsel. After some consideration Ellen White endorsed the decision of the leaders to close the publishing house. But during the following night God corrected His messenger. She had to write a different message (Letter 208, 1902, in Spalding and Magan Collection, p. 282). Again, all the New Testament writers believed Jesus' return was near. Although we cannot follow the exact chronological manner in which the Holy Spirit dealt with this issue, we know the apostles received further information. For instance, in his First Letter to the Thessalonians, Paul gave the impression that he expected to be alive for the Lord's coming (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). However, additional information between the two letters led him to caution the church not to expect the Lord to come immediately (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4). Likewise, John was convinced he was living in "the last hour" (1 John 2:18). Further visions gave him the opportunity to tell the church, surely with sadness, that many things would happen--including fierce persecution--before the coming of the Lord. Undoubtedly, the book of Revelation was the answer of the Spirit to many questions arising in the mind of the beloved apostle. All the believers in the Advent movement, the Lord's special messenger included, shared the conviction that the Lord's coming was near. We do not need to be embarrassed [p. 27] by the fact that Ellen White expressed her expectations, as did Paul, Peter, and John in Biblical times. Once again the Holy Spirit had to correct some ideas and give additional information to guide the church in the right direction. In 1856 Ellen White was shown that some believers attending a meeting would be alive until the coming of Jesus (See Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 131, 132). In the years that followed, the Lord gave her an extended vision of the great controversy with additional information about the journey that was still ahead. It also was revealed that "we may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years." (Evangelism, p. 696). Seventh-day Adventists do not believe in verbal inspiration (the idea that God dictates the exact wording to the prophet). With the exception of the Ten Commandments, all the inspired writings are the result of the combined efforts of the Holy Spirit, who inspires the prophet with a vision, an impression, a counsel, or a judgment; and the prophet, who begins to look for sentences, literary figures, and expressions to convey God's message accurately. God gives the prophet freedom to select the kind of language he or she wants to use. That accounts for the different styles of the Biblical writers and explains why Ellen White describes the language used by inspired writers as "imperfect" and "human." Because "everything that is human is imperfect," (Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 20, 21) we must accept the idea of imperfections and mistakes in both the Bible and Ellen White's writings. This means at least two things: 1. The prophet uses his or her common, everyday language learned from childhood and improved through study, reading, and travel; there is nothing supernatural or divine in the language used. 2. The prophet can make orthographical or grammatical mistakes, as well as other kinds of language imperfections such as lapsus linguae (a slip of the tongue) or lapsus memoriae (a slip of the memory), which need to be corrected by an editor before the text is ready for publication. The editor corrects not the inspired message, but rather the noninspired language. We find a lapsus linguae in Matthew's Gospel, when he quotes Zechariah but mentions Jeremiah in connection with the 30 pieces of silver (Matt. 27:9, 10; Zech. 11:12, 13; Jer. 32:6-9). For a person who believes in verbal inspiration, this raises serious questions; but for those who accept that the Lord speaks to human beings in imperfect speech, this illustrates how the divine message reaches us through an imperfect language. The following statement of Ellen White, when she quotes Paul but mentions Peter, is similar: ."The love of Christ constraineth us," the apostle Peter declared. This was the motive that impelled the zealous disciple in his arduous labors in the cause of the gospel." (Review and Herald, Oct. 30, 1913; see Paul's statement in 2 Corinthians 5:14.[p. 28]) Fortunately, we have enough evidence in the Bible, as well as in the history of the Advent movement, to show us that the Holy Spirit always corrected His messengers in matters important to the church’ (This article appeared in the May 30, 1996, issue of the Adventist Review, pp. 22-28. The article is titled ‘The Dynamics of Inspiration A Close Look at the Messages of Ellen White’ and was written by Juan Carlos Viera, Director of the Ellen G. White Estate)

 

Confutation

 

 

All the books of the Bible are inspired by God (when I say that the books of the Bible are inspired, I don’t refer to the translations or copies but to the original books), as it is written: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16. Literally ‘is God-breathed’ or ‘is divinely breathed’ because this is the meaning of the Greek word theopneustos used by Paul), and also: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:19-21).

Someone may say: ‘These words of Paul and Peter refer to the Scriptures of the Old Testament!’ Yes, that’s true, for Paul, before saying to Timothy those words, said to him: “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14-15). However, that does not mean that the Writings of Paul are not inspired by God and thus they should not be called or considered Holy Scriptures. For the apostle Peter, at the end of his second epistle, in speaking about the epistles of Paul, which contain some things which are hard to understand, says that ignorant and unstable people twist them “as they do the other Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:16 - NIV), that is, the Scriptures of the Old Testament that they had. As you can see, Peter calls the Writings of Paul “Scriptures”, and Paul was a contemporary of Peter. Anyway, even inside the epistles of Paul there are some expressions which attest to the divine origin of his words. For instance, Paul says to the Thessalonians that they had received the message preached by him, Silvanus and Timothy, not as the word of men, but “as it is in truth, the word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13), and he says to them also: “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:15). Furthermore, Paul says to the Corinthians: “The things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37), and also: “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:17). As for those words of Peter (those referring to the inspiration of the Scripture, which I mentioned before), it must be said that they also refer to the Writings of the Old Testament, but even in his case it must be said that his Writings are inspired by God and thus are Word of God, for at the end of his first epistle he said that what He wrote to them was “the true grace of God” (1 Peter 5:12) and urged the saints to stand fast in it. Therefore the Writings of Paul and Peter, as well as those of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, and Jude, and the epistle to the Hebrews, are the Word of God. The inspiration of all these Writings (that is, those which belong to the Old and New Testaments) is attested to us by the Holy Spirit, whom God has sent into our hearts. For when we read or hear them or meditate on them we feel inside us the approval of the Holy Spirit, who makes us feel peace and joy. Why do we feel peace and joy when we read or hear or meditate on these Writings? Because the Words of God comfort, edify and make glad our inward man. Also when we keep them we feel comforted and happy; we feel indeed a great joy and a great peace when we keep the commandments of God. Therefore there is no other book like the Bible, for it is composed of writings inspired by God.

The Bible was written over a period of time of approximately 1500 years, because the law (which consists of the first five books of the Bible) was written by Moses around 1400 before Christ and the book of Revelation was written by John around the end of the first century after Christ. Notwithstanding this, the Bible is an extremely cohesive and unified book, and there are no contradictions in it (however, there are some seeming contradictions in it), which facts confirm its inspiration.

The authors of the books of the Bible did hold different social status, for instance Solomon was a king, Amos was a shepherd, Luke was a physician, and so on, yet all of them were moved by the Holy Spirit to write. In other words, they wrote not by their own will but by the will of God. We can affirm that all those who wrote the books of the Bible were specially chosen by God, and perfectly guided by the Spirit to put on paper the very words of God, and to do so without any error. The apostle Peter attests this when he says in his second epistle: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:19-21). As I said before, even though these words of Peter refer to the Writings of the Old Testament, they can apply also to the Writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Jude and Peter himself, for their writings also were inspired by God.

What do I mean when I say that all the sixty six books of the Bible are inspired? I will answer this question through the Holy Scriptures. My speech will begin from the assumption that when the writer of one of the inspired books wrote he was moved by the Holy Spirit, that is to say, he was moved just as the prophets and the apostles were moved by the Holy Spirit when they spoke from God. See to it that you do not misunderstand me; I am not saying that the prophets or the apostles were perfect and infallible, for the Scriptures themselves do not allow us to say or to think such a thing, for they also committed some mistakes, they also had to beg God’s forgiveness for their sins, they also needed God to work in them what was well pleasing in His sight. Moses, the writer of the law, disobeyed God at the waters of Meribah and because of his rebellion God did not allow him (as well as his brother Aaron) to enter into the promised land; David, the author of many Psalms, once was guilty of murder and adultery and for those sins he was punished by God; Solomon, who wrote many proverbs and the Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs, turned from God in his old age and went after other gods; the apostle Peter at Antioch forced Gentiles to follow Jewish customs and because of this he was severely rebuked by the apostle Paul in the presence of all; Paul once, while he was before the Sanhedrin, insulted the High Priest Ananias without knowing that he was the High Priest and for that act he was rebuked by those who stood by and he acknowledged that he had made a mistake. Therefore the prophets and the apostles were not infallible in their acts and in their words; had they been infallible, they would not have made those mistakes. However this cannot be said about all their acts and words; because those men often acted and spoke by the Holy Spirit, thus those acts done in those peculiar circumstances, as well as those words uttered in those circumstances, did not contain any error of any kind. Let me give you two biblical examples of men who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Spirit: Moses and Paul.

Let’s begin with Moses. After he was on Mount Sinai and God spoke to him, Moses went back to the camp with his face that was radiant (however, he was not aware that his face was radiant) and the Israelites were afraid to come near him. “And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai” (Exodus 34:31-32). Of course, it was by the help of the Holy Spirit that Moses told the Israelites all the words that God had said to him on Mount Sinai, thus it was the Holy Spirit who reminded him of all the words God had told him and it was the Holy Spirit who spoke through Moses. Therefore those words of Moses could not contain any error of any kind. In other words, to speak in the manner of Adventists so that they may understand what I am saying, there was no lapsus linguae nor lapsus memoriae in the words of Moses. Many times Moses spoke from God to the people or to Aaron; thus we have to say that Moses in all those circumstances did not make mistakes because he spoke from God. I say it again, the reason was because he spoke as He was moved and helped by the Holy Spirit. Let’s look now at his writings. How did Moses write? He wrote as he was moved by the Holy Spirit thus when he wrote he did not make any mistakes, for while he was writing the Holy Spirit helped him and guided him preventing him from making mistakes. That is what happened when he had to write down facts which he had eyewitnessed or words he had heard with his own ears (such as the division of the Red sea and the other wonders God wrought in the desert, the words God spoke to him on various occasions, the song the Israelites sang after God hurled the Egyptians into the sea, and the murmurings of the Israelites in the desert), and that is what happened also when he had to write down events which he had not eyewitnessed or words which he had not heard with his own ears (such as the creation of the heavens and of the earth and all the things in them, and the words God spoke to create the light, the sun and the moon, and man). We can’t fully explain this way of writing, for it is a work accomplished by God through a human being and it transcends our understanding. However, since on the earth a supernatural writing phenomenon occurs among the ministers of the devil, who – as you know - tries always to imitate the ways of God, which is called automatic writing and by which some mediums write lies either from dictation of an evil spirit or as they are moved by an evil spirit that takes possession of them (thus they become a sort of passive instruments in the hands of evil spirits), we can say that the Holy Spirit of the Lord, who was upon Moses, took possession of him (this expression must not surprise you because in one place in the Bible it is written that “the Spirit of the LORD took possession of Gideon; and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiez'rites were called out to follow him” Judges 6:34 - Darby Bible. The IBRV reads: “Ma lo spirito dell’Eterno s’impossessò di Gedeone, il quale sonò la tromba, e gli Abiezeriti furono convocati per seguirlo” which has the same meaning) and guided him to write, so the Holy Spirit used Moses as an instrument to write all the things He wanted and He prevented him from making linguistic mistakes and mistakes of memory. – Please note that I have mentioned the diabolical phenomenon called ‘automatic writing’ which occurs in the occult just to explain the mechanism by which divine inspiration took place, for I firmly believe that automatic writing is an imitation of the God-inspired process of the writing of the Holy Writings, and thus by observing what happens to the mediums when they practice automatic writing we may infer what happened to Moses when he wrote by (or under the direct) inspiration of God - Were all his writings perfect then? Yes, they were perfect. And this is confirmed by the fact that Jesus, the Son of God, who came down from heaven, quoted the law written by Moses when He had to answer the tempter in the desert: three times He quoted to Satan some words written in the law of Moses (thus some words which had been manually written by Moses). Jesus quoted the Law of Moses also when He spoke to the Jews. Jesus made it clear that to Him the law was free of error of any kind, for one day He said: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18). – The ‘jot’ or ‘iota’ is the Greek equivalent to the Hebrew yod, which is the smallest letter of the alphabet, while the ‘tittle’ is the projection of a stroke of the pen that distinguishes one letter from another. - Do you think that Jesus would have said such words about a book (or rather a scroll) written by human hands if He had not considered it free from error? I don’t think so. How would He have been able to declare such words if He did not believe the writings of Moses were without error? Therefore, the above mentioned words of Jesus confirm that all the things Moses wrote are completely free of error of any kind, they are the Word of God, they are very pure. Also on some other occasions, Jesus made it clear that to Him the writings of Moses were the Word of God and thus free from imperfections. For instance, one day a teacher of the law tested Jesus, saying: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ and Jesus said unto him “What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live” (Luke 10:26-28). Please note that Jesus asked that man what was written in the law and that after the answer of that lawyer Jesus told him to do what he had just said. This also proves that Jesus considered the law of Moses the word of God and not the word of a man. Christ showed that He accepted the infallibility of the law of Moses by mentioning also various events from the law, such as the murder of Abel (Matthew 23:35), the flood at the time of Noah (Matthew 24:38-39), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 17:28-29), the conversation of Moses with God at the burning bush (Matthew 22:31-32), and the feeding of the Israelites by manna from heaven (John 6:49). Jesus quoted also the words of the Psalms and of the Prophets, for to Him these writings also were the Word of God. Therefore, in conclusion, if Jesus, the One who knew no sin, quoted the law written by Moses (a man who, unlike Jesus, committed some sins) as authoritative, that means that He had a conception of the inspiration of the law which was very different from that which Ellen G. White had, as well as from that which Adventists have today. To us also the law is holy and thus it is free from errors, and we can or rather must use it in order to refute heresies (included those taught by the Adventist Church). Till the end of our life we will say like Jesus: “It is written…” and also: “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” because the words of Moses are the Word of God. The fact that the law was written by a man like us, who had his own defects before God, does not lead us to have doubts about its inspiration (or divine origin) because the words of Moses are the Word of God. Jesus had no doubts about its inspiration, Paul had no doubts about it, the other apostles had no doubts about it. So all arguments whose purpose is to cast a shadow on the divine origin of the law of Moses, as well as on the divine origin of the other writings inspired by God, are not from God. We reject them and we urge the saints to do the same.

Let’s see now the apostle Paul, who is the apostle who wrote more epistles than the other apostles. First of all I want to say that when Paul spoke as he was moved by the Holy Spirit, it was not him who spoke but the Spirit of God, thus his words were free from errors; this happened when he preached to the unbelievers (as he did in the Areopagus at Athens), as well as when he delivered to the saints a teaching taken from the Scriptures, and when he exhorted the saints to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the Lord. Also when he reminded his listeners of some facts which had happened to him, as in the case of his speech delivered to the elders of the Church of Ephesus or in the case of the testimony of his conversion he gave before the Jews at Jerusalem (after he was arrested) or at Caesarea before king Agrippa, it was not him who spoke but the Holy Spirit who spoke in him, so his words were free from errors on those occasions. Therefore we can affirm that when the Holy Spirit spoke through him, his words were free of error of any kind, as in the case of Moses. Let’s now talk about the inspiration of his epistles. Can we put the inspiration of his epistles and the inspiration of the law of Moses on the same level? Of course, we can, for the Spirit who moved Moses to write the law was the same Spirit who moved Paul to write his epistles. As we saw before, Peter in his second epistle calls the epistles of Paul ‘Scriptures’ as it is written: “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:15-16). Therefore, there are no errors in his epistles. What then shall we say about the statements of the Adventists according to which Paul in his writings changed his beliefs regarding the return of the Lord? They are false. Let’s see the reason. The apostle Paul in his second epistle to the Thessalonians says: “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4). According to the Adventists, these words of Paul correct these other words of Paul written to the Thessalonians in his previous epistle: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). For in his first epistle he taught that the return of the Lord was imminent, while in his second epistle he denied the imminence of the return of the Lord. But that’s untrue, because Paul, just before saying these words I have just quoted, says to the saints of Thessalonica: “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord…” (1 Thessalonians 4:15). Therefore if Paul in his second epistle had changed his previous position on the return of the Lord, that would mean that with the passing of time the Word of the Lord had changed! Listen, the words of Paul concerning the return of Christ were not a personal opinion he had on the return of Christ, just like any personal opinion which a Christian can have about a food or a day, but the Word of God. Therefore when in his first epistle to the Thessalonians he says: “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds” he did not mean that the day of the Lord was imminent, because he wrote those words at God’s command. Paul, even when he wrote those words (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), knew very well that the day of the Lord will not come until the falling away occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, for when afterward he warned the Thessalonians not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled as though the day of the Lord was imminent and he told them what will happen before that day, he said to them: “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” (2 Thessalonians 2:5). Please note that Paul had already told those things to the Thessalonians when he had been with them. Therefore, the apostle Paul never thought that the day of the Lord was imminent, for he always taught the believers that the day of the Lord will come after the falling away occurs and the man of sin is revealed. (A similar thing must be said also about the apostle John, for he never thought that the day of the Lord was imminent, even though in his first epistle he wrote that it was the last hour).

Furthermore, to say that Ellen G. White made the same eschatological mistake as the apostles did is to put the writings of Ellen White on the same level as the writings of Paul, but above all is to lower, or rather to nullify the inspiration of the writings of Paul. Once again Adventists show that they want to defend at all costs the mistakes which Ellen White made, for they go so far as to affirm that the apostles or the prophets of old made the same mistakes that Ellen White made!! [*] What they say is serious, very serious. I have read the writings of Ellen White, I have read many of the things she said about the return of the Lord, but they can by no means be put on the same level as the words of Paul. In her book The Great Controversy, for instance, when she speaks of the return of the Lord, she tells many lies, she skilfully mixes the truth and the lie, giving the impression that she is inspired by God, while many of the things she wrote were the fruit of her creative imagination. On the contrary the words written by Paul about the return of the Lord are all true, there is no contradiction in them, no lie, no personal opinion.

Let me refute now the so called lapsus linguae of Matthew concerning the following quotation: “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me” (Matthew 27:9-10). Now according to Adventists, the fact that Matthew attributed these words of Zechariah to Jeremiah is a mistake. If it were so, we ought to affirm that the Holy Spirit did not keep Matthew from committing that mistake, thus what we have said so far would be nullified. We believe that Matthew did not make any mistake, for if he says that Jeremiah spoke those words that means that the prophet Jeremiah spoke those words. The fact that in the book of Jeremiah these words are not written should not worry us, for the prophet spoke those words but he did not write them. Just as when Matthew says that Joseph, Mary’s husband, came and dwelt in Nazareth “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, ‘He shall be called a Nazarene’ ” (Matthew 2:23 – NKJV). For Matthew says that the prophets foretold that thing, however in reading the book of the prophets it is impossible to find that prediction. Anyway the prophets foretold that event. The words of Matthew did not have their origin in his will, but he wrote as he was moved by the Holy Spirit. Another example is this, which we find in the book of the Acts of the apostles. One day Paul quoted the following words of Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35 – NKJV). Even though these words spoken by Jesus were not recorded by Matthew, nor by Mark, nor by Luke, nor by John, we believe that Jesus spoke them. In this case also, therefore, the comparison that Adventists make between the so called lapsus linguae of Matthew and the mistake made by Ellen White when she quotes Paul (2 Corinthians 5:14) but mentions Peter, is wrong for in the case of the words of Matthew it was not a mistake, while in the case of Ellen White it was a real mistake. So we can say that Matthew was inspired by God, while Ellen White was not inspired (not only because of the above mentioned lapsus linguae but also because she wrote many lies)

Therefore, we believe in the plenary and verbal inspiration of the Scriptures in the original languages, and in their consequent inerrancy and infallibility. When we speak about plenary inspiration we mean that the Bible as a whole is inspired (in other words, all of Scripture is inspired – not merely some parts), while when we speak about verbal inspiration we mean that every word of the Bible is inspired. So inspiration extends to the words of the Bible, not only to the ideas. God, by His Spirit, has guaranteed the authenticity and reliability of the very words that were written. However, it must be said that He did not deprive the writers of their individuality, for their full personalities entered into their writing (for instance, their individual writing styles are evident).

 

 

 

[*] As we saw before, Juan Carlos Viera claims that the apostles made another mistake, for they thought for a little while that only the Jews could be saved; and that a similar mistake was made by Ellen G. White when at first she accepted the shut door doctrine (according to which on 22 October, 1844, the door of mercy was forever closed to the world). Now, it is true that Peter and those of the circumcision had been unwilling to evangelize the Gentiles for they had called the Gentiles unclean or common, as Peter said to Cornelius and his household that God had shown him that he should not call “any man common or unclean” (Acts 10:28 – NKJV). But to assert that their mistaken conviction was like the conviction of the shut door doctrine held by Ellen G. White for a certain period of time is to deceive people into believing a lie, for according to the very words of Ellen White the shut door doctrine held by her for a short time after the great delusion, was confirmed to her through a divine vision in December 1844. Hear what she wrote: I saw ‘a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were travelling to the City, which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the first end of the path, which an angel told me was the Midnight Cry. This light shone all along the path, and gave light for their feet so they might not stumble. And if they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the City, they were safe. But some grew weary, and they said the City was a great way off, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising his glorious right arm, and from his arm came a glorious light which waved over the Advent band, and they shouted Hallelujah! Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out which left their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and got their eyes off the mark and lost sight of Jesus, and fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below. It was just as impossible for them to get on the path again & go to the City, as all the wicked world which God had rejected’ (Ellen G. White, ‘RSA,’ [RSA stands for ‘To the Remnant Scattered Abroad], April 6, 1846, page 14). However, afterward, God ‘revealed’ to her that the shut door doctrine was wrong! Can God act in that way? Certainly not!. Therefore the mistake committed by Ellen White (even Some Adventists call it mistake, while others don’t call it in this way) cannot be compared with the mistake committed by the apostles about the extension of the preaching of the Gospel, for Ellen White upheld that mistake with a ‘vision’, while the apostles never confirmed their mistake with a divine revelation, for God had always affirmed the opposite, that is, salvation would be preached to the Gentiles as well. God had said that through the prophets of old first and then through His Son. Therefore He could not ‘reveal’ to them the opposite, for He cannot deny Himself. The truth is that Ellen White had a false vision about ‘the shut door,’ that is, she was deceived by the devil, and she seduced others, and she thought that she could confirm that doctrine through a revelation. So her behaviour was wrong, she acted like the false prophets of old who used their tongues and said: ‘God says …;’ but Adventists deceive people into believing that she made a mistake like the one which was made by the apostles at first. Be careful then when you hear Adventists speak of the theological mistake concerning the door of mercy made by Ellen White, for it was not like the mistake made by the apostles.

 

 

 

 

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