Book Review

Adventist Heritage and Spirit of Prophecy
Book Review
“Reading Ellen White” – George R. Knight
(How to Understand and Apply Her Writings)
“Reading Ellen White”, by George Knight is on how to Understand and apply Ellen
White writings. The purpose of the book according to the author is to set forth some of the basic
principles that one should use in interpreting the writings of Ellen White which also directly
applies to the scripture. The book is of three parts.
In part one, the author deals with the preliminary considerations in which he wants the
readers to be fully aware of Ellen white Writings, their purpose and to find out which is inspired
counsel. The author writes that in relation to the bible, her writings are of same degree of
inspiration but are different in function. The author through illustrations develop on the official
and unofficial compilations and the way to identify them, he also provides an easy reading plan
which creates an interest for her writings.
In part two: the author provides the principles of Interpretation. He recommends the
readers to have a healthy outlook in which one needs to have a desire, openness and a posture of
faith. To avoid confusion and dangers the author through illustrations advises to focus on central
issues, to emphasize on the important and avoid focusing the edges. Further the author urges the
readers to account the problems in her communication towards her immediate readers and to
study all the information on a given topic or statement with its literary context considering the
time and place, so that one’s conclusion might be in harmony with her overall writings and to
avoid extreme interpretations which causes serious problems and divisions.
It is interesting to note, the way author clearly expounds on how one should recognize
Ellen white’s understanding of ideal and the real in her profound statements and the use of
common sense to apply them which Ellen white herself tells her readers who take her at word.
The author emphasizes on the importance of discovering the underlying principles, and to realize
that inspiration is not infallible, inerrant or verbal in the inspired writings of both scriptures and
Ellen white. He urges the readers to avoid making the counsels prove things they are never
intended to prove by stating that the inspired writings are not divine encyclopedias for scientific
and historical matters. At the end of the second part the author gives few extra principles of
interpretation especially on the usage of figures of speech, symbols or figures, and to aware of
thinking something to be new light from both Ellen white writing and the bible.
In part three: In the final section of the book the author explores the principles of
Application. Firstly, he counsels to examine oneself and to apply them to one’s personal life
faithfully. Secondly to help others in applying these counsels not out of critical mind but out of
loving care.
The book “Reading Ellen White” by George R. Knight on how to understand and apply
her Writings is readable and very informative. For me personally the book was interesting
because of the information and the way the author progresses in his explanation through the
usage of rather many illustrations in each section to expound on his points which makes the
readers to understand clearly. The author sets forth in a clear and simple manner the principles
that will help every reader to interpret and apply her counsel to his or her life. He is careful to
make statements of his own and lets Ellen white and her contemporaries’ speak. I believe People
who are unfamiliar with Ellen White should begin by reading this book because it gives the
reader an understanding of the person she was through her writings. Through this book one will
discover the real Ellen White. On the other hand, the author appears to equalize Ellen white
writings with the scripture though he notes the difference in their function. Certain illustrations
are short which doesn’t meet the point and others are reasonable to the point. At certain point
where it needs explanation the author makes general statements or he is silent.
I hereby, claim that I have read the book “Reading Ellen White” by George Knight.
I.D. NO: 17585003
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