This article was made as an answer to a post from an Islamic site called jamaat.net by a certain Ahmed Deedat.
The site above is now discontinued. But we are lucky enough to have a screencopy of that particular statement before the site was closed. We still feel that this answer is necessary since the same reasoning from Islam apologists might be used by newer generation. Hence, below is the answer to that.
This is what their article says in Chapter Five entitled “Damning Confession”:
Mrs. Ellen G. White, a “prophetess” of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, in her Bible Commentary Vol. 1, page 14, has this confession to make about the fallibility of the “Holy Bible.”
“THE BIBLE WE READ TODAY IS THE WORK OF MANY COPYISTS WHO HAVE IN MOST INSTANCES DONE THEIR WORK WITH MARVELLOUS ACCURACY. BUT COPYISTS HAVE NOT BEEN INFALLIBLE, AND GOD MOST EVIDENTLY HAS NOT SEEN FIT TO PRESERVE THEM ALTOGETHER FROM ERROR IN TRANSCRIBING.”
In the following pages of her commentary, Mrs. White testifies further: “I SAW THAT GOD HAD ESPECIALLY GUARDED THE BIBLE” (from what?) “YET WHEN COPIES OF IT WERE FEW, LEARNED MEN HAD IN SOME INSTANCES CHANGED THE WORDS, THINKING THAT THEY WERE MAKING IT PLAIN, WHEN IN REALITY THEY WERE MYSTIFYING THAT WHICH WAS PLAIN, BY CAUSING IT TO LEAN TO THEIR ESTABLISHED VIEWS, WHICH WERE GOVERNED BY TRADITION.”
First, there was no such book as “Ellen White Bible Commentary”. Ellen White’s Bible commentaries can be found in her various writings and published books but never was a book entitled “Ellen White Bible Commentary”. This is a deliberate misrepresentation from our misguided Muslim brothers. Their Chapter V’s title of the article is “Damning Confessions”, and they intentionally made up those sentences to appear to the readers that it was Ellen White’s “confession” which they allegedly quoted directly from her book, which is intentionally a lie.
Rather, we can find those quoted paragraphs above in the book entitled as “Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary”.
Second, the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary is not authored by Ellen White herself! It is a work of various SDA scholars. From this point again we can say that there is a deliberate misrepresentation on the part of our misguided Muslim brothers in order for them to link Ellen White to their “Damning Confession”.
Third, the quoted paragraph above is not even the words of Ellen White!
As anyone can easily notice from the scanned copy of the page 14 above, that the paragraph quoted by our misguided Muslim brothers is not in any way inside a quotation. This means that that quoted paragraph is not derived from Ellen White or someone else! So devising such an article with phrases like:
Mrs. Ellen G. White, a “prophetess” of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, in her Bible Commentary Vol. 1, page 14, has this confession…
is totally a deliberate lie! Yes, they need to do this in order for them to make a “point” against SDA Church. Humanity calls it “misrepresentation”. And obviously it is another desperate act from our misguided critics.
One can never find those words in her various writings and books. The Ellen White Estate is providing an online search of her published books and if we will use portions of those quoted paragraph as keywords for searching, one will never find a result because first and foremost it was not an Ellen White’s statement.
Fourth, upon answering the “meat” of that article this is what we can say:
The Muslim apologists always commit the fallacy of category here that is why this argument is not popular among famous Muslim scholars for the following reasons:
1. Whenever the Quran speaks about the corruption of the book of Jews and Christians, it is always the “tahrif bi’al mani” or the “corruption of the meaning” or interpretation of the text. Ellen White and SDAs acknowledge this. From the same book our Muslim brothers had quoted, we can see a statement from Ellen White that says:
“Some look to us gravely and say, Don’t you think there might have been some mistake in the copyist or in the translators?’ This is all probable, and the mind that is so narrow that it will hesitate and stumble over this possibility or probability would be just as ready to stumble over the mysteries of the Inspired Word, because their feeble minds cannot see through the purposes of God.”
Mrs. White is talking about the mistakes of the copyists, and thus will be given a different meaning when read by malicious readers of the Bible. But then the real messages of the Bible is still preserved and thus being proclaimed by God’s true church today.
Again, in the same book (page 15) that our Muslim brothers used, we can see the pronouncement of the editors regarding the “corruption in the interpretation” of the Bible:
“Certainly none of the copyists’ errors that still remain affect in any way our salvation or prevent us from grasping the meaning of the great Bible drama..”
Just because John F. Kennedy’s death was told in various versions and interpretations doesn’t mean that JFK’s death is a hoax, or the true version of the story does not exist anymore. There will always be a real story since the event was real, and so is the Bible.
It is also noteworthy to say that during those times where these “corruption of the meaning” has rampantly succeeded, God had already shown to Ellen White through a vision the preservation of the Bible.
“Then I saw that God knew that Satan would try every art to destroy man; therefore He had caused His word to be written out, and had made His purposes in regard to the human race so plain that the weakest need not err. After having given His word to man, He had carefully preserved it from destruction by Satan or his angels, or by any of his agents or representatives. While other books might be destroyed, this was to be immortal. And near the close of time, when the delusions of Satan should increase, it was to be so multiplied that all who desired might have a copy, and, if they would, might arm themselves against the deceptions and lying wonders of Satan.” –“Death Not Eternal Life in Misery” (Early Writings pages 218-222)
2. The Quran do not support the “Tahrif bi’al lafz” or “corruption of the texts” in the Bible. It was only invented during the 11th century by a Spanish muslim Ibn-Khazem, who, while reading both the Bible and the Quran, could not harmonize the differences on its teachings.
3. Early muslim scholars do not support the “Tahrif bi’al lafz” theory of Ibn-Khazem. Here is the testimony of a muslim scholar Fakruddin Razi who speaks on the authority of Ibn Abbas, a nephew of Muhammad:
“The Jews and early Christians were suspected of altering the text of the Taurat and Injil; but in the opinion of eminent doctors and theologians it was not practicable thus to corrupt the text, because those Scriptures were generally known and widely circulated, having been handed down from generation to generation.”
In my long time experience on debating with Muslim scholars no one ever had successfully refuted the above arguments.
The “Damning Confession” by our Muslim brothers has been on the Internet for many years now. We never heard of it until it was recently brought up to our attention—thanks to the muslim brother who posted this as a comment to our site. The reason why the article is so foreign even to their circle of Islam apologists is maybe because of its lack of substance and full of misrepresentations. Truly, it displays their act of desperation.
So next time you read or hear some muslims using the same arguments you can use this article to answer it, for their point does not hold water.
We welcome any criticism on our faith for this will bring us into the Truth, our Lord Jesus Christ. But we wish next time around that any criticism from our friends should not be based on misrepresentations or lie. Thank you and God bless!