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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and
Others

Discern Fact from Fiction


Jehovah's Witnesses, Cont.; Plagiarism

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#106, #107, #108, & #109: "Despite the irrefutable evidence the Seventh-day Adventist Church chose to fight back against these charges with a book titled The White Truth. In it, their main line of defense was that since there were no copyright laws at the time, Ellen White hadn't actually broken the law, which of course side stepped the issue."—Narrator.

#106: The evidence is irrefutable. A careful reading of #100-#105 shows that the evidence is anything but irrefutable.

#107: The book's main line of defense concerned copyright laws. This is not true. The question of what the law was like back then was only one of a number of defenses presented in the book, not the main one.

The White Truth has six chapters composed of ninety-eight pages. The chapter titles are

  1. The Truth About Sources
  2. The Truth About Plagiarism
  3. The Truth About Prophets
  4. The Truth About Authority
  5. The Truth About Inspiration and Revelation
  6. The Truth About Lies.

In the chapter, "The Truth About Plagiarism," the question of what the law was like back then occupies less than 4 pages out of 16. Unless there is some brief mention elsewhere in the book about legal matters, we have only 4 pages out of 98 dedicated specifically to the question of nineteenth century copyright laws.

#108: It said that there were no copyright laws back then. This too is untrue. On page 32 is a description of a conversation with a judge who said that the first copyright law was passed in 1790. Thus The White Truth says clearly that there were copyright laws in America 37 years before Mrs. White was born.

But once again, these American copyright laws did not protect British books until 1891, and did not prohibit derivative works until 1909.

#109: This sidestepped the issue. No it didn't, as the video itself makes clear.

There are two issues being addressed: 1) Was Mrs. White "guilty" of "stealing," of "plagiarism"? 2) Did she get her inspiration from others instead of from God?

Was she "guilty"? Before we can have a trial and reach a verdict, we have to find out what the laws were like back then. If her critics would quit using such words as "guilty" and "stolen," what the laws were could be ignored. Since they choose to use such words, the matter must be investigated. It therefore is not sidestepping the issue that they themselves have chosen.

Did she get her inspiration from others instead of from God? We must conclude that, according to the Bible, inspired writers can borrow wording and document structure from other writers without making their own writings less than inspired (see #101). A portion of The White Truth is dedicated to dealing with this issue as well, so there was no sidestepping here either.

Additionally, The White Truth presents a number of other arguments besides these two, which the reader is invited to read for himself.

A Response to the Video

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