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EGW & Bible: SDA Historic Position

Below are links to published historic statements by Seventh-day Adventist pioneers, teachers, and leaders on the relationship of Ellen White’s writings to the Bible.

As one will notice from these statements, Seventh-day Adventists have never changed their position regarding the supreme revelation of God in the Bible. Historically and presently, our belief and teaching is of one accord: Ellen White’s writings do not equal, supercede, or add to Scripture; rather, they exhalt Scripture and attract minds to it. While there have been misguided individuals in our circles who have treated these writings as equal to or above Scripture, this has never been the official teaching of the church. For documentation, see the links below.

For those who read these documents through, you will notice some repetition of material. This is due to the various authors expressing the same thought over a period of approximately one hundred and fifty years.

Finally, these documents should be kept in mind concerning the charge that Seventh-day Adventists canonize the writings of Ellen White.




From the perspective of James and Ellen White and the other early Adventist leaders, the Bible contained everything Christians needed for salvation and Christian living. The role of Ellen White’s writings were not to give new light, but to lead people back to the Bible and to help them apply Bible principles to their specific context. Thus, Ellen White’s role was always seen in relationship to the Bible (and never independent of it). Whereas she claimed equal inspiration with the Bible writers, she did not have equal authority. Rather than having canonical authority, her prophetic authority was derived from the authority of the Bible. The early Adventists believed that the authority of all spiritual gifts, including the prophetic ministry of Ellen White, was derived from the Bible and must always be tested by it.