Ellen G. White: the most translated female non-fiction author in the history of literature, as well as the most translated American non-fiction author of either gender

Prolific writer Ellen White
Prolific writer Ellen White

My father once ran out of a restaurant because people at his table talked religion. He hated offending people and nursed a strong distaste for “holy rollers.” I like talking religion. I’m curious about the meaning of life.  If you study American history you can’t help but bump up against Christianity.

Christ has always been controversial and in the 19th century it was no different. Don’t be scared of Ellen White. Yes, her nose is disfigured. A mean boy threw a rock in her face as a child landing her in a coma. When she awoke with a screwed up nose she was devastated.

A few years later she had a conversion experience. Eventually she had controversial visions of the great spiritual war going on behind the veil of what we call normal life. Fallen angels and followers of God fought for the souls of mere mortals.

Ellen wrote about everything from vegetarianism to education and evangelism.

I’m not a Seventh Day Adventist though I admire some of their teachings, but who knew that Ellen White held the position of most translated female non-fiction writer?*

“During her lifetime she wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books.” Wikipedia

*According to grandson’s biography

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50 responses to “Ellen G. White: the most translated female non-fiction author in the history of literature, as well as the most translated American non-fiction author of either gender”

  1. I used to study the many different religions, from Hindu to Jehovah Witness. I avoid talking about it though. People are usually invested in their own beliefs to have an intelligent conversation about the varied faiths.


    • I’m lucky to have friends who are respectful and can handle debate. I used to work for a man who hated Christians of any kind. It colored his thinking about people so much that he lost a lot of allies and friends. It was sad.

      I think if people are secure in their faith they should be able to handle discussion, but maybe I’m missing something. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes she was an amazing and gifted women, whatever happened, what was the outcome of the project of October 2009? I’d love to know! After all its now 2016!!!


  3. The fact is that Ellen G White was a plagiarist and had others write most of her literature.
    Coming from a religious perspective she was a cultic leader who started the seventh day Adventist church.


    • Hmm. Did not know that. i’m not a Seventh Day Adventist. I was kind of interested in them because they talked about the importance of the Sabbath but their way of looking at it didn’t really fit with the way the Jewish figured out the Sabbath.

      Also had trouble with the idea that she was a prophet.


      • Her words, The diet reform should be progressive. As disease in animals increases, the use of milk and eggs will become more and more unsafe. An effort should be made to supply their place with other things that are healthful and inexpensive”’
        How would she know that over 130 years later the doctors would be saying the same thing. How would she know if she plagiarised if this would indeed happen?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I really appreciate your comments and questions. You bring up good points. My only question still comes back to the Sabbath. the Jews didn’t go by the Roman calendar so I heard they went by the lunar calendar to calculate when the sabbaths were. I have no agenda here. I enjoyed reading some of her writings from The Great Controversy. As a homesteader I totally get the idea of vegetarian diet but I found I was weak when I was on it. The soil in this part of the US is definitely deficient in minerals so we have to supplement our sheep. It is interesting how much White got right. I was surprised at how compassionate and tolerant she was.


    • While plagiarising how did she know what was true or false? For example she talked a about the ills of tobacco when doctors were prescribing it as medicine. As a charlatan or plagiarist with no medical education how could she know who was right? 70years of prophesy and writing I have never met anyone who named one writer she plagiarised from. Maybe you can tell me. Name the author and the plagiarised material


    • This is a false information. Do your research well. If she was an occult, it can be seen in her writings. You will search her entire literary work and you would come to the realisation that she upholds the bible and obedience to God above any other thing.


      • I didn’t find anything occult in her writings but I also haven’t read everything she wrote. When all of the churches shut down for Covid when the faithful needed them most I again began to question what most leaders of the “big churches” actually believed. I fall somewhere in between believing in “just the Bible” and allowing for the traditions of the very early church (which seem pretty Catholic to me). I still wish things were clearer about the Sabbath, but when I realize that most people don’t even bother keeping any sabbath and that I have a hard time keeping it myself I wonder if the issue should really be checking my heart. Why does it seem so hard to put my work aside one day a week to focus on God? with or without the pretty weak leadership in most churches.


    • What’s amazing is that the The Holy Bible gives us the tools, to know the difference between a false prophet& a true Christ like prophet.if you study the five biblical facts on how to know the difference. It’s self explanatory.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Sabbath is simply the seventh day of the week as instituted by God our Creator. Since God created day and night — 24-hour periods — as related in Genesis, He rested on the seventh day. The Jewish calendar is the same as our Gregorian according to WEEKS, but it’s different, of course, by the MONTHS. The week was established by God at Creation and therefore, so was the Sabbath. The Sabbath isn’t a Jewish thing because there were no Jews at Creation. Even after Adam and Eve’s fall, the Sabbath was simply passed down from generation to generation, when ultimately, it was given as the Fourth Commandment. It’s not simply a day of worship — it’s a day dedicated to remembrance of God’s holiness and Creation, hence, the only Commandment which begins with “Remember.” It was the Roman church which changed the Sabbath to Sunday for political reasons, yet mainstream Christians are not only unaware of this, but can’t agree on why they actually observe Sunday worship. God never changed the day — man did. And there’s a Bible verse for that as well.


      • Hi Gabriella! Thank you for this. The whole week/month thing definitely got me confused because I know there are some people observing the sabbath on all different days according to the moon etc.

        Before the politics of Rome came into play gentile Christians who did not come from the Jewish (Biblical) tradition were only responsible for celebrating the Lord’s day. “St. Paul enumerates the Sabbath among the Jewish observances which are not obligatory on Christians (Col., ii, 16; Gal., iv, 9-10; Rom., xiv, 5). The gentile converts held their religious meetings on Sunday (Acts, xx, 7; I Cor., xvi, 2), and with the disappearance of the Jewish Christian churches this day was exclusively observed as the Lord’s Day.” Catholic.com

        After reading the earliest Church Fathers I came away with the belief that the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches (though obviously as corrupt as all other denominations) come the closest to what the early church believed. If it wasn’t for the early church the Bible we read today would not exist.

        But I love reading what other people think. It keeps me pondering. Thanks!


  4. Not everyone in the world wants to be enlightened. The Lord Jesus Christ said men love darkness and that is why they would not come to him who is the light of this world. One day we will all be enlightened by the truth of the gospel but for those who have rejected Jesus and his salvation, it will be a sad day,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Adrienne, thank you for the post. Isn’t the world just filled with interesting people, interesting stories? How can you not love people who are powerfully motivated by their spirit and good intentions?


  6. I am actually seventh day Adventist myself, and contradicting what people may think, we (seventh-day Adventists) do not think of her as a prophet. In fact, she says her self that here is a prophet. Instead, we believe that she was inspired by God, and had visions inspired by God. Her writings are very good, and we (SDAs) use here writings as material alongside the bible. We do not view her writings as higher than the bible in any way. Everything she writes supports the bible and explains it. Good interesting article!


    • Interesting explanation! I think I’ll spend a little more time exploring her works. I’ve been fascinated by SDA’s for a while now. My only question is about the accurate time for the sabbath. From my understanding the Jews went by a different calendar so the sabbaths fell on different days of the week. Why do the SDA’s say that Saturday is the sabbath?


      • Hi Adrienne, I stumbled across your post and found it refreshingly concise. 🙂 I’m also Seventh-day Adventist and I’m curious what you mean by accurate time for the Sabbath? The Jews had yearly festivals/ceremonies which in the Bible are also called ‘sabbaths’ which fell on various days of the week, but through the ages have continued to observe the 7th day of the week as their weekly Sabbath. Adventists believe that there’s no biblical evidence that the weekly Sabbath has changed (in the expectation to keep the commandment or in day of the week–e.g. to Sunday). I wouldn’t say we keep the Sabbath the same way as the Jews, however, since in Jesus’ life and teachings He clarified the true meaning and spirit of Sabbathkeeping. Does that make sense?


      • Hi Aiko,
        I find this all so interesting. I wonder if we’re only talking about the spirit of the sabbath then why does it matter which day of the week it falls on? We used to watch Walter Veith’s documentaries and found them intriguing (actually we spent an entire winter watching him lol).

        But then I stumbled upon something about Jewish sabbaths falling on all different days of the week. I didn’t know what to believe.

        So is Ellen considered a prophet? My husband and I wondered about the vegetarian aspect as well since in the Bible milk, honey, lamb etc are all good things.

        Love to hear more from you!



      • What’s interesting is that at the time,Jesus was here on earth the calendar that was inafect was, I might have them switched up but the Gregorian or Julian calendar was the calendar that was in place.Then I don’t really Remember which one was replaced by either emperor,but it’s the same calender we are going by today.The weekly cycle has never changed.if you go to the index of a book called (national Sunday law)it’s really specific on the weekly.cycle &much more.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I will look that up! I’m now reading a book about a bunch of Bible believing pastors who after reading the early church fathers from the first three hundred years converted to Orthodox Christianity.

        I really enjoyed reading Ellen White’s books and I think she spoke a lot of truth but I think the Catholicism (Roman and Orthodox) of the first thousand years is actually more like the original church. When Rome went astray they took the Protestants with them.

        At least that’s what I think today. 😉


    • If she saw visions she was a prophet. She foretold the future. She saw visions. What is different from the Old Testament prophets? I am SDA and I believe she was a prophet,


  7. Hi Adrienne,
    As I have read your comments and others, I thought I would share my experience. I am still a young man at 23, but I started reading Ellen White’s books when I was 14. I heard about some of her books, and I was very interested. So, I started reading ones that stuck out to me, like the Desire of Ages (a beautiful book on the life of Jesus), Steps to Christ and the Great Controversy. I was brought to tears. Hearing of the love of Jesus in her writings, reading alongside my Bible was such a blessing to me. Reading topics like money management, family, and other topics radically transformed me too. The new man I was becoming became unrecognizable compared to my old self. I give all the credit to God for that, but He used these books to be a blessing to me.

    I think that the most important question for you is not, “Does the Seventh-day Adventist church consider Ellen White a prophet”, although if you look on the church’s website, it definitely does in the statement given by the church. I think that the most important question for you is, “was she really a prophet?” What men say does not matter; it is what God says that matters. Jesus first asked the question, “who do men say that I, the Son of man am?” He then followed that question by asking, “but who do you say that I am?”. We won’t be judged according to the standard that men say, but according the standard that God said in His word and the evidence that was given. I would recommend to you that you just read one of her books for yourself. Compare it with the Bible. “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because their is no light in them” Isaiah 8:20. If what you find contradicts the Bible after careful study, you know that she is not a prophet. But if what she says is in harmony with the Bible, then there would be opportunity for further study. Read Matthew 24. Jesus warned against false prophets repeatedly, so we can’t be too careful. But if there is a false, there is also a true. He didn’t say that there wouldn’t be any prophets in the last days. Try reading a book like the ones I mentioned above or Patriarchs and Prophets, Prophets and Kings, or Acts of the Apostles. If you want to know more about what she wrote on health, you can read the Ministry of Healing. All of these books are available on audiobook for free at audioverse.org under the “books” tab. You can also order the physical copies or find the ebooks online for free.

    Concerning being vegetarian, my sisters convinced me to become vegan 9 years ago. I felt so great, I didn’t want to go back! There’s a lot to that question. We know that God did give men permission to eat meat of clean animals after the flood, giving the stipulations there and other places that it was not to have the blood or fat in it (Genesis 9). But in the garden of Eden they didn’t eat animal products. When God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, he put them on a plant-based diet, manna, for 40 years. During that time they craved meat, and God sent a bunch of quail because of their complaining and they vomited it out (Numbers 11 etc.) The manna was all they needed, but they wanted more. When Daniel and his friends requested that they not eat the Babylonian kings unhealthy and intoxicating food, they ate plant-based and were found much more healthy than everyone else after a 10 day test (Daniel 1). In heaven we won’t be eating meat, so if we are preparing to go there, why not start now? Concerning honey, Ellen White did not discourage it’s use, and neither does the Bible. But the Bible does say not to eat too much honey! She also did not condemn the use of milk, but said that closer to Jesus’ second coming, they would become more unsafe. Notice this quote, “The diet reform should be progressive. As disease in animals increases, the use of milk and eggs will become more and more unsafe. An effort should be made to supply their place with other things that are healthful and inexpensive” Ministry of Healing Pg 320 paragraph 2. She wrote that more than 100 years ago. Is that what we see in our world today in the meat and dairy industry? Hormones, bad diets, bad environments, eating GMO food- these aren’t things hidden in the dark nowadays.

    This is how I like to think about it and I think it will resonate with you. Your a writter. What do you like to use best, primary sources in your writings or secondary sources. Of course, if you can find it, you like to have it as direct as possible, right? That’s what I like too in life. So in the same way, why not eat the plants that the animals consume to get big and strong, instead of eating the animals and getting all their toxins?

    Hope this helps my sister!


    • HI Rob,

      Sorry it took so long for this reply but I was thinking about it. 🙂 I just bought The Great Controversy and Ministry of Healing about White’s take on healing through lifestyle choices. I was surprised at how non-dogmatic she is about diet, etc.. Very refreshing. I may pepper you with more questions as I go!

      Thanks for your interesting comment.



    • I’m definitely intrigued by her. I read The Great Controversy and her book about diet and how she said that the food supply would be more and more corrupted and that seems pretty true to me.


      • Hello Andrienne,
        I am happy to see that after 9 months you finished the Great Controversy. I believe you would have gained an understanding of the Spiritual warfare playing out visibly in our world today and the need for a secure walk with Jesus. With that said, have you made your commitment to keep God’s Saturday- Sabbath Holy?


      • Hi Adrienne,

        I’m sorry I’m only just finding this website. I read through all the comments. You were very impressive in your questionings and responses. You asked about the Sabbath a lot and I don’t think anyone gave a substantial answer. It’s been some time since then though. You may have found the truth about it already. Do you have any other questions or is there anything pertaining to Adventism that you don’t quite understand, but would like to?

        I realize I didn’t even introduce myself. How rude of me. I’m Jeffrey from MA, and an Adventist of about 3 years. I’m 23 years young and not the most knowledgeable person around, but I can manage by God’s grace. Nice to meet you!


      • Hi Jeffrey, thanks for asking. Yes, my path at the moment has led me to exploring the early church fathers and what the earliest Christians believed. I assumed (wrongly) that they must have had a simple theology but came to find out that the early Christians believed in things like the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and the importance of the priesthood and confession.

        I know that many Seventh Day Adventists see the Catholic Church as the Anti-Christ and I think there is a spirit of the Anti-Christ working in some parts of the church but think that spirit has infiltrated most if not all churches. So that’s where I stand at the moment. The argument that makes some sense to me about the Sabbath being changed is that after the fall of Jerusalem and the dispersal of the Jews most Christians were Gentiles who never celebrated the Sabbath. All Christians celebrated the Lord’s Day which was from the beginning on Sunday. But I’m always open to different opinions. 🙂


  8. It’s not so much the Catholic Church being the Antichrist,but it’s there system or there office.GOD has his sheep in every fold Christian & other organizations.that he will call out his SHEEP out of BABYLON which is SPIRITUAL CONFUSION. The ADVENT PEOPLE,not just Adventist.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Adrienne,

    I happened upon your website while researching non-published works by Ellen G. White. Regarding the Sabbath, I thought I would share a thought. The “Lord’s day” mentioned in Revelation 1:10 is probably the Sabbath because in Mark 2:28, Jesus said He, “the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” Also, there are examples of the apostle Paul preaching to Jews and Gentiles on the Sabbath as recorded in Acts 13:42-44 and Acts 18:4. So it seems that early Christians kept the Sabbath.

    By the way, after looking at your bio I realized during our youth we may have crossed paths. I grew up in Englewood, NJ on Belmont Street. I would have graduated Dwight Morrow High School in 1983, but left and enrolled in private boarding academy after ninth grade.

    Insightful read!

    Thanks for sharing!


    • Hi Eric!

      A private boarding school! Did you enjoy it?

      It’s so interesting to me that I this post is my most viewed. I’ve loved all of the different points people have made. I know that Messianic Christians also keep the Sabbath too.

      The stumbling block for me is that the Sabbath was calculated by the moon (I think) and so the sabbath sometimes fell on different days of the week. I may still have a bad understanding of it — it gets confusing after a while! LOL.

      A friend told me to read the very earliest Church fathers who where what we would call catholic now. It has been mind blowing because so much of the deep theology and ritual associated with the Catholic Church was written about by people who studied under people like the Apostle John! They believed that the Eucharist contained the real presence of the Lord and the importance of Mary etc. The early Christians saw the mass as the fulfilment of or continuation of the temple but with Jesus as the sacrifice and high priest.

      Modern day Roman Catholicism (I think) is in a very corrupt phase for sure, but there are a lot of “Trad” Catholics who are trying to save the old faith.

      I still think the Sabbath should be a part of a Christian’s life but I’m not sure about which day it should fall on. The Catholics early on seemed to feel that the Lord’s Day was the most important day but I still go back and forth on the Sabbath question. 🙂

      My grandmother grew up on James Street in Englewood! I loved studying the history of the town for my first book. It’s so charming. When I worked at St. Cecilia Catholic School as a teacher I fell in love with the town even more. The House on Tenafly Road still stands. Someone finally bought it and refurbished it to its former glory.

      Happy to chat with a fellow New Jersey person!


  10. Adrienne,

    I just came across your page and I saw the post about Ellen White and the ensuing comments.

    The charges of plagiarism against her were investigated by (non-SDA) Attorney Vincent Ramik and he demonstrated that she did not plagiarize, nor do anything unusual nor underhanded for her time.

    You can read the actual legal report here:


    If you like, you can also read a question and answer session (of sorts) on the topic posted here:


    I am a convert to being a Seventh Day Adventist Christian from Chan Buddhism.


    • I think Ellen White had a lot of great points and even attended Seventh Day Adventist church a few times, but then I discovered the early church fathers, men who knew the Apostles. Their writings proved to me that while Luther had some real reasons for being upset with the Catholic Church, he sort of went off the rails. It came down to a devotional I was reading where I was supposed to ask the Holy Spirit to give me understanding but my understandings went counter to other understandings. I discovered that tradition was the only way to preserve the faith. The Bible was only put together after hundreds of years which means that the traditions of the early church preserved the faith. Of course the hierarchy of the modernist churches Catholic and Protestant are pretty corrupt, but I admire the Adventists for knowing their Bible and for their health practices. Blessings on your path!


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