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Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White (Library of Religious Biography) Paperback – July 2, 2008
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"An excellent, meticulously documented social history, whose author is an expert intellectual detective. . . When one reads about her success in starting a worldwide system of medical missions and hospitals, and the continuing services performed by the Adventist groups, one is astonished again that it took so long for Ellen G. White to be written about by an able and dispassionate biographer."
American History Review
"Ronald L. Numbers has written an excellent case study in the affinity between unorthodox religion and heterodox medicine."
"The author gives an honest, unbiased account of the contradictions and possible plagiarism in White's writings, the vacillation of her methods, the revelries among the men who ran the medical institute, and the gullibility of the public regarding health. An informative work on one aspect of American medical history."
"Prophetess of Health treats with considerable documentation the health writings of the Adventist leader."
The Christian Century
"Ellen G. White as much as anyone is the founder of modern Seventh-day Adventism, and deserves to be as well known as, say, Mary Baker Eddy. For some reason or other she has generally escaped scrutiny. Too bad, for her story as prophetess, health reformer, and religious leader is rarely matched in American religious annals, and Ronald Numbers is the man equipped to tell it. . . The intention of the book is not muckraking but the setting right of accounts."
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Top Customer Reviews
I particularly found Ellen White's notions around human sexualitly,interesting and shocking!Also her peculiar views on the moral effects of flesh eating on human beings is silly and almost comedic.I certainly can not believe that God told Ellen White the things that she said He did,particularly about masturbation,sexual excess,and vegetarianism.
What I found disturbing was that Ellen White ate meat for a very long time,after her alleged health reform vision while chastising others who partook of the same.I was appalled as an S.D.A. to learn that Ellen White ate duck and oysters after her alleged health reform vision!
Ronald Numbers has done the laity and well meaning clergy of the S.D.A. church a wonderful service!!He should be commended.
This book first came out in 1976 and was reissued with revisions in 1992 and 2008. It was written by University of Wisconsin Professor of History Ronald L. Numbers. He had been raised a member of an elite Adventist family and for a time enjoyed access to hitherto closely guarded documents of the White Estate. In this book, Professor Numbers is not writing hagiogaphy, i.e., a life of saint. He methodically samples Mrs White's writings and identifies her likeliest literary sources (which she herself often did not). But he also describes her as others saw her, including friends and foes. Even in 2009 Ellen G. White is less well known outside her own denomination than other prophets outside theirs, such as the Mormon Joseph Smith and the Christian Scientist Mary Baker Eddy. In 1976 there were many Adventists who regarded Ellen G. White as an oracle of God, infallible, utterly trustworthy. Then along came Numbers's biographic study, and it was a great shock to many believers.Read more ›
Though the author of "Prophetess of Health" (from what I recall) claims to be a Seventh-day Adventist in the introduction to his book, he is in fact an agnostic by his own admission in the intro to another of his books, "The Creationists." In "The Creationists" he says he "decided to follow science rather than Scripture" and "no longer believes in creationism of any kind"--both of which preclude his claims to be a Seventh-day Adventist.
I found this book to be insulting to the character of Ellen G. White; I think he used the book as a means of dragging her name through the mud by blatently calling her a liar and making her appear as ridiculous as he could. He grabbed hold of anything that would substantiate his negative opinions of her person and beliefs. I wouldn't make the claim that Ellen White was perfect (she is only human, after all) but I think it's uncalled for to brand her as a liar, plagiarist, and fanatic. For a man who doubts even the existence of God, he sure claims to know a lot about what a prophet should and shouldn't be like.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is trash... The author is an instrument of Satan. Do not buy or read this book!Published 12 months ago by Rith Ty
Who to believe? Ron Numbers or Dan Buettner (Blue Zone book)? Has to be one or the other. Self-proclaimed agnostic Numbers takes time and effort to DISCREDIT Ellen White, a... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jody Johnson
Beware....this book is of satan. EGW was proclaiming a wonderful health message that is very much ignored by the Seventh-Day Adventist because of rubbish like this that turns the... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Debra Wellington