Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $34.00
  • Save: $8.50 (25%)
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Prophetess of Health: A S... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: General notes on our books sold in Used-Like New condition: Copy looks new in every way (binding, cover, corners, edges, pages, lack of markings, dust cover present and in pristine condition), but may have been owned previously; A Used-Like New copy may have a remainder mark on one of the edges or an authorâ€TMs signature (either of which will be specifically noted at the beginning of the condition description); BOOK ONLY! (unless otherwise noted, no access codes, cds, or other accessories promised).
Trade in your item
Get a $1.68
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White (Library of Religious Biography) Paperback – July 2, 2008

3.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$25.50
$11.48 $11.23

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
$25.50 FREE Shipping. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White (Library of Religious Biography)
  • +
  • Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet
Total price: $57.27
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

Spectrum
"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."

Library Journal
"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."

Christianity Today
"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."

About the Author

Ronald L. Numbers is Hilldale Professor Emeritus of the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Wisconsin Madison.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 83%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
  • Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers.
  • Look for the Kindle MatchBook icon on print and Kindle book detail pages of qualifying books. You can also see more Kindle MatchBook titles here or look up all of your Kindle MatchBook titles here.
  • Read the Kindle edition on any Kindle device or with a free Kindle Reading App.
  • Print edition must be purchased new and sold by Amazon.com.
  • Gifting of the Kindle edition at the Kindle MatchBook price is not available.
Learn more about Kindle MatchBook.


New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Library of Religious Biography
  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans; 3 edition (July 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802803954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802803955
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #589,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Anderson on February 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some historical accounts can be dull, but not this book. Regardless of what you believe about Ellen White or Seventh-day Adventism, there can be no denying Mrs. White was an important figure in 19th century health reform. This book describes why Mrs. White jumped on the health reform bandwagon in the 1860s, and tells of the reformers she adopted her teachings from. What I like best about this book is that it is not a slanted, one-sided view of Ellen White. It presents both the good and the not so good: The health reforms that worked (stop smoking and drinking), and the ones that didn't work out so well (dress reform, marital excess). This book paints the picture of a real woman, a human being, who acquired her teachings not so much from "heavenly visions", but from her readings and interaction with other leading health reformers of her day. If you are tired of reading sugar-coated histories of Ellen White, then look no further. This book tells the REAL history of Ellen White and her health reforms.
Comment 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a former SDA myself who was educated in that church's school system through the first year of college, this book had a huge impact on my life. Ron Numbers is not just a disgruntled former SDA, he was SDA "royalty", related to some of the top names in Adventist leadership. He started the book with the intention of simply providing a historical context for the writings of Ellen White, and his connections within the church gave him unusually broad access to her writings and writings of her contemporary church leadership. He strikes a balanced, academic tone throughout the book and does not stoop to the axe-grinding of many former SDAs. It is my understanding in talking with several SDA friends of mine, that Ron Numbers will be invited to an Adventist History conference as a speaker. I believe anyone interested in a balanced view of SDA history needs to read this book.
Comment 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When this book was published in the 70's, it changed the way Seventh-day Adventists, myself included, viewed Ellen G. White. It devastatingly showed the "true believers" in the SDA church how her many books were truly written. I remain a Seventh-day Adventist but my view, and I believe, the entire church's view of EGW, became healthier. Ron Numbers made a major contribution to the understanding of religious "inspiration."
Comment 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr Ronald Numbers' book is a historical tour-de force.When I was finished reading it,I felt that I could no longer believe in the prophetic claims of Ellen White and the special mission of the S.D.A. church.

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.
Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Unless you are a Seventh-day Adventist, you may never have heard of Helen Gould White, nee Harmon. She lived from 1827 - 1915 in bad, often wretchedly bad, health most of her long life. In the mid and later 1840s she co-founded with her husband James White and retired sea captain Joseph Bates the Seventh-day Adventist movement. With support from her husband and private secretaries, Ellen went on to write a small library of books on religion, health, women's dress and other topics. She also inspired and built hospitals, clinics and schools in several continents. All these accomplishments and the American environment from whence Ellen Harmon White drew her practices of religion, inspirations and ideas are laid out in leisurely, lucid detail in PROPHETESS OF HEALTH: A STUDY OF ELLEN G. WHITE.

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 ›
1 Comment 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
For those looking for an honest and fair portrayal of Ellen G. White, I highly recommend reading a book called "Ellen G. White: Prophet of Destiny," by Rene Noorbergen. Rene starts out with a skeptical view of Ellen White, but the more he learns about her the more he comes to see her as a true prophet according to the descriptions in the Bible of what a prophet is. (And he presents those "tests" of a prophet in his book.)

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.
3 Comments 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White (Library of Religious Biography)
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White (Library of Religious Biography)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?