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The Ellen G. White Writings

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    The 1911 Edition of The Great Controversy

    In many printings issued from the presses of our several publishing houses, The Great Controversy as enlarged in 1888 had a wide sale. After twenty years’ use the printing plates were so badly worn that it became evident that the type for the book must be reset. This was a large and expensive undertaking, for it seemed clear that the book should be reillustrated if a new edition were to be produced. Other features, too, came in for consideration, especially the matter of references to all historical quotations and the furnishing in a comprehensive appendix 13In 1950 this appendix was updated with the aid of Seventh-day Adventist scholars. of references to standard historical works that related to the materials.EGWW 129.1

    As Ellen White studied the matter she looked even deeper into what might be done. She wrote of this July 25, 1911, very soon after the new revised book appeared:EGWW 129.2

    When I learned that Great Controversy must be reset, I determined that we would have everything closely examined, to see if the truths it contained were stated in the very best manner, to convince those not of our faith that the Lord had guided and sustained me in the writing of its pages.EGWW 129.3

    As a result of the thorough examination by our most experienced workers, some changing in the wording has been proposed. These changes I have carefully examined and approved. I am thankful that my life has been spared, and that I have strength and clearness of mind for this and other literary work.—Letter 56, 1911. (See Appendix C.)EGWW 129.4

    The revision of an inspired book quite naturally raised some questions in the minds of ministers and laity alike. Some of the questions involved an understanding of inspiration. The fact that Ellen White determined to make the revision and worked closely with her office staff in doing so helped to mitigate some of the questions.EGWW 130.1

    The W. C. White statements regarding the work already referred to, together with considerable correspondence with executives and leading ministers of the church regarding this new edition, provide much valuable data.EGWW 130.2

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