Ellen G. White Editorial Philosophy


Editing the writings of Ellen G. White is not something we entered into lightly. We took great care to preserve the integrity of her original ideas at all levels, while also creating the best reading experience for a modern audience. This results in Ellen White books published by Types & Symbols reading in an almost identical way to the original editions.

Four Main Features

  • The overall editorial intent was to preserve the integrity of the author’s original ideas at all levels, from the chapter level down to the individual words. Therefore, no paraphrasing or editing of Ellen White’s syntax or grammar was allowed during manuscript preparation, so that her original word order and word choice is preserved. The Conflict Beautiful reads in an almost identical way to the original editions and is not a contemporary paraphrase in any sense.
  • The New King James Version (NKJV) is quoted in place of most King James Version (KJV) Bible quotations throughout the book series. The KJV is maintained in some instances, such as, for example, when Ellen White highlights a specific word in KJV as the thematic focus of a sentence or paragraph; when the NKJV wording brings a much different word picture or meaning than Ellen White’s use of KJV; and in rare instances where she cites a margin note in KJV that is crucial to her meaning. Ellen White occasionally quotes from the Revised Version (R.V.), and some of these instances have been maintained in the Conflict Beautiful series, mainly where she uses R.V. to gain a particular word in the Bible quotation that does not appear in KJV.
  • For improvement of the reading experience, strict guidelines were used to decide on select changes to individual words. Most changes had to meet the following criteria: (1) the word is archaic and unfamiliar to contemporary audiences, and (2) the meaning of the word today is different from its meaning in the nineteenth century. Examples of word changes that meet both of these criteria are intercourse (changed to “interaction”); aught (“anything”); ass (“donkey”); demoralized (“corrupted”); idiotic (“mentally impaired”); list (“wish”); promiscuous (“indiscriminate”); and without (“outside”). A limited number of select words that are both inconsequential to Ellen White’s meaning and unfamiliar to contemporary readers were changed to improve the reading experience. Examples include athwart (“across”); builded (“built”); erelong (“before long”); haply (“by chance”); kine (“cows”); and repair (“go to” or “return”). In many cases, the source of a substitute word was the NKJV wording, which is a biblical source of legitimate contemporary substitutes for archaic words.
  • Punctuation changes were also limited. Besides the aforementioned adjustments to quotation marks to accommodate NKJV quotations in some instances, only two punctuation changes are included. In some instances, the copy editor of the original editions included a comma between a compound subject and a verb, and these are removed from Conflict Beautiful books. Also, in some uses of an em-dash in the original editions, the publisher placed a comma before the em-dash, and those commas have been removed. It should be noted that NKJV uses full punctuation (multiple layers of quotations marks) while KJV does not use quotation marks. The type of punctuation known as minimal punctuation (one layer of quotation marks) has been used for Bible quotation in these new editions.

Series Wide Changes

Word Changes

Most KJV and RV Bible quotations are changed to NKJV. In some cases the KJV or RV is retained in order to keep the original meaning of a sentence. Those retentions are not noted in the tables below.In all cases, the spelling of the word Saviour has been changed to Savior. This change is not noted in the tables below.

Punctuation changes

Punctuation changes refer to minor modernizations made in the text drawn from the Ellen G. White app. Note that the punctuation of the Ellen G. White app text differs in some places from that of the original printed volume.

  • In all cases, a comma appearing before an em dash (,—) has been removed. This change is not noted in the lists.
  • Per modern convention, a semicolon (;) that appears in the original within quotation marks but is not part of the quoted statement is moved outside the quotation marks. This change is not noted in the lists.
  • In some cases, a comma that appeared between a subject noun phrase and its verb was deleted. This change is not noted in the lists.
  • In some cases, quotation marks were moved to appear before a different word or different opening word in order to blend in NKJV wording. These changes are noted in the lists.

Format changes

For all instances where NKJV uses indented paragraph format for poetry (and KJV does not), indents have been instituted and quotation marks added. Because they are numerous and obvious, those changes are not listed in the tables below.

Every Edit, Every Book

Our goal is to be as transparent as possible, so we documented every editorial change on every page of every book. This section of the website will be updated to showcase these changes very soon.