We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

“New Age Bible Versions” - Chapters One and Two


I will ignore all the drama, unwarranted assertions, suppositions, claims to know what Satan is thinking/planning, conspiracy theories, and other claims which are not directly addressed using Scripture.  And I will not address these types of claims in any future chapters either, unless they get so ridiculous as to warrant exposure.  

Riplinger alludes to much Scripture in many places before she actually addresses it, so I will hold the examination until we actually get to a Bible passage.

On p.9 is a comparison of Phil. 3:3.  KJV says “worship God” while NAS/NIV say “worship,” according to NABV.  This supposedly demonstrates that Satan has taken away the word “God.” But what are the complete texts?

KJV:  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit...
NAS: for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God...
NIV:  For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God...

While the meaning is slightly different, it is dishonest to say that the word “God” has been removed, and that there is no object of worship stated. However, I maintain that if we are worshiping in or by the Spirit of God, then we are only going to be worshiping God.

On p.17 there is a chart showing supposed changes that prepare the way for the anti-christ.  The left column shows the word or phrase in KJV, the center column shows the passage, and the right column shows the “New Age” change.  Whereas Riplinger only gives a word or phrase, I will give the entire passage, if needed, so it can be examined in context.  The problem is that she heads the “New Age” version as “NASB (NIV) et al.”  This makes it difficult to know exactly which version she is using, and it would be quite time consuming to search every “new” version.  The following is from the chart:

a.  Luke 24:36  The word “Jesus” has been changed to “he”

 KJV: “And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”

NAS:  “And while they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst.”  [footnoted “Some ancient mss. insert And He says to them, “Peace be to you.”]

NIV:  “While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  

NIV and KJV say the same thing!  NAS “He” (not “he”) must be Jesus by context.  Verse 15 identifies the speaker as “Jesus”; there is no need to keep saying “Jesus.”  In fact, that is the only place where NIV and KJV re-identify the speaker.  This is nit-picking about writing style only.

b.  Matt. 4:18:  “Jesus” is replaced with “He.”  As with the last example, KJV and NIV say the same thing, but NAS continues the context of who “He” is beginning at v.12.

c.  Mark 2:15:  “Jesus” is replaced with “He.” Again, in context of the narrative, “He” is plainly identified as Jesus in NAS; and Jesus’ name is in the second part of the same verse!  NIV just words it differently, but the “Him” is clearly identified as Jesus.

d.  Mark 10:52:  “Jesus” is replaced with “Him.”  Both NIV and KJV say “Jesus.”  NAS says “Him,” but in the same verse it already identifies who the “Him” is as being Jesus!  Is it necessary to repeat the name?  This is purely style, and of absolutely no consequence.

e.  Matt. 6:33: “The kingdom of God” is replaced by “His kingdom.” NIV and NAS are basically identical. But, verse 32 says that “your heavenly Father” is who knows your needs, and it is “His” kingdom you should seek.  Now, since our “heavenly Father” is indeed God, and you say to seek “his kingdom,” that says to me the same thing as KJV saying “the kingdom of God!!”  Just a style change.

f.  Rev. 21:4:  “God” is replaced by “He.” NAS and NIV clearly identify who “He” is in verse 3.  Again, style is the argument.

g.  1 Tim. 3:16: “God” is replaced by “He”.  Both NAS and NIV have footnotes stating that some mss. have God instead.  This means by logic that some mss. have “He.”  So which is correct?  Is the meaning the same?  In context the meaning is obvious.  At any rate, it is not changed or hidden; just another version is used with credit given to the possibility of the other being correct.  And whether it says “God,” or “He,” the context is from the previous verse where it has “God,” so it is obvious that “God” is who “He” references.  Style change!

h.  Gal. 1:15:  “God” is replaced by “He.”  NIV says the same as KJV, NAS doesn’t.  I believe it is obvious from the context that God is meant, but this is the only example so far that may be about other than style, because one has to assume “He” is God; however, there is NO doctrinal change.

i.  Matt. 22:32:  “God is replaced by “He.”  I have to demonstrate, by looking at the actual passage, that this is nothing more than style, and is an excellent example of all the previous style complaints.  Remember, the claim is that these changes are made by Satan to prepare for the anti-Christ.  I’ll start with vs. 31, with Jesus doing the talking:

KJV:  But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,  “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”?  God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

NIV:  But about the resurrection of the dead - have you not read what God said to you, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”?  He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

NIV and NAS both say “He” is not the God of the dead vs KJV saying “God” is not the God of the dead.  And this is supposed to be a problem?!?  It is just style!!!

j.  Acts 22:16:  “the name of the Lord” replaced by “His name.”  The context of the paragraph is “The Righteous One” (or “Just One” in KJV).  In actuality, NAS and NIV are clearer as to who is being referred because they both use “His name” as being referred back to “The Righteous One,” whereas with KJV one could make the argument that “the Lord” is a different person than “the Just One,” so that you have two people being talked about!

k.  1 Cor. 14:2: “the spirit” replaced by “his spirit.”  NIV footnotes “Or by the Spirit.”  KJV has “spirit” vs. NIV footnote “Spirit;” so is KJV talking about the Holy Spirit?  Or is KJV talking about the man’s spirit?  The understanding could be either way, but if it is man’s own spirit, all three say the same thing!

l.  Rev. 14:1:  “his Father’s name written in their foreheads” replaced by “His name and the name of His Father written on the foreheads.”  “His” name is referring back to the “Lamb”, i.e., Jesus.  By the doctrine of the Trinity, don’t these really say the same thing?

m.  Phil. 3:3:  Already noted in introduction.

So here we have a complete chart of complaints about nothing other than style!  Pages 18-22 have similar charts but with no references.  How can one check these without references?   They purport to show that the “New Age” versions use the same words, not as the KJV, but of “New Age/Luciferians.”  Since we have just seen how much Riplinger takes words out of context to “prove” her case, I’m sure it will be the same with the charts on these to pages.  I just ignored these charts for that reason.  She does say that “documentation” for these charts will show up later in the book.

Pages 23 and 24 continue with rants about New Age beliefs and “Lucifer’s” handiwork, as well as citations from various sources “proving” there is a new age conspiracy.

P.25 talks about Method, Means and Moment,” and how new versions hide these.  Let’s look at this charge.

a.  “Method”:  2 Tim. 3:6.  KJV says “creep into,” while NAS says “enter into, “ and NIV says “worm their way into.”  I can’t see a problem here - they all say the same thing!  Sure, “creep” could define nefarious activity better, but I think NIV’s “worm their way” is even more definitive!

b.  “Means”:  2 Cor. 11:3.  NAS and NIV both imply the same as KJV.

c.  “Moment”:  2 Tim. 2:26.  KJV says “at his will” while NAS/NIV say “to do his will.”  The first says at Satan’s will it was done, while the other says the reason was “to do his will.”  Yes, this says different things, but is there a doctrinal problem here?  No.

What follows, to the end of the chapter, are several pages, including a couple charts, with a continuous diatribe by Riplinger.

Summation of what Chapter 1 gives as translation problems in “new” versions:  Primarily writing style, no doctrinal changes.  The majority of the chapter is just making unsubstantiated claims against people and organization connections to the “new” Bible versions.  Chapter one, like the Introduction, has no substantive charge against the “new” versions when compared to the KJV.

CHAPTER TWO.  This chapter begins with the Lucifer argument; that only KJV has “Lucifer” and the “New Age” versions “hide” his name.  See the review of the Introduction for this problem.  In fact, the whole chapter is about conspiracy theories in regards to the “false belief” that Lucifer is not Satan, that people teach Satan doesn’t exist, and that new Bibles assist this teaching.  I have to highlight a couple of her more bizarre claims:

P.41 makes a suggestion about Chicago’s Zip code, 60606, being related to Satan.  This is nonsense, and causes a loss in credibility (as if there wasn’t enough loss to Riplinger’s credibility already).  Having worked for the U.S. Postal Service for a few years, I am familiar with how Zip codes are assigned.

P.51 says, “Satan stole his new name,” then it shows a chart where Luke 4:8 has a phrase with the name “Satan” removed.  Explain to me how Satan has hidden his “new name” by removal of this one phrase when there are 54 other times in the NIV (by reference to the NIV Exhaustive Concordance) where the name “Satan” is used!

P.53 has an appeal to ghostly authority:  “Scholars concur that Christ was born in the fall on the 4th day of the feast of the tabernacles.”  Other “scholars” I’ve read have given different dates and reasons for their choices.  Essentially, NO ONE KNOWS!

Summation of this chapter: Absolutely nothing factual against new versions, and virtually 100% diatribe and rhetoric.

So now we have reviewed the Introduction and the first two chapters and the only real complaint is against writing styles in the “new” Bibles.  There is no hidden agenda proven, no corruption of the Bible demonstrated.  Perhaps Riplinger will have better luck in Chapter 3.

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