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
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"New Age Bible Versions" - Chapter Eight

Riplinger is too dogmatic in this chapter, about her interpretation of Revelation being the correct one.  As demonstrated above, Henry Morris has a more literal interpretation and he is also a KJV advocate.  However, the premise of this book is problems with the Bible, and not a forum for this anti-Catholic diatribe which continues page after page.  The chapter begins on page 133 and yet doesn’t address “New Age Bible Versions” until page 141, and even then she begins with a tirade about new versions reflecting Roman Catholicism because they are using the same underlying text!

1.  P. 143 chart, with “NEW VERSIONS” one one side and “KJV” on the other.

a.  Rev. 2:15.  KJV says, “So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.”  The new versions do not have the phrase, “which thing I hate,” but since the context is what is being spoken against, I think the implication is there.  Now, the interesting thing is how Riplinger interprets this.  Nico means ‘to conquer; Webster defines laity as ‘the people, as distinguished from the clergy; those not of a certain profession.’ Jesus hates the doctrine which replaces the New Testament priesthood of all believers with a class of clergy or professional scholars who attempt to conquer the common people with credentials.”  Of course she is directing this comment towards Roman Catholicism, but I don’t think the issue as she claims as a meaning for “Nicolaitans” was a problem at the time Revelation was written.  Etymologically speaking, the term could mean “conquerors of lay people”, but the Nicolaitans were a heretical group in the early church, and mentioned by several early church fathers, whose originator was Nicolas - and it is from him they derived their name.  They supposedly has some teachings which also included sexual immorality.

b.  Luke 11:38.  “New Versions” say “ceremonially washed” while KJV just says “washed.”  This, to Riplinger, is forcing Roman Catholic ceremonialism into the text.
First, while she shotguns all “new versions” as having added “ceremonially,” I looked at several other English translations and only the NAS, HCSB, and NLT have any suggestion or the washing being ceremonial, so she should be a bit more honest about her claims.
Secondly,  Matthew Henry’s commentary on this verse addresses it as ceremonial washing, so the idea is not of Catholic origin in the new versions.
Lastly, CONTEXT would be ceremonial washing.

c.  Luke 21:5.  KJV says “gifts” while new versions say “votive gifts.”  I did not look at any but the NIV and NAS and only the NAS says “votive gifts.”  I am going to assume Riplinger’s shotgun here is no better than in the previous verse.
“Votive” gifts are given as a vow or pledge.  The context could be either way.  It doesn’t alter anything.  The use of this term by Catholics does not disallow its use elsewhere.

d.  Col. 3:11.  Let’s start a bit farther back for context, starting at verse 9.

KJV:  “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: But Christ is all, and in all.”
NAS:  “Do not lie to one another, since yo laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him - a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.”

The NIV reads as KJV, so Riplinger’s complaint is only against the NAS - and possibly others like it.  The complaint is that “a renewal” is not in the original, as if deception is being had.  The fact that the NAS italicizes it shows that it isn’t in the original, so no deception is had.  But I really don’t understand the complaint; all the NAS is doing is clarifying what the renewal is, continuing the sense from vs.10.  In some way, Riplinger thinks this is bringing in Catholic theology.

e.  Col. 2:16.  KJV uses the word “holyday” while others use “festival” or “religious festival.”  Since these festivals were at least day-long, and done for religious reasons, are not the terms synonymous? This appears to be a complaint over verbiage with similar meanings, which have no hint of Catholicism.

f.  1 Pet. 1:18.  KJV uses the word “tradition,” while that word is not found in the new versions; Riplinger claims that they “OMIT” the word.  However, while the word “tradition” may not be in the new versions, the understanding certainly is.  NAS says, “way of life inherited from your forefathers,” while NIV says, way of life handed down to you from your forefathers.”  Don’t they both say the same thing as “tradition?”  If Riplinger is so worried about Roman Catholicism being fostered, then she should blame the KJV because Rome is always talking about “tradition”!!

g.  Acts. 12:15.  KJV says “angel” while “new versions” say “guardian angel.”  I could not find this change in NAS, ESV, NIV, REB, CEV, GWN, TEV, NLT, HCSB, NET, Jewish NT, New Berkeley or NAB (which is a Catholic version!)  I found this change in two little used versions: Ronald Knox’s New Testament and Richard Weymouth’s New Testament, and yet Riplinger painted the broad brush of “NEW VERSIONS”!!!  She must have searched quite a while to find what she was looking for, but the idea of a “guardian angel” was not new to Roman Catholicism - it was a teaching of the Jews at the time of the N.T., and was most likely what was intended to be conveyed in Acts.

h.  1 Cor. 11:16.  KJV says “We have no such custom,” while “new versions” say “we have no other practice.”   I haven’t figured out this complaint.  It certainly gives not succor to the New Agers or Catholics.

At the end of this chart Riplinger says, “Hundreds and hundreds of other examples or Roman Catholic theology in the new versions could be cited and are explored thoroughly in other books.”  Since Riplinger has not demonstrated her claim here, I sincerely doubt if “other books” can do it either.

2.  p.144  chart:

a.  Matt. 16:18.  KJV says, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock...” while the NEB says, “You are Peter, the Rock.”  What Riplinger doesn’t show is that the NEB continues with, and on this rock...  The REB puts in the meaning of Peter, which does not thereby make it reflecting Romanism.  I understand this could be abused by those Romanists making Peter the “Rock” on which Jesus built the church, but they do that already with the KJV!
I found it interesting that it was not translated this way in the Catholic NAB!  The only other Bibles where I found it among my collection were the Charles Williams’ translation and the 20th Century N.T., neither of which do I think were big sellers, although I may be wrong about that.

b.  John 1:42
KJV:  “called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.”
“NEW VERSIONS”: “Cephas (which translated means Peter)”

Amplified says, “Cephas, which translated is Peter - meaning Stone.”  I think the point is that Cephas means Peter, which means a stone.  Whether a translation gives that meaning in this passage is irrelevant to the context, since no wordplay is made.  Cephas does indeed translate to Peter, and Matt. 16:18 demonstrates that fact without using the word “stone,” and yet Riplinger has no problem with it.  In Matthew the wordplay is based on already knowing the meaning of Peter.  I’m not sure what Riplinger thinks the conspiracy is here.

c.  Mark 16:20
KJV:  “not in Greek” - that is, Riplinger says it is not the the Greek of the TR.
 “NEW VERSIONS”: “And the promptly reported all these instructions to Peter...Jesus himself sent out through them from east to west.”

The only version I found with this is the NAS, and it is printed in italics, with a footnote saying that a few later manuscripts have this passage.  The interesting thing here is that all early manuscripts do not have the entire section from vs. 9-20.  Most new versions have the same as KJV, with a note to the effect of the lack of support for 9-20.   Of course Riplinger believes older manuscripts are corrupt.  The important question becomes, what difference does it make here? What possible advantage does this give to New Age or Roman Catholic teachings?  How does this support Riplinger’s claim?

3.  P.145 charts.

a.  James 5:16.  KJV “Sins” or “NEW VERSIONS” “faults.”  Are they not synonymous in context?

(These next ones supposedly show the new versions with “The Sacrament of Holy Orders”)

b.  Rom. 15:16:  KJV says, “ministering the gospel of God that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable,” while new versions say, “ministering as a priest the gospel of God, that my offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable.”  Well, the context is that Paul is acting a priest and the Gentiles are his offering.  Whether you read the KJV or others, the context is the same!  Riplinger is paranoid over the use of the word, “priest.”

c.  Luke 1:23.  KJV says, “ministration,” while new version say, “priestly service.”  Again, the word “priest” is used in context, and saying the same thing as KJV.  Riplinger is paranoid.  (I wonder what she does with 1 Peter 2:9?)

d.  Matt. 23:5.  KJV says, “enlarge the borders of their garments,” while new versions say, “lengthen the tassels of their garments.”  Just what does Riplinger think is on the “borders of their garments?  KJV is not as descriptive as NIV and NAS!

4.  P.146 chart.

a.  Matt. 23:14.  The charge is that this passage is not found in new versions.  NAS/NIV and Amp all have it in the text or footnoted.  But even so, where does this aid New Age or Romanism?  What doctrine is changed?

(The following supposedly promotes Romanism, suggesting “The Sacrament of Holy Eucharist”)

b.  Matt. 12:4, Mark 2:26, Luke 6:4.  KJV says shewbread” while new versions say, “consecrated bread.”  As an offering to God, is not shewbread consecrated?  This is more fear of using a word used by Catholics.

c.  John 6:33.  KJV “the bread of God is he which cometh,” vs new versions, “is that which comes.”  NIV reads the same as KJV.  NAS footnotes it as “Or He who comes,” but , either way, v.35 makes the context of v.33 very clear!  (I think part of the problem is the modern usage of “that” for a person, which I see on a daily basis in books, newspapers, etc.)

d.  Heb. 10:12.  
KJV: “after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God.”
“NEW VERSIONS”: “offered one sacrifice for sins and took his seat forever at the right had of God.”  

I found this only in the Catholic NAB.  NAS and NIV say “for all time,” which is the same as “forever.”  If her complaint is that new versions support Catholicism, and her example is a Catholic version, she really isn’t making sense with attacking others for what the Catholic version does!

e.  Acts 2:13.  KJV says, “new wine, (and Riplinger parenthetically says “unfermented grape juice”) while the others say, “sweet wine.”  Sorry, but the context says the same thing.

5.  Summation:  This chapter is mostly anti-Catholic paranoia.  Most complaints are about writing style and choice of synonymous verbiage.  There is also the continued emphasis on one interpretation of Revelation, which has nothing to do with the premise of the book.  In most examples the NIV reads the same as KJV, and in many the NAS is very close.  Rather than attack all “new versions,”  and make NIV/NAS guilty by association, the book should address the Catholic translations as a separate issue.  The ironic thing is that two of three significant problems were not changed in the Catholic NAB, and the whole chapter is addressed against Catholics!  Once again, this chapter does not support Riplinger’s claims against modern Bible versions.

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