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

Friday, July 4, 2014

“New Age Bible Versions” - Chapter 16, part 1

I haven’t posted any part of my on-going review since March.  Time has passed so quickly with so many more important tasks.  I really want to keep up with this, so I am posting only part 1 of my review of Chapter 16 - that’s as far as I’ve gotten, having just finished it today.

Chapter 16: “Gospels and Gods of the New Age.”  Riplinger opens the chapter with this phrase from 1 John 4:14: “The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”  Then she says, “In the New Age, however, ‘a God,’ one of many, sends a son, or avatar, with a message, to be a Savior, for each age.  Once again the new versions line up with ‘the goats on the left.’”  Her first charge gives the following contrasting list:

NIV, NASB, et al KJV
a gospel the gospel
a message the words
a God the God
a son the Son
a Savior the Saviour
an age the world

(Notice the importance she gives to the spelling of “Saviour” vs “Savior”)

Riplinger then says, “To appeal to a broader market, new versions repeatedly spell out the One World Religion of the coming false prophet.”  Then she follows with numerous charts from page 260 to 267 before she takes a break to write more rhetoric.  Let’s now look at the claims from the charts.  (While Riplinger includes comments on both sides to show the difference between New Age ideology and Christian ideology, I’m going to ignore them because they have nothing to do with the translational philosophy except as in Riplinger’s conspiratorial imaginings.)

1.  “A Gospel” (“NASB, et al.”)  vs “The Gospel” (KJV) (all uses of bold are Riplinger’s), p.260:

a.  John 6:68:  “You have words of eternal life” vs “Thou has the words of eternal life.”  Now, what is interesting here is that the John Darby Bible says, “Thou hast words of eternal life,” and I doubt if Riplinger would claim Darby was “New Age.”  Additionally, I’ve looked at NIV, NKJV, HCSB, GWN, NLT, and NET and they all agree with KJV.  So, ONE Bible of the “new versions” — the NASB — meets Riplinger’s claim!  And in context it means the same anyway! 

b.  (Riplinger now has “NIV, NASB, et al.”).  Rev. 14:6:  “an eternal gospel” vs “the everlasting gospel.”  My first question is, can there be more than one “eternal” gospel? Context is sort of like this: “it’s not only a gospel, but an ETERNAL gospel!”  Is there really a difference when the context is of what the angel is bringing?  Or does Riplinger mean to suggest that in this part of Revelation an angel can bring a false gospel?

c.  2 Cor. 4:4:  “gospel” vs “glorious gospel.”  NAS says “the gospel of the glory of Christ.”  NIV says “the gospel that displays the glory of Christ.” Is Riplinger being dishonest? In fact, all that I looked at say virtually the same.  Riplinger makes it appear that “gospel” is without a descriptor, which is patently untrue.

d.  2 John 1:1:  “in truth” vs “the truth.”  The context is, “whom I love in the truth.”  All I looked at, except NASB, have “in the truth.”  So the “NIV, NASB, et al.” is again over-stating the problem - as if there IS a problem.  (Again, though, I don’t really see a difference in meaning.)

e.  Titus 1:4: a common faith” vs “the common faith.”  Context is:  “mine own son after the common faith.” (KJV)  NIV, by the way, says “our common faith.”  Context is everything.  Paul is talking about a common faith that they share, and whether it is “a common faith,” or “our common faith” or “the common faith,” the meaning is the same!

f.  Acts 14:27:  “a door of faith” vs “the door of faith.”   If God opens “a door of faith,” isn’t it “the door of faith”?  The pickiness here is absurd.  

g.  Mark 1:4: a baptism of repentance” vs. “the baptism of repentance.”  As if there were more than one “baptism of repentance” being taught?

h.  Heb. 4:2: good news” vs “the gospel.”   While some just have “good news” or “good tidings,” etc. (Darby has “glad tidings” and he was using the TR!), GWN says, “the same Good News that your ancestors heard,” and others say “the Good News” (GNT/TEV, HSCB, NCV, NIV).  To begin with, “gospel” means “good news,” so either name is fine.  Again, whether it is with “the” or without “the,” context all shows the same referent.

i.  Matt. 21:13:  “a house of prayer” vs “the house of prayer.”  This one is interesting; I’ll bet Riplinger didn’t even read the O.T. passage Jesus cited.  Isaiah 56:7 says “a house of prayer” even in KJV, so the error is certainly KJV’s Matthew 21:13!

j.  Matt. 21:12: the temple” vs “the temple of God.”  Context shows the same meaning; the referent is the temple of God in Jerusalem.

2.  “A Message” (NIV, NASB, et al) vs “The Word” (KJV), p.261:  As with the previous chart, this one makes similar comparisons to “prove” the “New Age” agenda of the modern translations.  Part of the problem, as it appears to me, is that, for Riplinger, whenever the Bible has someone giving a “word,” it is to be considered “Word” - as in a direct Word from God; and if the translation says “message” instead of “words,” somehow it is diminishing God’s Word.

a.  Luke 4:4:  “Man shall not live on bread alone. [OMIT] vs. “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”  Well, it certainly is omitted at Luke, but if the new versions had some agenda, why did they leave it at Matthew 4:4?  The New English Translation note says that most manuscripts complete Luke 4:4 to match Matthew, but older manuscripts don’t.  Since there is no reason for scribes to omit the section, the shorter version is probably the original.  Later scribes most likely completed Luke to match Matthew.  No harm is done either way.

b.  1 Thes. 2:13: the word of God’s message” vs “the word of God.”  I looked an numerous English translations and couldn’t find what is claimed.

c.  Acts 10:37:  [OMIT]  vs. “that word.”  Well, this is typical of Riplinger’s dishonesty.  Context goes back to vs. 36, and when read in context, “that word” becomes redundant and unnecessary.

d.  Acts 10:22:  “a message” vs. “words.”  The context is waiting to hear from Peter.  Whether it is “words” from Peter or “a message” from Peter, the context is identical.

e.  Acts 5:20: the whole message” vs “all the words.”  Well, if you give “the whole message,” do you not give “all the words”?

f.  Acts 4:4:  “the message” vs “the word”  Same as above at Acts 10:22.

g.  John 10:21, 12:48:  “the sayings” vs “the words.” Synonymous.  NIV has “the words” at 12:48.

h.  Luke 5:5:  “your bidding” vs “thy word.”   In context, this is synonymous.  NIV has “Because you say so.”

i.  Luke 20:20:  “some statement” vs “his words.”  Again, in CONTEXT, this is synonymous, and actually better explains.

j.  Luke 4:32: message” vs “word.”  In context, synonymous

k.  1 Pet. 3:1:  “a word” vs “the word.”  I couldn’t find which version is supposed to have this change.  Must be obscure.

l.  1 Pet. 4:11:  “utterances of God” vs “oracles of God.”  The Defined King James Bible,” published by KJVO people, gives the following for “oracles of God” — “words or utterances of God.”  Since D.A. Waite is the general editor and “footnote author and editor,” and is a much more scholarly KJVO person that Riplinger, she might want him to explain why he defines “oracles” in a “New Age” way!

m.  John 6:68:words of eternal life” vs “the words of eternal life.”  This looks to be directed at the NAS.  This is a repeat of 1.a. above (under “A gospel”), with my response being the same.

n.  2 Tim. 3:16:  “Every Scripture inspired by God (GNB)” vs “All Scripture is given by inspiration.”  Another definite change, which could lead to the claim that not all Scripture is inspired.  This is directed at a very dynamic version.

As with section 1 above, Riplinger’s case is dismantled.  The ONLY valid charge I see is the last one, which certainly gives no evidence of a vast conspiracy.

3. A God” vs “the God” examples begin on p.263 (the few examples Riplinger could muster).

a.  Dan. 3:25:  “a son of the gods” vs “the Son of God.”  Definitely a different connotation, but I wonder if the KJV translators were anachronistic in their translation, because I don’t think Nebuchadnezzar thought about a specific “Son of God” — I doubt if that would have been his theology.  Jay Green’s literal translation interlinear Bible uses the Masoretic text which the KJV uses, and he shows the literal meaning as being “a son of the gods.” (Riplinger doesn’t show “the” italicized as it is in the new translations.)

b.  Acts 14:15:  “a living God” vs “the living God.”  In this context, there can be no confusion as to the intent so they are synonymous.

c.  Eph. 6:9:  “knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven” vs “knowing that your Master also is in heaven.”  So is Riplinger trying to say that Jesus/God is not the Master of the slaves?  Isn’t He the master of all people?

d.  1 Thes. 2:12:  “worthy of the God who calls you” vs “worthy of God who hath called you.”  I see these to be synonymous.  “The” God points to a real God vs a false on, in my understanding.

e.  James 2:19:  “you believe that God is one” vs “there is one God.”  Deut. 6:4 says that “God is one Lord,” which seems to me to be the passage James may be pointing to.  Is God “one”?  Yes - a trinity of one.  Is there one God?  Yes, one true God, but even Paul points out there are many Gods.  Either way this is translated, it gets the same point across — that even Satan believes there is one God and that God is one.

4. A Son” vs “The Son.” This chart begins on p.264 and continues a bit to the next pages.

a.  Rev. 1:13:  “like a son of man” vs “like unto the Son of man.”  Interesting is that NAS footnotes this with “Or the Son of Man.  I know there is a difference between “a” son of someone and “the son” of someone. though minor it may be.  Since the Masoretic text shows “the Son” vs “a Son,” I don’t understand the change.  I know it affects this passage in its Messianic role…?
b.  Rev 14:14: a son of man” vs “the Son of man.”  Identical to the previous.

c.  John 6:69:  “Holy One of God” vs “Christ, the Son of the Living God.”  “Christ” is merely Greek for the Hebrew “Messiah,” which means “anointed one.”  “Holy One” is one set apart, which by extension would mean “anointed.”  I don’t think the adjective “Living” is necessary to point to God, so I don’t see any “New Age” agenda here.

d.  Matt. 27:54:  “a son (f)”  vs  “the  Son of God.”  I don’t understand what (f) means, but NAS and NIV both are as KJV, as do a few others I looked at, so I don’t know what version she’s looking at.

e.  Mark 15:39: a son of God” vs “the Son of God.”  Like the previous one, she’s talking about an unknown version.

f.  Dan 3:25:  “a son of the gods” vs “the Son of God”   See 3.a. above — perhaps Riplinger thinks if she lists it more than once it must mean more!

g.  Mark 1:1 OMIT” vs “the Son of God.”  The same problem with d. and e. — I can’t tell what version, since those I searched show the same as KJV.

h.  Mark 12:6:  “a beloved son”  vs “one son, his well beloved”.  In the context of the parable, either version expresses the thought; NIV even has “heir.”  The son in the parable is NOT Christ, but is analogous to Christ.

i.  Matt. 8:29:  “You, Son of God” vs “Jesus, thou son of God.”  This complaint is because of the lack of Jesus’ name.  The whole story is telling us about Jesus, so does it really matter if someone left off the name of Jesus when they quoted the demons?  If someone is addressing me, is it necessary for them to say, “Glenn…” or can they not just say “you”?  This quibbling by Riplinger only shows the depths to which she will dig to find something to supposedly support her theory of “New Age” conspiracies with Bible versions other than the KJV!

j.  John 9:35:  “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” vs “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?”  Since these are both references to Christ, I don’t see what Riplinger is getting at in the way of “New Age” pollution of the text.

k.  Acts 17:31:  “He will judge the world in righteousness through a man” vs “he will judge the world in righteousness by that man.”  Riplinger notes that is is only applicable to the Revised Version, which is a version I do not have.  I got curious, so I dug out “The Word: The Bible From 26 Translation” to see what I could find.  The Rotherham, Weymouth, Berkely, and J.B. Phillips versions are similar, but these are not well-known or popular versions, so if a “New Age” conspiracy is using these, I don’t think it will get far! However, in the KJV, the word “that” is italicized, meaning it isn’t in the text.  Both statements are pointing to the same person, so, again, I don’t see a difference — at least not one pointing to a “New Age” conspiracy.

l.  Mark 2:17: who needs a physician” vs “…need of the physician.”  Again we have a parable which is being used as an analogy for Christ.  Therefore, whether one uses “a” or “the,” the meaning is exactly the same!

m.  Acts 27:23, 12:23 (I wonder why Riplinger seems to rarely be able to put passages in order?!?):  “an angel of God” vs “the angel of the Lord [Jesus Christ].”  Well, I’d say from the context that Riplinger is practicing eisegesis with her “[Jesus Christ]” comment.  There is no indication that this angel is Christ, and I have no commentary which agrees with her.

5.  “A Savior” vs “The Saviour” chart is on p.266 with only two examples.

a.  Phil. 3:20:  “wait for a Savior” vs “look for the Saviour.”  Both these versions identify the savior as Jesus Christ.  So whether one says “a” or “the,” it still says that the Savior is Christ.  I understand by the use of “a” savior, one could suggest there is more than one and that Jesus is just one among many.  I don’t think that is very likely.

b.  Zach. 9:9:  “OMIT (LB)” vs “having salvation.”  The “Living Bible” is just a paraphrase and not a real Bible.  So eliminating TLB, Riplinger found only ONE example which disturbed her?!?!

Up to this point, we have seen how Riplinger compares “a” to “the” and comes up virtually empty when trying to expose a “New Age” conspiracy.  What Riplinger states as being major issues in all “new version” Bibles is usually a minor issue in more rare versions.  In some cases Riplinger is using eisegesis to support her theory, and in most cases she ignores the context of the passage.  Sometimes KJVO people and historical evidence prove her errors.

Riplinger’s whole case is the use of “a/an” rather than “the” - which is not as widespread as she claims, and which doesn’t really change the context — certainly there is no leaning to “New Age” teachings with any of the cited passages.  Her  intent is to say that “the” points to specific while “a” points to generaI.   I wonder, though, if the original manuscripts say the same thing in these places and it is the translators who chose the article to use?  Since virtually all the texts cited have only one of the referent, does it really matter if it is referred to as “a” or “the”?


Peter J said...

New Age Bible Versions has been widely discredited. Riplinger has a degree in Home Economics, yet she feels qualified to make pronouncements on high-level theological matters. She's totally out of her depth and it shows.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Peter,

Yes, I know. But I still get KJVO folks pointing to her book as their "proof" of how bad all the "new version" Bibles are.

I had read the book when I first purchased it in 1996, and found it to be garbage. Her nonsensical rhetoric all through it drove me crazy. At the time I examined many of her claims to find them extremely wanting.

So, 18 months ago I decided to demonstrate point-by-point just her arguments about one English translation vs another, without even addressing the underlying text or all her conspiracy claims. I didn't intend for it to take so long though! I'm almost half-way through, but it takes a lot of work.

Peter J said...


You may find these links helpful:



I'll drop a comment on another one of your articles now...

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Yes, those are good links. I follow that site, and have posted those links on my "Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies" articles.