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, December 12, 2014

“New Age Bible Versions” — Chapter 17

It’s been a long time coming (chapter 16 review was posted in July), but I finally finished my review of Chapter 17.

Chapter 17: “The New Earth or a New Age?”  The obvious premise in this chapter is that whereas the KJV Bible speaks of a new earth to come, new versions speak instead of a “new age” to come.  As usual with Riplinger’s eisegesis, she sees all kinds of demons flittering through “new versions” and their editors.  As usual, I’m going to ignore her conspiracy theories about the editors and translators, and stick to just what the Bible versions actually say.

1.  Riplinger prefixes her first chart (p.283) with this paragraph claiming the new versions support astrology:  “The real religion of America is astrology, if the study of Northern Illinois University is correct, indicating that 70% of Americans read their horoscope.  The children are following, as Gallop’s pole [sic] showed 60% of them also believed in astrology.  IF ‘ages’ are standard in the religion of today’s internationals and Americans, be assured that the New International Version, New American Standard and the New King James are attuned to the religion of the age.  So dozens of times they substitute ‘ages’ for ‘world’, reinforcing the ideas of the ‘New’ age movement.”  

Before I even address her chart, I need to point out that just because people like to read their horoscope, it does not follow that their religion is astrology, or even that astrology is anywhere near being “the real religion of America.”  I’ve known many people throughout my life who look at their horoscope for nothing more than curiosity or fun, and have no belief in its veracity.
The first seven passages in the chart (Matt.12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; Luke 20:35; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 1:21: and Tit. 2:12) all use the word “age” to replace the KJV “world.”  The Greek word for all them is the same, aion,  from which we get the English “eon” - meaning a period of time.  Looking at Strong’s Greek Dictionary, we find “eternity, age (time period); ‘this age’ can mean the universe or even the current world system, the ‘god of this age’ refers to the devil…” and other references to time.  

Vine’s says,  “an age, era” (to be connected with aei, ‘ever,’ rather than with ao, ‘to breathe’), signifies a period of indefinite duration, or time viewed in relation to what takes place in the period.  

The force attaching to the word is not so much that of the actual length of a period, but that of a period marked by spiritual or moral characteristics.  This is illustrated in the use of the adjective [see Note (1) below] in the phrase “life eternal,” in John 17:3, in respect of the increasing knowledge of God.  

The phrases containing this word should not be rendered literally, but consistently with its sense of indefinite duration. Thus eis ton aiona does not mean “unto the age” but “for ever” (see, e.g., Heb. 5:6). The Greeks contrasted that which came to an end with that which was expressed by this phrase, which shows that they conceived of it as expressing interminable duration.  

The word occurs most frequently in the Gospel of John, the Hebrews and Revelation. It is sometimes wrongly rendered “world.” See course, eternal, world. It is a characteristic word of John’s gospel.  

Notes: (1) Aionios, the adjective corresponding, denoting “eternal,” is set in contrast with proskairos, lit., “for a season,” 2 Cor. 4:18. It is used of that which in nature is endless, as, e.g., of God, Rom. 16:26, His power, 1 Tim. 6:16, His glory, 1 Pet. 5:10, the Holy Spirit, Heb. 9:14, redemption, Heb. 9:12, salvation, 5:9, life in Christ, John 3:16, the resurrection body, 2 Cor. 5:1, the future rule of Christ, 2 Pet. 1:11, which is declared to be without end, Luke 1:33, of sin that never has forgiveness, Mark 3:29, the judgment of God, Heb. 6:2, and of fire, one of its instruments, Matt. 18:8; 25:41; Jude 7. See eternal, everlasting. 

The context of all 7 passages makes more sense with “age” than it does with “world.”  Riplinger’s paranoia about the use of the word “age” is proven to be nonsense.

The last passage in the chart is Rev. 15:3, where “new versions” replace “King of saints” with “King of the ages.”  Now, notice that it wasn’t replacing the word, “world,” which sort of drops this passage from the claim.  However, since there is a change here, we need to look at it.  In her opening salvo, she mentions only the NIV, NAS, and NKJV, yet the NAS says, “King of the nations” while the NKJV reads the same as KJV!  The NIV is the only one of the three charge which actually uses “ages.”  In context, “ages” or “nations” makes more sense than just “saints,” because Christ is the King over more than just the saints.  Vs.4 says the “nations” will worship Him, so it is plain that Christ is the King of ALL nations and not just the saints.  And He is also the King of all time - throughout history the King of all whether or not He is acknowledged as such.  I find Riplinger’s complaint to be baseless.

2.  After the chart on p.283, Riplinger follows up with this:  “Why do the new versions render Hebrews 6:5, ‘the powers of the age to come’ instead of ‘the world to come.’  Could the evolutionary philosophy of the new version editors have influenced them?  One writes: ‘We know also that the more of the total powers of humanity and more of the fulness of the individual man are brought from age to age.’” (Riplinger’s emphasis.)

So, in the “new versions” the words “powers” and “age” are in the same sentence, therefore they must have the same connotation as some “new version editor”?  Can you say, “non sequitur” loud enough? Notice also that we have no context for the quote from the “editor” and no evidence put forth that all “new version editors” subscribe to an “evolutionary philosophy” — Riplinger just asserts this and we are expected to accept it as truth.  With such deceit by her, already demonstrated by this review, are we supposed to trust anything she says?!?  However, when we look at the actual Greek word used, it is the very same one used in the seven passages discussed above.  The “new versions” have the correct English translation!  Even the context of Heb. 6:5 says that “world” is used in the sense of a future time.

3.  P.284, top.  Riplinger notes one other passage in which “new versions” swap “age” for “world” — Matt. 28:20.  She set this one off separately because she claims it reads exactly like some new-ager thought it should read.  As with Hebrews 6:5 and the other seven passages, the Greek word is the same one and is indeed proper in context.

4.  P.284 chart is preceded with this commentary from Riplinger:  “A cyclical view of time precludes any singular beginning of the world.  So Buddha says, ‘No origin can be perceived.’  Corresponding to this, the new versions have no ‘beginning of the world’ but present instead a series of ‘ages’.”   The chart which follows is Riplinger’s “proof.”  The chart compares “NIV, NASB, et al” with the KJV.  

a.  Eph. 3:9:  KJV “from the beginning of the world” vs “for ages.”  In this case, “for ages” is an unspecified time period, while the KJV gives a definite period.  However, when looking at the interlinear TR, I find it is translated as “ages,” while the parallel literal translation by Jay Green renders it “from eternity.”  While according to Strong’s the word CAN mean “eternal” as well as ages or age, another word is primarily what is used for that (Strong’s 166 vs 165 as here in Eph.).  I don’t think it matters much as to which way it is translated, since the context is really getting across the idea of a very, very lengthy time period.  There is no hint of any “new age” agenda.

b.  Titus 1:2:  KJV “the world began” vs “long ages ago.”  This broad broad brush claim is wrong in regards to the NIV, and I’m not looking for others of the “et al” — once I’ve proven the error with one there’s no point spending my time to see how many others are falsely accused.  Nevertheless, the NAS is as Riplinger claims.  However, Strong’s says this word can mean “eternal” or “long ago,” so there is nothing wrong — or “new age” about the choice of English translation.  I think the context would call for “eternal” (or similar), but to translate otherwise does not meet the charge of “series of ages.”

c.  Rom. 16:25:  KJV “since the world began” vs “for long ages past.”  Same Greek word as in Titus 1:2.  More proper would be “eternal” or similar as KJV.  However, there is no hint of teaching “series of ages,” so again the charge is false.

d.  Acts 15:18:  KJV “from the beginning of the world” vs “from old” or “for ages.”  Now, the Greek is the same as Eph. 3:9, and can mean either.  Commentaries say that James here is quoting from the Septuagint, citing Amos 9:11-12.  In that version it says “as in the ancient days.”  This would correspond to translating the passage as “from old” or “for ages.”  Again, there is no hint of any “new age” agenda, or even a thought of a “series of ages.”

e.  Luke 1:70:  KJV “since the world began” vs “from of old” or “of long ago.”  Well, there’s an immediate problem of context with the KJV.  The prophets have not been “since the world began.”  The Greek word is the same as with Eph. 3:9, and the “new” versions are more accurate for the context.

f.  Acts 3:21:  KJV “since the world began” vs “from ancient time” or “long ago.” Exact same situation as Luke 1:70.

g.  2 Tim. 1:9:  KJV “before the world began” vs “from all eternity.”  I’m not even going to examine this one, since these are synonymous!  This is a very foolish complaint.

h.  John 9:32:  KJV “Since the world began” vs “Since the beginning of time.”  Again, these are synonymous, and I don’t understand Riplinger’s problem with it.

i.  Gen. 1:  KJV “the (second, third, fourth, fifth) day” vs “a (second, third, fourth, fifth) day.”  NIV is as KJV.   NAS is the guilty party.  However, in context they are saying the same thing.  Could it mean something different?  Out of context, yes.  Does it even come close to “series of ages”?  NO.

j.  Heb. 11:10:  KJV: “builder and maker” vs “architect and builder.”  Riplinger notes: “Architects design cities, builders build them, but God makes the raw material.”  While the KJV is better, the phrase “architect and builder” does NOT preclude the making of the raw material.  One has to read that bias into the text.  Again, there is no hint of teaching a “series of ages” with this phrase.

Nothing in this chart supports Riplinger’s claims.  Although KJV is better in a couple places, it is a non sequitur to say this means there is some “new age” conspiracy.  As with so much of Riplinger’s claims and charges, she apparently is paranoid of some words, and searches for those words in the “new versions” so as to attack them without even researching their usage!  It’s nothing less than “the sky is falling” scenario.

5.  P.285, Riplinger begins with this statement:  “In place of ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’ (Genesis 1:1), one new version begins with ‘By periods God created,’ showing the author’s belief in progressive ages.”  She neither gives the version nor author, so I searched numerous versions, including the use of the Internet, and couldn’t find a version to match Riplinger’s claim.  She then shows a short chart comparing sayings from “Apostate Christianity” vs “Apostate Bible” vs “New Age.”  For “Apostate Bible” she claims Gen. 1:1 in the TEV says, “Once upon a time.”  Unless this was in an old version of the TEV (which I doubt), then Riplinger is bearing false witness.  My TEV says, “In the beginning when God created the universe…

6.  Continuing on p.285, Riplinger says, “In the new Bibles, the world doesn’t end, the age simply ends and another begins.  If the world ends, the sinner has nothing to stand on; if the age ends he merely changes his calendar.  Consequently, verses such as 1 Corinthians 8:13, “while the world standeth,” are omitted entirely in the new versions.

Let’s first look at that claim before we examine the chart which follows.  In the KJV Paul says he “will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”  The NAS and NIV say, “will never eat meat again.”  Isn’t that synonymous?!?!  Did they really omit the phrase or is it just reworded?  Again, Riplinger is again being deceptive.

Now let’s look at the chart, which continues to the top of p.286.  I want to first point out that none of the passages using “age” instead of “world” even hint of starting a new age after the current one ends — Riplinger has to read that into the text.  I really think this chart should have been combined with the one on p. 283, because the issue of “age” vs “world” is the same, using the same Greek word (Strong’s 165) (except for Dan. 12:13).

a.  Matt. 24:3; Matt 28:20; Matt. 13:39; Matt. 13:40; Matt. 13:49; 1 Cor. 3:18: KJV “end of the world” vs “end of the age” or “end of this world” vs “end of this age,” and 1 Cor. 10:11 “ends of the world” vs “ends of the ages.”  Same issue as p.283 — no hint of teaching one age ending and another beginning.

b.  Dan. 12:13:  KJV “end of the days” vs “end of the age.”  According to Strong’s, the Hebrew word for “days” is “yom” which has a meaning depending on the context.  It could mean a 24 hr day or it could mean “an indefinite period of time,” or “an era with a certain characteristic.”  Either of the last two meanings could fit here.  In that case, “days” and “age” are synonymous.  Again, no hint of teaching one age ending with another beginning.

c.  Heb. 9:26:  KJV “in the end of the world” vs “consummation of the ages.” Literally, the TR interlinear says “completion of the ages.”  No hint of teaching one age ending and another beginning.

d.  1 John 2:17:  KJV “passeth away [judgement]” vs “is passing” (NKJV).  Riplinger adds the question “[entropy?]” to the NKJV version — which is apparently the only “new version” which is problematic.  She really should include as much of the passage in the NKJV as she does in the KJV.  NKJV says, “is passing away,” and in the context of the passage, they say the same thing - something that is continuously happening.  And, by the way, it isn’t “[judgement]” which is passing away, rather it is the world and its desires.  Riplinger totally misrepresents the context, and there is nothing at all about teaching one age passing away and starting another one.

e.  John 4:21:  KJV “the hour cometh,” vs “an hour is coming.”  These are synonymous in context, and again do not support her claim of the teaching of one age ending and another beginning.

7.  On p. 286-287 is a chart “proving” Riplinger’s next claim:  “Since the destruction of the earth is a result of God’s judgement, those verses describing the severity of that judgement are ‘softened up’ or omitted.”  However, this statement is nothing more than an assertion as to motives.  One must remember that the manuscripts (behind the “new versions”) Riplinger is attacking are much older than those used by the KJV translators, and later ones could very well have ADDED to the text rather than the older ones removing text.  

a.  Mark 9:44, 46 are two separate entries on the chart, both showing what “NIV, NASB, et al” omit but which is found in the KJV:  “Where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.”  This passage is repeated at vs. 48, which all new versions have, so the other two passages can be seen as redundant, and I’d suggest they were most likely not there to begin with only because they seem out of place, which is probably why the older manuscripts used didn’t have them.  Certainly the charge of omitting these two passages so as to hide the severity of judgement must be seen as false or else vs. 48 would have also been deleted.  The NASB actually has the two noted passages, so Riplinger is misrepresenting that version.

b.  Mark 6:11.  Riplinger says the new versions leave out “the day of judgement,” but they actually leave out much more: “Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgement, than for that city.”  Was this a later scribal commentary?  More importantly, is this omission pointing to “new age” teaching?

c.  Rev. 6:17:  KJV “day of his wrath” vs “day of their wrath.”  The previous passage is referring to both the Father and Christ, so grammatically “their wrath” is proper.  Even so, how would this be “softening up” future judgement?

d.  2 Thes. 1:8:  KJV “taking vengeance” vs “dealing out retribution.”  I see these as synonymous.

e.  Rev. 15:4:  KJV “thy judgements are made manifest” vs “righteous acts have been revealed.”  These are synonymous.  “Judgements” in this contexts are “righteous acts.”  Strong’s states both as definitions of the Greek word.  My TR Greek interlinear with literal translation shows this phrase as “the righteousnesses of you are revealed.”  Riplinger’s charge is dismantled.

f.  Matt. 5:21, 22:  KJV “shall be in danger of the judgement” and “shall be in danger of the council” vs “shall be liable to the court” and “guilty before the supreme court.”  In the first passage Jesus is citing from the O.T. and the “judgement” is to appear before the court for punishment (which also applies to the first part of vs.22) .  In the second phrase the actual word is “Sanhedrin,” which would be the “supreme” court of the Jews.  In both passages, the person would be taken before a “court” for having judgement passed.

g.  Matt. 21:44 & Lk. 20:16:  KJV “grind him to powder” vs “scatter him like dust.”  Just off the top of my head I have to say that before one can be scattered “like dust” they have to be ground to that configuration!  The point is what happens to the person when the “stone” falls on him; whether the stone grinds him to powder, scatters him like dust (NAS) or he is crushed (NIV), the result is exactly the same — he is smashed to bits!

h.  Matt.23:33: KJV “damnation of hell” vs “sentence of hell.”  NIV has “condemned to hell.”  Looking to another KJV Only source — The Defined King James Bible —  the footnote explains the meaning of the word “damnation” in this passage as, “condemnation; doom; consignment to eternal punishment.”  I’d say that “sentence of hell” is a “consignment to eternal punishment.”  

i.  Luke 10:15, 16:23: KJV “hell” vs “Hades.”  The Greek word is indeed “Hades” and does not mean “hell” as the place of torment and punishment, but rather it means the grave, the place of the dead.  If Riplinger wants these to be “hell” as in “eternal damnation,” then she has to explain 16:23 where Abraham and Lazarus are in the same place as the rich man (although in different sections)! 

j.  Matt. 24:21: KJV “great tribulation” vs “a great tribulation.”  In context they mean the same thing!  This is nit-picking to extreme!

k.  Heb. 9:27:  KJV “the judgement” vs “judgement.”  In context the judgement is the end judgment, which, whether one puts “the” before it or not, it is the same thing.  Apparently Riplinger thinks that unless “the” is there, people may think there is another time of judgement.

l.  Mark 3:29:  KJV “eternal damnation” vs “eternal sin.”  Well, the best rendering is indeed “damnation” according to Strong’s.  However, let’s look at the context of the “new versions.”  “never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” (NAS).  In context, all sin is forgiven in Christ, and therefore the sin is not “eternal.”  But the context of this passage is that it is an “eternal sin,” i.e., one which is not forgivable.  If sin is not forgiven, the person cannot be saved, and therefore suffers “eternal damnation.”  So in context the two ideas are the same.

m.  2 Cor. 5:11: KJV “the terror of the Lord” vs “the fear of the Lord.”  Super picky.  Is not “fear” a synonym for “terror”?  Granted, “terror” is a stronger fear.  Strong’s gives the following definitions for the Greek word: “fear, terror; respect, reverence,” so I can’t find a problem which Riplinger believes exists.

n.  Luke 17:36:  KJV “Two men shall be in the field, the one shall be taken and the other left” vs “[OMIT].”  In context of the story, this omission changes nothing, since it is merely a third example of a one person being taken and another left.

o.  Luke 21:35:  KJV “for as a snare” vs “[OMIT].”  Well, the new versions have “like a trap in vs.34, which KJV doesn’t.  So both are saying the “day” will come like a snare/trap, but Riplinger deceitfully makes it appear that the “new versions” don’t have that analogy.  Should we turn it around and say “NIV, NASB, et al” have “like a trap” but KJV “OMIT”?

p.  Rom. 8:1:  KJV “who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit” vs “[OMIT].”  Personally, I think in context the phrase is redundant, in that the context is those who “are in Christ.

q.  2 Pet. 3:10:  KJV “The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”  vs. “The earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”  Riplinger’s problem is that KJV has them “burned up” while “new versions” only have them “laid bare,” as if that is a lesser judgment.  What happens something on earth is burned up?  The area is “laid bare.”  Yes, the Greek in the TR means “burned,” but the understanding of “laid bare” is still total destruction.  Riplinger feels the judgement is “softer” by “laid bare” than by “burned up,” but since both are total destruction, how is one softer?

What we have seen with this chart is that Riplinger seems to equivocate with meanings of the words, and if they don’t mean fire and brimstone judgement, then they must be wrong.  However, “judgement” doesn’t always mean penalties as she seems to think.  Her claim in the opening paragraph of this section is again shown to be invalid.  And again we have Riplinger’s deceit displayed in one of her examples.

8.  One last chart ends this chapter, with which Riplinger “proves” “New Age” usage of terms in the “new version” Bibles.  She sets up the claim with this:

“A traveler on the semantic bridge to the New Age, Dr. Rodney Romney, a prominent Seattle Baptist minister, uses new version jargon to lead his listeners, not across the stormy waters but directly into the lake of fire.  He prods: 

‘Most students of the spiritual realm agree that we are entering today into the New Age of Light on this planet [emphasis mine]’

“Like a good Baptist, he has obviously been reading his bible [sic], but not the bible [sic].”

Now, in the chart of three passages, she bolds the words which are the same as the words she made bold in the citation, and she lines the passages up so that the words fall in the same sequence as in the citation.

a.  John 18:36:  KVJ “My kingdom is not of this world” vs “My kingdom is not of this realm NASB.”  More deceit from Riplinger.  The KJV phrase is from the beginning of the passage, and the NASB has the same thing as KJV.  The NASB phrase is from the end of the verse, where the KJV says, “not from hence.”  In reality, the terms in context are synonymous!

b.  Eph. 1:21:  KJV “not only in this world but also in that which is to come” vs “not only in this age but in the one to come.”  The Greek word here is the SAME ONE as described at the beginning of this chapter review, and “age” actually fits better in context. 

c.  Eph. 5:9:  KJV “fruit of the Spirit” vs “fruit of the light.”  Well, in the TR the Greek word is indeed “Spirit,” however, let’s look at the context and see which word makes more sense.  We must start with vs 8: “For ye were sometimes in darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)” KJV.  Notice the subject being that we are “light in the Lord” and are to “walk as children of light.”  The contrast is between “darkness” and “light.”  Of course Jesus is the “light of the world” (John 8:12), so walking as a child of the light we would have fruit of that light, as translated in NIV (NASB similar): “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)”.  

Riplinger’s contrived chart only goes to show her paranoia with the use of words in the “new versions” which are also used by New Age adherents.  The KJV uses the word “realm” at least seven times, according to Strong’s, and I’d really hate to count how many times the KJV uses the words “age” and “light.”  Just because people use the same words that doesn’t mean they have the same theology or even ideology!  

9.  This whole chapter can be summed up as Riplinger’s claims being nothing more than, “OH MY, they used a word that New Agers use!!!!”  This is just foolishness, and her claims have no basis in reality.


Scott said...

Not all KJV Only agree with the Riplinger books. There are other resources which do make a very good case that the KJV is the best English translation. Unfortunately, those that desire to prove to the contrary look at Riplinger and Ruckman, which are very public KJV Only, but are also off kilter and not the best defenders of KJV Only.
I have not read your previous installments of reviews of her book, but you would be better off reading David Cloud, D.A. Waite, Jack Moorman, and David Daniels. They do a much better job of pointing out the issues with modern translations and are theologically sound -- unlike Riplinger and Ruckman.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


I have all the books by all the authors you cited, and have read them thoroughly. On top of that, I have read all the arguments put forth by Dusty Peterson, John Burgon and Edward Hills.

I have found nothing substantial to cause me to agree in any way with the KJVO stance. There are just too many logic fallacies used in declaring one set of manuscripts to be better. The various reasons used by KJVOs to denounce manuscripts older than the TR can get to be quite bizarre.

What I find interesting is that it is okay with the KJVO that large portions of the TR were translated from Latin because Greek manuscripts weren't available.

Are there bad translations? Of course. The more "dynamic" the translation gets the more interpretive it is. But claims of being New Age or Satanic conspiracies get to be laughable. (If you look under my label "Bible Versions" you will see I often criticize new versions.)

On another point (I always check the links associated with comments) I see your church promotes Chick tracts. I'd really recommend against that, because Chick is too offensive in his tracts exposing cults. They amount to throwing acid in their faces, and often have misleading and sensationalist claims (I used to have all of Chick's stuff, and have written him personally about his tactics). I don't think they are good examples of how to represent the Christian faith.