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, December 31, 2014

The Dangerous Teachings of Finis Jennings Dake

Over the years I have continued to see every “Christian” book store sell the “Dake Annotated Reference Bible” (often referred to as the “Dake Study Bible”).  This study Bible is the origin of much of the heresy taught in the Word of Faith cult.  The origin of the commentaries in this KJV Bible is Finis Jennings Dake, who was not only a heretic, but was charged with immoral acts with a 16-year-old girl!

I have in my files various articles which comment on the teachings of the Dake Bible.  To give you an idea of just how bad are the commentaries by Dake, I have transcribed the various articles for your perusal.

The apologetics ministry, Personal Freedom Outreach, has a quarterly journal in which they had an article in their volume 12/number 4 (Oct-Dec 1992) issue about Dake and his “study” Bible.  The article was titled, THE PENTECOSTAL STUDY BIBLE: WHY HASN'T ANYONE SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THE DANGERS OF THE DAKE BIBLE?, by G. Richard Fisher.  The following are excerpts from this article:

Spiritual dangers can lurk anywhere. Even between the covers of a commentary Bible…. Apparently few people know that this study Bible's notes contain teachings that are strange, cultic and heretical. …

Dake does not believe God is omnipresent because He has a body that localizes Him. God is present in our thoughts and we are present in His but that is all there is. Dake did not believe in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit because he said the Spirit has a body like the Father and Son. Dake believed the Holy Spirit is "in" us only in the sense of unity of purpose.

While orthodox Christians must reject these teachings, Dake said they would do so at their own peril. On page 96 of God's Plan for Man, he warned: "Any religion that teaches contrary to these and all other fundamental doctrines of Scripture is of the devil and is for the purpose of causing the soul to be damned in eternal Hell."…

Many of Dake's doctrinal errors appear to be rooted in his misunderstanding of anthropomorphism. Although Dake wrote in his preface of "symbolic, figurative, or typical language," he did not always recognize where these things apply. This is especially true of the doctrine of God. Anthropomorphism (Baker's Dictionary of Theology, pp. 45-46) is the use of human terms to explain God in a way that people will understand. God accommodated our understanding by speaking of Himself in human terms and at times as having human, animal or material characteristics. But it's a far cry between using such terms to describe God and saying God has a body or human form….

Jesus said God is Spirit (John 4:24). God is not a man (Number 13:19) but has given self-disclosure in terms that we can comprehend. But Dake wrote of God (New Testament, pg. 97, note r). "He has a personal spirit body; shape; form; image and likeness of a man; He has bodily parts such as back parts; heart, hands and fingers, mouth, lips, tongue, feet, eyes, hair, head, face, arms and loins. He has a bodily presence and goes from place to place in a body like other persons."  So it sounds like God is just like us. Dake, in making God into our image and likeness probably did not realize that he called God's omnipresence into question by these statements. He then affirmed: "He wears clothes, eats, rests, dwells in a city located on a material planet called heaven."…

In an attempt to deal with his destruction of God's omnipresence, Dake coined a new word, "omni body." On page 15, note n, he wrote: "God as well as men and angels is limited to one place as far as the body is concerned. The doctrine of the omnipresence of God can be proved but not His "omni body." In His body He goes from place to place like other persons."  Dake said God is unlimited yet limited, localized yet omnipresent. He tried to squeeze the Scripture into his logic rather than base his logic on God's word…

In many of his commentary notes, Dake taught salvation by works. With John 10 (New Testament, pg. 107, note f) he wrote about "Three things men must do and continue in to receive eternal life." In his comments on Luke 8:15, he wrote "Seven conditions of eternal salvation." and in Luke 9:23 he wrote "Seven things one must do to be saved." On page 100 of his New Testament (note d) he wrote "23 conditions of eternal life." On John 15:9 he wrote that there are 359 commandments that must be obeyed. On page 313 of his New Testament, he listed 1,050 commands that if obeyed will bring "rich rewards here and forever. If disobeyed they will bring condemnation and eternal punishment."…

One of Dake's directives could be deadly. In his comments on Matthew 4:2, he wrote: "Hunger always leaves after a few days of fast and returns after a long fast of about 40 days or when all toxic poisons have been expelled from the body. The breath at this time becomes as sweet as a baby's. Any normal healthy person can fast this long without any harm. Starvation only begins after hunger returns in such cases. One must use water in long fasts and break the fast gradually."

Dake missed another rule of interpretation, which asks how words were used and understood by the people addressed. Jews in Christ's time usually fasted one day a week. The Pharisee's claim to fame in Luke 18:12 was that he "fasted twice in the week." As well the Jewish fast was never total but only the cutting down of quantities of food.

Dake's suggestion of a 40-day fast would be a disaster if anyone tried to take him seriously. Yes, Jesus did it, but Jesus was Jesus!  Except in rare cases, the fasts recorded in the Bible were one-day affairs. Only five fast days a year were commanded in the Old Testament (Leviticus 23 and Zechariah 8).  There were occasional spontaneous one-time fasts for differing reasons. The Pharisees piled on more fast days than required by God through their traditions.

Colossians teaches that no man can require or command a Christian to fast. But to even suggest we could do it for 40 days, with benefit no less, is foolish and dangerous…

Dake also taught racism and segregation. He pushed Israel's religious separation to an extreme and denigrated the concept of current and eternal oneness in Christ and the Church. On page 159 of his New Testament, he listed "30 reasons for segregation." Here are some excerpts:

"1. God wills all races to be as He made them. Any violation of God's original purpose manifests insubordination to Him.

 2. God made everything to reproduce after his own kind. Kind means type and color or He would have kept them all alike to begin with. ... 

4. Miscegenation means the mixture of races, especially the black and white races, or those of outstanding type or color. The Bible even goes further than opposing this. It is against different branches of the same stock intermarrying such as Jews marrying other descendants of Abraham. ...

18. God commanded Israel to be segregated.

19. Jews recognized as a separate people in all ages because of God's choice and command. Equal rights in the Gospel gives no right to break this command.

20. Segregation between Jews and all nations to remain in all eternity.

21. All nations will remain segregated from one another in their own parts of heaven forever. ...

23. Even in heaven certain groups will not be allowed to worship together."

Dake's Bible could be called the "vacuum cleaner Bible." It's a collection of controversial interpretations. He wrote that Jonah literally died inside the whale… On page 1, note b., he wrote of a dispensation of angels and angels ruling various planets. This is novel but not based on Scripture. Page 3, note x, mentions children being born throughout eternity. Christ in Matthew 22:30 taught that there is no marriage in the resurrection state. On Mark 12:35, Dake wrote "Resurrected saints ... have no need of the marriage relationship to produce their own kind." He wrote that Cain was the "mayor" of the first city (pg. 4, note o) and that disease germs are closely allied with demons (pg. 633). Dake originated the idea of Adam flying to planets, something Benny Hinn has picked up on.

But while some of Dake's errors are speculative and silly, others are serious and deadly to either body or spirit. His notes are a patchwork that can deceive and mislead.

This citation is from The Berean Call, February 1994, in the article More on Being a Berean, by Dave Hunt:

It is amazing how influential one false teacher can be.  For example, much of the aberrant theology of [Kenneth] Hagin, [Kenneth] Copeland, [Benny] Hinn, et al. can be traced to one man, Finis Dake.  His Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible presents, among other errors, the idea that God the Father has a physical body similar to man’s; that he eats, wears clothes and lives on a planet called Heaven; that Adam and Eve flew back and forth to the moon; that Christians will continue to have children throughout eternity; and even that there will be segregation between races in heaven.  Who could believe such antibiblical  nonsense?  Multitudes.  And they accept it from the notes in a “reference” Bible which sold 30,000 copies in 1992!  

This citation is from Areopagus Journal July 2002, Vol. 2/No. 3, which is a publication of the Apologetics Resource Center.  The article this is taken from is “How the Cults MisInterpret the Bible”, by Thomas A. Howe.

A very good example of the impact of one’s presuppositions on interpretations is the interpretation of various passages by Finis Jennings Dake, the author of the Dake Annotated Reference Bible.  In his comments on John 4:24, Dake makes the following assertion about the nature of God:

God is a Spirit Being, not the sun, moon, stars; nor an image of wood, stone, or metal; and not beast or man.   He is not the air, wind, universal mind, love or some impersonal quality.  He is a person with a personal spirit body , a personal soul, and a personal spirit, like that of the angels, and like that of man except His body is of spirit substance instead of flesh and bones (Job 13:8; Heb. 13).

According to Dake, God is a material being who is located in a place far from us, namely, Heaven, which is “a real planet like earth.”  According to Dake, the planet Heaven is the “capital of the universe, for God has His capital city, the New Jerusalem, His capitol building, the Heavenly Temple or Tabernacle, and His throne in the Temple of Heaven.”  When God appears to people on earth, like Abraham, then God must move from planet Heaven to the planet Earth in order to be present to Abraham.  Now, such movement necessarily involves a relation of before and after; before the move and after the move.  But, a relation of before and after is at least one condition of a temporal relation.  Although temporality may be more than a relation of before and after, it is certainly not less than this.   It follows that God, according to Dake, is a temporally as well as a materially located being.  God is not only located in a place.  He is located in time.

Dake believes that God has literal eyes and literal arms, hands, a mouth, and all the other features that human beings have. 

The following is from “The Berean Call This Week” - September 29, 2003  (e-mail news)

In the Dake Study Bible, the commentator (Finis Dake) teachings on the nature of God eerily paralleled those of Mormonism. Consider how many scriptures must be wrested in attempting to prove this teaching.

"He is a person with a personal spirit body, a personal soul, and a personal spirit, like that of angels, and like that of man except His body is of spirit substance instead of flesh and bones (Job 13:8; Hebrews 1:3). He has a personal spirit body (Daniel 7:9-14; Daniel 10:5-19); shape (John 5:37); form (Phil. 2:5-7); image and likeness of a man (Genesis 1:26; Genesis 9:6; Ezekiel 1:26-28; 1 Cor. 11:7; James 3:9). He has physical parts such as, back parts (Exodus 33:23), heart (Genesis 6:6; Genesis 8:21), hands and fingers (Psalm 8:3-6; Hebrews 1:10; Rev. 5:1-7), mouth (Numbers 12:8), lips and tongue (Isaiah 30:27), feet (Ezekiel 1:27; Exodus 24:10), eyes (Psalm 11:4; Psalm 18:24; Psalm 33:18), ears (Psalm 18:6), hair, head, face, arms (Daniel 7:9-14; Daniel 10:5-19; Rev. 5:1-7; Rev. 22:4-6), loins (Ezekiel 1:26-28; Ezekiel 8:1-4), and other physical parts. He has bodily presence (Genesis 3:8; Genesis 18:1-22) and goes from place to place in a body like all other persons (Genesis 3:8; Genesis 11:5; Genesis 
18:1-5,22,33; Genesis 19:24; Genesis 32:24-32; Genesis 35:13; Zech. 14:5; Daniel 7:9-14; Titus 2:13). He has a voice (Psalm 29; Rev. 10:3-4); breath (Genesis 2:7); and countenance (Psalm 11:7). He wears clothes (Daniel 7:9-14; Daniel 10:5-19); eats (Genesis 18:1-8; Exodus 24:11); rests (Genesis 2:1-4; Hebrews 4:4); dwells in a mansion and in a city located on a material planet called Heaven (John 14:1-3; Hebrews 11:10-16; Hebrews 13:14; Rev. 21); sits on a throne (Isaiah 6; Daniel 7:9-14; Rev. 4:1-5; Rev. 22:3-6); walks (Genesis 3:8; Genesis 18:1-8,22,33); rides (Psalm 18:10; Psalm 68:17; Psalm 104:3; Ezekiel 1); and engages in other activities."

(Dake Annotated Reference Bible, Finis Jennings Dake, published by Dake Bible Sales, Inc, Lawrenceville, Georgia, New Testament, pp. 96-97.)

Dake was apparently unable to discern that the Lord uses figurative language in order to convey truths about Himself in an understandable way. Using Dake reasoning throughout the Scriptures, one could also state that the Lord has a sharp, two-edged sword in His mouth (Revelation 1:16); is a door--presumably with hinges (John 10:9); and most interesting of all, has feathers and wings (Psalm 91:4).

Anyone who has ever seen a hen gather her chicks under her wings can understand the protective care and protection the Lord gives to us, hence the language used in Psalm 91.

The Christian Research Journal, Vol. 27/No. 5 (2004) had a feature article by Jeff Spencer and Steve Bright, titled Dake’s Dangerous Doctrine.  It repeats a lot of what is already noted above.  The following are citations from Dake’s Bible as noted in this article:

“God has a spirit body with bodily parts like man.”
“If man was made in the image and likeness of God bodily, then God must have a body, and an outward form and shape.”

Excerpt from the article:

The historic Christian view of the Trinity - that God is one being constituted by three persons - is “foolish and unscriptural, to say the least”, says Dake.  He states, it is a fallacy “that there is only one person or one being called God.”  Dake says that the Trinity is three separate and distinct persons in one God; however he defines person as “a rational being with bodily presence, soul passions, and spirit faculties.”  In his view, person and being mean the same thing.  He concludes, therefore, that the Trinity is three separate and distinct beings, each with a body, soul, and spirit: “What we mean by Divine Trinity is that there are three separate and distinct persons in the Godhead, each one having His own personal spirit body, personal soul, and personal spirit in the sense that each human being, angel, or any other being has his own body, soul and spirit.”

This characterization of the Trinity as three separate beings is different that the historic Christian view that the Trinity is three separate persons who are united in one essence or substance - in other words, one being….

Dake’s misunderstanding of God’s nature also results in a problematic view of Jesus’ nature.  He teaches, for example, that Jesus became the Son of God at His incarnation (a view held by Jehovah’s Witnesses known as adoptionism) and that Jesus became the Messiah at His baptism (see, however, Luke 2:11 and Matt. 2:4).  These views have been rejected by the majority of he church throughout history.  His most troubling views, however, relate to Jesus’ incarnation and resurrection.

Dake argues, as noted above, that before the Incarnation, the Son (Jesus) had a spirit body as did the Father and the Spirit; however, he says that when Jesus came to earth, He exchanged His spirit body for a human body: “He laid aside His God body to take a human body, His immortality in body to become mortal.”  Jesus’ resurrection, in Dake’s view, was a return to a spiritual body, the same kind of body that believers will receive at their resurrection.  …

Dake recognizes the strong biblical support that Jesus’ resurrected body was (and is) physical flesh and bone.  He vigorously argues, however…that Jesus’ body was “materialized, spiritual substance.”  A “materialized, spiritualized substance,” however, is a contradiction in terms; moreover, the phrase “spirit body,” as defined by Dake, is the same as saying “immaterial material,” which also is a contradiction in terms.  A thing is either material or immaterial - there is no middle ground. …

According to Dake, justification, the initial act of God by which He declares a believing sinner righteous, is maintained by obeying certain conditions and by not sinning:  “every act of obedience is an act of faith and works combined to maintain justification before God.”  He states elsewhere that a believer who sins can lose his salvation and again be condemned: “A man forgiven of past sins must quit sin.  If he commits the same sins again after conversion he will be charged with them again.  They must be properly confessed and forgiven again or he will pay the death penalty for the new crimes.”  …

Dake’s view of essential Christian doctrines sometimes has more in common with the theology of the cults than with historic Christian theology.  His works, while containing many biblical truths, include numerous other unbiblical and outlandish teachings, such as:  God lives in a mansion on a material planet called Heaven and is invisible to us only because He is so far away that we cannot see Him, humans are miniatures of God in attributes and power, Adam replaced Lucifer as ruler of the earth, disease germs are related to demons, God wants the races to remain separate as they were originally and will be in eternity.  It is unfortunate that Dake’s faulty works find such a welcome place in Christian churches and bookstores.

One last citation is from Hank Hannegraaff’s book, “Christianity in Crisis,” in which Hank states the following on p.298 (paperback edition with study guide)

Perhaps the worst collection of false teachings is found in the popular Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.  “God . . . goes from place to place in a body like all other persons,” says Dake, and He is just “an ordinary sized being.”  “He wears clothes . . . eats . . . rests . . .  dwells in a mansion and in a city located on a material planet called Heaven.”

On the very first page of the New Testament, Dake writes that Jesus “became the Christ or the ‘Anointed One’ 30 years after He was born of Mary.”  Even a biblically illiterate person who has watched the “Charlie Brown Christmas Special” (1965) or has sung Christmas carols should be familiar with Luke 2:11, which says, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (KJV, emphasis added).


Dake’s annotated Bible is rife with this sort of heresy and aberrational teaching, and is therefore dangerous to use.   Finis Dake was a bonafide false teacher.


Anonymous said...

A timely warning, as this nonsense is still around.

castiron said...

I actually use this version, and I'm not at all pentecostal. At home I read a paragraphed, KJV, without any notes or cross-references. I like to read large parts (chapters or whole books) to get the proper context.

At church, tho, I carry a Dake. I like how he makes lists, reminds me of what I was taught in Precepts. His notes more often than not are only giving those lists (break down a verse or passage into bullet points—all directly from the text) or some background info. His doctrinal notes I ignore. I used to use a Thomas Chain but it's sorely lacking in cross-references. Yeah, you can use the chain but I prefer a list of cross-references. The Dake also has the best concordance in the back that I've seen in Bible.

There is no perfect Bible. I should go to an electronic version but I like the real pages. People behind me blip and bleep and clink with their electronic versions. But that would be the only way I'd have all the tools I like handy. So for now I find the Dake very useful. Maybe I should go thru and cross out some of the really bad notes, I can have the Redacted Version : )

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Why don't you just get a KJV without Dake's commentaries? Dake's Bible is full of heresy, as well as rank aberrations. How much of it are you accepting? I wouldn't trust anything in it.

castiron said...

I took a good, long look into the issue. I don't think it's -full- of problems, but a little leaven leavens the whole loaf so it is a serious issue.

I wouldn't be caught with a Scofield or even a MacArthur study Bible, so it's hypocritical for me to have a Dake.

I truly got it for the outlines, not his personal opinions. But I looked more into the man himself, yeah, bad news on some of the stuff he claimed.

So I'm going back to my Thompson chain for church. Also looking for a pocket-sized, or bookbag-sized of a nice concordance. I'm just not happy with the one in Thompson chain. I don't need the Strong's #'s but would like most words, the ones in the backs of Bibles seem to never have entries on the words I'm actually looking for.

Thanks for this post : )

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

So what's wrong with the MacArthur Study Bible (BESIDES Calvinism - and I "tip toe thru the tulips)?

MacArthur is an overall excellent teacher.

As for Dake's outlines, what makes you think a heretic's outlines can be trusted?

castiron said...

Getting back to this, you don't have to publish.

I didn't explain well enough, I don't want ANYONE's notes in my BIble, even a solid teacher like MacArthur (tho I do have some minor problems with him)

I was fooled by the Dake Bible, I had no idea who he was, I was just intrigued with the outlines (which isn't a proper term for it but similar to what I was taught to do in Precepts).

So coming across this post, I saw that I was fooled and also a hypocrite. So I changed back to my previous Bible. And also got a paperback concordance from Amazon ($4) to carry in my Bible bag as well.

I actually only used the Dake a little more than a year, and pretty much at church only. At home, I use a one-column version that doesn't have any notes at all.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I've no problem with publishing your comment. I think it is good for clarification.

I like to have a "study" Bible for the convenience of having an abridged commentary with me. I carry with me "The Apologetics Study Bible," which has been of great help during street ministry when I needed some scholarly advice.

The important thing to remember is that they are just commentary notes and do not override what the Bible actually says.

I have about 10 different study Bibles in various versions, which have helped me greatly in various researching. Getting a commentary with the different Bible version for me is a "2-for" - I get a different Bible version and some commentary from a different scholar.

However, I also have about 25 different English versions of the Bible, with less than half using commentaries with them.

Additionally, I have many separate commentaries either on the entire Bible or on specific books. I think it is good to learn from many different scholars as to what the language means, different uses of the language, the culture of the time, how various books of the Bible refer to other books, etc.

So notes in my Bible don't bother me, I just use them the way I want, while knowing they are often just opinions.

castiron said...

That's a good way to look at it, a 2 for 1 deal. But I'd rather have God's Word separated from man's commentary, in form. I do use lots of commentaries and guides (books, software and online) but like to keep the Bible in a more pure form. Thus, I was a hypocrite to my own ideals with the Dake.

One thing with a study Bible, is it's easy to "see what the notes say" and be influenced with them, then digging and searching in the passage itself first, to see what it means. I see this all the time in Bible studies and Sunday Schools. "My notes say: ..." and then the topic kind of stops, because the "expert" (whoever wrote the notes) has proclaimed the truth. I see it more with new believers, but do see that tendency.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I suppose some people might go for the commentary first, but I always go for the text first, and then if I think I need some explanation, or if I'm looking for historical data, etc, then I go for the commentary.

Charles Irving said...

I think other thing we have to look at is are we really following the word of God and living it . I do understand that we should have the word of God as it is without man influences, but lets make sure we are really understanding what we read by his spirit first. Then if we need historcial or background information then we can look at the most trusted source.

I am saying all of this because I have been from page to page reading and hearing a lot of people reviews on the best bible. Someone had told me that the Thompson Chain Reference Bible is the best bible out there without any man's opinions or commentaries, but still we can understand no study bible is perfect. We are trying to find the best one that gives us a clear understanding of his word, but again like I said before we can debate back and forth which bible is good or bad, but most importantly is letting his spirit lead us to rightly divide the word of truth!

Also we are not always going to agree on everything, but only the spirit of God knows the truth and that's what we need to hold too! I don't know all about Dake's life story and he could of sinned or backslid and did somethings that he knew wasn't right.

Don't agree with everything he says in his study bible, but like one Pastor had said: Eat the meat and spit out the bones!!! Take what you can get out of his study bible and the things that you know that's not right or doesn't sound right spit it out!

I feel like a lot of people are debating so much that we should try our best to draw close to Him! I'm not saying you can't ask someone opinion about what is a good study bible to use, but we really need to get in the spirit and let God lead us more!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


There are lots and lots of good study Bibles with commentaries by top-notch scholars. They help us understand much deeper theology than most of us will ever learn by studying. But there are also lots and lots of "Study" Bibles by false teachers which provide more spiritual harm than good. Dake's Bible is one of the latter.

Dake's "study" Bible rife with false, heretical and spiritually dangerous teachings because he was a blatant, bonafide false teacher with dangerous teachings. With Dake it is difficult for the average person to find meat and avoid the bones.

May I Not Clang said...

Great article, i was hoping you would include Jimmy Stewart in your warning.


From Christian answer man dot com:

"Dake Publishing sued Jimmy Swaggart Ministries for copyright infringement and plagiarism. The suit alleges that Swaggart had “wrongfully taken and used plaintiff’s proprietary works for their own benefit and profit.” One of the teachings borrowed from the Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible is what is known as the Gap Theory. The gap theory purports that there is a great age gap of millions of years between verse one and verse two of Genesis. This theory has been often used in an attempt to harmonize the Bible with the millions of years postulated by evolutionists. The theory usually incorporates the idea of mankind populating the earth before Adam, referred to as a pre-adamite race."

Keep up the good work!

God bless!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Not Clanging:

I think you had an actor on the mind in your first sentence :oD

I was unaware that Swaggart had a study Bible. I guess every false teacher needs his/her name on a Bible nowadays. Thanks for the heads up.