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

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

“New Age Bible Versions” — Chapter 20

Yes, it's been a few months.  It is an arduous task which I have to keep stepping away from to maintain sanity.  So here we go with the next installment.

W.  Chapter 20: “Test 1 for Antichrist.”  The opening premise of this chapter is that current versions often leave off the title “Christ.” The contention is that the full title “Lord Jesus Christ capsulizes the New Testament them of ‘God, our Savior’.”  Of course, Riplinger ignores the multitudes of times the KJV doesn’t use this full title, and instead has searched through other versions to see where “Christ” was not included in the title.  And, as usual, she makes the blanket charge against ALL new versions.

1.  Chart on p.309 lists several passages where “NIV, NASB et al” have left off “Christ”

a.  John 4:29.  This one disputes the question.  KJV: “is not this the Christ?” vs NAS: “this is not the Christ, is it?”  NIV:  “Could this be the Christ?”  The suggestion seems to be that KJV states that Jesus IS the Christ while the others are questioning if He is.  I see all of them saying the same thing—questioning if this could indeed be Christ.

b.  Acts 9:20.  KJV “Christ” vs “Jesus.”  Interesting in that KJV just uses His title vs His name, and yet Riplinger doesn’t complain about them leaving out his name!  Let’s look at the actual passage:
KJV:  “he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
NAS:  “he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.
NIV:  “he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.”

The interesting thing is that in vs.22 it specifically says, in ALL versions, that Paul was “proving that Jesus is the Christ.” So here we have, in the same paragraph which Riplinger complains about the lack of the word “Christ” supposedly being a denial of Jesus being the Christ, a very clear statement proving Jesus is the Christ.

c.  Acts 19:4.  KJV “Christ Jesus” vs “Jesus.”  The context is being baptized in Jesus, and the new  versions don’t use His title here.  Interesting though is that at Matthew 28:19 He tells them to baptize in the name of the Son - not His title.

d.  1 Cor. 9:1.  KJV “Jesus Christ our Lord” vs “Jesus our Lord.”  Again, are we talking about Jesus the person being our Lord in both?  Yes.  Is it necessary at the same time to include his title of Messiah?  No.  This is not “look[ing] down in contempt” on Jesus’ title as Riplinger claims.

e.  Heb. 3:1.  KJV “Christ Jesus” vs “Jesus.”  Same issue.  His title is missing, therefore new Bible editors are obviously involved in a conspiracy to “look down in contempt” at that title.  It is really nothing but a non sequitur logic fallacy.  The foolishness is exposed when one sees the title “Christ” just a couple passages down in all versions.

f.  1 John 1:7.  KJV “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son” vs “the blood of Jesus His Son.”  Both ways give the definite identity of who Jesus is.  The foolishness of the claim of this being contempt is discovered just four verses earlier where all versions say “his Son, Jesus Christ.”

g.  Rev. 1:9 and 12:17.  Rather than address these separately, I’ll just point out that, as with the previous passages, while “Christ” may be missing in these verses, other verses around them have the title “Christ.”  If Riplinger was correct that new version editors “look down in contempt” on the title and therefore remove it, then why is the title “Christ” all around the passages they “hide” it from?  Foolishness.

2.  Chart at the top of p.310 lists eight passages where KJV says “Lord Jesus Christ” while “new versions” say “Lord Jesus,” again “proving” the claim that new version editors “look in contempt” on Jesus’ title.  Again, the proof against such a foolish claim are the surrounding verses which DO include the title.

3.  Riplinger then sets in highlights Rom. 1:16 because KJV says “the gospel of Christ” while “new versions” say only “the gospel,” and she claims it is because, “Evidently they are ‘ashamed of the gospel of Christ,’” proven by their omission of the word.  Sigh.  My question is this:  What gospel does the context of the chapter point to?  Answer:  The gospel of Christ.  Anyone reading the New Testament would know that Paul says there is no other gospel, so why would anyone even think that this verse could possibly speaking of another one?!?

4.  Pg. 311. Only the inspiration of God brings to light that Jesus is the Christ.  New versions all too often lave the reader in the dark and unblessed.”  Riplinger then gives Philippians 4:13 as her example:  KJV: “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me” vs. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  The “new version” leaves room for a “fill-in-the-blank deity.”  The entire context of Philippians is about living in the strength of Christ, and at 4:19 all versions say that our needs are met in “Christ Jesus.”  So where does this leave room for any other deity, as Riplinger claims?  NOWHERE!

5.  Riplinger then spends a few pages demonstrating the “Christs” of various cults and false religions, as if somehow proving that leaving “Christ” out of some verses gives credence to these belief systems.  Just a slight of hand dishonesty on her part.  Then on p.315 she says, “‘Christ’ takes center stage in the new versions as Satan attempts to move the true God, Jesus Christ into the wings.  Their rendition of Matthew 23:10 sets the tone for the Antichrist’s take-over.”  Oh my, she found one verse for her conspiracy.  Let’s see what it says.   KJV: “for one is your Master, even Christ” vs NASB “for One is your leader, that is, Christ.”  Can anyone explain to me the difference between these versions?  How does NASB do as she claims?

6.  Riplinger follows up that last claim with another chart showing supposed translations to help with bringing in the Antichrist.  The point she is making is that if you just say “Christ” without saying “Jesus,” then you can be talking about any “Christ.”  Of course the reader would have to totally ignore the context to do so, but that doesn’t phase Riplinger with her absurd claims.

a.  Acts 4:24.  KJV “Thou art God” vs NIV, NASB, et al “OMIT.”  Well, both are pointing to Jesus as being the Creator, i.e., God.  The fact that “new versions” don’t say “thou art God” doesn’t negate the context which is calling Jesus God.  (By the way, in the KJV notice the definitive “art” is added by the translators, which would leave it really saying “thou God,” which is really the context of the “new versions”.)

b.  Rom. 10:17.  KJV “word of God” vs “word of Christ.”  This is quite amusing because Riplinger has been complaining over the lack of the use of Jesus’ title “Christ,” but now because it is in place of God it suddenly is there to promote Antichrist over God!  But wait, doesn’t the doctrine of the Trinity say that Jesus is God, so that the word of God is also the word of Christ?  Is Riplinger here denying the Trinity?  Sure seems that way to me!

c.  2 Cor. 5:18.  KJV “Jesus Christ” vs “Christ.”  The entire context of  the chapter is the one and only “Christ” who is Jesus.  The amusing part is that in the KJV, “Christ” is used alone throughout the chapter and it is only that ONE time the word “Jesus” is added.  So that ONE time the others don’t add the name makes them open to promoting the antichrist?!?

d.  Col. 3:15.  KJV “the peace of God” vs “the peace of Christ.”  Again, is Riplinger denying the Trinity?  Seems to me that the context of the chapter should have “Christ” vs “God” anyway, so perhaps the scribe which did the TR text made an error?

e.  1 Pet. 3:15.  KJV “The Lord God” vs “Christ as Lord.”  Context seems to be saying that Christ is the Lord God to be sanctified in our hearts.  I think the “new versions” demonstrate the deity of Christ, while KJV at this passage passes over the deity of Christ.  Regardless of the understanding, this is not evidence to support Riplinger’s claim about any deity being able to be inserted for “Christ.”

7.  After more irrelevant rambling, we come to Riplinger’s next chart on p.317, where she says, “The new versions paint the Antichrist into the picture and paint Jesus out in slide of God’s command: [At} the name of Jesus ever knee should bow. Philippians 2:10.”  The chart then shows how the KJV uses the name “Jesus” while “new versions” just use the pronoun “He” or “Him.”

a.  Matt. 4:18.  KJV “Jesus” vs “He.”  This is another example of Riplinger’s foolishness.  (NIV, by the way, does have “Jesus”).  First, the KJV very often uses the pronouns instead of Jesus’ name, so why not charge the KJV with the same crime?  But let’s look at the passage in context, beginning vs. 17.  
KJV:  “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  18. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  19. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  
NAS:  “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  18. And walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.  19.  And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Notice how KJV uses “he” in vs. 19; does that mean it “painted out” the name of Jesus? Riplinger has a very difficult time with context, and with writing style.  Beginning at v.17 we have identified that Jesus is beginning to preach around the Sea of Galilee, so in vs.18 there is no attempt to paint out His name, rather there is no point in using His name over and over when a pronoun points to his name.  To claim this makes room for the Antichrist is as foolish as it gets.

b.  Matt. 8:29.  KJV “Jesus, Thou Son of God” vs “You, Son of God.”  Okay, so except for Jesus’ name, these are identical.  The context is demons talking to Jesus.  Again, how is this painting out the name of Jesus and painting in the Antichrist?  Doesn’t the context have any meaning at all to Riplinger, or KJV Onlyers?

c.  Matt. 12:25.  KJV “Jesus knew their thoughts” vs “knowing their thoughts.”  Again, NIV is not guilty.  Here is the issue again — CONTEXT!  Back at vs. 15 we have Jesus as the subject, and KJV uses only pronouns until vs 25.  The NAS is guilty of using a pronoun at vs.25 (Riplinger leaves out the rest of the phrase, “He said to them,” as if Jesus wasn’t even the topic).  So, according to Riplinger that makes a painted out Jesus and a painted in Antichrist.  Foolishness.

d.  Mark 2:15.  KJV “Jesus” vs “He.”  (Again, does not apply to NIV) In actuality, Jesus’ name is also in the passage, so the pronoun paints out nothing nor does it paint anything in!  Anyone reading the passage in any version should be able to understand who the pronoun is!

e.  Mark 10:52.  KJV “Jesus” vs “Him.”  (NIV not “guilty.”)  Let’s look at the whole passage.
KJV: And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; they faith hath made thee whole.  And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”
NAS:  “And Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’  And immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.”
So the issue is who the man was following.  Of course the style of the NAS capitalizes “Him,” as an indication that Jesus is who the man is following, as does the CONTEXT!  There is no way anyone would see the Antichrist “painted” into this passage.

f.  Luke 24:36.  KJV “Jesus” vs “He.”  (Again overstating the case with “new versions” since NIV is the same as KJV).  As with all the previous passages, KJV uses the pronoun except in one instance, while NAS uses the pronoun here also, and suddenly this means painting out Jesus and painting in the Antichrist.  Riplinger needs to learn how to read in CONTEXT, because in CONTEXT no one would even consider such a thought.

8.  Pages 318-319.  First we have some rambling about there being a distinct difference between who the “New Age” teachings call Christ vs “The Christ.”  So new version Bibles, when the have “the Christ” instead of just “Christ,” they are therefore guilty of teaching New Age distinguishing between an antichrist (“the Christ) and the real Christ of the KJV.   The problem here is that “Christ” (as noted many times in this review) is NOT a name, rather it is a title — “anointed one.”  So whether you say “the anointed one” or “anointed one” when talking about Jesus in the context of the entire Bible, there is no mistaking who one is talking about.  In fact, “anointed one” (“Christ”) is actually more ambiguous as to the subject, because, after all, David was an “anointed one” of God, as were others.  But when you see “The anointed one” (“the Christ), one is pointing to a particular “THE” — a specific Christ, THE Messiah the Jews were looking forward to.  Just because cults and other false teachings use the same title (but different meaning), that doesn’t make it wrong to use it!! After all, Mormons call Jesus the “Savior,” so if the Bible calls Jesus the “Savior,” does that mean our Bible promotes Mormonism?  That is the logic Riplinger is using, and she lists about 25 passages where “the Christ” replaces “Christ.”  But there are also a couple other passages which include “the” in the list which we can look at because of how silly her claims become.

a.   Acts 5:42.  KJV “preach Jesus Christ” vs “preaching Jesus as the Christ.”  I actually addressed this previously when Riplinger used this same passage to “prove” the removal of Jesus’ divinity.  The context is that they are preaching that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ.  So “the” is more pointed.

b.  Acts 9:22:  KJV “this is very Christ” vs “is the Christ.”  Okay, let’s be a wee bit more honest and look at the context.  KJV “But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.”  NAS “But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ.”  NIV “Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.”  KJV says “very Christ” and the others say “the Christ.”  Just what is the difference — how is this “new age” thinking?!?

Notice KJV doesn’t identify who “this” is compared to NAS/NIV do (of course context tells us, but if we practice Riplinger’s logic, we must condemn KJV here!).

9.  The remainder of chapter 20 has more of the same, “proving” that “the Christ” is a New Age term forced into the Bible so that people will think the antichrist will be “the Christ” pointed to.  Again, this whole chapter just demonstrates paranoia, poor logic and foolishness, with absolutely no validity to the claims against “new version” Bibles.

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