Sunday, November 29, 2015
"New Age Bible Versions" -- Chapter 21
X. Chapter 21: “Antichrist: The World Teacher.” The premise of this chapter is that when new versions use “Teacher” instead of KJV “Master” to address Jesus, they are using a New Age title, and when the KJV word “doctrine” is replaced by “teaching” that is also a subtle change to New Age phraseology.
1. “The antichrist hides, not only under the cover of ‘Christ,’ but a second title—‘Teacher.’ Roy Livesay, author and publisher of New Age Bulletin in England explains what New Agers believe: ‘Christ, however, doesn’t refer to the Lord Jesus Christ but to the World Teacher.’” Riplinger then cites three New Age writers calling Jesus “long expected Great Teacher,” “World Teacher,” and “Teacher of the Aquarian Age,” etc.
So since New Age writers use the word “Teacher” to refer to their particular brand of “christ,” that must mean any use of the same word to address Jesus in “new versions” is because “the new versions are willing to accommodate” the world wanting a “Teacher,” and so they are “again following their habit of knocking each title of Jesus down one notch. These changes in the new versions accommodate several aspects of the agenda of the New World Order. (1) They clear the footpath of ‘sectarian’ Christian vocabulary. (2) They emphasize those titles ascribed to the Antichrist—‘Christ’ and ‘Teacher.” (3) They accommodate the ‘historical’ Jesus in a manner that is acceptable to all the religions of the world, i.e., He is Jesus, one of a series of ‘Teachers’.” Wow, all because the new versions choose the same word as used by New Agers! (By the way, four of the cited passages in the new versions use the word “Rabbi” instead of “Teacher.” I don't think New Agers use that word, but the complaint is that they replace “Master.”)
I began examining this claim by looking at Jay Green’s “Interlinear Bible,” which uses the same Greek text as does the KJV. Green translated the Greek to “Teacher.” The Greek word is Strong’s #1320, didaskalos, defined as meaning, “teacher, instructor, one who provides instruction, implying authority over the students or followers.”
I also noticed that in Matthew 23:8, Mark 11:21, Mark 14:45, John 4:31, and John 11:8, the Greek says, “Rabbi,” yet the KJV translates it as “Master,” while Green puts “Rabbi”; is there a reason the the KJV translators chose to replace “Rabbi” with “Master”? — Perhaps anti-Semitism?
Another thing to remember is that in 1611 teachers were called “Master.” Webster’s 1828 gives one of the definitions of “master” as, “The director of a school; a teacher; an instructor. In this sense the word is giving place to the more appropriate words teacher, instructor and preceptor; at least so in the United States.” So new version translators use the modern word “Teacher” over the archaic 1611 word “Master” and Riplinger charges them with using a New Age title?!?! Would she prefer we return to calling our teachers “Master” in all our schools?
The use of “Teacher” instead of “Master” is nothing more than updating language and has nothing to do with any “New Age” conspiracy.
2. Riplinger then uses New Age teachers’ writings to show that they want to do away with “doctrines,” so that means new version translators had to change to “teachings.” She says, “The Apostle Paul foresaw this drift toward ‘teachings’ and disdain for doctrine: ‘For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers. . .’ II Timothy 4:3. He knew that as mortar, ‘teachings’ were tenuous, as Webster writes, merely, ‘that which is taught.’ But doctrine is tenacious, ‘accepted as authoritative. . .dogmas that are true and beyond dispute.’”
First, Riplinger emphasizes “doctrine” and “teachers” in the cited passage as if Paul was contrasting doctrines with teachings, which he certainly was NOT doing.
Secondly, referring to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, he says, “1. In a general sense, whatever is taught. Hence, a principle or position in any science; whatever is laid down as true by an instructor or master. The doctrines of the gospel are the principles or truths taught by Christ and his apostles. The doctrines of Plato are the principles which he taught. Hence a doctrine may be true or false; it may be a mere tenet or opinion.” So where is the real difference between “teaching” and “doctrine”? Apparently “doctrine” is a teaching specific to a particular science, which may or may not be true, and may be just an opinion; so much for being more “authoritative”!
Webster says the words are essentially synonymous, so Riplinger's claim there is a New Age agenda, simply because new version translators prefer a word more easily understood in today’s culture, is easily dismantled.
Thirdly, the Greek word is Strong’s #1322, didache, defined as “(the activity or content of) teaching, instruction.” And Jay Green, using the same Received Text as the KJV, translates the word as “teaching.” Since Green’s philosophy about the underlying Greek text is right in line with Ripliner’s and other KJV-only types, he can hardly be accused of putting in “New Age” words so weaken biblical teachings.
3. Riplinger’s two claims in this chapter have been demonstrated to be fallacious.