Wednesday, February 28, 2018
"New Age Bible Versions"-- Chapter 23
Yes, it has been two years since I posted my review of chapter 22; where does the time go? As noted on that post, this task is very onerous due to the need to check every single passage to see what Riplinger’s complaints are. So, here are with my review of Chapter 23.
Chapter 23: Test 2 for Antichrist: Is Jesus the Son of God? The claim of this chapter is that new versions of the Bible dilute the doctrine that Jesus is the Son of God, with passages that actually deny the fact.
1. The first chart with Riplinger’s “evidence” is on page 335 and continues on page 336.
a. Gal. 4:7: KJV says “an heir of God though Christ” while others say “an heir through God.” Let’s look at the full passage, beginning at vs.6 for context.
KJV: And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore, thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
NAS: And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
NIV: Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
Apparently the fact that vs.7 misses a reference to Jesus as being God’s son, then vs. 6’s note doesn’t count. This is an example of the inanity of Riplinger’s complaints.
b. Eph. 3:9: KJV “God who created all things by Jesus Christ” vs. “God, who created all things.”
I’m not sure how leaving off the phrase “by Jesus Christ” leads to a denigration of His sonship. Whether it says “God created all things” or “God who created all things by Jesus Christ,” the teaching is still that GOD created everything. Of course we have two verses later where the new versions say God’s purpose was “carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NAS) or “accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NIV) but the KJV just says God
“purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The point is, that everything was done through Christ, and this is plain in every version. Again, Riplinger needs to take passages out of context to “prove” her case.
c. Eph. 3:14: KJV “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” vs “the Father.” In context, who is God the father of? Jesus Christ, as well as all those of us adopted.
d. Col. 1:2: KJV “Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” vs “Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” This passage has nothing to do with Christ being God’s son. The very next passage in all versions does state that God is the Father of Jesus Christ. Does Riplinger expect that we will not read the text? There is no diluting the fact of Jesus’ sonship.
e. John 9:35: KJV “Son of God” vs “Son of Man.” Well, both titles were used of Jesus in the New Testament. “Son of Man” was a Messianic title, which would include the identity as Son of God. No dilution of Jesus’ position here.
f. Mark 1:1: All versions say “Son of God.” Riplinger’s problem is with the footnotes in NAS and NIV which say some/many manuscripts do not include the phrase, while she says “Only a handful of corrupt MSS omit this.” She asserts the MSS are corrupt with no supporting evidence. The point is, though, that the new versions have it in the text just like the KJV. Again, there is no dilution of Jesus’ sonship.
g. John 3:17: KJV “his Son” vs “the Son.” NIV says “his Son” while NAS says “the Son.” Context is the Son of God. For Riplinger to use this passage to claim it lessens the sonship of Christ just goes to show the depths of Scripture-twisting she will do to “prove” her case.
h. John 6:69: KJV “Christ the Son of the Living God” vs “Holy One of God.” Riplinger goes off on a tangent and claims that “Holy One of God” “is a derogatory term used only by devils in Mark 1:24 and Luke 4:34.” The problem with this is that she only asserts that it is a derogatory term while there is no such sense even hinted at in those passages. In reality the term “Holy One of God” is identifying Christ as the Son of God.
i. Luke 9:35: KJV “beloved Son” vs “My Chosen One.” First, Riplinger misrepresents the “new” texts, which include a statement saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One” (NAS) or “This is my Son, whom I have chosen” (NIV). So the new versions also state that Jesus is God’s son. Riplinger’s complaint is because, she says, “This is a derogatory term used toward Jesus in Luke 23:35.” Again, however, there is no hint of such in that passage, rather they are just saying that if Jesus IS the chosen one, then he should be able to save himself. Riplinger then goes off on a rant about how the Gnostics used that term, as if that has any bearing what what the Bible says.
j. Matt. 24:36: KJV “my Father” vs “the Father.” Context demonstrates the referent is the same, and Jesus is still understood as being the son of God, whether it says “the” or “my.”
k. Acts 8:37: KJV “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” vs “OMIT.” The fact that some versions do not have this passage except in brackets or in footnotes does nothing to reduce the divinity of Christ. It is simply a statement that may or may not have been said by the eunuch. The question is, did the Received Text add the passage or did the others delete it?
l. Acts 3:13, 26: KJV “Son” vs “servant.” In the context, servant isn’t reducing Jesus’ divinity, rather it is noting the purpose for which Jesus was sent.
m. Acts 4:27, 30: KJV “holy child Jesus” vs “holy servant Jesus.” In the context, the use of “child” doesn’t make sense, since the discussion is about the adult Jesus. Riplinger says they used the same Greek word at John 4:51 to refer to the Centurion’s son, and that by using “servant” it puts Jesus on the same level as Paul, James, Simon Peter, Jude, and Moses, all of whom are called servants. Again, even Jesus said he came to serve, which makes Him God’s servant, without diluting his divinity.
n. Luke 2:33: KJV “Joseph and his mother” vs “his father and his mother.” SIGH. The context is from the earthly viewpoint with Joseph as Jesus’ step-father, a term not even used in Scripture. This is not a passage about the deity of Christ.
o. Matt. 1:25: KJV “her firstborn son” vs “OMIT.” I found no version which left this out, meaning that Riplinger has likely made a false charge.
p. Isa. 7:14: KJV “a virgin shall conceive” vs “a young woman” (Good News for Modern Man). Riplinger labels all versions with the taint of the GNB. Without doing the research, I will just say from memory that I believe the Hebrew says “young woman,” with the meaning of a young unmarried woman (i.e. virgin) and it was the Septuagint that used the Greek word for virgin. So the GNB is not wrong.
2. Now we go to pages 337 which claims that modern versions change the KJV “only begotten Son,” and she gives as the first example the Jehovah’s Witness’ New World Translation, as if that cult version reflects any truth! The NAS is then shown as having “only begotten God,” and considers that being denying the Son. The footnote says that some later manuscripts have “son” vs “God.” My question then becomes, since the NAS says Jesus is a “begotten God,” begotten of the Father, how does this deny the Son? By context it has to be the son since He is begotten of the Father, and it is a definite claim to deity!
On pages 338 and 339 Riplinger then goes on to claim (without evidence) that this is what Gnostics did with the verse, as well as naming one of their own gods, “Only Begotten.” SO? What has that to do with anything in the Bible? And of course she drags in all sorts of stories about how different scholarly references discuss the topic, but it is all irrelevant. AH, but there is an agenda when you get to page 340.
3. Page 340 continues with the previous nonsense about new Bible versions, and writes that “this ‘created God’ appears in a number of other new version verses (assuming that John 1:18 has created another God). Let’s look:
a. Micah 5:2
KJV: “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting”
NIV: “whose origins are from old, from ancient times.” [bold by Riplinger}
There are two apparent complaints, the first one based on Riplinger’s using bold font at “origins.” For some reason she has determined that “goings forth” is different than “origins,” but I don’t see it; this is supposed evidence of a created God. The other complaint is the use of “ancient times” vs “everlasting.” There is definitely a difference in the meanings there, but I think context shows they mean essentially the same thing, the NIV being from a more human standpoint.
b. Heb. 2:11
KJV: “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all one.”
No version noted, and it’s not NIV, NAS, or AMP: “For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all of one origin (or all from one Father).” Again, Riplinger has a hissy fit about the word “origin.” To me the KJV says that God and believers “are all one,” i.e. we are God and He is us!!! While from the same origin means that our holiness and God’s holiness come from the same place — God!
c. Prov. 8:22. She complains about three Bible versions: The Living Bible, the New World Translation, and the NIV. How ironic. TLB is a paraphrase and the NWT is a cult version; they don’t agree with ANY real Bible. So let’s look at only the NIV to KJV:
KJV: “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.”
NIV: “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old.”
Somehow this is the NIV creating a God. The two seem to say the same thing to me! Riplinger claims that the NAS has a note, “Wisdom…a divine being.” I don’t find this note in any of my NAS copies. It would be interesting to see what Riplinger ellipsed out.
4. Page 341 continues the theme of new Bibles creating a God, and she has a chart comparing versions. The only problem is that she doesn’t say which version she’s comparing the KJV to! Isn’t that deceptive?
a. John 1:14: KJV “Begotten of the Father” vs “new” “begotten from the Father.” These are synonymous.
b. John 1:18: KJV “he hath declared him” vs “new” “He has explained him.” Again, these are synonymous in context.
c. Col. 1:15: KJV “the first born of every creature” vs “new” “the first-born of all creation.” Again, synonymous. Actually the “new” version includes being the first-born of everything created, not just of creatures. (“First-born” meaning the preeminent over all).
d. Heb. 1:3: KJV “express image of his person” vs “exact representation of His nature.” Says the same thing to me! Is not an “express image” the same as “exact representation”? And is not an image of person an image of his nature?
e. Heb 1:6: KJV “firstbegotten” vs “first-born.” EXACT SAME THING!
f. 1 Pet. 1:19,20: KJV: “Christ…was foreordained” vs “was foreknown.” The latter is found in my NAS. It is Interesting that Jay Green has “foreknown” and he is literally translating the T.R. Methinks perhaps the KJV had some Calvinist bias, because they say to foreknow you have to first foreordain. Actually, in this case Christ was both foreordained and foreknown. The KJV is translated in error.
g. Rev. 1:5: Another example of “first-born” replacing KJV “begotten.” Silly; she prefers 1611 English because that is obviously God’s choice!
h. “Today’s cults carry this foray [creating gods] forward, using new version verses as fuel. Good News for Modern Man (TEV) provides aid to the enemy in John 1:1.” Firstly, I have to point out that all the cults use the KJV as their standard Bible (in addition to their own versions) and the old 1611 English aids them in their theology! Let’s see if there is a problem:
KJV: “In the beginning was the Word.”
TEV: “Before the world was created, the Word already existed.”
Now, we have to understand that the TEV is super-dynamic to being close to a paraphrase, so to use it as an example of “corrupt” versions is very disingenuous. “Before the world was created” — the world was created in the beginning (“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”). “Before…the Word already existed.” TEV has Jesus existing before creation, i.e., “already existed.” So just what is the problem here?
Beginning on pg.342 Riplinger goes into a lengthy diatribe about how the Greek word means “only begotten” and not “only son.” Um, just what is it that is begotten? A son or a daughter! Christ is a male so he is the only son. She continues in her rant demonstrating how so many cults and New Agers don’t use “only begotten” for Jesus because that allows them to have a non-deity Jesus. So we can’t use proper 20th- and 21st-century English because some cults may use the same words?!?!?
5. Page 346 begins the claim that various New Age groups/teachers teach about ranking and hierarchy, so the “new” versions are joining them when they use the word “rank.”
a. John 1:30: KJV “is preferred before me” vs NAS “has a higher rank than I.” So because some false teachers use the term “rank,” we are not allowed to use that in our translations, even if it is accurate?
b. Heb. 7:17: KJV “after the order of Melchisedec” vs Living Bible “with the rank of Melchizedek.” Of course the LB is a paraphrase but Riplinger continues to use it as an example of all “new” Bibles. In context, “rank” is appropriate especially considering the audience of the LB (young people) who might not understand “after the order of.”
Riplinger cites false teacher (and false spiritual warfare advocate) Bob Larson who says that “Christ” is not an office but refers to Jesus. I’m sure “Christ” (Greek for “Messiah”) is a title of the office he holds. She then goes on to cite B.F Wescott who says “Christ” is an office, and compares his statements to New Age teachers who claim the same thing. Therefore, modern versions treat “Christ” like a “thing” (office) rather than a person. I hate to say this, but Jesus’ last name is not “Christ.” He is even referred to as “the Christ” sometimes in Scripture. She then has a chart comparing New Age texts about a “Christ consciousness” with “new” versions and the KJV. (Again she doesn’t say which Bible version she cites, implying that all do the same.)
a. Matt 12:6: KJV “one greater than the temple” vs “something greater than the temple.” NIV reads the same as KJV, whereas NAS reads as she notes. Notice that the word “one” in the KJV is italicized here, meaning it was added to the text. It is possible paraphrase the text as saying “something is happening here,” which would point to the actions of Jesus.
b. Matt. 12:41, 42: Riplinger splits these verses so she can pretend there is an extra instance. KJV says “a greater than Jonas” and “a greater than Solomon” while NAS (not NIV) says “something” in both places. Again, to say that something is going on which is greater than what happened with Jonah and Solomon could very well imply in context that it is Jesus, but it includes Jesus when one says that something is going on when Jesus is part of what is going on. This has nothing to do whatsoever with what New Agers write, regardless of the claims of Riplinger to make it appear that translators of new versions are conspiring to agree with New Age writings.
6. Closing out this chapter on pages 349-350 Riplinger cites different teachers (including “Luciferian”) who teach that the “Christ” entered Jesus at baptism, and then claims (with no evidence) this was a very old teaching which affected manuscripts such as Aleph and B. “Indications of his spirituality or deity, before his baptism are removed.” As usual, when she makes such a claim she only points to one version as if that is representative of all, this time being the NAS. Let’s look at her charges:
a. Luke 2:40: KJV: “the child grew and waxed strong in spirit” vs “the Child grew and became strong” (Riplinger’s bold). So if the lack of “in spirit” means they removed the deity, explain why the NAS capitalized “Christ”— a form the NAS uses to capitalize all references to deity. AH, but on the following page Riplinger rails that the NAS capitalizes “Christ” “nearly a dozen times, keeping pace with the veneration of Mother-Child imager seen in [several places]. This is truly reaching for something to complain about all the while bearing false witness against the translators for their motives.
b. Luke 23:42: KJV “Jesus, Lord remember me” vs “Jesus, remember me.” In this instance, “Lord” is not necessarily a label of deity, but possibly a title of respect. Even so, if you find ONE verse which seems to remove Jesus’ deity and yet all throughout the N.T. his deity is expressly demonstrated, how does this affect anything? And does it even meet the charge? No, it doesn’t, because if that is what the translators were doing there would be NO reference to deity in any passage.
7. At the beginning of this chapter Riplinger sets to prove that new Bible versions dilute or remove references to the deity of Christ. Again we see that she has a habit of misrepresenting the text of the new versions, takes passages out of context, as well as twisting the passages to make them say what she wants them to say.