Tuesday, March 20, 2018
I really wish churches would quit using “radio songs” — songs that are performed for CDs and broadcast and not meant for congregational singing.
A problem is that the congregation has no song book with the music, so we have to try to figure it out while the lyrics are posted. Of course those who buy the CDs and listen to “Christian” radio know the song, but the rest of us normal people have no clue.
Another problem is that the music is not designed for congregational singing and so can be complex. One song we did this week is Sovereign Over Us, and the tune for the lyrics was quite like a dirge. And of course there is the obligatory repetition of what the performing artist (in this case Michael W. Smith) decided needed repeating ad nauseam.
So, how do we learn the tune? Well, during the offertory the “worship” band (I despise calling a band a “worship band”) played the tune until we thought it would never end. Then after the offertory we were told of the new song as the lyrics were projected, and were informed that it was what the band had been playing. Then, after the sermon we sang it again for good measure!
The other “radio” song we sang was Rock of Ages (Jesus is the Rock), which needed the obligatory LOUD band. Between the volume of the band and the volume of the song-leader’s microphone, you really couldn’t hear the congregation singing — but perhaps that was because only the people who listen to the radio knew it!
At least, for the most part, the lyrics of these songs were okay, but, especially with Rock of Ages…, there was the incessant emotion-manufacturing repetition—exactly what you can expect from a Baloche song. I had one irritant with the lyrics to Sovereign Over Us: “Your plans are still to prosper.” Just where does Scripture say that God has ever had plans to prosper us? That sounds like one of two things: 1) the “prosperity gospel or 2) abusing Jeremiah 29:11. I’m guessing it is an allusion to the latter.
The whole point is that NEITHER of these songs should be used for corporate worship. They were written for performing and for private listening and should be kept there.
The second thing about abusing music in church is the ideology of singing “karaoke,” either with solo performances or with choirs. The worst thing about this is that the volume of the recording is always way too loud, making it difficult to hear the singers. This Sunday I couldn’t understand the vast majority of what the choir was singing because of the loud music. There have been times when the children sing in front of the congregation and the recorded music is so loud you can’t even hear the children at all!
What is it with the loud volume all the time in churches nowadays? The assembly we attend has the volume problem about 30% of the time, while others we’ve visited have the problem almost 100% of the time.
Please, church leaders, stop all this abuse of music!!! It gets to be very wearing. (We left right after the sermon so as not to be put through the torture of that repeat performance, and an elderly couple came out behind us complaining about how loud it was.)
Thursday, March 15, 2018
A good review of Francis Chan’s book, CrazyLove. A virtually worthless book.
Does the O.T. law require a woman to marry her rapist?
The apostle Paul was probably a widower.
The Bad and/or Ugly
The Pope idolizes Mary — for real. Mike Gendron’s comment: Once again the pope is attributing divine attributes to "another Mary" implying that she is omnipresent in her protection of Catholics from the devil. He robs Christ of His honor and power as the Good Shepherd who promises to protect the sheep that He gave His life to save (John 10:1-30). Tragically, many Catholics listen to the voice of the most influential false prophet in the world, "a hired hand and a thief who comes to steal and kill and destroy" (John 1010:10). Not until they hear and believe the voice of the Good Shepherd will they find eternal life and divine protection.
He idolizers her so much that he has created a new feast day to honor her.
DANGER!! A new movie-based “Bible Study” is heading for your church.
Another movie—and book—to avoid: A Wrinkle in Time.
Cindy Jacobs and Chuck Pierce — why does anyone listen to these crackpot heretics?!?!?
How bad does Hillsong have to be before our churches quit using their songs?!?
An example of all that is wrong with Hillsong.
Billy Graham’s funeral was by invitation only, and I think it says a lot about his organization when you learn how many false teachers and heretics were invited.
Among other problems with Billy Graham, I just learned that he was for abortion for rape! As if the child was responsible for the crime and should be punished! Go to the 11:35 on the video.
Two heretical, lying peas in a pod: Bill Hamon and Sid Roth. Roth supports such fakery as a direct revelation to Kevin Zadai which says praying in tongues will enrich you! This last one Jesus plays a soprano saxophone, and other nonsense—such as Jesus played himself out of hell on the saxophone.
Michael Brown promotes heretic Sid Roth, as well as joining him in his false teachings and Word of Faith heresy as he lies about direct revelation from God.
“Black Hebrew Israelites” — a very ugly cult.
Middle-Aged Man On Worship Team Clearly Fulfilling Childhood Dream Of Being In Rock Band. I’m guessing this isn’t far from the truth!
Monday, March 12, 2018
I'm a wee bit busy these days, a lot with piping; a few funerals and now St. Patty's day stuff. But aside from that, I'm going through my library again to clear out some more things that have become redundant. You may have noticed that I've recently given away three DVDs and four books. I currently have four more books pulled to go through before offering them up.
So if you don't see any apologetics posts for a while, you will see some for offering books or DVDs. Stay tuned.
Thursday, March 8, 2018
The following quotations are from Hank Hanegraaff’s book, Christianity in Crisis 21st Century. These aren’t all the quotations of Copeland in the book but are enough to demonstrate the abject heretical nature of Kenneth Copeland’s teachings.
Heaven, God, and the similarity to Mormonism
“Heaven has a north and a south and an east and a west. Consequently, it must be a planet.”
“Now God is not some creature that stands twenty-eight feet tall, and He’s got hands, you know, as big as basketballs. That’s not the kind of creature He is . . . He’s very much like you and me. Can you conceive that? Not hardly in the mind, but your heart can. Your heart can. A Being, a Being that stands somewhere around six-two to six-three, that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple hundred pounds, little better, [and] has a [hand] span nine inches across.”
“You don’t think earth was first, do you? Huh? Well, you don’t think God made man in His image, and then made earth in some other image? There is not anything under this whole sun that’s new. Are you hearing what I’m saying? This is all a copy. It’s a copy of home. It’s a copy of the Mother Planet. Where God lives, He made a little one just like His and put us on it.”
“God’s reason for creating Adam was his desire to reproduce himself. I mean a reproduction of himself, and in the garden of Eden he did just that. He was not a little like God. He was not almost like God. He was not subordinate to God, even . . . Adam is as much like Go as you could get, just the same as Jesus . . . Adam, in the garden of Eden, was God manifested in the flesh.”
“God spoke Adam into existence in authority with words (Gen. 1:26-28). These words struck Adam’s body in the face. His body and God were exactly the same size.”
“Adam was made in the image of God. He was as much female as he was male. He was exactly like God. Then God separated him and removed the female part. Woman means ‘man with the womb.’ Eve had as much authority as Adam did as long as they stayed together.”
The powerlessness of God and the control of Satan
God had no avenue of lasting faith or moving in the earth. He had to have covenant with somebody . . . He had to be invited in, in other words, or He couldn’t come . . . God is on the outside looking in. In order to have any say so in the earth, He’s gonna have to be in agreement with a man here.”
“Adam committed high treason; and at that point, all the dominion and authority God had given to him was handed over to Satan. Suddenly, God was on the outside looking in . . . After Adam’s fall, God found Himself in a peculiar position . . . God needed an avenue back into the earth . . . God laid out His proposition and Abram accepted it. It gave God access to the earth and gave man access to God . . . Technically, if God ever broke the Covenant, He would have to destroy Himself."
“I was shocked when I found out who the biggest failure in the Bible actually is . . . The biggest one is God . . . I mean, He lost His top-ranking, most anointed angel; the first man He ever created; the first woman He ever created; the whole earth and all the fullness therein; a third of the angels, at least—that’s a big loss, man . . . Now, the reason you don’t think of God as a failure is He never said He’s a failure. And you’re not a failure till you say you’re one.”
“The Bible says that God gave this earth to the sons of men . . . and when [Adam] turned and gave that dominion to Satan, look where it left God. It left Him on the outside looking in . . . He had no legal right todo anything about it, did He? . . . He had injected Himself illegally onto the earth—what Satan had intended for Him to do was to fall for it—put off an illegal act and turn the light of in God and subordinate God to himself . . . He intended to get God into such a trap that He couldn’t get out.”
“God’s on the outside looking in. He doesn’t have any legal entree into the earth. The thing don’t belong to Him. You see how sassy the devil was in the presence of God in the book of Job? God said, ‘Where have you been?’ Wasn’t any of God’s business. He [Satan] didn’t even have to answer if he didn’t want to . . . God didn’t argue with him a bit! You see, this is the position that God’s been in . . . Might say, ‘Well, if God’s running things, He’s doing a lousy job of it.’ He hadn’t been running ‘em, except when He’s just got, you know, a little bit of a chance.”
Words are power that even God needs, and turn into whatever is proclaimed by them
“Faith is a power force. It is a tangible force. It is a conductive force.”
“Once that [Abrahamic] covenant was established, God began to release His Word into the earth. He began to paint a picture of a Redeemer, a man who would be the manifestation of His Word in the earth.”
“So before Jesus came to the earth, God spoke His Word and then spoke His Word again. How many times did He say the Messiah was coming? It was prophesied over hundreds, even thousands, of years. He kept saying, ‘He is coming. He is coming.’ The circumstances in the earth made it look as if there was no way He could accomplish it; but He just kept saying it. He would not be moved by what He saw . . . God would not relent.”
“The angels spoke the words of the covenant to her [Mary]. She pondered them in her heart, and those words became the seed. And the Spirit of God hovered over her and generated that seed, which was the Word that the angel spoke to her. And there was conceived in her, the Bible says, a holy thing. The Word literally became flesh.”
Lies about Jesus’ teachings
[claiming this “prophecy” was given to him by Jesus] “They crucified Me for claiming that I was God. But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him [the Father] and that He was in Me.’
“As a believer, you have a right to make commands in the name of Jesus. Each time you stand on the Word, you are commanding God to a certain extent because of His Word.”
Jesus couldn’t be God, because it wouldn’t have been legal for God to be a redeemer:
“It’s got to be a man. He’s got to be all man. He cannot be a God and come storming in here with attributes and dignities that are not common to man. He can’t do that. It’s not legal.”
“Now you see, God is injecting His Word into the earth to produce this Jesus—these faith-filled words that framed the image that’s in Him . . . He can’t just walk onto the earth and say, ‘Let it be!’ because He doesn’t have the right. He had to sneak it in here around the god of this world that was blockin’ every way that he possibly could.”
Jesus went to Hell and was then born again
“Satan didn’t realize he [Jesus] is in there [hell] illegally . . . This man had not sinned. This man has not fallen out of the covenant of God, and he had the promise of God for deliverance. And Satan fell into the trap. He took Him into hell illegally. He carried Him in there [when] He did not sin.”
“He [Jesus] is suffering all that there is to suffer. There is no suffering left apart from Him. His emaciated, poured out, little wormy spirit is down in the bottom of that thing [hell]. And the devil thinks he’s got Him destroyed.”
“The Word of the living God went down into that pit of destruction and charged the spirit of Jesus with resurrection power! Suddenly His twisted, death-wracked spirit began to fill out and come back to life. He began to look like something the devil had never seen before.”
“He [Jesus] was literally being reborn before the devil’s very eyes. He began to flex His spiritual muscles . . . Jesus was born again—the firstborn from the dead the Word calls Him—and he whipped the devil in his own backyard. He took everything he had away from him. He took his keys and his authority away from him.”
Even worse blasphemy—Copeland could have died in place of Jesus
“The Spirit of God spoke to me. And He said, ‘Son, realize this’—now follow me in this; don’t let your tradition trip you up—He said, ‘Think this way; a twice-born man whipped Satan in his own domain.’ And I threw my Bible down . . . I said, ‘What?!’ He said, ‘A born-again man defeated Satan. The firstborn many brethren defeated him.’ He said, ‘You are the very image and the very copy of that one.’ I said, ‘Goodness gracious sakes alive.’ I began to see what had gone on in there [hell], and I said, ‘Well, now, You don’t mean, You couldn’t dare mean that I could have done the same thing?’ He said, ‘Oh yeah. If you’d known . . . had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could have done the same thing because you’re a reborn man too!’”
There is no defense for such horridly false teaching — no defense whatsoever.
Saturday, March 3, 2018
There are subtleties and similarities between certain ideas from psychology and Christianity that increase the vulnerability for one to begin thinking and ministering psychologically rather than biblically. The deceitful heart finds its friendliest friend in a psychologized gospel, where the sinful nature of man is given free reign and where sinful speaking can be expressed without restriction, questioning, or proof. That is why Christians must spend time in the Word and in prayer instead of looking for answers to life’s dilemmas outside Scripture and the church. Again, psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies are not science. They are human speculations about the soul, with a pseudo-scientific facade.
There has been so much searching outside of Scripture to find ways to minister to suffering saints that a whole cadre of psychologically trained (or at least psychologically tainted) professionals and lay counselors are prepared to minister the ways of men and the wisdom of men along with Scriptures that appear to support their practice. This is syncretism. Others guilty of false integration are: (1) Christian schools and seminaries that positively promote the use of counseling psychology and/or prepare individuals to become licensed as psychotherapists, especially Christian schools that have programs accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), (2) pastors or others who promote and affirm those psychological ideas and/or refer congregants to psychotherapists, (3) authors and organizations that promote a psychological understanding of man, (4) professing Christians who are deeply committed to this “integration,” which comes from not believing that Scripture is sufficient for life and godliness (2 Pet:1:3).
The delusion nevertheless continues despite this disclosure by members of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies, a group that includes psychologists and psychological counselors who are professing Christians: “We are often asked if we are ‘Christian psychologists’ and find it difficult to answer since we don’t know what the question implies. We are Christians who are psychologists, but at the present time there is no acceptable Christian psychology that is markedly different from non-Christian psychology. It is difficult to imply that we function in a manner that is fundamentally distinct from our non-Christian colleagues….”
Dr. Martin and Deidre Bobgan and T.A. McMahon, PSYCHOLOGY AND PSYCHOTHERAPY (PART 1).
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
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.