G.A. Riplinger's New Age Bible Versions --A Critical Review
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G. A. [GAIL] Riplinger's NEW AGE BIBLE VERSIONS
A Critical Review
Female Author's Book is FALLACIOUS ! **
by MARK A. MCNEIL
** Note: Mentioning that this book's author is Female is hereby given "Her" identity is deliberately hidden from any readers as there is NO MENTION ANYWHERE in the supplied contentsMs. Riplinger is only spoken of in "the third person." see more below
[Reviewed in 1994]
The book, "NEW AGE BIBLE VERSIONS," authored by G. A. [Gail] Riplinger, has recently become a popular "defense of the King James Version" and an attack on all other Bible translations. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate some of the many weaknesses of this work and give references so that the Bible student of any level can see this information for himself.
Having been told by a "KJV-Only" advocate that this book is a well-documented, well-written defense of the KJV, I felt it was only appropriate to examine the book. Unfortunately, it only took a few pages to become aware of the fact that this book's theory is like many other illogical and ridiculous arguments in defense of the Bible: God's Word preserved as a 'one-an-only' English translation!
The book uses over-and-over again the fallacy of "guilt by association." Numerous quotes (whether accurate or not) are used to discredit certain men connected with textual criticism and modern translation. Certainly it is not that hard to understand that the textual debate and issues have to do with manuscripts and fragments nearly 2,000 years old, the copyists being unknown! It is ultimately irrelevant who is examining the evidence if what is reported is accurate. It is quite easy to find numerous strong defenders of historic Christianity who recognize the truth of the evidence presented by men whose faith may be less than solid.
Most of the observations and arguments in the book can be easily answered by a short examination of a concordance or commentary on specific texts of Scripture. For example, the book uses the worn-out argument that the New International Version [NIV] translation and others are against the "blood of Christ" because certain verses omit that phrase. A simple examination of an NIV concordance would demonstrate that the "blood" is mentioned numerous times in that version. The issue has nothing to do with the bias of translators as we can easily examine the texts from which they did their translating work.
The author argues that certain verses omit the word "our" in connection with the Father, supposedly because of a "conspiracy" to support the "universal fatherhood of God" [page 60]. The text then cites John 8:44 as a clear example of God not being the Father of all men, for those to whom Christ was speaking were said to be of their father "the devil." Amazingly.., if the author had looked at John 8:44 in the NIV (or any other legitimate translation), we would have found the same idea and words of the KJV. If such a "conspiracy" existed, wouldn't the instigators have eliminated the clear and explicit passages rather than merely the word "our" in a few passages (which does not necessarily exclude God from being the Father of others) ?
It should be our general practice to assume the integrity and sincerity of an author when reading his/her book. In the case of New Age Bible Versions, however, it is very difficult to believe that an author who is of an educational level and accomplishment as that boasted on the back of the book would produce such a poor literary work [none of Riplinger's degrees are for any form of biblical or textual studies and yet in 1996, "KJV-Only" Pastor Jack Hyles of Indiana's Hyles-Anderson College, honorarily "Doctored" Ms. Riplinger!].
I want to point out the basic framework we are defending. First, the New Testament is preserved for us in thousands of manuscripts. These range from small pieces of books to almost whole New Testaments. There are differences between all the manuscripts. Most of these are insignificant spelling changes, word order differences, etc. There are numerous "minor" word differences, however, such as one text reading "Jesus Christ" while another "Lord Jesus" or some other variation. These are considered "minor" because they do not change or alter any doctrine or interpretation.
Furthermore, there are no examples of manuscripts that are considered seriously in textual criticism where a deliberate attempt has been made to eliminate all references to "Christ" or "Lord," or any other term. These are copyist errors or scribal additions. It is the purpose of the science of textual criticism to examine these differences and attempt to determine the original reading. There are numerous ways this is done which space forbids us from discussing. The differences between the new versions in some readings arise from discoveries in the last century of older new Testament manuscripts that have affected the evidence behind certain texts. Very few of these are of any consequence to doctrine, however, and the majority would not be detected by very good Bible students as they change no meaning.
There have arisen two contrary positions with regard to the manuscript evidence available. Speaking simplistically, one prefers the "majority" of manuscript readings as the best, the other prefers the "older" readings. Certainly, there are fewer older manuscripts to examine but they consistently bear out a striking fact: the older manuscripts are typically shorter in their readings than the newer. This, according to textual critics, is because of the tendency of scribes to add explanatory words to the text rather than delete them.
On the other hand, some say the older manuscripts represent a distorted text that ultimately was not preserved through the greater part of church history and therefore must be rejected. Let it be noted that regardless of which position is taken, there remain numerous textual variants with both of these text types. Gail Riplinger cites such authors as Zane Hodges in her attempt to make the reader think that the Majority text is so well-established that there are not questionable readings remaining (page 469). If one examines the Greek New Testament that Hodges helped to edit, however, he will find a sophisticated textual apparatus giving numerous variations between the majority manuscripts. With some "KJV-Only" advocates affirming God "preserved His perfect Word in the Textus Receptus Greek New Testament " used for the KJV, it is interesting to know that 6 different versions of the T.R. [edited by Erasmus] were used by the KJV translators.
Riplinger presents the word-differences "as a 'New Age' conspiracy designed to prepare the world for the Antichrist!" ...Really ? Since when does the coming Antichrist care about the thousands of Bible translations produced by mankind or the millions of copies printed of them they ALL reveal who 'he' is! As noted above, this 'theory' is preposterous in light of the fact that the differences come from manuscripts 1800 or more years old and the copyists are unknown. A current conspiracy is simply out of the question!
Furthermore, Ms. Riplinger has exaggerated her case and actually distorted the evidence she claims substantiates her views some of the many examples:
| 1 | A chart on page 13 makes the general claim that the new versions use the word "Lord" alone without the name Jesus, thereby "dropping" the identity of Jehovah or Jesus. But Acts 19:13, 20:24 & 35, 21:13, 28:31, Romans 1:4&7, 5:1 & 11 & 21, 6:23, 7:25, 8:39, are only the beginning of a multitude of verses in the NIV, NASB, and others using the name "Jesus" with Lord and Christ.
| 2 | A chart on page 14 states that the KJV uses the proper name "Jehovah" while the new versions substitute "Lord" for it, supposedly to depersonalize God [page 15]. This statement is incredible in light of the fact that the KJV inserts 'LORD' hundreds of times where the Hebrew Jehovah ("Yahweh") appears!
| 3 | A chart on page 17 attempts to show that the new versions eliminate the name Jesus and simply insert the pronoun "he." The idea is that there is an effort to get rid of the name of Jesus. Amazingly Ms. Riplinger, if ever you have read the NIV (?)it does use the name of Jesus in several of the verses you listed! [Luke 24:36, Matthew 4:18, Mark 2:15, Mark 10:52]. Furthermore, the NIV uses the name of Jesus over 1100 times more than it is used in the KJV! These simple observations can be seen by using the complete KJV and NIV exhaustive concordances.
| 4 | On page 19 a chart is found that claims the new versions place "a new age" where the KJV affirms "a new earth." This is in spite of the fact that Revelation 21:1 in the NIV speaks of a new earth. The same chart claims the new versions use "fruit of light" for the "fruit of the Spirit." This, again, in spite of the fact that Galatians 5:22 speaks of the fruit of the Spirit in the new versions. In fact, I would challenge Gail Riplinger to show me where the KJV speaks of either of these subjects and the new versions do not.
| 5 | The author attempts to show a conspiracy against the Lord's prayer at several places in the book, including the bottom of page 19. She fails to mention, however, that Matthew 6:9-13 does record the complete version of the prayer in the modern versions! Her claim that it is omitted in the new versions is simply... NOT TRUE.
| 6 | On page 20 an especially interesting chart appears in which it is claimed that the newer versions are attacking the person of Christ. This chart is so poor and so filled with untruths, it is difficult to believe the author is serious! I affirm that every point found in the KJV is also confirmed in the new versions. Jesus is called the Lord Jesus Christ, God, Son of God, Son, Saviour, Alpha and Omega, equal with God, Creator, etc., in the new versions [Rev 1:18, Phil. 2:6, John 1:1, Romans 9:5, Isaiah 7:14, etc., etc.]
| 7 | It is claimed on page 21 that the new versions omit salvation by grace. I ask the reader to take your pick of the most popular new versions and look up Ephesians 2:8-9.
Ms. Riplinger not only uses faulty logic and poor research to support her claims, but she also misuses and distorts sources she cites. For example, she quotes one of the leading New Testament scholars today, Dr. D. A. Carson, without giving a faithful evaluation of the contest of her quote. On page 303 of New Age Bible Versions, a quote is given from page 63 of Carson's classic book, THE KING JAMES VERSION DEBATE [originally written in the late 1970's.] Carson is cited as saying that he will "pass up" a technical discussion of the Greek language and its bearing on the translation of various verses dealing with the deity of Christ. He instead offers a simpler illustration by comparing the main verses teaching the deity of Christ in the modern versions with the KJV. This is in harmony with Carson's stated purpose in the preface of the book to write "on an easy level."
In her quote, Riplinger ignores Carson's argument entirely, and ridicules his choice of not discussing the issues involved in the translation of Greek. She says "he [Carson] has no chance of scoring with a discussion of 'the Greek.'" Perhaps she simply does not know that Carson authored a detailed commentary on the Gospel of John in which he does discuss at length the issues related to the deity of Christ in that Gospel from the original language. It is also of value to note that Riplinger leaves out a whole sentence in-between the first and second sentences of her "quote" without an indication of such omission. She also takes it upon herself to alter some specific words in the quote. In the hands of Riplinger, this type of selective quoting is a rampant tragedy, exposing her extreme cultic, biased views toward the KJV.
From the points I have made, the reader will see that it is a tragic error to take seriously Riplinger's "selectively"-created charts and other assertions without examining the quotes and the actual sources. When the evidence is examined, it becomes obvious that Riplinger's manuscript is not compelling and does not establish her claims and ultimate conclusions such as proving that new translations are "preparing way for the Antichrist and a one world religion." FAR FROM IT ! Currently, God's Word is all or partially translated in over 2000 languages! with the NIV translation now the most read English Bible since 1991. Can anyone who has ever lived show me where God revealed that His Word is only preserved in one 17th Century Elizabethan English "translation"...uh, the KJV ?!
For the Scriptures still say, "No one comes to the Father except through Me (Jesus speaking) and, if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing," and, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again," and, "whoever believes in Him (Jesus) is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands already condemned because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son" [John 14:6, 2 Cor. 4:4, John 3:3 & 17 the NIV]. These classic verses emphasizing the absolute necessity of Jesus Christ and His saving Gospel have not lost their force in the modern versions.
You would be wise to reject this book and any other "KJV-Only" books by Riplinger, Peter Ruckman, David Otis Fuller, Samuel Gipp, D. A. Waite, William Grady, Edward Hills, Benjamin Wilkerson, J. J. Ray... others.
Pilgrim Publications has many articles available refuting this cultic movement.
See the LIST
Or, for $ 4, you can receive about a dozen articles refuting Riplinger' heresies.
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written by Mark A. McNeil B.A. & M.A. (Biblical Studies / Luther Rice Sem.), MA (Theological Studies / St. Thomas School of Theology), PhD. Student (University of St. Thomas), Assistant Editor/Writer for THE PILGRIM Magazine, and author of "An Evaluation of the 'Oneness Pentecostal' Movement " $ 3 / Pilgrim Pub. |
NOTES OF INTEREST
by Bob L. Ross
"G. A. Riplinger" = Ms. GAIL RIPLINGER
"The real reason men don't like the author" of New Age Bible Versions is that "the author is a woman" (Gail Riplinger) so says Mrs. Donald A. Waite in THE BIBLE FOR TODAY News Report #222 [a "KJV-Only" ministry located in Collingswood, NJ]. Mrs. Waite also says Ms. Riplinger "can't help it! She was born that way!"
Well, Mrs. Waite... not only was Ms. Riplinger born a woman, she was also born with a "carnal nature." She "can't help" that fact, either; but she is held responsible to "mortify" the carnal nature [Col. 3:5, Romans 8:13]. Ms. Riplinger's being born a woman does not give her a "handicapped" license to "speak her mind" with impunity. Crying "I'm a woman" as a cop-out from critical review is similar to the "race card" used by some as a excuse for irresponsible actions.
If Mrs. Waite wants to "defend Gail Riplinger," as she proposes, then she would better serve her purpose by presenting substance rather than smoke. And furthermore, if Mrs. Waite would spend a little time researching history, she would find that women such as Riplinger (all "born that way") have been involved in the spawning of not a few heretical, cultic religious movements. Being born a woman does not make one immune to the deceptions of Satan [Rev. 2:20, Acts 16:16].
The attitude of Mrs. Waite suggests the possibility that she may harbor resentment of men and the sovereignty of God in His choice of men as His ministers [1 Tim. 2:11-15]. Her indiscriminate allegation that criticism of Riplinger's fallacious book is simply due to the fact that Riplinger is a 'woman' smacks of modern "FEMINISM" of the past quarter-century. Was Mrs. Waite "infected" by the "feminist" propaganda of the "women's movement"? Or is she just now opting for this "feminist" cop-out allegation for lack of anything substantial with which to defend Riplinger... ?
"VARIETY OF TRANSLATIONS IS PROFITABLE FOR FINDING OUT OF THE SENSE OF THE SCRIPTURES." | the TRANSLATORS of the KING JAMES VERSION to the READERS |
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