THE PROBLEM WITH NEW AGE BIBLE VERSIONS
Updated January 3, 2008 (first published in O Timothy magazine, Vol. 11, Issue 8, 1994) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
The book New Age Bible Versions by Mrs. Gail Riplinger claims to be “the latest research supporting the Authorized King James Version.” While there is very little in it of reason or substance that has not already been published by defenders of the Authorized Version, its sensational approach has given it a far-reaching audience.
While I agree with Mrs. Riplinger that the multiplicity of modern versions has caused great spiritual damage, I have decided I must warn our readers of the many errors we have found in New Age Bible Versions. Dozens of people have asked my opinion of the book, and I have been promised to give an answer.
PROBLEMS WITH NEW AGE BIBLE VERSIONS
The following are some of the problems we found in the first half of the book. Please understand that this is not an exhaustive list. New Age Bible Versions is so marred by error, carelessness, and faulty logic that it cannot be used as a dependable resource.
MISQUOTING AND POOR DOCUMENTATION
New Age Bible Versions is extensively documented, but the documentation is extremely unreliable. A great many references that I attempted to check were not accurate.
Consider a few examples:
1. On page 2 Mrs. Riplinger misquotes Edwin Palmer, editor of the NIV. It would appear from the quote that Palmer is questioning the deity of Jesus Christ. She prefaces the quote with these words:
“The NIV’s chief editor vaunts his version’s heresy saying: ... [F]ew clear and decisive texts say that Jesus is God.”
In her notes, Mrs. Riplinger cites The Making of a Contemporary Translation, p. 143.
Actually Palmer IN NO WAY is questioning the deity of Jesus Christ. In fact, in the paragraph cited, HE IS CONTENDING for Christ’s deity! The full quote which Mrs. Riplinger has pulled out of context is as follows:
“John 1:18, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, is one of those few clear and decisive texts that declare that Jesus is God. But, due to no fault of its own, the KJV, following inferior manuscripts, has altered what the Holy Spirit said through John. It calls John ‘Son’, whereas it should have called him ‘God.’”
Please understand that I am not supporting what Palmer says here. I do not believe the KJV follows inferior manuscripts. I do not believe there are only a few clear and decisive passages that declare Jesus as God (see my article “Who Says Jesus Is God” at the Way of Life web site). I don’t believe that John 1:18 should read “the only begotten God.” That is a gnostic corruption.* The man is wrong on many important points, which I have exposed in my books on the Bible version issue (see particularly the 775-page Faith vs. the Modern Bible Versions), but it is also wrong to misquote him and to have him saying something that he does not say, particularly when someone puts heresy in his mouth that he does not believe. Palmer does believe that Jesus Christ is God, and Mrs. Riplinger slanders him when she misquotes him as she does.
[* John Burgon demonstrated that the “the only begotten God” reading in John 1:18 in the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts can be traced to Valentinus (Burgon and Miller, Causes of Corruption, pp. 215, 216). “The Gnostics said that Christ was ‘the Beginning,’ the first of God’s creation, and Valentinus referred to Him as ‘the Only-begotten God’ and said that He was the entire essence of all the subsequent worlds (Aeons)” (Jay Green, The Gnostics, the New Versions, and the Deity of Christ, 1994, p. 74). In the Received Text there is no question that the Word is also the Son and that both are God. The Word is God (Jn. 1:1); the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (Jn. 1:14); the Word is the Son (Jn. 1:18). By changing Jn. 1:18 to “the only begotten God,” Valentinus and his followers broke the clear association between the Word and the Son.]
2. On page 165 Mrs. Riplinger claims that NIV translator Herbert Wolf teaches that gain is godliness.
“Paul said that those, like Wolf, who teach that ‘gain is godliness’ are ‘destitute of the truth.’ Equating financial prosperity with spirituality is a common characteristic of the ‘New’ Christianity and the New Age.”
For evidence of this observation, Riplinger cites Wolf’s chapter in The Making of a Contemporary Translation. She quotes Wolf as saying:
“[N]on-literal translations enhance accuracy ... The word tsedeqah--normally rendered ‘righteousness’ is translated ‘prosperity’, perhaps understood as the reward of righteous living.”
In fact, Wolf is not promoting any sort of gain-is-godliness concept. Consider the full context of Wolf’s statement:
“The book of Proverbs also contains several verses where non-literal translations enhance accuracy. ... In [Proverbs] 8:18 tsedaqah is linked with riches and enduring wealth, and in 21:21 with finding life and honour. The abstract quality of ‘righteousness’ does not seem to fit either verse.”
When the entire quote is taken into consideration there is nothing to connect Mr. Wolf with New Age heresy. He is not correct in the change that he wants to make in the rendering of 1 Timothy 6:6; the King James is correct; but for Mrs. Riplinger to take this quotation and to tie it together with the promotion of New Age prosperity makes a laughing stock out of the position she is trying to defend. Further, Mrs. Riplinger, by dropping a significant portion of Wolf’s statement, makes it appear that he is supporting non-literal translations in general, whereas he is merely listing certain instances in which a non-literal translation technique can be accurate. We would not agree with everything Wolf has to say on this point, but it is wrong to put words in the man’s mouth.
3. On p. 213 Mrs. Riplinger says,
“NIV editor Larry Walker admits further that ‘[S]ome Bible characters appear to have disappeared from the text.’ Is it any wonder since Westcott said, ‘David is not a chronological ... person.’”
This is an amazingly erroneous connection. Walker is merely speaking of different TRANSLATIONS of certain names. Walker gives the following example:
“The name Ishtob in the AV rendering of 2 Samuel 10:6,8 becomes ‘men of Tob’ in the NIV translation.”
On the other hand, Westcott is questioning the actual HISTORICITY of the names. To connect these dissimilar remarks is absurd.
4. On p. 166 Mrs. Riplinger says, “NEW VERSIONS” read “godliness actually is a means of great gain” in 1 Timothy 6:6. She uses this to support her contention that modern versions support the New Age philosophy of material prosperity.
In fact, the “New VersionS” (plural) do not support such a reading. Only one “New Version” (singular) I could find has the reading Mrs. Riplinger cites, and that is the New American Standard Version; and when read in context, the NASV is NOT saying godliness is material gain. The full verse reads, “But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment.”
5. On p. 292 Mrs. Riplinger claims that NIV editor R. Laird Harris’s view of Hell is identical to that of cults such as Armstrongism and Jehovah Witness.
To “prove” this contention, she quotes from Harris’s chapter in The Making of A Contemporary Translation and has him saying,
“This view [hell] has some problems. [It] ... refers only to death, not to ... any punishment...”
The bracketed additions inserted by Riplinger remove Harris’s remarks from their proper context. The quotation is taken from two different pages of the book cited. In the first part of the quote Harris is addressing something entirely different from what he is addressing in the last part of the quote, yet Mrs. Riplinger puts the two misjointed pieces of quotation together. In neither quotation is Harris addressing any question about the existence of an eternal, fiery Hell. Rather, in the first part of the quotation he is discussing the view of some that in the Old Testament times Sheol was divided into two compartments. Consider exactly what Harris was discussing:
“[The Bible] does present what is a difficulty to the New Testament believer: both wicked (Num. 16:3) and righteous (Gen. 38:35) go to Sheol. A view was therefore early developed that said that there were two compartments in Sheol, an upper part for the believers and a lower for the lost.”
He then says:
“This view has some problems.”
He’s right. It does have some problems! That is not to say, of course, that the view is wrong.
In the second part of the quotation Harris is discussing the condition of Shimei in 1 Kings 2:9:
“To bring Shimei’s gray hairs down to Sheol in blood (2:9) surely refers only to his death, not to the condition of his soul after death or to any punishment beyond his execution.”
My friends, no matter what we might think of Harris and his translation activities, such a statement by him DOES NOT make him a co-fellow with cultists who deny the Bible doctrine of Hell. By taking the man’s statements entirely out of context, Mrs. Riplinger has slandered him.
6. On page 448 Mrs. Riplinger says:
“Westcott's biographer cites that in 1858 ‘he was quite inaudible’ and by 1870 ‘his voice reached few and was understood by still fewer.’”
Riplinger uses this quote to support her claim that Westcott lost his voice and sees that as a judgment of God for tampering with the Bible. The fact is that Westcott did NOT lose his voice. Riplinger cites volume one of The Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, but the quotes are misused.
The first quote is from a statement about how that Westcott, as a young student, disliked public speaking.
“He [Westcott] took his turn of preaching in Chapel, but he dreaded and disliked the duty, and he was quite inaudible to many of the boys” (The Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, vol. 1, p. 198).
There is nothing here about Westcott losing his voice.
The second of Riplinger’s quotes is taken from a letter from a Dr. Butler, who said that Westcott, when he was 35 years old and teaching at Harrow, still had a weak public speaking voice.
“His voice was not yet a force in the chapel. It reached but few, and it was understood by still fewer” (The Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, vol. 1, pp. 272-273).
Again, there is not a hint that Westcott lost his voice. It is a figment of Mrs. Riplinger’s fertile imagination.
ERRORS OF FACT
New Age Bible Versions contains a great number of factual errors. The following is a mere representation of this type of thing which is found throughout the book.
1. On page 59 Mrs. Riplinger calls John Burgon “a dissenting scholar on the ‘New Greek N.T. committee.”
In fact, Burgon had nothing to do with the committee that produced the Westcott-Hort Greek N.T. or any other Greek New Testament.
2. On page 143 Mrs. Riplinger says:
“Hundreds and hundreds of other examples of Roman Catholic theology in the new versions could be cited and are explored thoroughly in other books.”
While there can be no doubt that there is a Roman Catholic connection in the modern versions, I have never seen any documentation to prove Mrs. Riplinger’s contention that the new versions promote Catholic theology in hundreds and hundreds of instances.
3. On page 89 Mrs. Riplinger says, “Even NIV translator Larry Walker applauds the rejection of the Hebrew Old Testament for the Ugaritic wherein the gods of pantheism preside.”
In fact, Walker says:
“Generally, the NIV translators adopted a very conservative attitude towards the text and our traditional understanding of it and the Hebrew language. Noticeable in this regard is the translation of Job, which follows extremely closely the Masoretic (traditional Hebrew) Text and shuns many modern suggested emendations. Several of the translators had studied and taught Ugaritic, so they were familiar with the many new proposals emanating from Mitchell Dahood and his students. In some cases the new insights into vocabulary and grammar were accepted and incorporated into the translation. IN MOST CASES, for example the Psalms, THE ALMOST ENDLESS PROPOSALS BY DAHOOD TO RE-EDIT THE MASORETIC TEXT IN THE LIGHT OF UGARITIC AND NORTHWEST SEMITIC WERE REJECTED IF THE PRESENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE TEXT MADE GOOD SENSE. ... the NIV follows a very conservative course and rarely departs from the Masoretic Text” (The Making of A Contemporary Translation, pp. 127,128).
We do not believe the NIV translators should have departed from the Masoretic Text even a few times, but the point is that Walker does not “applaud the rejection of the Hebrew Old Testament for the Ugaritic.” Exactly the opposite is true.
4. On page 179 Mrs. Riplinger has a chart which purports to give nine instances in which the “NIV, NASV, et al.” translates the KJV’s “rejoicing” as “pride.”
In fact, three of these are NOT translated “pride” in the NIV, but are translated “boast” and “joy” (2 Cor. 1:12, 14; Phil. 1:26).
5. The chart on page 180 says the “NASB et al.” adds words which weaken the reading of Romans 15:1 and 1 Peter 3:3.
From this statement one would think that most modern versions have this change, but, in fact, it is ONLY the NASB which adds the words in question. The NIV omits the words in question, as does the Today’s English Version, the Living Bible, the Revised Berkeley Version, and the New English Bible.
6. The chart on page 182 claims the “NIV, NASB, et al.” translates 1 Corinthians 11:1 as “be imitators.”
In fact, the NIV in 1 Corinthians 11:1 reads “follow my example.”
7. The chart on page 186 claims the “NIV, NASB, et al.” deletes “God” from Galatians 1:15.
In fact, the NIV has God in this verse. The same chart claims the “NIV, NASB, et al.” does not capitalize the word “the head” in Colossians 2:19. In fact, the NIV does capitalize the word “Head” here.
8. The chart on page 187 says the “NIV, NASB, et al.” translates Genesis 41:38, “A man like this in whom is a divine spirit?”
In fact, the NIV reads “Spirit of God” in this verse.
9. The chart on page 187 claims the “NIV, NASB, et al.” reads “a divine being” in 1 Samuel 28:13.
In fact, the NIV reads, “I see a spirit coming up out of the ground.”
10. The chart on page 187 claims the “NIV, NASB, et al.” reads, “But what is the divine response” in Romans 11:4.
In fact, the NIV reads “And what was God’s answer to him?” which is what the KJV says.
11. According to the chart on p. 188, the “New Versions” omit the words “in him” in 2 Corinthians 5:21.
In fact, both the NIV and the NASB retain these words.
12. On p. 129 Mrs. Riplinger claims the modern versions promote asceticism in Colossians 2:23.
In fact, every modern version I checked condemns asceticism in this passage.
13. According to the chart on p. 22, the new versions radically change the Bible’s teaching pertaining to a Christian’s attitude toward his enemies. According to Riplinger’s chart, whereas the KJV tells us to “bless” our enemies, the New Versions omit this and have “you ... bastard.” And whereas the KJV tells us to “do good” to our enemies, the New Versions omit this and have “go to hell.” And whereas the KJV tells us to “forgive” our enemies, the New Versions omit this and replace it with “you son of a bitch.”
This is an amazing and gross misrepresentation of the truth. All of the modern versions teach that the Christian is to bless, do good to, and forgive his enemies. What about “bastard” and “son of a bitch”? These were expressions used in early editions of the Living Bible. They are no longer found even in the Living Bible, and were never used in the NIV or NASV. The critical text does remove a portion of Matthew 5:44, but to see in this omission what Mrs. Riplinger sees requires putting on a strange sort of glasses.
Please understand that these are only a few examples of the types of errors that are found in Mrs. Riplinger’s charts. They are unreliable.
New Age Bible Versions, from beginning to end, advances faulty logic. Mrs. Riplinger continually makes unequal and unfair comparisons and makes connections where no proper connections exist. The following are a mere representation of the almost countless illustrations which could be given of this.
1. On pages 90-91 Riplinger cites the NIV chief editor’s Calvinism as cause to lump him into the same category with Charles Manson and Madam Blavatsky.
“Those, like Manson, Blavatsky and the NIV’s Chief, Edwin Palmer, who see God as ‘the One’--driving both evil and good--’call evil good’ (Isaiah 5:20). They are setting the stage for the slaughter of those who are saved during the tribulation.”
While I reject Calvinism, I certainly cannot accept that there is any connection between the Calvinist and the New Age weirdoes! Charles Haddon Spurgeon was a staunch Calvinist. Did his preaching set the stage for the New Age? In fact, most of the King James Translators were Calvinists.
2. On p. 116 Mrs. Riplinger connects the NASB translation of Acts 22:6-11 with the “light” and the “One” promoted by the New Age. I believe this amazing connection is entirely in Mrs. Riplinger’s mind.
3. On p. 157 Mrs. Riplinger claims:
“Bibles which omit a clear mandate against, ‘sexual intercourse on the part of unmarried persons’ (Webster’s ‘fornication’) leave parents defenseless in their battle for their children’s chastity. An anxious mother called Moody Broadcasting’s ‘Open Line’ program asking Pastor Cole where she could find a verse to show her son that pre-marital sex is wrong. He was unable to give one. On a recent 700 Club, the author of Generation at Risk was asked why sexually active Christian kids have no sense of guilt. He responded that there was ‘no absolute standard of scripture’ to use...”
The fact is that many verses in the NIV and in most other modern versions plainly condemn pre-marital sex. Examples are Ephesians 5:3 and Hebrews 13:4. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Heb. 13:4 NIV). The problem here is not with the modern translations but with the blind and compromised Christian leaders who use those translations.
4. On p. 192 Mrs. Riplinger says, “New versions shatter the only mirror betraying man’s seared conscience. Consequently ‘Christians’ can conclude with Starhawk, the New Age’s most outspoken witch, ‘There is nothing to be saved from.’”
To say that the new versions support Starhawk’s philosophy of life is preposterous. Even the new versions teach plainly and repeatedly that man is a fallen sinner that needs to be saved from his sin, that he cannot save himself, and that salvation is through the Lord Jesus Christ.
5. On p. 149 Mrs. Riplinger implements a method she calls “acrostic algebra” to remove the “sheep’s clothing” from the modern versions so as to “expose the brand on the hand of the wolf’s skin.”
Her five-step acrostic beings with (NASV-NIV)-AV and ends with SIN. With logic like this, anything can be “proven.” Or maybe she intended this to be a little joke?
New Age Bible Versions contains countless statements which are entirely unsubstantiated.
Consider some examples:
1. On p. 190 Mrs. Riplinger says:
“Only when we are in lullaby land or on the lines of the latest version does the likeness of a lovable man appear. Verses which mar Narcissus’ vision of himself are missing. ‘Lovable’ people, after all, when visited by their creator, do not strike him, accurse him, or constrain him.”
To prove this contention, Riplinger notes a number of omissions and changes in the modern versions. The fact is that nothing she lists here proves in any way her contention. The new versions DO plainly show man’s mistreatment of Jesus Christ and DO condemn man’s love of self. For example, in Matthew 27:28-30 the NIV reads:
“They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then wove a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.”
2. On p. 125 Mrs. Riplinger says:
“These versions leave their readers open to popular New Age books like The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, which advises, ‘[E]nter fully into the spirit of the God of Forces’ (p. 16).”
The supposed proof for this amazing statement is the “NIV, NASB et al.” translation of Daniel 11:36-39 which says the antichrist will “honor a god of fortresses” instead of the KJV reading of “honor the God of forces.” With logic like this I contend that one can make ANY statement one pleases about ANYTHING whatsoever and support it by ANY fact about ANYTHING regardless of whether or not there is the slightest connection between the statement and the fact! I studied the Aquarian Gospel when I was following Hinduism prior to my conversion in 1973. I can assure you that the new versions, as corrupt as they are, DO NOT leave their readers open to the Aquarian Gospel or to Hinduism.
3. On p. 167 Mrs. Riplinger says, “New versions foster the phoney [sic] faith teachers which flood the media.”
There is no proof given for this contention. The phony faith teachers don’t even need a Bible. They have prophecies and tongues and visions and “a word from the Lord”! They don’t prove their phony teachings by modern version corruptions, but by twisting the Bible to say what they want it to say. Many of the phony faith teachers, in fact, still use the King James Bible.
MRS. RIPLINGER’S AMAZING STATEMENTS
Let me also say that I have found some of Mrs. Riplinger’s statements pertaining to her work to be amazing and frightful.
On page 34 of New Age Bible Versions she mentions Dr. Wilbur Pickering’s book The Identity of the New Testament Text and says, “He set the stage for, THIS THE FINAL PAGE, closing ‘the cover’ on new versions.” Thus Mrs. Riplinger points to her own book as THE FINAL PAGE which will close the cover on the new versions. Amazing. And I thought Peter Ruckman had already thrown THE LAST GRENADE!
In a Pentecostal paper titled The End Times and Victorious Living, January-February 1994, Mrs. Riplinger gives her testimony. She says, “EACH DISCOVERY WAS NOT THE RESULT OF EFFORT ON MY PART, BUT OF THE DIRECT HAND OF GOD--so much so that I hesitated to even put my name on the book. Consequently, I used G.A. Riplinger, which signifies to me, GOD AND RIPLINGER--God as author and Riplinger as secretary.”
Even the most radical charismatic prophets hesitate to use such intemperate language.
ENDORSEMENTS WHICH ARE NOT ENDORSEMENTS
Mrs. Riplinger’s promotional materials list three men as endorsing her book who do not actually endorse it. These are Dave Hunt, Henry Morris, and S. Frank Logsdon.
Dave Hunt, on being questioned about his supposed endorsement of New Age Bible Versions, said:
“The ‘endorsement’ came about based on a phone conversation I had with the author upon receiving her manuscript. As she explained various aspects of her book, I commented that if she could document what she was telling me, she would be doing a great service to the church. I also told her that the impressive form of the manuscript itself should help her with publishers since they rarely receive manuscripts that well done. Somehow bits of our conversation ended up as an ‘endorsement’ of a book which I haven’t even read: ‘You have done a great service to the church. ... Publishers never receive books this well done.’ The publisher was contacted and agreed to remove my name from all promotional copy. However, some who are promoting the book independently have continued to use what they mistakenly believe is my endorsement.”
Hunt’s The Berean Call magazine has made the following statement about New Age Bible Versions:
“The book not only misses the author’s professed marks, it seriously undermines her credibility and brings her integrity into question. ... She starts off misrepresenting people and continues to do so throughout the entire book. ... Time and space will not allow for more than a sampling of the hundreds of mistakes in Riplinger’s 690-page book.”
Henry Morris, in a letter “To Whom It May Concern” dated February 28, 1994, stated:
“Since a number have inquired about my ‘endorsement’ of Gail Riplinger’s book, I have requested--and she has agreed--not to use this statement in any future printing of the book or in any promotional literature. ... She did devote several years of diligent research to this project and I believe has compiled much worthwhile material in the book. Unfortunately, there is also some misleading material.”
A statement by Frank Logsdon is included under the Comments section of the promotional flyer for New Age Bible Versions. Logsdon’s statement follows that of Texe Marrs, John Barela, and Henry Morris. One is therefore led to believe that Frank Logsdon, who is listed as “co-founder NASB,” is writing in support of Mrs. Riplinger’s book. In fact, Logsdon has been dead for many years and knew nothing about New Age Bible Versions. Logsdon did come out in support of the Received Text and of the King James Bible, but this is not to say that he would have endorsed Mrs. Riplinger’s view on the subject. I have researched Logsdon’s life and his position on the Bible version issue. In fact I was the first one to publish Logsdon’s views on the King James Bible in print, and I find it extremely doubtful that he would have supported Riplinger’s approach to this debate.
A DIVORCED WOMAN PREACHER
Like Peter Ruckman, Mrs. Riplinger has been divorced twice and married thrice. The following information is from http://www.avpublications.org/
Riplinger was born Gail Anne Ludwig in Columbus, Ohio, at Mount Carmel Hospital, She is the only child of Wilson and Helen (Frech) Ludwig.
She was married the first time in 1969 to a man named Latessa and divorced from him in February 1975. Her second married was in 1976 to a man named Kaleda, and they were divorced in August 1984. Her third marriage was contracted only two months after the second divorce.
Divorce Case #74-DR-1543, State of Ohio (Mahoning County), Latessa (Ludwig) Vs. Latessa, Division of Domestic Relations, February 12, 1975. Records can be ontained from the Mahoning County Clerk, 120 Market Street, 2nd Floor, Youngstown, OH 44503. Riplinger's birthdate and place of birth found on Ohio Marriage Record. Her former name: Gail Anne Latessa
Divorce Case #84-CV-0652, State of Ohio (Portage County), Kaleda (Ludwig) Vs. Kaleda, Court of Common Pleas Domestic Relations, August 6, 1984. Records can be obtained from the Portage County Court, P.O. Box 1035, Ravenna, OH 44266. Riplinger's birthdate and place of birth found on Ohio Marriage Record. Her former name: Gail Anne Kaleda
Here are all three of her marriage records:
Marriage Record #61989, Trumbull County, Ohio Probate Court, 1969; Gail Anne Latessa
Marriage Record #45789, Portage County, Ohio Probate Court, 1976; Gail Anne Kaleda
Marriage Record #59311, Summit County, Ohio Probate Court, 1984; Gail Anne Riplinger
Mrs. Riplinger ignores 1 Timothy 2:12 and has taught men in many forums. She has preached on the Bible version issue in churches to mixed congregations.
Some might be thinking, “Why are you defending the modern versions? Aren’t they corrupt?” Yes, the modern versions are corrupt, and I AM NOT defending them. I am against error, though, regardless of where it appears. We do not have the right to make false statements even about the devil himself. When our speaking and writing is filled with error of fact and is characterized by shoddy research and indefensible extremism, we discredit our position.
I am not saying there is no good in New Age Bible Versions. The book contains some helpful insights and it documents the frightful corruption of the modern versions, but it also is filled with illogical and improper statements which have the effect of discrediting everything the author says that is true.
There is no reason, friends, to promote a book like this when there are so many dependable volumes which defend the preserved Word of God and expose the error of the modern versions. See our article “A Basic Bible Version Library” at the Way of Life web site for suggestions.
RESPONSE TO THE NEW AGE BIBLE VERSION CRITIQUE
The review of New Age Bible Versions has stirred up a lot of response, and while many comments were kind and positive, quite a few were very ugly. Consider some excerpts which illustrate the broad range of responses:
“Sadly, your article was an attempt to defame, discredit, to assassinate the character of the author. ... There is no generosity of spirit in your article. No attempt to assist or inspire. Only criticism, ridicule, and smear. ... So now you have found the respect you perhaps sought from the intellectual and philosophical crowd. You now can take your place in the establishment, David, You’ve made it.” --Austin, Texas
“I think you did an exemplary job in reviewing the book honestly while maintaining the spirit of Christianity.” --Verona, Pennsylvania
“I did send to America to get a copy of this book [New Age Bible Versions] and on checking many times with a copy of the N.I.V. which I have I did not find there was agreement each time. So though I read it right through, I treated it with reservations. Later I discovered the book was written by a woman (there is nothing on the book to signify the author was a woman just initials and a name). Had I known I would not have bought it as women are forbidden to teach [to a general audience containing men] and therefore a very good chance of it containing errors.” --Sussex, England
“Your critique of Gail Riplinger’s book is objective, thorough, and educational. I sensed, in your critique, a genuine love for the brethren and for truth and accuracy.” --Oak Park, Illinois
“Just read your article on Riplinger’s book and concur with your findings. I do feel badly about all the errors, as we can always use as much support as we can get.” --Grand Rapids, Michigan
“This will readily cause joy in Satan’s camp; Mrs. Riplinger has to be influenced/or an agent of the enemy.” --Farmdale, Ohio
“My heart is truly broken over all that has been said and printed. Only the Lord knows the true damage that has been done and how much is irreparable. I believe it has caused great ‘set back’ to the efforts of those trying to get the truth of ‘which Bible’ to this dying world. Mr. Cloud, it is now hard to know where you stand. I am reading New Age Bible Versions. I am not checking and comparing every word as I am trusting the Holy Spirit to impart to me any ‘important’ quote that is not true to His Word.” --Greenville, South Carolina
“Have you lost your vision of why you write this paper? [You are] sowing discord among brethren. I question your statement that you ‘do not have any sympathy with the modern versions.’ The fact that you studied the Aquarian Gospel when you were following Americanized Hinduism prior to your conversion could have been a bad seed sown. You are defending the corrupt versions. Her entire book was to rebuke those who contribute to other versions (such as Dave Hunt). Where and with whom do YOU stand? ... God bless Texe Marrs. Shame on you!” --Greenville, South Carolina
“Your article has caused much division among the believers. I do not believe it was used to defend the KJV but to destroy God’s true Bible. Also could there be some jealousy on your part? Since so many copies have been sold [of New Age Bible Versions]. turning people to the false versions. ... In the past He used women in the Bible and He will use women today too. ... I pray the Holy Spirit will guide and lead you in this matter to make things right with our sister Gail Riplinger. ... You can’t straddle the fence, and get away with it forever. Payday will come.” --Deland, Florida
“I, and many others, still feel that you owe her [Mrs. Riplinger] a WRITTEN apology for the OPEN REBUKE and the DIVISION that your article caused. ... This might be a good place to ask you, ‘Where DO you stand on inspiration? Do you believe in WORD FOR WORD translation, or do you stand where Dave Hunt stands. There are a lot of us who want to know--are you with Dr. Waite and the other defenders of the K.J.V.--or do you stand with Dave Hunt on ‘just preferring’ the K.J.V.?” --Greenville, South Carolina
“Someone who can’t see the numerous Catholic slants in the new versions ... couldn’t see a bowling ball in a bathtub at high noon on a sunny day. ... Either way Riplinger is right and you are wrong. ... You must believe anything with the word Bible on the cover is satisfactory. ... You greatly underestimate the damages Satan can wreak using new versions to spread false, eastern religion. ... Ah ha! A water balloon tossed at Ruckman! Could this be your motive for publishing this? Something against Ruckman? ... You were guilty of a bit of puffing yourself in the beginning ... so don’t be too hard on Riplinger for perhaps committing a similar indiscretion. Good for a hypocritical gander. ... Your attack on G.A. Riplinger’s book was unnecessarily venomous.” --Oshkosh, Wisconsin
“I find that you uphold and support the ones who invented the bastard translations of new versions. Moreover, I find your lack of reasoning ludicrous. ... Take your stick horse and run along to the Vaticanus playground.” --Copan, Oklahoma
“We have found that those who promote this book [New Age Bible Versions] tend to be very divisive and those who become persuaded by this book (instead of by proper evidence) fall into the same trap of being divisive.” --Roseville, Minnesota
Pretty wild ride, huh? In replying to these and similar e-communications I made the following observations:
First, let me reaffirm that I believe the King James Bible is an accurate translation of the preserved Greek and Hebrew text and is the inspired Word of God. I do not merely prefer it; I accept it ALONE among English translations as the inspired Word of God. ALL other English versions are corrupt. I daily praise the Lord for a dependable Bible. To say that there are inaccuracies in Mrs. Riplinger’s book is not the same as promoting the modern versions.
Second, those who took my article as a personal attack upon the book’s author did not read my review carefully. Why can’t we deal with facts and leave the personality thing out of it? Many refuse to do this, though. Friends, don’t make more of this matter than should be made of it. My review of Mrs. Riplinger’s book was just that and nothing more. It was not an attack on Mrs. Riplinger. It was not a defense of Dave Hunt or of anyone else. It was a warning to be careful in using her book. Period.
Third, I realize that some good men stand behind Mrs. Riplinger’s book. I have no quarrel with anyone who does. The book makes many good points. As I said in the beginning of my review. I am thankful for every person who rejects the modern versions because of Mrs. Riplinger’s book.
Fourth, my motive in printing a review of New Age Bible Versions was nothing more complicated or sinister than the fact that I wanted to disassociate my name from the book. Mrs. Riplinger had recommended us in her book, and I have had to write many letters explaining my position. I decided to put it in print. I also wanted to warn people about the mistakes. I have heard and read a number of quotations from the book which are patently untrue. Does this type of thing not matter?
Fifth, I do agree with Mrs. Riplinger’s position that there is a connection between the modern versions and the New Age. I stated in the review: “I have no doubt that there is a demonic involvement in the modern versions. I believe one can trace a clear line of demonic deception stretching from Origen to Tischendorf to Metzger.”
Sixth, I did write to Mrs. Riplinger in an attempt to get her feedback before I printed my review. On June 12, 1994, I sent the review to Mrs. Riplinger, but 13 years have passed and I have yet to receive any personal communication from her.
Seventh, I do not agree with men who only prefer the King James Bible and who refuse to label the modern versions as corrupted. Some have claimed that I have sided with Dave Hunt or with some other man who does not have a firm position on the King James Bible. This is a figment of their fertile imagination. I have sided with no one against the King James Bible. Dave Hunt used me as a reference in his paper on this issue. That was his decision, not mine. He recommended that his readers write to us, knowing that we would send each of those people a catalog of all of our materials which defend the King James Bible. I have no connection with The Berean Call, except for the fact that I do appreciate many of the things they stand for. On the issue of Bible Versions, I have always made it plain in O Timothy that there are differences between Dave Hunt and me. I appreciate the fact that he has come out in support of the Received Text and against the modern versions in a general sense, and I have mentioned this in our paper, but this does not mean that I stand with him exactly in this matter.
Eighth, in a similar vein, on June 25, 1994, I wrote to T.A. McMahon, who works with Dave Hunt, and said: “The problem with many of the reviews of Riplinger’s book that I have seen is that they are written from a perspective sympathetic to the critical text, and their gloating over the opportunity to devastate the writing of a KJV-defender is only thinly veiled. The fact is that many of those involved with the critical text (from Griesbach to Metzger) HAVE BEEN apostate in their theology. To me, one of the clearest reasons to reject the modern versions is that they flow from the end-time apostasy which can be traced to the German rationalism adopted by men such as the editors of the English Revised Version of 1881. The King James Bible flows from revival; the modern versions flow from apostasy. This can be documented, yet those who promote the modern versions refuse to acknowledge this pertinent fact.”
Finally, I stand behind my review. I said, “I cannot recommend New Age Bible Versions. There are many good points made in the book, but it is so marred by error, carelessness, and faulty logic that it cannot be used as a dependable resource.” I stand behind that observation and I am more convinced than ever that the review should have been published.
I must note that there are some on the KJV bandwagon who are real nuts, and they always come out of the woodwork in a time like this. If we can’t get along with anyone and are living in a constant state of strife and anger, we are not living in accordance with the very Bible we claim to defend.
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, PATIENT, IN MEEKNESS instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Tim. 2:24-26).
“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works WITH MEEKNESS OF WISDOM. But if he have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then PEACEABLE, GENTLE, and easy to be intreated, FULL OF MERCY and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown IN PEACE of them that make peace” (James 3:13-18).
That is from the King James Bible, folks.
GAIL RIPLINGER’S FERTILE IMAGINATION
In 1994 I was asked by many to critique a book titled New Age Bible Versions by Gail Riplinger. I was keen to do so because she had recommended our ministry and we were getting letters from her readers. I wanted to see what type of book she had written. As I read the book and attempted to examine the documents she cited, I found that she frequently misused and twisted quotations by others. I wrote a review of the book and sent it first to Mrs. Riplinger. My cover letter was dated June 12, 1994. It consisted of one paragraph, as follows:
“Christian greetings in the lovely name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. D.A. Waite in New Jersey suggested that I write to you about some problems I have found in your book New Age Bible Versions. Sometime back he asked me what I thought of the book and I told him that I had found some problems, but that I had only read a few pages. I started the book last year, but put it aside in December in order to give my full attention to completing our Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity. Now that this project is complete, I have again picked up your book. I am finding lots of problems and errors, though, and I would like to know what you think of the enclosed. The Lord’s blessing and grace be with you.”
She has never replied personally to my correspondence, and I have not made another attempt to contact her. I printed the review in O Timothy, Volume 11, Issue 8, 1994, which was mailed out at the end of August of that year. I summarized my conclusion in regard to her book as follows:
“Let me say very plainly at the outset of this article, I do not believe New Age Bible Versions is a dangerous book; I believe it is an undependable book. I agree with Mrs. Riplinger that the multiplicity of modern versions has caused great spiritual damage. At the same time, I have decided I must warn our readers of the many errors we have found in New Age Bible Versions. ... Some might be thinking, ‘Why are you defending the modern versions? Aren’t they corrupt?’ Yes, the modern versions are corrupt, and I am not defending them. I am against error, though, regardless of where it appears. We do not have the right to make false statements even about the devil himself. When our speaking and writing is filled with error of fact and is characterized by shoddy research and indefensible extremism, we discredit our entire position. I am not saying there is no good in New Age Bible Versions. The book contains many helpful insights and it documents the frightful corruption of the modern versions, but it also is filled with illogical and improper statements which have the effect of discrediting everything the author says that is true. There is no reason, friends, to promote a book like this when there are so many dependable volumes which defend the preserved Word of God and expose the error of the modern versions. We would recommend the following: Defending the King James Bible by D.A. Waite and Forever Settled by Jack Moorman. For a smaller overview we recommend Jack Moorman’s Modern Bibles: The Dark Secret. [These are available from Bible for Today, 900 Park Ave., Collingswood, NJ 08108.]”
Instead of addressing me personally and communicating with me about my concerns, Mrs. Riplinger included me in a subsequent book entitled Blind Guides. It was published in 1995. The section dealing with me includes a mockup of the O Timothy magazine banner, but instead of saying “O Timothy,” it says “O Madmen.” And instead of the excerpt from 1 Timothy 6:20, “keep that which is committed to thy trust,” she has an excerpt from Psalm 52:4, “O thou deceitful tongue.” The entire article is characterized by this type of vicious and malicious slander.
Mrs. Riplinger’s critique begins with these edifying words: “Another David whose spiritual adulteries ‘help the ungodly’ (II Chron. 19:2 and II Sam. 12:14) is David Cloud. Like a thundercloud, his critique of the book is more noise than substance--simply another nebulous attempt to obscure the light. His torrential downpour of rhetoric, when examined, is as vaporous as a fog cloud. ... Cloud has hammered a framed picture of himself--his final authority--above the altar of his opinion, his newsletter.”
It would be a waste of time to print more of it. I will let you in on a little secret, though. She is just as careless and undependable in Blind Guides as she was in New Age Bible Versions. Her supposed critique of my review misses the point consistently. As I read her review, I found myself asking, “Can she be serious here? Is she joking?” But no, she is not joking. The lady is very serious. She ignores what I said and erects a straw man which she handily and gleefully shreds apart.
Her review is so incredibly wrong-minded I have no intention of responding to it. It would be like responding to a child who has told me that there is a man in the moon. How do you respond to nonsense? Any serious reply I would attempt to give would only bring forth more vitriolic nonsense. How can I take someone seriously who lies about me in such an incredible way--apparently with a straight face!
In reviewing Mrs. Riplinger’s lengthy writings, we wonder what the Lord thinks of this woman who has taken it upon herself to teach, correct, mock, and rebuke men? Does the Bible not forbid this?
“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Timothy 2:12).
One man who wrote to me about Mrs. Riplinger said:
“It would be one thing if you were in the new version crowd, attacking her work because it exposed doctrinal heresy on your part. Her charges would then be founded on solid ground. But in everything I’ve read in recent months in O Timothy, as well as the materials I have purchased from Bible Baptist Church Publications, nothing has indicated to me that you have anything but total dedication to the King James Bible, and its underlying texts.”
This man is correct. I do have total dedication to the Authorized Version. I have not corrected or questioned one word of it. I have warned of those who do. The very fact that Mrs. Riplinger and some of her supporters have questioned my faith in the KJV and have mocked me as if I were some sort of unbeliever is evidence that they are incapable of making sound judgments.
GAIL RIPLINGER’S SLANDERS
The following was first published in Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service, May 19, 1996:
In 1995 Mrs. Gail Riplinger, author of New Age Bible Versions, included this editor in a book entitled Blind Guides. The section dealing with David Cloud includes a mockup of the O Timothy magazine banner, but instead of saying “O Timothy,” it says “O Madmen.” And instead of the excerpt from 1 Timothy 6:20, “keep that which is committed to thy trust,” she has an excerpt from Psalm 52:4, “O thou deceitful tongue.” The entire article is characterized by this type of vicious and malicious slander.
In 1994 I had been asked by many to critique a book entitled New Age Bible Versions (published in 1993). The author was listed as “G.A. Riplinger.” We soon learned that this is a woman named Gail Anne. As I read the book and attempted to examine the documents she cited, I found that she frequently misused and twisted quotations by others. I wrote a review of the book and sent it first to Mrs. Riplinger. My cover letter was dated June 12, 1994. It consisted of one paragraph, as follows:
“Christian greetings in the lovely name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. D.A. Waite in New Jersey suggested that I write to you about some problems I have found in your book New Age Bible Versions. Sometime back he asked me what I thought of the book and I told him that I had found some problems, but that I had only read a few pages. I started the book last year, but put it aside in December in order to give my full attention to completing our Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity. Now that this project is complete, I have again picked up your book. I am finding lots of problems and errors, though, and I would like to know what you think of the enclosed. The Lord’s blessing and grace be with you” (Letter from D.W. Cloud to Gail Riplinger, June 12, 1994).
She has never replied personally to my correspondence, and I have not made another attempt to contact her. I printed the review in O Timothy, Volume 11, Issue 8, 1994, which was mailed out at the end of August of that year. I summarized my conclusion in regard to her book as follows:
“Let me say very plainly at the outset of this article, I do not believe New Age Bible Versions is a dangerous book; I believe it is an undependable book. I agree with Mrs. Riplinger that the multiplicity of modern versions has caused great spiritual damage. At the same time, I have decided I must warn our readers of the many errors we have found in New Age Bible Versions. ... Some might be thinking, ‘Why are you defending the modern versions? Aren’t they corrupt?’ Yes, the modern versions are corrupt, and I am not defending them. I am against error, though, regardless of where it appears. We do not have the right to make false statements even about the devil himself. When our speaking and writing is filled with error of fact and is characterized by shoddy research and indefensible extremism, we discredit our entire position. I am not saying there is no good in New Age Bible Versions. The book contains many helpful insights and it documents the frightful corruption of the modern versions, but it also is filled with illogical and improper statements which have the effect of discrediting everything the author says that is true. There is no reason, friends, to promote a book like this when there are so many dependable volumes which defend the preserved Word of God and expose the error of the modern versions. We would recommend the following: Defending the King James Bible by D.A. Waite and Forever Settled by Jack Moorman. For a smaller overview we recommend Jack Moorman’s Modern Bibles: The Dark Secret. [These are available from Bible for Today, 900 Park Ave., Collingswood, NJ 08108.]” (D.W. Cloud, “New Age Bible Versions: A Critique,” O Timothy, Volume 11, Issue 8, 1994).
Many have been confused by these articles. I have claimed that Mrs. Riplinger is careless and her writings undependable. She claims that I am careless and undependable--among many other things!
For those who find themselves confused by all of this, let me say that you will not the truth of these matters unless you are willing to look into it for yourself. If you read my books and articles and find that I question the Authorized Version, that I doubt it in any sense whatsoever, then she is right in grouping me with other Bible deniers. If, on the other hand, you find that I have not doubted the AV, she is proven to be a slanderer and a liar. I have written a brief reply to her slanderous article on me.
HERE I WILL LIST A FEW OF THE SLANDERS SHE STATED IN HER ARTICLE ABOUT ME.
SLANDER #1 -- “Cloud confessed in a personal letter to me (Letter dated June 12, 1994, p. 6) that in India he had used, ‘a Westcott-Hort Bible; it was a modern version; yet God used the truth in that Bible...’ a solid, self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating New Testament Church.’ She then says, “Yet in his earlier days he said ‘this very Bible has been one of the root causes for the great weakness and confusion which exists among many Nepali churches to this hour’ (Cloud, Is the English Language Provincial?, p. 22). Was the church it built ‘solid’ or weak? The terms are contradictory and mutually exclusive” (Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 22).
This is an incredible bunch of half-truths that are twisted entirely out of shape and made to appear to mean something other than what the author intended. Gail Riplinger has never seen fit to reply to my first letter so I have not persisted in trying to communicate directly with her. I have never said anything directly to Mrs. Riplinger about the Bible we used in Nepal. Possibly she is quoting from the first unpublished edition of my critique of her book which I sent to her, but she writes as if that were a part of my personal letter to her and that I was actually boasting something to her.
She says I boasted about using a Westcott-Hort Bible “in India,” but my church-planing work was not in India; it was in Nepal. She claims there is a contradiction in my statements about the church we started in Nepal and the Nepali Bible, whereas there is no contradiction whatsoever. In one statement I was referring to the church, singular, that we started. In the other statement I was referring to the churches, plural, in Nepal. The church we started was doctrinally and spiritual solid, but that, in my opinion, was because of the teaching we gave that church and it was IN SPITE of the weakness of the existing standard Nepali Bible, not BECAUSE of it. On the other hand, the churches in general in Nepal are weak, and I do believe that one of the reasons for this is the condition of the Nepali Bible. That was what I was stating in the book that Gail cites. Mrs. Riplinger treats me like she treats others. She takes things out of context and puts things together from various sources which should not be put together. By so abusing my words, she does not make a liar out of me; she makes a liar out of herself.
I have paid a heavy price in Asia for my stand for the Authorized Version and the Received Text, and I have stood practically alone in my zeal to see a pure Bible in that language, and for this woman now to claim that I have boasted of starting a strong church through a Westcott-Hort Bible is a great wickedness which I believe she will answer for at the judgment seat of Christ.
The standard Nepali Bible is based largely on the English Revised Version. We did use it to establish a church. There was nothing else to use. We had great battles with the Bible Society in Nepal and the one in India and they tried to destroy my ministry. They actually brought together an ecclesiastical trial and brought 11 or 12 charges against me. They demanded that we stop our work and leave the country. We did not leave until many years later, but that was their demand. They told many lies about me in an effort to discredit our ministry. The charges had to do largely with causing division in the “body of Christ in Nepal,” but the thing that brought all of that to a head was our public opposition to the Bible Societies’ work in South Asia and their corrupt translations. In our own church planting work we corrected the standard Nepali Bible and educated the people about Bible texts and translations in general to prepare them for a proper translation. We stood alone in this endeavor in the 1980s to educate the Nepali people about Bible texts and versions. We labored all along to produce a Nepali Bible based on the KJV. Our Nepali KJV New Testament was completed several years ago. The Old Testament is still in progress.
SLANDER #2 -- Cloud would replace the Holy Bible with a Holey Bible, with 1000’s of spiritual loopholes through which to fall” (Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 31).
Every person who has written to me after reading Mrs. Riplinger’s slanders has gotten the idea that I am a Bible corrector, that I somehow secretly support the new versions, that I do not have a solid faith in the English Authorized Version and in its underlying text. This is because of Mrs. Riplinger’s lies about me which have darkened the minds of many people. She has lumped me in with men who support the modern versions. My attempt to correct some of Mrs. Riplinger’s statements about modern versions was not an underhanded way of supporting those versions.
If Mrs. Riplinger says something about the NIV that is not correct, and I attempt to correct that statement, I am not thereby raising a flag for the NIV. Mrs. Riplinger implied that the editor of the NIV denies the deity of Christ. I stated simply that the man does not deny the deity of Christ and that it is wrong to imply that he does. Mrs. Riplinger has made the incredible leap of reason whereby I am now allegedly defending the man and his work.
Anyone who has actually read my writings will know how ridiculous this is. I have never defended New Evangelicals or their Bibles. I have stated that New Evangelicalism is a form of apostasy. At the same time, I don’t believe it is correct to put words in the mouths of men which they have not actually stated. I support absolutely none of the modern English versions. I don’t support the RV or the RSV or the NASV or the NEB or the NIV or the LB or the TEV. I believe they are all perversions of the Word of God. I also do not support the NKJV or the 21st Century KJV or the King James Bible II. My stand for the Authorized Version as my final authority is evident in my writings on this subject.
One man asked if I support any changes in the KJV and if I believe “easter” in Acts 12:4 is accurate. I replied, “I do not believe any changes need to be made in the KJV nor do I believe any changes should be made in the KJV. The word ‘easter’ in Acts 12:4 is an accurate translation which can be traced back to Tyndale.” In my original critique of New Age Bible Versions I recommended two works on Bible versions: Defending the King James Bible by D.A. Waite and Forever Settled by Jack Moorman. Both of these works present the King James Bible as the preserved Word of God. Mrs. Riplinger has slandered me by implying that I support the new versions and that I question the AV.
SLANDER #3 -- “If Cloud is going to present himself as a scholar or an expert on bible translation, he needs to visit a garage sale and 1) buy a Webster’s Dictionary 2) get a collection of various bible translations. He is an embarrassment to his followers” (Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 26).
I do not present myself as a scholar or as an expert on Bible translation. Mrs. Riplinger should read my writings. But I do have the equipment to do proper research into this topic. I have dozens of dictionaries, including Webster’s 1828. I have an extensive collection of Bible translations. Some knowledgeable men have said that I have one of the best private collections of material on Bible texts and versions in America. I have spent thousands of dollars on this endeavor. I have spent as much as $1000 on one book. Mrs. Riplinger will probably use this statement as “evidence” of my boasting, but the Lord knows I am not boasting; I am stating a simple fact. My goal in building this library has been to obtain ready access to the relevant material so I can make an informed opinion on various aspects of this important subject SO I CAN DEFEND THE PRESERVED WORD OF GOD, THE AUTHORIZED VERSION AND ITS UNDERLYING TEXT.
SLANDER #4 -- “Cloud’s superficial analysis and understanding is characteristic of those who spend little time analyzing ‘every word of God” (Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 27).
This is a gross lie. For 34 years my chief aim has been to analyze every word of God. Those who know me will testify of this. I have spent hours a day in this blessed endeavor. My Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity is one of the fruits of my pursuit of the meaning of the words of God. I had one chief aim in publishing such a Bible study tool, and that was to help God’s people better understand and love the very words of God. That Encyclopedia is based strictly upon the words of the Authorized Version and absolutely no shadow of doubt is cast upon any word in the AV. It is my position that those are the very words of God. I dedicated the Encyclopedia with these words:
“DEDICATED TO Dr. Bruce Lackey (1934-1988), who, as a Pastor and as the Dean of Tennessee Temple Bible School, helped a generation of preachers to understand and love the Word of God. No man helped me more in this most crucial area of life. Though he read his beloved Greek New Testament [Received Text] every day, he never caused his students or his congregation to question the God-honored English Bible. He was a Bible teacher, not a Bible critic.”
This dedication expresses the heart of a man Mrs. Riplinger labels a “blind guide.” The Bible says woe unto them who call good evil and evil good, Mrs. Riplinger.
SLANDER #5 -- “Today’s blind leaders like Cloud, have a new beam in their eye--the hypnotic beam of light from their TV or computer screen. Cloud’s cohorts confess they cannot wean him from his screen long enough to read The Life & Letters of B.F. Westcott” (Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 26).
This is a lie. I have an original printing of The Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott by his son Arthur, and I have read the two volumes of this work. I don’t know who Gail is referring to as “Cloud’s cohorts” but they obviously are misrepresenting themselves and don’t really know me. As for “Cloud’s cohorts” confessing they cannot get me away from the computer screen long enough to do something else, that is nonsense. I do not know who gave such a report to Riplinger, but the person who said it does not know me and is a liar.
SLANDER #6 -- “... Cloud’s lack of familiarity with the day-to-day teachings of a Catholic parish and his shallowness of research in that area ...” (Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 25).
This is a lie. I have an extensive knowledge of Catholicism and a very excellent library on this subject, with roughly 200 works which were published in centuries prior to this present one, and hundreds more from this century (which in turn contain firsthand material from previous centuries). I have done diligent research into the history of Romanism, as well as into its present status. I have visited Catholic parishes in many parts of the world, attended mass in half a dozen countries, visited famous Catholic shrines, visited Rome three times, interviewed priests and nuns, studied the relevant Catholic documents, such as Trent, Vatican I, Vatican II, and the New Catholic Catechism. My knowledge of this subject is respected and used by men who are former Catholic priests and who have ministries to Roman Catholics.
SLANDER #7 -- “Yet the dust Cloud raises, as he stomps his feet, blinds him as he misreads the chart’s title. ... a yearling like Cloud who is still trying to figure out how to get the milk out of the bowl. ... Clouds have always been a deterrent to astronomers and those hoping to catch a glimpse of the heavenly city. ... Cloud’s five ‘I’ statements, about his accomplishments, are reminiscent of Lucifer (Is. 14). ... Clouds constantly change their shape depending on how much ‘heat’ comes their way. Pilots know that Clouds are dense and full of hot air; consequently, they detour around them when they can. I’d recommend the same course” (Riplinger, Blind Guides, pp. 27, 30, 32, 34).
Gail’s article about me is filled with this type of childish miscaricature, but it is typical of the way she approaches her subjects.
MY POSITION ON THE KING JAMES BIBLE
My position on the King James Bible is a matter of public record. Some persist in misrepresenting me, though. I am amazed, in fact, at the lies which have been spread about what I am alleged to believe about the KJV. It might be profitable to publish answers to a couple of the questions which have come to me in regard to this subject. The following questions are compiled directly from ones we have received --
QUESTION: “IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT YOU ARE NOT A ‘KING JAMES MAN,’ BUT ONLY A RECEIVED TEXT MAN. MY OWN CHURCH STOPPED SUPPORTING YOU BECAUSE SOMETHING YOU HAD WRITTEN ALLUDED TO THE FACT THAT THE KJV WAS NOT PERFECT AND HAD SOME THINGS THAT NEEDED TO BE FIXED (NOT A QUOTE). THIS HAS ALSO COME UP ON THE E-MAIL ‘FUNDAMENTAL LIST’ ALSO. I DO NOT THINK THAT YOU SHOULD WASTE TIME DEFENDING YOUR POSITION EVERY TIME THAT SOMEONE CONCOCTS A QUESTION TO YOU. BUT THIS IS ALLEGEDLY ACCORDING TO SOMETHING YOU SAID. I THINK THAT IT WOULD BE GOOD IF YOU COULD SIMPLY GIVE A SHORT AND EXACT ANSWER TO THIS.”
D.W. CLOUD: I have answered this many times. My final biblical authority is the King James Bible itself. I do not correct the King James Bible and I do not support any corrections of it. I do not believe it needs to be fixed. I have never corrected the King James Bible with the Greek or the Hebrew. At the same time, I know that God gave the Scriptures in Hebrew and Greek. The holy men of old who spoke by the Holy Spirit (referred to in 2 Peter 1:21) were speaking Hebrew and Greek. Those are the languages God chose. I am not going to stand here and say God made a mistake and that it is wrong for men to go directly to those languages to find the inspired Word of God.
Does this mean I believe the KJV is in some sense insufficient. No, I believe 2 Timothy 3:16-17 refers not only to the original giving of the Scriptures but to the fact that the copies and translations are inspired, as well, as long as they are accurate. Obviously Timothy did not have the original manuscripts which came from the hands of the Bible writers. I believe therefore that the King James Bible is the inspired Word of God in the English language.
I have made all of these things plain in my public writings, and my writings are readily available. The Fundamental Baptist CD Library contains every article we have published from 1984 to present. I challenge any man to find me correcting or questioning the King James Bible. It is true that my understanding of the issue of Bible texts and versions has grown stronger through the years, but I have never been a corrector of the KJV and it has always been my final authority.
In the Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity, which we first published in 1994, I described my position on texts and versions in several articles. That study tool is unique in that it is based strictly upon the Authorized English Version, and there is not a hint anywhere within this 500-page volume of changing or correcting the AV. I dedicated the Way of Life Encyclopedia with these words:
“Dedicated to Dr. Bruce Lackey (1934-1988), who, as a Pastor and as the Dean of Tennessee Temple Bible School, helped a generation of preachers to understand and love the Word of God. No man helped me more in this most crucial area of life. Though he read his beloved Greek New Testament [Received Text] every day, he never caused his students or his congregation to question the God-honored English Bible. He was a Bible teacher, not a Bible critic.”
I dedicated the volume with these words because Dr. Lackey’s position is my own. I do not correct, criticize, or question the Old English Bible; I preach and teach it.
In the book For Love of the Bible: The Battle for the Authorized Version and the Received Text from 1800 to Present, which we published in 1995, I stated my position as follows:
“I believe the King James Bible is an accurate and lovely translation of the preserved Greek and Hebrew text of Scripture. I do not believe the King James Bible contains any errors. I believe that God had His hand upon the KJV in a special way because of the singular role it would play in the transmission of the Word of God during a long and crucial epoch of church history. In contrast with the modern English versions, I believe the KJV is based upon a superior underlying text; it was produced by superior translators; it incorporates superior translation techniques; it demonstrates a superior theology; it embodies a superior English; it was created in a superior era; and it has a superior history. I believe the King James Bible is the inspired Word of God because it accurately translates the inspired text.”
QUESTION: “WHEN THE AV SAYS ONE THING AND THE RECEIVED TEXT SAYS ANOTHER, WHICH ONE IS YOUR AUTHORITY? A MESSAGE ON THE INTERNET RECENTLY STATED, ‘BROTHER CLOUD IS NOT A KING JAMES MAN. WHILE IT IS THE ONLY “BIBLE” HE USES, VIRTUALLY ALL HIS WRITINGS CONTAIN “CORRECTED” PASSAGES FROM THE ORIGINAL GREEK (NOT AN OPINION, GO TO HIS WWW PAGE AND READ IT FOR YOURSELF). BROTHER CLOUD IS A TEXTUS RECEPTUS MAN, BUT HE BELIEVES THE KING JAMES COMMITTEE DID A POOR JOB.’ IS THIS CHARGE TRUE?”
D.W. CLOUD: These statements are not true. The AV is the authority. My writings definitely do not contain “corrected passages from the original Greek.” That is pure unadulterated nonsense, and the man who wrote those lies will answer for them one day. Further, I don’t see that there are contradictions between the Received Text and the AV. If someone asks what edition of the Received Text do I believe is perfect, my answer is the King James Bible edition of the Received Text is perfect. The AV translators did not pull readings out of thin air. They based their translation on the text which they felt was the preserved Word of God in that particular passage. Sometimes it was Hebrew text. Sometimes Greek. Sometimes a translation in another language. I always allow the KJV to determine the proper text for me, because it has been so uniquely used of God during these past 400 years.
I founded a project in Nepal to translate the Bible into the Nepali language. The New Testament was completed several years ago, and the Old Testament is almost finished. One of the principles that I established for that project was that the translation would be based on the KJV. The translators could use various tools to dig into the meaning of the AV, but the final authority would be the KJV itself and not some lexicon or commentary. Absolutely no textual departures from the KJV would be allowed. That has always been my position. After we were forced to leave Nepal in 1989, though, one of the men working on the translation went to England and took training with Wycliffe. I warned him against it, but he ignored my warning. Anyway, now he refuses to accept my counsel in textual matters and he is taking the translation of the Old Testament in a different direction than that which we established. (We are no longer involved with that project.) On March 5, 1996, I wrote a letter to him expressing my concerns. I believe this defines my position very clearly for all to see, so I will excerpt the letter publicly as follows:
Letter from David Cloud to a translator working on a Nepali Bible version:
“Today I received your letter of February 7 and was surprised by some of the things you said. I quote from your letter -- ‘I am not a devotee of the KJV. Yes, it is a good and faithful translation; yes, we agreed to use it as basis for translation and are using it still; but I am not willing to follow it blindly. Years ago I disagreed with ------- who was unreasonable in his devotion to and defence of the KJV Bible. Have you become like him?’
“I am shocked by this statement from you. I thought you knew my position from many years ago. I really can’t remember exactly what ------- believes about the KJV, but my position in regard to the KJV has not changed since I have known you. You are correct in saying that ‘we agreed to use it as basis for translation.’ That has been the agreement from the beginning. Otherwise I would have had nothing to do with such a project. Under this agreement, I don’t believe you should even be questioning the KJV. If it is not clear in some passage, you must attempt to understand it correctly, but that is not the same as questioning it and attempting to correct it. I don’t believe it needs correcting. I believe that if you follow it, you will not go wrong and will have nothing to answer for at the judgment seat of Christ. That has been my faith from the beginning. And it is a position of faith based on God’s promises to preserve His Word. What other Bible in any language has God used so mightily?
“My conviction is that the modern eclectic text is corrupt and the KJV and the TR is the preserved Word of God. It was this conviction that caused me to be burdened about the Nepali Bible situation and to seek the Lord’s face about a new Nepali translation and finally to travel to the Bhutan border and to be able to convince Daniel to join with such a project. If I had lacked this conviction, I would have been content with some of the work the Bible Society was doing. I would not have been concerned that there is only one preserved Bible. The position of most men today is that all of the Greek texts and all of the major translations contain the Word of God and that all of them are basically sound. I reject that. The Received Text is the preserved Greek and Hebrew Text and the Authorized Bible is the only accurate and authoritative translation in English from this text. That has been my position ever since I have known you. Surely you have read my books on the subject. I first printed my booklets entitled Myths about the King James Bible in 1986. ...
“I advised you not to attend training by Wycliffe Bible Translators. I know what they stand for, and they have compromised the truth in a great many areas. It is not wise to fellowship closely with such people. God forbids it, in fact (Romans 16:17-18). Yet you went ahead. I believe you were weakened in your faith because of that training. That is my opinion. I do not say it in anger or with bad feelings toward you. I love you as a dear brother in Christ and praise the Lord for your friendship. I know, too, that the Lord can use even those things in our lives and those decisions that are not perfect. You have been an excellent example to me of faithfulness to the Word of God. You have made sacrifices to be obedient to the truth. But I believe you went astray when you took training from Wycliffe, and I believe it has hurt you.
“Please read my new book, For Love of the Bible: The Battle for the King James Bible and the Received Text from 1800 to Present. I spent thousands of dollars on the research for this book. I made the effort to obtain the hundreds of books cited in this research. I have paid as much as $350 for one rare 19th century book and as much as $800 for even older resources in order to have the original documents I wrote about. This is not based on hearsay or second hand research. I also corresponded with hundreds of men from around the world while doing research for this book. I am saying it is not to be taken lightly. And it will give you the history of the King James Bible and the modern versions over the last two centuries. Those who promote the modern versions give only a one-sided view of this history. They do not give the whole story. Most of them do not even know the whole story.
“Please read these things carefully and prayerfully. I have never been more convinced that I am right about an issue than this one” (Letter from David Cloud to a Bible translator, March 5, 1996).
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THE PROBLEM WITH NEW AGE BIBLE VERSIONS