The following article is taken from Blind Guides (pp.22-34) by G.A. Riplinger. Blind Guides is a scholarly and detailed response to the crtiques of Hunt, McMahon, Lalonde, Cloud, Morey, White, Hanagraaff, House, Passantinos, and others concerning Dr. Riplinger's international bestseller New Age Bible Versions. For your convenience, it is organized in 5 parts.

 

O  MADMEN
Jeremiah 48:2

"O thou deceitful tongue" Proverbs 52:4

G.A. Riplinger's Response to David Cloud's Criticism
of New Age Bible Versions
 

"[H]e that regardeth the clouds shall not reap." Eccl. 11:4

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. The KJV's Dedication, written by the translators, identifies the two types of men who hurl "bitter censures and uncharitable imputations."

"So that if, on the one side, we shall be traduced by Popish persons at home or abroad who therefore will malign us, because we are poor instruments to make God's holy truth to be yet more and more knowledge unto the people, whom they desire still to keep in ignorance and darkness,"

"[O]r if, on the other side, we shall be maligned by self-conceited brethren, who run their own ways, and give liking unto nothing but what is framed by themselves, and hammered on their own anvil..."

Cloud has hammered a framed picture of himself — his final authority — above the altar of his opinion, his newsletter.

 

SAUL SYNDROME

Cloud, like King Saul, has warred against "thousands" of Christ's foes, but God used the little shepherd to kill the giant and go on to thwart "ten thousands" (1 Sam. 18:7). Driven by envy, "Saul sought to smite him" "without a cause" (1 Sam. 19:10).

God commanded Saul to "utterly destroy" the enemy of God "and fight against them until they be utterly consumed" (1 Sam. 15:18). Saul was unwilling to be a part of such "extremism", as Cloud calls it (p. 12). Saul thought certainly God could use "the best of" it "and all that was good and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly" (I Sam. 15:9).

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...." Like Saul, Cloud thought he could use the "good" in it and discard the vile.

Neither Saul's "stature" (I Sam. 16:7), nor Cloud's boasting (Rom. 1:30) about his "respected" stature (p. 2), can compensate for their lack of childlike obedience. When Saul "wast little in thine own sight" (I Sam. 15:17), he "cut off those that have familiar spirits." However, his envy of David found him finally consorting with such spirits (I Sam. 28:9). Cloud too is now consorting with the spirit of compromise; a spirit he had "cut off" earlier.

He boasted to me that his "Westcott-Hort Bible" was used "to build a solid, self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating New Testament church" (p. 6). 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.

CLOUD'S "MISQUOTING AND POOR DOCUMENTATION"

   

1  

Cloud begins his critique shadow-boxing with his own imagination.

"It would appear from the quote that Palmer is questioning the deity of Christ...Palmer does believe that Jesus Christ is God and Mrs. Riplinger slanders him..."

Cloud joins those few careless readers who mistake their own poor reading comprehension skills for error on the part of the material they are reading. Cloud's claim that "Riplinger slanders him" is preposterous; Cloud was forced to say "It would appear..." because the book doesn't "say" what Cloud is surmising. He must lie about the book to criticize it. Cloud IGNORES the majority of the sentence, "Few clear and decisive texts" and only sees the "Jesus is God" portion. As stated in the book — it is heretical to believe that the Bible only has a few TEXTS relating to Christ's deity. Even John said the reason the New Testament was written was to show who Jesus Christ is.

"But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God..." John 20:31

Palmer's NIV omits many of these texts and, as a consequence, he can find only a few. ("Christ" is omitted 43 times; "Son of God" is also omitted many times.)

Furthermore, Cloud used this quote to document alleged "misquotations" in the book. The typographical error (substituting "say" for "that declare") does not affect the meaning of the sentence. BUT Cloud's citation of the quote is a MISQUOTATION that does affect the meaning. Cloud says,

   
 

CLOUD'S MISCITATION
 

ACTUAL QUOTE
     
"It calls John 'Son', whereas it should have called him God."   "It calls Jesus 'Son', whereas it should have called him God."
   
 

Is Cloud trying to misrepresent Palmer? Does Cloud think John is God? Of course not — all writers, proofreaders, and typesetters are subject to error. But to turn Cloud's reaction back on himself I would have to blather: "But it is also wrong to misquote him and to have him say something that he does not say, particularly when someone puts heresy in his mouth that he does not believe" (Cloud, p. 4).

I put no heresy in Palmer's mouth. Cloud, however, did. Touché.

Cloud has four such transcriptional errors in his 13 page critique. At that rate, if he had written a 700 page book, like New Age Bible Versions, he would have 220 pages with errors — one error every three pages. Would this not fulfill his criterion for "frequent error"?

   

2  

Cloud's second venture into the ring finds him sparring, "as one that beateth the air" (I Cor. 9:27). He tries to pretend the NIV and its editors do not support "non-literal translations in general." To do this he will have to ignore the 6,149 instances in which the NIV completely ignores the Hebrew or Greek word and instead introduces an interpolation. (Webster's: "To alter or corrupt, as a text, by inserting new or foreign matter.") Scholars are very aware of this; the Harvard Theological Review's article, "The New International Version and the Prologue of John" by E.L. Miller (July-October 1979: 310) criticizes the NIV, exactly as I do, for its "interpretational intrusions."

An ENTIRE chapter was included in The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation, to defend the NIV's use of non-literal translation. Its author Herbert Wolf entitled it, "When Literal Is Not Accurate." He admits that "a number of observers have criticized the less literal approach of the NIV (p. 128). New Age Bible Versions is not alone.

Wolf admits that "at times the NIV translators have been guilty of reading something into the text...." However he gives as many examples as can fit in his 10 page chapter, of the THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of good instances (in his opinion) in which the editor's ideas are substituted for what the text says. (For a detailed list see D.A. Waite's The New International Version: Weighed in the Balance.)

Cloud quotes a small portion of Wolf's article, leading his reader to believe that Wolf only supports non-literal translation in "the book of Proverbs" in certain instances. However Wolf's ENTIRE CHAPTER was written to defend non-literal translations all over the Bible, in instance after instance — 6,000 PLUS.

Cloud defends Wolf's substitution of the word "prosperity" for the Hebrew word for "righteousness." Cloud quotes Wolf as saying "In [Proverbs] 8:18 tsedaqah [righteousness] is linked with riches..."

BUT Wolf and his NIV OMIT THE LINK — "RIGHTEOUSNESS" IS COMPLETELY OMITTED HERE IN THE NIV and Wolf applauds this. Cloud says, "He is correct in what he said."

   
 

NIV
 

KJV
With me are riches and honour, "enduring wealth and prosperity Prov. 8:18 Riches and honour are with me; yea durable riches and righteousness
He who pursues righteousness and love finds life and prosperity and honor. Prov. 21:21 He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth righteousness and honour.
   
 

The Hebrew word occurring 3 times in these texts is tsedaqah. The NIV correctly translates it in the 4th word in verse 21. It means RIGHTEOUSNESS all through the entire Bible and would mean righteousness to any Hebrew to whom it was spoken.

Webster's synonym for "righteousness" is HOLY; its synonym for prosperity is LUCKY. Cloud hopes he's LUCKY and none of his readers actually look up Wolf's article or the verses under discussion. He is certainly not RIGHTEOUS in saying, "it is wrong to put words in a man's mouth that he has not said." He makes this lying assertion — then gives no proof that New Age Bible Versions does this. Cloud will be LUCKY if God doesn't strike him dead. Lying Christians have met this fate before (Acts 5:5,10).

I must commend those, like Cloud, who are not aware that the 'new' Christianity has substituted the prosperity gospel for holiness and righteousness. They must not own a TV.

3  

But I will give an 'instant replay' of this gospel for those who have no TV's. Cloud says (p. 5),

"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 NASB..."

Au contraire. Note just a few of the following:

"[R]eligion does make a man very rich."   Today's English Version
"[R]eligion does yield high dividends."   New English Bible
"Religion, of course, does bring large profits."   Jerusalem Bible
"Serving God does make us very rich."   New Century Version
"A devout life does bring wealth."   The Message

There are varying degrees of distortion in the new versions but the KJV reading gives NO room for misinterpretation. How different these are from the KJV's:

"But godliness with contentment is great gain." (I Tim. 6:6)

The KJV says that godliness with contentment is GAIN. The RSV, NASB, JB and NEB move the prepositional phrase, relating to contentment, to the end of the sentence, with "contentment" no longer a modifier and qualifier of godliness.

 

4  

Riplinger says, "NIV editor Larry Walker admits 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.

Being an Old Testament scholar, Walker was very aware that the two main O.T. characters, Jehovah and Lucifer, have both been completely omitted in new versions. Pages 48-50 of New Age Bible Versions documents that Lucifer has been omitted because most scholars believe he is "not a chronological person"! New versions cast doubt on the historical accuracy of people and events traditionally held.

New versions, in II Sam. 21:19, deny that David killed Goliath. They read instead, "Elhanan the son of Jaareoregin, a Bethlehemite killed Goliath." The NIV: Weighed in the Balance lists over 37 times in I and II Samuel and I and II Chronicles where the NIV ignores the Hebrew text and omits the mention of David.

Confusion abounds in the NIV as Job becomes Jashub in Gen. 46:13 and Manasseh becomes Moses in Judges 18:30. The work just cited lists over 100 instances in which the names of 50 different Bible characters have been replaced by "he" or "she". The pronoun's antecedent then becomes a guessing game. Who is talking in the NIV in I Sam. 26:10? Is it David or Abishai?

The rude way these vandals handle their 'versions' stands in sharp contrast to the precise and many faceted sublimity of God's true word. For example, the NIV omits Noah's name twice. The name Noah actually occurs 10 times in the KJV between Gen. 5:29 and 6:13. Each occurrence parallels exactly the meaning of that number in the scriptures. (See accompanying chart.)

   
 

Occurance of Noah's Name   Meaning of number in scripture  

Verse
 

Citation
 1st   beginning   "And begat a son and he called his name Noah"   Gen. 5:29
 2nd   division   "he begat Noah"   Gen. 5:30
 3rd   completeness   "Noah was five-hundred years old"   Gen. 5:32a
 4th   world & its people   "Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth"   Gen. 5:32b
 5th   grace (or death)   "Noah found grace"   Gen. 6:8
 6th   man   "generations of Noah"   Gen. 6:9a
 7th   perfection   "Noah was a just man and perfect"   Gen. 6:9b
 8th   new beginning   "Noah walked with God"   Gen. 6:9b
 9th   fruit   "Noah begat three sons"   Gen. 6:10
 10th   judgment/law   "Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence"   Gen. 6:13

For instance, 7 is the number of perfection. Therefore, the seventh time Noah's name is mentioned the Hebrew text and KJV read, "Noah was a just man and perfect." The NIV's omission of instance 4 and 8 crushes God's magnificent mathematical microscope. Their mishandling is merely one of the thousands upon thousands of times where they impose their clouded vision upon their readers.

   

5  

R. Laird Harris' view of hell was already discussed and proven faulty on page 7 of this document [see Riplinger's Blind Guides]. If reporters would do their own research, instead of copying from each other, they would be saved much embarrassment. Readers should read The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation, 1986 THEMSELVES if they want to be Bereans. It is available from Zondervan Publishing House, 1415 Lake Dr. S.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506 (ISBN: 0-310-24181-2).
   

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