This is the continuation of an article 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 New Age Bible Versions.

 

O  MADMEN
(Part Two)

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
 

CLOUD'S ERRORS OF FACT

   

1

Under Cloud's first section entitled "Misquoting...," Cloud misquotes Edwin Palmer as saying "John" is "God". Now in Cloud's next section entitled "Errors of Fact," Cloud errs saying Pages 127 & 128 of The Making of a Contemporary Translation quote Larry Walker discussing the Ugaritic. In fact, the quote comes from pages 95 and 96 of the work cited. Is Cloud guilty of the "carelessness" (p. 3) he attributes to me but cannot document?

The MAJORITY of copies of New Age Bible Versions in print do not read as Cloud quotes: "a dissenting scholar on the New Greek N.T. committee" (p. 59). This was corrected over a year ago (Nov. 1993 printing).

   

2

"I have never seen any documentation to prove...new versions promote Catholic theology in hundreds and hundreds of instances."

New Age Bible Versions cites hundreds and hundreds of examples. Between pages 106 and 257, there are 118 specific instances. Over one hundred more are given between pages 259 and 372 (i.e., a lesser Jesus, purgatory, etc.). Finally, their historic antisemitism and "Kingdom Now" sentiments are evidenced in 30 verses between pages 605 and 612.

Having been a Catholic for twenty-six years — before my salvation — I can recognize the all too familiar face of the Roman church as it looks back at me on the pages of the new versions.

If the NIV, Living Bible, Good News Bible and others did not represent Catholic theology, why would they be available in Catholic Editions with an official imprimatur. The Authorized King James Version has never been available with a Catholic imprimatur.

How is Cloud's lack of familiarity with the day-to-day teachings of a Catholic parish and his shallowness of research in that area (not to mention the hundreds of examples given in New Age Bible Versions), an "Error of Fact" on my part?

Cloud's introductory phrase, "I have never seen" (p. 6), echoed on page 3, "I do not see," and again on page 5, "only one...I could find," expresses Cloud's clouded vision. Jesus described the Laodicean churchmen as "blind" (Rev. 3:17). He diagnosed the "blind leaders" of Matt. 15:14. In their eye was a lumber yard. Their necks and minds and hearts were hard.

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. Cloud's "I haven't seen" [on my color screen] is characteristic of this tunnel vision age.

   

3

Walker's article is entitled "How the NIV Made Use of New Light on the Hebrew Text." Cloud quotes Walker's introductory page, in an attempt to convince his reader that the NIV translators don't step out on their wives very often. (viz. depart from the Hebrew O.T. text). Most readers miss a key word on Walker's introductory page. He said, "IF the present understanding of the text made good sense." One need only compare the KJV and NIV Psalms to conclude that the NIV translators have little spiritual "good sense".

Walker's 11 page article includes 8 pages of examples of instances when the NIV translators depart from the traditional Hebrew text to follow the Ugaritic. Walker whole-heartedly agrees with their decision to do so. Those who visit harlots, do so only occasionally, but such whoremongering puts the faithful bride in great jeopardy. The Hebrews, even as unbelievers, would never alter one word of the holy scriptures entrusted to them.

   

O BAAL
I KINGS 18:26

Who needs antique rare book dealers?
We can watch the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Forget about the hand collation.
See what's on the other station.

Hooked on this hypnotic motion?
Need a better plug-in potion?
Try the keyboard key to knowledge.
Log on board computer college.


Hold the thumb key 'til you're numb
And strum the hacker's new anthem:

'The only data we will glean
will come from our computer screen!
All of us computer hacks
will never check the library stacks.
Dump the books and the archives.
They won't fit on our hard drives.
Who needs inter-library loan
with a modem on your phone?'

A carpal tunnel syndrome saint
finds real research rather quaint.

   

4

Cloud seems unaware that since both the NIV and NASB are both copywritten, they cannot legally use the same words. Obviously then, charts with the heading "NIV, NASB et al." cite only one or the other rendering. The heresy occurs in both and other versions too, all using a slightly different word.

For over a year, printings of New Age Bible Versions have addressed this very issue on the copyright page so that readers will be aware of this before they proceed.

The NIV used the term "boast" in II Cor. 1:12 and 1:14, while the NASB used "proud." These words both promote the ungodly 'self-esteem' movement seen in the church today. Neither word choice comes close to the KJV's "rejoice".

   

5

"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 'words in question' are not only added in the NASB. The Message and The Phillips' Modern English Translation add "just," like the NASB. The CEV adds "not please only ourselves." The Everyday Bible says "not please only ourselves."

Cloud's "One would think that most modern versions have this" cries loudly of his inability to read beyond the high school level. Any dictionary will inform its reader that et al. means "and others." If I had meant "most," I would use etc., meaning "and the rest" or et ubique or et passim meaning "everywhere." 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 and 2) get a collection of various Bible translations. He is an embarrassment to his followers.

   

6

Many liberal denominations try to follow Christ's "example" but do not follow "him." The NIV adds the word "example" twice to the text. We do not "imitate" (NASB) or "follow the example of Christ"; we follow Christ himself. The objects of the prepositions "of" are "me" (Paul) and "Christ." The NIV ignores the Greek grammar and syntax and invents their own object. To drive home their error, the NIV quotes the NASB's "Be imitators of God" in Eph. 5:1.
   

7

The reading shown for Col. 2:19 ("head") is found in the NASB, NRSV, CEV, NAB, JV, TEV, Phillips, and Everyday Bible. The NIV also errs here in the subject under discussion, viz. the deity of Christ. It ignores the Greek text, introducing the phrase "causes it," thereby fracturing the connection and inter-identity of the "Head" (Christ) and "God." In addition, the NIV's intrusion of "He has lost connection with" (v. 19) and substitution of "Since" for "If" (v. 20), paint a very different theological picture.

The NIV does not read as the KJV or Greek ("pleased God") in Gal. 1:15. It ignores the Greek word order, placed there by God for emphasis, and as stated in New Age Bible Versions "jig-sawed around" the text.

   

8

"[B]eing deceived" (II Tim. 3:13) characterizes those who believe Cloud's fogging of the facts, without actually looking up the verse references themselves. The NIV does not render Gen. 41:38 "Spirit of God," as Cloud pretends, but "spirit of God" with a footnote identifying it as the "spirit of the gods." The NIV's rendering points to a demon; the KJV identifies the Holy Ghost--quite a difference!
   

9 & 10

The handling of the words "Man...divine [and] spirit" is the subject of the chart on page 187 (see its first sentence). Contrary to Cloud's misrepresentation of the topic, the NIV uses "spirit" in I Sam. 28:13 and Gen. 41:38. The NASB uses the term "divine." Both replace traditional Judeo- Christian vocabulary with words which can have New Age implications. The NIV omits the KJV word "men" in Rom. 11:4 ignoring every Greek manuscript. The "divine" nature of NIV stylist Virginia Mollencott, as presented in her book, The Divine Feminine, must clear away any non-gender inclusive terms. Cloud's superficial analysis and understanding is characteristic of those who spend little time analyzing "every word of God."
   

11

"New Versions" such as The Message and The Living Bible omit entirely the crucial words "in him" in II Cor. 5:21. The chart on page 188, to which Cloud refers, was purposely not titled NIV, NASB et al, since these two particular versions retain these words. Yet the dust Cloud raises, as he stomps his feet, blinds him as he misreads the chart's title.

The NIV, NRSV, CEV, AMP, TEV, JB, NEB, RSV, and Phillips DO NOT read "God in him" as the Greek text (or the KJV) do. Instead, they scramble the word order, shifting "in him" to another part of the sentence. In doing this, they are showing their insensitivity to Paul's characteristic usage of this praseology in the very book under discussion, II Corinthians (II Cor. 1:20, II Cor. 12:19), and in the very immediate context, II Cor. 5:19. This usage is seen again in Gal. 3:17 and Phil. 3:14.

(The new versions often employ the device of retaining the words, yet scrambling their order. Phrases cease to modify the intended object and important theological connections are lost.)

Example:

David went home himself and left the spoon in the bowl.
David went in the bowl himself and left the spoon home.
(All of the same words are there, yet the meaning is changed.)

In II Cor. 5:21, the NIV further demolishes the congruence created by the phrases, "hath made...(v. 21a) and "might be made" (v. 21b). It substitutes the mishmesh "made" (v. 21a) and "might become" (v. 21b). Of course, such meat (Heb. 5:12-14) might choke a yearling like Cloud who is still trying to figure out how to get the milk out of the bowl.

   

12

Cloud affirms, "Every modern version I checked, condemns asceticism" in Col. 2:23. The Bible is not talking about asceticism here. (Webster defines asceticism as "self-torture.") Not only do new versions introduce asceticism here; they all say it has the "appearance of wisdom." "Harsh treatment of the body" (NIV) or "severe treatment of the body" (NASB, TEV, NRSV, JB) appear to be good things according to new versions.

The KJV instead says that "neglecting the body" (viz. fasting, not adorning it) seems wise (which it is). IF it flows as a natural "increase" in godliness from a relationship with Christ, not as a result of "will" power or the "fleshly mind" following the "commandments and doctrines of men."

The Bible always defines its own words within the context. The term "neglecting the body" is defined immediately after it appears as not "satisfying" the fleshly desires. New versions ignore the Bible's own definition of "neglecting" and create their own. All new versions (The Message even uses the word ascetic!) say there is the "appearance of wisdom" in actually harming oneself. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost; to harm them would never even "seem" wise. It does seem wise to neglect satisfying fleshly desires. (The NRSV even introduces witchcraft's "elemental spirits" into these verses. All new versions further promote ascetic 'visions' by changing "things which he hath NOT seen" to "what he HAS seen" (v. 18).

   

13

Cloud does not think it is important that the NIV and other new versions omit an entire verse of the Bible--Mark 11:26--and also omit most of Matt. 5:44.

NIV et al.
 

KJV
OMIT Mark 11:26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
OMIT Mark 5:44 Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and...despitefully use you.

Cloud claims that new versions teach Christians "to bless, do good to and forgive his enemies." In fact, the NIV and all new versions follow the Jehovah Witness New World Translation in their handling of Mark 11:26, Matt. 5:44, Luke 6:27-28 and Matt. 6:15 — they OMIT HALF of the references, thereby disqualifying themselves from being called Bibles. The few corrupt MS they follow suffer from homoeoteleuton not harmonization in Mark 11:26. The KJV reading in Matt. 5:44 is clearly the reading seen throughout history, as evidenced by John Burgon in Unholy Hands on the Bible. (New versions ENTIRELY omit the command to "pray for those which despitefully use you.")

Cloud is not concerned about warning parents of the profanity in some new versions. Good News for Modern Man renders I Sam. 20:30, "You son of a bitch" — as did the Living Bible in earlier editions. It was changed to "you fool" in later editions of the Living Bible. Due to pressure, the Living Bible may have removed "go to hell" (John 9:34) and "you...bastard" (Acts 8:20); however the publisher has not notified parents or recalled the millions of editions still in the hands of children.

The charts on pages 17-22 are immediately preceded by the comment, "Documentation follows in this book." The chart Cloud mentions on p. 22 is discussed in detail on pp. 161, 173, and 211. Evidently Cloud cruised past the introductory sentence and following documentation pages. Cloud gravely misrepresents the book. The errors he perceives are his own, the fault of careless reading.

   

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