Continued from Part I
It is not joyous to have to engage in the kind of task that requires you to dwell upon mistakes, errant conclusions, and mis-citations. I would much rather take my time to speak of the wonders of God’s providence in preserving His Word through the centuries, not in the way the KJV Only folks demand, but in the way He sovereignly decreed. I would rather speak of the glories of Christ and the wonders of His grace. But Gail Riplinger, purposefully or not, has disturbed the peace of Christ’s Church, and that for no reason. Her errors must be exposed, and she must be called to cease her troubling of the saints.
New Age Conspiracy or More Accurate Translation?
On page 184 of NABV Mrs. Riplinger notes that while the KJV has the phrase “the Godhead” at Romans 1:20, the NIV and NASB have “divine nature.” She objects to the “modern” rendering found at Romans 1:20 with the words, “Now ‘Christian’ and cultic blasphemies bear a strong resemblance.”
The problem here is that not only is Mrs. Riplinger making connections where none logically exist (the single most common error she makes in her book and in her speaking), but she is attacking the modern translations for being more accurate than the King James! The KJV uses the phrase “Godhead” three times, once at Acts 17:29, once at Romans 1:20, and once at Colossians 2:9. In each case the KJV is translating a different Greek word by the same English word! This leads to a real problem when comparing Romans 1:20 and Colossians 2:9. The term at Romans 1:20, qeiothj, means “divinity” or “divine nature” just as the NASB renders it. However, the term at Colossians 2:9 is qeothj, which means “deity,” i.e., the state of being God. Colossians 2:9 is one of the plainest affirmations of the deity of Christ, yet the KJV obscures this by rendering different Greek terms with one English term that itself communicates poorly. Rather than applauding the modern translations for their accurate rendering, Mrs. Riplinger, because of her tunnel vision, has to attack them for being “different” than the KJV!
It is my sincere belief that the preceding information is sufficient to establish, beyond doubt, the unreliability of Gail Riplinger as a researcher, writer, theologian, and textual critic. While one could literally fill another hundred pages with the errors she makes, there simply is no reason to do so. If the preceding does not establish the point, no amount of information will suffice.
If you see someone in your church with New Age Bible Versions, do not ignore them. Give them this booklet. Warn them of the problems in the book. Do something, or before long you will have problems. Sadly, we hear of people attacking everyone who does not carry the KJV with them into the service, and often, this includes the Pastor, who does not need that kind of grief at all.
An Open Letter to Mrs. Gail Riplinger
Dear Mrs. Riplinger:
Over the past month I have made a number of efforts to contact you, including two letters, which have gone unanswered. Individuals involved with the “Defending the Faith” radio program on KIXL in Austin, Texas, have attempted to invite you to appear on their radio program to debate your claims in New Age Bible Versions, but they report that you have not returned any of their phone calls. As you seem unwilling to engage in open discussion of your book or your claims, I felt an open letter would be appropriate. I will be enclosing copies of this letter as part of the information we will be sending to people who request information on your book, along with my booklet, New Age Bible Versions Refuted.
Over the past few weeks I have been doing research in preparation for the writing of my new book, The King James Only Controversy. Part of that research has taken me deeply into your own book (as well as many others), as I wish to collate as many of the common passages cited by KJV Only advocates as I can, and your book is surely filled with such passages. As I have checked your citations, however, I have been appalled by the errors upon errors that I have encountered. Up until this moment, I was simply marking them in my copy, knowing that someday I will have opportunity of sharing these things on various radio and television programs. However, the error I just encountered, coupled with the tremendous misrepresentation I encountered yesterday with reference to a couple of NIV translators, has caused me to put aside my writing project for a few moments and write to you to ask you to please do something about all the falsehoods that fill your book and that are misleading many across the nation.
I am referring specifically to the chart at the bottom of page 289 of NABV. I reproduce your own statements:
|NIV, NASB, et al.||KJV|
|My kingdom is not of this realm. (The NASB concordance pretends the word is enteuthen; all Greek MS say kosma, even Nestle’s.) NASB||John 18:36||My kingdom is not of this world.|
Mrs. Riplinger, even a brief glance at the Greek text shows your error. The NASB Concordance is not “pretending” anything, but surely, Ma’am, you are “pretending” scholarship in your writing. Note the Greek text of John 18:36:
avpekri,qh VIhsou/j( ~H basilei,a h` evmh. ouvk e;stin evk tou/ ko,smou tou,tou\ eiv evk tou/ ko,smou tou,tou h=n h` basilei,a h` evmh,( oi` u`phre,tai oi` evmoi. hvgwni,zonto €a;n€( i[na mh. paradoqw/ toi/j VIoudai,oij\ nu/n de. h` basilei,a h` evmh. ouvk e;stin evnteu/qen€
Obviously, you looked only at the beginning of the verse where the NASB has, “My kingdom is not of this world,” just as the KJV. Here the term is definitely kovsmoj (not “kosma” as you erroneously put it). However, you attack the NASB for the translation of the final phrase, “My kingdom is not of this realm.” Yet the KJV has “my kingdom is not from hence.” The Greek term is indeed evnteu/qen, just as the NASB Concordance said, and it is the very same term that is found in the TR and translated by the KJV as “from hence”!
If this kind of error was an isolated instance, one might forgive the unwarranted attack upon the NASB. But it is the norm, not the exception! Your inability to check your assertions against the actual text (you may be able to “make out” a word or two here or there, but there is a vast difference between being able to read the language and merely recognizing a term once in a while) lead you to error after error after error, and, most sadly, since you have put your errors in print, you are leading others to follow you in your mistakes! Note your words on page 145:
The Sacrament of Penance
confess your sins
confess your faults (All Greek texts have the word for faults here, -not sins.)
Mrs. Riplinger, what is the term translated “sin” or “sins” in the KJV? Is it not the term a`marti,aj? You say that “all Greek texts have the word for faults here.” Really? Why, then, do I note the following in the Nestle-Aland text?
ta paraptwmata 049 M | txt a A B P Y 048vid 33. 81. 614. 630. 1241. 1739. 2495 al
The text reads a`marti,aj, and that is the reading of all the manuscripts cited above. How can you say “All Greek texts have the word for faults here” when that is simply not the case? Is this not very much like your assertion that all Greek texts read as the KJV at Revelation 14:1, when in fact the exact opposite is the case? Are you able to understand the information presented in the textual footnote, Mrs. Riplinger? Or are you dependent solely upon secondary sources?
I note in passing that often your generic “New Versions” heading is inaccurate. For example, you say the “New Versions” have “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven” at John 6:33 (page 146), while the NIV has “he” just as the KJV. On the same chart you cite the “New Versions” as saying “after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down on the right hand of God” while neither of your two main targets, the NIV and the NASB, give such a reading. The same is true on page 170; you lump “New Version” into one group reading “respectable” at Luke 5:32, when the only translation I can find that so poorly renders the passage is the TEV: the NIV, NASB, etc., all translated the passage as “righteous.”
On page 172 we find this chart:
NIV, NASB et al.
Nobody should seek his own good.
1 Cor. 10:24
Let no man seek his own…wealth.
the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil
1 Tim. 6:10
For the love of money is the root of all evil
Here, amazingly, we find you misrepresenting the KJV itself! Here is the actual, unedited rendering: “Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.” The way you have presented it differs from the reality; besides this, the term “wealth” is not only in italics, it doesn’t even fit, and is in fact an error in the KJV translation (we are not to seek after other people’s “wealth” but are to look to their welfare, that is, their good). And I might add that the modern rendering of 1 Timothy 6:10 is perfectly accurate; rizw in the Greek is anarthrous, and pantwn twn kakwn is plural, hence, “all kinds of evil.” Think about it, Mrs. Riplinger: is the love of money the root cause of rape? If not, then obviously the KJV rendering cannot be defended as absolute.
On pages 175 through 176 you claim the NIV does not translate bzk. Again you are in error. The NIV translates it as “false gods,” and you might wish to think about how appropriate that translation is.
On page 182 you attempt to make the NASB’s translation of the Greek term qrovnoi (thronoi) relevant to the psychology of self-esteem. The translation of qrovnoi by the term “thrones” can hardly be faulted; indeed, it is the KJV’s “seats” that is less direct.
On page 184 you address the quite accurate modern translation of a group of terms translated by “the Godhead” in the KJV. I provide you with the following chart of my own making:
the divine being
Acts 17:29 (qeioj)
Rom 1:20 (qeiothj)
Col 2:9 (qeothj)
Would you care to explain, Mrs. Riplinger, why the KJV translates three different terms by one English term, when those three terms do not, in fact, mean the same thing?
Your penchant for “hacking up” quotations is plainly seen on page 188. Here are the first two entries in your chart on that page:
as he hath prospered
1 Cor 16:2
as God hath prospered him
we might become the righteousness of God
2 Cor 5:21
we might be made the righteousness of God in him
First, the term “God” is nowhere to be found in the TR at 1 Corinthians 16:2; this is a “paraphrastic” translation on the part of the KJV. You then emphasize “in him” in your chart at 2 Corinthians 5:21, and cite the “New Versions” as if they don’t contain this phrase. Yet, the NASB says,
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
And the NIV has,
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
By quoting the NIV from the point immediately after “in him” appears, you create an illusion to fit your scheme. How can you do this kind of thing?
On page 191 you indicate that the NIV and the NASB “OMIT” the phrase “that they might accuse him” at Matthew 12:10. Yet, when we check out your accuracy we find the following:
And behold, there was a man with a withered hand. And they questioned Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”– in order that they might accuse Him. (NASB)
and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” (NIV)
On page 246 you seem to be unaware that the KJV translators anticipated the phrase “and you he has made alive” in Ephesians 2, translating it as part of verse 1 when in fact it is in verse 5. As a result, you falsely accuse the NIV/NASB of not having a phrase that they properly translate, in its place.
In your chart on page 260 you contrast the KJV’s “the words of eternal life” against the NASB’s “words of eternal life,” not mentioning that the NIV, RSV and ASV all have “the words of eternal life.” Besides this, the Greek construction is anarthrous, making the NASB an acceptable translation. Further on down the list you have “a common faith” under the NIV/NASB column, contrasted with “the common faith” of the KJV at Titus 1:4. Again you ignore the NIV’s “our common faith.” And again, the construction is anarthrous.
As I have mentioned, it is the consistency of your misrepresentations that is so striking. The examples pile up as anyone takes the time to work through your book. More of your seemingly purposeful misrepresentation is found in these three examples taken from your chart on page 269. First I give your representation, and then in the second chart I contrast your deceptive citations with the real words of the translations you are attempting to malign:
NIV, NASB, et al.
whosoever believeth in him John 3:15
In whom ye also trusted Eph 1:13
also have obtained an inheritance
in whom also we have obtained an inheritance Eph. 1:11
But in reality:
Mrs. Riplinger’s Citation
What It ACTUALLY Says
that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life. (John 3:15, NASB)
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, (Eph 1:13, NASB)
also have obtained an inheritance
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will (Eph 1:10-11, NASB)
I thought the last one was really great, given that all you had to do was not tell folks that the “missing” term is found in verse 10. One could write a book just on how often you mislead your readers. On page 270 you do the same thing all over again to the NASB with reference to Romans 3:25. You cite the KJV, “through faith in his blood,” and put the “NIV, NASB” rendering as “faith” as if the modern translations do not have “in his blood.” But, again, a quick glance at the texts demonstrates your error:
whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; (NASB)
God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished–(NIV)
Did you assume, Mrs. Riplinger, that no one would look at the texts? On the same page you cite the NIV/NASB as “that which is lacking in Christ’s afflictions” and attempt to contrast it with the KJV by citing Colossians 1:24 in this manner: “the afflictions of Christ in my flesh.” If anyone looks up the passage, they find that you are comparing apples to oranges:
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: (KJV)
The emphasized portion is that which corresponds to what you cited from the NASB; you conveniently neglect to quote it, and instead quote a later portion, misleading the reader yet once again.
The inconsistency of your arguments is overwhelming at times as well, Mrs. Riplinger. On page 303 you point out through the use of a chart that the KJV follows a “fuller” text, especially when it comes to titles. Expansion of titles in the Byzantine manuscript tradition is a well known fact, and is indeed one of the very things that leads scholars to recognize secondary elements in that tradition. However, can you not see that your chart actually disproves your conspiracy theory? You note, for example, 2 Corinthians 4:10, where the modern texts have “Jesus” and the KJV has “the Lord Jesus.” Yet, you also cite Matthew 12:25, where the KJV has only “Jesus.” Why is it acceptable for the KJV to have just “Jesus” at Matthew 12:25 and not “Lord Jesus”? If the KJV is not denying the Lordship of Christ by using the single name “Jesus” at Matthew 12:25, then how can you assert the NIV/NASB is doing this at 2 Corinthians 4:10? And looking down the chart, you note that at 2 Corinthians 11:31 the modern texts have “Lord Jesus.” Well, if they were trying to attack Jesus at 2 Corinthians 4:10 by not having “Lord Jesus,” why did they allow that title just a little over seven chapters later? The argumentation makes no sense at all.
Your ignorance of the Biblical languages leads you to more serious errors in your section on the deity of Christ. It is here, indeed, Mrs. Riplinger, that you should surely be ashamed of your activities, for there is no more important doctrine than the deity of Christ, and yet you sacrifice many of the most important references to it in your struggle to make a 17th century Anglican translation the “inerrant word of God.” You do this in a number of ways. First, as I have already demonstrated (in my booklet), you sacrifice the great passages at Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1, preferring the inferior translation of the KJV over the plain and proper translations found in the NIV/NASB. You do the same thing on page 305, where you prefer the errant reading, and translation, of Jude 1:4 over the proper translation, again giving us a Granville Sharp Construction, “our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” If you were familiar with defending the deity of Christ against those who deny it, you would know that this is a very significant passage, for the term in the Greek here, despovthj, “Master,” is used of God alone in Acts 4:24 (though poorly rendered in the KJV-note the NIV’s bringing out of the fuller meaning). Once again your zeal for the KJV has caused you to lead believers astray from yet another passage that demonstrates the deity of Christ.
As I mentioned briefly in New Age Bible Versions Refuted, your comments on the great Carmen Christi at Philippians 2:5-11 are completely out of line. You do not seem to have any idea what the passage is saying, nor how the NIV translation of this passage is the best available. You speak of sharing with Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I can assure you I have shared with far more JW’s than you have, and this passage, as it is found in the NIV, is one of the best single passages in the New Testament for explaining how Jesus Christ was eternally God, and yet became man to die as the sacrifice for the sins of God’s people. Please at least attempt to understand that when the modern translations have “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,” they are not saying that He did not already have this equality, but did not consider it something to be held on to. The NIV makes it very plain that He was “in very nature God” prior to the incarnation. The torturous KJV rendering only hides this marvelous fact.
But I tire of demonstrating error after error. I mentioned at the beginning that the second thing that prompted me to write this letter was your gross misrepresentation of NIV translators. I am specifically referring to pages 261 and 262 where you misrepresent the words of Calvin Linton and Ronald Youngblood. I begin by giving your own words:
NEW VERSION EDITORS
Calvin Linton: NIV
The bible is “God’s message” and not his words, contends Linton. He believes the bible is “the wrong side of a beautiful embroidery. The picture is still there, but knotted, blurry-not prefect.” He calls Christians “amusingly uninformed,” who “presume the Holy Spirit dictated the actual words of the text of the original writers.”
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.” Matthew 5:18
(A ‘jot’ is the smallest letter and a tittle is the smallest ornament placed on a letter.)
Your reference footnote is number 76, found on page 665. It cites The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation, 1986 edition, pp. 17-19. Here we find an article by Calvin D. Linton entitled, “The Importance of Literary Style in Bible Translation Today.” I provide Dr. Linton’s actual words so that the depth of your misrepresentation can be easily seen:
I recently received a lengthy letter from a devout reader of the Bible who asked why there needed to be any modern translations of the Bible at all. Why cannot we simply put down God’s exact words in English form? Why dress them up in so many styles? (These questions remind one of the famous mot: “If the King James Version was good enough for Saint Paul, it is good enough for me.”)
Such questions, though amusingly uninformed, do actually touch on a profound consideration, one suggested by the great seventeenth-century poet and preacher John Donne, whose sermons as dean of Saint Paul’s (in his later life) drew throngs. Speaking of the style of the Bible, he said, “The Holy Ghost is an eloquent author, a vehement and abundant author, but yet not luxuriant.” This presumes that the Holy Spirit dictated the actual words of the text to the original writers, thereby (it is further presumed) investing the entire Bible with his own literary style. The style of the Bible, however, is not homogeneous. Rather, each writer has his own style, reflective of his personality, which a faithful translation must reflect in ways perceptible to the modern reader. “When the original is beautiful,” says The Story of the New International Version, “its beauty must shine through the translation; when it is stylistically ordinary, this must be apparent.”
The Holy Spirit, while preserving the inspired writers from error, used the individuality of each writer as colors on his palette to paint a unified picture-or, to use another image, to weave a seamless garment. Such exploitation of the differing characteristics of the original writers-their learning, personality, environment, literary style, etc.-in no way impugns the inerrancy of the original autographs. It merely means that God did not expunge all individuality from the inspired writers, using them only as automata or as “word processors.” The written Word comes to us through the “dust” of our earthly nature, but it is uniquely breathed into (animated) by God. It foreshadows and testifies to the ultimate revelation of God in his Son, when “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). He, too, like the Bible, partook of our earthly condition (yet without sin, as the Bible in its original autographs is without error), possessing a human body, a certain physical appearance and manner of speech, and reaching us on our level, that God’s message may be made wholly ours.
I pause briefly to note the propriety of Dr. Linton’s remarks. Anyone who has read Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, or the epistle to the Hebrews, and also 1 John, knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the style differs markedly between these three books. Belief in plenary verbal inspiration does not require one to hold to a dictation theory. Dr. Linton is exactly correct when he points out that each of the writers used by God had their own style, their own mannerisms. The style of 1 John is not the style of Luke, that is for certain. This in no way vitiates the reality of the work of the Holy Spirit in “carrying along” these men as they spoke “from God” (2 Peter 1:21, NIV).
Dr. Linton then goes into a discussion of literary style, and gives us these words, which you badly misquote in your work:
If, therefore, style is a fusion of the idea to be expressed and the individuality expressing it, it follows that, since no two individualities are identical, no two styles are identical. And it further follows that no translation can be a perfect reproduction of the original style, for it is not possible to alter the original words without altering the original style. The goal, therefore, is to create (and it is a creative act) a style in modern English as closely reflective of the original style as possible. The translator must, among other things, strive to eradicate all characteristics of his own personal style, becoming a sounding chamber without strings. At best we probably must agree with the seventeenth-century writer James Howell when he says that a translator can do no more than reveal the “wrong side of a Persian rug.” Fortunately the Bible is so gorgeously woven a tapestry that even the “wrong side” is wonderful!
Mrs. Riplinger, I was so shocked at the depth of the purposeful misrepresentation here that my naturally generous nature forced me to stop writing this letter and contact individuals who could help me to verify that the above material, taken as it was from the 1991 edition of The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation, matches what is found in the edition you cite, that being the 1986 edition. I had to make certain that there was not some mistake, some reason for your complete misrepresentation of Dr. Linton. But there is no such reason. The 1986 edition reads the same as the 1991. You made up the entirety of your chart entry for only one purpose: to malign the character of Dr. Linton, and to misrepresent his statements so that you could further the goal of your book. This kind of action is ungodly, for it is nothing more than lying, and lying is a sin against God.
Sadly, the exact same thing happens on the very next page of your book, page 262. Here the target of your attack is Dr. Ronald Youngblood, and his article “Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament,” found on pages 111 through 118 of The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation. Here is your statement, allegedly quoting from pages 111 and 117:
NEW VERSION EDITORS
The bible is the “words of men,” a “literary production.”
Ronald Youngblood: NIV
The word of the Lord endureth forever. 1 Peter 1:25
We see that you are attempting to contrast a belief in the “word of the Lord” with Dr. Youngblood’s statement. Since you are also contrasting “New Version Editors” with “Christianity,” we can only assume you do not believe Dr. Youngblood or Dr. Linton, “New Version Editors,” to be representative of Christian belief. Therefore, we must understand your citation of his saying the Bible is a “literary production” is meant to deny a belief that the Bible is inspired or is the “word of the Lord.” And yet, is this was Dr. Youngblood said on page 111 of The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation? Of course not:
The Bible is the most dramatic literary production of all time. The preparation and promise of the Old Testament find their completion and fulfillment in the New Testament. Each half of Scripture needs the other for its fullest understanding. As Augustine put it: “The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed, the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.” Such a close relationship between the two Testaments is reason enough to warrant frequent examination of the ever-fascinating and always-important topic, “Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament.” Each of the major elements in that title, however, is fraught with its own dangers.
There is the source of your citation, “literary production.” And what, may I ask, is there to object to in this statement? Setting up a dichotomy between Dr. Youngblood’s statement and a belief in the inspiration of Scripture is not only illogical, it goes against everything Dr. Youngblood said in his article, and hence is, again, dishonest to the core. But you were not through. You also alleged that Dr. Youngblood taught that the Bible is “the words of men.” You specifically set up a contrast between this and a belief in the “word of the Lord.” Here you are drawing from page 117 (I can’t say “citing,” since you are not quoting but misquoting):
Jean Levie gave to his book on biblical criticism and exegesis the perceptive title The Bible: Word of God in Words of Men. The subtle symbiosis between divine and human authorship in Scripture is present in such a way as to give us divine truth without admixture of human error. This fact is none the less true with respect to Old Testament quotations in the New Testament than with respect to any other biblical phenomenon.
I can certainly see how quoting what he actually said would destroy your argument, Mrs. Riplinger. You wouldn’t want people learning that there were NIV translators who believed in inerrancy or inspiration! Such would cause people to actually think of them as Christians, and then ask why you would be so willing to attack Christians via misrepresentation! We can’t have that, so we hack up the quotation, all again in the cause to defend the “true Bible.”
Mrs. Riplinger, you made a frightening statement in your article on why you wrote NABV. You said,
Daily during the six years needed for this investigation, the Lord miraculously brought the needed materials and resources – much like the ravens fed Elijah. Each discovery was not the result of effort on my part, but of the directed 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.
Mrs. Riplinger, God does not lie. God does not hack up quotations. God does not misrepresent people. God does not make basic, fundamental errors on every page of his works. Saying God “directed” you to misrepresent Dr. Palmer and Dr. Barker and Dr. Linton and Dr. Youngblood is, quite simply, blasphemous, is it not? Saying God’s “directed hand” led you to accuse the NASB Concordance of “pretending” when in fact you were simply in error is dangerous, is it not?
The only honorable thing for you to do, Mrs. Riplinger, is to withdraw this book from publication and issue a letter of retraction, apologizing to all those you have misrepresented, and all those you have misled. I pray that God will give you the courage to do just that.
In the original booklet, at this point we reproduced a hand-written note from Texe Marrs, dated July 28, 1994. We provide the text here, retaining original spelling and punctuation:
Living Truth Publishers
1708 Patterson Road, Austin, Texas 78733-6507
- 263-9780 FAX (512) 263-9793
July 28, 1994
Don’t write me again unless in sincere repentance. You are a devil, plain + simple. And I understand well why Mrs Riplinger does not respond to your ridiculous assertions. Why dignify the lying claims of a servant of Satan!
P.S. Dr. Waite will make you look exactly like what you are: a sinner in need of redemption, so arrogant + uninformed you do not even know that the new versions take out the “Alpha + Omega” – the very name of your Fake “ministry” in one passage of Revelation I also notice that you corrected your incorrect spelling of Gail’s name in your unscholarly, pitiful article. As I recall, that’s one of the things you falsely accused her of – spelling words incorrectly. Exactly the error in the first version of your ever changing treatise God doesn’t lie, true. But Satan + his people do, of which you are one.
Amazingly, Mr. Marrs is not the only person who has focused upon only two issues in responding to what I have written about New Age Bible Versions. It seems all the critics can think about is how to spell Gail’s first name, and the fact that Revelation 1:11 in the KJV has the phrase “Alpha and Omega” while the modern texts do not. I answered these concerns in my response letter to Texe Marrs:
July 30, 1994
Living Truth Publications
1708 Patterson Road
Austin, TX 78733
Dear Mr. Marrs:
Long ago, sir, the Scripture writer recorded the following words:
“He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.” (Proverbs 18:13).
These are indeed words of wisdom, and your letter of July 28th shows clearly that you do not find these words relevant to your reactions to those who would seek to be of assistance to you in your ministry.
Over the years I have received “nasty” letters from all sorts of people. Working as I do with Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, atheists, Roman Catholics, and others, I take my share of “heat” from irate people. One does not stand outside the LDS temple in Salt Lake during every General Conference for the past ten years and pass out tracts without getting some people a little upset. And one does not pass out literature to the thousands gathered to see the Pope in Denver, or debate Roman Catholic apologists on the Papacy at Denver Seminary, without encountering opposition and angry feelings. And I certainly heard my share of foul language as I held a sign outside the convention of the American Atheists here in Phoenix a few years ago. But I never imagined that the single meanest, nastiest letter I would receive would come from a “Christian leader.” Just so that you are clear on what you said, I quote your brief letter verbatim:
[See above for text]
The fact, sir, that you can respond to the materials I have provided to you, which do nothing more than plainly and clearly document the errors and mistakes in Mrs. Riplinger’s work, and that in a fashion that can only be called “kind and gentle” in comparison with your own demeanor, is truly amazing.
With reference to “sincere repentance,” I can only repent of thinking that you, a Christian leader, would be open to correction and instruction. Obviously, I was quite incorrect in thinking in such a manner.
I am not a devil, sir. I am, in point of fact, your brother in Christ (if in fact you know Him), a redeemed sinner saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. I have known the Lord for more than 25 years, and have served him as a minister most of my adult life. That you are willing to call a Christian minister a “devil” simply because I have the temerity to disagree with you, and to demonstrate the errors of your statements, is beyond comprehension. And to then identify such a person as a “servant of Satan” – are you willing to answer for such absurd and reckless accusations before the judgment seat of the Lord Jesus Christ, Mr. Marrs? You will surely have to answer for such things, I can assure you.
It is telling indeed to note that upon receipt of nearly 30 pages of double-column small print you have only two things to say by way of substance (ignoring the ridiculous insults). First you take me to task for having spelled Mrs. Riplinger’s name as “Gayle” in my initial draft of the paper, calling me a “liar” for having done so! Such is, of course, so utterly irrational as to boggle the mind. Perhaps you have not noticed that Mrs. Riplinger did not put her first name in her book, Mr. Marrs? Look for yourself. She always has “G.A. Riplinger.” No first name given. The only reason I knew her first name wsa Gail was because the host of the radio program I listened to (and later participated in) called her by her first name. I had to guess what spelling she used, and I chose Gayle. Later someone mentioned that they had received a letter from her and she had spelled her name “Gail.” So, I changed the spelling in my paper. You consider this obviously understandable situation as grounds for calling me a liar, sir? Do you not remember the words of Jesus, wherein He warned us about condemning our brothers? His warning is in the KJV as well as all other versions. Why do you ignore His teachings on this matter, sir?
Secondly, you assert that I am “arrogant and uninformed” with reference to the phrase “Alpha and Omega” in the book of Revelation, and the fact that there is one place where the modern texts do not include the phrase. I can assure you, sir, that I am not in the least ignorant of the textual variation found at Revelation 1:11. We chose the name Alpha and Omega Ministries on the basis of Revelation 1:8 and 22:13, not 1:11. The phrase is found in that passage only in the MA text type; it is not found in a A C 1006. 1841. 2050. 2329. 2351. MK lat sy sa. Hence, the Nestle-Aland, UBS 4th, and Majority texts do not place this reading in the text, and rightfully so. Of course, this in no way, shape, or form does damage to the plain identification of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. As I have shared this precious truth with many, many Jehovah’s Witnesses over the years, I can assure you that they are hard pressed to explain this clear teaching of Scripture. And I am just as hard pressed to understand both the harsh, mean-spiritedness in your letter, and your unwillingness to defend what is plainly a later addition to God’s Holy Word. I despair of your providing a meaningful answer to this question, but why do you invest infallibility in Desiderius Erasmus, a Roman Catholic priest, who made the choice of including this passage in his text? The inconsistency of this action, given your other statements, is exceptionally plain.
You identified my article as “unscholarly and pitiful.” I will gladly allow any and all to examine my article, and your retort, and judge for themselves who is unscholarly, sir. The simple fact is that neither you nor Mrs. Riplinger can respond to the plain documentation of error after error in her work. And, you cannot defend your statements made on KXEG radio, either, for again, the facts are not on your side.
Christian are people who love the truth, Mr. Marrs. They do not love traditions more than truth. KJV Onlyism is a man-made tradition, and it is very plain, given the tone of your reply to being corrected on the issues, that you love this tradition quite deeply: so deeply that you will identify Christian men who try to share the truth with you as “devils” and “servants of Satan.” Such charges are quite serious, but given the irrationality of your words, they carry little weight.
If you love the truth, Mr. Marrs, you will take the time to seriously and rationally consider the stance you have taken. If you fear the face of men more than the face of God, you will continue with your tirades against modern translations such as the NASB and NIV. The choice is indeed yours. I would hope that you would take the time to examine what I have sent you. You say it is unscholarly. Prove it. Document it. Don’t hide behind blustery words of condemnation. Come out and show my errors, if there are any. I will be glad to meet you in the public arena.
How did Mr. Marrs respond to this letter? He sent it back with red writing written in large letters across the first page, read:
MR MARRS DOES NOT WANT YOUR EVIL TRASH. DON’T WRITE AGAIN EXCEPT IN REPENTANCE.
Most people find it hard to believe that men can act in such a manner, yet this is very common amongst the hard-core KJV Only believers. Another such individual, Dr. Peter Ruckman, concluded a short article about me and Alpha and Omega Ministries with these words:
Blow it out your nose, kid. Out here in the traffic you’re liable to get run over. Stick to fairy tales.
This kind of behavior is directly contradictory to the teaching of Paul found in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 in any translation. We pray for those who speak evil of us and who spread lies about us. We leave it in God’s hands to judge the motives of their hearts, and the truth of the issues at hand.
Another Book by Mrs. Riplinger?
The middle of 1994 saw another book published under Mrs. Riplinger’s name, Which Bible is God’s Word? When I first saw the book I failed to notice that Mrs. Riplinger attempted to make some reply to my earliest criticism of her first book. Her responses demonstrate yet once again that honesty and integrity is the farthest thing from her mind when she sits down to write her works. We note her words:
The NIV Translation Center directs queries about the version controversy, not to a scholarly detailed defense of their word choices, but to two copied pages written by a self-proclaimed, “apologist working in the front lines in dealing with the claims of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Mormon] (sic) . . . .” NIV champion Jim White spent all of several “days,” at his own admission, researching the topic. Three examples of his careless and unlearned comments follow: (p. 61).
I note that 1) my initial review was much more than two pages in length. 2) Mrs. Riplinger failed to provide even the beginning of a meaningful response to the first review of her most unscholarly work. 3) I am an apologist who has worked for years on the front-lines of evangelizing LDS people. She conveniently ignored the rest of my sentence (found in its original form earlier in this text). 4) I have never “admitted” to having spent “several days” studying textual critical issues (the context in which she places her words); such is a simple lie. She may be thinking of the several days I spent reading her book, but that is not what she says. Anyone who has read the previous pages of this booklet, has listened to my debate with Mrs. Riplinger, or has read The King James Only Controversy, well knows that I have spent more than a few “days” studying the issue of the King James Only controversy. 5) How “careless” and “unlearned” I am can be seen by looking at the four (she said three, but must have added another later and forgot to go back and edit her words) items she chooses to include in her review.
The first item she chose to address, by God’s providence, happens to be the “take up the cross” issue that is so thoroughly discussed earlier in this text. Obviously Mrs. Riplinger had not seen my comments on this issue before she fired her broadside, for all she says in response to my statement, “We are told that new versions delete the call to take up the cross, when in fact they do not” is this: “They do delete it. See Mark 10:21, NIV, NASB, et al.” Please note that our initial comments on this topic earlier in this work are borne out completely: Mrs. Riplinger does want people to think that this phrase is deleted from the Bible on the basis of Mark 10:21, and she still does not deal honestly with the presence of the phrase in three other places in the modern versions.
Her next statement should astound all Christian readers. Mrs. Riplinger caught me in an error. Yes, earlier in this work I indicated that “all” Greek texts contain the disputed phrase at Revelation 14:1, a phrase that Mrs. Riplinger said was based upon a “tiny percentage of corrupt Greek manuscripts.” I was technically wrong in my statement. While none of the popularly available Greek texts cite any variants here (including the Nestle-Aland 27th edition, the UBS 4th, and even the Majority Text, which cites the TR as standing alone), there are a “tiny percentage of corrupt Greek manuscripts” that read as the KJV does. The vast majority of the manuscripts join against the KJV reading. But my use of the word “all” was incorrect. But please note that Mrs. Riplinger, while correcting my “all,” somehow, incredibly, forgets to apologize to her readers for having been completely in error in her original statement! In fact, she does not even mention her own statement in her second book! And why not? It’s simple: to prove me “wrong” in having overlooked a small handful of late manuscripts she has to admit that the reading is found in just a few, while she had originally said in NABV that it was the reading of the vast majority! Instead of doing what any honest person would do and admit she made the mistake, she chooses to cover her error and use it as a cloak to attack the person who pointed out her mistake in the first place! Such reprehensible actions are simply shameful.
How does she respond to the demonstration that she completely misrepresented Dr. Edwin Palmer in her quotation of him (see above)? See if you can make heads or tails out of her attempted response:
Neither I nor my quote from Edwin Palmer mention the incarnation at all. Palmer does not believe the word beget (John 1:14 et al) refers to the incarnation. In spite of the fact that the verse is talking about his “flesh.” Palmer’s “begotten God” (John 1:18, The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation, p. 143) is no more accurate theologically than the Mormon notion, “The head of the gods appointed a God for us” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 370, 372).
She is here citing from my article that made mention of our radio interview. Any person who has listened to that interview well knows that Mrs. Riplinger did make reference to the incarnation, and misrepresented Palmer on that topic. What is more a quick glance at NABV p. 344 will demonstrate that Mrs. Riplinger was talking about the incarnation! Furthermore, there is no word “beget” at John 1:14; Mrs. Riplinger is again misunderstanding the term monogenhv” as I explained to her in our radio discussion long ago. And finally, we must note that here Mrs. Riplinger even misquotes Joseph Smith! It is almost as if she cannot quote anyone she disagrees with correctly. If one thinks that is an unfair conclusion note her fourth and final point. She points out my assertion that she misspelled the names of Longenecker and Carson on page 343. Here is her response:
He is really grasping at straws. The early printings of the 700-page New Age Bible Versions did accidentally drop the “e” from the name Longenecker and add an “l” to Carson. I only reluctantly fixed it, since these men advocate removing the name of deity from the bible about two hundred times. Misspelled names exemplify “horrifically poor research” according to Jim. (He misspells my name thirty times in his four-page critique).
I refer the reader to my response about Gail’s name in my letter to Texe Marrs, quoted earlier. I also note that here she says my critique was four pages: immediately before she said it was two. Her confusion is almost beyond comprehension. But I wish to emphasize the attitude and mind-set that is revealed by Mrs. Riplinger at this point. She only “reluctantly” (emphasis hers!) changed the spelling of these names. Why? Because she dislikes the textual choices of D.A. Carson and Richard Longenecker! This surely fits with her blatant campaign to misrepresent all those with whom she disagrees-one does not even need to spell their names correctly! Let the reader beware of this kind of polemic literature.
And so the booklet, New Age Bible Versions Refuted, concluded as of October of 1994. At that time was I working hard on The King James Only Controversy. I completed the work, and the editing and publication process began. Since I mentioned Mrs. Riplinger in the fifth chapter of that book, which came out in April of 1995, I sent sections of chapters to her, offering her the opportunity of commenting upon or correcting anything she felt was in error. I have often sent articles I was working on to individuals who were being reviewed, or refuted, asking them for their comments (an action that has almost never been reciprocated).
As anyone knows who has attempted to contact Mrs. Riplinger, it’s next to impossible, especially if you are “the enemy” from her perspective. At one point, when I was faxing a letter to her, the fax machine on her end hung up half-way through the transmission! Obviously she feels that she does not owe “rude, crude heretics” much in the way of manners. Be that as it may, Mrs. Riplinger never once responded to my attempts to get her replies to what I was writing. But, I did hear from her. Right as my book was about to come out, Mrs. Riplinger began writing to Bethany House Publishers and threatening to sue if they published the book! She made repeated threats, though she never provided any meaningful documentation of the alleged “errors.” Instead, she sent pages from a future publication in which she makes many more of the same kind of wild-eyed, conspiratorially-driven accusations that we have already reviewed in her first two efforts. In fact, as time goes on, she becomes more and more removed from the realm of reality, retreating, it seems, into a world of her own fanciful creation.
Of course, no lawsuits resulted from the release of The King James Only Controversy. Indeed, many have commented on how fairly Riplinger is treated, especially in light of the fact that if someone wanted to, her own writings provide a massive storehouse of “legally actionable material” (to use her own phraseology), wherein she has grossly misrepresented and mercilessly attacked a wide variety of Christian leaders, living and dead. The double-standard she lives by is most amazing.
Later in 1995 her 64 page magazine/booklet, King James Version Ditches Blind Guides came out. Nearly half of the book is dedicated to attacking me, but others who come under Gail’s wrath include Dave Hunt, and even David Cloud, a strong KJV Only advocate who had the temerity and honesty to point out some of the ridiculous and absurd conclusions found in NABV. As normal, Gail’s only means of responding is to play games with a person’s name (if one took out all the name-calling there would be a cover and about half a page of text). For Cloud, we get these words:
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 (pp. 33-34).
My name seemed to delight Gail as well. Some of the sub-titles in this cartoon-filled booklet include “White-out,” “James Games: James White Meets Vanna White,” and “White’s Whopper.” Indeed, the book begins with a little rhyme, printed over a picture of three blind mice:
Blind mice and “scribes” will never see
their names in Matthew 23
-The word slips from their NIV!
To get it back, they will not flee,
but sit and search for gnats on me.
Blind guides would rather strain for lice
than search within for their own vice
They’ll swallow some unsavory story,
cooked-up by White, McMahon, or Morey,
their caravan of camels served
with humps and truth severely curved.
Woe to these scribes, who having swerved,
have turned aside from God’s pure words.
According to my computer, we just began page 39. If after this amount of time anyone still thinks Gail Riplinger has anything of substance to say regarding the Bible, history, the biblical languages, or textual criticism, there is nothing more I can say that would be of benefit. The facts are plain. But those dedicated to Riplinger’s theories and speculations are rarely impacted by any kind of factual rebuttal.
Gail Riplinger’s works have been reviewed, and rejected, by numerous Christian leaders and scholars. For most, it’s a waste of time to even discuss the issue, since it’s so obvious that she is a troubler of the brethren, a woman who is out of control, setting herself up as an expert on topics about which she knows nothing at all. Her inability to function as a scholar is plain to anyone who wishes to see. The impact she has had in disrupting churches, damaging missions work, and in generally causing trouble, is hers to answer for.
In closing, though, we should actually be more troubled about what Gail Riplinger’s work says about the church as a whole. Where has discernment gone? Why didn’t someone sit her down a long time ago and try to straighten her out? And what is worse, why are men to this day letting her go on her merry way, spreading falsehoods, and even encouraging her in such activities? I have been informed (but have not taken the time to verify) that Mrs. Riplinger was recently granted an honorary doctorate by Jack Hyles for her work, New Age Bible VersionsI Can someone explain how a person who doesn’t even have the first bit of undergraduate training in any of the fields relating to Bible translation can be given an honorary doctorate for having produced the most error-filled volume on the topic ever to grace the planet? Is “acrostic algebra” the stuff of doctorates? One may well forgive Gail, for she is obviously deceived; but what of the many others who encourage her to continue on in her path of disturbing the work of the Church? Might not they be even more liable? It would seem so.