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Bible Versions: The King James Only Debate, by David Malcolm Bennett

In fact, she is getting him confused with William Wynn Westcott (1848 – 1925), who did practice various forms of occultism.19 Indeed, she even seems to think that they were the same person. However, they were two very different men. Probably the only things they had in common were that they had the same surname, lived in the same century and for most of the time in the same country. Their lives, careers and beliefs were very different. As far as can be established, they were not even related. B.F. Westcott was a major scholar researching the Greek NT, but he was not a Spiritualist.20 Riplinger’s claims about him, when examined, are appalling examples of misrepresentation.

In addition, studies in the Greek Text of the NT have progressed since the days of Westcott and F.J.A. Hort. Those involved in NT textual analysis today and translators of the modern versions have not been uncritical slaves to their way of thinking.

Are New Translations a New Age Plot?

Riplinger’s third accusation is that all the new Bible translations are in “an alliance with “the New Age movement’s push for a One World Religion”.

First, let me state that I believe that New Age teachings are wrong and contrary to Christian beliefs. I also believe that “a One World Religion” is neither desirable nor possible, unless it is most clearly the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore if I believed such an alliance existed, I would strongly oppose it. But what Riplinger is claiming here is just not true.

What Riplinger appears to be saying is that all the translators of all the new Bible versions are promoting New Age beliefs, either deliberately or accidentally. In fact, as has been seen, she argues that the translators and their translations are in “an alliance” with the New Age movement.

For example, she states that in the New Age movement “Buddha, Krishna and Lucifer became ‘the Christ’, ‘the Lord’, and ‘the One’” and modern Bible translators have copied this, she says, by changing “Jesus and Jehovah to ‘the Christ’, ‘the Lord’ and ‘the One’”21 She then makes a selection of specific translations in the KJV and compares them with the “new versions” to support this, generally neglecting to give biblical references, thus making checking difficult.22

To take one example, she objects that modern translations do not use the name “Jehovah”. The Hebrew word thus translated is what is known as the Tetragrammaton (the four letters—YHWH or JHVH).23 The KJV translates this word a handful of times as “Jehovah”, but it also translates the same word as “LORD” (in capital letters) many, many times.24 She says the modern translations use “Lord” instead of Jehovah, but they are only doing what the KJV did in the vast majority of cases. Indeed, it can be fairly argued that in this they are following the example of the translators of the KJV.

Related to that she also argues that “When the new versions do use ‘Lord’, they like to use it alone” and not in such phrases as “the Lord Jesus” and “Lord Jesus Christ.” This, she says, is to bring biblical language into line with Hindu and cultic usage.25

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Category: Biblical Studies, Pneuma Review, Winter 2013

About the Author: David Malcolm Bennett, Ph.D., is an Anglo-Australian Christian researcher and writer with over 15 books in print. They include The Altar Call: Its Origins and Present Usage, The Sinner’s Prayer: Its Origins and Dangers (companion website: SinnersPrayerBook.com), The Origins of Left Behind Eschatology, Edward Irving Reconsidered: The Man, His Controversies, and the Pentecostal Movement, and The General: William Booth. He is also the transcriber, editor and publisher of The Letters of William and Catherine Booth and The Diary and Reminiscences of Catherine Booth.

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