CONTENDING FOR FAITH

~ The Received Text ~

ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS

 

 

SECTION II

 

FEAR & LOATHING OF GREEK RESOURCES

 

CHAPTER V

 

 NO GREEK RESOURCES!

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“There existed a true original Greek (i.e. Majority Text, Textus Receptus). It is not in print and never will be because it is unnecessary. No one on the planet speaks first century Koine Greek, so God is finished with it. He needs no ‘Dead Bible Society’ to translate it into ‘everyday English’…” (G.A. Riplinger, In Awe of Thy Word, p. 956)

 

"It must be remembered that even the 5200 existing handwritten Greek manuscripts were the product of the Greek Orthodox Church. Its membership has never been made up of true believers. Unbelievers, Greek speaking or otherwise, cannot discern spiritual things." (G.A. Riplinger, In Awe of Thy Word, p. 955)

 

In stark contrast to the praise Gail Riplinger lavishes on the works of Jewish Kabbalists (whom she never identifies as such) is her unreserved contempt for all Christian Bible study resources, including the Greek Textus Receptus.  Gail Riplinger’s position on the Textus Receptus is that it retains no textual superiority over the King James Version and is irrelevant to the Christian Church today. To permanently sever students of God’s word from the Greek New Testament and traditional Bible tools that will help them understand the objective meanings of the words in Scripture, Riplinger is merciless in her assault on Greek and Hebrew resources. One line of attack is to rank Greek interlinears, lexicons and concordances among the vilest books ever published, along with smut and sleazy novels. 

 

“Many...translation theories have been developed in the dark rooms of writers’ minds, as is pornography. What is there has some truth, but the picture has been ‘doctored.’ And it’s not for believers. Someone else’s wife or the Bible of another culture and another time, seen through the eyes of doctored study aids, will leave patrons NIV positive very quickly. The little wife (and the ‘little book’) will never look quite ‘right’ again. Yet the simple spouse (and the simple scriptures) are what God has provided, just as he gave a Koine Greek New Testament to the early Greeks. One is not better than the other. Each has a purpose and an audience. When a man wants to find a ‘pure’ Christian wife, he prays one might come to the church picnic. He does not tiptoe through the trollops and pick one in a bar. (Prov. 30:5)  Greek reference works require much tiptoeing through corrupt Greek texts, lexical data and just plain private interpretation. Just as abhorrent as the suggestion of going to a bar to find a Christian wife, is the suggestion that one should go to a polluted reference work to ‘find’ a match for a word in the KJV.” (Awe, p. 499, emphasis in original)

 

We should add than when one wants to obtain a doctorate one should fulfill the Ph.D. requirements at an accredited university rather than receive an “honorary doctorate” from a charlatan whose spiritual fruit was gross immorality and heresy. For Gail Riplinger’s profile includes the odd statement, “New Age Bible Versions was an international best seller and for it the author was honored with a Doctorate from the world’s largest church of its kind.” (Awe, p. 1178)  Gail does not identify the church which conferred the honorary doctorate on her, however, this information is available on the Internet.

Dr. Jack Hyles (born 9/25/26) pastored the First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana (FBCH) from 1959 until his death on February 6, 2001, overseeing its growth from 700 (attendance) to over 20,000 (membership claimed at over 100,000). (The ‘Dr.’ is for a purely honorary degree from the Pontiac, Michigan, Midwestern Bible College, a Hyles’-‘protégé’ school.) He was also founder and chancellor of Hyles-Anderson College...

 

“Hyles had also become known for his alleged immorality, specifically his behavior with his secretary (the wife of a deacon in the church), and for his explicit sexual references from the pulpit, in counseling, and through FBCH’s schools (grade school, high school, and Hyles-Anderson Bible College)... (The Biblical Evangelist, 5/1/89). Hyles’ reported love affair with his secretary (allegedly begun in 1969), the wife of a deacon at FBCH, is well documented... See ‘Sin in the Camp’ report for more details...

 

“Besides Hyles own church and schools being scandalized with immorality and pedophilic activity (numerous FBCH men have been charged or convicted of child molestation), Hyles spawned a number of ‘ministries’ (there are approximately 200 independent Baptist churches nationwide that hold Hyles and his teachings in high regard) that have been scandalized in the same manner. For example, seven Hyles-affiliated churches from 1984-1993 were rocked by child molestation scandals (San Diego; North Sharon, MI; Petersburg, VA; Anniston, AL; Monroe, LA; Beaumont, TX; and Hyles own church in Hammond). From 5/16/93-5/20/93, Detroit television station WJBK-TV aired a five-part exposé on Hyles and various associated ministries... In the years since the WJBK-TV exposé, other criminal sexual misconduct scandals involving current or former Hyles-trained/-employed men have come to light...

 

“Hyles was a staunch member of the KJV-Onlyism cult... At Hyles’ Pastor’s Conference in 3/96, Mrs. Gail Riplinger (author of New Age Bible Versions) was awarded a ‘Sword’ and an ‘Honorary Doctorate’ from Hyles-Anderson College. Hyles, clowning around as was his custom, said he was ready to ‘ordain’ Riplinger to preach. He referred to Riplinger’s book as a ‘masterpiece,’ but shortly thereafter said he had read the book but ‘did not understand it.’ This might explain how he could endorse a book when its author denies the doctrine of the Eternal Sonship of Christ, the same doctrine believed by the KJV translators. (Reported in the 7/29/96, Christian News, p. 21.)...” (Jack Hyles (1926-2001), Biblical Discernment Ministries)

Not only did Jack Hyles have a 20-year affair with his secretary and covered up what appears to have been a pedophile ring in his network of Fundamental Baptist churches, he tolerated all manner of sin, including homosexuality, at Hyles-Anderson College. For more information, read “The Saddest Story We Ever Published!” in The Biblical Evangelist.

 

Gail Riplinger has also been divorced twice after her professed conversion, and is currently married to her third husband. Public records of her multiple marriages and divorces are available at: http://www.avpublications.org/

Gail Riplinger's Three Marriage References (listed in descending order, with most recent marriage first):

Marriage Record - 3 - Marriage Certificate #59311, Summit County, Ohio Probate Court, 1984; Gail Anne Riplinger
Marriage Record - 2 - Marriage Certificate #45789, Portage County, Ohio Probate Court, 1976; Gail Anne Kaleda
Marriage Record - 1 - Marriage Certificate #61989, Trumbull County, Ohio Probate Court, 1969; Gail Anne Latessa

Her name before marriages: Gail Anne Ludwig

View All Three of Gail Riplinger's Marriage Records (listed in descending order, with most recent marriage first):

Gail Riplinger Marriage - 3    
jpg - 700 kb    pdf - 180 kb   tif -    1 mb - (shows Gail was previously married twice)
Gail Riplinger Marriage - 2 a 
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Gail Riplinger Marriage - 2 b 
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Gail Riplinger Marriage - 1    
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We have to wonder how Gail Riplinger defines “adultery” and “pornography” when she separates from Greek resources and those who use them, but she is on her third husband and fellowships with adulterous ministers like Jack Hyles and Peter Ruckman.  God’s definition of adultery is clear:

“And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” (Mark 10:12)

Since receiving her honorary doctorate from “the world’s largest church of its kind,” Dr. Riplinger has announced that God is finished with the Greek New Testament as well as Hebrew and Greek reference works, since they are “dead works based on dead languages”:

 

“There existed a true original Greek (i.e. Majority Text, Textus Receptus). It is not in print and never will be because it is unnecessary. No one on the planet speaks first century Koine Greek, so God is finished with it. He needs no ‘Dead Bible Society’ to translate it into ‘everyday English’…” (Awe, p. 956)

 

“Like blind skeptics who are still digging for the bones of our resurrected Saviour, some believers are still digging into Greek graveyards for the word, ‘which liveth.’” (Awe, p. 32)

 

“The current practice of transferring the Holy Bible’s authority to ‘private’ interpretations in pagan Greek lexicons is proven to have no precedence in history.” (Awe, p. 37)

 

“The Holy Ghost’s teaching tool, the Bible, is ‘spirit,’ because it is the breath of God, not the words of man. Christians are not to compare ‘spiritual things’ (the words of God in the Bible) with the words of men, in lexicons, -- the ‘words which man’s wisdom teacheth.’ Only forbidden ‘private interpretation’ can be drawn from dipping one’s nose deeply into corrupt lexicons, dictionaries, and commentaries by worldly wise men, like Strong, Vine, and Zodhiates (2 Peter 1:19, 20).”(Awe, p. 141)

 

“Study of today’s Hebrew Old Testament texts, lexicons, grammars, and reference works draws the sheep – students, pastors, Christians, and so-called Hebrew scholars – away into dangerous enemy territory. Sheet by sheet these reference books sheer away the Christian’s confidence in the Bible... When will we realize that all attacks on the words in the King James Bible have at their root the goal of usurping the authority of the word of God and replacing it with that of some man, whether priest, rabbi, scholar, Bible teacher, textbook or sect?” (Awe, pp. 429, 435)

 

“What must [God] think of the DOITYOURSELF bibles, where no KJV word is safe from being stained by those who dip each word into the dark pot of the lexicon they just bought.” (Awe, p. 490)

 

“Those who do not believe that God preserved, as promised, a 100% ‘pure’ Holy Bible, subtract from its purity a point or two each time they search the lexicons of men instead of ‘search the scriptures’ of God (Psalm 12:5,6).” (Awe, p. 500)

 

“Non-Biblical words such as ‘hex,’ ‘nix,’ ‘noxious,’ and ‘toxic’ picture the scull and crossbones (X). In a ‘lexicon’ Greek or Hebrew word mix with English ‘private interpretation’ and ‘asphyxiated’ God’s word.” (Awe, p. 1151)

 

Corrupt Versions Cited in Comparison Charts: ESV…HCSB…NASB…NASB Update… NCV…NIV…NKJV…NLT…NRSV…RSV…TNIV…Other corrupt versions include: The Amplified bible, The Message…The Easy Reading KJV-ER 2000, the KJ21, all interlinears and lexicons.” (Awe, p. 1184)

 

Notwithstanding her low opinion of Greek resources, Gail is not above using lexicons when they can be summoned to support her dubious teachings which are unsupported by other scholarly sources. For instance, in New Age Bible Versions, she implied that some lexicons can be trusted:

 

All well respected Greek-English lexicons state emphatically that the use of these two Greek words by Greek manuscripts is wrong and is used in place of the correct rendering ‘JEHOVAH’.3”  (New Age Bible Versions, p. 375)

 

The footnote (3) to this quotation references A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament by J.H. Thayer, whose lexicon she thoroughly condemned in her other book, In Awe of Thy Word:

 

“Thayer was a Unitarian whose heresies were so well known in his day that the publisher introduced Thayer’s work with this warning:

 

‘A word of caution is necessary. Thayer was a Unitarian and the errors of this sect occasionally come through… The reader should be alert for both subtle and blatant denials of such doctrines as the Trinity (Thayer regarded Christ as a mere man and the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force)…and Biblical inerrancy (Thayer’s Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1977, p. vii).’” (In Awe of Thy Word, p. 951)

 

Why would Gail commend Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon as “well respected” in New Age Bible Versions, but disparage this same resource in In Awe of Thy Word?  In the former she is marshalling support for her false teaching on the English transliteration “Jehovah” (See: Chapter 2); in the latter she is building a case against Greek resources. Specifically she is targeting George Ricker Berry’s Interlinear Greek English New Testament, which she falsely charges was “drawn chiefly from Thayer.”

 

“Scrivener’s Greek New Testament is sold today as the Trinitarian Bible Society’s Greek Textus Receptus...

“The only other ‘Textus Receptus’ Greek New Testament in print, is the 1550 edition of Stephanus. As previously mentioned, it was not deemed accurate by the KJV translators in over 193 places. The Baker edition includes Berry’s blasphemous interlinear English translation above Stephanus’ Greek. Berry’s use of anti-Trinitarian liberal G.B. Winer’s A Grammar of the Idiom of the New Testament, translated by J. Henry Thayer, makes Berry’s English interlinear useless. Furthermore, the English interlinear ‘has been drawn chiefly from Thayer.’ (See the back of the paperback edition after p. 670, on p. v preceding the dictionary in Baker’s reprint of the 1897 Hinds Noble edition.)” (Awe, pp. 950-951)

 

Few readers, if any, will check Berry’s Interlinear to verify that Gail has quoted her source accurately. In the first place, George Ricker Berry’s Interlinear is merely an American edition of Samuel Bagster’s 1896 Greek-English Interlinear prepared by Thomas Newberry. To Thomas Newberry’s Interlinear, George Ricker Berry added an appendix with a Greek-English New Testament Lexicon and an Index of Synonyms. It is in Berry’s introduction to his Lexicon that he mentioned using Thayer to provide some helpful information about the “history” of certain words in his lexicon. J.H. Thayer’s New Testament Lexicon and various grammars translated by Thayer were used by Berry for his Lexicon in the appendix of Newberry’s Interlinear:

 

Some indication of the history of a word will surely be serviceable to the average student. Consequently, the words whose first known occurrence is in the Septuagint, in the Apocrypha, and in the New Testament, are indicated by the respective abbreviations at the end of the articles. Where the usage is in doubt, no indication has been given. The material for this has been drawn chiefly from Thayer. The other classifications which Thayer gives, it was thought would not be of sufficient practical use to the average student to be incorporated...

“The grammatical references given are to the three grammars which are probably in the most common use, viz: S.G. Green, Handbook to the Grammar of the Greek Testament, Revised and Improved Edition; G.B. Winer, A Grammar of the Idiom of the New Testament, Seventh Edition, Translated by J.H. Thayer; and Alexander Buttman, A Grammar of the New Testament Greek, Translated by J.H. Thayer. These have been indicated respectively by the abbreviations Gr., Wi., and Bu....

“Besides other works which have already been mentioned, much material has been drawn from R.C. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, and from the New Testament Lexicons of Thayer and Cremer, as well as from the small ones of Green and Hickie.” (George Ricker Berry, “Introduction to New Testament Lexicon,” Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, pp. iv, v)

 

Gail Riplinger deceptively misquoted her source, saying that Berry’s “English interlinear ‘has been drawn chiefly from Thayer,’” even though the Interlinear per se was not even translated by George Ricker Berry, but by Thomas Newberry. Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament was published 10 years after Thomas Newberry published his Greek-English Interlinear translation of the New Testament, which would make it impossible for Newberry to have used Thayer’s Lexicon:

 

Thomas Newberry (1811-1901).

1877 - The Englishman’s Greek New Testament, giving the Greek Text of Stephens 1550, with the various Readings of the Editions of Elzevir 1624, Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, and Wordsworth, together with an interlinear literal Translation, and the Authorized version of 1611. London: Samuel Bagster, 1877. 3rd ed. 1896. Reprinted by Zondervan in 1970.”

Joseph Henry Thayer (1828-1901).

“Thayer’s chief works were his translation of Grimm’s Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testamenti (1887; revised 1889) as A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, and his New Testament Bibliography (1890).”

 

On the basis of a lie Gail Riplinger has launched a formidable attack against an essential Bible study tool, maligning it as “blasphemous” and “corrupt.” Implied in Gail’s assault on Hebrew and Greek language resources is the fanciful notion that the King James Translators used only Hebrew and Greek resources written by Christians. This fiction is contradicted by the testimony of the KJV Translators themselves who stated that they availed themselves of as many Hebrew and Greek helps as were needful and, as we discovered, they even used the commentaries and translations of humanists, Cabalists, and Roman Catholic scholars such as St. Augustine and St. Jerome, whose writings are liberally cited throughout the Preface as support for their views:

 

THE PURPOSE OF THE TRANSLATORS, WITH THEIR NUMBER, FURNITURE, CARE, ETC.

 

“...neither, to be short, were we the first that fell in hand with translating the Scripture into English, and consequently destitute of former helps... Neither did we think much to consult the Translators or Commentators, Chaldee, Hebrew, Syrian, Greek or Latin, no nor the Spanish, French, Italian, or Dutch; neither did we disdain to revise that which we had done, and to bring back to the anvil that which we had hammered: but having and using as great helps as were needful, and fearing no reproach for slowness, nor coveting praise for expedition, we have at length, through the good hand of the Lord upon us, brought the work to that pass that you see.”  (“Translator’s Preface”)

 

KJV TRANSLATORS’ RESOURCES

 

Gail Riplinger cited Ward Allen’s Translating for King James as a source document because it contains the recently discovered “handwritten English, Latin and Greek notes of KJV translator John Bois, showing the final work on the Epistles and Revelation by the General Meeting of 1610...of which he was a member.” (Awe, pp. 524, 532)  Gail’s synopsis of John Bois’ Notes on the King James Bible misleads her readers that the KJV Translators consulted only the Greek texts of Beza and Erasmus, the Greek writings of John Chrysostom, a vast number of Greek manuscripts and translations, English and foreign Bibles, old Latin versions and the Italian Version. (Awe, pp. 533-534)  However, the actual Notes of John Bois present a very different record.

 

The reader may be surprised that John Bois’ Notes are replete with references to the works of the Greek and Roman philosophers and scholars, such as Aristotle’s Politicum, (Allen, p. 115), Plato’s Politicus (Ibid., pp. 95, 122), Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations (Ibid., pp. 61, 118), Horace’s Odes (Ibid, pp. 53. 123), the Nemean Odes of Pindar (Ibid. pp. 91, 122), Homer’s Iliad, and historical works of Thucydides, Herodotus, etc. And these pagan scholars are referenced throughout Bois’ notes on the Epistles and Revelation. Dr. Bois’ Notes also reveal that the Translators based their translation of certain verses on the Catholic Douay Rheims Version and the Septuagint:

 

“Attesting to the authenticity of the manuscript are notes scattered throughout its pages which patently are explications that unfold the intent of the translators of the Authorized Version. And, in the unfolding, the explications reveal purposes of composition that have generally been hidden or obscure to latter-day readers... At Col. 2.18, he explains that the translators were relying upon the example of the Rheims Bible. At Heb. 10.12, he explains that the context of the passage led the translators to reject all previous English translations....

“Hebrews...Cap. 10.12. It is not clear concerning...[for ever], whether it ought not to be joined with...[had offered a sacrifice, [or?] with...[sat down] : the prior construction fits best with the remaining argument ; but the punctuation of every codex contends against it, and indeed the major number of the translators. ...

“2 Timothy...Cap. 2...v. 19. Nevertheless the sure foundation of God standeth etc... See Numer. 16.5 according to the Septuagint.” (Allen, pp. 10, 63, 81, 71)

 

Even more significant than the KJV Translators’ reliance on the Septuagint and the Catholic Bible, as well as Greek and Roman philosophers, poets and historians in translating the Holy Bible, Dr. Bois provided some information on the lexicons and grammars consulted by the Translators. One Greek lexicon frequently cited was the Lexicon of Constantinus (Lexicon Graeco-Latinum. Ex. R. Constantini aliorumque scriptis).

 

The Universal Pronouncing Dictionary of Biography and Mythology states that Robert Constantin was “a French scholar and eminent linguist born at Caen... He had compiled a Lexicon Graco-Latinum (1562) which was highly esteemed.”  Constantinus’ theology was by no means “Christian” but most likely of the Unitarian persuasion, since he was a Cabalist:

 

“In his Nomenclátor insignium scriptorum, published at Paris in 1555, Robert Constantinus devoted ten out of 189 pages to an account of the Cabala and a brief list of works on it. He regarded the original Cabala as divine and holy and transmitted by God to Moses by word of mouth only but the recent Cabala as corrupted by impostors and worthless. 74 Constantinus also ascribed to Guillaume Postel a book on Platonic and Pythagorean numbers... fn. 74... Constantinus gave 3 pages to judicial astrology, 3 to divination, and 5 to alchemy.”  (A History of Magic and Experimental Science, p. 454)

 

“Robert Constantinus, in the Nomenclatore Scriptorum Medicorum, published in 1515, says, that after a great deal of research, he found that [Cabalist] Raymond Lulli resided for some time in London, and that he actually made gold, by means of the philosopher’s stone, in the Tower; that he had seen the golden pieces of his coinage, which were still named in England the nobles of Raymond, or rose-nobles.” (Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds, Charles Mackay, 1841, 1852)

 

Anthony Walker’s Life of John Bois, which is reprinted as an appendix to Ward Allen’s Translating for King James, mentioned other “former helps” used by this KJV translator and reviewer:

 

“He was a most exacting grammarian having read near sixty grammars, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Syriack ; with some other few. He esteemed Thomas Linacre above all other Latin grammarians;20 and would often with a kind of learned indignation, expresse how much Englishmen were to blame, so to neglect their so well deserving country-man. In the Greek (wherein he obtained most absolute perfection) he seemed to has set an high estimate upon Apollonius; after him on Sylburgius.” (Ward Allen. Translating for King James, Vanderbilt Univ. Press, 1969, pp. 146-147)

 

Fridericus Sylburgius apparently based his Greek grammar on the Greek grammar of Kabbalist Petrus Ramus, who was a close friend of John Dee, under whose leadership the Rosicrucian Enlightenment began in England.

 

“Peter Ramus, in 1557, gave a fresh proof of his acuteness and originality, by publishing a Greek grammar with many important variances from his precursors… Sylburgius published one in 1582, which he professes to have taken from the last edition of the Ramean grammar.” (Henry Hallam,  Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Centuries, Vol. II, 1879, p. 18)

 

“The bare list of the few selected names Dee mentions as among the many who sought his acquaintance in Paris at this time and with whom he enjoyed some intimacy is impressive in its scope; there were he says some 40,000 ‘accounted students’ at Paris and among these ‘very many of all estates and professions were desirous of my acquaintance and conference as…Petrus Ramus…” (The John Dee Society)

 

A footnote in Ward Allen’s Life of John Bois  reveals that Dr. Bois’ esteemed Latin grammarian, Thomas Linacre (1460-1524), was a close friend of the famous English statesman, Sir Thomas More, a Roman Catholic who persecuted Protestant Reformers:

 

“20. ‘Thomas Linacre was great with, and highly admired by Sir Thomas More (whom formerly he had taught Greek), Erasmus, Grocyn, Latimer, Tonstall, and who not. He was one of the first Englishmen that brought learning into our nation.” (Ibid.)

 

After his death, Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) was canonized “St. Thomas More” by Pope Pius XI. As fellow Roman Catholics, neither Thomas Linacre nor Sir Thomas More would repudiate papal supremacy by taking an oath to uphold the Act of Succession, for which stand the legendary More was beheaded by King Henry VIII. As Lord Chancellor of England, Sir Thomas More vigorously opposed Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation, having burned at the stake six Lutherans who circulated the Tyndale Bible in England.

 

Sir Thomas More and Thomas Linacre, John Bois’ favorite Latin grammarian, were humanist scholars educated “in the home of Lorenzo de’ Medici, who welcomed [Linacre] into his own household as a fellow-student of his sons, of whom one was later to become Pope Leo X. Here under Politian in Latin, and Demetrius Chalcondylas in Greek, Linacre obtained a knowledge of these languages which made him one of the foremost humanistic scholars in England.” (Catholic Encyclopedia)

 

Leo X, formerly Giovanni de Medici, was the pope who excommunicated Martin Luther. The wealthy Medici oligarchy funded the neo-Platonic Academy of Florence which launched the Italian Renaissance, a revival of the occult traditions that swept Europe and eventually England. Thomas Linacre’s Latin and Greek tutors at the Platonic Academy, Politian and Demetrius Chalcondylas, were colleagues of the famous neo-Platonist philosophers and Cabalists, Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola:

 

Politian. An Italian Humanist, born at Monte Pulciano in 1454; died at Florence in 1494. At the age of ten he went to Florence, where he followed the courses of Landino, Argyropoulos, Andronicus Callistus, and Marsilio Ficino. In 1477 he was tutor to the children of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and became one of the Accademia which Lorenzo had grouped about him, in which with Marsilio Ficino, were associated Landino, Pico della Mirandola, and Hermolaus Barbarus. Politian was professor of Greek and Latin literature at Florence from 1480; among his pupils were the Englishmen, Grocyn and Linacre, and the German Reuchlin.” (Catholic Encyclopedia)

 

Demetrius Chalcocondyles... (1423 – 1511), born in Athens, was one of the most eminent Greek scholars in the West. He contributed also to Italian Renaissance literature. He was associated with Marsilius Ficinus, Angelus Politianus, and Theodorus Gaza in the revival of letters in the Western world. One of his pupils at Florence was the famous Johann Reuchlin. Demetrius belonged to one of the noblest Athenian families. He was a first cousin of the chronicler of the fall of Constantinople, Laonicus Chalcondyles, and the last of the Greek humanists who taught Greek literature at the great universities of the Italian Renaissance (Padua, Florence, Milan).” (Wikipedia: “Demetrius Chalcondyles”)

 

Ficino and Pico synthesized Platonism and the Hermetic sciences (astrology, alchemy and magic) with Scripture, professing the new belief system to be a Christian form of neo-Platonism. The Renaissance scholars who instructed Thomas Linacre, KJV Translator John Bois’ favorite Latin grammarian, taught the Cabala as a mystical system that could effectively be used for the defense of Christianity.

 

“It was in the princely house of Pico de Mirandola that the Jewish scholars used to meet…. The discovery of the Jewish Cabbala, which he imparted to various enlightened Christians contributed far more than the return to Greek sources to the extraordinary spiritual blossoming which is known as the Renaissance. About half a century later, the rehabilitation of the Talmud was to lead to the Reformation….Pico de Mirandola had understood that the indispensable purification of Christian dogma could only be effected after a profound study of the authentic Jewish Cabbala.” (Joshua Jehuda, L’antisemitisme, Miroir du Monde, p. 164) (Poncins, Judaism and the Vatican)

 

The Kabbalistic teachings of Ficino and Pico are well documented in Allison Couderts The Impact of the Kabbalah in the Seventeenth Century. Note that, like Gail Riplinger, the Renaissance Cabalist Pico della Mirandola “read meaning into the shapes of letters...which reveal divine mysteries.”

 

“Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) was one of the earliest, most famous and influential of Renaissance natural magicians to discuss the magical power of images and sounds. His ideas were accepted and embellished by innumerable later writers. Ficino developed a form of spiritual and subjective magic to attract beneficial celestial forces into the soul of the operator. An essential element in Ficino’s magic was his conviction that words represent the natures of things. He cites the usual sources to support this: Plato, Origen, Hermes Trismegistus, Plotinus, and Iamblichus...

“Indeed, a name, as the Platonists say, is nothing else than a certain power of the thing itself, first conceived in the mind, so to speak, then expressed by the voice, and finally, indicated by letters.

“With Ficino’s younger contemporary, Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494), we come one step closer to van Helmont’s kabbalistic theory of language, for Pico combined ideas derived from the Kabbalah with the more common Neoplatonic ones about sounds and symbols. Pico applied Ficino’s view of the Egyptian hieroglyphs to Hebrew and...read meaning into the shapes of letters:

“‘There are no letters in the whole law which in their forms, conjunctions, separations, twisting, direction, defect, superabundance, smallness, greatness, crowning, shutting, opening and order... do not reveal secrets.’

“...Pico believed that the Scriptures contained all there is to know, but like them he believed this in an essentially kabbalistic, not Christian, way.  Instead of interpreting every Biblical verse according to its literal, allegorical, topological, and anagogic sense, as both Jews and Christians did, he accepted the specifically kabbalistic view of the Bible as a sum of building blocks which could be sorted and shifted to reveal divine mysteries...” (The Impact of the Kabbalah in the Seventeenth Century, pp. 83-85)

 

Considering Gail Riplinger’s condemnation of Greek and Hebrew resources because those who produced them consulted works authored by unsaved liberals, ought not this embargo be extended to the King James Bible, given that the 1611 Translators consulted resources such as the Latin grammars of Thomas Linacre who studied under renowned Cabalists of the Renaissance such as Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola??  

 

The Translators of the 1611 KJV were scholars whose erudition was due in no small part to the academic works of unsaved humanists whose religious beliefs were heretical in the extreme. Yet we are told that, during the translation process, the Translators not only consulted their Hebrew and Greek grammars, lexicons, etc. but considered them to be indispensable resources. Should we therefore assume that the Cabalistic beliefs and humanistic mindset of these grammarians and lexicographers somehow found their way into the 1611 King James Version? Is it fair to brand the 1611 King James Bible “blasphemous” and “corrupt,” as Gail Riplinger brands Berry’s Interlinear, because the Translators consulted a variety of resources authored by Renaissance humanists, some of them Jewish Cabalists, for acceptable word meanings and the proper grammatical structure of Greek sentences?  If only “Christian” resources may be consulted by those who translate Scripture, then surely every vernacular Bible, including the KJV, and every Hebrew and Greek text, including Erasmus’ Greek Text, has been contaminated by worldly scholarship and must therefore be judged untrustworthy.

 

COOKING DATA 101

 

We have seen how Gail Riplinger misrepresented George Ricker Berry’s Interlinear Greek English New Testament as being the work of Unitarians, although it is provably nothing of the sort. Gail continues to misrepresent Berry’s (American reprint of Thomas Newberry’s) Interlinear on her website with a PDF file of a 1550 Stephens 3rd Edition of the Textus Receptus which, she claims, “has unearthed some changes in the notes” of Berry. The promo for this CD reads as follows [with this writer's comments in brackets / BA]:

 

“1550 Greek Textus Receptus by Robert Stephens on CD-ROM. The title reads in part Nouum IESV Christi D.N. Testamentum Ex Bibliotheca Regia... Ex officina Roberti Stephani typographi Regii, Regiis typis. M. D. L.

“This CD-ROM contains a scan of an actual 1550 Greek Textus Receptus edited by Robert Estienne (Stephens). The file is PDF. This edition of the Greek New Testament is Robert Estienne’s 3rd edition printed in Paris in 1550. (A comparison of this authentic edition against the currently printed edition by George Ricker Berry (Interlinear Greek English New Testament) has unearthed some changes in the notes.)

“In the main, both Berry’s and Stephanus Greek texts represent the Textus Receptus and are very helpful in proving that the readings in the KJV are correct and those in new versions are wrong. [Actually they also show wrong readings in the KJV.]

“(Sadly, however Berry’s Interlinear of Stephanus is used in some T.R. Bible Schools to ‘correct’ the KJV. (Its interlinear comes from Unitarian J.H. Thayer!) [This is not true as previously shown.] The KJV translators had superior Greek & vernacular evidence than Stephanus’ one-man text in Luke 17:36 (Berry & Stephanus omit the verse!) [see below]; Rev. 3:1 (Berry and Stephanus omit ‘seven’; Mark 2:15 (Berry and Stephanus omit ‘Jesus’ in its second occurrence); Acts 19:20 (Berry and Stephanus have ‘Lord’ not ‘God.’); Berry mis-spells Beelzebub seven times in the New Testament (e.g. Matt. 10:25) (See correct spelling in the KJV N.T. and any Hebrew Bible in 2 Kings 1:2, 3, and 6). [No, see below.] Many of the above errors are also followed in one-man Greek New Testament edition (e.g. Scrivener (TBS, DBS), Berry etc.. See In Awe of Thy Word, pp 947-956 etc. for details.”

 

So we read Luke 17:36 in Berry’s Greek-English Interlinear to see if, as Gail claims, “Berry & Stephanus omit the verse!” The verse is not in the text of Berry’s interlinear, but rather in a footnote followed by the letter “E.” The meaning of “E” and the reason for removing the verse to a footnote are explained in Berry’s Introduction:

 

“The Greek Text is that of Stephens, 1550, which has long been in common use ; but as the edition of Elzivir, 1624, is the one often called the Received Text, or Textus Receptus, because of the words, ‘Textum...ab omnibus receptum,’ occurring in the preface, we give the readings of this Elzivir edition in the notes, and mark them E.” 

 

In other words, Thomas Newberry (not George Ricker Berry) placed Luke 17:36 in a footnote because it was not in Stephen’s edition of the Greek Text published in 1550 (which Gail demeans as a “one man text”) but was only inserted later in the 1624 Textus Receptus published by the Elzivir Brothers.  In the 1611 King James Version there is a marginal note next to Luke 17:36 which states: “This 36. verse is wanting in most of the Greek copies.” (See Luke 17:36 in the King James Version with the footnote at StudyLight.org.) The marginal note would have been based on the Translators’ reading of the Greek texts of Stephens and Beza.

 

Instead of informing her readers that the KJV Translators added a marginal disclaimer to Luke 17:36, which stated the verse was not in most of the Greek manuscripts, Gail exclaimed, “The KJV translators had superior Greek & vernacular evidence than Stephanus’ one-man text in Luke 17:36.”  This statement reveals her utter contempt for the Greek Text which she subordinates to the KJV.  Gail’s “superior Greek evidence” must not include the Greek texts of Stephens and Beza since the Translators stated, “This 36. verse is wanting in most of the Greek copies.”

 

By “superior vernacular evidence” Gail cannot be referring to the Coverdale or Tyndale Bibles for neither carry the verse. Luke 17:36 is found in the Geneva Bible and the Bishop’s Bible which the Translators were required to follow “as little altered as the original will permit.”  On this textual base, the Translators should have omitted the verse; having chosen to include it, they at least qualified it with a marginal note which was later removed from modern KJVs, courtesy of the Masonic Bible societies. (See: Chapter 7)  Gail’s “superior vernacular evidence” would also have to include the Wycliffe Bible and the Roman Catholic Douay Rheims Bible, both based on the Latin Vulgate, which numbers the verse as Luke 17:35b. 

 

N.B. The absence of Luke 17:36 in F.H.A Scrivener’s Greek New Testament is evidence that he did not merely “back-translate” the King James Version into Greek, as Gail Riplinger claims in order to deprive Christians of this Greek Text which was based on Beza’s 1598 Greek Text. (Awe, p. 949)  If Scrivener had simply back-translated the KJV, he would have included Luke 17:36.

 

Gail also makes an issue of the fact that Berry’s Greek-English Interlinear and the Trinity Bible Society’s edition of Scrivener’s Greek Text leave the word “Beelzebul” in the Greek instead of translating it as “Beelzebub” as the King James Version renders it.

 

Beelzebub, in the New Testament 7 times (e.g. Matt. 10:25), is spelled Beelzebub by pure vernacular Bibles (e.g., English, German, Latin, Bohemice, Italian, Galice, and Danish) as seen in the Nuremberg Polyglot of 1599. It is spelled in Berry’s and the TBS edition as Beelzebul. Did the entire body of Christ worldwide, make a mistake, or did one apostate church (Greek Orthodox) or a few men carry forward an error? Jesus revealed truth to ‘babes’ who read Bibles, not the ‘brains,’ who spur revivals.” (Awe, p. 953)

 

Gail does not divulge the fact that “Beelzebub” was carried over from the Latin Vulgate, which shows that her “pure vernacular Bibles” adopted the Roman Catholic rendering of “Beelzebub” instead of “beelzeboul” (Beelzebul) in Stephen’s and Beza’s Greek texts. So which spelling is correct, the Latin Vulgate’s “Beelzebub” or the Greek Textus Receptus, “beelzeboul”? That the KJV translators adopted the reading of the Latin Vulgate and Douay Rheims instead of the Greek Text is noted in F.H.A. Scrivener’s volume, The Authorized Edition of the English Bible (1611): Its Subsequent Reprints and Modern Representatives, Strong’s Concordance, the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, W.R.F. Browning’s Dictionary of the Bible, and many other Bible resources which are no doubt also on Pope Riplinger’s “Index of Forbidden Books”:

 

“Appendix E. Passages wherein the text of the Authorized Bible seems to follow the Latin Vulgate.

“It may be useful to subjoin a list, probably quite an incomplete one, of places in which the Translators of 1611 have apparently followed the Latin Vulgate, mostly after the example of Tyndale, sometimes of Versions later than his, especially of the Rhemish of 1582, whereof the Epistle of the Translators to the Reader speaks so contemptuously… It is probable that at least some of the passages collected in the first section of the present Appendix, wherein the Authorized Version is supported by Compl., Vulg., only were derived from the Vulgate rather than the Complutensian....

Matt. xii. 24, 27; Mark iii. 22; Luke xi. 15, 18, 19, Beelzebub. So Tynd. (So also Compl. in Matt. x. 25)...”  (Scrivener, The Authorized Edition of the English Bible (1611): Its Subsequent Reprints and Modern Representatives)

 

Beelzebul The devil . ‘Beelzebub’ (= ‘Lord of Flies’), in AV, following Latin Vulgate; Greek MSS have Beelzebul (= ‘Lord of Heaven’ or ‘Lord of the House’), which is the more reliable spelling.” 32. (Browning, Dictionary of the Bible)

 

“BEELZEBUB. be-el'-ze-bub (in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) is an error (after the Vulgate) for Beelzebul (Revised Version margin) Beelzeboul; Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek, Beezeboul):”  (ISBE)

 

Here is another reading where the Greek Textus Receptus differs from a vernacular translation, yet Gail Riplinger exalts the “pure vernacular Bible” over the Greek Received Text because it’s not possible that “the entire body of Christ worldwide” could make a mistake! This astonishing statement is followed by the startling revelation that Gail considers the 5200+ manuscripts which represent the Textus Receptus to be a defective product of the apostate Greek Orthodox Church:

 

“It must be remembered that even the 5200 existing handwritten Greek manuscripts were the product of the Greek Orthodox Church. Its membership has never been made up of true believers…. Unbelievers, Greek speaking or otherwise, cannot discern spiritual things.” (Awe, p. 955)

 

Gail’s statement openly challenges the authenticity and authority of the Greek manuscripts which were the basis of the Textus Receptus. Such accusations are usually made by proponents of modern versions such as James D. Price, who points to the heterodoxy of the Greek Orthodox Church as a reason to reject the Byzantine manuscripts:

 

“If preservation is limited to only one text tradition (the Byzantine), then its distribution was limited to mainly the eastern Greek speaking churches. That means that all the churches in the South and West and in Palestine were deprived of the Word of God, in the sense Surrett states it in absolute terms. The criterion of ‘widely accepted’ falls short of the mark. Instead of an alleged time gap, he now has created a geographical gap. One cannot argue that these areas were deprived of the true text because of heresy, because the eastern churches had their own share of heresy. Surely Surrett doesn’t accept many of the doctrines of the Greek Orthodox Church—the custodians of the Byzantine text tradition; he doesn’t accept them as ‘orthodox’ in the sense that he understands the term. It seems far better to accept the possibility that the autographic text is preserved in the joint witness of all the manuscript witnesses God saw fit to preserve.”  (Book Review of Which Greek Text? The Debate Among Fundamentalists)

 

B.F. Westcott and Fenton Hort also rejected the 5200+ Greek manuscripts used for the Textus Receptus, identifying them as a Syrian rescension produced by the Arian heretic, Lucian, with the blessing of the Greek Church headquartered in Constantinople. They wrote:

 

“...Greek Christendom became centralised, with Constantinople for its centre. Now Antioch is the true ecclesiastical parent of Constantinople, so that naturally the Antiochian text of the fourth century would first acquire traditional if not formal authority at Constantinople, and then become in practice the standard New Testament of the Greek East. To carry the history one step further, the printed ‘Received Text’ of the sixteenth century, with the exception of scattered readings commended, in most cases by Latin authority to Erasmus or his successors, is a reproduction of the Syrian text in its medieval form... Further, the identity of readings implies identity of origin; the evidence already given has shown many of the characteristic readings to have originated about 250—350, assigning them at the same time a definite single origin...

“Meanwhile the Syrian text grew in influence. For some centuries after the fourth there was in the East a joint currency of the Syrian and other texts, nearly all mixed : but at last the Syrian text almost wholly displaced the rest. ...the Syrian text must have been due to a revision which was in fact a recension, and which may with fair probability be assigned to the time when Lucianus taught at Antioch...” (The New Testament in the Original Greek: The Text Revised by B.F. Westcott & F.J.A. Hort, Cambridge Press, 1881, pp. 143, 178, 182)

 

Echoing Westcott and Hort, KJV-Only advocates claim that the Syrian recension agrees with the Greek Textus Receptus, even though the Syriac Peshitta contains many Alexandrian corruptions. (See Progression of New Testament Corruption and The Semitic New Testament. Also, Chapter 16

 

Why would KJV-Only defenders support key arguments of the Westcott-Hort theory of textual criticism, the tissue of lies created by apostates to undermine the authority of the Textus Receptus?  Let us recall that the endgame of the dialectical process -- liberal vs. conservative -- is to eliminate the Textus Receptus as the international standard for Bible translation. On one side of the Bible version dialectic are the modern version advocates whom we would expect to disparage the Textus Receptus. On the other side are the KJV-Only advocates who, it appears, only profess to defend the Textus Receptus.  They may remonstrate against Westcott, Hort and modern versions, but their publications are loaded with disinformation that will one day be used to overthrow the Textus Receptus and replace it with corrupt manuscripts and bibles.

 

It will be seen in later chapters of this report that Gail Riplinger promotes many translations which were not based on the Byzantine text, but on the corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts that Westcott and Hort claimed were the most ancient texts. In the process, Gail also reimages the heretics who used these corrupt bibles as the “true Christians” who were persecuted by the Roman Church for preserving the true Greek text. As she stealthily mainstreams corrupt bibles and heretical sects, Gail is working overtime to discredit the standard Greek and Hebrew resources which would enable her readers to evaluate the accuracy of the various translations she promotes. And in place of using Greek and Hebrew helps to determine the meanings of the words and verses in Scripture, Gail teaches her readers how to conjure up word and letter meanings Kabbalistically.

 

In Awe of Thy Word is fundamentally a broadside attack on the Greek Textus Receptus and a primer on Kabbalah. Yet the heretical nature of Riplinger’s book is undetected by many in the King James-Only community probably because her previous book, New Age Bible Versions, seemed to uphold the Textus Receptus as the sole standard text for Bible translation.  As Mark Twain observed, “Give a man a reputation as an early riser, and that man can sleep till noon.”  When it became apparent that Gail Riplinger had done a volte face on the superiority of the Greek Textus Receptus, it was time for us to reexamine her teachings and to confront many false teachings of King James Onlyism; for there appears to be a “conspiracy of silence” among KJV-Only leaders as Gail takes the movement to a new level of heresy.

 

 

Chapter VI

THE RUCKMANITE HERESY

 

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CONTEND FOR THE FAITH:

THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS