Many Christians today are using the Passion Bible translation, and it's not a translation of the Bible. I was first alerted to the Passion Bible soon after the Passion translation was published. I was at a women's retreat, and the speaker referred to several scriptures and quoted from the Passion translation, and immediately my spirit was quickened. I thought, "that's not what the Bible says." And each time this speaker quoted these scriptures, I would think, "where is this coming from?".
I began researching this Bible and learned from my research that the Passion Bible is really man's philosophy. It is man's thoughts of the Bible. It appears to me from my research that the author of the Passion Bible is attempting to explain his understanding of the meaning of scripture rather than translating word for word what the Bible says.
The Passion is not a Bible; it's a manuscript. When you're questioning the validity of something, you always look for the author's credentials. So I spent hours of research trying to validate the author. The author of the Passion Bible, Brian Simmons, has no credentials to translate Hebrew or Greek language. It appears that his personal ideas, thoughts, and philosophies were used to translate the meaning of words in the Bible. After listening to several interviews with Brian Simmons and how this translation came about, it became clear that in the Passion Bible, man is giving us his thoughts to words, a new revelation of the word.
I will tell you that we have been warned by the word of God that we are not to add to or take away from God's word (Revelation 22:18-19). Proverbs 30:5-6 says, "Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words. Lest He will rebuke you, and you will be found a liar." We are told not to add to this word and not to take from this word. There are no new revelations. God has revealed Himself through this word, and this word is God. Why? So that we will know God. And when man starts to add his thoughts, his philosophy, his own revelation, and how he sees things from his perspective, we begin to move away from who God is by moving away from the word of God.
The author of the Passion, Brian Simmons said that Jesus promised that he would help him by giving him secrets of the Hebrew language. I'm going to tell you anytime someone tells you that they have secrets from God, that God reveals to just them, and then they reveal it to you, you should be on high alert. Why? Because the word says that the spirit is the spirit of truth and the spirit is the one who reveals truth to you. The truth has already been recorded. The word has been God-breathed and has been written down and entrusted. And we are to read the word of God with the Holy Spirit as our teacher, revealing truth to us all.
It's very dangerous when we take on a project to translate the Bible, and we start to rewrite the Bible in our own words and say, "thus say it the Lord". This is what will lead people astray from the truth. And then we start to turn from the truth because we don't know the truth. In Deuteronomy 4:2, God warned the Israelites as he said, "You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you."
We are to understand that there are translations of the Bible, such as The Passion Translation, that are tools in the hand of the enemy, and they're being used today to remove us from God. The enemy is creeping into the church through deception, with plans to take down the church eventually.
The enemy is allowing pastors to step into pulpits to legitimize these translations by using them. We look to authority, and we say the Bible is our authority. And when pastors use these translations, they step in, and we believe they're preaching truth.
The Bible warned us to be very careful of man's philosophy. Colossians 2:8 says, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." This Bible is our authority, and Satan uses deception to get us to rebel against God by changing the word of God.
I want to give you a brief history of how we got the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." So this tells us that scripture was inspired by God and written down by men that God entrusted this to. These were ancient words. Early translations of the Bible were of these ancient words that God breathed into the men that recorded them; The Bible was translated from its early Hebrew/Greek translation into an English translation using words as close to these ancient words as possible.
Now there is some debate about which Bible translation is as close to the original manuscripts of the Bible. Is it the King James version, or is it the American Standard version? But I will tell you they are both word-for-word translations. And so we have the King James Bible, the American Standard Bible, and later came this recent English standard version. And then, from the King James version, we got the new King James version from the American standard.
We got the New American standard, and they were simply changing some old-fashioned words like "thou" and "thus sayeth." You sometimes lose people in reading those words in scripture.
In the early 70's, we started a slippery slope in the Bibles that we used and embraced The Living Bible. The Living Bible is not a word-for-word translation; it's a paraphrased Bible. Someone wrote this Bible, and they took what the Bible said, and they paraphrased it in their own words. That's not a translation; that's a manuscript that someone has written of their thoughts on the Bible. And then we really went deep into these translations when we came out with The Message Bible. The Message Bible is not a translation; it's another manuscript of someone's philosophy and thoughts on paraphrasing the Bible.
So we disobey God and follow our fleshly passions and vain pursuits to the point that we don't even recognize what sin is. As our culture changes, you can notice that translations change. The enemy wants to take man's philosophy and thoughts and turn them into our traditions so that we don't even question whether this is true. We just take it as it is, and it takes us down this slippery slope and begins to break down the culture. Be on high alert when someone comes out with what they call a new translation.