Are you Passionate about the Passion Translation? p.1
This series of articles is about what you need to know about the author of this Bible translation.
Brian Simmon's Interview of his commission to write a new Bible and his theological view on doing this
Brian Simmons is a former missionary, linguist, minister, and Bible teacher. As a missionary, he and his wife, Candice, are said to have pioneered church plants in Central America. He began his biblical studies with The New Tribes Bible Institute and continued on to earn his doctorate with Wagner Leadership Institute, with a specialization on prayer (that is Peter Wagner of the new apostolic Reformation, introducing a new government for the church).
We hear “While Brian was in the missionary harvest fields God, the Lord of the harvest, spoke in an audible voice early one morning saying: “Revival is coming to North America and YOU will be a part of this.” From that Divine encounter Brian received fresh understanding of God’s prophetic purposes for the last days awakening among the nations. Moving his family back to North America Brian began to preach with power and authority the coming days of glory that will usher in the return of Christ.” www.facebook.com/brian.simmons.
This self promotion does express the concerns that will also be brought up continually on his “NEW” Bible he is presenting to the church. I understand being respectful of ones prior work, however there are people who are taking this whole matter too lightly. After reading through these different articles you may have a different view on this.
Simmons has done a new translation (a misnomer) of the Bible that has certainly attracted many, both pro and con.
The FAQ section of The Passion Translation website describes the translation process:
Simmons calls his version a translation, it is not really a translation at all. It is in the category of a paraphrase. But it is not really that either, since he adds his own thoughts in expanding words in the original.
In a time of abundant new revelation one needs to be careful in adding what they think to God’s Word. Unfortunately Simmons is not careful.
He states “TPT italicizes certain words or phrases. These highlighted portions are not in the original Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic manuscripts but are implied from the context. We’ve made these implications explicit for the sake of narrative clarity and to better convey the meaning of God’s Word.
He inserts his own concepts and beliefs as the interpretation which can be much lengthier than what one would find in a word for word translation like the KJV. While these may be more fitting being found in a sermon, having them inserted in Scripture as the Word of God, (words that are not what God breathed) oversteps the boundaries a scholarly translator would do.
The Passion Translation of the Bible is not about finding the equivalent words in the English language for it revises the original words and their intent. What is implied is that the Bible does not mean what it says, it needs to be changed and Simmons has decided what it should say. If this were him commenting on the word it may be more acceptable but instead he says
Mark 1:15 KJV: “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
His additions changes the texts meaning. Clearly presenting an over-realized eschatology, that what God has promised for the future are readily available now. This is found within the NAR teachings.
NKJV Philippians 1:1-2 “Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Passion Translation: “Dear Friends in Philippi, My name is Paul and I’m joined by my spiritual son, Timothy, both of us passionate servants of Jesus, the Anointed One. We write this letter to all His devoted followers in your city, including your pastors, and to all the servant-leaders of the church. We decree over your lives the blessings of divine grace and supernatural peace that flow from God our wonderful Father, and our Anointed Messiah, the Lord Jesus.” Underline mine
The NAR movement believes the Apostles of today can issue “decrees,” these are authoritative proclamations that release God’s power. In other words, a decree is not a request for God to do something, it’s certainly not a prayer. This becomes a declaration that He will give grace because of the apostles authority. While the Scripture states it is given with peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefor there is no need to add a decree to the Word.
Matthew 10:2 “Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;” (NKJV)
The Passion Translation “Now, these are the names of the first twelve apostles: first, Simon, who is nicknamed Peter, and Andrew, his brother. And then Jacob and John, sons of Zebedee. (TPT)
He changes the word first for the succession of their calling to of the first twelve apostles, collectively as a group, which is not the meaning..
What this insinuates is that there are more than 12 apostles, other apostles even today, like the first century ones that were chosen. That is a problem. In fact he is called an apostle to release the message of signs and wonders.
"Brian is the founder and director of Apostolic Resource Center (ARC) based in New England, and they have established Stairway Ministries under which they travel full-time. Having completed his doctoral studies with C. Peter Wagner (WLI) Brian has been commissioned as an apostle to the nations and carries a distinct authority and love for all people.... they now travel the nations releasing this message of end time awakening. Signs and wonders accompany their apostolic ministry. http://www.gatewaycitychurch.net/apps/calendar/?fldEventID=19 (accessed 6/9/20)s
On his faq section his Passion translation website where questions are answered we read, Question: “I've heard that Brian Simmons is part of something called the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. Is that true?
‘The New Apostolic Reformation, commonly known as NAR, is a name used by some Internet apologists and critics to identify leaders mostly in the Pentecostal and charismatic traditions who affirm (or seem to affirm in part or full) a group of beliefs the critics oppose. Brian Simmons has been unfairly identified with this non-movement because of his association with some of these leaders and affinity with Pentecostalism. Further, such critics have falsely accused Simmons of writing The Passion Translation as a stealth maneuver in support of the non-movement’s agenda and to bolster it theologically through translation renderings. Neither of these accusations are fair or accurate. Although his audience includes the Pentecostal reader and worshiper, he affirms historic Christian orthodoxy and stands within the broad evangelical theological tradition.”
The fact is, he is working under apostle Ché Ahn, with Harvest International Ministry who is in Wagner's New Apostolic Reformation, the NAR. Ché Ahn is the international chancellor at Wagner University. Cindy Jacobs, Shawn Bolz, and Brian Simmons are the core teaching faculty (along with many others), Ahn’s website links to his passion Bible.
He calls it a non-movement which certainly is not what Peter Wagner and those participants said of it from its inception. It is called a movement that will change the church and the world. Any denials made are not factual and obfuscating its identity and goals.
What is humorous is how this is answered, considering the many NAR participants who endorse his translation. And what is said about those Charismatic's and Pentecostal's who are critical of the new apostolic governmental movement: crickets. In other words if you are not with them you are a critic, and they do not like critics. He may not have coordinated with the movement he is enjoined to but he arrives at the same destination.
THE NAR ENDORSERS
Bill Johnson “One of the greatest things to happen with Bible translation in my lifetime.”
Lou Engle “Forged many years ago while translating the Scriptures among South American tribes, and hammered out on the anvil of decades of personal devotion and apostolic experience, my dear friend Brian Simmons brings to the earth a powerful and refreshing translation of the Scriptures that is fueling and inflaming the hearts of tens of thousands world wide. Like the Living Bible that sprung forth in the days of the Jesus Movement, this translation bursts forth from the womb of this present revival. Read it and get caught up in a God-swirl of spiritual understanding and revelation.”
Dr. Chuck D. Pierce “I have devoured The Passion Translation! There is a fragrance of God’s Spirit that emanates from the powerful expressions that Brian Simmons has brought forth in this translation. Not only have I used The Passion Translation for teaching, but I have picked up certain books of the Bible and read them like a living novel. I love this translation!”
Dutch Sheets "Pastor Brian Simmons is doing a tremendous job training a new generation of radical Christians to impact the nations. The course of history will be set as these men and women help usher in world-changing revival."
James W. Goll "With the Mind of a Scholar and Heart of a Lover, Brian Simmons combines the best of both world for us in his devoted translated work in Letters from Heaven. What a marvellous job my friend and seasoned leader is doing for the Body of Christ! I applaud the life and ministry of Dr. Brian Simmons!"
Dr. Ché Ahn "I believe The Passion Translation will be the Bible of choice for the next Jesus people movement."
There are many others on board for this Bible, Dr. Michael Brown, John Bevere, Banning Liebscher, Georgian Winnie Banov, Johnny Enlow, James W. Goll, Cal Pierce, Graham Cooke, Patricia King Wesley and Stacey Campbell. Many of these are those who are involved in the new "unbiblical" revivalism.
Simmons is telling people he undertook this translation project because he felt a calling from God, and because he has always wanted to bring people into a greater understanding of the wealth and treasure contained in the Bible. As we will see there is much more to his story.
It’s not that he felt a calling, he had a visitation. On Sid Roth’s “It’s Supernatural’ television program (2015) Simmons claimed that in 2009, Jesus Christ literally visited him in his room, breathed on him, and commissioned him to write a new translation of the Bible.
Brian Simmons “Jesus Christ came into my room and breathed on me and he commissioned me.”
Sid Roth asks “what did it feel like?”
Brian Simmons (pausing) it felt like a kiss from heaven.” “It felt like Heaven's wind. The ruach, the breath, the wind of God came upon me. And he spoke to me and said, ‘I'm commissioning you to translate the Bible into the translation project that I'm giving you to do.’ And he promised that he would help me, and he promised me that he would give me secrets of the Hebrew language.”…
Sid Roth comments” do you believe that when he blew on you there was an impartation for revelation?”
Brian Simmons answers: “I do, I believe the spirit of revelation was given and I have to say when he breathed on me no way would I want to compare that to the writers of the New testament, the original writers (Moses, the Torah and Ezekiel), he breathed on me so that I would do the project, and I felt downloads coming, instantly. I received downloads. It was like, I got a chip put inside of me. I got a connection inside of me to hear him better, to understand the scriptures better and hopefully to translate." https://sidroth.org/television/tv-archives/brian-simmons/
Has Simmons been given a supernatural gift to translate languages he does not know? Again his Bible is not a translation of the original words or languages.
Let me point outwhat I see asa contradiction, 3 years later after his story is told on It’s supernatural : “It was two in the morning and I sensed a divine presence in my room. I fell on my knees by my bedside and he stood before me, breathed on me and gave me this commission.” (The Passion translation: Dr Brian Simmons responds to his critics
“a divine presence” (2018) is not the same as Jesus Christ literally visited him in his room. (said on February 2, 2015).
Apparently a readjustment was needed as Jesus’ personal appearance may not have sat well with some, and it shouldn’t. And neither should the rest of his experience[s].
But there is much more to his story.
He then speaks of the poetic language of Hebrew and Aramaic releases something inside of us” “Its divine. It is full of revelation. There’s flavor. It’s not, its like thinking with your heart, its like heart level spirit to spirit, deep calling out the deep”
Sid Roth tells us “passion is the operative word. This translation will give you that passion back.” …Brian told me that he had a word I believe it’s going to release some miracles.”
Advertised on “Its supernatural” a show that covers anything and everything supernatural, not necessarily under the Christian Banner, “as the romantic, poetic heart filled words of God will fill you with new passion and god’s revival fire. You get to know God on a more deeper and intimate level. The very words of this translation will go right past the defenses of your mind and right into your spirit… and you will have a supernatural encounter with the glory and presence of God”
This is troubling on how this Bible is supposed to work, to bypass the mind? The mind and the Spirit work as a unit, not separate. Just look up the word mind, or thinking in Scripture and see what it says.
Rom. 12:2 “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Eph. 4:23 “and be renewed in the spirit of your mind” this is done by reading and understanding the literal word of God.
1 Cor. 2:16 For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.” As we are trained by the Word of God we think differently.
To promise a supernatural encounter to all who read his Bible, going direct to their spirit and bypass the mind is not what the Bible says of the Word. This such a sad display of biblical ignorance from Mr. Roth it’s hard to wrap my head around the ear tickling that is going on here.
In his interview, Simmons claims that Jesus personally took him to a library room in heaven, and that Jesus promised to bring him back to heaven and give him a brand new chapter of the gospel of John that has never yet been known—John chapter 22.
Sid Roth: (SR) “my guest found himself in the library of heaven (ooh), and he saw books on ever subject you can imagine, books on science, and medicine, things like cancer cures that haven’t even occurred yet and then he saw one book that was called John 22. There are only 21 books in the gospel of John, 22 had to do with the next great, greatest revival the world has ever seen…”
Big difference. Okay. How in the world did you get into the library room of Heaven? I want to go there.”
Brian Simmons (BS): Well you know, as believers in Christ, there's only one entrance into the realm of the spirit, and that is the name of Yeshua, the name of Jesus Christ. We don't work it up. We don't get into an ecstatic state on our own. I was actually asleep and I was taken out of my body, and I was brought into this immense library room. I loved being there. And the Lord came up to me and he said, "Brian, I have brought you here to let you take any two books you want." And I'm just walking around. But it didn't take long before I saw a book that I knew I was to have and then soon I saw another book I knew I was to have. But you'll never want me back on the show when I tell you what happened then.”
BS: “Well I have to tell you the truth. I saw a third book and I knew the Lord told me I could only take two. And in Heaven, whatever you think is put out over the loud speaker, everyone hears it. Your thoughts are broadcasted. So here's what I hear coming out of the loud speaker, and it's my own thoughts, how can I steal this book. And then I said, oh, no, I'm shoplifting on God. I felt so ashamed. But I knew if I could take this book, there was this book, so, if I could just take this book back with me to the natural realm it would trigger awakening in all the nations of the earth. It would bring, it would make the name of Jesus famous in the world. But Jesus came to me and said, "Brian, I cannot let you take this book." And he looked at me in the eyes with love that melted me and he said, "You are not ready for that book." Then he promised that, "I will bring you back one day and I will give you that book."
SR: What was the title?
BS: Written on the cover of the book was John 22.
SR: But there's only 21 chapters in John. What's this 22?
BS: Well John 22, go back to John 14:12 and you'll see that there is a greater works generation. "The works that I do you will do even greater works than these." I believe the John 22 generation will be a people that do the greater works of Jesus. They will not add to the scripture, and that's a sealed book. But it is a book that is unfolding and the works of Jesus will be replicated by an entire generation of people that believe fully in the power of God.”
And Simmons denies he is teaching the extreme neo Pentecostal/ NAR view? Really. This is exactly what Bill Johnson teaches (and others, i.e. like Bob Jones, Rick Joyner). NEW Revelation.
Exactly what are these other two books that he took from heaven? More NEW Revelation!
Prov. 30:6 “Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.”
To have chapter 22 is definitely adding to the Word (The Bible) which we are told not to do. John wrote all his book, but now here is another chapter, that was hidden, in a heavenly library. This is what we hear from so many “other” false teachers. The only ones who see a library or anything else in heaven (along with storage buildings with body parts) is because they are false teachers, mystics, dreamers. John was on his face trembling when he saw the one he laid his head on his chest when on earth, he had no tour de heaven Why would there be books for earth’s vocations in heaven? To learn from? books on science, medicine, …cancer cures.” Do you need to know of these things in heaven where no one is sick
Instead of thinking there are only 21 chapters (not books) in the gospel of John and instead of questioning this heavenly trip which goes against do much Scripture, people believe him! Why? Because of the two examples in the Bible of Paul and John. The fact is no one is going to heaven and having these kind of extra biblical revelations. The only two who did were apostles over 1,900 years ago. John was permitted to write, as he was privileged to give the prophetic closure of the age with his revealing of Christ. And Paul, he said it was illegal for him to write of what he saw. Apparently 1,900 plus years later it is now legal to be interviewed on what is supposedly seen and speak of new unseen revelation in books and experiences!
The greatest revival the world will ever see is already mentioned by John in Rev.7, how would that fit in the next chapter of John? The claim that there is a chapter 22 for John is laudable. John wrote a testimony of what Jesus said and did. Johns’ book is about his witness of Jesus, in no way is it about a future revival. Did John write this in heaven?
He speaks of a realm of the spirit, which the Bible does not speak of at all.
He says he was asleep and I was taken out of my body” Which is what the new age describes the same called astral travel as they travel in the spirit in the spiritual realm.
Simmons statement “Your thoughts are broadcasted. So here's what I hear coming out of the loud speaker…
Why only his thoughts and not the millions of others who are citizens of heaven? Are they not thinking?.
He states “I knew if I could take this book… back with me to the natural realm it would trigger awakening in all the nations of the earth.”
How did he know this at the same time he is thinking of stealing it? Sorry this is convoluted on so many levels.
“it would make the name of Jesus famous in the world.”
Does God need his help to do that? This give us insight into his theological mindset.
Jesus says he can’t take this book." He’s not ready but he promises "I will bring you back one day and I will give you that book."
He was so sure it would bring the awakening to all the nations, on the contrary, Jesus says he is not ready, so then who would be? He’s not ready? Is it about HIM? Or Jesus? But he will be ready, and be brought back to heaven for it one day.
If you believe this experiential, mystical, supernatural story than you had better read your Bible more carefully and seriously question if you have Biblical discernment. I cannot accept any of it.
Let’s understand what he saying here. This book, (a chapter of John not written by him on earth) would be more powerful than all the words already written; to awaken all the nations. This lying vision, or out of body journey, or whatever you want to call it continues to become more and more deceptive. And this is the person whose Bible the NAR is recommending!
The Bible is a closed book since the same author John penned the Revelation of Jesus Christ that closed it. He stated “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book.” (Rev. 22:18-19)
This no different than others who have had Heavenly visits. Or new agers, or spiritists that have the same type experience and bring new revelation. They have convinced themselves that they have what’s true from God.
Jesus is the living Word, He will be the teacher in heaven. God watches all and knows all. The books that are mentioned in the Bible are books that document everything ever done by anyone on earth to properly judge them, to reward the righteous saints and to punish the wicked accordingly. There is the Lamb’s Book of Life, in which the names of God’s people are written in before they were born. The only other book mentioned in Heaven is when Jesus opens a scroll (Revelation 5:1, 5) that has 7 seals to begin the final years of the age. There is nothing mentioned or hinted toward Simmons new revelation, NOTHING AT ALL.
And this is why we need to take this whole matter seriously.
The Gnostic’s had tales like these in the Apocryphon of James. James writes Since you asked that I send you a secret book which was revealed to me and Peter by the Lord.” I was writing that which was in my book - lo, the Savior appeared,…we said to him, "Have you departed and removed yourself from us?" But Jesus said, "No, but I shall go to the place from whence I came. If you wish to come with me, come!"
Mohammed said his Koran came from heaven. And what of Joseph Smith?
Simmons is then invited to pray by Sid Roth. He says he has a prophetic word for someone who “has Crohn's disease. This is a word for you "the healing fire of God right now is coming upon you and will heal you of that disease.
Look up healing fire, this term is not in the Bible but it is a specific new age term. He then prays for a blessing on each person that has taken part in the program today, let the blessing of the awakening wind, let the breath, the ruach of God, the awakening grace come upon everyone watching today and make us the day breakers that will change this planet."
As if what he said before wasn't enough to have concern this prayer shows how he is thinking. The terms he used are unbiblical, having no root to the Scripture. In fact his end time view he presents is not biblical either (this will covered later)
Simmons then says: "When Jesus breathed on me an impartation came upon me to do this translation And I believe he will breath on you when you read the words of the living God in this Passion translation."
Again, If I wasn't concerned enough before, I certainly am now. His new Bible is so special that you will receive the same experience (like a kiss from heaven) as he did just by reading it. Really? This will do more than the Bible ever did before to anyone in history. In other words wh7y bother with any former translation when you have the newest, anointed, improved version approved by Jesus.