P.3 The work Simmons was commissioned to do by a visitation of Christ
Let's first look at those who have had criticism of his Bible.
He is asked: It’s been heavily critiqued in some quarters; how have you dealt with that?
“There will always be critics whenever anyone attempts to do something for God. I asked the Lord once, “Why are there so many critics?” And he said because they will make me a better man and a better translator. So I’ve done my best to listen to the critics. I’ve made hundreds of changes in the text over the last eight years. We plan on revising the work every two or three years and put out a new edition.” https://www.premierchristianity.com/Past-Issues/2018/May-2018/The-Passion-translation-Dr-Brian-Simmons-responds-to-his-critics
Hundreds of changes were made to make him a better translator; and from his critics! How does this coincide with how he represented his experience, that from Jesus “downloads instantly came. …I got a connection inside of me to hear him better, to understand the scriptures better. Jesus says it is a translation project that I'm giving you to do.’ And he promised that he would help me, … he would give me secrets of the Hebrew language.”
Stop! Hold the presses, you mean there is going to be revisions every two or three years to create a new edition. To his supernatural gift of translation he needs to revise words? Imagine the apostles revising the Word of God they gave as the Bible just after two years? Why would he need to revise his words, if Jesus is directly involved.
Again what he says began this project and what he later says are two different stories. He states he,“named it the Passion Translation because he saw a need for a translation that restores the Bible's potency, "unfiltered and unveiled." Source: Letters From Heaven by the Apostle Paul, The Passion Translation (Cicero, NY: 5 Fold Media, 2013), 9 Kindle edition.)(underline mine)
Did he see a need or did Jesus commission him? That is a huge difference in motivation. If he saw the need then it contradicts Jesus commissioning him and directly helping by giving him the secrets of Hebrew.
He tells usJesus “walked through his wall and woke me in the middle of the night and said I am calling you to do this translation project, I’m commissioning you, he promised he would help me he would give me secrets. …. He told me he would help me in every way and that was about 9 years ago (The Passion Translation, Interview with Brian Simmons on Sozo Talk Radio EP020)
This means this took place in 2011, 2 years after he says he started the translation in 2009 On Sid Roth’s “It’s Supernatural’ television program (2015). This compounds the veracity of his visitation.
On the FAQ section of The Passion Translation website he addresses the translation process:
“… the meaning of a passage took priority over the form of the original words. Sometimes in order to communicate the correct intended meaning, words needed to be changed.”
“The Passion Translation is more in favor of prioritizing God’s original message over the words’ literal meaning.” (underline mine)
His Passion Bible is not intended to be a translation (word for word), it is not even a paraphrase (thought for thought), it is more like an explanation of the Word, more like someone teaching a sermon in a church. God’s original message came by words, what they literally mean. Yet Simmons says Jesus gave him the ability to translate the Word? Where exactly is this seen?
Simmons has also added his thoughts and meanings directly into Scripture itself by using the modern genre of the new Christianty he is involved with. His reason, he believes he has the authority to make these changes from his experience, from his commission, But these words are not inspired nor infallible.
It is a mans interpretation, (his) who adheres to a certain type of modern Christianity, which is aligned with the teachings of the Neo pentecostals, the New Apostolic prophetic movement.
Simmons says “Its really a myth for a word to word translation, your taking a big axe and you’re chopping off all kinds of meaning when you insist on having a word for word translation, it cannot be done... we’re going to the cutting room floor and picking up all of the nuances and treasures that have been cut off because of a strict literal word for word translation mindset that eliminates great meanings to the text that maybe go outside the common translation”I love the word of God and believe it is fully inspired by the Holy Spirit.” (Youtube-Interview with Brian Simmons on Sozo Talk Radio EP020 Dec 1, 2018) Much of this interview should be seen.
His Bible translation is being concerned with “heart,” meaning it is divorced from the actual word written, thus it presents itself as a fresh revelation, it is “new and is improved.”
Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 4:6 “that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written.” That is using the mind (which he identifies as intellect) and to keep to what is already written. The difference of adhering to the words and keeping their meaning intact and expanding the meaning by not keeping to the literal words, are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
He adds certain new words, to “the Word” to make a point. We are constantly instructed not to add to his word. When making a translation of God’s Holy Word there are words in the Greek for example that do have more meaning, but what Simmons has done is add words that are not at all in the text for the purpose of conveying a certain type of Christianity, this new meaning brings about a paradigm shift.
Deut. 4:2 “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it.”
Prov. 30:5-6 “Every word of God is tested. Do not add to His words, Lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar.
2 Jn. 1:9 “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God.” We abide in his teaching found in the Word. We abide by teachings that are written, not new revelation, or as he puts it, new heart meanings. In the end you are NOT reading the same words that all Christians have read through history from the Bible, they are expanded and alter the meaning in some important places.
New revelation has now reached the pages of the Bible. I would say that this John 22 chapter he saw in a heavenly library is as concerning as seeing Rev.23.
Simmons has a mystical slant in his teachings, and when further looked into this mans teachings on certain specific subjects do not interpret the Bible accurately. (this will be covered in the last section on mysticism)
Let’s begin to see what he has done to key portions of the Scripture. While some of the Scriptures reworded are not all problematic, others are.
TPT Jn.1:1“In the very beginning the Living Expression was already there. And the Living Expression was with God, yet fully God.”
“The Word” is now called the Living Expression. There is a reason Jesus the Son is called the Word, this is now obscured by introducing a new unbiblical term.
Simmons says he prefers the Aramaic, yet the Targum by Onkelos which is written in Aramaic uses the term “Word” for a therophany. Even Lamsa’s Aramaic translation says “THE Word.”
The Rabbis said that God reveals Himself to the prophets by theWord. By calling Jesus the Word, it meant he embodied the full revelation of God to man (the fullness of God in bodily form as the New Testament Scripture states). The Son spoke things into existence. He is called the Word because he is the active cause of the world. It is He whose word brought all things into existence, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made” (Ps. 33:6). And continues upholding all things by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3).
To the Jews “the Word” was also the means of salvation, a theophany in the Old Testament (the means by which God became visible, a Christophany). Jesus, the Son of God is called the Word because he is God who communicated to man.
The only Greek term equivalent to the Memra, John had was logos (Word). The Logos was used by the Greeks as their highest ideal, it stood for the creative force, logic, and reason among other things. John conveyed the original Jewish concept into the Greek language calling the Son the Logos. Memra is its Aramaic term, yet Simmons instead uses the term living expression. I find this term not only inadequate but unconnected to what John meant.
The Word, logos in Greek was translated as “the Word” on purpose by John whose gospel focuses on his deity. John used the Greek Logos to portray him as a pre-existent person with the Father. When you change this meaning, you change an important portion of the Scripture.
v.3 this Living Expression
v.4 this Living Expression is the Light.
v.14 the Living Expression became a man
1 Jn.1:1 The Living Expression We saw him with our very own eyes
Since this word “expression” is not found in the New Testament, especially as a substitute for Logos, we need to go our English dictionaries to define its meaning.
“Expression” - Collins Dictionary “The expression of ideas or feelings is the showing of them through words, actions, or artistic activities.”
Merriam Webster Dictionary- an act, process, or instance of representing, manifesting, or conveying in words or some other medium something that manifests, represents, reflects, embodies, or symbolizes something else: a mode, means, or use of significant representation or symbolism...”
American Heritage Dictionary-A group of words forming a unit and conveying meaning expression, idiom, locution, phrase, saying, phrasing, phraseology, term. Appearance, especially facial expression: countenance, aspect, look, physiognomy, visage, expression, air, traits, presence, mien.”
All these descriptions of the word expression diminish the term logos. Jesus is not an expression but the Son, a co -equal person, who is God. (He does uphold the deity in other areas - Colossians 2:9)
In his footnote a portion of it says “In the New Testament we have this new unique view of God given to us by John, which signifies the presence of God himself in the flesh. Some have translated this rich term as “Word.” It could also be translated “Message” or “Blueprint.”Jesus Christ is the eternal Word, the creative Word, and the Word made visible. He is the divine self-expression of all that God is, contains, and reveals in incarnated flesh. Just as we express ourselves in words, God has perfectly expressed himself in Christ.”
I see a problem in a number of his descriptions. They translated the term as the Word because that is what it is. John is not communicating the presence of God in flesh, but a person, the Son who became flesh. Neither is he communicating a message or blueprint. Simmons does state a portion of what is correct within his introducing these new concepts.
The proceeding verses say v.2-3 And through his creative inspiration this Living Expression made all things,[f] for nothing has existence apart from him!
He further states Luke 1:1 “... his early disciples, who became loving servants of the Living Expression.”
John 1: 5-8 And this “Living Expression” Is the Light that bursts through gloom— The Light that darkness could not diminish! Then suddenly a man appeared Who was sent out from God’s presence, A messenger named John.”
Was John sent out from God’s presence? All of these changes bring up concerns on his Bible “meanings.”
His interpretation[s] fit well into his manifest sons of God teaching where he teaches
“The Revelation 12 Virgin Bride will give birth to a Man-Child company, a corporate expression, one has become the many, the seed has now fallen into the ground and died but is now bearing many seeds, there’s a many seeded Christ.” (Simmons, Glory of the last days pt2).
What he teaches is that we “the corporate expression” are all Christ corporately And the Christ we long for will be seen. In a corporate way.everything that Jesus is, we are. We are the Word made flesh again. We are the Reincarnation of Jesus Christ.”
This is a huge problem what he believes.
A comparison of translations NKJV (one can do this comparisons to other translations they may also use)
Anointed is found 12 times in NKJV but in the TPT is 223 times.
Impart NKJV 3 -- TPT 35
Realm NKJV 0 --TPT 196
Empower NKJV 0 --TPT 40
Revelation NKJV16 -- TPT 110
prophetic NKJV 3 -- TPT 26
The word activate is not found in any translation but in the TPT 6 times, “You must activate your gift...”
This particular term comes from Bill Hamon, an apostle and prophet in the NAR. Simmons teaches “every member of the body of Christ must be activated” (Teaching on the book of Ephesians)
Simmons takes the liberty to have words used many more times than in other translations, such as anointed, realm, revelation.
NKJV 1 Tim 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.”
1 Timothy 3:16 TPT “For the mystery of righteousness is truly amazing! He was revealed as a human being, and as our great High Priest in the Spirit! Angels gazed upon him as a man. Yes, great is this mystery of righteousness!”
In this Scripture he Added and subtracted words. There is a clear disconnect from the actual biblical words in the text. Simmons’ added to the word that Jesus is our great high priest, and says “in the Spirit.” Wrong, he is a high priest in the flesh, not Spirit. All priests were human. He was the high priest when he became the “propitiation for the sins of the people” Heb. 2:17 and is functioning as our high priest in heaven “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5-6).
The word anointed is found 12 times in NKJV but in the TPT is 223 times.
He substitutes Anointed one for Christ. There is no justification to change this word the way he does so many times. He even changes the word Jesus Christ to both Messiah and “anointed one” all in the same verse?
Col:1:12 “My name is Paul and I have been chosen by Jesus Christ to be his apostle, by the calling and destined purpose of God. My colleague, Timothy, and I send this letter to all the holy believers who have been united to Jesus as beloved followers of the Messiah. May God, our true Father, release upon your lives the riches of his kind favor and heavenly peace through the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One.”
By the way, anointed one was a term fist popularized by Kenneth Copeland.
He also uses it in very unfitting ways
Gal.1:4 He’s the Anointed Messiah.” Anointed means Messiah in Hebrew(Christ in Greek). He translated this as he is the anointed anointed.
In Acts 11:26 (TPT) “...It was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first revealed as “anointed ones.”[a]
It says the followers were first called Christians by others (not revealed). They called themselves disciples, believers, brethren, saints, those of the Way, also Nazarenes (Acts 24:5). We do know they would not put themselves in the same category as the one they followed. The Greek term is Christ, the way it as used was for only one, the God/ man. So it is doubtful they would call themselves this to be equivalent to the one they followed.
They are not “anointed ones” as being equal, the same as Jesus. There is a reason he uses this. Calling them “anointed ones” collectively in this manner is coming from his underlying belief system conveying the new Christianity teaching that we are all Christ.
His Passion Bibles Interpretation of Pentecost
Acts 2 “On the day Pentecost was being fulfilled, all the disciples were gathered in one place. Suddenly they heard the sound of a violent blast of wind rushing into the house from out of the heavenly realm. The roar of the wind was so overpowering it was all anyone could bear!Then all at once a pillar of fire appeared before their eyes. It separated into tongues of fire that engulfed each one of them.”
The sound of the wind was violent? The wind was overpowering? Where does it say this?
He says Violent blast of wind Acts 2:2 The Aramaic can also be translated “like the roar of a groaning spirit.” This mighty wind is for power; the breath of Jesus breathed into his disciples in John 20:22 was for life.
This is clearly inserting into the Word what was not conveyed by the Word of God itself. A violent blast of wind, so overpowering it was all anyone could bear. Really! And “a pillar of fire appeared before their eyes! Which he says is liken to the one that led Israel in the wilderness. This is just like the teaching of Latter Rain promoter William Branham.
The Bible describes “appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire over each of them." (Acts 2:3) There was no pillar of fire in the upper room,it did not come a single pillar and then separate. Nor were they were not engulfed. these were like small flames, lights above their heads. Over and over we see his embellishments influencing the actual words.
He teaches that there are more apsotles than the original apostles
The Passion Translation Mt.10:2 “Now, these are the names of the first twelve apostles:”
This is insinuating there are more than the first century apostles today, of which the group he is with calls him an apostle. According to the new Christianity the last days apostles will be greater than the first. (Rev.21:14 tells us there will be 12 foundations in heaven, for the 12 apostles of the lamb. Are there more foundations like there are more bible books?)
The new Christianity
TPT Matthew 12:12 says “it’s always proper to do miracles” Simmons says in his notes that the Greek text refers to doing good; there is no reference to miracles.
KJV Galatians 6:6: "Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things".
The Passion Translation: "And those who are taught the Word will receive an impartation from their teacher; a transference of anointing takes place between them."
There is no such thing as a transferable anointing in the Bible, but there is in the new Christianity. They teach and practice both God and his gifts can be imparted, transferred from the anointed to their followers. This is what the new Gnostic’s and mystical Pentecostals believe. There is also "prophetic singing," and "apostolic decrees" expressed in his Bible, which is what is practiced today.
His footnote: John 2:2-3, “Interpreting Mary’s words for today we could say, “Religion has failed, it has run out of wine.” This is the modern genre of the term new wine, which is a bad interpretation of what Jesus spoke and meant.
The 5 fold ministry
Simmon teaches on this “the calling of the 5 fold ministry is to release the sheep, who let the sheep out and release them into their ministry. If you are not releasing people to ministry you are not functioning in your grace gift” (Simmons video-The book of Ephesians)
This is false, Scripture says the 5 fold is to equip the sheep. Even his own translation says “And their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry, and as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ. (Eph.4:11)
NKJV Eph 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”
There is nothing focusing on releasing them which is about control over people.
TPT Galatians 1:3 I pray over you a release of the blessings of God’s undeserved kindness and total well.-being[e] that flows from our Father - God and from the Lord Jesus.
NKJVGal 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ”
Paul is not praying for a release, this is a greeting affirming what they have as believers.
56 times he uses the term in italics through the Psalms “the Pure and Shining One” which is not in the text.
TPTPs. 66:1-2 For the Pure and Shining One A song of awakening Everyone everywhere, lift up your joyful shout to God! Sing your songs tuned to his glory! Tell the world how wonderful he is
NKJV Ps. 66:1-2 Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!
KJV Ps. 66:1-2 Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.
He adds in pure and shining one that is not in the Hebrew and calls it here a song of awakening.
Heb. 1:1[Jesus, the Language of God] Throughout our history God has spoken to our ancestors by his prophets in many different ways. The revelation he gave them was only a fragment at a time, building one truth upon another. But to us living in these last days, God now speaks to us openly in the language of a Son, the appointed Heir of everything, for through him God created the panorama of all things and all time. The Son is the dazzling radiance of God’s splendor, the exact expression of God’s true nature—his mirror image!”
d. the footnote says We speak in English; God speaks in “Son,” for Jesus is the language of God. The Sonship of Jesus is the language he now uses to speak to us.
This what Mark Chironna has said, God speaks son. The Bible says he has “spoken to us BY His Son,” in other words not through prophets, men from Adam who received God’s word but the God/man. He spoke words from their language, he himself is not a language.i
The gospel in the stars
TPT Psalm 19:1-4 “God’s splendor is a tale that is told; his testament is written in the stars.[a] Space itself speaks his story every day through the marvels of the heavens. His truth is on tour in the starry vault of the sky, showing his skill in creation’s craftsmanship.
Note Psalm 19:4 Literal translation from the Aramaic. There are many who believe that constellations (Heb. mazzarot) of the sky bring us the revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. A message is being given without words, sound, or a voice. See Job 38:31-33.
Ps.19 has the promotion of the gospel in the stars which is classified as Mysticism (again this is found in William Branham’s teaching), and there are not many who believe this. Everywhere the gospel is not said in the Hebrew. Simmons puts in his own words in God’s Word to say it is the gospel.
NKJV 1 Cor. 15:4 and that He was buried, and that “He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
TPT and was raised from the dead after three days, as foretold in the Scriptures.[a]
This may seem like splitting hairs but it is not. Jesus was seen on the Emmaus rd. the third day resurrected. If it is after 3 days, then it is the 4th day.
His Bible then has an internal contradiction, as Jn.2:19 Jesus answered, “After you’ve destroyed this temple,[q] I will raise it up again in three days.”
There are so many subtle errors like this.Hebrews 1:6 And again, when he brought his firstborn Son into the world: “Let all my angels bow down before him and kiss him in worship.”
KJV says, firstbegotten Gr. prootótokon. This has to do with Jesus being the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18),not meaning a firstborn son (the word son is added) which implies their will be others like him. As he teaches through the Latter raininterpretation.
TPT Rom. 13:11-12, “It’s time for us to wake up! For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. Night’s darkness is dissolving away as a new day of destiny dawns. So, we must once and for all strip away what is being done in darkness, removing it like filthy clothes. And once for all we clothe ourselves with the radiance of light as our weapon.”
NKJV Rom 13:11-14 "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts."
The armor is Christ, not light itself, or its radiance. The Scripture when read in context presents this as the Word. These changes make the words more convoluted. The word as light is not a literal light. As it says in the Old Testament Ps 119:105 "the word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” Prov. 6:23 "For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light;Reproofs of instruction are the way of life“
Brian Simmons in an interview with Premier Christianity magazine 2:
“... Bible translators has not been to express that heart of love. For example John 15 speaks about "every branch in me that doesn't bear fruit I will take away". Any Greek student knows that verb "take away" can also be translated "lift up". So that's how we've chosen to translate it. The Lord Jesus will lift up a fruitless branch and haven't we all been through a fruitless season where we needed to be lifted up?”
Is this what this passage says?
NKJV John 15:1-4 ”Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”..
Jesus used a farming analogy that they, and us would understand; one branch bears fruit the other does not. Those who are fruitful he cuts back (prunes) for more fruit to appear. Those branches that do not produce fruit he takes away. [He taketh away] The vine-dresser cuts it off. God removes such in various ways:(from Barnes' Notes) This is the interpretation most Greek Scholars agree on.
Jesus himself said all who are believers bear fruit 30, 60, 100 fold.
Simmons changes the meaning, However, the next verse read in the whole context explains it further V.6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
Not abiding means they produce no fruit, they are treated differently than those who produce fruit, these are those he takes away. The branch is taken away.Many see different outcomes but whatever this means it does notmean The Lord Jesus will lift up a fruitless branch.
John 15 is then changed from its accepted traditional Scriptural interpretation used by bible interpreters into a new (and opposite) understanding. The context is changed from a single word.
Adding and changing the word
He adds a word that he says is in the Aramaic-Hebrew. the footnote Acts 9:5 As translated from the Aramaic, which uses the word scion. Although scion is often translated “branch” (Nazarene), it can also be mean “victorious” or “heir of a mighty family.”
This is exactly why the Greek makes more sense. Adding this word that means branch does not fit, victorious is not there. Branch is found in Jer. 23:5-6; 33: 15-16; Zech 3:8; the Hebrew is tsemach, meaning a sprout that grows, described in Isa. 53:2. Changing God's Word to mean something it does not convey is not a small matter.
TPT Rom.16:20 “And the God of peace will swiftly pound Satan to a pulp[ai] under your feet!”
We would all like to see this but I don’t think this is the intent of this verse, or any in the Bible.
NKJV Rom. 16:20 “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.”
Additional words not in the text
His is not a literal translation, nor a paraphrase.It is described as a meaning-for-meaning translation, translating the essence of God’s original message and heart into modern English.”
He seeks to transfer the meaning, not of the original words, he says the essential meaning of a passage should take priority over the literal form of the original words."
Words carry the meaning. When making a translation of God’s Holy Word there are words in the Greek that sometimes can have more meaning (for example as explained in A. T Robertson’s word pictures in the New Testament) but what Simmons has done is add words that are not at all in the text, words and terms that change the meaning and show that he is promoting a certain type of modern Christianity.
We are constantly instructed not to add to His Word.
Prov. 30:5-6 “Every word of God is tested. Do not add to His words, Lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar.”
He says is translation is concerned with mans “heart” language, it presents itself as fresh revelation, new and is improved. I'm not saying all of his Bible is the same, but overall His Bible removes one from reading from the original words, diminising or altering the original meaning. This is done by adding 20-30% or more words that are not found in the text.
While there have been single translators of Scripture, Brian Simmons is not trained in the biblical languages, and lacks the ability necessary to produce an accurate translation of the Bible by himself from Hebrew and Greek. So he instead focuses on the Aramaic which deepens the problems.
The website for the Passion Translation states that a team of "respected scholars and editors" evaluated the material.
A review Burning Scripture with Passion: A Review of The Psalms (The Passion Translation)
Why are other scholars necessary if Jesus Christ himself commissioned him, and is helping him personally. In fact, having this translating gift, forms a whole new category, his commission makes him the apostle of Bible translations.
One might ask what kind of respect do the new apostles and prophets have for the Word of God that was delivered to us if they endorse this Bible? If they are willing for one of their own to change it, add to it extra words, words that were not used in the Bible but are communicating today’s concepts and practices exclusive to them. What does that tell you about their movement?
The concerns are many, and will become more apparent as we examine this Bible interpretation further.
p.4 The Aramaic Error. Is the Aramaic primacy justified over the Greek?