Darryl's thoughts on the Christian Faith, Facts, and World Events
Christian unity is very important to me. That is why more than a decade ago I wrote a book in Cambodia with an English title: Discerning Essential Doctrines and Preserving Unity. In the process of researching for that book. I came to the realization from Scripture that genuine unity must be balanced with discernment and be built on a foundation of truth, particularly the truth of God's Word.
In my work as an apologist/missionary in Cambodia, I use and value a wide variety of translations. However, I cannot trust or use Brian Simmons' The Passion Translation (TPT). Brian Simmons is a charismatic and the TPT reflects some of that background. I myself am not anti-charismatic. I actually teach apologetics at an Assembly of God Bible school in Cambodia (and at a Presbyterian seminary).
"My dear friends, many false prophets have gone out into the world. So do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God." 1 John 4:1 NCV
Brian Simmons makes many claims. Some of the claims can be tested and some cannot because there are no witnesses. I believe that it is Biblically appropriate to test his testable statements and see if they are truthful and then we can decide whether or not we should take his untestable claims at face value or not.
"I will come to you for the third time. “Every case must be proved by two or three witnesses.” 2 Corinthians 13:1-2 NCV
I also believe that in order to be fair to Brian Simmons, he should be allowed to speak for himself as much as possible. This is why I prefer video quotations so I can be more certain that he is not being taken out of context etc. Pastor/Apologist Mike Winger did a great job of interviewing Bible scholars with experience in Bible translation on his YouTube channel. Here are some videos on the subject that you can watch on your own. www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mike+winger+passion+translation
The only downside of Mike Winger's videos is that most of them are long so the average person may not be willing to devote the time to watch them. For this reason, I have distilled my thoughts based on his videos into this blog article.
2. Simmons claims to be a linguist. Don Pederson and Jerry McDaniels of New Tribes Mission/Ethnos 360 say this is false.
3. Simmons claims to have been directly engaged in the translation the indigenous language Paya Kuna translation. NTM (multiple witnesses) says this is false, he was a church planter.
4. Simmons claims to have completed the Paya Kuna translation in the late 1980s. Moody Bible Institute says it was not completed until 1995 after Simmons left the organization (Don Pederson).
Witnesses for Claims 2-4:
5. Simmons and his publisher claim that The Passion Translation is a translation. Multiple witnesses say this is false, it is at best a paraphrase. Multiple witnesses, Bible scholars, say that it is misleading and goes beyond the original meaning in places when compared to original languages.
7:39 Brian Simmons’ wild claims about TPT
Since TPT is almost completely based on the credibility of Brian Simmons it is on a sandy foundation. Even if it were based on a team of qualified translators, which it isn’t, I still would not accept it because of its false claims about the Aramaic and being a "translation".
If people get attached to TPT they will also get attached to Brian Simmons. What if he is exposed as Ravi Zacharias was? People may lose their confidence in the Word of God.
You have heard from Brian Simmons. You have heard from the witnesses. Who do you believe?
As for me, as an apologist, I cannot trust or use TPT. I also strongly discourage anyone else from using it, especially in Bible teaching or sermons.
A Christian Apologist, Author, Missionary, Husband, and Father. Darryl has an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University (CA), an MA in TESOL from Azusa Pacific University (CA), and a BA in Political Science from Truman State University (MO).