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The Persecuted Church




Pt. 2 Are you Passionate about the Passion Bible?

The embellished ameliorate interpretations of the Passion Bible

What is the Passion translation about and what are Brian Simmons goals?

God refuses to meet us only in an intellectual way.

God also wants to meet us heart level. So, we must let the words go heart deep—bringing words that go through the human soul, past the defenses of the mind, and into the spirit. There is a language of the heart that must express the passion of this love-theology. That’s why The Passion Translation is an important addition to peoples’ devotional and spiritual life with Christ.”

Simmons presents his work as going deeper than the Word we have had for nearly 2,000 years.

In fact as the sole author he says,   “translating the Bible into a new, dynamic equivalent version that will help breathe life into your Bible reading.

I truly believe The Passion Translation has the potential to shape the spirituality of the English speaking church for generations to come.”

How did this begin? Simmons had a visitation:

Jesus walked through the wall of my bedroom one night and breathed on me I releasing you to translate the word of God and I have a little bit of a background in bible translation, we were tribal missionaries with the indigenous peoples in the 80's.... were so thankful to be part of the translation project for the Kuna translation project.

The whole passion to translate was in my heart to have a radical spirit filled revival bible. Because most translators have filtered out, sanitized... there are so many secrets in the Bible that have been have sanitize, they have been filtered out, theres never been a translation to my knowledge in this generation that believes in the apostle, prophet evangelist pastor teacher miracles trances angels, divine heavenly visitations, supernatural realm opening up in front of god's people and so...." (Brian Simmons "A Night of Revelation Glory" Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPigKZ4y9eI 2012)

Brian Simmons has verses of Scripture reworded, conformed to support the Neo Pentecostal/NAR’s teachings and practices of our day.   Simmons may not have directly coordinated with the NAR but his Bible does promote the same concepts, ideas as the NAR through its wording. Since the NAR has endorsed this Bible it becomes clear that this man has got the green light from the NAR to go for it. And he is.

His translation of the Bible previously done

He tells us he was a co translator for the Kuna translation of the New Testament that he has linguistic and biblical languages in his background (New Tribes) finished in the late 80's.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPigKZ4y9eI       

Simmons says while being in Panama by the Pucuro River where the Paya-Kuna people in the jungle he was involved as a linguist in the translation project of the New Testament in the Paya-Kuna language.

On "Linked in" it says he was with New Tribes Bible and Linguistic Institute from 1973 – 1978 Activities and Societies: Evangelized the Paya-Kuna people. Field Consultant with New Tribes Mission, Church planting and Language Consultant for 70 missionaries in Panama.

This is confusing as the dates he gave of working with the indigenous people are in the 80’s, when his own bio says it until 1978.

From what I heard, at that time New tribes had linguistic training which was a one-year course that focused on language and cultural acquisition, not translation.

On “Its supernatural” Sid Roth says that you worked for Wycliff translators. Simmons corrects Roth, that it was New Tribes mission along with Wycliffe. Simmon’s says he gave the Kuna people of Panama their own language in writing for the first time and handed them the completed work.

I was a church planter and as linguist, I helped finalized the alphabet with a Wycliffe translator, the alphabet for their language and then of course I helped with that translation project in seeing it completed.” (Interview with Brian Simmons on Sozo Talk Radio EP020)

Wycliffe writes, “The Kuna Bible translation project began in 1982 when Wycliffe translators Keith and Wilma Forster began working with Kuna pastor Lino Smith Arango on a New Testament translation for the Kuna people was published in 1995.  Including the Old Testament, the Kuna Bible was completed in 2014.

Wycliffe and Moody Bible institute does not have Simmons mentioned. They say this translation of the New Testament was completed in 1995. https://www.wycliffe.org/blog/posts/part-of-the-team-the-whole-bible-for-the-kuna.that is a problem.

So what Simmons is saying is not correct. His claim presents more questions than answers.

We hear from nearly all (including Broadstreet publishing who did the Passion Bible) that Brian was involved in Paya Kuna translation and studied linguistics and Bible translation principles with New Tribes mission. Yet he also says he had a little bit of a background in Bible translation.

On his Passion translation website. He is called the co translator of the Kuna Bible and IS leveraging his linguistic biblical languages background on the Passion Bible. Stating “Working with New Tribes Mission in Panama, Brian’s skills were shaped according to this missionary tradition.”

New Tribes is now called Ethnos360, their mission has not changed, it is to get the Bible into the unknown languages of the tribes.

I wrote Ethnos 360, the response I received from them is that Simmons worked with the Kuna people over 30 years ago and would had received training in Bible translation principles. But the person who responded said they do not know if he had biblical languages in his background. And as an organization they do not wish to speak into what defines a co-translator, nor to speak into whether Brian was one.

Translation principles and actual skills to translate languages are two very different matters. I understand their not wanting to be involved in this growing controversy. By not affirming his participation does not help his claims of being a co-translator.

Ethnos360 has concerns on his Passion Bible that does answer this directly. They released the following statement: “Ethnos360 had no part in the creation or approval process of The Passion Translation (TPT), nor do we endorse it."

On 6/20/20 I received this statement from Ethnos360 (formerly New Tribes) As a response to my asking ‘I'm inquiring on Brian Simmons and his linguist and language skills in translating the Paya Kuna Bible…”

Dr. Brian Simmons is a Bible teacher, linguist, minister, and former missionary. As a missionary, he and his wife, Candice, pioneered church plants in Central America. As a linguist, Brian cotranslated the Kuna New Testament for the Paya-Kuna people of Panama.2 However, there are current members of our mission who have a different perspective. One, who knew Brian and his wife in training shared this viewpoint: “Brian is not a linguist of any sort… The Paya-Kuna translation was not done while he was serving with NTM.” {DP} Also, a former co-worker of Brian’s shared this: “He was a church planter… not a translator… Nobody in our mission would ever say that he’s a bible translator or ever was approved as a Bible translator.” Ethnos360 statement on the Passion Translation

In other words what Simmons is saying is directly challenged to being false by the  those who knew him on the mission field..

Furthermore, in response to Jesus visiting Simmons in his room, breathed on him, and he commissioned him…

As a mission, our outlook is rather different. We don’t believe that translators are inspired or receive special revelation. Inspiration and revelation were given to the original writers of Scripture, and those original Scriptures were complete after the apostle John finished writing the words of Revelation

This makes it clear what the Bible itself presents as inspired, I wholeheartedly agree.

His Language Translating skills

Simmon’s doctorate is from Wagner Institute which says a lot of what he believes by where he pursued his education (2003-2007). His Doctorate is on Practical Ministry/Prayers earned from the NAR (see part 1), a specialization on prayer. I don’t think I need to mention that there is no scholarship involved in having a doctorate in prayers; in fact I don’t know what that means.

Simmon's is working under apostle Ché Ahn, (Harvest International Ministry). Ché Ahn is NAR and he 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.

On his website it asks: Is the TPT considered a good translation for serious study?

Answer: The Passion Translation is an excellent translation you can use as your primary text to seriously study God’s Word because it combines the best aspects of what is called formal and functional equivalence Bibles.”

He says its been his privilege to handle the word of God in the original manuscripts now I’m delighted to bring it to you now from the Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew texts in a passionate emotive powerful format that will bring light to your reading the word of God.

He states he used the original Biblical manuscripts, numerous times? How? There are no original transcripts, and even the most ancient manuscripts we have, he did not refer to. There have been No original transcripts found in early Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek of the Old and New Testament.

Yet he admits in an interview the original manuscripts are inspired by God but we have none of them, There is no original, they are called autographs. We have no autograph in Greek, or Hebrew or Aramaic. Not one.(The Passion Translation, Interview with Brian Simmons on Sozo Talk Radio EP020)

We know he knows the difference of what original means but he continually states he translated from the originals. This brings into question what he means by co-translator.

On the faq section of his website it asks,   What textual source materials were used in composing The Passion Translation?

The Passion Translation is not a revision or paraphrase of another existing version of the Bible. It is an entirely new, fresh translation using the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic documents. For the Old Testament, Dr. Simmons consulted the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible and Aramaic texts, in conjunction with the Septuagint. A number of Hebrew texts were used, especially the edition known as Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1977). For the New Testament, he used Novum Testamentum Graece, edited by Nestle and Aland (twenty-seventh edition, 1993) as his Greek base text from which to work, while incorporating insights from the Syriac (Aramaic) Peshitta. (underline mine)

The (Hebrew) Masoretic text is from the 9th century. The oldest extant copy of a complete Bible is an early 4th-century parchment book preserved in the Vatican Library, and it is known as the Codex Vaticanus. The Septuagint has hundreds of fragments the most important papyri are in the Chester Beatty collection, parts of 11 codices which have fragments of nine Old Testament books. Dating between the 2nd and 4th centuries. The Aramaic Bible is even a later development.

He goes on to say, “The text was interpreted from the original language, carrying its original meaning and giving you an accurate, reliable expression of God’s original message.

The meaning of a passage takes priority over the form of the original words, so that every English speaker can encounter the heart of God through His Word in a way that’s natural and readable.”

Let’s understand the picture Simmons is painting. His Passion Bible can be considered a more accurate communication of the Bible because it expresses the original meaning that is lacking.

Is his Bible “interpreted from the original language, carrying its original meaning?”

To do this the meaning can only come from the words the author wrote, if the meaning does not coincide with what is written, then it is someone else’s meaning, not the author’s. His added words, words that are not included in the text which shows us it is not interpreted form the original language it was written in. His convoluted explanation of meaning takes priority over the original words is a purposely crafted sophism. He says this to make it seem like the new meaning he is writing can communicate the heart of God better than the words the apostles were inspired to write; it cannot.

I really don’t know how anyone can say these things and be an honest and accurate translator of the Word.

An example: Luke 1:37 KJV: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

The Passion Translation has written: “No promise of God is empty of power, for with God there is no such thing as impossibility.”

This verse is not referring to promises (his added word) but to Gods power to accomplish his will. TPT has inserted a specific reinterpretation of the words. However, his interpretation goes against his own statement that a new Interpretation was needed to reach our hearts, since nothing is impossible with God.

The Translating of the Passion Bible

In an interview with Preterist Dr. Jonathan Welton, Simmons is asked the following question of his training in the Greek and Hebrew languages on his podcast.

Jonathan: “When you started this project, um, were you, had you already had training in Greek and Hebrew? Or was this something that you had to jump into again? Or..? 

Simmons: “I had minimal background in biblical languages, so yeah, it was something that, honestly, something the Lord has really helped me with.

(Brian Simmons    An Interview With The Man Behind The Passion Translation, Welton Academy Online, http://podcast.weltonacademyonline.com/podcast/brian-simmons-the-man-behind-the-passion-translation/, Published June 13, 2017.

Simmons’ words are very different than what he says on his own website. Minimal training in Greek and Hebrew? Minimal? I thought he expressed that he had linguistic and biblical languages in his background when he did the Kuna translation?

I thought he was made an expert by Jesus, gifted to translate the original words, the secrets of the Hebrew language... that he received a impartation for revelation.

While there have been single translators of Scripture, Brian Simmons is not trained in the biblical languages, and is said to lack the credentials and the know how necessary to produce an accurate translation of the Bible by himself. But the fact is he is not trying to convey the words but what he sees the meaning to be. And this is colored by a certain type of modern Christianity.

So the apostles did not communicate God’s heart by the written word, we had to wait 2,000 years later for God to come down to earth and choose a man to make that happen!  

He says, “should have no issue reading any bible” Then why do a new translation that supposedly does what the others do not.

Simmons premise is the belief that the leading translations of the Bible speak mainly to the mind and do not fully capture God's passion. The need for a more passionate (emotional, soulish) translation of the Bible would speak to the heart.

Consider what this means? For nearly 2,000 years the church has been missing what the word really meant.

In 2002 wrote Beth Moore a book called When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. She wrote: "A head full of biblical knowledge without a heart passionately in love with Christ is terribly dangerous--a stronghold waiting to happen. The head is full, but the heart and soul are still unsatisfied" (p. 60).

This is what “contemplatives” say to make a point. Simmons is saying basically the same.

His heart was to make a radical spirit filled revival bible. Those involved in this new Christianity say we are about to see the greatest revival and they present this Bible as a help. Simmons also says God told him he would be part of this so called revival. None of this makes sense as we have already been told by those in the new Christianity the revival has been going on for 25 years. So are we going to have a “newer” greatest revival?

The Bible says, Every word of God is pure - but not when the words of man are added to alter its meaning. Simmons has added many of his thoughts directly into Scripture itself. His reason, he believes he has the authority to make these changes from his experience and commission. Purposely changing the word for you to come away with the new theology “of the heart.”

But his words are not inspired nor infallible, they are not a translation, you are NOT reading the same words that all Christians have read through history from the Bible.

The Heart of the Matter

There is an FAQ section on the Passion Translation website which gives a few details of the translation, let me comment on a couple of things:

In past translations wonderfully gifted scholars were trained to focus on other factors besides the emotion of the text. As Brian has studied the original biblical manuscripts, he has uncovered what he believes is the love language of God that has been missing from other translations.

...revealing the deep mysteries of the Scriptures in the love language of God, the language of the heart.”

Brian Simmons in an interview with Premier Christianity magazine 2:

So do you feel that other translations have been too dry and haven't got across the heart of God?

Exactly. Translation is an art, not a science. Are we really accurately translating something if we're leaving out the heart, the passion and the love behind it? I have found a number of times the default for Bible translators has not been to express that heart of love.”

We are told The Passion Translation is faithful to the original text and heart of God.”

Simmon's says its good to read other translations, however He is implying that other translations that have been used hundreds of years are not as powerful; they do not enter our heart.

Scripture has always beenGod’s “heart” to man. According to Simmons view through his many statements, the Bible does not fully enter the heart unless it is retranslated - by him!

So his translation is the new and improved version of what others do not sufficiently do. But is he accurately translating if he purposely neglects the words written and expands and add words that are not included? (this will be covered extensively in the next section of these articles on the Bible).

On the website, "God refuses to meet us only in an intellectual way. God also wants to meet us heart level, so we must let the words go heart deep-which is what we're trying to do with this project. There is a language of the heart that must express the passion of this love-theology." Source: Letters From Heaven by the Apostle Paul, The Passion Translation (Cicero, NY: 5 Fold Media, 2013), 9 Kindle edition.

This is the premise of his Bible There is a language of the heart that must express the passion of this love-theology. Where does scripture contain or describe this? This is God’s word that works with his Holy Spirit who can express exactly what is necessary to each individual reading it. This has more to do with our heart than the Word. (see Mt.13) v:9 “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Which is repeated by Jesus.

A goal of The Passion Translation is to recapture the emotion of God’s Word, for emotion is vital to God’s message...The heart and mind are not opponents in God’s Word, but allies and supporters of each other. If we want to grasp the fullness of God’s character and his passion for our lives, we must recapture this lost language.” (passion translation website)

Jesus is constantly saying of the disciples and others, they did not understand (Luke 2:50; 8:10; 9:45; Mt.13; Mk.4:2; 9:32; Jn. 10:6)

John 8:43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.”

Was Jesus unable to communicate to them; he didn’t speak their heart language? Or was the problem with man and his heart.

Simmons is presenting his Bible as the words of the living God, (God's breath) more so than the apostles written words, because his words go deep, to the heart, i.e. give a fuller meaning. (see Its supernatural Interview -https://sidroth.org/television/tv-archives/brian-simmons

 Has he forgotten what was written about the Scripture itself? 2 Tim. 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Apparently this love theology was missing since the Bible was first translated. The Bible teaches us that Holy Spirit has given us what we need from Scripture, and it has been to all generations.

What does the Bible say about the apostles writing Holy Scripture?

John 14:26-27 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

Here is Jesus telling the apostles they will remember exactly what He said, and this is what they will write down as Scripture for all to read, which is called “the Word of God.”

Paul said ‘the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Cor. 14:37)

John said “these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” (1 John 1:4)

Would that not include the heart? The fact is, the Bible says the Word pierces into the deepest part of mans nature, into his heart.

Heb. 4:12 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Which means the Word penetrates the heart..

James 1:23-24 “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;   for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was."

This is someone who hears by the ear and does not let it sink in to believe and act on it. The problem is man, not the Word!

Are there bad translations? Yes. Are there good translations? Yes. God’s Word has been with us and people have always been changed from understanding it. Does it need to be adjusted to the language of the heart?

1 John 1:1 he calls what is written the Word of life,  and this life has to do with our spirit, it is food to our soul.

Rom. 10:8-10 “But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):   that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.    For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Believe in your heart: believe what? “The Word,” for salvation. How can this done if the Word does not penetrate the heart?

Now let’s return to the premise of His Bible.  The problem is not just the words of this New Bible but where this man says they came from and what they are. Simmons says the Lord specifically visited him to commission him to write a whole new Bible, so that the words will go into the heart where other translations did not. How deceived can one be to claim this?

As far as the Word and its relationship to mans heart, Jesus himself said,  Matt. 13:19 “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.

The word enters our heart, it always has. If Gods word does not enter the heart why does the Bible say it does. Acts 2:36-37 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart.”

Acts 7:53-55 “...who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it."

When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.”

The Bible speaks to the heart. How can an author of a new Bible be trusted who says it is about the inability of the Word of other Bibles? Again, the problem is not in the Bible, the written Word but mans heart.

God’s Word does speak to our heart, not just the mind. Is there a language of the heart? We are told in the Bible our heart cannot be trusted.

Jer. 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”

Mark 7:21-23 “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,    thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man."

Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding. in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

There are two aspects to this trust, one is in the Person of God, second is in His Word that is truth. To submit to God is by our submitting to his Word.

2 Cor. 3:3 “Clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.”

This is the fulfillment of the new covenant found in Jeremiah 31:30-33 “I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts.”

Again its not about adjusting the Word in new ways to reach our heart because it must speak to the language of the heart.

Instead it is our openness to the Word, our heart hearing and understanding what it means.


p.3 The translating work Simmons was commissioned to do by a visitation of Christ



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