The following is only representative of a flood of letters we’ve received on this topic, some even condemning us for “promoting the Devil’s Bible!” and asking to be removed from the mailing list.
Question: I’ve just received a copy of Texe Marrs’ newsletter that accuses you [along with Peter Lalonde, John Ankerberg, et al.] of “strongly defend[ing] the grotesque, new Bible versions” at a conference in Niagara Falls; of having “fall[en] by the wayside”; of not knowing “one thing about the false Bible versions”; and of having “allowed a ghostwriter to pen a slanderous article about [Gail Riplinger] and her book” [New Age Bible Versions] though by your “own admission” you “had not read one page of the book!” What is your response to these charges?
Response: In addition to his newsletter this brother has sent out personal letters denouncing me for having “print[ed] scurrilous, misleading information about the work and the integrity of a Christian sister [Gail Riplinger] without one iota of personal research. This is evil and wrong.... Hunt [is] spreading lies about a book [New Age Bible Versions] which [he hasn’t] even bothered to read...and [is] publishing untruths about an author of whom [he knows] nothing.”
These are serious charges. Yet I wouldn’t bother to answer them for my own sake and do not wish to carry on a public quarrel with those who make them. However, the Riplinger book is dividing Christians and churches across the country, and inaccurate comments by those who support her are fanning the flames of destructive extremism. Therefore, I will respond to each charge.
First of all, I am not a “defender” of new Bible versions, much less have I “strongly” defended them, and certainly not at the Niagara Falls conference as charged. In fact, I have written against the errors of modern translations. (Sep./Dec. 1992 TBC.)
Secondly, while I do not pretend to be an expert on Bible manuscripts and translations, I have given the subject considerable study, thought and prayer and am certainly not completely ignorant on the matter. To say that I don’t know “one thing about the false Bible versions” and that I haven’t read a page of Gail’s book and know nothing about her is simply not true. While I haven’t read much of that book, what little I have read is full of errors both of logic and fact. (The foundational premise stated on page 1—that the New Age movement has an “expressed goal of infiltrating the evangelical church and gradually changing the Bible to conform to its One World Religion”—is false. I’ve been exposing the New Age movement for at least 16 years and have never come across such a goal “expressed” by any leader, much less by the entire movement. To prove this “New Age” premise the author is forced to resort to numerous misquotations and misrepresentations.)
The issue before us is not “KJV vs. modern versions” but the credibility of the Riplinger book and the unwarranted criticism her supporters level against godly Christians who disagree with their extreme position. I abhor the errors in modern versions, but I cannot agree that all modern Bible versions are New Age and “completely of the devil.” Sadly, those who take this position denounce those who do not. Some of the letters we’ve received have caused our staff to comment that it would be more fitting if the KJV-only zealots were to exhibit a bit more of the grace, patience and love so clearly taught in the KJV.
Thirdly, I have never used a “ghost-writer” and never will, nor would I “ghostwrite” for others. I have written autobiographies for others and have always had my name included. Someone’s name on a book followed by “with Dave Hunt” means I wrote it. If there is a “ghostwriter,” the person named as author didn’t write the book or article, while the real writer’s name is not mentioned. That, in my opinion, is dishonest. Every article I write in TBC has my name. When T. A. McMahon writes an article, his name is on it. Answers in the “Q&A” section have never had a name attached, which indicates that no one person writes them all, but that the answers represent the view of TBC, its staff and board of directors. For a time I wrote all of the articles and all answers to questions, but the demands on my time make that impossible, though I still write the majority. I stand behind everything written in The Berean Call. That TBC executive director and editor T.A. McMahon, a veteran researcher / writer of books and videos on the New Age movement, has written not only articles but answers to questions has been no secret. For example, in the opening paragraph of my February 1994 article I said, “See T. A. McMahon’s evaluation [of Lonely No More by Karen Mains] in next month’s “Q&A” section.” Therefore to accuse me of using a “ghostwriter” shows an ignorance of or disregard for the obvious facts.
Fourthly, we come to the most serious charges: that “Hunt is print[ing] misleading information...is spreading lies...and publishing untruths...a slanderous article,” etc. Written articles can’t be “slanderous.” An untruth in writing is libelous. But it must be false. The truth is never slander or libel. I challenge anyone to specify exactly what “lies” we have spread, what “untruths” and “misleading information” we have published about the Riplinger book or any other book, person or subject.
Those who disagree with the Riplinger book are accused by many of her more zealous supporters of opposing the KJV and of favoring modern versions. That is not our position, nor is it the case of many others. For example, David W. Cloud, one of the staunchest and most knowledgeable defenders of the KJV, devotes the major article in the latest O Timothy magazine to exposing the many serious errors in New Age Bible Versions. Before doing so, Cloud says, “I believe all modern versions are corrupted, and I stand 100% behind the King James Bible.”
Yet of the Riplinger book he says, “If we had found only a few mistakes of fact or logic, we would not have been concerned enough to produce a report like this....It is the frequent error in documentation, in logic, and in statement of fact that gives cause for alarm....There are many good points made in the book, but it is so marred by error, carelessness, and faulty logic that it cannot be used as a dependable resource.” He documents many examples to prove his point. T. A. McMahon’s review, which I discussed with him in detail prior to publication, did likewise. Again, I challenge anyone to refute the facts and to do so graciously and without ad hominem attacks.
My prayer is that (before this controversy destroys more relationships and churches) those who automatically denounce anyone who disagrees with the Riplinger book will pause to take a close look at the facts. A copy of Cloud’s report may be obtained by writing directly to David W. Cloud, Editor, O Timothy, Bible Baptist Church, 1219 N. Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277. [ Updated contact information: www.wayoflife.org, David Cloud's report on New Age Bible Versions is HERE ]