The Passion Translation (TPT) is a paraphrase ‘translation’ of much of the Bible, done by Brian Simmons and a translation team. Brian is an advocate of the New Apostolic Reformation which affirms present-day apostles, prophets, and miracles, with an emphasis on taking dominion over the earth. The Passion Translation Bible is intended to “reintroduce the passion and fire of the Bible to the English reader.”1. It takes a lot of liberty with the Greek text, which reveals a heavy leaning towards NAR theology. Nevertheless, this is what The Passion Translation website says…
“That’s the governing philosophy behind The Passion Translation®: to transfer the essential meaning of God’s original message found in the biblical languages to modern English…The Passion Translation is an essential equivalence translation. TPT maintains the essential form and essential function of the original words. It is a meaning-for-meaning translation, translating the essence of God’s original message and heart into modern English.” (https://www.thepassiontranslation.com/translation-philosophy, italics original).
In many places, TPT does a good job of “translating” the original text.2 But in many other places it inserts words and reinterprets the original so that the English reflects NAR theology. In my opinion, if someone were to attend an NAR church while using The Passion Translation Bible, she would subtly move to accept the tenets of the New Apostolic Reformation
Nevertheless, Brian Simmons said that God called him to translate the entire Bible.
“I said Lord if really have called me to do this, I want you to speak to me and I want it to be so clear to me that I have no doubt it was you. Well, that night after laying it out before him I had a visitation and I was given a commission by the Lord as he breathed on me and released me and called to translate the Bible. And um I am doing this out of obedience. To me it is an act of obedience.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8pmNZnlzIA, start at 13:56)
Such a claim of visitation from God Almighty is concerning. I’m always dubious of those who claim God told them something or visited them and they casually discuss it. Be that as it may, such an undertaking would be huge. This is why he has a team. I tried to find a list of the translators for TPT but could not.
The following table is a comparison between The Passion Translation Bible, the New American Standard Bible, and the English Standard Bible. When I saw differences
The Passion Translation
The following table is long. There is a lot more that I could have included but I did not want to make it too unwieldy. From what I have studied in the original languages, in all my years of apologetics, I’ve learned that God has inspired the very arrangement of words in the original text. It is not up to us to alter those words to suit theological bias – which is exactly what TPT has done.
I reject The Passion Translation Bible as good work. it bears the marks of strong theological bias and in many places does not actually represent the original language. In my opinion, anyone who studies from TPT will miss some vital theological truths. I further believe that TPT has altered God’s word sufficiently to get its readers to believe more in New Apostolic Reformation theology. This is dangerous. After all, if the Bible teaches the theology of the NAR, translators would not need to deviate from the original text. But since TPT has altered the original so much, that tells me the Bible does not teach the theology found within this “new” movement.
The Passion Translation Bible
“The Lord works everything together to accomplish his purpose. Even the wicked are included in his plans.”
“The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.”
The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.
TPT says the wicked are included in God’s plan, but the NASB and the ESV say that God made the wicked for the day of evil/trouble.
“But I will have to say to them, ‘Go away from me, you lawless rebels! I’ve never been joined to you!”
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
“And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
The Greek does not say “joined” which is the Greek would be the word προσκολλάω proskolláō. The word “knew” is the Greek is γινώσκω ginṓskō. They are different. Why did TPT change it?
“His message was this: “At last the fulfillment of the age has come! It is time for the realm of God’s kingdom to be experienced in its fullness! Turn your lives back to God and put your trust in the hope-filled gospel!”
“and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
TPT paraphrases, not translates this verse. I’m puzzled by its verbose and unnecessary expansion.
“Afterwards, Jesus, his disciples and those close to him remained behind to ask Jesus about his parables. 11 He said to them, “The privilege of intimately knowing the mystery of God’s kingdom realm has been granted to you, but not to the others, where everything is revealed in parables.“
“As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables. 11 And He was saying to them, ‘To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12 so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.’“
“As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables. And He was saying to them, ‘To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, 11so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.‘”
The actual Greek text says mepote (others) epistrepsosin (they might return) kai (and) aphethe (be forgiven). Obviously, The Passion Translation waters down the original to suit its liberal theological bias. Not good.
Furthermore, as hard as it might be to read, Jesus actually said he spoke in parables so people would not be forgiven.
“Not one promise from God is empty of power, for nothing is impossible with God!”
“For anothing will be impossible with God.”
“For nothing will be impossible with God.”
First, the TPT adds 9 words not in the Greek.
Second, it shifts the power from God to the “promise of God.” That is a significant alteration and is in harmony with NAR bias, including the idea that people’s words are creative and powerful. To them, we can speak the same words as God with the implication of similar power.
“Now, Herod, the governor, was confused and perplexed when he heard the reports of all the miracles of Jesus and his apostles. Many were saying, “John the Baptizer has come back to life!”
“Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was happening; and he was greatly perplexed, [TPT addition here] because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead.”
“Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was perplexed, [TPT addition here] because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead,”
“the miracles of Jesus and his apostles” is not in Greek. So, why the blatant addition? Is it because the NAR affirms present-day apostles and wanted the words inserted to bolster their theology?
TPT makes Herod perplexed because of the miracles of Jesus and the apostles. But, both the NASB and ESV render the Greek properly and demonstrate that the perplexity was due to people saying that John Baptist had risen from the dead.
“That accounts for the wisdom of God, saying, ‘I will send to them apostles and prophets though some they will murder and others they will chase away.’
“For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute.”
“Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute.”
In the Greek, the arrangment of the words is “prophets and apostles” not “apostles and prophets.”
In the NAR apostles are in greater authority than the prophets. Therefore it would appear the NAR bias has come through and the text rearranges the order to suit its own theology showing apostles before prophets.
“And so the Living Expression became a man and lived among us! And we gazed upon the splendor of his glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father overflowing.”
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
In one of the most important verses of Scripture dealing with the incarnation of Christ, it says in Greek that the “word became flesh.” Not the “living expression became a man.”
This is not a translation. It is a paraphrase.
“Through him a joy-producing grace cascaded into us, empowering us with the gift of apostleship, so that we can win people from every nation into a faithful commitment to Jesus, to bring honor to his name”
“through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake.”
“through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations.”
“gift of the apostleship” is consistent with NAR theology affirming present-day apostles. But the original text does not say “gift.” It says “grace.”
This is another example of NAR theology being imposed on the text in order to support the idea that apostles are a gift for the church today.
“In other words, just as condemnation came upon all people through one transgression, so through one righteous act of Jesus’ sacrifice, the perfect righteousness that makes us right with God and leads us to a victorious life is now available to all.”
“So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.”
“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.”
I am intimately familiar with this particular verse and have taught on it for years. In fact, I’m convinced that the NASB has the best translation and that the ESV and KJV both miss the intent of the original text. But that’s another topic.
As a side-note. God uses the word “all” in two different senses. The first deals with all who are in Adam and the second “all” represents all who are in Christ. See the parallel verse of 1 Cor. 15:22.
TPT grossly misrepresents the original to such a degree that the true meaning is now contradicted by TPT.
“Jacob I have chosen, but Esau I have rejected”
“Just as it is written, ‘JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.’”
“As it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’”
TPT changes the true meaning of the original text and thereby misrepresents it.
The original Greek words are from agapao (love) and miseo (hate).
In the Greek “chosen” is the word “ekloge” and rejected is “apotheo.”
1 Cor. 13:10
“but when love’s perfection arrives, the partial will fade away.”
“but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.”
“but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.”
It is not “loves perfection.” It is simply “when the perfect comes.”
“But because the Messiah lives in me, I’ve now died to the law’s dominion over me so that I can live for God.”
“For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.”
For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.
The Greek text does not say “because the Messiah lives in me.” It just is not there.
Again, this is a paraphrase with a theological bias woven into the text.
“My beloved friends, if you see a believer who is overtaken with a fault, may the one who overflows with the Spirit seek to restore him. Win him over with gentle words, which will open his heart to you and will keep you from exalting yourself over him.”
“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.”
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
“the one who overflows with the spirit” is not with the Greek says. It is simply one word “spiritual.”
This is another example of the new apostolic reformations belief in the over emphasized work of the Spirit in miraculous ways in the church today.
“Dear friends in Philippi, 1–2 My name is Paul and I’m joined by Timothy, both of us 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.”
“Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, 2 To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons.”
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, 2 to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons.”
Verses 1 and 2 are jumbled together.
the great does not say “pastors” which is “poimen.” It says “overseers” which is “episkopos.”
“For God has graciously given you the privilege not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for him.”
“For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”
“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.”
This is a direct alteration of what the text actually says.
In the Greek, the phrase “has been granted,” is the aorist, passive, indicative. This aorist means that is past tense. Passive means that we receive the action of believing. Indicative means that it’s a fact. the original demonstrates the sovereignty and majesty of God. TPT shifts the meaning of the text from God’s active work in us, to a more man-centered perspective “given you the privilege.”
1 Tim. 2:12
“I don’t advocate that the newly converted women be the teachers in the church, assuming authority over the men, but to live in peace.”
“But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.”
“I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.”
TPT says “newly converted women.” That is not what the Greek says. Instead, it simply says “a woman.”
The NAR supports women pastors and elders – which is not biblical. So, it adds “newly converted” into the text implying that women who are not newly converted can be teachers and have authority in the church.
TPT alters the text to make it say the opposite of what it actually says.
1 Tim. 6:16
“He alone is the immortal God, living in the unapproachable light of divine glory! No one has ever seen his fullness, nor can they, for all the glory and endless authority of the universe belongs to him, forever and ever. Amen!
“who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”
“who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”
In the NAR movement, people regularly say that they have seen God. This is very problematic given this verse. So, TPT alters it to say that no one’s ever seen God’s “fullness.” That is not what the text says but again it has been altered to suit NAR theology.
1↑ Simmons, Brian, trans. The Passion Translation: New Testament. BroadStreet Publishing, 2017, p. 10
2↑ You might ask if I am qualified to judge the accuracy of The Passion Translation Bible. I am not a scholar in either Greek or Hebrew. However, I had one and 1/2 years of Hebrew in seminary and 4 1/2 years of Greek in college and seminary. So, I’m familiar enough with Greek to get the gist of what is going on in the original. That, along with such excellent tools as the Logos Bible program, I can compare the original Greek to English. It isn’t difficult.
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