The Passion Translation: The New Apostate Reformation Version

There is a new bible translation interpretation … let’s just cut to the chase, it’s not even a bible. It’s a collection of fiction stories that have a somewhat similar theme to the Scriptures but adds a whole lot of personal imagination to it.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book… – Revelation 22:18 (ESV (an actual translation))

This new storybook is called The Passion Translation. It’s popular among the New Apostolic Apostate Reformation (NAR) crowd and quoted regularly by hyper-charismatic false teachers like Bill Johnson and Mike Bickle. The book was translated embellished by “Apostle” Brian Simmons, a former missionary in Panama. Brian Simmons claims that God gave him a direct divine revelation to create this embellished and highly interpreted creation that he refers to as The Passion Translation.

The Passion Translation is not a completed work, only a handful of books have been re-written and of these, they are replete with serious errors. The interpretations and imaginations that Simmons inserts into these texts, of course, support the NAR’s modern-day apostle theology. For example, in Philippians 1:1, a true translation will read as follows:

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons – Philippians 1:1 (ESV)

Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons – Philippians 1:1 (KJV)

Even the less accurate translation, the NIV, reads:

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons – Philippians 1:1 (NIV)

This simple verse is translated almost identically in all of these versions because the meaning is simple enough. There is no hidden text that has been recently discovered in the ancient manuscripts (that Simmons claims to have translated from). But let’s look at how Brian Simmons embellishes this verse, then let’s see why.

My name is Paul and I’m joined by my spiritual son, Timothy, both of us passionate 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.

Notice that Simmons is adding things to the text that simply are not found there. This is his own interpretation of the meaning of these texts. Is Jesus the anointed one? Yes, but that’s not what this text says. Were Timothy and Paul passionate servants of Jesus? Yes, but that isn’t what this text says. Further, the concept of “spiritual son” is found nowhere in this text translated here. It doesn’t exist.

But there is an ulterior motive behind this. Brian Simmons is closely tied to Bill Johnson of Bethel Church. Bill Johnson is an NAR Apostle and believes in the idea of apostolic fathering–a false teaching endorsed by Michael Brown. According to Bill Johnson, in a book edited by Dr. Bruce Cook, Aligning With The Apostolic, the concept of “apostolic fathering” is part of the core of the New Apostolic Reformation.

One of the core values of the New Apostolic Reformation movement is the principle of apostolic fathering — raising up spiritual sons and daughters. And we see that principle here with David. In [Psalm 34] verse 11 he is addressing the 400 as his spiritual children — his spiritual sons. The Hebrew word here is “ben” meaning son — one who is a builder of the family name. This is a relational term, not just a biological one. (source)

The Passion Translation consists of a number of these interpretations and additions to the text. The sole purpose of this work by Simmons is to promote the false ideology of the New Apostolic Reformation. It’s a movement that has its strongholds in the younger generation. It’s appealing because it’s accompanied by signs and wonders, ecstatic music, and mystical experiences that draw attention away from the jejuneness of sound theology normally suffered by unregenerate seekers. Empty promises of unity and love tend to be the general theme NAR gatherings and what better way to promote their false ideology than to create a crackpot version of Scripture that falsely alleges that their “apostolic authority” and theology is true.

Avoid this piece of work, and Brian Simmons, like the plague.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. — 2 Tim 4:3-5 (ESV)

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[Contributed by Pulpit & Pen]



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