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A New NAR Bible (Part 1) — ‘The Passion Translation’

passion translationBeware: An NAR apostle has come out with his own NAR translation of the Bible, called “The Passion Translation.”

Apostle Brian Simmons, of Stairway Ministries, is the lone translator of this “groundbreaking” project. To date, he has released four installments of his new translation:

Next in line is Proverbs, Wisdom From Above, due out in Fall 2013.

Simmons’ translation is endorsed by influential NAR leaders including apostle Che Ahn (Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California, USA), prophet James Goll (Encounters Network) and apostle Katherine Ruonala (Glory City Church in Brisbane, Australia).

Simmons claims he undertook this work because he saw a need for a more emotionally passionate translation of the Bible that speaks to the heart. He believes the leading translations of the Bible speak mainly to the mind and don’t adequately capture God’s passion. He describes his translation like this:

The Passion Translation Project is a groundbreaking attempt to re-introduce the passion and fire of the Bible to the English reader. God longs to have His Word expressed in every language in a way that would unlock the ‘passion’ of His heart. The goal of this work is to trigger inside of every English speaker an overwhelming response to the truth of the Bible as it is unfiltered by religious jargon – unfolding the deep mysteries of the Scriptures in the language of love, the language of the heart. Accurate to the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts, but passionately powerful in a contemporary form.

So, what’s the problem with his “passionately powerful” translation?

Simmons has taken verses of Scripture that have nothing to do with NAR teachings or practices and reworded them so they appear to support those very teachings and practices , such as  “prophetic singing,” the “transference of an anointing,”  and the issuing of “apostolic decrees.” In other words, despite his claim to unveil the truth of the Bible “unfiltered by religious jargon,” he’s actually exploiting his audience’s ignorance of sound textual criticism to smuggle in a heterodox theology along with a good measure of NAR jargon.

The bottom line? He’s changing God’s Word–a serious offense to God. I will look at specific verses he has changed in my next post.

But, for now, I want to point out that this translation is potentially one of the most disturbing developments in the NAR movement. Simmons is following in the footsteps of the major cults of Christianity who have released their own translations of the Bible, including the New World Translation used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Joseph Smith Translation used by some groups of Mormons.

By creating a new NAR translation of the Bible, Simmons is shaping the way a generation of NAR followers will read and understand Scripture–and also creating a divide between those who use the NAR translation and those who don’t.

It remains to be seen how many NAR people will make the switch to this NAR translation of the Bible. If a lot of them do switch Bibles, then The Passion Translation could truly–as its advertisements say–“impact the Church for years to come.”

Heaven forbid.

— By Holly Pivec

Go to Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

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87 Responses to “A New NAR Bible (Part 1) — ‘The Passion Translation’”

  1. Todd Tomasella Says:

    Another $cam version.
    It’s real simple: We have the preserved Word of God in the Authorized, the King James Bible.
    All other English Bibles are unnecessary and in most cases if not all, diabolical counterfeits.

    The NAR movement is new age and not Christian and those who conduct this witchcraft over the biblically-illiterate audience are warlocks who pose as Christ’s representatives.

    Every month or two there’s yet another $cam version of the Bible that comes out from some person or committee that pretends and puts themselves up as having authority. Could all these versions possibly be divinely inspired and yet all different?

  2. Holly Says:


    This article written by one of today’s most respected textual critics, Dr. Dan Wallace at Dallas Theological Seminary, shows why the King James Bible is not the best translation and why the King James Only position is seriously flawed: https://bible.org/article/why-i-do-not-think-king-james-bible-best-translation-available-today

  3. Candace l Todd Says:

    Your acting exactly like the religious Pharisees that Jesus was speaking to all through out Matthew.

  4. Holly Says:

    Candace, how, exactly, did I act like the Pharisees in this post I wrote? I’m not seeing it.

  5. Kathy A Says:


    I have been researching the Bible for 5 years back to Constantine, Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort and the so called higher and /or textual critics. Dan Wallace says that “We don’t know exactly what Jesus said because men just wrote the jest of His sayings. In truth, though red-letter editions of the Bible may give comfort to believers that they have the very words of Jesus in every instance, this is a false comfort.”
    Then why do we follow the writings of man if they are not Jesus ‘ words or doctrines.How will that get you into heaven? Higher and textual critics and paleography were invented by the catholic church, which tells us a lot of who is behind the corruption of our bibles. Study it and find out for yourselves.  Some people think Jesus is some ignorant being who can’t win over the devil. Jesus can do anything and everthing, Praise His Name.

  6. John Campbell Says:

    Love your site Holly! How did your recent presentation  go while sharing the same platform as some NAR folks? Did you get an opportunity to fellowship or share your concerns with James Goll..?

  7. Sheri Says:

    Sorry, I have to say Todd’s statement is correct. I just bought two of your books but one must research the Harper Collins publishers which expose Satanic Bibles, NIV Illuminati watered down versions, Vatican’s watered down versions, Queen James Gay Bible, boy the list goes on and on. The Holy Spirit can you a donkey well the Holy Spirit used a homeless man to show me that the KJV 1611 was the Bible we should be using. This does not make one a Pharisee. We are all open for correction and reproof. Please let no one get prideful and research the Bible version they are using. The Link he gave was outstanding. We must all take this to Jesus/Abba Father in prayer. The truth offends and one gets prideful. They hated Jesus and they called him names and said he was demon possessed, etc. I ask you Holly to pray about this before calling him a Pharisee. I have a Harvard Degree and I don’t go around calling people Pharisees because I don’t agree w/their truth. The truth offends and let it be if we both offended you. Let it rub you the right way. You were given a gift to expose the NAR not to defend the watered down version of the one and only true Bible we should be following KJV only. A Sister in Christ God bless you in Jesus name.

  8. Holly Says:

    Sheri, I didn’t call anyone a Pharisee. You did not read the comments carefully enough. Someone else accused me of being a Pharisee, and I responded by asking them in what way I was being a Pharisee. I don’t see what having a Harvard degree has to do with this discussion.

  9. Tyrone Flanagan Says:

    Holly, For your information, John Arnott, of all people, complained to NAR apostle, Che Ahn, at a recent conference about
    out of control howling and manifestations that were interfering
    with Arnott’s attempt to teach in Che Ahn’s church. My church pastor saw all of this go down. It would be good for you
    to do an article about cracks forming in the NAR movement and
    dissatisfaction among some of the leadership.

    Sincerely, Tyrone Flanagan

  10. Steve Says:

    Hi Tyrone, could you please elaborate a little about John Arnott’s complaint, such as when and where this took place?

  11. Tyrone Flanagan Says:

    Dear Holly, This complaint took place at a conference at Che Ahn’s church in Pasadena. I don’t know when. My pastor is a part of the Iris network and is Bethel affiliated and that is why he was there and heard all of this. I’ve talked with my pastor about this and he would never allow these sort of outbursts when he is trying to minister the Word. Unfortunately, I cannot give you his name, but I have every reason to believe that the incident is true.

    Holly, I appreciate your efforts to sort out some of the craziness associated with the NAR, and its attempted prophetic
    take over of large segments of Pentecostalism and non denominational churches. I remember the Fort Lauderdale prophets in the 70’s and the church of the Universal Word and finally, the Kansas City prophet’s and John Wimber’s failed attempt to ride herd on them. I wish I could help you more, but what I’ve told you did happen. My pastor has no axe to grind with the NAR and is still a part of the related networks.
    Sincerely, Tyrone Flanagan

  12. Rev Stephanie Stockton Says:

    The textus receptus folks have been greatly diminished in last few decades mainly because of their inclination to dogmatic legalism. Those who really are compassionate for those who need to know the Messiah as their Savior have other texts to pull fro but in my mind we always seem to reinvent the wheel with more translations. My “go to” translation has always been the Geneva Bible which I use extensively. Another difficulty I see is the inability for modern man to understand “sin” adequately. A better word for translations to use would be “rebellion.” I rarely use the work sin in my teaching and prefer rebellion.

  13. Mary Parnell Says:

    Textus Receptus is important as all the verses quoted by the Ante Nicean Fathers minus 11 were cited prior to the translation of the King james. I am not a King James onliest. The biggest problem with it is the reader’s deficiency in Elizabethan English A good dictionary is a must. But the fact that the ante-Nicean Fathers cited all but 11 of the KJV is very comforting. I use several versions in study. Sometimes a verse will popout if read in a non familiar version. I am reading the Bible through in NAS and enjoy it. The NIV has a staccato rhythm in the OT that tends tro trivialize the passion. I don’t think the argument has been resolved regarding the Textus Criticus and Receptus. Several good translation are important. Don’t just stik with one and avoid all Good News and Message Bibles etc. The Newer the Translation, the more suspicious the content.

  14. Dave Says:

    I’d like to fight your corner, the KJV is good, really good but since then we’ve had the DSC found along with countless other authentic documents. All have been pored over and thus new translations have appeared of which most are excellent such as the NKJV and the ESV….some of these bible versions, I’d agree, need taking off the selves or read as a book which is seriously paraphrased, e.g the Message.
    It has been said that when all bible versions are compared, with the exception of the paraphrase versions, the entire biblical word difference would add up to less than a page and non contradict the time held and biblical doctrines that are upheld.
    And no Holly you’re really not a Pharisee

  15. Amanda Richardson Says:

    Hi Holly

    I’ve very recently left the NAR after 22 years after the Lord Jesus opened my eyes to the deceptive teaching.I sincerely thought that all what you put on your blog was genuine.. how wrong was I! I sincerely repented before Him. I was at a recent ladies meeting in my town and heard part of this “Translation” being read.. it is Blasphemy! I checked it out to make sure by comparing John 1 with this “Translations” version.. Absolutely horrendous also the Psalms are the same.. my heart is broken for my friends who are still caught up in this deception.

  16. Holly Says:

    Amanda, thanks for sharing your story. So glad to learn about how God opened your eyes to the deception.

  17. Nathan Says:

    The only spirits this man are lead by are unclean spirits. We are clearly told not to add to the Bible Rev 22:18-19. the passion is not even a translation. This guy just scribbled all over the Bible. It’s Brian Simmons’ word, not God’s. I also watched him say that Proverbs was a boring list of do-s and dont-s. I guess it didn’t have enough new-age flowery garbage for his taste. If it is so boring why don’t these false healers and false apostles go read some other book instead of defacing the Bible? If I should listen to every man who had some fallen angel tell them to re-write the Bible I might as well become a Muslim or a Mormon.

  18. Tyrone Flanagan Says:

    Hey Nathan, It’s pretty sad when these NAR influenced folks say that reading or encountering the bible is boring. If Simmons studied Proverbs
    he would find some much needed correction for his efforts to come out with a new bible translation. These folks are departing from the Word and instead grounding themselves in prophetic words, visions, dreams and experiences. Some of these folks can become quite nasty is you tell them so. Jesus said that “if we abide in His Word we will remain in Him and be His disciples”. That’s my paraphrase that is faithful to the meaning of the original text, Mr. Simmons. We don’t live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. I greatly prefer the true milk and meat of the Word in contrast to contemporary prophetic revelations. Mike Bickle, one of the Kansas City Prophets, admitted on tape that 80% of the prophetic words that he has heard are false and have not come to pass. Good for you Mr. Bickle, and honest statement. I don’t want to build my faith on 80% false words and revelations. That’s called building your house of faith on sand. Putting your own prophetic slant on bible text translation is very dangerous and others have given into the temptation like Joseph Smith, Tass Russel, Mary Baker Eddy, and others in the bible translation hall of shame.

  19. Brother Bret Says:

    For those of you stating that the KJV is the *only* translation we should be using, are you considering that olde English is not in use anymore? It is exceedingly difficult for the overwhelming majority of people to get a handle on (unless they are students of Shakespeare). Holly was in no way rude or pharisaic in her article. For the record, I deplore this PTP “translation”. I would actually go as far as to call it heresy/blasphemy.

    Currently I’m trying to convince a dear friend to abandon this work altogether.

  20. Brenda Says:

    Hello…I wish we could find your books in Spanish. This NAR churches are even in the Spanish speaking comunity… its sad!

  21. Holly Says:

    Brenda, we would love to see the books translated into Spanish. If anyone knows of a publisher that would undertake such a project, let me know.

  22. DiRT Says:

    The biggest problem with KJV-Only supporters is that they often don’t know what they are actually supporting. Some are worshiping a translation as an idol. Some claim to trust only the Textus Receptus, yet refuse to consider translations like the MEV that are also TR based because they are so hard-wired into the cult of KJV. They will also talk of “missing” verses because they exist in the TR and not other older and better preserved manuscripts… EXCEPT Erasmus didn’t include them in his initial versions of the TR because they didn’t exist in the earlier Greek manuscripts. Only when pressured by others did he add them to later revisions of the TR in order to sell his manuscript.

  23. Chris Says:

    Thank you Holly for standing for the truth of God’s Word. I am shocked to see how many people will ferociously fight for deception. How can someone defend some guy that says he got some “supernatural downloads” and that “God told him” to name the new translation after an angel that he saw at church?? It is like reading the history of the Mormon church.

    For those in the KJV only camp, they need to read some of Dr.James White’s books on the subject.

    I appreciate all that you are doing to fight the good fight of faith.

  24. Holly Says:

    Thanks for your encouraging words, Chris.

  25. Tyrone Flanagan Says:

    Dear Chris, I don’t see how people will use a bible that is based
    on the belief that all of the earliest NT manuscripts were written in
    Aramaic instead of koine Greek. None of these supposed original autographs
    of the NT have ever been discovered. I guess it’s Brian Simmons against
    the world of biblical scholarship. Simmons claims that there are numerous
    translation errors in the Greek texts because of this. The audacity of
    the man’s claims are rivaled only by a Joseph Smith or a H.Tass Russel, the
    founder of the J.W.’s.

  26. mark douglas scott Says:

    When I heard Mr. Simmon’s describing The Tribulation as personal trials it was a complete butchery of the bible. I just listened to Mike Winger and he called people who knew him when he was supposedly translating in the mission field and they said he had absolutely no expertise in translating. Mike Winger is a Charismatic like me. The Passion translation is really a loose commentary in which Mr Simmons changes the meaning or enhances it to his own liking. This is very much like the Liberal Methodists changing scriptures to support homosexuality although the teachings against it are very clear. To call someone a Pharisee because they are challenging the authenticity of the Passion commentary is actually Religious Spirited and using accusation like the Hyper Charismatics do. I am a strong believer in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and believe it is good for this translation by Mr. Simmons to be examined

  27. barry Says:

    NAR,Trojan horse within christianity,avoid at all cost.Your spiritual health and welfare as well as eternal destination depend upon it.They and all those associated with them and this false movement within the body of Christ have departed the narrow path and have gone the way of Balaam.Pray for your brothers and sisters who have been taken in by this web of deception,pray the Lord would spare and rescue if possible even some out of the flames.There will be a terrible price to pay for all involved in this betrayal of the Lord and his word for those who are in leadership as well as those who sit under their leadership and teaching. The NAR is a judgement from God upon those who do not love the truth,it is a test like God tested the Israelites in the Old Testament,hen was testing them to see if they would love him and obey his word.It is no different today,God is the same God today as he was than.He tests the hearts of his people,many are failing the test to their destruction.


    Simmons claims that Jesus visited him personally, took him to the library of heaven, and asked him to write the translation (HE DOES NOT KNOW GREEK, OR HEBREW) If all of that isn’t troubling enough, in the television interview cited above, he claims that Jesus promised to bring him back to heaven and give him a brand new chapter of the gospel of John that has never yet been discovered—John chapter 22-Bible scholar Dr. Andrew Wilson noted: (Also claims New Testament was written in Aramaic )
    The Passion “translation” inserts all kinds of concepts, words and ideas of which the original gives no hint whatsoever
    If you have any spiritual pulse, Eugene Peterson’s The Message will shock you. The Message promotes the mystical New Age message with a boldness never seen in a mainstream Bible. The Message has sold over 10 million copies and has continually ranked among the top five best-selling Bibles. The Message website (www.navpress.com) displays endorsements from such prominent Christians as Billy Graham, Chuck Swindoll, Christianity Today, Dan Quayle, Bill Hybels, Gordon Fee, J.I. Packer, Jack Hayford, Jerry Jenkins, Jerry Savelle, John Maxwell, Max Lucado, Richard Foster, Rick Warren, Rod Parsley, Tony Campolo and Warren Wiersbe, among many others.
    This article will barely scratch the surface of the mystic New Age religion filling The Message. And this article only examines the New Age mysticism in The Message, we do not examine the treason against the Deity of Jesus Christ, salvation and scores of other fundamental doctrines. Note: We’ll refer to the King James Bible as KJB, the New Age Movement as NAM, and The Message Bible as The Mess.

  29. mark douglas scott Says:

    As a person with a Charismatic background I can tell you a lot of these issues would not have been accepted at one time. John Wimber took a stand against some of this flakiness and many Vineyards broke off and became independent hyper Charismatics without any accountability. Mr. Simmons does not have the background to be a biblical translator and that is a fact. What this is, is a commentary by him expanding what he thinks a scripture means so tribulation in the book of Revelation is just going through a personal tough time not the judgements, Anti Christ and other traumatic events during that time in the future. That is because he is either a preterist or partial preterist and translating the bible to fit his beliefs rather than translating the actually words closely he expounds to have it fit his beliefs. The real driver is mammon and the money that the many in this Prophetic movement make

  30. Gigi Says:

    I have been reading the Jay P Green Interlinear Bible for 14 years and it is AWESOME.

  31. John Perkins Says:

    I’ve only just become aware of TPT and Brian Simmons this year. I came across it trough Pastor Mike Winger’s review on Youtube. Watching Brian Simmons online at ‘Passion for The Word’ Conference in August last year (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGbRjm1wxlY), I was immediately struck by how disconcerting, manipulative and disrespectful he was with much of his communication and interaction here. Note: I have only watched 2 of his messages from this conference (Session 1 and Session 4 – approximately 3 hours of footage). Within these messages, Brian rightly states that we need watchmen in the body (church), but openly mocks his critics by referring to them as “Watchdogs” (literally barking and howling into the microphone as he is mentioning this). He remarks with a sweeping generalisation, “They (critics) bark at every new thought that doesn’t fit their theology.” I also noticed that he makes disrespectful comments about other translations of The Bible. For example, he calls the New International Version (NIV) the “Never improved version” and the English Standard Version (ESV) the “Extremely sterile version.” He obviously and intentionally is doing this to undermine existing translations of The Bible and to promote his own ‘translation’ (TPT) as a better version. He refers to other translations as “Scriptural misinterpretations” (Oh, the irony!). Similarly, he openly mocks and deliberately undermines Biblical Scholars/Scholarship and Theologians during these talks. He describes them as, “Hyper-literalists”, being a part of “Elitist scholarly culture”, having “fossilised theology.” Brian obviously has a problem with the appeal to authority when it comes to the scholarship process involved with producing existing translations. At one point he refers to them as “Angry Translators.” However, he has no problem qualifying and validating his own version of The Bible through sharing his visitations, “downloads” and excursion to Heaven. On a production note, Brian mentions that his TPT is a 15-18 year project or mission. Therefore, he plans to get the full Bible translated by mid to late 2020’s. He claims that he has already sold 2 million copies. I find it interesting that he is producing them and selling them either as individual books or as small sets. Great money maker there! Another aspect of these talks that I found to be alarming and contradictory was Brian’s Signs and Wonders claims. I have noticed this more and more in NAR Culture over the past few years. Brian shares supernatural personal anecedotes throughout his talks. For example, he recalls when he was speaking in a previous meeting fire shot from above his head and out into the congregation. This supernatural event caused the building to catch on fire and Brian claims the Fire Brigade had to be called to put out the fire. He also boldly claims that in the past 10 years of his public ministry there has been signs and wonders at EVERY meeting. Note: I have watched 2 of these Passion for The Word meetings and have not observed a single sign or wonder. The camera is fixed on Brian the whole time – even during ministry time at the end of these meetings. Not even a hint of a sign or wonder. Just some clear evidence of Brian blowing into the microphone though!

  32. Tyrone Flanagan Says:

    Was that a one or two alarm fire caused by fire shooting out from Brian Simmons’ bhead? The local fire dept. must have a record of this visit right? Brian must have bumped into Kat Kerr during one of his heavenly visits. This is charismatic slap stick entertainment.

  33. Monica Says:

    Our small group leader recently read out of the Passion Bible, which I had never heard of before, but noticed it was “different”. Then, I tried to research it online, but only found limited information. Now that I am learning more about NAR (only recently as well), I am going through a process of learning how to weigh in on what is truth and what is false. I feel like I don’t have anyone to bounce ideas with; even one pastor friend from another church didn’t understand some of my concerns with NAR. All that to say, hopefully God keeps me on the right path of truth, love and discipline.

  34. Mark Says:

    Passion translation is a commentary not an actual translation. Mr.Simmon’s takes verse than changes it what he thinks it means instead of word for word. For instance he changes the meaning of the Tribulation from end time judgements and catastrophes to a personal crisis because he is a partial preterists and does not believe the book of Revelations. You may call him a butcher of the Bible
    The New Apostolic reformation.officially was started on 2000 by Peter Wagner and other domimionists who believe new super apostles are going to take dimionion over the earth it now growing like fire through bethel and the conference circuit.

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