Bill Johnson, IHOP, and the ‘Passion Translation’

Bill Johnson at Onething 2016

Bill Johnson spoke at Onething 2016.

The New Apostolic Reformation‘s most influential leaders continue to quote from the “Passion Translation“–despite the fact that this translation is no translation at all. Rather it completely rewords Scripture, making it falsely appear that the Bible supports New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) teachings. Especially disturbing is the fact that well-known adult pastors and teachers–who should know better–are promoting this so-called translation among Christian youth.

Recently, the Passion Translation was praised at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, before thousands of young adults gathered for the annual Onething conference. NAR apostle Bill Johnson–senior pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and a featured speaker at the conference–called the Passion Translation a “great translation.” He then cited Simmons’ translation of the book of Proverbs in support of the NAR teaching that Christians are called to “reign in life” and to bring heaven to earth by revealing divine solutions to solve society’s problems. (In the NAR movement, Christians must submit to the leadership of present-day apostles and prophets to fulfill this calling.) Watch Johnson promote the Passion Translation here, starting at 0:34:45. [Notice that the IHOP video link isn’t working. You can watch the same message at YouTube here, starting at 1:51:00.]

Though disappointing, it’s not surprising that Johnson would promote the Passion Translation, as he’s one of its official endorsers. But it’s another thing to have this NAR Bible promoted on stage at the International House of Prayer (IHOP). One wonders where IHOP founder Mike Bickle stands on the Passion Translation. The thousands of youth who look to Bickle as a Bible teacher would be served well by him alerting them to this unreliable “translation.”

To learn more about problems with the Passion Translation, read my four-part series, A New NAR Bible, or see my co-authored book God’s Super-Apostles.


Holly Pivec is the co-author of A New Apostolic Reformation?: A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement and God’s Super-Apostles: Encountering the Worldwide Prophets and Apostles Movement. She has a master’s degree in Christian apologetics from Biola University.

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12 Responses to “Bill Johnson, IHOP, and the ‘Passion Translation’”

  1. Susan Says:

    “A half truth masquerading as a whole truth becomes a complete untruth” J.I. Packer
    Apostle Paul warned about false teachers who would draw others away. It is possible a person could become saved but what fruit of righteousness would be produced sitting under false prophets and apostles who claim a new mandate from God.

  2. Roxanne Says:

    Ive said Bethel Redding and IHOP and the like are cultic.  As someone who is a former Jehovahs Witness and succumbed for many years to their false teachings solidfied by their use of the New World Translation of the Bible which changes scripture to confirm to the JW false doctrine.  The NAR first had to use the Message by Eujgene Peterson which also is nothing more than a personal rewriting of the Bible, likewise too the Passion Translation is another cultic attempt to change the Word of God to suit their own false teachings.    Read lighthouse trails recent article by Ray Yungen showing how the new age movements biggest leaders over the past century have had their channeled masters saying how they wouldnt get rid of Christianity, but subvert it by occult infiltration.  Ive say they’ve largely succeeded.

  3. Glenn E. Chatfield Says:

    It is a cultic translation on the order of the JW’s “New World Translation” — it is “translated” so as to support false teachings of the NAR and IHOP.

  4. Jane Says:

    “….every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God….”  (Jeremiah 23:36)  Excellent post, Roxanne!  What a way to turn hearts toward Satan and evil than to force God’s Word to line up with the preaching of false teachers.  Nothing new under the Sun!  Thanks to this author on the heads-up on this false bible (Passion translation).

  5. Curt Bond Says:

    There are apostles today, but super-apostles, yea I believe there are those too, but what gospel are they preaching, not the gospel of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, but another gospel all together. One day they will have to stand before the Lord and give an account of what they have done. Many false teachers today claiming they have the TRUTH, but do they?

  6. Tami Says:

    Hi there! While searching for a pocket sized version of this beautiful translation which sadly you call false, I happen to come across this site, very intrigued by your views and I can’t help but say I’m saddened by your judgements of people you don’t know personally…have you taken a moment to even ask god what he thinks of this translation? Have you seen the fruit of this translation? How its bringing every generation it reaches into a deeper, more authentic relationship with God…especially the younger generation who just wanna know god is real and loves them? Which this translation oozes with…Brian simply takes us back to the root meaning of each word, connecting our hearts with the heart of what God is saying through the Scriptures…man like Taylor swift sings, haters gotta hate, instead of trying to appreciate this new version of the bible. I guarantee you’d experience a little more of god’s love and freedom in your life if you let go of the bitterness you have towards the apostles and prophets of our day who yes not all are called of god but by golly gee let God take care of those ones and just honour those He’s called and anointed like BJ and his team! I allow the Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth, I thankfully don’t look to websites like this to lead me…take care!

  7. Bob Wilson Says:

    Brian Simmons is a regular teacher at the church in Connecticut where my wife and I were married. I attended the church for a short while till I realized that something was wrong. What was wrong was that it was a NAR leaning church that was rapidly becoming and now is a full blown NAR church. Shortly before leaving I began a home group focused on discipleship. I began with an overview of hermeneutics which I have taught before but never had anyone disagree with me! One woman who attended didn’t need any of that historical-grammatical exegesis because the Holy Spirit tells her what the text means. She explained that Brian Simmons had taught her this approach to the Scriptures. Brian himself claims that Jesus “asked” him to do the PT and breathed on him, giving him special ability to translate the scriptures. In his own words Brian claims that it is “…more of an artistic, Spirit-led production”. It has absolutely been written to support NAR peculiar doctrines and Simmons is poised to earn millions in royalties from sales.

  8. Glenn E. Chatfield Says:


    I’ve read many excerpts of this translation and it reminds me of the JW translation and the Joseph Smith (Mormon) translation — all translated to support their false teachings.

    Why ask God’s opinion about translations done by false prophets and false teachers?  God has already told us in HIS Word what He thinks of messing around with HIS Word!  

    I’ve not seen judgments of people here, rather I have seen judgments of their false teachings.  Perhaps you should exercise a wee bit more discernment and see the truth rather than following false teachers.

    You claim this bad translation is “bringing every generation it reaches into a deeper, more authentic relationship with God…especially the younger generation who just wanna know god is real and loves them” yet that is nothing more than an assertion with no factual evidence to support the claim.

    These people of IHOP and Bethel Redding are NOT called by God, the proof being their false teachings on a daily basis.  You really need to pray for discernment.

  9. Andrew Chapman Says:

    IHOP link is not working. Is this the same message: and how far through would it be?

    Thanks, Andrew

  10. Holly Says:

    Yes, Andrew, that’s the same message. Start watching at 1:51:00. Thanks for alerting me to broken IHOP video link.

  11. Andrew Chapman Says:

    Thanks, Holly, starting at 1.51.32 he calls it a ‘great translation’, and then refers to Simmons’ introduction to his rendering of Proverbs, where he (Simmons) points out that the Hebrew word for Proverb, מָשָׁל mashal, longer second a (with a qamesh), is related to the Hebrew root מָשַׁל mashal, (shorter second a, with a patach), meaning to rule – a probable fact which he gives as an example of the following: ‘True revelation unfolds an encounter – an experience of knowing God as he is revealed through the mysterious vocabulary of riddle, proverb and parable’. (

    This is about as sensible – so far as I can see – as saying that the use by a poet of the word ‘butterfly’ has some deep and mysterious connection with butter, and with flies.

    Bill Johnson takes this a bit further, claiming that since since one word derives from the other, the ‘whole concept of the wisdom which comes from Proverbs is actually that which enables you and me to reign in life’.

    This is likewise entirely spurious, I think.


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