The Passion ‘Translation’-The NAR Bible – Proponents And Heresies

“We Are The Reincarnation Of Jesus Christ”

“We are the Word made flesh again. We are the Reincarnation of Jesus Christ.”

“Christ is no longer a man. He’s a people. You and I carry like Mary. We will bring forth the Christ. The Second Coming is the Becoming of the Lord.”

These comments come from one who claimed Jesus visited him and commissioned him to re-write the Bible – The ‘Passion’ -TPT Brian’s ‘true colours’ are coming thro.’

“Brian Simmons claims Christ came to him and gave him the task of issuing forth The Passion Translation. Simmons is a New Apostolic Reformation leader, and The Passion Translation serves many as an NAR “Bible.”

Run Down Of Brian’s Heretical Message

I (Daryl), emailed Bethel and Bill Johnson, in late May, (since he highly endorses the ‘Passion’ Bible and is close friends with Brian), when this video first came out, expressing my concerns with Brian’s extremely heretical, ‘fantasaical’ comments, some of which are seen above.

As of yet, I have rec’d no response back other than;

“Hi there!
Thank you for reaching out to us here at Bethel Church in Redding, California! Due to the high volume of emails we receive every day, it may be 1-2 weeks before we are able to reply to your message. In the meantime, we have included some commonly requested information below to help you out.”

So I have been motivated to focus on addressing many Bethel issues, which are polluting and threatening the Body of Christ, such as the blatant heresy evident in this article and video clip. Bethel is to be marked, and turned from according to Rom.16:17

Will any of the endorsee’s now speak up about Brian’s heresies? I address Brian Simmons here and the TPT, because of the integral connection between he, Bill Johnson, and other NAR leaders

What are the chief problems with the Passion Translation?

The Passion Translation has many serious problems. These include:

  • A lack of qualifications of the lead [sole] translator. This is a direct quote from Simmons about his qualifications to undertake this project: “I had minimal background in biblical languages, so yeah, it was something that, honestly, something the Lord has really helped me with.” Source (14:52)
  • A lack of transparency in his process (i.e., Simmons doesn’t reveal the names of the “reputable” editors and scholars who have supposedly reviewed his work)
  • Simmons’ reliance on Aramaic manuscripts to produce this translation. This is problematic because the earliest Aramaic manuscripts are from the fifth century. In contrast to Simmons’ translation of the New Testament, the standard English translations are based on much earlier and more reliable Greek manuscripts.
  • Simmons’ claims to have received a personal appearance from Jesus and a commissioning from him to produce this translation
  • Simmons’ claims that he received revelation “downloads” from God that would enable him to translate
  • Simmons’ claims that God would give him secrets of the Hebrew language that would enable him to translate
  • Simmons’ claims that Jesus showed him a new chapter of the Bible, John 22
  • His misleading promotion of his work as a “dynamic-equivalent translation” and as a reliable text for serious study of the Bible
  • Evidence of bias and abuse of the text of Scripture (see below)

What are some noteworthy examples of NAR-friendly bias and abuse of the text of Scripture?

Following are a few examples of bias and abuse of the text. At the end of this fact sheet are links to critics’ sources that contain more examples. Take note that critics have pointed out other examples that Simmons changed after they drew attention to them. So his translation is a moving target. When Simmons has been challenged about faulty renderings of verses, he sometimes has simply revised them – in substantial ways – without offering any explanation for his revisions.

Example 1: Take note of the addition of teaching about the Holy Spirit and the deletion of admonitions to correct and rebuke.

2 Timothy 4:2

Standard English Translations

  • “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (English Standard Version)
  • “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” (New International Version)
  • “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” (New King James Version)

The Passion Translation

  • “proclaim the Word of God and stand upon it no matter what! Rise to the occasion and preach when it is convenient and when it is not. Preach in the full expression of the Holy Spirit[a]—with wisdom and patience as you instruct and teach the people.” (TPT)

Simmons’ footnote a: 2 Timothy 4:2 As translated from the Aramaic.

Example 2: Take note of the NAR bias for an over-realized eschatology — i.e., teachings that the blessings God has promised for the future are readily available in the present age.

Mark 1:15

Standard English Translations

  • “and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (ESV)
  • “‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’” (NIV)
  • “and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’” (NKJV)

The Passion Translation

  • “At last the fulfillment of the age has come! It is time for the realm of God’s kingdom to be experienced in fullness! Turn your lives back to God and put your trust in the hope-filled gospel!”[a] (TPT

Simmons’ footnote a: Mark 1:15 The Greek is “believe the good news” (“the   gospel”), and the Aramaic is “put your trust in the joyful message of hope.” This translation merges both concepts, making it “the hope-filled gospel.

Example 3: Take note how he has added the word “first” before the word “twelve.” Could this be because NAR leaders, including Simmons, teach that the office of apostle is ongoing for today?

Matthew 10:2

Standard English Translations

  • “The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;” (ESV)
  • “These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;” (NIV)
  • “Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;” (NKJV)

The Passion Translation

  • Now, these are the names of the first twelve apostles: first, Simon, who is nicknamed Peter, and Andrew, his brother. And then Jacob and John, sons of Zebedee. (TPT)

How is the Passion Translation tied to the New Apostolic Reformation?

Brian Simmons, like some other leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation, denies being a part of this movement. Yet the core teaching of the New Apostolic Reformation is the necessity of the present-day governing offices of apostle and prophet along with their new, authoritative revelations. Simmons holds the governing office of apostle with Harvest International Ministry, and works closely with many New Apostolic Reformation leaders. His translation is endorsed almost only (if not exclusively) by NAR leaders. His translation shows significant evidence of NAR doctrinal bias. For these reasons, critics of this translation have dubbed it the “NAR Bible.”

What are some sources that have critiqued the Passion Translation?

  • Article in the journal themelios (Volume 43, Issue 1): “Burning Scripture with Passion: A Review of the Psalms (The Passion Translation)” by Andrew G. Shead
  • Article on the blog THINK (6 January 2016): “What’s Wrong with the Passion ‘Translation’?” by Andrew Wilson
  • Four-part series of articles on the blog Spirit of Error by Holly Pivec, starting with “A New NAR Bible (Part 1) — ‘The Passion Translation

Simmons Uninterested In Linguistic, Textual Accuracy Brian Simmons, the sole translator of the newly released Passion Translation of the Bible, said, “If you’re hungry for God, if you want to know him on another level than what you’ve been given so far, there is something waiting for you – there are some secrets that He wants to unveil to you and me” (Simmons, The Passion Translation Teaser). That’s a bold claim and an incredibly daring endorsement from the translator. One reader of this translation said, “I’ve never read a translation that I sensed such a powerful anointing of God” (Simmons, The Passion Translation Teaser).

*Daryl here. It seems Brian wants to insert extra-Biblical revelation right into the translation process.

But is it true? Does The Passion Translation have something new to offer the reader of God’s Word today? Does it unlock mysteries hidden for centuries now finally revealed to us in 2018? Is it anointed by God Himself – as He anointed David to write the Psalms or Jesus to be the Holy One, the Word incarnate?

As you might guess based on the title of this article, no. And before I build a case, I’ll just state it plainly – run away from The Passion Translation.

Now, let me share why in several points.

First, Brian Simmons is the sole translator of this new Bible. Rather than gathering a group of well-educated, linguistic-masters to take the ancient languages of Hebrew and Greek and translate them into modern English, Simmons worked alone to convey what he thought the text was saying. This is a careless practice.

Second, Brian Simmons seems to have zero regard for the ancient language in which the Scriptures were originally authored. The original text, with the original language, is the inspired text. Therefore, when translators seek to capture God’s message to the world, they should endeavor to capture the intent of the original author in the original language. Andrew G. Shead, head of Old Testament and Hebrew at Moore Theological College, Sydney, and a member of the NIV Committee on Bible Translation, explained that Simmons, “seems…to be looking around in ancient sources for changes and additions that he can use as he himself changes and adds to the text” (Shead, “Burning Scripture with Passion: A Review of The Psalms (The Passion Translation).

Third, Simmons’ translation of individual words is often simply wrong. Again, Shead summarizes, “Simmons seems as uninterested in linguistic accuracy as he is in textual accuracy. He searches the dictionary, and sometimes apparently his imagination, for ways to insert new ideas that happen to align with his goals, regardless of their truthfulness” (Shead).

Fourth, throughout Simmons’ translation, especially of the Psalms, he adds amazing amounts of words and ideas that are totally foreign to the original language, and he constantly omits the message of the original language. He is guilty of placing his own ideas in order to try and present some passionate message to contemporary readers.

As a case study, let’s examine Psalm 18. In Psalm 18:1, the NASB, an excellent word-for-word translation of the entire Bible, translates, “I love You, O Lord, my strength.” That’s as much as the Hebrew allows. Originally, there were three Hebrew words. Yet Simmons translates Psalm 18 according to his own mystic wisdom, Psalm 18:1, “Lord, I passionately love you and I’m bonded to you! I want to embrace you, for now, you’ve become my power” (TPT). The addition to the text takes Simmons’ own ideas and embeds them into God’s holy Word as the inspired meaning. Basically, Simmons practices “double translation” in almost every verse in order to give his own understanding of the text. Double translation is simply taking a word that means one thing and making it mean two things. For example, “I love you,” according to the NASB is changed to, “I passionately love you and I’m bounded to you, in the PTP.

Simply, The Passion Translation is terrible and dangerous to the Christian community. Simmons claims to offer something new to the church community, and that is exactly what he has done. He has offered a new text, not God’s Word. There may be mysteries in it, but they are mysteries from the author, not from God. It is hailed as a translation of God’s inerrant Word. Simmons says that it is a text that can “help you discover more of what God has for your life,” but in reality, it will lead you away from the true Word, further from the original manuscripts, and away from a true knowledge of God (Simmons). Shead concluded, “The Passion Translation is not just a new translation; it is a new text, and its authority derives solely from its creator” (Shead).

Please do not purchase or read or recommend this translation. If you hear of anyone reading it, please caution them that they are not reading God’s Word – they are reading the words of Brian Simmons.

Sticking to the Word with you,

Andrew Shead sums it up, “The Passion Translation shows little understanding, either of the process of textual criticism, or of the textual sources themselves.” ​
Shead’s closing words are succinct:

a new ‘scripture’ with the potential to rule as canon over a new unorthodox sect”

TPT is not just a new translation; it is a new text, and its authority derives solely from its creator. Like Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon, Brian Simmons has created a new scripture with the potential to rule as canon over a new sect. Judging from The Psalms alone, I would say that it would be a Christian sect, and that unlike the Mormon cult its scriptures will point its adherents to saving faith in God the Son, the crucified and risen Lord Jesus. But TPT is not a Bible, and any church that treats it as such and receives it as canon will, by that very action, turn itself into an unorthodox sect. If the translation had been packaged as a commentary on Scripture I would not have needed to write this review; but to package it as Scripture is an offence against God.

NAR Twisted Scripture Will Jump Off The Page version of Scripture is born out of the New Apostolic Reformation movement.  This movement has its own ideologies and agendas which become clear as you read the TPT. If you are familiar with the ideology of the New Apostolic Reformation the twisted Scripture will probably jump off the page. If you’re not that familiar with NAR teachings then look for extra, inserted language regarding spiritual realms, commissionings, ongoing individual revelations, dominion, impartations and spiritual sonship/authority

The Passion ‘Translation’ – TPT – Description – NAR Endorsements

Encounter the Heart of God -The Passion Translation® is a new, heart-level Bible translation that expresses God’s fiery heart of love, merging the emotion and life-changing truth of God’s Word. The goal of this translation is to trigger inside every reader an overwhelming response to the truth of the Bible, unfolding the deep mysteries of the Scriptures in the love language of God, the language of the heart.

(NAR) Reviews —— “One of the greatest things to happen with Bible translation in my lifetime.” – Bill Johnson – Pastor, Bethel Church,

Best-Selling Author “Brian Simmons’ work is truly breathtaking! We so appreciate the labor of love that went into translating the Scriptures. The Passion Translation has energized our study of the Bible, and we’re certain it will do the same for you.” – John and Lisa Bevere – Founders of Messenger International and Best-Selling Authors

“The Passion Translation makes powerful truths more accessible and at the same time stirs our inner man to rejoice and receive.” – Graham Cooke – brilliant

“I believe The Passion Translation will be the Bible of choice for the next Jesus people movement.” – Dr. Ché Ahn – President & Founder, Harvest International Ministry Founder, HRock Church, Pasadena, CA, International Chancellor, Wagner University,

“I have loved the individual books published thus far from The Passion Translation, and look forward with great anticipation to adding the entire New Testament with Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Songs to my own private (and public) reading. With my husband, Brian, and our Hillsong church family, we know these pages will bring to life the One whose name is Jesus—whose passion is humanity and whose heart is for you.” – Bobbie Houston – Co-Senior Pastor, Hillsong Church

“The Passion Translation skillfully penned by Dr. Brian Simmons contains deep treasures that can only be discovered through intense scholarly research saturated in Divine Revelation. Dr. Brian Simmons fulfilled both of these criteria so he could present to you this glorious gift. Keys to knowing the heart of God and His deep love for His people will fill you as you read and meditate on the scriptures. I personally cannot get enough of this translation! It is beyond beautiful!” – Dr. Patricia King – Founder of Patricia King Ministries

“I have devoured The Passion Translation! There is a fragrance of God’s Spirit that emanates from the powerful expressions that Brian Simmons has brought forth in this translation. Not only have I used The Passion Translation for teaching, but I have picked up certain books of the Bible and read them like a living novel. I love this translation! “ – Dr. Chuck D. Pierce – President, Global Spheres Inc., President, Glory of Zion Intl.

“With the Mind of a Scholar and Heart of a Lover, Brian Simmons combines the best of both worlds for us in his devoted translation work in Letters from Heaven. What a marvelous job my friend and seasoned leader is doing for the Body of Christ! I applaud the life and ministry of Dr. Brian Simmons!” – Dr. James W. Goll

“The Passion Translation is a refreshing, dynamic version of the ancient Scriptures. Most translations of the Bible communicate what God has said, but The Passion Translation communicates equally God’s heart behind the words. It is a beautiful, moving read.” – Wesley and Stacey Campbell – Authors of Praying the Bible: The Pathway to Spirituality and Praying the Bible: The Book of Prayers,

“Forged many years ago while translating the Scriptures among South American tribes, and hammered out on the anvil of decades of personal devotion and apostolic experience, my dear friend Brian Simmons brings to the earth a powerful and refreshing translation of the Scriptures that is fueling and inflaming the hearts of tens of thousands world wide. Like the Living Bible that sprung forth in the days of the Jesus Movement, this translation bursts forth from the womb of this present revival. Read it and get caught up in a God-swirl of spiritual understanding and revelation.” – Lou Engle -The Call

Melissa Dougherty With Mike Winger

Origins And Agenda Of TPT

BRIAN SIMMONS: “I KNOW THE LANGUAGE OF GOD. HE TOLD ME. IT’S PICTURE.” According to Brian Simmons, author of The Passion Translation, “God’s language is not Hebrew, God’s language is not Greek, God doesn’t speak English. I know the language of God. He told me. It’s picture. God speaks in picture. This is why you dream. You don’t dream a newspaper headline.” (1 hour 16 minutes in video)

But Simmons isn’t teaching in picture, he is spreading false doctrine the old fashioned way, in English, both in his sermons and in The Passion Translation.

In The Mystical Interpretations and Teachings of Brian Simmons, Mike Oppenheimer observes,

“Simmon’s  teaching is a mixture of many interpretation styles. Not only do his statements carry the unacceptable Latter Rain doctrines but also the insidious Manifest Sons of God teaching, an extreme view in the Latter Rain that William Branham held.”

The Latter Rain and Manifest Sons of God teachings were soundly rejected by the Assemblies of God in 1949, but through Simmons and others these teachings are being popularized once again.

“A large portion of [Simmons’] teaching has a mystical, allegorical, even gnostic slant that one finds in the new age. Some of his interpretations find their way into the Passion Bible,” states Oppenheimer.

Oppenheimer believes a “new phase”of increased deception is entering the church.

This is correct. And if we are to effectively warn the Body of Christ about Simmons and his false Bible, we are going to have to understand, among other things, the false Latter Rain doctrines that permeate Simmons’ teaching.

The importance of this can’t be overemphasized because, as Oppenheimer notes, “It becomes clear he is interpreting the Bible the way Latter Rain teachers do.”

Simmons is influencing many, many people. And so, expressed in line with Simmons’ claims about the Language of God supposedly being visual–go ahead and picture deception.

Brian Simmons: “I know the language of God. He told me. It’s picture.”

Double Translation-Adding Words For Effect

(1) ‘Spiritual’ images, especially of light, height and mystery, designed to inspire feelings of awe and worship; – stirring up ecstasy 

(2) ‘Corporeal’ images of touch, ardour and physical intimacy designed to intensify feelings of love: added vocabulary of physical and emotional intimacy

Dehistoricizing and spiritualizing are more theologically loaded.

While most alterations have theological implications, sometimes theology seems to be the driving factor, serving either to advance the author’s favourite themes or to bring potentially problematic statements into his theological comfort zone.

Brian At Bethel Promoting TPT

Brian says the Lord told him 25 tears ago to come back to America to be a part of revival that He was sending. No revival. Undoubtedly God wasn’t speaking, then or now, with his ‘Passion Translation!’

Why I am no longer using The Passion Translation (TPT)…. This is what I wrote this week to my weekly email readers…


I want to set aside this weekly email for an apology. I want to say sorry to you, my reader, for not taking the time to check on the agenda and origins of The Passion Translation (TPT). I think it has only been this year that I have been including quotes from TPT in my weekly emails to you. It has come to my attention recently that this translation is not what it seems.

I assumed that since it had the word “translation” in the name that it was true to the original texts or at least a paraphrase.

Bible Translation: Where the original Greek and Hebrew texts are translated into another language.

There are 2 types of Bible translations:

  1. Literally or word-for-word. e.g. The New American Standard Bible or CSV
  2. Less literally or thought-for-thought. e.g. New Living Translation

But no, it seems TPT is more than thought-for-thought and it definitely is NOT a literal or word-for-word translation, but includes a vast amount of interpretive additions to the original.

Now all translations, even your favourite ones, have a measure of interpretations by the translators. As they have to take the Hebrew and Greek meanings of each passage and translate it into English (or any other language) and try and convey the same original meaning.

But the problem with TPT are the extra meanings that the translator (Brian Simmon’s) included that are not in the original text making it more of a commentary with his personal views than a Bible translation.

The Passion Translation is not a translation of the original, Spirit-inspired text rather it is a dynamic reading where interpretive opinions and explanatory notes are included which funnel the reader into a way of thinking that aligns with Brian Simmon’s signs and wonders theology. It needs to be regarded in the same way as any other Christian non fiction book and not as the Word of God.

I have also discovered that Brian Simmon claims to have been taken up to heaven (while sleeping) and viewed a library room in heaven where God told him to take any two books he wants. He saw a book titled “John 22” but God wouldn’t let him take that book back to earth because “it would trigger awakening in all the nations of the earth. It would bring, it would make the name of Jesus famous in the world.” Brian Simmon’s claims, Jesus is going to bring him back one day to receive the content of that book fully and he will reveal it at a later date to the rest of us. This is an extremely alarming claim. The Word of God is complete and we are not to add anything to it.

“Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words or He will reprove and you will be proved a liar.” Proverbs 30:5-6 NASB.

I have included a couple of resources below that shed more light on TPT with more details than I can go into here.

This is a good opportunity to have a personal review of what you are currently reading and basing your Christianity on.

  • How much are you reading the Word compared to other books?
  • Are you getting your spirit feed from God’s inspired Word first?
  • Are you reading both old and new testaments and allowing God to speak through His whole Word and in context?
  • Do you check up on what you are being taught in church and research it for yourself?

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” Acts 17:11 NLT

I regularly pray that God will lead me in truth and if anything that I listen to or read that is not of His truth that he will reveal it to me and I am so thankful that God has done so in this instance.

Please do that with my writings as well – go to God and ask Him to lead you into truth and research out for yourself to check on any teachings that you read and listen to.

Keep leaning into Him!

Rachel Larkin

The Passion ‘Translation’ – TPT Description – NAR Endorsements

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