By Rick Becker 13 January 2020
If you believe Beni Johnson, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to you. During the past few years, many pastors and scholars have exposed the glaring flaws of The Passion Translation. There is literally no excuse for any believer to use or condone this “translation” that originated in the imagination of one man’s mind -and probably with a little help from deceiving spirits. It comes as no surprise that Bethel use this New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) “bible” and make a profit from selling it in their store. There’s only one good thing about The Passion Translation (TPT) – it’s a means of identifying a certain group. The book of Mormon and The New World Translation for example, help us identify Latter Day Saints/Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Passion Translation helps us identify those involved in what is arguably one of the world’s largest growing cults – the New Apostolic Reformation.
At the outset, a word of caution – if your church or pastor use The Passion Translation you should be concerned! Concerned enough to warn them, and if your warnings go unheeded it’s time to leave.
Before we get to Beni Johnson’s comment on TPT, some brief observations on Simmons and his cash cow. TPT is one of the gateways into the heretical New Apostolic Reformation. It’s the written equivalent of Bethel music – both serve as NAR Trojan horses to infiltrate the visible church. At the end of this article you’ll find links to various videos and articles on Simmons and TPT. The information will prove beyond doubt, that TPT and Brian Simmons should be marked and avoided.
Mormons have the book of Mormon, the NAR have their own NAR “bible” – The Passion Translation. You’ll find that there are a few similarities between Brian Simmons and Joseph Smith – the founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement:
• Both claim Jesus appeared to them.
• Both claim angels appeared to them.
• Both independently produced their translations.
It is claimed that while Joseph was praying a brilliant pillar of light fell upon him. In it he saw God and Jesus. God spoke and said, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Smith claimed that during prayer light filled his room and an angel named Moroni appeared. Moroni told Smith about ancient golden plates written by ancient prophets, and that Smith would translate these plates.
Brian Simmons: “The Spirit of the Lord came upon me, I told you I had a visitation from the one I love. He walked through the wall and breathed on me and released me to do this translation project”
Brian Simmons: “Well, years ago, I saw an angel in our church meeting and the Lord spoke to me, not audibly but internally and said that angel is with your ministry, it’s the angel of passion.”
This leads us to the similarities between Mormonism and the NAR:
• Both cults have their own scripture
• Both cults rely on new revelations
• Both cults trust in their living prophets.
The following words were penned by L. Lionel Kendrick under the title Personal Revelation: “I would like to focus on some of the sacred principles that apply to receiving personal revelation. I will rely heavily on the scriptures and the words of the prophets, seers, and revelators...Personal revelation is one of the greatest gifts and blessings we can receive. Preparation – Receiving personal revelation is not a passive process. As we seek such revelations, we must prepare for these sacred experiences. President Spencer W. Kimball told us that “God reveals himself to [people] who are prepared for such manifestations.”
That could have been written by an NAR “apostle” or “prophet,” but Kendrick is an elder in the Mormon church.
Now compare the Mormon’s faith in their prophets, to Beni Johnson’s faith in NAR prophets.
From the official Mormon webpage under the heading Prophets:
“We can always trust the living prophets. Their teachings reflect the will of the Lord, who declared: “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same...Our greatest safety lies in strictly following the word of the Lord given through His prophets, particularly the current President of the Church. The Lord warns that those who ignore the words of the living prophets will fall.”
Beni Johnson’s plea to believe in NAR prophets:
Interestingly, it seems as if Johnson is at odds with Kris Vallotton who has already apologized for his US election prophetic word. That is the context here, Johnson is encouraging her followers to still believe in the NAR prophets who predicted a second term for President Trump. Essentially what Johnson is saying is exactly what Mormonism teaches – trust in your living prophets! Johnson is of course comparing the authority, inspiration, and accuracy of the real prophets in scripture, to the pompous and currently humiliated prophets for profit in the NAR.
Like most cults, the mind, or reason, is viewed as an obstacle in the NAR.
An advert on the Sid Roth show for TPT is revealing: “You will get to know God on a deeper and more intimate level. The very words in this translation will go right past the defenses in your mind and right into your spirit. The word of God will become so alive in you, and you will have a supernatural encounter with the glory and presence of God.”
This brief description is an indication of why TPT and the NAR are popular – the usual promise of a supernatural encounter and greater intimacy with God.
The statement of faith (SOF) regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit on TPT website actually contradicts the methodology of the NAR, and even Simmons who releases impartations in his various meetings. TPT website statement of faith: “It is the Holy Spirit who determines their distribution, activation, and operation in the body of Christ as he chooses for each believer.”
But one of Bethel’s core values is that “The Holy Spirit gives every believer the supernatural power to witness and release miracles, signs, and wonders.”
Questions arise – why do “supernatural schools of ministry” exist? Why do Bethel students emulate Simon the sorcerer by thinking that money can by gifts or power? Why do NAR followers claim the anointings of deceased charlatans and receive impartations of gifts from celebrity “prophets” or “apostles”? Why does just about every NAR course or meeting include “activations”?
These questions fail to penetrate people who have deactivated the God given defenses of their minds. And if by some chance they decide to search the scriptures to see if these things are so, they would turn to TPT and be mesmerized by the flowery, romantic, and NAR terminology Simmons has inserted.
The TPT SOF continues: “These continued grace-gifts include such abilities as revelation-knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment..”
Discernment…prophecy? That’s a joke surely? The NAR exists because there is no discernment in the movement. The main reason for this is that the majority of the leaders and followers need regeneration, not some form activated discernment or realignment to what the scriptures actually teach. If anything, 2020 has revealed that the whole NAR “prophetic” is a sham. Their prophets are scrambling at the moment, desperate to regain a semblance of credibility that never existed.
Sound Exegesis Supernatural downloads.
Simmons claims to have received “downloads” from God in order to hear him better and understand the scriptures better. Simmons says (16 minute mark) that when Jesus Christ came into his room and commissioned him to translate the bible, he promised to give him “secrets of the Hebrew language.” This is when Simmons claim to have received a kind of “chip” put inside of him and he had some kind of “connection” and received instant “downloads.” In a different clip (same video) Simmons says: “He promised he would give me new understanding and new fresh revelation from his word. And immediately he gave me a download, immediately I began to receive a supernatural download of insight and revelation that has continued until this day.”
So it’s a case of “trust me because I’ve received downloads” – instead of “examine my credibility as a translator and compare my one-man translation to other translations.” It’s a case of “don’t interview my fellow scholars or my professors in biblical languages regarding my translation (I have none) because Jesus walked into my room, commissioned me not you, and has given me an angel called passion to help me with my ministry.”
What’s a “download” you may ask? It’s one of the NAR buzzwords.
NAR buzzwords or terminology is another means by which we can identify those caught up in the NAR.
Simmons has added to scripture by including sentences that don’t exist in the original. He has also relied heavily on the later Aramaic manuscripts for his “translation” and the reason is clear. From TPT website: “Aramaic and Hebrew are related linguistically and both are considered to be emotional and poetic. Greek speaks to the mind while Aramaic and Hebrew speak powerfully to the heart.”
Simmons uses popular NAR terminology at will. Some of the NAR buzzwords are found in scripture, but if you know NAR doctrines you’ll realize that the meaning and application of these words are far removed from what scripture actually teaches. In his review of TPT translation of Psalms, Andrew G Shead writes: “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.”
That’s a gentle assessment, I would include demonic whispers as an additional source for Simmons’ “translation.” If Simmons has not had any “encounters” with an angel of light, and we can’t blame deceiving spirits or demonic manifestations, he’s simply a plain liar.
Bizarre quotes from Simmons.
“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.”
“As Christ comes forth and emerges on the earth in a corporate expression, there will be a people who become the feet. The beautiful feet. … They will be untouched by sin, darkness, even death.”
“Don’t look now, but I found the antichrist. Deal with it. Get him out. Stop being in love with your tradition, opinion and understanding of the Bible that’s so shallow, and so, like, feeble, and we barely make it in our lives because we don’t have that rich treasure yet.”
“Many see judgment. Many see clouds of doom. I see clouds of glory. The horizon filled with darkness is not a storm of judgment, it is the coming glory cloud that has yet to be perceived as it really is.”
Comparison between The Passion Translation and the King James Version.
This will give you an idea of the difference between the two. It’s clear that Simmons inserts his ideas and words into the text.
TPT: “So Jesus taught them this prayer: “Our heavenly Father, may the glory of your name be the center on which our life turns. May your Holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us. Manifest your kingdom on earth. And give us our needed bread for the coming day. Forgive our sins as we ourselves release forgiveness to those who have wronged us. And rescue us every time we face tribulations.”
KJV: “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.’
2 Timothy 4:2-5
TPT: “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—with wisdom and patience as you instruct and teach the people. For the time is coming when they will no longer listen and respond to the healing words of truth because they will become selfish and proud. They will seek out teachers with soothing words that line up with their desires, saying just what they want to hear. They will close their ears to the truth and believe nothing but fables and myths. So be alert to all these things and overcome every form of evil. Carry in your heart the passion of your calling as a church planter and evangelist, and fulfill your ministry calling.”
KJV: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
(Simmons leaves out certain words, words that are painful in NAR circles – reprove, rebuke, sound doctrine, afflictions.)
2 Timothy 3:1
TPT: “But you need to be aware that in the final days the culture of society will become extremely fierce and difficult for the people of God.”
KJV: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”
TPT: “In the very beginning the Living Expression was already there. And the Living Expression was with God, yet fully God.”
KJV: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
TPT: “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!”
KJV: “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
Outlandish lies – Simmons visits heaven’s library.
Like leaders of various false religions and cults, Brian Simmons wants you to trust him because he had an encounter with God. And like every other deceiver of note, Simmons will assure you that he has secrets to unveil. Apparently God thought it wise to keep certain things hidden for 2000 years, and only reveal them through Brian Simmons and his Passion Translation. I’m not a prophet, but should Simmons run out of all the money he’s made through shameful gain by selling TPT, he has an ace up his sleeve – John chapter 22. John ends at chapter 21, but on a trip to heaven (mandatory for false teachers it seems) Simmons saw a book titled John 22 in heavens library – the original manuscripts had no chapters and were added by translators. God must have thought this was a good idea and added the chapter number to the scriptures he’s selfishly withholding from his church. Simmons, the first man to have a wicked thought in heaven (stealing) has apparently been granted the privilege by Jesus of a return trip to heaven to collect the missing chapter. At this point, we would finally be able to say the word of God is complete, sufficient. That is if Simmons decides to share the missing chapter.
Surely the information thus far should cause any believer to say “Whoooaaaa!!!!! This man is a heretic, how can people believe this nonsense?” Well the sad part is they do, and they teach from the pages of this perversion of scripture.
Beni Johnson and Dr Michael Brown seem to think the fact that they know the author of TPT means it’s a good translation. How does a friendship with a heretic test the credibility of a translation? Surely we should test any new translation by applying certain tests? In this article, Holly Pivec lists four characteristics of a trustworthy translation:
A trustworthy translation is produced by a team of translators.
A trustworthy translation is produced by reputable scholars.
A trustworthy translation is produced from early manuscripts.
A trustworthy translation is transparent.
Simmons and his Passion perversion fail dismally on every count!
But I guess some give him a free pass because they know him, and besides – who can beat the tall story of a trip to heaven and supernatural downloads that contain secrets every bible scholar and biblical language expert ever born has missed out on.
At this point it should be obvious that Beni Johnson is wrong – TPT is NOT a better translation than the King James Version.
Here’s the clip where Beni Johnsons says TPT is “actually a better translation than the King James,” (she also quotes Jenn Johnson’s Instagram post “…if you don’t read your bible you get weird.”)
Jenn Johnson is Beni’s daughter-in-law and a senior worship pastor at Bethel church Redding. Below is the quote Beni was referring to:
This is the same Jenn Johnson that said: “I thought of those angels circling that throne and I thought, I bet they text each other, I bet they have farting contests,”
The same Jenn Johnson that said: “God to me, Jesus to me, and the Holy Spirit to me is like the genie from Aladdin,…he’s funny, he’s sneaky, he’s silly”
Bill Johnson promoting the new 2020 Bethel edition of TPT:
Bill Johnson – ” one of the great new experiences of my life in recent years has been reading TPT…I hardly ever go a day without reading TPT….Get The Passion Translation, read through it, study over it, pray over it and just see what God will open up for you what is brand new. Because his word brings life and it’s time you and I live to the fullest and The Passion Translation will help you do just that.”
Johnson is correct in that TPT will “open up for you what is brand new” – new heresies, new methodologies, and new experiences from the angel of light.
TPT available through Bethel’s online store:
Bethel’s description: “This translation will evoke an overwhelming response in every reader, unfolding the deep mysteries of the Scriptures. If you are hungry for God, The Passion Translation will help you encounter his heart and know him more intimately. Fall in love with God all over again.
So every other translation has failed in the areas Bethel describe?
There is no excuse for any believer to read this perversion of scripture. If your pastor or church use TPT, please make use of the resources below so that you can be informed, and share your concerns about TPT with your leaders and friends.
Link to: The Word Like Fire – “So, you’re not mad I took away your Antichrist?” — The Passion Translation author.
Link to: The Word Like Fire – “The Passion Translation author: “We are the Reincarnation of Jesus Christ”
Link to: The Word Like Fire -The Passion Translation author’s heretical views about Christ’s return.
Link to: The Word Like Fire – Scholar of biblical Greek exposes The Passion Translation.
Link to: “Todd White endorses The Passion Translation.
Link to: Mike Winger – The Passion Project: Scholars Review The Passion Translation (5 videos)
Link to: Mike Winger – THIS is why you need to CHUCK The Passion Translation.
Link to: Mike Winger – Exposing the Agenda and Origins of “The Passion Translation.”
Link to: Mike Winger – My Concerns About The Passion Translation and Brian Simmons.
Link to: Messed Up Church – What’s Wrong with The Passion “Translation?” It’s the Messed Up Bible!
Link to: F4F – Is Brian Simmons Promoting the Mark of the Beast?
Link to: F4F – Brian Simmons Says Church is the Re-Incarnation of Jesus.
Link to: Church Watch Central – Dr Michael Brown recommends NAR Bible & endorses its author Brian Simmons.
Link to: Church Watch Central – Hillsong cult promote dangerous NAR Bible: The Passion Translation.
Link to: Alisa Childers – Things Christians Should Know About The Passion Translation.
Link to: Holly Pivec – A NAR Bible — The Passion Translation revisited (4 parts)
Link to: Holly Pivec – Apostle Brian Simmons and the ‘Secret Knowledge’ Tactic.
Link to: Holly Pivec – Apostle Brian Simmons’ Underhanded Ways.
Link to: Holly Pivec – A royal error: Brian Simmons’ knavish translation of Psalm 91.
Link to: Holly Pivec – Bill Johnson, IHOP, and the ‘Passion Translation.’
Link to: Holly Pivec – Reader Mail: The Passion Translation and Philippians 1:1-2.
Link to: Holly Pivec – Important facts about The Passion Translation.
Link to: Andrew G. Shead – Burning Scripture with Passion: A Review of The Psalms (The Passion Translation)