Bible Answer

How am I to view The Passion Translation?

In your article on different Bible translations, to which group would The Passion Translation belong?

In our review of The Passion Translation Bible, we found that it is not a valid translation of the Bible. Instead, our studies have determined that it is a poorly written paraphrase of the Bible. 

Dr. Brian Simmons is part of the New Apostolic Reformation movement which profess present-day apostles, prophets, miracles, and supports women teaching men from the pulpit and sitting on the elder-board. The Passion Translation Bible is intended to “be a balanced translation that tries to hold both the essence of Scripture’s literal meaning and original message in proper tension, resulting in an expansive, fresh, fiery translation of God’s Word.,” as found on their website under Translation Philosophy. This philosophy altogether devalues the inerrancy of God's Word. Furthermore, there is nothing in the Word of God that needs expounding or a fresh translation as God proclaimed Himself through His scriptures:

DUET. 4:2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.
REV. 22:18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;
REV. 22:19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. 

In writing this book Dr. Simmons has attempted to translate Greek and Hebrew into English and has completely altered or changed the original linguistics of many verses throughout the Bible. In doing so the words he has added are part of a hyper-charismatic movement that has plagued the churches today. As many honorable Bible platforms still support Simmons' process of translating the Bible, we must assume this to be on the basis of impressionistic and a reader-responsive translations. Thus, there is no possible way in which a reader of this translation could ever know whether a given portion of scripture is relative and comparable to the original text. Dr. Simmons is responsible for adding words and removing words, while the alteration of theological principles are changed in order to support his personal beliefs. For example: 


Adding text to original language:

The Passion Translation MARK 1:15 “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!”
NASB MARK 1:15 “and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
TPT LUKE 1:37 “Not one promise from God is empty of power, for nothing is impossible with God!”
NASB LUKE 1:37“For nothing will be impossible with God.”
TPT 1COR. 13:10 “but when love’s perfection arrives, the partial will fade away.”
NASB 1COR. 13:10 “but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.”


Misuse of original text in Hebrew/ Greek:

TPT MATT. 7:23 But I will have to say to them, ‘Go away from me, you lawless rebels! I’ve never been joined to you!
NASB MATT. 7:23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
TPT JOHN 1:14 And so the Living Expression became a man and lived among us!  And we gazed upon the splendor of his glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father overflowing
NASB JOHN 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
TPT ROM. 9:13 Jacob I have chosen, but Esau I have rejected
NASB ROM. 9:13 Just as it is written, ‘JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.’


New Apostolic Reformation theology being imposed on reader:

(Apostolic gift readily available today)
TPT ROM. 1:5 Through him a joy-producing grace cascaded into us, empowering us with the gift of apostleship, so that we can win people from every nation into a faithful commitment to Jesus, to bring honor to his name.
NASB ROM. 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake.
(Supports women pastors and elders)
TPT 1TIM. 2:12 I don’t advocate that the newly converted women be the teachers in the church, assuming authority over the men, but to live in peace. In grace,
NASB 1TIM. 2:12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
(Movement within this denomination that regularly says they have seen God)
TPT 1TIM. 6:16 He alone is the immortal God, living in the unapproachable light of divine glory! No one has ever seen his fullness, nor can they, for all the glory and endless authority of the universe belongs to him, forever and ever. Amen!
NASB 1TIM. 6:16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.

In addition to these imperative changes to the New Testament holy scriptures, Dr. Simmons has also rewritten Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Songs. In doing so he has eliminated the poetic techniques of parallelism and juxtaposition in the Hebrew writings of these books. When a writer abandons the proper flow of Hebrew poetry and replaces it with shiny, heartwarming poems we are left at the mercy of the translator’s impression of the theological story each book holds.

The word "passion" is undoubtedly an extreme human emotion; defined as any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate. The idea that things are more real, more true, more valuable, when we feel them strongly is a product of Romanticism of the Western culture. The practice of encouraging emotional linguistic may seem to make God more real to the reader, however, God's word never needs (or needed) a more emotional twist. The emotions of a believer do not grow stronger; instead, by the grace of God our emotions become redirected to align with God's will. This process of redirection also entails learning to manage emotions and not be ruled by them:

COL. 3:2 Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth.
TITUS 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and in a godly manner in the present age,
TITUS 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 

The Passion Translation produces emotions from the translator’s personal response to the text while using them to shape the reader's perception of the text. It is clear that Dr. Simmons does not trust in the power of scripture to move the hearts of its readers without a good deal of outside assistance.

Therefore, the VBVMI Team has concluded that The Passion Translation of the Bible is not a translation of the Bible at all.