Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Pot-Pourri of Riplinger errors!

Hazardous Materials is so full of errors that I cannot hope to cover them all. I do not want to cumber a review with so much material, so I will present some in summary form, citing page references. Off we go!
1). P. 103. Readability is determined not only by the number of syllables in a word, but also by vocabulary. A book or essay with a large and unfamiliar vocabulary may use only short-syllable words, but it will be less easy to read than a work that has a smaller, more familiar vocabulary with longer words.

2). On Pp. 164-5 we have a picture of Philip Schaff with his hand inside his waistcoat (American 'vest'). Facing it are 11 pictures, two from Masonic handbooks. We are gravely told that these images prove that Schaff is making an occult hand signal. How they do so is beyond me, as the hands are in different postions in each image, and even which hand is making the alleged signal varies.
3). Her charts of ommissions usually lack chapter and verse references, making it all but impossible to check some of the references.
4). In the chart on P. 178 it is Riplinger herself who has omitted the reference to "In Jesus Christ" from Galatians 5.6 in the American Standard Version and "The name of the Son of God" from the ASV rendering of 1 John 5.13. The actual text of the ASV contains the words she insists are omitted. Now why has she done this?
5). On P.181 she states that new version contain "Identical corruptions" to the ASV in Acts 20.28. They do not. The NIV, ESV, NASB, NLT, NKJV, HCSB, and TNIV all read as does the AV here. Interestingly this is a place where the ASV departs from Westcott and Hort, for the ASV gives the reading "The Church of the Lord", while Westcott and Hort's Appendix to the Greek New Testament states: "Tou Theou is assuredly genuine." (P. 99). No major modern version follows the ASV reading.
6). Riplinger on P. 191 describes the fanatical Anabaptists of Munster as "These good Anabaptists", although they initiated a reign of anarchy and polygamy, and have been disowned by all good Baptists from that day to this.Not that I am saying Riplinger approves of Polygamy, but that here she has no idea what she is talking about. Her view of Church history is a naive 'Trail of Blood' position that still holds to the pre-19th century idea that the term 'Anabaptist' describes a single movement rather than a disparate group of movements that had little in common beyond the rejection of the Papacy and the rejection of infant baptism. The Anabaptists of Munster were bad Anabaptists, it was men like Menno Simons who were the good ones, and they rejected the excesses of the Munsterites.
7). Riplinger insists that the word 'Godhead' in the AV always refers to the Trinity (P. 336). If we take this position we are left with the startling (and heretical) proposition that the whole Trinity became incarnate in Jesus of Nazreth, for in Colossians 2.9 we read that "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." This verse is used by Oneness Pentecostals and other anti-Trinitarians to back up their position!
8). Archbishop Trench's badge of office as the Archbishop of Dublin, a medallion bearing the cros of St. Patrick, is described as a masonic medallion.
9). On. P.362 we read that "Schaff had worked with the Luciferian Theosophical Society in directing the Parliament of World Religions on 1893." In context, as the passage is refering to 1869, this should read "Shaff would work with..."
10). On P.394 Trench is described as "Archbishop of Ireland, Church of England." Of course this ought to read "Archbishop of Dublin, Church of Ireland."
11). She attacks the use of fermented wine (-gasp!-) at the Lord's Table (see P. 485 for example), ignorant of the fact that until the 19th century all denominations used wine at communion. She is horrified that anyone should dare to say that Jesus actually turned water into wine at the wedding at Cana. She desribes alcohol (P. 770) as "God-forbidden". Where in the Bible is alcohol consumption forbidden? Drunkenness is forbidden, but the two are not the same!
12). Oddly she claims that "Any man who was walking in the spirit [sic.]" can be described as "a being having divine attributes." (P. 495). Where in the Bible are Christians ever described as having divine attributes?
13). Wuest is dismissed as a Bible-attacker for saying "We do not claim inspiration for any translation." (P. 496)
14). On P. 527 there is an amusing misprint, where we read: "Milligan, William: Commentary on John Schaff's Popular Commentary. New York, 1883."
15). On p. 623 Riplinger evidences that she thinks the very Chapter and verse numbers in the AV are inspired. On p.625 she cites the fact that the Bible in Acts 13.33 refers to "The second Psalm" as evidence for this, despite the fact that the Psalms are independent compositions, while the chapters of Genesis, Isaiah, Matthew and Acts are not.
16). She constantly refers to Scrivener's method in producing his 'TR' as "Back-translation" (e.g. P. 637), a misleading term, as it implies that he took an AV and translated it into Greek, when in fact he merely chose readings from Greek manuscripts that corresponded with the readings in the AV. Riplinger herself agrees with a correspondent quoted on P. 670 that the AV translators "may not have followed an extant GREEK text or manuscript." at times.
17). On P. 700 she tells us that Berry's Interlinear "omits the Lord". I have no idea what she means by this, but the word 'Lord' is applied to God and Jesus in it.
18). On P. 712 she writes "Calvin promoted burning men at the stake." This is total nonsense. I have spent many months studying the life of Calvin, and every reputable biography of Calvin states that he opposed burning Servetus at the stake. See my upcoming article on Calvin in Peace and Truth for more details.
19). On P. 731 she tells us that the "Greek Bogamiles [sic.] [and] Paulicians" were real Christians. The fact that she persistantly mis-spells Bogomils shows her source is a extremely outdated work in the 'Trail of Blood' tradition (from 1922 actually). This tradition of a Baptist succession is, like the Roman view of 'Apostolic Succession', "a fable which no man can prove" (John Wesley). In fact the Bogomils and Paulicians were Gnostic and Dualistic heretics. Without any evidence at all she tells us on P. 759 that "The Greek Bogamiles, Paulicians and others had the true Greek text which included the pure readings."
20). Riplinger condemns all views of the Lord's Supper other than her own bare memorialism as heresy on Pp. 770-771. While I do not hold to a local presence of Christ in the bread and wine, like Mr. Spurgeon I hold that Christ is really and Spiritually present among us at the Table.
21). On P. 775 she states that Mary was "the mother of the human body which Christ took on," a statement that lays her open to the charge of Appolinarianism (the heresy that Christ had only a human body and no human soul).
22). She accuses the Greek Orthodox Church of being 'Nicolaitans' (P. 740), committing a textbook example of the etymological fallacy. While it is true that 'Nicolaitans' etymologically means 'conquerors of the laity', in fact it is derived from the name 'Nicholas' and means 'the party of Nicholas.' What heresy Nicholas taught is a matter of debate.
23) On P. 843 she tells us that "As the 'Master,' Vaughan became the 'Dean' or 'Bishop' of the Temple Church." Of course he did nothing of the sort. He was dean of Llandaff Cathedral in Wales (which is why he is commonly called 'Dean Vaughan'), but the title 'Master of the Temple' refers to the man who is the minister of the Temple Church. 'Dean' and 'Bishop' are entirely separate ecclesiastical titles.
24). She goes on (P. 843) "The title 'Master of the Temple' is 'originally the official title of the Grand Master of the Templars.'" Of course the official title of the Grand Master of the Templars was 'Grand Master'.
25) She refers to the Knights Templar in the present tense when the order was dissolved in 1307, stating (p. 483) that the Temple Church in London "is used for their initiation ceremonies." On P. 850 we have a thoroughly fanciful interpretation of a Medieval funerary effigy. The whole Templar section is an essay in the absurd.
26). On P. 851 she refers to Westminster Abbey as a "cathedral", it is not. A cathedral is so-called because it contains the cathedra or seat of a Bishop, which Westminster Abbey does not. A good clue as to whether or not a large Church is a cathedral is its name. For example, Llandaff Cathedral is a Cathedral, Wrexham Church, is not. Beverly Minster is not.
27). On P. 882 her 'expert witness' states Westminster Abbey is one of two Royal Peculiar Institutions in England". It is in fact one of no fewer than nine, the others being All Saints' Chapel, Windsor, St. George's Chapel, Windsor, the Chapel Royal, St. James' Palace, the Quenn's Chapel, St. James' Palace, the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, the Queen's Chapel at the Savoy, and the Chapels of St. John and St. Peter-ad-vincular in the Tower of London.
28). The plot in which C. A. Briggs joined with Roman Catholics is persistently described (Pp. 939-948) as a "Catholic Plot." In fact it is best described as a "Modernist plot", in which Roman Catholic and Protestant modernists joined forces in a combined attack on both Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches.
29). In the section on "The Occult and Catholic Origin of Greek & Hebrew Focus" (Pp. 1064-2), she persistently confuses Roman Catholics and true Christians. In one citation on P. 1071 she adds the explanatory note "true Christians" when the people described can only be pre-Reformation Roman Catholics! This is not to say that she is a closet Romanist, but that she is possessed of a colossal ignorance of true history.
30). While constantly lambasting others for quoting 'dodgy' sources, she herself will quote those same sources to back up her position! And indeed sources of a far greater dodginess, as witness the Templar section. Were we to use her standard to judge her, we would have to conclude that she is a closet Romanist and New Ager, a conclusion that is self-evidently absurd.
Well, that's a lot of errors, and the list is by no means complete! More to come.


The Puritan said...

Highland Host, you obviously can't see it, but these criticisms do more to exonerate Riplinger than to do what your post desires. I mean, does the word 'niggle' mean anything to you? [To be preoccupied with trifles or petty details.]

Also, the book has a core thesis, I notice you didn't touch it. This is common for criticisms of Riplinger.


No, Riplinger is not a Calvinist.

No, her book is not a systematic theology.

Yes, you claim to know more about Knights Templar than she does (it is apparently a special subject in your library, and that you continue to harp on her mistakes there gives away that you can't find much else to harp on).

Yes, typos occur in most large books with many footnotes.

Yes, mis-statements are often overlooked in the proof-reading process regarding first editions.

Yes, Riplinger thinks there were true Christians prior to the Reformation (you don't?).

Etc., etc., etc...

Then much of what you include as 'error' are matters of opinion. For instance, John Owen himself would disagree with you on groups Roman Catholics labeled 'gnostic.' And Trail of Blood is a subject of mocking by Reformed Christians (especially modern, critical text types), but many Calvinists do indeed see a trail of blood in following the trail of the pure and whole - received - Word of God from apostolic times to our times.

Just one more:

You write:

7). Riplinger insists that the word 'Godhead' in the AV always refers to the Trinity (P. 336). If we take this position we are left with the startling (and heretical) proposition that the whole Trinity became incarnate in Jesus of Nazreth, for in Colossians 2.9 we read that "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."

My goodness, this is uncharitable by any standards, not just the usual standards used by critical text defenders against Gail Riplinger. In the Trinity the essence is one. The New Testament is telling us that Jesus is God. This is not Riplinger saying the Father and the Holy Spirit "incarnated" along with Jesus. This is extremely disappointing. You can do better (I hope).

Highland Host said...

I said this is not the review. I have already addressed her positive thesis (IVOr). And sometimes the mistakes a person makes are revealing. Obviously the typo points are not, they exist in most books. And you, my friend, brought up nothing of substance in the video I posted from AOMIN, instead concentrated on a trifle. I suggest the dweller in the house of glass should desist from the bunging of rocks.

Of course she's not a Calvinist. She condemns Calvinism as one of the worst of heresies.

I have three books on the Knights Templar. My complaint is that Riplinger has only read wild-eyed conspiracy theorists on the subject, the same people who make money by telling lies about Our Lord. That gets to me.Why should we give any credence at all to Leigh and Baigent when they twist the truth so egregiously?

You still haven't read the book, otherwise you'd know it has nearly no footnotes at all.

Claiming a Bible version omitswords that it contains in certain verses is dishonest.

I too believe there were true Christians before the Reformation, but to claim that people who are known by their own writings to have been Gnostic dualists were true Christians is incorrect, and the result of following outdated sources. We can agree that the Waldensians were true Christians before the Reformation, and that there were true Christians within the Western Catholic Church (men such as Wycliffe and Hus, for example, as well as the many who received their teachings gladly). The real point here is that Riplinger's view of history is badly distorted, and her research poor.

The Puritan said...

Ah, in your ignorance and naivete you would say the same of John Owen's Biblical Theology.

Highland Host said...

Say what, pal? That John Owen did not have access to the same sources we have today that prove that these groups were heretical? John Owen lived in the 17th century, Riplinger lives in the present. Thus I expect Riplinger to know what I do not expect John Owen knew.

The fact of the matter is that historical scholarship has moved on since the 17th century. Apparently in your "ignorance and naivety", you are unaware of the fact.

The Puritan said...

You need to read Owen's Biblical Theology. He also puts modern day notions regarding the 'septuagint' in their place, with great sarcastic flare.

As for the heretics the good Roman Catholic church decimated (whole populations) what you know of them you get from Romanist histories and Romanist apologists.

Did you know Cathar is the same term as Puritan? That's right, commit genocide against them then say they performed sexual rituals with animals. You can have your 'modern' 'better' 'more scholarly' sources.

Hiraeth said...

Puritan, have you actually read anything of the Cathars? The Cathars were dualist in their theology, holding views similar to their contemporaries, the Bogomils. Indeed, there is evidence of converse between Cathars and Bogomils. Read Runiciman's 'The Medieval Manichee', and the standard works on the Albigensian Crusades.

That Owen saw the persecution of the Cathars by the papacy, was moved with sympathy for them and came to see them as 'just like him', is undoubted, and has been done through the ages. It is only natural. However, we now have the ability to read the Cathars' theology in their own words, something which Owen could not do.

Owen read the bosh the Church of Rome accused the Cathars of, and saw that it was bosh. Broadly the same stuff that the Knights Templar were accused of doing, by the way, up to and including the thing with the cat. That was all pretty standard medieval heresy-talk. Similar stuff was said about the Muslims, which does rather make one wonder.

Yes, there were true Christians prior to the Reformation, and they were persecuted by Rome. There were also heretics who held dotrines as abominable as the errors of Rome, and who also got persecuted by Rome. To put it in modern terms, not every person locked up by the Nazis was a political prisoner. There were plenty of robbers and other real criminals the Nazis locked up, but one can't blame the descendant of Jews who were locked up by the Nazis for assuming that someone locked up by the Nazis was a political prisoner.