In 1994 I had been asked by many to critique a book entitled New Age Bible Versions (published in 1993). The author was listed as "G.A. Riplinger." We soon learned that this a woman named Gail. As I read the book and attempted to examine the documents she cited, I found that she frequently misused and twisted quotations by others. I wrote a review of the book and sent it first to Mrs. Riplinger. My cover letter was dated June 12, 1994. It consisted of one paragraph, as follows:
"Christian greetings in the lovely name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. D.A. Waite in New Jersey suggested that I write to you about some problems I have found in your book New Age Bible Versions. Sometime back he asked me what I thought of the book and I told him that I had found some problems, but that I had only read a few pages. I started the book last year, but put it aside in December in order to give my full attention to completing our Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity. Now that this project
is complete, I have again picked up your book. I am finding lots of problems and errors, though, and I would like to know what you think of the enclosed. The Lord's blessing and grace be with you" (Letter from D.W. Cloud to Gail Riplinger, June 12,1994).
She has never replied to my correspondence, and I did not make another attempt to contact her. I printed the review in O Timothy, Volume 11, Issue 8, 1994, which was mailed out at the end of August of that year. I summarized my conclusion in regard to her book as follows:
"Let me say very plainly at the outset of this article, I do not believe New Age Bible Versions is a dangerous book; I believe it is an undependable book. I agree with Mrs. Riplinger that the multiplicity of modern versions has caused great spiritual damage. At the same time, I have decided I must warn our readers of the many errors we have found in New Age Bible Versions. ... Some might be thinking, 'Why are you defending the modern versions? Aren't they corrupt?' Yes, the modern versions are corrupt, and I
am not defending them. I am against error, though, regardless of where it appears. We do not have the right to make false statements even about the devil himself. When our speaking and writing is filled with error of fact and is characterized by shoddy research and indefensible extremism, we discredit our entire position. I am not saying there is no good in New Age Bible Versions. The book contains many helpful insights and it documents the frightful corruption of the modern versions, but it also is filled with illogical and improper statements which have the effect of discrediting everything the author says that is true. There is no reason, friends, to promote a book like this when there are so many dependable volumes which defend the preserved Word of God and expose the error of the modern versions. We would recommend the following: Defending the King James Bible by D.A. Waite and Forever Settled by Jack Moorman. For a smaller overview we recommend Jack Moorman's Modern Bibles: The Dark Secret. [These are available from Bible for Today, 900 Park Ave., Collingswood, NJ 08108.]" (D.W. Cloud, New Age Bible Versions: A Critique, O Timothy, Volume 11, Issue 8, 1994).
Many have been confused by these various articles. I have claimed that Mrs. Riplinger is careless and her writings undependable. She claims that I am careless and undependable--among many other things!
For those who find themselves confused by all of this, let me say that you will not the truth of these matters unless you are willing to look into it for yourself. Read her for yourself. Read me for yourself. If you read my books and articles and find that I question the Authorized Version, that I doubt it in any sense whatsoever, then she is right in grouping me with other Bible deniers. If, on the other hand, you find that I have not doubted the AV, she is proven to be a slanderer and a liar. I have written a brief reply to her slanderous article on me, and it can be viewed at the Fundamental Baptist News Service web site-- http://home.navisoft.com/biblebeliever/FBNS1.html
HERE I WILL LIST A FEW OF THE SLANDERS SHE STATED IN HER ARTICLE ABOUT ME.
SLANDER #1--"Cloud confessed in a personal letter to me (Letter dated June 12, 1994, p. 6) that in India he had used, 'a Westcott-Hort Bible; it was a modern version; yet God used the truth in that Bible...' ... He boasted to me that his 'Wescott-Hort Bible' was used 'to build a solid, self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating New Testament Church.' She then says, "Yet in his earlier days he said 'this very Bible has been one of the root causes for the great weakness and confusion which exists among many Nepali churches to this hour' (Cloud, Is the English Language Provincial?, p. 22). Was the church it built 'solid' or weak? The terms are contradictory and mutually exclusive" (Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 22).
This is an incredible bunch of half-truths which are twisted entirely out of shape and made to appear to mean something other than what the author intended. Gail Riplinger has never seen fit to reply to my first letter so I have not persisted in trying to communicate directly with her. I have never said anything directly to Mrs. Riplinger about the Bible we used in Nepal. Possibly she is quoting from the first unpublished edition of my critique of her book which I sent to her, but she writes as if that were a part of my personal letter to her and that I was actually boasting something to her. She says I boasted about using a Westcott-Hort Bible 'in India," but my church-planing work was not in India; it was in Nepal. She claims there is a contradiction in my statements about the church we started in Nepal and the Nepali Bible, whereas there is no contradiction whatsoever. In one statement I was addressing the church, singular, that we started. In the other statement I was addressing the churches, plural, in general in Nepal. The church we started was solid, but that, in my opinion, was because of the teaching we gave that church and it was IN SPITE of the weakness of the existing standard Nepali Bible, not BECAUSE of it. On the other hand, the churches in general in Nepal are weak, and I do believe that one of the key reasons for this is the condition of the Nepali Bible. That was what I was stating in the book Gail cites. Mrs. Riplinger treats me like she treats others. She takes things out of context and puts things together from various sources which should not be put together. By so abusing my words, she does not make a liar out of me; she makes a liar out of herself.
I paid a heavy price in Asia for my stand for the Authorized Version and the Received Text, and I stood practically alone in my zeal to see a pure Bible in that language, and for this woman now to claim that I have boasted of starting a strong church through a Westcott-Hort Bible is a great wickedness which I believe she will answer for at the judgment seat of Christ. The standard Nepali Bible is based largely on the English Revised Version. We did use it to establish a church. There was nothing else to use. We had great battles with the Bible Society in Nepal and the one in India and they tried to destroy my ministry. They actually brought about an ecclesiastical trial and brought 11 or 12 charges against me. They demanded that we stop our work and leave the country. We did not leave until many years later, but that was their demand. They told many lies about me in an effort to discredit our ministry. The charges had to do largely with causing division in the "body of Christ in Nepal," but the thing that brought all of that to a head was our public opposition to the Bible Societies' work in South Asia and against their corrupt translations. In our own church planting work we corrected the standard Nepali Bible and educated the people about Bible texts and translations in general to prepare them for a proper translation. We stood alone in this endeavor to educate the Nepali people properly about Bible texts and versions. We labored all along to produce a Nepali Bible based on the KJV. Our Nepali KJV New Testament was completed some years ago and is being reprinted for the third time. The Old Testament is in progress, but very slowly.
SLANDER #2--"Cloud would replace the Holy Bible with a Holey Bible, with 1000's of spiritual loopholes through which to fall" (Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 31).
Every person who has written to me after reading Mrs. Riplinger's slanders has gotten the idea that I am a Bible corrector, that I somehow secretly support the new versions, that I do not have a solid faith in the English Authorized Version and in its underlying text. This is because of Mrs. Riplinger's lies about me which have darkened the minds of many people. She has lumped me in with men who support the modern versions. My attempt to correct some of Mrs. Riplinger's statements about modern versions was not an underhanded way of supporting those versions. If Mrs. Riplinger says something about the NIV that is not correct, and I attempt to correct that statement, I am not thereby raising a flag for the NIV. Mrs. Riplinger implied that the editor of the NIV denies the deity of Christ. I stated simply that the man does not deny the deity of Christ and that it is wrong to imply that he does. Mrs. Riplinger has made the incredible leap of reason whereby I am now allegedly defending the man and his work. Anyone who has actually read my writings will know how ridiculous this is. I have never defended New Evangelicals or their Bibles. I have stated that New Evangelicalism is apostasy. At the same time, I don't believe it is correct to put words in the mouths of men which they have not actually stated. I support absolutely none of the modern English versions. I don't support the RV or the RSV or the NASV or the NEB or the NIV or the LB or the TEV. I believe they are all perversions of the Word of God. I also do not support the NKJV or the 21st Century KJV or the King James Bible II. My stand for the Authorized Version as my final authority is evident in my writings on this subject. One man asked if I support any changes in the KJV and if I believe "easter" in Acts 12:4 is accurate. I replied, "I do not believe any changes need to be made in the KJV nor do I believe any changes should be made in the KJV. The word 'easter' in Acts 12:4 is an accurate translation which can be traced back to Tyndale." In my critique of New Age Bible Versions I recommended two works on Bible versions: Defending the King James Bible by D.A. Waite and Forever Settled by Jack Moorman. Both of these works present the King James Bible as the preserved Word of God. Mrs. Riplinger has slandered me by implying that I support the new versions and that I question the AV.
SLANDER #3--"If Cloud is going to present himself as a scholar or an expert on bible translation, he needs to visit a garage sale and 1) buy a Webster's Dictionary 2) get a collection of various bible translations. He is an embarrassment to his followers" (Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 26).
I do not present myself as a scholar or as an expert on Bible translation. Mrs. Riplinger should read my writings. But I do have the equipment to do proper research into this topic. I have dozens of dictionaries, including several Webster's from 1828 to present. I have an extensive collection of Bible translations. Some knowledgeable men have said that I have one of the best private collections of material on Bible texts and versions in the country. I have spent thousands of dollars on this endeavor. I have spent $350 on one book. Mrs. Riplinger will probably use this statement as "evidence" of my boasting, but the Lord knows I am not boasting; I am stating a simple fact. My goal in building this library has been to obtain ready access to the relevant material so I can make an informed opinion on various aspects of this important subject SO I CAN DEFEND THE PRESERVED WORD OF GOD, THE AUTHORIZED VERSION AND ITS UNDERLYING TEXT.
SLANDER #4--"Cloud's superficial analysis and understanding is characteristic of those who spend little time analyzing 'every word of God'" (Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 27).
This is a gross lie. For 23 years my chief aim has been to analyze every word of God. Those who know me will testify of this. I have spent hours a day in this blessed endeavor. My Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity is one of the fruits of my pursuit of the meaning of the words of God. I had one chief aim in publishing such a Bible study tool, and that was to help God's people better understand and love the very words of God. That Encyclopedia is based strictly upon the words of the Authorized Version and absolutely no shadow of doubt is cast upon any word in the AV. It is my position that those are the very words of God. I dedicated the Encyclopedia with these words: "DEDICATED TO Dr. Bruce Lackey (1934-1988), who, as a Pastor and as the Dean of Tennessee Temple Bible School, helped a generation of preachers to understand and love the Word of God. No man helped me more in this most crucial area of life. Though he read his beloved Greek New Testament [Received Text] every day, he never caused his students or his congregation to question the God-honored English Bible. He was a Bible teacher, not a Bible critic." This dedication expresses the heart of a man Mrs. Riplinger labels a "blind guide." The Bible says woe unto them who call good evil and evil good, Mrs. Riplinger.
SLANDER #5--"Today's blind leaders like Cloud, have a new beam in their eye--the hypnotic beam of light from their TV or computer screen. Cloud's cohorts confess they cannot wean him from his screen long enough to read The Life & Letters of B.F. Westcott" (Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 26).
This is a lie. I have an original printing of Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott by his son Arthur, and I have read the two volumes of this work. I don't know who Gail is referring to as "Cloud's cohorts" but they obviously are misrepresenting themselves and don't really know me. I spend a lot of time at my computer with my writing and research and typesetting, but I spend a lot of time away from it, as well. I read several books a month (oftentimes, several books a week), plus 50 to 100 magazines, and the equivalent, frequently, of five daily newspapers;. In the last month I went through roughly 30 books on church history. I am a family man with four teenage children. I am a fisherman. I am an arborist. I am a gardener. I am a baseball fan. I am an aficionado of western literature and of good music. I enjoy shooting my guns. None of those pursuits are accomplished before a computer screen. It's not that I spend a lot of time with any of these things, but these are the facts. I feel like a fool for defending myself like this, but I don't know what else to do in the face of these false public accusations.
SLANDER #6--"...Cloud's lack of familiarity with the day-to-day teachings of a Catholic parish and his shallowness of research in that area ..." (Riplinger, Blind Guides, p. 25).
This is a lie. I have an extensive knowledge of Catholicism and a very excellent library on this subject, with roughly 100 works which were published in centuries prior to this present one, and hundreds more from this century (which in turn contain firsthand material from previous centuries). I have done diligent research into the history of Romanism, as well as into its present status. I have visited Catholic parishes in many parts of the world, attended mass in half a dozen countries, visited famous Catholic shrines, interviewed priests and nuns, studied the relevant Catholic documents, such as Trent, Vatican I, Vatican II, and the New Catholic Catechism. My knowledge of this subject is respected and used by men who are former Catholic priests and who have ministries to Roman Catholics.
SLANDER #7--"Yet the dust Cloud raises, as he stomps his feet, blinds him as he misreads the chart's title. ... a yearling like Cloud who is still trying to figure out how to get the milk out of the bowl. ... Clouds have always been a deterrent to astronomers and those hoping to catch a glimpse of the heavenly city. ... Cloud's five 'I' statements, about his accomplishments, are reminiscent of Lucifer (Is. 14). ... Clouds constantly change their shape depending on how much 'heat' comes their way. Pilots know that Clouds are dense and full of hot air; consequently, they detour around them when they can. I'd recommend the same course" (Riplinger, Blind Guides, pp. 27,30,32,34).
Gail's article about me is filled with this type of silly, childish miscaricature. It is so nonsensical that I cannot take her seriously. The only reason I have responded to her article at all is to give an answer to those who have written to me about it.
If any person wants to know what David Cloud believes about the Bible or anything else, let that person make the effort to read him carefully for himself. Don't depend on Mrs. Riplinger.
Sharing Policy: Much of our material is available for free, such as the hundreds of articles at the Way of Life web site. Other items we sell to help fund our expensive literature and foreign church planting ministries. Way of Life's content falls into two categories: sharable and non-sharable. Things that we encourage you to share include the audio sermons, O Timothy magazine, FBIS articles, and the free eVideos and free eBooks. You are welcome to make copies of these at your own expense and share them with friends and family, but they cannot be posted to web sites. You are also welcome to use excerpts from the articles in your writings, in sermons, in church bulletins, etc. All we ask is that you give proper credit. Things we do not want copied and distributed freely are items like the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, print editions of our books, electronic editions of the books that we sell, the videos that we sell, etc. The items have taken years to produce at enormous expense in time and money, and we use the income from sales to help fund the ministry. We trust that your Christian honesty will preserve the integrity of this policy. "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward" (1 Timothy 5:18).
Goal:Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc., the Fundamental Baptist Information Service is an e-mail posting for Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. Our primary goal with the FBIS is to provide material to assist preachers in the edification and protection of the churches.
Offering: We take up a quarterly offering to fund this ministry, and those who use the materials are expected to participate (Galatians 6:6) if they can. We do not solicit funds from those who do not agree with our preaching and who are not helped by these publications. We seek offerings only from those who are helped. OFFERINGS can be mailed or made online with with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Paypal. For information see: www.wayoflife.org/about/makeanoffering.html.