The Claims of new Bibles
The Super Sack Philosophy

The following is from Samuel Gipps' work entitled An Understandable History of the Bible, 1987, Bible Believer's Press, P.O. Box 1249, Pottstown, PA. 19464

The Super Sack Philosophy

LET ME ALLEGORIZE FOR A MOMENT. The claims of the new Bibles are strikingly similar to the claims of the famous "Super Sack" grocery bag which has swept the country. The bag producers wanted to cut production costs. The "old reliable" double bag was just about indestructible when it came to doing its job, but it was too costly to produce. The manufacturers came up with the idea of producing an inferior product but calling it "superior."

It has happened to us all. One day, on a trip with our wives to the grocery store, we picked up our groceries and noticed the bag. It wasn't a double bag! "They've made them cheaper," we thought. Then we noticed an official looking statement on the side: "This new Super Sack is made from a new high strength paper. There is no double bagging needed."

"Well," we realized, "then it isn't an inferior product after all. It's new and better. That's good to know."

We "bought the pitch." In our trusting, childlike manner, we believed that the "Super Sack" was better than the "old reliable" double bag, just because someone told us that it was.

"This new Super Sack ... no double bagging needed."

How many times have these words echoed through my head as I heard a horrifying, tearing sound. I watched as the cans rolled across the grocery store parking lot. I watched the flour break open in the back seat of the car. After getting the survivors into the car, we headed for home.

"This new Super Sack ... no double bagging needed."

We hear that sound! We watch broken eggs as they pour their contents out into the driveway. The cereal has broken open, and now the neighbors dog picks up our last package of hamburger. We make a wild dash for the house, leaving a trail of canned goods, broken jelly jars, and spilled milk in our wake. We arrive at the back door holding nothing more than a large piece of brown paper with words on the side reading: "This Super Sack is made from a new high strength paper. There is no double bagging needed."

At times like that, standing there, surveying the damage, I can hardly frame the proper words with which to thank the manufacturers for blessing me with this wonderful, new, improved "Super Sack."

This "Super Sack" philosophy has existed in the field of Bible translations for years.

Every new translation published appears first with a giant "media campaign" directed at the Christian community. This campaign is designed to tell the Christians that they "need" this new translation, because the Christians do not know it. This is not an overstatement but is proven true by the Preface to the New American Standard Version of 1963. The last paragraph in the Preface begins with this statement:

"It is enthusiastically anticipated that the general public will be grateful to learn of the availability, value and need of the New American Standard Version." (Emphasis mine.)

The Lockman Foundation has admitted translating a Bible that the general public doesn't know that it needs! It is intended for the general public to realize that they "need" this Bible when they read the advertisement. This is just like a laundry detergent.

The Sales Pitch

Let us look into the way in which this "Bible advertising" works.

We read a few Christian periodicals and observe that a new translation has been published. It is, of course, compared to the Authorized Version. The "mistakes" of the Authorized Version are revealed to show us the "need" for a new translation. Next, this new translation is unveiled with exclamation of "thoroughly reliable," "true to the Original Greek," and "starting a new tradition." We read but are skeptical.

We proceed to the "Bible" book store to look over this new translation. After having the "sales pitch" from the man behind the counter, we leave carrying a grocery bag (Super Sack) full of "new," "modern," "easy to read" translations in which we are assured that "all of the fundamentals can be found." On the way home, we decide to try out these "more accurate," "Christ exalting" versions.

The Let Down

We meet a Jehovah's Witness. In the following discussion we try to convince him that Jesus Christ was not a created God. He shows us John 1:18 in his "New World Translation." It reads that Christ was the "only begotten God." We snicker. "That's just your version," we say, reaching for a New International Version. To our amazement it also reads "only begotten God!"

Being fully embarrassed, we change the subject to the trinity. "I John 5:7!" we exclaim. Now we've got him! We turn to I John 5:7 in the "Good News for Modern Man." "There are three witnesses," it says.

Our Jehovahs Witness asks, "So, what does that teach?" We stammer, "Wait a minute," as we reach for a New American Standard Version. "And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth."

"So how is the trinity taught from that verse?" he demands.

With our face glowing red and phrases like "thoroughly reliable" and "faithful to the originals" spinning through our head, we desperately grab a New King James Version.

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one." I John 5:7.

"There it is! There it is!" We exclaim, "See there, the Trinity!"

"Read the footnote on it," he states calmly. "Out loud!"

"The words from 'in heaven' (v. 7) through 'on earth' (v. 8) are from the Latin Bible, although three Greek mss. from the 15th Century and later also contain them."

"You see," says our adversary, "it doesn't belong there."

Thankfully he hasn't got any more time to talk, and he leaves.

We tear our "Super Sack" slightly as we pick it back up and head for home, not quite understanding what has taken place. In our mind we hear the Bible store salesman saying, "But I can find the fundamentals in these new versions."

Devastating Revelations

In an attempt to boost our own morale, we try to lead a man to Christ. We tell him the simplicity of conversion. We relate to him how easy it was for the Ethiopian eunuch. We open a Revised Standard Version to show it to him. We read Acts 8:36 and then the next verse, verse 38. "Wait just a second; I seem to have skipped over a verse," we say apologetically.

We read verse 36, then carefully run our finger across the line to the next verse, verse 38! There is no verse 37! This eunuch never believed on the Lord Jesus Christ!

"Excuse me," we apologize. "I seem to have picked up the wrong Bible." We lay down the Revised Standard Version and pick up the New American Standard Version. We read again. This time we arrive at verse 37.

It says, "See footnote."

"No thank you!" we say to ourselves.

Having lost his train of thought, our lost friend walks off shaking his head and wondering why Christians don't know their Bibles better.

Of all things, we run into an infidel before we can reach the safety of our home.

"Jesus Christ was not God in the flesh," he states.

"Oh yes He was!" we retort confidently, happy to have the opportunity to redeem ourselves for the bad showing earlier. "Look at I Timothy 3:16."

We pick the Living Bible.

"But the answer lies in Christ, who came to earth as a man...."

"There's no 'God' in that verse," he declares.

The statement of the salesmen comes to mind again. "But I can find the fundamentals in these."

"Where?" we ask ourselves returning to the Revised Standard Version.

"He was manifested in the flesh...."

"Where is God?" demands our infidel. We wonder the same thing!

"He appeared in human form," says the Good News for Modern Man.

"He who was revealed in the flesh," states the New American Standard Version.

"Where is God?" demands our infidel with finality.

"I don't know. I really don't know," we reply with our heads down in sorrow.

We drag our wounded spirits home. Words cannot describe our "gratitude" to the Lockman Foundation and all the rest of those "godly, conservative scholars" who gave us these "accurate, reliable, true to the original" translations. We hear a horrifying, tearing sound as we reach the back door.

The next morning the garbage man finds a garbage bag full of brand new, unused "Bibles" covered by a large, torn piece of brown paper with the words on the side saying: "This new Super Sack is made from a new high strength paper. There is no double bagging needed."

No thank you, we will stick with our "old, reliable" King James, 1611.

The story has been an allegory, but the philosophy it describes is very true.

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