One of the largest online Scripture study platforms, Bible Gateway, which offers over 200 Bible translations in 74 languages, has criticized and removed the famous Passion Translation (TPT).
The Passion Translation was created by Brian Simmons, Mission Leader of Passion and Fire Ministries, and published by BroadStreet Publishing Group.
The publishers describe this translation as “a modern, easy-to-read translation of the Bible that reveals the passion of God’s heart and expresses His fiery love – a fusion of emotion and life-changing truth.”
“If you are longing for God, the translation of The Passion will help you meet His heart and get to know Him better. Fall in love with God again and again, ”says their official webpage www.thepassiontranslation.com.
Translator Brian Simmons, a former missionary linguist and pastor who now leads Passion and Fire Ministries, sees his Bible translation work as part of his life’s divine calling to bring the Word to the nations.
His translation was approved by a number of prominent ministers, including Lou Engle, Bill Johnson of Bethel, and Bobby Houston of Hillsong.
Simmons and his publisher describe the TPT as a translation, not a paraphrase, emphasizing that they were working on with texts from Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic manuscripts, rather than transcribing an existing English translation in their own words.
But critics of the TPT point out that the new version must exactly match the wording, syntax, and structure of the original text. They argue that TPT does not meet these standards and functions as a paraphrase, but positions itself as a translation.
“If the removal of the Passion translation from Bible Gateway was due to concerns about translation claims, then I think it’s a good thing,” said Andrew Wilson, pastor at King’s Church in London and columnist for Christianity Today. “There are too many additions in the text that have no basis in the original, and it’s okay (to some extent) if it’s presented as a paraphrase, but not if people think it’s a translation.”
The text has been examined by many evangelical scholars, including Darrell Bock, Nijay Gupta, Douglas Mu, and Craig Blomberg.
Nijay Gupta stated that if the TPT appears on the site along with accepted translations, “there should be a warning label on it… People who are not academics should be aware that The Passion Translation does not have the support of accredited seminaries and linguistic organizations with experience in translation work”.
Meanwhile, the translation of the Passion continues to be popular with many well-known evangelists.
“For inspiration, I love the translation of The Passion,” said Bethel Ministries founder Bill Johnson. “Every time he (Simmons) deviates from the traditional approach to verse, he explains it so convincingly that even if you don’t agree with him, you at least understand where he came from.”
Jenn Johnson, known for her Bethel worship hits, regularly posts photos of her daily reading from the Passion translation with passages underlined.
“We believe The Passion Translation will become one of the most read and loved translations on the market for years to come,” says the publisher. “We hope this translation will help bring the Bible to life for this generation and through it, people will learn about Jesus and His love for them in new and exciting ways.”