20 Ways the Cults Misread the Bible

When a ‘Christian’ twists God’s word it is no different to what religious cults do. In order to raise awareness, especially if you are new to the Bible is to get a copy of James Sire’s book, Scripture Twisting:

Here is a summary of Sire’s work.

1. INACCURATE QUOTATION: A biblical text is referred to but is either not quoted in
the way the text appears in any standard translation or is wrongly attributed. Example: The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi says, “Christ said, ‘Be still and know that I am God.'” Whereas this text is found ONLY in Psalms.

2. TWISTED TRANSLATION: The biblical text is retranslated, not in accordance with
sound Greek scholarship, to fit a preconceived teaching of a cult. Example: the Jehovah’s
Witnesses translate John 1:1 as “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with
God, and the word was a god.”

3. BIBLICAL HOOK: A text of Scripture is quoted primarily as a device to grasp the
attention of readers or listeners and then followed by a teaching which is so nonbiblical that
it would appear far more dubious to most people had it not been preceded by a reference to Scripture. Example: Mormon missionaries quote James 1:5 which promises God’s wisdom to those who ask him and, then, follow this by explaining that when Joseph Smith did this he was given a revelation from which he concluded that God the Father has a body.

4. IGNORING THE IMMEDIATE CONTEXT: A text of Scripture is quoted but removed
from the surrounding verses which form the immediate framework for its meaning.
Example: Alan Watts quotes the first half of John 5:39 (“You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life”), claiming that Jesus was challenging His listeners’ over emphasis of the Old Testament, but the remainder of the immediate context reads, “and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life” (verses 39-40), which shows that Jesus was upholding the value of the Old Testament as a testimony to Himself.

5. COLLAPSING CONTEXTS: Two or more verses which have little or nothing to do with
each other are put together as if one were a commentary of the other(s). Example: The
Mormons associate Jeremiah 1:5 with John 1:2,14 and thus imply that both verses talk about the premortal existence of all human beings; Jeremiah 1:5, however, speaks of God’s
foreknowledge of Jeremiah (Not his premortal existence) and JOhn 1:2 refers to the preexistence of God the Son and not to human beings in general.

6. OVERSPECIFICATION: A more detailed or specific conclusion than is legitimate is
drawn from a biblical text. Example: The Mormon missionary manual quotes the parable of the virgins from Matthew 25:1-13 to document the concept that “mortality is a probationary period during which we prepare to meet God.” But the parable of the virgins could, and most probably does, mean something far less specific, for example, that human beings should be prepared at any time to meet God or to witness the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

7. WORD PLAY: A word or phrase from a biblical translation is examined and interpreted
as if the revelation had been given in that language. Example: mary Bake Eddy says the
name Adam consist of two syllables, A DAM, which means an obstruction, in which case,
Adam signifies “the obstacle which the serpent, sin, would impose between man and his
Creator.”

8. THE FIGURATIVE FALLACY: Either (1) mistaking literal language for figurative
language or (2)mistaking figurative language for literal language. Example of (1): Mary Baker Eddy interprets EVENING as “mistiness of mortal thought; weariness of mortal mind; obscured views; peace and rest.” Example of (2): The Mormon theologian james Talmage interprets the prophesy that “thou shalt be brought down and speak out of the ground” to mean that God’s Word would come to people from the Book of Mormon which was taken out of the ground at the hill of Cumorah.

9. SPECULATIVE READINGS OF PREDICTIVE PROPHESY: A predictive prophesy is
too readily explained by the occurance of specific events, despite the fact that equally
committed biblical scholars consider the interpretation highly dubious. Example: The stick
of Judah and the Stick of Joseph in Ezekiel 37:15- 23 are interpreted by the Mormons to
mean the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

10. SAYING BUT NOT CITING: A writer says that the Bible says such and such but does
not cite the specific text (which often indicates that there may be no such text at all).
Example: A common phrase “God helps those who help themselves” is not found in the
Bible.

11. SELECTIVE CITING: To substantiate a given argument, only a limited number of text
is quoted: the total teaching of Scripture on that subject would lead to a conclusion different
from that of the writer. Example: The Jehovah’s Witnesses critique the traditional Christian notion of the Trinity without considering the full text which scholars use to substantiate the concept.

12. INADEQUATE EVIDENCE: A hasty generalization is drawn from too little evidence.
Example: The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that blood transfusion is nonbiblical, but the
biblical data that they cite fails either to speak directly to the issue or to adequately
substantiate their teaching.

13. CONFUSED DEFINITION: A biblical term is misunderstood in such a way that an
essential biblical doctrine is distorted or rejected. Example: one of Edgar Cayce’s followers
confuses the eastern doctrine of reincarnation with the biblical doctrine of being born again.

14. IGNORING ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS: A specific interpretation given to a
biblical text or set of text which could well be, and often have been, interpreted in quite a
different fashion, but these alternatives are not considered. Example: Erich von Daniken
asks why in Genesis 1:26 God speaks in the plural (“us”), suggesting that this is an oblique
reference to God’s being one of many astronauts and failing to consider alternative
explanations that either God was speaking as “Heaven’s king accompanied by His heavenly
host” or that the plural prefigures the doctrine of the Trinity expressed more explicitly in the New Testament.

15. THE OBVIOUS FALLACY: Words like OBVIOUSLY, UNDOUBTEDLY,
CERTAINLY, ALL REASONABLE PEOPLE HOLD THAT and so forth are substituted
for logical reasons. Example: Erich von daniken says, “Undoubtedly the Ark [of the
Covenent] was electrically charged!”

16. VIRTUE BY ASSOCIATION: Either (1) a cult writer a ssociates his or her teaching
with those of figures accepted as authoritative by traditional Christians; (2) cult writings are likened to the Bible; or (3) cult literature imitates the form of the Bible writing such that it sounds like the Bible. Example of (1): Rick Chapman list 21 gurus, including Jesus Christ, St.Francis and St. Theresa, that “you can’t go wrong with.” Example of (2): Juan Mascaro in his introduction to the Upanishads cites the New Testament, the Gospels, Ecclesiastes and the Psalms, from which he quotes passages supposedly paralleling the Upanishads. Example of (3): The Mormon DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS interweaves phrases from the Gospel of John and maintains a superficial similarity to the Gospel such that it seems to be like the Bible.

17. ESOTERIC INTERPRETATION: Under the assumption that the Bible contains
hidden, esoteric, meaning which is open only to those who are initiated into its secrets, the
interpreter declares the significance of biblical passages without giving much, if any,
explanation for his or her interpretation. Example: Mary Baker Eddy gives the meaning of
the first phrase in the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father which art in heaven,” as “Our Father-
Mother God, all harmonious.”

18. SUPPLEMENTING BIBLICAL AUTHORITY: New revelation from post biblical
prophets either replaces or is added to the Bible as authority. Example: The Mormons
supplement the Bible with the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl
of Great Price.

19. REJECTING BIBLICAL AUTHORITY: Either the Bible as a whole or texts from the
Bible are examined and rejected because they do not square with other authorities – such as reason or revelation = do not appear to agree with them. Example:Archie Matson holds that the Bible contains contradictions and that Jesus himself rejected the authority of the Old Testament when he contrasted His own views with it on the Sermon on the Mount.

20. WORLD-VIEW CONFUSION: Scriptural statements, stories, commands or symbols
which have a particular meaning or set of meanings when taken within the intellectual and
broadly cultural framework of the Bible itself are lifted out of that context, placed within
the frame of reference of another system and thus given a meaning that markedly differs
from their intended meaning. Example: The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi interprets “Be still, and know that I am God” as meaning that each person should meditate and come to the
realization that he is essentially Godhood itself.

About Gaz Parker

I was born with the ability to see spirit entities. I learned to ignore them for most of my life but during 2004 I had a kind of spiritual awakening so i thought. For years I questioned it until I asked God to show me what this is. God showed me the truth and I realised these spirits are evil, they are demons. Jesus never left me, he love me and he loves you too. My audio testimony can be found here. Contact me here: newagedeception@gmail.com
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4 Responses to 20 Ways the Cults Misread the Bible

  1. timbob says:

    Good morning. This is such an important topic; especially in an age where deception is reaching a cresendo and deceivers seek to sway the undiscerning. I have shared this post in another venue.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.

  2. Isabella says:

    I think you have a small mind and maybe you should go to the church and talk to some of the people. You didn’t get your facts straight number one. They believe in God and that He created us all in his image. They also believe in Jesus. So why don’t you go to your church get on your knees and pray for forgiveness for judging others. We are NOT supposed to judge. Evidently you didn’t show up for church when that lesson was taught.

  3. Teabag says:

    II cv

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