Review: Hazardous Materials: Greek and Hebrew Study Dangers
I received this book as a gift from a very dear family and I am grateful to God that this family thought of my spiritual growth for my 21st birthday!
The purpose of this book is supposed to be the illumination of dangers in the use of Greek and Hebrew Study Tools, but instead of examining the faults associated with the Lexicons, Dictionaries, and Concordances, G.A. Riplinger chooses to focus on the moral failing in the lives of the authors of these study tools. She attempts to discredit the work of these men by labeling them as "heretics" and "conspirators" simply because they do not align themselves with her views in such areas as; the author of Ecclesiastes, Calvanism, infant baptism, and the use of the word Hades verses Hell when referring to "the grave". While some of these moral failings that G.A. Riplinger alludes to may be true - and I'm sure these men had moral failing just like every other person on earth - she grossly misquotes these men in what they said, distorts the application of Scripture, and even goes so far as to make up some of the accusation with nothing to back of the claim.
Everything comes down to her incoherent presupposition that "God simply gave us the perfect English translation for every word" in the KJV. She claims that "[God] lifted up words up to the mind of Christ.", and she claims that "After Christ, words were born-again, just as men were. There was a revolutionary ennobling of words." G.A. Riplinger then attempts to reinforce this preposterous claim by quoting 1 Corinthians 2:13 drastically out of context: "The heathen used them as the 'natural man' might; God used them 'not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth but which the Holy Ghost teacheth…' (1 Cor. 2:13)." This verse in no way referring to words being "born-again" in the KJV when it talks about "words which man's wisdom teacheth", but it is referring to wisdom that is gained from God by the Holy Spirit. Context is so very important to reading the Bible, and G.A. Riplinger even tries to assert that the application of "Hermeneutics" in reading Scripture is wrong. She claims the following: "Hermes sends students on a wild goose chase to find Zeus's interpretation of God's message, using Greek lexicons, based generally on the writings of pagan Greeks." This assertion is absolutely groundless and false! G.A. Riplinger is referring to the "folk etymology" of Hermeneutics which is the pagan concept that the Greek god Hermes is a mediator between god and man), instead of referring to the "tradition etymology" of Hermeneutics which is understanding that 'Hermeneutics' is derived from the Greek word 'hermeneu??' which simply means to 'translate' or 'interpret'. When reading the Scriptures we must understand and keep in mind the context of the original autographs because they were originally written to someone else.
There are so many groundless claims that completely fall apart under any amount of scrutiny that I cannot recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn anything substantial. The one benefit that I did receive from reading this book, is that I was able to reaffirm that the Bible is the final authority upon which I judge anyone's claims, and I must say that the misuse of Scripture in this book far exceeds the exemplary use of Scripture.