Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gail, Interrupted

One amusing post I read last week was James White retelling of his attempt to purchase a copy of Gail Riplinger's latest pot boiler, Hazardous Materials: Greek and Hebrew Study Dangers, The Voice of Strangers, The Men Behind the Smoke Screen, Burning Bibles Word by Word.

What a title, huh? You need to go to the link and read the tantalizing description of the subjects she covers. It reads like the front page of the TMZ gossip website. My favorite is her accusation against Henry Liddell, who co-edited the Liddell-Scott Greek lexicon because his daughter, Alice Liddell, was the model for the "Alice" in Lewis Carroll's book, Alice in Wonderland. He, according to Riplinger, not only had a pedophile relationship with the girl, but still remains a suspect in the Jack the Ripper case.

How this information, if any of it were even true, has any bearing upon the ability of Henry Liddell to edit a Greek lexicon isn't really answered. Of course, if a person would actually do a web search on "Lewis Carroll" and "Jack the Ripper," something Gail has obviously failed to do or chose to ignore, he or she will discover no one ever accused the man of sexual impropriety with the girl and not one expert in the Jack the Ripper case even takes seriously the charge that Lewis Carroll is the main suspect. No matter to Gail, however.

At any rate, James went directly to her "ministry" website, entered the necessary purchasing information, but instead of receiving an electronic receipt thanking him for his order assuring him it was in the mail, he got a blunt note stating: "We will not fill orders for Mr. James White."

I honestly remained mystified how this charlatan woman is labeled a so-called "expert" on textual criticism and Bible translation. Her research is so buffoonish and easily exposed as being fraudulent, it truly causes me to wonder at the staggering lack of discernment among those people who follow her with any amount of seriousness.

However, on top of all of that, she's a woman. No offense to the fairer sex by any means, but anyone who has moved in and around fundamental Baptist circles knows that one big no-no is to have women teaching over men, a principle I happen to pretty much agree with. In reality, Gail has become the version of Gloria Copeland among fundamentalists, teaching large groups of both men and women. Doesn't anyone in fundamentalist circles see the disconnect with her being given a podium?

I have recounted how when I first encountered her book, New Age Bible Versions, I thought Gail was a man. That's because she originally went by her initials "G.A." Riplinger obscuring her sex to the reader. I believe that was intentional because she knew her book would not be received well, if not at all, if her true identity had been known. Yet, her thesis was so sensational, once we learned "Gail" was really a woman, she had gained enough of a foothold to establish her position as a KJV only apologist.

But there is another shibboleth that marks the oddity of her acceptance among independent fundamentalists: her multiple divorces. You would think a woman with one divorce would be plenty to disqualify her from speaking in any fundamentalist "Baptist Tabernacle" or Bible fellowship church, but she has two. The author at the link above goes in to scrutinizing detail how he researched her background.

Those two facts alone baffle me as to why she can still be allowed an audience with KJV apologists. Do any of them care anything about integrity of conviction?

Just on a lark, I signed up for her email newsletter, The Riplinger Report. I figured it will be mightily entertaining and provide some possible blog fodder. My first one arrived just the other day. It is an expose on the lexicon in the back of Strong's Concordance and how James Strong, the author, was really an evil man who would get drunk and shoot little baby ducks with a pellet gun. Well, I'm making up that pellet gun part, but you get the picture.

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Blogger Kim said...

I'd never heard of her. Sounds like I'd probably just get irritated by her.

9:06 AM, July 13, 2009  
Blogger Ransom said...

Riplinger has a newsletter? Oh, man, how could I not sign up?

9:41 AM, July 13, 2009  
Blogger donsands said...

My brother, who tried to get me into Noah Hutchings ministry,which BTW has some good, are KJVOnlyism to the hilt.

I talked with my brother for a while about the KJV, and he kept saying, "Donald, you are being deceived. The other versions of a ploy of Satan."

I said, "Brian, what about the other thousand languages in the world that have Bibles? Do they have to have the same words?"

He said, "Jesus inspired the KJV. Jesus wanted every word, every verse, and every chapter, just where it is."

I said, "What!"

And there was NO, absolutely, NO way to discuss it.

I haven't spoken with him since.

How do I explain these kinds of Christians? I don't know for the life of me.

Thanks for mixing in your posting with the tough deals going on within the Church of our Lord. It's good to hear others speak of these things. It helps.

Now back to the Home Run derby. Albert Pujols is hitting. Man, what a swing.

7:05 PM, July 13, 2009  
Blogger DJP said...

One of them ran into the buzz-saw that is me, at Pyro, last week.

I can see the point of a lot of silliness, even including Charismaticism and amillennialism.

But I can't for the life of me see why someone who can tie his own shoes would also fall for this. Its continued existence is a disgrace.

Not that I have any opinion on the subject. Let alone a strong opinion.

9:10 AM, July 14, 2009  
Blogger Jay said...

One question. I'm not saying that Riplinger isn't a charlatan like you say she is. But I'm wondering about your statement about women teaching.

I totally understand that women shouldn't be pastors of congregations. That makes sense totally. But if a woman was an competent researcher in Greek and Hebrew translation, and did know quite a lot about textual criticism and Bible translation, would she not be allowed to teach what she knew?

I mean, I don't think anyone here would say that a woman couldn't be a college professor. I'm just curious as to the positions more conservative and Reformed Christians have on this issue.

It makes sense that a woman isn't equipped to lead a congregation, but I'm not sure where the Bible says a woman wouldn't be allowed to write or teach about scholarly issues. Again, just curious.

4:40 PM, July 14, 2009  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I think you ask a fair question. The basics of my comment in the post were asked in the context of independent fundamental Bible churches, where it is a bit of an anathema for a woman to teach a mixed congregation. Even more so that idea that she has been divorced twice and is married to her third husband. My point is merely to show the hypocritical disconnect between fundamentalists' stated conviction and their actual practice, which in my mind demonstrates that they don't take seriously their stated conviction.

As to whether a woman could teach, I think it has to be in a particular context. Obviously pastoring a Church is out of the question. Teaching the Bible in some authoritative public capacity is up to rigorous debate in my thinking. I am uncomfortable with how, for instance, Kay Author leads big seminars on how to teach the Bible to both men and women. I am not underestimating her giftedness or impact, but is that the best and proper role for her as a woman in the Church?

Maybe I can do a post on the subject here soon.

5:40 PM, July 14, 2009  
Blogger Jay said...

I look forward to reading more about that. It's certainly an interesting issue.

So you don't see any problem with a woman teaching a science course, a humanities course, or a foreign language, even if it's in a Christian setting (like a Bible college or a Christian liberal arts college)?

10:29 PM, July 14, 2009  
Blogger donsands said...

"Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet." 1 Tim. 2:11-12

I'm thinking Paul is explaining to Timothy the role of women in the church. He's not setting the rules for vocations for women I don't think.

BTW, I love to listen to Joni on her 5 minute radio spot. She teaches me things.

But she's not an elder, nor a pastor.

It's a difficult subject this.

Look forward to a good post from Fred on this.

4:33 AM, July 15, 2009  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Jay, no, I don't have a problem with a woman teaching as a vocation. It is more within the context of the local church, especially with the idea of pastoring or offering a shepherding role, specifically over men.

I will have to mull over a possible post on the subject.

5:50 AM, July 15, 2009  
Blogger Bob McCabe said...

Thanks for your post, Fred.

Besides being duplicitous about her identity as well as teaching heresy, Gail Riplinger's marital woes would seemingly indicate that her perseverance in the faith is questionable.

4:45 PM, July 20, 2009  
Blogger Waitaminute! said...

There is a nice restored BMW for anyone who can prove errors in the KJV or in Gail's research. "Godliness is a means of great gain"NIV. Lewis carroll is the pen name for Charles Dodgson, the pedophile friend of Liddell and a suspect in The Jack the Ripper case. He who answers a matter before he hears it is a fool. You guys have read all 1200 pages of her book already and checked her resources, many of which are hard to find expensive books. Got to do better than that. If the "men of God" had a spine and would stand up for God's Word, God would not have to raise up a woman to set the story straight

7:26 PM, July 20, 2009  
Blogger Bob McCabe said...

Here is a book review that documents Gail
Riplinger's many errors: http://www.dbts.edu/journals/1997/Schrev.pdf

7:31 PM, July 20, 2009  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

WAM, whose profile is conveniently not found. Two things:

First, let's assume, for the sake of argument, that Lewis Carrol was a pedophile, and let's stretch the limits of credulity, and say he was also Jack the Ripper. What do those things have to do with the price of tea in China? In other words, what relevance does this guy have to do with Liddel's Greek lexicon? Like much of Gail's work, she makes astounding leaps of illogic.

Secondly, I could spend a good day documenting the gross errors in her work. There is a link provided above, other articles exist as well. I will point to one I wrote about a couple of years ago that can be found in my introductory article I wrote when I began a series on KJV onlyism.

To summarize,

Gail spends a good portion of her NABV book attempting to make a link between Westcott and Hort and the occultic activities of the Theosophy society. In an extended footnote, Gail claims a man by the name W.W. Westcott who was a contributor to a Theosophy society journal is the same as B.F. Westcott. Now, Gail attempts to cast this accusation in the realm of speculation, but if anyone would take the time to just "google" W.W. Westcott, he would discover that W.W. is really William Wynn Westcott who was a London coroner who was actively involved with spiritualist societies in that day.

Perhaps you will dismiss this as her fanciful musing, but honestly, she is falsely accusing B. F. Westcott of being something he never was. That is called lying in the Bible, even the King James.

But, the bigger point at hand is why are you willing to believe the character of a woman who has had two divorces, with her being married a month within the finalization of her second one? Don't you think that is problematic in the least? Or do you care about such things?

5:27 AM, July 21, 2009  
Blogger Highland Host said...

I am currently reading Riplinger's ridiculous rant, and I note that she connects Dean Vaughan of Llandaff with the Knights Templar. Her sources for the Knights Templar are, astoundingly, 'The Da Vinci Code', books by fabulists (as described by a leading historian) Leigh and Baigent, occultist and fantasist Eliphas Levi, and such retailers of fantasy. She quotes not one reputable historian of the Templars, and apparently believes that there is some truth in what Leigh and Baigent have to say, when there is none whatsoever. As for Lewis Carrol being a suspect in the Ripper murders, it is a well known fact that being an eminent Victorian is enough to get one on that list in somebody's book! The Ripper murders, like the Knights Templar, are a magnet for crazies of all descriptions.

3:40 AM, July 29, 2009  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Hey brother. I haven't heard from you in a while. I drop by your blog now and again to catch up, but have missed your occasional comments.

Riplinger's new book looks to be highly entertaining. In fact, seeing that the good number of individuals she attempts to expose are Victorian Brits, I happen to see a thorough debunking by you in a series of blog articles. It would be like a gift if you would do it.


5:35 AM, July 29, 2009  
Blogger Highland Host said...


Being these days a rather busy man, I doubt that I will be able to give the book the sort of debunking I would like, as it would involve obtaining a lot of rare and expensive books, but rest assured, I will do what I can in between doing serious work as a minister. I only wish that I could do an audio debunking, as my English accent would add to the authority of the work. I have a rule where books that cite Leigh and Baigent as though they were real historians, which is that I cannot take them seriously. Professor John Charmley of the University of East Anglia has personally told me that no historian worth the name belives a word Leigh and Baigent say, and he has called them "fabulists" in a conversation we have had on the subject. The book is laugh-out-loud funny in places, especially as the Templar connection is with Dean Vaughan, whose only connection with the Knights Templar was that he was the minister of London's Temple Church, which was built by the Templars just a few centuries before. More than five centuries before, in fact. This would be like saying that the vicar of Ingham in Norfolk was prior of the Canons of the Holy Trinity, since the parish Church at Ingham was the mother house of the Trinitarian canons until the Reformation. In other words, very, very silly!

6:13 AM, July 29, 2009  
Blogger Highland Host said...

New thought. It would also be like saying that Camarthen Evangelical Church in Wales are Unitarian, because they occupy a building put up by Unitarians. Or Noddfa Baptist Church in Clydach Vale, for that matter, who do the same thing. In other words, it's silly.

3:33 AM, July 30, 2009  
Blogger John 3:17 said...

Jay wrote: "I totally understand that women shouldn't be pastors of congregations. That makes sense totally. But if a woman was an competent researcher in Greek and Hebrew translation, and did know quite a lot about textual criticism and Bible translation, would she not be allowed to teach what she knew?"

First, there are teachers in the church that are not pastors. So, other men can teach who are not pastors. The Bible specifically says that women are not to TEACH or usurp authority over the man. Paul was speaking of the church when in assembly. So, women teaching men is not allowed. Women can teach women; there's nothing against that. Back to what Fred said about Riplinger hiding behind the initials of G.A., I too believe her reason for doing this was to deceptively sneak her materials into the so-called Fundamentalist church before any of them would get a clue that she was not a man.

Second, Gail would not have the right to teach what she knew if men were present because it would be her husband's responsibility to do it in her place. Her husband would be responsible for making sure the material she wants to present is correct and true. Gail's husband never shows his face, except to man her book tables at conferences. Lastly, Gail Riplinger (as illustrated by her own books) is not a "competent researcher" (not that I am saying that is what you were saying) whatsoever. She is out of line on many aspects.

2:24 PM, August 01, 2009  
Blogger John 3:17 said...

I'm a woman and I stand with Paul's context re: women being silent in the church, as meaning they are not permitted to teach when the church is together in assembly where men are present. I believe the Bible is pretty clear on this. However, Riplinger has used Priscilla as an example of herself. Yet, Riplinger is always very sly about those she likens herself to. Look at the passages that mention Priscilla. She was always WITH her husband when she did what she did. They had a church in their home and I am sure that her husband is the one that presided over the services. As for Apollos being converted to the truth, she AND her husband together took part in that. IOW, she was by her husband's side or, better yet, he was with her. She did not teach Apollos by herself. I believe that they helped convert Apollos in their home church setting.

Riplinger is the queen of ripping scripture out of context for her own use. She has given many teaching lectures in the churches that are willing to scratch her back because she scratches theirs (meaning she is a fellow KJO, so, hey, she can't be all that bad. She's one of us. So, we can bend the rules a bit). In these lectures she is teaching, and they can be viewed on video (which she happens to sell in her AV Pub. catalog).

Not only is Riplinger teaching in churches that are supposed to know better, since they didn't allow women to do this before Riplinger came along, but she is also teaching error.

7:24 AM, February 08, 2010  
Blogger John 3:17 said...

Jay said: "But if a woman was an competent researcher in Greek and Hebrew translation, and did know quite a lot about textual criticism and Bible translation, would she not be allowed to teach what she knew?"

As I've said, I'm a woman. I believe that if the men in a church had already done the studying and learning that they, as men and as leaders, should, they would not have any need for a woman to get up and teach them what they should already know. If a woman does learn what the men have not learned, she should give the material to her pastor for him to review for accuracy and then teach it himself, perhaps giving her some credit. But no woman has a place teaching in the church congregation. Paul said women are to "keep silent in the churches," meaning not to teach. His command is in the plural sense, so it did not just pertain to the Corinthian church but to all the churches, which stands for today, as well.


7:42 AM, July 01, 2010  

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