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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
You can call it pure justice, a sign from God, or whatever you want, but eyebrows were sure raised recently during the tapings for Christian TV's The John Ankerberg Show. Ankerberg, a bitter opponent of the King James Bible, had wanted to do a series of TV programs in which the heads of the new version translation committees, -the NIV, RSV, NASV, NKJV, etc., would debate King James Bible advocates.
Afraid that the King James people would get the upper hand and win the debate, Ankerberg attempted to "stack the deck." He invited five new version scholars but only three King James advocates. Since Ankerberg is himself a fervent promoter of the NIV and other false versions, that made the odds six to three.
But the three, King James men - Dr. Joseph Chambers, Dr. Samuel Gipp, and Dr. Thomas Strouse, weren’t deterred by the odds. They accepted John Ankerberg's invitation anyway so that they could get out their vital and important message, that the King James Bible is the only trustworthy, accurate, scholarly, and whole Bible available in the world!
The John Ankerberg programs are taped in advance in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and then shown later to a national TV audience. For the Bible version debate, eight shows were taped. However, on one of these shows, Ankerberg and the new Bible version people were forced to call an abrupt halt right in the midst of the taping.
It happened when Ankerberg asked Dr. Don Wilkins, of the New American Standard Version translation committee, a key question. “Is it true,” asked Ankerberg, “as Gail Riplinger reported in her best-selling book, New Age Bible Versions, that a number of the scholars who worked on the new translation committees lost their voice as punishment by God?”
As the TV cameras captured the moment, Dr. Wilkins opened his mouth to answer, and nothing came out! No sound! Wilkins kept trying to clear his throat, but he couldn't respond. Ankerberg and the other new version scholars were visibly startled. Finally, an embarrassed and frightened Wilkins was able to screech out in a cracking, almost inaudible manner, "I... I've.. lost... my voice."
A shocked John Ankerberg ordered the cameras to stop and back up, whereupon Dr. Joseph Chambers, a King James only advocate, politely protested. "The cameras should record exactly what happened here," Chambers insisted.
But Ankerberg was hearing none of it. After a brief delay, the TV cameras began to roll again, after the amazing segment of Dr. Wilkins losing his voice had conveniently been excised.
But our miraculous God wasn't through yet. Ankerberg had taped eight programs in all, but after broadcasting only two of them, he pulled the others off the air and refused to continue the series. When we called his office to ask why, we were pointedly told that it was because the series was a financial flop.
When the first two of the eight programs aired, people did not send in enough contributions. In other words, Ankerberg claims that the series wasn’t making money!
I watched one of the two programs that did air, however, and I believe there is another, quite different reason why Ankerberg and the false new version folks decided to pull the remainder. At one point, the new version "scholars" were clearly frustrated when Dr. Chambers asked them why, an astounding 46 times in the NIV, the title of "Master" for our Lord Jesus had been changed to "teacher!" Obviously, there is a vast difference between one who is our Master and one who is a mere teacher.
Such poignant episodes as this make me doubt Ankerberg's rationale as to why he quickly jerked the remaining programs from the broadcast schedule· If, as he claims, Ankerberg pulled the series because he wasn't bringing in enough money, what does that tell us about his "ministry?" Is John Ankerberg in it only for the money? Is filthy lucre the sole measure for the programs he airs ? or doesn't air?
Editor’s Note: Pastor Reaves contacted Dr. Joseph Chambers, and he verified this incident did occur.