Riplinger the Faux Linguist

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by John of Japan, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Recently I had a phone call from an old acquaintance who wanted to know the status of our Japanese NT translation. (We're done with the 2nd draft.) He's a missionary who came to Japan under Peter Ruckman's mission board (and still is as far as I know). He's a nice guy, not the nasty, aggressive guy Ruckman is. I disarmed him by telling him we still had his old prayer card and prayed for him.

    At any rate he started talking about Gail Riplinger, calling her a linguist and offering information from her about what linguistic tools I was using. When I said, "I'm not a fan of Riplinger," I'm afraid that quenched him, because he never did send the email. But it got me thinking about Riplinger as a...linguist? Really?

    There are two kinds of linguists: one who is an expert in a given language, and one who is on the scholarly side studying and/or teaching linguistics. Let's say you wanted to be a linguist in Japanese. You might go to my alma mater for two years, the Tokyo School of the Japanese Language. You'd take 15 hours of classwork and at least that much study, ending up with around 3000 hours of study. On the other hand, if you went for an MA in linguistics you'd do about the same.

    But what makes Gail Riplinger a linguist? She taught English as a foreign language for three years! Here it is:
    http://www.av1611.org/kjv/ripwhit3.html (first page).
    http://www.biblefortoday.org/PDF/StringerOnRiplinger.pdf (p. 8).

    I mentioned this to my wife, who has taught English to Japanese for many years, as I have in the past, and she immediately knew the fallacy. Being a teacher of English as a second language does NOT make you a linguist. Gail Riplinger is not a linguist, nor does she know linguistics, nor are the linguistic sources she uses very reliable. More on that later.
     
    #1 John of Japan, Dec 29, 2013
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  2. SolaSaint

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    #2 SolaSaint, Dec 29, 2013
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  3. preacher4truth

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    This sounds like rehashed old news and kicking a dead horse. Riplinger has always been a charlatan yet many IFB's follow her and her lies. Her teachings are insignificant to those who actually think.

    There's nothing to see here folks, move along, move along.

    Now that said I now fully expect others to make this whole thing pertinent, alive, and well.
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Looks like a good link and I'll watch it when I can.

    Having said that, this thread is not about her first book or even her views in general, but about her linguistic claims, in particular her embracing of phonolinguistics and the ridiculous idea that a single letter can have meaning, thus allowing the translator to find the meanings of words in the KJV itself without using any linguistic tools.
     
  5. John of Japan

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    Riplinger has bought into something called phonolinguistics, which is so inconsequential in the world of linguistics that neither linguistic dictionary I have lists it. It is basically the idea that a single sound will always have meaning. In Riplinger's theory that means that you can tell the meaning of a word in the KJV by its letters. See some of this at: http://www.hacalumni.com/pdfs/Stringer.pdf (Begin on p. 20 and ignore the other nonsense.) (By the way, if you Google the term phonolinguistics, you will only have 56 hits, including this thread!)

    What makes this theory ridiculous is that when a missionary approaches a tribal language to translate the Bible into it, what he must learn is not the written language--the letters--since the language will not yet be written down. The missionary will have to learn the phonemes (most basic sounds) and morphemes (most basic sounds with meaning). This is basic linguistics. Yet "linguist" Riplinger never mentions phonemes and morphemes in any of her writings that I have yet read. According to her theory, all phonemes are morphemes. That's patently illogical. If you say to someone, "A and then Z," would they understand? Of course not.

    One of Riplinger's main sources for phonolinguistics is Margaret Magnus, who she says is a linguist from MIT. If you look at Magnus' LinkedIn profile you find out that she was ABD (all but dissertation) at MIT, so either she didn't do one or it was rejected. Her dissertation is online at http://www.trismegistos.com/dissertation/. She got her actual PhD at a European U. many years later. And she does not work as a linguist according to her LinkedIn data. My point is she is quite obscure in the field of linguistics, not what Riplinger makes her out to be. And oh yes, Riplinger rips off Magnus, plagiarizing her bibliography at the end of her harangue against Springer. (See the Magnus original at: Copied directly from Margaret Magnus at: http://www.trismegistos.com/magicalletterpage/bibliography.html)
     
  6. annsni

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    Your wife is a linguist and now is an expert in translations!! Congratulations for marrying such a smart woman!

    :laugh:
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Not to mention she's a great cook! :godisgood:
     
  8. Jordan Kurecki

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    I'm King James Only, And I cannot stand the false teachings of Gail Riplinger, She makes outrageous claims in her book Hazardous Materials like ALL Hebrew and Greek Lexicons are corrupt.

    She Also claimed in one of her books that God gave her the words for her book new age bible versions. She basically makes claims to inspiration of God and what she does in her books is tear down ALL other authorities so you have no one to look to but her.

    Phil Stringer wrote 2 books on Riplinger and he compares her to False Prophetesses Ellen G White and Marry Eddy Baker.

    Not to mention she basically preaches from pulpits in Baptist Churches which is unscriptural.

    And she makes up quotes and threatened to sue D.A. Waite. which is also unscriptural.
     
  9. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I'm glad to read this from you. She has deceived far too many people for far too long.

    I've had some contact with Phil Stringer and believe he is a good man. However, the Dean Burgon Society he is connected with actually promoted and sold Gail Riplinger's garbage for a long time until Dr. Waite found out she was lying to him and his wife about her two divorces. Now suddenly to the DBS she is persona non-grata and a heretic. This means she deceived them also for years! At any rate, I'm glad Phil is exposing her egregious errors.
     
  10. Jordan Kurecki

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    Yeah. I very much follow the DBS. I would be a member but I'm too poor to afford the 7 dollar membership fee lol... that and Im too lazy to mail the check.
     
  11. John of Japan

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    As Jordan notes, Riplinger believes that all Hebrew and Greek lexicons, and even all grammars, are corrupt, a patently ridiculous claim unless you believe that all linguists are themselves corrupt by virtue of being linguists. Oh, but then that would make "linguist" Riplinger herself corrupt, wouldn't it??? :smilewinkgrin:

    She writes, "If you use Greek and Hebrew lexicons and grammars other than those exposed in this book, know for certain that their definitions contain the same errors as those discussed in this book, because they were taken from one of these authors.” (P. 36 of Hazardous Materials. Caveat: I've not read the whole book because I don' t want to waste my money, but she has some of it for free on her website.) Now if all materials produced by all Greek and Hebrew scholars are corrupt, that would logically mean that the Greek and Hebrew languages themselves are corrupt. But wait, God chose these languages to give His holy Word in. Which means to me that the corruption is not in Greek and Hebrew materials, but in Riplinger's works!

    By the by, Riplinger does not even mention various lexicons I use in my translation work, such as those by Maurice Robinson, the Fribergs, Abbot and Smith, etc. It goes without saying that since she doesn't know Greek she would not know about the great grammars: A. T. Robertson, Daniel Wallace, Dana and Mantey, etc. Yet she condemns them out of hand. Why? simply because they are Greek grammars, not English, apparently!
     
  12. John of Japan

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    I'm with you on that, believe it or not. When I was a young man I considered joining the DBS but never got around to it. :eek: But I did order some stuff from them back then that helped me a good bit: books by Burgon and Edward Miller on textual criticism. But I'm afraid that I'm hugely turned away by their previous support for Riplinger and by the fact that some of their authors quote Ruckman favorably (Moorman does at least).

    This is not to mention the fact that they still have an article on their website by H. D. Williams that viciously attacks me personally for simply giving a negative Amazon review of Williams' book on Bible translation! And there Williams (who doesn't read Japanese) says no one should use the Japanese NT of the translation effort I head, in spite of the fact that it will be the first (and only) Japanese from the TR in modern Japanese. (There was a previous one in classical Japanese, long out of print.) So sorry, the DBS will have to do without my membership. :saint:
     
    #12 John of Japan, Dec 29, 2013
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  13. SolaSaint

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    Actually I'm just now researching this and find it very interesting. Sorry if you are offended, maybe think about not replying if this is so hard on you.
     
  14. preacher4truth

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    I've already read plenty on the charlatan after KJVO troublemakers have caused much division in church over her writings and over MV's. I won't waste my time in a fools folly any longer, or over the writings and musings of a well known pathological liar. Anything stemming from the KJVO camp should be avoided. I apologize you're offended by my stance.
     
  15. John of Japan

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    Note that individual letters can be pronounced more that one way. This is pretty basic, but bear with me. For example, "a" can be pronounced long as in "face" or short as in "fat." It can also appear in a diphthong (two vowels with one sound) with a slightly different sound, as in "threat." So one letter can have several sounds (phonemes).

    Ignoring this, in her efforts to make individual letters have meaning, Riplinger has the four Hebrew letters of YHWH meaning: "a giving hand," "an enclosure," "a nail," and finally when the Hebrew "heh" is repeated, "The H is repeated at the end of the name because 'Jesus was risen' and 'received up into heaven'" (In Awe of Thy Word, beginning of Ch. 11, p. 414). This is very inconsistent. Why does the "heh" mean something different the second time? Because it fits her scheme, that's all! No other reason.

    The Hebrew alphabet is not pictographs (letters with meaning), though it is said to have been developed from Phoenician pictographs (H. A. Gleason, An Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics, pp. 418-419). Such an alphabet originally has meaning in that each pictograph represents something. However, when an alphabet is developed the pictographs used for the alphabet lose their original meaning as morphemes (basic sound with meaning) but keep their phonetic value (phoneme, sound). "Alphabetic writing systems are those in which the graphemes typically have reference to single phonemes" (Gleason, p. 418).

    Japanese has two such alphabets, the hiragana (for Japanese words and word endings) and the katakana (for foreign words). These were said to have been developed from Chinese characters in the 8th century, I believe it was. However, no Japanese today will look at a single "kana" alphabet character and say that it has meaning. It is simply a sound to them unless it has context, like the character "ka" put at the end of a sentence for an interrogative marker. On the other hand, Japanese uses thousands of Chinese characters that DO have meaning--because they are not part of an alphabet, so they are still pictographs!

    Last week I witnessed to a Japanese man who asked, "What does 'righteousness' mean?" I showed him the Chinese character, which has three radicals, or parts (義): a sheep on top, then "me" on the bottom in two radicals, "hand" and "axe." It refers to the ancient Chinese method of offering a sheep to Shang Ti, their original, monotheistic God. (Finding God in Ancient China, by Chan Kei Thong, is excellent on this.) The Japanese man immediately understood what I was saying because he knew the character, which was a pictograph with meaning.

    So, got it? Pictographs (Chinese, ancient Egyptian, original Phoenician, etc.) have meanings, but alphabet characters do not usually have meaning unless there is context (like the letter "I" for one's self in English).
     
    #15 John of Japan, Dec 30, 2013
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  16. Jkdbuck76

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    John, what is kanji?
     
  17. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Kanji (漢字) is the Japanese word for Chinese characters, hanzi in Chinese. :type:
     
  18. Jkdbuck76

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    ok. thx, Brother John. Not bad for a Chunner :)
    God bless you in your translating the TR so that they have God's Word.
     
  19. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Careful there, my internal energy can reach across the Internet.
    Working hard on it!
     
  20. Jordan Kurecki

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    Are you using Scrivener's TR?


    and how exactly are you going about doing the translation?
     

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