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REVIEW: Revelations of Christ 4 of 4
MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 2008
Posted by: Scott McMahan | more..
REVIEW: Revelations of Christ by Swami Kriyanada 4 of 4

[This review has been chopped up to fit on sermonaudio's blog. To get
the entire review, please follow the external link.]

One more thing can be said: For King James Bible fanatics, a dogma of
their belief in the KJV is that the textual stream of bad, Alexandrian
texts was corrupted and these corrupt translations are the basis of
modern Bibles, while the KJV uses the good, Antioch textual stream and
is trustworthy. This comes from Benjamin Wilkinson, a Seventh-Day
Adventist, and was smuggled into fundamentalist Christianity by
reprinting Wilkinson's book (most notably in "Which Bible?" in the
early 1970s) without telling anyone he was a cultist. So if a Swami
from Kriya Yoga talks about textual corruption, KJV fanatics ought to
listen. In Chapter 23, "The Missing Years", Swami asserts that the
text of the Bible was corrupted by the church. Since these missing
years are not present in any known manuscripts, this means even the
texts underlying the King James Bible have been tampered
with. "Clearly then, to start with, those eighteen years must have
been deliberately omitted from the official account of Christ's life."
(p. 414) This was done at one of the early councils of the church,
but, in Swami's exact words: "I forget which one it was." (direct
quotation from page 415!) But the charge that "the account of those
eighteen years was removed forthwith from the Bible" is serious enough
that this demands the same scrutiny that the SDA material
received. Swami states: "I know that there are records in India which
support the claim that Jesus lived in that country for several years"
but, characteristically, he does not say what they are. He mentions a
book by name, and it is probably the only citation in the entire book,
by Russian author Nicholas Notovich in 1887 called "The Unknown Life
of Jesus Christ" which is supposed to have details. (I had never heard
about this before, but about ten seconds into a web search showed this
was a hoax. Oriental scholar Max Mueller, a very trustworthy
translator, tried to get the same manuscripts Notovich claimed to have
access to, from the same monastery in India, and could not. Swami
claims some other person tried to go to the same monastery about forty
years later "in order to verify the account by Notovich, and actually
succeeded in doing so" which seems unlikely if a trusted scholar such
as Mueller could not almost immediately after these claims were
made. Naturally, the Swami includes no verifiable details.)

My conclusion is that Christians need to be exposed to this sort of
book. The thinking is shallow: I was surprised that I found myself
reviewing the method, which reads like a junior high essay, rather
than the content (which is almost nonexistent). The appeal to
authority (P.Y. is never critically questioned as a source, and
anything he says is taken as true, while the Bible is ripped to shreds
as unreliable and distorted) shows the importance of SOLA SCRIPTURA.

Many Christian offshoots like Pentecostalism and pseudo-Christian
beliefs like the Word of Faith movement allow for new
revelation. Swami has created a rather extreme interpretation of the
true essence of Christianity, which may be rejected by some who are
more orthodox, but by what measure is his interpretation to be
rejected, and by what measure are other "words from the Lord" to be
accepted? (And, for that matter, by what measure is the Roman Catholic
Church's additions to Christianity to be accepted or rejected?)
Without the foundational Reformation doctrine of sola scriptura, the
scriptures alone, there is no way to make any such distinctions. Only
when the word of God is the final and only standard can any single,
true definition of the Christian faith be established. Otherwise,
anything goes. How can a Pope, a Pentecostal Apostle with a "word of
knowledge", or Paramahansa Yogananda claiming to be sent by Jesus and
Babaji to recover original Christianity, be judged? Without the Bible
as the sole standard, there is nothing by which to evaluate the claims
of these various people.

The value and importance of the Reformed, Protestant gospel can't be
underestimated or undervalued. Compared to this book, the simple
message that Christ died for sinners, backed up by the reliable
authority of the Bible and many centuries of careful and
well-documented guarding against error, from the early church councils
and creeds to the more recent Reformation, shows Christianity has been
tested and proven to be God's truth. Swami Kriyanada presents a
shallow, unsatisfying alternative. All the more reason to get out the
gospel: If people have only heard the post-modern unclear thought that
passes as religion these days, the gospel will ring all the more true
to them when they finally hear it.

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Category:  Revelations Review

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