21. Is it true that the SDA Church has produced its own version of the Bible the ‘Clear Word’?

No.  The Clear Word Bible is a paraphrase – it is not intended as a Bible in the proper sense of the word.  Many denominations and individual scholars produce paraphrases from time-to-time, which have no official standing for scriptural authority.  For example, paraphrases commonly used by other Christians include The Message (Bible), written by Presbyterian Eugene H. Peterson, The Living Bible, written by Baptist Kenneth N. Taylor, and Phillips New Testament in Modern English, written by Anglican J. B. Phillips.  Furthermore, the Clear Word Bible is not officially endorsed by the SDA Church, although it is admittedly published by Adventist publishing organizations – but only for devotional purposes in a similar manner to The Message Bible
Thus, the SDA Church endorses no particular version of the Bible.  As illustrated by a search of the Adventist Book Centre online, the SDA Church sells a range of Bible versions, including the KJV, NKJV and NIV, as well as a variety of devotional and resource books, including but not limited to the Clear Word paraphrase. Individual Adventists range from die-hard KJV-only adherents to those whose preference is for the New International Version of the Bible, amongst many others. 
Perhaps one is also getting confused with the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation, which is not merely a devotional paraphrase but is intended as a standalone and authoritative new translation of the Bible.


  1. Yet it is true that the Clear Word Bible was produced by a theology professor in one of our SDA universities, printed by our denominational publishing house, and used by many SDA members.

    This "Bible" is degrading the true word of God, and causing the enemies of the truth to rejoice.

    1. Sorry I am not sure what your point is exactly? Ok sure, the Clear Word is used by an SDA theology professor, but that is no different from The Message (Bible), written by Presbyterian Eugene H. Peterson, and The Living Bible, written by Baptist Kenneth N. Taylor. Christians, including Adventists, write a whole host of books all the time, and paraphrases (which again are not 'Bibles') are a common example.

      That all said, if you are suggesting that you oppose the whole idea of paraphrases in general (whether it be the Message, Living Bible or Clear Word), then I think you have a really good point. Many people do pick them up and read them as a 'Bible', even though by the admission of the authors and publishers they are not Bibles at all.

      In any event, I don't know many or any Adventists who use the Clear Word. The most common version used today by parishioners appears to be the NKJV or the NIV. The only paraphrases that I have seen used (and they were popular for a while) was the Message.

  2. To compare The Message paraphrase to The Clear Word ignores the fact that Ellen White's writings are inserted into the text (without warning, mention or designation). This is different than The Message and other paraphrases.

    The Clear Word is routinely used in churches, read from the pulpit during sermons and other presentations.

    1. DPM are you an Adventist? If not, how do you know the Clear Word is routinely used in churches? I have attended an SDA Church for decades and I have never seen it used substantially. Most people use either the NIV, KVJ or NKVJ.

    2. True that, Sam. I've been an Adventis for more than 17 years and have just in the past year even heard of the Clear Word. Personally, I'm partial to the KJV.

  3. So would it be ok if the Mormons produced a "paraphrase" that read just like a Bible and inserted Joseph Smith's writings into the text?

    1. First, a paraphrase is not a Bible - it is a devotional tool. Many study Bibles have writings inserted into them, the most notable being the Scofied Bible.

      Second, I believe Joseph Smith actually did produce his own Bible, but I believe LDSs don't actually use it much.

      Third, I am not even sure if you are correct re the supposed insertion of Ellen White writings into the Clear Word. Part of the difficulty is because I have never seen a Clear Word Bible ever been used in an SDA congregation I have attended. As has been said repeatedly, SDAs typically use KJVs or NKJVs if they are conservatives, or NIVs and NASBs if they are more liberal.

      I have looked at a copy on Amazon dot.com, which allows you to look inside and view a selection of the book, and I can't see any inserted Ellen White references. Have a look yourself if you don't believe me:


    2. Also as noted from the preface to the Clear Word itself:

      "The Clear Word is not a translation, but a devotional paraphrase of Scripture...

      It should not be considered a study Bible. Excellent translations of the Scriptures are available for such purposes...

      Over the years there have been several modern paraphrases such as Phillip's New Testament in Modern English, Taylor's The Living Bible, and Peterson's The Message..."


      Please tell me what denomination of Christian you are. I suspect that your own denomination has probably produced a paraphrase of its own before as well.

    3. Daniel 8:14, NASB: "And he said to me, 'For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored.'"
      Daniel 8:14, TCW: "And he said to him, 'After two thousand three hundred PROPHETIC DAYS (or TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED YEARS), God will step in, proclaim the truth about Himself and restore the ministry of the SANCTUARY IN HEAVEN to its rightful place. This is when the JUDGEMENT WILL BEGIN, OF WHICH THE CLEANSING OF THE EARTHLY SANCTUARY IS A TYPE.'"
      Adventist doctrine of the Investigative Judgement inserted into the text, purely from Ellen White. You CANNOT prove any of this from the original text.

      Just for fun, let's see what Daniel 8:14 says in The Message, a paraphrase. "The other answered, 'Over the course of 2,300 sacrifices, evening and morning. Then the Sanctuary will be set right again.'"

      We can see the MUCH has been added in The Clear Word version of Daniel 8:14 that is NOT Biblical.

      I have a list of insertions into the text that allow for Adventist doctrine that cannot be found or proved from the original text, if you would like I can list some more.

    4. How many times do I have to repeat it - the Clear Word is not 'biblical' in the strictest sense because it is not, nor does it purport to be, a Bible. It is a paraphrase, which is a devotional personal interpretation of the Bible. That personal interpretation is the interpretation of one man, its author, and does not represent the views of the SDA Church. It is no different from The Message. I am not quite sure if you are suffering some sort of brain damage, which is preventing you from understand what seems to be a very simple concept.

      You are simply setting up a straw man, and then trying to say, 'Wow look at me, look at how I killed that straw man'. Well congratulations.

    5. Also see the various criticisms about The Message (posted below). Some have argued the The Message distorts or denies the message (no pun intended) of the Trinity. Most Christians would argue that to distort or deny the doctrine of the Trinity is anti-Christ heresy and the halmarks of a cult (think JWs, Christedelphians, Arians etc.)

      What then, do we say the whole Presbyterian Church is a cult, because The Message was written by Eugene H. Peterson, a Presbyterian Minister? Remember, Jesus said that the way you judge others is the same standard you will be judged!

    6. Sam, please "Remember, Jesus said that the way you judge others is the same standard you will be judged" as you quoted above. I am a Seventh-day Adventist, currently studying to be a pastor, and I want to remind you that even on the Internet, you must treat everyone with kindness and respect, no matter if people agree with you or not. Your comment above, asking if the previous commenter was "suffering some sort of brain damage," was very unChristlike and judgmental. I appreciate the work you've put into this site. However, all of this work is futile unless it is done in love (1 Corinthians 13). Please be careful with how you represent Christ,
      Your friend,
      An Adventist Theology Student

    7. Well said Anonynous e treatment of others. Amazing how defensive Sam became. Just one rhetorical question, if the Clear Word Bible is supposedly a devotional tool, is it not understandable that people WILL be confused by the word "Bible". Yes, I know the etymology of the word...

    8. Yes Anonymous I think people may have been confused. Which is why I believe they removed the word "Bible" from its title, so now it simply says "Clear Word" and not "Clear Word Title".

      As for Sam's unChristian comments, at least he didn't tell his critics to go castrate themselves, as Paul did!

  4. And whilst talking about Bibles, consider translations such as the Good News Bible, which many consider only worthy of being a paraphrase, and not a proper translation. Or consider the use of 'inclusive gender language' in many modern translation, such as the ESV, NLT, NRSV and TNIV. All of these translation produced by 'mainstream' Christian groups have been heavily criticized, and clearly have their own theological agendas which make their way into the words and phrases used, such as the inclusive gender language, which is clearly inputting a feminist agenda into the text.

    Again, every writer has an agenda. The gender inclusive language for all these translations would not be so much of a problem if the authors admitted they were just paraphrases, such as the Clear Word or The Message, because readers know (or should know) that they are not 'proper Bibles' but just used for devotional purposes. But these translations do claim to be 'proper Bible' translations.

  5. Let’s look at some other texts and see how the individual author of the Message has translated it:

    Eph 5:22-

    NIV: Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as you do to the Lord.
    Message: Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ.

    Saying a woman is to ‘understand and support’ her husband is very different from saying she must ‘submit’ herself to her husband.

    1 Tim 2:11-12-

    NIV: A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.
    Message: I don't let women take over and tell the men what to do. They should study to be quiet and obedient along with everyone else.

    Telling a woman ‘not to take over’ and to be quiet and obedient ‘along with everyone else’ is very different from saying a woman should be submissive and not assume authority over a man.

    Col. 3:8-

    NIV: Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.
    Message: Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters.

    A servant has very different connotations from a slave.

    There are a number of other critiques of the Message, including those who say the Message distorts the doctrine of the Trinity. Others argue it introduces Gnostic-mystic heresies. All of these are serious charges indeed:


    However, for me, it isn’t too much a problem. You know why – because I realize the Message is A PARAPHRASE AND NOT A BIBLE. Something you seem to have real problems understanding!

  6. Yet we are given the Clear Word Bible and never told it contains made up SDA wordings that makes the religion more believable and is called Bible.

    1. The Clear Word isn't a Bible.