Reintroducing the Fire and ‘Passion’ of the Bible ~ A Conversation with Brian Simmons
Do you ever read the Bible and feel like the words are old-fashioned? Do you wish it would come so alive that you couldn’t put it down?
Imagine … a Bible that grips your heart with fire and emotion for the lover of your soul. Well that’s where The Passion Translation comes in –– it’s a new Bible translation that expresses God’s passion and love to the modern world, bringing hope and fresh revelation through the breath of the Holy Spirit that will absolutely stir your heart!
But why have another Bible translation?
Find out in this week’s Spirit Connection podcast episode, with my special guest Dr. Brian Simmons, a former missionary, linguist and the lead translator of The Passion Translation.
Brian and his wife Candice were long-term missionaries and church planters in South America; there, he translated the New Testament for the Kuna people of Panama. They traveled the world teaching the Word and pastored a church in Connecticut for 18 years.
After a 2009 encounter with the Lord, Brian began translating the scriptures into a fresh, dynamic version that doesn’t “de-supernaturalize” the Word of God.
It is an attempt to bring God’s fiery heart of love and truth to this generation, bringing ancient manuscripts together with the emotion and truth of God’s Word, resulting in a clear, accurate, readable translation for English readers … not just intellectually, but heart deep!
In this episode, you’ll hear answers to these questions and more:
- Why is this translation different than all the others?
- What about the pain, prejudice and problems of this world?
- What is the “dew of youth?”
- Who are the manifested sons and daughters of God?
- What will it take to change this current darkness into light?
- How is this a key to reach the millennials?
- What does this Bible have to do with revival?
Listen Online Below:
The following is a transcript of the podcast,
or download it here as a PDF file.
Reintroducing the Fire & Passion of the Bible
TRANSCRIPT of A Conversation with Brian Simmons
July 26, 2017
“Hey everybody, Doug Addison here. Welcome to another Spirit Connection Podcast. You know, we have been talking about what God is saying today. Right now, in the midst of the times of trouble, in the midst of turning on the news and seeing all these strange things happening and senseless killings and all the division, you know, this is the time like never before that we need to hear the Word of the Lord.
We need to bring hope. We need to break off despair and hope deferred. God is passionately in love with you. This is what we have been really just moving towards in all of our episodes together when I bring in different people from different tribes and camps and we talk and share about what God is doing.
Well, this week I have a really special guest — a friend of mine who goes back to a long time ago. I tell you, this guy is so special and the presence and the power of the Lord is already here. Just in our prayer time before we came on, we were just saying we should have taped this ahead of time because the heavens opened right now and you are going to experience it as well.
Like I say sometimes, you might want to pull the car over because there is something that is shifting in the spiritual realm right now. So, I want to welcome Dr. Brian Simmons.
Now he and his wife Candice are long-term missionaries. They are church planters to Central America and they were credited with translating the New Testament to the Kuna people. They pastored the Gateway Christian Fellowship of Connecticut for over 18 years, and they traveled all over the world speaking, leading and teaching people to grow in Christ.
This is one special servant of the Lord and he is the lead translator of the new Passion Translation of the New Testament, the Psalms, Proverbs and Song of Songs. I am so excited because, I tell you, this translation has been a part of my encounters with the Lord. The Lord uses it, especially the Psalms. He uses it to open up things, open up visions.
The Passion Translation reintroduces the passion and the fire of the Bible to English readers, not in a literal translation of word-to-word, but it expresses God’s passion and His love for people to a world of modern listeners — and that is who you are, because a lot of us are connected on the Internet.
I am so excited to introduce my friend to you, Brian Simmons.
Doug: Welcome, Brian.
Brian: Well, thank you. Doug. What a joy to be with you.
Doug: Yes, wow! Well, just tell us about yourself.
Brian: Well, I have been married 46 years to my perfect wife. She is amazing. Candice. We have three kids, we have eight grandchildren, and I just … you know, put on my tombstone, “He was a lover of God.”
That is really what I long to be known for. We spent about 15 years in missions. I was a field leader in Panama with New Tribes Mission and it was there that we saw a church birthed from nothing.
The wonderful tribal people there came to know the Lord Jesus. As the Lord broke my heart open for them, they ended up coming to the Lord and we saw miracles. It was my introduction, really, to the Holy Spirit — in the jungle.
Then we came back and pastored a church for 18 years in Connecticut and since 2009 we have now been on the road and I am actively translating The Passion Translation. Today I was working on Isaiah 8.
Doug: Oh, wow! Isaiah 8 means a lot to me because the encounter I had yesterday was in Isaiah 8. I was in, you know, my new NIV and I was thinking, “Oh, I hope Brian does Isaiah,” and here you were, doing it just yesterday. Wow, the same time that I had this encounter.
Brian: That is crazy. The same time and the same passage that you were considering. I did not realize that.
Doug: Yes. It was quite powerful. Wow! You know, a lot of people write books, but very few people have the opportunity to translate the Bible. So how did that come about?
Brian: Oh my, I am glad you asked. In 2009, after we handed our church over to another leadership team, I had an encounter and the Lord himself came to me in the night and breathed over me. He breathed upon me and gave me this commission.
He promised me a number of things, some of which have come true exactly the way He said it would happen. He basically gave me this mandate to translate the scriptures into a dynamic new fresh translation.
He promised He would help me and I can tell you, Doug, He really has. His Holy Spirit has been with me helping me, especially with the book of Psalms.
There was a time where I felt like I went into a trance. When I was doing the book of Psalms, the Holy Spirit just came so powerfully upon me and the last six or seven psalms of the book just took me away into another world.
Doug: Wow! You know, I feel that, too. I feel when I read it just in my quiet times, but then also during these encounters that I have been having since Passover — I feel like you have seen something for me. You have tasted something from Heaven. Even in my heavenly encounters, it has the same taste as when I read the book of Psalms, so it is very interesting you said that.
Brian: Yes, the breath of the Lord, you know? His Word is living breath. It is His Spirit that comes alive when we read it. So, no matter what translation, it is all anointed. It is all inspired. But my, oh my, this journey for the last eight years doing The Passion Translation has radically changed my life.
Doug: Yes. I bet. So, what are the next plans then for The Passion Translation?
Brian: Well, we are going to be releasing at the end of October to coincide with the 500-year anniversary of the great reformation, which, by the way, was sparked by a Bible translation.
John Wycliffe was a Bible translator. He refused to leave it in Latin. The Bible was chained to the pulpit at that time and he said, “No, let’s put it in the language of the people,” and that sparked the reformation.
Martin Luther became the bonfire, but the spark of it was a Bible translation. May it be that The Passion Translation carries the spark of Heaven to ignite people, to reform our hearts, even our theology — that we begin to see the Lord from that love lens. We begin to see him as a passionate Father who gave a passionate Son for us and makes us passion-filled lovers of God.
Doug: Yes. How good is that? I did not even realize … Now, I knew it was the 500-year anniversary, but I did not realize it or put those two things together. Did you plan it that way?
Brian: You know, we did not. I t was two years ago when I just came up with the date. I told our publisher; I said, “I think I can finish by October and we will have it October 2017.” Then my good friend, Stacey Campbell, prophesied over us that it was going to be a reformation Bible released on the same day as the reformation. She had no clue.
So, yes, we really feel the Lord is going to spark something through this … I call it a Revival Bible. Maybe the Billion Soul Harvest — this could be something that we are able to hand them.
As new believers come to Christ in North America, the English speaking world, that we could hand them a passion-filled translation that does not de-supernaturalize the Word of God.
Doug: Yes. Do you know what? That is what I feel in it. You are one of the only Bible translators and, you know, biblical scholars, that I feel has seen Heaven. You have experienced Heaven. You have seen things in Heaven and you are bringing that now into the Word of God.
Brian: Yes. That is right. I have seen the Sea of Glass. I know that the Lord is going to bring a great harvest. The golden sickle is even now being placed in the hands of mighty harvesters around the world and we are going to see this awesome in-gathering of souls.
Doug: Yes. You know, my whole ministry kind of changed. We met early on back in the 1990s, I believe, somewhere in there.
Doug: We met during the time with John Paul Jackson and a lot of the prophetic movement up in New England. There was just such an impartation. I remember getting an impartation when I went to your church. It was such an impartation of love and the ability to take it out to the streets.
Brian: Oh, yes. Yes. The Song of Songs … I know I am jumping ahead a little bit here, but the Song of Songs … Wow! That has gripped my heart for years. I love teaching it. It has changed me as a minister, as a pastor, a Bible teacher. It has changed how I look at people, how I see the heart of the Lord for us. Yes, if you take love out of the equation, I am out of here.
Doug : Yes. That is great. It is interesting, because the encounters I have been having — they seem to coincide with a lot of the things in yours. The Song of Songs, Chapter 8 — I cannot even read, you know, part of it. I cannot even read it without weeping. I cannot tell people without weeping, because the Lord is weeping right now in a good way over people and it is so exciting.
Brian: Oh, He loves us. You know, that one portion in the Song of Songs, where He says, “Turn your eyes from me; I can’t take it anymore! I can’t resist the passion of these eyes that I adore. Overpowered by a glance, my conquered heart — undone. Held captive by your love, I am truly overcome!”
Doug: Now you have me crying. Man, I have not been able to tell people the details of some of these encounters and exactly the Song of Songs has kind of opened up this whole new place of God’s love. So, I am so excited for the work you are doing. I am trying to get my composure back now. So, why don’t you just go ahead and talk a little bit more while I do that.
Brian: Well, one thing I wanted to be able to share with your listeners … and thank you again, Doug, so much for this privilege to be with you. You are a wonderful servant of the Lord and God’s hand rests so heavily upon you. You are His prophet, His servant, and we love you — and I am speaking for millions of people when I say that.
What I see happening … I had this dream — a supernatural dream — and it started out horrible. It was this thick darkness, this blackness like a shroud — like a heavy blanket had come upon the Earth.
I was weeping in the dream, crying out saying, “Lord, this is too dark, this is too thick and heavy. Who could pierce this darkness?” And just then in the dream, I saw the horizon and I saw a band of young people — like millennials.
I saw like a band of these young adults who refused to let it be dark anymore and they pointed to the horizon and commanded the sun to rise at midnight and the sun came up at midnight. Then the voice of the Lord in this dream spoke so loudly and said, “My day-breakers are coming. My dawn-makers are coming. They will pierce the darkness. They will lift this veil.”
So, you know, God has an answer to the dilemma of the nations, the angst of the nations — the pain, the problems, the division and hurt and prejudice. There is an answer and it is a new breed. It is a new believer being raised up. A new, anointed cadre of young adults are going to flip this planet right-side up.
I see a mighty awakening coming, led by a supercharged group of individuals with a faith that will scare you. It is everything we want and everything you run from: too-hot-to-handle, bold breakers — men and women who are passionately in love with Jesus and nothing but a smile on their face and fire in their hearts. It is coming.
Doug: Yes. I just feel the presence so strong as you are speaking and it really resonates. What you just said is exactly the visions and the prophetic words that I have been seeing and releasing over the last few years, you know, about the Billion Soul Harvest — the very things that the Lord has on His heart for this season.
Brian: Yes. It is like awakeners. I know you have listeners from other nations, but let us just use America. You cannot revive America until you revive an American.
There has to be someone, somewhere that catches the spark, the fire, the flame of awakening and it spreads and it spreads and it spreads — like an Evan Roberts, like a Charles Finney, a Johnathan Edwards. There has to be a woman, a man somewhere who ignites and becomes a burning one and with consuming passion, they light their nation on fire.
Doug: Yes. We just say, “Yes, God. Yes, to that.” You know, I was about to ask you if you have a word just to share with us. You are sharing so much deep stuff here and you are opening up the treasures of my heart right now. I know that our listeners are feeling the presence of the Lord.
There is something going on. If you are new to this even, you know, what you are experiencing right now, whether you are a feeler or a thinker, something new is opening up right now. I feel the gates of revelation beginning to open at a greater level. So why don’t you just share. Has the Lord placed anything on your heart?
Brian: Well, He has. There are days coming that are filled with darkness, but there is going to be such a greater glory that we won’t even look. We won’t even talk about the darkness. We will be too consumed to be sharing the message and the glory of Christ.
It is like the dew of His youth. Psalm 110:3 speaks about, “The dew of His youth.” What is that? I think that is awesome, whatever it means. I believe it is like the youthful zeal and passion of Jesus is going to fall upon a people and they will carry that dew.
Now dew in the Bible is always a picture of anointing — the dew of Heaven. So, this anointing of Jesus is going to rest upon a company who will do greater works, who will
bring the greater glory.
They will be the manifested, unveiled sons and daughters of God. You know, all of creation is groaning and travailing, not for the rapture, not for the Second Coming, but for sons and daughters to be revealed. That is the next thing on God’s timetable. I am convinced that is even coinciding with this awakening that is coming. But there has to be an unveiling.
There has to be a people who begin to realize that they carry, like Mary, the Christ of Glory. Something so powerful is within us and He is just looking for a dispenser. He is looking for an outlet. May it be that I and you, Doug, and those listening today — we would become those dispensers of the divine, where dust and deity mingle and kiss and Christ comes forth out of us in such a powerful way that it releases awakening into our cities.
Doug: Wow! Now, that is from Psalm 110 from The Passion Translation?
Brian: Yes. Can I read the whole verse?
Doug: Yes. Go for it.
Brian: It says, “Your people will be your love offerings ~ like living sacrifices spilled out before you! In the day of your mighty power you will be exalted, And in the brightness of your holy ones you will shine, as an army arising from the dawning rays of a new day, anointed with the dew of your youth!”
Doug: Wow! Yes. Now, when you got this, do you remember actually getting … You have translated so much of the Bible, but do you remember getting this? Because I feel the fingerprints of God on this so strongly.
Brian: I do remember the day I translated that very verse and I just pushed back from my desk and I just basked in this glory that He is going to shine. It says, “In the brightness of your holy ones you will shine.” So, it is in us.
The revelation of Jesus Christ is in us. The unveiling has to take place in a people. He is coming in us, not just for us. We are the clouds He is coming in. A cloud company will reveal Him — will bring His glory to the Earth. So I just cannot wait for this. I cannot wait to see what is coming. I am glad you are still young, Doug. We have lots of years ahead of us.
Doug: Yes. I know. I tell you, I have been asking the Lord. You know, I am 58, and I am asking the Lord, you know … “I want to stay,” you know. “I want to stay on Earth to see the glorious ones.” You know, the Christ-like ones who are going to rise up from this new move. It is going to be amazing.
Brian: It sure will. I can’t wait.
Doug: And to get the dew of Heaven. I need that as well. My goodness.
Doug: Wow. This does not usually happen to me where I am speechless. The encounters I have been having cause me to become speechless, but usually I am kind of a speaker who can …
You know, my theology or way of operating is, “Open your mouth and He will fill it.” So, for me not to have words — it means the Lord is moving so heavily. I just want to open this up right now. Why don’t you just pray a little bit over this for our listeners?
Brian: I would love to. Espirito Santo, Holy Spirit, my best friend. We love You. We ask that You would bring revelation, insight — that You would remove from us that know-it-all attitude that keeps us from learning new and fresh discoveries.
I ask, Holy Spirit, that You would release the mind of Christ into our hearts in this season — that we would see everything through Your eyes, Lord, and that deep reservoir of revelation would be filled within us.
Would we overflow to our families, our friends, Lord, even to our enemies, Lord — that they would sense that God is with us of a truth. I pray, Lord, that You would continue to touch and bless each one listening. Let them respond today and say, “I want to be the ‘dew of your youth.’
I want to be Your shining one. I want to carry, like Mary, the Christ of Glory. I want to reveal and dispense Him wherever I go.” Lord, fill our hearts with that deep passion and ignite a fire that never goes out on the Earth today — a fire of authentic awakening that reveals Christ in His glory.
Lord, we love You and we thank You so much for loving us and filling us with that love. o, we worship You with our worshipping glance, our worshipping eyes, until You have to tell us, “Stop, I can’t take it anymore.”
Lord, I just pray that we would conquer Your heart in this season as lovers and intercessors that would bring Your glory into the Earth, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Doug: Yes. Amen. Now, we are not finished here, everybody. I just wanted to … Because I am spiritually sensitive to things, I knew that the window of Heaven was open and I wanted to take advantage of that and just do this impartation activation prayer from Brian so that you would receive it right from Heaven — right from the Great Translator Himself: the Lord God.
It was so powerful. I tell you, I am wasted in the Holy Spirit right now in different ways. I am not usually like a drunk feeling. This is a feeling of a combination of bliss and having the mind of Christ. There are all kinds of things happening right now. Let’s just kind of shift gears here for a minute, Brian. How is it that you normally hear God?
Brian: Well, for me it is dreams. I personally believe that dreams are the on-ramp into the prophetic. I believe dreams are the most common, easy, natural way for all of us to hear from God.
But it started for me with dreams. My wife, Candice — she is such a prolific dreamer. She usually has five to seven dreams every night. She records them and we talk about them every day, every morning, on our walk together.
But, yes, for me it is dreams. I have heard the audible voice of God once. I have had the inward voice of the Lord, which it seems like it is audible, but it is inward. I have had that multiple, multiple times, and that one most frequently has to do with direction for my life when I am trying to make a decision.
That is when I hear like in my spirit, in my tummy. Yes, and then I love the personal prophetic ministry I receive from other people. So those are some of the ways that I hear from the Lord.
Doug: Do you record this? Do you journal? What is your process?
Brian: You know, I wish I had been more faithful journaling this, because I have so many of these encounters and words. But thankfully I have my memory and it is still fresh. Yes, I do recommend journaling. Forgive my hypocrisy because I have not done that, but I really think that is the best way to catch it andreceive it.
Doug: Yes. So when you get something from the Lord, you have a good memory then, like even right now?
Brian: Oh, yes. I can go right back into it. When He came into my room and commissioned me to do the translation, or when He took me into the heavenly realm and showed me His library room of all of the revelation of eternity in that room, just thinking about it and I go back into that. It is like you go from glory back into glory.
Doug: So, you have a spiritual photographic memory. How good is that? I have to write things down because I forget, but at the same time — I did not realize this until I was talking to Wesley Campbell — and he said, “Did you know you have a photographic memory?” I am like, “I can’t even remember my own telephone number.”
But there are certain things that God will allow us to do — you know, certain gifts. That is really exciting. Wow! So, you and your wife have a heart for fathering. Now, have you seen a change just recently with this?
Brian: Yes, I have. I have … we both have felt that this generation is geared and ready for fathers and mothers. I think God has begun such a deep work in the fathers and others of the boomer generation to prepare them to truly raise up sons and daughters.
You know, it is kind of like the old guy that has his first child, you know, when he is 40 or 50 and has a baby and really, really loves that child. So, it is with this generation. The older ones — suddenly we realize there is no greater legacy than to love this generation, to love them into their fullness and into their destiny.
Wherever we go, that is always in the back of our minds — that we would leave that blessing upon the rising generation.
Doug: Yes. You know, it is God’s heart and it is, really … it is not something that you see naturally. Was there anyone who influenced you early on in this area?
Brian: Well, I think of a number of people in our missions background. When I was in Bible college I had a professor, a teacher who looked at me and saw something I did not see. In spite of my immaturity and awkward things that I would do or say, he would put his arm around me and just tell me that he loved me and that he believed in me.
Man, I was only 21 at the time and he was, I am sure, about my age that I am at now. So for him to even care about a young person touched me, let alone he would inspire me with those kinds of affirming words. This generation needs to be told they are loved, they are
cherished. There is nothing wrong with that. We are not spoiling them. We are preparing them.
Doug: Right, and I just want to say, friends, listen. What Brian just described is an incredible picture of how to father. Some people say, “I don’t know how to father. I don’t know how to do it.” All you have to do is say something nice. You have to just love and affirm them. I look back and there were only a few people in my life early on who recognized something in me.
A lot of other ones thought I was rebellious, and I might have been. But exactly that … you just described it so well: for men and women to be able to speak and say the words, “I am so proud of you.”
Brian: That is what we need to do. One of my prayers is that I would be the most encouraging person in every room I go into.
Doug: Yes. That is powerful. Well, let me just ask you a question here. You know, out of all the translations and things that you have done, is there any part of your translation that is your favorite?
Brian: I would say the poetry — Song of Songs, Proverbs and Psalms — because of the Hebrew poetry and the Hebrew language is so, so beautiful and complex. Simple, but complex.
I just see the divine poetry as like His love language for this generation. We are in a poetic, touchy-feely generation right now. God has made us this way. He has created us with these emotions. So, yes, my favorite would probably be the Song of Songs and the book of Psalms.
Doug: Yes, that is mine too. You know, it really is. There is a key to reach the millennials in all of this. There is just something about that language that grips them — that language that says, you know, “I love you.” It is not, “thou shalt” or “don’t do.” It is the language of love.
Brian: Oh, it is so true. Yes, and can we really overdose on it? You know, Paul says, “Against the fruit of the Spirit there is no law or boundary,” so we can’t really love too much. It is impossible. I don’t think God will rebuke us if we love too much.
Doug: Yes. That is pretty wild. So, what are some of the new things we can expect then with your ministry and with The Passion Translation?
Brian: Well, we are very excited to get the book of Revelation out. Here in just a few days, we will have the book of Revelation in The Passion Translation and it will turn a lot of people upside down or inside out. I am not sure which.
Candice and I are so excited about being able to travel and minister. We are going to be in a lot of different locations. They can go on our website and see on our calendar where we are at. Yes, it is a thrill to meet people who have been changed by The Passion Translation, who are falling in love with Jesus because of a daily time in the Word of God.
As you know, it is life-giving when you are with other saints, other believers who share your passion. It is a lot of fun for us. It keeps us young.
Doug: Yes. So how can people stay in touch with you?
Brian: Well, the best way would be to go on the The Passion Translation website. There is an opportunity for you to get a free download of the Gospel of John — an Ebook — and also you would be signing up for a biweekly email that comes out that has one of the whispers, one of the prophetic words that I get from the Lord. Also, it just has some encouragement from the scriptures.
Doug: Yes. How about Facebook, social media?
Brian: Oh, yes. www.facebook.com/PassionTranslation. Hit, Like and subscribe or whatever and you will be getting all of our posts. We post multiple times a day.
Doug: Yes. Well, you know, I have been looking forward to our time together. I can see now why. I mean, I have been in a puddle of tears. I have been, you know, in a feeling of radiant joy all at once. Something is opening up right now and I just want to encourage you to reach out. Share or if you don’t know about The Passion Translation and Brian and Candice’s ministry, find out about it. Get a hold of it. They are coming out with the entire leather-bound Bible, right?
Brian: Yes. Uh huh.
Doug: Or would it be just the Psalms? Just tell us about it.
Brian: Well, it will be Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Songs and all of the New Testament in one volume, with eight different covers to choose from. It will be coming out the end of October.
Doug: Yes, I am very excited for that. I have all the separate ones and, you know, I am working my way through them and the Lord is speaking and everything. It is so much fun. I want to have you just pray over us and activate us one more time, Brian.
Brian: Let’s do it.
Father, put Your strong and mighty hand upon everyone listening, including my friend Doug, and let grace and glory take us into that fullness in Christ. Indeed, activate within our hearts the hearing ear, the seeing eye.
You have made them both, Lord, and may You draw us ever closer, so intimate — even more intimate than we ever imagined we could be with You. I ask You to do it, in Your Holy Name. Amen.
Doug: Amen. Well, thank you so much, Brian.
Brian: I love being with you, Doug. This is tremendous.
Doug: Yes. I love you so much — especially hearing the inside stories now of the things I have been experiencing through having heavenly encounters and your Passion Translation and finding out …
Wow, I can see why, because they are just lining up. There was just so much confirmation. I am so excited.
Brian: Wow; so good! So, good to be with you, Doug.
Doug: I hope to see you again.
Brian: All right. See you soon.
Doug: Okay, everybody. Thanks so much. God bless you.”
~ Doug Addison
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Doug Addison is a prominent conference speaker captivating audiences with clean stand-up comedy and high energy prophetic messages, also shared on TV, radio and the Internet for over a decade. He brings laughter, fun and a unique prophetic style while empowering people to transform their lives, discover their destiny and understand dreams, tattoos and piercings. His powerful messages stay with his audiences long after hearing him.