Scriptures misinterpreted, misused, or misquoted by William Branham
On September 12, 2020, the first-ever English language debate between a message pastor (Jesse Smith of Akron, OH) and an ex-message Christian (Rod Bergen from the Off The Shelf podcast) took place. The discussion was moderated by Jay Cox and Tim Kraus.
Misinterpretation, misuse, misquoting by William Branham
This is a list of scriptures that were misinterpreted, misquoted, misused, or misapplied by William Branham. Click on the scripture reference to go to the detailed article on the passage.
- Psalm 51:5 (misquote)
- Psalm 58:3 (misquote)
- Isaiah 9:6
- Joel 2:25 (misinterpreted - used by William Branham to point to himself)
- Amos 3:3 (misinterpreted)
- Amos 3:7 (misinterpreted - used by William Branham to point to himself)
- Zechariah 14:7 (misinterpreted - used by William Branham to point to himself)
- Malachi 4:5
- Matthew 3:17 (added words)
- Matthew 17:11
- Matthew 24:28
- Matthew 27:46
- Luke 17:30
- John 16:13
- John 18:6
- Revelation 8:1
- Revelation 10:7
- Revelation 12:4
1 Corinthians 14:23-25
William Branham quoted 1 Cor 14:23-25 in several places as follows:
- So you see when the people shouted and spoke in tongues and so forth, and this nation has constantly called them a bunch of holy-rollers, and heretics, and everything else. You see why she’s ready for judgment. Now, the Bible says… Now, you Pentecostal people, the Bible says if you have a gift of speaking in tongues then when the unlearned comes in, and—and the first thing you know they all speak with tongues, they’ll say, “You’re all mad.” But if there be one among you that’s a prophet that will reveal the secrets of the heart, then they’ll fall down and say, “Truly, God’s with you.”
99 And some of you people that wouldn’t believe it, this thing that makes these people cry, and shout, and speak in tongues, that’s the same Spirit. The Bi… Paul said, “If one comes among you and you all speak with tongues, they’ll say you’re crazy. But let one be a prophet and reveal the secrets of the heart, and then they will fall down saying, ‘God is with you.’”
William Branham clearly quote the passage as one person being the prophet.
But here is what scripture actually says in two different translations:
- If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
- If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.
Paul says clearly "if all prophesy". He is not referring to a single person being a prophet.
William Branham intentionally misquoted this passage.
Misinterpretation, misuse, misquoting by message followers
This is a list of scriptures that were misinterpreted, misquoted, misused, or misapplied by the followers of William Branham. Click on the scripture reference to go to the detailed article on the passage.
- William Branham, 61-0224 - Be Not Afraid, para. 46
- William Branham, 61-0428 - Getting In The Spirit, para. 99
- The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 1 Co 14:23–25.
- The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), 1 Co 14:23–25.