What the Unification Church Teaches about the Bible

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©1999
Despite Unification Church claims to the contrary, the Bible is not held in especially high regard. It is merely a fallible and primitive human witness.


What the Unification Church Teaches about the Bible

The teachings of Sun Myung Moon are the ultimate source of authority for Unification Church members. Despite Unification Church claims to the contrary, the Bible is not held in especially high regard. It is merely a fallible and primitive human witness.[1] New revelation was needed to update the Bible and to make it relevant and understandable for today. Since “the New Testament was given as a textbook… to the people of 2,000 years ago, people whose spiritual and intellectual standard was very low, compared to that of today,” it “is thus impossible” that the Bible alone could satisfy man’s desire for truth in our modern scientific age, because “today the truth must appear with a higher standard and with a scientific method of expression in order to enable intelligent modern man to understand it.” [2] The Bible contains some truth, but the “new, ultimate final truth, however, cannot come from any man’s synthetic research in the scriptures…. This truth must appear as a revelation from God Himself.” [3] Part of this revelation is found in the UC’s main text, Divine Principle, and in The 120 Day Training Manual. This material in the latter is so embarrassing it is hardly surprising that the UC was concerned whenever it fell into the wrong hands. For example, the manual acknowledges that there have been problems with spirit possession among converts, requiring institutionalization and involving the death of at least one person.[4] A former member noted, “I as well as each graduate of that session, was told to guard that manual with my life. Not to show it to even another Unification Church member. We were strongly cautioned that the press and the police would not understand it.” [5]

For UC members, then, the Bible is replaced by the Divine Principle, which is really “the Word of God,”[6] but still only the beginning of new revelation. The Divine Principle forms one-third of a larger revelatory body constituting “The Completed Testament.”

As with other new cults who proselytize in Christian churches, means were devised to “accept” the Bible as an “authority” while simultaneously neutralizing any conflicting doctrinal content. Moon knew that he would not convert many Christians by openly teaching his negative views on the Bible. Simply offering “New Revelation” from God is more tactful. “Today’s truth is contained in the Divine Principle and in the Completed Testament, which contains the truths which were not revealed in the New Testament.” [7] “The Principle is not the word of man, but the Word of God.” [8]

Interpreting the Bible in a symbolic sense is another UC method for undermining biblical teaching. “The Divine Principle clearly shows how the Bible is symbolic and how it is parabolic…. The Bible is based upon the truth. The Divine Principle gives the true meaning of the secret behind the verse…. The story from creation to Abraham… is not literal…. Unless you truly know the meaning behind it, the Bible can reveal very little.” [9] Thus, while UC members can discard the literal words of the Bible, they “cannot miss even one of Father’s words.” “Unless we know the whole truth, we, like the people of Jesus’ time, become victims of the words of the Bible.” [10]



  1. Young Oon Kim, Unification Theology & Christian Thought (New York: Golden Gate Publishing Co., 1975), e.g., pp. 97, 113-119; Divine Principle (Washington, D.C.; HSA-UWC), pp. 9-10, 16, 131, 236; Moon, “Christmas in Heart,” The Way of the World, December 1973, pp. 9-10.
  2. Divine Principle, p. 131.
  3. Divine Principle, pp. 15-16.
  4. Ken Sudo, The 120 Day Training Manual (Barrytown, NY: International Unification Church Training Center, n.d.), p. 141-148.
  5. Special Report, The Unification Church: Its Activities and Practices, Unofficial Transcript Government Panel, Citizens Appearing; Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senate Caucus Room, Washington, D.C., February 18, 1976, Part II, p. 2.
  6. Master Speaks, 4, p. 11.
  7. Master Speaks, 3 (2), p. 9.
  8. Master Speaks, 3, p. 8.
  9. Master Speaks, 7 (2), p. 1.<
  10. Sun Myung Moon, Christianity in Crisis (Washington, D.C., HSA-UWC, 1973), p. 106.

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