It only takes a couple of weeks for one to be in the Messianic movement before one realizes they need a Bible that has all those Hebrew names in it. So, people rush out to get versions like the “Hebrew Revised Version”, “The Orthodox Jewish New Testament”, “Restored Names Version”, and of course, the biggie, the “Jewish New Testament.”
There are problems with this. For starters, all of them utilize heretical Greek texts like the Nestle-Aland, the UBS Greek, and Wescott-Hort, which are full of additions and deletions from the Greek text.
this won’t surprise the Messianic, because after you’ve been in about a month, and you’ve finally read the introduction pages to the Jewish New Testament, you see that David Stern makes charges that Gentile Bibles are deliberately mistranslated. He soft sells it, but by the time he’s done talking about it, you’re left with wthat overall impression. So, one is already filled with the belief that all the Gentile Bibles are mistranslated.
That’s a play out of the cult handbook, straight out of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormonism. “Your bibles are mistranslated to conceal our truth!”
In reality, the Messianic bibles are heretical translations, sometimes adding as much as a dozen words not found in the Greek at all to try to force the verse to say the very opposite of what it really means!
If you haven’t read any of my pages on the Bible Translation issue, let me just say, you should read those, because much of what they say has bearing on this issue. Don’t worry, i’ll sum a lot of it up. But please look into this, as you’ll find there is a pattern.
The issue is, the bible believing churches have used the same family of manuscripts for 1,900 years, known as the Textus Receptus. Then Codex Sinaiticus was “found” by Count Tischendorf in a monastary near Mt. Sinai, hence the name. The monks there considered it worthless. But seeing they were about to make money from it, they didn’t say anything about its origins to Tischendorf, who was deliberately trying to find a manuscript, ANY manuscript whatsoever that he could claim was older than any Textus Receptus manuscript. Tischendorf was a theological liberal, and wanted to get away from God’s word.
alas for Tischendorf, a suspected manuscript forger took the credit for Sinaiticus. “I wrote that.” The man’s name was Constantinus Simonides. Tischendorf and the Bible societies, faced with an embarassment, simply ignored Simonides.
If they’d been Christians, and sohwing any integrity, they’d have immediately begun an investigation, and talked to Simonides to get the details, then his known associates, to find out if Simonides had been in the vicinity of St. Catherine’s monastary (he had, a few years before), if he’d ever forget manuscripts before (he had), and then examined the manuscript to see which story was more likely.
Well, Sinaiticus looks very, very new. Very old manuscripts do not look that good, unless preserved under very good conditions and never used.
The other issue is that the New Testament is almost always written in Koine Greek. Sinaiticus was written in Attic Greek, which places it in the wrong period of time for its supposed time of origin – as Attic Greek was used in the Intertestamental period, and then shortly after Christ’s birth it was changed to Koine.
But since no investigation was done, the Bible societies of today find themselves with no way to prove it wasn’t forged. Within a couple of decades, Wescott and Hort, two liberal theologians, decided to take Sinaiticus (the result of a possible forgery), and codex Vaticanus, and compile a master manuscript reflecting the common areas of agreement between the two. Should have been an easy job, just time consuming.
But the two manuscrpts disagree with themselves in so many places, it turned out to be nearly impossible. And whenever the two texts disagreed, Wescott and Hort chose…
Sinaticus, becuase it’s supposed to be older, right?
nope. They chose to always side with Vaticanus.
This is the manuscripts that the Messianics supposedly used to “translate” their texts, right?
Nope. They just took Quickverse and copied and pasted verses that fit their interpretations best from the NASB, the NIV, the Amplified, the RSV, and the NRSV, and the Living Bible, and…
All products of the Wescott-Hort texts. All products of two Greek texts that are very suspect, which disagreed between each other in thousands of places.
But that’s not all. The “translators” of these manscripts, with little or no training in Greek, Aramaic or Hebrew, proceeded to sit with an interlinear and a strongs, and begin to carefully change the texts to make them reflect their pre-concieved doctrines.
right out of the cult playbook. The Jehovah’s Witnesses couldn’t have done any better!
It’s been pointed out that the “translators” of these texts have limited to no knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. I’ll put it this way, I wouldn’t try this because my knowledge of those languages is not up to the challenge – and I’ve had a year of each!!!
The Hebrew Revised Edition cites as its source texts, the public domain 1917 JPS Tanakh, and The Way International Aramaic/English Interlinear. In case you’re unfamiliar with The Way International, it’s a cult. A Christ Denying cult.
Use of their interlinear for the New Testament is highly suspect at best. I would not even own one, myself.
A review of the Hebrew Revised Version from http://netzari.angelfire.com/hrv.html reads thus:
“First, this is a patchwork of a translation based on so many sources that you are reading something that has never before existed prior to this publication, nor are the consulted sources even translated correctly at times. There is no single manuscript that will read like the books of Trimm’s New Testament (or Tanakh), therefore you are reading the New testament according to James Trimm and not according to the manuscript record. While critical editions have their value, you are trusting only one man who in the majority of cases goes against most (if not all) other scholars.”
I no longer have a copy of the Orthodox Jewish Brit chadashah to tell you what the introduction text says. However, the copyright inside my E-sword is one of the strongest copyrights and limits of use I’ve ever seen for a Bible…
© PTD ( © Permission to Distribute) given to Joseph Olvera. THE ORTHODOX JEWISH BIBLE © Copyright 2002, 2003. All rights reserved. AFI INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHERS P.O. Box 2056 New York, New York 10163-2056 U.S.A. http://www.afii.org (212) 245-4188 This data file is the sole property of AFI International. It may not be altered or edited in any way. All quotations must not exceed 60 words and must contain the copyright notice [i.e., “OJB Copyright © 1999-2002 by AFI International”]. Quotation may not be made without the permission of AFI International P. O. Box 2056 New York, NY 10163 U.S.A. This material is solely for personal use and is not to be posted publicly on other web pages with the exception of brief quotations not exceeding 60 words. You are free to download, and print a copy of this material, so long as you do not post it on a different Internet site. You may, however, link this site to reference this Bible translation, THE ORTHODOX JEWISH BIBLE by linking to http://www.afii.org/ojbible.html
Did you catch “Not to exceed 60 words”? This leaves one in the ridiculous situation of having to count the words in a verse. However, now that you have the URL, you can read the translator notes yourself, and see what process was used to translate it. My understanding of it, is that it’s your basic NASB/NIV with Hebrew names added.
And confessedly great is the sod of chasidus [in Moshiach 3:9], who was manifested in basar, was vindicated [proven just] by the Ruach HaKodesh, was seen by malachim, was proclaimed among the Nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in kavod. (1Ti 3:16 OJB)
Pretty straightforward and understandable, right? Well, the OJB is the work of Philip Goble, who basically chose to translate any word he knew in Hebrew into Hebrew, without any rhyme or reason to it beside that. Did it really matter to say “Basar” or “Flesh”?
I’m going to say, I never heard my Rabbi at Beis Chabad EVER use the word Basar as a substitute for “body” or “flesh” when talking in English. Why did Goble translate it that way? He knew the word. That was it. Why use Mayim instead of “water”? Did it help to show the Jewish nature of the Gospels? Nope. Just gave a dizzying flood of Hebrew mixed with English.
The text for that passage should read…
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1Ti 3:16 KJV)
I’m really not seeing why ANY of those words need to be changed to reflect the Jewishness of the Bible! Plus the enormity of the errors of adding to the word of God words not found in the Greek…
Now for the Complete Jewish Bible…
Here’s one reviewer on Amazon.com.
Horrible translation of the Greek, December 10, 2002 While Dr. Stern’s grasp of the Hebrew is erudite and developed, his translation of the Greek text is horrible at best, and at worst, arguably heretical. I am a NT scholar and his translation of the B’Rit Hadashah is irresponsible. To have one man translate scripture as opposed to a committee is always an exercise in folly and this is a perfect example of reckless scholarship.
Why the Yiddish?, December 27, 2002 I don’t want to repeat what has been said before, so I will just make one point. There are a number of Yiddish words scattered throughout the [Complete Jewish Bible] New Testament. Of course Jews no more spoke Yiddish in Christ’s time than they spoke English. I asked Dr Stern why he had done this; he replied that it was to add to the Jewish flavor of the New Testament. That sums up the book – deliberate sloppy scholarship to convey a false flavor of Jewishness.
Inconsistent & Biased Translation, January 27, 2005 For those of you who have a love for the unadulterated Word of God, the grace of God, and the blood of Jesus Christ, please note the following concerns as it relates to this particular book. In Romans chapters 5 & 7, the author is meticulously consistent in translating the Greek word for law (nomos) into Torah. However, in Romans chapter 6, he totally departs from this consistencyand translates the same Greek word for law (nomos) into the word “legalism.” This is clearly an inconsistent translation and a personal and private interjection and interpretation (II Peter 1:20). For it clearly reflects a theological bias which can lead to spiritual deception and bondage as it relates to being under the law/Torah. Why?Because, if he maintains the same consistency in translating the word law (nomos) found in Romans chapter 6 as he has done in Romans chapters 5 & 7, the verse by Paul in chapter 6 would then read, “…for ye are not under the Torah, but under grace”(Romans 6:14). Paul was talking about the same law (nomos) in chapter 6 as he was in chapters 5 & 7. This consistency should be reflected in the translation as well. Note very carefully that the author’s personal interpretation and translation of this very powerful Pauline verse MASKS a Scriptural reference that has clearly declared our freedom and liberty from being under the law/the Torah. Thus, this Bible translation gives us a, “we are still under the law/the Torah…Sabbath keeping, etc.” type presentation. Paul declares that it is this type of presentation that can lead to spiritual bondage (Galatians 3:1,2 & 5:1-4).
I found these reviews on Joyfully Growing In Grace, and they speak volumes.
I’ll be talking more on this issue tomorrow…