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Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ten Surprising (yet indisputable) Bible translation errors that should effect your walk

This post is meant to encourage you to spend time in The Word, using every tool in your disposal to examine it, prove it, and adjust your life accordingly. YHVH's Word is flawless, we have just allowed MEN to own it, currupt it, copywright it, and feed it to us without question.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16)

Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar. (Proverbs 30:6)

I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; (Rev 22:18).

Translation errors in no particular order:

1. Matt 19:24 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." The original gospels were penned in either Hebrew or Aramaic, not in Greek. In Aramaic, the word for Camel is ‘Gamla’, but so is the word for rope. This was verse was supposed to be a play on words, essentially pointing out the difficulty of living a holy life whilst burdened by worldly things. Threading a rope through a needle presents a whole separate problem. Since the 9th Century, pastors and scholars have explained the “eye of the needle” as a gate in Israel too short for a camel to pass through. This gate is an example of an ‘urban myth’ of the middle ages that continues to be spread through Church culture today.

2. Matt 26:6 and Mark 14:3 “And when Yeshua was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper…” lepers were not permitted to live amongst the general population (Lev. 13:46), and healed lepers were no longer considered lepers, and it would be against Torah to continue call them lepers. Since ancient Hebrew and Aramaic were written without vowels, there was no distinction between the Aramaic words GAR'BA (leper) and GARABA (jar maker or jar merchant). Since in this story a woman pours oil from a jar it is apparent that Simon was a jar merchant or jar maker and not a leper! The poor guy has had a 2000 year old besmirched reputation.

3. Acts 8:27 ”So he [Phillip] arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of Ethiopia, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship.” The man in Acts 8:27 appears to be a convert to Judaism since he seems to be making the Torah-required pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Dt. 16:16). The Torah, however, forbids a eunuch both from converting to Judism and from worshiping at the Temple (Dt. 23:1f). This also raises the question of why one would become a eunuch (be castrated) for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. The word for "eunuch" in the Aramaic manuscripts of both of these passages is M'HAIMNA which can mean "eunuch" but can also mean "believer" or "faithful one" as it seems to mean here. Wow. This guy was even more slandered than the leper!

4. Mark 7:19 "In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean." Most Bibles will have this verse in italics or parentheses because the author of this insertion is unknown. Likely, some well meaning translator or ‘apostolic father’. Never-the-less, the subject of the preceding verses was not about food, but about the unbiblical traditional requirement of ceremonially washing your hands before you eat. If this anonymous helper understood these passages, they could have helped by saying. “In saying this, Jesus declared man-made religious ideas confusing and distracting from God’s truth”. Ironically, if the Messiah did suddenly declare all foods clean, he would not have been the Messiah! If Jesus had eaten pork even once, he would have sinned against the Torah, thus proving Himself to be a fraud. If he declared any point of the Torah to suddenly be null and void, he likewise would have been a fraud. Instead he said the exact opposite in the sermon on the mount, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not one jot nor one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled" Matt 5-17-18

5. John 7:53-8:11 “The woman accused of adultery.” This entire story (as most Bibles will point out in the footnotes) is considered an “orphan text”. At various times in history it shows up in different parts of John’s gospel, floating around in other gospels, or in the earliest Aramaic manuscripts NOT AT ALL. This is the famous story/legend of Jesus saying, “let he who is without sin, cast the first stone,” a verse which conflicts with the true Torah-observant Jesus who wasn’t so easy on blatant unrepentant sin, nor against false accusers. The Torah would require witnesses to an adulterous accusation, as well as both parties accused (it takes two to tango). In case of guilt, the harmed party, not third-party accusers, would actually be the first to cast a stone. This entire story does not line up with reality, and thus it is a relief to find the true author is anonymous and not an eyewitness to this unlikely event.

6. 1 John 5:7 (in context) “6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit : and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” This entire verse didn’t exist for several hundred years after this letter was originally written. Yet again, some anonymous translator or believer wanted to “help” God clarify a doctrine (you know how much He needs our help…), and forged the words of an Apostle. Although God is one, and at the same time His aspects are many, “The Trinity” concept (traditionally Holy Mother, Father, and Son) is originally a pagan concept that wormed its way into “the Church”. God should not be limited to one (singularly), and likewise shouldn’t be limited to three—He is omnipresent, omnipotent, and infinite.

7. Hebrews 4:9 ” 9There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” The error is in the choice of the term “a rest”. The Greek and Aramaic both clearly say Shabbat (specifically the God provided 7th day Sabbath). This is a clear passage underscoring the eternal aspects of the Shabbat (not “a rest” which could be any day, or simply twisted into a “state of mind”.). After several hundred years, Christianity standardized Sunday as their day of rest, thus officially choosing to separate the Church from God’s clear eternal commandments and in this case, even from the Book of Hebrews. The word Shabbat is from the Hebrew root word of “seven”. The day of the week is built into the name, just as Sunday has “Sun” built into it, from its origin of “The Veritable Day of the Sun God”.

8. Jeremiah 31:31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” The entire book of Hebrews can be misunderstood based on a poor concept of what Jeremiah was saying. God does not overrule, throw out, or negate his covenants. Every covenant in scripture is built upon the promises of another—not a replacement of the former covenant. In the context of this prophecy, this would actually be a renewed covenant, not a new one. In the Hebrew, this same word for “new” would be used in the context of a “new moon”, which is obviously not a new satellite created from scratch each month. The prophecy is about restoring the original covenant (made with all Hebrews at Mt. Sinai), a covenant which Israel and Judah, representing all Hebrews (God followers: both natural-born Jewish and converted Gentile) had broken. When Messiah came, this very same covenant was renewed, and we are all individually allowed to enter back into it despite our sins! The only change between the “old covenant” and the renewed one is its location. The old one was written on stone (like a heart of stone) and was external (the law was read from a fiery mountaintop), the new one is written on our hearts by the Holy Spirit as we walk according to the true spirit of the commandments, as they were taught by Yahshua. The Bible itself wasn’t even discussed as “old testament” and “new testament” until centuries after Yahshua came to teach us—and the originator of that concept—Marcion of Sinope was judged as a heretic by the early Church. The Law and The Prophets were called “the scriptures”, and the more recent gospels and letters were simply supporting documents.

9. Acts 12:4 “Pascha” is translated as “Easter” in Acts 12:4 in the KJV, rather than ‘Passover’ as it is translated every other place in that same Bible. For all of the mentions of Yahweh’s feasts in scripture prior to Acts, Passover is correctly used. The term Passover is often used to describe an entire week of celebrating, although it is only a single day, while “Unleavened Bread” a separate feast, is consistently combined with Passover as if it was one feast. Much of this confusion is based on the Jews at the time using these terms interchangeably. What Christians normally call Easter is actually a replacement of the Feast of First Fruits, the day Yahshua rose from the dead. It seems like the translators, who seemed to be proud of their ignorance of His commanded feasts, wanted to distance themselves from them after the resurrection. As any encyclopedia will tell you, Easter was and continues to be a pagan feast, named after a pagan god, celebrating fertility (hence the eggs and rabbits), centuries after Yahshua, the ‘early church fathers’ outlawed Yahweh’s feasts, and “Christianized” less Jewish and more familiar pagan days. Exedus 23:13 “And in all that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” Wow. Why do Christians believe for a split second that Yahweh would accept worship on a pagan holy day that even continues to be named after the pagan god!

10. A real sign that contemporary Christian believers are off the rails of truth is the nearly universal ignorance of the core of Bible 101—The Ten Commandments. What is really shocking though is that in the original Hebrew scripture, the Commandments are actually numbered--yet in almost every English translation, the commandments are altered and renumbered to suit the doctrines of the translator. The true numbering has the First Commandment as: “I am YHVH your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” In the common translations, this is turned into a pre-amble to the commandments, and the rest are renumbered to equal 10. The impression is left that this commandment is not “set in stone”, and therefore does not appear in stained glass, nor on court house lawns, nor memorized in “Sunday School”. For most Christians, the idea of being released from Egypt is “Jewish thing”. Although, this commandment is missing the familiar “Thou Shalt” prefix, it still demands obedience. It’s YHVH telling every future generation, “Thou Shalt remember your history, remember who My true people are, remember My power, remember who I AM, remember who you were before I saved you.---Once that is all clearly understood, then obey My other commandments with the correct spirit.”


YahKheena said...

Very good post! I"m enjoying reading your blog...I think you e-mailed me one time, if it was you, please except my apoliges (sp) for not writing back. Just too busy or too tired sigh :-D

Looking forward to reading more and your recipes I've saved. I'm getting ready to make your cracker recipe...yummy!!

ProdigalReturns said...

Great post, Ben. Enjoyed this.

Ginny said...

I am doing a hebrew study group at BAM (books a million) and I was wanting to learn a little about Bible translations. (This always comes up in discussions). So this was very helpful. I also love Ancient Hebrew REsearch Center for his explanation about the words "past" and "future" and the many Hebrew words for the word "teach".

Seeds of Hope said...


This is very enlightening blog - I am sure some of the recent translations will be making these corrections. I have heard ministers point out some of these errors during sermons.

All Praise to God through Christ Jesus, Amen.

Anonymous said...

Right there on TV a Rabbi pointed a translation error Thou shalt not kill , real wording to modern English You shall not murder or original full lines You small not commit murder ... the rest in next 2 Books . My own reporter opening God talking to the Angels ,"I shall create beings that are but shadows of us". Not created in God's image . The translators to lazy to get it right . I am not Jewish but Catholic , Jewish people are just important to God , God chose them to be the worlds Abraham . How did they get repaid ? The Jews did what God told them to do , back then .

Unknown said...

interesting example(the camel and the needle ) .the same example been mentioned in the holly quraan chapter 7 verse 40 .

James Thompson said...

I praise my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ/Yashua HaMashiach, who is Elohim's eternal Word, for your discriminating information.

As I am a Gentile by first-birth, I placed the English transliteration of "Yashua" first. As I am a Christ-follower by second birth, I know Him by both names, for Elohim exercises His power through the utterance of both versions of His Name.

Curious as to the use of "eunuch" in Acts 8:27, I chased it down in the Hebrew Bible and discovered Isaiah 56:3-5, where the prophet seems to have approved eunuchs for worship "in my house and within my walls." If this refers to anything other than Temple worship, please use the Scriptures to show me why.

Isaiah 56 is a beautiful and powerful declaration of Elohim's grace toward those of us who fall short of the Jewish definition of brothers. While I am neither a eunuch nor a leper, as a Gentile in the flesh I fall into a similar category.

I have other questions related to the Messianic Jewish perspective on our common faith. I hope you won't mind my consulting you as they arise. May Elohim continue blessing you as you follow Him in Mashiach Yeshua.

Ben said...

To James Thompson:

This is a tricky one. First, I want to point out that any human that changes or "approves" something formerly unlawful to something lawful...even if it's Isaiah, has to be a false prophet. This is why the idea of the Messiah "doing away" with the Law is blasphemous. So...rather than stoning Isaiah, we need to look at his words in a way that are consistant with the Torah. The scriptural pattern of a true prophet emphpasizes the heart of Torah, and does so in a shocking way.

From that perspective, the idea of foriegners and Eunichs (the Isaiah translation of this word is certainly refering to someone with non-functioning plumbing), being allowed into the Temple--while calling the religious leaders greedy dogs and lazy watchman is designed to be shocking and abusive to those in power, and empowering and inviting to those on the outside.

However, the tense of all this prophesy is future, still future even to today. This is the nature of the "new convenant" prophesied in Jerimiah 31:31...it has YET TO HAPPEN. The Father's heart is for his covenants to be open to all of the nations...Israel was chosen to show the nations (eunichs included) that there is a high standard to live by, and those who choose to live by it are blessed. Messiah died to re-open the doors to people like you and me (eunichs or not)--the undesireable outsiders. Through his blood we will someday enter into the 4 walls as prophesied.

Ben said...

It's been 4 years since I've posted this, and it's still one of the most viewed writings on this blog. I want to formally ammend the title of the blog here in this comment. Take out "yet indisputable".

The more one studies Torah, history, and prophesy, the more the term "indisputable" is disputable.

While I still believe that most of the orignial writings by those in and after Messiah's time were NOT in greek...I am without indisputable evidence of this theory.

The Aramic new testament is a great study tool, but it's more likely to have been written by a Messianic beleiver attempting to correct or preserve a version of those documents in the original language (or more importantly--mindset and worldview) from the abuse of roman culture.

Likewise with the Hebrew version of Matthew. In many ways it has superior understanding and more accurate language, but there is no evidence it was written by Matthew. It has the same chain-of-evidence issues that all other manuscripts have...and the same translation bias when brought into English.

All of this serves to throw major wrenches into many folks belief systems, and certainly into most systematic theologies.

Personally, I find it awesome and consistant with YHWH's ways. His Torah remains preserved, and with only minor translational issues after 6000 years. The "commentary" of the New Testament writers can be summed up like this:

Do the Torah.
Follow His Commandments.
Do it with 100% of everything in you.
You'll know you're doing it well when the world hates you.
You'll know you're doing it perfectly when you are killed for it.
You'll know when you're doing it divinely, when you are ressurected there-after.

The other details are trivial and often just serve as reasons for us to fight and divide amongst ourselves.

Ben said...

To Anonymous:

As this post is about the meaning of words, let me quickly rebut two ideas here:

Acording to Galatians 3:28, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female ; for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua."

The idea that "they" are "Jews" and
"I" am whatever else, is a mindset that is not scripturaly accurate. If have the same Father, live by the terms of the same covenants, and are betrothed to the same bridegroom...than we are ONE (as He is One).

There are plenty of Jews who do not keep His commandments, and plenty of Jews that outright deny the existence of a God. There are plenty of Catholics in that same exact situation. Those folks seem to also be ONE...sharing the same destiny...not a good thing.

Once you look at scripture through HIS lens, not mans, there are only two camps. Israel (inside the camp) and the nations (outside the camp). Any other distictions are not important until we see ourselves properly though this lens.

Once we are certain that we are INSIDE, (redeemed by the blood of the the lamb) we are now obligated to worship our God in the way He desires. This does not mean the Jewsih way, or the Catholic way...this means the Scriptural way.

Study the Law of God given to Moses at Mt' Sinai. Wherever you find yourself convicted of disobedence, ask Him for forgiveness, allow Him to correct your heart, don't make that mistake again, and keep studying.