Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Editing

Joseph Herrin (03-08-2017)

























I have had a number of readers write and request a PDF document of the books of the Bible as I translate them. I have inserted the above document as requested. Next time I print my Flipbook file I will also publish a PDF.

I wanted to take this time to share with people some of what I am going through in editing the Bible for translation.

The first thing I am doing is copying the American Standard Version of the Bible into a Book format that I have prepared. Some of you may be surprised at this, for the translation I am writing is obviously different from the American Standard Version. The American Standard Version did a fairly commendable job in translating the Bible into English. There are of course the many parts I am changing, but this would be true of any version. What the American Standard Version of 1901 did was to place the text in good American English. Where they have done well at this I have left it alone.

I am, however, aware of some facets of translation that are interpreted wrong. In these I am going through the whole book and looking at the original text and changing it to a better translation. Let me list a couple of these for your benefit in the book of Genesis.

The book of Genesis begins by relating the creation of all things that man has to do with. It often sets out in minute form some aspect that it elaborates on further into the book, or the Book, the Bible. For example, the first statement is not part of the seven days of creation. It says:

In the beginning Elohim [Mighty One, plural] created the heavens and the earth, but the earth had become formless and empty and darkness was upon the face of the deep and the Spirit of Elohim was moving over the surface of the waters.

Note that there are no dates for this section. There are also no examples in the Bible of Yahweh creating something in a formless and empty state. The very next verse starts the 7 days of creation with the “Elohim said, ‘Let there be light.’” This is the same way the other days of creation start. We can tell by this that the earth is being re-created. It is not speaking about its first creation.

Another point that demonstrates this, and which some translations got wrong, is the word given for “refill” This occurs on the fifth day. The word “refill” comes from the Hebrew “male.” This word means to refill, or replenish.

The same word is used in Genesis 9 where Yahweh is speaking to Noah and his sons.

“Be fruitful, and multiply, and refill the earth.”

By understanding how a word is used in other passages it is possible to bring forth a right translation in every passage. The word in Genesis in the early passage is not “fill,” but “refill.” The same word is found a little further down in the same passage.

Elohim created Adam in his own image. In Elohim’s image he created him; male and female he created them. Elohim blessed them. Elohim said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, refill the earth, and subdue it.

Some readers may be surprised that the Bible speaks in this way. They may prefer their King James Bible that says to the animals on the 5th day, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas…” What they don’t realize is that the KJV editors translated the same word as “replenish” a few short verses later when speaking of the man and woman. It is correcting words such as these that is an important part of translating the Bible. I don’t believe every Hebrew word should have only one way to translate it, but I do believe in consistency in a passage.

Another passage that needed some cleaning up was the one about the Tower of Babel. It says in the passage:

They said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top represents the heavens, and let’s make ourselves a name, lest we be scattered abroad on the surface of the whole earth.”

In the KJV Bible it says:

Genesis 11:4
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
KJV

















Perhaps some of you are familiar with the ziggurat. It is a stepped tower that is perfectly described by the passage in Genesis – if it is translated properly. The above ziggurat is a reconstruction of Birs Nimrud. This is thought to be the original site of the Tower of Babel. Each level was dedicated to one of the seven known heavenly orbs. There were five planets and the sun and moon. Altogether there were seven levels, or enough to depict each of the seven heavenly bodies.

Pictures of the Tower of Babel stretching up to heaven are insincere. The tallest ancient building was the Great Pyramid of Giza. It was 451 feet high, and remained the tallest building in the world for 3,800 years. A person can easily see the top of the pyramid. Neither the Great Pyramid, or Birs Nimrud had a level “whose top may reach unto heaven.” However, Birs Nimrud did have a top that represented heaven.

Birs Nimrud was also named after Nimrod. In the Bible we have the following passage on Nimrod.

Kush became the father of Nimrod [rebel]; he began to be a tyrant in the earth. He was a tyrannical hunter in the face of Yahweh. Therefore it is said, “Nimrod, the tyrannical hunter in the face of Yahweh.”

I have always had trouble with Nimrod being depicted as a mighty hunter that Yahweh wanted to boast about. This thought gets placed in the Bible by the editors of all of the popular English translations. Following is the KJV.

Genesis 10:8-9
And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.
KJV

This passage was written for the purpose of providing a positive or negative report on this man. Looking at the cities established by Nimrod, a case could be made for a negative report.

The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erek, Akkad, and Kalneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land he went into Ashshur, and built Nineweh, Rehoboth Ir, Kalah, and Resen between Nineweh and Kalah (the same is the great city).

One word in question in the passage is the Hebrew word “gibbor.” Strong’s Concordance lists this word in the following way.

gibbowr (ghib-bore'); or (shortened) gibbor (ghib-bore'); intensive from the same as OT:1397; powerful; by implication, warrior, tyrant:

Whenever I read about this man I am struck by the word “tyrant.” It is for this reason that I have translated this word as “tyrant” and “tyrannical” where it occurs in this passage. It also employs the word “paniym,” meaning “face.”

paniym (paw-neem'); plural (but always as singular) of an unused noun [paneh (paw-neh'); from OT:6437]; the face (as the part that turns)

This word occurs twice in this passage and I started out by translating it “opposition,” but changed it to “in the face of.” The KJV translates it as “before.”

Genesis 10:8-9
And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.
KJV

You can see very well how I got the translation I came up with. I do not wish for the Bible to treat as a righteous person one that is unrighteous.

Kush became the father of Nimrod [rebel]; he began to be a tyrant in the earth. He was a tyrannical hunter in the face of Yahweh. Therefore it is said, “Nimrod, the tyrannical hunter in the face of Yahweh.”

The point that is left for us to answer is, “Who is this passage talking about?” Looking for clues, we are directed toward a ruler of Sumeria. Is there anyone from this time period in Sumeria that is spoken of as a ruler of these cities in writings that are not Biblical. Even if a writing is not the Bible it may include clues that point to a person. In this case we have a person named Gilgamesh.























Gilgamesh

Perhaps the oldest writing known to man is the tale of Gilgamesh. It is recorded on clay tablets. It was first discovered in the palace library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh. Nineveh was one of the cities founded by Nimrod. The story of Gilgamesh is a very profane story as the hero of the tale would often take women from the populace and have sex with them. It is suggested by numerous Bible commentators that Gilgamesh and Nimrod were the same.

Nimrod was mighty in hunting, and that in opposition to YHVH; not "before YHVH" in the sense of according to the will and purpose of YHVH, still less,... in a simply superlative sense… The name itself, "Nimrod" from marad, "we will revolt," points to some violent resistance to God… Nimrod as a mighty hunter founded a powerful kingdom; and the founding of this kingdom is shown by the verb with vav consecutive, to have been the consequence or result of his strength in hunting, so that hunting was intimately connected with the establishing of the kingdom. Hence, if the expression "a mighty hunter" relates primarily to hunting in the literal sense, we must add to the literal meaning the figurative signification of a "hunter of men" (a trapper of men by stratagem and force); Nimrod the hunter became a tyrant, a powerful hunter of men.
(Keil and Delitzsch)














Gilgamesh

In the mural above Gilgamesh is shown ruling over men, and taking their women for his own purposes.

If Gilgamesh is not intended to be Nimrod, he is a very good copy. His attributes in Genesis are a statement of indictment. Even so, Josephus testified when he gave his history of the Jews in the first century, that Nimrod was a “tyrant.” I discern that the writing of the translation in the way I have set forth is by far the better interpretation.

Kush became the father of Nimrod [rebel]; he began to be a tyrant in the earth. He was a tyrannical hunter in the face of Yahweh. Therefore it is said, “Nimrod, the tyrannical hunter in the face of Yahweh.”

Besides correcting the text of the book, I am primarily changing the names. The names of Yahweh and Yahshua are some of the principal names that I am setting forth more accurately. The name of Yahshua will particularly be seen when I start to translate the book of Joshua. The leader of the 12 tribes of Israel who led the people into the land to take possession of it shared his name with the Savior. Yahshua (called Joshua) was intended as a prophetic sign of the Son of God who would lead the people into possession of their inheritance. By naming them correctly this great significance will be made known.

Some of the names of the godhead are not as clear to readers, however. Yahweh is known, though it has been expunged from the Scriptures. The names that have been given to God such as El Shaddai are not so well known, or are wrongly known. For this purpose I have included square brackets next to them when they occur, along with their meaning. The name of Elohim is the most common title given to the Godhead in the Old Testament, but it is wrong to say that this word means “God.” The word elohim is used for the gods of Egypt, as well as for demons, seraphim, and other beings brought forth from the dead, such as the spirit of Samuel in I Samuel 28:13. It is a word that announces ones territory. It is saying they are not of the earth, but of heaven, or other realms.

Names of people are next on the list to be changed. Names are horribly confused in our translations. The KJV Bible lists as names for Joshua the names Jehoshua in Numbers 13:16, and Jesus in Acts 7:45. It gives as names for Jeremiah the name Jeremy in Matthew 2:17, and 27:9, and the name Jeremias in Matthew 16:14. The corruption of names in the Bible is one of its most flagrant acts. We even have entire books named after people whose names are not suggested. The Book of James is actually the Book of Ya`aqob (Jacob).

One thing I have to do in correcting the names is to adjust the clear American editions of names. In reading a book as important as the Bible why would a person want to know what the persons name might be in English. We read so many names that are clearly in Hebrew because they have no corresponding name in English. Names like Methuselah are clearly not American. We read so many of the names in their Hebrew versions that it should seem odd to come across an Americanized word. For example, there is no “J” in Hebrew. A Hebrew would not know who a Japheth or Jacob or Joseph or Jesus is unless they had heard it in English. They would say Yepheth, Ya`aqob, Yoseph, or Yahshua. Many would automatically go to the Babylonian names for these people, for example calling Yashua Yeshua. If we are to keep the types clear between the Old and New Testament we must call them by their Hebrew names.

There are many other spelling changes that have been made to make names sound more English. V`s have been rendered such as “Javan” instead of “Yawan.” I have made a number of changes to names of people and places to bring consistency to them. The ch`s have been rendered as k’s. Many of the words starting with an I have been changed to Y. If you know the changes I am looking for, there aren’t that many, but they do occur often.

Then there are names that have been changed to names of modern states. One of the most common is changing Mitsrayim to Egypt. We have no idea that the land of the Old Testament Mitsrayim coincides with the territory of modern Egypt. There are many good reasons to not change the name, but to call it Mitsrayim and its inhabitants Mitsrites.

These are a few of the changes that I am making to the Heart of David Study Bible. I have not yet decided to call it the Heart of Dawid Study Bible, but I am thinking on it.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

2 comments:

Albert Swearengen said...

Joseph,

You may be aware of the various verb forms in New Testament Greek, such that any treatment of Genesis 1:2 would be a more simple matter for translation if we were dealing with the verse in Greek.

Greek verb forms vary from Aorist, 2nd Aorist, Active, Imperfect, Pluperfect, etc. etc. For this reason, there would be a very clear and demonstrable set of guidelines to follow for the purposes of translation. Unfortunately, such convenient aides are not always at our disposal with the Ancient Hebrew, as in this case they are not.

In Greek, if we intended to parse the verb in the clause: And the earth (was) without form and void…

Was, in this case would be Present Active Indicative.

Again, if it were written: And the earth (had become) without form and void…

Had become, in this case would be 1st Aorist Active Indicative…

We wouldn’t have to wonder at the difference, but the difference is substantial.

Now I am, of course, familiar with ‘gap-theory’ and with all the theory entails. But gap-theory seems to me problematic, in the main, for two reasons: First, what of all who may have lived and perished during that time period or periods? Were they mortal or immortal? Had they a savior or even access to salvation? Were they among the imprisoned whom Messiah condescended to that He might preach the Word in the days when He descended into the heart of the earth? Second, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews states: “…it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment…”

Is this a good fit for gap-theory?

And finally, on what, specifically, are you basing your understanding of the Hebrew verb היתה (hā-yə-ṯāh) such that you have chosen to render it ‘had become’?

Please note, I am not suggesting that your preferred understanding is incorrect; I am only interested in learning your specific reasons for having adopted an understanding which, as we will see later, plays no small role in our efforts to re-construct the Calendar of Yahweh – which isn’t at all what the rabbis would have us to believe it is.

Your brother in Christ.

Joseph Herrin said...

Dear Albert,

Thank you for writing. It is very much appreciated. To understand where I am coming from is a pretty daunting task. All one has to have done is to read all of my books which deal with the Bible. Of course, I am kidding for becoming familiar with all of my writings is no easy task. I will gladly point you in the right direction. The book titled Foundations has a chapter called The Genesis Gap.

Foundations

It can be accessed from the table of contents. Once you have read it you will have a more comprehensive understanding of where I have come from. I will be glad to hear back from you again once you have had a chance to read it.

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.