Saturday, March 28, 2009

But Your Bible's Been Changed! Pt. 2

For centuries people have heard that allegation. It was said of the King James Version when that first came out--and that wasn't the first. People even said it of the Latin Vulgate.

Sometimes there is a basis for saying something like this. For example: The Message Bible, the Clear Word Bible, and the Book of Yahweh have text that was changed to support certain beliefs. It is not uncommon to see that. Yes, people are sometimes warranted in saying that.

In the first part, we looked at the Textus Receptus and the King James Version, with a focus on 1 John 5:7-8 (although that is not the only added verse in that Bible) but now we will look at Sacred Name Bible's. What are these types of Bible's? Let us see.

Sacred Name--Sacred Bible?

Another movement that is gaining widespread popularity lately is the Sacred Name Movement. On the surface, this movement has a very admirable goal: Glorify the Name of Jehovah and the Name Jesus Christ. But there is a catch--Jehovah and Jesus are not to be used. Instead Yahweh and Yeshua (or a derivative thereof) are to be used. Some even go so far as to only use יהושע (Hebrew for Jesus) or יהוה (Hebrew for Jehovah) and pronounce them as they see fit.

On the market today there are many Sacred Name Bibles including the Zikarown Say'fer, Hebraic Roots Bible, The Scriptures Bible, Holy Name Bible, Restored Name King James Version, Book of Yahweh, and others. All of these have a noble purpose: To magnify the Name of God and Christ. But have they gone too far?

Honor or Dishonor?

How can a Bible that uses God's name dishonor it? Is that even possible? I will not answer that question, I will only present facts for you to review.

Not all Sacred Name groups have the same beliefs. Some feel there is no problem saying God or Elohim, some say that it is wrong to use Elohim and alright to say God and vice versa. Why do they feel this way?

Many people today are starting to speak out against the words God and Lord. They say that these refer to pagan God's and were words applied to Jehovah later by others, whether these "others" were the Israelites or some separate peoples. Take for example, "Baal", the name of a pagan deity. In reality, Baal really means Lord and some people claim that to say Lord Yahweh is to say Baal Yahweh, in effect saying that Baal is Yahweh and Yahweh is Baal. Is this reasonable?

No one in the world is trying to say that Jehovah's name is Baal. The only reason Lord is still widely used is because of the meaning in English. No one relates Baal and Lord in their mind when they say Lord in regard to the Most High El Shaddai.

We also need to consider that there are many titles used for Yahweh that are also used in reference to others. God, Father, Lord, etc. I'm sure you can think of some. Just because these titles are used by other things--pagan deities or not--does not automatically disqualify it for use in reference to Jehovah.

Jesus--Derived Etymologically From Zeus?

The same argument is used in reference to Jesus Christ. Some people believe that the name "Jesus" is taken from the Greek god, Zeus, and that when people use or call on the name of Jesus they are actually calling on the name of Zeus.

We will not focus on this false allegation except to say that it is false. One website puts it this way:

"Some sacred name people teach this false doctrine; some do not. Regardless of the position an individual Sacred Name person may take, this fact remains: a large segment of the movement still believes this lie. Promoting the Jesus = Zeus myth to new converts is an easy way to get them away from saying the name of Jesus. It gives them a reason to look down on, even hate, the name of Jesus. The teachers of the movement use this lie as an appeal to the need many people have to possess esoteric knowledge which gives them a superiority over others...[However], not all sacred name people believe the name Jesus is derived from the name Zeus. It is, after all, a lie. It has no foundation in any legitimate research. The teaching is rejected by some; it should be rejected by all sacred name people. This teaching is the product of the fertile imaginations of sacred name teachers.

The name Jesus is not derived from Zeus. That is all that needs to be stated on that.

Lord, God, Yahweh

Can Sacred Name groups go overboard in their mission to elevate God's Name? Read from one Sacred Name Bible:

"In the beginning Yahweh created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth became without form and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit of Yahweh was hovering over the face of the waters. And Yahweh said: 'Let there be light."-Genesis 1:1-3Book of Yahweh

The translators of the Book of Yahweh have replaced "God" with Yahweh in this chapter. Many Sacred Name groups believe that "God" and "Lord" are both pagan terms so whenever the text says one of those two words they replace it with Yahweh in their Bibles many times. There is no proof that Yahweh was used in Genesis One at all but there is proof that many times the Bible says "Yahweh" in the text a group of scribes called the Masorates would sometimes change it with God or Lord. They could argue that every time God and Lord occurs this is what happened.

People do let their beliefs dictate how they translate a certain passage. When a verse can be translated two different ways they will translate that verse the way they want to. The NWT, NIV, NRSV, and many, many other Bibles have done this. It is not always wrong when the translator translates a verse the way it was supposed to read, even if they are biased in that direction.

The Book of Yahweh and other Sacred Name Bibles do this. Does it mean they are wrong? You decide.