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A Review of The ISR Scriptures — 2 Comments

  1. Brother Larry your objections by and large stems from the fact that u want to read the Hebrew scriptures written by Hebrews for Hebrews with a western mindstate. English, greek and Latin fail miserably in capturing true Hebrew word meanings because these European languages r based on abstract ideologies. Paleo Hebrew is more akin to one creating an entire language made of action verbs. Thus the word Ruach means breath of Yah which donates breathing the word Qodesh means to purify or to set apart. Greek, latin and English mis translated this active word to the holy spirit. An inert concept that starts and stops with zero action.
    Merely a concept that can be interpreted subject many readers diverse understanding. Also Sa’ul was a Yahudi from the tribe of Benyahmin. The name he was born with is all thats needed. No one cares about what name that was used to apease the ancient greeks and Romans.

    • Thank you for your comments! Actually, if you look around this site it should be pretty evident that I don’t want to read the Hebrew Scriptures with a western mindset. English is the language in which I communicate, and the purpose of these Messianic Bible translations is to bring the rich meaning of the Hebrew text into the English language without losing the essence. I am of the opinion the ISR Scriptures falls short in this quest.

      Let’s take another look at the two items you’ve mentioned.

      Regarding the translation of Ruach HaQodesh as “Holy Spirit,” first I would point out that the phrase Ruach HaQodesh (a real Hebrew term) never appears in the Hebrew Scriptures. Of course, I am using transliteration. The closest you will get is Ruach Qadshekha “Your Holy Spirit” (Psalm 51:13) and Ruach Qadashow “His Holy Spirit” (Isaiah 63:10,11). I will assume, since the ISR Scriptures uses the phrase “Set-apart Spirit” that you are OK with the word “Spirit” to translate Ruach in these cases.

      While the word Qodesh is derived from the verb Qadash, here it is a noun used as an adjective, so context is important. “Set-apart” is a very benign, or as you said “inert,” description. As I indicated in my article, anything (like the shed in my yard) can be set apart from something else. In fact, the word haqadeshah (the feminine form of this noun) is used to describe what Judah thought was a cult prostitute (Tamar) in Genesis 38 – because a cult prostitute is “set apart.” But she is not “holy,” a word we understand in our English Bibles as meaning “set apart to Yah.” So now, when the phrase “Holy Spirit” is used instead of the benign “Set-apart Spirit,” it has meaning.

      This is a common problem with the ISR Scriptures, which for several Hebrew words tends to translate them in exactly the same way every time they are used, regardless of context. This really prevents the rich beauty of Hebrew from coming across in English. A much better Messianic Bible would be the Tree of Life Version, which actually uses the transliterated words Ruach HaKodesh with the proper English possessive “Your” or “His” as appropriate. A Bible that uses the English phrase Holy Spirit would also convey the correct meaning.

      Regarding “Shaul” and “Paul,” my post points out that the original ISR Scriptures arbitrarily left out part of Acts 13:9 simply because they didn’t like it. That is very dangerous. I also pointed out that this grave error was corrected in the 2009 version. This man was simply known by both names, his birth name Shaul and another Roman name, Paulus. To suggest this was to “appease the ancient Greeks and Romans” has no merit; this was simply cultural. As a parallel, I am guessing that “Yirmeyahu Ben Yahudim” is not your given birth name and that you probably use both depending on the circumstances.

      The bottom line, though, is whether or not the Ruach HaQodesh/Set-apart Spirit/Holy Spirit speaks to us when we are reading one of these translations, and whether or not we hear. If the ISR Scriptures works for you, by all means read and study it. For those reading this article looking for a good Messianic Bible translation, I want to make them aware of its shortcomings and recommend what I think would be a much better translation, like the Tree of Life Version or the Complete Jewish Bible.

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