HomeReviewsA Review of The ISR Scriptures


A Review of The ISR Scriptures — 14 Comments

  1. So, I have the ISR Scriptures. I agree that some of it is a little hokey. But I am hard pressed to find a Bible that is directly from the original Hebrew and Aramaic languages without first being dragged through the Greek. Which, in my opinion always results in failure. “Camel through the eye of a needle and Simon the leper” are just two erroneous passages from Greek translation in the NT.
    The name of the Creator is another issue. YHWH is ancient Hebrew and YHVH is modern. And Jehovah is a manufactured term for THE Name. So who produces a book of scriptures that truly is reliable and accurate? I was recently introduced to the Geneva Bible, 1599. Same set of issues as all the rest. A little point in the right direction would be most appreciated.

    • Thank you for your comment. It sounds as though you believe or at least lean toward Aramaic Primacy – the idea that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic, then translated to Greek. For a number of reasons, I do not hold this view. Greek was the written language of the day. While I believe what was spoken was mostly in Hebrew or Aramaic as might be evidenced by certain idioms, it was probably written down in Greek. One exception could be the Gospel of Matthew, however even the Hebrew texts we have today are translated from Greek. If there was a Hebrew original, it is no longer extant.

      With that said, probably the closest to what you want is the Lamsa Bible, an English New Testament from the Aramaic Peshitta. Check out this one: A Parallel New Testament Comparing Three Popular Translations in Parallel Columns. It includes Etheridge, Murdock, and Lamsa translations of the Peshitta.

      It renders Matthew 19:24 (and parallel passages) as a rope through the eye of a needle. Maybe, but probably not correct. Yeshua likely said a camel through the eye of a needle. That isn’t a concept unique to the Greek New Testament. The Talmud references an elephant going through the eye of a needle. (It is the very last sentence in Berakhot 55b. I think there is a second place as well but don’t know the reference.) Even the Quran mentions a camel going through the eye of a needle. In any case, both a rope and a camel passing through the eye of a needle is impossible, at least without God’s intervention. As for “Simon the Leper,” even the Aramaic Peshitta has that phrase (with all due respect to Roth; I think he is wrong).

      I consider the NASB to be the most accurate translation today, with the ESV a close second. Are they perfect? No, they are not. Check out the NET Bible for an excellent collection of translation notes.

      Use multiple translations when you study. May you be blessed in your pursuit.

  2. I am very happy to come across your write-up. It’s very educating. I almost got confused. I didn’t know how to change my believe in Jesus Christ. I am comfortable with “God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, etc”
    Your exposition has really helped me.

  3. Thank you for your review. I have some of the same issues and also with some spelling, grammar errors. I have tried to reach them by email with no response. I have begun using my old NASB and also other translations to help understand better. God bless you

    • Thanks for the comment. The Restoration Study Bible (RSB) is an exclusive product of Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry (YRM). This is a King James Version (KJV) Bible with the name LORD replaced with Yahweh and the name Jesus replaced with Yahshua (common in the Sacred Name movement dating back to about the 1950s but without Hebrew support). Other proper names remain as they are in the KJV. The text includes Strong’s reference numbers, and there are Strong’s Hebrew-Chaldee and Strong’s Greek dictionaries included in the back of the Bible. There are also notes reflecting the doctrine and teachings of YRM.

      Like the KJV, the RSB includes the Johannine Comma in 1 John 5:7, a portion of text unsupported in the Greek that is often used to support the Doctrine of the Trinity. I noticed that they did correct two obvious errors in the KJV in Acts 12:4 and Hebrews 4:8.

      I don’t plan to review the RSB, but since you have asked my opinion I will say there are better options. I would never base my recommendation of a Bible solely on the use or lack of use of “Sacred Names.” Also keep in mind that the notes in this Bible are the doctrinal position of one particular religious organization (YRM).

      If you want a good Bible that has Strong’s reference numbers for key words and a complete Strong’s dictionary in the back, look at one of the Key Word Study Bibles available in several different translations. Be aware, though, that just knowing the Hebrew or Greek root word but nothing else can lead to all kinds of errors.

  4. I want to thank you for showing me the errors in the ISR translation. I have not studied it in depth and have had a real problem with calling the Holy Spirit the Set Apart Spirit. Since Holy essentially means consecrated, I think their choice of words for Him is disgusting and irreverent.
    I just had to voice my opinion and say that I was recently given the Tree Of Life version and plan to do much of my studies out of it.
    Again, thank you so much for enlightening me to the many problems with the ISR translation, and God bless you.

  5. I noticed today that the tree of life version has issues as well. Zechariah 1:18-21 are missing. So a good burean studies multiple versions and compares in and with interliniear and also different translations brown,green,strongs….etc

    • Thanks for the comment, Richard. Actually, what you know as Zechariah 1:18-21 isn’t missing at all; this is really the beginning of Chapter 2. In the Hebrew Bible, the first chapter of Zechariah has 17 verses and the second chapter has 17 verses. In the Greek version, chapter 1 has 21 verses and chapter 2 has 13 verses. In both cases, there are 34 verses in the first two chapters. They are just divided differently.

      The Tree of Life Version follows the Hebrew chapter divisions. The ISR Scriptures follows the Greek chapter divisions even though the book layout is the Hebrew format. This is both inconsistent and confusing and the real question, is why would they do that?

      You will find many instances where chapters are divided differently in Greek-based and Hebrew-based Bibles. I address this in another post Book, Chapter and Verse.

      I agree we should study multiple translations of the Bible. The Tree of Life Version is one that I highly recommend.


  6. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>