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Bertrand L. Comparet

You have noticed that sometimes I point out to you some matter on which the King James Bible is not accurate. I may quote a verse from another translation; in not quite the same words you find when you read the King James translation of the Bible. Some of you probably wonder why I don't just stick to the King James Bible with which we are all so familiar.

Here is the answer. I do this because you are entitled to be told the exact truth as to just what the word of Yahweh really says. If I couldn't tell you the exact truth, I'd just stop teaching. No matter how old an error is, no matter how we have become accustomed to it or have grown to love it because of its familiarity, it won't do to be mistaken about what Yahweh really said.

Am I attacking religion or the Bible by correcting errors in this way? Not at all. The teachings of Yahweh are the supreme truth and only when we get man made mistakes out of it can we have the purest religion. So what about the Bible? Well, let's start at the beginning.

As you know, the Bible was written many centuries before there was any such language as English. The Old Testament was originally written in the Hebrew language. About 300 B.C., a group of 70 scholars, in the city of Alexandria, translated it into Greek. Their translation is called the Septuagint, meaning seventy.

The New Testament was originally written in the language, which Yahshua spoke, Aramaic. This is a language closely related to Hebrew, later translated into Greek. Jerome translated all Catholic translations of the Bible from the Greek into Latin. His translation was called the Vulgate, and from the Vulgate into English. Protestant Bibles are nearly all translated into English from Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament and translated from Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. In these repeated translations, there were multiple opportunities for errors to creep in.

I believe the Bible, as the prophets originally wrote it in Hebrew and Aramaic, is truly the word of Yahweh, inspired by Him, true and correct. So far as the translators have made a perfect and exact translation into English, without the slightest change, it is still the word of Yahweh. However, wherever the translators have changed it, it is no longer the word of Yahweh but only the word of the translator or interpreter. We cannot accept or rely upon it in those particular verses, which were changed. We must get back to the exact words and meaning it had in the original.

The King James Bible was published in the year 1611 A.D. At that time there were no ancient language scholars as well trained as the best we now have. Then they had relatively little of ancient writings to study. King James expressly forbade them to make any but the most necessary changes in previous translations, or to make any innovations. In those days heresy, which was any disagreement with the religious hierarchy, was still punished by a most horrible torture and death. Consequently the translators were not eager to dispute older translations. The best scholars of today, tell us that there are a great many mistakes in the translation of the King James Bible, but by far the greatest part of it is correct. Where it is correct, I quote from it because it is so well known and loved for its majestically beautiful wording. But, the errors must still be corrected. What sort of errors is there?

Where the translators just didn't understand the meaning of the Hebrew or Greek words, they used the wrong English word. The best scholars of today can find and correct these errors without any doubt. However, it is not all that simple. In nearly all languages, some words have more than one meaning, so which do you take? For example, the English word fast, what does it mean? First it means, capable of moving very rapidly. Second it means, stuck so firmly that you can't move at all. Third, to go without eating. Fourth, as applied to colors, not fading from sunlight or washing. Fifth, in a slang sense it means, of doubtful moral character.

Which meaning will you give it when you translate it? Sometimes the general context will tell you, but not always. For example, "I asked the Captain, Can you get your ship out of the harbor into the open sea within an hour?" He replied, "My ship is fast." Did he mean, my ship is speedy, so I can do it, or did he mean my ship is stuck fast aground, so I can't move it at all?

When you find a word of double meaning in the Bible, you must carefully compare each meaning the word has, with everything the other prophets wrote on that same subject. Then you can see which meaning is entirely consistent with all of Yahweh's messages on this subject. Sometimes one translator gets it right, sometimes another. Consequently it is necessary to compare many translations.

Sometimes a certain sect has founded its principle doctrine on a definitely wrong translation. In such a case, I can only stick to the correct translation, no matter what someone's erroneous doctrines may be. Another difficulty arises where the Hebrews or the Greeks used different words than we use in English to express the same idea. Each language has its own idioms. For example, if you heard a man say, "I sure painted the town red last night", and you would know what he meant. However, that isn't what he said. Suppose you translated that word for word, into German. Can you imagine some solemn German wondering why a man would spend the night slopping red paint on other people's houses? To translate the meaning exactly, you would have to use other words. Ten different languages would probably have ten different ways of saying it.

These cases are the most difficult of all to translate. You must truly get into the spirit of both languages and no translator can always do it. The one, who translates one Hebrew phrase with brilliant accuracy, will make a terrible botch of another. Therefore, there is no one perfect translation of the Bible. That is why, in my library, I have eleven different translations of the Old Testament and eighteen different translations of the New Testament. In all doubtful points I compare many, and choose the one, which is the clearest and most accurate.

For example Jeremiah 8:8 In the King James Bible reads, "How then do we say, we are wise and the law of Yahweh is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain." If this means anything at all, it must mean that Yahweh made His law in vain. Poor weak Yahweh, He meant well, but He just wasn't able to make it stick. You know Jeremiah didn't write anything that silly, what did he really write?

Smith and Goodspeed, An American Translation, translates it this way. "How can you say, we are wise, and the law of Yahweh is with us? When lo, the lying pen of the scribes has turned it into a lie!" Moffatt translates it, "What, You say we are wise, we do have His directions, when lo, your scribes have written them wrong and falsified them." Rotherham is the same. As Yahweh said through the prophet in Isaiah 43:27, "Thine interpreters have transgressed against Me"

The meaning of some English words has changed greatly since the King James translation was done. For example, take where the writer, probably Hezekiah, says, "I prevented the dawning of the morning". You don't really believe that Hezekiah didn't allow the sun to rise, do you? He never said that was what he did. In the year 1611 A.D., the English word prevent meant to anticipate or to come before. Hezekiah merely said that he anticipated that morning would soon dawn. That's what people who read the King James Bible in 1611 A.D. understood it to mean. Today, prevent means to hinder, which means not to allow something to occur.

There are many other old English words, which have changed meaning like this. Wherever such a word is used in the King James Bible, it will mislead you. In such cases I use one of the modern translations, sometimes Moffatt, Smith and Goodspeed, Ferrer Fenton, Rotherham, Weymouth, Panin, or Bagster's translation of the Septuagint or Lamsa's translation from the Aramaic, or yet some other. Sometimes nothing but a literal translation of the Hebrew or Greek will give enough precision of expression.

I'm not disputing the divine inspiration of the Bible; I am defending and upholding it. There is only one true Bible. It is exactly what Yahweh expressed in the languages in which it was first written. Whenever men have changed this they are wrong, no matter how good their intentions may have been. We must go back to the real Bible, the true word of Yahweh.