Jubilee Bible FAQ


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Psalms 51:5 (Double Negatives)

Can you please explain Psalms 51:5? It is the only translation that says it the way the JUB does.


In Hebrew a double negative is like multiplying two negative numbers in mathematics. The answer will always be positive.

The JUB is based on scholarship from the early reformation and this is the way Casiodoro de Reina and others that learned Hebrew as a spoken active language translated. Modern scholars have only studied these texts as a dead language.

As a result of this and other problems many verses got obscured or inverted.

This passage may be difficult to understand naturally, but it is as close to the original as possible and it makes sense when read in light of the above explanation. Pray that the Lord will give understanding where needed.

Acts 21-25 (Why translate “chiliarchos” as “tribunal”?)

I was wondering why the word tribunal was used in the book of Acts for “chiliarchos.” I thought that tribunal was usually used not for one specific person, but for a group of judges (tri=three) or for the position of the judges – not for a specific person. Does not the word chiliarchos mean a leader of a thousand? I see that other versions translate it as chief captain, commander, or even tribune (ESV). It seems from what I have seen, tribune can refer to a leader, but tribunal refers to a court of law or a seat from which the tribune presides. I have not seen tribunal used like this any other place, and so was wondering.

In the English Jubilee Bible the words, Tribune (used once), Tribunes (Tribune plural used once) and Tribunal (used 19 times) cover only the NT trajectory. Tribune and Tribunal always refer to a single person (a judge with authority who is likely also a high ranking military commander). This presents a pattern of 21 verses ending in Romans 14:10: for we shall all stand before the tribunal of the Christ. This pattern makes it very clear that it is not a raised platform or a judgment seat that we will all give an account to. We will all stand before Jesus Christ and give and account of all of our words and deeds and he is the supreme military commander and judge of the third (or highest) level.

In the Spanish Biblia del Jubileo we also include the Hebrew trajectory beginning in Numbers 31:14: Y se enojó Moisés contra los capitanes del ejército, contra los tribunos y centuriones que volvían de la guerra; Here, the word, tribunos (plural) is translated as captains over thousands, in the English Jubilee. Both translations are accurate and bring out different facets of truth that are difficult or impossible to combine in a smooth translation.

The original idea is that a tribunal is a person with the third level of authority (not a raised dais with three levels). The three levels of original authority in the Law of Moses were, captains over fifties, captains over hundreds, and captains over thousands. (Also remember that prophetically and spiritually one thousand is symbolic of perfection). Therefore when Jesus Christ is referred to as the Tribunal, this means he is the supreme military commander and judge of the third level (third order) unto perfection. This is similar to the order of Melchisedec (King of Justice, or King of Righteousness).

There were a number of considerations that went into our use of terminology in slightly different ways in both English and Spanish so that the reader would receive the light and truth of the Scriptures of the early Reformation in stereo between the two translations.

Webster´s Unabridged Dictionary states that the English word, Tribune, means a leader or chief and that it comes from the Latin, Tribunal. We are not, however, primarily concerned with translating into modern English. The Jubilee Bible does not go forward into modernism it goes back into the English of the time of William Tyndale, which predates King James English by almost one hundred years and is simpler (and to my way of thinking, more precise).

People can disagree with our use of a given word in the Jubilee Bible but one of the principles behind our translation is that the words are defined by their use and context. Therefore, if you carefully study the 21 references relating to Tribune, Tribunes, and Tribunal (this can be done by searching for the stem, tribun*, the twenty-one references will come up and careful study will lead you to the root meaning of these words.

This is a case in which a side by side, English-Spanish edition of the Jubilee Bibles would be very beneficial.

We were able to deal with many (if not most) key words by identifying a key Hebrew word, assigning a unique English word to it and then making the correct match into the Greek of the NT. Unfortunately this was not the case with this word, but the word pattern does come out in a much more complete fashion in Spanish.

This is also true for several other key words. For instance, Hebrew, Greek, and Spanish only have one word in several examples such as: justicia, in Spanish, which can mean either righteousness or justice in English. So in cases like these we felt that it would not be right to remove one of these words since so many English speakers have memorized verses with the word, righteousness, or the word, justice (most not realizing that they are the same word in the original).

Romans 1:16 (Saving Heath?)

So if I believe the gospel of Christ I’ll receive “health?” Would anyone in their right mind conclude “salvation” here?  They’ll conclude that the gospel will help them get rid of a cold.

The Jubilee Bible is based on the scholarship of the early Reformation.

It is translated in such a way that each unique Hebrew word is matched to a unique English word (within the possibilities and limitations of the English language).

In many English Bibles two very different Hebrew words are both translated Salvation. In the Jubilee Bible these two different words are separated as the early reformers give precedent.

One word describes Salvation as an accomplished fact. The other as an ongoing process.

This is the meaning of the word health in Hebrew (William Tyndale is the one that coined the “saving health” rendition). The Jubilee Bible then matches the Hebrew with the Greek using places where the Lord Jesus and the Apostles quote Scripture in the NT as the guide. 

The NT writers were thinking Hebrew even as they wrote in Greek. Therefore many commentaries that use the Pagan meanings of the Greek as the primary meaning are confusing and do not track with the Hebrew. In NT Greek the Hebrew meanings are prime and the pagan meanings are secondary.

Casiodoro de Reina translated consistently as salud (health) the unique word that I mentioned above. I felt in English to go with the rendition of Tyndale because our word health in English is not as comprehensive as the word salud in Spanish.

Since the Jubilee translation renders the same thing the same way consistently the value of how God is using the word will be established clearly in the narrative of the first half of the OT.

Then, once the meaning and value is clearly set, the last half of the OT (the part having to do extensively with prophecy) is what is quoted the most in the NT. Once we are able to see where the NT quotes the OT (which is much more extensive than is apparent in many English translations) it allows us to see which Hebrew words match the Greek words selected by the inspired writers of the NT.

Even if you do not agree with the choice of English words in the Jubilee translation; due to the fact that the translation is consistent, you can study the where the word is introduced and see how God uses each unique word through the scope of the entire Bible (first usage and last usage are important) and see beyond any shadow of a doubt what meaning God has assigned to the original word.

This will free you from the spin (intentional or unintentional) that occurs frequently with Bible Dictionaries done by modern scholars.

Romans 11:26 (Reads Differently)

The very first part of the verse reads differently than ALL other translations. It doesn’t make sense and was wondering if it is a translator issue, copy/print issue, or a me issue. 

The Greek has a conditional verb tense that we do not have in English. However, Spanish does have it. And other Spanish translations like the 1602 Biblia Del Cántaro agree with the work of Casiodoro de Reina in 1569 and with Francisco de Encinas in his 1534 NT as well as some more modern editions on the rendition of this verse.

Since English does not have a conditional verb tense the JB translation is slightly clumsy having to couple the words “even if” with “were saved” to attempt to convey meaning into English that is built right into the verb in Greek and Spanish.

Even so, I can’t think of a better way to express it.

Not only here but I calculate that there are close to 33,000 promises in Scripture and virtually all of them are flagged with a condition or a conditional verb because Hebrew also has a conditional verb tense.

Hebrew, Greek, and Spanish also have a command form and Greek and Hebrew have an exclusive form neither of which exist in English and which are used in thousands of verses.

Hebrews 6:4-6 (Backslidden vs. Fallen Away)

I take umbrage with the word “backslidden” as opposed to the king james “fallen away.”

The vast majority of the terminology in the Jubilee Bible begins in the OT and develops through the prophetic books (which are quoted profusely in the NT allowing translators to make the right match between the Hebrew key word and its Greek counterpart. We have used the scholarship of the early Reformation in the light of two or three witnesses. The translation of Hebrews 6:4-6 is not a mistake. 

Here is some of the trajectory of the word through the OT as the word “backslide” is introduced and developed by God.

The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways, and the good man shall be separated from him. Proverbs 14:14

Therefore a lion out of the forrest shall slay them, and a wolf of the desert shall destroy them and a tiger shall lie in wait over their cities; anyone that goes out from there shall be torn in pieces because their rebellions have been multiplied, and their backslidings are increased. Jeremiah 5:6

How long wilt thou wander, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD will bring forth a new thing upon the earth, A woman shall compass the man. Jeremiah 31:22

Why glories thou in the valleys? Thy valley has slipped, O backsliding daughter that trusted in her treasures, she that saith, Who shall come against me? Jeremiah 49:4

The OT use of this word, backsliding, comes with serious warnings to Israel and to Ammon (meaning of the people) and also holds out hope for restoration after going through severe chastisement.

The Greek usage in Hebrews 6 is also a serious warning that those who blatantly sin with their eyes wide open cannot be renewed by simple repentance. They will definitely suffer serious consequences. It is summed up in the next verses:

For the earth which drinks in the rain that comes often upon it and brings forth herbs in season for those by whom it is dressed receives blessings from God; but that which bears thorns and briers is rejected and is near unto cursing whose end shall be by fire. Hebrews 6:7, 8

This means that those “backsliders” who receive the discipline and correction of the Lord will be blessed if this causes them to bring forth good fruit. Those who bring forth evil fruit “thorns and briers” are given yet another serious warning.

Also, the literal Greek is quite graphic giving yet another witness to why the early reformers chose this translation.

Hebrews 8:13 (Is the Law Obsolete?)

Why do some English translations of Heb. 8:13 translate παλαιόω as ‘old’ and others translate it as ‘obsolete’, and why do revised editions keep or change the words of the original edition?

Here is my response to your request regarding the translation of Hebrews 8:13:

The Jubilee Bible is based on the scholarship of the early Reformation (before Bible translators were forced to have their work approved by the King or by the Church – of course this made them outlaws to some, heroes to others). The same holds true for the Spanish Biblia del Jubileo which I translated (also known as the Reina Valera 2000, or Sagradas Escrituras Versión Antigua).

Scholars of the early Reformation of maximum interest and use to us were mostly Spaniards whose work was almost completely stifled by the Spanish Inquisition, and, of course, William Tyndale.

Caisodoro de Reina translated παλαιόω as, viejo or old, in his 1569 “Bibila del Oso.” This, in turn, was based on the New Testament published in 1543 by Franciso de Encinas and revised in 1556 by Juan Pérez de Pineda.

Diciendo Nuevo, dió por viejo al primero: y lo que es dado por viejo y fe enuejece, cerca eftá de defanecerfe. (This is Hebrews 8:13 in the original orthography by Casiodoro de Reina, 1569). In the 1602 revision of this work by Cipriano de Valera, known as “La Biblia del Cántaro” Hebrews 8:13 is unchanged. There are no footnotes regarding this verse in either edition.

William Tyndale also translated παλαιόω as, old in his 1534 “Plough Boy” edition and his wording may have influenced the AV of 1611. Here is William Tyndall’s rendition of Hebrews 8:13 in modern spelling: In that he saith a new testament he hath abrogated the old. Now that which is disannulled and waxed old, is ready to vanish away. In the case of this verse I actually prefer the rendition of the AV: In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

I am not thrilled with Tyndale’s use of the word, disannulled or with the AV’s use of decayeth. I am, however, perfectly satisfied with Casiodoro de Reina’s rendition of this verse which is backed up by the three other scholars mentioned above. And, in my opinion the use of the word, obsolete, in the RSV and NIV is even worse. What is “becoming obsolete” in the RSV morphs into definitely “obsolete” in the NIV. Where will this end?

Also bear in mind that the Greek text used by Casiodoro de Reina and William Tyndale is most likely Erasmus’ third edition. Very close to the Stephanopholus.

It is not until the RSV that the word, obsolete, is substituted for, old. I suspect this may have something to do with the work of modern Sadducees such as Westcot and Hort.

It seems to me that the difference between old, and obsolete, is enormous. The Law of Moses is old (as in Old Testament) but the Ten Commandments are not obsolete. Jesus said, Think not that I am come to undo the law or the prophets; I am not come to undo, but to fulfill (Matthew 5:17). Paul wrote, All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (1 Timothy 3:17). The only way to escape being under the law is to be led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:1,2; Galatians 5:18). Those who would declare the Old Covenant “obsolete” may eventually be in for a big surprise on the day when they shall be called to account for every idle word (Matthew 12:36, 37). The Ten Commandments are old in that in the Old Covenant they were written on cold tables of stone. In the New Covenant God’s commandments are written in the tables of our hearts and in our minds by the Spirit.

But this is covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, said the LORD, I will give my law in their souls and write it in their hearts and will be their God, and they shall be my people (Jeremiah 31:33). 

Did John Calvin really kill Miguel Servet (To The Reader)

We are aware of efforts to “rehabilitate” Calvin, but what we know for sure is this:

1) John Calvin was very much in charge of Geneva. It was his doctrine and his concept of law that clearly dominated. Therefore it would not be possible to even have the option of a death penalty by burning at the stake without him having been in prior agreement to having this type of penalty on the books.

2) I have seen several “modern” Calvinistic textbooks that stress that Calvin, even though he brought the initial accusations against Miguel Servet, afterwards made a written plea for clemency. They then leave it at that and it turns out that the supposed plead for clemency is to have Miguel beheaded instead of burned at the stake. It looks to me like this supposed plea could very well have been written in hindsight because I have not been able to find any mention of it in the Spanish history documents that I have read on the subject.

In some ways this is similar to the murky circumstances regarding the death of William Tyndale where he was supposedly granted “clemency” at the last minute and was therefore “strangled” before being burned at the stake. I simply stated that Tyndale was burned at the stake because this was clearly the case, even if someone tried to strangle him first.

3) The Spanish history books clearly state that Miguel Servet was burned at the stake in Geneva because John Calvin brought doctrinal charges against him regarding his views on the Trinity even though Servet made a clear case for his belief from Scripture and the word “trinity” does not occur in Scripture.

4) In fact, the situation was so bad that when Casiodoro de Reina stood up for him and told Calvin that he was making Geneva into a New Rome, Calvin’s fury knew no end and Casiodoro de Reina had to flee from Geneva to England to escape being burned at the stake by Calvin and his fanatical cohorts.

5) The statement in the “To The Reader” intro to the Jubilee Bible is definitely accurate when it says, “the government of Geneva under John Calvin burned Miguel Servet at the stake over differences on points of doctrine.”

6) Pure and simple, John Calvin had responsibility in the matter because it was his concept of the doctrine of the Trinity that he wanted defended at all costs even to the point of sentencing any detractors to the death penalty, be it by burning at the stake or with “clemency” and simply having their heads chopped off.

Use of LORD and Lord

Please explain the difference uses of LORD and Lord.


The LORD (Heb. YHWH) said unto my Lord (Heb. Adonai), Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Psalm 110:1)

Compare this to Jesus direct quote:

The LORD (Gr. Kurios) said unto my Lord (Gr. Kurios), Sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Matthew 22:44)

The LORD (Gr. Kurios) said unto my Lord (Gr. Kurios), Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Mark 12:36b)

The LORD (Gr. Kurios) said unto my Lord (Gr. Kurios), Sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Luke 20:42a,43)

In the case of the OT Hebrew of Psalm 110 the word, LORD is YHWH (the sacred name) and Lord is Adonai, The Hebrew word, Lord.

In the three NT Greek examples of Jesus quoting the OT we put LORD in caps the first time because we knew the quote but the Greek uses the exact same word, kurios, both times showing Jesus’ approval. This is only one of a very large number of similar examples.