Jubilee Bible FAQ

 

Click any of the below topics to see the questions and answers. To submit a question, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

 

Exodus 21:8 (Translation Question)

(1)  How did de Reina translate verse 8 originally? I understand you have adopted some edits to his original work. If the Jubilee Bible departs from de Reina here, were you following Cipriano de Valera? Or someone else?

(2) was Cipriano de Valera a Puritan or Calvinist? I don’t know if you are interested in my research, but this is a study of how the Puritans demeaned Tyndale’s translation (in their own words), and why. Puritan Rejection of Tyndale/Matthew Bible 

(3) If de Reina’s original translation of Ex.21:8 was closer to Tyndale, would it be possible to send me a translation of it for my longer version of this paper? Martin Luther translated the same as Tyndale, and I’m gathering other Reformation translations.

(4) Lastly, also, Jeff Benner, a Hebrew scholar I sometimes correspond with, wrote:

The Hebrew language has never really died, it has been spoken from ancient times to today. However, after the the first century AD the language was relegated to religious use only, that is until the late 1800s when the language was restored as the common language for Israelites in Israel. What this means is that the original cultural perspective of the language was lost when they adopted different language for their common language and the meaning of many words were lost and replaced with the meanings from other cultures. This is a little difficult to explain, but I go into detail in my series “A History of Hebrew” which is available on Youtube.

Would you disagree with that, from your insight into de Reina’s life? Would you say Hebrew was more a living language in Europe at the time of the Reformation, or was it in religious use only? Or was it more alive in Spain than elsewhere? My understanding is that Tyndale learned at the feet of Hebrew scholars, but I need to learn more about that if possible.


1) Regarding Exodus 21:8,  This Scripture in the Jubilee Bible is a direct literal translation of the work of Casiodoro de Reina (1569 edition). Cipriano de Valera has this verse exactly the same as de Reina, word for word (1602 edition).

2) Cipriano de Valera was a young disciple of Casiodoro de Reina when both men fled Spain to Geneva (due to heavy persecution by the Inquisition). After that, de Reina got into a serious argument with John Calvin over the fate of Miguel Servet, who disagreed with Calvin on the doctrine of the Trinity and was burned at the stake. Casiodoro de Reina told Calvin that he had turned Geneva into a “new Rome” and Calvin apparently sought to kill him also. This caused de Reina to flee Geneva to England where he found favor with the Queen for a season.

Cipriano de Valera stayed in Geneva and became very close to Calvin. In fact, some might argue that de Valera’s position on predestination is even more extreme than that of Calvin. After the death of de Reina, de Valera went on to revise and republish the Spanish Bible (in 1602). There were some positive things to give him credit for, such as including all of de Reina’s original notes in the margin (most of which were censored by the city fathers at Amsterdam when de Reina’s original work was published in 1569). There were also significant differences between the two men regarding what to make of the Septuigent and to what extent it could be relied upon. Some of the margin notes have to do with this and we have to take it on good faith that de Valera published the original notes without modifying them (which he could easily have done).

The main issue that I have with Cipriano de Valera is that, in my opinion, he modified, emasculated, or outright deleted portions of close to two thousand verses so that no one would ever get even the slightest impression that any decision made by any person at any time could ever affect their eternal fate (or the eternal fate of anyone else). Therefore de Valera had no place for evangelism. He did not even believe that God could ever change his mind. For him, the fate of every individual was determined well in advance, even from before the foundation of the world and no one, not even God could change this.

Valera’s effect on the Spanish Bible has, in my opinion, contributed to the fact that the Reformation never really caught on in the Spanish speaking world. Of course, the Inquisition (burning not only Bibles but their owners as well) undoubtedly was another major factor. It was not until after WWII that any significant Bible distribution took place in Spanish speaking countries. Contrast this to the well over four hundred years of the Bible being very available to English speakers. Even today, it is my humble opinion that churches that use most versions of the Reina-Valera Bible are likely to be much more subdued regarding evangelism than those groups using the Jubilee Bible (which as also been published as the Reina-Valera 2000 and also simply as, Versión Antigua).

3) This is covered in my answer to your question #1.

4) I mostly do not agree with the idea that Hebrew was only a religious and ceremonial language from the first century until the late 1800’s (although in many places in the world this could have been very true). It is quite clear that many of the substantial Jewish population in Spain were using Hebrew as their mother tongue in daily living up until the Inquisition killed many of them and forced others to leave. Remember that the Inquisition sought out the ones speaking Hebrew among themselves. It was Hebrew speaking Jews that were hid by Casiodoro de Reina and his disciples like de Valera for many years until they were found out by the Inquisition and forced to flee. An early factor in the life of de Reina was when, as a young man, he noticed the Hebrew Bible manuscript that was chained to a post in his monastery. It was a relic that was kissed in religious ceremony but that no one in his religious order could actually read. Casiodoro de Reina devoted his life to helping Jews who could teach him to read the original Scriptures and to translating them into Spanish.

Another factor, regarding what actually happened to the Hebrew language has to do with those Hebrew scholars who consider that Hebrew is, The Eternal Language. Therefore it is difficult for some of them to come to terms with actual reality. I am more inclined to think that, The Eternal Language of God has more to do with his sacrificial love leading to our redemption. For this reason (and regarding differences in texts, margin notes, interpretations, etc.) I ended my To The Reader, introduction to the Jubilee Bible with the following paragraph:

“Let us allow the Spirit of Truth to have the last word regarding this matter. We must always bear in mind that even if we were to all learn Hebrew to perfection and could obtain a flawless manuscript of the original text, there would still be a humanly insurmountable language barrier between us and the truth that can only be bridged by the Spirit of God.” For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light (Psalm 36:9).

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.

Psalm 51:5 (Rendering, in the Spanish Bible Biblia del Jubileo)

I understand the fact that this translation is supposed to have a very strong reformed theology background, and as a reformed believer, that’s exactly what I look for. Yet despite our theological background, the integrity of scripture should always be our main concern. That’s the reason why I’d like to know where this wording of Psalm 51:5, that appears only in this version, actually comes from. I have both Jubilee Bibles (in English and in Spanish). The Spanish version opens with this statement: “al español por Casidoro de Reina (1569)” which means that this is the 1569 translation of Casidoro de Reina. It does say that it was compared to the translation of Cipriano de Valera (1602).

Now, I went back and checked these two translations. The Spanish translation by Casidoro de Reina 1569 renders this verse in this way:
“He aquí, en maldad he sido formado, y en pecado me xxx (can’t type that word, it doesn’t exist anymore, although it means “to give birth”) de mi mi madre,” here I attach a picture of it (in this Bible, 51:5 was actually 51:7).

I also checked the translation of Cipriano de Valera, 1602 to find exactly the same wording (including that word that’s already out of use, which I don’t really know how to read—picture attached as well). Meaning that both Casidoro de Reina and Cipriano de Valera translated this verse the same way, which would match literally the rendering of KJV, NKJV, ASV, NASB, ESV, NIV, etc, the same for all the Spanish translations I’ve read since I was a kid.

So I’m very curious to know where the Jubilee Bible’s wording comes from. Because if La Biblia del Jubileo is supposed to be the translation of Casidoro de Reina, then in this passage at least, the rendering is different. So I insist to know, if possible, where this wording appeared first.

If this happens to be a re-translation of this verse (by the publisher), which is ok, I’d like to know what would be grammatically wrong in the way that all other translations rendered it. This is one verse that has kept me going on and on, and I really hope to get some closure on it.


1) It was not our intention with the JB translation to line up with any established theology, reformed or otherwise but rather to establish accuracy and truth in the light of the early reformation using sources for the most part from the early 1500’s according to the witness of the Holy Spirit.

2) A major source for the Psalms was the 1557 edition by Juan Perez de Pineda who apparently also had access to the Jewish Biblia de Ferrara in Spanish. Cassiodoro de Reina built upon this, but the city authorities in Amsterdam did not allow him to publish La Biblia Del “Oso” in 1569 with all of his margin notes, these were later published in the “Cántaro” 1602 edition by Cipriano de Valera. If Casiodoro considered there to be any ambiguity he made a note and we took his notes seriously.

There was a difference of opinion between Casiodoro and Cipriano regarding use of the Septuagint and its penchant of deviating from a direct literal translation, starting with when they took a hundred years off of the age of each of the pre-diluvian patriarchs apparently in an attempt to line up their preconceived ideas regarding their calendar.

We chose to translate literally if possible and if not to footnote with the literal.

3) In most of the situations in which the JB does not coincide with other translations the apparent discrepancy is not due to us basing this on variant original text but rather on a difference of opinion regarding what the original means when translated into English or Spanish. This is particularly true when the original is Hebrew.

For instance, the Dead Sea Scroll fragments of OT Hebrew books are all virtually identical to the 9th to 11th century manuscripts of the Received Text in which all the early reformation Bible translations are based.

4) Biblical Hebrew only has about 5000 key words as opposed to over 30,000 for Greek or over 300,000 for an unabridged English or Spanish Dictionary.

Hebrew, therefore, has some peculiar nuances. Remember that Jesus spoke of the importance of every jot or tittle. One of these is that a lot of Hebrew words and phrases are what I call “invertable.” It is very easy for a translator with preconceived ideas to invert the meaning of a phrase. This is what I believe happened to Psalm 51:5 beginning with the Greek Septuagint translation of the OT Hebrew in Alexandria.

Even key words like, Israel, can mean, “God fights,” or “he who fights with God.” When Jacob fought all night with the Angel of the LORD both meanings were true. And throughout history either God has fought on behalf of Israel or they have fought against God.

5) Another objective with the JB was to attempt within the limits of Spanish or English to translate the same original word or phrase as consistently as possible.

Also, for instance, if we found places where the original Hebrew word or phrase was translated a given way then if we found an exception where it was translated one hundred and eighty degrees reversed in an isolated instance we looked at this very closely to make sure that preconceived ideas or doctrinal bias not be perpetuated. Again, this is what I believe to be the case with Psalm 51:5.

6) I had some very sophisticated software designed by computer genius, Larry Pierce, that allowed me to take a given Hebrew phrase or word and track it throughout the Scriptures and then compare and see how each instance was translated in over seventy translations. If something was translated a certain way then why would the same phrase or word be inverted in an isolated instance?

7) Finally, the ultimate witness is the Holy Spirit and no verse was finalized without that witness.

Mark 16:2 (First of the Sabbaths)

I don’t understand what is meant by “the first of the sabbaths.” and why it is used instead of  “the first day of the week” used in the KJV.


Regarding the phrase, the first of the Sabbaths, see footnotes 13 and 14 in my book, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and footnote 98 (in regard to John 20:1) in my book, Knowing God the Father (soon to be released). I have pasted the three relevant footnotes below. 

This is a direct literal translation of the Greek Received Text (such as was published by Erasmus) and was translated like this in many early Reformation Bibles. Even the Latin Vulgate has a very similar rendition. This was one of many reasons the church prelates refused to authorize translations of the Scriptures into the language of the common people, because they feared that it would confuse the people and undermine the church calendar for events such as Easter and Sunday worship. Eventually, however, someone came up with the idea of translating “first of the sabbaths” as “the first day of the week,” and this gained widespread approval as soon as the fire of reformation died down and Bible translations had to be approved by the church and/or the state. In making the decision to return to a literal rendition of the text, I am not pretending to advocate worship on a given day of the week as a magic formula for success. Rather, I’m aiming to return to the unadulterated truth and to let the Holy Spirit lead us in every detail of our personal walk and corporate worship. Truly, we are to worship in spirit and in truth every day and rest from our own work that He may work in and through us.

In order for the dates to work out so that Jesus died on Friday, was in the tomb all day Saturday, and rose early Sunday morning, the days would have to align in a way that would have happened only once every seven years. So it is possible, even probable, that church tradition is mistaken. What we know for certain, according to Scripture, is that Jesus died on the afternoon of the 13th day of the first month and was resurrected in the early morning of the 15th day. The 13th was the day of preparation, the 14th was the Great Sabbath of the Passover, and the 15th was the first of the sabbaths (the feast of unleavened bread).

This phrase is used seven times in the New Testament according to the Jubilee Bible translation (this is the fifth usage). Its meaning is set in the Law of Moses as the first holy convocation or “Sabbath” of the Feast of Unleavened Bread that began the day after Passover and ended with the second holy convocation seven days later (Leviticus 23:5-8). Therefore the first of the sabbaths began at sundown on what to us would have been the previous day. Parts of three different days would have passed: 1) Whatever hours were left on the day of preparation after Jesus was laid in the new sepulchre prior to sundown, 2) the entire twenty-four hours of the day of Passover, beginning at sundown, and 3) the hours of darkness from the time of the sundown that ended the Passover to the point at which Mary Magdalene came early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre and saw the stone taken away.

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 1:32 (Written as a Negative)

The Jubilee Bible has a seemingly opposite meaning of KJV as it reads, “they did not understand that those who do such things are worthy of death.”  There is no negative in the KJV.  I’m curious why there is that significant difference in the translation.  


It is not a typo. The Jubilee translation is identical to the translation by Casiodoro de Reina (1569) and to the revision done by Cipriano de Valera in 1602). This also follows the exact same wording from Francisco de Enzinas (1543) and Juan Pérez de Pineda (1557). I believe that these men followed the Greek of Erasmus´third edition (basically known as the Stephanopoulos).

In Valera´s 1602 edition there is a note in the margin listing an alternate text that does agree with the KJV. William Tyndale is similar to the KJV. The alternate text listed in the margin by Valera reads the same as the Nestle text (which I have reason to believe has experienced some corruption in other places).

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.

2 Corinthians 6:1, Acts 5:31, and the Apocrypha (Accuracy of Words Used)

The Jubilee Bible reads: We then as workers together with him exhort you all that ye HAVE NOT RECEIVED the grace of God in vain. ALL other versions read basically as the KJV: King James Bible “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also THAT YE RECEIVE  NOT the grace of God in vain”, “have not received” and “that ye receive not” are two different meanings. Easy to read over but the meaning is different.

One is a declarative saying you have not received the grace in vain. The Other is a command to not receive the grace of God in vain…implying that doing so is a possibility. My question is: How can this be rendered like this when the form of this verb in the original God-Breathed text is  (Aorist, Middle, Infinitive)? I really like the Jubilee Bible a lot, but this rendering is troubling. I hope it will be corrected in future editions…


Thanks for your questions. It is encouraging to know that you are a deep student of the Scriptures and that the Jubilee Bible is meaningful to you.

I would like to preface my remarks in response to your questions by saying that the Jubilee Bible is a representation of the Scriptures of the Early Reformation and is not the scholarship of anyone living within the past four hundred years. I have, however, felt a strong witness from the Holy Sprit.

I am assuming that the Greek text you are using is the Byzantine or possibly even the Nestle. The Greek text used by the reformers whose work is represented by the Jubilee Bible is the received text, the oldest existing manuscripts are ninth to eleventh century due to the fact that the congregations always made a new scroll when the old one was in danger of fragmenting. Then they diligently compared the two and had a ceremony installing the new scroll while at the same time they always destroyed the old one. This was to prevent incomplete fragments from circulating. During the Inquisition many were killed because they refused to give up these manuscripts.

The scholarship of the Jubilee Bible New Testament is based on the work of three men (and we have access to their work) Francisco the Enzinas (NT of 1543), Juan Pérez de Píneda (NT of 1556) and Casiodoro de Reina (Complete Bible of 1569).

We think that these men used one of the three versions of the printed Greek NT of Erasmus (due to the dates). Erasmus´ third edition is virtually identical to what is now called the Stephaenopholus (and I had this on my computer at the time of the Jubilee translation for reference). Or they could even have had access to received text manuscripts (like Erasmus obviously did).

Essentially the Reformation seems to have been sparked by the work of Erasmus circulating among clergy due to the newly invented printing press. Then reformers began to translated into the common languages of Europe.

However, if you compare the different Greek texts readily available today with the work of the early reformers (who translated without the approval of the state or of the church) there are many discrepancies as leaven was gradually introduced. First by counter reformation specialists posing as scholars who then used the Latin Vulgate and other corrupt sources to “correct” the received text (all received text manuscripts agree almost perfectly).

These corrupting forces were not content just to change some verb tenses to go along with their doctrine, they soon began to whack entire passages if they thought they could get away with it. Casiodoro de Reina explains this in his “Warning to the Reader” at the beginning of his 1569 translation. He said there are two types of enemies of the Scriptures, those who are “outside” and attempt to prohibit the translation of the Scriptures into the common language of the people (and its distribution) and those who are “inside” and attempt to twist, distort, and even delete what they do not like. Reina said that the fact that someone will dishonestly change or delete what they do not like or agree with means that if they could they would completely do away with the Scriptures.

Therefore, in answer to your questions:

1) For our objectives regarding the Jubilee Bible Translation it is enough for us to have three sterling witnesses (recognized scholars and Bible translators of the Early Reformation) that the rendition of 2 Corinthians 6:1 conforms to the literal value of the Greek text that they used.

In fact, our goal and policy was to have two or three witnesses (from the early Reformation translators) to resolve each and every question that arose.

2) Regarding the translation of Acts 5:32. This is a direct literal translation and in this case even the Nestle text appears to be correct. In fact, you will find that most of the notable differences in the wording of the Jubilee Bible versus other translations is simply a matter of differences of opinion regarding the interpretation and scholarship involved and not differences regarding original source texts. Obviously the early reformers, who were risking their lives and were not forced to defend preconceived doctrines and dogmas translated the Scriptures while looking through a very different lens from those operating at later dates who had to get approval from ecclesiastical hierarchy and from the king.

Also, consider this: If we had to obey God in order to receive the Holy Spirit this would be difficult or impossible because we need the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in order to obey. The Jews spent 1500 tragic years finding this out the hard way.

3) Regarding possible future translation of the Apocrypha. It is interesting to note that even the proponents of these books down though the centuries have always labeled them as “second canon” and that there are several different lists of what books certain groups think should be included at the second canon level. There has always been a consensus that the quality of these books is diminished and not on the same level as the 66 books that are universally recognized.

From a common sense perspective it is clear that while some passages of the Apocrypha at first glance seem to be edifying, under the surface there are direct conflicts with the 66 Books considered by all to be the “first canon.” Communication with and worship of the dead, wrong doctrine regarding angels in conflict with the Scriptures contained the the 66 universally recognized books and so on. Some of the Apocrypha seem to start out fairly well and then degenerate into fables:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, they shall heap up unto themselves teachers who shall speak to them according to their own lusts, and thus they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall return unto fables (2 Timothy 4:3,4) .

… not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men, that turn from the truth (Titus 1:14).

For we have not made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, following cunningly devised fables, but as eyewitnesses of his majesty (2 Peter 1:16).

I have never felt the witness of the Holy Spirit while reading the Apocrypha like I do when I read the established 66 Books of the universally recognized canon. The Apocryphal books, in my opinion, do not promote or lift up the majesty of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have never felt even the slightest prompting from the Holy Spirit that we should undertake a translation of the second canon books.

In our work on the Jubilee Bible translation we found that there are significant number patterns regarding the use of key words. Each key word has a numerical value and almost always that is the number of times that the given key word is used in Scripture. In fact, these number patterns are very complex (read the book titled Theomatics, by Del Washburn) and prove the inspiration of the 66 books of the universally established Scriptures beyond any shadow of doubt. However, if the Apocrypha books are included, the number patterns fall apart and are meaningless.

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.