The Word of Yahweh is Art of the Highest Magnitude*- Download PDF Article
Art is the skillful production of the beautiful into visible forms. Michelangelo's essence is revealed through his sculptures 'David' and 'Pieta.' These masterpieces can be drawn or painted by other artists but the essence of Michelangelo will be lost in part due to the translation and reproduction process. One must touch and see the original David to fully perceive the heart of Michelangelo. William Shakespeare was an artist whose pallet consisted not of marble but of 'words.' Words, as marble, can be chiseled with such masterful strokes that they result in a masterpiece that transcends mere communication but rather ascends into the heavens as works of art. Yahweh, the Creator, the artist of all artists, has unveiled or revealed Himself through His art, which is His creation.FN1 Yahweh, whether forming a rose, breathing life into a child, sculpting a planet, creating cherubim or breathing out ruah (spirit), has also unveiled Himself to mankind through His work of art known as the Word of Yahweh. The Word of Yahweh consist of words masterfully applied to a canvas by number, position, pattern, emphasis, repetition, figures, rhyme, verse, meter and we could go on and on and on. Studying it is as viewing a living cell under a microscope with unlimited magnification; the greater the magnification, the greater the viewing of unimaginable worlds. The Word of Yahweh, a divine masterpiece, was breathed out, sculpted, formed and painted by Yahweh's inspired prophets using the Hebrew language to communicate the mind of Yahweh to mankind. The majority of believers have forgotten or were never instructed that this book is a work of art and must be treated as such, preserved, restored and maintained as one would a Rembrandt painting, neither adding to nor taking away any part thereof! This has not been the case with our present Bible translations, the Rotherham Emphasized Translation being the exception. New popular translations, which are not literal, such as the NIV and the Message are actually works of desecration if they are treated as the Word of Yahweh instead of paraphrases of the Bible.
To desecrate means to treat as not sacred or holy. The Word of Yahweh, this divine glorious masterpiece loses some or all of its beauty, purpose and meaning when it is reproduced or translated into English by human artists who are also known as Bible Translators. "When we speak of the 'words of Yahweh' it must be borne in mind that we mean Hebrew and Greek words; for in these, the original languages, have the words been given to us. We cannot hold the prophets responsible for the way in which individual men have chosen to translate the Hebrew words into their respective languages. It was truly said by Archbishop Whately that "the Bible consists of the Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek; and a translation of them is only an Interpretation according to the best judgment of the translator." Each, doubtless, has done the best he could, and has brought to bear upon the work his highest powers. But, unless he has been guided by divine principles, such as the preservation of this sacred masterpiece, his best efforts will be of little avail to us; for he will have given us only his own judgment and his own views.
His views are, very largely, traditional. He comes, to the work of Bible translation with his views already more or less fixed with the purpose of pleasing the purchaser in order that his translation will be purchased. His views have been derived from what he has first received from a man like himself. He may perhaps be more widely read in what others before him have said, but still he is more or less tied and bound by traditional views. It is surprising, when we really come to examine ourselves closely in this matter and see how much of what we already believe has been 'received by tradition from our fathers.' How little has actually been derived from our own direct personal study of the Word of Yahweh itself. We believe what we have received from man; and we do our best to get it confirmed by the Bible. When we are unable to get the confirmation we are in search of, then we find what we call a 'difficulty.' But the difficulty is not in the Word of Yahweh itself; it is in our own minds. The real difficulty is in giving up our own views because we fail to make the Bible conform to them. It does not, at first, occur to our minds that we may have to abandon some of our views if we would get rid of the difficulty.
Even where there is no difficulty, and our view is indeed in accord with the Word of Yahweh, we shall find it better to study the Word of truth afresh, and learn it again direct from the Scriptures. This is what we must do if we would really profit from the Word so as to enjoy it. It is better for the truth to hold us, than for us to hold the truth. The two things are very different. Our concern now is with the words in the English versions: and our objective is to see how far they accord with the words in Hebrew. That is to say, how far an English reader may find out for himself the meaning of the heavenly original, and thus discover the mind of Yahweh, who is revealing Himself therein rather than the minds of the translators who appearing divine but are none the less, very earthly."FN2
Would we ever consider revising the Gettysburg Address; "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal?" Would we revise Romeo & Juliet; "What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet?" Would we change the words of Christ when he said, "If ye be loving me, my commandments, ye will keep?" (See Appendix A) The former two examples have been treated as hallow works but the Words of Yahweh are desecrated by many Bible translations, with good intentions I might add, because His 'Words' are not acknowledged as Art or Holy or otherwise they would not be tampered with.
How it disturbs a song writer, poet or author when we change, modify and delete their original work. How much more is it an offense to Yahweh to rewrite His poetry on 'The Song of Songs,' which has been done by the NIV and other Bibles, as is illustrated below?
The Song of Songs 2:14, 16-17
(The Most Accurate Translation)
[[SHE]] My beloved,FN7 is, mine, My lover is mine and I am his;
Above is just a token of the desecration that the NIV and other translations have inflicted upon the Masterpiece of all Literature. The NIV Bible has desecrated the majority of all the verses of our Father's Word, an example of which is illustrated in Appendix A.
The vast majority of us will never be able to read the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Then what are we to do? I thank Yahweh for Robert Young and James Strong because of their concordances, which allow us to read Hebrew and Greek in the Word of Yahweh. These tools enable us to weigh the accuracy of Bible translations, as has been illustrated above. Of all the English Bible translations, the Rotherham Emphasized Bible, a literal translation is in a class of its own when it comes to accuracy in the Hebrew and Greek text, as well as in the poetic form of the Words of Yahweh. It was not written to please men but Yahweh!
Yahweh is the inspiration behind the masterpieces of Longfellow, Shakespeare, Locke, Luther, Bach, Michelangelo etc. etc. We revere, preserve and relish the works of these artists but when it comes to one of the Greatest Works of Art of all times, written by the Greatest Artist of all time, we desecrate it for ease of reading, conforming it to our man-made beliefs and subjecting it to our times and culture. We have "exchanged the glory of the incorruptible Yahweh, for the likeness of an image of a corruptible man…" Let us repent of our ways and return to the age of the Massorites,FN12 the literalist, the preservers of the living, breathing, energizing Word of Life, who exalted the Word of Yahweh to the highest honor by honoring it as, the Greatest Masterpiece of Literature ever Written.
15 ¶ If ye be loving me, my commandments, ye will keep; (Rotherham)
16 And, I, will request the Father, and, Another Advocate, will he give unto you, that he may be with you age–abidingly,
17 The Spirit of truth,––which, the world, cannot receive, because it beholdeth it not, nor getteth to know it. But, ye, are getting to know it; because, with you, it abideth, and, in you, it is.
18 ¶ I will not leave you bereft,––I am coming unto you.
19 Yet a little, and, the world, no longer beholdeth me; but, ye, behold me,––Because, I, live, ye also, shall live.
20 In that day, shall ye get to know, That, I, am in my Father, and, ye, in me, and, I, in you.
21 He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he, it is that loveth me; and, he that loveth me, shall be loved by my Father, and, I, will love him, and will manifest, myself, unto him.
22 Judas, not the Iscariot, saith unto him––Lord! what hath happened, that, unto us, thou art about to manifest thyself, and, not unto the world?
FN1 Inasmuch as, what may be known of Yahweh, is manifest among them, for, Yahweh, unto them, hath made it manifest,–– For, the unseen things of him, from a world's creation, by the things made, being perceived, are clearly seen, even his eternal power and divinity,––to the end they should be without excuse; (Rm. 1:19-20)
FN2 How to Enjoy the Bible by E. W. Bullinger; pg. 184-185, edited by Chuck Cunningham.
FN3 05553 cela' seh'- lah This noun is related to an Arabic root sala'a 'split' (hence sil'un 'fissure'). As opposed to sûr 'rock,' (with which it is often used interchangeably, which lays emphasis on a more massive rock; cf. Aramaic tûr 'mountain'), it refers basically to a cleft in a rock, thence a rock or cliff.
FN4 04095 madregah mad-ray-gaw' steep place
FN5 04758 mar'eh mar-eh' sight, appearance, vision
FN6 05000 na'veh naw-veh' comely, beautiful, seemly
FN7 01730 dowd dode or (shortened) dd dod dode beloved, love, uncle
FN8 07462 ra'ah raw-aw' to pasture
FN9 06315 puwach poo'akh to breathe, blow
FN10 01336 Bether beh'- ther Bether =" cleft" a mountainous region in Palestine, site unknown
FN11 02022 har har The antiquity, majesty, power and height of mountains reaching up to the heavens above the clouds naturally led people to associate mountains with gods.
FN12 "The Text itself had been fixed before the Massorites were put in charge of it. This had been the work of the Sopherim (from saphar, to count, or number). The Sopherim were the authorized revisers of the Sacred Text; and, their work being completed, the Massorites were the authorized custodians of it. Their work was to preserve it. The Massorah is called 'A Fence to the Scriptures,' because it locked all words and letters in their places." E W Bullinger Companion Bible, Appendix 30
(When quoting scriptures, from the Rotherham Emphasized Bible New Testament, I will substitute the Hebrew words Yahshua for Jesus, Yahweh and Elohim for God and the LORD and ruah for pneuma (spirit)
© 2005-2017 Chuck Cunningham