Yahweh's Emphases & New Translations* - Download PDF Article
"The Word of Yahweh may, in one respect, be compared to the earth. All things necessary for life and sustenance may be obtained by scratching the surface of the earth: but there are treasures of beauty and wealth to be obtained by digging deeper into it. So it is with the Word of Yahweh. All things necessary for life and godliness lie upon its surface but, beneath that surface are 'great spoils' which are found only by those who seek after them as for 'hidden treasures.' Yahweh has been pleased to give us the revelation of His mind and will in Hebrew words and in a lesser extent, Greek words. It is therefore absolutely necessary that we should understand not merely the meanings of the words themselves, but also the laws which govern their usage and combinations." Yahweh emphasizes certain of his words by placing them in a figure; a form that brings the reader's attention to it, similar to the attention that is brought by the changing of the velocity of a train, which awakens the senses. Newer, so-called, Bible translations are discarding these figures thereby erasing what Yahweh has emphasized. For example, Yahweh uses the figure of speech, synecdoche, by using the phrase, 'the mouth of Yahweh,' as used in Leviticus 24:12; "and they put him in ward,––that a clear answer might be given to them, at the mouth [peh] of Yahweh." Peh is used 498 times in the Old Testament. Peh is translated, 'mouth,' in the following Bibles: 411 times in the Young's; 361 times in the Rotherham; 353 times in the KJV; 323 times in the NKJV; 224 times in the NIV; 103 times in the Message and 89 times in the NLT. This example illustrates what is happening to Yahweh's emphases.
"All language is governed by law; but, in order to increase the power of a word, or the force of an expression, these laws are designedly departed from, and words and sentences are thrown into, and used in, new forms, or figures. A figure denotes some form which a word or sentence takes, different from its ordinary and natural form. This is always for the purpose of giving additional force, more life, intensified feeling, and greater emphasis. As the course of language moves smoothly along, according to the laws which govern it, there is nothing by which it can awaken or attract our attention. It is as when we are traveling by railway. As long as everything proceeds according to the regulations, we notice nothing; we sleep, or we read, or meditate as the case may be. But, let the train slacken its speed, or make an unexpected stop;—we immediately hear the question asked, "What is the matter?" "What are we stopping for?" We hear one window go down and then another: attention is thoroughly aroused, and interest excited. So it is exactly with our reading. As long as all proceeds smoothly and according to law we notice nothing. But suddenly there is a departure from some law, a deviation from the even course—an unlooked for change—our attention is attracted, and we at once give our mind to discover why the words have been used in a new form, what the particular force of the passage is, and why we are to put special emphasis on the fact stated or on the truth conveyed. In fact, it is not too much to say that, in the use of these figures, we have, as it were, Yahweh's own markings in our Bibles."
William Shakespeare wrote, in Romeo and Juliet, "It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear." Can you see the beautiful painting that is being created by the figure of speeches used by Shakespeare? Yahweh painted a masterpiece when he had Solomon write in Song of Songs 5:2,
"I, was sleeping, but, my heart, was awake,––The voice of my beloved––knocking! Open to me, my sister, my fair one, my dove, my perfect one, for, my head, is filled with dew, my locks, with the moisture of the night."
Yahweh's emphases, in this verse of scripture, presented in figures are:
The Message paraphrases this verse by writing,
"I was sound asleep, but in my dreams I was wide awake. Oh, listen! It’s the sound of my lover knocking, calling! "Let me in, dear companion, dearest friend, my dove, consummate lover! I’m soaked with the dampness of the night, drenched with dew, shivering and cold."
This writing would be fine for a child's book but the Message along with the other newer Bible translations were not written for children, making them travesties, when they label their books as Bibles.
Figures of Speech
"A FIGURE is simply a word or a sentence thrown into a peculiar form, different from its original or simplest meaning or use. These forms are constantly used by every speaker and writer. It is impossible to hold the simplest conversation, or to write a few sentences without, it may be unconsciously, making use of figures. We may say, "the ground needs rain: " that is a plain, cold, matter-of-fact statement; but if we say "the ground is thirsty," we immediately use a figure. It is not true to fact, and therefore it must be a figure. But how true to feeling it is! how full of warmth and life! Hence, we say, "the crops suffer" ; we speak of "a hard heart," "a rough man," " an iron will." In all these cases we take a word which has a certain, definite meaning, and apply the name, or the quality, or the act, to some other thing with which it is associated, by time or place, cause or effect, relation or resemblance. Some figures are common to many languages; others are peculiar to some one language. There are figures used in the English language, which have nothing that answers to them in Hebrew or Greek; and there are Oriental figures which have no counterpart in English; while there are some figures in various languages, arising from human infirmity and folly, which find, of course, no place in the word of Yahweh. It may be asked, "How are we to know, then, when words are to be taken in their simple, original form (i.e., literally), and when they are to he taken in some other and peculiar form (i.e., as a Figure)?"
The answer is that, whenever and wherever it is possible, the words of Scripture are to be understood literally, but when a statement appears to be contrary to our experience, or to known fact, or revealed truth; or seems to be at variance with the general teaching of the Scriptures, then we may reasonably expect that some figure is employed. And as it is employed only to call our attention to some specially designed emphasis, we are at once bound to diligently examine the figure for the purpose of discovering and learning the truth that is thus emphasized.
From non-attention to these Figures, translators have made blunders as serious as they are foolish. Sometimes they have translated the figure literally, totally ignoring its existence; sometimes they have taken it fully into account, and have translated, not according to the letter, but according to the spirit; sometimes they have taken literal words and translated them figuratively. Commentators and interpreters, from inattention to the figures, have been led astray from the real meaning of many important passages of Yahweh's Word; while ignorance of them has been the fruitful parent of error and false doctrine. It may be truly said that most of the gigantic errors of Rome, as well as the erroneous and conflicting views of the Lord's People, have their root and source, either in figuratively explaining away passages which should be taken literally, or in taking literally what has been thrown into a peculiar form or Figure of language: thus, not only falling into error, but losing the express teaching, and missing the special emphasis which the particular Figure was designed to impart to them.
This is an additional reason for using greater exactitude and care when we are dealing with the words of Yahweh. Man's words are scarcely worthy of such study. Man uses figures, but often at random and often in ignorance or in error. But "the words of Yahweh are pure words." All His works are perfect, and when Yahweh takes up and uses human words, He does so, we may be sure, with unerring accuracy, infinite wisdom, and perfect beauty. We may well, therefore, give all our attention to the words that proceed from the mouth of Yahweh."
New Bible Translations
E. W. Bullinger, the author of the above statements, who went to sleep in 1913, would turn over in his grave if he read the NIV Bible, let alone the NLT and the Message paraphrases. These projects of men have omitted hundreds of thousands of figures of speech from the Word of Yahweh. Yahweh's emphases in his Word have been all but eliminated. For example, 2 Chronicles 36:12 states,
These figures are called Metonymies, meaning, a figure by which one name or noun is used instead of another, to which it stands in a certain relation. The eyes are put for what Yahweh sees and the mouth is put for the words that Yahweh has spoken. The following Bibles will demonstrate the omitting of these beautiful figures, by man, which came from the mouth of our Creator, Yahweh:
"A figure is, as we have before said, a departure from the natural and fixed laws of Grammar or Syntax; but it is a departure not arising from ignorance or accident. Figures are not mere mistakes of Grammar; on the contrary, they are legitimate departures from law, for a special purpose. They are permitted variations with a particular object. Therefore they are limited as to their number, and can be ascertained, named, and described.
No one is at liberty to exercise any arbitrary power in their use. All that we can do is to ascertain the laws to which nature has subjected them. There is no room for private opinion, neither can speculation concerning them have any authority.
It is not open to any one to say of this or that word or sentence, "This is a figure," according to his own fancy, or to suit his own purpose. We are dealing with a science whose laws and their workings are known. If a word or words be a figure, then that figure can be named, and described. It is used for a definite purpose and with a specific object. Man may use figures in ignorance, without any particular object. But when Yahweh takes up human words and uses a figure (or peculiar form), it is for a special purpose, and that purpose must be observed and have due weight given to it."
Below is a illustration of these wonderful jewels in one chapter of the Word of Yahweh.
vs. 2 Devout, and fearing God with all his house, doing many alms unto the people, and supplicating God continually,
vs. 3 Saw, in a vision, manifestly, as if about the ninth hour of the day, a messenger of God, coming in unto him, and saying unto him––Cornelius!
vs. 4 And he, looking steadfastly at him, and becoming full of fear, said––What is it, Lord? And he said unto him––Thy prayers and thine alms, have gone up for a memorial before God.
vs. 9 Now, on the morrow, as those men were journeying, and, unto the city, drawing near, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour;
vs. 10 But he became hungry, and wished to eat,––and, while they were making ready, [the food] there came upon him a trance;
vs. 12 In which were all the quadrupeds and creeping things of earth and birds of heaven.
vs. 15 And a voice came again [saying], a second time, unto him––What things, God, hath cleansed, be not, thou, making common.
vs. 22 And they said––Cornelius, a centurion, a man righteous and fearing God, well–attested by the whole nation of the Jews, hath been divinely instructed by a holy messenger to send for thee unto his house, and to hear words from thee.
vs. 29 Wherefore, even without gainsaying, came I when sent for. I ask, therefore, for what word ye sent for me.
vs. 34 And Peter, opening his mouth, said––Of a truth, I find that God is no respecter of persons;
vs. 36 As touching the word he hath sent unto the sons of Israel, announcing the glad tidings of peace through Jesus Christ––the same, is Lord, of all,
vs. 38 How God anointed him with holy spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the adversary, because, God, was with him.
vs. 43 Unto the same, do all the prophets bear witness, That, remission of sins, is to be received through his name, by every one that believeth on him.
vs. 44 While Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were hearing the word.
vs. 46 For they heard them speaking with tongues, and magnifying God. Then answered Peter––
vs. 46 For they heard them speaking with tongues, and magnifying God. Then answered Peter––
Now compare the figures in this chapter with the NIV and any other modern translation and see what, perhaps, you have been missing.
"The words of Yahweh, are words, that are pure, silver refined in a crucible of earth, purified seven times" (Ps. 12:6)! How many figures can you see in this verse? Let us not take those pure words, which have been purified seven times and the emphases (figures of speech) Yahweh places upon these words and defile them by removing the figures, as is done with this verse in the NLT of the Bible;
"The LORD’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over."
A REVELATION in writing must necessarily be given in "words." The separate words, therefore, in which it is given must have the same importance and authority as the revelation as a whole. The rearranging, changing and omitting of these 'Divine' words in order to make it, as some would say, more palatable is injurious. Rotherham's Emphasized Bible and Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible are two of the most trusted English translations. These two translators are the most faithful to the Hebrew and Greek text. These translations allow us to partake of Yahweh's precious gems, which are his beautiful Hebrew words and figures used to bring about His Emphases.(For footnotes, read the PDF verison.)
(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).)
© 2005-2023 Chuck Cunningham