When the decision was made to undertake the task of editing the King James Version, the fact that it was not a unique work was taken into account. The main sources that were used for editing this version were: The Holy Name Bible, by the Scripture Research Association; The Scriptures, by the Institute for Scripture Research; The ExeGesis, by Herb Jahn; and the New Englishman's Hebrew Concordance, by George V. Wigram.
One of the original works of restoring the set apart names to the scriptures was "The Holy Name Bible" by the Scripture Research Association. Since the Holy Name Bible is also based on the King James Version, it was decided to use a portion of its preface as an introduction to the Restored Name King James Version.
It is our hope that the restoration of the name of the Almighty Creator and his Son, will bless the readers to live a life in reverence to hwhy. It is in the love of u?why (Yahushua) the Messiah that this is being presented to those who desire to worship the Father in spirit and in truth.
Preface to the Holy Name Bible
The Holy Name Bible was one of the first translations to restore the name of the Heavenly Father and His Son. This preface contains an abundance of invaluable information. We prayerfully present the following for your edification and spiritual growth.
If you were planning a trip through a strange country, would you knowingly choose an inaccurate map which shows non-existent roads and bridges? Of course not. You would get the most accurate map available.
The Holy Name Version provides a more nearly accurate map of the Kingdom of Heaven and the roads and paths leading to and through it, and more clearly marks the pitfalls and dangers awaiting the traveler than any other version now available.
To the extent that a person's beliefs and conduct are based upon doctrinal misinformation supported by mistranslation, he follows a distorted map of spiritual territory.
The Holy Name Version is an improvement over other versions - a better map - simply because it makes use of data which have been known for a long time but which generally have been confined to footnotes, commentaries, encyclopedias and technical publications.
The efforts at producing a more understandable translation of the Holy Scriptures have resulted in a legion of versions by many learned men with more of the same scheduled in the immediate future, including a plan for a Catholic-Protestant Bible.
The question may be asked, Why so many translations? The answer is simply that men continue translating the Bible because none of their versions satisfy the hunger for spiritual food which hwhy has placed in the hearts of His people.
Thus far these extant translations have failed to bring out the true message of the Scriptures because of the following reasons:
(1) THE MASORITES. The Jewish scholars of the Great Synagogue in closing the canon of the Old Testament Text, which is known as the Masoretic Text, made changes and modifications of many passages to conform to their traditional teachings. Thus they established a fixed doctrine for the Jewish dispersion.
These same scholars, in their attempt to safeguard the unity of divine worship in Jerusalem, changed the passage in Isaiah 19:18 to read, "On that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt, speaking the language of Canaan and swearing by hwhy of Hosts, and one shall be called, the city of the sun." The King James translators translated this last phrase, "the city of destruction", but the original was, "the city of righteousness".
The Masorites, in safeguarding the Tetragrammaton (the four letter Name of the Most High), substituted in over 130 places in the Hebrew Text, the name of the Canaanitish deity, Adonay, and in some places, Elohim, wherever anthropomorphism (ascribing the physical attributes of man to hwhy) was implied. Wherever they left the Tetragrammaton intact, they placed diacritical marks beneath it to indicate the pronunciation of the word to be spoken, Adonay, not the word written, hwhy, which the Jews considered too sacred to be spoken aloud.
The chapters of the Prophetic Books were so put together, regardless of their historic or prophetic sequence, that the ordinary reader is at a loss to know which comes first. An extreme illustration of this is the book of the prophet Daniel, which throws the prophetic student into a confusion of date setting that has made Daniel and its companion apocalyptical book of Revelation difficult to understand.
Also, in their effort to divert their people from the apostolic New Testament, the Masorites altered many texts in opposing the Messianic teachings.
(2) CHRISTIAN THEOLOGIANS. Christian theologians have translated the Scriptures from a non-Israelitish approach to both the Old and New Testaments, thus losing sight of what the Great Apostle said in the ninth chapter of Romans, verses 1 through 11 and 22 through 29, that the Scriptures were written for Israel, and to them the oracles of hwhy were committed. Israel, in turn, was to transmit the message to other nations that they also might obtain the same promises through faith (Genesis 9:27, Isaiah 56:6-7, and Ephesians 3:5-6).
Definite promises made to Israel, and to non-Israelites through Israel, have been made to appear of non-effect by religious teachers through spiritualization, so that the believer is left without hope of receiving the gracious assurances so plainly delineated in the Holy Scriptures.
(3) HEBREW TRANSLATION. Some have tried to translate the Bible in what they call a literal translation, but the Hebrew language cannot be literally translated into a classical language. Hebrew is an idiomatic language, and one Hebrew word may have from three to ten different meanings depending on the context. Sometimes it has opposing meanings. In the Bible whole thoughts, not words, must therefore be translated.
(4) THE SACRED NAMES. Another common error among most of the translators is their elimination of heaven's revealed Name of the Most High, hwhy, and the Name of His Son, u?why the Messiah, and substituting the names of the local deities of the nations among whom they dwelt (Psalms 96:5), expressly transgressing the commandments of hwhy as given in Exodus 20:7 and 23:13.
For hwhy they have substitued Baal, the Babylonian deity, and Adonay, the Canaanitish deity of the Phoenicians, both corresponding to the English word Lord.
The characteristic appellation of the Most High, Elohim, has been substituted by the Assyrian deity Gawd, or God in English, and is repudiated by hwhy in Isaiah 65:11 which reads as follows, "But ye are they that forsake hwhy, that forget My set-apart mountain, and furnish a table for God, and furnish a drink offering to Meni". No wonder the people of Scotland and some parts of northern England celebrate their Hogmanay, which in Hebrew means the feast of the god Meni, on New Year's Eve with a fellowship drink for good luck!
Isaiah truly expresses what hwhy thinks of Christian worship...
Isaiah 65:11 - But ye are they that forsake hwhy, that forget my set-apart mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.
The substitution of the Names of hwhy and u?why by the names of the pagan deities of the nations has brought immeasurable harm. Such names as Lord, God, Jesus, and Christ in no way represent the meaning of the Name revealed by the Most High to Moses and the ancient Hebrew leaders. By employing these names the people unknowingly turn the worship of hwhy into that of idols and actually ascribe the benevolent characteristics of the Mighty One of Israel to the pagan deities (Hosea 2:8).
In the original the Sacred Names have deep literal and symbolic meaning which has been almost entirely lost by the substitution of the names of the local gods. From time-to-time attempts have been made at partial restoration as in the case of the Abbe Crampon text:
"Mais vous qui avez abandonne oublie Ma montagne sainte, qui dressez une table a Gad et remplissez une coupe pour Meni Je Vous destine au glaive et vous vous courberez tous pour etre egorges."
Moffat in his Introduction makes the following statement concerning the Name:
"Strictly speaking this ought to be rendered 'hwhy' which is familiar to modern readers in the erroneous form of 'Jehovah'. Were this version intended for students of the original, there would be no hesitation whatever in printing 'hwhy'."
Although Moffat substitutes "the Eternal" in place of hwhy, he fully admits a distinct loss of meaning in this.
The disadvantages of substitution have been recognized for a long time. The 1872 edition of Smith's Bible Dictionary states,
"The substitution of the word Lord is most unhappy; for, while it in no way represents the meaning of the sacred name, the mind has constantly to guard against a confusion with its lower uses, and above all, the direct personal bearing of the name on the revelation of God... is kept injuriously out of sight."
Rotherham devotes a chapter of his Introduction to explanation of "The Name," the reason for and consequences of its suppression and the need for its restoration. Regarding its suppression he says, in 1, Ch. IV, 22-29,
"It is therefore the most natural presumption that the suppression of The Name has entailed upon the reader, and especially upon the hearer, irreparable loss."
Restoration of the Name, hwhy, is necessary, he says,
"Because its suppression was a mistake. So grave a mistake cannot be corrected too soon. An unwarrantable liberty has been taken; the path of humility is to retrace our steps."
The Sacred Name of the Creator, or its short form, Yah, is the one and only Name by which He is known in the entire Scriptures.
"That men may know that Thou, whose Name alone is , art the Most High over all the earth".
The word, hwhy, is composed of parts of the verb, "to be," and signifies "Self-Existent." While He has many titles such as Eloah, El-Elyon, and Elohim, and while He is characterized as hwhy nissi, hwhy-rapha, hwhy-ra-ah, hwhy tsidkenu, hwhy shalom, hwhy sabaoth, and hwhy yireh, the Name in each case is hwhy, coupled with a distinctive characteristic. The Scriptures are specific and leave no doubt about the importance of His Name and our responsibilities concerning it.
"I am hwhy: that is My Name, and My glory will I not give to another (name) neither My praise to graven images." Isaiah 42:8
"Oh hwhy, Thy Name abideth for ages; Oh hwhy, Thy memorial is to generation after generation." Psalm 135:13
"If hwhy be Elohim, follow Him; And if Baal (the Lord) then follow Him." 1Kings 18:21 (Hebrew: Baal = Lord)
"How long shall it be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? Yea they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, which think to cause My people to forget My Name - as their fathers have forgotten My Name for Baal." Jeremiah 23:26-27
"I will take the names of the Baalim (Lords) out of her mouth and they shall no more be remembered by their name." Hosea 2:17 (plural of Baal = Lords)
"I will declare Thy Name unto my brethren, in the midst of the congregation will I sing praise unto Thee." Hebrews 2:12 and Psalm 23:22
"And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the Name of hwhy shall be saved." Acts 2:21 and Joel 2:32
"And they that know Thy Name will put their trust in Thee." Psalm 9:10
"Thus saith , the maker thereof, hwhy that formed it, is the Name; Call unto Me and I will answer thee and show thee great and hidden things which thou knowest not." Jeremiah 33:3
"I have manifested Thy Name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world." John 17:6
"And I have declared unto them Thy Name and will declare it." John 17:26
"Hallowed be Thy Name." Matthew 6:9
The Sacred Name of the Messiah, u?why, is the only Name by which He was known to His disciples, though He has several titles such as Rabbi. Son of Man, Saviour, Anointed, and King of Kings.
"What is His name and what is His Son's Name, if thou canst tell?" Proverbs 30:4
His Name is composed of two parts: Yah-Hoshua (Saviour). Thus, u?why signifies -Saviour and strikingly bears out the logic of Matthew 1:21
"And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His Name u?why: for He shall save His people from their sins."
"I am come in My Father's Name and ye receive Me not..." John 5:43
"Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the Name of hwhy." John 12:13
"And whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye ask anything in My Name I will do it." John 14:13-14
"...for there is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12
"And I looked and Lo, a Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with Him an hundred and forty and four thousand having His Name and His Father's Name written on their foreheads." Revelation 14:1 revised version
The combined result of the four reasons mentioned in the foregoing has brought into the New Testament many pagan elements of varying degrees, so that the original prophetic and apostolic teachings on the Holy Scriptures have reverted to the apostate Baalism of Jezebel (Revelation 2:20). No wonder then the Scriptures call this system Babylon.
Misleading ideas and beliefs were implanted during the process of carrying the Hebrew ideas and ideals into the context of a pagan Greek and Roman world. The Hellenizing of the original books of the Bible brought about distortions which still plague earnest Scripture students. An illustration of this occurs in the use of the Greek word hades (with all its mythological connotations as a place of endless torture to which the Greek gods relegated those who displeased them), as a purported equivalent of the Hebrew sheol and gehenna, neither of which conveyed any such notion. The doctrine that the Messiah 'descended into hell' was thus an outgrowth of adopting the Greek context of hades in place of the Hebrew connotation of sheol (the tomb).
Many of the errors of literal translation which crept into the New Testament after the first century have been kept alive and intact because of the belief by numerous excellent scholars that the New Testament originals were written in, nay inspired in, the Greek language. Such a state of mind made it seem sacrilegious to question the authenticity of the Greek text even though portions of it seemed unintelligible. In recent years, however, much light has been shed on this hitherto taboo subject. The eminent Dr. Charles Cutler Torrey, Professor of Semitic Languages at Yale University, states in Our Translated Gospels,
"At the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis in New York City in December 1934, I challenged my New Testament colleagues to designate even one passage, from any of the Four Gospels, giving clear evidence of a date later than 50 A.D., or of origin outside Palestine. The challenge was not met, nor will it be, for there is no such passage."
Dr. Torrey then proceeds to cite hundreds of instances of Greek mistranslation from the Aramaic, which the Christian community has rather indiscriminately accepted as gospel.
The process of substitution continued in various lands and languages, so that much of the original meaning of the New Testament has been obscured. Consider the distortion involved in changing the names of the prophets, the Messiah, and the Creator. Hosea became "Osee"; Elisha, "Eliseus"; Isaiah, "Esaias"; Miriam, "Mary"; u?why, "Jesus" and hwhy, "Lord", "God", "Gott", "dios", "Manitou" or whatever happened to be the name of the local idol.
Now you may inquire why these distortions are so vitally important to us. They are of utmost importance because they introduce seeming contradictions which in turn raise conscious or subconscious doubts in the minds of sincere individuals: The pagan elements today found in Christianity have made it appear falsely similar to other religions and have thus cast stumbling blocks before those who recognize this heathenism for what it is. By correcting the known distortions and purging the pseudo-Christian beliefs which have resulted, doctrinal integrity and consistency can be restored, thus making possible the wholeheartedness which the first-century brethren demonstrated but which is so sadly lacking among so-called Christians today.
Lack of wholeheartedness in belief and conduct is taken for granted by our society. Ours is an era of "lip service," notorious for the hiatus between avowed ideals and sordid performance. Its symptoms are found in all walks of life, from interpersonal relationships to international diplomacy. Socially-minded writers, including members of the clergy, frequently deplore this condition but seem unable to recognize that it is a symptom of the underlying conceptual malaise: the theological neurosis of modern Christianity so pointedly described in Revelation,
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou were cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth, because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and blind, and naked." Revelation 3:15-17
This ailment is lamented by our contemporaries as "secularism," "illness of the spirit," and "death of the heart"; but whatever it is labeled, the condition is caused by failure to integrate that which professed believers do with that which they profess to believe. It amounts to an unconscious outward manifestation of a mass of unresolved internal conflicts and a kind of unconscious rebellion against further self-deception and confusion of values.
Since church hierarchies so unanimously complain about the symptoms of the disease, why have they not long ago taken the steps essential to removing its cause? Why do they in fact display such astonishing ingenuity in avoiding recognition of their own share in the ideological confusion? Perhaps the answer may be found in the well-known phenomenon of neurosis wherein its professor blinds himself to its very existence and resists any efforts to effect a cure. This explanation appears to be borne out by the verses quoted above, and by verse 18 which counsels the application of "eyesalve." Is this not strikingly reminiscent of the condition described in Isaiah 6:9-10:
"...lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and change and be healed"?
What, then, may twentieth century believers do to become more open-eyed and wholehearted in their belief - genuine doers of the Word? How can they attain deep and enduring faith comparable to that of the first century brethren? One prerequisite is a degree of doctrinal coherence comparable to that of the first century; another is recognition of unsubstantiated scientific dogma as such.
The popular a priori theories concerning the origin and antiquity of man and of the universe are examples of such generally-accepted assumptions about which there remain extremely large gaps in scientific knowledge. Our immediate objective concerns the first of these essentials: the elimination of doctrinal incoherence supported by the common versions.
The Holy Name Bible is a comprehensive effort to bring to twentieth century believers that integrity of concept which was present in the Hebrew and Aramaic originals - to make possible in the twentieth century the wholehearted integration of doctrine, belief, and conduct characteristic of the congregation of hwhy from its inception in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:1-4) through the apostolic phase of the first century. The church of the Old Testament cannot be separated form that of the New, except that the former looked forward by faith to the offering of u?why. The victorious congregation is the one which adheres to all of the eternal truths of hwhy; it sings the song of Moses and the Lamb (Revelation 15:3).
Why have we retained so much of the text of the King James Version? Why have we not chosen to use "modern" language entirely? The reverent style of the King James language makes it appropriate for its set apart purpose. Our chief concern is to convey the original meanings as faithfully as possible. Therefore, changes have been made in the King James Version only where necessary to clarify meanings. This policy has additional features, also. The popularity of the King James Version with readers of the scriptures is generally recognized. The Set Apart Name version is intended for use by many of these same scripture readers. Comparisons of the two texts provide a convenient method of identifying the corrections which have been made in the Holy Name Version. Further, the Scripture verses which many of us have memorized, or with which we have long been familiar, are especially precious to us and we would not, except for excellent reasons, alter them.
The instances where corrections have been made may be generally classified in the following categories:
1. Where it seemed that archaic language would obscure the meaning for the average reader, modern equivalents have been employed.
2. Where literal translation of Hebrew idioms into English, or, Aramaic idioms into Greek and thence into English has resulted in loss of initial meaning.
3. In certain instances, where substitution of any English word would be misleading, the original Aramaic or Hebrew has been restored. That is, words are left untranslated where no satisfactory English equivalent exists.
4. Where there had been an addition, generally recognized by scholars as spurious, such added material has been omitted.
5. Where the new testament text quotes directly from the old testament, quotation marks and citations have usually been employed.
6. Where Hellenized proper names have been carried over in the King James new testament, most of the original forms have been restored.
7. Special attention has been given to restoration of the set apart names. Their profound significance has been generally overlooked by Christian students.
The extensive yet careful research and analysis of source material which has been necessary in the preparation of the Holy Name Version has, because of our rather limited resources, required some twenty years. Our gratitude must be expressed, not only to members of the Association who during this period have contributed to the various labors of research, clerical work, typing and proof-reading, but also to friends throughout the country who have given encouragement in various ways to the execution of the task, by making books and documents available, and by critical discussions which have been both stimulating and fruitful.
Special acknowledement is made of the help received from the works of Burney, Cureton, Gibson, Gwynn, Lewis, Schonfield and Torrey and from the Oracles ascribed to Matthew by Papias of Hierapolis. Thanks must go to the Zion Research Library of Brookline, Massachusetts, for permitting the use of numerous valuable books and documents, and to various publishing houses for permission to quote from their publications.
We believe in the principle that dogmatic rejection of scriptural enlightenment leads to spiritual barrenness and rigidity, whereas its acceptance, after proper investigation, brings continued spiritual growth. With this thought in mind, we prayerfully and hopefully present this Holy Name Bible.
SCRIPTURE RESEARCH ASSOCIATION
Irvington, New Jersey