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GrandmaALiCE June 12th, 2018 4:31am

I found an interesting article about differences between reading the Torah in the original Hebrew vs. reading a Jewish or Christian translation. Please read and comment, if you wish.

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RussianThunder Russia and USA
06/15/18 10:16 am

The only way to truly understand Torah is in Hebrew. Not English. Not Latin. Not Spanish. Not Greek.


mfjd1948 rural johnson co iowa
06/14/18 4:02 pm

A lot is lost in any translation. No two languages are structured the same. Grammar, sentence structure, local dialect, slang idioms etc. plus you have the conscious or unconscious bias of the translator. It is only an approximation of what the original writer or writers were saying.

shygal47 Florida east coast
06/13/18 4:13 pm

Getting ready for a trip so I sent a link so I can read it at another time. I’ll say Thx in advance because you always send out links to good stuff!

DerekWills Lone Star Gun Rights
06/12/18 11:17 am

A great example can be found in Genesis 1:14 where it says “and let them be for signs, and for seasons.” That word, “seasons” is not what most in the English-speaking world would understand. The Hebrew word מועדים (moadim) is used here and it is a word specifically used for the appointed times G-d has commanded us to remember. These are the Jewish festivals, like Passover, and not the Spring Equinox or Winter Solstice. This was the first thing that got me super curious about Scripture and was my motivation in pursuing Messianic Judaism. As a result, it has brought me closer to Adonai and Yeshua than ever before.... and I feel that I still don’t know anything close to what I should.


DerekWills Lone Star Gun Rights
06/12/18 10:12 am

This is one of the major reasons I converted to Messianic Judaism.

RussianThunder Russia and USA
06/15/18 10:13 am

I’m not supposed to comment on posts that Sergei has posted on but I wanted to explain. To Jews, one cannot “convert” to Judaism via “messianic Judaism”. Belief in Jesus and the Jewish faith are not compatible. I know we have talked about it before and would not have brought it up but he usually just gives one word answers since he won’t ask my mom for help and this thumb down was his way of expressing that, not thumb downing you personally. I just wanted you to understand that.
It was a “I disagree” thumbs down. Not a “you suck” thumbs down.

GrandmaALiCE Rocky Mtns aerial view
06/15/18 10:42 am

Derek, I have to say that RT is correct. I like and respect you. But, I assume you already know that mainstream Jews do not accept Messianic Jews as legit, for the reasons RT said. It’s nothing personal. I hope you get that.

RT, why aren’t you supposed to comment on what your brother posts?


RussianThunder Russia and USA
06/15/18 10:56 am

I just saw the thumbs down and knew he meant thumbs down to the concept of “messianic Judaism” but it looked like was telling Derek he didn’t like him or something. He said he didn’t mean it that way at all but as he won’t ask my mom for help, things may get muddled sometimes in his meaning. I just wanted to clarify. Everyone is free to their own theology but there’s really no such thing as messianic Judaism. It’s a denomination of Xianity, not Judaism.

06/12/18 4:24 am

Thanks, GA.
I can imagine some of the article is relevant, and nearly all of it when speaking of the Christian laity.
But I think my own experience bears on the topic. In the Divinity School I attended, Hebrew and Greek were popular courses, and I have every reason to think it was elsewhere.
I was too old to take them on, and so have to rely on the expertise of others. Some of the article was simply untrue because there is a great appreciation, in Christian studies, for the meanings of names, contradictions, and humor, and that is taught in the average Sunday School, and referenced in the sermon that precedes it.

06/12/18 4:36 am

In Divinity School, language students regularly translated the Hebrew Old Testament into English, and their better efforts, with commentary, were distributed to the larger body of students. I can brag about the library of references I use to compose sermons. We recently moved, and I went through the unpleasant exercise of paring that library down. I donated a couple hundred volumes to a local Baptist Church, which didn’t put much of a dent in mine, or vastly improve theirs.

06/12/18 4:47 am

So an article that criticizes some of the content of the King James Bible, that estimable effort from 1611, without reference to Christian studies of Hebrew, is itself very flawed.

4JC Christian Pastors Wife
06/12/18 5:20 am

I haven’t had the time (or the brain power) to read the article yet, but I would agree with Mark here, and this is what I was going to say without even reading the article...that most pastors study both Hebrew and Greek for many years and use that in their translation of the Bible every sermon they study for (and that’s three sermons per week for Southern Baptist pastors).

And additionally, hubby and all pastors I know have an entire room full of books (and we had to pare ours down as well, Mark, when hubby no longer had a study at the church and we had to turn one of our bedrooms into a study—and hubby has complained ever since that he needs those books & notebooks from college that he got rid of!) We still have boxes of books that are unpacked, with nowhere to put them! I would say the vast majority of our expendable income over the last 40 years has gone to educational materials on the Bible and Christianity, for hubby, myself and our kids!


06/12/18 5:44 am

4JC, you know full well that Southern Baptists are ignorant and stupid.

4JC Christian Pastors Wife
06/12/18 5:47 am

HaHa! Yeah, that’s why Southern Baptist pastors have 7 years of higher education, with 88 hours (at least) of seminary—a full 3 years of classes (above their Bachelor’s) to get a Master’s Degree that it takes other people a year or at most two to get!

Probably the only other profession out there with more schooling is an M.D!


06/12/18 6:25 am

Sorry, GA.

This last bit is a pet peeve and a source of humor among SBs, and has little to do with your poll.

GrandmaALiCE Rocky Mtns aerial view
06/12/18 6:57 am

As Mark said at the beginning, this would probably apply more to lay people, not so much to trained and educated pastors. Most lay people (whether Jewish or Christian) do NOT have the kind of library you describe.

Here’s why I found the article interesting.

In SOH discussions, I come across references to verses from the Bible, from time to time. Sometimes, I look up the Christian translation and notice the same thing as the author of the article, that is, either subtle or significant differences.

I’ll try to find an example and come back here.


4JC Christian Pastors Wife
06/12/18 7:05 am

But GA, you’re forgetting (or just don’t realize) that Christian pastors teach their church members these things in their sermons, telling them the meaning of the words in the original languages. And I know church members who are not pastors who have commentary sets and concordances that translate every word in the Bible from the original languages. A lot of deacons and Sunday School teachers have books like these, to help them in their study and preparation for their classes, to teach the members of their Sunday School or Discipleship Training classes.

Our Sunday School and Discipleship Training books that members study from every week also go into detail about the original language and meanings of words.


GrandmaALiCE Rocky Mtns aerial view
06/12/18 9:04 am

I see your points, 4jc and Mark!

I reread the linked article, to clarify it in my own mind. The author is a native Hebrew speaker, who naturally studied the Torah in Hebrew. That’s something I couldn’t do myself. I have to rely on English translations, supplemented by sermons and other commentaries.

The author isn’t criticizing Christianity or Christians. She really did run into cognitive jarring and confusion with differences she saw. A lot of it would apply equally to Jewish translations, especially her points about punctuation, grammar and complexity of language.

However, any translation is interpretation, to some extent. And there are some differences in interpretation.

4jc, you said you weren’t up to reading the article. It’s actually a quick, easy read, so try to get to it, if you can.


4JC Christian Pastors Wife
06/12/18 9:18 am

Thanks, GA! So from what you said, I think you’re saying that you’re in the same boat most Christians are—having to learn from their religious leaders, and books on the subject! Lol

I’ll try to get to it later this afternoon. I always feel better then than in the mornings, and I’m watching my granddaughter right now.


GrandmaALiCE Rocky Mtns aerial view
06/12/18 10:04 am

“I think you’re saying that you’re in the same boat most Christians are—having to learn from their religious leaders, and books on the subject!”

Yes, that’s what I’m saying. 😊


4JC Christian Pastors Wife
06/12/18 10:06 am

Good to know, GA! Oh, one thing I failed to mention is that a good study Bible will also include notes that give the meanings of words from the original languages, especially if there is some question or the word could have several different meanings in the original language.


06/12/18 3:42 am

Great article. This is one of the many reasons the Bible is studied and not simply read.

06/11/18 11:34 pm

It’s 12:30 and i can’t sleep

ctskapski x
06/11/18 10:23 pm

Generally speaking, languages don't correlate to one another in a 1:1 basis.
This is especially true when the languages don't even share the same linguistic roots or writing system.

Optimally, the best way to understand a text is to know the language in which it is originally penned.

Translation is difficult, idioms and expressions can lose their meaning if it's done poorly.
Often accuracy of text is lost for preservation of meaning, and that's actually (when done well) the mark of a good translation.

bartman71 USW
06/11/18 9:52 pm

Makes me wonder that much more, how much is lost in translation. Mix that with everyone having a different interpretation of those translations, and it doesn't make for a very solid message. It just broadens the whole aspect of religions. Who is right?

Praetorianus Fair enough.
06/11/18 9:47 pm

It is *always* better to read *any* text in the original language it was published.
So much wit (allusions, puns, rhymes etc) get lost in translation.
You get the message but without the subtlety.

GrandmaALiCE Rocky Mtns aerial view
06/11/18 9:34 pm

💠 GrandmaAlice asked:

I found an interesting article about differences between reading the Torah in the original Hebrew vs. reading a Jewish or Christian translation. Please read and comment, if you wish.

Not commenting


Tagging a few people.


NKarta Please excuse my sanity
06/12/18 4:21 am

I don’t have time to read through it but I will say the top of my head I know of two major differences between reading the Hebrew and English. Many translations say that commandment is “ thou shalt not kill “while it is really “thou shall not murder “which is a major difference. It allows for self-defense and war. Also, many of the prophecies said to talk about the virgin Mary don’t mention a virgin at all, they talk about a “young woman”.

4JC Christian Pastors Wife
06/12/18 5:21 am

I don’t have the brain power to read the article right now, GA, but see my comment under Mark4’s thread, above.


06/12/18 5:51 am

NKarta, the two things you reference are common knowledge among the many Christians I know, although the Greek translation of the Aramaic word for virgin is a different subject from the topic at hand.

NKarta Please excuse my sanity
06/12/18 7:17 am

Cool, I wasn’t sure. I’m not talking about Greek or Aramaic, I am saying straight Hebrew to English translation (b/c that’s what I know)