The religious right has a love-hate relationship with the Bible. When it tells them what they want to hear (or when they imagine it tells them what they want to hear), they’re “Biblical literalists.” And when it tells them something they don’t want to hear, well . . . they rewrite it.
Not all conservatives do this though, and as proof that they don’t always revise the Bible with the intention of making it agree with them, WorldNetDaily (WND –also known as “Wing Nut Daily”) is offering a Bible with expanded features: in particular, bad transliteration and possibly two forged chapters.
When bad conservative historiography meets bad conservative theology and bad conservative bibliology, you know we’re in for a fun time.
Best-Selling Bible of 2015
It always seemed to me like there was something profoundly anti-Christian when it came to selling what’s supposedly the Word of God for profit. But what do I know, I’m not a Christian. Regardless, WND’s latest advert promotes what it calls the “Best-selling Bible of 2015 — $10 off today!” and links to the “WND Superstore” and to a book called Cepher.
What’s Cepher, you ask? On the surface, it looks like someone misspelled “cipher,” and while it’s tempting to claim that (keep in mind, this is WND), it’s not: “סֵפֶר” is the Hebrew word for “book,” although it’s usually transliterated as “séfer.”
Cepher promotes itself as “the most complete and accurate English translation and transliteration of sacred Scripture in the world today,” and being an amateur linguist, this makes me set up and take notice. Surely it’s better than the King James Version, right? That’s a low bar.
Actually, no. The superlative “most” means “content not found in the original book.” There’s that Biblical literalism for you:
Includes all of the 74 previously canonized books, plus another 13 books considered to be inspired and/or historically significant such as Chanok (Enoch) & Yovheliym (Jubilees) from the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as Yashar (Jasher), 2-4 Ezra (Esdras), 1-2 Baruk, and 1-4 Makkabiym (Maccabees) – all published in the chronological order of their writing.
Restores the 29th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles chronicling Paul’s journey to Spain.
It turns out that we’ve all been spelling God’s name wrong, but it’s a good thing Cepher is here to fix that:
We were misled by the Masoretic text and had to reach our own conclusion; however, after testing the sacred name in Israel over a period of two years, we came to conclude that the name is properly pronounced YAHUAH
I get the feeling it’d be useless to them that יהוה (the Tetragrammaton) is usually transliterated “YHVH” in modern Hebrew and that YHWH is the most accurate Biblical Hebrew transliteration. This is because /v/ and /w/ are the same letter in Ancient Hebrew — waw or wau — and there isn’t a meaningful pronunciation difference.
That transliteration isn’t accurate. That transliteration isn’t inaccurate, but it’s not “the most complete and accurate English . . . transliteration” of the Bible in the world today. That’s the sort of Hebrew transliteration you find in a cheap Hebrew-to-English guidebook.
But wait, there’s more. In addition all of the above restored content, you can enjoy a book not found in any English translation — based on the “Suninni Manuscript” and called Acts 29:
Speaking of the book of Acts, unlike all other English Bibles, we have the completed text of this book, finishing with Chapter 29 (in reliance on the Suninni Manuscript and the Muratorian fragment).
Why is this important? Because the “Suninni manuscript” is actually the “Soninni manuscript,” and it’s a fake.
They were first published as The Long Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles: Containing the Account of Paul’s Journey in Spain and Britain : Also a Remarkable Prediction of Britain’s Glorious Inheritance, and they’re a glorious forgery:
1- And Paul, full of the blessings of Christ, and abounding in the spirit, departed out of Rome, determining to go into Spain, for he had a long time proposed to journey thitherward, and was minded also to go from thence to Britain.
2- For he had heard in Phoenicia that certain of the children of Israel, about the time of the Assyrian captivity, had escaped by sea to “The Isles afar off” as spoken be the Prophet [Esdra], and called by the Romans – Britain…
7- And they departed out of Spain, and Paul and his company finding a ship in Armorica sailing unto Britain, they were therein, and passing along the south Coast, they reached a port called Raphinus. (This is the Roman name for Sandwich, in Kent. In Saxon times there was, still standing in Sandwich, and old house called the “House of the Apostles: and tradition has it that Paul was one of the Apostles)…
9- And on the morrow he came and stood upon Mount Lud (Ludgate Hill and Broadway where St. Paul’s Cathedral stands in London, England) and the people thronged at the gate, and they believed the Word and testimony of Jesus.
Still missing is Acts 30, where Paul teams up with Britons John, George, and Ringo and invades the New World with British-style rock’n’roll.
There are no ancient documents supporting Acts 29. None; this is pure bunkum. Given this, it seems that we can safely assume the aforementioned Book of Jasher is the same eighteenth-century forgery called Pseudo-Jasher, as well.
Not that the audience cares. I get the suspicion they’ll be more than happy to throw down the $95.00 to get the book, forged chapters and high school-level transliterations be damned.
The creator of the book, Stephen Pidgeon, describes himself as having a “limited working proficiency” in Hebrew on his LinkedIn profile. However, his interests include promoting Birtherism, opposing same-sex marriage and spreading Anti-Obama conspiracy theories, which is all the credentials a right-wing “Biblical translator” needs for the audience at WND.
Feature image via Pixabay