Gene Benjamin II
How Do You Interpret It?
SON OF MAN BIBLE
How Do You Interpret It?
I was having an email conversation with a young man the other day. Here’s some of my notes in response to his questions. You asked: "What did you change or do to make the Son of Man Bible?" and "Why is it different from all the other translations?" I spent several decades looking for a Bible to call my very own. Never did like the thought of humans copyrighting Yahuwah's word. I finally found a digital Bible released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, instead of copyrighted. I released my Son Of Man Bible under the same license, that's a requirement of the license. It was translated by Sunday church folks, so I began by changing God to Yahuwah, Divine One, Almighty, and Mighty One, where appropriate. I changed Jesus to Yeshua. I think I found all the Hebrew instances of Yah, so I changed God to Yah where needed. From there, I've just been correcting grammar, spelling, spacial, and punctuational errors, as well as updating many words that were poor translations, or were just borrowed from the King James Version without thinking about it. I've tried to make the Scriptures flow consistently from Genesis to Revelation. I've added a lot of Chronology year dating to give readers an idea of when in human history certain biblical events occurred. I've updated the Chronology about 3 times already, as I found more accurate biblical chronologies. I have a biblical chronology spreadsheet that matches my Bible! I identify many ancient cities with their modern names or ruin Tell names. Since the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew, not Greek, in several verses I identify the Hebrew word play going on in that verse. The copy of the Bible I downloaded had many partial verses cut off for no reason, so I have to fix that whenever I find a verse shortened for no reason, like the last phrase is just missing. Here’s what I found for 1 Samuel 11:1, “King Nahash of Ammon was severely oppressing the tribes of Gad and Reuben. He would gouge out everyone’s right eye and allow no one to rescue Israel. There was no one among the Israelites east of the Jordan River whose right eye King Nahash of Ammon had not gouged out. However, seven thousand men had escaped from the Ammonites and gone to Jabesh Gilead. Then Nahash the Ammonite went and laid seige to Jabesh Gilead. All the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you.”” Compare that to your 1 Samuel 11:1. Much of the verse was lost to history for many years, now it’s back. I’m sure it would have been several verses if it would have been found before they made verse numbers. My Bible is based on a biblical solar calendar, not the Babylonian lunar calendar adopted by the Jews and most Messianics. The coolest thing is to be able to update words as the English language changes. All languages constantly change, it’s expensive to keep buying new paper Bibles, when all I have to do is update a word here or there. Stuff like this and that.
Here’s some more thoughts on my Son Of Man Bible. My SOMB is directly in response to the command in Deuteronomy 17:18-19,“When he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he must write for himself in a scroll a copy of this Torah, from the Torah that is before the priests, who are Levites.19The scroll must be with him, and he must read in it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to honor Yahuwah his Divine One, so as to keep all the words of this Torah and these statutes, to observe them.” The Torah, the Bible, is meant to be copied, studied, taught, preached, etc. The Word is a living entity, it is the written embodiment of Yeshua. You are FREE and legally FREED to copy the SOMB, print it, translate it, publish it, even sell it commercially. You can put it into any media format you desire. If you do make your own copy of the SOMB, just change the name to a name you want, and give attribution back to the original authors/translators over at door43 dot org. This is all part of the Creative Commons license. I believe it may be the closest we can get in this world to pleasing Yahuwah with his Word.
In my research, I found that in the Hebrew New Testament, the phrase son of man was many times written as “Son of the virgin.” Do you realize how singularly unique that phrase is? Only One Person in all of reality can claim that title, whereas many people can claim the title son of man, like you and me and Ezekiel. I thought about changing it in my NT of SOMB, but my Bible is called the Son Of Man Bible, so on the first instance in Matthew where it says Son of man, I put a note regarding what it actually says in the Hebrew. That is an amazing phrase. I may still decide to change the name of my Bible to Son Of The Virgin Bible. What do you think?
Also, in my research, I came across a study of linguistics and languages where the author mentioned a spelling of Yeshua that I’ve never seen. Most Messianics use Yeshua, some Hebrew Roots and Black Israelites have slaughtered and misspelled Yeshua to things like Yahushua, which can’t happen in Hebrew. Some Messianics and Hebrew Roots folks spell God as Yahuah or something like that. I spell Yah as Yahuwah. This linguistics guy showed one rendering of Yeshua as Yeshuwah. It blew my mind. I could and maybe should render Yeshua as Yeshuwah in my SOMB. The Divinity may not be the family of Yah, it may be the family of Wah! Yahuwah and Yeshuwah, Father and Son, as One! What do you think?
There is no real such thing as a translation. Every translator interprets into another language what he sees in the source language. We should call all our different Bible translations, Bible interpretations, because that is what they really are. Here’s the intro to the parable of the Good Samaritan: Luke 10:25-28, “Behold, a certain teacher of the Jewish laws stood up, so that he might test him, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”26Yeshua said to him, “What is written in the Torah? How do you interpret it?”27And giving an answer, he said, “You will selflessly divinely love Lord Yahuwah with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18). 28Yeshua said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live.””
Yeshua wants to interact with us in his word. How do you interpret it? It’s a blast and my favorite part of my life.