The following two Bible verses are useful for testing whether or not a considered "Bible" translation is - in fact - a bonafide, legitimate, fairly-faithful, and at-least mostly-accurate translation of the Sacred-66-books Judeo-Christian Old-and-New-Testaments Holy Bible:
One KJV-only diehard wrote on the subject, failing to declare that there was once a need for the creation of the at-that-time new King James Version itself, and that "the KJV" has undergone many revision and edition changes.
He mentioned "THE Masoretic Text" without defining if THAT meant the ben Chayyim or the ben Asher text (purportedly discrepant against each other). He condemned Rudolf Kittel and his editor Kahle for putting footnotes in the text of their Stuttgart-edition Hebrew Bible based on a Leningrad Manuscript - with the presumption that Kittel wanted to confuse readers by insinuating that they randomly replace the main text with footnote alterations or substitutions. He went on to state that the American Bible Society offers an 1866-incepted Letteris (ben Chayyim) Hebrew Old-Testament text for sale, but this author has never seen any such advertisement from ABS at any time ever.
Mr. KJV-only also failed to state WHY the ben Asher Hebrew Text was THE (recognized) Received Text in authority until the 1500s, but somehow lost that authenticity until Kittel's 1937 edition of ben Asher's Text - which Text the RSV and NASV are thankfully based upon.
Mr. KJV-only gave credence to a certain "Daniel Bomberg" (whoever HE was) and who (according to the preface of the NKJV Bible) concocted and printed a so-called "first rabbinic bible" in 1516 (whatever THAT was)......followed by [oh oh!]: a SECOND edition (the FIRST was NOT GOOD ENOUGH)?
One internet source stated that Jacob ben Chayyim was apparently "some jewish refugee" who the source alleged to have become a Christian (sounds suspicious)! So WHO WAS ben Chayyim, and what were his motives for trashing the traditional ben Asher Text?
With all this in mind, I synthesized three internet pieces from one Jewish author giving further info about ben Asher:
Aaron ben Moses ben Asher lived in Tiberius during the first half of the 10th century. His family had been involved in creating and maintaining the MASORAH for either five or six generations. Ben Asher rapidly gained fame as
the most authoritative of the Tiberian masoretes, and even after his death, his name continued to hold respect. His vocalization of the Bible is still - for all intents and purposes - THE Text Jews continue
Moreover, Aaron ben Moses ben Asher was the first to take Hebrew grammar seriously. His SEFER DIKDUKEI HA-TE'AMIM (Grammar of the Vocalizations) was an original collection of grammatical rules and masoretic information. Grammatical principles were not at that time considered worthy of independent study.
Ben Asher had a tremendous influence on the world of Biblical grammar and scholarship. From documents found in the CAIRO GENIZA, it appears that this most famous masorete (and possibly his family for generations) were also - incidently - KARAITES.
As early as the eighth century, Talmudic rabbis encountered a major challenge. A group of Jews led by Anan ben David declared that they did not accept the authority of the rabbis to interpret Torah. This group, originally called the
Ananites, developed their own understanding of Jewish law based only on the written Torah.
The Ananites were stricter and more rigid than the rabbis in their understanding of Torah law. They simply did not accept the rabbis as legitimate authorities of Jewish law. They denied the authority of the Mishnah and the Gemarra.
It is difficult to determine Ananite doctrines because the Ananites relied on the Torah Text. Anan's famous adage was:"Search thoroughly the Torah and don't rely on my opinions."
In the ninth century, the major group of Ananites combined with other anti-rabbinic groups and became known as the Karaites (followers of the Kra, or Torah Text) in their Masoretic tradition of including VOWELS in the Torah Text. They believed that the Torah had originally been written with vowels, and they viewed such Text as the ONLY legitimate one.
It should not be surprising to discover that many masoretes, so involved in the Masorah, held Karaite beliefs. After all, it was the Karaites who placed such absolute reliance on the Torah Text. It would be natural that they would devote their lives to studying every aspect of it. The surprising element was that being a Karaite did not disqualify Aaron ben Moses ben Asher in the eyes of Rabbinic Jews.
Codex Leningradensis) is the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible in Hebrew, using the masoretic text and Tiberian vocalization. It is dated 1008 CE (or possibly 1009) according to its colophon. The Aleppo Codex, against which the Leningrad Codex was corrected, is several decades older, but parts of it have been missing since 1947, making the Leningrad Codex the oldest complete codex of the Tiberian mesorah that has survived intact to this day.
In modern times, the Leningrad Codex is significant as the Hebrew text reproduced in Biblia Hebraica (1937) and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1977). It also serves scholars as a primary source for the recovery of details in the missing parts of the Aleppo Codex.
The biblical text as found in the codex contains the Hebrew letter-text along with Tiberian vowels and cantillation signs. In addition, there are masoretic notes in the margins. There are also various technical supplements dealing with textual and linguistic details, many of which are painted in geometrical forms. The codex is written on parchment and bound in leather.
The Leningrad Codex, in extraordinarily pristine condition after a millennium, also provides an example of medieval Jewish art. Sixteen of the pages contain decorative geometric patterns that illuminate passages from the text. The carpet page shows a star with the names of the scribes on the edges and a blessing written in the middle.
The order of the books in the Leningrad Codex follows the Tiberian textual tradition, which is also that of the later tradition of Sephardic biblical manuscripts. This order for the books differs markedly from that of most printed Hebrew bibles for the books of the Ketuvim. In the Leningrad Codex, the order of the Ketuvim is: Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah.
According to its colophon, the codex was copied in Cairo from manuscripts written by Aaron ben Moses ben Asher. It has been claimed to be a product of the Asher scriptorium itself.
In its vocalization system (vowel points and cantillation) it is considered by scholars to be the most faithful representative of ben Asher's tradition apart from the Aleppo Codex (edited by ben Asher himself). Its letter-text is not superb.
The codex is now preserved in the National Library of Russia, accessioned as "Firkovich B 19 A". Its former owner, the Crimean Karaite collector Abraham Firkovich, left no indication in his writings where he had acquired the codex, which was taken to Odessa in 1838 and later transferred to the Imperial Library in St Petersburg.
The Leningrad Codex (a codex is a hand-written book as opposed to a scroll) is so named because it has been housed at the National Library of Russia in Saint Petersburg since 1863. In 1924, after the Russian Revolution, Petrograd (formerly Saint Petersburg) was renamed Leningrad, and, because the codex was used as the basic text for the Biblia Hebraica since 1937, it became internationally known as the "Leningrad Codex".
Although in 1991, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the city's original name was restored to St Petersburg, the National Library of Russia requested that "Leningrad" be retained in the name of the codex. Nonetheless, the Codex is occasionally referred to as the Codex Petersburgensis or Petropolitanus, or the St. Petersburg Codex. This is ambiguous as, since 1876, these appellations refer to a different biblical codex (MS. Heb B 3) which is even older (916 CE), but contains only the later Prophets.
In 1935, the Leningrad Codex was lent to the Old Testament Seminar of the University of Leipzig for two years while Paul E. Kahle supervised its transcription for the Hebrew text of the third edition of Biblia Hebraica (BHK), published in Stuttgart, 1937. The codex was also used for Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) in 1977, and is being used for Biblia Hebraica Quinta (BHQ).
As an original work by Tiberian masoretes, the Leningrad Codex was older by several centuries than the other Hebrew manuscripts which had been used for all previous editions of printed Hebrew bibles until Biblia Hebraica.
The Westminster Leningrad Codex is an online digital version of the Leningrad Codex maintained by the J. Alan Groves Center for Advanced Biblical Research at the Westminster Theological Seminary. This is a verified version of the Michigan-Claremont text, transcribed from BHS at the University of Michigan in 1981-1982 under the direction of H. Van Dyke Parunak (of the University of Michigan) and Richard E. Whitaker (of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate University) with funding from the Packard Foundation and the University of Michigan, with further proofreading and corrections. The online version includes transcription notes and tools for analyzing syntax.
The Leningrad Codex also served as the basis for two important modern Jewish editions of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh):
* The Dotan edition, which was distributed to soldiers in mass quantities as the official Tanakh of the Israel Defense Forces throughout the 1990s.
* The JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh (Philadelphia, 1999) and the various volumes of the JPS Torah Commentary and JPS Bible Commentary.
For minute masoretic details, however, Israeli and Jewish scholars have shown a marked preference for modern Hebrew editions based upon the Aleppo Codex. These editions use the Leningrad Codex as the most important source (but not the only one) for the reconstruction of parts of the Aleppo Codex that have been missing since 1947.
If the Ten Commandments etched in stone did
not exist before God carved them out for Moses
on the mountain, certainly the KJV did not
exist before then either. After Noah and his
kin descended down off the ark on a world
devoid of any lifeforms and whatever
hieroglyphics previously around (if any, whether
Phoenician, Egyptian, Chinese, whatever), God laid
down the Hebrew ALPHABET for Moses and
the nations on Mount Sinai (amidst all the
then-existing Babel languages and their written
symbols occurring after The Flood).
The spoken (or oral) Bible started out rather simply with God verbally, audibly or however (without printed mass media) telling humanity to reproduce and eat green stuff (Genesis chapter 1), and telling Adam in particular to not eat of "the forbidden tree." Apparently, that divine tidbit of as-yet-nonwritten Scripture was conveyed (by whoever) to the inferior gender, who soon became the first nude preacheress on record to discourse with a snake. Her sermonette to Satan had a few omissions and additions pertaining to the intended Original Text (e.g. the word "freely" was left out, along with "midst of the garden," and a brand-new addition of hers "neither shall you touch it" was added. Thus, that first weaker-sex woman (ancestral grandmother of us all) competed against the Devil on her own, without Adam, in power-hungry feminist-"equality" arrogance and female naiivity (precursor of maryolatrous catholics who presume a female and God alone can create kiddies without any guy around) .....and so corrupted the earliest and simplest Scripture. Her usually-clothed-thereafter progenie have continued to screw things up ever since, as more and more sacred sayings were mangled by myriads mouthing mindless blatterings masquerading as gospel truth.
Again, the LORD Himself intervened to (thankfully) a male human, again. On the two tablets of stone in rock, He Himself (wrote down The Text, instructing Rabbi Moses in details enabling him to compose the Pentateuch (Torah) Old Testament according to creationist info supernaturally supplied.
God also talked to others verbally, like from between two cherubim above the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant after talking out of a burning bush which didn't really burn (i.e. DID burn but was constantly rejuvenated for more to burn (sort of like the future bodies of those who will forever continue to burn to the ages of the ages in the hellish Lake of Fire). He also spoke audibly out of a cloud, using the mouth of Jesus, out of a blinding light on some road to Damascus, and to a Peter, Paul, and John (original 12 apostles) and others in dreams and visions. Outside of what is recorded in the Bible, any dreams or visions having occurred or allegedly occurred, occurring or allegedly occurring, to occur or allegedly occur, can be questioned as to authenticity of whether or not being GOD'S actual revelation on a more or less take it or leave it basis.
Which brings us to what is TRULY canonical
bona-fide Bible, and what is FAKE
[pseudo]-"biblical" utterances. Jesus
Himself read from a copy of the book of Isaiah
handed to Him in a temple. Whatever Old-Testament
books and writings He and his New-Testament gospel
and epistle authors referred to can obviously be
Such historically happened, causing eyewitnesses to relate perfectly to next-generation faithful and honest copyists who non-carelessly read, recorded, and related ALL PERTINENT words written in common public alpha-to-omega Greek letters EVERYONE in their right mind could understand -- inerrant to the last iota jot and tittle. Dedicated printing of such on papyrus was inspired and infallible.
The Divine Copyright Enforcer had, has, and will
have His ways to insure that
His Word is clearly and obviously canonical
First, He is the Jealous Executioner. To name a few examples of the disfavored in the Old Testament who bit the dust: the assaultive perverts of Sodom and Gomorrah, Er and Onan (Judah's son's of Genesis 38), pollutive harassing belligerant canaanites who Joshua and the Jews exterminated under orders from God, Haman the diabolical antisemite (Book of Esther), 100 state-trooper sheriff-deputy-type soldiers ganging up on Elijah (II Kings 1), 186,000 Assyrian commandos (Isaiah 37:36), Hananiah the false prophet (Jeremiah 28), lying Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5), child-murderer saint-beheader Roman governor Herod (Acts 12), at least sixteen 9112001 megavandal genocidal Saudi-terrorist kamakazes who admirably murdered themselves with suicide, etc.
Second, the LORD preserved (and preserves!)
the lives of his elect, providentially provides for
and fills them with boundless phenomenal faith, joy,
and confidence. Remember The Bomb which annihilated
Shinto-cultic Jap terrorists and their supporters
who had brutally demolished Pearl Harbor. Remember
Getting back to the Dark Ages, saints within and outside the Catholic Church faithfully copied The ONE Text which they had received from previous saints and preserved by a Power not of this Earth.
Autograph-accurateText in papyrus,
headquartered in Antioch, was diversely scattered
and read, becoming more ancient and worn as time
went on, but CAREFULLY-copied duplicates
were PAINSTAKINGLY produced, and such
already-canonical Text was disseminiated in
greater and greater numbers worldwide.
Inevitably, counterfeits (like weeds) began to appear from heretics such as Marcion and others who concocted corrupt Alexandrian and Sinaiticus type Greek-lettered replacements - blasphemously miscalled " manuscripts"- ultimately synthesized by the occultic-spiritualist demonic duo Hort and Westcott in England in the late 1800s, peddled and promoted thereafter by Metzger, Aland, and Nestle.
The ORIGINAL Text survived in entirety, however, true to God's promise and power of indestructibility and eternal longevity. Erasmus (respected by Martin Luther) tried to sort out the genuine from the garbage, and at that time did his best with consecutive improving editions. Beza and Stephanus continued the refinement, and Scrivener of England finally put it all together in 1894 into what is now know as the Scrivener Trinitarian Greek Text of the New Testament for these momentous last days before Christ's visible bodily return to Earth at Armageddon.
The Revised Standard Version (RSV) has, for its Isaiah 7:14, the following phrase: "a young woman shall conceive and bear a son" whereas the King James Version (KJV) has the phrase: "the virgin shall conceive..." instead of young woman for the exact same passage.
Well, which is it: "young woman" or "virgin?"
All young-women virgins are young women, but obviously not all young women are young-women virgins.
Allow no one to "get away with" being an accursed fool and blatter that: "it doesn't matter" or: "whatever" pertaining to precise word choice. It certainly does matter!
The Isaiah 7:14 passage in practically all translations (except the RSV, for example) state that a virgin "shall conceive" whereas most all translations of Matthew 1:23 state that a virgin "shall be with child" instead of the phrase: "shall conceive." There is a notable difference between the two different phrases.
All virgins can eventually conceive as stated in Isaiah 7:14, but it is extraordinary for a virgin to already be "with child" as stated in Matthew 1:23.
Neither the word "virgin" in Isaiah 7:14 [who "conceives" instead of "being with child"] cannot legitimately be replaced with the substitute words: damsel, maid, maiden, nor girl - being that some of such human females could be pre-puberty underaged and thus incapable or either conceiving or already being with child.
The "conceiving" or "already being with child" of necessity specifies female gender and thus excludes the possibility of reference to male virgins.
Also, the word maid is inadequate as a substitute word for Isaiah 7:14 because such term involves the additional connotation of servitude as a slave or employee.
Invariably most commentators have related that Matthew 1:23 "virgin" passage to the Old-Testament reference of Isaiah 7:14.
Specifically, Isaiah 7:14 does not contain Strong's English-lettered Hebrew-text Word# 1330 for damsel nor girl nor even young woman, but instead contains Strong's Word# 5959 for: [an-obviously-female] virgin.
In Genesis 24:16 "young woman" Rebekkah [albeit one with whom no male had yet lain] is identified with Strong's Word# 1330 (which the RSV has incorrectly translated: virgin), while Abraham's servant (in Genesis 24:43) requests of the Lord a Strong's Word# 5959 virgin (which the RSV has incorrectly translated: young woman).
Strong's Word# 1330 for "maiden" or [worse imposing the archaic term: "damsel"] -- (neither one necessarily already married) -- is found in Job 31:1 describing who Job refused to look lustfully at in a probably-voyeuristic porno-like perusal of her inadequately clothed or indecently misattired. The KJV in that passage has somewhat-correctly translated Strong's Word# 1330 as: "maid" ["maiden" would have been the appropriate term instead] -- while the RSV got it wrong stating the incorrect word: "virgin" for that Job 31:1 passage.
Again, for Strong's Word# 5959 (virgin) used in Isaiah 7:14 the RSV improperly translated: "young woman" but which the KJV got correct using the term: "virgin".
Surprisingly, Strong's Word# 5959 (virgin) is also found in Exodus 2:8 with reference to the virgin (not "maid" nor "damsel" nor "girl" as practically every English translation mis-states) sister of baby Moses who called her mother as a nurse for Moses at the request of Pharaoh's daughter. In that passage, the KJV uses the wrong word: "maid" while the RSV uses the incorrect word: "girl" in their mis-rendition of Exodus 2:8.
Concerned theologians (including yours truly) wonder that being Isaiah 7:14 only refers to a virgin:"conceiving" how can that particular passage be the prophesied source of the prediction in Matthew 1:23 referring instead to a virgin: "[already being] with child"?
Two somewhat-discrepant-against-each-other-in-other-parts-of-their-verses notable translations have identical or verbatim "with child" consistency pertaining to Matthew 1:23 regarding the "with child" phraseology of Isaiah 7:14, and they are:
NASB (of Isaiah 7:14) =
"Therefore the Lord Himself [himself?] will give you a sign: Behold [Look?], a [the?] [young?] virgin will be [is?] with child and [shall?] [will?] bear a son, and [she?] will [shall?] call His name [name him?] Immanuel."
NRSV (of Isaiah 7:14) =
"Therefore the Lord himself [Himself?] will give you a sign. Look [Behold?], the [a?] [young?] woman [should instead read: virgin] is [will be?] with child and [shall?] [will?] bear a son, and [she?] shall [will?] name him [call his name?] Immanuel."