The Word of Yahweh - Bonded Leather Edition

Rating

Price and Value

  • $40 + shipping Value: 4/5

    Scroll down to the bottom for pictures!

    Summary of Features

    Feature
    Publication Date 1st Edition: 2001
    2nd Edition: 2003
    Cover Bonded Leather
    Size 9.2 inches tall
    6.5 inches long
    1.5 inches thick
    Binding Glued
    Thumb-Index Tabs No
    Text Format Verse Format
    Headings None
    Mashiyach's Words in Red No
    Number of Ribbon Markers One
    Gold Gilded w/ Rounded Corners Yes
    Extensive Cross References No
    Helps Ressurection Chart
    Feast Days Chart
    Messiah's Birth Chart
    Footnotes Basic Cross References
    Alternative Manuscript Readings
    Concordance Yes
    Maps No
    Name of the Father Yahweh
    Name of the Son Yahshua
    Hebrew Transliterations Minimal to None
    Book Order Greek LXX Order
    Law
    History
    Writings/Poetry
    Prophets
    Western Greek Order
    Gospels/Acts
    Pauline Epistles
    General Epistles
    Revelation
    Base Text King James Version 1611
    Old Archaic English Yes
    Manuscript Origin Hebrew Masoretic Text (primary)
    Greek Byzantine Text (primary)
    Greek Critical Text (consulted)
    Aramaic Peshitta (consulted)

    Review

    The Word of Yahweh (2nd Edition, 2003), published by the earliest Sacred Name group (Assembly of Yahweh), is yet another set of the Scriptures which has the goal of restoring our Creators name into the text. This is certainly a very noble and noteworthy cause since there really has never been a good reason for it to have been taken out. By that I mean, God himself never once commanded it. In fact, he commanded the opposite; that we remember it and use it for all of our generations. So why did we stop using it? Man made doctrine. When Jesus came and preached, a common theme in his teaching was how the Pharisees go against the commandments of God by their own traditions. Now, the man made tradition of saying "Adonai" (often translated in English as LORD) instead of our Creators name (where it appears thousands of times in Scripture) is no exception.

    So while restoring the name is certainly a righteous cause, it is a very difficult one that must be handled with care. The biggest issue with most "sacred name bibles" is that they try and push their doctrinal beliefs in the foot notes (and sometimes, the actual text...). While this is fine in a study bible that clearly outlines it's statement of beliefs and makes it known that this is what you're buying, there should still be a sacred name bible that does not try and push a particular doctrinal stance.

    I am happy to say that the Word of Yahweh does a fairly good job of this! While no translation will ever be perfectly free of bias, this version is much better than most. The footnotes are fairly standard and what you would expect from any honest translation, paraphrase, or revision. They are especially excellent in pointing out all 134 places where Scribes removed the name of YHWH from the Tanak, and all throughout the New testament it gives variations from the Greek found in the Aramaic. Although, I am disappointed to note that they do miss some important variations from the Aramaic. Still though, this is excellent for those who want to study the alternate readings, especially when it comes to "name" issues. The appendices include three charts: the first covering the seven Scriptural feasts and their meaning(s); the second outlining our Saviors birthday and how it coincides with the Feast of Tabernacles; and the third outlining the week of execution and how our Messiah was in the belly of the earth for three days and three nights. After that there is an extensive concordance.

    Unlike other sacred name texts, the Word of Yahweh is very up front about their goal, the process they under took, the text, it's foot notes, etc. And all of this can be read for free on their website before you decide to buy. This is commendable and the way it should be. I should also mention that in addition to putting in the sacred name, The Word of Yahweh also transliterates "Elohim" as opposed to translating it to "God" (it can also be translated as "Mighty One", though, only ISR's "The Scriptures" does for the lower case god). This is great for those who have made the connection between Isaiah 65:11 and Exodus 23:13, and want to honor Him in their personal study and reading.

    The basis for the text is the King James Version, so the old English style is present (thee, thou, thy, yea etc.) I prefer a more modern English reading, but the KJV is public domain (hence, no copyright, so an ideal choice for a base text) and it's also respected as one of those time tested translations. However, it would be nice if some of the more archaic words were updated in a future edition (like Ray Comforts Evidence Bible). The second issue with using the KJV text is that there are known errors in the text, especially in the New Testament with the discovery of earlier Greek manuscripts and the Aramaic texts from the Church of the East. However, attempts to correct these known translation (or scribal) errors have been taken with consideration of both the earlier Greek manuscripts and the Aramaic texts. Changes or known differences are foot noted in each case. But while they have indeed been successful in corrected some of the errors (such as the famous trinity verse in 1st John) others have been missed (compare John 3:36 in the KJV to NASB, NIV, ESV, etc. on biblegateway for an example. Also, Romans 9:5, a slight issue which I will talk a bit more about later). Another noteworthy example of a correction though is in Luke 23:48, where the comma has been moved to reflect the original meaning of the statement (lining up with the rest of Scripture).

    Next, there is much debate on the proper pronunciation and spelling of both our Creator and our Messiah's name. As the title implies, they use "Yahweh" for our creator. For the Messiah, they use "Yahshua". I'm not going to debate the various spellings and pronunciations, but I do prefer for the text to simply have YHWH or, like ISR's "The Scriptures", just leave both names in their original Hebrew characters. This way, in either instance, the reader can look at and pronounce the name whichever way he or she prefers. But I do understand how this won't apply to all readers either. Young readers for example will want something a little more flowing, so a name like Yehweh, Yahuwah, Yahweh, Yehovah, etc. and Yeshua, Y'shua, Yahshua, etc. will be more appropriate for them. But, no Bible translation will be perfect and appeal to every audience.

    Next is the issue of inserting the name of our Creator into the New Testament. The Word of Yahweh has taken careful steps in ding this and outlines it's guidelines very carefully. While I respect how they've done this, I don't fully agree with the changes they have made. The KJV is based on the Greek text where the name YHWH is not found a single time. Instead, Kurios or "Lord" is there in all instances (weather it be referring to the Father or the son). However, the Aramaic new testament text (the Khabouris Codex) DOES in fact, contain the name of YHWH. The Word of Yahweh actually footnotes this as "Aramaic = Mariah". Mariah is more correctly transliterated as MarYah, which means Master Yah (Yah being short for Yahweh/Yawuwah, etc.) In the Aramaic Tanakh this same word applies to our Creator's name over 7000 times, so there's no mistake in what it means. However, instead of translating this as Yahweh, The Word of Yahweh will almost always put either "Elohim" or "Sovereign" instead of Yahweh. In other places however, when the Aramaic text doesn't say MarYah, but instead has Alahi/Elaha (in Hebrew, Eloah [which is the singular form of Elohim/God]) and where the Greek also translates as God from Theos, often they will list "Yahweh" because of the context. I understand that reasoning, but it's still changing Scripture, no matter which way you look at it. This becomes a problem in the case of Romans 9:5 which I cover below. But many sacred name texts tend to do this in their efforts to restore the name, but why try and make educated guesses when the proof of the name ACTUALLY existing is found in the old Aramaic texts? It doesn't make any sense, unless you don't have access to those / can't read Aramaic (as is commonly the case). But with The Word of Yahweh, they do, and footnote each instance. They actually mention that it can be translated as "Yahweh" but only do so in a few cases.

    So, the issue with Romans 9:5; this is a passage proclaiming that the Messiah is Elohim/God (or at the very least, acts as Elohim here on earth). NIV translates this as "Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen." The Aramaic reads "And from among whom Mashiyach appeared in the flesh, who is Elohim over all; to whom be praises and benediction, forever and ever; Amen." (AENT) Now, The Word of Yahweh reads "Whose are the fathers, and of whom concerning the flesh the Messiah came, who is over all, Yahweh be blessed for ever. Amen" Besides the change of Elohim/Alahi/God into "Yahweh be" (as per their New Testament guidelines), this is how it is rendered in the KJV. This isn't any intentional doctrinal push of any sort (a simple check of Zechariah 12:10 and John 1:1 reveals that they say true to the text), but given how they replace Eloah with Yahweh, it just sounds funny. Things like this may be a nit picky detail on my part, but translating Elohim as Yahweh can really make things confusing. They should have stuck with the basis that in Aramaic MarYah = YHWH, and then keep Elaha (or in Greek, Theos) as Elohim. This would make the translation more faithful to the original text.

    Another example of an issue I saw is that in Revelation 17:14 where it says "Sovereign of sovereigns", it is foot noted in both instances that in the Aramaic it reads "Mariah" (or MarYah, implying the name of YHWH). This is actually incorrect since in the Armaic text it actually reads "mara maraota" (which simply means Master of masters). I'm not sure if they were looking at a different Aramaic text or what, but I thought it would be good to note that. Regardless though, the New Testament is certainly tricky when it comes to sacred name issues. For this reason, the New Testament I recommend is the "Aramaic English New Testament" by Andrew Gabriel Roth. It is hands down the most accurate translation available. Search google for their main site, or buy it from the Nazarite site (either directly or through amazon, where The Word of Yahweh is available also).

    Outside of the New Testament though, the Tanak/Old Testament is fantastic! If you like the KJV, then this will be a perfect Sacred Name version for you as far as the Tanak goes. Though I discard the NT and prefer the AENT, I want to give two thumbs up for the Tanak. I should note, however, that the NT isn't that bad, I'm just a perfectionist, that's all.

    In terms of the book order, it's set up in classical Christian old and new testaments. Same book order and everything. personally, I prefer the book ordering of the Tanak (Torah, Prophets, Writings) and then for Paul's letters to come after Peter's, James', Jude's, etc. But since most people are familiar with the Christian book order, there should be no issues here.

    As far as the binding goes, while The Word of Yahweh is no Cambridge bible, it is still fairly nice for the price. The Leather feels good in hands, the page edges are gold, and the bible has a nice flex to it; it will stay flat no problem and has a nice look to it. However, the paper is a bit thicker and not up to par with your typical flexible "bible paper" (though that makes for easy writing and highlighting without paper damage). Really though, as far as sacred name bibles go, this is definitely one of the best in terms of it's quality! Especially considering the price, you can't go wrong. Anyway, I hope this review has been helpful and may YHWH bless you in your studies of His Word :)

    Pictures

    Click on an image for a bigger picture



    A nice Torah scroll exclaiming that this is "The Word of Yahweh" on the front. The burgundy leather is identical to most burgundy bonded leather Scriptures out there.




    The gilded edges and rounded corners are nice.




    A simple spine with the Hebrew letters for YHWH.




    At Genesis 1, the cover doesn't quite open flat, but it's certainly more flexible than the Sacred Scriptures: Bethel Edition. Notice the verse format.




    Here it is flat. A big plus to the paper quality is how there is no bleed through. Notice the formatting of the footnotes.




    Typical ribbon marker, and you can see that the gold gilded edges don't look as flush when the Scriptures are open. Notice also some indents near the spine on the pages which is from the glued (rather than sewn) binding.




    Quite a bit of flex on this compared to the Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition. In order to achieve this however, I had to press and bend the spine inward. When you first buy it, the spine curves outward and the Scriptures won't flex as much.




    There is little problems holding it flat in the hands. Due to the bonded leather, there isn't much of a droop over the hands though.




    A very average size for a version of the Scriptures.




    Here it is beside the other two most popular Sacred Name Bibles.