Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition
The Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition (SSBE) is a Sacred Name Bible which uses the names Yahweh and Yahshua in both the Old and New Testaments (Chamberlin p. 51-3). It was produced by the Assemblies of Yahweh elder Jacob O. Meyer, based on the American Standard Version of 1901 and it contains over 977 pages. The Assemblies of Yahweh printed 5,500 copies of the first edition in 1981. It is also used by some members of the Sacred Name Movement.
The reference to "Bethel" relates to the Assemblies of Yahweh being based in Bethel, Berks County, Pennsylvania.
Sacred Name supporters often cite from passages such as Isaiah 42:8 where, in the original Hebrew texts, YHWH ( יהוה. ) is found. The Name is found approximately 7,000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. Some claim that the pronunciation was lost, or unknown. However, most prominent, authoritative reference works today do not support this view. The Encyclopedia Judaica makes the following statement:
The true pronunciation of the name Yahweh was never lost ... Greek writers of the Christian church testify that the name was pronounced Yahweh.— Encyclopaedia Judaica, vol.7, pp. 679 – 680 (1971) "God, Names of"
Prominent religious leaders have agreed that Yahweh cannot be translated into any word exactly (Herbert Armstrong, pp. 128 – 129), while other Bible translators point out that the reason for not pronouncing Yahweh and producing the form Jehovah, was down to a misunderstanding of Jewish tradition (Anchor Bible, page XIV). Bible translations such as the Rotherham's Emphasized Bible, the Anchor Bible, and the Jerusalem Bible have retained the name Yahweh in the Old Testament. The Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition is one of the few English Bible translations that uses Yahweh in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Notable aspects of the Bible include its use of the name of God (Yahweh) and the Semitic name of the Messiah – commonly referred to as Jesus – Yahshua. Instead of the Greek word "Christ", it uses the Hebrew word "Messiah", and instead of "church" it uses "assembly". Also, this translation does not use the terms "cross" and "crucify", but rather "torture stake" and "impale". Therefore, the translation of the Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition uses words that the translator claimed have the more accurate meanings, rather than the usual words employed by translators. It is also distinguishable by its preface section, which describes the setting, language and name of the Bible. The Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition concludes with a "Pure Religious Vocabulary" section, which gives the explanation of words which should be avoided for those seeking "to purify their personal worship". This glossary of terms briefly traces and presents the etymology of words used frequently by Christian theologians which the translator claimed are pagan in origin. It also includes additional information for scholarly research.
Restoring the truth
Meyer felt that damage had been done to the texts by translators who failed to bring over the appropriate words from the Hebrew or Greek into the English language. At the back of the Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition Bible, four pages point out these discrepancies. By using the words that appeared in the original texts, Meyer hoped to aid the True Worshipper John 4:23 to "...purify their personal worship [they offer] to the Heavenly Father Yahweh" The Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition Bible has been referred to as a scholarly Bible[who?] because of the translators intention to bring the Bible as closely as possible to the original texts. Proponents of Sacred Name Bibles contend that their reputation is damaged by translators who reject the name Yahweh in favor of variants they regard as philologically and grammatically impossible. In the Preface, evidence is offered to show how the rendering of Jehovah is a serious mispronunciation of the Tetragrammaton. Among some of the politer terms used by scholars to describe the name Jehovah are "morphological monstrosity" and a "mispronunciation", but Bibles that use the name Jehovah have gained more popularity than those using Yahweh. The Assemblies of Yahweh state that all the titles assigned to substitute the Name "are inferior titles at that". Jacob Meyer writes in the Sacred Name Broadcaster: "We as humans cannot choose the name which we personally wish to call him. He has already named himself" and that "The best transliteration of this name into English is spelled Yahweh, and is so pronounced". They therefore reject the English titles for God's name, claiming to etymologically trace such titles to the worship of other deities. The Assemblies of Yahweh use the Hebrew names Yahweh and Yahshua, rather than God and Jesus. They also use Elohim instead of God, and Messiah instead of Christ. By returning to the Hebrew titles, they believe they can please Yahweh in a pure speech, hoping to fulfill Revelation 14:5.
The Assemblies of Yahweh continue to use the Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition as their preferred text. As of 2016[update], it has undergone seven printings: 1981, 1986, 1989, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2008. The Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition is a publication by the Assemblies of Yahweh and its editor, Jacob O. Meyer. The Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition is available at some libraries in England and the United States and is used at the Dalet School and the Obadiah School of the Bible, both in Bethel, Pennsylvania.
The Assemblies of Yahweh present this volume to the reader in the humble endeavor to present you with a special gift of greater knowledge. We have restored the Sacred Name and the sacred titles to the English text of the Old Testament as well as returning the Name of Yahshua the Messiah our Redeemer to the text of the New Testament. We have sought to eliminate the Shakespearean English which is no longer employed in modern usage. We have tried to be faithful in rendering the original texts as closely as we can return to them— Preface
- Paul, William (2003) "Jacob O. Meyer" in English Language Bible Translators, pp162,163. McFarland, NC: Jefferson & Co.
- J.D Douglas. New Bible Dictionary, (Wm. B Eerdman's Pub. Co(c) 1962) p.9.)
- "Yahweh" Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th Edition
- Jacob O. Meyer, SSBE, A Pure Religious Vocabulary, I
- Job introduction.” Anchor Bible, Volume 15, page XIV
- ”Jehovah”. Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 15, p 311.
- ”Jehovah” Jewish Encyclopedia Vol. 7. p 87.
- ”Names of God, YHWH” Jewish Encyclopedia Vol.9. pp 160–165.
- Sacred Name Broadcaster, (4/1987), Radio Message: A Name That Endures Forever, a publication of the Assemblies of Yahweh; Meyer, Elder Jacob
- "Ramseyer Bibliography - Bible in English". D.umn.edu. 2001-03-01. Retrieved 2012-07-21.
- Catalogue of English Bible Translations: A Classified Bibliography of Versions and Editions Including Books, Parts, and Old and New Testament Apocrypha ... and Indexes in Religious Studies) by William J. Chamberlin
- The Memorial Name Yahweh. Assemblies of Yahweh U.S.A, Bethel PA 19507 LCN-87-072550 by Jacob O. Meyer.
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