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    Corrections log

    Note: Due to the huge number of corrections now taking place as part of our Bible Upgrade Project, this page is no longer being updated, since there are just too many corrections to document. Changes will be documented once again when the Bible Upgrade project is completed.

    Corrections made between February 2021 and May 2022 are listed here.

    Not all changes are listed here, as some are very minor, and a few may be overlooked. A ‘correction’ is only the fixing of something that could mislead the reader. Minor improvements to how a verse is worded in modern American English, or the adding of tabs, typo fixing, adding contractions, and so on, will not be listed.

    See how we make corrections.

    See our spreadsheet of proposed corrections.

    May 2022

    Executed

    Since we defer to the Aramaic in the NT (except Mark, Luke, and Acts), the word that other Bibles put as crucified is actually a verb meaning ‘raised up.’ Since being raised up was actually shorthand for being executed on a cross, we will just say ‘executed.’

    We’re not saying ‘raised up’ because some readers will misunderstand that as being a reference to Jesus being raised to heaven.

    We’re not going to say ‘hung on a pole’ or ‘hung on a stake’ because the Aramaic does not mention a pole or stake.

    We’re not using ‘crucified’ because that implies that the text describes the shape of the cross, when it actually doesn’t, instead it describes the action of being raising up in the air – after, of course, being nailed to a cross.

    So since being raised up was a euphemism for the entire manner of the execution process, saying ‘executed’ is the simplest way of putting it, with a hyperlink to a translator note which explains the actual literal meaning.

    This new word will slowly replace all other phrases in Aramic-based books – so that means this change does not apply in Mark, Luke, and Acts, which we base on the Greek text, which instead describes a stake, pole, or lumber.

    See the translator note.

    April 2022

    James 5:5-6

    Old text: ‘For you’ve lived on the earth just to satisfy yourselves… yes, you’re nourishing your hearts on self-indulgence for the day of slaughter! And since you even condemned and murdered the Righteous One, won’t He stand and oppose you?

    New text: ‘For you’ve lived on the earth merrily and have been greedy… yes, you fattened-up your own bodies to be ready for the day of slaughter! You’ve condemned and murdered a righteous one, [even though] he didn’t stand against you.

    Reason: Deferring to the Aramaic, verse 5 talks about feeding their ‘bodies’ rather than ‘hearts’ so they’ll be ready for slaughter. This better fits the context, as it seems to be an illustration comparing the sinner to an animal that is being fattened up before being cut up for meat. Also the Aramaic is more specific when it describes them as being merry and greedy.

    In verse 6, it was thought that the ‘righteous one’ may be referring to Jesus, so it was Capitalized. However, if we continue the thought from the previous verses, where they are being condemned for not paying their employees, it seems that the apostle is trying to say (using hyperbole) that they have ‘killed’ a righteous person (their employee) by treating them badly, even though they did nothing to deserve it – so it’s probably not a reference to Jesus.

    Ephesians 4:18 and Psalm 68:11

    In Ephesians, the Apostle quotes from the Psalm, so both places are corrected.

    Ephesians 4:18 Old text: ‘And he’s taken captivity as his captive;
    Then, he gave gifts to the people.’

    Ephesians 4:18 New text: ‘And he’s taken captives into captivity;
    Then, he gave gifts to the people.’

    Psalm 68:11 Old text: ‘And he’s taken captivity as his captive;
    Then, he gives gifts to the people’

    Psalm 68:11 New text: ‘And he’s taken captives into captivity;
    Then, he gave gifts to the people’

    Reason: Please see the translator note on the captives and the translator note on the gifts.

    March 2022

    2 Samuel 21:19

    Old text: ‘They were also fighting the Philistines at Gob, which is where EleAnan the son of AriOrgim the BethLehemite killed GoliAth the GitTite, whose spear was as large as a weaving loom.’

    New text: ‘They were also fighting the Philistines at Gob, which is where EleAnan the son of AriOrgim the BethLehemite killed [LachMi, the brother of] GoliAth the GitTite, whose spear was as large as a weaving loom.’

    Reason: Please see the translator note.

    Luke 5:24

    Removed the words “been given the” as they are not present in the source texts.

    1 Timothy 1:18

    Old text: As the prophecies about you foretold (that you would be a soldier in a good war);

    New text: As those earlier prophecies about you foretold (that you would fight in a good war),

    Reason: A word meaning early or earlier is present in the source texts so is now added.

    As for be a soldier, the Aramaic instead uses a verb meaning to serve or labour in an army, instead of a noun like soldier. Since we defer to the Aramaic, we now show the Aramaic verb instead.

    2 Peter 2:1

    Old text: “destruction”.

    New text: “ruin”.

    Reason: While the word can mean destruction, this implies to many readers that someone is killed and then eternally destroyed. Obviously this did not happen to any of the people Peter was talking about, certainly not ‘instantly’ or ‘swiftly.’ However, the word simply means ‘ruin’, which could imply a swift or instant loss of spiritual approval instead of death – and this fits the verse context better. However, the reader could read ‘ruin’ as meaning ‘death’ if they so wished.

    See the translator note for another verse which also uses the word for destruction/ruin, which is 2 Thessalonians 1:9.

    2 Peter 2:9

    Old text: “destroyed”.

    New text: “punished”.

    Reason: The literal word means punished or to be made to suffer, rather than destruction. If a reader wishes to view it as a metaphorical punishment, meaning destruction, that is up to the reader, but we’ll show the actual wording.

    August 2021

    Daniel 9:1-2

    Old text: ‘Well, it was in the 1st year of Darius of Xerxes, who was from the seed of the Medes and who ruled over the kingdom of the Chaldeans, that I (DaniEl) came to understand the number of the years from the words that Jehovah had given to the Prophet JeremiAh; for he had prophesied that JeruSalem would lie desolate for 70 years.’

    New text: ‘Well, it was during the 1st year of Darius of Xerxes (a Mede who ruled the Chaldean kingdom), that I, DaniEl, came to understand that the number of years (from Jehovah’s words given to the Prophet JeremiAh) for fulfilling Jerusalem’s desolation [would be] 70 years.’

    Reason: The verse has been re-translated to be both simpler and closer to the wording in the Greek Septuagint source.

    July 2021

    Romans 14:10

    Old text: ‘... we will all stand before the judgment seat of God

    New text: ‘... we will all stand before the judgment seat of the Anointed One

    Reason: Please see the translator note.

    James 5:16

    Old text: ‘...admit your sins to each other...’

    New text: ‘....admit your errors to each other...

    Reason: The word sins and errors are different words in both main languages. This now reflects that.

    Revelation 7:4, 5

    Old text: ‘...were to be sealed...’

    New text: ‘....were sealed...

    Reason: Although the words ‘to be’ may seem more logical in the flow of the passage, this free translation was a little too free here, and could have changed the meaning in some prophetically important way.

    Luke 2:33, 43

    Old text: ‘...his father and mother...’

    New text: ‘....Joseph and his mother...

    Reason: The Alexandrian text type of Greek manuscripts may have had some Gnostic influences, where attempts were made to alter the text and make Jesus less divine, by changing the text to show that Joseph was his father. Other Greek manuscripts do not say ‘his father,’ but instead say ‘Joseph,’ and the Aramaic translations also say ‘Joseph.’

    Galatians 4:7

    Old text: ‘...you’re also heirs of God’

    New text: ‘...you’re also heirs of God via the Anointed One

    Reason: The words are missing from some Greek mss, but are present in others, and are also present in (what may be) the Aramaic original.

    June 2021

    Multiple spurious words and verses

    We are adding back in spurious verses and words, to instead appear crossed out. This brings these spurious words, and the teachings they support, to the attention of the reader. For example, John 8:1-11.

    Eventually, all will have a link to a translator note.

    Generation

    The word generation is frequently mistranslated in the New Testament. The Greek word genea can mean generation, race (a people group), or family. The Aramaic word, however, only means family, tribe, nation, or people. The Aramaic has no connotation of time; so generation is a different word in Aramaic.

    So for two reasons, the word is now corrected: Firstly, Matthew was originally in Aramaic, so the Aramaic meaning takes precedence. Secondly, we can make both the ancient languages agree by changing the translation to something meaning a race, people, tribe, or family.

    All instances of generation have been looked at and changed, where necessary, to more accurately reflect the Aramaic definition. For example, at Matthew 24:34, which used to say, ‘This generation will not pass away…,’ it now correctly says ‘This nation will not pass away….’

    Learn more about this in the translator note on generation.

    All instances of the Divine Name in the New Testament

    Every mention of Jehovah in our New Testament now links to a translator note which explains the reason(s) for its inclusion.

    Every instance has been re-checked against the source texts, and this has led to a small number being removed (e.g. Luke 2:15), and others being added (or restored, depending on your view). There were 113 instances, but now there are 150.

    Since there is no direct manuscript evidence for the name being removed (at least, none yet discovered), this translation will go forward with the theory that kyrios (Lord in Greek) and maryah (Lord, or possibly, Lord Jah, in Aramaic) were widely-understood euphemisms for YHWH. The ancient readers and listeners then put YHWH back into the text with their minds. This was a centuries-old custom known to everyone, and it avoided trouble with local laws and customs.

    In Bible translation, euphemisms are translated into an equivalent euphemism, or translated to say what they mean. In this case, in places where kyrios or maryah were probably euphemisms for YHWH, they are translated as Jehovah.

    This theory is outlined on the page, The Divine Name in the New Testament.

    Please understand that we are not dogmatic about this issue, or indeed anything.

    1 Samuel 24:3

    Old text: ‘Then when their march was blocked by herds and flocks along the road, Saul stopped and entered a cave to review his plans… And it so happened that this was the same cave in which David and his men happened to be hiding.’

    New text: ‘Then when their march was blocked by herds and flocks on the road, Saul stopped and entered a cave to... “prepare himself” [possibly a euphemism for emptying his bowels] … Well, this just happened to be the same cave that David and his men were hiding in!’

    Reason: Please see the translator note.

    John 1:1

    Old text: ‘In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with The God (gr. Ton Theon) and the Word was a powerful one (Greek: theos or god-like).’

    New text: ‘In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with The God (ton theon) and the Word was a god (theos).’

    Reason: While ‘a powerful one’ is literally correct, this is changed to say ‘a god’ to more consistent with other verses. The meaning of ‘a powerful one’ is still present in the translator note.

    Acts 7:16

    This verse is now crossed out as it’s likely a spurious addition. See the translator note.

    Acts 3:20

    Old text: ‘Then He will send this one whom He appointed to you… the Anointed Jesus.’

    New text: ‘Then He will send this one proclaimed [or possibly, appointed] to you… the Anointed Jesus.’

    Reason: See the translator note.

    Romans 16:7

    Old text:Junias

    New text:Junia

    Reason: See the translator note.

    May 2021

    Psalm 94:11

    Old text:For Jehovah knows the ways that men think, And that the things they ponder are foolish.

    New text:Jehovah knows what wise men think, [and their thoughts] are useless.

    Reason: This better reflects the Greek source. It particularly says wise men, not just men. It also refers to what they are thinking, not their ways of thinking. The word used to describe their thoughts does not really mean foolish, as in silly or stupid, but rather as vacuous, pointless, vain, or useless. Foolish could be used, but useless is more precise.

    1 Corinthians 3:20

    Old text:God knows the ways that men think, And that the things they ponder are foolish.

    New text:Jehovah knows what wise men think, [and their thoughts] are useless.

    Reason: This better reflects the Greek source, which matches the quoted source in the Greek Septuagint version of Psalm 94:11 perfectly, word-for-word. Note the Divine Name appears.

    1 Corinthians 7:17

    Old text:Also, as the Lord has given each one his share and as God has called each one; let him follow in that same path. Yes, this is what I’m teaching in all the congregations.

    New text:Except, go on in the same way that God gave to you when Jehovah called you. That’s the command I give in all the congregations.

    Reason: This better reflects the Greek source and is updated to be more readable. The word initially translated as teaching is more like command. Also notice Jehovah appears, as this is maryah (Lord Jah) in the Aramaic source texts, which is (probably) a euphemism for YHWH. Also, the expression of being ‘called’ by God goes back to the Old Testament, so is also talking about the actions of YHWH.

    1 Corinthians 11:29

    Old text: ‘For those that eat and drink are eating and drinking judgment on themselves if they don’t judge [the worthiness of] their own flesh.

    New text: ‘For those that eat and drink unworthily are eating and drinking judgment upon themselves if they don’t recognize that this is the Lord’s body.

    Reason: This better reflects the Greek and Aramaic sources and is easier to understand.

    1 Corinthians 12:3

    Old text: ‘But now I want you to understand that nobody, when they’re speaking through the power of God’s Breath, can say that Jesus is cursed or that Jesus is Lord, other than by Holy Spirit.’

    New text: ‘But I want you to understand that nobody speaking through the power of Jehovah’s Breath can say that Jesus is cursed; likewise, nobody can say that Jesus is Lord, except by Holy Spirit.’

    Reason: This better reflects the Greek and Aramaic sources and is easier to understand. The Divine Name is present because it is a common OT expression that uses YHWH, is missing the article in Greek, and uses maryah in Aramaic.

    1 Corinthians 15:58

    Old text: ‘Become settled, immovable, and always have plenty to do in the work of the Lord, since [you] know that the things you do in the Lord are never done in vain.’

    New text: ‘Become settled, immovable, and always have an abundance of the Lord’s work to do, knowing that with Jehovah, your hard work is never in vain.’

    Reason: This better reflects the Greek and Aramaic sources and is easier to understand. The Divine Name is present because it is missing the article in Greek, and uses maryah in Aramaic.

    2 Timothy 1:18

    Old text: ‘may the Lord grant him mercy from Jehovah in that Day.’

    New text: ‘may the Lord grant him mercy [when he is] with the Lord on that Day.’

    Reason: The Greek word initially translated as ‘from’ can mean ‘with’ or ‘besides’, and agrees with the Aramaic version which can also be translated as ‘with.’ So the word is changed to with, creating an agreement between both source texts.

    What about removing ‘Jehovah’ from this verse?

    It was thought that the second Lord could be a euphemism for YHWH, and this might be right, as mentioning Lord twice seems redundant. However, the context is talking about the ‘Day,’ likely meaning the Day of the Lord. There is no other reference to being with or besides YHWH on that Day, but there are many to being with or besides Jesus, since he will return on that Day to act as judge. So it’s likely that both references to Lord in this verse refer to Jesus.

    Further, there are none of the other indications of a euphemism for YHWH from the usual ones we look for. In Aramaic, both Lords are written as maran here, not maryah (which usually indicates YHWH). So (unless there is later corruption), the Aramaic writer understood both to be references to Jesus.

    2 Peter 2:11

    Old text:However, even the messengers [of God] (who are much stronger and more powerful than them) wouldn’t think of looking down on such [glorious] ones, for fear of being judged as blasphemers by the Lord.

    New text:Even the messengers [of God] (who are much stronger and more powerful than they are) wouldn’t commit such blasphemy before Jehovah!

    Reason: This better reflects the Greek and Aramaic sources, and is less wordy. The Divine Name can be added because ‘the’ is missing before ‘Lord’ in the Greek, and the Aramaic says maryah. Both of these are customary euphemisms for YHWH.

    2 Timothy 2:19

    Old text:Let those that speak in the Name of the Lord stop doing what is unrighteous.

    New text:Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be rescued (paraphrase of Joel 2:32)

    Reason: Explained in the translator note.

    April 2021

    Multiple verses

    Old text:head

    New text:origin’, ‘source,’ or ‘foundation

    Reason: There is a widespread mistranslation of the Greek word κεφαλή (kephalé) and the equivalent Aramaic word, risheh. The word normally means head, as in, the head on your shoulders. However, translators have misapplied a later definition of chief or person in charge. This is incorrect.

    The correct translation at 1 Corinthians 11:3-5, Ephesians 5:23, and Colossians 2:10 is origin.

    The correct translation at Ephesians 1:22 is source.

    For a full explanation, along with historic and linguistic evidence, see the translator note on the word origin.

    The word is also used in the expression ‘chief cornerstone’ or ‘head cornerstone’ at Psalm 118:2, Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, and 1 Peter 2:7. However, the correct translation should be foundation cornerstone.

    For an explanation of this, please see the translator note on foundation cornerstone.

    1 Corinthians 15:33

    Old text:bad companions spoil worthwhile habits

    New text:evil communications corrupt good morals

    Reason: This was a common phrase used in the ancient world, but it has been mistranslated by most Bibles because the meaning of the words changed. The original meaning was preserved in other ancient texts, and an ancient Christian writer confirmed it. This change restores the original meaning. Learn more in the translator note.

    Matthew 5:3

    Old text: ‘Blest are the poor in spirit...

    New text: ‘Blest are the humble...

    Reason: There is a common ancient phrase in the Aramaic language, to be high in spirit. It means to be an arrogant show-off, just like the Pharisees. Jesus was comparing being high in spirit with being poor in spirit, meaning the opposite of being an arrogant show off, or as we would say today, being humble. Learn more in the translator note.

    Matthew 14:26 and Mark 6:49

    Old text: ‘It’s a phantom!

    New text: ‘It’s a vision!

    Reason: The Greek word can mean ghosts/phantoms, but it can also mean prophetic visions. So which is it? The Aramaic word, which is likely what the Apostles said (and the word used in the Aramaic texts), is the same word used to describe the visions of Daniel. This Aramaic word has no connotations of ghosts, phantoms, or spirits, but is used to describe prophetic dreams and visions. Learn more in the translator note.

    March 2021

    Hebrews 13:7

    Old text: ‘Listen to those that are taking the lead among you and teaching you the word of God...’

    New text: ‘Keep in mind those who take the lead and teach you God’s word...’

    Reason: ‘Keep in mind’ fits the Greek and Aramaic word here, which literally means ‘remember’; and the context is talking about their example of faith, not just their teachings, which would be implied by the previous rendering of ‘Listen to’. Some Bibles incorrectly say ‘obey,’ which is often misused by men to rule tyrannically over other Christians. The sentence is also now less wordy.

    Matthew 23:8 and Matthew 23:10

    Old text: ‘Don’t [have people] call you rabbi, for you have but one teacher, while you are all just brothers.’

    New text: ‘Don’t [have people] call you rabbi, for you only have one teacher, while you’re all just brothers.

    Reason: The phrase ‘but one’ is an old-fashioned way of saying ‘only one’, so this is updating the English. Also added a contraction to make reading easier.

    February 2021

    Ezra 4:5

    Old text: ‘They even hired representatives against them to go to Cyrus (the king of Persia) and to the kingdom of Darius (a [co-regent] of Persia) to get the proclamation revoked.

    New text: ‘They even hired advisors to strongly oppose their plans during all the days of King Cyrus of Persia, right up until the kingdom of Darius of Persia.’

    Reason: It appears that Darius here is Darius of Persia, and not Darius the Mede (who was a contemporary of Cyrus of Persia), so there is no need for the ‘[co-regent]’ insert.

    The text does not say the hired advisors/counselors went to Cyrus, simply that they worked at the same time; this is clear from the Greek phrase translated as “all the days” (πάσας τας ημέρας) which was not in our rendering.

    The words ‘to strongly oppose their plans’ replace ‘to get the proclamation revoked’, as these latter words do not appear. The words ‘plans’ comes from ‘βουλή’ (usually counsel), and ‘strongly oppose’ fits better for διασκεδάσαι (usually translated as ‘efface’ or ‘frustrate’, but can mean to ‘intimidate’ or to ‘shake violently’).

    Ezra 4:24

    Old text: ‘As the result, construction on the Temple of God in JeruSalem came to a halt, and it remained unfinished until the 2nd year of the reign of Darius the king of Persia.’

    New text: ‘As a result, construction on the Temple of God in JeruSalem came to a halt, and it remained on hold until the 2nd year of the reign of Darius the king of Persia.’

    Reason: The old rendering could be misunderstood as saying that the temple reconstruction finished in the 2nd year of Darius the Persian. Of course, it was not (Ezra 6:15 says that the temple was completed four years later in the 6th year of Darius). This verse says that the construction work was “idle” until that year (και ην αργούν έως = and it-was idle until) so the verse is corrected to better reflect the Greek source.

    Luke 1:9

    Old text: ‘(following the custom of the Priesthood) [ZechariAh] had been chosen by lot to enter the Most Holy of Jehovah to burn incense there.’

    New text: ‘(following the custom of the Priesthood) [ZechariAh] had been chosen by lot to enter the temple sanctuary of Jehovah to burn incense there.’

    Reason: The word ναός (naos) (inflected as ναόν and as ναώ in verse 21) does mean the inner part of a temple “where God resides”, however the context makes it clear that ZechariAh was not going into the Most Holy compartment, but the Holy compartment as that is where the incense altar is located. He was not the High Priest so would not even be allowed into the Most Holy. Therefore, in this context, the word ναόν must refer to the two-room temple sanctuary.

    Luke 1:21

    Old text: ‘“Meanwhile, the people that were waiting [outside] for ZechariAh started wondering why he was taking so much time in the Most Holy. Then when he came out and couldn’t speak, they realized that he had just seen something very unusual… he could gesture signs to them, but he couldn’t talk.’

    New text: ‘Meanwhile, the people that were waiting [outside] for ZechariAh started wondering why he was taking so much time in the temple sanctuary. Then when he came out of the sanctuary and couldn’t speak, they realized that he had just seen something very unusual… he could gesture signs to them, but he couldn’t talk.’

    Reason: See above. Also, the second mention of the sanctuary which appears in the Greek source was missing due to a free translation style. It’s added in to make it clearer who is where.

    Genesis 2:12

    Old text: ‘and the gold from that land is good. There is also coal and ornamental stone there.’

    New text: ‘and the gold from that land is good. There is also red gemstone and ornamental stone there.’

    Reason: The word for coal (anthrax) is certainly correct according to Strong's, however the Greek-English ancient lexicon that tracks the use of the words in ancient times indicates that in ancient writings, the word anthrax was also a reference to ‘a precious stone of dark-red colour, including the carbuncle, ruby, and garnet.’ This is the usage seen in the 4th century BCE in Aristotle’s writings and those of the Greek historian Phylarchus.

    The same word already appears in this translation at Exodus 28:18 as carbuncle, which is an old term for a red ruby, as it was one of the precious stones to be put in the High Priest’s breast plate.

    It can certainly also mean a burning hot coal, though, as anthrax is used in Isaiah 6:6 in the Greek Septuagint to describe the hot coal taken from the altar by the angel that touches Isaiah’s mouth. So the mystery may be solved by thinking of anthrax as meaning any red-colored mineral, whether it’s red because it's just naturally that color, or red because it’s boiling hot. If that’s true, then the reference to it in Genesis 2:12 cannot mean coal.

    The Hebrew of Genesis 2:12 calls it bedolach (or, bdellium), which was thought to be amber or some other yellow-like stone.

    Also, the context of Genesis is, of course, listing precious stones and metals. So coal would not fit the context either, although admittedly, it is a very short list, so perhaps this is not a valid objection.

    So the word here could mean amber, ruby, precious red stone, or red gemstone. Yes, amber is not red, nor is bdellium, but most ancient languages had very few color names, and made no distinction between red, orange, and yellow; they were all just called red.

    This explanation now appears as a translator note.

    Revelation 2:22

    Old text: ‘so {Look!} I will be throwing her into a bed and I will bring a time of great difficulty upon those that are enjoying sex with her, unless they repent over what they’re doing with her.’

    New text: ‘so {Look!} I will be throwing her into a stretcher for carrying the dead and I will bring a time of great difficulty upon those that are enjoying sex with her, unless they repent over what they’re doing with her.’

    Reason: The immoral woman is thrown into a bed in the Greek and Aramaic source texts, but this sounds very odd. Now, if Revelation was originally in Aramaic, then bed in Aramaic can also mean mortuary couch. In modern terms we might say coffin. However, the word doesn’t imply that the person on it is always dead. The same word was used at Matthew 9:2 to name the stretcher on which the (very much alive) paralytic man was carried to see Jesus.

    So sick bed, as some translations say, could be correct, but so could coffin or bier (a bier is a stand on which a corpse, coffin, or casket containing a corpse is placed to be carried to the grave). The context indicates that coffin/bier is correct, since the next verse, verse 23 says ‘I’m also going to put her children to death.’ Interestingly, the Greek word is also the same one used for bier.

    Otherwise, the idea of an immoral woman being thrown into a bed by Jesus, who then immediately talks about those ‘enjoying sex with her’, sounds, well, ... odd to say the least! Of course, one problem with saying bier is that people aren’t familiar with that term these days. So our translation says ‘stretcher for carrying the dead’.

    This explanation now appears as a translator note.

    Deuteronomy 18:22

    Old text: ‘[Remember that] anything a prophet says in the Name of the Lord that doesn’t come true, is something that wasn’t said by Jehovah… So that prophet has spoken wickedly and he must die!

    New text: ‘[Remember that] anything a prophet says in the Name of the Lord that doesn’t come true, is something that wasn’t said by Jehovah… So that prophet has spoken wickedly; don’t have anything to do with him!

    Reason: While the context shows that a false prophet was to die (two verses previously), this verse does not simply repeat that statement. Instead it adds a second piece of advice, ουκ αφέξεσθε απ αυτού, literally ‘not you-all-keep-away away-from him’.

    The word for ‘you-all-keep-away’ is a conjugated form of the verb ᾰ̓πέχω (apékhō) which means ‘to avoid’. This specific conjugation is in the future tense (so it is giving advice as to what ought to be done when it eventually happens), it’s the second person plural (so it’s speaking to all of us), and it’s the middle indicative (telling you what to do). As for the word ‘not’ before, it’s a double negative, which is frequently used in Ancient Greek for emphasis. Therefore, “don’t have anything to do with him” is a more accurate rendering of the Greek source.

    At first glance, the Hebrew text appears to say something quite different: “thou shalt not be afraid of him”. However, the Greek and Hebrew may have originally had the same meaning to ancient readers. You see, in Hebrew the verb meaning to be afraid can also mean ‘to stand in awe’, and to ‘sojourn’. In modern parlance we might say ‘follow’. So at the time the Greek Septuagint was translated, the Jews clearly understood that in the context, it was saying that the Jews should not fear, believe, or follow false prophets. So the Greek and Hebrew are actually in agreement, and the Greek translation sheds light on how the Hebrew was understood 2,300 years ago.