John 1.11 in Brian Simmons’ ‘Passion Translation’: does τὰ ἴδια mean His ‘own things’ or His ‘own people’?

 

I am presenting evidence that seems to suggest that the ‘Passion Translation’, so-called, is not in fact a translation from the original languages as it is represented to be. 1  Yesterday, I examined two of the translator’s footnotes to John 1.10 and today I continue with John 1.11 and its footnote.

Continue reading John 1.11 in Brian Simmons’ ‘Passion Translation’: does τὰ ἴδια mean His ‘own things’ or His ‘own people’?

Notes:

  1. For the record, I have previously presented it to author and publisher, but received no explanation for the errors and blunders in Greek and Hebrew contained in it. I also provided a statement from a named lecturer in Greek at a well-known ministerial training college, to the effect that he had seen my evidence, and had found that the ‘errors seriously erode my confidence in the integrity of the author’s claim to be producing the translation directly from Greek texts.’

John 1.10 in the ‘Passion Translation’: more evidence that Brian Simmons may not be translating from Greek.

In my last post, I asked, in connection with a footnote to John 2.3 in the 2015 edition of John: Eternal Love, whether Brian Simmons, the supposed translator of the ‘Passion Translation’, was even looking at the Greek text at all. Today, I ask the same question with regard to the first footnote to John 1.10 in the 2014 edition. The second footnote also casts some doubt on whether he is really translating from Greek. I take them one at a time. Tomorrow, I plan to look at the following verse and its footnote.

I give both verses together here, since the Greek text of verse 11 helps to explain a blunder in the first footnote to verse 10:

Continue reading John 1.10 in the ‘Passion Translation’: more evidence that Brian Simmons may not be translating from Greek.

‘Miriam’, ‘Mary’, or ‘the mother of Jesus’? – is Brian Simmons even looking at the Greek text?

I continue to question whether the ‘Passion Translation’ New Testament is really translated from Greek, as is claimed. In this post I look at Brian Simmons’ footnote to John 2.3 in the 2015 edition of John: Eternal Love.

John 2.1-3

1) Καὶ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ γάμος ἐγένετο ἐν Κανὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας, καὶ ἦν ἡ μήτηρ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐκεῖ·

2) ἐκλήθη δὲ καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸν γάμον.

3) καὶ ὑστερήσαντος οἴνου λέγει ἡ μήτηρ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ πρὸς αὐτόν· οἶνον οὐκ ἔχουσιν.

1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” [NKJV]
1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus *said to Him, “They have no wine.” [NASB]
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” [ESV]

In John: Eternal Love (2015), the passage read:

Continue reading ‘Miriam’, ‘Mary’, or ‘the mother of Jesus’? – is Brian Simmons even looking at the Greek text?

Why did Brian Simmons transliterate ἐξηγέομαι (exēgeomai) as ‘hexegeomai’?

I have been considering two closely related questions:

a) Is the so-called ‘Passion Translation’ New Testament actually translated at all, or is it derived from English versions?

b) Does Brian Simmons, who says he is the ‘translator’, lack elementary competence in Greek?

In this post I consider a second example of a mistake in transliteration. Yesterday, I asked how Simmons could have transliterated ἑώρακα (heōraka) in John 1.34 as ophesthe. Today I consider the implications of his transliterating ἐξηγέομαι (exēgēomai) as hexegeomai, as if the first epsilon had a rough breathing  rather than a smooth breathing   . Although this may seem like a relatively minor error, in comparison with the one I examined yesterday, I would like to ask whether it is an error that somebody who has elementary competence in Greek could plausibly make?

Continue reading Why did Brian Simmons transliterate ἐξηγέομαι (exēgeomai) as ‘hexegeomai’?

Why did Brian Simmons translate ἑώρακα (heōraka) as ‘ophesthe’?

In my last two posts  I have been presenting evidence (here and here) that Brian Simmons, who calls himself ‘the translator’ of the ‘Passion Translation’ New Testament, is less than familiar with the Greek language. I continue with a surprising mistake in a footnote to John 1.34 in the 2014 edition of John: Eternal Love.

John 1.34

κἀγὼ ἑώρακα καὶ μεμαρτύρηκα ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ [NA 28]

"I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God." [NASB]

In the Passion Translation, 2014 edition, the verse and first footnote read:

ἑώρακα is the first person perfect active indicative of ὁράω, ‘I see’, ‘I perceive’, and means ‘I have seen’ or ‘I have perceived’. This must be the Greek word that Simmons is referring to in his footnote.

ἑώρακα transliterates as heōraka;

ὁράω, the lexical form, transliterates as horaō.

Why then does Simmons transliterate it as ophesthe?

I cannot give a definitive answer, but I do have a possible partial explanation.

Continue reading Why did Brian Simmons translate ἑώρακα (heōraka) as ‘ophesthe’?

Is the ‘Passion Translation’ actually a translation? (part 2)

In my last post I began to present evidence that seems to betray a lack of elementary competence in Greek on the part of the supposed translator of the ‘Passion Translation’. I say ‘supposed’, because I have reluctantly come to the provisional conclusion that Brian Simmons is not translating at all, in any meaningful way, but rather is working from English versions, while making some use of lexicons to find novel renderings for individual words. I stand to be corrected. I have written to the author and publisher presenting my evidence and have not received any alternative explanation for the gross blunders in the ‘translator’ footnotes. Yesterday I showed that:

ἐλάλησα αὐτοῖς

cannot mean: 1

spoken these things

but must mean

spoken to them.

Today I draw attention to a similarly glaring error in another footnote just three verses later in John.

Continue reading Is the ‘Passion Translation’ actually a translation? (part 2)

Notes:

  1. The subject ‘I’ appears earlier in the sentence.

Is the ‘Passion Translation’ actually a translation at all?

I spent most of March this year investigating Brian Simmons’ claims to be translating from Aramaic in certain verses of the holy scriptures. I reluctantly came to the conclusion that he did not know the language and was in fact making use of existing English translations from the Aramaic Peshitta. I did my best to discuss the matter with Brian personally before going public with my conclusions, here and here.  The only response I had from him was on Facebook, where he referred me to an English translation, and made no reference to the Syriac text, which I had included in the question I put to him about his supposed translation of Galatians 3.1.

It dawned on me gradually, as I was working on the Aramaic text of various verses, and examining Brian’s translator footnotes, that he might not know Greek or Hebrew either. There are many mistakes which I do not think that somebody with even elementary competence in these biblical languages could make. In this post, I share one of these and invite responses.

Continue reading Is the ‘Passion Translation’ actually a translation at all?

Psalm 89 in Brian Simmons’ ‘Passion Translation’: making interpretive decisions for the reader

Psalm 89.27 (28 in the Hebrew bible) reads:

אַף־אָ֭נִי בְּכֹ֣ור אֶתְּנֵ֑הוּ עֶ֝לְיֹ֗ון לְמַלְכֵי־אָֽרֶץ׃

Here are a few translations into English:

Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. [KJV]
I also will make him [my] first-born, The highest of the kings of the earth. ASV
And I will make him the first-born, the highest of the kings of the earth. RSV
“I also shall make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth. NASB
And I will appoint him to be my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth. NIV
Also I will make him my firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth. NKJV
I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. NRSV
And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. ESV

The differences between the translations are fairly minor. The NIV has ‘appoint’ rather than ‘make’. Several have ‘my first-born’ rather than ‘the first-born’, but all of these except the NIV mark ‘my’ with italics or square brackets to show that it is not in the original text. The KJV has ‘higher than’ the kings of the earth, rather than the ‘highest of’ the kings of the earth.

In Brian Simmons’ book ‘The Psalms: Poetry on Fire’, however, this verse has been changed into something very different:

I am setting him apart, favoring him as my firstborn son. I will make him like unto me, the most high king in all the earth!

According to Simmons, God seems to describe Himself as ‘the most high king in all the earth’, and say that He will make someone (‘him’) like Himself, particularly in this aspect of being the highest king in the earth. But who is this someone, in the original, and in Simmons’ version?

Continue reading Psalm 89 in Brian Simmons’ ‘Passion Translation’: making interpretive decisions for the reader

Psalm 78.41 in Brian Simmons’ ‘Passion Translation’: did Israel wound the Holy One, as he pretends?

Psalm 78.41 reads:

וַיָּשׁ֣וּבוּ וַיְנַסּ֣וּ אֵ֑ל וּקְדֹ֖ושׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל הִתְווּ׃

The NASB, as an example of a normal translation, reads:

Again and again they tempted God,

And pained the Holy One of Israel.

The NKJV reads:

Yes, again and again they tempted God, 

And limited the Holy One of Israel.

with a very different meaning for הִתְווּ (hīṯwû) in the second part of the verse. We will see that there is a genuine difficulty in ascertaining the meaning of the word.

The ASV reads:

And they turned again and tempted God, 

And provoked the Holy One of Israel.

Here, the translators have rendered וַיָּשׁ֣וּבוּ (wayyāšûḇû) with ‘and they turned again’ rather than with ‘again and again’. The verb שׁוּב (šûḇ) in its Qal form as here, can mean ‘turn back’, ‘return’, but it can also mean ‘do repeatedly’, so either way of translating is within the lexical range of the word.

psalm 78.41 in the ‘passion translation’

In the ‘Passion Translation’, however, Brian Simmons has this verse as:

Again and again they limited God, preventing him from blessing them. Continually they turned back from him and wounded the Holy One!

We seem to have a new and previously unknown messianic prophecy, conjured out of thin air, so to say. Israel wounded the Holy One, according to Simmons. Is there any justification for translating the verse in this way?

Continue reading Psalm 78.41 in Brian Simmons’ ‘Passion Translation’: did Israel wound the Holy One, as he pretends?

Psalm 44.4 in Brian Simmons’ ‘Passion Translation’: ‘Command deliverances for Jacob’ or ‘Decree majesties for Israel’?

In my last three posts I have looked at three cases in the Psalms where Brian Simmons, in his so-called ‘Passion Translation’, has erased all mention of Jacob. In Psalm 47.4, it is no longer Jacob whom God loves but, apparently, ‘us’, likely the Christian reader. In Psalm 147.19, Simmons has the psalmist apparently speaking of another people of God, apart from Israel. And in Psalm 14.7, he appears to replace the salvation of Israel with the rescue of the poor! Shame on him for changing the holy scripture. I do pray for him that he would realise the great harm that he is doing and repent. I happen to believe that he is sincere and means well, but has been deceived into thinking that God Himself has called him to translate the holy bible. He seems to be partially aware of his lack of scholarly capability as a bible translator, since he apparently said in response to criticism of his work on amazon.com that:

I do not claim to be a “scholar” of the original languages.

It appears that he deleted this comment ten days later, but that it was then retrieved and posted on Holly Pivec’s blog. It carries exactly the same date and time of posting:

as the record of a deleted comment that is still visible on Amazon:

Praise the Lord, who leads us into all truth, and guards His holy people from heresy.   I have nothing against Brian Simmons personally. My reason for pointing out the gross errors and distortions in his so-called translations is that sincere Christians, including young people in particular, are reading them believing them to be the true word of God, translated as accurately as possible from the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts, when in fact they are nothing of the kind. The faith and Christian life of these believers is thus being put in peril through the actions of this very foolish man.

Continue reading Psalm 44.4 in Brian Simmons’ ‘Passion Translation’: ‘Command deliverances for Jacob’ or ‘Decree majesties for Israel’?