God Didn't Say That

Bible Translations and Mistranslations

Sneak-Peek of “The Unabridged Bible”

tub7bA bit off-topic, but still certainly Bible related:

Though my newest project, “The Unabridged Bible,” won’t roll out until a couple of months into 2014, a sneak-peek is available now, with two four lots of sample pages, including:

The Master Index is also live, though we’re still tweaking the format.

I’ll be grateful for any early feedback, here or on the project’s blog, (except that I think I hate the look of that blog as it stands now) with a new look that I think I like.

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November 29, 2013 Posted by | announcements, Off Topic | , , , | 2 Comments

The History Channel’s Bible Secrets Revealed

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman taping Bible Secrets Revealed

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman taping Bible Secrets Revealed

I’m excited and a little nervous to announce that I’m appearing in two episodes of the History Channel’s upcoming Bible Secrets Revealed, which starts airing nationwide this Wednesday, November 13, at 10:00pm EST.

Read the whole story — including air times, links to more information, and video trailers from the series — in my latest e-newsletter.









UPDATE (December 19, 2013): It turns out I had a prominent role in the 5th episode, as well: “Mysterious Prophecies.” You may be able to watch the whole thing on-line via the “Bible Secrets Revealed” Video page.

UPDATE (December 1, 2013): Learn more about “The Life of Adam and Eve,” which I describe in the third episode, from the sneak-peak look at “The Unabridged Bible.”

UPDATE (November 26, 2013): The third episode — “The Forbidden Scriptures” — airs tomorrow (Wednesday) night. This could be the most enlightening of the episodes, because it addresses something most people don’t know much about.

I remember talking about this in depth on camera, and I’m told that some of my explanations made it into the final show.

Here’s the official description, from the History Channel:

The books, gospels and epistles found in the Holy Bible are writings considered to be divinely inspired. But are there chapters of the Bible that are missing? Have stories been censored and characters deleted? And if so, just who decides what is included—and what is forbidden?



UPDATE (November 20, 2013): The second episode airs tonight: “The Promised Land.” When I was interviewed, I declined to comment publicly about the connection between the Bible and Modern Israel’s borders, so I’m not in this one, but I’m curious to hear what other people say. Here’s the History Channel’s description:

It is considered the most sacred place on Earth. But it has also been carved up, sub-divided and fought over for thousands of years. Was the area known as “The Promised Land” really given by God to a “chosen people?” For the Jewish people, it is the land where David was King, where Solomon built a great temple and where Abraham and his descendants could live in peace and prosperity. Christians believe they have a right to this area because, according to the New Testament, Jesus will first appear here when he returns for the Day of Judgment. Since the Crusades, Temple Mount in Jerusalem has remained under Muslim control and is the site of one of the most sacred mosques in all of Islam. Perhaps God’s real promise was not to Abraham, but to all of humanity, and that a “promised land” was to be earned—not simply given. Could this land of religious tension and endless warfare actually become a Promised Land of peace as foretold in the Bible?

November 12, 2013 Posted by | announcements | , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Q&A: Is the Virgin Birth a Mistranslation?

From the About page comes this question:

I saw a teaser on the History Channel about a Bible show coming up. They said that the Virgin Birth is a translation mistake. Is this really true?

AlmahThe short answer is no, it’s not true. The longer and more interesting answer is that a mistranslation does come into play, but only indirectly.

The Bible show is “Bible Secrets Revealed.” (Incidentally, I’ll be in it. More on that later.) And I presume this is the teaser Brian saw: Bible Secrets Revealed: Sneak Peek. About 20 seconds in (not counting the annoying ad), Dr. Francesca Stavrakopoulou repeats a claim she’s made to the BBC in the past: “The idea the Jesus must have been born of a virgin is essentially a mistranslation.” But it’s not.

The text displayed as Dr. Stavrakopoulou speaks is Isaiah 7:14, which originally referred to a young woman even though it is often wrongly translated as “a virgin shall conceive.” The mistranslation as “virgin” dates back to the Greek version of the Bible known as the Septuagint, which renders the Hebrew alma (“young woman”) there as parthenos (“virgin”). It’s not the only place the Septuagint makes this and similar mistakes. But because Matthew (1:23) highlights the Greek here, this mistranslation is well known.
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November 3, 2013 Posted by | Q&A, translation practice | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments