Shinning Light on Bad Translations

Shinning Light on Bad Translations

Translators have a very difficult task in conveying the most accurate word meanings, especially when another language has no equivalent.  Our Bibles are loaded with Ancient Hebrew Idioms, Metaphors, Poetic Rhyme, Word Puns and Figurative Expressions that do not always carry over in translation.

So my concern is not with small Textual Variances, these occur in every translation because there are multiple word choices and different ways to say the same thing.  My concern is with some of the Bibles word choices that are just plain wrong.

Textual Criticism is “the process of attempting to ascertain the original wording of a text.”

For over 2,000 years this is how translators have tested translations for accuracy.  It’s a continual discovery, as more ancient texts are uncovered, every addition and subtraction is documented and footnoted.

Why Leave Words Mistranslated?

Every time I find a word that doesn’t match its original Hebrew equivalent I add it to the list below.

In the past only the experts had access to the latest findings but with today’s technology any novice, like me, can check the original Ancient Hebrew word meanings at, Strong’s Hebrew Concordance/Lexicon.  Wikipedia; Jeff Benner,; Nehemia Gordon,

A quick list to copy and paste for future reference and study:

  1.  LORD=YHVH  (#3068)
  2.  Demon=Adverse Spirit (Ra #7451; Ruach #7307)
  3.  Devil=Satan (#7854)
  4.  Hell=Grave, (Sheol #7585)
  5.  Dragon=Serpent (Nachash #5175)
  6.  Church=Assembly (Qahal #6951)
  7.  Jesus=Joshua, (Y’hoshua, #3091, meaning YHVH is Salvation)
  8.  Faith=Belief, (Aman #539, like many Hebrew words it is both a verb and noun)
  9.  Law=The Way/Instruction of Truth and Life, (Torah #8451)
  10.  Works=Actions/Fruit, (Mitzvah #4687)
  11.  Righteousness=The Straight/Upright, follows the Straight Path, (Tzadiyq #6662)
  12.  Sin=To miss/depart/ be lost from the Straight Path, (Chattah #2403)


The capitalized, English word LORD, has admittedly replaced YHVH, 6.830 times.  This happened long before the New Testament was written and it is noted in the preface of most Bibles.  How eye opening it is, to see our Creator’s Eternal Name, from beginning to end in our Bibles!

YHVH means He Exists, He Is, Was, and Always Will Be.  He Is The First and The Last, The Eternally Living One.  YHVH is His Name Forever, (Exodus 3:15Psalm 135:13Revelation 1:17Revelation 1:18).  

The Hebrew word Adon #113 means Lord.  It is distinguished by its lower case letters.

Why would any translator omit God’s Eternal Name?  Some say it began with a Babylonian superstition, “The Name” being too holy to speak.

To this day Jewish people do not pronounce YHVH, but not speaking His Name goes in direct opposition to YHVH’s command to, Make His Name knownPsalm 105:1;  Isaiah 12:4; Jeremiah 16:21; 1 Chronicles 16:8;  John 17:26.

Others say, by the time the New Testament was compiled, omitting anything that sounded Jewish was a money maker.  What a horrible misunderstanding of YHVH’s Spiritual fulfillment, prophesied to come through the line of Judah, Genesis 49:9Revelation 5:5.

“There is neither Jew (Judean) nor Greek, (non-Judean) slave nor free, male nor female, for you are All One in Messiah Y’shua, (The Anointed Y’hoshua).” Galatians 3:28

Y’shua was Begotten, (Greek, monogenes, #3439=having no peer, unique), by God, a miraculous virgin birth.  His mother, from the tribe of Judah, was Jewish.  Every New Testament writer referred to the, so called, “Jewish Scriptures,” more accurately as, “The Living Word of God.”  1 Peter 1:23Hebrews 4:12Luke 8:11

2. Demon=Adverse or Unclean Spirit

The word Demon replaced the original Hebrew meaning, “Unclean Spirit.”  The Hebrew word, Ra #7451, means adverse, as in everything bad, contrary to everything good.  Although, most consistently translated Evil.  Together with the Hebrew word Ruach #7307, meaning Breath, air or Spirit, (coming from God) does not equal Demon.

New Testament translators could have easily conveyed the literal, and most consistent Hebrew meaning.  Why change “every contrary condition/action” to “Demon?”  (Genesis 4:71 Samuel 16:14;  Matthew 16:23Acts 5:3 Romans 6:12)

Testing the etymology of the word Demon we find its root in mythology.   From the Greeks to the Mesopotamian’s, demonic folklore has induced much fear of the dark side. Portraying darkness as powerful, even revering demons as, “lesser gods.”

In original Hebrew, darkness and death are merely the absence of Light and Life.  Just as literal darkness still has no power over Light, because Darkness, (Choshek #2822) is void, Empty, (bohu #922), it’s Nothing, (tohu #8414).

The Light is Everything.  Light is Truth.  Light is Life, Genesis 1:2; Genesis 1:3; Proverbs 6:23; John 8:12; John 1:4John 14:62 Corinthians 4:6

YHVH repeatedly instructs His People not to fear/revere anything but Him:  Deuteronomy 1:29Deuteronomy 5:29; Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 31:6Ecclesiastes 12:13Luke 12:4 

3. Devil=Satan

Each time we see the word Devil in our New Testament translations, it has replaced the original Hebrew word satan, (#7854).  The correct and most consistent translation for satan is, adversary.  It may be as shocking to you, as it was for me, to learn satan is not a name, it’s a description.   Satan includes everyone and everything standing in opposition to God’s Good and Perfect purpose, Romans 12:2.

In context, Y’shua even refers to His disciple Peter as satan.  He calls Peter a stumbling block, which means an offense.   Why?  Because did not have his mind on the things of God but on the things of men, Matthew 16:23.  (Psalm 109:6 1 Kings 5:41 Kings 11:25Revelation 20:2).

“Hasatan” can easily be translated into English as “the satan,” or “the adversary.”

The fictitious Devil, and the name “Lucifer,” were blatantantly mistranslated.  There is no “god of the underworld” or “fallen angel,” concept in the original Hebrew.

“Lucifer” only occurs once, Isaiah 14:12.  Replacing the Hebrew word, “Helel,” meaning, “star of the morning,” or “light of dawn.”  This same phrase is used to describe our Messiah, Yeshuah/Jesus, 2 Peter 1:19; Luke 1:782 Corinthians 4:6Revelation 22:16.

There is no God but One!  God’s Word leaves no room for belief in any, evil with a D,  god, Deuteronomy 4:39Deuteronomy 6:4Psalm 86:101 Corinthians 8:4.

4. Hell=Grave

The Hebrew words Sheol #7585, and the Pit, (Shachath #7845) have been mistranslated as the Underworld, Abyss and Hell.  Now remove all the “eternal hell-fire mythology,” because none of it exists in Hebrew, and the correct translation is simply the “grave,”  Isaiah 14:15

5. Dragon=Serpent

The Serpent, (Nachash #5175) is first mentioned in Genesis 3:1, meaning a shrewd deceiver.  In Hebrew, serpent and satan are used as synonyms.  Unlike the Sea Dragon, (Tanin #8577), or Leviathan, #3882, a twisting, serpent like, sea creature, sometimes translated, whale, Isaiah 27:1.

Why would New Testament translators chose one of the Bibles most ambiguous descriptions of a, sea Dragon, over a consistent and well known synonym?  This poor word choice has caused another, unnecessary, disconnect between Genesis and Revelations, Revelation 12:9.

6. Church=Assembly

What did Y’shua mean when He said to Peter, “On this rock I will build my Church,” Matthew 16:18.  Did He say Church?

Why would it be okay for translator’s to change the name of YHVH’s One and only, Holy, (Set Apart) Assembly?  Qahal #6951, in Hebrew, can also be translated Congregation or Convocation but never Church.  So why didn’t translators stick with the most consistent and accurate translation?

YHVH already named His, One and only, Assembly Israel #3478, (contends with God and man and prevails, Genesis 32:28).   Only ignorance of the spiritual meanings in God’s Spiritual Word could be the reason the Church would divide itself from YHVH’s Assembly, John 10:16.

God calls Israel His son, His Firstborn, Exodus 4:22.

Before Stephen was stoned to death, he reiterated the promised prophet “like Moses,” who would be raised from Israel’s brothers,” Deuteronomy 18:15,  The promise was given to the “Assembly” in the Wilderness, Acts 7:38,  YHVH’s Assembly was and always will be, an All inclusive, “mixed multitude,” Exodus 12:38.

Y’shua is called God’s son, His Firstborn, Psalm 2:7Matthew 3:17Hebrews 1:6

There is no Church division.  YHVH’s physical Assembly is a picture of His Spiritual Body, Ephesians 4:4 .  YHVH says He is the God of the Hebrews, (Eber #5680).  Abraham is first called a Hebrew, Genesis 14:13.  The word Hebrew means to pass through or cross over, Exodus 9:1,   Those in Y’shua have crossed over from death to Life, John 5:241 John 3:14

7. Jesus=Joshua

Aside from purposely removing our Creator’s Eternal Name from every translation, adding LORD was just as wrong.

There is no excuse for transliterating “Joshua” correctly into English, Joshua 5:15, but later changing the very same Hebrew name to “Jesus.”

The Hebrew Name for Joshua is Yehoshua #3091.  It means, YHVH’s Salvation.  That is about as eye opening as any translation correction can get!

8.  Faith=Belief

The original Hebrew word is Aman #539, is a verb that can be observed.

 Abram Believed, (Aman)  the LORD, YHVH and it was credited to him as RighteousnessGenesis 15:6

“…We have been saying that Abraham’s, (Abram’s) Faith was credited as Righteousness.” Romans 4:9

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

“And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham Believed God, and it was credited to him as Righteousness,” and he was called a friend of God.” James 2:23

Faith and Belief are used interchangeably in English, yet the Hebrew meaning of “Belief” is not the same as the English word, “Faith.” Romans 2:13

Faith, in English, is not an action word but the Hebrew word, Aman, is, it can be observed.

For it is not the hearers of the Law who are Righteous before God, but it is the doers of the Law who will be declared Righteous.” 

“…Show me your Faith without action/deeds/works, and I will show you my Faith by what I do.”  James 2:18 

“Now Faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

For the gospel, (the good news) reveals the Righteousness of God that comes by Faith from First to Last just as the Scriptures say: “The Righteous will live by Faith.” Romans 1:17

“By their fruit, (actions) you will recognize them.  Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:16

We can observe the “Fruit” or “Actions” of God’s Spirit, (Light), Galatians 5:22

for the Fruit, (Actions) of the Light, (Spirit) consists in all Goodness, Righteousness, and Truth.” Ephesians 5:9

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, (What He did), so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

Our Invisible Creator can be observed in everything He has done.  Faith is not, “Blind faith,” the evidence of our Unseen Creator’s existence is overwhelming!  Ask Him, search for Him, you are promised to find what you seek, Deuteronomy 4:29Jeremiah 29:13


Okay, keep in mind the word “faith” is an action word as you read the two verses below.  The word Law is the translation for Torah, Legalism, the Curse of Sin and Death, which one do you think this one is referring to?

“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works, (actions) of the Law.”  Romans 3:28

According to the Hebrew we are justified by our belief, (our actions) walking in the Straight Path, which is synonymous with following Yehoshua/Jesus, the Way of Truth and Life.

Yet the above translation contradicts the Hebrew.  Although translations like this are the reason many people believe it doesn’t matter what they do because Jesus did it all.

Like most deceptions, it’s partially true, Jesus did remove the sins of the world and Saved All mankind by defeating eternal death.  Try as we might, we didn’t have to earn that gift, while we were yet sinful Messiah died for us:  John 1:29Romans 5:8; 

“And David speaks likewise of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits Righteousness apart from works, (actions):” Romans 4:6″

Lets check what David actually said in the Hebrew:

“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord YHVH does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.”  Psalm 32:1, 2

As we continue reading David repents, turning back toward God, he acknowledges and confesses his hidden guilt, uncovering it before it is removed/forgiven.

Righteous=To Walk In The Straight Path

Sin=To Miss the Straight Path

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