Updated: Feb 9
The Scriptures 2009 is a translation by the Institute for Scripture Research (ISR), an organization based out of South Africa that identifies as being Messianic. For the Tanak (Old Testament) they based their translation off the Masoretic Hebrew and the Aramaic, the Messianic Writings (New Testament) are based on the existing Greek copies. The ISR holds firm that the original Messianic Writings were written in a Semitic language (Hebrew/Aramaic), and the Greek versions are just copies of those. I see the rational reasoning behind this, as the disciples and many of the followers of Messiah were Jews. It would only make sense to write down the events of Yeshua in their native tongue.
The Scriptures 2009 opts for transliteration of names, this being the translation I use on this website you’ve probably seen examples of this before. With Yeshua and Yah appearing in their Hebrew forms. While at first, this can seem confusing or additional work from looking up the names, I’ve found it to be worth the effort. As I’ve mentioned in “The Book of James or Jacob?”, names have meaning and sometimes those names lose their meaning when translated. Having the names transliterated into English has added to my understanding of the Hebrew language and mindset.
For example, Daniel transliterated in the form of Dani’el signals to me that his name has something to do with Elohim. This being identified with the “el”, and Daniel’s name means Elohim is my judge.
This is my go-to translation but is not the only translation I use. As researchers of the word, it is a good idea to have several different translations, to get a holistic view of the verses. Other translations that were recently brought to my attention worth mentioning are the Aramaic targums and the Hebrew versions of Matthew.
If you’re looking for an additional translation to add to your collection or want a version of the scriptures that was translated with a Hebraic mindset, then the Scriptures 2009 is an excellent choice. Those of my family that are Messianic have chosen this version and several ministries have adopted this translation. One such ministry is Triumph in Truth; a congregation of believers led by G. Steven Simons.
This translation of the Bible is easy to read (once you grasp the names) and maintains the identity of sematic language and themes. If you would like to pick up a copy of your own, click right here !