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The Scriptures '98 Version

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The Scriptures '98 Version
Full name: The Scriptures
Abbreviation: TS98, ISR
NT published: 1993
OT published: 1993
Derived from: Rudolph Kittel's Biblia Hebraica - 1937 Edition
Textual Basis: Aramaic and Masoretic text (OT)
Textus Receptus, Nestle-Aland text, Shem Tov Matthew (NT)
Translation type: Literal, exceptions noted
Version Revised: 1998
Copyright status: Copyrighted

The Scriptures '98 Version (TS98) is a literal translation in English of the Bible. This translation differs significantly from most common English translations in that it has restored the original book order of the Hebrew Scriptures and restored the Name of the Most High, YHWH / יהוה throughout, making it an example of a Sacred name Bible. It also restores the name of the Messiah as Yeshua / יהושע and original Hebrew personal names of people and places are restored throughout the Scriptures, such as "Yirmeyahu" for Jeremiah, "Yeshayahu", for Isaiah and "Mosheh" for Moses and in the Messianic Scriptures, "Mattithyahu" for Matthew etc.

Translation Philosophy


Textual Basis

Example Text

Ezekiel 37:1-17

(1) The hand of יהוה was upon me and took me out by the Spirit of יהוה, and set me down in the midst of the valley. And it was filled with bones.

(2) And He made me pass among them, all around, and see, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and see, they were very dry.

(3) And He said to me, “Son of man, would these bones live?” And I said, “O Master יהוה, You know.”

(4) Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and you shall say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of יהוה!

(5) ‘Thus said the Master יהוה to these bones, “See, I am bringing into you a spirit, and you shall live.

(6) “And I shall put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, and cover you with skin and put a spirit in you, and you shall live. And you shall know that I am יהוה.” ’ ”

(7) And I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a noise, and there was a rattling. And the bones came together, bone to bone.

(8) And I looked and saw sinews and flesh came upon them, and skin covered them, but there was no spirit in them.

(9) He then said to me, “Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man, and you shall say to the spirit, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “Come from the four winds, O spirit, and breathe on these slain, so that they live.” ’ ”

(10) And I prophesied as He commanded me, and the spirit came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, a very great army.

(11) And He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all the house of Yisra’el. See, they say, ‘Our bones are dry, our expectancy has perished, and we ourselves have been cut off!'

(12) “Therefore prophesy, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “See, O My people, I am opening your graves, and shall bring you up from your graves, and shall bring you into the land of Yisra’el.

(13) “And you shall know that I am יהוה, when I open your graves, O My people, and bring you up from your graves.

(14) “And I shall put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall settle you in your own land. And you shall know that I יהוה have spoken, and I have done it,” declares יהוה.’ "

(15) And the word of יהוה came to me, saying,

(16) “And you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it, ‘For Yehudah and for the children of Yisra’el, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Yoseph, the stick of Ephrayim, and for all the house of Yisra’el, his companions.'

(17) “Then bring them together for yourself into one stick, and they shall become one in your hand.

Matthew 1:1-3

(1) The book of the genealogy of יְהוֹשֻׁעַ Messiah, Son of Dawid, Son of Abaraham:

(2) Abraham brought forth Yitshaq, and Yitshaq brought forth Ya'aqob, and Ya'aqob brought forth Yehudah and his brothers.

(3) And Yehudah brought forth Perets and Zerah by Tamar, and Perets brought forth Hetsron, and Hetsron brought forth Ram.

Reception and Controversies

While The Scriptures translation is widely used among many independent Messianic and Sacred Name Movement assemblies, it has been received with a great deal of skepticism, if not criticism, from many others[who?]. This controversy often is surrounded by the fact that the ISR adheres to the opinion that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic,[1] and fails to fully substantiate it in The Scriptures or in any other works on a book-by-book basis.

The controversy is compounded by the publisher's refusal to answer any doctrinal questions, as stated on the Institute for Scripture Research (ISR) website:

The ISR will not respond to doctrinal questions.[2]

Furthermore, the ISR board of directors members' identities are unknown, as are their scholastic credentials, and what their position is regarding the historical composition of the Bible. Notably lacking in The Scriptures translation or any of the ISR's research materials is any kind of position statement regarding the date of writing for any of the Biblical texts, their authorship, the location of the author, and/or the target audience of the text.

It is unknown by the ISR's lack of addressing the historical composition of the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament) what position they hold to regarding the composition of the Tanach (Old Testament). It can be assumed that the ISR does not hold to the JEDP documentary hypothesis adhered to in liberal branches of Judaism and Christianity, and probably adheres to exclusive Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. To what extent conservative and/or evangelical views of the Tanach's composition and historicity play in their views is unknown at this time. However, this is not relevant to the accuracy of The Scriptures.

The text of The Scriptures has been reproduced in another Sacred Name Bible, The Besorah [3]. The key difference is that The Besorah uses the Paleo-Hebrew script for divine names. The publisher of The Besorah does not credit The Scriptures.

Messianic Reviews

There are a variety of Messianic Jewish congregations as well as independent Messianic ministries, who are trying to establish some theological credibility with evangelical Christianity, who have made some rather critical remarks about The Scriptures and statements that have been made by its publishers.[4]

There are some who claim that the Gospel of Matthew was originally written in Hebrew, using varied quotations from the Church Fathers:

Ireneus (170 C.E.) Against Heresies 3:1 "Matthew also issued a written gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect" Clement of Alexandria (150 -212 C.E.)

Hypotyposes ref by Eusebius in Eccl. Hist. 6:14:2 " asserts was written by Paul, to the Hebrews, in the Hebrew tongue.."

Origen (c. 210 C.E.) Ecc. Hist. 6:25 " The first is written according the Matthew... Wrote it in Hebrew."

Of course, it should be noted that these statements are open to a divergent array of opinions. These range from believing that there was a complete Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, to Matthew only compiling a source document of sayings in Hebrew used for a later Greek Gospel ("Q"), to Matthew simply writing in a Hebrew or Jewish style.[5]

There is however prove of Hebraic influence in the early manuscripts. [6]

Christian Reviews

Christian criticisms of The Scriptures have probably been more severe than Messianic criticisms, as they often accuse its publishers as trying to "rewrite the Bible" to fit a particular theological agenda—that of the Sacred Name Movement.[7]

Controversial Passages of ISR Scriptures

Luke 16:23

"And while suffering tortures in the grave, having lifted up his eyes, he saw Abraham far away, and El'azar in his bosom," leaving the reader with a vague impression of the location of where the rich man is being tormented, instead of leaving the text with Hades:

"and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom" (RSV)
or Sheol:
"In Sh'ol, where he was in torment, the rich man looked up and saw Avraham far away with El'azar at his side" (Complete Jewish Bible).

Acts 13:9

"Then Sha’ul, filled with the Set-apart Spirit, looked intently at him," with any reference to the Jewish Shaul (Saul) having his Greek name Paulos (Paul) removed.

Colossians 2:9

"Because in Him dwells all the completeness of the Mightiness bodily," reads differently than the more common,

"For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily" (RSV).

Jude 1:4

"For certain men have slipped in, whose judgment was written about long ago, wicked ones perverting the favour of our Elohim for indecency, and denying the only Master יהוה and our Master יהושע Messiah," includes unwarranted insertion of the Divine Name YHWH into the Greek Apostolic Scriptures, which read with despoten kai kurion, "Master and Lord":

"For certain individuals, the ones written about long ago as being meant for this condemnation, have wormed their way in- ungodly people who pervert God's grace into a license for debauchery and disown our only Master and Lord, Yeshua the Messiah" (Complete Jewish Bible).


  • South Africa: Institute for Scripture Research (PTY) LTD. The Scriptures ISBN 0-620-22490-8
  1. The Scriptures (Northriding, South Africa: Institute for Scripture Research, 1998), xv-xvi.
  2. ISR Publications - FAQs
  3. 2008, Pamela Stanford, Urchinsea Designs
  4. McKee, J.K. (2005) The Quest for Credibility. TNN Online. 07 August, 2005.; cf. Scripture Under Scrutiny: Was the New Testament Really Written in Hebrew? ed. Margaret McKee Huey (Kissimmee, FL: TNN Press, 2006), pp 93-94.
  5. TNN Online FAQ on the composition of the Gospel of Matthew and the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew
  7. Mink, Gary. Does Jesus=Zeus?. Sacred Name Movement Errors website.

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