This is a review of my large print copy of the HalleluYah Scriptures (HYS), 6th Edition 2015, which I received on August 9, 2017.
My report of April 8, 2018 was generally positive. This review is generally negative. I hate to do it. I believe the HYS is a fine translation. But as an overall product it has significant shortcomings, and I don’t use it very much anymore. Had I known in August 2017 what I know now about the HYS, I probably would not have purchased it. Hence this review.
No Electronic Version
To the best of my knowledge, the HYS is not available in electronic form. This is its biggest shortcoming for me. Not only can I not copy/paste Scriptures from the HYS into my blog posts, I can’t read it unless I have the large book with me. I have two other restored-names Bibles, the Eth-CEPHER (CEPHER) and The Scriptures, 2009 Edition (TS2009). Both of these have electronic versions available, and they are installed on my iPhone and iPad. The text is downloaded into my iDevices, so they work in Airline Mode.
(While copy/paste is limited in both the CEPHER and the TS2009, it is acceptable for short quotations. I wish they were available on BibleGateway!)
I often use electronic editions of the Bible. The fact that I cannot access the HYS in electronic form is a big bummer.
Poor Paper Quality
I often use these printed Bibles.
Of these five, the paper of the HYS is noticeably less opaque than the others. I have some difficulty reading the HYS because the words on the other side of the page I’m reading are quite dark. It doesn’t seem to matter if I’m in dim light or bright light — the backside words are proportionally dim or bright. Here are pictures of Psalms 91.
I generally don’t highlight my Bibles because I always want to be open to fresh understanding and insight. But I decided to highlight the table of contents of my HYS for this post. I didn’t purposely “go slow” or “pause.” I tried to highlight exactly as I would if I still used highlighters in my Bible.
This amount of see-through is unacceptable for me. Note you can read the pink-highlighted “NEBI’IM” through the page!
FREE – NOT FOR RESALE
This didn’t bother me much in August 2017. But now that I have over 600 blog posts, and I have never been able to copy/paste from the HYS, it bothers me a lot. The cover page makes a bold statement.
I have several issues with this. First, the context seems to be things that have nothing to do with money. “Heal the sick” etc.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9 Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, 10 nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.
Matthew 10:5-10 NKJV
Here are some other Scriptures.
Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
1 Corinthians 9:14 KJV
For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.“
1 Timothy 5:18 NASB
Second, as far as I’m concerned, I bought my copy. I looked on Amazon to see what leather, large print Bibles cost. My “donation” matched or exceeded their minimum acceptable, so they shipped me MY HYS large print Bible. Just about every time I see the prominent FREE – NEVER TO BE SOLD, my mind says, “Nope! I bought it.”
Third, why are they withholding the most common distribution format, electronic? Freely they received, apparently, but they are not giving out the easiest and fastest way of sending Scripture to someone halfway around the world.
The Bible teaches that for some things, more than one opinion is correct.
5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
Romans 14:5-6 NKJV
This may be one of those cases. I would never say the HYS people are lying. But from my point of view, “FREE – NEVER TO BE SOLD” simply isn’t true – especially since the electronic editions are withheld.
Man Is Not Your Teacher
The FOOTNOTES paragraph makes a bold statement about the Ruah ha’Qodesh (the Holy Spirit) being your teacher, and not man.
While this is true, it neglects the Scripture that clearly teaches about teachers. Sometimes the Holy Spirit teaches through others. I think the HYS assertion to not learn from human teachers is somewhere between foolish and dangerous. “Hey, brand-new born-again Christian. Sit in your house and read your HYS. You don’t need man to teach you.” Here is some alternative Scripture.
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 5:12-14 NKJV
All my other printed Bibles have footnotes. One of them has very, very few footnotes. Perhaps its most common footnote is, “The Hebrew meaning of this word is uncertain.” But that is good information to know. It explains why some passages read so differently in different translations!
In my opinion it is impossible that the HYS translators chose the exact right word or phrase in every instance for all English readers worldwide. It seems to me understanding of the Scriptures would be increased by an occasional footnote, giving alternate translations for a word or phrase, or even, “The Hebrew meaning of this word is uncertain.”
Which Texts Were Used? And Why?
In my copy of the HYS there is no preface, introduction or appendix that states the texts used for the translation, and why those texts were chosen. I would like to know which texts were chosen and why they were chosen, and am surprised it is not included.
My copy of the HYS has little space between the columns, and no extra space between chapters.
This is an issue for me because one of my favorite ways of studying the Bible is to make copies of pages of the Bible, cut them up, and make posters. I may not highlight my Bibles, but I sure enjoy marking up the posters! The “tightness” of the text makes it difficult to cut up.
If any HYS people read this, I hope they consider it counsel and not criticism. The HYS translation seems exceptional; it is the “packaging” and electronic editions availability that need improvement.
Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellers they are established.
Proverbs 15:22 KJV
Only with sound guidance should you wage war, and victory lies in a multitude of counselors.
Proverbs 24:6 BSB