Lesson Learned from Translating the Book of Mormon into Hebrew

1. HaMashiach, the Messiah, is used instead of Christ. Both titles refer to the “anointed one.” But the name Christ is Greek. The authors of the Book of Mormon would have been unfamiliar with Greek. Furthermore the Jews are well acquainted with the concept of a Messiah.

2. The Hebrew name for Jesus is: Yeshua, which means “He who saves.” (See Matthew 1:19-21)

3. The subtitle is changed to: Another Testament of Jesus the Messiah, Son of David, Son of God, or Yeshua HaMashiach, Ben David, Ben Elohim. The purpose is to emphasize that Jesus was Jewish and was of the lineage of David, following the example of Matthew 1.

4. Jesus the Messiah is the Torah made flesh and dwelt among us. Synthesis of 3 Nephi 15:9 & John 1:14.

5. YHWH is used for Lord. YHWH is a form of the Hebrew Hayah (I AM) and is pronounced as Yahweh. The equivalent name in English is Jehovah. See Exodus 3:14.

6. Elohim is plural, meaning Gods.

7. The condescension of God is explained using a Hebrew phrase for God will lower himself to mortal life. This may be the single most important concept for the Jews to understand. (1 Nephi 11:16)

8. Jacob bids farewell using the term adieu (Jacob 7:27). Shalom, or peace, is used for adieu.

9. Hosanna (Hoshea na) – Hebrew for “Please save” or “save now.” See 3 Nephi 11:17.

10. Yam Suph, the Sea of Reeds, is substituted for the Red Sea, per Jewish tradition.

11. The “law of Moses” is translated as the “Torah of Moses.” (1 Nephi 4:15 & elsewhere)

12. The verb shema means listen and obey. This verb is used throughout the translation.

13. The most common commandment in the Book of Mormon is to Behold, given 1651 times.

14. The Lord commands us to be baptized “that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.” See 3 Nephi 30:2.

15. Lashuv meets to return and repent. See Jacob 3:8 & elsewhere.

16. Teshuvah is the noun for return and repentance.

17. Adam also means man. The children of men is translated as the children of Adam. The name Adam comes from the Hebrew adamah, meaning earth.

Recall Genesis 2:7, Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

18. Mary is Miriam in Hebrew. See Mosiah 3:8.

19. The phrase “I would that ye should remember” appears 15 times in the Book of Mormon. See 2 Nephi 31:4 and elsewhere.

20. Some of the Isaiah verses are quoted multiple times in the Book of Mormon. For example, Isaiah 52:9 is quoted four times:

Break forth into joy; sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem;

Mosiah 12:23, Mosiah 15:30, 3 Nephi 16:19, 3 Nephi 20:34.

21. The phrase “how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet” is used five times in the Book of Mormon, starting with Mosiah 12:21.

22. The imperative “lift up your heads” is given five times in the Book of Mormon beginning with 2 Nephi 9:3. It is followed by phrases such as rejoice and be comforted.

23. Tzedakah means charity, and the religious obligation to perform charity. It is based on the root tzedek which is justice. Tzedek also means righteous.

24. The phrase “as the Lord liveth” is given 17 times, starting with 1 Nephi 3:15.

25. The phrase “keep the commandments” is given 39 times.

26. The Lord declares “I am Alpha and Omega” in 3 Nephi 9:18. The Hebrew is “Ani aleph v’tav.” Aleph and Tav are the first and last letters of the Hebrew aleph-bet, respectively.

27. The phrases “out of bondage” and “from bondage” are used a total of 33 times.

28. The phrase “bands of death” is given 12 times. Christ will break of loosen the bands of death. See Alma 7:12 and elsewhere.

29. The phrase “come unto me” is given 37 times. In most of these cases, the Lord is inviting us to come unto him. See Ether 4:13-18 and elsewhere.

30. The phrase “plan of redemption” is given 17 times. See Alma 29:2 for example.

31. The phrase “to the knowledge of the truth” is given 14 times. See Jacob 7:24 for example.

32. The phrase “stand before God” is given 8 times, each in reference to judgment. See Alma 5:15 and elsewhere.

33. The phrase “from the foundation of the world” is given 22 times, starting with 2 Nephi 9:18.

34. “Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me” is given in both Ether 4:18 and Moroni 7:34.

35. “In the sight of the Lord” is given 7 times, starting with Mosiah 11:2.

36.  The imperative “remember, remember” is given five times, beginning with Mosiah 2:41.

37.  Yeshua is referred to as the “Good Shepherd” in the following verses:  Alma 5:38-39, 41, 57, 60, Helaman 7:18.

38. The phrase “yesterday, today, and forever” is given six times, starting with  2 Nephi 2:4.

39.  “Sins of the world” is given 17 times, starting with 1 Nephi 10:10.  Each reference is for the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Hebrew Book of Mormon Translation


2 thoughts on “Lesson Learned from Translating the Book of Mormon into Hebrew

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s