The quest for the Original Scriptures

There’s a new translation of the “Original Scriptures” of the New (or Renewed) Covenant being circulated among Messianic and Torah observant believers. It is called “The Word of Yah – the King’s Covenant”, also referred to as OSE1 and the compilers claim that this work is translated, among others, from 1st century manuscripts called Restoration Original Scriptures found in the year 2002 near the Euphrates river. According to the compilers, these manuscripts are the only confirmed New Testament texts written in the Paleo-Hebrew and Aramaic languages and are to be regarded as up to 100% perfect original texts of the written Word of Yah. More information about the “Original Scriptures” may be found at

Most serious believers today will be extremely exited about the prospect of having access to the most original Scriptures, at last, especially with regards to the “New Testament”, seeing that up till now we had to rely mainly upon relatively late Greek versions of the original texts. In my own heart there was a great deal of anticipation when I started looking at OSE1 – an anticipation that changed into disappointment, as soon as I dug a little deeper and tried to come to grips with the mindset behind, and the outset and text of this translation that has started gripping the imagination of many serious believers. Although the claim is made that this is “the best translation of the Original Scriptures in published English history”, together with a guarantee that “the main core message is 100% accurate and textually irrefutable”, there are some serious contradictions, obvious mistranslations, numerous careless assumptions being made and countless questions that remain unanswered.

This is not an effort to discredit the OSE1 translation or its American based compilers. Instead, it is an honest attempt to try to provide truth seekers with an informed evaluation of this translation (and the many teachings that go along with it) – a work that will most certainly be applauded and welcomed with open arms. The book contains many truths that serve as confirmation of what some of us have known for some time but here are some of the many worrying factors that have clearly surfaced for me, after some measure of study and investigation.

  1. Based on 2 Chron 7:14 (“a people who are called by my Name”) the true believers in the Almighty and his Son are exclusively called the “Yahuwans”. Not only is this designation “Yahuwans” confusing and never found once in the Scriptures that we have had access to up till now, but it is also based on a very limited understanding of the words “called by my Name”. I am all for restoring the Name above all names, but the rest of Scriptures prove that this is not exactly what is meant by “called by my Name”. The temple in Solomon’s time was also called by the Name of Yahweh – without receiving a name that literally contained the Father’s Name. So was the ark of the covenant and so also some of the gentile nations, according to Amos 9:12. The primary meaning of being “called by the Name of Yahweh” is “belonging to Yahweh” or “chosen by Yahweh” or “set apart to Yahweh” – not necessarily receiving a name or designation that literally contains the Name of the Almighty.

  2. Based on the odd way in which the Messiah’s Name is written in some of the early Greek manuscripts, OSE1 comes to the conclusion that the Name of the One who was born in this world some 2000 years ago, is YAHUW. The compilers go as far as saying that “most Ahlenic (that is: Greek) manuscripts did correctly retain the Saviour’s transliterated name, YAHUW …” Fact is, this word, YAHUW, as Messiah’s “name”, will not be found in one single Greek manuscript that is publicly available today. Contrary to the claims of OSE1, the shorter forms like IHY, IY or IU that are found in early Greek manuscripts, are abbreviated and contracted forms of the Greek word “Iêsous” and NOT shorter forms that were derived from, or pointing towards, the word “YAHUW”. Scholars are well aware of these abbreviated forms or “nomina sacra” – they were used to “conceal” the Name of the Messiah (which the Greek minded church fathers believed to be “Iêsous”), much the same way the Jews had concealed the Name of the Almighty – since before the birth of Messiah. The practice was to use the first two Greek letters, or the first and the last letter, of the word “Iêsous”, or even three letters of this word or any title used for Y’shua (like “kurios” or “christos”) and then to mark this shorter form with a horizontal line above the word, eg.  ΚΣ (first and last Greek letters of “kurios”), ΧΣ (first and last Greek letters of the word “Christos”), ΙΣ (first and last Greek letters of the word “Iêsous”), ΙΥ (first and last Greek letters of the genitive form of the word “Iêsous”), ΙΗ (first and second Greek letters of the word “Iêsous”) or ΙΗΥ (first, second and last Greek letters of the genitive form of Iêsous). To say that these forms prove that the Messiah’s Name is YAHUW is absolutely without any proper ground and cannot truly be taken seriously.

  3. While it must be recognized that there is a degree of uncertainty with regards to the proper pronunciation of YHWH, the Name of the Almighty, and that the form “Yahuwah” cannot be ruled out altogether, the compilers of OSE1 have come to the outright conclusion that “Yahuwah” is the only valid pronunciation and “irrefutably His restored Original Name”. The reasons given, however, are very far from conclusive. Firstly, they argue that 100 prophets’ names carry “Yahuw”. What they do not mention, however, is that some of these same prophets, like YermeYahu, are at times also called with the same name, ending in “Yah” and NOT “Yahu” or “Yahuw” (thus the alternative form: YermeYah, eg. 1 Chron 12:10; Ezra 1:1; Neh 12:1; Jer 28:5).

  4. Still on the same subject of the pronunciation of the Father’s Name, they take the argument from the features of the word “HalleluYah” and state that this word carries all the “letters-sounds of YAHUWAH”. They fail to mention that the first part of the word (“Hallelu-”) has the singular meaning of “praise” or “bring praises to” and is NOT intended to say anything about the Name of the Almighty. It is only the second part of the word (“Yah”) that refers to the Name of the Almighty and this shorter form of his Name allows for both forms “Yahuwah” or “Yahweh” or, for that matter, any other form starting with the letters “Yah-”.

  5. Another argument that they use is that “Yahuwah” corresponds with the tribe of Yisrael they refer to as “Yahuwdah” and if you “pull out the d (from Yahuwdah) you get Yahuwah, not Yahweh.” An argument like this is almost too far-fetched to take seriously – not mentioning the fact that the tribe’s name is Yehudah, not Yahuwdah – as can be seen quite clearly when looking closely at the Hebrew text of Gen 29:35 where this son of Ya’acov received his name.

  6. Elsewhere their reasoning is that the second and the fourth letters of the Tetagrammaton (YHWH) are the same, therefore the sound of the first part of the Name (Yah-) should be the same as the sound of the second part (-wah). An argument like this, however, is not consistent with the dynamic nature of a language like Hebrew. There are literally hundreds of valid examples in (both modern and ancient) Hebrew where the same letters or letter-combinations are pronounced differently in different words, depending on various grammatical factors. To mention just a few: “avad” (destroy) and “oved” (destruction). “zachar” (remember) and “zecher” (remembrance). “allah” means “turpentine tree”, but “alleh” (spelt with the same three consonants as “allah”) means “this”. By the way, here we can see that the word ending “-eh”, (as in “Yahweh”), although not as common as the ending “-ah”, is not completely unusual in Hebrew. Other forms like this are “yapheh” (beautiful), “machaneh” (army), “machazeh” (vision), “chazeh” (breast), “chozeh” (seer or prophet), “aveh” (desire), “baleh” (old), ge’eh (proud), “hareh” (child), “chayeh” (lively), etc.

  7. There is a tendency (almost an obsession) in OSE1 to force the Name of the Almighty (or at least part of his Name) into many common Hebrew words and names which, almost certainly, have not contained the Name originally. The book refer to the Messianic believers as “MeoshiYAns” (with “meoshi-” their rendering of “Maschiach” or Messiah and the letters YA referring to the Name). To my knowledge this is totally without any Scriptural ground. We have already referred to the form “YAhuwdah” instead of Yehudah. Other examples are “IbreUW” instead of Aramaic, once again with the letters “-UW” referring to the Name, “AbraYA” instead of Hebrew, “YAsarel” instead of Yisraél, “YArushalem” instead of Yerushalayim, “YAom” instead of yom (for “day”), “shamaYAim” instead of shamayim (for “heaven”), “AmaniYA” instead of Amein and “YAsaac” instead of Yitschaq (for “Isaac”). Notice the capitalised “YA” or “UW” in each of these forms, both of which represent the Father’s Name. Although the compilers warn specifically against adding to the Word of Yah, or taking away, it seems that they are doing exactly that, by manipulating words and concepts to reflect the Father’s Name, based on the erroneous view that everyone and everything that is associated with Yah, should literally have his Name in theirs.

We have not even begun to touch on the actual text of the Messianic Scriptures (or “New Testament”) contained in this translation. Hopefully this, and other comments (regarding numerous other questionable statements made in OSE1), can be attended to as a follow-up of this first contribution. What is extremely problematic, however, is that the translation of OSE1 is not based simply on manuscripts that are known and available to everyone. According to the compilers, they have access to an unknown number of manuscripts that have been discovered only recently and are not yet in the public domain. This makes a proper evaluation extremely difficult. One can only hope that these newly discovered manuscripts will be shown and made available to researchers as soon as possible, in the interest of the integrity and truth of Yahweh’s Word. It should also be added that no matter how extraordinary the scope and magnitude and reliability of any new document shedding light on the translation of Scriptures, the core message of Scriptures as we have come to know it, and the truths established by study and research over many years and centuries, cannot be undone by one, single discovery. The value of these manuscripts, if they truly exist and prove to be what the OSE1 compilers claim them to be, will be to be placed alongside other manuscripts and to use all available resources in combination to translate Scriptures as correctly and as closely to the true originals, as possible.

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