The Chronicle Project: Worst Hebrew Translators Ever?
My friend Jeremy sent me this page asking what my thoughts were on The Chronicle Project. At first I was not interested enough to closely examine their linguistic claims, however, he was insistent so today I took a peek.
Personally, I usually start at someone’s about page to get an idea what I am dealing with:
From the Chronicle Research Team:
It’s been well over a hundred years that modern professionals have been working with ancient Hebrew. You can find their work in such volumes as the Strong’s concordance and others.
In all that time, no one seems to have discovered the simple patterns that we, without credentials, lay people as most of you, were able to see.
We believe that’s the point. These words were given to shepherds and slaves, not Pharisees and scribes. The experts have had a century, and now it is the time of the common man, you and I. This is not to say that learning is without value, far from it. It is just a reminder of the personality of God that HIS word would once again be found by common men, for common men.
So for those of you who wish to know, these are our only credentials:
We desired to know.
*sigh*… so much stupidity. Where to begin? How about, “These words were given to shepherds and slaves, not Pharisees and scribes.” Almost the entire Hebrew Bible was written by Scribes! And even if it wasn’t, the thought worlds of bronze age shepherds (who couldn’t write) are in no way, at all, in any manner, similar to ignorant, unknowledgeable modern persons. But… most of the HB was written during, and after, the Persian period by scribes!!!
So A: they wear their ignorance of biblical authorship like a badge on their shoulders. It gets worse unfortunately. The Chronicle Project claims:
The Following Pages Contain the Findings of the Chronicle Project Research Team SDH System: The Discovery of the Embedded Hebrew Language System, which Self-Defines Each Word in Ancient Biblical Hebrew.
What We Have Discovered
The following work is NOT a translation, but a restoration. It is the application of the newly discovered Self Defining Hebrew (or SDH) system, which was built into the ancient Hebrew language by its creator(s).
1. It is capable of defining a word from its revealed concept, because each letter in the Hebrew language has been found to be its own separate universal concept (see prime glyph set page in the research notes) and so a complete description of an item has been found to be in what was once thought of as a single word.
2. Once a word has been properly divided and defined, a definition applies to every placement of it in a text. One word, one definition. This is unlike standard translations which can use up to 84 different definitions for a single Hebrew word, because the initial definition is in error.
3. Each word can now be properly defined, even by a beginner with minimal help, thus speeding up the learning curve. Remember though, this site has only just begun and it is an ongoing work which will be posted as completed.
4. Due to the fact each word has a visible definition from its own description; doctrinal pressures can no longer sway the translation.
This discovery is not intended to create a new sect or division. It is intended only for the purpose of revealing the Hebrew text as close to its original form as we can.
Please do not send an email regarding the history of the language as is presently understood. We are well versed regarding history, development, and present understanding of the language, but thank you for the consideration.
The Chronicle Project
Please Note * This is the first time in the history of the Bible that the following texts have been translated properly and singularly from the Hebrew Texts without doctrinal pressure or bias.
This is why linguistic education is important. Among the myriad of completely childish conceptual errors above, “a definition applies to every placement of it in a text. One word, one definition.” Totality transfer fallacy much? Words have polysemy; this is one of the simplest and easiest linguistic ideas to demonstrate (think of the different meanings of the word ‘present’). To argue that the appearance of every word in the HB is being used in a similar manner–in a compiled book of other books which includes different authors from different time periods–is unbridled ignorance and unfamiliarity with the Hebrew texts of epic proportions.
So A: they wear their ignorance of biblical authorship like a badge on their shoulders. And B: they are completely ignorant of the context of the HB and how languages function. But, “This is the first time in the history of the Bible that the following texts have been translated properly.” OK, let’s take a peek at one of the revolutionary new translations Genesis 1:1:
את אלהים ברא בראשית to accompany the supreme ones to begin to produce to chronicle ה/ארץ ו/את ה/שמים the planet Earth and to accompany the celestials
If there any Hebrew professors who are not yet in a corner of their room crying in the fetal position that are still reading this, I’m sure this ‘translation’ can be a useful tool to demonstrate exactly how not to translate. There are so many errors here it’s almost pointless to continue but I will merely pick a few:
בראשית as “to chronicle”. Really, the preposition bet suddenly turns the word into an infinitive? Really? roshit‘s one meaning is “chronicle”? I can’t come up with even the most stretched idea of how that could be possible. It’s just too impossibly stupid for someone to claim “chronicle” as roshit‘s ‘one’ meaning. Supposedly then, we are to believe that these modern “shepherds and slaves”–who supposedly really understand the meaning of a text because they haven’t been tainted by any of that there book lernin’–are offering us the ‘real’ translation of these texts–at last!–when they don’t even understand basic preposition or verbal functions.
Ok. Whatever. Let’s move on.
אלהים … of course, אלהים is going to mean something along the lines of ‘the supreme ones’–there’s always that ‘eureka’ moment of finding out what no one has ever known when the ignorant dilettante first sees that elohim is a plural. But even the most basic first-year undergrad Hebrew education will leave you with enough tools to understand the history of the word elohim and its function in the Hebrew text (Bob explains some of it here). Furthermore, obviously the ‘translators’ of this text don’t understand simple parsing–and this is why ignorant people commonly make this error–because, if you do know Hebrew, you would automatically see that elohim (supposedly plural in function) is using a third masculine singular verb: bara!
Lastly, though we could deconstruct the stupid in this ‘translation’ all day, the word ה/ארץ and it’s supposed ‘one’ meaning “the planet earth.” First, as anyone with any familiarity with ancient cosmology knows: the “slaves and shepherds” of antiquity did not think of ‘Earth’ as a planet (their conception was more like a snow-globe). Furthermore, to suggest that ha’aretz means “the planet earth’ as the one meaning for the rest of the story in Genesis would be one of the most ignorant translations of Genesis ever. ha’aretz in Genesis and the rest of the Hebrew Bible is the land that is promised to Abraham, Jacob, and the children of Israel: it is not planet earth. Any reading of ha’aretz as the “planet earth” (“The planet earth that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the planet earth to your offspring after you”) would be so tendentious, delusional, and idiotic that those three words would then come to describe the person(s) who offered such a translation.
I’m not saying the Chronicle project is bad, I’m saying it might be one of the worst translations ever!