Texts behind this Translation
This translation of the Renewed Covenant/Testament has relied on the oldest known Greek Manuscripts of the Renewed Covenant currently found by archaeologists.
My own transcriptions of the earliest Greek Manuscripts dated between 50 and 300 CE have been used as a base text. You can check all but a few of these under the Ancient Papyri section of the Downloads Page.
Further reliance has been on the Greek text of the Renewed Covenant from the Critical Edition of the Novum Testamentuum Graece, 28th Edition. The manuscripts dating between 50 – 300 CE have been compared to this Critical text, and any changes have been translated, but not referenced.
The Greek New Testament Edition of that by Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, now known as the Textus Receptus has been ignored completely, and will never be considered for use.
For missing and/or not fully recovered verses in the base Greek manuscripts, other, slightly less older Greek Manuscripts have been considered. The Codices named Codex Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, Bezae and Ephraemi, have also been taken into account – mainly for their Nomina Sacra usage rather than their Greek text.
Manuscripts dated between 50 and 300 CE
The following manuscripts have been transcribed and translated by myself:
P1*, P4, P5*, P9*, P12*, P13, P15*, P16*, P17*, P18*, P20*, P22*, P23*, P24*, P27*, P28*, P29*, P30*, P32*, P35*, P37*, P38*, P39*, P40*, P45*, P46, P47, P48*, P49*, P50*, P52*, P53*, P64*, P65*, P66*, P67*, P69*, P70*, P72*, P75, P77*, P78*, P80*, P86*, P87*, P90*, P91*, P92*, P95*, P98*, P100*, P101*, P102*, P103*, P104*, P106*, P107*, P108*, P109*, P110*, P111*, P113*, P114*, P115*, P. Antinoopolis 2.54*, Uncial 0162*, Uncial 0171*, Uncial 0189* and Uncial 0220*.
(Those marked with a * above currently have their transcriptions along with a translation available on TWTY. Please click here to go to the list. Those currently not yet on TWTY are work-in-progress when it comes to the translation, not the transcription.)
Translating and transliterating in regards to the “Divine Names”
In every Greek manuscript of the Renewed Covenant dated between 50 and 300 CE, and all those up to the 9th Century CE (and quite a few of them beyond), there is a consistent appearance of certain placeholders that have been designated by the title, Nomina Sacra. Nomina Sacra means Sacred Names in Latin.
There is a lot of debate on what and why Nomina Sacra were used, most of them discussed in Professor Larry W. Hurtado’s book entitled The Earliest Christian Artifacts from page 95 through to page 134, so his discussion on them won’t be repeated here.
These Nomina Sacra are placeholders for certain Greek titles, names, and words – the four main ones being Kurios/Yahuweh/Sovereign Master, Iesous/Yahushua, Theos/God, and Chrestos/Messiah, with 4 extra ones introduced later on, namely Pneuma/Spirit, Huios/Son, Anthropos/Man, and Stauros/Upright Stake. Due to the consistent re-occurrence of the 4 former ones mentioned, Scholar Schuyler Brown designated them the Nomina Divinia (“Divine Names”).
A theory I hold regarding the Nomina Divinia/Sacra is that they were used in Greek manuscripts as placeholders for the previously mentioned names and titles. The authors of the Renewed Testament and their Greek translations knew that with names and special titles, you are to transliterate them into other languages. But unfortunately for the Greeks, they had few letters in common with the names of Yahuweh and Yahushua. The Greeks lacked a Y, a H, and a W, making Yahuweh and Yahushua’s names completely impossible to transliterate into the Greek language, except for the vowels of course. But this would completely butcher the name of God and His human manifestation, so it was decided – very early on – that these Nomina Sacra would be used instead of an attempt at transliteration, and coming upon the placeholder, those who were reading them would pronounce Yahuweh or Yahushua’s name accordingly.
Whilst this explains the usage of Nomina Sacra for Yahuweh and Yahushua’s name, it doesn’t account for the placeholders used for Theos/God and Chrestos/Messiah. The problem is, the Greek Theos was consistently used in reference to the false, polytheistic gods of the Greeks and Romans (and other countries), and Chrestos was a Greek word, that did not mean Anointed (the meaning of the Hebrew Messiah) but instead meant Useful One. But seeing as though there was no other word that could be used to designate Anointed in Greek (the closest word being Aleipho, but that was only used in the context of someone who was about to be buried), Chrestos was elected to be used, but turned into a placeholder, so that those who read the Greek manuscripts, upon coming across the placeholder for Chrestos, they would instead sound out the word Messiah or The Anointed One. This was then adopted for the remaining four Nomina Sacra: Spirit, Son, Man, and Upright Stake. The problem with designating these placeholders as “Nomina Sacra”, is the fact that they’re not all names, not all are really “Sacred” (son and/or man for example), and some are verbs and adjectives (several manuscripts turn the Greek word for “to crucify” into a placeholder/Nomina Sacra). But, so that people can find other information regarding the placeholders, they shall be referred to as Nomina Sacra, but with great hesitance, as it would be better to just call them placeholders.
Seeing as both transliteration and translation of these Hebrew names, titles and Greek words are easily done using English letters and words, they have therefore been transliterated and translated accordingly throughout this translation of the Renewed Covenant, but with differences very significantly from other translations of the [Re]New[ed] Covenant/Testament.
In most translations (apart from those known as “Hebraic Roots Versions”), the placeholder for Kurios/Yahuweh/Sovereign Master is replaced by the English phrase “the Lord.” But seeing as though the word “the” is not there, the word is added into English translations, or else it would consistently say “Lord” where the name of God should actually be. This ridiculous tradition has been completely ignored, and will never be considered for usage, so don’t ask.
The English corruption of the Messiah’s name – Jesus – has also not been adopted. The actual name of our Master and Saviour – Yahushua – is used instead. Yahushua will be consistently used throughout, and Jesus will never, ever, be considered for usage.
At every instance of a placeholder/Nomina Sacra/Divinia, the placeholder used will be referenced in the right-margin of the PDF file, whereas on the Website, the reference will appear in a pop-up box as you hover over the red star (*). This will happen continually during the translation.
List of Nomina Sacra/Divinia/Placeholders
- ΚΣ, ΚΝ, ΚΥ, ΚΩ, ΚΕ – These placeholders are used for three things – 1) As a placeholder for Yahuweh’s name; 2) As a placeholder for the title Sovereign Master/Foundational One; 3) Designating the Upright One, both of these final two being used as a title for Yahuweh and Yahushua:
ΚΣ is used when Yahuweh/Sovereign Master/Upright One is in the Greek nominative case; ΚΝ is used when Yahuweh/Sovereign Master/Upright One is in the Greek accusative case; ΚΥ is used when Yahuweh/Sovereign Master/Upright One is in the Greek genitive case; ΚΩ is used when Yahuweh/Sovereign Master/Upright One is in the Greek dative case; and ΚΕ is used when Yahuweh/Sovereign Master/Upright One is in the Greek vocative case (a case of direct address. See the meaning here).
- ΙΣ/ΙΗΣ, ΙΝ/ΙΗΝ, ΙΥ/ΙΗΥ, ΙΗ – These placeholders are used for Yahushua’s name:
ΙΣ/ΙΗΣ are used when Yahushua is in the Greek nominative case; ΙΝ/ΙΗΝ are used when Yahushua is in the Greek accusative case; ΙΥ/ΙΗΥ are used when Yahushua is in the Greek genitive and dative cases; and ΙΗ is a special usage used in certain manuscripts, which will be referenced in the translation itself.
- ΘΣ, ΘΝ, ΘΥ, ΘΩ – These placeholders are used for the word God:
ΘΣ is used when God is in the Greek nominative case; ΘΝ is used when God is in the Greek accusative case; ΘΥ is used when God is in the Greek genitive case; and ΘΩ is used when God is in the Greek dative case. When coming across these placeholders in the Greek Manuscripts mentioned above, you will find God in their place. In certain cases, the English Supreme One is used, or Deity is used. These places will be referenced in the translation. Using the Hebrew ‘El or ‘Elohiym instead of God was considered, but the meaning of the English word/title God: The Supreme One, is adequate when referring to Yahuweh. In the Greek manuscripts, a placeholder/Nomina Sacra/Divinia is never used when the author is referring to false, polytheistic gods, so these places are constantly translated as god or gods.
- ΧΣ/ΧΡΣ, ΧΝ/ΧΡΝ, ΧΥ/ΧΡΥ, ΧΩ/ΧΡΩ – These placeholders are used for the Word(s) Anointed One/Messiah:
ΧΣ/ΧΡΣ are used when Anointed One/Messiah is in the Greek nominative case; ΧΝ/ΧΡΝ are used when Anointed One/Messiah is in the Greek accusative case; ΧΥ/ΧΡΥ are used when Anointed One/Messiah is in the Greek genitive case; and ΧΩ/ΧΡΩ are used when Anointed One/Messiah is in the Greek dative case. When coming across these placeholders in the Greek Manuscripts mentioned above, you will find three different words/titles: 1) Messiah, usually in the combination of Messiah Yahushua, or when Messiah is without the definite article (meaning “the”) in the Greek. 2) The Anointed Messiah, usually in the combination of Yahushua, the Anointed Messiah. This is adopted when the definite article is before the placeholder in the Greek text. 3) The Anointed One, which is used several times when the placeholder and definite article are not modifying the name of Yahushua, and just used by themselves in the Greek text.
- ΠΝΑ, ΠΝΣ, ΠΝΙ, ΠΝΤΙ – These placeholders are used for the word Spirit. All these four are used for more than just the four cases mentioned previously (nominative, accusative, genitive and dative), and so what case they’re used in won’t be discussed. When coming across these placeholders in the Greek Manuscripts mentioned above, you will find Spirit in their place.
- ΥΣ/ΥΙΣ, ΥΝ/ΥΙΝ, ΥΥ/ΥΙΥ, ΥΩ – These placeholders are used for the word Son:
ΥΣ/ΥΙΣ are used when Son is in the Greek nominative case; ΥΝ/ΥΙΝ are used when Son is in the Greek accusative case; ΥΥ/ΥΙΥ are used when Son is in the Greek genitive case; and ΥΩ is used when Son is in the Greek dative case.
- ΑΝΩΣ, ΑΝΩΝ, ΑΝΟΙ, ΑΝΟΝ, ΑΘΝ, ΑΝΟΙΣ – These placeholders are used for the words Man or Men. All of these are used for more than just the four cases mentioned previously (nominative, accusative, genitive and dative), and so what case they’re used in won’t be discussed. When coming across these placeholders in the Greek Manuscripts mentioned above, you will find Man when it’s in reference to Yahushua, and translated as man or men when in reference to humans.
- ΣΤΡΩ, ΣΤΟΥ, ΕΣΤΡΑΙ, ΕΣΤΡΑΣ, ΕΣΤΑΝ, ΣΤΡΟΥ, ΕΣΤΡΘΗ, ΕΣΤΡΩ, ΣΤΡΕΣ, ΣΤΡΝ – These placeholders are used for the words upright stake or crucified. All of these are used for more than just the four cases mentioned previously (nominative, accusative, genitive and dative), and so what case they’re used in won’t be discussed. When coming across these placeholders in the Greek Manuscripts mentioned above, you will find upright stake, crucifixion or crucified.
Other Nomina Sacra
Due to the prevalence of the placeholders/Nomina Sacra/Divinia mentioned above that appear throughout the Greek Manuscripts of the Renewed Covenant, it was only a matter of time until other Greek words/titles would be included in the list of Nomina Sacra, but their usage is very sporadic and inconsistent compared with the ones mentioned above, so they only happen in a select few of the Greek Manuscripts of the Renewed Covenant. They are as follows:
- ΠΡ/ΠΗΡ, ΠΡΣ, ΠΡΙ, ΠΡΑ, ΠΑΡ – These placeholders are used for the Greek word Πατερ which means Father in Greek. This placeholder is sometimes used, but never with any consistency. When coming across these placeholders in the Greek Manuscripts mentioned above, they have been replaced with Father when in reference to Yahuweh, and father when in reference to humans.
- ΙΗΛ/ΙΣΗΛ – These placeholders are used for the Greek transliteration of the name Israel, or more accurately, Yisra’el. When coming across these placeholders in the Greek Manuscripts mentioned above, they have been replaced with Yisra’el in the translation.
There are several different footnotes used in this Renewed Testament translation:
- Regarding the printable PDF files, when a placeholder is used in the Greek text, a red star (*) will be placed after the word that the placeholder is translated as, and the placeholder that is used will be notified in the right-hand margin.
- When the author of a book quotes or alludes to a quotation of the Tanakh (Old Testament), the quotation will first of all be in bold font, and a red star (*) will be placed after the quotation, and from where the author is quoting from in the Tanakh will be notified in the right-hand margin.
- When a name is used in the text, a red star (*) will be placed after its first instance, and its meaning will be explained in the right-hand margin.
- When a name has been transliterated but differs from the name usually used by English translations, a red star (*) will be placed after the name, and what the person is incorrectly known as will be notified in the right hand margin.
- When further explanation is in order, a red star (*) shall be placed in the text, and the explanation will be able to be red in the right-hand margin
With regards to the website versions, all the above appear in pop up boxes that appear whenever you hover over a red star (*), negating the need for a right-hand margin.
Other Points Of Note
A different order to the “Traditional” way that the Renewed Testament is usually categorised has been applied. The order is as follows: (reading left downwards then right downwards):
- 1 Petros
- 2 Petros
- 1 Yahuchanon
- 2 Yahuchanon
- 3 Yahuchanon
- 1 Thessalonians
- 2 Thessalonians
- 1 Corinthians
- 2 Corinthians
- 1 Timotheos
- 2 Timotheos
- Forged Books
The traditional order of the first five books (usually referred to as the “Historical Books”) hasn’t been kept, as Luke/Lucus and Acts follow on from each other, so they have been placed together, and Yahuchanon/John moved before them.
The traditional order of Paul’s Letters has also been changed, and they are put in the chronological order that scholars have deduced Paul wrote them during the time of his ministry.
James/Ya’qob is before the letters of Peter/Petros and John/Yahuchanon, as Ya’qob’s Letter was written before the other two delegate’s letters.
The book of Revelation is retained as the last book of the Renewed Covenant, Revelation being a major book on Prophecy that puts a fantastic close to the Renewed Covenant Writings.
Hebrews is included as a letter written by Paul. Although most modern scholars reject it as a letter of Paul’s, early Ekklesia Fathers say that it was Paul who wrote it, so it has been retained as one of his letters in this translation. Other evidence that it was accepted to have been written by Paul is due to P46, a codex that contained all of Paul’s letters, dated to be between 75-150 CE, has the Book of Hebrews as the second book in the codex. The Greeks had a different way of categorising books written by the same person – Not putting them in chronological order, they put them in the order of the size of the books – hence why the order of Paul’s Epistles are as follows in P46: Romans, Hebrews, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians and 1 Thessalonians. This particular order, apart from Galatians coming before Ephesians, and Hebrews not included in the order, is basically the exact same order as that of Paul’s Epistles in modern Bibles today. Placing the Letters in order of when they were written can help the Renewed Covenant reader see how Paul’s letters developed over the course of his ministry.
Due to further investigation, it has been deduced that both the letters known as Galatians and Ephesians are actually early, second century forgeries that had been circulated under the name of Paul, in order to bring some credence to the non-scriptural doctrines contained within. These books have still been translated, but they are included at the end under the title of Forgeries to make it explicit.
Verse Numbers, Chapter Numbers and Headings
All verse numbers, chapter numbers, and headings, have been moved to the left-hand margin. This is so that all the books can be looked at in context, without the verses, chapter numbers and section headings messing up the way that the original authors would have written the books. They didn’t use chapters, verse numbers or headings, so when we do this, we are destroying the way the authors had intended their books and letters to be read.