Was the old testament translated into Hebrew? From which language?

When I asked earlier about why God hates certain people according to the bible, I was told that the original text didn't say that, and it was just inferior translations.

Since the Hebrew version of the old testament uses the word "hate", it must be a translation too. Which language was it translated from? Or were those people mistaken and God really hates some people according to the bible?

19 Answers

  • Acorn
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best answer

    Nobody said "inferior translations."

    All translations could be called "inferior" if you look at them from that view point. The fact is that no 2 languages line up word for word, concept for concept, phoneme for phoneme.

    The original Hebrew in the Old Testament could have had multiple words for hate, with nuances that range from "dispise" to "to refrain from choosing."

    The New Testament was written in a form of Greek that isn't used anymore called "Koine" Greek. It had many different words that get translated "love" into English, and I'm sure they had more than word for the English gloss "hate" too.

    I also pointed out that people hate, not God. If the authors of those particular scriiptures whose words get the English gloss 'hate' actually meant "hate," then they were blaming God for their own prejudices. They wouldn't have been the 1st and they obviously aren't the last to do so.

  • 1 decade ago

    You'd have to give the passages. Then a Hebrew speaker & student of Torah could tell whether it meant hate or not. I don't remember anything of the kind being stated myself.

    The original was in Hebrew. The OT is not the same as the Tanach but has changes to support Chritian theology. I've seen passages translated to have a very different tone even when you could say the words mean the same. With ALL the translations of OT out of Hebrew & the English translations of Tanach, there's room for plenty of fuzziness on what was really meant. Jewish studies would have volumes written on each word that would study the context & comparitive use of the word & more, so that's what I'd rely on.

  • 1 decade ago

    Ah the convenient "but you have to read the ORIGINAL translation to really understand the Bible" ploy. Still lame after all these years.

    Of course the original language of the OT is Hebrew. The oldest extant copy dates to about 300 BCE, but it was thought to have been compiled and edited into the version we know today around 600 BCE.

    There are many problems with words having multiple meanings, or because of the lack of vowels in Hebrew, being mistranslated into Greek, Latin or English. But there is no question that God is portrayed as a vicious homicidal psychopath with self esteem issues throughout much of the OT.

    Source(s): The Bible
  • 1 decade ago

    Well it is clear that many of the books of the OT are pieced together from 4 or 5 different authors/manuscripts. This is one reason for the dual accounts of creation and some of the strangeness in the flood story.

    But no, the OT was not translated to Hebrew, however, it may be possible that like the NT, there are some less accurate sources.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well it depends. The old testament that we know is in Hebrew and is the Jews' Torah. Then there is the dead sea scrolls. They are written in Aramaic and are over 3000 years old. It is possible that the Dead Sea scrolls were translated to Hebrew but the Jews believe that their Hebrew version is the first and correct version.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    if it's the verse I Think you're talking about, in the original hebrew it means "to love less". So, "I hate" is really just the idea of a translation. The old testament was written in hebrew and there's also the septuagint, which is the translation of the hebrew old testament into greek.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Jon answered your question well-enough, but I could add this:

    In a scripture class I took (the priest was a renown scripture scholar),

    I recall someone asking

    Why does scripture say "I love Jacob. But I hate Esau" ?

    The professor went on a bit of a rant, actually.

    He said "hate" is a poor translation. Like Jon posted above, we translate words as best we can. In this case, "hate" actually meant "preferred less"-

    "Hate" and "preferred less" sounds like a very strong deviation to me, wouldn't you say? But at one time that's what "hate" generally meant: to prefer less. So, for it's day, it wasn't mistranslated. The problem with old translation is subtle. Everyone thinks they are most faithful translations, and surely they may have been, but as time goes along- modern words change meaning. So, with time, you have to keep checking the current meaning of words!

    So, you can see why people could have translated it this way "hate"

    Yet, the professor still questioned why they settled on "hate"

    He also explained that "vengeance is mine" is not accurate. He believed, again, it should have been translated "righteousness is mine"

    Wow- how many people have lost their faith because of this mistranslation! Thinking God is truly "vengeful"! No, he said, in the original language, that this indicated a desire on God's part for OBJECTIVE FAIRNESS towards each. "Vengence is mine" might have been more accurately translated as "the desire of God for fairness in the objective order", he said.

    Yikes, a bit long! You can see why the opted for the shorter "vengence", but at what cost to souls?

    You could say "vengence" was a "poor translation", unfortunately one that has caused many to lose faith in the goodness of God!

  • 1 decade ago

    "Hate" is an English word, not Hebrew. So I don't think I'm following your argument. But to know whether "hate" is an appropriate rendering of a Hebrew word in some context, I would have to know the reference.

  • 1 decade ago

    It was written in Hebrew. Prov 3:5 says that God hates the workers of iniquity. (In Hebrew)

  • kismet
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The OT, better known as the Jewish Bible, was written in Hebrew, translated into Greek, and then into Latin, German, and other languages.

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