William Morford

Sid: Now one of the tools that has crossed my hands that I saw a few years ago, but I’ve just started to get into it very deep is a New Testament. It’s called “The Power New Testament.”  And this is a very very unique translation of the New Testament.  I have the translator on the phone, William Morford.  Some of the things that makes this unique is the Bill has studied the Jewish Roots of the faith. I happen to believe, and Bill and I were discussing this, that if we go back to what some people consider sacred you know the language that Jesus spoke King James.  And of course we know that He didn’t even speak English let alone King James.  Bill there was really an anti-Jewish prejudice in the translators of the King James and way even before that of course because that’s where the church was.  But even some of the modern translations because of this Jewish prejudice have really missed some important things in the New Testament.  As a Greek scholar, as someone that’s studied the Jewish Roots, studied Hebrew from as far as I’m concerned the best Jewish Rabbi on the face of this earth to study this from.  Are you frustrated when you read some of these modern translations including the King James?

Bill: Well, I don’t read them anymore.

Sid: (Laughing) So you’re not frustrated anymore.

Bill:  I’ve done right so I haven’t read others for oh my goodness must be 10 years because I read the Greek text while I was translating my first addition.  And it was very frustrating to read other translations and see things that were incorrect. It just missed the point that the author of the New Testament was trying to make.

Sid: And I have to say something Bill and you obviously you can’t say this and I’m going to say this. I believe that you had supernatural help in this translation.  There’s something so riveting it’s almost like I’m reading the Bible for the first time.

Bill:  Well it was I prayed every day before working on the translation and it was something that I did personally because I was driven to do it.  I know that the Lord appointed me for it. So everything was done in prayer and I had really superior reference books to use and excellent advisers to help me through some of the most difficult passages.

Sid: Now going back to the beginning the average Christian, and you made a serious commitment to the Lord at age 17 coming from a Baptist background does not study Greek?  Why did you?

Bill:  (Laughing) It was unusual; there was a member in our church who had just come back from the mission field in Zambia.  And he had his PhD in Greek and he taught Zambian natives to read the Greek text and sent them out into the field and here we have American seminaries that have stopped requiring Greek because it’s too difficult and here he had the natives in the bush that he taught to read Greek.  It’s just awesome. But anyway he was in the church and just offered to teach me and anyone else that was interested in learning Greek.  So there was two of us that started and then within a month or so the other one dropped off and he and I had really precious time together as he tutored me personally for over 2 years.

Sid: Then you determined to really learn Greek by translating the scriptures and after 7 years of this the Lord spoke to you about doing something. What did He say?

Bill:  “Get serious it’s time to really get serious and do a translation.”  And to me that was a frightening prospect because taking on scripture is something that each of us has to take very, very seriously.

Sid: Now in retrospect I see why God told you to do this this is a unique translation.  However at the time I think I might have said “God what do you need another translation  of Your Bible for?

Bill:  Well, I knew that; because there were so many things in it that angered me where the missed Hebrew idioms, or they had…

Sid: Okay when you say the terms Hebrew idiom, define idiom and give me an example of a Hebrew idiom that we might have missed.

Bill:  Well, an idiom is a saying that you have in one language that wouldn’t mean the same thing in another language.  And one my wife likes to use is that we talk about we use is we talk about it raining dogs and cats.  And you know any foreigner hearing that would wonder what’s going on. But some of those in the Hebrew that are in the Greek language they are Hebrew idioms that are written in the Greek text that we have.

Sid: Now I asked you to give me an example of this but I have to tell you I’ve been writing down so many examples of these idioms that there’s no way to understand it.  For instance in Matthew 15:22 and in many instances there were people that were sick and they were running to Jesus and they were saying “Have mercy on us.” And what is that an idiom for when you when you ask for mercy?

Bill:  It’s asking for forgiveness.

Sid: Now there is no way that anyone would realize that that’s what someone is saying.

Bill:  Right.

Sid: And maybe that’s just one of the missing keys as to why people aren’t getting healed.

Bill:  That’s true because not only are we asking for forgiveness but Jesus gave us that requirement in the Lord’s prayer that we have to forgive others first before we even ask God to forgive us.  We can’t have any un-forgiveness and of course people that have forgiveness are going to have a barrier that keeps them from a healing.

Sid: Now, you started working on this translation. You moved to Lakeland, Florida and you met Eliezer Ben-Yehuda whose is the grandson of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda the one that literally put together what we call modern day Hebrew.  That must have been a fascinating time for you to fellowship with him.

Bill:  Oh it was awesome; we became very close.  He and his wife; in fact they were with us over Memorial Day weekend this year.

Sid: What is he just out of curiosity and I don’t want to put you or him on the spot, has he seen the work that you’ve done and what does he think of it?

Bill:  Oh, he thinks that this is the best translation out there, but of course he has more than a dozen reasons why Jesus cannot be the Messiah.

Sid: That’s his problem, but let me tell you something as a Jewish believer in the Messiah I am just overwhelmed with the information that I wasn’t aware of. For instance, it was worth me reading this new translation for one word.  You talk about sickness and you say that the Greek really although we put the word sickness in the Greek really means evil. I never heard that before.

Bill:  Well, that’s the word that’s in there “Kakos” and it means evil.

Sid: So someone that says “Well God has just given me sickness so that I’ll learn a lesson.” That’s almost like saying God has just put some evil on me so I’ll learn to be a better person.

Bill: (Laughing)

Sid: I mean when you really get technical I mean that is wonderful, I mean it’s bad that someone would think such theology but it is wonderful to understand that the word translated sickness really is evil. And as a matter of fact you had some problems with sickness and you had a revelation on healing.  And I happen to believe that this “Power New Testament” revealing Jewish roots because of your understanding of healing you could bring out scriptures much clearer from the Greek that really explains even the tenses of what the Messiah was saying which makes a big difference in our understanding.

Bill:  Oh, it does and see I think that one of the things that helped me to do this compared to other translations, other translators. Is that we my wife and I are hands on ministers and when we lay hands on others and on each other and we expect to be healed.  We see healings every time we minister.  But see the translators of the major books are all chosen because of scholarship and they’re people that live in Ivory towers.  They may not even be born again, and they definitely are not hands on ministers who believe in healing. We know that it’s healing my goodness my eyes were healed.

Sid: What do you mean “My eyes were healed?”  Like for instance you wore glasses?

Bill:  I wore glasses; yes and it was in March of 1984 we were in Israel and we were talking and I made the comment that “The Lord had healed the eyes of a friend of our back home.”  And one of the people with us said “Well yeah He could heal your eyes too.”  And I said “Yes He’s going to give me a sign when I should take my glasses off.”  And the very next morning while we were waiting for the bus we were on a Benny Hinn tour a young girl with us was cold. And this was maybe 6 or 7 o’clock in the morning. So I gave he my jacket.  And when I got the jacket back the glasses that had been in their case in the inside pocket the glasses were broken. So when we got home they stayed broken and roughly 2 months later driving down the road on my way in the morning I could see street signs way…

Sid: Stop, we’re out of time.

 

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