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What is the Cepher Bible? GotQuestions.Org is inaccurate, ill-advised and ignorant of the facts.

Author Stephen Pidgeon - Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 10:58 AM

GotQuestions.Org (https://www.gotquestions.org › Cepher-Bible) asks the question: "What is the Cepher Bible?" They then respond to their own question, not by reading and reviewing the book itself, but instead by reviewing the old presentation given of the Eth CEPHER by WorldNetDaily.com, back from 2013.  WND initially presented the book on its website as a “Hebrew Roots Bible” contrary to our direct instruction. Cepher Publishing Group does not hold out its work as a “Bible” although we have been advised many times to the contrary.

We corrected WND continually on this marketing, but they had a license to promote the book as they sought fit. We do not consider the book to be a Bible, for several reasons, the list of which is of significant size:

The isolation of the books for the reader from the robust selection of manuscripts generally read by scholars was first undertaken by those following the ideology of Hillel the Elder and the subsequent rise of the Yerushalmi Talmud, which would result in the creation of Judaism in the 2nd Century at the Council of Jamnia.  It was this council who eliminated many of the texts collected within the Septuagint and found elsewhere, and landed on only 39 books, and even then, the books of Ezekiel and Daniel were on the table for exclusion to the Council.

The list, however, called the Canon, was undertaken by the latter-day saints of the Roman Catholic Church who entered into the faith centuries after its creation, in order to assert Roman control over Europe by means of religion.  It was Rome who asserted the authority to determine what could be read and what couldn’t be read, and ultimately the final opinion on who would enter into an eternity of bliss, or an eternity of flames and punishment. This limitation on reading was then called a “Bible.”  Although an order of the books was decided in the 5th century, the collection wasn’t formed until the 8th century and then “canonized” at the Council of Trent in 1556.

Unbeknownst to our friend at GotQuestions.Org, the first “Bible” was called the Bibliotheca (Ancient Greek: Βιβλιοθήκη) also known as the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus.  This “Bible” was a compendium of Greek myths and heroic legends, arranged in three books, generally dated to the first or second century A.D.  Perseus Encyclopedia, Apollodorus; Simpson, p. 1. The Bibliotheca is considered to be the most valuable mythographical work that has come down from ancient times.  Aubrey Diller, The Text History of the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus, Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 66 (1935:296-313), pp. 296, 300.   

Although the Bible called Bibliotheca is dated from the 1st or 2nd Century A.D., the accounts of myth in the Bibliotheca have led some commentators to suggest that even its complete sections are an epitome of a lost work.  Frazer, J. G.; Apollodorus (2017-06-21). The Library of Greek Mythology.  Independently published, such a conclusion would render its creation to a period before the modern epoch.

The use of the term “Bible” was a cold-blooded calculation which directly attacked the popularity and supremacy of the Bibliotheca. The “Bible” was designed to be similar in its title, concepts, and epistemology, and the attack on the stature of the Bibliotheca as the dispositive text on matters theological was a shrewd replacement technique asserting Rome over Greece.  This is the primary reason the Eth CEPHER is not called a Bible.

The author at GotQuestions.org asserts that “[t]he Cepher, sometimes referred to as the “Cepher Bible,” is a non-scholarly work that claims to restore many “missing” books, phrases, and chapters to the Bible.”  Of course, GotQuestions.org is not a scholarly work, nor is it a place for any person of knowledge or discernment.  Consider the following review of the Eth CEPHER by a noted scholar:

The CEPHER is the most advanced, yet the most correct to antiquity, of any collection of Biblical material available today. If a Disciple of the history of what has been considered “Bible” from 1450 BCE through the Common Era of the First Century were to compile a collection of what they would call Bible, it would include the CEPHER. As a disciple and teacher of the Bible, I believe it to have been one of the greatest services to be inclusive of the writings that have shaped the faith of true believers for more than 2400 years - without the exclusions of books and proper Names that have been slanted by Councils, self-serving individuals and Societies for hundreds of years.

The CEPHER is one of the greatest examples of the true history of the Bible without censure available today, and has been very helpful to me personally as a Bible Symposium Speaker, Bible Teacher and Pastor.  With a personal history of studying, translating and preserving fragments and writings of our Biblical past, both as an Associate and Assistant Curator of The Bible Museum and in academic studies in the Philosophies of Comparative Biblical Archaeology, I have desired to assemble a book such as the CEPHER that included the Tanach or Jewish Bible, the Antediluvian Writings and HaYashar, the Second Temple Letters and Writings, and the Gospels, Letters and Writings of the First Century Messianic Era -including all of the material canonized and/or recognized by such ancient cultures as the Ethiopic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and the Ancient Messianic Fellowship of Jerusalem and Ha Galiyl.

The scholarship and literary inclusion found in the CEPHER is, to my knowledge, the best available in one volume to the Disciple today. I personally recommend the CEPHER for study to show oneself approved, properly dividing the Word of Truth.

Andy Tryon, Jr., Ph.D., Th.D.
Pastor Emeritus, West Valley Fellowship

Looks like GotQuestions.org got it wrong, and we can therefore conclude that they are inaccurate.

Let’s continue to review their review, shall we?

The author at GotQuestions.Org writes that “[t]he book is officially titled Eth Cepher, from the Hebrew words for “divinity” and “book.” The publishers claim that they do not call their work a “Bible”; however, they refer to the material incessantly as “biblical” in every other aspect.”

Actually, we refer to our work as scriptural, not biblical

They go on to say: “For all intents and purposes, the Cepher is a custom translation/compilation of the Bible.”

This opinion is, of course, the conclusion of someone ill-advised in the gathering of sacred scripture, as the Eth CEPHER is antithetical to the Roman conclusions in every respect.  The Eth CEPHER rejects the text of the Vulgate, the Codex Vaticanus, and the Codex Sinaiticus – all of which this ill-informed author at GotQuestions.Org is likely to call a “bible” as discernment in the articulation of his presentation is beyond the scope of his intellectual hack. 

The author at GotQuestions.Org says, “Save calling it a “Bible” directly, that’s exactly how the Cepher is marketed.” Again, the marketing which has been undertaken by the Cepher Publishing Group does not market the book as a “bible” as such marking is anathema to our views on scripture.

The author from GotQuestions.Org, without demonstrating any scholarly credentials other than self-appointed pontification from a parasitical website, declares that “[t]he Cepher can be fairly described as non-scholarly based on information from its own publishers.”

Is that right? We have reserved the right to reach decisions on our own without the benefit of pre-established filters found at “Theological Seminaries” or “Hebrew University”.  That is why the book is original and not like the other repetitive and politically corrected texts found on every bookshelf at the local Christian bookstore.

However, the author of this description is now challenged to answer the 350 “non-scholarly” blogs we have set forth at the CEPHER website, and put in his two-cents worth.  Maybe he only needs to put in one cent, since we already have one cent worth in his last opinion.  In the meantime, I will wait for something intelligent to emerge from this website.  Methinks it is going to be a long, long, long wait.

This author produces another caustic accusation with his comment that “[t]his work was not produced by qualified scholars or through an actual process of translation.”

Well, well, well.  This brother needs to step up to the plate and discuss what percentage of the KJV was found first in the 1535 Coverdale Bible, or the 1560 Geneva Bible to discuss exactly how much “translation” was done, and by whom.  I’ll wait. . . . . . . . . . .

GotQuestions.Org, again demonstrating categoric ignorance and a complete lack of scholarly application, states that “[f]irst, the authors added books that they deemed “missing” from the orthodox Bible, contradicting the opinions of most biblical scholars.”

Is that right? Which scholars would those be? Consider, for instance the Cepher Chanok. The scholars of the community which created the Dead Sea Scrolls saw fit to write out the book five times.  The scholars in the Ethiopic church and the Assyriac church maintained the book and did not exclude it.  The scholar called “Jude” in the “Bible” quoted directly from it, and the scholars found in the New Testament referenced it some 40 times. 

The Epistle of Barnabas, young Origen, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian all considered 1 Enoch to be Scripture.

Looks like GotQuestions.Org once again has proven itself ill-informed, ill-advised and otherwise ignorant.

Tertullian wrote in Concerning The Genuineness Of The Prophecy Of Enoch, “I am aware that the Scripture of Enoch [Chanok], which has assigned this order (of action) to angels, is not received by some, because it is not admitted into the Jewish canon either…But since Enoch in the same Scripture has preached likewise concerning the Lord [Mashiach], nothing at all must be rejected by us which pertains to us; and we read that 'every Scripture suitable for edification is divinely inspired.'…To these considerations is added the fact that Enoch possesses a testimony in the Apostle Jude." [Tertullian, On the Apparel of Women, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Fathers of the Third Century: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Parts First and Second, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, trans. S. Thelwall, vol. 4 (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885), 15.

In a further demonstration of improvisational oratory predicated on pseudo-intellectualism, the author of the GotQuestions.Org hit piece on the Eth CEPHER then says, “the words of the text were “transliterated” and cross-referenced with a concordance. The end product is whatever the editor thought the text should say.”

It is now time for this purveyor of bombastic and scurrilous discourse bordering on enjambment to step up to the plate and demonstrate with particularity the exact transliteration that is “biased” and out of step with the common transliteration found in Brown, Driver, Briggs or Strongs.

Oh, wait a moment.  I know what this is about – just another someone who doesn’t like the transliteration of the Sacred Name.  Okay, this person is more than welcome to make his point as to how he thinks the tetragrammaton should be transliterated, and of course the name of the Mashiach. 

We will wait for this scholar’s contribution to the literature, but again, you might as well buy yourself some Geritol, because it is going to be a long, long, long wait.

Being inflamed by his love of other transliterations which he does not identify, the accuser of the brethren then goes on to accuse CPG, saying “[t]his type of bias is essentially what publishers of the Cepher accuse other versions of, though the Cepher’s authors have less academic background than those they claim are getting it wrong.”

Remember, when reviewing a book, concentrate on the messenger and not the message – that way you never have to make a substantive argument.  For instance, the author of this hit piece could reveal his academic credentials and his biases.  Again, I am yawning twice in anticipation of a corrected response.

Now, we finally arrive at the true disposition of GotQuestions.Org and their accusatory false witness concerning the CEPHER. The author states that “the authors have included a significant amount of material, sometimes interspersed with the biblical text, that Bible scholars have long rejected as non-canonical. Reading the Cepher, one encounters a mix of inspired and non-inspired material.”

Well, we are pleased to hear that the author read the CEPHER (although we doubt that he read anything more than the Table of Contents); but he raises the issue of “inspired” and “non-inspired” material. 

Here is our demand: Set forth the criteria for an “inspired” work, and use the books of Philemon in the New Testament and Esther in the Old Testament to illustrate how they meet your criteria. 

I’ll be waiting, but I won’t be expecting an answer any time soon from GotQuestions.Org.

For the ill-informed GotQuestions.Org, here is a link to a scripture comparison chart, where you can see which books have been traditionally considered to be inspired by the likes of Coverdale, John Calvin, King James, and the Catholic Church.

We have discussed with scholarly articles and citations the reasons for including the four additional texts to the Eth CEPHER, which GotQuestions.Org in its infinite, non-accredited wisdom, has reserved the right to censor.  Because GotQuestions.Org doesn’t believe that you should read anything other scholars have read does not mean that we are worthy of false accusations, half-truths, and downright lies to denounce the CEPHER, merely because the author didn’t have the temerity to do such a work himself.

But if that wasn’t enough, GotQuestions.Org then pulls out the ugly brush:

“Though the Cepher is a relatively new publication, it seems to have strong connections to the Hebrew Roots movement. This, in and of itself, is a cause for concern.”

Well, now, there's nothing like the argument ad hominem to lend credibility to your otherwise vitriolic and vacuous views. 

The phrase Hebrew Roots in reference to the Eth CEPHER simply means that we relied upon a Hebraic base text for our conclusions in the Old Testament (as did the KJV, 1560 Geneva, and 1535 Coverdale Bibles) and Hebrew translations for the Hebraic view of the New Testament.  Many scholars agree that the New Testament was indeed conceptualized in the Hebrew language, although only transcriptions of the ancient Greek and Aramaic can be found now.

GotQuestions.Org is a virulent website that takes unwarranted potshots based on unfounded conclusions and half-truths to assert the following:

“In short, neither the contributors, the content, nor the completed work of Eth Cepher give any reason to consider it reliable source of information.”

Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black!! The author of this hit piece against the Eth CEPHER can respond whenever he would like (as soon as he gets finished hawking The Big Book of Bible Difficulties by Geisler & Howe and Logos Bible Software) to this article, but I have a series of questions which I would like him to answer, since he holds himself out as the answer man. Lots and lots of questions (and yes, there will be a test!).

Until then, my conclusion is that you won’t get any intelligent, well-researched answers from GotQuestions.Org.

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