The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Mirror Bible

I have just come across this bible and would love to hear your opinions of it.

Does anyone know if there is an online version of this translation?

It’s a shame there are no excerpts on their page (as far as I could see), which makes it hard to tell what it’s like. I thought the review by Baxter Kruger looked promising:

The site does say you can get it on Kindle, I guess that would be the closest thing to an online version at this point? Looking inside it on amazon, it does look better than the Message, but there are so many notes in the text that it’s a bit too hard to read for my liking.

I’d be interested to hear what the Greek scholars among us make of their version of Romans 1:31 involving parents divorcing - don’t want to copy it here but it’s on the Kindle preview and is really quite different from the verse in my NIV which only says “they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless”. (“They” doesn’t appear to refer to parents or divorcees in the NIV.)

I think it’s okay to copy it from the Kindle sample, since by definition that would be publicly available for free. Incidentally, Amazon Prime customers can borrow the book for a while for free.

(Rom 1:30, Mirror Bible) “No one is safe in their company; they think that by insulting people they can voice their hatred for God; proudly bragging about their latest inventions of filth. Sadly this all began at home where parents lost faith. (v.31) Parents abandoned their own conscience and divorce became an easy cop-out of their covenant agreement. Instead of cherishing one another with affection, they made their children the victims of the merciless dilemma of divorce. [Author’s note: These verses clearly point to where the rot starts, in broken homes where parents abandoned faith and preferred divorce.]”

(Rom 1:30 Greek text) {katalalous theostugeis hubristas huperêphanos alazonas epheuretas kakôn goneusin apeitheis (v.31) asunetous asunthetous astorgous (many ancient manuscripts include {aspondous} before or after {astorgous}, to match up with 2 Tim 3:3) aneleêmonas}

Just like most translations say, these are simply one or two-word descriptions, extending the list St. Paul started in verse 29.

{katalalous} == down-talkers, or those who vilify others
{theostugeis} == God-detesters
{hubristas} == hyper-ers, people who take positions over others, often violently (related to the classically detested sin of hubris, regarded as an offense against the gods)
{huperêphanos} == over-appearing, also a trait related to pride (they like to be seen over other people)
{alazonas} == boaster (from the shout-greeting {alê}, can also mean one who wails, or a vagrant meandering around shouting at people. Interestingly the famous term for truth {alêtheia} is also built from {alê}, probably as a shout of agreement–I use a similar construction in CoJ for {zhi}, a word found in both Zulu and one of the Chinese languages, meaning “yes” in the former and “heaven/God” in the latter)
{epheuretas kakôn} == on-finders, discoverers/inventors, of-evils
{goneusin apeitheis} == to parents (dative form) un-persuadable, stubborn to parents

The author has the referent wrong, and is reading his own sermon into the verse as a loose paraphrase translation. It’s a good sermon, and fits the other terms pretty well, but not what Paul wrote there. He’s talking about people who refuse to listen to their parents, not about parents losing faith.

Nothing in verse 31 has anything to do with parents.
{asunetous} == un-together-see; there’s a longer version of the word that applies more to the moral conscience (which is a direct Latin translation of {suneidô}, together-see), but this applies to intellectual cognition (the term being a metaphor from focusing both eyes on something in order to see it better and so to cognitively understand it); a better translation would be “willfully stupid”. It could also refer to those who abandon their moral conscience, though. The subject hasn’t changed here however; Paul isn’t talking particularly about parents losing their conscience.

{asunthetous} == un-covenant-ous; clearly used because it’s a pun with {asunetous}; it could apply to divorce, but has a wider meaning. This is the only NT occurrence of the term, btw. It’s rare in the Greek OT, but shows up in a few places, none of which have the context of divorce per se. In Jeremiah 3, though, where it is used several times, it has a context of adultery within marriage–after which YHWH divorces His wives (Israel and Judah)!

{astorgous} == un-cherish-ous; in divorce, husbands and/or wives refuse to cherish one another, so that would fit, but there are other applications, too.

{aspondous} == without-libation; this is an old term to mean someone who doesn’t make peace with others, i.e. someone who doesn’t make truces, where culturally people would spill wine from separate cups into a common puddle (as a sacrifice for the gods, calling them to witness); it probably wasn’t original to this verse, being ported over from a similar list in 2 Tim, although it shows up in a very respectably wide and deep number of copies.

{aneleêmonas} == un-merciful. The author, notably, has to stretch hard to make this fit his theme!

I’m unsure if the author didn’t notice that “parents” was in the dative case, or if there’s a function of the dative that would fit his application. My copy of Jonathan Mitchell’s NT was lent to my brother to see if he wanted a copy for his birthday, and the pdf doesn’t work on my computer anymore for some reason having to do with Flash updates. (My Flash is certainly out of date, since Adobe doesn’t support MacOS 10.4 anymore, but I was able to read it earlier!–wth???) If anyone else has a copy of Mitchell’s, I’d be interested in seeing a comparison. Maybe [tag]Paidion[/tag] could solve the discrepancy? (I’ll tag him and see if he knows.)

Anyway, du Troit has written what amounts to a very loose commentary paraphrase. The parts I read were at least interesting, but I sure wouldn’t go to it for a translation per se. It’s more like a set of his sermons based on verses as he comes to them.

Paraphrases may be beautiful and titillate the modern mind, but personally I never read them. I want to know what the biblical authors actually wrote — not what someone’s thoughts were as they read the original authors.

So would you agree he’s off-base on the dative there?–or is there an application of the dative that would allow his interpretation?

(Although even if there was, I wouldn’t be convinced that the surrounding context easily fits. But without that interpretation of the dative to start with, there’s no chance of the rest of it being legitimately interpreted that way at all!)

I’m guessing that the dative case could be broken down as follows (as Mitchell nicely summarizes, from whom I am quoting below–I still don’t have access to his work again but I found a copy of his introduction online)

option 1.) the true dative - expressing primarily the thought of personal interest, which we may also categorize as the “indirect object” of the verb, and translate it “to,” or “for.”

Is {goneusin} in the indirect object position? I don’t think so. “Such people are stubborn to parents” seems like a prepositional phrase functioning as a direct object though (even though normally a direct object, or a prepositional phrase of {eis} + noun, would be accusative form not dative). De Troit’s “Parents lost faith” etc. puts it definitely in the subject, which should be nominative but never dative case. Or are the nominative and dative forms identical for this term?! (…hate Greek… :angry: )

option 2.) the instrumental dative - which describes the means, or instrument, used, and translated with the word “by.”

Paul might be using “parents” as the means or instrument of the stubbornness of the people he has been describing. If so, a legitimate paraphrase could start a new sentence with parents as the subject, but the proper paraphrase would be “Parents made them stubborn, unintelligent (and/or the immoral version thereof), unreliable (as to promises), unaffectionate, etc.” The descriptions would still be about the persons previously described, not about the parents. More literally the translation would be, “…boasters, inventors of evil, stubborn by parents, unfocused/unintelligent, unreliable, etc…”

option 3.) the locative - expressing the idea of location, or place, and translated as “in,” or “at.”

The locative concept could be metaphorical not physical, such as being saved within (the arms or sphere of) hope; in which case the parents could be blamed for the stubbornness of the people Paul has been describing, “…boasters, inventors of evil, stubborn in their parents, unfocused, unreliable, etc…” Or maybe he means “stubborn as parents”? “In parenting stubborn” would be an explicit dative prepositional phrase–maybe Paul was trying to say that while keeping his brief punchy form there?

While the standard translation still seems the easiest bet, I can see a case being made that the dative doesn’t fit the standard translation with the result that Paul is, one way or another, saying the people he’s talking about are stubborn thanks to their parents, or stubborn like their parents (either of which would be a good standard Hebraism. “So you testify against yourselves that you are the sons of those who killed the prophets, claiming them as your fathers!” for example) But even then the standard translation/interpretation would seem to follow: Paul doesn’t seem to be shifting topics over to how the parents were divorcing each other as an explanation for why the kids are so messed up; he just continues describing the kids.

So it still seems like De Troit decided to spin off into his own well-meant sermon there, rather than helping us understand what Paul was saying.

I purchased it for my Kindle last night, obviously have not read it yet, but I noted it is not a complete version and is listed as a ‘first draft’. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are missing and probably a few other books too, it was too late for me to check the whole thing. Assuming the published edition is the same, I am glad I only paid the Kindle price.

Here is a link to the pdf version of the translation which is free to distribute … lation.pdf


I don’t think I noticed this thread before. In case you haven’t figured this out already, the JMNT is available at Tentmakers for e-sword.

RE: The Mirror “Bible”

As for the Mirror bible, I was disappointed to learn that it isn’t a bible at all, but includes John chapter 1 and most of the epistles. That’s fine, but it’s advertised as a “bible” on Amazon, without qualifiers. For most of the western world – Amazon’s primary audience – that means Genesis through Revelation. If it’s a Catholic bible, you say so. If it includes the Apocrypha, you say so. If it’s just a NT with Psalms & Proverbs, you say so. The publishers (or whoever wrote the copy regarding the Mirror bible) DIDN’T say so. (Unless I missed it somehow – which could happen even though I read through twice looking for this info.)

It doesn’t matter though. I wouldn’t use it anyway.

There’s a lot of logging going on here (that’s a GOOD thing, as we’re experiencing a horrible pine beetle infestation) and yesterday I drove into town for the first time in several days. As I rounded a corner I found myself momentarily disoriented. I felt like I’d passed into some other dimension or gone through a warp in space or something because suddenly I didn’t seem to be where I had expected to be. Such was the huge change in the landscape from over-forested to clear with a few larger trees.

I’ve memorized a few chapters here and there in the bible, and when I read over some of those chapters in the Mirror bible I feel like I felt yesterday suddenly finding myself in completely unfamiliar surroundings. I have to keep reminding myself of the verses I memorized decades ago as I read John chapter one; the Mirror text is so very unfamiliar. It’s fine to change the word order a little bit, to substitute synonyms you think better represent the text, even to use alternative translations also supported by the text, but to do this that Du Toit has done seems a bit over the top. I think Du Toit should rather have written his work as commentary. Granted all translation, however careful, is at the end commentary – but Du Toit has left the translation/paraphrase camp all together imo – I think he’s overstepped the bounds of truth.

So . . . my review, fwiw.


In the forward for the mirror bible, he says it is not a translation but a commentary. I agree using the word bible is a little misleading. I really enjoyed the forward, as his basis for the work is something that is very dear to me as it is one of the first gateways into the “kingdom message” aka symbolic/allegorical/sod level. The 3 mirror verses in the NT are kind of what has shaped my understanding of the message of the entire bible, or were the entry point for me. I’ve shared it here in “enigma in the mirror” thread. When it happened for me it was like going through a wormhole. So maybe thats the point of this “translation”?

I didn’t make it far into John yet, so I can’t really comment on the actual meat and potatoes.

Hey, RHM :slight_smile:

I didn’t actually read all the front matter – there was quite a lot. Maybe the Amazon description made this point of his clear? I don’t think so, but I didn’t go back and re-read it today and it was a while back that I bought it for my Kindle, so I may have forgotten. It seems to me this might be something that ought to be included on the book cover then, instead of just calling it a bible. That designation usually means it’s, well, a bible. I’m not sure whether I want to trust this guy (I don’t know him after all) to be my guide into that wormhole no matter what a wonderful person he may be. I like the analogy – it’s an excellent one – but I feel better about having the HS as my guide.

I dunno . . . a “bible” where the translator deliberately puts his own spin on everything is a little bit frightening to me. I really much prefer having the text as true to the original as possible and then reading the comments if I want to. Otherwise it’s just too disconcerting. I have to keep cross checking with a real translation, Strongs, Thayer, etc., to see whether I agree with him or not. Not really my cup o’ tea. But I’m sure it’s a beautiful picture.

Blessings, Cindy