Nazarene Space

Defense of ISR: Truth about "Halleluyah Scripiture Piracy


By James Scott Trimm

"Hopefully adults know that a lot of what they read on the web

is just not right, and just not true. But kids don't know that,

they read it and think that it says it, it must be true. …

There is no editor on the internet so people can put

stuff out there that is just absolutely drop dead wrong."
- Dr. Phil McGraw (Wed. 12-16-09)


"All that is required for evil to prevail

is for good men to do nothing."
-Edmond Burke

There has been a lot of false information sent around the internet about the so-called “Halleluyah Scriptures” and the ISR. In fact recently YahSpace stopped promoting the legitimate ISR “Scriptures” version and started promoting the piracy of the so-called “Hallelyah Scriptures” instead.

To begin with, in the interest of full disclosure, I am not an authorized spokesman for ISR. Also I should say that the ISR has been the publisher of the printed edition of the Hebraic Roots Version Scriptures since 2005. I do know the people involved and can speak to the facts in this matter.

ISR (Institute for Scripture Research) ( ) is an organization established in 1992 in South Africa. Chris J. Koster was the first director of the organization. It has been implied that the ISR was just a “title” Chris Koster did business under, this is not so, it is and was a full fledged organization with a Board of Directors.

Through this organization the first edition of “The Scriptures” was published in a small printing in 1994.

In 1996 Chris Koster passed away and his dear friend and colleague Wilhelm Wolfaardt succeeded him as Director of ISR.

It has been implied that some sort of death bed event occurred in which Koster asked Wilhelm to keep the ISR “Scriptures” available for free, asking only for donations to support reprinting. It has also been stated FALSELY that Koster left Wilhelm a sum of money to support this effort. This concocted deathbed event has been used to falsely claim that Wilhelm betrayed some sacred trust and therefore help justify the outright piracy of the “Scriptures” translation. This is a total falsehood, it never happened. In fact even the Halleluyah Scriptures publisher does not claim that this deathbed event happened (though he does wrongly claim that Koster left a sum of money to Wilhelm) instead it is thinly guised in an allegory about a painting, but the allegory leaves hearers with the impression that such a deathbed event occurred with Koster and Wilhelm. It is true that Wilhelm succeeded Koster as director of the ISR and it is true that the ISR had money in its account at that time, but this was not Koster’s money and it did not become Wilhem’s money, it was the ISR’s money both before and after Koster’s death.

In 1998 a new edition of The Scriptures was printed in a much larger printing. To better facilitate worldwide distribution, printing was done in North America.It was originally Chris Koster's idea to put a price on The Scriptures. He told Bill Meyer "we cannot keep on handing The Scriptures out like tracts as we will not be in the position to reprint." The shipping costs alone were killing th ISR.  A joint decision was made at the time by all seven remaining committee members of the ISR that it was necessary to begin actually selling The Scriptures version in order to guarantee the ability to keep the translation and other books in print. This was a legitimate decision that the committee members were fully empowered to make. Regardless of whether one likes or agrees with ISR’s decision, ISR has the right to manage its intellectual property (and the Scriptures was always the intellectual property of ISR even while Koster was alive).

Although ISR does not sell the Scriptures version for a profit, it would not be a Torah violation if they did (nor would it violate Mat. 10:8)
(See: )

The Halleluyah Scriptures publishers have argued that an alleged wish by Koster that the “Scriptures” be distributed free, gives them the right to publish them free if the ISR does not. The Church of God Philadelphia made the argument that Herbert W. Armstrong's intent that his books be distributed without charge allowed them after his death to hijack the rights and publish it free themselves since the organization owning the rights did not do so. The argument failed and this plainly violates international Copyright Law.

It has been implied that Wilhem and other ISR Board members “live in luxury” on profits that they receive from the sales of the Scriptures version. This is also an outright falsehood. Neither Wilhelm or any other ISR officer receives one penny from the ISR. Wilhelm has made a living for himself as a Civil Engineer. All of the funds received by ISR through the sale of the “Scriptures” version is directed into ISR accounts to be used for future printings of the “Scriptures” and other books. ISR does not aim at turning a profit on the ISR Scriptures, but only at selling each printing for enough to ensure future printings, this accounting for inflation and other variables, and allow future printings of ever increasing size (the larger a printing, the more cost effective). It was this process that put the ISR in the position of also publishing the HRV Scriptures as well (In the interest of full disclosure, I do receive a very modest royalty on the ISR publication of the HRV Scriptures. I think this is well earned in the hundreds (thousands?) of hours I put into the HRV, and it goes to support my continued research and teaching.)

It has been stated that ISR is not really an organization, but a “ma and pop” operation run by Wilhelm. This is also false. The ISR is a very real organization. The decision to begin selling the Scriptures was made by seven committee members. When I negotiated the publication of the HRV Scriptures with ISR as the new publisher, I recall repeatedly having to wait for elements to be approved by the Board of Directors.

It has been suggested that the ISR has refused bulk discounts to those requesting them. This is also false, in fact ISR has a bulk pricing schedule on their website at and has had for years. ISR has also, at their discretion, given away copies free as YHWH provides.

Perhaps the most outlandish claim is made by Bob Field and his Hall of Lashon HaRa website which says “Two men: Wilhelm Wolfhaardt and Lew White teamed together and STOLE and PLAGIARISED [the Scriptures version]…” This is an outright lie, Wihelm was the legitimate successor of Koster at ISR and Lew White is only a US distributor who did not even become involved with ISR until the 21st Century! He then outright lies and says that Wilhelm and Lew are “living in luxury all gleaned from greed profits and donations given by unsuspecting believers who have been blinded by 'good works'...”

The attacker suggest that Scripture translations should not be copyrighted. It is necessary to copyright Scripture translations so as to maintain intellectual rights over the material to prevent its misuse and defacement by others. For example maintaining a copyright prevents the Mormons from printing an edition of the Scriptures that implements the Translation changes made by Joseph Smith jr. in his "Inspired Version" or from a non Sacred Name group hijacking the translation and printing a "Jesus" version of it.

Copyrights DO apply to Scripture translations, trust me I spent about a year last year in a Federal Lawsuit defending the copyright of the HRV from a challenge by The Way International. (One cannot copyright the ancient Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek, but a modern translation of them can be copyrighted).

One cannot say "YHWH told me to commit piracy so it is OK" otherwise we can all do anything we want and say "YHWH told me to..."

It is sad to say that a web of lies has been spun in order to defame ISR and excuse the blatant piracy of the producers of the so-called “Halleluyah Scriptures” and it is even more sad to see YahSpace promoting this outright piracy.







The day after I DARED wrote this blog in defense of the ISR and exposing the slanderous lies being told about Wilhem (and Lew White) on the Messianic Hall of Lashon HaRa my name was suddenly added as the third plaque in their so-called "hall of shame".  This is the most transparent retaliation I have seen in my life!  But with my name next to the ISR and Lew White - this is a badge of honor! They say they have me "under investigation" and want anyone to give them any dirt they have on me.  Now you see how these people operate. 


Folks I have been telling you for a long time, HaSatan is making a special target of those who teach Torah and Messiah (as Rev. 12:17 foretells) and slander, Lashon HaRa and accusation are one of HaSaton's major strategies (Rev. 12:10).  


A response to some of the slander that has been posted about me on the internet:



As many of you know The Way International had filed a lawsuit against myself and the WNAE (under our old name of SANJ) this last summer, alleging that portions of the HRV Scriptures infringed on the copyright of a translation they once published about twenty years ago.

We responded by arguing that the lawsuit itself was unconstitutional on the basis that Bible translation is Scripture interpretation and Scripture interpretation is doctrine. (The US Supreme court has ruled that the Establishment Clause of the Bill of Rights forbids the court from adjudicating property disputes between religious groups where hearing the case would require the court to consider, weigh or interpret doctrine, or resolve doctrinal
issues.) In this case hearing such a case would put the government in the position of regulating Scripture interpretation, and that we as an Establishment of Religion may interpret the Scriptures as we see fit.

We also responded by stating that the HRV is an original translation made directly from Hebrew and Aramaic sources and that close agreement with the AEINT is to be expected since both are (at places) literal translations of the Peshitta, and that such similarities fall within the legal doctrine of merger. Furthermore we argued that any use the AEINT made of the HRV was within the four criteria of the fair use law and was also permitted by an implied license, and thus did not constitute copyright infringement.

I am pleased to announce that after a process of discovery and taking of depositions, The Way International has chosen to settle their lawsuit rather than take it to trial. As part of the settlement they have issued us a permanent license with no monetary consideration. Also as part of the settlement we have maintained that there was no copyright infringement on our part, however we have also agreed as part of this license agreement, to henceforth give credit in editions of the HRV to the TWI version. (Thus allegations of copyright infringement are forever ended.).

We have always maintained that a final stage in the translation of the HRV involved comparing with previous translations of the Aramaic so as to insure that the HRV presented the best possible translation of each and every word and phrase, and so we have no problem giving them due credit. In fact we will be crediting several other works that were referenced as well.

We maintain our use of the TWI edition was legal fair use and was also permitted under an implied license, but for the record there is now a formal license as well. Where there is a formal license in place there can be no question of either copyright infringement or plagiarism.

With this suit behind us, we can now freely answer our critics who have accused us of plagiarism and copyright infringement. We have compiled a document from the evidence we had originally planned to present in court which demonstrates that the Hebraic Roots Version is an original and independent translation made directly from Hebrew and Aramaic sources, not infringing on anyone's copyright. This PDF document (about 50 pages) settles this issues once and for all and can be downloaded at:





Everybody look there's a new bandwagon in town
Hop on board and let the wind carry you around
Seems like there's not enough to keep us busy
till the Lord comes back
Don Quixote's gotta have another windmill to attack

Another Witch Hunt looking for evil wherever we can find it
Off on a tangent, hope the Lord won't mind it
Another Witch Hunt, takin' a break from all our gospel labor
On a crusade but we forgot our saber

There's a new way to spend all our energies

We're up in arms instead of down on our knees
Walkin' over dollars trying to find another dime
Never mind the souls 'cause we really haven't got the time

So send out the dogs and tally ho
Before we sleep tonight we've got miles to go
No one is safe, no stones left unturned
And we won't stop until somebody gets burned.
Bro Bro Bro Bro Bro Bro Brothers.



I want to thank you all for your support. This community has showed a determination to get more serious about financial support for this work.

This is a testimony to your willingness to support an overlord free community that endeavors to keep the unity of the spirit rather than divide the community.

Of course there is much work to do and this is only a start, it is a good start and a good sign that this community is willing to support the work of bringing Torah and Messiah to the lost, milk to new believers and nice juicy steaks for the mature believers.

Now is not a time to become complacent.

Thank you for your help in allowing us (all of us together) to do our Father’s business, may YHWH bless you in every way.

Don't forget to do your part.

Is this work worthy of your support? What other ministry provides this kind of teaching?
Now is time to step up to the plate!

You can donate by going to the chip-in counter at or donations can be sent by paypal to

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

Views: 9269

Comment by James Trimm on June 1, 2011 at 1:33pm



I decided to answer the first part here, since it deals with the issue of "selling"


I will answer the rest in the other thread, as it pertains only to Lew.



Let me begin by saying that while I am answering your questions, this is not in any way to be interpreted as reopenning the case brought against Lew.  It is a widely accepted precept (and one accepted by the International Nazarene Beit Din) that a man can only be prosecuted once (i.e. no double jeapordy) for a given act, as it would be inequitable to allow him to be continually prosecuted for the same thing until he is eventually found guilty.  Lew's case was judged on the case that was brought against him as of Dec. 5th 2010.  If the accusers could not make there case properly then, then they should not have posted their accusations (which they should not have made anyway).

>How many people are actively involved in the Beit Din?

By "actively involved" I assume you are asking how many judges currently serve.  (Or are you asking how many people recognize the authority of the Beit Din? 

Currently the Beit Din has three judges
See details at

The Beit Din concentrates on quality over quantity.  Beit Din members need at least a basic knowledge of Hebrew and Aramaic, as well as a knowledge of the Tanak (including the Apocrypha), the Ketuvim Netzarim, hermeneutics, textual criticism, Philo, Josephus and the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Rabbinic Literature (whether one agrees or disagrees with the Dead Sea Scrolls and Rabbinic Literature, one must be familiar with past rulings and their reasoning if one is to make an informed ruling). 

We are working to raise up such educated leaders to ultimately expand the Beit Din.  However a Beit Din must have a minimum of three members, and we have at least three.


>I read the ruling and wondered if you had noticed these scriptures before...
>Mic. 3:8-12 -  But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of Yahweh,
>And of justice and might, To declare to Jacob his transgression
>And to Israel his sin.
>9 Now hear this, You heads of the house of Jacob And rulers
>of the house of Israel, Who abhor justice And pervert all equity,
>10 Who build up Zion with bloodshed And Jerusalem with iniquity:
>11 Her heads judge for a bribe, Her priests teach for pay,
>And her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on Yahweh, and say,
>"Is not Yahweh among us? No harm can come upon us."
 12 Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed like a field,
>Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, And the mountain of the temple
>Like the bare hills of the forest.
>Teaching for pay seems to be listed among the transgressions
>for which Jerusalem became a heap of ruins.

OK let me begin by saying that the Beit Din view is that the Torah cannot be added to or subtracted from (Deut. 4:2; Deut. 12:32) thus the Prophets do not add to the Torah, they admonish us to observe Torah and they elaborate on what the Torah means.  We do not derive commandments from the Prophets, only elaborations of commandments. 

Now lets look at the passage above in Micah and especially verse 11.  Note the poetic Parallelism:

The heads thereof judge--for reward,
and the cohanim thereof teach--for hire,
and the prophets thereof divine--for money....
(Micah 3:11a HRV)

Now a basic rule of hermeneutics is that we interpret parallel statements in context of one another.  The Judges that judge "for reward" are being bribed to make wrong judgements.  The prophets who divine for money, are prophesying whatever they are paid to prophecy.  It stands to reason then that the cohanim (BTW Lew is not a Cohen) in this passage are teaching whatever they are being paid to teach.  In all three cases the leaders in question are taking bribes and being influenced by the bribes to give false rulings, teachings and prophecies. 

This means that this is not a new commandment against cohanim being paid to teach.  To the contrary the Torah specifically allows them to be paid for their services:

And unto the children of Levi, behold,
I have given all the tithe in Yirae’el for an inheritance,
in return for their service which they serve,
even the service of the tent of meeting.
(Num. 18:21)

Now unless Lew or ISR is being bribed to teach falsehood then this is not applicable to them.

>2 Co. 2:17 -  For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of Elohim;
>but as of sincerity, but as from Elohim, we speak in the sight
>of Elohim in Messiah.

The Aramaic reads:

17 For we are not as the rest, who dilute the Words of Eloah: but we speak as in truth and as from Eloah; before Eloah in the Messiah.
(2Cor. 2:17 HRV)

The Aramaic word for "dilute" is M'ZAG which means "blend, mingle, temper, adjust"

Comment by James Trimm on June 1, 2011 at 1:45pm
>Also, I read in your ruling that "The accuser(s) however have failed
>to show that Lew White has promoted any act of idolatry."
>Isn't the sale of materials promoting idolatry (and the reportedly
>price tagged idols) a promotion of idolatry in the same way that
>the sale of pornography is the promotion of lust/adultery?

OK to start with, as I said before the ruling was made on the case brought forward as of December of 2010.  The prosecution cannot bolster its case and try again.  Much of what you speak of was ADDED to the prosecution's case AFTER December 2010.

None-the-less idolatry and adultery and lust (covetousness) are different things.  An idol has no real power and is only an idol by virtue of being worshiped or promoted as an idol (See 1Cor. 8 & 10).  It may be argued that Lew would only cross that line if the items were literally labeled "idols" or with advertising saying "worship this".  However in this case we will not be hearing that argument, because bringing the case against Lew a second time would by inequitable as double jeopardy. 

The most important point is that Lew does not own controlling interest in this shop and does not control its inventory so long as it is legal.  He is also contractually bound from walking away.  If you want an ancient parallel, imagine a believer in ancient Rome who is a slave owned by an idol maker and works in the idol shop.
Comment by James Trimm on June 1, 2011 at 1:46pm
I realized the other thread was closed so I posted here after all.
Comment by Tom on June 1, 2011 at 2:59pm

Thanks for your reply. I'm not going for double jeopardy or anything; just trying to understand your thinking behind the ruling and how they would relate to the scriptures I provided. I certainly hope that you and others at the Beit Din do not consider yourselves to be infallible.


At this point I don't agree with your interpretation of those verses. In each case, money was involved and money corrupts accurate judgment, corrupts accurate teaching, and corrupts accurate prophecies. The priests receiving a portion of a large tithe account is not the same as someone requiring additional payments for each judgment, or for each teaching. Yahushua and the disciples received donations, but they never engaged in the practice of charging people to hear them teach Yahweh's word. This has the potential to corrupt the teaching just as bribes corrupt judgments. Someone can offer X amount of dollars to teachers so they can hear what they want to hear just as easily as a bribery can cause someone to judge what someone wants them to judge. That's what I see happening in Micah 3:8-12 and that's what I also see on Christian TV and Nazarene/Messianic circles today. Requiring payments for each teaching creates a marketplace atmosphere where competitors all vie for the people's money.


Sometimes one might assume that the prophets or disciples are adding to the Torah but the possibility always exists that we are unaware of certain Torah principles. The principle of loving Yahweh and/or your neighbor would certainly cover a lot of areas that specific Torah precepts may not specifically mention.


Shaul mentioned that if we cause another person to stumble, we are no longer walking in love. I don't know about your Beit Din, but to me...offering idols, damnable music and smoking pipes to people who are already steeped in idolatry, image worship and drugs certainly fails to follow the Torah principle of loving your neighbor. Isn't there a Torah principle about not laying a stumbling block before the blind? The people are already blinded, why offer them something that will cause them to fall even deeper in sin?

To me, it would also violate the Torah principle of loving Yahweh. Whose side are we on anyway? Are we building His Kingdom or the kingdom of His enemy?


Lew has told me that he was bound in a contract. If I were bound in a contract to murder someone, commit adultery with someone or commit homosexuality, I certainly don't believe Yahweh would hold me to that contract. Would you agree?

Comment by James Trimm on June 1, 2011 at 3:12pm



Well we may just have to agree to disagree.  It is not a question about infallibility here, only the inequity of double jeopardy.  


I am sorry that you do not agree with my interpretation.  In the end I maintain that:


1. Micah does not give Torah, he only comments on it, so I need to see a Torah command to place it in context of.


2.  The Torah plainly allows Levites to be paid:


And unto the children of Levi, behold,
I have given all the tithe in Yirae’el for an inheritance,
in return for their service which they serve,
even the service of the tent of meeting.
(Num. 18:21)


3.  The passage in Micah only deals with Cohenim (Lew is not one).


At any rate, the prosecution made their points and we dealt with every point that they made.  We will not reopen the case and subject Lew to double jeopardy by allowing the prosecution second and third shots with whole new arguments.




Comment by Matt on April 27, 2012 at 12:28am

I'll admit that I tried ordering the Halleluyah Scriptures when it first came out, before I knew all the facts.  I befriended them on FB and I can only assume they didn't dig that I also had brother Lew as a friend because they promptly deleted me and I never did get my copy.  This has also happened more recently with the Vain Traditions project, so I can only assume it's by the same people.  I don't agree with everything that's said on here, but I am more mature than to behave like these attackers have.  For what it's worth, shalom to everyone and to everyone a good upcoming Shavuot...

Comment by Bill Meyer on December 26, 2012 at 10:30am

As I was going through some old boxes (my wife made me do it)... Came upon some old literature.

A copy of "The End Time Vigil" - and lo and behold - an advert with Chris Koster's signature.

With the asking price for the Scriptures in 1994. Oops to the MHoS and HalleluYah Scriptures people. Not that they actually care about telling the truth.


Comment by Bill Meyer on January 3, 2013 at 2:33pm

We received some information from people who were involved with the HalleluYah Scriptures. They confirmed the following:

- The person(s) behind this is a Max and Shalom Weiss (if this is their real names.)
- They are the same people who post as Bob Field, and behind the site called Messianic Hall of Shame
- They are also behind the site 2BeSaved
- They use different names, posing as different people (as we have seen with this so called Sarah Merton who ripped apart a copy of The Scriptures
- They apparently live in a motorhome and travel around Australia and New Zeeland
- She (Shalom Weiss) is very persuasive and likes to use frazes like "You're doing this for the Father, not me" and "The Father told me in the spirit that you must..."
- The person who came forward apologized to the ISR for any harm caused

Comment by Bill Meyer on April 7, 2013 at 7:22am

Chris Koster's messages on audio

Comment by Bill Meyer on April 7, 2013 at 7:44am

And as I predicted in earlier posts - some of their "postal agents" contacted me. Willing to give some information - and it seems like there is some really bad voodoo happening there at the moment. Changing addresses, them trying to sue other people (funny that - since they don't recognize the civil courts). One of the persons involved early on is also coming forward with more information.

Yep - this one is busy running its course. You cannot run a ministry by stealing other people's work and promising to print and hand it out for free, expecting other people to pick up the tab while you spend your time slandering the people you stole from.


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