Nazarene Space

The Hallelyuah Scriptures Piracy (Updates 5-7-13 - Suspended For Copyright Piracy)


By James Scott Trimm

UPDATE (8-5-14)

Halleluyah Scriptures Publishers try to Silence Me

The publishers of the Halleluyah Scriptures registered the phrase "Halleluyah Scriptures"

as a trademark, months after the below blog was written, and have now tried to use the

trademark to have this blog removed, despite the fact that trademarks cannot be used in that way.


UPDATE (5-7-13):

Halleluyah Scriptures Website Suspended For Copyright Piracy

ISR has contacted DMCA Protection and Takedown Services (DMCA-digital millenium copyright act) to intervene in Halleluyah Scriptures piracy.  The website was taken down yesterday, back up for a little while today, and as of now it is down again.  They have not complied to remove the copyright protected information, the HS bible, and will therefore be refused access to the web through their host.  We assume they will change web hosts again and again to try to keep their deception going.  To inform the Body of their continuing lies, we would like to share with you what Deborah and Ken are saying.


Published by Halleluyah Scriptures Team on  May 7, 2013
We Are On The Move HalleluYah. We are moving servers as the server we are on is not big enough for our new radio station so kindly bear with us as our site will be down for a a few days as the web helpers are working on 2 new sites and this large site and we need extra room.


The message above will probably appear on the HS Facebook site and many more of our brethren will be deceived.  Please join us in revealing their lies and please also join us in prayer against the principalities endeavoring to win this battle.  ”For YHWH watches over the way of the righteous but the way of the wicked leads to destruction”.


Halleluyah Scriptures, those Formerly Involved Speak Out

A group of those formerly involved with the Halleluyah Scriptures have come together to call attention to the Halleluyah Scriptures.  They have dealt personally with those who manage Halleluyah Scriptures’ day to day business and website.  Some of them have had extensive involvement and others have had limited involvement.  They have been the key postal agents and the accountants for Halleluyah Scriptures.  All of them have spoken on the phone to the “team” at Halleluyah Scriptures and all of them have resigned from their service.  They, however, have been unable to remain silent or fade into the background. What you will read on this site is the reason “why”.


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).


Recently Bill Meyer was going through some old boxes and came upon some old literature from the time of the early days of ISR, in particular a copy of "The End Time Vigil" - and lo and behold - an advertisement with Chris Koster's signature back in 1994 with an asking price for the Scriptures in 1994.  Koster says that the Scriptures were not "sold" but says instead an "order" for the deluxe edition resulted when ISR received a request along with a "donation" of $60 ($58 plus $2 shipping).  (A much more cheaply printed and bound edition for $10 ($8 plus $2 shipping).

(This was not an ISR Newsletter, it was printed by another ministry in Canada that simply printed the Koster letter.)


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 was even more sad to see the now defunct YahSpace promoting this outright piracy.


What are intellectual property rights? What are copyrights? Can a translation of the Scriptures be copyrighted? Is the recent unauthorized verbatim copying of the ISR Scriptures a copyright violation? What is "fair use" and who can make use of it? Did the HRV violate any copyright laws? Attorney Larry Meadows answers these questions and more.



Halleluyah Scriptures, those Formerly Involved Speak Out

A group of those formerly involved with the Halleluyah Scriptures have come together to call attention to the Halleluyah Scriptures.  They have dealt personally with those who manage Halleluyah Scriptures’ day to day business and website.  Some of them have had extensive involvement and others have had limited involvement.  They have been the key postal agents and the accountants for Halleluyah Scriptures.  All of them have spoken on the phone to the “team” at Halleluyah Scriptures and all of them have resigned from their service.  They, however, have been unable to remain silent or fade into the background. What you will read on this site is the reason “why”.

Views: 3011

Comment by James Trimm on December 27, 2012 at 8:32am

Someone accused me of being "the pot calling the kettle black" on this issue.  Let me make it clear that the HRV was NOT plagiarized and did not violate copyright law.  This was the clear result of our lawsuit with the Way International back in 2009-2010

Originally posted May 21st, 2010

Shalom Friends,

I have a very important announcement.

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 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:

Comment by James Trimm on December 27, 2012 at 8:38am

To those saying that the 1993 edition of "The Scriptures" did not contain a copyright notice, I do not know this to be true, but it is irrelevant because in all countries where the Berne Convention standards apply, copyright is automatic, and need not be obtained through official registration with any government office.

Prior to 1989, use of a copyright notice — consisting of the copyright symbol (©, the letter C inside a circle), the abbreviation "Copr.", or the word "Copyright", followed by the year of the first publication of the work and the name of the copyright holder — was part of U. S. statutory requirements. Several years may be noted if the work has gone through substantial revisions. The proper copyright notice for sound recordings of musical or other audio works is a sound recording copyright symbol (℗, the letter p inside a circle), which indicates a sound recording copyright, with the letter p indicating a "phonorecord". Similarly, the phrase All rights reserved was once required to assert copyright.

In 1989 the United States enacted the Berne Convention Implementation Act, amending the 1976 Copyright Act to conform to most of the provisions of the Berne Convention. As a result, the use of copyright notices has become optional to claim copyright, because the Berne Convention makes copyright automatic.

Comment by Pedro Luis Sanchez on January 1, 2013 at 6:50pm

Dear Brother:

Are you producing an hebrew roots bible in spanish? I sent a box of bibles to South America, at a cost of 67 dollars for 24 bibles NIV. However I would prefer to buy a Hebrew Roots versions with the name. Unfortunately there should be money exchange, for there are costs to cover. That is something to be understood and it is scriptural as you have explained.

Comment by Lev-Tsiyon on January 7, 2013 at 3:20pm

Thank you for that piece of historical information on the Hallelyah Scriptures. I have been trying to get a copy of this for months and have offered to pay for one but they never respond to my emails. Does anyone know how to get a copy?

Comment by James Trimm on January 17, 2013 at 5:09pm

Someone recently responded in another forum by saying that the Halleluyah Scriptures is a derivative work and that the original source, the Bible, is in the Public Domain.  Here is my reply:

I do not think you understand what copyrights are in relation to translations and derivative works especially concerning the Bible.

All versions and translations of all Bible versions are not inherently in the public domain.

I have recently spent two years embroiled in a Federal Copyright Lawsuit over my own Hebraic Roots Version (which ultimately settled in our favor) so I have a real good idea of what I am talking about here.

Let me start with a secular example.  The classic Jules Verne novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was originally written in French and was published in 1870.  An English translation was published three years later, but was greatly abridged and had many translation errors.  In 1892 another english translation was published including some of the omitted material and repairing some of the translation errors.

Beginning in 1966 some new, more accurate English translations were published.

Now the original French and the 19th Century English translations are in the public domain (by virtue of their age).  Anyone can publish the French or the 19th Century English versions.  One can also publish one's own English translation of the original French and that is copyrightable.  One can also publish a revision of the 19th century English translations and these revisions would be copyrightable.  These copyrighted works would NOT be in the public domain, and could not be used for derivative works.  For this reason the newer translations that are still under copyright are under copyright and not in the public domain.  

OK so now lets talk about the Bible.

The original Hebrew and Aramaic of the Tanak (the so-called "Old Testament" is generally in the public domain*) and the ancient translations such as the Septuagint.  While we may debate the original language of the so-called "New Testament" it does not matter in this issue, because both th original and the ancient translations are generally in the public domain*.  

Now there are also many English Bible translations that have passed into the public domain.  Among these the King James Version, the JPS 1917 text and the Murdock translation of the Peshitto.  

Now one can create a new translation from the ancient versions and these are copyrightable.  One can also revise the KJV or JPS 1917 text and that revision is copyrightable.  

There are many new translations of the ancient versions that are copyrighted (such as the ISR Scriptures) and you cannot legally make your own derivative works from these.  

Now I am not aware that the Halleluyah Scriptures version has actually altered the ISR 1993 text, but they freely admit copying this text, and they do not have rights to create a derivative work from it.

* Now I said earlier that the original and ancient versions are "generally" in  the public domain.  For example ancient manuscripts themselves and the ancient standard versions such as the Masoretic Text or the Peshitta are in the public domain.  Also many eclectic compiled texts (such as the Textus Receptus) have passed into the public domain.  However if once compares several ancient manuscripts and compiled a text made from the best readings from each, the compilation (such as the united Bible Society text, or the Nestle-Aland Text) can be copyrighted.  Also if one assembles several fragments into a text, as has been done with certain Dead Sea Scrolls, it has been ruled that the reconstruction can be copyrighted.

Comment by James Trimm on April 15, 2013 at 4:57pm


Halleluyah Scriptures, those Formerly Involved Speak Out

A group of those formerly involved with the Halleluyah Scriptures have come together to call attention to the Halleluyah Scriptures.  They have dealt personally with those who manage Halleluyah Scriptures’ day to day business and website.  Some of them have had extensive involvement and others have had limited involvement.  They have been the key postal agents and the accountants for Halleluyah Scriptures.  All of them have spoken on the phone to the “team” at Halleluyah Scriptures and all of them have resigned from their service.  They, however, have been unable to remain silent or fade into the background. What you will read on this site is the reason “why”.

Comment by James Trimm on May 7, 2013 at 4:15pm

UPDATE (5-7-13):

Halleluyah Scriptures Website Suspended For Copyright Piracy

Comment by bobbie bender on May 14, 2013 at 8:48am

Bro. James, I applied for a free scripture from HalleluYah Scriptures last month. A lady called and told me my scriptures would be here in 3 weeks. They haven't arrived yet. I hate reading all of this because I wanted the Hebrew scriptures so bad and I have no money to buy one or pay shipping living here in the nursing home. Now I will just have to depend on my KJV Bible and continue in the Old and New Testaments. Thank you for your time..

Comment by Nick on November 6, 2013 at 10:16am

I have a first edition ISR "The Scriptures" with no copyright date from around 1994-1995. If the Halleluyah Scriptures folks used this version, there is no copyright violation.

Comment by James Trimm on November 6, 2013 at 1:18pm
That is not true. Prior to that time the copyright law was revised. No notice is needed, al works are assumed to be under copyright regardless of notice (I posted this fact and documented it earlier).


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