Thursday, May 26, 2011

What language was the “New Testament” originally written in?

There have been many arguments on what language the “New Testament” or better translated “Renewed Covenant” was written in. The majority of theologians believe that it was written in Greek and Latin. This, however, could not be further from the truth! It was written in the same language as the rest of the Scriptures, which was in Hebrew. I will prove that without a shadow of a doubt here.

Firstly, let us get a basic understanding of what Scripture says about the Word of the Almighty (YHWH).

In the beginning, there was only one language in the world (Gen 11:1). This is of course Hebrew. Now many people claim that Hebrew was not the original language, but if you look at the time before the tower of Babel where all the other languages where added, all the people before that had Hebrew names. This clearly proves that the Original language was Hebrew (Lashon Qodesh)

It is also written that in the end, there will be a clean language restored (Zephaniah 3:9) so that the people can call upon the Name of YHWH (Which is a Hebrew Name), any guesses to what that language will be? Hebrew of course!

That creates a problem if the Renewed Covenant was written in any other language other than Hebrew. Let me explain. Many Christians believe that the “New Testament” was written in Greek and Latin, not the Lashon qodesh. The Scriptures say that the Word of YHWH will never be destroyed. Now if the “Word of God” is in Greek and/or Latin, and those languages will come to an end, then it is very clear that, either the “New Testament” is not the “Word of God” or that it definitely was not written in Greek and/or Latin!

Another factor to consider is that the Greek language is riddled with the names of pagan deities. Even many normal common words originate from the names of their deities. Exodus 23:13 tells us that we are not even to let the names of these pagan deities be heard out of our lips. Why would the Almighty allow the testimony of His Son the Mashiyach be written in this pagan language? The Jewish people of that error hated the Greek language, and those who wrote the Renewed Covenant where part of those who hated it and were not very versed in it. Why then would they use this language that was so disliked by them, to tell of the most righteous person to ever walk the Earth?

Yes, the only surviving translations of the Renewed Covenant are in Greek, but the fact that the "New Testament" texts we have are in Greek, makes them no more "Greek documents" than the Septuagint (Greek) version of the Old Testament, which the rabbis wrote into Greek 200 years before Yeshua. The rabbis did this (as did someone at some point with the "New Testament" letters), for the benefit of the non-Jewish world so that they could also learn of the Elohim and faith of Israel.

Thus, the "New Testament" documents remain Hebrew texts written in a Hebrew mindset, and must be studied that way, if we are to determine what the authors' meanings are. And until we learn the true original meaning, discussing "what the verse means to us" (as is done in many so called "studies") is an exercise in futility and leads to error.

Having said that, there is overwhelming evidence, both historical and linguistic that shows that the texts were originally written in Hebrew, and also that Hebrew was not a "dead language" (as was thought of for quite some time). A good source of information on the latter is "Biblical Archaeology Review" (BAR) magazine. BAR has had articles in the past few years on digs that have unearthed documents from around the first century written in Hebrew, including legal documents and one woman's personal diary.
Other sources testifying to Hebrew being the language of 1st century Jews and a Hebrew origin of the "New Testament" documents include:
1. Recent Qumran findings (Dead Sea Scrolls) shows secular documents written at that time concerning "current events" (i.e., not just copies of old religious texts.) indicating Hebrew was a "living" language.
2. Jewish coins found from that era are minted with Hebrew text on them.
3. A study of the writings of the Christian "Church Fathers" shows that much of the "New Testament" was written in Hebrew. This includes direct statements made by; Papias, Ireneus, Origin, Eusubius, Epiphaneus, Jerome and Clement of Alexandria.
4. The prominent first century historian Josephus wrote in both his books, Antiquities and Wars, that Hebrew was the language of first century Jews and that they did not know Greek. (In fact there is a Jewish tradition saying it is better to eat swine than learn Greek.)
5. Modern linguistics (thanks to the input of cognizant Messianic Jewish and gentile scholars) shows that the text themselves don't lend to an "original Greek" translation.

An example of a proof for an original Hebrew text, is Matthew 6:19-24:
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve Elohim and mammon."
In these verses we have Yeshua speaking about money, and not making it more important than Elohim. Note that He begins speaking about money, then says something about "an evil eye," then finishes His statement about money. If this were penned in Greek originally, you would have to ask, "Why this odd verse about an "evil eye" in the midst of a money topic?" It makes no sense. However, if you happen to know that having an "evil eye" is a Hebrew idiom of that time for "being stingy with your money," then, a) the passage makes sense, and b) you realize it HAD to be written in Hebrew first, then whoever translated it into Greek, (unaware of the idiom), simply took it word-for-word from Hebrew into the Greek.
There are many "New Testament" verses that are very hard, if not impossible, to understand without knowledge of the deeper teachings of the Judaism of that day. There are also many places where Yeshua and Paul quote from Jewish literature
It is important to note who these letters were originally meant to be read by "leaders" in the Messianic assemblies (most likely Jews), who were well versed in the Judaism of the first century and its understanding of Torah.. (Note Peter's concerns about Paul's letters being hard to understand and often twisted about by "lawless" people -- "lawless" meaning not knowing or respecting Torah, the "Law.")
Nothing in the "New Testament" was ever meant to be read out of context, by people from another culture ignorant of the Hebrew meaning to the words and the concepts behind them, and replacing this with their own personal meaning. Nor were any of the "New Testament" documents ever meant to stand on their own, apart from being interpreted in the context of the Torah (YHWH’s direct revelation/instruction), which of course came first.

Another thing to remember, the person who is mostly accused of writing his letters in Greek is Shaul (Paul), who wrote most of the “New Testament”. One who is ignorant in the Hebrew language, will not recognize the style of Shaul’s writings. Many times it is hard to understand what he is writing as he does not use the most obvious words. This is because it was translated word for word into Greek and then into the other languages. If you translate it back into Hebrew (word for word), any Hebrew person will recognize the beautiful poetry by which he wrote. If he originally wrote it in Greek, he would not have written like that as it would not make sense.

One last ridiculous argument that I have recently heard was, “why would Jewish Hebrew speaking synagogues copy MSS in Greek and not in English?” the person who argued this is clearly ignorant of History. The fact of the matter is that English was not a spoken language of that time and it would be ridiculous to think that it should have been translated into English instead of Greek. English was only made popular by Shakespeare and the falsified King James Version.

There is so much more evidence that the Renewed Covenant was originally written in Hebrew that I will need to write a book just to cover all the evidence.
Anyone who tells you that the “New Testament” was not originally written in Hebrew, is either ignorant, delusional, or refuses to accept the truth.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil

The first command from Elohim to man is written in Bereshith (Genesis) 2:16-17 which says: “And יהוה  Elohim commanded the man, saying, “Eat of every tree of the garden, but do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that you eat of it you shall certainly die.” What YHWH was saying here is that if you disobey the Command of YHWH, you will die. This statement stays true throughout the entire Scriptures even till now and will be so until the end of days.

What does it mean to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Well for Adam it meant a physical fruit from a certain tree that was forbidden to eat. When Adam ate of the fruit, he decided at that moment what was write and wrong. Just as when we sin, we also partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Let me explain further. Firstly we need to know what determines the difference between righteousness and sin. “So that the Torah truly is set-apart, and the command set-apart, and righteous, and good” (Rom 7:12)For not the hearers of the Torah are righteous in the sight of Elohim, but the doers of the Torah shall be declared right(Rom 2:13)Therefore by works of Torah no flesh shall be declared right before Him, for by the Torah is the knowledge of sin” (Rom 3:20).
So as you can see in the above verses, the Torah is the knowledge of sin and that only the doers of Torah are declared righteous.

So if the Torah is the knowledge of sin, then we are not to transgress the Torah. Even the Mashiyach established the Torah when he said: Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete. For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done(Mat 5:17-18). Clearly, heaven and earth has not passed away, so the Torah is still to be guarded today. We are to study the Torah and have an excellent knowledge of it, otherwise we will be deceived and fall away from the truth. We are to consult the Torah in every situation to know what the right decision to make is or how to react to a certain situation etc. This is because the Torah is the Instruction of YHWH unto righteousness and life. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!” (Mat 7:21-23)

Just like Adam was commanded not to eat of the tree on the knowledge of good and evil, we are also commanded not to eat of it or we will certainly die. What does this mean? Let’s say that your daughter, of 4 years old, had a bunny as a pet, and you one day drove over the bunny while reversing your car out the driveway and killed the bunny. And then your daughter asks you where her bunny is. Now you decide that the best thing to do is not upset her or have her mad at you or have her go through that anguish, so you tell her a little white lie to spare her much heartache, and tell her that her bunny has run away or something like that. You would have eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is because you decided what is good or not and rejected the instruction of YHWH (Do not lie).

As soon as we decide for ourselves what is good or not or what is righteous or what is sin, then we are eating of the tree or the knowledge of good and evil. The church is the greatest culprit in doing this as it has decided what is right and what sin is. The church has thrown the Instruction of YHWH out the window and now claims to be the authority to decide if you are sinning or not, for example, when they say that it is okay to substitute the pagan name "Jesus" for the name of the Messiah who's name is Y'shua, even thought the Torah commands us not too! read Exodus 23:13

To eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is to transgress the commands of YHWH.

Now why was Adam and Chawwah driven out of the garden of Eden? “And יהוה  Elohim said, “See, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever...” so יהוה  Elohim sent him out of the garden of Ěḏen to till the ground from which he was taken” (Gen 3:22-23). Because Adam and Chawwah transgressed the Command of YHWH they were to die, so YHWH drove them out of the Garden of Eden so that they could not eat of the tree of life, for if they did, they would not die.

Now where else in Scripture does it talk about the tree of life? Blessed are those doing His commands, so that the authority shall be theirs unto the tree of life, and to enter through the gates into the city” (Rev 22:14). So, if we do not keep the Commands of YHWH (Torah), then we are eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and will not be able to enter into the heavenly city and have access to the tree of life, for we shall certainly die.

On the other hand, if we do guard to keep the Torah, which is the instruction of YHWH unto righteousness and life, then we WILL enter into the heavenly city and we will eat of the tree of life and have life everlasting.

It is not a coincidence that this story of the tree of life is written in the very beginning of the Scriptures and in the very end too.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Faith (Emuna)

I have not posted here for a while as I did not have access to the internet. I would have liked to post a lot more but had my faith tested and have come out of the tribulation with a much stronger faith and much happier!

I want to use this time to talk a bit about Emuna (Faith) as it is probably the most important aspect of our belief! “For by favour you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of Elohim, it is not by works, so that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah  יהושע  unto good works, which Elohim prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:8-10). So as you can see, Faith and works (Torah observance) are interlinked. You cannot have one without the other. “But someone might say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I shall show you my faith by my works” (Jam 2:18). What Ya’aqov (James) is saying is that faith without keeping Torah is not faith at all.

One thing that we have to remember is that we are not saved by keeping Torah as we are not able to save ourselves. So then, why do we have to keep Torah?

The Torah is the instruction of YHWH for us unto righteousness. YHWH is the Government and the Torah is His Law. To live in the instruction of Torah means to live righteously. The Torah was given to us for our own good and safety! The world is in such a bad state for one reason alone, which is that the world has disregarded the torah and has made their own laws which leads to destruction and unfairness. If the world was governed by the Torah, there would be no crime or poverty or lacking of any kind. So that the Torah truly is set-apart, and the command set-apart, and righteous, and good” (Rom 7:12)

But as we saw earlier that we are not saved by keeping Torah, but by faith. So then, what is faith (Emuna)?

The description of Emuna is: the firm belief in a single, supreme, omniscient, benevolent, spiritual, supernatural, and all-powerful Creator of the universe.

To have emuna is to understand that everything that happens to you, whether good or bad, is controlled by YHWH and ultimately for your own good and lead you back to the instruction (Torah) of YHWH.

Why do bad things happen to me?

We have all said to ourselves at least once in our lives that “why is it going so bad with me even though I am living righteously and my friend who is a terrible sinner has a great life?” Well the reason for that is, is because there are two kinds of people in this world. The first kind is a sinner that has no desire to live righteously, which is the great majority of the people in this world and also the great majority of people in the church too. The second kind of person is one who desires to do the will of YHWH, who are called the children of YHWH.

Now trials and tribulations are sent to us by YHWH when we deviate from the Instruction of YHWH even if it is just a little. The reason He sends us these tribulations is because we are His children and He desires for us to do what is right. Just as a father would punish his child because he desires that his child chooses to do what is right and stay safe. That father has no desire to do this for a child that is not his own, this is exactly why the people who are wealthy, healthy and seem to be happy, do not experience many trials. But they do not go unpunished, because ultimately they will be judged and punished for all their sin on this earth.

Now when we do experience trials, whether it be financial, physical, family issues, marriage problems or any other problems, we should not be sad or discouraged in any way. The reason for this is that if we truly have emuna, we will know that YHWH is communicating with us to make teshuva (turning back, returning, repentance) this is because we have transgressed the Torah and need to return back to the Torah (instruction unto righteousness). When experiencing trials like this, we need to examine ourselves and pray to see where we are lacking so that we can make teshuva and correct our situation.

A person who is lacking or who is in danger of any kind will more likely cry out for help than someone who needs no help. If we had everything we wanted and lived a very comfortable life, we would not have emuna as it would seem that we don’t need any help. So if we are going through some tough times, we must know that YHWH desires what is best for us and is showing us that we need to make teshuva and return back to Him. But he who shall have endured to the end shall be saved” (Mat 24:13)

Now knowing that YHWH is putting these trials in our way to guide us unto righteousness, instead of acting out and being angry or sad, we can live a happy and fulfilling life with emuna and ultimately unto life with YHWH.