What is the Qere and Ketiv and how does it relate to the Masoretes?

Q.   What is the Qere and Ketiv and how does it relate to the Masoretes?

A.   Qere and Ketiv are orthographic devices that were used by the Masoretes, i.e., Jewish scribes from the 6-10th centuries. Qere means, “what is read,” and ketiv means, “what is written.” It is found in existing Masoretic manuscripts dating to the 9th and 10th centuries, CE. There are several forms of Qere / Ketiv, including: ordinary, vowel, omitted, added, euphemistic, split, and qere perpetuum.

The ketiv that is most relevant is the vowel qere. In this case, the consonants are unchanged, but different vowel signs are added and only the qere, i.e., what is read, is vocalized. The most notable example of this is with the Tetragrammaton or the four letters of the divine name. To ensure that the name was not pronounced, Masoretic Jewish scribes left the Hebrew consonants, but added the vowel points from Adonai, and on occasions Elohim. Following the Qere / Ketiv, the reader was to read Adonai or Elohim, depending on the vowel points used. It was never the intent of the scribes that the reader pronounce the vowel points with the consonants. Not realizing this, early translators of the Hebrew Bible transliterated the Tetragrammaton as “Jehovah.” Once scholarship realized that this was never the intent of the Hebrew text, scholarship noted the mistake. Today, there are some who either don’t understand the Qere / Ketiv system or who are actively trying to mislead people by insisting that the pronunciation is Yehovah. However, as nearly all Hebrew scholars acknowledge, this name arose through a deliberate modification in the Hebrew text following a tradition of not pronouncing the Tetragrammaton, beginning in the 3rd century BCE, as noted by the below reference.

“After the Babylonian Exile (6th century BCE), and especially from the 3rd century bce on, Jews ceased to use the name Yahweh for two reasons. As Judaism became a universal rather than merely local religion, the more common noun Elohim, meaning ‘God,’ tended to replace Yahweh to demonstrate the universal sovereignty of Israel’s God over all others. At the same time, the divine name was increasingly regarded as too sacred to be uttered; it was thus replaced vocally in the synagogue ritual by the Hebrew word Adonai (‘My Lord’), which was translated as Kyrios (‘Lord’) in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures,” Encyclopedia Britannica.

Below are additional sources confirming the use of the vowel points from Adonai:

“In the early Middle Ages, when the consonantal text of the Bible was supplied with vowel points to facilitate its correct traditional reading, the vowel points for Adonai with one variation – a sheva (short ‘e’) with the first yod [Y] of YHWH instead of the hataf-patah (short ‘a’) under the aleph of Adonai – was used for YHWH, thus producing the form YeHoWaH. When Christian scholars of Europe first began to study Hebrew they did not understand what this really meant, and they introduced the hybrid name ‘Jehovah’” (Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 7, p. 680).

“Jehovah, modern form of the Hebrew sacred name of God, probably originally ‘Yahweh.’ From c.300 B.C. the Jews, from motives of piety, uttered the name of God very rarely and eventually not at all, but substituted the title ‘Adonai,’ meaning ‘Lord,’ the vowels of which were written under the consonants of ‘Yahweh.’ In the Middle Ages and later, the vowels of one word with the consonants of the other were misread as Jehovah” (The Collegiate Encyclopedia, vol. 9, p. 580).

“Jehovah….What has been said explains the so-called qeri perpetuum, according to which the consonants of Jehovah are always accompanied in the Hebrew text by the vowels of Adonai except in the cases in which Adonai stands in apposition to Jehovah: in these cases the vowels of Elohim are substituted. The use of a simple shewa in the first syllable of Jehovah, instead of the compound shewa in the corresponding syllable of Adonai and Elohim, is required by the rules of Hebrew grammar governing the use of Shewa” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. VIII, p. 329).

“Jehovah, an erroneous pronunciation of the name of the God of Israel in the Bible, due to pronouncing the vowels of the term ‘Adonay,’ the marginal Masoretic reading with the consonants of the text-reading ‘Yahweh,’ which was not uttered to avoid the profanation of the divine name of magical or other blasphemous purposes. Hence the substitution of ‘Adonay,’ the ‘Lord,’ or ‘Adonay Elohim,’ ‘Lord God.’ The oldest Greek versions use the term ‘Kurios,’ ‘Lord,’ the exact translation of the current Jewish substitute for the original Tetragrammaton Yahweh. The reading ‘Jehovah’ can be traced to the early Middle Ages and until lately was said to have been invented by Peter Gallatin (1518), confessor of Pope Leo X. Recent writers, however, trace it to an earlier date; it is found in Raymond Martin’s Pugeo Fidei (1270)” (Encyclopedia Americana, vol. 16, p. 8.).

“The personal name of the [El] of the Israelites …The Masoretes, Jewish biblical scholars of the Middle Ages, replaced the vowel signs that had appeared above or beneath the consonants of YHWH with the vowel signs of Adonai or of Elohim. Thus the artificial name Jehovah (YeHoWaH) came into being” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Yahweh, Micropedia, vol. 10).

“In the Hebrew Bible the Jews wrote the consonants of the Tetragrammaton as YHWH, but out of reverence for the sacred name of God (or out of fear of violating Exod. 20:7; Lev. 24:16), they vocalized and pronounced it as Adonai or occasionally as Elohim.  It is unfortunate, then, that the name was transliterated into German and ultimately into English as Jehovah (which is the way the name is represented in the American Standard Version of 1901), for this conflate form represents the vowels of Adonai superimposed on the consonants of Yahweh, and it was never intended by the Jews to be read as Yehowah (or Jehovah)” (The Making of a Contemporary Translation, p. 107).

“Jehovah in that form was unknown to the ancient Israelites.  In fact, Hebrew scholars say that Jehovah would have been impossible according to the strict principles of Hebrew vocalization.  The God of Israel was known by a name approximately rendered into English as Yahweh,” (A Book About the Bible, George Stimpson, p. 247).

“Although the meaning of the name remains subject to debate, Yahweh is most likely a verbal form of Heb. haya (perhaps originally hwy)…Because of the utmost sanctity ascribed to the name, Jews from postexilic times on have declined to pronounce it in public reading, and only the consonants were written (YHWH; the Dead Sea Scrolls use the archaic, ‘paleo-Hebrew’ script).  Although the original pronunciation was thus eventually lost, inscriptional evidence favors yahwae or yahwe.  The name is represented in the MT by the consonants with the vowel pointing for ‘adonay ‘Lord.’  From this derived ca, the sixteenth century the form ‘Jehovah’ (yehowah).  In modern usage pious Jews often substitute the expression has-sem ‘the Name,” (The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary, Allen C. Myers, Ed., “Yahweh,” p. 1075).

For additional information on Yehovah, read The Yehovah Deception.

Also, watch our video, 7 Reasons the Name YEHOVAH Is a Counterfeit!


 

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

Ministry News for June 8, 2018

Migrating from Live Stream to YouTube

Beginning tomorrow, we are migrating from Live Stream to YouTube for our live Sabbath broadcast. The main reason for the change is cost savings. We currently pay over $200 a month to broadcast through Live Stream, where YouTube is free. YouTube is also the main platform YRM leverages, as it has the largest audience. For those who connect on yrm.org/live, with the exception of a different player, there should be no significant change. The broadcast will still begin Saturday at 1:30 pm, Central, without need for a login or password. For those who have been logging on through Live Stream via Roku or other means, you will need to move to YouTube. For those using Roku, you will need to download the YouTube’s channel. For those who login via Live Stream’s website, you will need to login to our YouTube channel.

Recent Q&A’s

Why do you refer to Greek documents to prove “Yahweh” when the Hebrew supports “Yehovah”?
I agree that His name is YHWH, but my question is, why does Strong’s transliterate it “yehôvâh”?
Why do you apply Isaiah 53 to the Messiah?
Does Matthew 27:52 verify that there will be three resurrections?
What are the main differences between YRM and Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Feast of Tabernacles Invite

We warmly invite you to this year’s Feast of Tabernacles in Holts Summit, Missouri. Along with daily worship services and several Bible workshops, we have many activities planned for young and old, including: roller skating, volleyball, bingo, Hebrew dancing, puppet show, bounce house, and more. As for lodging, we have one remaining dorm room in our new activities building and several electric tent sites. If you are interested in a dorm room, we encourage you to register soon. Because these rooms are limited, they are only available to those who plan to observe all eight days of the Feast with YRM. There is also one hotel, America’s Best Value Inn, in Holts Summit, two miles from the Assembly. This Feast promises to be a blessing and a taste of the Kingdom. Don’t delay, register today. For more information, visit yrm.org/tabernacles-2018.

Prayer List

View prayer list >>

 

TEST YOUR TUTELAGE

When are the 144,000 sealed?

A. They are already sealed
B. At the beginning of the seven-year tribulation
C. Prior to the Great Tribulation
D. There is no sealing, this is symbolic

 

The 144,000 will be sealed prior to Yahweh pouring out His plagues upon man. This will occur right before the start of the Great Tribulation, as confirmed in Revelation 7:1-4, “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living Elohim: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our Elohim in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”

 

Correct: C

I don’t understand why you would refer to Greek documents to prove Yahweh when the Hebrew manuscripts support Yehovah.

Q.   I don’t understand why you would refer to Greek documents to prove Yahweh when the Hebrew manuscripts support Yehovah. The Greek language is pagan and unreliable in such matters. Can you explain your refusal to accept the Hebrew?

A.   We are not opposed to any language if truth can be learned, especially the Hebrew language. Being that Hebrew is the original language of the Old Testament and possibly for the New Testament, there is something special about the Hebrew language.

The challenge with supporting the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton from the Hebrew is that the Jews stopped pronouncing the name around the 3rd century BCE. This is supported by the Britannica and Babylonian Talmud.

“After the Babylonian Exile (6th century BCE), and especially from the 3rd century bce on, Jews ceased to use the name Yahweh for two reasons. As Judaism became a universal rather than merely local religion, the more common noun Elohim, meaning ‘God,’ tended to replace Yahweh to demonstrate the universal sovereignty of Israel’s God over all others. At the same time, the divine name was increasingly regarded as too sacred to be uttered; it was thus replaced vocally in the synagogue ritual by the Hebrew word Adonai (‘My Lord’), which was translated as Kyrios (‘Lord’) in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures,” Encyclopedia Britannica.

“Tosaf Sotah 38a suggests that the Ineffable Name could be pronounced only when there was some indication that the Shechinah rested on the Sanctuary. When Simeon the Righteous died, with many indications that such glory was no more enjoyed, his brethren no more dared utter the Ineffable Name,” Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 39b, footnote, p. 186.

Because of this reluctance to pronounce the name, it is now impossible to confirm it through the Old Testament Hebrew. Prior to the Masoretes, Hebrew had no spoken vowels, as confirmed in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Later, it was the practice of the Masoretes to conceal the pronunciation of the name through the vowel points of Adonai and Elohim. For this reason, the Hebrew is unreliable regarding the proper pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton. In fact, there are multiple pronunciations for YHWH within the Masoretic codices. Below are six different spellings as found within the Leningrad Codex.

יְהוָה – Yehwah (Genesis 2:4)
יְהֹוָה – Yehowah (Genesis 3:14)
יֱהֹוִה – Yehowih (Judges 16:28)
יֱהוִה – Yehuwih (Genesis 15:2)
יְהֹוִה – Yehowih (1Kings 2:26)
יְהוִה – Yehwih (Ezekiel 24:24)

However, unlike the Hebrew manuscripts, we find many Greek documents confirming the pronunciation. The two main sources are from early Church Fathers and Gnostic writings from as early as the 2nd century. Consider the following:

“The true pronunciation of the name YHWH was never lost. Several early Greek writers of the Christian Church testify that the name was pronounced ‘Yahweh’” (Encyclopaedia Judaica, vol. 7, p. 680).

“Early Christian writers, such as Clement of Alexandria in the 2nd century, had used the form Yahweh, thus this pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton was never really lost. Greek transcriptions  also indicated that YHWH should be pronounced Yahweh” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th ed., vol. x, p. 786).

“The pronunciation Yahweh is indicated by transliteration of the name into Greek in early Christian literature, in the form iaoue (Clement of Alexandria) or iabe (Theodoret; by this time Gk. b had the pronunciation of v)…Strictly speaking, Yahweh is the only ‘name’ of God. In Genesis wherever the word sem (‘name’) is associated with the divine being that name is Yahweh” (Eerdman’s Bible Dictionary, 1979 p. 478).

“Such a conclusion, giving ‘Yahweh’ as the pronunciation of the name, is confirmed by the testimony of the Fathers and gentile writers, where the forms IAO, Yaho, Yaou, Yahouai, and Yahoue appear. Especially important is the statement of Theodoret in relation to Ex. lvi., when he says: ‘the Samaritans call it [the tetragrammaton] ‘Yabe,’ the Jews call it ‘Aia’…” (The New Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia, “Yahweh,” p. 471).

In addition to early church writers, evidence for Yahweh is also found in The Nag Hammadi codices, dating from the 2nd to 4th century CE. This library of Gnostic writings was discovered in Upper Egypt, near Nag Hammadi, in 1945. In all, there are over 50 texts within this library. Since they are in Greek, as the church fathers, they preserve the pronunciation.

One such book is The Secret Book of John. Within this codex, it mentions the name Yahweh and notes, “Eloim and Yawe, two names of God in the Hebrew scriptures…. Yahweh is the name of God (based on the Tetragrammaton, the ineffable four-letter name)” (Dr. Marvin Meyer, The Nag Hammadi Scriptures, p. 127).

The Secret Book of John dates to the second century, as it was known to the church father Irenaeus. This was the same timeframe as Clement of Alexandria, who also confirmed the name. Even though Gnosticism was rightly deemed heretical by the early church, it is another witness to the pronunciation of Yahweh. The fact that these groups were at odds, but agreed on “Yahweh,” is significant and adds credence to this pronunciation. It verifies that “Yahweh” was widely recognized as early as the second century, nearly 700 years before any Hebrew manuscripts containing Yehovah.

It’s important to realize that unlike the Jews who had a taboo on pronouncing the name, neither the church fathers nor Gnostics shared this belief. For this reason, they had no axe to grind and are reliable sources for the pronunciation of the name, which they confirm as “Yahweh.”

For additional information on Yehovah, see our article: The Yehovah Deception.

Also, watch 7 Reasons the Name YEHOVAH Is a Counterfeit!

I agree that His name is YHWH, but my question is, why does Strong’s transliterate it “yehôvâh”?

Q.   I agree that His name is YHWH, but my question is, why does Strong’s transliterate it “yehôvâh”?

A.   Great question. Strong’s renders the name based on the Masoretic vowel points. Since the vowel points are taken from Adonai, it transliterates to Yehovah. Not realizing this, early translators of the Bible rendered this name “Jehovah,” based on these added vowel points.

Historically, many Jews stopped pronouncing the name after the 3rd century, BCE. The Encyclopedia Britannica and Jewish Talmud testify to this fact:

“After the Babylonian Exile (6th century BCE), and especially from the 3rd century bce on, Jews ceased to use the name Yahweh for two reasons. As Judaism became a universal rather than merely local religion, the more common noun Elohim, meaning ‘God,’ tended to replace Yahweh to demonstrate the universal sovereignty of Israel’s God over all others. At the same time, the divine name was increasingly regarded as too sacred to be uttered; it was thus replaced vocally in the synagogue ritual by the Hebrew word Adonai (‘My Lord’), which was translated as Kyrios (‘Lord’) in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures,” Encyclopedia Britannica.

“Tosaf Sotah 38a suggests that the Ineffable Name could be pronounced only when there was some indication that the Shechinah rested on the Sanctuary. When Simeon the Righteous died, with many indications that such glory was no more enjoyed, his brethren no more dared utter the Ineffable Name,” Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 39b, footnote, p. 186.

As explained above, the Jews avoided using the name Yahweh by employing the vowel points from Adonai. Interestingly, where Adonai and the Tetragrammaton appeared in close proximity, they would also often use the vowel points from Elohim. Strong’s makes note of this in OT:3069, where it renders YHWH as “Yehovih” and states, “a variation of OT:3068 [used after OT:136, and pronounced by Jews as OT:430, in order to prevent the repetition of the same sound, since they elsewhere pronounce OT:3068 as OT:136.”

This provides conclusive proof that the Jews tampered with the vowel points of the Tetragrammaton. This was due to their insistence that the actual pronunciation was too holy to pronounce. Therefore, to prevent this, they concealed the name by artificially adding the vowel points from Adonai and Elohim to YHWH. By doing this, the reader would know to read Adonai or Elohim instead of Yahweh. Only later did some begin incorrectly pronouncing the name with the added vowel points.

According to Professor Steven Fassberg, who received his PhD from Harvard and teaches Hebrew at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “The pronunciation you mentioned [i.e., Yehovah] is a mistake. The Hebrew consonantal text is YHWH and no one really knows how that was pronounced in Old Testament times. At a later date (the latter half of the 2nd millennium CE) Masoretes added vowel signs to the consonantal text. Whenever the Tetragrammaton was written, they added the vowel signs of the word ‘Adonay,’ which means ‘My Lord’ – there was a taboo on pronouncing the Divine name and one was supposed to read the word ‘Adonay – my Lord.’ Much later some started reading the vowel signs together with YHWH and came up with the nonsensical word Jehovah” (email correspondence between YRM and Professor Fassberg).

In addition to Strong’s and Professor Fassberg, nearly all other biblical scholars confirm that Yehovah, often spelled Jehovah, was derived from the vowel points from Adonai. Consider the following references:

“In the early Middle Ages, when the consonantal text of the Bible was supplied with vowel points to facilitate its correct traditional reading, the vowel points for Adonai with one variation – a sheva (short ‘e’) with the first yod [Y] of YHWH instead of the hataf-patah (short ‘a’) under the aleph of Adonai – was used for YHWH, thus producing the form YeHoWaH. When Christian scholars of Europe first began to study Hebrew they did not understand what this really meant, and they introduced the hybrid name ‘Jehovah’” (Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 7, p. 680).

“Jehovah, modern form of the Hebrew sacred name of God, probably originally ‘Yahweh.’ From c.300 B.C. the Jews, from motives of piety, uttered the name of God very rarely and eventually not at all, but substituted the title ‘Adonai,’ meaning ‘Lord,’ the vowels of which were written under the consonants of ‘Yahweh.’ In the Middle Ages and later, the vowels of one word with the consonants of the other were misread as Jehovah” (The Collegiate Encyclopedia, vol. 9, p. 580).

“Jehovah….What has been said explains the so-called qeri perpetuum, according to which the consonants of Jehovah are always accompanied in the Hebrew text by the vowels of Adonai except in the cases in which Adonai stands in apposition to Jehovah: in these cases the vowels of Elohim are substituted. The use of a simple shewa in the first syllable of Jehovah, instead of the compound shewa in the corresponding syllable of Adonai and Elohim, is required by the rules of Hebrew grammar governing the use of Shewa” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. VIII, p. 329).

“Jehovah, an erroneous pronunciation of the name of the God of Israel in the Bible, due to pronouncing the vowels of the term ‘Adonay,’ the marginal Masoretic reading with the consonants of the text-reading ‘Yahweh,’ which was not uttered to avoid the profanation of the divine name of magical or other blasphemous purposes. Hence the substitution of ‘Adonay,’ the ‘Lord,’ or ‘Adonay Elohim,’ ‘Lord God.’ The oldest Greek versions use the term ‘Kurios,’ ‘Lord,’ the exact translation of the current Jewish substitute for the original Tetragrammaton Yahweh. The reading ‘Jehovah’ can be traced to the early Middle Ages and until lately was said to have been invented by Peter Gallatin (1518), confessor of Pope Leo X. Recent writers, however, trace it to an earlier date; it is found in Raymond Martin’s Pugeo Fidei (1270)” (Encyclopedia Americana, vol. 16, p. 8.).

“The personal name of the [El] of the Israelites …The Masoretes, Jewish biblical scholars of the Middle Ages, replaced the vowel signs that had appeared above or beneath the consonants of YHWH with the vowel signs of Adonai or of Elohim. Thus the artificial name Jehovah (YeHoWaH) came into being” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Yahweh, Micropedia, vol. 10).

“In the Hebrew Bible the Jews wrote the consonants of the Tetragrammaton as YHWH, but out of reverence for the sacred name of God (or out of fear of violating Exod. 20:7; Lev. 24:16), they vocalized and pronounced it as Adonai or occasionally as Elohim.  It is unfortunate, then, that the name was transliterated into German and ultimately into English as Jehovah (which is the way the name is represented in the American Standard Version of 1901), for this conflate form represents the vowels of Adonai superimposed on the consonants of Yahweh, and it was never intended by the Jews to be read as Yehowah (or Jehovah)” (The Making of a Contemporary Translation, p. 107).

“Jehovah in that form was unknown to the ancient Israelites.  In fact, Hebrew scholars say that Jehovah would have been impossible according to the strict principles of Hebrew vocalization.  The God of Israel was known by a name approximately rendered into English as Yahweh,” (A Book About the Bible, George Stimpson, p. 247).

“Although the meaning of the name remains subject to debate, Yahweh is most likely a verbal form of Heb. haya (perhaps originally hwy)…Because of the utmost sanctity ascribed to the name, Jews from postexilic times on have declined to pronounce it in public reading, and only the consonants were written (YHWH; the Dead Sea Scrolls use the archaic, ‘paleo-Hebrew’ script).  Although the original pronunciation was thus eventually lost, inscriptional evidence favors yahwae or yahwe.  The name is represented in the MT by the consonants with the vowel pointing for ‘adonay ‘Lord.’  From this derived ca, the sixteenth century the form ‘Jehovah’ (yehowah).  In modern usage pious Jews often substitute the expression has-sem ‘the Name,” (The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary, Allen C. Myers, Ed., “Yahweh,” p. 1075).

“The scribes reasoned that if they did not point the name Yahweh then it could never be treated lightly since his name would not really be known.  Initially the real pointing was probably passed along by tradition, but in time it was lost.  In Exodus 20:7 the name Lord is written in capital letters according to the convention of signifying the name Yahweh, but the name as it appears in the Hebrew text is hwhy (yehowa), in which appear the consonants from the name Yahweh (hwhy [yhwh]) and the vowels from the word Lord (ynda [‘idonay]).  Proof for the fabricated nature of this word are the two vowels which appear on the waw, an impossibility in Hebrew.  However, until the revival of the Hebrew language in western Europe scholars read the consonants YHWH (Germans would read them as JHVH) with the vowels of ‘adonay, thereby originating the incorrect form Jehovah.  This word was then introduced into English by William Tyndale and was continued by the King James Version,” (The Journey from Texts to Translations, Paul D. Wegner, pp. 172-173).

Based on the above, scholarship verifies that Yehovah (Jehovah) was the result of combining the vowel points from Adonai with the four letters of yod-hey-waw-hey of the Tetragrammaton. Therefore, any attempt to justify Yehovah is to ignore the preponderance of evidence.

For additional information, read our online booklet: The Yehovah Deception.

Also, watch Pastor Randy Folliard’s message, “Exposing the Erroneous Name Yehovah.”

Why do you apply Isaiah 53 to the Messiah? This is referring to the Jewish people.

Q.   Do you have a passage clearly stating that Yahweh would send the Messiah to die for our sins? Isaiah 53 does not confirm this. I agree with Judaism that Isaiah is speaking about Israel, who is Yahweh’s firstborn son (Exodus 4:22). You have to read Isaiah 51-53 to get the whole picture of whom Yahweh is speaking about. After reading several OT scholarly interpretations of ancient biblical Hebrew, it confirms that Isaiah is speaking of Israel as a nation (at least this is the consensus of those who understand biblical Hebrew and the analytical side of the language).

A.   To apply Isaiah 53 to the nation of Israel is nonsensical! This passage is clearly speaking about a single individual that would atone for man’s sins. Below are several excerpts that confirm this passage is speaking about a person and not to a nation or collection of people:

Isaiah 53:2-3: “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

We see here the personal pronoun “he.” While it may be possible to apply this collectedly to a nation, it’s highly improbable that such conditions could be used to describe an entire nation. Although, considering the persecution of the Jewish people through history, especially during the Holocaust, it’s certainly possible to apply this perhaps to the majority, but not to the entirety.

Isaiah 53:5-6: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Yahweh hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

This passage cannot apply collectively to the Jewish nation. It’s not possible for a nation to be wounded for the transgressions of mankind. This must apply to a single person with the ability to atone for man’s sins.

Isaiah 53:8: “He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.”

We again see the personal pronoun “he,” indicating a single individual. Also, this man was cut off from the land of the living, i.e., he died. If we apply to this the Jewish nation at large, we would need to conclude that the Jewish nation has died off. However, we know this is not the case. In His mercy, Yahweh has preserved the Jewish people and even restored them to their land.

Isaiah 53:9: “…because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.”

While we at this Ministry are slow to criticize the Jewish people and believe that they will always hold a special place with Yahweh, it would be dishonest to claim that the Jewish people have not done violence or are without deceit or sin.

Isaiah 53:11: “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”

As we saw earlier, Isaiah prophesies that this person would “bear their iniquity.” How is it possible that a nation bears the iniquity of anyone? This must refer to a single person with the position and moral authority to provide himself as a propitiation for sin.

Based on the above examination, it is far more reasonable to apply Isaiah 53 to a person and not to a nation. And the only person throughout the history of mankind who fits this description is Yahshua the Messiah, the Son of Yahweh.

Does Matthew 27:52 verify that there will be three resurrections?

Q.   The order given in 1 Corinthians 15 is 1) Messiah, 2) firstfruits, and 3) those at the Messiah’s Coming. Most just read right over this and assume the next group to be taken is “the firstfruits.” They even assume the “firstfruits” are the 144,000. If the “firstfruits” have not been taken already, then we have to assume they will be taken before the Messiah returns. If you believe this is so, I must ask, who then was resurrected in Matthew 27:52? It becomes clear that the next resurrection is #3, those at His Coming. What are your thoughts and beliefs on these Scriptures?

A.   Before addressing Matthew 27:52, it’s important to realize that Paul in 1Corinthians 15:23 connects the “firstfruits” to Yahshua’s resurrection. It reads, “But every man in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits; afterward they that are Messiah’s at his coming.” We see here two resurrections, Yahshua’s resurrection, which was the firstfruits, and those at His coming.

Regarding Matthew 27:52, while the Bible records that many of the saints were resurrected after Yahshua’s resurrection, there is no evidence to confirm that this was a resurrection from flesh to spirit, as we find with Yahshua’s resurrection and promised to those at His Second Coming. Paul in 1Thessalonians 4:16-17 states, “For the Master himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of Elohim: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Master in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Master.”

The saints who were resurrected immediately after Yahshua’s own resurrection served as a sign of Yahshua’s messiahship. Similar to the darkness and the curtain of the temple being torn, these things were done as a witness to confirm that Yahshua was indeed the promised Messiah and the Son of Yahweh. Since the Scripture does not provide any additional information and does not speak about a resurrection at this time, we assume these saints later died and are waiting for Yahshua’s Second Coming to be resurrected from flesh to Spirit.

What are the main differences between YRM and Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Q.   What are the main differences between YRM and Jehovah’s Witnesses?

A.  There are several differences between YRM and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The most notable are the names of Yahweh and Yahshua for the Father and Son along with the Sabbath and Feast days.

The Jehovah Witnesses call upon the name Jehovah. While scholarship may have favored this pronunciation many years ago, today nearly all scholars agree that the name is Yahweh. Even the Jehovah Witnesses acknowledge that Yahweh is favored by Hebrew scholars. They state the following in their Insight on the Scriptures, “‘Jehovah’ is the best known English pronunciation of the divine name, although ‘Yahweh’ is favored by most Hebrew scholars,” vol. 2, pg. 5.

Below are a few additional references on Jehovah:

A Book About the Bible, George Stimpson, pg. 247. “Jehovah in that form was unknown to the ancient Israelites. In fact, Hebrew scholars say that Jehovah would have been impossible according to the strict principles of Hebrew vocalization. The God of Israel was known by a name approximately rendered into English as Yahweh.”

The Journey from Texts to Translations, Paul D. Wegner, pg, 172, 173. “The scribes reasoned that if they did not point the name Yahweh then it could never be treated lightly since his name would not really be known. Initially the real pointing was probably passed along by tradition, but in time it was lost. In Exodus 20:7 the name Lord is written in capital letters according to the convention of signifying the name Yahweh, but the name as it appears in the Hebrew text is hwhy (yehowa), in which appear the consonants from the name Yahweh (hwhy [yhwh]) and the vowels from the word Lord (ynda [‘idonay]). Proof for the fabricated nature of this word are the two vowels which appear on the waw, an impossibility in Hebrew. However, until the revival of the Hebrew language in western Europe scholars read the consonants YHWH (Germans would read them as JHVH) with the vowels of ‘adonay, thereby originating the incorrect form Jehovah. This word was then introduced into English by William Tyndale and was continued by the King James Version.”

Understanding the Old Testament, Bernhard Anderson, “Definition: ‘Jehovah,’ ‘The Lord,’” pg. 61. “The personal divine name YHWH…has had an interesting history. In the Old Testament period the Hebrew language was written only with consonants; vowels were not added until the Common Era, when Hebrew was no longer a living language. On the basis of Greek texts, which of course use both vowels and consonants, it is believed that the original pronunciation of the name was Yahweh. Notice the shortened form of the divine name in the exclamation, ‘Halleluyah’ — ‘Praise Yah.’”

Along with the name Jehovah, another difference is they normally worship on Sunday (although they believe any day is acceptable for worship), while we observe the seventh-day Sabbath, as verified through Scripture. While there are no clear examples of Sunday being observed in the New Testament, the Sabbath is mentioned 60 times. In fact, Yahshua the Messiah and the apostles all observed the Sabbath. In two key passages, we see that it was Paul’s practice to worship and teach on the Sabbath.

“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,” Acts 17:2.

“And he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks,” Acts 18:4.

In addition to the New Testament, prophecy shows that the Sabbath will be observed in the coming millennial Kingdom. Consider the following examples:

“And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Yahweh,” Isaiah 66:23.

“Thus saith my Sovereign Yahweh; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened,” Ezekiel 46:1.

We find similar evidence for the biblical Feast days. While many believe these days are no longer obligatory, including the Jehovah Witnesses, the New Testament along with prophecy confirms that the apostles observed these days and that they will be observed in the coming Kingdom. Consider the below examples from the New Testament:

Passover

  • “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover” (Luke 2:41).
  • “…Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?” (Luke 22:11).
  • “Now before the feast of the passover, when Yahshua knew that his hour was come…” (John 13:1).
  • “…For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us” (1Corinthians 5:7).

Feast of Unleavened Bread

  • “And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread…” (Acts 20:6).
  • “Therefore let us keep the feast…” (1Corinthians 5:8).

Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)

  • “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come…” (Acts 2:1).
  • “…for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost” (Acts 20:16).
  • “But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost” (1Corinthians 16:8).

Day of Atonement

  • “…because the fast [Day of Atonement] was now already past…” (Acts 27:9).

Feast of Tabernacles

  • “Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand… In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yahshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:2, 37).

While there are other differences beyond the ones noted, these are the most significant. As believers, proper worship is critical to our walk. It’s paramount that we follow the Bible and not man’s tradition. Even though the Jehovah Witnesses have elements of truth, they are missing key aspects of Scripture.

Ministry News for June 1, 2018

Update on Activities Building

We’ve made considerable progress on the upper level of the activities building. Ryan Mansager, Lucas Cecil, and James Duenow have completed nearly all the framing. Dave Turmenne, who travelled from Maine with his family to be here for Pentecost, donated several days to the ministry providing invaluable assistance. As a master electrician by trade, he ran most of the electric for the upstairs. In addition, this week Pastor Randy Folliard and Levi Mansager installed the insulation in the rooms. The installation of the drywall is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, two weeks ahead of schedule. The immediate need this building will provide is lodging for the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles. It will also be used for other group functions throughout the year. If you would like to assist with this building, we are in need of donations. To learn more, including how to donate, visit our building fund page.

Feast of Tabernacles Invite

We warmly invite you to this year’s Feast of Tabernacles in Holts Summit, Missouri. Along with daily worship services and several Bible workshops, we have many activities planned for young and old, including: roller skating, volleyball, bingo, Hebrew dancing, puppet show, bounce house, and more. As for lodging, we have two remaining dorm rooms in our new activities building and several electric tent sites. If you are interested in a dorm room, we encourage you to register soon. Because these rooms are limited, they are only available to those who plan to observe all eight days of the Feast with YRM. There is also one hotel, America’s Best Value Inn, in Holts Summit, two miles from the Assembly. This Feast promises to be a blessing and a taste of the Kingdom. Don’t delay, register today. For more information, visit https://yrm.org/tabernacles-2018.

Broadcasting Issues

For those who watch our live Sabbath broadcast, we apologize for last week’s outage and technical issues. The problem was caused by a recent software update. We are working to resolve these issues and hope to have everything running as normal tomorrow. For those unfamiliar with this service, we broadcast live our Shabbat service every Saturday at 1:30 pm, Central, from yrm.org/live.

 Recent Q&A’s

Why do you believe that baptism into Yahshua’s name is required for salvation?
Can you provide Old Testament passages confirming the Messiah?
Do you believe that all the evil people who have died will be given the chance to repent during the Last Great Day?
Why do you spell out the word “God”?  Isn’t “God” basically the English rendering of Elohim?
Would a Friday Passover place the wavesheaf before the resurrection?
What is the meaning and significance of Wormwood?

 Prayer List

View prayer list >>

 

TEST YOUR TUTELAGE

As believers, it is our responsibility to judge those outside the assembly.

A. True
B. False

As believers, it is not our obligation to judge those in the world and outside the assembly. In 1Corinthians 5:9-13 Paul states, “I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without Elohim judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” While we are not to judge those without, Paul states that we are to judge those within the body of Messiah. Judge here is not to condemn, but to discern right from wrong.

 

Correct: B

Why do you believe that baptism into Yahshua’s name is required for salvation?

Q.   I was baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in a Charismatic church in 2003. Although I understand about being baptized into the singular name of Yahshua the Messiah, I am perplexed about it being a requisite to salvation. I believe that I am saved now. I am coming to the truth of Torah and growing daily. Does the fact that I haven’t been baptized into Yahshua’s name mean that I am not saved? I am totally committed to having it done, but where I live the only messianic Torah observant assembly rejects the Messiah and the other mainstream local assemblies would not baptize into the singular name of Yahshua. What can I do?

A.   We do not believe that salvation is assured. Even the Apostle Paul realized that it was possible for him to lose his salvation. “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway,” 1 Corinthians 9:27. Yahshua too taught this belief. He confirmed that only those who endure to the end will be saved, Matthew 24:14. Therefore, we do not believe that we are saved or born again until we are changed at the resurrection, 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4.

I believe we agree that baptism into Yahshua’s name is important. The reason we believe this is required for salvation, or more specifically for the first resurrection, is because it is through baptism that we die to the old man and become part of Messiah. This is also the only method for the forgiveness of sins. Paul in Romans 6:3-5 states, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Yahshua Messiah were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Messiah was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.”

Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:23 also confirms that only those in Messiah will share in the first resurrection, “But every man in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits; afterward they that are Messiah’s at his coming.” Since we become part of Messiah through baptism, proper baptism is critical. Scripture also verifies that salvation is found only in Yahshua’s name through baptism, Acts 2:38 and 4:12. I’m not sure where you are located, but I have found that if we desire something enough, Yahweh will make a way for it to occur. For example, we recently had a man fly from Ireland to be baptized into Yahshua’s name.

I found a Torah-observant assembly, but they reject the Messiah. Can you provide Old Testament passages confirming the Messiah?

Q.   I found a Torah-observant assembly, but they reject the Messiah. Can you provide Old Testament passages confirming the Messiah? They use Isaiah 43:11 and similar passages to prove that Yahweh is our only Savior.

A.   There are many Old Testament passages that speak to Yahshua the Messiah. Possibly the greatest example is the 53rd chapter of Isaiah: “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of Yahweh revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of Elohim, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Yahweh hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased Yahweh to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Yahweh shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

While many Jews claim this passage is a reference to the Jewish people collectively, clearly the context is referring to a person who would be rejected and die for the sins of mankind. As the last part of verse 12 states, “…and made intercession for the transgressors.” There are many New Testament passages confirming this prophecy, including: Matthew 8:17; 27:57; Mark 15:28; Luke 22:37; John 1:29; 10:11; Acts 8:32-33; 1 Peter 2:22.

Another passage that clearly confirms Yahshua as the Son of Yahweh is Proverbs 30:4. It states, “Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?”

Based on the context, there is no doubt this is referring to Creation. Not only does it ask what the Father’s name is, but also the Son’s name? If Yahweh had no Son, why would it ask for His name? This unquestionably supports the existence of Yahshua the Messiah. It also confirms that He preexisted with the Father at Creation. Yahshua also testifies to His preexistence in John 17:5: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” See also John 1:1-3 and Colossians 1:15-16.

Below are additional prophecies confirming Yahshua as the Messiah:

Deuteronomy 18:15: “Yahweh thy Elohim will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.”

Acts 7:37: “This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall Yahweh your Elohim raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.”

Psalm 2:7: “I will declare the decree: Yahweh hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”

Acts 13:33: “Yahweh hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Yahshua again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”

Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore Yahweh himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Matthew 1:23: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, El with us.”

Micah 5:2: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

Matthew 2:6: “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.”

Regarding Isaiah 43:11, this cannot be used to write the Messiah out of existence. This passage is simply acknowledging the superiority of Almighty Yahweh. Since all things proceed from Him, including His Son, all credit also returns to Him. It should also be remembered that Yahweh gave His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. “For Yahweh so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” John 3:16. In their unique ways, both the Father and Son can be considered a “Savior.”

As believers we must remain committed to the Messiah. If we neglect Yahshua as the Messiah, we jeopardize our salvation. Consider the below warnings:

John 15:1-6: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

2John 7-10: “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Yahshua Messiah is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antimessiah. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Messiah, hath not Elohim. He that abideth in the doctrine of Messiah, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him greeting.”

For additional insight, visit our Q&A page.