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RSB 4th Edition

 

We are excited to announce that the world’s only Holy Name study Bible just got better— and we mean a lot better!

We are happy to report that the new fourth edition Restoration Study Bible (RSB) is a great leap in quality and biblical understanding over any previous version since the inception of the RSB 11 years ago. Release of the latest edition is expected soon.

To say the compilation of this Bible has been a monumental project is an understatement. The evolution of the RSB has been a remarkable

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effort by many believers of Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry. Its scholarship represents over 200 years of combined study in the Word, beginning many decades before what is known as the Hebrew Roots movement came into existence. Some of the experts contributing to the RSB began keeping the annual Feasts, Sabbaths, eating Kosher and preaching the name of Yahweh over a half-century ago. The studies and footnotes in the RSB reflect proven, time-tested scholarship, often employing Hebrew and Greek source languages.

Now you can benefit from the in-depth knowledge of the RSB to help you grow exponentially in biblical understanding. Comments we receive from those who order the Bible are always the same: “There’s so much information I can’t put it down;” “I found so many truths in this Bible that I was never taught;” “Now I have answers to all those passages that had confused me.”

New Features: Easier to use, higher quality, more durable construction, expanded topical guide (120 pages) with full references, many additional footnotes, many more teaching charts, more than double the archaeological charts, genuine cowhide cover, cut-out finger tabs for locating Scripture, extra ribbons for place holding, stitched binding. With three different cover choices, there will be an RSB to fit your needs and budget.

Returning features: Three books in one, including Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries at the back with words defined and keyed to every significant word in the English text; brief introductions for every book. This is a value unavailable anywhere else.

Note—The third edition is now depleted and this fourth edition is currently being printed. Please check back with us for future announcements of availability.

Principles of Effective Bible Study

How do we know that we are properly understanding Yahweh’s Word? How do we make correct interpretations by rightly dividing the Word?

Basic principles of Bible study will help guide us in getting the truth from each verse, while solving most problems presented by the more difficult passages. Bible study should be systematic, which takes time and discipline.

Before beginning you should have at hand good study Bibles like the Companion and Restoration Study Bible (RSB). Your understanding will increase exponentially by looking up words in the source languages, which these two Bibles help you to do.

When you compare parallel or contrasting verses, as typically provided in a good study Bible like the RSB, you get a more accurate understanding.

The New Testament was written in Hebrew. That’s a fact for several reasons, not the least of which is that the Hebrew writers would write in their native language, which was Hebrew.

They were not speaking Greek in the Galilee region in the first century. The Galileans were considered country folk. Peter, James, and John were not Greek scholars or even Greek speakers. Neither was Matthew, or Mark.

But to date only Greek manuscripts of the New Testament survive, of which there are some 5,400, not to mention thousands of Latin versions and other languages like Syriac, Coptic and Armenian. Most of the manuscripts derive from the Middle Ages, from the 7th century onward.

Of all the thousands of Greek manuscripts, no two are exactly alike. Some scholars put the differences at 200,000, others at 300,000, meaning there are more differences in manuscripts than there are words in the entire New Testament. Realize also that the manuscripts were all hand written (which is the meaning of “manu-script”).

That is why we must go back to the Old Testament foundation for course corrections when needed.

Sometimes scribes left out words, lines or even entire pages, especially when two lines ended with the same words. It didn’t help that they didn’t use paragraph divisions, lower case letters, punctuation, or even spaces between words. This is true of both Hebrew and Greek script.

Sometimes a word was inserted centuries later and at times whole sentences were added. You can see this from the Greek Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest New Testament manuscript.

And sometimes scribes would introduce mistakes, as in Act 15:24: “Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment.” The bold-face words are not in the manuscripts, and are omitted in most translations.

Old Testament the Anchor

Some changes are not as significant as others. For instance, the oldest and best manuscripts of John don’t have the story of the woman taken in adultery, where Yahshua says he that is without sin cast the first stone. (Think about that—if only righteous, sinless people could inflict punishment, then the Old Testament law of stoning is moot.) This passage does not appear in the Greek manuscripts until the 12th century.

The passage of 1John 5:7-8 is the only passage in the entire Bible appearing to teach a trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The passage is missing in the text of all Greek manuscripts, and doesn’t occur until the invention of the printing press in the 15th century.

Ironically the more difficult a passage reads the more true it probably is to the original, where scribes didn’t try to gloss and explain the text. The very loosely translated Living Bible comes to mind.

All of this is to say that trying to understand Yahweh’s Word can at times be like trying to hit a moving target in the dead of night.

This is just one more case for the importance of the Old Testament as an anchor for New Testament teachings. Sometimes it is the only authority we have to ascertain the truth of a passage.We read in 2Tim. 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of Elohim, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

First and foremost, this applies to the Old Testament. Referring to various incidents recorded in the Old Testament, Paul tells us in 1Corinthians 10:11 that “all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” Let’s now consider five principles that make good Bible study.

First Principle: Take It at Face Value

Take the passage just as it reads. Look first for the literal meaning. A symbolic or deeper sense of the passage will often be evident, especially in combination with other related passages and verses elsewhere.

When Yahweh commands, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” Exodus 20:8, and adds that we are to work six days and rest the seventh, He means to keep the Sabbath literally by resting from work. He does not mean or even imply to honor the Sabbath by just thinking nice thoughts about the Sabbath while continuing to work on the seventh day.

The passage is better rendered, “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” The Amplified Bible says that it means to withdraw from common employment and dedicate the day to Yahweh, which verse 10 plainly says.

The command clearly is not intended for just a SPIRITUAL application, as some teach, but for literally ceasing from labor, a proper rendering made clear by consulting other translations. When reading other versions you may find divergent renderings, which is a tip-off to begin digging deeper, which means going back to the source languages. Principle two in proper study is:

Read the Passage in Context

When faced with a difficult verse, read all the verses surrounding it. Read what comes immediately before and after the passage. Read the entire chapter, if necessary. Often this will reveal the true meaning.

Remember that chapters, verse numbers, sentences, paragraphs, and punctuation did not exist in the ancient autographs. Therefore, sometimes thoughts get wrongly separated, which can cause misunderstandings.

For instance, the last two verses of Romans 2 should be numbered as the first two verses of Romans 3. They fit with those verses that follow, but the chapter numbering got in the way. Colossians 2:14 must be read with vv. 20-22.

As obvious as it should be to take everything in context, even many “experts” fail to apply it and end up twisting a passage or missing its meaning entirely.

An example is Romans 14:5, which has been used to support Sunday worship. “One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

If you read the whole chapter it is plain that Paul is addressing fasting and vegetarianism, not the day of rest. The third principle is:

Let Scripture Explain Itself

The Bible never contradicts itself. Hebrews 6:18 tells us it is impossible for Yahweh to lie. Therefore, we can’t say Paul under inspiration of Yahweh’s Spirit did away with the law in Galatians 3:13 only to have him by the same Spirit upholding the law in Romans 7:1, 12.

In the same way we cannot read Yahshua’s plain instruction to the young man, “If you will enter into life, keep the Commandments,” Matthew 19:17, and then turn around and teach that He abolished the law at His death, completely undoing and contradicting what He told the young man and hundreds of others. How would they trust Him again if He did that?

When a particular view of a passage does not seem to hold up in light of other Scriptures that say the exact opposite, then something is wrong with our understanding of the passage. The fourth principle is:

See Why and to Whom It Was Written

You often need to know the reason a passage was written to understand it properly; it may also be very helpful to know to whom the passage was written and why.

For example, 1Corinthians 16:2 has been grossly misinterpreted to support worship on the first day of the week. “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as Yahweh has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”

“Lay by him in store” does not mean passing an offering plate at Sunday morning church. Besides, how much preparation does it take to put a coin in your purse or pocket to give as an offering?

Rather, Paul is seeking aid in the form of foodstuffs and other things for the drought-stricken and starving brethren at Jerusalem. He asks that the brethren in Corinth have their donations ready to give to him when he drops by to pick them up on the first of the week.

“Day” was not in the Greek but was added by translators who were pushing Sunday worship. They added the word “day” in all 8 New Testament references to the first (day) of the week.

No reference to a Sunday worship service is intended or implied. A careful reading of the first 4 verses of chapter 16 reveals the clear truth of the circumstance and will dispel any erroneous conclusions about Sunday worship.

Some believe that Paul taught against observing Sabbaths and Feasts in Galatians 4:8-11: “Howbeit then, when you knew not Elohirn, you did service unto them which by nature are no g-ds. But now, after that you have known Elohim, or rather are known of Elohim, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.”

If we understand that the Galatians were converts from a pagan place called Gaul (an area of France from which they derived their name), then it is clear that he is telling them to stop going BACK to their old Celtic ways.

The “days, and months, and times, and years” he is speaking about are not the Sabbath and Feasts commanded at Sinai, but their old pagan worship that they had just left, which is defined as “weak and beggarly,” being without substance and truth.

What’s more, their name comes from the Romans who called them Galli, meaning barbarians. This is not about believers keeping Yahweh’s calendar.

Yahweh’s days are never referred to as weak and beggarly, but are a big part of His laws that are defined as “holy … and just, and good,” Romans 7:12.

The biggest mistake in study is a failure to harmonize all the relevant Scriptures, a violation that has led to a myriad of contradictory teachings. A verse will never disagree with any other verse or part of the Word.

In John 10:35 Yahshua said the Scriptures cannot be broken (“broken” is the Greek luo, meaning to loosen or dissolve). Paul in 2Timothy 3:16 tells us that ALL Scripture is inspired, meaning it is “Yahweh breathed.” The fifth principle is next.

Language and Grammar

Anyone who has studied a foreign language knows that nuances of meaning are often lost in translation. By returning to the source languages as much as possible, we can come much closer to understanding the passage.

The common interpretation of Romans 10:4 is that Yahshua did away with the law. “For Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes.” The Greek word “end” is telos and means “goal.” Far from being the termination of the law, Yahshua is the very purpose for the law! The law aims at Him.

The law transforms us to be like Him when we adhere to it. He said in Matthew 12:50, “For whosoever shall do the will of my father Which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother.”

Now we can employ principles three and five together and show it does not mean end or cessation. The same word telos is found in James 5:11, “ … you have heard the patience of Job, and have seen the end [telos] of Yahweh…”

Telos is used in both passages. If telos means “end,” as in the end of the law, then Yahweh has also come to an end! In truth, telos means “goal” in both verses, not end.

Another example of the importance of knowing the original meaning of words is in Matthew 25:46, which has been popularly interpreted to say that the wicked go to an ever-burning hell fire to roast in agony for eternity. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

The word “punishment” is from the Greek kolasis, and signifies a “lopping off.” It derives from No. 2849 in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Greek Dictionary and means to curtail. Properly interpreted, the verse tells us that the wicked will forever be “cut off,” their lives “curtailed.” It is a condition, not an ongoing action.

This agrees with 2Thessalonians 1:9, which reads that the wicked “shall be punished with an everlasting destruction from the presence of Yahweh and from the glory of his power.” “Destruction” in this verse is the Greek olethros and means to destroy, not sizzle forever in agony in sulfurous flames. Anyway, how does a “soul,” a spirit essence, suffer in physical flames? The prophet wrote, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die,” Ezekiel 18:20.

The New Testament English translation is at the center of most misinterpretation. The Old Testament translation isn’t plagued with as many difficulties. Nevertheless, no other literary work has been preserved better through the ages than the Bible.

Now get out there and Bible Study!

Hebrew Roots Study Bible

Hebrew Roots Study BibleThere are many Bibles available today. Some of the most popular Bibles include: New International Version (NIV), King James Version (KJV), New King James Version (NKJV), New Living Translation (NLT), English Standard Version (ESV), and New American Standard (NAS). While all these Bibles offer insights into our Father’s Word, no Bible offers the level of understanding found in the Restoration Study Bible (RSB). If you desire a Hebrew Roots Study Bible that answers the hard questions, then the RSB is for you. This attractive resource offers insight and clarity found nowhere else. It is the result of 150 years of in-depth study spanning three generations. The Restoration Study Bible examines the source languages behind the English text to reveal original meanings.

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Many Features

In addition to restoring the sacred names Yahweh and Yahshua, this unique Hebrew roots study Bible has in-depth book introductions, genealogical section for important life events, thousands of eye-opening study notes, cross references, instructional charts, a topical reference, Strong’s numbering and the Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries.

It answers such questions as:

  • What is the Name of our Father in heaven and why is it important to New Testament Faith?
  • Did Paul really teach that obedience was no longer necessary?
  • What was the meaning of Peter’s vision in Acts 10?
  • How did Sodom and Gomorrah suffer the example of eternal fire?
  • What is the meaning and impact of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse?

With all that it offers, we pray this insightful Hebrew roots study Bible will be your Bible of choice for in-depth research and learning. You no longer need to rely only on what “scholars” say — now there is a Bible that clearly proves the answers to these and hundreds of other perplexing issues that have troubled Bible students for centuries. It is a library in one volume.

Why the King James Version and Strong’s?

The RSB is based on the King James Version (KJV). The KJV was chosen partly because of its universal use and acceptance. Along with Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance numbers in the text, we have included the Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries without alteration or modification at the back of this volume in which to reference those numbers. Each number identifies the word in Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament) from which the English words are translated. Many scholarly Hebrew and Greek lexicons and dictionaries employ Strong’s reference numbers for the King James Version (e.g., The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, The New Englishman’s Hebrew Concordance, The New Englishman’s Greek Concordance and Lexicon, The New Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, and Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary). Making use of Strong’s predominant numbering system was one of the key considerations in choosing the KJV for the Restoration Study Bible.

Product Details

Dimensions: 6in x 9in x 2.25 in thick | 152mm x 229mm x 57.15 mm thick
Cover Type: Soft leatherette covers
Cover Color: Brown
Text Size: 10 point
Page Count: approx. 2246

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Seventh Day Adventist and the Holy Days

Seventh-day Adventists Waking Up to Feast Days

There has been a recent trend with members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church coming to the knowledge and acceptance of the biblical Feast days. Examples of these days include the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, a.k.a. Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles.

Not only are many realizing that the Messiah and apostles observed these days in the New Testament (Mark 14:1; John 7:2, 37; Acts 2:1-4; 12:3; 20:6, 16; 1Cor. 5:8), but they also offer incredible insight into our Creator’s plan of salvation for mankind. For instance, not only did the Passover bring redemption to Israel through the death of the Passover lamb, but the Messiah through His death also brought salvation to mankind. A similar connection is found with the Feast of Weeks. This Feast represents the giving of the Law in the Old Testament and also the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.

Seventh-day Adventist ChurchEven though the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not officially recognize these days, Ellen G. White, a predominant founder of this movement, spoke to the value of these days: “Anciently the Lord instructed His people to assemble three times a year for His worship. To these holy convocations the children of Israel came, bringing to the house of God their tithes, their sin offerings, and their offerings of gratitude. They met to recount God’s mercies, to make known His wonderful works, and to offer praise and thanksgiving to His name. And they were to unite in the sacrificial service which pointed to Christ as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Thus they were to be preserved from the corrupting power of worldliness and idolatry. Faith and love and gratitude were to be kept alive in their hearts, and through their association together in this sacred service they were to be bound closer to God and to one another.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 39)

While Ellen G. White never officially endorsed the keeping of the annual Feasts, she nonetheless saw the value of these days. Perhaps with more time and study she would have come to this understanding, as she correctly did with the seventh-day Sabbath.

While the Seventh-day Adventists offer many truths, there are more that they have yet to recognize, including the observance of the biblical Feasts, the use of Yahweh’s and Yahshua’s Names, and a correct understanding of who the Father and Son are as it pertains to the Trinity doctrine.

If you are a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and desire more truth, consider exploring these and many other insights that the Bible clearly teaches. Let us not be unprepared when our Savior returns by ignoring portions of His Word, but search out what He says with an open and unbiased mind. “But sanctify Yahweh Elohim in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear,” 1 Peter 3:15.

Learn more: The Amazing Biblical Feasts

 

The Bible misnomers

The Most Misunderstood Book of All Time

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The Bible is the most misread and misinterpreted     Book ever written. Much of what you may think the Bible teaches is probably not even close to the truth. You just might be stunned to discover what’s been hidden for 2,000 years.

Have you ever wondered why so many different Protestant denominations exist, each with contradictory teachings? Some say the total is as high as 33,000 worldwide, each claiming to teach the same Bible yet unable to reconcile their doctrines and understanding with other denominations.

One cause for the confusion is that the Bible, which teaches about man’s salvation and how to attain it, is both the world’s all-time bestseller and the least understood book in existence.

An effort to correctly harmonize all of the Bible’s teachings has been ongoing for centuries. More than 90 English translations of the Bible are in print, each with a goal to present the Scriptures better and more accurately than any other. So why is there so much disagreement about what it teaches? And why are so many traditional doctrines and practices difficult to prove from the Scriptures?

Are You Serious?

You may be astonished to learn that the Bible nowhere promises eternal life in heaven or endless suffering in sulfurous flames of hell. Nor does it command or teach the observance of the most popular holidays like Easter, Christmas, or even worship on the first day of the week.

We could hardly get away with such provocative statements if they weren’t true. Make no mistake. These are verifiable facts from Scripture itself and we challenge you to confirm everything written in this brochure by simply looking it up in your own Bible. Don’t let anything go unproved.

Increasingly rare is the church or ministry that encourages its members to study the Textbook of their faith, let alone take along a Bible to worship services and prove what the minister is saying. This pervasive malpractice is one of the reasons that popular error continues to go unchallenged and uncorrected.

What is offered as scriptural teaching today is light years away from what was taught only 100 years ago in the name of biblical truth. Many are sitting in their pews without the slightest idea that key doctrinal statements they hear week after week have nothing in common with Scriptural teaching. Just hearing a tired string of platitudes interrupted by a touching story in a 20-minute sermon is not going to cut it, either.

If you are serious about what you believe, if you care about your eternal salvation, then it is time to dig into the Word. It is time to learn the facts from the Scriptures alone.

To understand the textbook of your faith you must first read the book. You cannot rely on someone else to make the effort for you. Don’t leave to the “experts” something as important as your personal salvation. The Bible says you are entirely accountable for yourself: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 2:12.

You are responsible for your own understanding and what you do with it. You can’t look to someone else to answer for your beliefs or the way you lead your life.

In the spirit of this Biblical command we will detail some of the more startling truths presented in both Old and New testaments. These are facts that have been hidden for centuries – some of which  may absolutely shock you. And remember, don’t accept anything you hear or read without proving it first from your own Bible.

Identity Theft of the Father and Son

Imagine a baby boy born to a typical American family in Iowa being given a Russian name like Vladimir. It just wouldn’t happen! But think about this: Your Savior was born a Hebrew of Hebrew parents. Yet the Hebrew Name they gave Him was eventually stolen away and replaced with a Greek name (Jesus) that He never knew the whole time He walked this earth.

Look up the letter “J” in a comprehensive dic-tionary or encyclopedia and you will discover that the J is only 500 years old. It was the newest letter to join the alphabet – any alphabet. We must conclude that with no J in existence the name “Jesus” did not exist either – not in any language – prior to the time of Christopher Columbus.

The Book of Matthew tells us that an angel told the Hebrew Miriam (Mary) and Yowceph (Joseph) what to call their newborn son. “And she shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Yahshua: for He shall save His people from their sins,” 1:21. This Hebrew Name, Yahshua, means “Yah Is Salvation” (Yah-shua). In spite of this fact most Bible translations continued to promote a Greek name He never knew, which has led millions to believe it is genuine. But scholars everywhere know better, as do most ministers from their seminary training.

A good study Bible like the Companion explains that His Name is the same as Hoshea, prefixed with the word “Yah” – hence Yahoshea or Yahshua as it was pronounced at the time of His birth. (The “o” in Hoshea began to be dropped after the Babylonian captivity.) If you saw The Passion movie you will recall that the Savior was known exclusively by the Hebrew-Aramaic name “Y’shua.”  The Anchor Bible explains His Name Yahshua in a note on Matthew 1:1: “The first element, Yahu (=Yahweh) means ‘the [L-rd],’ while the second comes from shua ‘To help, save’” (vol. 26, p. 2).

In Hebrew all names have meaning. Recall that the angel said that the Son would be given a specific Name because He would “saveHis people from their sins.” The last part of His Name in Hebrew means just that – “salvation.”  But that is not all.

The Bible also quotes the Savior Himself saying that He came in His Heavenly Father’s Name. “I am come in my Father’s name, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive,” John 5:43. The prefix “Yah” in His NameYahshua comes directly from the Father’s NameYahweh. He literally and truly came in His Father’s Name!

The short family name “Yah” is found in many names in the Bible, including IsaYah (Isaiah), JeremiYah (Jeremiah), Yahel (Joel), and EliYah (Elijah). You even use it when you say the word “halleluYah”! Translators pirated away the family Name when they substituted the letter “y” with “i” or “j” in various names and words.

You will find the Father’s Name in the complete form YHWH (Yahweh) no fewer than 6,823 times in the original Hebrew manuscripts that produced the Old Testament. The Teutonic term “God” does not appear in the Hebrew Old Testament. Nor does it appear in the ancient Greek of the New Testament from which most all modern versions are derived. You can confirm this fact for yourself in any concordance. In the ancient Greek New Testament the term used is the Greek theos or a close variant thereof.

To whom are you really praying if the two most popular names used for the Father and Son are not even in the original Scriptures? Some may be saying, “Well, it doesn’t really matter. He knows who I mean.” How can the worshiper say to the One he or she worships, “I’ll decide what I will call you”? Especially when the Father is so adamant that we call on His Name! Does He need to reveal His Name more than 6,823 times before we will grasp its importance?

No one can change your name without your consent. Neither is it an option for us to call our Creator whatever may be traditional or popular – but incorrect.

Isaiah 52:6 equates being a child of His by this specific characterisitic: “Therefore my people shall know my name.” That is how important His Name is to Him, just as your name is dear to you. How annoying when someone mispronounces or otherwise misuses your name, especially when they know what your name is. Imagine how the Father in heaven feels when you substitute His Name with something else entirely. especially if that substitute name relates to a heathen deity.

Open a Bible concordance like Strong’s or Young’s to the heading “name” and note how many times the Scriptures command us to honor and glorify His Name. Names show identity. You cannot change names without altering an individual’s identity and person. Doing so is identity theft.

In Isaiah 42:8 the Father clearly says, “I am Yahweh [“YHWH” in the Hebrew]: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”

Fourth Commandment Upgrade?

The Fourth Commandment tells us to “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” meaning set apart. If there were any question about which day of the week is the Sabbath, the commandment nails it down: “Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of Yahweh your Elohim…For in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Yahweh blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it,” Exodus 20:9-11.

Common wall calendars show that the week ends on Saturday, the seventh day, while Sunday starts a new week. Nothing we can look to in creation tells us when the Sabbath day is. It was divinely instituted at creation by the Father Yahweh Himself, and the sequence of days has remained the same since.

The Messiah Yahshua kept the same commanded Sabbath that His Father Yahweh rested on. He went to the temple and worshiped on the seventh day of the week, as did all of His disciples all of their lives. Not a single passage of Scripture gives anyone permission to switch the day of rest and worship from the Sabbath to Sunday.

That unauthorized change was the work of Roman Emperor Constantine in the 4th century. His edict made Sunday the official day of rest in his realm – a political move in utter disregard of the Fourth Commandment. Major encyclopedias confirm Constantine’s historical substitution of Sunday for the Sabbath.  Most of Christianity has honored this unauthorized substitution ever since, justifying it by saying it was on the first day of the week that the Messiah was resurrected.

First, He was already gone from the tomb by sunset Saturday evening. Second, nowhere does the Bible say that a resurrection day creates a Sabbath day. This change was made purely on the authority of the Roman Church alone, which it freely admits.

A concordance will reveal that references to the seventh-day Sabbath appear 60 times in the New Testament. But only 8 verses out of the entire New Testament speak of the first day of the week – none of them enjoining worship on that day.

Even more questionable, none of those 8 “first-day” references is even clearly speaking of the first day of the week. The word “day” was added by translators, indicated in most translations because “day” appearing in italics. These 8 verses could just as easily mean the first part of the week rather than the firstday of the week.

A key reference to the Sabbath in the New Testament is found in Hebrews 4:9:  “There remains therefore a rest to the people of Elohim.” “Rest” is from the Greek sabbatismos, which means “a keeping of Sabbath.” The Book of Hebrews tells us that the Sabbath remains the day of rest, and the day that was kept as the Sabbath at that time, as any biblical reference will tell you, was the seventh day – Saturday. The Sabbath had always been Saturday ever since Yahweh established it by resting Himself on the seventh day after creation, Genesis 2:2-3. The seventh day continued as the day of rest among New Testament believers.

As a Jew, Yahshua went into the synagogue on the seventh-day Sabbath to read and teach, Luke 4:16. In His prophecy of the last days He admonished in Matthew 24:20, “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.” He never would have prophesied this if He knew that the Sabbath would no longer be binding.

Following his conversion the Apostle Paul proceeded to keep the seventh-day Sabbath both with Jews as well as Gentiles, Acts 13:42-44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4. This was many years after the Savior’s resurrection.

These New Testament references tell us that we have no authority to change the day set apart as holy by Yahweh Himself. To do so is to make our worship fit our own desires.

Prophecy says that in the Kingdom all people will come to worship Yahweh “from one Sabbath to another,” Isaiah 66:23.

Heaven on Earth

The typical funeral sermon announces that the deceased is now “in a better place”– meaning in heaven – and smiling down at the gathered loved ones. Although such a statement may comfort the grieving, do the Scriptures themselves support it?

Yahshua the Messiah said plainly and clearly in John 3:13, “No one has ascended up to heaven…” Of all the millions of people who had died up to that point in history not one went to heaven. That fact is on the direct authority of our Savior Himself. Certainly there had been good people deserving of salvation who never went to a heavenly reward. Take King David, for instance. He will rule directly under Yahshua in the Millennial Kingdom, Ezekiel 37:24-25. But where is David now – in heaven?

Acts 2:29 explains about this man that Yahweh loved: “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.” For nearly a thousand years up to the time Yahshua walked this earth David lay in the grave, and he is still dead in the grave, having gone nowhere but to his rest for the past 3,000 years.

Paul explained that we get everlasting life only at the resurrection when our Savior returns to earth. In 1Corinthians 15:22-23 Paul wrote: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits; then they that are Messiah’s, at his coming.”

After searching the Scriptures for 40 years we have not found one verse that says, “When we get to heaven,” or “I’ll see you in heaven,” or “Rejoice for you will one day be in heaven,” or anything similar. The notion of a heavenly reward stems from teachings of Greek philosophers and Gnostic traditions, ultimately embraced by the church.

What we do find in the Scriptures are many passages that speak of the earth as our reward, such as Psalm 37:11: “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

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The Bible’s Amazing Continuity

The big problem in the traditional move to retire the law is the concept of grace.

Here is a challenge. If we can find grace operating in the Old Testament, side by side with the law, then would you agree that grace doesn’t replace the need to obey? You would realize that grace is an important part of obedience that is taught in the Old Testament (first covenant).

Everyone knows that the Old Testament is a collection of books that teach lots of law, obedience to that law, and punishment for breaking it. So if we find grace in the Old Testament operating alongside the law, then there are no contradictions between the two concepts. Grace could not supplant the law.

And if we should also be able to find both law and grace in the New Testament, then there should be no contradictions anywhere in the understanding that law and grace go together. True enough, we can find both law and grace in the New as well.  They operate side by side in both testaments.

Take a look at Exodus 34:6-7. The setting here is Moses on Sinai about to receive the law: “And Yahweh passed by before him, and proclaimed, Yahweh, Yahweh Elohim, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”

The accompaniment of grace even while giving the law was a fulfilled promise of Yahweh in verse 19 of the previous chapter.

Obedient Noah and Abraham Found Grace

Back in Genesis 6:8 we see the same with Noah, as Yahweh treats him with grace: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Yahweh.” Noah was also a law-keeping individual, Genesis 6:9, and that is a key element in why Yahweh chose him to preserve the human race. You don’t walk with Yahweh by being disobedient. Adam and Eve learned the hard way that disobedience literally gets you nowhere.

What about Abraham, the father of the righteous? Genesis 26:5 tells us that Abraham “obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

This tells us not only that the law was in effect long before Moses and Mt. Sinai, but also that Abraham knew he had to obey Yahweh through Yahweh’s statutes and commands. That was a given as part of the covenant. No argument or discussion. Yahweh’s covenants are unilateral and non-negotiable. The Old Covenant centered on obedience. Read about it in Hebrews 8. As you read it, notice that very little actually changes between Old and New Covenants. In fact, a prominent characteristic is that the Covenant is dearer to our hearts. We live obedience closer out of an inner desire.

Was Abraham, then, living outside of grace by being obedient? Absolutely not. Titus 2:12 tells us that grace actually teaches obedience. Although Jude 4 says people like to turn grace into disobedience, Paul tells us in Romans 6:1-2 that disobedience stops at the acceptance of grace. So grace doesn’t negate obedience, it initiates obedience.

If all it takes is belief and faith to be worthy in Yahweh’s eyes, then why was Abraham, a man experienced in Yahweh’s grace as Noah was, still obedient to Yahweh’s commandments, statutes and laws? Because faith without obedience is a contradiction.

We show our faith by our obedience. We prove to Yahweh that we have faith and love for Him by doing what He commands us to do.  What kind of faith do we show if we walk all over everything He tells us to do, and treat with contempt what is sacred to Him? Obviously, no faith at all!

In perfect harmony with this truth James tells us that faith without works is dead, 2:17-22.

Paul in His Obedience Was Under Grace

Did Paul say he was under grace? He did, 1Corinthians 15:10. Was he still obedient to the law? Yes, he was, Acts 21:24; 24:14. Did Paul tell us the law was abolished in his day? No, he said just the opposite. He said all men are under the law as long as they live,Romans 7:1.

Later Paul said the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, as we obey, Romans 8:4-7. We fulfill the law by being observant to it. If I fulfill my obligation to pay you what I owe you, it means I give you your money. If I fulfill my duty it means I do all my duty. If Yahshua fulfilled the law as it says He did in Matthew 5:17, then he observed it completely.

He even says in the next verse that nothing will pass from the law until heaven and earth vanish. Fulfill cannot mean abolish. He couldn’t have expressed a stronger image of the laws immutability. So long as the universe is here and the earth keeps spinning, then the law is here and in force as well. A world without law is anarchy, just as a world whose laws are not obeyed.

Yet, in total contradiction to all of these plain facts it is constantly hammered into today’s nominal worshiper that Yahshua came to destroy the law! Even back in His own day He was accused of destroying the law. He plainly and clearly answered the accusation by saying don’t even think it, Matthew 5:17. And obviously that was because they didn’t understand what He performed under the New Covenant to change only the administrative aspects of the law, as in the fleshly priesthood and animal sacrifices.

Yahweh’s Law Always in Effect

Circumcision is now of the heart. But is that anything new? Read Deuteronomy 30:6-8. Even after circumcision of the heart Israel was expected to obey all His commandments. Nothing was changed there.

The same misunderstanding has been ongoing for 2,000 years. Even when Yahshua denied from His own lips the accusation of destroying the law, people still don’t believe Him. “The law was nailed to the cross” has almost become a mantra of the uninformed or misguided.

Faith, grace, and obedience all live together in perfect harmony in the Scriptures. They are never mutually exclusive anywhere.

Yahweh Always Had Mercy

What about mercy? Is it only a New Testament concept? Is the Old Testament nothing but a bloody book of war and vengeance? Is Yahweh a vengeful Elohim who has no mercy for anyone who steps out of line?

In Psalm 85:7 the psalmist asks Yahweh to show His mercy. Then in a beautiful statement in verse 10, he says, “Mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”

The Hebrew language is filled with word pictures and is highly poetic. It is not the technical language Greek is, but a language of artistry and vivid imagery. One reason so many have problems with the writings of Paul and others in the New Testament is because those letters and writings come to us filtered through Greek from the original Hebrew, and Greek doesn’t do well trying to render poetic language in its characteristically more technical way.

Mercy and truth go together. In Psalm 147:11we read, “Yahweh takes pleasure in them that fear Him, in those who hope in Hismercy.” In Micah 6:8 Yahweh tells us to do justly and to love mercy. Why, if He is a merciless Elohim, does he tell us to love mercy? In Hosea 4:1 Yahweh has a problem with the people because there is no truth or mercy among them. He says it again inHosea 12:6: telling us to keep mercy and judgment.

People ask why does Yahweh allow suffering? If He were a loving and merciful Father, He wouldn’t do that. But if we were all obedient, there would be no suffering. Suffering and death are a result of sin, Romans 5:12; 7:5; Galatians 5:19-21; Mark 7:21-23. And if Yahweh didn’t have mercy then just one sin, committed by one person one time…and it would all be over for all of us. He has taken his hands off this world and is allowing us to come within an inch of destroying both it and ourselves through sin.

But you see, sin is repugnant to Yahweh. It is our own fault that we find ourselves suffering when that was never supposed to happen in Yahweh’s plan. It may not be politically correct to bear the consequences of our own failings, but it is Scripturally correct (Isa. 59:1-2).

Do you want Him to answer your prayers? Stop sinning. Turn in obedience. He says turn to me and I will turn to you. When He calls, it is up to you to answer. The next step is entirely yours. He is not going to save you in spite of yourself.

best bible version, kjv version, word for word equivalence

Is There a ‘Best’ Bible Version?

They have expanded it, con­densed it, made it thinner, more readable, easier to carry. They’ve put it on microfilm, movie film, cassette tape, CDs, DVDs and in Braille. No book in history has undergone so much transformation as the Bible. Man has translated Yahweh’s Word into 1,884 languages and dialects. In the last 100 years no fewer than 120 differ­ent English translations have come off the printing press.

With the dizzying array out there you may feel totally lost. Which are the bet­ter English versions? Which are the most trustworthy? Most accurate? One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, which Bible do you use? Before you make a choice, realize that no translation is perfect. Each is shaded to some degree by the translator and his personal beliefs and biases. Some translations are better than others and more faithful to the text. We prefer a study Bible with the King James text simply because more references, including lexicons, concordances, and studies, are geared to the King James than any other Bible. But the KJV also has its own detractors.

In early days, special edition Bibles contained not only the New and Old testaments, but also a concordance, small dictionary, and copious commen­tary notes. Because these notes were usually biased, a man’s religious persua­sion was known by the type of Bible he kept.

In a less significant way, the Bible version you use most reflects your own intensity of interest in the Book of Books. The casual reader may choose a paraphrase version  like The Living Bible or the easy-reading Today’s English Version. The serious student who wants copious study notes may consult The Anchor Bible, Harper Collins Study Bible, English Standard Version, Ryrie Study Bible, Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, The NIV Study Bible, or one this writer uses, The Companion Bible.

Before we examine the bestsellers, a look at the historical background of Bible translations will be helpful.

Originals Unavailable

Some believe that the King James Ver­sion is the only trustworthy Bible. As one confused devotee said, “If the King James was good enough for the dis­ciples, it’s good enough for me.”

Although the King James is one of the most popular of versions, it was not the first English translation of the sa­cred Scriptures. Before the King James was published in 1611, 12 others had appeared in England. The King James in circulation today is actually a 1762 ver­sion.

Translating of Scripture has been ongoing since 300 B.C.E. when tradition tell us 72 Jewish scholars were ordered by Egyptian ruler Ptolemy II to provide a Greek translation of the Old Testament for Alexandrian Jews who gradually had lost touch with the Hebrew language. Thus the Septuagint Greek Old Tes­tament emerged. The Septuagint is the first attempt to translate the Hebrew Old Testament into another language, and is based on Hebrew manuscripts 1,000 years older than the Hebrew of the Masoretic text on which our Bibles are based.

More than 1,700 ancient manu­scripts of the Hebrew Scriptures exist today, but none of them are origi­nals. Until over 60 years ago, the oldest ex­isting Hebrew manuscript was the Masoretic, prepared by Jews known as Masoretes in the 5th and 6th centuries of our common era. With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, much older Hebrew documents—dating from 100 B.C.E to 100 C.E.—became available. The Scrolls include parts or all of the Old .Testament books but Esther.

Except for segments in Syriac (an Aramaic dialect), only Greek manu­scripts have been found for the New Testament, dating to the second century C.E.

 

A Hebrew New Testament?

That does not mean, however, that the originals were in Greek. Only Paul and possibly Luke were capable of writing in Greek. Further, Paul wrote his epistles to “converted” Jews of the dispersion in Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome as well as to Gentiles. The disciples were Hebrews and many thoughts and idioms of the New Testament are Hebraic, especially in the books of Matthew and Mark. What’s more, hundreds of Hebrew words remain in the English New Tes­tament, many simply because no exact synonym existed when the Hebrew was translated into Greek.

Notice the following Hebrew words left virtually untouched in the English: corban (Mark 7: 11); Sabbath (Matt. 12:1); raca (Matt. 5:22); cummin (Matt. 23:23); hosana (Mark 11:9), and myrrh (Matt. 2: 11). In addition are He­brew words found commonly in the New Testament, like halleluyah (see al­leluia); Satan; Messiah; wai (woe), and rabbi.

Idioms are found in the Evangels and the first part of the Book of Acts that are purely Hebrew. These don’t make good literal sense in either Greek or English, but they make perfect sense in Hebrew. These col­orful Hebraisms provide undeniable evidence for a Hebrew source of the New Testament. If the original were Greek, it would not contain Hebrew vernaculars that have survived to our English.

Such Hebrew idioms include the Savior’s words in Matthew 6:23:”If your eye is evil…” and “If they do this when the wood is green … “ (Luke 23:31). Another is, “Whatever you bind [or loose] on earth will be bound [or loosed] in heaven” (Matt.16:19).

Also consider these expressions in the Evangels that have clear Hebrew understructures: “cast out your name as evil”; “the appearance of his coun­tenance was altered”; “lay these say­ings in your ears,” “he set his face to go,” “lifted up his eyes and saw,” etc.

Whenever anyone in the New Testament was addressed from heaven, it was always in the Hebrew tongue. Translations replaced the original He­brew manuscripts, which either became lost, were destroyed, or simply wore out through use. Perhaps even older Hebrew scrolls will be discovered in some future archaeological dig.

Even more exciting would be the dis­covery of ancient Hebrew autographs of the New Testament. Such a find would demonstrate that the New Testament is simply a completion of the Old, as the New Testament faith is but a continuation of the “faith once delivered” to Israel, Jude 3. Paul wrote that we who are the Messiah’s today are Abraham’s seed, and heirs to the same promise,Galatians 3:29. For now we must rely on the oldest available manuscripts as did generations before us.

 

Our English Translations

Many English Old Testaments are based on the Septuagint. Another influential translation was the fourth century Latin Vulgate, an entire Bible translated by Eusebius Hieronymus, otherwise known as Jerome. The Vulgate was based on the Hebrew and became the standard of the Roman Catholic Church. From it sprang the Douai version, the only authorized En­glish Bible for Catholics from 1600 to the 20th century.

With the emergence of a hierarchical government under the papacy, the Bible fell into general disuse. Exclusive decrees and dogmas of the Roman Church began to take precedence over Scripture. The common man could not read Latin, and the Vulgatewas the only Bible he had hopes of ever seeing. Volumes were scarce, and those that were available were chained down in the church and could not be removed.

But a renewed interest in the Scrip­tures followed the Protestant Reforma­tion, as many of the church’s teachings came under scrutiny and criticism. The Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centu­ries revived the study of ancient languages and helped to inspire the many English Bible translations that would follow.

Among the new translators was the Dutchman Erasmus, who in 1516 became the first to publish a Greek New Testa­ment. His work was used by the leaders of the Reformation in their common lan­guage versions of the New Testament.

 

First English Bible

In the 10th century a priest named Aldred wrote an English rendition of the Evangels between the lines of a Latin text he was copying, thus produc­ing the oldest English translation of the New Testament for which evidence ex­ists. Aelfric of Bath, an Anglo Saxon abbot, shortly afterward produced an English translation of the four Evangels.

It was 400 years later that the re­former John Wycliffe translated the first complete English Bible, relying prima­rily on the Latin Vulgate. The 1382 Wycliffe Bible paved the way for the Protestant Reformation.

Another influential translator was William Tyndale. He was a member of the Catholic order and friend of Martin Luther. In 1525 he published an En­glish New Testament from the Greek, as well as the Book of Jonah from the Hebrew. It was the first English version made directly from the Hebrew and Greek and the first to be printed. His work was consulted in subsequent En­glish translations, including the King James. For his efforts, Tyndale was strangled and burned at the stake, being accused of pro­ducing “untrue translations.”

The first complete English Bible to be published was the work of Miles Coverdale in 1535. This Bible had the blessing of King Henry VIII because Coverdale worded many passages in a way that supported Anglican doctrine and undermined the use of the Latin Vulgate. This version was translated from German and Latin sources (Mar­tin Luther’s Bible, the Vulgate, and Tyndale’s Bible). Coverdale was the first to introduce chapter summaries and to separate the Apocrypha into an appendix to the Old Testament.

In 1553 Mary Tudor came to the throne of England and promptly banned the use of all English Bibles in favor of the Catholic Latin versions. In 1560 a group of English Protestant scholars fled to Geneva and produced the Geneva Bible. It was the first trans­lation to divide the Scriptures into verses. It was also called the Breeches Bible, because of the peculiar way it translated Genesis 3:7: “They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves breeches.”

The Geneva Bible was based mainly on Tyndale’s work, with strongly Calvinistic notes.

 

Bible Fit for a King?

In an attempt to unite Presbyterian Scotland and Episcopal England, King James I authorized a new English trans­lation of the Bible. The Hampton Court Conference, which the king assembled, resolved, “That a translation be made of the whole Bible, as consonant as can be to the original Hebrew and Greek; and this to be set out and printed, with­out any marginal notes and only to be used in all Churches of England in time of divine service.”

Partly because of the “very partial, untrue, and seditious” Calvinistic notes in the popular Geneva Bible, the king was stirred to issue a new translation void of such notations. He took a lead­ing part in organizing the work, divid­ing the Testaments among a panel of 47 of the leading scholars. It was one of the first English translations to be a united translating effort.

When it was finished, the King James Version was reviewed by a panel of 12 men. By virtue of the large num­ber of translators, the same word is sometimes rendered differently. For ex­ample, Isaiah renders the nation descended from Esau as both Edom and Idumea.

The King James for the Old Testament relies primarily on ben Hayyim’s edition of the ben Asher He­brew text. For the New Testament the committee used the Greek text of Erasmus and a bilingual Greek-Latin text of the sixth century.

The King James New Testament is far from perfect. The preface of the Re­vised Standard Version reads, “The King James Version of the New Testament was based upon a Greek text that was marred by mistakes, containing the ac­cumulated errors of fourteen centuries of manuscript copying. It was essen­tially the Greek text of the New Testa­ment as edited by Beza, 1589, who closely followed that published by Erasmus, 1516-1535, which was based upon a few medieval manuscripts.”

This source notes that Beza had ac­cess to two valuable manuscripts dating from the fifth and sixth centuries but used them very little because they dif­fered from Erasmus’ text. The King James was revised in 1615, 1629, 1638, and 1762, the latter be­cause the English language had changed so much that people wanted a Bible they could understand easily.

Most new translations have a hard time catching on. The King James was no exception. The Pilgrims didn’t like the newfangled KJV, preferringthe more traditional Geneva Bible. But through time the KVJ had come to be the most widely used of all translations.

Because of its wide popularity, most ref­erence works such as lexicons and con­cordances are geared to the King James Version. The King James was the most popular Bible purchased in America until 1988, when the New International Version superseded it.

 

No Perfect Translation

Because it is produced by well-meaning but fallible men, no Bible translation is perfect. Only the original manuscripts by the prophets, apostles, and writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Languages are not precisely parallel in meaning. Often a translator has to make a judg­ment call as to which would be a better word to use based on his own compe­tence with the languages and his own back­ground in understanding the Scriptures.

Because the originals are unavail­able, many modern translations are based on less than perfect source texts that are themselves born of translator biases. Some translations interpret cer­tain passages according to traditional theological understanding (for instance, “Easter” in Acts 12:4 instead of the proper “Passover”); some are very loose or general in the use of language; others use outdated language (what does the KJV mean in reference to the Kingdom in Luke 16:16 that every man “presses into it”?);while nearly all suf­fer from the fluid nature of language as old meanings are replaced by new in­ferences. (Remember when “gay” meant happy and “bad” always denoted something harmful?)

Must we give up all hope of under­standing the true, intended meaning of Scripture? Not at all. The key is know­ing where the weaknesses and strengths lie in each version, as well as consult­ing as many good versions as possible when questions arise.When there is a problem, the Bible student can consult the ancient Hebrew and Greek languages through interlinears and lexicons. The diligent Bible student must sometimes rely on a variety of rendi­tions, comparing one with another and especially with the Hebrew or Greek source word. Some study Bibles such as The Companion Bible do just that, as do interlinears and lexicons.

Yahweh has preserved His Word down through centuries of change and attempts to destroy it. Remarkably, an­cient manuscripts like the Dead Sea Scrolls reveal just how closely the text was followed in the scribal copying leading to our translations.After copying, the scribe would count up the letters in the original and check it against his copy. If there were any discrepancies, the copy would be de­stroyed and the scribe would start over.

 

Why New Versions Necessary

bible translations word for wordExact word equivalents are not possible for every word translated from the He­brew or Greek. If a word-for-word translation were always possible, we would have no need for all the ex­isting translations in English. But be­cause we speak in phrases and sen­tences whose construction varies from language to language and dialect to dia­lect, the meaning can easily vary as well.

Additionally, languages constantly change, requiring revisions of translations to keep abreast of changes in word meanings. Better ver­sions are necessitated as knowledge of ancient languages, customs, idioms, and circumstances grows through scholarship and discovery.

Let’s briefly review the most popu­lar English versions of the Bible.

 

New International Version

Said to be the closest thing to a standard Bible among evangelicals is the New International Version. A team of 115 scholars spent seven years producing this contemporary language Bible in 1978. Each book was assigned to a team of scholars, who passed their work on to an intermediate committee who checked it with the Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek. Then a general editorial committee double-checked the work. Still another com­mittee made any needed changes.

The primary concern was for accu­racy, clarity, and natural English style. For the Old Testament they used the Masoretic Text, Biblia Hebraica,, Samari­tan Pentateuch, Septuagint,  Vulgate, Syriac,  Peshitta, Targums, and Jerome’s Juxta Hebraica, for the Psalms, as well as consulted the Dead Sea Scrolls. Numer­ous Greek texts were used for the New Testament.

The NIV employs a dynamic equiva­lence form of translating in a number of passages. This method calls for using a word or phrase that makes the impact that the original had on its first readers, rather than using a simple grammatical or lexical equivalent. In English style it is similar to the Revised Standard Version.

The study version employs footnotes. Drawbacks are that it, as most, is not faithful to the sacred Names, and the New Testament reflects popular and sometimes erroneous dogma.

 

The New King James Version

The idea behind this version was to im­prove the readability of the King James Version but effect as little change as pos­sible. A team of 130 scholars worked on individual books and recommended changes to the KJV text. An executive review committee then gave final ap­proval to the new version. The New Testament was completed in 1979, the Old in 1982.

This version replaces Old English words like thee’s, thou’s, ye’s, thy’s, and thine’s with their modern equivalents. The NKJV is criticized for not updating the language enough. One authority called it a halfway house for some KJV readers who would eventu­ally move on.

 

English Revised Version

In the 1870s two committees began to revise the King James Version with an attempted word-for-word rendition of the ancient autographs. The result in 1885 was the English Revised Version, a translation oriented toward British word spelling and British figures of speech. It was unpopular in the United States, even though an American com­mittee had joined the project in 1872.

 

American Standard Version

Some of the same members of the American committee who worked on the English Revised Version joined the effort to produce the American Standard Version in 1901. This American revi­sion of the KJV used American expres­sions for British ones and went back to the KJV in many phrases.

Further, it made parallel passages the same when the Greek was identical, something the King James was inconsis­tent in doing. Other changes included a more precise use of words with re­lated meanings. For instance, “justice” for “judgment,” and “despoil” for “spoil. “

An attempt to translate literally from the ancient Hebrew and Greek text led to many difficult Hebraisms that the American Standard attempted to avoid. But in their effort to produce a literal translation where possible, ASV trans­lators made their version sometimes as awkward as the King James. Still, the American Standard remains one of the most accurate of English language versions.

Revised Standard Version

Originally, the Revised Standard Version was an attempt to modernize the Ameri­can Standard Version. But this Bible, published in 1952 by the National Council of Churches, came to be a new translation, at least of the improved Greek of the New Testament.

The RSV is one of the most consis­tent English translations, yet was strongly criticized at the outset for two reasons in particular: it altered the wording of many classic passages, and it chose new readings for many pas­sages that had major theological impli­cations.

The phrasing of the RSV is similar to the high style of the King James, which makes it less popular than more modern English Bibles today. It uses a word-for-word correspondence form of translation, and corrects such passages as Acts 12:4 (using the correct word “Passover” instead of “Easter”) and Hebrews 4:8 (employing the more proper “Joshua” rather than the errone­ous “Jesus,” a mistake showing that the name “Jesus” should be “Yahshua”).

 

New American Standard Bible

Called the most literal, word-for-word translation on the market today, the New American Standard Bible of 1963 was another attempt to revive the American Standard Version of 1901.

Translators of the NASB used some of the papyrus manuscripts of the Greek New Testament, as well as re­ferred to recent studies of the New Tes­tament text. The Old Testament em­ployed Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica (a Masoretic text), noting in the margin alternate translations from other manu­scripts versions. It also has numerous cross-references.

A convenient feature of the NASB is that when a literal translation might be confusing to the reader, it gives the meaning of the text and puts the literal translation in the margin.

Some scholars think the Old Testa­ment NASB is better than the New. Whatever the shortcomings, the New American Standard Bible is a valuable consulting version.

 

Jerusalem Bible

Previous English Catholic Bibles were translations from the Latin, until 1966 when The Jerusalem Bible was intro­duced. This readable version was based on a new way of translating, meaning for meaning from the Hebrew and Greek.

The name derives from the fact that the annotations are translated from a French version prepared at a Domini­can center for Biblical studies in Jerusa­lem. The Jerusalem Bible was edited by Catholic scholars in Britain. It is one of the few to transliterate the Name Yahweh in the Old Testament.

A plus for the Bible student are the notes at the bottom of the right-hand pages, as well as an introduction to each book.

 

New English Bible

The New English Bible was the first Brit­ish version to break completely with the King James. It was completed in 1970 by a committee of both Bible scholars and learned men under the auspices of all major Protestant denominations in Great Britain.

Rather than use traditional Biblical English, the translators employed con­temporary idiom. It is based on Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica for the Old Testament and a New Testament text by R.Y.G. Tasker, produced in 1964. The True Worshiper should be alert to the evangelical approach in the New Testament that does not always harmonize with Old Testament truth.

Of little import to the serious Bible student are the paraphrase versions, like the Living Bible and Good News Bible. These use dynamic equivalence and in­terpretive paraphrase techniques to make very easy reading but also very free English translations.

 

Sacred Name Bibles

We’ve covered a mere fraction of the hundreds of English versions available. There are many other lesser knowns, including single translator versions like the James Moffatt, Smith and Goodspeed, and J.B. Phillips. These former two acknowledge the true Name Yahweh in their prefaces.

Of significance to True Worshipers seeking to worship their Father in the truth of His personal Name is J.B. Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible, which uses the Name Yahweh in the Old Tes­tament, as do the Anchor Bible and Jerusalem Bible.

Since the 1950s several Bibles have been produced that restore the sacred Name. One of which is A.B. Traina’s Holy Name Bible. This work is based on the King James, although it reorganizes chapters in some books (including Gen­esis, Daniel, and Revelation) and takes a few translation liberties.

Other Sacred Name Bibles:

The Restoration of the Original Sacred Name Bible was published in 1976. This Bible is based on the Rotherham Version and uses the European-inflected Ashkenazic form of the sacred Name, Yahvah, as well as Yahshua in the New Testament.

Published by the Institute for Scrip­ture Research in South Africa, The Scriptures says in the foreword that it uses the Masoretic Hebrew and Ara- maic as found in Kittle’s Biblia Hebraica for the Old Testament. In the New, this translation relies on three Greek texts. The Tetragrammaton (four Hebrew let­ters of Yahweh’s Name) is used in the Old Testament wherever the sacred Name is found. It employs the Hebrew letters for Yahshua in the New.

In 1992 World Book Publishers of Iowa Falls, Iowa, published The Autho­rized King James Version of 1611 in Ex­egeses. A year later came the second edi­tion called the Exegeses Ready Research Bible. This Sacred Name version uses the King James and inserts exegeses or critical explanatory words within the flow of the text. It employs the Ashkenazic form “Yahveh” in the Old Testament and “Yahshua” in the New. This transla­tion restores the Hebrew names of people and places of Scripture.

The Word of Yahweh of Eaton Rapids, Michigan, is a King James Bible using “Yahweh,” “Yahshua,” and “Elohim” with an explanation of the criteria used for employing “Yahweh” and “Yahshua” in the New Testament.

 

The Bible Student’s Wish

We see a reawakening to Bible truth to­day. Fifty years ago when the sincere Bible student mentioned the sacred Name and Yahweh’s Sabbaths and Feast days, he received quizzical stares.

But today, many churchgoers now know that Yahweh is the true, personal Name of the Father, and that Yahshua is the Name of His Son. Most Bible translators say they want to provide as accurate a version as pos­sible. Perhaps some day all Bible transla­tors will be honest with themselves and their readers and boldly and properly proclaim the true Names Yahweh and Yahshua in all Bible versions.

Apocrypha and the Bible

Apocrypha – Recipe for Imitation Bible

Start with a pinch of Homer, add two cups of scriptural interpretation, slowly pour in some secret ingredients and blend with copious amounts of wild imagination. Chop into 11 parts (more depending on your appetite), cook on low heat, and let simmer for 1500 years. Serve along with Scripture.

This recipe for imitation Bible is known as the Apocrypha. The Roman Catholic Church serves it as main fare in their version of the Scriptures. Before you indulge on this literary concoction, first consider the ingredients. Apocrypha means “things hidden or concealed.” It is from the Greek word apokryphos and it concerns writings that at first were not read publicly. Later, Apocrypha came to be understood as spurious and uncanonical writings.

In common usage, Apocrypha refers to the 11 books (some say 14) made a part of some Bibles by the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in 1546. This council itself dropped three of the apocryphal books that had been admitted at the Council of Carthage in 397. Those dropped were Prayer of Manasses and 1 and 2 Esdras. All three had appeared for 1,100 years in the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible, completed by Jerome in 405.

The Apocrypha was written between the third and first centuries B.C.E. in the period between the Old and New Testaments. Because of that, some Bibles place the Apocrypha between their Old and New Testament pages.

The books generally recognized as constituting the Apocrypha are: 1, 2 Maccabees; Prayer of Manasses; 1, 2 Esdras; Tobit; Judith; Wisdom; Ecclesiasticus (a.k.a. Sirach); Baruch and Epistle of Jeremy; supplements to Esther and three additions to Daniel include: The Song of the Three Children, Susanna and the Elders, the

Destruction of Bel and the Dragon; and the Letters of Jeremiah.

Jews Rejected Apocrypha

The trend toward including these works as part of the Scriptures was initiated by Augustine in 354 to 430. Although acknowledging some of the historical values of the books, Augustine admitted there was a definite difference between these “outside books” and the Inspired Word.

These spurious works were found in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament. This fact alone gives no credence to the argument that the Apocrypha was part of the inspired canon, because no original copies of the Septuagint exist to support such a position. In fact, the Jewish Council of Jamnia in 90 C.E. specifically excluded the Apocrypha from the Hebrew canon of Inspired Scripture.

It was the Jews who were entrusted with preserving the Old Testament Bible. Paul testified to that fact, “What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of Yahweh,” Romans 3:1-2. By oracles Paul meant the actual words of Yahweh, given to Moses and the prophets, Acts 7:38.

No other literary work has been preserved better through the ages than the Bible. The Scribes were meticulous in their dedication to transcribe Scripture exactly. If there were any authenticity to the Apocrypha the Jews would have recognized it. On the contrary. They rejected it.

Neither was any stamp of approval given by Josephus, the first century historian. He said, “For there are not with us myriads of books, discordant and discrepant, but only two and twenty (equivalent to the 39 books of Hebrew Scripture), comprising the history of all time, which are justly accredited.”

Josephus acknowledged that the Hebrew Canon was complete following the books of Nehemiah and Malachi in the 5th century B.C.E. He wrote, “From the time of Artaxerxes up to our own everything has been recorded, but the records have not accounted equally worthy of credit with those written before them, because the exact succession of prophets ceased.” The Bible itself is testimony to the great lengths Yahweh went to preserve the Scriptures.

Jeremiah had been prophesying for 23 years in the 36th chapter of his book. Yahweh commanded him to write his prophecies in a book to be read in the synagogue. When King Jehoiakim heard some of the prophecies he threw the scroll into a fire. With the help of a scribe, Jeremiah rewrote the entire book through Yahweh’s inspiration.   If the apocryphal books were to be part of the Hebrew Canon, why is not a single one of them quoted in the New Testament? There are hundreds of quotations of the Old Testament included in the New, yet not one original quotation from one of the apocryphal books is found.

Books with Flaws

The Bible contains no errors. Any mistakes found in modern translations are by translators or editors. Most did not have a grasp of Yahweh’s entire plan of salvation and didn’t understand how the Bible complements itself. The mere historical and literary accuracy of Scripture is testimony to holy inspiration.

The same is not true of the Apocrypha. The best evidence for the bogus nature of the Apocrypha is found in the books themselves. Two of the writers imply that the works are not inspired. In the prologue to Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), we find, ”…my grandfather Jesus, after devoting himself especially to the reading of the law and the prophets and the other books of our fathers, and after acquiring considerable proficiency in them, was himself led to write wisdom…” We get the idea of a cut-and- paste job in the books of Maccabees. From 2 Maccabees 2:25 and 28 we discover this admission, “We have aimed to please those who wish to read, to make it easy for those who are inclined to memorize, and to profit all readers…leaving the responsibility for exact details to the compiler, while devoting our effort to arriving at the outlines of condensation.”

Lacking a prophetic element, the Apocrypha at times contradict the Bible and even themselves. They are full of historical and geological inaccuracies as well as errors in fact and mistakes in time. Each of these mistakes is witness to the fallible men who wrote them.

Their Errors Are Legion

Let’s take a look at a few of the Apocryphal books and discover why they are classified as uninspired.

The Book of Enoch  – Jude 1:14: And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, Yahweh   cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are wicked among them of all their wicked deeds which they have unrighteously committed, and of all their hard speeches which wicked sinners have spoken against him.”

This is a prophecy by the man Enoch. It is found in the non-canonical 1Enoch 1:9. The words, “Book of Enoch” are nowhere found in Scripture. The Jews did not include this book in their accepted canon, and they were the ones entrusted with that very responsibility by Yahweh Himself, Romans 3:2. The book called Enoch did not appear before the first century BCE. A Restoration Study Bible note in Jude 1:14 from Barnes’ Commentary reads, “There is, indeed, now an apocryphal writing called the Book of Enoch containing a prediction strongly resembling this, but there is no certain proof that it existed so early as the time of Jude, nor if it did, is it absolutely certain that he quoted from it. Both Jude and the author of that book may have quoted a common tradition of their time, for there can be no doubt that the passage referred to was handed down by tradition.”

The Book of Tobit or Tobias is about a pious Jew who is deported to Nineveh. Blinded by bird dung, he sends his son Tobias to collect a debt. During the journey Tobias acquires the gall of a fish that restores his father’s sight.

Estimated to be from the third century B.C.E., Tobit has a serious chronological flaw, among other problems. It says Tobit saw the revolt of the northern tribes (997 B.C.E.) and was on the scene when the tribe of Naphtali was deported to Ninevah (740 B.C.E.). That would mean he lived more than 257 years. But Tobit 14:1-3 gives his age as 102 when he died.

The fact of two authors brings confusion to the Book of Baruch. The first five chapters are made to look as if Baruch wrote them. The sixth chapter is presented as a letter written by Jeremiah. Baruch is said to live in Babylon (1:1, 2) although the Bible says he went to Egypt. In his preface to the Book of Jeremiah, Jerome said, “I have not thought it worthwhile to translate the Book of Baruch.”

In Judith events are said to have occurred during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar who is called the king “who reigned over the Assyrians in the great city of Ninevah,” Judith 1:1, 7. The fact is that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon and never reigned in Ninevah because Ninevah was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar’s father, Nabopolassar. Furthermore, the introduction to the Jerusalem Bible notes that the itinerary of officer Holofernes is a “geographical impossibility.”

A case of mistaken authorship is found in Wisdom. Certain texts in this book present Solomon as its author (9:7, 8, 12). The Jerusalem Bible states that this is a “literary device,” because Wisdom cites passages of Scripture written centuries after Solomon died. Also in Wisdom are advanced the erroneous doctrines of the immortality of the soul (2:23; 3:2, 4) as well as the preexistence of human souls, 8:19, 20 and 9:15. Wisdom of Solomon (11:17) states that G-d “created the world out of formless matter.” Tobit and Judith contain many historical, chronological, and geographical errors.

Perhaps the most valuable of the Old Testament Apocrypha are I and II Maccabees. These two books arebasically historical accounts of the Jewish struggle for independence during the second century B.C.E. They concern the exploits of a priest named Mattathias and his five sons who revolted against Antiochus Epiphanes in his attempt to destroy the Jews and their religion. The works are characteristically written from the human standpoint and did not form part of the inspired Canon.

New Forgeries Flourish

With the advent of the New Testament, new apocryphal works popped up like blossoms in April. There are about 50 spurious “gospels” besides many apocryphal Acts and Epistles. Written mostly beginning in the second century, these works imitated the Evangels, Acts, Letters of Paul and Revelation.

They were partly an attempt to fill in the gaps purposely left open by the inspired New Testament writers. For example, two books purport to detail the events of Yahshua’s youth, information the Bible is purposely silent on. They picture Him as a capricious child performing miracles at whim with supernatural powers.

Of the later apocryphal works, The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible says, “Many of them are trivial, some are highly theatrical, some are disgusting, even loathsome.” These imitation works were excluded from the New Testament writings in the same way the Hebrew Canon was kept pure of the older Apocrypha.

The Apocrypha are the source of some of the dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. Here is a glimpse of some of the spurious works appearing after the New Testament’s advent:

• Gospel of Nicodemus. A purely imaginary report on the trial of Yahshua to the emperor Tiberius (2nd or 5th century).

• Passing of Mary. Silly miracles, ending with the removal of her “spotless and precious body” to Paradise. Written in the 4th century with the rise of virgin worship.

• Nativity of Mary. Deliberate forgery of the 6th century to further worship of the Virgin Mary. Stories about daily visits of angels to Mary. Immensely popular as papacy grew.

• The Gospel of the Egyptians. Imaginary conversations between Yahshua and Salome (130-150)

• Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew. (note the name!) A 5th century forged translation of Matthew, abounding with the supposed childhood miracles of Yahshua.

• Gospel of Thomas. A 2nd century work on Yahshua’s life from the 5th to the 12th year. Makes him a miracle worker to satisfy his boyish whims.

• Apocalypse of Peter. Purported visions of heaven and hell granted to Peter. Called spurious by Eusebius.

Bible’s Truth Preserved

With all the attempts to imitate the Bible, the holy inspiration of Scripture is borne out time after time. With each archaeological discovery, the Bible and its authenticity stand durable. The Psalmist wrote, “The statutes of Yahweh are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of Yahweh is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of Yahweh is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of Yahweh are true and righteous altogether,” Psalm 19:8 and 9.

Henry Halley, in his Bible Handbook, sums up the Bible’s veracity beautifully: “If you assume that the Bible is just what it appears to be, accept the books as we have them in the Bible as units, study them to know their contents, you will find there a unity of thought indicating that one mind inspired the writing and compilation of the whole series of books. That it bears on its face the stamp of its author. [Yahweh] Himself superintended and directed and dictated the writing of the Bible books, with the human authors so completely under His control that the writing was [Yahweh’s] writing. The Bible is [Yahweh’s] Word, in a sense that no other book in the world is [Yahweh’s] Word.”

Eight Reasons Why the Apocrypha Are Not Inspired Scripture

  • Unlike other Scriptures, none of the apocryphal writers claims to be inspired.
  • Unlike the Old Testament, the Apocrypha are nowhere quoted in the New.
  • The Apocrypha are tainted with errors in fact and time, exposing non-inspiration.
  • The Apocrypha contain fabulous statements which not only contradict the “canonical” scriptures but also themselves. For example, in the two Books of Maccabees, Antiochus Epiphanes is made to die three different deaths in three different places.
  •  The Apocrypha include doctrines in variance with the Bible, such as prayers    for the dead, sinless perfection, and immortality of the soul.
  • The apocryphal books were never acknowledged as sacred scriptures by the    Jews, custodians of the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, the Jewish people rejected and destroyed the Apocrypha after the overthrow of Jerusalem in 70 CE.
  • Not one of the apocryphal books is written in the Hebrew language, which was used by all the inspired writers of the Old Testament. All apocryphal books are in Greek, except one which exists only in Latin.
  • The apocryphal books were not permitted among the sacred books during the  first four centuries of the common era.
How to understand the Bible

How to Understand the Bible

A proper and accurate understanding of the Bible is so important that our very salvation hinges on it. Whether we walk in Truth will hinge on our grasp of the Truth. Paul told Timothy: “Take heed unto yourself, and unto the doctrine [proper teachings]; continue in them: for in doing this you shall save both yourself, and them that hear you,” 1Timothy 4:16.

For a variety of reasons some passages create difficulty. Doctrinal problems result if care isn’t taken to rightly divide the Word.

Some Bible students approach the Word in a piecemeal way, yanking verses or parts of verses out of context with damaging and even dangerous results. The story is told of a man who did this very thing while looking for an answer to a dilemma in his life.

Not knowing where or even how to look, he closed his eyes, flipped through his Bible’s pages, and happened to drop his finger down on Matthew 27:5: “Judas went and hanged himself.”

That wasn’t much help so he tried again, this time stopping on Luke 10:37, where Yahshua said, “Go and do likewise.”

He’d try one more time, his finger landing on John 13:27, “That thou doest, do quickly.”

Poor Study Methods Yield Error

One cannot afford to be careless with the Scriptures. The Word is given for proper doctrine, correction, and instruction in righteous living, 2Timothy 3:16. Paul also told Timothy, “Study to show yourself approved unto Elohim, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth,” 2Timothy 2:15.

So how can we study Yahweh’s Word and know that we are properly understanding it? Five principles of Bible study will help guide us in getting the truth from each verse, while solving most problems presented by the more difficult passages.

Principle One: Take it at Face Value

The first principle of proper Bible understanding is to take the passage just as it reads. Look first for the literal meaning. A symbolic or deeper sense of the passage will often be evident, especially in combination with other related verses.

When Yahweh commands, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” Exodus 20:8, and then explains that we are to work six days and rest the seventh, He means to keep the Sabbath literally by resting from work. He does not mean to remember it by just thinking about the Sabbath or its significance while continuing to labor on the seventh day. The passage would be better rendered, “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy,” which is how a few versions render it. This shows that the command is not intended for just a spiritual application, as some teach, but for literal ceasing from labor, a fact made obvious by consulting other translations.

Principle Two: Read the Passage in Context

When faced with a difficult verse, read all the verses surrounding it. Read what comes immediately before and after the passage. Read the entire chapter, if necessary. Often this will reveal the true meaning.

As obvious as this principle is, even many “experts” fail to apply it and end up twisting a passage or missing its meaning entirely. An example of this is Romans 14:5, which has been used to support Sunday worship. “One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

By reading the entire chapter we can plainly see that Paul is addressing the practices of fasting and vegetarianism, and is not discussing the day of rest.

Principle three: Let Scripture Explain Itself

The biggest mistake of popular worship is a failure to harmonize the Scriptures, a violation that has led to a myriad of contradictory teachings. A verse will never disagree with any other passage in the Word.

In John 10:35 Yahshua said the Scriptures cannot be broken (“broken” is the Greek luo, meaning to loosen or dissolve). Paul in 2Timothy 3:16 tells us that ALL Scripture is inspired, meaning it is “Yahweh breathed.” And Yahweh never contradicts Himself, Hebrews 6:18.

We can’t say Paul did away with the law in Galatians 3:13 only to have him upholding it in Romans 7:1, 12.

In the same way we cannot read of the Savior’s plain instruction to the young man, “If you will enter into life, keep the Commandments,” Matthew 19:17, and then turn right around and say he abolished the law at His death, rendering His directive to the young man useless and pointless.

When a particular view of a passage does not seem to hold up in light of other Scriptures that say the opposite, then something is wrong with our understanding of the passage.

Principle Four: Know the Context

You often need to know the reason a passage was written in order to understand it properly; it may also be very helpful to know to whom the passage was written and why.

For example, 1Corinthians 16:2 has been grossly misinterpreted to support worship on the first day of the week. “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as Yahweh has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” “Lay by him in store” does not refer to passing an offering plate at a church service on Sunday morning. Rather, Paul is seeking help for a drought-induced famine situation in Jerusalem. He asks that the brethren in Corinth have their aid ready to give to the Jerusalem brethren on the first day of the week so that he can pick it up when he comes by. “Day” is not in the Greek but is an added word by translators.

No reference to a Sunday worship service is intended or implied. A careful reading of the first 4 verses reveals the truth of the circumstance and will dispel any erroneous conclusions drawn from this passage.

Some believe that Paul taught against observing Sabbaths and Feasts in Galatians 4:8-11: “Howbeit then, when you knew not Elohim, you did service unto them which by nature are no g-ds. But now, after that you have known Elohim, or rather are known of Elohim, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.”

If we understand that the Galatians were converts from a pagan place called Gaul (an area of old France from which they derived their name), then it is clear that he is telling them to stop going back to their old heathen ways. The “days, and months, and times, and years” he is speaking about is not the Sabbath and Feasts commanded at Sinai, but their old false worship, which is defined as “weak and beggarly,” being without substance and truth. Yahweh’s days are never referred to as weak and beggarly,

but part of His laws that are defined as “holy…and just, and good,” Romans 7:12.

Principle Five: Language and Grammar

Anyone who has studied a foreign language knows that nuances of meaning are often lost in the translation. By returning to the original languages as much as possible, one can come much closer to understanding the passage.

The common interpretation of Romans 10:4 is that Yahshua did away with the law. “For Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.” The Greek word “end” is telos and means “goal.” Far from being the termination of the law, Yahshua is the very purpose for the law! The law aims at Him. The law transforms us to be like Yahshua when we adhere to it. He said in Matthew 12:50, “For whosoever shall do the will of my father Which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother.”

Now we can employ principles three and five together. The same word telos is found in James 5:11, “…you have heard the patience of Job, and have seen the end [telos] of Yahweh, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.”

The same word telos is used in both passages. If telos means “end,” as in end of the law, then Yahweh has come to an end, too. In truth, telos means “goal” in both verses.

Another example of the importance of knowing the original meaning of words is in Matthew 25:46, which has been popularly interpreted to say that the wicked go to an ever-burning hell fire to roast in agony for eternity. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

The word “punishment” is from the Greek kolasis, and signifies a “lopping off.” It derives from No. 2849 in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Greek dictionary and means to curtail. Properly interpreted, the verse tells us that the wicked will forever be “cut off,” their lives “curtailed.”

This agrees with 2Thessalonians 1:9, which reads that the wicked “shall be punished with an everlasting destruction from the presence of Yahweh and from the glory of his power.” Destruction” in this verse is the Greek olethros and means to destroy, not live forever sizzling in sulfurous flames for an eternity in a world of fiery brimstone.