Why does the Hebrew University teach that anciently, the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet waw has a “w” sound in their curriculum rather than the modern Hebrew “v” vav sound?
To answer this, we reached out to Professor Adina Moshavi, Ph.D. in Semitic languages and Literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, this was her response:
“…there are many ways to demonstrate that the waw was not originally pronounced as a labiodental “v” as it is in Tiberian Hebrew. The fact that the waw is frequently used as a mater lectionis for a long u sound would be impossible to explain if it was pronounced v, like the bet rafeh, rather as the semivowel w. Furthermore, there are many Hebrew words where a historical diphthong aw, as evidenced from Semitic cognates, has been reduced to a long vowel, e.g., in hiphil perfect of w-initial verbs hawrid > horid “he brought down”, or in the word yawm > yom [יוֹם] “day”, and alternations between a diphthong and a long vowel, e.g., absolute mawwet vs. construct mot “death.” Such correspondences are only understandable if the phonetic value of the waw was a semivowel.”
Professor Adina Moshavi, Ph.D. Semitic languages and Literature
Biblical Hebrew syntax, Biblical Hebrew pragmatics
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Hebrew Language Department
Hello. I was wondering what the bible says on YRM’s view on vaccinations? I’m going through a bit of a difficult time when it comes to withholding vaccines for my children. I’ve done a little research and many vaccines have animal blood, gelatin, and more in them, so I assumed we wouldn’t inject those inside us. Well, not only do I get tons of backlash from this, but I have to admit I’m a bit scared that I’m leaving my children vulnerable to certain diseases. I only messaged because it’s said that there is a measles outbreak and the reason is unvaccinated children. I just want to do what YHWH approves of and keep my children protected. What is your view? I appreciate your time, thank you.
There are two concerns with vaccines. The first involves the use of unclean ingredients, including gelatin. While gelatin can be produced from multiple sources, it is most often derived from swine. According to the Bible, the swine is unclean and the eating of its flesh is an abomination, Deuteronomy 14:8 and Isaiah 66:17. Some vaccines also contain aborted human fetal tissue. The use of such items is not only unclean, but morally unconscionable.
The second concern is vaccines’ toxicity. This is largely due to the use of the mercury-based preservative thimerosal. This neurotoxin has been linked to autism and other serious health conditions. In addition to thimerosal, there are other questionable ingredients, such as aluminum and formaldehyde.
For these reasons, YRM strongly cautions against the use of vaccines, especially those with unclean or lethal ingredients. We are glad to provide exemption letters to those who desire to opt out of immunizations on religious grounds. If you desire an exception letter opting out of vaccinations, you can contact the ministry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org by mail at P.O. Box 463, Holts Summit, MO 65043. You can also call during normal business hours, Monday-Friday, 8-4, CT, at (573) 896-1000.
Q. I agree that the idea of the Beit HaMikdash [temple in Jerusalem] being in the city of David (Mount Tzion) has many positives, however no one putting forth Mt. Tzion as the true location in videos have mentioned 2 Chronicles 3:1, JPS TANAKH: “1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where [the LORD] appeared unto David his father; for which provision had been made in the Place of David, in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.” This passage must be addressed and not ignored.
A. We believe that Mt. Zion and Mt. Moriah are synonymous, similar to Mt. Sinai and Mt. Horeb. As a side note, the location of Mt. Zion has been misunderstood for some time. Most still identify Mt. Zion west from the City of David, when in fact the Bible places it within the City of David. As for Zion being the location of the temple, consider the below passages:
Ps 2:6: “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
Ps 20:2: “Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion.”
Ps 51:18-19: “Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.”
Ps 76:2: “In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion.”
Ps 99:2: “Yahweh is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.”
Ps 102:16: “When Yahweh shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.”
Ps 132:13: “For Yahweh hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.”
Joel 2:1: “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of Yahweh cometh, for it is nigh at hand.”
Based on the above passages, there is no denying that Zion represents the location of where Yahweh dwelt. Therefore, Zion and Mt. Moriah must be the same location.
For additional information on the temple, watch Discovering the Real Temple Mount, Pt. 1:
Q. What does the Bible says about revenge? How should a righteous person respond when being abused?
A. Yahshua the Messiah in Matthew 5:43-44 states, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
Out of all the teachings we find in the New Testament, this is one of the hardest to follow. The last thing our human nature desires to do is to pray for those who mistreat and persecute us. However, as believers we are called to follow a different standard, one that reflects the Messiah.
However, this does not mean we place or leave ourselves in a situation that’s abusive. While we are not to hold grudges or animosity against those who have wronged us, there is no scriptural command to remain in that condition. Therefore, if we are being unjustly maltreated, we can take corrective action to alleviate that abuse.
For example, if we are being abused by our spouse, there is no scriptural mandate that requires us to remain in that relationship. In this case separation may be justified. However, in this specific instance, we must biblically remain unmarried or reconcile with our spouse, 1Corinthians 7:11. Marriage is for life and remarriage is not permissible as long as our spouse is alive, Romans 7:2-3. If someone is harassing you at work, the Bible allows a person to seek mitigation through management.
In summary, while there is no biblical requirement to stay in an abusive situation where we are being unjustly persecuted, we should not hold animosity or resentment, but must forgive by letting go of that anger. But again, this does not mean we cannot take corrective action to alleviate the abuse.
Q. I recently received my RSB and I’m very pleased with it. However, I have a friend that I frequently study with that refuses to even look at my RSB because he only studies Bibles that are translated from the Textus Receptus. My question to you is, is this important? My friend is pretty knowledgeable and is a wealth of information for me in my Messianic studies, but he sometimes seems to get hung up on trivial things. Yet he doesn’t seem to see a problem with referring to our Father and Messiah as God and Jesus. Can you please shed any light on the Textus Receptus, what it actually is, and what impact it has on modern Bibles and study resources?
A. The Textus Receptus, also called the Received Text, is a collection of Greek texts that were used by those who translated the KJV and other English translations. Since the Restoration Study Bible is largely the KJV with the correct names/titles restored, it too would be based on the Textus Receptus. The other major collection of Greek texts is the Alexandrian texts. The Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus are the two most well-known and date approx. to the 4th century. The two main differences between these texts is the Textus Receptus is greater in number, but newer, while the Alexandrian texts are fewer, but older.
Since the KJV and most early English translations of the Bible were based on the Textus Receptus, many favor this text. We take more of a neutral position and study from translations based on both texts. The fact is, since we do not have the original copies of the New Testament, which we believe were likely Hebrew or Aramaic, it’s impossible to know which text is more accurate. However in our studies we have not seen where either text drastically changes the meaning of Scripture. There are differences, but minor.
I believe that the King James Version was inspired by the Holy Spirit and that all modern translations should be avoided. Do you agree that the KJV is infallible?
While we certainly do not oppose the use of the King James Version and believe that it’s a sound translation of Scripture, we do not believe that it’s the only inspired version of Scripture. It’s important to note that all English translations have errors and mistakes.
One mistake found in the KJV that has been corrected in nearly all other translations is the use of the word “Easter” in Acts 12:4. This word comes from the Greek pascha. Virtually all theologians and biblical scholars agree that pascha refers to the Passover. According to Strong’s, this word refers to “the Passover.” Thayer’s Greek Lexicon agrees, “the paschal sacrifice (which was accustomed to be offered for the people’s deliverance of old from Egypt).” Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary concurs, “…it should be, ‘after the Passover:’ that is, after the conclusion of the festival. (The word employed in our King James Version being an ecclesiastical term of later date, is improperly used here.).”
In addition to the above example, the fact that the KJV went through multiple revisions shows that there were mistakes in the original 1611 translation. For example: consider the below list of original and later corrected passages:
And your heart shall live that seeke good. (1611)
And your heart shall live that seek God. (Corrected)
…she set it vpon the toppe of a rocke, she powred it vpon the ground to couer it with dust: (1611)
…she set it upon the top of a rock; she poured it not upon the ground, to cover it with dust; (corrected)
2 Timothy 4:13
The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou commest, bring with thee, but especially the parchments. (1611)
The cloke that I left as Troas with Carpus, when thou commest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. (corrected)
But when hee saw Iesus afarre off, he CAME and worshipped Him. (1611)
But when he saw Jesus afar off, he RAN and worshipped Him. (corrected)
In addition to the KJV, all English translations of the Bible contain mistakes, including those based on the Majority and Alexandrian text-types. For example, nearly all English versions of the New Testament contain the Trinitian formula of 1John 5:7, even though scholarship universally agrees that this passage is spurious. Consider the following:
“The text of this verse should read, Because there are three that bear record. The remainder of the verse is spurious. Not a single manuscript contains the trinitarian addition before the fourteenth century, and the verse is never quoted in the controversies over the Trinity in the first 450 years of the church era.,” The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, note on 1 John 5:7-8.
“But it is likely this verse is not genuine. It is wanting in every manuscript of this letter written before the invention of printing, one excepted, the Codex Montfortii, in Trinity College, Dublin: the others which omit this verse amount to one hundred and twelve.It is missing in both the Syriac, all the Arabic, Ethiopic, the Coptic, Sahidic, Armenian, Slavonian, etc., in a word, in all the ancient versions but the Vulgate; and even of this version many of the most ancient and correct MSS. have it not. It is wanting also in all the ancient Greek fathers; and in most even of the Latin,” Adam Clarke’s Commentary, note on 1 John 5:7.
Barnes Notes’ also notes, “…for it must be plain to anyone who examines the subject with an unbiassed mind, that the passages which are relied on to prove that it was quoted by Athanasius, Cyprian, Augustin, etc., (Wetstein, II., p. 725) are not taken from this place, and are not such as they would have made if they had been acquainted with this passage, and had designed to quote it. IV. The argument against the passage from the external proof is confirmed by internal evidence, which makes it morally certain that it cannot be genuine,” note in 1 John 5:7.
In addition to the above, there are numerous other examples of where the English translations of the Bible deviate from the Hebrew and Greek. In fact, there are differences between Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Does this imply that we cannot trust English translations of the Bible? No, most English translations of the Bible are fairly reliable. Compared to other literary works from antiquity, the integrity of the Bible is quite amazing.
However, based on the fact that there are mistakes and spurious passages in all English translations of the Bible, it’s a good idea to compare trustworthy translations, such as the King James Version, American Standard Version, and Revised Standard Version. Even more importantly is to compare the English to the original language. For the Old Testament this would be Hebrew and for the New Testament this would be Greek (although, YRM believes there is creditable evidence to suggest an original Hebrew New Testament). Resources to accomplish this would include the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, and Thayer’s Greek Lexicon.
What kind of tongue is referred to in 1 Corinthians 14:2-5? What does Paul mean when he refers to the unknown tongue and no man understanding it? Also, why does he state in verse four that an unknown tongue only edifies the person speaking in the unknown tongue? Lastly, why does he wish all men to speak in tongues, as seen in verse five?
“For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto Elohim: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the assembly. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the assembly may receive edifying,” 1Corinthians 14:2-5.
When trying to understand what Paul is conveying in the above passage, it’s important that we understand the Greek words for “tongues” and “prophesy.”
The phrase “unknown tongue” found in 1Corinthians 14:2 is from the Greek glossa. Strong’s defines glossa as, “…the tongue; by implication, a language (specially, one naturally unacquired).” Thayer’s states, “…a tongue; the language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations.” From these sources, glossa clearly refers to a known language or dialect. This is critically important to understand. As seen in Acts 2, those gathered for Pentecost spoke and heard one another in their native language.
The word “prophesy” comes from the Greek propheteuo and means, “…to foretell events, divine, speak under inspiration, exercise the prophetic office.” Along with foretelling the future, propheteuo also conveys the thought of simply teaching under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Based on the above definitions and the context of this passage, Paul is confirming that when someone speaks in an unknown tongue, i.e., language, that he only benefits himself. The reason for this is that his language is unknown to the audience. However, when someone prophesies, i.e., speaks under the inspiration of the Spirit, they benefit all who hear the message.
Regarding your last question as to why Paul wishes all to speak in tongues, we believe the emphasis is not on the gift of tongues, but on the gift of prophecy. He says “…but rather that you prophesied.” From verse 22, Paul verifies that tongues was a sign to the unbeliever, while prophecy was a sign to the believer.
Regarding the “Pentecostal” interpretation of tongues, this is not scriptural and not supported here or elsewhere in the Bible.
Should believers in the Messiah be listening to heavy metal and other forms of secular music?
Music is a powerful tool that can be both positive and negative. The Bible provides many examples of music being used in worship and also to soothe troubled spirits in the case of Saul and David.
Realizing that music contains power over the mind and soul, it’s important that we’re selective as to what type of music we listen to as a believer. As we are to refrain from conversations and entertainment that promote evil speaking and thoughts, the same would apply to music. For this reason, we should be very selective as to the music we listen to. While there is nothing wrong with certain forms of secular music, we must ensure that it’s not promoting a message or spirit of opposition to Yahweh’s Word. This would include endorsing things like immortality or depravity (e.g. adultery, homosexuality, etc.) or music that may replace Yahweh’s shalom for a spirit of rebellion.
In the case of heavy metal music, we believe this form of music would violate both concerns. Heavy metal songs often promote immorality along with a spirit that is not of Yahweh. In some cases, the spirit may be demonic, allowing demonic influence to take root within our lives. For this reason, we suggest avoiding heavy metal and other forms of music that would offend Yahweh or provide access for the Evil One.
“Be ye therefore followers of Elohim, as dear children; And walk in love, as Messiah also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to Yahweh for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Messiah and of Yahweh,” Ephesians 5:1-5.
What is YRM’s position on the wearing of tassels or tzitzit?
We do not teach for or against tassels or tzitzit; we leave this to personal conviction. The reason for this is that there is a reasonable debate on both sides.
Some who favor tassels will point out that’s it’s mentioned in the Torah and that they were worn by Yahshua the Messiah. Both of these points are scripturally valid, Numbers 15:38-39; Deuteronomy 22:12; Matthew 23:5.
Others who are not convicted will point out the origin of the command was in response to the Israelites deliberately breaking the Sabbath, which Scripture may support, Numbers 15:32-38. They also state that as the tassels were a reminder for the Israelites in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit serves as a reminder for believers in the New Testament, Luke 12:12; Romans 9:1; 1Corinthians 12:3; Hebrews 2:4.
For these reasons, we leave this command to the personal conviction of individual believers. We do not condemn or criticize those who choose to wear them or those who choose not to wear them.
Is the earth a sphere or do we live on a flat earth? Also, are we living in a heliocentric model of the universe?
The Bible describes the earth as circular in shape. Isaiah 40:22 states, “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.”
The word “circle” derives from the Hebrew chuwg. Strong’s defines this word as a “…from OT:2328; a circle.” The Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon provides a similar quote: “a circle, a circuit, a compass.” Some will agree that the earth is circular in shape, but is flat and not a three-dimensional sphere.
As seen above, BDB expands the definition of chuwg to include a “vault,” which is a three-dimensional shape. It’s also noteworthy that according to Modern Hebrew, chuwg includes the definition of a sphere.
Regarding the heliocentric model, i.e., planets revolve around the sun, the Bible does not have much to say about this. However, we find ample evidence in science for both the heliocentric model and the sphere of the earth.
As early as 500 BCE, Pythagoras of Samos, a well-known Greek mathematician, hypothesized that the sun was sphere-shaped and that the earth rotated around it. As a side note, Pythagorean theorem was named after Pythagoras. Plato (427-347 BCE) and Aristotle (384-322 BCE), along with nearly all Greek writers after the 5th century, alsobelieved in a spherical earth.
Aristotle based his belief on several natural phenomena. For example, he noticed stars that could be seen in Cyrus could not be seen in the northern region. He also observed that when traveling south, the southern constellations rose higher above the horizon. In addition, he noticed that during a lunar eclipse the shadow of the earth was circular.
This theory was gradually accepted through late antiquity and the Middle-Ages and would eventually replace the idea of a flat earth. Today, this has been further confirmed by modern science, including thousands of pictures from space verifying the earth is spherical in shape.
From our perspective, the thought of hundreds of thousands of world leaders, scientists, graphic artists, engineers, and staff of every space agency in the world, private and international, engaged in a worldwide conspiracy to deceive the masses is not reasonable. This belief has also caused unnecessary division within the body of Messiah.