Does Gav Prove the Vav?

So called Hebrew scholar Nehemiah Gordon claims that the Hebrew word “gav” holds the key that unlocks the true pronunciation of the sixth letter waw, which almost all Hebrew linguists (including those at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem) believe anciently had a “w” sound. If he can prove that the sixth letter, also known as the vav was pronounced anciently as a “v,” then his claim that Yehovah, (Jehovah) holds more weight over the traditional scholarly consensus of the pronunciation Yahweh. His claim is that these two Hebrew words, one spelled with the soft bet “gav,” and the other spelled with waw “gaw,” clearly prove that this sixth letter had the original sound of “v.” He believes these two words are interchangeable, so according to him this is a major discovery that should rock the scholarly word to its core. Gordon has a history of speaking in hyperbole but in this case does he have validity?

According to Gordon: “The word for back in Hebrew is gav and gav can be written with a soft bet or with a vav, and the only way that can happen is if the soft bet and the vav have the same pronunciation.” So Gordon believes that this is proof of two variant spellings of the same word, back, and not two variant spellings of two different words.

The word Gav גַּב 1354  spelled with the soft bet (without the dagesh) occurs 13 times in the Hebrew Bible and only translates to mean “back” one time, in Ezekiel 10:12.  The 12 other various translations of gav are mound, rim of a wheel, embossed shield, arch of eye, dome roof, and various meanings of something “rounded.” It would make sense that this word could be used used for back as well, since the human back can curve and be round.

The other Hebrew word Gaw גַּו 1458 spelled with the “waw” or commonly called “vav” in modern Hebrew, occurs three times, 1 Kings 14:9, Nehemiah 9:26, and Ezekiel 23:35. In every occurrence of this word it means just “back.” It seems pretty clear from the translations that gav and gaw are two distinct words with two distinct meanings, as well as two distinct roots.

We reached out to the Hebrew University language department regarding Gordon’s claims regarding the Gav-Gaw connection since he claims this is such an amazing and earth shaking discovery. Professor Adina Moshavi commented:

“I completely agree that the גב/גו alternation is not an adequate proof to the contrary. I have not looked into this issue, but I see that the lexicons derive the two words from different roots, implying that the phonetic identity of the two words in Tiberian Hebrew is not significant,” Adina Moshavi, PhD, Hebrew Language Department, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

We also reached out to Steven Fassberg, PhD, professor at the Hebrew University and one of the world’s foremost experts in the Hebrew language and the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Israel. Regarding the gav-gaw question he replied: “gb (gav) is from the root gbb and gw (gaw) is from the root gww. Both are well attested roots in Semitic.” He continues…“There is no doubt whatsoever that vav was pronounced w in the Hebrew of the First Temple period and in Semitic languages.”

We also asked Professor Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal of the Hebrew University the same question and here was his response:

“Thank you for your question. There is no doubt that the original pronunciation was w There is some evidence that in some early Hebrew dialects there was a sound shift of w>v. There are two different prepositions go – inside and gab > on top.” Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal, PhD, Department of Hebrew Language, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

So if both of these words are from different roots according to the lexicon and to some of the best Hebrew experts in the world, then how can Gordon claim that they are a variation of the same word? Is Gordon ignorant of these Hebrew word roots? Is he willingly misleading people? To make these outlandish claims one can only assume one or the other.

We could also use such flawed reasoning, let me give you an example. Lets look at the Hebrew words שָׂחַק sachaq “to laugh” 7832 and צְחַק 6711 tzchaq “to Laugh.” Both have different roots but similar sounds. So with the same logic used by Gordon, does this mean that the letters Sin (s) and the Tzade (ts) have the same pronunciation just because the sounds of these letters are similar? Is this some cutting-edge find that should implode Biblical Hebrew as we know it? Of course not, that would be ridiculous.

Now that we have clearly debunked his ridiculous Gav-Gaw argument, Gordon had made the challenge to prove the waw sound has a “w” sound. He said: “Can you please show me your manuscripts with the “w” pronunciation?” This is not hard to do. If you understand how the language works and how contractions work, we can easily prove the waw sound as a “w” literally hundreds of times in the Hebrew Bible through contraction. When a word contracts, as happens with many words, it gets easier to say as fewer letters and sounds are typically used.

Let’s look at the Hebrew word, Avihu אָבִ֖יהוּ which means “his father” in Judges 14:10. It contracts to Aviw אָבִ֣יו “his father,” as found in in Judges 14:3. Notice in the contracted form the heh (h sound) has been dropped and the Shureq vowel letter וּ (which has the sound of “u” as in ruler) contracts to a consonantal waw ו and loses the niqqud dot. Now pronounce Avihu in it’s contracted form without the “h” Aviu. The softer sound of w is now vocalized. You could phonetically spell it Aviw with the double u. This occurs 220 times from Genesis to Chronicles and clearly proves the sound of the “waw” anciently is tied to the “w” or “double u” sound of the וּ Shureq. The use of the letter waw in connection with the “o” vowel sound as in Shalom שָׁלוֹם is no accident. When pronounced fast you can hear that “w” sound in the word—try it, say Shalom several times rapidly (shalom, shalom, shalom, shalom)…hear that “w” sound? The lips are in the same position when making an “O” (וֹ‎)   “U” (וּ)‎  or “W” (ו‎) sound but not with the “v” fricative sound which needs the upper teeth and lower lip engaged. The v in Hebrew is not tied to the waw letter ו‎ at all in biblical Hebrew but to the letter bet in Hebrew. The Bet has the sound of B with the dagesh dot בּ and V sound ב without the dagesh. The sounds B and V are very similar.

We can also see this with the word for brother, Akihu אָחִ֖יהוּ found in Jeremiah 34:9, contracted down to Akhiyw אָחִ֨יו where the heh is removed contracting the “hu” sound to the simple double U “w” sound in Jeremiah 34:14. This contraction also is seen hundreds of times in the Masoretic text. Now try saying Akihu several times really fast and you will hear the W sound in Akhiyw.

In our correspondence Professor Moshavi goes into greater detail regarding the connection to the “U” sound and why the waw could only be a semivowel, not a consonant like the v. “I believe there are many ways to demonstrate that the waw was not originally pronounced as a bilabial ‘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 dipthong 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 ‘day.’ and alternations between a dipthong and a long vowel, e.g.,absolute , awwet vs. construct mot ‘death.’  Such correspondences are only understandable if the phonetic value of the waw was a semivowel,” Adina Moshavi, PhD.

With so much evidence at our fingertips it is hard to comprehend how so many can believe Gordon’s false claims regarding the Waw vs. Vav debate. The information discussed is just another proof that the name Yahweh is not just ancient, but it also fits the rules of Hebrew grammar and cutting-edge linguistics.

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

How do you know which church is the right church to attend? Also I am interested in learning more and getting baptized but am nervous as to keeping Sabbaths and feasts.

Q     How do you know which church is the right church to attend? Also I am interested in learning more and getting baptized but am nervous as to keeping Sabbaths and feasts.

A     The only way you know if the “church” is right is by measuring what they believe against the Word. Below are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
• Are they using and honoring the Names of Yahweh and Yahshua?
• Are they worshiping on the Sabbath (Saturday) and keeping it holy?
• Are they observing the biblical Feast days as we see in the New Testament?
• Are they eating kosher based on Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14?
• Are they applying Yahshua’s living example in their own walk?
Nothing is more necessary than baptism into Yahshua’s Name and the subsequent receiving of the Holy Spirit. As Acts 4:12 states, there is only one name under heaven whereby we find salvation, i.e., Yahshua. Baptism is the only way we become part of Messiah and receive the Holy Spirit, which is necessary for the first resurrection. While it’s normal to be nervous about baptism, that should not stop you. However, before baptism make sure you understand the commitment involved and repent for a life-change.

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

What is your position regarding those who call themselves Jews today? Are they actual descendants of Judah?

Q.   What is your ministry’s position regarding the Synagogue of Satan, the Talmudist Satanists who call themselves Jews today? Are they seen as rejected by Yahweh for killing and rejecting Yahshua? Or is your movement a pro-Zionist modern Talmudist fetish?

A.   Generally speaking, we believe that the Jews during the time of the Messiah and the Jews today are the actual blood-descendants of the tribe of Judah. Based on Scripture, there’s no reason to doubt this position.

John 1:11 states that Yahshua “…came unto his own, and his own received him not.” The reference to “his own” clearly refers to the Jews, as we know the Messiah was from the tribe of Judah. Any other explanation would be illogical. Therefore, this passage verifies that the Jews during the first century were indeed from the tribe of Judah and were not counterfeit Jews as you and others construe.

The Bible also confirms that the Jews will be in Jerusalem at Yahshua’s Second Coming. Zechariah 12:2-5 states, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day, saith Yahweh, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in Yahweh of hosts their Elohim.”

Zechariah describes Yahshua’s return and verifies that the “house of Judah” will be in Jerusalem at this time. The “house of Judah” refers to the descendants of Judah. As John verifies that Judah existed at Yahshua’s first coming, Zechariah verifies that they be in the Holy Land at His Second Coming.

This belief that the Jews during Yahshua’s ministry and the Jews today are satanic and are of the synagogue of Satan is racism and bigotry in its worst form. Frankly, those who believe this should be ashamed and repent of espousing such hate.

While as a ministry we do not support every decision made by the Jewish state, we do support them as a people and believe the promise that Yahweh made to Abraham and to his seed still stands: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed,” Genesis 12:3.

This racist belief also violates what Paul states in the third chapter of Galatians: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Messiah Yahshua. And if ye be Messiah’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise,” verses 28-29.

Nationality and gender is inconsequential regarding salvation. Those who put up artificial barriers because of race or genetics are in defiance of Scripture. As believers, we are one in Messiah and heirs of Abraham, regardless of ethnicity or skin color.

For additional Q&A’s, please visit our Q&A page.

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

Did Paul follow the Messiah’s teachings or did he hijack them and begin a new religion?

Q.   Did Paul follow the Messiah’s teachings or did he hijack them and begin a new religion? Yahshua the Messiah says He’s for Israel only. It’s for this reason that I left the church 20 years ago and started with Buddhism.

A.   You ask a great and important question. We do not believe that Paul hijacked the Messiah’s message. While many today believe Paul started a new religion that resembled the Greco-Romans culture of his time, nothing could be further from the truth. If Paul is understood and his writings applied correctly, we will conclude that Paul never forsook the faith given to him as a boy. He continued keeping the commandments, even after coming to the Messiah.

An example of Paul’s unrelenting commitment to the faith of the Old Testament is Acts 24:14. He states there, “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:”

In addition, we find several examples of Paul supporting the commandments throughout his epistles:

Romans 3:31: “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not: yea, we establish the law.”

Romans 7:1, 12: Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? … Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”

1Corinthians 7:19: “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of Yahweh.”

These passages do not describe a man who was anti-law or against the Old Testament, but a man who supported and saw value in both. Along with Paul’s commitment to the law and the Old Testament, we find several examples of him referring to and observing the Sabbath and Feast days.

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

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

Acts 20:16: “For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.”

1Corinthians 5:7-8: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

A man who was sincerely opposed to the Old Testament laws would have never observed them as Paul did. Through Paul’s actions he demonstrated that he was not against the commandments, but supported and taught them.

While he remained faithful to his Old Testament roots, he was at times hard to understand. Peter even warns about Paul’s epistles, “And account that the longsuffering of our Master is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction,” 2Perter 3:15-16.

Sadly, Christianity is guilty of Peter’s admonition. For nearly 2,000 years the church has used Paul to undermine sound, biblical teachings. So much of church theology and teachings are based on error and paganism, including beliefs such as the Trinity, the immortal soul, and going to heaven or hell after death. This is also true of church holidays. Christmas and Easter are both based on pagan tradition. Christmas ushers back to the Roman festival of Saturnalia, a day originally dedicated to the god Saturn. As the early church grew, they compromised on an ever-increasing scale, until there was virtually no truth remaining.

As a ministry, we strive to base everything we believe and do only on the Bible. For this reason, we dismiss and reject all beliefs that are foreign, especially those adopted from paganism.

For more information, watch: Twisted Logic – Beware of the Doctrine of the First Glance

 

Visit our Q&A page for additional Q&A’s

Yahweh's Restoration Ministry

What the does the Bible say about the immortality of the soul?

Q.   Do you believe that mankind has an immortal soul? Many churches teach as their doctrine that when a person dies they instantly go to heaven or hell, but the Bible does not support that. Doesn’t the Bible show that the “elect” will be resurrected at the Messiah’s Second Coming and the remainder of mankind at the second resurrection?

A.   We do not believe that man has an immortal soul. This belief likely originated with the Egyptians, which was then adopted by the Greeks and eventually by Judaism and Christianity.

According to Herodotus, a Greek historian who lived during the fifth century BCE, immortal soul beliefs trace directly back to the mystery religion of the Egyptians: “The Egyptians were the first that asserted that the soul of man is immortal…This opinion some among the Greeks have at different periods of time adopted as their own” (Euterpe, chapter 123).

The Jewish Encyclopedia, in the article, “Immortality of the Soul,” says, “The belief that the soul continues its existence after the dissolution of the body is a matter of philosophical or theological speculation rather than of simple faith, and is accordingly nowhere taught in the Holy Scripture….The belief in the immortality of the soul came to the Jews from contact with Greek thought and chiefly through the philosophy of Plato, its principal exponent, who was led to it through Orphic and Eleusinian mysteries in which Babylonian and Egyptian views were strangely blended.”

The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature corroborates, “Perhaps we may say that the idea of immortality assumed a more definite shape among the Egyptians, for they clearly recognized not only a dwelling-place of the dead, but also a future judgment. ‘Osiris, the beneficent god, judges the dead,’ and, ‘having weighed their heart in the scales of justice, he sends the wicked to regions of darkness, while the just are sent to dwell with the god of light.’ The latter, we read on an inscription, ‘found favor before the great God; they dwell in glory, where they live a heavenly life; the bodies they have quitted will forever repose in their tombs, while they rejoice in the life of the supreme God.’ Immortality was thus plainly taught, although bound up with it was the idea of the preservation of the body, to which they attached great importance, as a condition of the soul’s continued life; and hence they built vast tombs, and embalmed their bodies, as if to last forever,” Immorality, p. 514, Vol. IV. This same exhaustive source also explains the connection between immortality and the ancient eastern religions of Hinduism and Confucianism:

According to the Bible, The day that a person dies their thoughts perish, their spirit or breath returns to Yahweh, and they wait in an unconsciousness state in the grave for the resurrection, Psalm 146:4; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Daniel 12:2. If the person is found worthy of the first resurrection, they will be resurrected when Yahshua the Messiah returns at His Second Coming, 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. If not, they will be resurrected at the second resurrection, also known as the Great White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:4, 11-15. At this time, they will be judged based on their works, Revelation 20:12.

For additional information, read our booklet: What Happens After This Life?

 

the Millennium

Is the one you call Yahshua a lesser God to the Father? If so, doesn’t this mean you worship two Gods?

Q.   Is the one you call Yahshua a lesser God to the Father? If so, doesn’t this mean you worship two Gods?

A.   To explain your question, we must first begin by explaining the Hebrew word Elohim, from where “God” is derived. Unlike the connotation that many connect with God, the term Elohim is broad and is used in several different ways, including to Yahweh (the Father), to angels, and to mankind. It’s also likely used in reference to the Son in the New Testament.

The Strong’s Concordance defines Elohim as, “…gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.”

When we understand that Elohim refers not only to a singular deity, but to any exalted beings or positions, including human magistrates, the question of whether Yahshua is a lesser Elohim becomes easier to answer. Since Elohim refers to any position of rank, we can include Yahshua among this group. However, the Bible is quite clear that the Son is inferior to the Father, John 10:29; 14:28; and 1Corinthians 11:3.

Consequently, we make a distinction between the Father and Son in worship. While we reverence the Son, we worship Yahweh alone. For this reason, we do not worship multiple “Gods.”

While some may view this position as illogical or paradoxical, it is no more illogical than those who believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the same “God,” but distinct persons. Our position gives admiration to the Son, while maintaining the scriptural relationship between the Father and Son.

As a side note, the term “god” may contain pagan etymology. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., “god” may derive from a root meaning, “…to pour as a molten image.” Some scholars also note that “God” was the proper name of the supreme deity of the ancient Teutons. For these reasons, we refrain from using this term.

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?

      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:

 

Psalms 69:32

And your heart shall live that seeke good. (1611)

And your heart shall live that seek God. (Corrected)

 

Ezekiel 24:7

…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)

 

Mark 5:6

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.

Doesn’t the Bible confirm that the Jewish temple was located on Mount Moriah, the same as today’s Temple Mount?

 

Mount Moriah     I enjoyed your video on the Temple Mount, but definitely disagree as scripture makes it clear that Solomon’s temple was built on Mount Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1) and not in the city of David. This video was very convincing until going to scripture. The Temple Mount is the site of the temple as the Jewish people confirm and scripture is 100% clear that the temple was built on mount Moriah, which is what we call today the Temple Mount. Still worth watching, but go to the Bible and you will see what they say in this video is not correct. (This was in response to the Lost Temple Mount video)

 

Mount Moriah     Thank you for your comment. We believe the Bible confirms that Mount Moriah is within the City of David and not on the traditional Temple Mount. Mount Moriah is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 3:1: “Then Solomon began to build the house of Yahweh at Jerusalem in mount Moriah,

This passage identifies that Mount Moriah was within the ancient city of Jerusalem and at the location of Ornan’s threshing floor. Modern archaeology has verified that the Jebusite city (and the original City of David) was limited to the 12-acre crescent-shape hillside south from the traditional Temple Mount. Today this location is called City of David National Park (also called Jerusalem Walls National Park). The Jerusalem of today, including the Temple Mount, did not exist under David or Solomon.

There was one change under the reign on Solomon regarding Jerusalem proper. The Bible records in 1 Kings 11:27 that Solomon filled in the Millo and by so doing, connected the City of David with the Ophel. When this occurred, the Ophel became part of the City of David. We got the chance to view the Millo during our last trip to Israel.

According to scholars, threshing floors were susceptible to theft. Therefore, besides the fact that 2 Chronicles 3:1 confirms that Mount Moriah was within the ancient city of Jerusalem, it is highly unlikely that Ornan’s threshing floor would have been unprotected on the traditional Temple Mount, not to mention a third of a mile away from the Jebusite city.

In addition, the Bible is clear that Zion is where the Temple was located.

Consider the following:

  • Psalms 76:2: “In Salem [i.e., Jerusalem] also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion.”
  • Psalms 102:16, 21: “When Yahweh shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory…. To declare the name of Yahweh in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem.”
  • Psalms 132:13: “For Yahweh hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.”

We find that Zion is synonymous with the ancient City of David.

  • 2 Samuel 5:7: “Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.”
  • 1 Chronicles 11:5: “And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David.”

Based on these facts, we believe the Bible and archaeology confirms that the ancient City of David was limited to the 12-acre plot of land a third of a mile south from the traditional Temple Mount and that Mount Moriah and Mount Zion were both located within the City of David, possibly on the Millo that Solomon filled in and expanded.

From my perspective, the biggest hurdle for the traditional Temple Mount being the location of the temple is the prophecies and historical accounts of the temple’s destruction and the existence of Fortress Antonia. Josephus writes that the only thing that remained after Titus destroyed Jerusalem was the monument of the Romans, i.e., Fortress Antonia. The only ancient monument remaining from this time is the foundation and walls of the Temple Mount.

According to the historian Eusebius in Proof of the Gospel, Jerusalem, along with the temple, was so utterly destroyed that it appeared as Sodom, i.e, nothing remained: “Their ancient holy place, at any rate, and their Temple are to this day as much destroyed as Sodom” (Bk. V, ch.23, sect. 250).

Check out Part 1 of Pastor Randy’s sermon on the Temple Mount: 

 

 

How often should communion be observed? Does the communion simply replace the Passover?

communion     How often should communion be observed? Does the communion simply replace the Passover sacrifice and therefore is to be observed annually or is it appropriate to partake of it every Sabbath day? Some cite Acts 20:7 to prove that it should be observed each week, but isn’t this passage simply referring to eating a meal together. Also I have noticed that the Greek word artos found in 1 Corinthians 11:26 refers to a leavened loaf. Based on this, shouldn’t leavened bread be used during communion instead of unleavened matzo?

communion     While the word communion appears in 1 and 2 Corinthians, today’s communion is a misnomer. From a biblical perspective, the term “communion” is simply another name for the Passover. This is also true for the Master’s supper. These are not separate observances, but different names for the same event.

For example, Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary under “Lord’s Supper” states, “The term the Lord’s Supper is used only in 1 Cor 11:20. The practice is also known as Communion (from 1 Cor 10:16), the Lord’s Table (from 1 Cor 10:21), and the Eucharist (from the Greek word for ‘giving thanks’; Luke 22:17,19; 1 Cor 11:24). The expression breaking of bread (Acts 2:42,46; 20:7,11) probably refers to receiving the Lord’s Supper with a common meal known as the LOVE FEAST (2 Peter 2:13; Jude 12). The institution of the Lord’s Supper (Matt 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:1-23; 1 Cor 11:23-25) took place on the night before Jesus died, at a meal commonly known as the Last Supper. Although there is considerable debate over the issue, the Last Supper probably was the Jewish PASSOVER meal, first instituted by God in the days of Moses (Ex 12:1-14; Num 9:1-5).”

The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia under “Lord’s Supper” agrees that the communion or Eucharist originated from the Passover: “The more immediate background of the Eucharist is the Passover…. The Passover was at once a covenant-recalling and a covenant-renewing sacrifice, and the Eucharist, as corresponding to it, was instituted at the time of its yearly observance, and of the immolation of the true paschal lamb, of whose death it interpreted the value and significance (Ex 12:3-28; compare 13:3-10; Deut 16:1-8; 1 Cor 5:7; John 6:51; 10:10-11,15,17-18; 15:13; 17:19).”

Clearly, communion or the practice of the Eucharist developed through the Passover. It was the church’s practice to deviate from biblical observances and to select days of their own choosing. This was done for two reasons. They desired to appease the growing gentile converts, which also motivated many within the church to move away from teachings that were viewed as “Jewish.”

Regarding the frequency of observance, while some debate, based on Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 11:25 (“as oft as you….”), that communion can be observed frequently (e.g. weekly, monthly, etc.) the fact that communion refers to the Passover limits its observance to annually.

Regarding Acts 20:7, you are correct, this was simply a common meal. This is not speaking about the Passover.

As for the meaning of Greek artos, while this word can refer to leavened bread, it can also refer to food in general, including unleavened bread. The Thayer’s Greek Lexicon provides two primary definitions: (1) food composed of flour mixed with water and baked, and (2) food of any kind.

Along with Thayer’s, we find the following from the Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, “’bread’ (perhaps derived from aro, ‘to fit together,’ or from a root ar–, ‘the earth’), signifies (a) ‘a small loaf or cake,’ composed of flour and water, and baked, in shape either oblong or round, and about as thick as the thumb; these were not cut, but broken and were consecrated to the Lord every Sabbath and called the ‘shewbread’ (loaves of presentation), Matt 12:4; when the ‘shewbread’ was reinstituted by Nehemiah Neh 10:32 a poll-tax of 1/3 shekel was laid on the Jews, Matt 17:24; (b) ‘the loaf at the Lord’s Supper,’ e. g., Matt 26:26 (“Jesus took a loaf,” RV, marg.); the breaking of ‘bread’ became the name for this institution, Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor 10:16; 11:23; (c) “bread of any kind,” Matt 16:11; (d) metaphorically, ‘of Christ as the Bread of God, and of Life,’ John 6:33,35; (e) ‘food in general,’ the necessities for the sustenance of life, Matt 6:11; 2 Cor 9:10, etc.”

There is nothing within these definitions that requires artos to refer only to leavened bread. As confirmed by both Thayer’s and Vines, artos is broad and contains multiple meanings. A good rule of thumb is when we have questions about something, always return to the source. For the Passover this be would Exodus 12, which confirms that only unleavened bread was permitted with the Passover meal.

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?

tongues     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?

 

tongues     “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.