Scripture and “scholars”

I suspect that many readers here have come to realize that Jeremiah 16:19 is correct – we have in fact “inherited lies” through our fathers.

Indeed there are a number of movements underway as YHVH seems to be bringing those together who truly “seek His face”, whether they are called “Messianics”, or recognized via labels like “YaHuwAHns”, “Hebrew Roots”, “Torah-Observant Believers”, or even “First-century Christianity”.

Many people, as well, seem to come to such a search via some specific “single issue” which prompted them to realize that what they have “heard it said” — by pastors, churches, or TV propaganda — that they should believe is not at ALL what is actually Written in Scripture!

But it never ceases to perplex me how can some remain so wedded to false tradition that they remain unwilling to even consider that such lies and pagan idolatry were not limited to false doctrines concerning only that same single issue, whatever it may have been.

Whether it’s marriage, and the myriad twisting of what YHVH actually ordained about it that contradicts popular Amerikan dogma, or what is and is not food, or His “appointed times” and Sabbaths, or a dozen other issues…

— is seems clear that the lies and distortions of the Pharisees and their latter-day cousins who styled themselves the ONLY Church “Universal”, and executed those who dared to suggest that “apostolic succession” did not include the ability to rewrite Scripture, are NOT confined to any single issue!

The essence of idolatry, in other words, is to put our traditions ahead of what He actually Wrote!  (Matthew 15:6-9, Mark 7:7, etc)

Comments like this one frame the issue:  “The fact is that if the LORD had meant for us to have New Testament texts in Hebrew to study, we would have them.”  In other words, there is no possibility that there could be translation errors in the MY Bible.  (Some folks insert their Favorite Version in there as a qualifier; whether it is the KJV, or “Authorized” version, the NIV, or the Septuagint and some of the many later Greek manuscripts.)

For my part, I contend that such issues are but part of the reason that we were counseled, not only in Acts 17, to “study for ourselves”.  There is no inconsistency in His Word, as Written…however, fallen men are not infallible.  It is simply impossible to translate EVERY level of understanding from a rich and nuanced language like Hebrew into some other language and convey EVERY meaning that He might have.  (Those of you who know about the “yods and tiddles” in the Torah, referenced by our Savior in Matthew 5:18, will understand that they were Hebrew “extra-textual” characters which are simply never even noted in most English Bible texts.)

But that is only part of the issue.  Cultural issues are another obvious problem.  While an English speaker might instantly know that a novel which is set in the “Windy City” refers to Chicago, a Spanish-speaker reading “la ciudad de viento” might miss the obvious (to a native English-speaker, anyway)  jargon, or figure of speech.

And while there are many good ‘scholars’ whose work I respect, not all who claim the title are worthy of it.  After all, “of making many books there is no end.”

I see selfabsorbed scholars in the press and government proclaim haughtily what the Constitution says, and thus justify “gun control”, “Roe v Wade”, “hate crimes”, Obamacare, legions of “officers who harasss our people and eat out their substance”, and the Federal Reserve — in spite of the plain text.  But I’ve read history, and both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, understand English, and can tell they’re simply “full of it”. Similar scholars teach that man evolved from slime and there can be no Creator. Still others teach that ALL of the Bible is mere myth and no historic “Jesus” ever existed. They’re “scholars” because they are tenured at universities, peer-review each others self-serving papers, and suckle at the public trough.  Please excuse me for choosing not to worship at that same altar.

Perhaps most importantly, there are even CONCEPTS which are difficult to express in one language, but “ingrained” in another.  Greek gods, for example, were by nature capricious and untrustworthy; a speaker of ancient Hebrew would have difficulty even imagining such a thing about YHVH.  Concepts like “luck” or “chance” — easy to say in English or Greek — don’t even translate as a result.  To those who understood the nature of Yah the Creator, in other words, they were meaningless.

When you consider that the Greek manuscripts of the Gospels and various Letters necessarily represent at least two levels of translation before they arrive in English*, the nature of the problem should be obvious — at least in part.

But there is an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT THOUGHT PROCESS associated with an Hebraic mindset than a Greco-Romanized one.  Words and word-roots like “theo- “; “deo- “; baal/’lord’; and even ‘christos’ apply to ANY and every pagan ‘god’.  Proper nouns, like “Easter”, however, apply specifically to pagan goddesses, are absolutely and explicitly prohibited by Him in His Word, and are called “abomination”!  His Name YHVH, which was removed by both pharisees and popes, is referenced over twenty THOUSAND times in Scripture — and He says it is important over 7 thousand times (precisely 7777 times in fact, according to at least one scholar I generally respect).

When the prophet Jeremiah said in verse 16:21, in other words, was NOT “they shall know that my name [is] The LORD.”  And while any Strong’s (or other) Concordance will help, somehow the verse in the KJV just seems gutted. Such verses just simply do NOT do Him justice!

Ever notice how so many of YHVH’s prophets have part of His Name in their own?  Not in the English, for the most part.  (And, no – you will NOT see this in the more careless translations.) Phonetically, some obvious ones are:

EliYAHUW — “The Almighty is YAHuw(AH) ” (aka “Elijah”)
YermeYAHUW — “Resurrection is YAHuw(AH)” (aka “Jeremiah”)
YashaYAHUW — “The Savior is YAHuw(AH)” (aka “Isaiah”)
ZachariYAHUW — “YAHuw(AH) remembers His promises” (aka “Zechariah”)

YAHUshua is the Name — and Title — that was given by the malakiYAH (messengers of YAH, aka ‘angels’) to His earthly parents for the Savior. The meaning, Title, and purpose of His life are obvious in the Hebrew, and obscured in translation: “YAHuw is Salvation”.

(The ‘short-form’ or familiar ‘nickname’ Yeshua is more akin to just meaning “salvation”; it thus drops the important reference to YAH or YAHU in His Name. Not necessarily “wrong”, just a distinction that is worth understanding. Is that not a reasonable service for us to attempt in respect to our King?)

And does this mean that “whosoever will” cannot come to Him from Mitzraim, from Moab, from Canaan, from ignorance, from paganism, from sin — and humble themselves, turn from their wicked ways, (t’shuvAH or repent) and seek His face? “YHVH forbid!” But as “Hosea” (AHosha, or “YAH is our eternal Savior”; v 4:6) warned, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge! And because you have REJECTED knowledge, I will reject you for being priests for Me, and will also forget your children“!

Some folks try to claim that we know what He has meant us to know, and that any implication that there could be errors in modern texts somehow implies that YHVH is incapable of “preserving His Word”. The existence of multiple Greek texts with significant variations and contradictions demonstrates the absurdity of such assertions, as do English translations with similar issues. The problem is men: doctrine, tradition, and shortcomings from bias to dishonesty to just plain laziness…not His Word.

His Name and His Word HAS been preserved!

But only for those willing to SEARCH OUT THE TRUTH FOR THEMSELVES! Like it or not, those who want to understand what Yahushua taught beyond the constraints of language and tradition all-too-often infused with subtle but insidious pagan tradition will have to learn a bit of the language from which He instructed.

We are given the example of the Bereans (Acts 17:11) for a reason. But those who prefer their tradition to the Truth have to ignore the obvious: at the time that story was written, those people of Berea did not have a SINGLE “new testament gospel” to read! They studied “for themselves” from the “Torah”, the “TANAKH”. Everything they needed to confirm just exactly Who He was, and what He had done for us was available then, just as it is now**. But we still have to be willing to “diligently seek Him”.

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*  I am persuaded that, at a minimum, the Book of Matthew was NOT originally written in Greek.  While there is much evidence (including over two dozen manuscripts in Hebrew and/or Aramaic) the book The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus, by Nehemia Gordon, is a good introduction to the topic.

** Over 5700 publicly-available papyri manuscripts (most written in Greek, some Aramaic – at libraries, museums, universities, etc) contain His Name in phonetic rendering. (source: OSE1 Bible, The King’s Covenant, pp.7-15, including document names, references, and locations)

Interesting to note are errors in other historic documents from Greek language sources which indicate that ‘the Name’ of the ‘diety of the jews’ was pronounced “Pipi”. Why? Evidently some “scholars” and translators were not aware that some documents included direct renderings of the Name (the ‘tetragrammatron’, YHVH, or yod-hey-vav-hey)  is read right-to-left, instead of the opposite direction, like Greek (and English).

It looked like “pi – iota – pi – iota “; thus, it MUST be, “pipi”. There are MANY ways for the enemy to occult, obscure, hide, distort, or just outright lie about the truth. Perhaps that is why Yahushua told us the path is in fact narrow, and “few there be that find it“.

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2 Responses to “Scripture and “scholars””

  1. JP says:

    Interesting about pipi 🙂

    Oh yeah, peer review is great, appeal to the majority for truth just like democracy itself. And like democracy its value is tied to the quality of the voters\reviewers…

  2. mark says:

    Thanks, JP.

    On another issue —

    It has come to my attention that there is at least one person “out in the blogosphere” who thinks I am quoting them. (“If the shoe fits,” of course, still applies. Carly Simon already wrote a song about the problem. 😉 )

    While I’m happy to discuss or debate concerning Scripture, because “iron sharpens iron“, if there is no edification involved, it is not only a waste of time, but becomes a stumbling block. I choose not to engage in such unproductive discourse – here or anywhere.

    I participate in a number of forums, radio shows, podcasts, and online webinars, and Scripture translations (and the converse) are a VERY frequent topic of interest. As I indicated in the footnote, multiple variants of the Gospel of Matthew (some, but evidently not all, commonly referred to as “Shem Tov’s”) exist in Hebrew and/or Aramaic, as apparently do many others. Greek variants with significant differences are even more abundant. Kefa (II Peter 3:15-16) seemed to recognize such a problem, even if some ‘scholars’ question his authorship as well!

    The comment I paraphrased in the post was — unfortunately — the composite of not only one, or a dozen, but MANY such. Given the three paragraphs which preceded the “framing the issue”, line, I would have considered the point obvious. (I can vouch for having met at least a minion of “KJV-ONLY!” adherents, for just one example.)

    If I need to specifically quote such tripe, those in need of ‘chastening’ can rest assured they’ll see not only a name, but a full citation.