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    Joyfully Growing In Grace engages in an examination of beliefs found in the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and Netzarim streams of thought and related sects.

    The term “Messianic” is generally understood to describe Jews who have come to believe in Yeshua/Jesus as their Messiah. Jews who are believers in Jesus/Yeshua typically call themselves Jewish/Hebrew Christians or simply, Christians.

    Many Christians meet folks who say they are ‘Messianic’ and assume that those folks are Jewish Christians. Most aren’t Jewish at all, but are Gentile Christians who have chosen to pursue Torah observance and have adopted the Messianic term, calling themselves Messianic Christians, adherents to Messianic Judaism, or simply, Messianics. Some will even try to avoid that label and say that they are followers of "The Way".

    These Gentiles (and to be fair, some Messianic Jews) preach Torah observance/pursuance for Christians, persuading many believers that the Christianity of the Bible is a false religion and that we must return to the faith of the first century sect of Judaism that they say Yeshua (Jesus Christ) embraced. According to them, once you become aware that you should be 'keeping' the edicts and regulations of Mosaic Covenant Law, if you do not, you are then in willful disobedience to God.

    It has been my observation that Christians who adopt the label of Messianic identify more with the tenets of Judaism than they do with the tenets of Christianity. Many reject the label of Christian altogether and some eventually even convert to Judaism.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says, "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil."

    Joyfully Growing in Grace examines the methods, claims, and fruits of the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and Netzarim streams of thought and related, law-keeping sects.

    To borrow from a Forrest Gump quote, “Law ‘keepers’ are like a box of chocolates - ya never know what you’re gonna get!” The goal of JGIG is to be a resource to help those affected by the Torah pursuant movements to try and sort out what they’re dealing with. Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.

    Be sure to click on the many embedded links within the posts here - there's lots of additional and related information for you to access that way, as well.

    Welcome, and may God grant you wisdom and discernment as you consider all of these things.

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Hebrew Roots Movement – Messin’ With the Word

Language.  Powerful stuff.  If you can control the language, define the terms, manipulate the paradigm of a thing – you exercise great power.  [par·a·digm – A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.]

An Incorrect Paradigm

As this illustration demonstrates, having an incorrect paradigm can change the picture of a thing quite a lot!  Is it any wonder that those in the Hebrew Roots Movement have claimed the area of language as their primary pillar of “expertise” as they purpose to lure Christians away from the canon of Scripture to a more “enlightened” way of reading/interpreting Scripture and discerning doctrine?  It’s a seductive way to change a Christian’s paradigm, and ends up in a set of beliefs and practices that is not supported by Scripture.  It turns Christianity as inside out as the above illustration turns the concept of the solar system inside out.  The picture is recognizable, but is totally false and unworkable when measured by reality.

I’m no linguist, but I’m no dim bulb, either, and it’s been amazing, disturbing, and somewhat amusing to discover how those in the HRM have determined to re-define terms and doctrines as well as pseudo re-translate the New Testament.

I’ve written this before but it’s worth repeating here –   One of the things that is really important to be aware of regarding this and other heretical movements is that they engage in the re-definition of terms.  Once that is accomplished, those re-defined terms become fields in which seeds of questionable doctrine can be cultivated.  And it’s the perfect set up for the same thing cults do: Convince you that what you know isn’t true, or is “incomplete”, then come in with fresh revelation based on previously “hidden” information.

One way that the Hebrew Roots Movement does this is to first cast doubt on the canon of Scripture that we have had from the earliest days of the Church (Body of Christ) until today.  To think!  No one has gotten it right until the HRM came along!  Take that premise to its logical conclusion:  To say that no one has gotten it right in the time since Christ is to say that God did not preserve His Word for His Church and has left her to stumble about in history. 

In both the Hebrew Roots and Sacred Name movements, there is a tremendous emphasis on understanding the scriptures through the lens of Hebrew thought and through the Hebrew language.  Most adherents believe that the entire Bible was originally written in Hebrew, and that the New Testament was translated into Greek from its original Hebrew.  As a result, in the HRM view, ALL New Testament writings were contaminated and corrupted with Hellenistic thought.  And since, according to Law Keepers, our accepted canon of scripture (compiled by “corrupt church fathers”) and eventual English translations came from a contaminated and corrupted source, they can’t possibly be accurate!  While some Law Keepers continue to use their current Bibles, they do so with suspicion, often relying on outside commentary or perspective from the HRM for clarification of their “flawed” texts.

Due to their suspicion of our current Bible, some in the HRM have worked to provide us with new “translations”, such as the “Restoration Scriptures”,  “The Hebraic Roots Version”, the “Ancient Roots Translinear Bible”, and the “Complete Jewish Bible”.

Once the canon of Scripture is cast under a shadow of doubt and “new” scriptures are introduced, the door opens wide for great doctrinal deception by leadership and within the laity of the Hebrew Roots Movement.  It’s interesting that in this area there is a similarity of the Hebrew Roots Movement with Mormon and Jehovah’s Witness methodology regarding Scripture, as both cults also have their own “versions” of the Bible, “correcting” perceived “errors” they see in the accepted canon.

It should be noted and understood that the “new” versions of Scripture being peddled by those in the Hebrew Roots Movement are typically works written by individuals.  Reliable translations of the canon have been the work of groups of linguistic scholars, providing built-in oversight and accountability within those groups.  However, if one does research on the authors’ names of these “new” HRM versions, their scholarship and/or methodology come into serious question.

Regarding the issue of the importance of understanding Scripture through the lens of Hebrew thought and the Hebrew language:  I have been re-reading the book of Acts because of Law Keepers referring to it a lot in respect to “how the early Church worshipped”.  Looking through the lens of the Sacred Name and Hebrew Roots streams of thought, Acts 2 really jumped out at me!  I must repeat – those streams of thought say that to truly understand the scripture, one must come to an understanding of Hebrew language and of Hebrew thought.

It would be reasonable to conclude that if it were God’s intent that His Word was to be correctly communicated to the world in Hebrew, that the gathering at Pentecost would have been an ideal time and place to make that clear.  Instead, God made provision, by His Holy Spirit,  for every person, from every nation, to hear the Gospel in their own tongue.  Interesting on even a deeper level, because Acts 2 says that “God fearing Jews from every nation under heaven had come to Jerusalem”.  If there was ever a crowd gathered that probably knew Hebrew, it was this bunch!  When the New Testament says “God fearing Jews” it means the ultra-faithful to Judaism, and they would KNOW their Hebrew.  Yet God made sure that the Gospel was available IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGES!

I reach the conclusion that God is not concerned with the language in which the Gospel is communicated, but rather that the Gospel IS communicated!  As for the “Sacred Name”, for me, God is God.  Jesus is Jesus.  He knows Who I’m talking to/about.  Those are words in our language that represent the essence of Who He is.  And based on what God did in Acts 2, I’m pretty sure He’s ok with that.

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So back to “Messin’ with the Word”.  One important point to make at this stage is this:  The Hebrew Roots Movement is kind of like chili.  Stay with me.  I say that because you can go to a number of friends and relatives and it’s likely you’ll be able to glean several different chili recipes from them.  The recipes are all just a little different, but they’re all chili.  The HRM is very much like that.  Some believe in the deity of Christ, some don’t.  Most are Sacred Name adherents, but a few aren’t.  Some say only observance of the Sabbath and the Feasts is required, others say you have to be completely Torah compliant.  Some believe that observing a simple seventh day Sabbath is correct, others insist that one must reckon and observe the correct Sabbath by the phases of the moon.  The recipes are all a little bit different, but they’re all chili.

What does this have to do with “Messin’ with the Word”?  Well, to convince Christians that they should be under the Law when the New Testament clearly states in many places that we are under a New Covenant and no longer under the Law, the HRM has to do some very impressive improvising, especially where the epistles are concerned.  For it is in the epistles that the fledgling Church (Body of Christ), made up of Jews and Gentiles, was instructed how they, established by Jesus with the completed work of the Cross, the Resurrection, and the Ascension, were to function in their New Covenant relationship with God as one new man in Christ.  For a really good, solid, scriptural teaching on the New Covenant, click HERE.  It’s an audio teaching with complete Scripture notes.  Very “listenable” and is a comprehensive teaching on the New Covenant.

Now if the New Testament is so clear on the completed work of Christ and the place of the Law and how we are all one new man (neither Jew nor Gentile) in God’s plan, and it does not fit into the goal of the HRM, (convincing Christians that they are to be Torah compliant, among other things) then what’s the HRM to do?  Well, change the New Testament, of course!

Following are four examples of “new” versions (I won’t use the word translations because that would be inaccurate) propagated by the Hebrew Roots Movement.  Please take some time and CLICK HERE to read a study of how the canon of Scripture we have today came to be.  I do encourage you to read the whole study, but if you only have a few minutes to spare, at least read the sections titled, “Canonicity: Determining and Discovering the God-Inspired Books”, and “Texts and Manuscripts of the New Testament”.   It really will give you a good, basic foundation on which to stand regarding how we got our Bible and will provide you with a contrast of how the Hebrew Roots Movement “versions” and their methodology stand up to the canon of Scripture accepted by orthodox Christianity.

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1) The Restoration Scriptures – True Name Edition Study Bible  By Rabbi Moshe Koniuchowski (aka Marshall Koniuchowski)

The “Restoration Scriptures – True Name Edition” is one example of a Hebrew Roots Movement “translation”.  Here are some excerpts from their website where they explain the sources for their “translation”:

For the Renewed Covenant, we have used the greatly appreciated and widely accepted Textus Receptus, or Received Text in the Greek. After prayerful consideration and scholarship, we have heartily used other key sources such as the Aramaic Peshitta, Matthew Shem Tov, Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Septuagint, along with consulting many other legitimate sources. Most often those sources were Semitic, since we believe the Renewed Covenant was inspired in the Semitic languages of Aramaic and Hebrew.

So then the resulting Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition Study Bible is a blendof the Masoretic Text and the Textus Receptus and their reliability, combined with valid Hebraic understandings gained from other reliable Semitic sources.  [Bolding mine.]

Let me be clear about one thing up front: I am NOT an anti-Semite. I’m not an ethnic anti-anything! Let me explain the bolding above.  Jewish (Semitic) texts do not support the Gospel or the NEW Covenant.  Semitic texts (understandably) support Judaism!  Notice the use of the term above “Renewed Covenant”. “Renewed Covenant” has the sense of renewing the Old Covenant, going back to the Law.  Entering into the New Covenant is what the canon of scripture confirms. This is a key doctrine in the HRM (like all chili has beans . . . this would be a consistent ingredient in the Hebrew Roots Movement).

Regarding one of the “other key sources” that the “Restoration Scriptures – True Name Edition Study Bible” uses in its “translation”, the Matthew Shem Tov, here is an excerpt of an article regarding the Matthew Shem Tov from Wikipedia:

The Shem Tov Matthew is marked by its Jewish thought, and is interspaced with the comments of Shem Tov himself. As a consequence several scholars feel it is difficult to determine which parts are Shem Tov’s commentary, and which parts are the actual text of the manuscript he was copying.  Many scholars view the text as a medieval translation from the Greek text of the Gospel of Matthew, as well as being the likely source of all later Hebrew versions of Matthew prior to the 20th century. [Bolding mine.]

That would be why reliable translations of the Bible don’t use Matthew Shem Tov as one of their sources! Notice also the “blending and combining” that the Restoration Scriptures “translation” “gains” from “other reliable Semitic sources”.  Ummm, could we have a list of those, please? Could you let us know how you determined that those “sources” were, well, inspired?

More from the “Restoration Scriptures” website, trying to explain how they justify the ” . . . times when we have added a word, or a phrase in order to capture the consistency and eternal commitment of YHWH’s message to Yisrael.” :

Some may rightly ask about the prohibition and dire warnings against adding, or subtracting words from the Scriptures. To that we wholeheartedly agree and would never think of rewording, altering, or changing the original manuscripts also known as the autographs. In order to violate these prohibitions as found in such places as Proverbs 30:6, Deuteronomy 12:32, and Revelation 22:18-19, one would by definition have to have access to the autographs (originals) and proceed to tamper with them. This we have not done, for the fear of YHWH and His awesome word is both the beginning and fullness of all wisdom. Simply put, we have paraphrased and reversed some word orders to properly fit the original Semitic languages into understandable English. Nevertheless we have managed to remain true to the text, without major changes.  [Bolding mine.]

So let me get this straight:  As long as you’re not messin’ with the original autographs (which don’t exist anymore, though many, many reliable copies do exist), you’re okay?  You can tweak this and adjust that in the scriptures to line up with a belief system or set of doctrines that you  think is correct??  Seriously?  Do not the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses do the same thing?   Are their “translations” considered to be accurate?  Seriously?

More from “Restoration Scriptures” website:

Unlike many crafty translators and their translations that do not admit to an underlying agenda in their publications, The Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition Study Bible has an overriding and clear agenda in publishing this project. We admit that! It is our most sincere desire and heartfelt prayer, that this translation will help end the exile of our people, by bringing believers from all backgrounds into their Hebraic heritage. We desire that The Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition Study Bible will lead to a repentance and return to YHWH for many, so as to experience life in His sight as a practicing Torah-keeping born-again Yisraelite. [Bolding mine.]

Wow.  There are many more problems with “The Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition Study Bible”, but the above examples are “deal breakers” for me when it comes to choosing a reliable translation of God’s Word.

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The Hebraic Roots Version Scriptures by James Scott Trimm

In the post “About Law Keepers – An Overview” , in point number 6, I allude to some in the leadership of the Hebrew Roots Movement as having connections to The Way International, a “christian” cult.  The basic qualifiers for TWI being a cult is that though they believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and the Son of God, they do not believe that Jesus Christ is God Himself, and they hold to a non-trinitarian belief system.  Beyond those two basic breaks from Biblical Christianity, TWI has engaged in just some weird stuff.  You can read two articles outlining the basic beliefs and history of The Way International HERE and HERE.

All that said to say this:  The Hebraic Roots Version Scriptures, is “translated” by James Scott Trimm, a man with more roots in The Way International than in serious language study and the scholarship required to tackle a major task such as translating the Bible!  Not only that, it appears that “Dr.” Trimm has “lifted” portions of his “translation” from a version produced by The Way International entitled, “The Aramaic-English Interlinear New Testament”.

From lebtahor.com/truth/trimm/plagiarisms [the entire (exhaustive) article can be read HERE] :

James Trimm in 2003 has released a Hebraic-Roots Version (HRV) New Testament. Many folks sent many dollars in advance and waited for this NT, thinking that it would be an original translation from Aramaic and Hebrew manuscripts, as James claimed in promotion. If fact, it turns out that the great bulk of it is simply a plagiarism(8), from an version produced by the Way International (13) with the title, The Aramaic-English Interlinear New Testament, which we will call the AEINT. The Matthew (14) chapter of the HRV is from a previous work by James Trimm, also a plagiarism, from other sources.

The Way has been described as a secretive, cultish group, but really that is not the relevant issue here. Note that since this AEINT was designed for in house use, rather than public distribution, it has not been not available at all, not even verse quotes, for perusal in any manner on the Internet, and it is even difficult to find out any information from sources like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Obtaining this version is difficult. Mostly the AEINT was known to members of the Way International, and in addition some men who specialize in the rather small world of Peshitta translation. Ergo, the ideal version to use surreptitiously as a base text, while publicly declaring an “original translation”. [Bolding mine.]

An excerpt from SeekGod.ca  also regarding the scholarship (or lack thereof) of James Trimm:

Over many years James stated he was in the process of  translating his own version of the New Testament called the, “Semitic New Testament”. It is supposedly based on the “original” Aramaic manuscripts of the New Testament. He then also “translated” from the “original” Hebrew manuscripts, defying all scholarly knowledge of the Greek Textus Receptus manuscripts. These issues will be also addressed. For now, the focus will be on his academic claims. 

We see emails as far back as 1996, where James was pushing his books and theology as Doctor James Scott Trimm.Please note. Throughout this series, I have not corrected any spelling mistakes when quoting from James Trimm’s correspondences or website, or various articles. They are seen as originally posted. [Bolding mine.]

You can read more of the article above and also other articles regarding James Trimm and other HRM leadership HERE.  Another excerpt from this site related to the above paragraph:

Since James Trimm had no college education prior to working with Phillip Arnn, which was from 1993-1995, and he received his “doctorate” July 6, 1995, with his “doctorate interview” May 12, 1995, when do you suppose he had time to get his Baccalaureate, and Masters degrees or their equivalent? And that  prior to completing the seventy two credit hours of graduate work by May, 1995?

We have not just one man who had direct physical interaction with  James Trimm, who knew him personally, who worked alongside of him, but two, who state clearly that James did not have a college, university or other education that would have led to a doctorate or degree of any kind. And that is aside from the fact of the source of James’ “doctorate” in the first place.

James Trimm stated in an email, “St. John Chrysostom Theological Seminary is NOT a “diploma mill”. Its degree programs are among the most demanding I have ever seen…”

It would be most interesting to know what degree programs James Trimm had actually seen and evaluated. Other than the GED course which can be studied for, or not. While James has been busy changing the Word of God to his version of ‘truth’, claiming credentials he did not have, claiming knowledge that allowed him to change the very Word of God, and getting money from people who believed him, we are reminded:

 Proverbs 30: 5 -6 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

Revelation 22:18 -20  “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the bookof this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the bookof life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.  [Bolding mine.]

There really is a lot of info on this site. . . go to to the section on James Trimm for articles regarding his education, religious background, and various character issues.  One can also gain a lot of insight by doing a simple Google search using the name James Scott Trimm.  There are a few sites supporting his scholarship, but they are far outweighed with those that do not, and those that do not support his scholarship have better documentation for their claims.

Not getting into too much detail about the translation itself, the above concerns alone deny the Hebraic Roots Version Scriptures translation serious consideration for use.  Suffice it to say that the Hebraic Roots Version Scriptures has a modus operandi much the same as the previous other versions reviewed here:  To promote Hebrew Roots Movement’s false teaching and false doctrine and attempt to give them a valid basis in “scripture” with which to deceive the undiscerning reader.

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Ancient Roots Translinear Bible by A. Frances Werner

This is the “new kid on the block” as far as “Hebrew Roots” versions go, and so far only has the Old Testament available.  The New Testament is coming, though, so this review comes as more of a “heads up” in anticipation of what promises to be an “interesting” version of the Word.

From ARTB’s website:

The ARTB restores hundreds of specialty ancient words missing from other versions. Each English word matches a unique Hebrew root and the Strong’s number 99+% of the time.  The text format even captures the double word use unique to biblical Hebrew.    

Put away the reference books and enjoy the outpouring of insights! Follow the travels of the Israelites on the ancient trade routes. Track bible prophecy with updated geography to see the connection to events today in the Middle East.

“From the Author” on the ARTB website:

That’s the stack of bibles I own. [Photo of a stack of different translations and paraphrases accompanies her words.] Plus a few more. Some I love for reading, some for study. You probably have a similar pile. So why do you need another bible?

The Ancient Roots Translinear Bible (ARTB) ushers in a new era of bible study.  It’s a new method specifically designed for bible lovers like you who don’t know Hebrew or Greek to approach the word of God as if they really could read it in the ancient languages. 

How is this possible?  Back up for a moment and think about the great breakthroughs in bible study. In 1890, James Strong invented the Strong’s numbering system and concordance for the King James Version.  For the first time, bible lovers who didn’t know Hebrew or Greek could look beyond the English words on the page and “see” the original words.   The Strong’s numbering system was particularly helpful for bible lovers who could not read or pronounce the ancient languages to be able to share their insights by referring to the number instead of the word.  . . . it gave bible lovers who didn’t know Hebrew or Greek a shortcut to find the related words in the ancient language without having to look at a concordance.

And how about J.P. Green’s revolutionary Interlinear bible in 1976 which put the English side-by-side with the text?  For the first time, the bible lover in the pew could view things that were previously only available to scholars.

. . . But I found that as I was doing bible study, I would have multiple reference books, multiple versions of the bible and checking out details on the computer.  Often I would lose the sense of the text just trying to figure out all the information I was given from other sources.  I wanted to be able to read the text, pure and simple, and bask in the “real” word of God.  I was ready for a new approach.  Are you?

The Translinear method was born from a detailed scientific analysis of several bible versions.  . . . The light went on for me when I realized that the reason we needed things like cross-references and Interlinear bibles because none of the bibles that had been published to date were close enough to the original language.  They have extra words, are missing many unique words, and were not utilizing English consistently with the original language.  So all the classic bible study tools were needed to find out what the ancient text really said.

But what would happen if all the all the ancient words matched the English language 100% of the time?  You wouldn’t need a cross reference column.  You wouldn’t need to compare them in an Interlinear bible.  You wouldn’t need to double check the original word in a concordance.

Or think about the number of footnotes in a typical study bible.  Have you ever noticed that many footnotes tell you the “real” meaning of the word?  In ARTB, the “real” word is in the text!  So the number of footnotes is dramatically reduced.  A bible study with a version that matched the Strong’s numbers would mean that all those reference books could be put on a shelf, and you’d be free to soak in the word of God.

The trademark lawyers recommended patent lawyers: Maybe I was onto a new method to be “magic glasses” for bible lovers who don’t know Hebrew. So the word translinear was born to convey that this is not a normal translation. It’s far more exact, a “cleaned up data base” and the methodology applies well beyond this project.

Put on the “magic glasses” and see the Old Testament exactly the way it was written. Transport yourself to the Ancient Roots of the original language with the most exact methodology ever published for completeness and consistency. Join me and enjoy the outpouring of insights. [Bolding mine.]

Maybe it’s just me, but this is what I see above:  The emphasis is on convincing the reader to not study, to put away all their reference materials, because this new and improved version with a scientific analysis is available so you can be free to soak in the Word of God as you put on the magic glasses of the Ancient Roots Translinear Bible!  The following is from the ATRB blog, regarding the upcoming New Testament version: 

Yeshua or Jesus
I received a question from a reader: First I want to thank you for the swift processing and sending of the Ancient Roots Translinear Bible (ARTB). What a breath of fresh air. Secondly, I was wondering what Hebrew name for Jesus will be used in the New Testament when it comes out? I’ve been doing research. It’s amazing how many different spellings and renderings of Jesus name there are in the Hebrew. I read one article where the person said Yahushua is the real name of Jesus. Others say Yahshua or Yahoshua, Yeshua. I didn’t know if you were a sacred name person or what. As you can see, I ask a lot of questions but I do so to learn. I love to learn. The final decision for the name of Jesus has not been made. We will likely do a survey of the readers in the near future. At this point, the spelling of the Hebrew alternative would be Yeshua. There are two main groups who are studying the ARTB. Those who are coming from a Hebrew/Aramaic perspective who would like to see all names and places in Hebrew/Aramaic, and those who are only familiar with a Greek New Testament who would be lost if Bartholomew was listed as “Bar-Tolmai, a disciple of Yeshua”. Glad you are enjoying ARTB!

I’m a little concerned about a “translineator” who is likely to “do a survey of the readers” to determine what name Jesus will have in her upcoming New Testament version!  Another observation from the author’s ARTB website concerning her upcoming NT version (you can read more HERE):

A second reader sent the following inquiry: 

“I have purchased the ARTB – Old Testament and, as a biblical scholar, am truly pleased. What is the status of the ARTB – New Testament; will it be taken from the Greek or the Aramaic? Are there any plans to work on some of the other books that were not included in our present cannon – i.e., Books of Enoch, Wisdom of Solomon, etc.?”

I started the Greek New Testament several years ago.  But I put a “pause” on the Greek and am now tackling the Aramaic for a couple of reasons:

1)  My personal curiosity got the better of me!  I wanted to see what the complete Hebrew/Aramaic vocabulary would look like when placed in the New Testament.  Would it be interesting?  A significant aid to understanding? 

2)  I am very aware that the Aramaic Peshitta is likely derived from the Greek.  So, it is a legitimate question whether its the right thing to do it from the Aramaic.  I want to review the end product of the translinear Aramaic New Testament before I make that conclusion.   

3)  The very important lesson I learned doing the Old Testament is that the final output looks very different if you start from the New Testament first, and push back to the Old Testament (which the majority of translations have done). If you go from NT to OT, you CANNOT do a translinear version because the vocabulary in the New Testament is so much smaller than the Old Testament.  You get caught with the wrong words and you end up with the problem of needing to reuse English words.

Thus, it means if I want to do a translinear Greek NT, I must go back and do the entire Septuagint/Wisdom Books/New Testament at one crack.  That’s a multi-year project, which I do plan on doing—because I’m also interested in the Wisdom books.  But I decided to finish the Aramaic NT first for all the reasons above. My sense is that it truly will be an eye-opener and will resolve the gap between words in the New Testament (like baptism, apostles, church/synagogue, preach, evangelism) that don’t occur at all in the Old Testament.  It’s on track to be published by year end.

Does the above seem like a flawed system to you?  It should not matter in which order you translate Old and New Testaments unless you have an agenda of some sort.  Translation is translation.  Note that the author is very careful  to never use the word translation in reference to her own work.

Here’s an excerpt of a review of the ARTB from Dr. Claude Mariottini, professor of Old Testament studies at Northern Baptist Seminary (you can see his complete review HERE) :

As most biblical scholars and translators know, translating the Bible from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek into English or any other language is not easy. How does a translator clearly communicate the meaning of Hebrew words to English speaking people? Because the task is difficult, the result is that today we have many different translations of the Bible.

Now the problem has been solved. Let us welcome a new translation of the Bible: the Ancient Roots Translinear Bible. The aim of the Ancient Roots Translinear Bible is to solve the problem that different translations of the Bible create for the average reader.  The following press release explains the aim of the Ancient Roots Translinear Bible:

The “Ancient Roots Translinear Bible (ARTB)” is a completely new concept designed and patented by a scientist and bible-lover who asked the basic question: Why do we have to interrupt our reading of the bible to look up the original meaning of the Hebrew text in a separate book or footnote? Why don’t English bible translations match the ancient text?

. . . A. Frances Werner designed the Ancient Roots Translinear Bible (ARTB) to be 100% consistent with the ancient texts to simplify bible study. “The word “translinear” has been created to let you know that it is completely consistent between Hebrew and English. Thus, every unique English word matches every unique Hebrew word. Even thought the concept seems incredibly obvious and simple, it hasn’t been done in 1500 years of English bible translations. That’s why the ARTB is patented. Now you can save some time and money. You don’t need to stop and reach for expensive reference books to be assured you finding the accurate word of God.” 

How did this translator produce a Bible that solved the problems translators have struggled for centuries to solve? How was this done? It was easy! The translator, A. Frances Werner, used Strong’s Concordance to make sure that every Hebrew word was translated in the same way in English . . .

. . . Any one who has translated from Hebrew to English will agree that the approach taken by Ancient Roots Translinear Bible is very simplistic. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible was first published in 1890. Strong’s Concordance is an index of the Bible based on the translation of the King James Version. The index is designed to help students find a phrase or a word and compare how the same word was used in another section of the Bible.

The major weakness of the Ancient Roots Translinear Bible is its dependence on Strong’s Concordance [complete article from Wikipedia can be seen HERE]:

Since Strong’s Concordance identifies the original words in Hebrew and Greek, Strong’s Numbers are sometimes misinterpreted by those without adequate training to change the Bible from its accurate meaning simply by taking the words out of cultural context. The use of Strong’s numbers does not consider figures of speech, metaphors, idioms, common phrases, cultural references, references to historical events, or alternate meanings used by those of the time period to express their thoughts in their own language at the time. As such, professionals and amateurs alike must consult a number of contextual tools to reconstruct these cultural backgrounds.

It seems to me that this new Bible will be consistent in translating the same Hebrew words into English, but it will be a Bible which will fail to communicate the beauty of the biblical message and the intricacies of the Hebrew language to its readers.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

I have a hunch this new “version” of the Bible will be one of the “new things” with “new truths” that the Hebrew Roots Movement will be promoting.  Dear reader, please use discernment and ask common-sense questions of these “new and improved” versions of God’s Word! 

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Complete Jewish Bible by David Stern
A basic synopsis (From Jewish New Testament Publications):
  “Jewish New Testament”, David Stern. Freshly rendered from the original Greek into enjoyable modern English by Stern, a Messianic Jew, the Jewish New Testament challenges Jews to understand that Yeshua (Jesus)is a friend to every Jewish heart and the New Testament a Jewish book filled with truths to be accepted and acted upon. At the same time, while reaffirming the equality of Gentiles and Jews in the Messianic Community, it challenges Chritians to acknowledge the Jewishness of their faith and their oneness with the Jewish people.

Here’s a sampling of some of the not-so-glowing reviews of David Stern’s work (you can see all the reviews, both pro and con HERE):

Horrible translation of the Greek, December 10, 2002 While Dr. Stern’s grasp of the Hebrew is erudite and developed, his translation of the Greek text is horrible at best, and at worst, arguably heretical. I am a NT scholar and his translation of the B’Rit Hadashah is irresponsible. To have one man translate scripture as opposed to a committee is always an exercise in folly and this is a perfect example of reckless scholarship.

Shameful, Mar 17 2004  As an Orthodox Rabbi let me say that this is a shameful hoax – Judaism and the new testament are mutually exclusive. This is a trick on behalf of missionaries to lure Jews into their ranks. Be forewarned.

DO NOT BE BRAINWASHED !!, Mar 12 2004 Obviously, there are many who have been brainwashed into thinking that “messianic Jews” are just that – THEY ARE NOT JEWS – they accept Jesus as their messiah and Jews DO NOT. PLEASE reconsider supporting these fringe movements – don’t buy these books; don’t accept flyers from Jews for Jesus on the streets; don’t give up your birthright – your Judaism. The Jewish bible stops with the ‘Old’ Testament. Please use your common sense.

Why the Yiddish?, December 27, 2002 I don’t want to repeat what has been said before, so I will just make one point. There are a number of Yiddish words scattered throughout the [Complete Jewish Bible] New Testament. Of course Jews no more spoke Yiddish in Christ’s time than they spoke English. I asked Dr Stern why he had done this; he replied that it was to add to the Jewish flavor of the New Testament. That sums up the book – deliberate sloppy scholarship to convey a false flavor of Jewishness.

Inconsistent & Biased Translation, January 27, 2005 For those of you who have a love for the unadulterated Word of God, the grace of God, and the blood of Jesus Christ, please note the following concerns as it relates to this particular book. In Romans chapters 5 & 7, the author is meticulously consistent in translating the Greek word for law (nomos) into Torah. However, in Romans chapter 6, he totally departs from this consistencyand translates the same Greek word for law (nomos) into the word “legalism.” This is clearly an inconsistent translation and a personal and private interjection and interpretation (II Peter 1:20). For it clearly reflects a theological bias which can lead to spiritual deception and bondage as it relates to being under the law/Torah. Why?Because, if he maintains the same consistency in translating the word law (nomos) found in Romans chapter 6 as he has done in Romans chapters 5 & 7, the verse by Paul in chapter 6 would then read, “…for ye are not under the Torah, but under grace”(Romans 6:14). Paul was talking about the same law (nomos) in chapter 6 as he was in chapters 5 & 7. This consistency should be reflected in the translation as well. Note very carefully that the author’s personal interpretation and translation of this very powerful Pauline verse MASKS a Scriptural reference that has clearly declared our freedom and liberty from being under the law/the Torah. Thus, this Bible translation gives us a, “we are still under the law/the Torah…Sabbath keeping, etc.” type presentation. Paul declares that it is this type of presentation that can lead to spiritual bondage (Galatians 3:1,2 & 5:1-4).

Those of you who know the Word of God, understand that we are now under a better covenant – grace. Paul, like myself, was not anti-law, or anti-Jewish, he was simply pro-grace. Although he was indeed a Jew, he counted everything associated with his Jewishness, including his theology and heritage, as “dung” relative to winning Christ (Philippians 3:4-8). This also included the righteousness of the law/Torah. The Word of God declares that God’s plan of salvation for today is not about Jewishness, but Holiness. God is a spirit who declares, “Be ye holy (not Jewish), for I am holy.”

. . . Finally, he talks about his “fans.”Interesting. These are just a few of the major concerns that need to be addressed as it relates to this book. Finally, can any NEW BIBLE TRANSLATION that drastically alters the words and meanings of the Psalmist and the apostle Paul with “personal and private interpretations and interjections” in its NEW TRANSLATION of the Word of God truly reflect the Word of God?Education, money, and “fan requests”, cannot be the qualifier and basis for writing a new Bible translation. For no translation should be independent of the Spiritual anointing that is needed in order to receive divine truth and revelation of the Word of God. Remember, “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” [Bolding mine.]

The observation above of the Amazon reviews for the “Complete Jewish Bible” does shed light on another of the Hebrew Roots Movement’s problems, which is this:  The HRM, as one of their stated “benefits”, is that they can be “missionaries” to Jews in a way that Christians cannot, because they do not “reject” the Law, and embrace Hebrew culture and practices.  In reality, however, Jews are deeply offended by the overtures made to them by those in the HRM.  A number of the reviews at Amazon do shed light on this fact. 

NOTE: There are many glowing reviews of David Stern’s work on the Amazon listing, that when read carefully, reveal that they are reviews from those in the HRM, who identify themselves as Messianic believers or some similar term.  Also note that some reviews critical of the CJB from a Jewish background equate Jews for Jesus with the Hebrew Roots Movement, which is definitely not the case.  Jews for Jesus fully supports the New Covenant as clearly stated in the New Testament Scriptures.

Here’s an excerpt from a post at “Messianic Jewish Musings” (you can read the entire post HERE):  

The Complete Jewish Bible is perhaps the greatest unifying factor in our movement. The Complete Jewish Bible is the least controversial and perhaps the most useful tool produced yet by the Messianic Jewish movement.   . . . for now, I want to quote a portion of Dr. Stern’s introduction and raise a few points for discussion:

“Why is this Bible different from all other Bibles? Because it is the only English version of the Bible fully Jewish in style and presentationand includes both the Tanakh (“Old Testament”) and B’rit Hadashah(New Covenant, “New Testament”). Even its title, The Complete Jewish Bible, challenges both Jews and Christians to see that the whole Bible is Jewish, the B’rit Hadashah as well as the Tanakh. Jews are challenged by the implication that without it the Tanakhis and incomplete Bible. Christians are challenged with the fact that they are joined to the Jewish people through faith in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus) — so that because Christianity can only be rightly understood from a Jewish perspective, anti-Semitism is condemned absolutely and forever. In short, The Complete Jewish Bible restores the Jewish unity of the Bible.”

In my opinion, that is one of the finest statements on the Bible and the relationship between Jews and Christians that I have read . . . anywhere. [Bolding mine.]

I’d like to point out one really big truth that God makes very clear about those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ and His completed work at the Cross: You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”  (Galatians 3:26-29)   The restoration is of people, as God created them, of neither this ethnicity nor that social status, but the opportunity of redemption for all mankind, as He intended originally when He made the Promise to Adam and Eve after the Fall. 

Yes, over time and deep into history God chose a specific people as a vehicle for His restoration and redemption of mankind back to Him, but that had more to do with the faithfulness of Abraham than it did with Hebrew (Jewish) ethnicity!  Again, I am not anti-ethnic anybody . . . I’m just making an observation here.  I have great respect and love for the people that God did choose, and He does have a special plan for His chosen people, but when we are in Christ, we are all the same in Him, and that new man is neither Jew nor Greek.

The agenda to sway Christians toward Torah observance disqualifies, in my opinion, the Complete Jewish Bible from consideration for use.  It is useful to those in the Hebrew Roots Movement, however, because as the poster at Messianic Jewish Musings above stated, “The Complete Jewish Bible is the least controversial and perhaps the most useful tool produced yet by the Messianic Jewish movement.” 

May God grant you wisdom and discernment as you consider these things.

Edited to add:  Derek from Messianic Jewish Musings, in his comment below, brings up a good point about lumping groups together.  Messianic Jews are not Hebrew Roots Movement folks.  I should have specified that fact in the post above.  Let me be clear, however, that the Complete Jewish Bible IS  a staple in many “Messianic Christian” (Hebrew Roots Movement) fellowships.  My apologies to Derek for any perceived misrepresentation of Messianic Jewish Musings.

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Other articles of interest:

For more resources regarding the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movements see the Post Index and the Articles Page.  General study helps, discernment, and apologetics sites can be found HERE.   Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.

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70 Responses

  1. I appreciate what you are trying to do, but in my opinion you have a few problems with your position. First, you are lumping together groups that do not go together. True Messianic Judaism is not the same as the Hebrew Roots movement. This is illustrated by the error you make suggesting that Dr. Stern and the Complete Jewish Bible have as their goal to get Christians keeping Torah. That is not true and is not even a potential implication of the words you quoted from my blog. Sometimes an outsider (yourself) looking at a diverse community, has trouble seeing distinctions. We do not believe Christians must keep Torah (by we, I mean the segment of Messianic Judaism to which I belong). We believe that Acts 15 only makes clear what was already legislated in Torah — that Torah is for Israel and not for Gentiles.

    Second of all, you have a problem because your view of the role of Israel does not match Romans 11. You have failed to allow the New Testament to inform your view of the Jewish people. Don’t take my word for it. Read the numerous Christian theologians who would support my statement. You view Jewishness as a mere ethnicity. You fail to understand that the New Testament indicates a continuing role for Israel in God’s plan.

    We agree that much that uses the name Messianic Jewish and Hebrew Roots is harmful and theologically bankrupt. That is what my blog is all about (derek4messiah.wordpress.com).

    I welcome any dialogue you would like to have about this. My email is derekblogger@gmail.com

    Derek Leman
    derek4messiah.wordpress.com
    Messianic Jewish Musings

    • Sorry Derek you are wrong about Torah only being for the Jews as Israel is Jews and Non-Jews as one as is torah…..Romans 11:13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

      17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

      22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

      • Medad, Romans 11 is not about brining Gentiles into the Old Covenant, but about bringing salvation (Forgiveness, Righteousness, and New Life by Grace through Faith in Christ, the Root) to all men.

  2. Very nice of you to make that retraction and correction.

    Derek Leman

  3. Hi Derek,

    Glad to do that edit! I do appreciate your perspective, agree with you, and should have made that distinction originally.

    I can’t handle editing that post anymore, though! There was some weird formatting thing going on putting spaces (like 30 or 40 lines worth!) in places I didn’t put them (especially at the end). What’s up with that?! It took me over 2 hours to get it back to reasonable. Augh. There are still a few spots in the post that aren’t perfect, but I’m content to leave it alone now and put anything further down here in comment land.

    Ok, vent over. Now that that two day fix is done, I feel like I can respond to your comment =o)!

    To the problems you see with my position:
    1) Lumping people together – addressed and corrected in the body of the post.
    2) You said, “This is illustrated by the error you make suggesting that Dr. Stern and the Complete Jewish Bible have as their goal to get Christians keeping Torah.” From your perspective, that may seem accurate, but check this out: From the Heart of Wisdom Store, a “Christian” homeschooling site, but which promotes the Hebrew Roots Movement through and through . . . from their desription of the CBJ –
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Why is this Bible different from all other Bibles? Because it is the only English version fully Jewish in style and presentation. It includes Dr. Stern’s new version of the “Tanakh” (“Old Testament”) and his highly acclaimed “Jewish New Testament.”

    The Complete Jewish Bible:
    – follows the Hebrew Bible order of the Tanakh’s books, the order with which Yeshua (Jesus) was familiar
    – makes no separation between “Old” and “New” Testaments
    – corrects misinterpretations in the New Testament resulting from anti-Jewish theological bias
    – offers the original Hebrew names for people, places, and concepts, using easy-to-read English transliterations
    – focuses on Messianic prophecy
    – gives the traditional weekly and holiday synagogue readings, plus relevant readings from the “B’rit Hadashah” (New Testament)
    – reconnects Christians with their Jewish roots and the Jewish people
    – connects Jews with the Jewishness of Messiah Yeshua and Messianic faith

    Other features of this Bible: a comprehensive introduction, a pronouncing explanatory glorssary, a reverse glossary, and special maps to aid Bible understanding.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Having dialogued with those in the HRM, a few who have come out of the HRM, and through the research I’ve done, and the above description on that particular site is evidence to me of how the CBJ is used (by those promoting the Hebrew Roots Movement), whether or not that was the intent of David Stern. Regardless of his intent, his focusing on the Jewishness of the “Big Picture” does, in fact, detract from the truth of God taking Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female, and making them one in Christ.

    See, I tend to look at how things were set up before the Fall. There was no Jew or Gentile. No slave or free. Well, there was male and female =o), but there was a very real sense of equality and oneness there too, before the Fall. And after the completed work of the Cross, God says that He’s restored that which was lost at the Fall. We are again one, but in Christ (Gal 3:26-29).

    Yet we all bear the marks of history. Jews are chosen and special in His plan. Yes, He has a past, present, and future unique plan for them (which I did mention in my post) . . . it’s one of the many paradoxes in our faith. We are one in Christ, yet maintain our uniqueness in Christ. I think it’s actually pretty cool!

    Here’s a perspective thing for you – you made a point in the post from your blog to quote from Stern’s introduction. This caught my eye: ” . . . because Christianity can only be rightly understood from a Jewish perspective, anti-Semitism is condemned absolutely and forever.” Ya know, when I was 8 and the Gospel was presented to me, I knew nothing about Jews or Gentiles, the Law, Grace, or the miriad of theological theories out there. Yet as a child, I did understand Christianity – from God’s love for me, the recognition of my sin and its effect on my standing with God, and I believed that Jesus did what He did to redeem me and put me back in right relationship with Him.

    A child-like faith. We all need to remember to go that place of simplicity. It’s all about Jesus and Who He is and what He did. The Gospel. Love God. Love others. There’s no anti-anyone in that.

    The caption under my blog title reads “A simple heart living a simple faith”. Even as we mature in our faith, we need to maintain that child-like trust that God has all the ins and outs of life and culture and birthright and theology covered, even if we don’t understand every bit of it.

    And yes, we agree that much that uses the name Messianic Jewish and Hebrew Roots is harmful and theologically bankrupt! That’s what my blog is all about, too . . . just from the Gentile perspective.

    On a personal note, you and your wife have a beautiful family! Eight children! We have “only” six . . . and it’s a lot of work, but a lot of fun, too. We are blessed, are we not?

    Blessings to you and your family,
    Wendy

  4. Wow,
    None of what you are speaking up has anything to do with what I accept as true and what I have learned in the HRM. Never have I been asked to question the Cannon, and even though I have read some interesting things about some Texts like Matthew and Hebrews being originally in Hebrew, the received Text is in Greek and that is authoritative. Even most Traditional Christian commentators say this.

    Derek is a good source. I disagree with him on a few things, but mostly he is a bright guy and his blog is worthy to be read. I very much disagree with the “ritual conversion” thing…..but hey, we all have our errors (right Derek?)

    Also, you clearly state that we are Heretics. That is a very dangerous word and to be uses cautiously.

    And my goodness, how do you find all of these weirdos anyway. I wish you wouldn’t speak of the Hebrew Roots Movement in the same blog as those other people who are way way out there.
    Sean

  5. Hi Sean,

    Thanks for being willing to come to JGIG and check it out. I’m happy to know that you consider the Word of God to be authoritative. Yay! That is a good thing as God’s word does not return void.

    You said, “Also, you clearly state that we are Heretics. That is a very dangerous word and to be uses cautiously.”

    Sean, I would never presume to label you a Heretic. I do not know you. I don’t know your heart. I can, however, evaluate a belief system and identify *it* as heretical if it indeed reveals itself to be so when measured against the plumbline of scripture.

    Heresy is a very strong word and I do not use it lightly, nor do I use it often at JGIG. And the term is directed primarily at doctrine, not “Joe HRMer”, though the term may on occasion be leveled at those who are clearly heretics in the leadership of the HRM (those who clearly deny the deity of Christ or the Trinity come to mind, for example), when it’s appropriate. And unlike someone like Calvin, if I were to lable anyone a heretic, I would not call for a burning at the stake. I’d start a blog and scripturally defend the Gospel as it is clearly stated in the Word . . . the rest is God’s deal =o).

    You also wrote, “And my goodness, how do you find all of these weirdos anyway. I wish you wouldn’t speak of the Hebrew Roots Movement in the same blog as those other people who are way way out there.”

    The HRM is like chili, my friend. There are lots of different recipes out there. Some recipes are “hotter” or “spicier” or more “unique” than others, but they’re all chili. In the post “About Law Keepers – An Overview” (https://joyfullygrowingingrace.wordpress.com/2008/08/08/about-law-keepers-an-overview/), I do differentiate between some of the “flavors” in the HRM. An excerpt:

    “From what I’ve observed thus far, there are the “mainstream” Law Keepers, (keep the Sabbath and observe the Feasts) the “legalists”, (they are very serious about keeping as much of Torah as they possibly can, even going to Jerusalem at the appointed times) and the “fringe” Law Keepers (who are also very serious about keeping Torah, promoting a “Yahshua Messiah as Torah incarnate” concept, possibly engaging in more primitive practices such as the slaughtering of a goat for the Passover meal and using its blood for the painting of their doorposts and/or practicing polygamy).”

    You mentioned in one of your other comments that First Fruits of Zion has been a big influence in you “crossing over” to the HRM way of thought. Is their view soley from scripture or is there Rabbinic influence there? And if there is Rabbinic influence there, is that not more from Judaism’s viewpoint rather than a New Covanent in-view-of-the-Cross-born-again-believer’s viewpoint? I’ve read through some of FFOZ’s stuff, and the completed work of Jesus at the Cross is not mentioned there. When the work of the Cross is mentioned, it is in terms of what Christ did not do there, not in terms of what He did do there. The focus is primarily on Torah, not on Jesus, and in my opinion, with that being the case, FFOZ is a skewed resource for serious scriptural study for the born-again believer.

    Off to respond to your other comments at JGIG . . .

  6. Sean,

    I have been reading through your posts and Wendy’s responses. I so totally understand where you are coming from. I was once deeply involved in Hebrew Roots. Not only that, I studied FFOZ material [Ha Yesod – the full course; parts of “Torah Club”] and received their “Messiah” magazine for a number of years. I am pretty clear on their perspective and their teachings.

    In my opinion, Wendy has done an excellent job of explaining their position. As I discovered much later, FFOZ relies heavily on Rabbinic sources to fill out their theology. It is masked under “ancient sages”, “ancient writings” or “Jewish teachers” intimating that this is first century understanding of the Tanakh. However; most of what Judaism believes and adheres to comes from middle ages perspectives and instructions. The Talmud is clear that its Rabbinical views are to be obeyed and understood above the Torah/Tanakh. I would think this would be something that must raise a red flag or two in one’s search for comprehension of the truth.

    The Rabbinical system was built long after the first century and hundreds of years after the resurrection of the Messiah. I am aware that the Talmud was composed 200-500 CE, but the debates and interpretations were added from the middle ages, and contains multiple volumes of information, including kabbalism. Fully aware of “Christianity” and its doctrines/theologies, the Rabbincial system was designed to oppose the Messiah of the NT, not explain Him for greater understanding. The Talmud has quite a few references that are aimed at discrediting Yeshua in the most denigrating statements. Although some in HRM have tried to sweep this under the carpet by saying that the Talmud no longer contains these false degrading myths, Jewish scholars will attest to the accuracy that the Talmud most definitely stated these things in earlier “editions”. One could honestly say that this system missed the “main event”. If what the Rabbis studied, interpreted and taught of the Tanakh does not reveal Yeshua Ha Mashiyach, then how can one truly believe that they have anything to offer in understanding of the Messiah, the Brit Chadashah [NT] or keeping Torah?

    There is so much more I could say on this topic. It has been a focal point of my research and study for several years now, but I think you have enough to chew on :) I would enjoy reading through any response that you might be willing to share. I am enjoying the dialoge, having been on both sides of the “fence” :)

    Shalom,
    sheep wrecked

  7. Hello!
    My name is Anders Branderud, I am 23 years and I am from Sweden. I have practised Orthodox Judaism through Netzarim (www.netzarim.co.il) in Ra’anana in Israel (led by the Orthodox Jew Paqid Yirmeyahu ha-Tzadiq), who are followers of Ribi Yehoshua – the Messiah – since 2007-05. Before that I was a devoted Christian for 6 years.

    By practising Torah non-selectively we make the world a better place to live in!

    You write in one post: “Now if the New Testament is so clear on the completed work of Christ and the place of the Law and how we are all one new man (neither Jew nor Gentile) in God’s plan,”

    The question is what did the historical Jesus teach?

    The research of world-recognized authorities (for example Barrie Wilson; ) in this area implies that Ribi Yehoshua was a Pharisee (a Torah-practising Jewish group) – who according to 4Q MMT (a Scroll found in the Qumran-caves) practised both written and oral Torah.

    That Ribi Yehoshua was a Pharisee implies that you need to practise his Torah-teachings if want to follow him. You do that by practising Torah (including oral Torah; see “Mishpat” and “Halakhah” at Glossaries in the first page at the above website)!

    Ribi Yehoshua warned for false prophets who don’t produce good fruit = defined as don’t practise the commandments in Torah according to Halakhah (oral Torah; see “Mishpat” and “Halakhah” at Glossaries in the first page at the abvove website). See Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:1-6.

    If Ribi Yehoshua didn’t keep Halakhah he is a false prophet. Torah gives authority to Halakhah (as I said see the glossaries-definition at our website).

    To quote the first century Ribi Yehoshua: “Happy are they to be who hunger and thirst after tzedaqah [justness according to Torah; that is practising the מצות in תורה (Torah)], for they shall be filled of it.” [The Netzarim Reconstruction of Hebrew Matityahu 5:3].

    All the best,

    From Anders Branderud

  8. Hello Anders,

    Welcome to JGIG . . . all the way from Sweden . . . wow!

    I read your story on and explored the website you recommended. You have had an interesting journey thus far. It is clear that you have chosen to leave your Christian faith and join a sect of Judaism which is not Biblically based. I did a little research on the 4QMMT and on Barrie Wilson. To base a belief system on the theories which each source sets forth is spiritually perilous. 4QMMT is not scripture, and Barrie Wilson espouses an intellectual pseudo-Judaism.

    I pray that the love and grace of God would speak to your heart and mind and bring you to new life in Him.

    Blessings and prayers to you, Anders.

    Teach me your way, O LORD,
    and I will walk in your truth;
    give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name.

    I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.

    For great is your love toward me;
    you have delivered me from the depths of the grave. (Psalm 86:11-13)

  9. This is a great rebuttal of the Hebrew Roots Sacred Name Cult. A Parsitic and vicious doctrine that is raping the Church. God bless the man who wrote this. May Jesus richly bless you. :)

  10. You are very sadly mistaken on your view, I am a well studied person very well. And it is wrong if you dont understand old test helps confirm new by understanding the hebrew. I run into so much false doctrine teaching by those who rebuke the power of Hebrew. I am not a Jew but i do know hebrew, and i can thru the hebrew teach those the meaning of new test scriptures. Like predestine, election and other very poorly understood things in new test. I feel for those who lead others to not find the truth!!!

    • Hi Mike,

      Welcome to JGIG!

      The thing that strikes me about your comment is this:

      “I run into so much false doctrine teaching by those who rebuke the power of Hebrew.”

      The “power of Hebrew”? You may want to read “Holy Hebrew” here at JGIG. Hebrew is the language of the Old Testament, a tool, that God used to communicate His Word to us at a certain time in history. Just as Greek is a language, a tool, that God used to communicate His Word to us at a certain time in history.

      And this:

      ” . . . and i can thru the hebrew teach those the meaning of new test scriptures.”

      That’s interesting considering that the New Testament was written in Greek (see Hebrew Roots Movement – The Issue of “Hellenization”).

      God has allowed both the Hebrew and the Greek Scriptures to be translated into many languages so that His Word could be communicated to all tribes and nations. While understanding the culture, history, and language of the days in which the Scriptures were written does have value in providing context, God’s Word is available in many languages. It’s God’s communication to mankind showing us the solution to our sinful condition. A plain reading of His Word, whatever the language, delivers His greatest Gift to us – the Gift of Life through faith in Jesus Christ. Hebrew “centricity” was never God’s ultimate plan. His desire was to redeem mankind. That was the promise given when Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden. God chose Israel to in part carry out that promise, but we must keep HIM central and look through the lens of the Redemption He provided for us as we search the Scriptures. The lens which we must use is the Gospel, not Hebraicism.

      The truths of the Scriptures are not found solely because of the languages used to write them, the truths of the Scriptures stand because they are God’s Word – no matter what language they are written in!

      Every Blessing,
      -JGIG

  11. Mike,

    I understand that you have been taught that Hebrew is “the holy language”. I have a few questions that will hopefully allow you to think reasonably about this concept.

    When you discovered this “truth”, it was probably in your native tongue, which was not Hebrew, so you are saying that without Hebrew you still understood that there was some kind of error being promoted. Does that seem rather unlikely to you? Also, I assume that your belief in Jesus Christ was made real to you in spite of not knowing Hebrew at the time. Don’t you ever wonder how you actually grasped this nugget of “gold” without a Hebrew mind set?

    Why is it that now you have been sold this package of “Hebraicism” you are convinced that God will not reveal Himself or His Word in any other language but Hebrew? Are you aware that Hebrew was not even the original language of the Bible prior to 900 BCE? Did you know that the OT Hebrew contains many loans words in other languages like Greek, Latin, Chaldean, Aramaic, and Egyptian?

    Were you ever curious how Jesus spoke to the Greeks in the NT who did not know Hebrew, but yet healed them and they understood who He was? Did it ever make you stop and think that when the disciples came out of the upper room they were speaking many languages [and none of them were Hebrew] in tongues, declaring the wonders of God? Do you ever question how Paul went to the Gentiles and preached the Gospel because they didn’t know Hebrew? Was the jailer actually saved? [a Roman – did not know Hebrew].

    Please give some thought to the unrealistic approach that to understand the Bible and to know God one needs Hebrew to be the foundation. I think you will discover is it a false dichotomy and a trick to sway people away from the truth.

    For the Love of Truth,
    sheep wrecked

  12. Love the Chili comparison!! LOL. Living with a person who believes in Hebrew Supremacy is no fun! I can’t even eat a pork chop anymore! Anyway, seriously…. As far as the articles go they hit the proverbial nail on the head. Thanks for getting the info out there.
    L.

  13. For someone without any minimal hebrew knowledge, you have no business writing this blog. stick to english and christianity.

    • Hi Dan,

      Welcome to JGIG!

      So, unless I know Hebrew I’m not allowed to have a blog? I must’ve missed that rule along the way.

      Is it your position that God cannot reveal Himself to those who speak English? Is God, in your opinion, that limited?

      Every blessing,
      JGIG

  14. Thanks, Laurie.

    You know you’re in my prayers =o).

    (((Hugs)))
    -JGIG

  15. This is not what I said and you know it. With your arrogant attitude you think that you are now qualified to show a father how to make children, when you have no children yourself. A little humility will help….

    • Dan –

      Then please clarify what you did mean. As for the rest of your comment: ad hom.

      I’ll be waiting for that clarification . . .

      -JGIG

  16. What makes you an expert on Hebrew roots, when you have no Hebrew knowledge? I don’t have a knowledge of Chinese, therefore I am not an expert on Chinese roots…..

  17. welll not all of us in the “HRM” belive as you state that the word has been corrupted. I would say there is much debate over textual critisim. but to say we do not belive in the “new testament” is a falshood. I belive in the the “new testament” but would say there is at least 2000 years seperating us from the culture that created it. and as you look over the history of the church you will find how people scued the text to slant towards there view of it( it is proven fact) but that does not mean that we do not belive in the content of the “new testament”. and ther is much evidence to show how the early church rejected the sabbath and other jewihs things to avoid persuction and taxes leved on anyone who looked jewish by Rome.

    • Hi again David,

      Read the post again, David. It’s about Hebrew Roots Movement “translations” and how/why they are inaccurate. Your comment illustrates beautifully why those in the HRM seek out such faulty versions of the New Testament.

      – JGIG

  18. I am a Jewish believer in Jesus as my Messiah (Son of Man) and my Lord (Son of God) since 1974. I understand your writings here are to discourage misunderstanding of what Jesus ushered in by the shedding of His blood on Calvary and through the NEW Covenant promised to the Jewish People (and Gentiles). The New Covenant clearly rests on the fact that acceptance of Jesus as Lord & Savior assures salvation and no one can gain salvation through observing the Law!

    However, I do believe that the Church has went overboard in their rejection of sharing its Jewish Roots and have even made the mistake that Paul warned the Church at Rome of doing of cursing the roots in Romans Chapter 11:18-20:
    18. Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
    19. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
    20. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
    21. For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

    In Jeremiah 31:31-33 it is clearly stated that God “will make a NEW Covenant” (not a renewed covenant) “with the House of Israel” … not like the covenant he made with “their fathers.” What God did promise is, “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” The word “LAW” is clearly translated in the Hebrew as “the Torah.”

    My point is that God was not giving us a NEW Torah but a NEW relationship with HIM through a NEW covenant which was far greater than the Old. In Ezekiel 11:9-20:
    9. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
    20. That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

    What ordinances, what statutes? Those of the Torah! Now before you get upset with me, bare with me as I explain my thoughts!

    The new heart & spirit refers to the NEW NATURE we would receive (the New Birth). The people of Israel were referred to as “the children of God” but we as believers in Messiah would become “the children of God.” We have become New Creations , sons & daughters of the Most High God. As “children of God” our relationship has been changed with God and therefore the Torah must be reinterpreted in light of this wonderful fact.

    When the Epistles were being written, the New Testament writers were studying the Old Testament scriptures. (The New Testament was being written). It was not by accident that God chose to save Rabbi Saul (a Pharisee who knew the Torah and was even by his own admission, “touching the righteousness of the Law or Torah Blameless -Philippians chapter 3)

    What Paul was doing in his writings was defining the Torah and the Prophets and what portions of the Torah were still relevant to the “children of God.” For instance, no longer are the “penalties of the Torah concerning sin & death intact. Jesus took these upon himself and nailed these to the cross!

    Also, we read in Hebrews, the Sacrificial system was replaced with a better way of reconciling believers to the God of Israel.

    What has not been done away with is the Moral precepts of the Law (or the Law). How else would we know what is sin and what is Holy? When the writer of the book of Galations lists the works of the flesh in chapter 5, he lists them one WORD at a time. However, this was because he was referring back to the Scriptures they had at that time from the Old Testament. So when the writer lists fornication as sin, they knew he was referring to the Torah passages which outlined sexual sin like that in Leviticus chapter 18.

    Sadly, so much has been misunderstood in today’s church as a result of ignorance of the roots or foundation Christianity was built upon. You might say by cursing the roots freedom from the law did not result, but in a sense lawlessness! I have talked with practicing homosexuals who say they are Christians. When I point out that the practice of homosexuality is sin, they say to me that this was under the Law, but we are in Grace.

    Just as bad, the church has lost its understanding and deeper meaning of many of its observances. I remember my own daughter questioning baptism and where is that in the Old Testament. The minister told her that this was a New Testament thing. But thank God I was able to enlighten her to where this came from. It was based on the Jewish practice of the cleansing ritual called the Mikvah. When John the Baptist was baptizing Jewish people in the wilderness, the Pharisees didn’t question “the Mikvahs” but what right did he have to do this in the Jordan river when the proper place for such a thing was in the temple by the priests. That’s why they asked him, “Are you the messiah, or a prophet?”

    My contention is that the Roman Church under Constantine had completely severed ANY connection with their Hebrew Roots and this has led to a lack of depth in the faith of many in the church today and a rejection of God’s Moral Law that is contained in the Torah, the Prophets and other books of the Old Testament. The Roman church in its councils said it was a sin for a Christian to practice Passover or any of the feats especially if they were Jewish converts. The the church instituted their own festivals not based on any Bible Texts New or Old Testament such as Easter, instead of Passover.

    I recently sat in a first communion Mass (I am not a Catholic) and listened to what the priest told my grandchild about communion. He said, “Jesus was having his last supper with his friends the Apostles. And he knew this would be his last meal with them. So he said to himself, ‘What can I do to help them remember me?’ And then the priest went on to say Jesus said, “Oh I have a great idea, I will take the bread and the wine and use this for them to remember me.”

    While this in itself is no great sin, I was saddened that there was no teaching that this was the Passover and Jesus used the elements of the Passover Sedar before him. Every Passover, Jewish children are told the wonderful story of deliverance by God as Moses led them to freedom from a wicked Taskmaster named Pharaoh. The elements on the Passover table help the children remember what their ancestors went through as they were redeemed by the God of Israel. We as children had no problem understanding this Biblical Truth because the Passover Meal beautifully typified the message! But how much more beautiful communion would be for our children if they realized the Old Covenant message and the New Covenant message that are expressed in the Passover meal. While Israel was freed from the bondage of a wicked Taskmaster named Pharaoh, so we through the new Covenant are freed from the bondage of sin and the slave master named Satan.

    The blood of the Passover Lamb applied to the door of the Jewish people protected them from the Angel of Death. And the blood of the Lamb of God applied to the door of our heart brings eternal life!

    One of the accusations of my people, the Jewish people, was: “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:” Tradition without understanding in the church today leads to a “form of god but denies the power of what Jesus did for us!”

    You rightfully pointed out some of out shortcomings of David Stern’s New Testament Publication, “The Complete Jewish Bible.” However, there are some wonderful things in it that FAR out way the bad. The names of the disciples and jesus Himself are listed as Hebrew names. For Jewish people like myself who are trying to help our unsaved Jewish relatives and friends embrace Jesus as their messiah, it helps us explain that Jesus and his disciples were Jews. Something they would never know today if they sat in most churches.

    In fact, when I first got saved and told some of my “Christian” friends that Jesus was a Jew, they got made at me saying things like, “No he wasn’t he was Catholic!”

    What has happened with the jewish Roots movement is that when Gentiles and Jews discover how much of a connection the New Testament has with the Old Testament foundation, they are confused as to why the church has drifted so far from those roots and don’t even refer to the beautiful connectivity between them. Anything Jewish has been removed from the church and many things have been added by various denominations that have pagan roots. But this is okay, but to stress the Jewish Roots isn’t?

    I believe that what is happening with the Jewish Roots Movement is that God Himself is helping to bring the fact that Christianity is built on the foundation of the Old – and as often happens when there is a lack of truth being emphasized or ignored, there is an over reaction and even anger expressed by those who discover such truths.

    This happened before with Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation which recognized “It is by faith we are saved and not of good works.” Yet, there too, many went overboard in their understanding of this doctrine and there are many in the church today who believe “anything goes” because they are under grace and the Law (or Torah) has no relevance anymore!

    I pray you will honestly consider what I am saying.

    God bless you,
    Warren Marcus

    • I understand Exactly what you are saying!!! The first Christians were Jews and the last will be Jews….

  19. What happened to my previous comments? Just wondering. Too threatening? Why would you not publish them? Please advise. Thank you.

    • Hi Jennifer,
      I sent the following to you on August 6th via your email addy provided with your comments:

      Hi Jennifer,

      Wow! First, I’d like to congratulate you for having the longest ever comment at JGIG. Unfortunately, I won’t be publishing it, not because you disagree with what’s written at JGIG, but because what you wrote has nothing to do with the post on which you chose to comment.

      Check out the Comments Policy at JGIG. It was written in part because every now and then folks like to cyber-barf everything they think they know about how terrible Christianity is and how superior they think Messianic Judaism/Hebrew Roots streams of thought are. That’s fine, you are certainly entitled to your beliefs, but if you have that much to say, start your own blog. WordPress makes it easy =o).

      As for the actual content of your comments, I’d be happy to discuss them with you. CARM has a pretty active Messianic Judaism forum where I stop by nearly every day (I’m JGIG there). I am familiar with the points you brought up in your comments and would be happy to discuss them with you. If you are not already a member, it’s free to sign up. Here’s the link: http://forums.carm.org/vbb/forum.php [Note to readers: I’m not on forums much anymore; many of those I’ve debated have been banned for bad behavior, so there’s not much to say, ha! There is quite a bit of discussion on the JGIG Facebook page, however, if you’d like to take a look.]

      After reading the Comments Policy at JGIG, if you have specific things you’d like to discuss on JGIG, please feel free to post again, relating the content to actual posts. Again, the issue was not the content of your comments, it was the lack of relationship of the comments to the post on which you chose to comment and the length of the comments.

      I’m glad you came across JGIG and hope you’ll read more there.

      Every Blessing,
      -JGIG

  20. One should be careful on the warnings Jesus gave to us on taking out and removing parts of scripture to conform to our doctrine. Even in the book of Thessalonians, Paul warned us in those times that the spirit of “lawlessness” which means without “Torah” was already at work. The anti-messiah will also be a person without, “Torah”. Our Lord and Master is a Jewish Rabbi, lived a Torah lifestyle( which confirms Him to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins!) preached in the Jewish thought and culture. For us Gentiles to remove the Jewishness of the scriptures is wrong.

    • Hi Ron,

      You wrote: “One should be careful on the warnings Jesus gave to us on taking out and removing parts of scripture to conform to our doctrine.”

      Amen to that! And that is exactly what we need to guard against with any new translations that claim to be the only ‘correct’ one!

      Traditional translations do not try to take the Jewishness out of Christ . . . that’s just a red herring those in Law ‘keeping’ sects throw out there. Nowhere in the Scriptures written to the Body of Christ are we commanded to keep Mosaic Covenant Law. It just isn’t there. Nor are we told to look at everything from a Jewish perspective. Having a basic knowledge of culture and history is helpful, but we are not required to ‘think like a Hebrew’ or look at everything through an Hebraic lens. The Pharisees did that, and they totally missed Jesus! Paul did that, and Jesus had to make him blind to be able to see!

      The Gospel is not culture/language specific. The Gospel has the amazing ability to reach into all cultures and languages and redeem people of all tribes and nations, Praise God! That is something the Law could never do . . .

      Every blessing,

      -JGIG

  21. Could you please consider including research/discussion on The Aramaic English New Testament. I’m seeing this thing sold/cited on a number of HRM websites. It seems to be more of the same with their claim to be “The hidden New Testament Bible that has been lost to the Western Church for over 1800 years is now REDISCOVERED!”.

    http://www.aent.org/
    http://www.aent.org/brochure.htm

    Thank you!

    • Hi Matthew,

      When I wrote ‘Messin’ With the Word’, the AENT was not yet on the radar screen. But you’re right, it’s everywhere now. Thanks for the encouragement to write about it. I did spend some time this morning chasing down some rabbit trails to see where they might lead, and you’re right again, this new ‘translation’ deserves some attention here at JGIG.

      It usually takes me several weeks/months to put posts together . . . there are a number of posts in various stages of completion in my drafts folder. I re-visit them periodically and work on them and publish them after prayer and as I feel released to do so. That said, I’m not sure when a post about the AENT will actually appear on JGIG. I can, however, after the bit of research I did this morning give some links to folks so they can do a little investigation of their own =o).

      First of all, the assertion by Andrew Gabriel Roth for Aramaic Primacy (the belief that the Scriptures written to the Body of Christ, the New Testament, were originally written in Aramaic) must be examined. One can do a general Google search on ‘Aramaic primacy’ and get lots of articles pro and con regarding the issue. Wikipedia has an article giving the basic overview of the Aramaic Primacy position.

      After gaining a grasp of the Aramaic Primacy position, one should understand the Greek Primacy position. Same thing . . . Google ‘Greek Primacy’ =o). I’ve also touched on the issue in ‘Messin’ With the Word’ and ‘Hebrew Roots Movement – The Issue of Hellenization’. There are some good links included in both of those posts regarding Greek Primacy.

      Once one has a basic grasp of the Greek/Aramaic Primacy debate, then one should look at the Aramaic English New Testament itself, or if one is not handily available, it’s website, to see how it promotes itself. A Statement of Faith page is helpful, and if available, who supports the translation (what types of ministries), and where the publishers/author would like to link (send) you to and what are the beliefs that those websites/teachers hold/teach. Also important with any translation, who is doing the translating? Is it an individual or a team of scholars? How does that person’s or team’s theology affect how they look at the Scriptures and how does that affect how they might translate the Scriptures. Wisdom would tell us that a team of scholars would be preferable to an individual translating, as there would be built in accountability and strengths and weaknesses in linguistic expertise would balance out.

      This can be a VERY enlightening exercise.

      For instance, the Statement of Faith page at Aent.org states in part: “As translator and publishers of the AENT it is not our responsibility to sway a person into one Statement of Faith or another. We happen to be Netzari Jews . . . “ They, in their ‘Statement of Faith’ page in fact, fail to give one, saying that “However, this tradition [A Statement of Faith] is not found in the Jewish world; one does not find Statements of Faith posted in synagogues, and the reason is simple. According to the Jewish mind the Bible says what it says, and you either do it, or you don’t.” The balance of the page appears to give faith great weight, but there is no mention of faith IN CHRIST (or Y’shua for that matter). They do say this, however: “We pray that this Aramaic English New Testament Bible will bring unity, not solely according to cerebral knowledge but through deep spiritual experiences with Mashiyach (Messiah).” Tuck that last ‘spiritual experiences’ bit under your hat while we see who the authors of the website have chosen to write the sole article they have posted on the Aent.org website . . .

      It’s titled, “An Alef Tav Conspiracy?” By Baruch Ben Daniel. I’m familiar with Baruch Ben Daniel from some other research I’ve done, so I found it interesting to see his name associated with the home wibsite of Aent.org. I knew that he was promoting the AENT on his own website, but it’s a different thing for Aent.org to have Baruch Ben Daniel promoting their ‘translation’. And here’s why . .

      If you read through the article linked to above, you will not find any elements of the gospel. What you will find are references to Mysticism, Kabbalah (Jewish Mysticism), elements common in Gnosticism and New Age thought. Phrases such as this, “Those who search into the things of Mashiyach know of many profound insights within the symbols of this combination of Hebrew letters.”, dangle the lure of secret knowledge and hidden insight to those who are willing to study in the ways promoted by these false teachers.

      The last paragraph of the article (which is an attempted explanation of a misprint in the original printing of the AENT) reads thus (My additions in the brackets [ ]. Bolding also mine.): “Mashiyach is the Alef-Tav who reveals the Infinite One [???] within us, the goal of the Aramaic English New Testament Bible is to reflect Mashiyach [Messiah]. We earnestly hope that as each soul meditates upon and judges the teachings [what about the work of Messiah??] of Y’shua [Jesus] according to the Spirit of Mashiyach [Spirit of Messiah??] and that each of us will also pray [to Whom?] and ask the Ruach haKodesh [Holy Spirit, but is He a different Spirit from Spirit of Messiah?] for guidance into “all truth” [why did he put “all truth” in quotes?] to see Mashiyach [Messiah] from the unique perspective our own souls provide [why would we not let Scripture speak for itself?] and for the honor and glory of YHWH and His Mashiyach [aren’t Messiah and YHWH One?].”

      Sound a little New Agey to you? Just in case we’re ‘misunderstanding’ the author, Baruch Ben Daniel, let us go and examine an article written by him on his own website, mashiyach.com, “Messiah Consciousness”, subtitled, “Messiah Consciousness/Torah Consciousness/G-d Consciousness.

      One need to go no further than the first paragraph to know that this author is not in touch with the Gospel according to Jesus Christ and His apostles, whom Jesus entrusted the writing of the Scriptures addressed to His Body (Bolding mine.): Messiah Consciousness is what connects us with our Spirits, love is a product of Messiah consciousness, this consciousness connects us with others and to our Life Force. The Ruach HaKodesh brings awareness of Messiah, Torah and G-d Consciousness. Mashiyach is the “Minister of Righteousness”, through Mashiyach we have the wisdom to apply Torah and the things of YHWH Elohim to this world. Even though many souls might reject the Messiahship of Yeshua, it is through Messiah Consciousness that one can approach “the Father” who is YHWH El Elyon. But those who focus only on Messiah and reject Torah or G-d Consciousness are not complete in Mashiyach, because Messiah Consciousness leads us to “the Father” and to Torah Consciousness.”

      Does any of that sound remotely like what one reads in the Scriptures??

      Okay, so there’s obviously enough material on this subject for a real post on JGIG =o). I’ll get working on it, as I’ve only scratched the surface. Just three more things I’ll mention here for anyone who wants to do the research on their own.

      1) Learn what the Netzari faith believes. I have found that some of the more ‘fringe’ elements in the Hebrew Roots Movement and Messianic Judaism consider themselves to be Netzarim.
      2) Just for giggles, read through the reviews at Amazon for the AENT. There are lots of glowing reviews from HRM types, but pay attention to the negative reviews AND their comments. Not that everything there is true, and I haven’t had time today to examine the claims of the ‘scholar’ who wrote one of the negative reviews, but it is all interesting information and another point from which one can investigate the validity/invalidity of the AENT.
      3) Bag the whole thing . . . learn about Greek Primacy vs. Aramaic Primacy of the New Testament and the evidence for/against each and call it a day!

      Blessings to all,
      -JGIG

  22. JGIG, Thank you for your reply. I did not find it among my e-mails of that date, Aug 6. Hmmm… Also, thank you for considering my thoughts, even though you say they didn’t pertain to that current topic/post.

    I am just not wired to communicate in sound bytes, although I do try to distill my thoughts and use words with great economy. I am not always successful, and this is of such import, that sound bytes do not do it all justice.

    I am open to correction where I am in error, or whenever I do not make myself clear. Thank you for being willing to discuss some of the points with me. I will visit the link, and I appreciate your input.

    My intention is not to body-slam any “church”, or Christianity, in general. I do not have perfect knowledge, nobody does, but to refer to me and others like me as following a “parasitic doctrine that is raping the church”, is quite a condemnation. First we are accused of being “legalistic” and closet “Judaizers” and then we are accused of “deceiving others with “lawless heresies”. It doesn’t make sense. Thanks for your gracious reply and your offer to discuss some of the issues that I raised. Jennifer

  23. While I believe that the richness of God’s Word can be enhanced when one considers not only the original languages, but also the culture of the writer and his target audience, I also agree that essential truths can be begun to be understood by simply reading the bible.

    Bible Study is a necessary exercise in getting the most out of understanding God and His Word. God left a document that reveals understandings for the diligent as well as for the casual reader. However, we must remember that reading the Bible in whatever language other than the original language means that someone else has translated the words you are reading from an earlier and foreign language. Even if you have the ability to read an origina transcript, you lack the cultural and socio-economic influences that change word usage.

    Find a reliable, scholastically correct translation when you approach Bible study. Surround yourself with Bible dictionaries, maps, and history books, and before you engage the Bible in study – PRAY that the Holy Spirit guides and teaches you.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

  24. I think you are touching on a very important concept here. If the Bible needs further explanation (outside texts, cultural commentaries etc.) to be understood / interpreted correctly then why didn’t our all knowing God include those texts in the Bible? Clearly one can understand the cultural context and still miss God’s message. The only sure way to understand is to seek after and be obedient to Him as best we know how and trust that He will reveal what we need to know as He sees fit (which could include a cultural study that could richly add to our understanding or could consist only of reading the words from a well known translation such as the NASB.)

    I think it’s important to note however that the Old Testament is the yardstick by which all of God’s children were (and are) to measure any later revelations. (Isaiah 8:20, Acts 17:11 – scripture in NT refers to OT). God revealed and explained His plan first through His law and feasts as revealed in OT scripture. How can we neglect to teach the truth, turn towards pagan feasts to illustrate principles of God, and expect people to remain unsusceptible to lies?

    • And by pagan I merely mean the symbology is not what God established to point towards His Son. I don’t mean that people are offending God by celebrating Christ’s birth.

    • Hi there,

      Welcome to JGIG!

      If the Old Testament is the ultimate yardstick by which all is measured, then why did Jesus add so much depth to understanding the Old Testament? And why does something like this in the New Testament show up:

      Ephesians 3:7-12
      7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

      The Bible is a complete revelation, intertwined, the laying out of God’s Plan for mankind. The whole thing is a complete unit, and must be weighted as a whole, not one part being used as a ‘yardstick’ for another. If anything, the whole Bible should be viewed from the Promise of redemption after the Fall (not with the institutions of Feasts) to the fulfilment of that Promise – that is through the lens of the Gospel.

      -JGIG

      • We know that Christ is the Messiah because He fulfilled the prophecies of the OT. If He hadn’t he wouldn’t be the Messiah. Therefore, its obvious our yardstick for determining who the Messiah is and for understanding the truth revealed in the NT is the OT. This is why God revealed that part of His message first.

        We still have mysteries yet to be revealed. Therefore, the Bible is not a complete revelation in the sense that we do not have a complete knowledge of God and His plan for mankind. Do you fully understand Revelations? (Didn’t think so.) How can those in the end times understand the events and judge the veracity of what various people are saying?

        None of this precludes that the Bible is to be taken as a whole. That’s a false conclusion you inserted that I never stated or implied.

      • Yes, Christ is the fulfillment of the OT. And He gave authority and revelation to the apostles to wirte how we then should live as believers in Christ. And it’s not in the oldness of the letter of the Law but in the newness of the Spirit.

        And yes, there are still mysteries to be revealed, but not in the area of how those in Christ are to live. The day-to-day living is to walk in the will of God via His Holy Spirit under the Law of Christ – Love God, Love Others.

  25. It sounds like you are saying Christians cannot practise anything Jewish. Is that true? I love Israel and Hebrew customs and I found a great non-legalistic study resource that helped me. I was stuck in one of those Sacred name groups and this helped me out.
    I am not one of those that believe the earth will be annihilated. I cannot stand those who teach this. 2 Peter is about the judgment of false teachers before the Millennium!
    http://hebrew4christians.com

    • Hi Tabitha,

      Welcome to JGIG!

      No, not at all! My issue is the Old Covenant/New Covenant issue and those who seek to put Christians under Law that they are no longer bound to.

      Read Romans 14: Indisputable Matters – Torah or the Gospel? to get a feel for where I stand on preferential matters.

      Spend some more time looking through some more posts here and you’ll see that I have a very balanced view regarding such things.

      hebrew4christians is an interesting site, though I don’t recommend it here at JGIG because I find it to send some mixed messages. If it has helped you to come out of legalism, I’m glad.

      Blessings to you, Tabitha,
      -JGIG

  26. For someone who spends so much time criticising the HRM, Messianic’s or whatever other label there is out there, you have demonstrated that you have absolutley NO CLUE as to what you are talking about! Your understanding of what the Torah (or the horrible “LAAWWW” as you consider it to be) is about is totally deficient. Your view of God is that He would take these poor people out from under Egyptian slavery only to put them back into bondage again. Sick. Don’t you understand that what was going on at Sinai was supposed to be a marriage? YHWH/Yeshua loved the people.

    You have also demonstrated that the hermaneutical principal that guides your exposition of Scripture is feeling-based or, to put it another way, wishful thinking. You simply ignore those parts of Scripture that conflict with your errant theology by “trumping” them with your worn out “grace rules” to the exclusion of any expectation for obedience.

    Enough said.

    I think

    • You’ve made some pretty serious accusations there, Michael. Can you show us where at JGIG I’ve referred to the Law as ‘horrible’?

      Did Israel keep up her end of the covenant? What did that mean for the covenant and for the people?

      Could you please show is what you mean by “the hermaneutical principal that guides your exposition of Scripture is feeling-based or, to put it another way, wishful thinking”? Please cite examples of where I engage in “wishful thinking” or where I ignore context or “trump” Scriptures with “worn out ‘grace rules’ to the exclusion of any expectation for obedience”.

      So, no, not enough said. If you’re going to throw out accusations like that, you ought to be prepared to back them up with examples.

      I’ll look forward to your response.

      -JGIG

  27. You speak of Old and New Covenants – do you know who the “New” or better translated “Renewed” covenant is with? Jeremiah 31 tells us – it is with the “house of israel” and the “house of Judah”…it does not sat Gentiles. The “New Testament” tells us that scripture was entrusted to “the Jews”. Yeshua sais He only came to the lost tribes of Israel.

    Get over your Gentile self and your Replacement Theology. Your attitude seems to be of jealousy – God selected the Jews to be His people. Paul tells us that we are grafted into them – not the other way around, and Yeshua warned us in Matthew 5 of teachers that do what you do:

    17 “Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. 19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

    When the “beloved” Constantine (the same one that merged Mithraism with Judasim and came out with his brand of Christianity) developed the canon of the NT, he did not allow the church of the East (Aramaic) or Messianics (Hebrew) to be involved and guess what we got – the Greek NT.

    Unfortunately people like yourself tell others they can worship God anyway they want and they must definitely stay away from the Torah. Yeshua warned us that you preach follishness. And your own Greek NT says over 40 times that if you love God, you’ll obey His commandments. So if you are a follower of Jesus, you must remove the passage in Matthew 5, and the other references to following God’s commandments and you’ll be just fine.

    And you want us to be wary of those who would do what God says? Yeshua called heaven and earth as His witness in Matthew 5 – they are still here, and so is the “law”.

    It’s kind of comical – your type says the law is done away with, but we will 1) follow the 10 commandments (sorry dude, that’s part of the law); 2) Love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and love my neighbour (sorry dude, that’s part of the law), 3) Take care of the widows and orphans (sorry dude, same thing – law) 4) Treat others as we want to be treated (law again dude).

    Just do what God says and stop trying to lead others astray.

    • Norm!

      Welcome to JGIG =o).

      About the covenant being ‘renewed’. That’s a redefinition of what we actually find in the Scriptures. The covenant that the believer in Christ is under is the New Covenant, not a ‘renewed’ covenant. See Hebrew Roots Movement – New Covenant or “Renewed” Covenant? for a study on this topic.

      You can read The Law of Christ – Defined and Defended to find out my take on Matthew 5:17-20.

      I don’t believe in replacement theology – I believe that in Christ, we are all one New Man as the Scriptures say. Do you ascribe to the Two House/Ephraimite doctrine? Now there’s some replacement theology for you! I think if you read Hebrew Roots Movement – Believers are Grafted Into and Become Israel? Um . . . No., you will find that it’s clear that I do not believe in replacement theology.

      Constantine was not responsible for the canon of Scripture; you may find this article, How We Got Our Bible interesting. It may help clear up some misconceptions you seem to have.

      You say that I’ve told people to “stay away from the Torah” Could you show us where I’ve ever said that please?

      You also seem to think that every time the word ‘commandments’ is used in the New Testament that ‘commandments’ means Mosaic Covenant Law. It is clear that there are some Old Testament commandments that do not apply to those in Christ, such as ‘build an ark’, the sacrificial and stoning commands, several ‘take the land and kill everybody’ commands . . . why don’t you identify those as commands of God that you must follow, as well? It’s clear that you must pick and choose which laws apply to you already; why come down on Christians who abide by the Law of Christ to love God and love others? How are they being any more or less selective than you are in reality? And there are several Scriptures in the NT that tell us that love fulfills the Law and that we are obeying Christ’s commands if we love (Romans 13, Galatians 5, John 15 and others).

      All the parts of the Law that still apply to those in Christ are fulfilled by us loving God and loving others.

      Oh, and by the way, I’m a Dudette, not a Dude =o).

      Blessings,
      JGIG

      • Wow! I love this blog!!! Please do not ever close this topic, dudette.

        Peace be with you.

      • The real questions that one should ask when questioning Torah, Is first, who gave the Torah? We should recall that it was YHWH himself that orally gave the Torah, and then penned it himself, giving it to Moses. He gave the Torah not to the Jews, but to all twelve tribes.

        Then, the question should be, what did Jesus teach? He taught the Torah, and Matthew 5 is crystal clear that not ONE LETTER OF THE TORAH, NOT THE LEAST OF THE TORAH, will be done away with until all is accomplished.

        Another question that should be asked: why was YHWH so clear when he gave the Torah? The detail is sometimes overwhelming when reading through the Torah, it’s very precise. Why?

        Why would an eternal being, our Heavenly Father, who does not change (Malachi 3:6) give instruction that would eventually change? Why would an eternal being with infinite knowledge that we have no means to fully comprehend (other than what he has revealed) give instructions (Torah) that would drastically change?

        Would he get so angry at a people (Israel) when they disobeyed HIS COMMANDS (Torah) when he “knew he was just going to come and change them?”

        It’s ludicrous.

        So God sends his Son, Word in the flesh (john 1:1), to come and free us from HIS OWN COMMANDS because we cannot keep them? Does that make sense?

        Or, maybe, his commands show us how to be the image we were supposed to be (since we are created in his image). Maybe this is why He constantly said “be holy as I am holy.” Because his holiness would never change, seeing as how he is eternal, then the way to be holy in his creation would not change.

        I could Go on and on. I think there is just a lack of understanding as to what the Torah is and its context. In regards to stoning, that Torah cannot be carried out because it required Levitical priests in a nation that upheld Torah as national law. We do not have either of these requirements to fulfill it.

        Also, I saw a comment that mentioned celebrating Christmas. Where in the scriptures does it tell us to celebrate Christmas? Where in the scriptures does it every day to take a pagan thing and make it new for Christ/worship of YHWH?

        These are real questions you should ask yourself. What does. Word say?

        There is so much to pick apart in this blog that to not funny. The real truth is that, according to Barna group, 19% of Christians CLAIM to read their bible on a regular basis. 19%!! It’s no surprise when the majority of Christians miss the truth.

        I praise YHWH that he is opening the eyes and hearts of Christians around the world to accept the WHOLE truth of his perfect word. The funny thing that people miss, is that Jesus is the word made flesh. He is the Torah, or Tanak, MADE FLESH. No wonder he kept every single letter of the law.

        I don’t know about you, but I’m going to do my best to follow Jesus in everything he did, just like I am commanded to do. I will try to follow his every footstep. Jesus honored the Father with every step he took, every bite of food he had, and every word he spoke. Interesting enough, keeping the very commands his father gave us all! And then commanding us to keep them. Praise Yahweh for his perfect and Holy Word!

      • You wrote, “The real questions that one should ask when questioning Torah, Is first, who gave the Torah? We should recall that it was YHWH himself that orally gave the Torah, and then penned it himself, giving it to Moses. He gave the Torah not to the Jews, but to all twelve tribes.”

        I don’t question Torah. And yes, Torah and it’s laws handed down at Sinai, were given to all of Israel.

        You wrote, “Then, the question should be, what did Jesus teach? He taught the Torah, and Matthew 5 is crystal clear that not ONE LETTER OF THE TORAH, NOT THE LEAST OF THE TORAH, will be done away with until all is accomplished.”

        Jesus taught the Law to those born under the Law (Gal. 4). And I agree that no jot or tittle would be done away with until all is accomplished.

        Do you consider sacrifices and stonings to be part of the jots and tittles?

        Have they passed?

        Why or why not, and what does the Scripture say again about the condition for ANY jots or tittles passing?

        You wrote, “Another question that should be asked: why was YHWH so clear when he gave the Torah? The detail is sometimes overwhelming when reading through the Torah, it’s very precise. Why?”

        God IS very clear about His instructions in Torah. It’s meant to be overwhelming. It’s trying to tell you something.

        You wrote, “Why would an eternal being, our Heavenly Father, who does not change (Malachi 3:6) give instruction that would eventually change? Why would an eternal being with infinite knowledge that we have no means to fully comprehend (other than what he has revealed) give instructions (Torah) that would drastically change?”

        Because God is not the sum of His instructions. His instructions changing does not equal Him changing. His character does not change because He requires different things of different people throughout time. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses – all received different instructions from the same God. None of those instructions contradicted the character of God, they were just different instructions for different people for different reasons in different times.

        Moses received instructions to keep Israel separate from the world so that Messiah would be recognized when He came (the reason for all the specificity in the Law – lots having to protect not only the bloodline of Israel in general, but also within Israel’s tribal bloodlines – God had a specific plan later regarding the change in priesthood AND Law after the Work of Christ).

        You wrote, “Would he get so angry at a people (Israel) when they disobeyed HIS COMMANDS (Torah) when he ‘knew he was just going to come and change them?’”

        Because the Law brings wrath (Rom. 4:15). But only if you don’t keep it ALL. ALL of the time. Because the Law requires perfect obedience; if that is not achieved, the Law brings wrath.

        You wrote, “It’s ludicrous.”

        No, it’s the reality of the Law as it was given.

        You wrote, “So God sends his Son, Word in the flesh (john 1:1), to come and free us from HIS OWN COMMANDS because we cannot keep them? Does that make sense?”

        Yep. The Law was not given so that we could try to keep it; the Law was given to show us that we could not keep it. The Law exposes our sin and our inability to achieve righteousness through the Law. See the letter to the Romans. And all of the other epistles. And all of the history of Israel in the OT. It’s true – the Law makes nothing perfect (Heb. 7).

        You wrote, “Or, maybe, his commands show us how to be the image we were supposed to be (since we are created in his image). Maybe this is why He constantly said “be holy as I am holy.” Because his holiness would never change, seeing as how he is eternal, then the way to be holy in his creation would not change.”

        Yep. Perfection is the requirement of the Law. How are you doing at that perfection thing? Because His holiness never changes . . . but the way to our holiness is not by achieving it via law-keeping; it is a gift through faith in Christ and HIS Work:

        8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

        14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (from Heb. 10)

        Holiness is about being in Christ, not about keeping laws.

        You wrote, “I could Go on and on.”

        I know. (sigh)

        You wrote, “I think there is just a lack of understanding as to what the Torah is and its context. In regards to stoning, that Torah cannot be carried out because it required Levitical priests in a nation that upheld Torah as national law. We do not have either of these requirements to fulfill it.”

        Are those parts of the jots and tittles?

        Have they obviously passed?

        How is that possible, unless all has been accomplished?

        After all, Jesus did say He can to fulfill the Law – did He or didn’t He? If He didn’t, did He lie?

        You wrote, “Also, I saw a comment that mentioned celebrating Christmas. Where in the scriptures does it tell us to celebrate Christmas? Where in the scriptures does it every day to take a pagan thing and make it new for Christ/worship of YHWH? These are real questions you should ask yourself. What does. Word say?”

        There is no commandment telling us to celebrate Christmas. Those who celebrate the Birth of Christ do it because it’s a commemoration, not a commandment. And celebrating the Birth of Christ is not a ‘pagan thing’. Skip it if you’re not comfortable with the celebration of the incarnation of God in the flesh come to redeem all of mankind, but I rather like celebrating all of that. God made a pretty big deal celebrating the arrival of Christ on Earth; I think He’s okay with us commemorating the event, as well.

        You wrote, “There is so much to pick apart in this blog that to not funny. The real truth is that, according to Barna group, 19% of Christians CLAIM to read their bible on a regular basis. 19%!! It’s no surprise when the majority of Christians miss the truth.”

        Which may have included you before you started hearing the Torah-centric teaching you’ve latched onto, and the reason why you’ve been snookered by it.

        You wrote, “I praise YHWH that he is opening the eyes and hearts of Christians around the world to accept the WHOLE truth of his perfect word. The funny thing that people miss, is that Jesus is the word made flesh. He is the Torah, or Tanak, MADE FLESH. No wonder he kept every single letter of the law.”

        You’ve been listening to Hebrew Roots teaching that says that Jesus is the Scriptures incarnate, not God incarnate. In John 1 Jesus is the logos of God, not the graphe of God.

        John makes clear that Christ and the Scriptures are separate entities.

        Jesus is God incarnate, not a written history and codified law incarnate.

        Jesus clearly rebuked this idea when He said, “39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (from John 5)

        You wrote, “I don’t know about you, but I’m going to do my best to follow Jesus in everything he did, just like I am commanded to do. I will try to follow his every footstep. Jesus honored the Father with every step he took, every bite of food he had, and every word he spoke. Interesting enough, keeping the very commands his father gave us all! And then commanding us to keep them. Praise Yahweh for his perfect and Holy Word!”

        I fully encourage you to keep the Law as God gave it so that it may do its job in your life! Take care, though, that you keep every single Law that applies to you perfectly, all the time, because if you fail in one point of the Law, you fail in all points of the Law, according to the Law itself. May you take up the challenge with a pure and honest heart. If you continue in the law of your own or someone else’s creation, you will continue on this journey of self-righteousness and elitism, constantly eyeing yourself and others to see if you’re doing enough, bearing fruit of your flesh, and being useless in bringing the Lost to Christ.

      • I failed to note, that why was YHWH so clear with his first instructions but my so clear wen he did away with some? Why is the new covenant not clearly spelled out in detail with the amendments and changes? anyone that knows YHWH does not change, would reject anything that contradicted his first revelation. Yahweh’s first instruction in Deut. 13 would eternally prevent any changes that contradicted his first revelation.

        If Jesus brought a new law, new instructions, that contradicted YHWHs first revelation, HE WOULD NOT BE THE MESSIAH! He would violate Deut 13 for starters. No wonder the Jews, people that know his first revelation very well, reject Jesus as messiah!! BECAUSE CHRISTIANS PORTRAY A FALSE JESUS!

        Good thing Jesus never does this! He stays 100% true to YHWHs commands and corrects those that have added to it and destroys the oral law of the Pharisees.

        I could go on and on. Sorry.

      • Sean, the New Covenant clearly spells out that we who are in Christ have died to the Law. No amending or changing of the Law required. We’re DEAD to it. If you’re in Christ, here’s what the Bible says about you:

        19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (from Gal. 2)

        4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. (from Rom. 7)

        It IS clear in Scripture, in those and other passages in the New Covenant Scriptures.

        You wrote, “If Jesus brought a new law, new instructions, that contradicted YHWHs first revelation, HE WOULD NOT BE THE MESSIAH! He would violate Deut 13 for starters. No wonder the Jews, people that know his first revelation very well, reject Jesus as messiah!! BECAUSE CHRISTIANS PORTRAY A FALSE JESUS!”

        Again, Sean, God did all that. Read Hebrews 7. Read Ephesians 3. Both passages are detailed in another comment reply to you. God, by His own oath, made Christ a priest forever, and where there is a change in the priesthood, there must also be a change of law. Jesus is of the WRONG TRIBE to be the High Priest of the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant has been rendered obsolete by the Work and High Priesthood of Christ. He is installed as the High Priest of the New Covenant, and will be the High Priest of the New Covenant FOREVER by the power of an indestructible Life. The Levitical priesthood is never coming back, and neither is the Old Covenant as a functioning, covenantal system.

        You wrote, “Good thing Jesus never does this! He stays 100% true to YHWHs commands and corrects those that have added to it and destroys the oral law of the Pharisees.”

        Yet He agreed with God’s Plan of a New Covenant, prophesying: “20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (from Luke 22, 1 Cor. 11)

        You wrote, “I could go on and on. Sorry.”

        I know. I understand. It’s okay.

        Please understand that I’ve studied these things out for many years now. I’ve listened to/watched/read TONS of teachings by 119 Ministries, Passion For Truth, Brad Scott, Bill Cloud, Eddie Chumney, Avi Ben Mordechai, Michael Rood, Monte Judah, and a bunch of others, and continue to do so from time to time. I don’t come to this table uninformed about the tenets of the Law-keeping belief system.

        My hope is that you will take some time to just read your Bible – the parts written to the Body of Christ – because it is there where you will learn not only your identity in Christ because of His Work, but also of your security in Him because of His right-now position as your Perfect, Permanent High Priest.

        I invite you to the Media Page here at JGIG, which has lots of teachings that examine all of the issues we’ve been discussing. All of the resources there are free players/downloads, videos, and text resources. There’s a brief description about each teacher, and none of them are boring, I promise =o).

        Grace and peace to you, Sean.
        -JGIG

    • Sheesh!!!! Where do I even start??? There are so many fallacies that you’ve posted its not even funny. I’m
      Not even going to waste my time to try and address them all. You’ve made it clear where you stand, and you’ve taught others to follow.

      It’s very simple, and if you don’t want to see it, through scripture, it’s your choice.

      Yahweh by no means, BY NO MEANS, gave us the Torah, his instructions, to show us that we can’t keep it!! That’s LUDACRIS! For one, where does HE say that HE did that? Two, He tells us in Deuteronomy 30:11, Yahweh himself says that the commands he gave are not too hard for us! Is YHWH a liar? No way. There is no biblical proof that YHWH gave us his law to show us we can’t keep it. He tells us why he gave it to us: Deuteronomy 30:15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

      The commands are HIS WAYS. He shows us how to be the image we were created to be. Just because we can’t keep the Torah perfectly, like Him, doesn’t mean we aren’t supposed to try! That’s ridiculous.

      Why does Jesus tell us to keep the “Mosaic law”? Why does he tell us NOT ONE JOT OR TITTLE WILL PASS FROM THE LAW?? It’s simple. Not one jot or tittle WILL PASS until heaven and earth to pass away.

      Jesus even tells us to follow Torah in MATTHEW 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.

      The Pharisees would sit on Moses seat and read directly from the Torah. Jesus himself tells us to listen to them and do what they say when they sit on Moses seat! Why? Because they read directly from Yahweh’s commands. Period. But do not do what they do; why? Because they follow their traditions of man, Talmud (oral law), and put a burden on the people with their oral law.

      Deuteronomy 4, 12, and 13 are clear. Nothing can be added or taken away from Yahweh’s commands. Not even the messiah himself can add or take away. YAHWEH HIMSELF SAID SO. The fact is, if YHWH changed his commands, he would be sinning. Period. He cannot tell us that nothing can be added and taken away and then add or take away. That would be a sin. And YHWH does not sin, nor go against his word.

      Since you mention and focus on 119 ministries, I challenge you to watch and critique their Hebrew Roots introductory series: The Lost Sheep, Sunburned, and so on. I took a look at their teachings after finding this site, and it’s way more in depth and on point than this blog gives them credit. I really hope you understand the implications of your teachings–you are a teacher of the word, even with this blog, and you will be held to a higher standard.

      It makes me laugh and cringe at angles like this. Because Hebrew roots movements and Torah followers point to one thing–Jesus. And you know what they say? “Follow him, do everything he did. From the words out of his mouth, to the steps he takes, to the food he eats. Jesus is the best example of how we should live our lives. We should walk in his every footstep.”

      You know what mainstream Christianity teaches? “Follow Jesus, except you don’t have to eat how he eats, or keep the sabbath how he did, or keep the commands of his father like he did. Because those commandments couldn’t be kept and were nailed on the cross. Good thing he kept them for us. Because we can’t. so don’t even try. Just love–that’s all God wanted. Was for us to love him and love others.” Nowhere does that coincide with his teachings or Yahweh’s first revelation. We can see how much his commands and instruction to follow him meant to him, by how he treated Israel.

      Good luck. I pray you do WAY more research and dive into prayer. Because you are leading people down the wrong path. I’m fully confident, when I instruct someone follow EVERYTHING Jesus did, and follow all the commands of Yahweh, I am doing what is commanded of me (simply, I can look at Mathew 5:17-20). I mean everything, and I know I’m pointing to the truth.

      Logically, it’s obvious. Whose in question here? You? Or someone teaching Torah? By no means is it the person who says, “follow everything Yahweh said.” No, it’s the person who says, “YHWH did away with some of his commands.” I’ll stick with following ALL of his commands.

      • Sean, I could take your comment (which repeats many of the same things you’ve said elsewhere and that I have already responded to) point by point AGAIN, but the first and last part of your comment sink your position:

        You say that God didn’t give us the Law to show us we couldn’t keep it.

        Who keeps it?

        No one.

        Your last paragraph – “I’ll stick with following ALL of his commands.”

        Except the one about lying, apparently. Because like every other human who has ever existed, you don’t keep God’s Law either. If you think so, you’re not only lying to us, but to yourself, as well.

        The reason you think you’re ‘keeping’ the Law is because what you’re ‘keeping’ is not God’s Law at all, but a law of your own creation.

        You claim that not one jot or tittle has passed from the Law, and then have a list of commandments that cannot be or should not be kept because of what Christ did. Huh? So jots and tittles HAVE passed? You can’t have it both ways, so presto-change-o, out comes a law of your own creation – something ‘keepable’, but not at all the Law as God gave it and as it is written in the Scriptures.

        What are God’s commands after the Cross? Believe on the One He has sent and love one another. And love isn’t even something that we perform, but it is the Fruit of the Spirit – God produces it; we bear it.

        Love, not Law, Sean.

        Grace and peace,
        -JGIG

      • That’s your rebuttal? JGIG, you must have missed the part where I said just because we can’t perfectly keep the Torah does not mean we shouldn’t try. As if I said that I was perfect… No where did I say that. Thanks for calling me a liar.

        However, yes, we should follow Yahweh’s commands the best we can. Period. And where have I created my own law??? I’m saying we should follow Yahweh’s instructions. Where does my own law come in?

        When it comes to sacrifices, do you know any Levetical priests? You know, a pure Levite from the Levetical line? Because that’s what’s required to give a sacrifice. A Levitical priest was supposed to offer the sacrifice. Also, is the temple still standing? No. Also a requirement for animal sacrifice. Thus, we cannot keep that command. It’s simple.

        I’m curious, are we supposed to keep the 10 commandments?

      • And you must have missed the part where God said,

        Exodus 23:13
        13 “Be careful to do everything I have said to you.

        Deuteronomy 5:28-33
        28 The Lord heard you when you spoke to me and the Lord said to me, “I have heard what this people said to you. Everything they said was good. 29 Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!

        30 “Go, tell them to return to their tents. 31 But you stay here with me so that I may give you all the commands, decrees and laws you are to teach them to follow in the land I am giving them to possess.”

        32 So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. 33 Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

        Deuteronomy 8:1
        Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers.

        Deuteronomy 12:27-28
        27 Present your burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord your God, both the meat and the blood. The blood of your sacrifices must be poured beside the altar of the Lord your God, but you may eat the meat. 28 Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God.

        Jeremiah 7:21-26
        21 “‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves! 22 For when I brought your forefathers out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, 23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. 24 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. 25 From the time your forefathers left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. 26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their forefathers.’

        Joshua 1:6-9
        6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

        There is no INKLING of God saying, “just do your best” ANYWHERE in the Law as God gave it.
        There is no INKLING of Jesus saying, “just do your best” ANYWHERE in the Gospels – no, Jesus magnified the Law, making it clear that even if you were not committing adultery or murder outwardly (which is all the Law requires), if you lusted or hated, you may as well be breaking the Law – Jesus upped the ante, making it even MORE impossible to be kept!

        Why?

        Simple.

        Jesus was magnifying the Law, making it even harder to keep to show people their absolute need for Grace and His Work to come. Jesus preached the Law full preach, yet when asked the following, Jesus had an interesting answer as to what God requires in the era of the Work of Christ:

        28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
        29 Jesus answered and said unto them, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (from Jn. 6)

        Jesus systematically goes on in that chapter to take elements of Torah and replace them with HIMSELF. Later on in John He does the same thing, stating that HE is the Light of the world, and that HE is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Torah folk like to say that Jesus is equating Himself with Torah, that He is the Living Torah, but that’s heresy – No, Jesus is not the Living Torah, but the Living God come in the flesh to do the Work of redemption.

        The remainder of your comment reflects an unwillingness to address ANY of the answers given to your previous questions but rather repeating questions already answered here so that you will feel vindicated in your chosen lifestyle of keeping a law of your own creation.

        Until you are willing to take an honest look at what you SAY you believe and what you’re actually PRACTICING when measured by what GOD says you should be doing, we’re done here.

        Grace and peace to you as you go. I sincerely hope you find Grace and the fullness of what that means!
        -JGIG

  28. I appreciate the info that I have read so far.

    I would like to see you write about the AENT. (Aramaic English New Testament) This is a well known.Hebrew Roots Bible and I was surprise to not see it mentioned.

    • Hi Anna,

      Welcome to JGIG!

      The AENT was not on the radar screen at the time “Messin’ with the Word” was written. It’s already a really long post, so I won’t add to it now. If you read through the comments above yours HERE though, you will see some info about the AENT. I have commented on the AENT on a forum, as well. You can read my comments on that particular thread starting HERE, starting at post #10 in that thread. At some point I’d like to address the AENT here, building on/editing the content from those sources. Oh for a 36-hour day =o).

      I hope the info in the links provided will be of help to you.

      Grace and peace,
      -JGIG

  29. Wonderfully eloquent. God has given you a great gift. You go girl, divide that Word rightly. The true filter for all doctrines and beliefs (old or new) is truly Jesus and Him crucified.

    I recently encountered a member of the HRM movement and his arguments were intriguing. This was my first encounter with this teaching/ belief system. I was honestly stumped by some of the obscure Biblical references he was using and his redefinition of terms. Your blog cleared up so much!

    Thank you and much grace and peace to you,

    Chris

  30. Dear joyfullygrowingingrace,

    How do we love God?

    • 19 We love because he first loved us. (from 1 John 4)

      • Try reading 1 john 5 for a clearer answer.

        5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

      • Try reading 1 John 3 to see how John defines God’s commandments after the Cross =o):

        23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

      • What are you trying to prove with 1 John 3? John clearly says to keep Yahweh’s commands. Period.

        Where is It written that Jesus clearly changes Gods commands? Please, enlighten us as to where Jesus defies YHWHs first command–particularly Deuteronomy 12 and 13. Jesus cannot bring any new revelation that contradicts the first!

        It’s ludicrous. By your perspective, God gives Moses commands for Israel (all twelve tribes btw.–and says to keep them forever or be cursed) and then is angered and punishes them when they do not keep them, only to send his son to release us from his impossible commands. That makes sense to you?

        It makes sense that YHWHs commands/Law/Instruction is called (by scripture!) truth, light, righteous, wisdom, freedom, how to love him, and PERFECT (did I mention perfect?), to name a few, and then he sends his son to abolish these perfect commands? That makes sense?

        Nowhere in scripture does Jesus ever, EVER, say that any of Yahweh’s commands are done away with. Show me the scripture where he says they are done away with. Show us all. Because the scripture does not exist.

        I pray for you that you will open your heart to the truth, and love all of Yahweh’s PERFECT commands, just as King David did. Like I said, we are called to follow Christ, mimicking everything he did. From
        Every step we take, to every peice of food we eat, to every word out of our mouth. We are to follow Yahweh’s commands because we love Him and we are obedient to our Father (1 John 5).

      • I’m in the process of replying to your other comments, but will address this one now.

        What am I trying to prove with 1 Jn. 3:23-24? What are defined as God’s commands after the Cross. It is clear: Believe on the One God sent (echoing Jesus’ words in Jn. 6:28-29), and love one another. PERIOD. No feasts, days, and dietary laws. Love fulfills every command that God still cares about (Rom. 13:8-10). If we are loving one another we are not murdering, stealing, lying, coveting, committing adultery, etc.

        Many of the Laws handed down to Israel at Sinai were laws of separation, to keep Israel separate from the world so that Messiah would be recognized when He came. He came, and now the tutor has nothing more to do with us – Christ tells us that His disciples will be known by their law-keeping? No, Christ tells us that His disciples will be known by their love.

        You wrote, “Where is It written that Jesus clearly changes Gods commands? Please, enlighten us as to where Jesus defies YHWHs first command–particularly Deuteronomy 12 and 13. Jesus cannot bring any new revelation that contradicts the first!”

        First, note this – the change of the Law was God’s doing:

        12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared:

        “You are a priest forever,
        in the order of Melchizedek.”

        18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

        20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

        “The Lord has sworn
        and will not change his mind:
        ‘You are a priest forever.’”

        22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. (from Heb. 7)

        Second, regarding Deut. 12 and 13:

        2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has NOW been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (from Eph. 3)

        You wrote, “It makes sense that YHWHs commands/Law/Instruction is called (by scripture!) truth, light, righteous, wisdom, freedom, how to love him, and PERFECT (did I mention perfect?), to name a few, and then he sends his son to abolish these perfect commands? That makes sense?”

        Actually, yes, it does make sense that He sent His Son to ratify a superior covenant in His Blood, because while the Law is perfect, it can MAKE nothing perfect: 18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. (from Heb. 7)

        And the Old Covenant is not done away with – it still serves a purpose, which is to point people to Christ. In the existence of the superior Work of Christ, the commandments which are written on tablets of stone are now the ministry of death (2 Cor. 3).

        You wrote, “It’s ludicrous. By your perspective, God gives Moses commands for Israel (all twelve tribes btw.–and says to keep them forever or be cursed) and then is angered and punishes them when they do not keep them, only to send his son to release us from his impossible commands. That makes sense to you?”

        You’re leaving parts of the story out, Sean. The Law was given to increase transgression, to show man how absolutely inept he is at attaining OR maintaining his own righteousness (Rom. 5, 7, 10). The Law, as it was given by God at Sinai, requires 100% obedience, 100% of the time. Go read the actual Scriptures and stop listening to the like of the Law teachers today who are telling you that partial obedience is okay, that no jots and tittles have passed away while telling you that the sacrificial system is no longer in effect. Either every jot and tittle is still in effect or it’s not.

        While Christ preached the spirituality of the Law (if you hate your brother, you have already committed murder, etc.), the fact remains that the Law itself deals with the flesh; disobey and either you or a sacrifice has to die. THAT is the Law as it was given.

        What’s ludicrous is that you think you’re keeping God’s Law when in reality you’re merely keeping a law of your own creation.

        You wrote, “Nowhere in scripture does Jesus ever, EVER, say that any of Yahweh’s commands are done away with. Show me the scripture where he says they are done away with. Show us all. Because the scripture does not exist.”

        You haven’t read here much, have you . . . That the Law has passed away is not taught here. The Law is still very much in effect, though demonstrably obsolete as a covenantal system because of the Work and High Priesthood of Christ, standing as a schoolmaster to point people to Christ. When one comes to Christ, the following happens:

        4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. (from Rom. 7)

        Now I know the Hebrew Roots interpretation of Romans 7, and won’t continue that conversation here but will refer you to the post here at JGIG that addresses the issue in detail: Romans 7:1-6 and Spiritual Adultery

        It’s not the Law that dies; it’s US who dies TO the Law, and as a result, for those in Christ, the Law IS in reality, abolished (see Released/Delivered From the Law and Christ is the End of the Law – Getting Greeky About Romans 7, 10, and Ephesians 2.

        Lastly, you wrote, “I pray for you that you will open your heart to the truth, and love all of Yahweh’s PERFECT commands, just as King David did. Like I said, we are called to follow Christ, mimicking everything he did. From Every step we take, to every peice of food we eat, to every word out of our mouth. We are to follow Yahweh’s commands because we love Him and we are obedient to our Father (1 John 5).”

        Anyone can attempt to do what you say above (follow) and not have any relationship with God whatsoever. Judaism and Islam pretty much follow that regime. All of the other major religions have their own circles of laws that, if followed, gain them entrance into relationship with deity or even gain them deity themselves!

        We’re called to believe on the One God has sent. Then we become New Creations. We become part of the Root and the Offspring of David, Christ, receiving Life from Him, and He begins to produce His Fruit in and through us. What is that Fruit? It’s listed in Galatians 5, and Law-keeping is not on the list.

        Keep Feasts, days, and dietary laws if you like; in Christ you are free to do so. But do not delude yourself that you’re keeping the Law as God gave it. You’re doing nothing of the sort. You’re keeping a law of your own creation, and it neither makes you any holier nor righteous than you already are in Christ, if you are in Christ.

      • And John is not redefining the commands, he is pointing to all of them! That’s like giving Acts 15 and saying those are the only four commands we must follow. So I can have sex out of marriage? I can lust after other men?

        Let’s be real, John is summing up all the commands when he says that. Because loving Jesus is loving the Word of YHWH and the commands of YHWH! Jesus is the Word made flesh!! His every move adheres to his father commands! The commands are a revelation of YHWHs holiness! YHWH himself tells us this when he gives us his commands! Be holy as he is holy! Yahweh also tells us that lawlessness is contrary to HIM. This would never change. I plead with you! Please, do more research and pray before you lead more people astray! Numbers is clear that lawlessness is contrary to Yahweh. When we are called to follow Jesus we are called to do everything we can to walk in his exact footsteps.

      • Sean wrote, “And John is not redefining the commands, he is pointing to all of them! That’s like giving Acts 15 and saying those are the only four commands we must follow. So I can have sex out of marriage? I can lust after other men?”

        Actually, John is not redefining the commands, he is simply relaying what the God’s commands are after the Cross. The Acts 15 thing is a straw man – those four things were specific things that Jews found offensive with so many Gentiles coming into the Body of Christ. It had nothing to do with those four things being a ‘starting point’ for Gentiles to learn more of Moses.

        As for having sex outside of marriage or lusting after other men . . . as a believer in Christ, are those things that you WANT to do? Are you a New Creation? And if you are, even if you WANT to do those things, is there not a war that rages inside of you between the Spirit and the flesh? Come on, Sean – You know that if you’re loving others you’re not doing those things OR any of the other things that do harm to others. Sinning is dumb and destructive – don’t do it! But your righteousness and holiness do not depend on your works, but on the Work of Christ and entering into what He has done on your behalf and receiving HIS gift of HIS righteousness by faith.

        Be holy AS He is holy, not DO holy so you can be holy like Him.

        Holy and righteous is who we ARE in HIM.

        Our lives in Him are about bearing the Fruit that HE produces, not about performing works of the Law.

  31. Dear, Jofullygrowingingrace,
    I’ve been wanting to send a big thank you for many months now!

    I came across your blog after being introduced to HRM via a FB friend. Let me just say that last Christmas was extremely painful and a time of much searching and praying to know the truth.
    FB pages like 119 ministries and Passion For Truth make a huge effort to sow a seed of doubt into believers who are passionate about following Jesus…

    I thank the Lord and his Holy Spirit for guiding me through that perilous time and for showing me His truths so very clearly.
    During my search, I refused to look at any sources for and/or against the HRM movement. I didn’t even ask my pastor about this as the seed of “all the religious leaders have a veil over their eyes” has already been planted by one of the 119 ministries videos I happened to watch.

    It was just me, the Holy Spirit, and my Bible…

    The Holy Spirit kept guiding me to the numerous verses that explain so very clearly that we are no longer under the Mosaic law and the Old Covenant but under the law of Christ and the New Covenant! However, I kept asking the Lord to give me a clear answer, without any doubt.
    And He did! Praise Jesus!!!!

    I happened to come across your site after receiving the clear answer and I couldn’t stop reading all of the articles… Just kept saying to myself, “yes! this is so spot on!!!!”

    I continued to have conversations with my HRM facebook friend. However, I have come to a point where I believe nothing can persuade her (and many others in the movement) to change their minds if they are not open to hearing the truth…

    They see us as the devil’s pawns who are deceived and who try to deceive others by spreading the truth about HRM. I’ve been called a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and a “goat who will be separated from the sheep…” Apparently they now believe that those who have been “told the truth and consciously reject it” will perish in hell along with the rest of the world who rejects Jesus…

    Anyways, I started my own blog recently and want to write a few posts on HRM. I definitely want to use your blog as one of the resources!

    Keep speaking the truth, sister!

  32. The intention of the Complete Jewish bible is to simply cause confusion and discord for those that “Live by Faith”.

    Within Romans 3:20., 3:27. & 3:28., and Galatians 2:16., 3:2., & 3:5., & 3:10., Stern introduces the words “legalistic observance” which are NOT recorded within the original Greek text.

    If God, Christ and the Holy Spirit wished to convey, that it was the “legalistic observance” to the Mosaic Law that Christ has redeemed us from with His death, Paul certainly had the opportunity to express that meaning himself within the Greek language.

    However Stern has corrupted the text with his attempts to change what God, Christ and the Holy Spirit wished to convey.

    So what is Stern implying with the words “legalistic observance”?

    Is he attempting to confuse the reader into believing that they as a Christian are to observe the Mosaic Law, but NOT in a “legalistic way”, but instead perhaps somehow… lackadaisically?

    If so, this would make no sense whatsoever, for based upon Gods Commandments, in Leviticus 18:5., Nehemiah 9:29., Ezekiel 20:11 & 13 & 21., as well as Romans 10:5. and Galatians 3:12., the Word states that “man should live by them (The Mosaic Law)”, which sounds to me to be pretty judicial, legalistic and absolutely necessary for those that haven’t been REDEEMED from the Law.
    Therefore, based upon the Word, according to God, if an individual is to keep any of the Mosaic Law, they are to observe ALL of the Mosaic Law and do so by living by them legalistically (rather than lackadaisically) . See James 2:8-11.

    This is why those that “Live by Faith” have been REDEEMED from the Mosaic Law for Righteousness, (Galatians 3:13., Galatians 4:4,5. & Romans 10:4.), and are very thankful to live in Liberty and Freedom rather than in Bondage.

    Therefore Stern is indeed attempting to cause confusion.

    However this book is far more insidious than merely that.

    First “The Complete Jewish bible” is the only version that changes “God” to Paul in Galatians 1:6.

    Furthermore, to demonstrate as to what extent that Stern will go to to fulfill his agenda and create this deception and confusion, I offer the following;

    Galatians 4:3., is rendered within the original text as; “οὕτως καὶ ἡμεῖς ὅτε ἦμεν νήπιοι ὑπὸ τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου ἤμεθα δεδουλωμένοι” which would then be translated as rendered as, “So and we while we were children under the elemental things of the world were in bondage.”
    Hence say the N.K.J.V. translation of “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the “elements of the world”.

    There is NOTHING mentioned or written within that text about “spirits”.

    However Mr. Stern translates that same verse of Galatians 4:3 as;

    “So it is with us – when we were “children” we were slaves to the “elemental spirits of the universe”;”???

    As well, there is nothing mentioned or written about “spirits” within verse 4:9., either!

    Galatians 4:9., is rendered as; “νῦν δὲ γνόντες θεόν μᾶλλον δὲ γνωσθέντες ὑπὸ θεοῦ πῶς ἐπιστρέφετε πάλιν ἐπὶ τὰ ἀσθενῆ καὶ πτωχὰ στοιχεῖα οἷς πάλιν ἄνωθεν δουλεύειν θέλετε” which would be translated as rendered as, “Now but that you have come to know God rather or to be known by God how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things to which again all over to be enslaved you desire”.

    Hence the N.K.J.V. translation of “But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly “elements”, to which you desire again to be in bondage?”

    However again Stern translates that same verse of Galatians 4:9. as;

    “But now you do know God, and, more than that, you are known by God. So how is it that you turn back again to those weak and miserable “elemental spirits”? Do you want to enslave yourselves to them once more?”

    Why does Stern deliberately and intentionally do this?

    Because the topic that Paul is speaking of, is that of the Mosaic Law, and Stern wishes to deflect that truth by misdirection which he does by creating a nonexistent entity of “elemental spirits” to confuse the gullible and naive reader (that does not have a sound Biblical understanding) from the truth of the text.

    He does the same thing within Colossians 2:8.

    Colossians 2:8. from the N.K.J.V.;

    “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the “basic principles of the world”, and not according to Christ.”

    Colossians 2:8., by Stern.;

    “Watch out, so that no one will take you captive by means of philosophy and empty deceit, following human tradition which accords with the “elemental spirits of the world” but does not accord with the Messiah.”

    Colossians 2:20., from the N.K.J.V.;

    “Therefore, if you died with Christ from the “basic principles of the world”, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—”

    Colossians 2:20., by Stern.;

    “If, along with the Messiah, you died to the “elemental spirits of the world”, then why, as if you still belonged to the world, are you letting yourselves be bothered by its rules? – ”

    Even Stern makes a mistake here in his own translation. Previously in Galatians these “elemental spirits” were entities which though weak, could and did somehow once enslave us. Now they are merely an “it” rather than a “their”.

    However the context and topic that Paul is speaking of is that of the Mosaic Law and has NOTHING to do with any “elemental spirits” whatsoever!

    As stated above, “Stern wishes to deflect that truth by misdirection which he does by creating a nonexistent entity of “elemental spirits” to confuse the gullible and naive reader (that does not have a sound Biblical understanding) from the truth of the text.”

    In my opinion, Stern is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and NO serious follower that Loves Christ should even consider reading this “tripe”.

    • Hi Buck,

      Thanks for breaking down a few of the foundational errors in the CJB. I know for many in Law-keeping sects, the Complete Jewish Bible by David Stern is a staple resource in their studies.

      The two examples you bring up are interesting because they show how Torah folk are led away from the clear meaning of the Greek (and faithful translations) about the ‘elements’ and to a false belief that those ‘weak and beggarly’ things are ‘elemental spirits’ from paganism. Nevermind that the writer of Hebrews writes of the Law: “18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.” (from Heb. 7)

      Oh, but wait – Stern rewrites that portion of Scripture, as well: “18 Thus, on the one hand, the earlier rule is set aside because of its weakness and inefficacy 19 (for the Torah did not bring anything to the goal); and, on the other hand, a hope of something better is introduced, through which we are drawing near to God.”

      Actually, Stern’s treatment of the Letter to the Hebrews is pretty much a train wreck, linguistically, changing the entire paradigm of the letter. For instance, in Hebrews 7:12, Stern writes this: “12 For if the system of cohanim is transformed, there must of necessity occur a transformation of Torah.”

      This is another sticking point with Torah folk: that the Law was not rendered obsolete by the Work of Christ, but that there was simply a ‘reworking’ or a ‘transformation’ of the priesthood, a ‘handing over the reigns of the Law’ to the priesthood of Christ.

      ‘Transformed’ is not the word used by the writer of Hebrews there, however, but to change from one thing to another. The Greek there is

      Strong’s G3331 – metathesis

      1. transfer: from one place to another
      2. to change
      . . . 1. of things instituted or established

      That makes a lot of sense in at least two ways – a transfer of the priesthood from an earthly temple to a Heavenly Tabernacle and changing from the established Old Covenant with its many sacrifices, edicts, and regulations – to the New Covenant, which simply requires that we enter in by faith: “Believe on the One God sent and love one another.” (from 1 Jn. 3)

      To arrive at Stern’s ‘transformation of Torah’, one would have to go to the Greek,

      Strong’s G3339 – metamorphoō
      1.to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure
      . . . 1. Christ appearance was changed and was resplendent with divine brightness on the mount of transfiguration

      We see this word used in Romans 12 translated as ‘by the transforming of your mind’, but Stern is simply making of a Torah ‘transformation’ when in reality, an entirely ‘new and living way’ was being introduced by Christ’s Work and His Perfect, Permanent High Priesthood:

      19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (from Heb. 10)

      From just this little exercise I think one could hop from Scripture to Scripture as they come to mind and find similar mistreatments of linguistic rules by Stern to bring his readers to, as you say, “attempting to confuse the reader into believing that they as a Christian are to observe the Mosaic Law, but NOT in a ‘legalistic way’, but instead perhaps somehow . . . lackadaisically.”

      Thanks so much for your comment and observations, Buck!

      Grace and peace to you,
      -JGIG

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