Promises and Secrets
A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.
The Gentile Christian world seems to think that the Bible now pertains only to them and not the Jews. Except the Old Testament, that is. Even though nothing has changed since it was written; the authors are still the Jewish people that originally wrote the first books. The perspective of the authors have remained the same as they were when they were written. So, why do people continue to ignore this in their translations and beliefs?
With one possible exception, the Jewish people wrote the Bible. That exception was Luke, and he may even have been a Jew.
What do you think?
In today's Christian world, it seems that people would rather change the words of the Bible to say what they want it to mean than understand the original message left for us.
The biggest reason is that the real message from God to people is considered by most "Christians" to be Jewish, and therefore supposedly not for Christians.
The Book that we read was left to us by the Jews. The problem is that many of the popular translations use words and phrases that are not only not in the original manuscript copies, but they often omit some that are there. These phrases, after new words or omissions, often do not even approximate many of the original meanings. In many cases, we are getting a Gentile perspective rather than the meaning from the language, history, and culture of those who actually wrote the books we are reading.
The "Authorized" KJV
You hear a lot of people saying they believe that the word of God is infallible and inerrant - or plainly, always right. There is no argument from me on this - as long as what we are reading is "the word of God" and not some distorted translation that can easily be interpreted in four different ways, all opposing each other. Some say that the King James version is the only one that is "perfect", for some reason calling it the Authorized version when no one can point to an "authorizer" or even a date of authorization. Think about it. Who would have the authority to authorize a particular version that was first published in 1611 A.D.? The Pope? Nah.
The site at Wikipedia indicates that this "title" of Authorized Version began in England, but also admits that no record of any "authorization" exists (see relevant Wikipedia notes here
The Authorized Version was meant to replace the Bishops' Bible as the official version for readings in the Church of England. No record of its authorization exists; it was probably effected by an order of the Privy Council but the records for the years 1600 to 1613 were destroyed by fire in January 1618/19 and it is commonly known as the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom. The King's Printer issued no further editions of the Bishops' Bible, so necessarily the Authorized Version replaced it as the standard lectern Bible in parish church use in England.
). At the very least, we should try comparing it to the Interlinear translations and see how it holds up to the texts from which it was translated.
Some rightly say that there are so many different Bibles out there that no one can tell which one is most accurate as to the intended meaning of the "original" words. They then follow that by saying you have to just pick the one that makes you comfortable, or happy, or right in your eyes, or whatever. It makes sense to add that it should also be faithful to the whole story. You should really make sure that what you accept as truth is in line with all of the Bible, not just what your pastor says.
After reading a lot of pages that claim various things about various Bible versions, I tend to see one common thread. People have various claims about how the Bible was translated (verbal equivalence, dynamic equivalence, hybrid, etc.) and which method was the best for our understanding the material presented. The problem here is that even if you choose the most revered (KJV) or the other most popular versions (NIV, etc.), you find different churches using that same version that believe exactly the opposite in significant issues. If you can read the same word of God and can justify opposing practices, then it seems to me that God's message is not getting through clearly.
Do some research
This statement is not made lightly because this subject is so important that it is worth taking the chance of ruffling a few feathers for those who want to make sure they are reading God's real word and not some poor imitation. Recently my wife and I found a different Bible translation that was just put on the market in September of 2016 called The Complete Jewish Study Bible. No, it's not written in Hebrew, it is in English, and it is not just the Old Testament (the Torah or even the Tanakh). It is the whole Bible as we know it, just translated and written from a perspective much closer to the culture of the men who wrote it - without the anti-Semitism built into many of the current Bible translations and notes (see Early Christians and Sunday for some facts).
Fewer frills version
This is a Messianic Jewish version of the Bible, translated and written with a better, more direct, translation of the Hebrew and Greek languages according to the culture from which it came. In, fact, we have found it to be so much more explanatory and thorough that my wife would not even use the other Bibles we have: Jerusalem Bible (Catholic), John MacArthur Study Bible (NASB), Charles Stanley Bible (KJV), NIV Study Bible, KJV, NKJV, the Clear Word, the Message, and a few others.
(UPDATE: See NOTE below under the heading Found one!. Sadly, my wife has gone back to the study Bibles edited by dispensationalists (John MacArthur and Charles Stanley). She feels the CJSB is too strict and Jewish in meaning.
UPDATE UPDATE: Further study has convinced my wife that both the John MacAurthur Study Bible and Charles Stanley Bibles have notes that are not accurate and have distorted the meaning of many of the passages. She is back to reading many versions in a real search for the truth that matches the entire Bible picture.)
There is a little history behind this change.
Honestly wanting to learn
As students who love to dig deep into the facts and not necessarily do or think something just because someone (everyone?) else does, our study sessions have some pretty "intense discussions" about what the Bible is really saying. In fact, lately we have been finding that there is much Israelite/Jewish thought very prominent in the original meaning of both the Old and New Testaments, even in the popular Bible versions, that most people ignore. Well, they don't ignore it so much as they interpret any meaning in the context of today's world rather than that of the first century and before. It's difficult for modern people to think any other way.
That should not surprise anyone, because God spent a long time making sure that the Israelites received exactly the message He was sending. As far as I know, He hasn't done that with us Gentiles, so we only have what they wrote down from Him. And, after all, they are the ones from whom we are to receive the message (John 4:22
You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
) and from whom salvation comes. However, they received the message as it pertained to them in their situation. If we do that with regard to our current time and situation, we miss out on some of the meaning with regard to culture, language, and history of the people receiving the message in their time.
At the same time, the Gentiles resist anything they consider "lawful" or Jewish, so it's not usually the real message that non-Jewish people get. Unfortunately for my wife and I, this had sometimes pushed our viewpoints so far apart that we came to the point where we almost never discussed what our daily chapter readings mean, we just read them. When this new Bible translation came out, she was the one who became curious and wanted me to get her one. I did.
Testing, 1, 2, 3...
We started using this new Bible in our daily reading (me using the NIV and her The Complete Jewish Study Bible), and BAM! All of a sudden she said to me one day, "I see where you are coming from now, and it makes much more sense to me after reading it from this point of view." This is not saying we never "discuss" differences of opinion any more, it's just that there are far fewer of them now.
It is so gratifying to know that we were not so far apart that we couldn't get together. She was so happy with the new Bible that we bought four more and sent them to friends and one of our more faith-dedicated sons to get their input on what we have discovered. While some (very few) conventional passage interpretations exist that seem to be contradicting other passages, this is by far a version that allows most all the passages to click with the rest of the Bible. It is nice to read the word of God in context, without seeing some fanciful, twisting explanation to get it to conform to modern church theories. Again, this is written with concepts and language for the Jewish concepts of their time, not the twisted-to-fit-our-times views of today's churches.
First, this process is to show that it can be done. This Bible is not guaranteed to solve everyone's problems. And you already know that just because others recommend a version doesn't mean it's the best one for you. This is just another way to look at things, and we need all the help we can get. However, if you want to see the Bible written much closer to the perspective of the men who actually wrote it, check this one out.
(NOTE: As of early 2018, my wife had gone back to the John MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). She loved his way of teaching and felt that the CJSB is too Jewish in its interpretation. This was a result of her comparing notes with John MacArthur and the pastors of her Baptist church, rather than any interpretations of her own. Read my Integrity page to get an idea of his teachings.
NOTE NOTE: As of mid-2019, my wife has discovered the lack of uniform teaching and direction in John MacArthur's Bibles, exposing the hypocrisy mentioned in other pages on this site. She now compares multiple versions with each other to get a better context for understanding "conflicting" passages or translations.)
Well, the point is this - all those "outrageous" viewpoints expressed on the other pages of this site came from my long and hard research - this Bible confirms most of it. It's not that it is restated in a way that agrees with any particular line of thought or viewpoint, but it uses the proper meaning of the terms and phrases as understood by the people who actually put the words on "paper" the first time. The most convincing part is that the Jews have all of it, and always did have, up to the first coming of Christ. Now, some of the Jews still have all of it, but only those who see how the Messiah fits into the picture of God's will, and does not replace the picture.
Notice the phrase did not say that He "has replaced the whole picture", or "has done away with the Old part of the picture". He is fulfilling the entire picture so that we can see what God has in mind for the human race. In fact, this is what He has always had in mind for us. The entire difference in viewpoint is the Jewish Perspective. Note again that I did not say the "Jewish practice", but the Perspective, their way of looking at God.
Discovering the original meaning
One of the big problems that the non-Messianic Jewish people have with the idea of Jesus is the way He is presented by the "Christian church". When the evangelizers approach the Jewish un-believers, they forget to go to the Old Testament and point to the foreshadows of Christ in the ancient texts. They don't show them the prophecies fulfilled by His first coming. Instead, they start off telling of Jesus' offer of salvation for sinners, and then tell them they don't have to follow God's law. Well, right off, if you don't think you are a sinner because you are a good Jew, why would feel that you need salvation, especially from Someone executed for blasphemy?
"Don't be ridiculous. How can a sinner save us...?"
Also, the Pharisees and those who followed them, Orthodox and Traditional Jews, considered Jesus a criminal and a blasphemer who was punished for His claim to be one with God the Father. They did not see Him as their long-awaited Messiah. This is still their stand today. They feel that His claims to be one with the Father is precisely why He was punished. Using salvation as an introduction tool between non-Messianic Jews and the "criminal" Jesus is a non-starter. In order to communicate properly, we have to be able to show them the Old Testament anticipation and prediction of the first coming of Jesus, and then show how His birth, life, death, and resurrection fulfilled those prophecies. Only then can they identify the purpose of Jesus as a Savior of the believing world.
Jesus' first coming forseen in the Old Testament
As an example of finding correct meanings, let's examine some research on the origin of what we call the Lord's Supper. Trying to tie the New Testament practice to the Old Testament source, it is amazing how many different "opinions" there are on the subject. As usual, some are outright dismissive of any opinions that differ in the slightest from their own.
This Jewish Perspective highlights the cohesiveness of the Old and New Testaments to each other in the word and will of God. One "Christian" (as in pro-Gentile) site, Bible Hub, has many different commentaries that try to deny that the passage in Genesis 14:18
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,
actually foreshadows the Lord's Supper as performed by Christ, while at the same time reluctantly recognizing that the substance is there. It's almost as if they want to deny that this ceremony has any ties to the Old Covenant, but feel that it is reserved for only the New Covenant. It is painfully clear that this ceremony was the same ceremony, but now with a new meaning, and is not a whole new practice.
Preview of coming attractions
The Passover was an event where God intervened in a situation in a way that should have convinced anyone that, when He takes over, He is in control of things. God warned Pharoah of impending disaster, but was ignored. The Bible is that same warning to the world, but the Jews don't consider the New Testament a part of that Book.
Passover is one of those events that describes the purpose of the blood of the Passover sacrifice - to save those who use the blood in the manner prescribed by God to Moses. Essentially they were to mark their homes with the blood so that the following judgment would pass over them. The Jews know this, they just see no link between the blood of the Lamb and salvation because they "keep the law" for that purpose. They do not see that Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb whose blood will really save them from the disaster caused by their sifulness.
They feel that God's promise to "save all Israel" (Romans 11:26
26and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
"The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob."
) is their future, regardless of the fact that it was Paul who said it, speaking of spiritual Israel (the Remnant of Israel), not the sinful nation of Israel (Romans 11:13-21
13I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16If 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.
17If 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, 18do 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. 19You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." 20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
). Paul's comments have no meaning for them because he says that the blood of a sacrifice for sin cannot save anyone (Romans 8:3
3The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
). We Christians know that, but the Jews do not know Paul. For them to see this, they need to know that he was a law-abiding Jew, and knew what he was talking about. They also need to know that he, along with Jesus, saw the error of their adherence to the traditions rather than the law of God (Mark 7:9
9And he continued, "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!"
), and their rejection of the Savior He sent.
Wow, there is a meaning...
This connection also ties salvation to the Passover meal, not some new "juice and cracker" party for the Gentiles only, held whenever they felt like it. Jesus held this ceremony during the Passover meal for a reason, not to give the Gentiles something special only to them. Remember, all those present with Him were Jews. If people could only see that God has only one message for all of mankind, we would all be able to share His real Truth with each other.
Realizing that the Jews have really been schooled by God over the last 4000 years or so, it becomes apparent that they have learned something during that time. While most "Christians" think they have had the word of God "rewritten" for them, making things so easy that they literally have to do nothing (especially nothing Jewish) and will gain everything. Again, notice that we did not say that they "can do something" to gain their salvation. Only Christ can do that for them. But, they can do something to show Christ that they got the message, and they can definitely do something to lose that salvation (2 Peter 2:20
2020 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.
On our own?
Now, where would some get the idea that they can not only do nothing that God has commanded, but some feel that they can actually do anything they want with no threat of losing what they have gained? That's the message you hear in the churches today. The pastors say that Christ died for all the sins they would ever commit, so once Christ is accepted, people can continue in voluntary sin without fear of needing to change. They forget that after all the instances where Christ forgave, he followed with that catchy little phrase, "Go and sin no more." Granted, not everyone feels this way, but it's amazing how many of the sermons preached today imply denial of this very part of the Word. I guess they have not read Hebrews 10:26-27
26If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
Enter the modern Bible translations paraphrased to allow the idea that the Jews are lost to God, replaced by us Gentiles. But what about Romans 11:26
26and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
"The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob."
? Even the "replacement Theology" concept has to be read into the passage by the reader as it is not actually stated by the author/translator. Those laws the modern "Christians" ignore are not there for us to use to gain salvation, only to guide our way through the wiles of the Devil into the will of God. we obey them in order to show Christ that we have received His message (Matthew 7:21
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
). If we ignore them, we find ourserlves stepping off the road, quickly becoming lost because we have no markers to guide our way to that narrow gate. Sorry, guess this means taking Matthew 7:13-14 literally:
13Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
We can still lose it
What about 2 John 1:8 and Matthew 6:1? If we cannot lose our salvation, why would we be warned so clearly:
Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. (2 John 1:8)
"Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." (Matthew 6:1)
Wait. What was that word that John used in 1:8 - "worked"? And, a little later in the verse, there was that word "rewarded". Everyone says that we earn nothing by "works"! If that's the case, what is John speaking about here? Not the works of doing the law, we know that we cannot work our way to God. He comes to us. However, when we do what Jesus commanded, we show Him that we got His message and our "works" are the efforts to pass the word to our neighbors and staying on the narrow path. While doing this, we cannot overlook the need to stay in the will of God. How convincing would we be if we gave someone the gospel, then stole some money as we left? Because, remember, the law supposedly doesn't apply to us! Sometimes, that takes work to stay away from the ways of the world, but still work within it.
But, after all, that is the main point. When we study, we need to have a word that will guide us, not allow us to ignore all the signs and get ourselves outside the will of God. The believing (Messianic) Jews still have that, and we can still get it by realizing that God opened the way for the Gentiles to be included with them, not to replace them. All that is required is that we believe what the words of Jesus Himself actually say:
22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
Then add to that the words of Paul in Galatians 3:7:
7Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.
We essentially become adopted Jews - not the other way around. And what better way is there to understand the message of the Jews than to properly understand what their original words mean in language, custom, and culture? You know, see things in the CHRISTian perspective. He was a Jew, after all.
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