When people begin to take interest in Hebraica Veritas, or the recognition of the Hebrew language, the Jewishness of the Bible, and the history of Israel as the only correct way to understand and interpret the teachings of Moses, Jesus and the apostles, some end up asking themselves if they should circumcise in order to keep the Torah. Dr. Joseph Shulam has posted his thoughts on the subject and I would like to offer below summary, you can watch the full message if you want here.
There are questions that have come up to Netivya on all kinds of issues. One of the questions was whether Gentiles should be circumcised to keep the Torah.
First, let’s put down some of the most important principles when we deal with the Bible and when we want to understand and deal with God himself. The first axiomatic principle is that God doesn’t make mistakes. If He wanted Michael Jackson to be blonde and blue-eyed, he would have made him a Swede. Michael Jackson didn’t need to bleach himself in order to be white. Similarly, if He wanted me to be African, I would have been black. God doesn’t make mistakes. We are born who we are, and we must not want to be somebody else.
The second principle that’s also an immutable principle is that God is the God of all of humanity and creation. That means He’s the God of the Eskimos, our Arab neighbors and our Jewish neighbors, Vladimir Putin, and Joe Biden. God is the God of all, and that is a Biblical principle from the very beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation.
The third principle is that what the Bible doesn’t clearly demand, we don’t have to worry about. Why worry about it? Why do you want to think that God wants you to be a Jew? If He wanted you to be a Jew, you would have been born to Jewish parents, raised as a Jew, and did a bar mitzvah and circumcised on the eighth day. This is the most basic and important principle of the whole Bible.
God revealed His will to us through the witnesses that witnessed the events and to the apostles who were called, anointed, and received Revelation from God. They wrote down what we should teach future generations about how to live in this life and inherit eternal life forever.
Let’s talk about the Jews and the Gentiles. One of the problems with most Christian pastors and even professors of theology is that they have never learned how to read Jewish texts, especially Jewish texts written by a Jewish lawyer.
Let’s go to Galatians chapter 5. In order not to make this answer too long, I’ll only read a few verses.
Stand fast, therefore, in the Liberty by which the Messiah Christ has made us free.
Notice he’s writing to you. Then he says us, including here, in my opinion, the Jews. He’s saying, you Gentiles are just like us. We got liberated by the Messiah.
If you don’t keep one of the laws or the Commandments, you’re breaking your own oath. That’s why don’t enter in their law a yoke of bondage. Yeshua said, “my yoke is easy and light,” not a bondage. So Paul in verse 3 of Galatians 5, “I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised” – every man means Jew or Gentile – “that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.”
Because the minute you begin following Judaism, especially as an adult, if you asked all the questions, you asked to commit, you ask to take a vow, and you have to do two things: circumcise and immersion in water. And when you are in the water before you dunk yourself in the water, you take an oath to keep the law and the Commandments. Everybody does it. When you do this, you give up the right to ask for God’s mercy, for God’s grace, because you have made an oath to keep the law and the Commandments.
Paul said, “I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised.” It doesn’t say every baby. He says every man who becomes circumcised is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from the Messiah, from Christ. You who attempt to be justified by the Torah, you have fallen from Grace. For we, the Jews, through the spirit, eagerly wait for the hope of the righteousness of faith.
As Jews circumcised on the eighth day we didn’t have to make an oath. But if you as an adult now are going to be converted to Judaism in order to keep the Torah, you make an oath. And when you make an oath, if you don’t keep one of The Commandments, you forfeited God’s grace by your oath. For we, the Jews, through the spirit, eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness of faith. We wait for that day in which we are going to be forgiven from our sins by our faith in Yeshua Mashiach, and he said that in verse 6, “for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything but faith working through love is everything.”
In Galatians Paul actually gives a command to all the churches on this topic, and the command is in First Corinthians chapter 7 verse 17 and forward. “But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, let him walk.”
This goes to the first principle that I mentioned before. God doesn’t make mistakes and he gave you what you need and equipped you with what you have in order to achieve the goal and spend eternity with God and the Saints and the prophets and the apostles.
I’m reading verse 17 of chapter 7 of First Corinthians again, “But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk,” that means live. And so I command in all the churches, the Jewish churches, and the non-Jewish churches, and the mixed churches, and the “Tutti-Frutti” churches today. We have some of those too. Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised.
So to summarize, the key principle that Paul emphasizes in both Galatians and Corinthians is that what matters most to God is keeping His commandments, rather than adhering to external practices like circumcision or non-circumcision. As he says in 1 Corinthians 7:19, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.”
This is a message that applies to both Jews and Gentiles. For Jews, it means not getting too caught up in the external trappings of the law, but focusing on the underlying principles of love, justice, and righteousness that the law is meant to promote. For Gentiles, it means recognizing that they too are called to live in accordance with God’s moral standards, even if they are not bound by the same covenantal obligations as the Jews.
In short, the message of Galatians and Corinthians is that what matters most to God is not our ethnic or religious identity, but our obedience to His will. Whether we are Jews or Gentiles, circumcised or uncircumcised, we are all called to live lives of faith, hope, and love, and to seek to honor God in all that we do.
https://threefold.life/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/dot.png00GP Bakhttps://threefold.life/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/dot.pngGP Bak2023-02-19 19:32:092023-02-19 19:33:26Should the Gentiles circumcise to keep the Torah?
The Gospel of Matthew tells us that a messenger from God – an angel, approached Miryam [Anglo-Saxon version: Mary] and Yosef [Anglo-Saxon version: Joseph], the natural parents of the Messiah.
This angel, this Heavenly creature had entered the earthly realm in order to give them a special message.
Part of this message was an instruction about how the baby should be called.
This instruction however didn’t originate from the messenger, it was an instruction from Creator God Himself. The angel was only the carrier of the message.
THE LINGUISTIC ROOT BEHIND THE HELLENIZATION OF MESSIAH
What was the real name of the Messiah that God wanted his parents to give him?
It was the name Yeshua. The name Yeshua is a Hebrew name. The angel explains why the personal name of the Messiah should be Yeshua.
This only makes sense in Hebrew. In Hebrew and only in Hebrew the name Yeshua, the personal name of the Messiah, comes from the same root as the Hebrew word yoshia
“She shall bring forth a son. You shall call his name Yeshua, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.” [Mat 1:21 HNV]
This play of words becomes virtually lost if we try to understand the meaning of this message outside of Hebrew. Again, this instruction makes sense ONLY in Hebrew because ONLY in Hebrew the words for save and Yeshua have the same root.
Here is how this verse looks in Hebrew (from right to left):
PRONOUNCIATION SPELLED USING THE LATIN ALPHABET: hi yoledet ben ve’attah tikra shemo yeshua’, ki hu yoshia et ammo mechattoteihem
TRANSLATION: “She shall bring forth a son. You shall call his name Yeshua, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.” [Mat 1:21 HNV]
Here are the two words we need to pay attention to. They explain very clearly exactly why the personal name of the Messiah should be Yeshua:
יֵשּועַ – Yeshua (Savior)
יֹושִיעַ – yoshia (save)
The root is the word ‘yasha’: יָשַׁע which in Hebrew means to deliver, to save, to rescue.
Now the message of the Angel makes perfect sense.
“You shall call his name Savior (Yeshua) for it is he who shall save (yoshia) his people from their sins.”
Pay attention to the following statement: The Hellenized version of the name Yeshua – Iesus, has no meaning whatsoever! The “sh” sound is gone simply because it doesn’t exist in the Greek language. There is no other reason why in the Greek the sound “sh” becomes substituted with “s”. That’s it. There’s nothing “divine” in the Greek spelling of the name of Yeshua – it only changes because the Greek has no “sh” sound.
The ending ” – us” is yet an additional type of Hellnization of the Jewish personal name of the Messiah. Greek did not allow a male name to end in an “ah” sound. Thus Greeks would add “is”, “us”, or “os” at the end of male names (Example: Lycus, Petrakis, Demetrios, Herodotos, Morpheus). Thus, Yeshua in Hebrew became Iesous in Greek. Again, there’s absolutely nothing “divine” in the way the original Hebrew name Yeshua all of a sudden becomes Iησοῦς (pronounced as “eeaysoos” in Greek) -it’s only due to linguistic limitations. This is not unimportant because Christians have created an entirely new persona around the Helenized name of Messiah. The Helenization however didn’t stop with the name only, it literally scrubbed away any and all Jewishness from the Messiah, the Gospels and the New Testament as a whole. This part of the process of severing the original, organic hebraic root of the faith we call “saving”.
The name of the prophet known as Hosea is rooted also in the word ‘yasha’, to save. The correct pronounciation is Hoshea. Again, the only reason the “sh” sound in Hoshea is replaced with an “s” is the Hellenization of the Hebrew names in the translations from Hebrew to Greek. The name of the prophet known to us as Isaiah is also rooted in the same word. The original name of Isaiah is: Yeshayahu (The Lord Saves). The name of Moses’ servant Joshua who becomes the leader who brought Israel into the Promised Land is: Yehoshu’a (The Lord is Salvation).
There’s nothing “holy” or special about the Greek language. We aren’t in debt to the Greeks or to the Romans (the Romanization of the Bible is another form of distortion). It was the Hebrews who gave the world the first ancient prototype of the modern 26 character alphabet, not the Greeks or the Romans. From this ancient language came the three oldest known languages: Old Hebrew, Phoenician, and Greek. This documentary sheds more light on the truth about the origin of the Torah, which we call today The Bible.
WHAT DOES THE HELLENIZATION OF THE FAITH MEAN TO US TODAY?
The Hellenization of the faith doesn’t end with the personal name of our Messiah. It has permeated the rest of Scripture and it has altered our very perception of the faith as a whole.
The very term we use for Messiah is also a form of a Hellenisized term, originally Mashiach in Hebrew. The reason? You guessed it – nothing but the limitations of the Greek language.
The name of Moses has also been Hellenized. His original name is Moshe and that’s how it should be in our Bibles or at least this is the way it should be in every language that has the “sh” sound. Greek, Icelandic, Latin, Maori, Finnish, and Spanish are the only major languages that don’t have the “sh” sound. The resistance of translators to restore the original Hebrew and Jewish name and term pronounciation in the Bible has nothing to do with linguistic difficulties and everything to do with the history of Christian anti-semitism and the role replacemet theology has played through the ages (the teaching that non-Jews who believe in Yeshua have now replaced the Jews as God’s Chosen people).
The painful truth us that we in our Christian world love our sacred cows and traditions (regardless of how wrong they are) more than God’s Truth (even when it’s not hard at all to respect).
True, there are now a number of translations that seek to right this wrong and to restore to correct Hebraic framework of understaning the Jewish cultur through which the Torah and the Savior were received! One such example is the Hebrew Names Version. This versoin is in fact the World Messianic Bible (WMB) – a 1997 English language update of the American Standard Version which was originally published in 1901. It has also been known as the Hebrew Names Version (HNV) and the World English Bible: Messianic Edition (WEB:ME): https://ebible.org/engwmb/
There are other notable translations such as David Stern’s Complete Jewish Version and few others I will list in a different post. They are all part of a noble effort to move us closer to opening our eyes for the beauty of God’s Truth which can only be revealed fully when studied in its original Hebraic context.
The Greeks gave us the Olympic Games. We can do just fine with or without these Games.
We cannot afford however to go on without restoring the accurate, Hebraic understanding of the faith we call “saving”. It begins by having enough respect for the Messiah and for the will of God which the angel came to deliver to his earthly parents but also to all mankind: His name should be Yeshua (Savior) because he will yoshia (save) His people from their sins.
FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS:
Should we change the way we refer to Jesus in our prayers and worship?
I will respond with a question – how important do you think it is to know, understand, assimilate and live God’s Truth? Many teachings of the truths of the Word of God are initially in conflict with our way of thinking and our traditions. It takes determination and a process of humbling to accept many of God’s truths (teachings). Sadly, the de-Hellenization of the faith was never made important by those who introduced the faith to us. Hence, to most people using one name or another for Jesus or anything else in the Bible is of minor importance. Having said that, I will admit that even for those who are hungry to know and live according to God’s full spectrum of truth, including embracing its Hebraic foundation, it’s not a small thing for the average Christian to go through this process. It can be confusing, intimidating and demoralizing (especially when you start losing friends over it). At the end this remains a matter of personal conviction. No one should feel forced to do anything. We all should strive to get to know the Truth and to allow the Truth to set us free. Everything else is exchnaging one religious bondage for another.
Should we talk to others about Jesus or about Yeshua?
Once someone purges their mind from the Hellenization of God’s truth and comes “home” to the true, Hebraic foundation of the faith, there is a spiritual renewal of sorts that takes place. As we surrender to the Lord in obedience, we fulfill an important prophecy – a day will come when the “gentiles” (non-Jews, goyim), will come come to Zion, which represents the rule (Kingdom) of God and will submit to His truth (Micah 4:2) It specifically says that “out of Zion” and Jerusalem the Torah will come forth so it can be received by the non-Jews. This prophecy literally means that the Spirit is working to draw non-Jews to humble themselves and accept the Torah coming from God who rules from Zion. The apostle Paul’s teaching was also consistent with this approach. In Romans 1:16 he clearly teaches that the Good News of Messiah is meant to be given “first” to the Jews, then to the Gentile. This doesn’t mean we need to embrace Judaism per se and somehow denounce Yeshua as Messiah. More article on this subject to come.
How does this change the way we tell others about the Messiah? It does and it’s fantastic!
– It immediatly disrupts the confused way many people who seek God think of Jesus and the faith. Most people have terrible misconceptions about who God is, who Jesus is and what the Bible is all about. Instead of struggling to parse through the various confusions, we can introduce them to “a God they don’t know” similarly to what the apostle did in Athens (See Acts 17).
– It is entirely Biblical and spiritually accurate to refer to Jesus as Yeshua.
– It allows us to introduce a whole new authenticity to people who seek the faith.
– Bypassing traditional Christian apologetics and agreeing that there are many issues with traditional Christianity could earn us the right to introduce people to the faith as it was for the first 3 centuries – a movement of followers of the Messiah who had no “temples”, weren’t in bed with the authorities, were persecuted for their faith, and grew tremendously. All this changed in the 4th century under the Roman Emperor Constantine. We are not beholden to the newly minted version of anti-semitic Christianity which he and his court-friendly theologians created.
https://threefold.life/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Messiahs-Real-Name.png7201280GP Bakhttps://threefold.life/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/dot.pngGP Bak2020-11-28 18:17:432020-11-29 00:30:44What is Messiah’s real name and is it important for us today?
Christian Hebraism transformed Christianity completely during the Middle Ages. However, the impact this movement had on the world remains forgotten by most people who consider themselves believers today: clergy and laity alike.
I realize I’m not the scholar this subject deserves if Christian Hebraism will have to be re-introduced to believers in the 21st century and beyond. But given the fact that most of the scholars who have specialized in this subject have not produced materials in a format more accessible for the mass reader, any effort to resurrect the legacy of Christian Hebraism is better than no effort at all.
I began to investigate this subject matter three years ago when I experienced a “home coming” of sorts in my faith journey. I will explain this in an attempt to illustrate how deeply personal this subject is to me. The discovery of the story of Christian Hebraism helped bring together many of the otherwise scattered pieces of information I had accumulated through the years when it comes to the Reformation of the Middle Ages. But most importantly, it made me feel like I had “come home”. It made me realize that what I have been sensing intuitively and have been looking for through the years, others had been looking for something similar as well, some 500 or more years ago. This is both humbling and comforting from a spiritual standpoint and I will try to share this perspective with you.
One more thing that will probably help you understand why I am so sensitive to the origin of words, languages and translations – I grew up during the 70s and the 80s in Bulgaria – a hard-core Communist country. Communism is based on violence, theft and ruthless, shameless lies, deception, fraud, manipulation, and propaganda. Growing up, my parents didn’t voice their opposition to Communism in front of me and my brother – they wanted to protect us. But when I was thirteen years old one night I walked in on my father listening to The Voice of Europe on short wave radio in the dark and I realized there was something going on that I didn’t know about. I got my hands on a short wave radio and became an avid listener of the Voice of Europe and the Voice of America. I slowly began to realize we were living in a parallel reality and a lot was going on we had no clue about. Under Communism there is no freedom of speech. If there were freedom of speech, the opposition would expose their fraud and crimes and their regime would be over with very quickly. They controlled all the media: TV, radio and print. Thankfully, short wave radio was there to help bring some news to the people living behind the Iron Wall. I was one of them.
The foundation of Communism has to do with the manipulation of words. Words are the tool we use to explain things. When we corrupt words, we bring a corrupt understanding of the essence of the matter they are meant to convey. For example, Communist regimes have always called their terrorist, totalitarian regimes “people’s republics”. They have fake Constitutions, fake Parliaments and fake elections. This is a gross perversion of the very meaning of what a republic, a Constitution, a Parliament and elections are meant to be. There are no “republics” in Communism. They are all in fact dictatorships. But the Communists are shameless psychopaths and they have zero remorse as they impose their regimes forcing untold millions to submit to their “republic” at gun point.
Gradually, as one grows up in a country totally dominated by the Communist regime, you begin to realize all the public slogans, school textbooks, newspapers, TV and radio are there to produce nothing but one gigantic psyopp intended to keep the people brainwashed into believing the lies of Communism as a dogma and the Communist regime as its executive (and executing) embodiment.
I became a believer in God because I kept having questions such as “how did this world come into being?” and “what happens after we die”? No one could give me an adequate answer. I loved to read books and used to spend hours and hours in the local library while growing up. Thankfully some classic literature had made its way into the Communist system. I realized that people have been asking these same questions through the ages but they still didn’t have any good answers. I also read a number of books I purchased from a bookstore selling Eastern Orthodox literature. This was very interesting but still no real answers came from going to the Orthodox Church, lighting candles, getting baptized as Orthodox, and reading their books.
Finally, at the age of 20 I came into contact with some believers who actually read the Bible and discussed things about it. I started going to the meetings of a congregation that didn’t resemble the Orthodox Church – no temple, no priest, candles, icons and so on. I realized that the only way I can become a “believer” is to accept that Jesus had risen from the dead, that he is alive somewhere in a dimension we can’t see (Heaven), that the Bible is true, and that I need to turn away from my sinful way of life (and there was much to turn away from, trust me)! I took the leap of faith and experienced a dramatic conversion at the age of 20, only a few months before the collapse of the Berlin Wall. My world had fundamentally changed and the world itself was about to change as well. Such was the beginning of my faith walk. I didn’t worry too much about who wrote the Bible and in what language, who translated it, how and when. What was important for me at the time and for many years to come was to be “spiritual”; to read the Bible, to try to grasp its teachings, to try to live according to them, and to try to get others to do the same. Sounds simple but it’s a huge challenge in and of its own. I would say most Christians spend the majority of whatever time they have trying to do their best doing exactly this; study the Bible, pray, try to live out its teachings, try to do good works, try to help others become believers.
Sadly, not so many believers go deeper and investigate the origins of the faith, the history of Scripture, the historic background, culture and context of the different events described, the true meaning of its teachings as they were given at the time, and what all this means to us.
However, I have remained as hungry to learn about the origins of the faith, as I am to learn how to live its teachings. I therefore share my discoveries without any specific agenda except my deeply seated desire to get to the bottom of the story, to learn the truth about something as much as it’s possible and only then to draw my conclusions about it. It’s with this mindset that I have been pursuing the re-discovery of Christian Hebraism during the Reformation of the Middle Ages and its relevancy for us today.
TALMIDIM – NOT DISCIPLES; RABBI – NOT “MASTER”; YESHUA – NOT “JESUS”
My first encounter with the Jewish heritage of the faith was in 1993 when I visited a Messianic congregation where I also purchased the Jewish New Testament by David Stern. It impacted deeply my perception of the historic Jesus as a fully Jewish man, as well as the Jewishness of the Gospel, the “church” (a term we will be deconstructing in a future post), and really the faith as a whole.
I remember how refreshing it was to learn that the “disciples” I had been reading about in the Gospel were in reality “talmidim”, that the real name of Jesus was actually Yeshua and that he was a Rabbi, not “Master” as some translations would have us believe.
Does this matter? Do we have to use Hebrew words and then learn what they mean vs. accepting a bunch of substitute and sometimes totally made up Hellenistic terms? I’ll make the case for Christian Hebraism as I post more on this subject and you can investigate this for yourself and make up your own mind.
NO ONE TALKING ABOUT CHRISTIAN HEBRAISM
I was fortunate enough to have graduated from a Bible School that rejected the replacement theology and honored the Jewish people. This Bible School helped many accept a Biblically correct theological, moral and ethical position of support and love for Israel and the Jews. This was also a Bible School that took the position that the Reformation of the Middle Ages was “the” much needed reset and remake Christianity needed in the pursuit of its original, more authentic beginnings. However, I didn’t hear anyone in Bible School talk about Christian Hebraism and its impact on the Reformation of the Middle Ages.
That was almost 30 years ago.
Since then I have been around a good deal of Christians who love Israel and the Jewish people, the Messianic Jewish movement, and have also gotten to know many non-Jews who have walked away from Protestantism and embraced the messianic movement. When I say “Christians” this includes ordinary believers and leaders alike. They love God, they are zealous about bringing Christianity back to its Jewish foundation, they are eager to express their faith in a way closer to its Jewish origins and they emphasize the changes we need to implement on a liturgical level. But again, they know about Christian Hebraism as much as a Southern Baptist.
To learn about Christian Hebraism today one has to dig deep into the vaults of higher academic learning. While the Messianic movement has picked up quite a lot of momentum during the last 30 years and we rejoice over this fact, it remains a mystery to me why hardly anyone has attempted to re-introduce the Christian Hebraists to our generation. As I kept learning about their passion to re-discover the Truth of God through the lens of Hebrew, I couldn’t help but think about the implications of such discoveries for us today.
I wish I didn’t have to do this. This is not my “full time” job at this point in time and I don’t have the professional theological credentials to challenge the status quo when it comes to the Hellenization of the faith vs. its rightful Hebraic origins. But I kept on digging and investigating this story for me and the sense that I have an obligation to re-tell this forgotten story kept growing in my spirit.
WHAT IS CHRISTIAN HEBRAISM?
“Historically Christian Hebraism has been understood as the use of Hebrew, rabbinic, or Cabbalistic sources for Christian religious purposes during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The use of such source material had dramatic results including the re-translation of the Old Testament, the re-interpretation of the New Testament, and the re-examination of historically central doctrines of Christianity” – Prof. Jerome Friedman, Kent State University [https://www.amazon.com/Most-Ancient-Testimony-Sixteenth-Century-Christian-Hebraica/dp/0821407007]
Stephen Burnett, author of “Christian Hebraism in the Reformation Era (1500-1660)”, says the following: “The Reformation turned Christian Hebraism from a pastime of a few hobbyists and theologians into a broad intellectual movement that involved students and professors, printers, and patrons of many kinds living throughout Europe. Christian Hebraist authors were the central actors in this movement.” [https://www.amazon.com/Christian-Hebraism-Reformation-Era-1500-1660/dp/B01181VYU4]
Going forward, I will quote extensively Prof. Jerome Friedman and Stephen Burnett. They have summarized so much of the information that’s missing from the arsenal of Biblical Scholars and ministers today.
Johannes Reuchlin (1455 – 1522) was classics scholar whose defense of Hebrew literature helped awaken liberal intellectual forces in the years immediately preceding the Reformation.
Christian Hebraica became one of the most powerful spiritual and intellectual forces of the Reformation of the Middle Ages. It became known as “Hebraica Veritas” (Hebrew Truth) because for the first time in 1,000 years Christians recognized the Hebrew Bible and classical Hebrew as the legitimate source of spiritual truth, not Jerome’s Latin translation. While it’s true that Jerome did study Hebrew and Greek in order to produce the Vulgate into Latin, the Reformers of the Middle Ages felt they had many good reasons to re-examine Jerome’s translation which was given the status of “inerrant” or inerrant-like by the Roman-Catholic Church.
Christian Hebraists were scholars of Hebrew literature. Hebraists approached Jewish texts with both academic and polemical motivations; some wanted to study Jesus in his time while others sought a way to convert Jews to Christianity. Their focus was on Biblical scholarship, religious philosophy, and the aggadah. Christian Hebraism offers a fascinating perspective into the history of printing, linguistics, and European culture in the Middle Ages as well as comparative religion and Jewish-Christian relations. By impacting theology, literature, science, and philosophy, Hebrew literature played a vital role in the development of Western culture.
IS CHRISTIAN HEBRAISM RELEVANT FOR US TODAY?
Undoubtedly, this is the proverbial “million dollar question”. If the story of Christian Hebraism is only something that was relevant to the people in the Middle Ages, I can understand why very few people today should care about it.
But let’s go back to what Prof. Jerome Friedman had to say about the implications of Christian Hebraism, this intentional return to Hebrew as the primary lens of Biblical learning, and let’s see if there might be something important we need to pay a little more attention to:
“Historically Christian Hebraism has been understood as the use of Hebrew, rabbinic, or Cabbalistic sources for Christian religious purposes during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The use of such source material had dramatic results including the re-translation of the Old Testament, the re-interpretation of the New Testament, and the re-examination of historically central doctrines of Christianity”
Could this be the crux of the matter, the very kernel of what this treasure hunting journey is all about?
Re-translation (of the Old Testament, for better accuracy and understanding)
Re-interpretation (of the New Testament, due to better understanding of Hebrew, the language used by the Jews in the 1st century)
Re-examination (of the historically central doctrines of Christianity! This is huge.)
Christians have been in pursuit of a better, more authentic, and truer to the original version Christianity for the last 500 years. The creation of many translations of Scripture has been a huge part of this pursuit of authenticity.
The return to the Hebraic framework of thought has resulted in actual re-interpretations of the New Testament itself.
But have we done any serious re-examination of the historically central doctrines of Christianity in light of the fact that Hebrew, not Latin or Greek, is “the” most important key to the correct understanding of the Truth of God?
You may think we’ve done enough but my answer would be a “no”!
But hey, I am nobody. I’m just a normal guy who wants to know why I believe what I believe, why do we do what we do and most importantly, what is the Truth of God as intended by Him? If I am ready to live or die for what I believe, I don’t see why I need to spare one’s sacred cows in my pursuit of Truth.
Standby as post more articles on this subject and we look into the genius of the Hebrew language, what it has meant for the world, the true history of its origins, and how Christian Hebraism relates to our faith today.
I would like to also invite you to check out the beta version of a wiki I have been using to organize my research in the area of Hebraica Veritas. It’s only in its beginning stages but I haven’t seen even this much organized in one place when it comes to Christian Hebraism on the Internet – so I hope this can add to your own research: https://threefold.life/wiki
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INTRODUCTION: The main point of this post is the article below so if you just want to skip this commentary, please scroll down to the main article. However, please allow me to share with you why I was compelled to add this lengthy introductory commentary. It has to do with the fact that I born in a Communist country. This has given the a unique perspective on Liberty and what America stands for.
On August 28t, 1963 the historic March on Washington occurred and Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. Fifty-seven years later many of us are wondering just what kind of a dream is guiding the people we see looting and burning down buildings in America? These are controversial subjects but they need to be addressed nevertheless. Many in the Christian world cringe when they have to take a public stand for or against something controversial. This is exactly what political correctness is leveraging against Liberty-loving people everywhere in America and the free world.
Why have leaders been afraid of controversies? It’s because they strive to maintain a polished public image in order to successfully use that image in the public square for the purposes of advancing their goals in ministry, business or politics. This strategy has worked well for many leaders in civilized societies. However, civility is quickly getting lost, and uncivilized tactics are threatening the social order in America and the countries of the free world. Terrorist organizations like BLM, Antifa, and the Muslim Brotherhood proxy CAIR, are waging an all-out warfare against Liberty and they mean business. They won’t flinch if they have to set entire cities ablaze, murder innocent people, and bring economic misery to millions more. The only reason such malicious actors are winning is not because they are so strong or so many. It’s because the silent Christian majority has chosen to remain passive and uninvolved in defending Liberty at the local, state or national level.
When different ideas and views of the world clash in a free society governed by a Constitution, how do such clashes get resolved?
First and foremost through freedom of speech.
The leaders representing different ideas must have the freedom to articulate their ideas. It is then up to the people (voters) to choose what worldview, values and program they will align themselves with, and support financially and at the ballot box. None of this exists in totalitarian societies where one party regime persecutes all and any opponents for as long as they can. A free society relies on its social order based on Liberty and on the common sense and values of the people to make such judgement calls.
The post below is just that – the right of one of the many Christian leaders in America today to voice his concerns over existing issues, and to outline some of the solutions they believe in.
Freedom of speech is being lost fast in American today. Christian and conservative leaders are being de-platformed from social media giants. Not here. Threefold.Life will always be a platform for Liberty, no matter how small and insignificant this tiny website is when compared to the influence tech giants have on the Internet. We happen to believe in a book that teaches us that even if you are a shepherd boy who only has five stones in your hand, you still have a shot at whatever giant is threatening the peace and the life of your people. If millions of small websites did the right thing and didn’t flinch when it comes to standing up for what is right, allowing our leaders to have their voice heard, things might look very differently today. Conservatives like Laura Loomer who recently won her primary in President Trump’s own backyard, are the proof that the power of many on the Internet is real, even if the social media giants ban you completely like they have banned Laura.
For more of my thoughts on how important Liberty is to the Lord, click here.
Recently the Rev. Samuel Rivers, member of the Board of Threefold Christian Alliance and long time friend shared some of his thoughts on the current situation in the United States, using a popular social media platform. The below is an edited version.
It’s refreshing to hear a Christian leader who is also a Conservative, to take a clear and bold stand against the terrorist, satanic ideology of Communism and its many modern iterations.
2020 – The Most Crucial Election In Our Lifetime!
by the Rev. Samuel Rivers
Democratic Socialism captures the mind of the naïve, destroys societies, and feeds the lust of those who want to exercise power over others!
My plea to Christians, please know the policies of the candidates running for public office! We are supposed to get our political principles from the word of God.
If the Democrats gain power, it indeed will be a disaster for Christianity, the economy, and a political catastrophe for the U.S.A. Their policies will physically destroy our economy, the marketplace, and physically destroy schools, the courts, and churches.
As we look back at the way the Bolsheviks took power in Russia in 1917, it becomes pretty clear they used extremism as their main tool of persuasion. The Democrats are using those same measures to persuade the American people during this election cycle. It’s safe to say the Democrats are embracing the tactics of the Marxists in order to create chaos in America. The Bolsheviks secretly did all that they could to aggravate the differences between different groups. We see the Democratic Party using their same playbook today.
The Bolsheviks wanted to abolish the police, army, and the bureaucracy in addition to nationalizing the land and all banks. The Democrats want to defund the police, their support for our military is weak, and they don’t believe in nationalism! Basically, the Democratic Party, along with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, are promoting an extremist vision.
The Bolsheviks of 1917 Russia convinced the people that they wanted peace, land, and bread for them, painting beautiful pictures of the future. All on a façade of unity, they used sympathy and promised wealth, happiness, centralized food production, and a better life. They used lies to persuade and convince people that they were the authentic Voice of the People. Little did the people know that they were the living embodiment of the Dictatorship, Marxism, Socialism, and Communism!
The Bolsheviks persuaded a fanatical and devoted minority, and this passionate and dedicated minority proved sufficient. Capturing power was not difficult as they used tactics of psychological warfare combined with the class warfare narrative of the Communist ideology. They caused class rivalry, through the ballot box and street fighting. Similarly, the Democratic Party embodies class warfare; today’s Democrats are Bolsheviks and a danger to our Republic.
The Bolsheviks’ Communist agenda was cocooned in layers of dishonesty and lost touch with reality: they promoted and embraced nonsense, rather than God and proven policies. Truth disappeared from even the intellectuals. The people were unable to distinguish the truth from ideological fiction. Following the playbook of the Bolsheviks, the Democrats are using fear, hatred, cynicism, and criminality to create a socialist society, known as Democrat Socialism. The Democrats are trying to bribe the public by promising them free things to gain political power to pass their socialist agenda, which will lead to misery, higher taxes, big government, the absence of the markets, innovation, and free enterprise.
Furthermore, the DNC and the Biden campaign are not being truthful about Joe Biden’s diminished mental capacity. This man does not have the capability to be President. They’re trying to deceive the public so that they can deliver the first woman of color President. You can look and listen to Joe Biden and tell he’s not all there! If Joe Biden is barely leaving his house and not answering reporters’ questions, how can he lead the free world?
We may very well be one vote away, where we will have to contend and fight for our liberties, our right to bear arms, freedom of speech, our right to assemble and worship, and our unalienable right!
Samuel Rivers has PhD in Theology from Smith Christian University. He is the Founder and President of Voice of the Lord Ministries, and a Board Member of Threefold Christian Alliance. In 2017 he traveled to Bulgaria where he spoke аbout Faith and Liberty to political and church leaders. Samuel Rivers represented South Carolina’s District 15 in the SC House of Representatives between 2012-2018. He is running again for office in the 2020 elections. Campaign website: http://samuelriversjr.com/
https://threefold.life/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/samuel-rivers.jpg855855GP Bakhttps://threefold.life/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/dot.pngGP Bak2020-08-28 06:30:152020-09-01 18:48:59When Christian Leaders Speak Out For Liberty – This Is How It Sounds!