The Hebrew Bible – Grace & Truth

For the law was given through Moses,
but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 1:17

Where Grace & Truth Meet

Grateful is an understatement for how deeply I appreciate the expansion of my understanding of the books of the Bible, especially Jesus’s words, by learning Hebrew and using the various tools available to us online. I am convinced that nothing can replace understanding our blessed savior Jesus from a Hebrew perspective. My prayer is that as more Jews become aware of the reality of Jesus as Yeshua, their true Messiah, more Christians become aware of the Jewishness of the New Testament and that both Old and New Testament matter.

At the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, revealing the contents completely did not happen. Eventually, Israel got control of them, and the Jewish public realized they were being robbed of their history as bits of scroll after scroll in Hebrew appeared to a now Hebrew-speaking nation. A great uproar followed, along with a movement to release information within the research community, and now the findings are public. Among the scrolls, an ancient Hebrew text of Matthew’s Gospel surfaced, dating much earlier than any other translation on earth. The fact that Hebrew was not a dead language in Israel replaced by Aramaic, as reflected in nearly all Christian Bible translations from Greek versions of Aramaic texts into English and other languages, is just now reaching Christians.

To help others along on the journey to understanding what Dr.Nahemia Gordon calls Hebrew Jesus vs. Greek Jesus, I have added an area in the right margin of my posts and the footer entitled: Study Online – The Hebrew Bible. The first two listings are Messianic Jewish Bibles I frequently use written in English from a Hebrew perspective.1-2 The third is an Orthodox Jewish Old Testament written in Hebrew and English.3 The fourth is Nehemia Gordon’s site, which literally uncovers ancient sources of Hebrew faith.4 The fifth is The Ancient Hebrew Research Center – Uncovering the Language, Culture and Philosophy of the Bible, a site dedicated to helping other Christians discover what the early Bible says.5

A;lthough, you will find references to the Hebrew Bible Study Resources I mentioned in various posts, I must tell you about the Orthodox Jewish Bible. The link in the list takes you to the most user-friendly online version I could find. However, the site the author,Phillip E. Goble, connects to Artist for Israel International Messianic Bible Society’s site.6 You can download a PDF version of the Orthodox Jewish Bible on this site.7 (You can also find a version of this Bible, and the Complete Jewish Bible, on the Bible Gateway app.) When I began studying college-level Hebrew, I discovered the Orthodox Jewish Bible uses Hebrew throughout the entire Bible! Not only that, but it includes links to the Prophets about passages throughout all books. I think the introduction found at the beginning of the Orthodox Jewish Bible is a priceless help for Christians understanding the value of the Scriptures, written originally in Hebrew, from their original perspective.

Here is a small portion:

The Translator to the Reader:

This translation was begun during a time of Theological Doctoral studies in 1971 and was not completed until this year, 2002. Each keyword in the original language is transliterated and translated so that the orthodox Jewish meaning will shine through. The keywords will help the reader to pour over the Hebrew Bible, even thereby rather exhaustively through The Orthodox Jewish Bible. Those whoreadtheBible with Gentile spectacles need to take another look. It took a lifetime to do this translation because of the research involved.

Moreover, the problem with Bibles translated by a committee is that usually, none of the committee members actually studies every single word in the original language. Being led by G-d to spend 31 years doing exactly that, always in Jewish communities, always in the midst of Chasidic Jews, and always surrounded by the finest array of scholarly and rabbinic books — this was a divinely provided, unique advantage. Consequently, part of the OJB is already being translated into Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian and is available online even now in Spanish and Ladino.

But why another translation? Why the OJB? To answer that question, let’s look at the OJB rendering of Isaiah 7:14. “Therefore Hashem Himself shall give you an ot (sign); hinei (behold), Ha-Almah (The unmarried young Virgin) shall conceive, and bear Ben (Son), and shall call shmo (his name) Immanu-El (G-d is with us).” FromIsaiah’s writings we learn that stubborn and unteachable people like the proud religious leaders in Isaiah chapter 28 and proud King Ahaz in chapter 7 don’t lower themselves to “factor in” signs, but a sign of tongues will be given to the unbelievers in Isaiah chapter 28; and, to Ahaz and the House of David, a sign will be given of the unmarried young virgin conceiving (a potentially scandalous sign, wouldn’t you say when we think of teenage unwed mothers?). Furthermore, this sign will be given, whether Ahaz wants it or not. (Judging from their “young woman” rendering of Ha-Almah, apparently, many “Ahaz” Bible translators have not wanted it).

When we think of “the” virgin, the only other times in the entire Tanakh that we see the expression ha-Almah(the virgin) is that unmarried young virgin Rikvah (Rebekah) in Genesis 24:43 who is preparing in that passage to conceive the nation of Israel; and that young unmarried virgin Miryam, who is preparing to bring forth the Savior of the Exodus (Ex 2:8). So let’s begin our discussion by pointing out that there are only three ha-Almah virgins in Scripture: the mother of Moshiach (Isa 7:14) and the mother of the iii Introduction Nation of Israel (Gn 24:43) and Miryam the virgin pointing us to the Savior of the Exodus (Ex 2:8). But in this passage, Isaiah 7:14, Moshiach is promised. What is at stake in this one word, ha-Almah?

The answer is: simply everything. If, according to the Hebrew Scriptures, Moshiach was not born of the Almah virgin, then he is not Ben HaElohim, he is not Moshiach, and we are not delivered from death’s eternal judgment by the one who is “G-d with us.”

(Read the entire introduction and PDF version of the Orthodox Jewish Bible HERE.)

I planned to end this post here, but my edition of the Complete Jewish Bible arrived today while I was preparing this post! I read the author’s introduction as soon as I opened it and found his purpose for publishing the Bible matched mine, as a Christian, for posting this article. I’ll share a small portion:

I am Jewish, was raised in the Jewish religion by Jewish parents, and did not come to faith in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, until I was 37 years old. As a Messianic Jew (a Jew who honors Yeshua as Messiah), I saw that the greatest schism in the world is a separation between the Church and the Jewish people; And I experienced it as God’s will for my life that I do what I could to resolve this… Although I had a doctorate in economics, I returned to school to learn more about both Christianity and Judaism – Fuller Theological Seminary for the Christian elements – The University of Judaism for the Jewish. Thus equipped, I set out in 1977 to write a Messianic Jewish commentary on the New Testament; I wanted to produce a single book that would deal with all the Jewish issues I could think of in connection with the New Testament – questions Jews have about Yeshua, the New Testament, and Christianity; questions Christians have about Judaism and the Jewish roots of their own faith; and questions we Messianic Jews have about our own identity and role in the light of 2000 years of separation and conflict between the Church and Jews. But I quickly discovered that much of what I was writing consisted of arguments with the translator of the English version I was using. The idea came to me to attempt my own translation of the New Testament from the ancient Greek original; then, obviously, I would have a version I agreed with, so I could focus exclusively on the subject matter. I did a sample and was pleased with it. Thus was born the Jewish New Testament, which was published in 1989.

Blessed be the Holy One of Israel,

Nan Montgomery

1. Complete Jewish Bible – David H. Stern, Messianic Jewish Publishers & Resources, Israel
2. Orthodox Jewish Bible – Phillip E. Goble, New York
3. The Israel Bible – Rabbi Tuly Weisz, Israel
4. Nehemia’s Wall – Dr. Nehemia Gordon, Israel
5. The Ancient Hebrew Research Center – Jeff Benner, USA
6. Artist for Israel Intl Messianic Bible Society – Coney Island, New York
7. Orthodox Jewish Bible PDF

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