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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus was a Jew’

The Hebraic Hook

Many people have asked me how I got interested in, and then intertwined with Messianic Judaism [MJ], or as it’s more recognizably known – Hebrew Roots [HR]. Because of the constant promotion of a Jewish perspective, also known as a Hebraic mind set, I wanted to clarify from a very personal perspective of how traveling on that particular road of thought landed me into HR.

For those of you not familiar with Hebrew Roots – it’s a movement that promotes going back to keeping the Law of Moses in varying degrees dependent on the group one is affiliated with or by personal beliefs. Most of the movement’s doctrines progress away from “normative” Christianity by choice, convinced that Christianity is the paganism that is warned of in the NT. HR is centered around the departure of anything “Greek” minded and incorporating as much Jewishness as possible into their lifestyle and religious practice.

Disclaimer: My comments are based on what one finds generally in HR and what I experienced. Adherents are found in differing extremes and others are in the middle somewhere. HR is a very diverse movement.

The first barb of the “Hebraic hook” came before I got involved into HR. I had been made aware that the NT was written primarily in Hebrew. That really intrigued me, because I had spent considerable time in the OT compared to the NT and it seemed quite plausible to me. I was informed that if the disciples were Jewish, then the Gospels and letters would be penned in Hebrew or Aramaic, not Greek. It made a lot of sense to me then, as it does to many in HR, for I hear this argument often and continuously. Historical facts prove that this is just not so [please see my article: https://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/holy-hebrew/ ]. But when a great bulk of Messianic leaders push this concept and some produce their own versions based on erroneous information, it’s pretty hard to dismiss when you want Hebraic primacy so badly. It is a critical foundation for belief in going back to Torah [Mosaic Law] because if one can prove that the Greek is in error, then there is nothing to keep one from the “real” truth or the Hebraic mind set [the Greek NT is said to be mistranslated on purpose by the “church” to prevent people from knowing the “truth” about keeping “all” the commandments of God].

The need to find a Hebrew NT drove me for years. It was impossible back then to find any real information. I was not aware of the internet until I was firmly ensconced in HR, but when I did discover it – it sped me light years ahead in falling head over heels for everything Hebraic I could get my hands on.

Enter barb two …. I found the Complete Jewish Bible about three years before I knew of Messianic Judaism. That became truth for me. I loved what I thought were Hebrew words [actually a mixture of Hebrew, Yiddish, and incorrectly applied Hebrew words]. The glossary was like a treasure chest to my ignorant eyes. Having that Bible, because it was JEWISH, pushed me constantly to find out what the Bible “really” had to say about Jesus and about everything written in the Bible. I was convinced that until I found someone who could help me see things from a Jewish perspective, I would not fully understand the Bible, both OT and NT. The CJB fueled my motivation to seek all things Jewish. It was a rush back then.

Around the same time that I found my CJB, I also discovered a couple of books on the Bible Codes which truly “enhanced” my Hebraic experience. This little barb was particularly “captivating” — I was geeked for real. How cool that the OT had hidden words in the “original” Hebrew!!! It’s one of the more embarrassing moments of my whole journey into HR. The simplest way to respond to this error is to show that before 900BCE, Hebrew was not a language. Hebrew evolved from proto-type Canaanite/Addadian, so until after the time of David, the Bible was not written in true Hebrew. We do not have any of the “original” OT. What we have today are copies of copies. This is not to say that we do not have God’s inspired Word, only that we do not have the “original”. There is also a lot of resources on the net which show other reasons why the Bible Codes are a farce and based in kabbalah’s gematria.

A couple of interesting expose`s on the Bible Codes:

http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~jtigay/codetext.html

A running list of math professors to object to the validity of the Bible Codes:

http://math.caltech.edu/code/petition.html

Information on the history of the Hebrew language:

http://evomech7.blogspot.com/2007/01/earliest-semitic-text-revealed-in.html

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103091035.htm

http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Middle_Bronze_Age_alphabets

http://www.bibleorigins.net/HebrewDatesPentateuch.html

My all out desire to find the true Jewish perspective led me to a church that was teaching some Jewish concepts. So I settled in there one Sunday excited that I might learn something relevant. Sitting next to me was a woman who noticed my CJB and commented that she also had one. Then she asked me a question that forever changed my life. Did I know that there was a Messianic congregation in my town? I was floored. It never occurred to me to even look for one! “Messianic” meant nothing to me. But when she hooked it up with Jewish believers, I was one thrilled and ecstatic accident waiting to happen. I could hardly wait until the following “Shabbat” [7th day Sabbath].

It was there that I got my first taste of Jewishness and I loved it. There was not only the opportunity to speak with real Jewish converts about the Bible, but fellowship with those who had a Jewish perspective on Jesus and the first century – this was a very tenacious barb. Of course I found out as time went by that no one there was really Jewish. They just wanted it so bad that they dressed the part. Lots of star of David jewelry, full length beards, prayer shawls, skull caps, Hebrew words interspersed in their conversations, Hebrew names for God and Jesus, Hebrew music, etc. They were all wanna be gentile Christians like myself searching for the impossible dream. At the time I could not admit that, I was too swept up into the Hebraic hook – so many barbs, so little time ……..

I bought into the trappings whole heartedly. It was obvious that if I truly wanted to be like Jesus, then I had to live that way too [huge barb on that Hebraic hook!]. If He was Jewish, that meant my “Greek” view was skewed. Whatever the Jews did today, was simply an extension of first century. After all, they were God’s chosen people and God had given them their Jewishness. He does not change, therefore; if He instilled that culture in the Jewish people, then as followers of Christ, we must also find our home within that culture as well. The course of action was to locate what was Jewish and incorporate it into one’s life, worship, and adopt it as one’s true culture. There was no lack of resources. The congregation that I attended had a full library and courses to help implement a lifestyle that was “truly of God”. How sad, I was encouraged to believe that the church had been misled and was in grave error in regard to her “true origins”. I believed what was said about the lies of Christianity and it broke my heart.

A particularly effective Hebraic “barb” zeros in on some of the things that Jesus said that we could not possibly understand with our “westernized Greek pagan mind set”, because they are “Jewish idioms”. For instance, the example of “an evil eye” is used to promote Hebrew primacy of the NT. This is pointed out as a Hebrew idiom not translated correctly into Greek which means “stingy”. Something that Christians totally “miss”. Excuse me while I chuckle 🙂 – read on and you’ll see why.

Here is the context – from Matthew:

Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single, your whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Ok, here is the huge DUH that is supposedly “missed in the Greek” > Jesus was quoting Proverbs. Ouch!

Proverbs 28:22 He that hastens to be rich has an evil eye, and considers not that poverty shall come on him.

Wow! – that was pretty tough for this old western Greek pagan mind 🙂

There is also plenty of support to clarify throughout the NT like the “love of money is the root of all evil” [1 Tim 6:10] or “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes” [1 John 2:16]. So what was that about a “Jewish perspective”? (smile)

As a brief side note – the term “stingy” for “evil eye” comes from the Talmud:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0006_0_06167.html

In another post I detail out what the Talmud is comprised of and why it has nothing to do with Jesus Christ, other than to denigrate Him:

https://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/a-jewish-perspective/

Going back to the ideas that held the superiority of a Hebraic mind set, a biggie barb is that we are grafted into Israel – which is the olive tree spoken of in Romans 11. I bought that one too. It seems that my discerner was way off (smile). This is a huge teaching in HR, which again would keep people into Torah observance. If one is really Jewish when they become a believer, then one will consider Law keeping as a prerequisite.

I was pretty geeked at this whole deal. It meant that although I was a gentile, I could claim preferential treatment by God because He really viewed me as a Jew. Amazing! Of course it’s pretty obvious that my Biblical knowledge was way off kilter. The Romans reference says that the root is Holy. Now we know from reading the OT that Israel was anything but holy. It’s like a real “duh” moment 🙂 So how can we be grafted into Israel? If we partake of the root and the fatness of the olive tree – it’s not Jewishness, it is the righteousness found in the faith that Abraham had for the promise of God > his seed aka Jesus Christ. For unbelief, the branches were broken off. This concept is explained in more depth in Hebrews 4.

Romans 11:16 For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them partake of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

18 Boast not against the branches. But if you boast, you bore not the root, but the root you.

19 You will say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.

20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Be not high minded, but fear:

21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not you.

22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness: otherwise you also shall be cut off.

23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

There is a lot more to the Hebraic hook, as it is pretty pervasive within the HR movement. Please read my testimony which goes into a lot more detail: “My Journey on the Ancient Paths: https://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/ancient-paths/

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