Gehenna is the Greek spelling of the Hebrew term, Ge Hinnom, for valley of Hinnom, the place outside Jerusalem where garbage, trash, dead animals, and even executed criminals were disposed of. Fires burned continuously to get rid of the trash and also the bodies. Worms lived in whatever had not been consumed by the fires. The smoke, fires, and worms were a constant reminder to the residents and visitors to Jerusalem of the description of Sheol, so Gehenna was used as a synonym for Sheol. From early in the history of Israel this valley was used for human sacrifices, offerings of babies to the heathen god, Moloch.
Jsh. 15:8 is the earliest reference, then Jsh. 18:16, Jer. 7:32; 19:2,6; 32:35, and 2 Chr. 28:3. 2 Ki. 23:10 uses the full name of the valley, Valley of the Sons of Hinnom. Hinnom means wailing, lamentation.
Genealogy of Y’shua. Because the genealogies of Matthew and Luke are different, we need to study them closely. There is no basis for saying that one Gospel, Luke, gives the genealogy of Miriam, because she is not even mentioned in the passage. Even more so, the inheritance could not have come through the mother, only through the father.
The New Testament Its Background and Message, by Thomas D. Lea, has the following: Some scholars “explain the difference by referring to the practice of Levirate marriage. The early Christian leader Africanus (c. A.D. 220) suggested that Heli (Lk. 3:24) died childless and that Jacob (Matt. 1:15-16), who had the same mother but a different father, married the widow of Heli and fathered Joseph. If we follow this view, Matthew’s Gospel provides Joseph’s genealogy through his actual father Jacob, and Luke’s Gospel provides Joseph’s genealogy through his legal father Heli.”
Another view from the book says, “J. G. Machen suggested that Matthew named the legal descendants of David, those men who were the official line of succession to the throne. Luke, in turn, listed the descendants of David in that branch of the Davidic family to which Joseph, Mary’s husband, belonged. This view assumes that Jacob, the father of Joseph in Matthew, died without offspring, and the line of succession then passed to the descendants of Heli.”
The genealogies of the gospels list Joseph as Y’shua’s legal Father. If, as we believe, Y’shua was born of a virgin, that He is in truth God Incarnate, then Joseph was not His father. Matthew 1:18 and Luke 1:35 identify the Spirit of the LORD* God as His Father.
Gentile is a word that is not used in The Power New Testament because the Greek word often translated gentile means heathen. Gentile is actually the English spelling of the Latin word for heathen, gentilis, so other translators have for centuries chosen the politically correct term, gentile, instead of what the authors wrote, heathen. The Latin word was used because the earliest English translations were made from the Latin Vulgate text. Those early translators chose not to translate the Latin word, gentilis, instead just spelling the word in English. See Latin Words elsewhere in Glossary.
God Incarnate. If we can truly grasp that Y’shua is God Incarnate, we will see Him in a new and astonishing way. While a high percentage of Christians say that Y’shua is God Incarnate, few realize the depth of meaning in this phrase. The Name LORD* in Hebrew is the imperfect tense, meaning He was, He is, He will be. LORD* cannot be tied to one tense, one time. In 1779, John Newton wrote: “Incarnate God! The soul that knows thy name’s mysterious power will dwell in undisturbed repose, nor fear the trying hour.”
How important today to see Y’shua with all present, past and future Authority and Power! The Incarnate God! What should this mean to every Christian? The word ‘incarnate’ means ‘to put into concrete form, to embody in flesh, especially human flesh.’ The LORD* was embodied in human flesh and this is a foundational belief of Christianity. Yet few have understood the vast scope of our God Incarnate. Can we lift this truth from dusty doctrinal archives and see Him touching our very lives in His unfathomable-mind-blowing Reality? Can we see LORD* God exploding myth and mystery, expounding and expanding the embodiment of Eternal Life in human form with infallible integrity?
The Incarnate God wants to reveal Himself in all His fullness to us from this surprising and miraculous perspective, so that we stand strong in the faith and victory of our Great God, the Lord, the LORD*, King of the Universe.
Y’shua walked the Earth for thirty-three years and spent His last three and a half years teaching and laying hands on people, bringing healing and deliverance to thousands. His ministry brought credence to the account of His Divine Conception and birth. He taught about His being One with the Father, in
Jn. 10:31 and other verses.
The Holy Spirit of the Lord roams over all the Earth continuously so He can show Himself strong on our behalf. We see the Spirit of the Lord in all that Y’shua did while His Incarnate form was walking the Earth. This is the same Spirit that was given to mankind on Shavuot ten days after the ascension of Y’shua. This was described by Y’shua in Jn. 14:25. I have spoken these things to you while staying with you: 26. but the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, that One will teach you all things and will remind you of everything which I Myself said to you. Jeremiah spoke of this in Jer. 31:30 Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD*, that I shall make a renewed covenant with the House of Israel, and with the House of Judah, 31. not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I AM over them, says the LORD*. 32. But this will be the covenant that I shall make with the House of Israel, After those days, says the LORD*, I shall put My Torah (Teaching) in their inward parts and write it in their hearts and will be their God and they will be My people. 33. And each person will no longer teach his neighbor and each person his brother saying, Know the LORD*, for they will all know Me from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD*, for I shall forgive their iniquity and I shall no longer remember their sin.
31:34.Thus says the LORD*, Who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, Who breaks the sea so the waves roar, the LORD* of Hosts is His name.
God’s Incarnate form, Y’shua, after His ascension, made the way for the LORD* to send His Spirit to each person, to all mankind, one person individually and simultaneously to all mankind. At His immersion, as reported in Jn. 1:29-34, we see 29. The next day he saw Y’shua coming toward him and he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, the One Who takes away the sin of the world. 30. This is concerning Whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me Who was before me, because He is more prominent than I.’ 31. And I had not known Him, but, so that He would be revealed to Israel through this, I came immersing in water.” 32. And John testified, saying that “I had seen the Spirit descending from heaven as a dove and it was staying on Him. 33. And I would not have known Him, but the One Who sent me to immerse in water, that One said to me ‘Upon whomever you would see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, He is the One Who immerses in the Holy Spirit.’ 34. And I saw and I had borne witness that this One is the Son of God.” The Spirit came upon Him, covering Him, immersing Him. This same experience, the covering and immersing of the Spirit, was given to one hundred twenty close followers ten days after His ascension from the Mount of Olives outside the walls of Jerusalem, and even to us in modern times. This Spirit makes available to each one of us the power that we see in Y’shua’s ministry. No one person has yet achieved the yielding to His will, dying to self, so that he would do all the things that Y’shua did. We see many miracles and healings in our services and in miracle services all over the world, but no one has yet walked as Y’shua did. We are all to strive for that dying to self so each one can replicate Y’shua’s ministry.
Several names are used for both God the Father and for Y’shua. One that stands out is I AM. The name I AM is used almost one hundred times in just the books Genesis through Deuteronomy and Y’shua used I AM about forty times, referring to Himself. An example is Matthew 14:27 And Y’shua spoke to them at once saying, “You must be courageous! I AM! Stop being afraid!”
There are other names shared by God and Y’shua, a few of which are given here: Help, Psalm 116:6. The LORD* preserves the simple: I was brought low and He helped me. The word translated Helped is Y’hoshia, the same root as Y’shua’s name. God is referred to as My Help in Exod. 18:4 And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was my Help, and saved me from the sword of Pharaoh; This Hebrew word is B’ezri. Another two shared names are King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Rev. 19:6 and He has upon His garment, even over His thigh a name that has been written: “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” Paul refers to the Father as King of Kings and Lord of Lords in 1Tim. 6:15 which in His own time God will show, the blessed and only ruler, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, 16. the only One Who has immortality, unapproachable Light, Whom no one of mankind saw and no one is able to see: to Whom be honor and sovereignty forever, amen. Savior refers to Y’shua in
Phil. 3:20 For our citizenship is in the heavens, out from which then we have received for ourselves a Savior, Lord Y’shua Messiah, and God is referred to as Savior seven times in the Hebrew Scriptures. One is Hos. 13:4 And I AM the Lord your God from the land of Egypt, and you know no god but Me; for there is no Savior beside Me. Savior refers to the LORD* in Isa. 43:11, and in 1 Tim. 4:10. God’s power is evident in each aspect of His nature: Holy Spirit in Spirit of Might, Isa. 11:2, Y’shua as Mighty God in Isa. 9:5, and The King of the Universe in Isa. 1:21 as Might of Israel. One of the most significant is Husband/Bridegroom: Isa. 54:5. For your Maker is your Husband! His name is the LORD* of Hosts and your Redeemer the Holy One of Israel. He will be called The God of the Whole Earth. Hos. 2:18. And it will be at that Day, says the LORD*, you will call Me Ishi, MY Husband, and will no longer call Me Baali, My Husband. Jer. 3:14 says the I AM married Israel. He is our Bridegroom and Husband.
We are to be a kingdom of priests, stated in Exod. 19:6. And you will be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. What the LORD* told Moses for the Israelites Y’shua brought for the apostles to take to all mankind. Y’shua was sent to teach the Jewish people as He instructed the apostles in Matt. 10:5. Y’shua sent these twelve, after He commanded them, saying, “On the way do not go to the heathens and do not enter a Samaritan city: 6. but you must rather go regularly to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” It was after His ascension that the Lord instructed Peter to go to the heathens as well as the House of Israel. Peter was sent to the home of Cornelius, a Roman officer in Caesarea, and said this in Acts 10:34. Then when Peter opened his mouth he said, “In truth I understand that God does not show partiality, (Deut. 10:17, 2 Chr. 19:7, Mk. 12:14) 35. but in every nation the one who fears Him and works righteousness is acceptable to Him.
God came in bodily form to show by example the way each of us is to live and to minister. The Holy Spirit that abides in each of us is the same Spirit that walked in Y’shua. This Spirit obviously walked in Moses and many others in the Hebrew text. We have but to yield ourselves to the Lord, dying to self so the God Who resides in us is free to act.
So there is one throne, One God. Y’shua at the right hand does not indicate a second throne, but uses a Hebrew idiom, that of the right hand speaking of power when in Ps. 110:1. A Psalm of David. The LORD* says to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool. Y’shua walked as the right hand of the LORD*, Jn. 10:38. but if I am doing the works, even if you would not believe in Me, believe in the works, so that you would know and you would continue knowing that the Father is in Me and I am in the Father. Jn. 14:10. Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words, which I speak to you, I am not speaking from Myself, but the Father Who lives in Me does His works. Jn. 10:29. My Father Who has given them to Me is greater than all, and no one is able to seize them from the hand of the Father. 30. We, the Father and I, are One. Jn. 14:9. Y’shua said to him, I have been with you for so long a time and you have not known Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father.
Even now He does those works using our bodies. He in us is seen in Jn. 14:15. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments: 16. and I shall ask the Father and, so that He would be with you forever, He will give you another Comforter, 17. the Spirit of Truth, Whom the world is not able to accept, because it does not see and does not know Him: you know Him, because He remains beside you and will be inside you. This One Who is inside us is the Spirit of the Living God, the King of the Universe, enabling us to do miraculous things and to live in victory, no matter what our circumstances.
Two words, one Hebrew, one Greek have been misunderstood. These are Y-Sh-A in Hebrew and Sodzo in Greek. Y-Sh-A has a primary meaning “to deliver” with “to save” as secondary. Sodzo means “to save,” but has “to deliver” as a secondary meaning. Deliverance makes a person whole, eliminating the evil effects of illness, rejection, abuse, addiction, and a host of other ploys of the devil. As a kingdom of priests we are to walk in the anointing that Y’shua showed us, bringing wholeness to each individual who seeks it.
Y’shua did not come to establish a new religion. The new religion was established in a later century by men who did not know the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – their Jewish roots. Y’shua came, as God Incarnate, to demonstrate God’s love for all humanity. The Holy Spirit was given to us at the first Shavuot after His ascension to enable us to take God’s love to all humanity. He taught that we should live by the Spirit regarding Scripture; that we need to obey Scripture, but not make extensive rules to define His commands. In Mk. 7:14. And again after He summoned the crowd He was saying to them, “You must all listen to Me and understand. 15. There is nothing outside of a person that goes into him that is able to defile him, but the things which go out from a person are the things that defile him.” (Rom. 14:17, 1 Jn. 5:17) 17. And when He entered the house from the crowd, His disciples were asking Him about the parable. 18. And He said to them, “Are you too without understanding? Do you not perceive that everything from the outside, which goes into a person, is not able to defile him 19. because it is not going into his heart but into his stomach, after the stomach cleanses all the food, then it goes out into the latrine?” 20. And He was saying, “That going out from a person defiles him. 21. For the evil purposes within go out from the hearts of people, immoralities, stealing, murder, 22. adultery, covetousness, evil, deceit, sensuality, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23. all these evils within go out and defile the person.”
Therefore the dietary teachings are not crucial for salvation, but He is teaching us about foods for our own health and safety. In the 5th chapter of John we read about the man who was healed, with Y’shua instructing him to get up and carry his pallet on a Sabbath, when Scripture says not to carry a burden. The instructions not to carry burdens are in Jeremiah and Nehemiah in passages about buying and selling, so Y’shua gave us an idea of what constitutes a burden. We are to be in constant contact with Him to obey the spirit of His teachings, not regulations written by denominational leaders.
The Incarnate God was essential for at least three things: one was to teach us how to understand His teachings, as illustrated above; another, to release His faithful ones to evangelize the world; and a third to give believers authority over evil spirits. See Matt. 10:1 and 28:18 for examples. He kept the non-evangelical believers, the Jewish people to preserve Scripture and Jewish roots because He knew that the heathens who came into the Church would take us off on a tangent of incorrect doctrines. An example of those is the widely accepted concept of the Trinity taught by many Biblical scholars. To see the Godhead consisting of three elements is correct. There is the One Who spoke to create the universe, that some call the Godhead, with the Incarnate body called Y’shua and the Holy Spirit for the Earth. These three are One. There are not three persons as in official doctrines of several denominations. God is One and has many attributes. The Trinity is not to be the object of our worship, but His Oneness is. Y’shua on the cross was God on the cross. The LORD* on the throne in Isaiah 6:1 is God/Y’shua/Holy Spirit. This verse is interesting because it is almost universally translated, In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. The word translated “temple” also means palace, which is where the throne would be. There is no throne in the Tabernacle as seen by Moses, when Moses was shown the heavenly Tabernacle, so he could have the earthly Tabernacle built as a copy. There was no throne in the first Temple, or the second. No throne is described for the third Temple in Ezekiel. In those the LORD* rested on the Ark in a 20’x20’ room, seen only by the High Priest. The LORD*’s train in Isa. 6:1 filled the throne room of the palace, where the King of the Universe reigns. His Spirit sat on the mercy seat of the Holy of Holies.
God has appeared on earth more than once in His Incarnate form. He walked with Adam & Eve, with Enoch, and with Noah. In Gen. 17:1 God appeared to Abraham and spoke with him through 21 verses! In Gen. 18 He came to Abraham. In Gen. 32:25 Jacob wrestled all night with a man (ish) who was most likely Y’shua. Ish also means husband and Y’shua is THE Bridegroom. Exod. 24:9. Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. 10. And they saw the God of Israel and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of brilliant sapphire and as it were the body of heaven in its clearness. Exod. 33:10,11 say that the LORD* spoke to Moses face to face, and the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. 11. And the LORD* spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.. In Exod. 34:6 the LORD* passed by Moses on the mountain, with Moses seeing His back, but not His face. In 1 Sam. 3:10. And the LORD* came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel.. In 1 Kings 22 we have the prophet Michah saying, 19. And he said, Hear you therefore the word of the LORD*; I saw the LORD* sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right hand and on His left. Job 42:5. I have heard of You by the listening of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Dan. 3:25. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire and they have no hurt! And the form of the fourth is like a Son of God. In Jn. 3:13 Y’shua says And no one has ascended to heaven except the One Who has descended from heaven, the Son of Man, declaring that He has ascended from earth in the past.
God’s coming appearance is told in Zech. 14:1-5 Behold, the Day of the LORD* is coming and booty from you will be divided in your presence. 2. For I shall gather all the heathens against Jerusalem in battle and the city will be taken and the houses rifled and the women ravished, and half the city will go into captivity and the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. 3. Then the LORD* will go forth and fight against those heathens, like when He fought in the day of battle. 4. And His, (the LORD’s*), feet will stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives will split in the middle toward the east and toward the west and there will be a very great valley, and half of the mountain will remove toward the north and half of it toward the south. 5. And you will flee to the valley of the mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azal. Yes, you will flee, like you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and the LORD* my God will come and all the saints with you. Some translations use “the Lord” to translate “the LORD*,” the personal name of God, but this is the King of the Universe Himself Who comes in this passage!
Many Christians assume the LORD* and Y’shua are two different Beings, especially as Father and Son. This has led to a basic conflict with Judaism, which says, God is One, and Christianity referring to the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Apostles Creed talks about three persons. While the elements of the Trinity are in Scripture, with references to the Holy Spirit as roaming to and fro over all the earth (2 Chr. 16:9), the Trinity is an oversimplification of our unfathomable, awesome God.
The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter in Jn. 14:15, but the LORD* says I AM your Comforter in Isa. 51:12. The Spirit of God is within us, Jn. 17:23. The LORD* Goes Before us and is our Rear Guard, all at the same time.
God is complex with some attributes man has credited to Y’shua that are God Himself. Look at these shared names: God Incarnate, Y’shua, and the LORD* are known as Savior, Deliverer, Husband, Bridegroom, I AM, Help, Y’shua, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Redeemer, With you, and Messiah. Y’shua said in Jn. 14:9 ..The one who has seen Me has seen the Father..
The last named is the most significant, when the LORD* touches down on the Mount of Olives in Zech. 14:3,4, to begin His reign as King over all the earth. It is the LORD* Who touches down. The LORD* and Y’shua are One and the same!
Truly, The LORD* is our God! The LORD* is One!
Good News, the Gospel message, translates the Hebrew word M’vaser, also translated Good Tidings. The M prefix makes this something planned by God, a blessing for all mankind. That noun comes from the root, bet-sin-resh, meaning to bear tidings. The noun, bet-sin-resh, means flesh, hinting at the relationship to Good News. M’vaser is in Isa. 52:7. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him Who brings Good News, Who is proclaiming peace, Who brings Good News of good, Who proclaims deliverance/salvation: Who says to Zion, Your God reigns! Isa. 61.1. The Spirit of Adonai, the LORD* is upon me, because the LORD* has anointed me to preach Good News to the humble. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and opening of eyes for those who are bound, Nah. 2.1. Behold, upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings Good News, who declares Shalom! O Judah, keep your solemn feasts! Perform your vows! For the wicked one will no longer pass through you. He is utterly cut off.
The really Good News is Jn. 1:14. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we saw His glory, glory in the same manner as the only child of the Father, full of grace and truth. The Living Word came to us to teach us and to show us how we are to live by every Word from the mouth of God, bringing us eternal life. 1 Pe. 1:18. Because Messiah also once suffered concerning sin, the righteous One on behalf of the unjust, so that He could bring you to God when He did indeed die in the flesh, but then was made alive by the Spirit.. Y’shua is alive today, having entered that state that all of us will enter at the appropriate time.
Another relationship to Good News is from three points: first in Gen. 1:27 God made mankind and in verse 31 said it was very good; second in Gen. 2:23 Adam said Eve was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh; and third in Gen. 2:24 Adam and Eve became one flesh. That is Good News for all mankind, establishing the foundation for Godly marriage, the most important element for Godly living.
Gossip/Slander. We will be judged by every idle word, as Y’shua spoke in
Matt. 12:36. and I say to you that every idle word which men will speak will be paid back with regard to his account on Judgment Day: 37. for you will be justified because of your words, and you will be condemned because of your words.
(Ps. 51:4, Pro. 6:2)
Jcb. 3:6. The tongue is also a fire: the world of unrighteousness, the tongue, is sitting for itself among the parts of our body, defiling the whole body and destroying the wheel of life and being set on fire by Gehenna. 7. For every species of beasts, and also of birds, and of reptiles, and even of sea creatures, is tamed and has been tamed by humans, 8. but no one is able to tame the tongue of men, unstable, evil, full of deadly poison. 9. With this we bless the Lord and Father and with this we curse men,..
Paul wrote similar admonitions in Rom. 1:29,30, 2 Cor. 12:20, Col. 3:8, and 2 Tim. 3:1-5. The Jewish teachers had known since the earliest times that the tongue was a great problem for most people. They say slander is the equivalent of murder, that what is called character assassination is exactly that – assassination, murder.
Someone who listens to gossip or slander is an accomplice to the crime, actually encouraging the speaker. Therefore the one who listens is equally guilty of the sin. The proper response when someone begins to gossip or say inappropriate things is to excuse yourself, saying that you do not want to hear that. Try to inform the speaker that such talk is improper. Do not repeat what little you heard and do not tell that you left because of gossip or slander.
One source of the knowledge that gossip and slander are wrong is Leviticus 14, which in English is only about cleansing a leper, but in Hebrew has an obvious, strong spiritual meaning. This is because the Hebrew word for leper, M’tsora is pronounced the same as two words, M’tso ra. The two words mean “finding evil” so from the earliest days the Jewish people knew the reference to gossip and slander. In fact the whole portion in Leviticus 14 on cleansing the leper relates to gossip and slander. The offering of the two birds (v. 4) represents the twittering and chirping of the gossiper and slanderer. One of the birds is killed, then not offered on the altar, but it is buried, as gossip and slander should be buried. The second bird is set free, representing the repentant sinner, forgiven by God, given another chance, then released to go and sin no more.
The crimson thread and hyssop brought with the birds (v. 4) are also significant. The red dye for the thread is made from an insect and represents the penitent’s newfound humility. Hyssop is a low bush, also symbolizing humility.
The root causes of this sin are jealousy and pride, because it breeds the contempt for others that lets them talk about others callously. The hair of the head, beard, and eyebrows are shaved (v. 9) because these are symbols of pride. The beard also frames the mouth that spoke the gossip and slander. The eyebrows represent the base trait of jealousy, as someone looking with envy.
Joseph had a problem with this, based on Gen. 37:2, which says These are the descemdants of Jacob. Joseph, seventeen years old, was tending the flock with his brothers and he was a lad with the sons of Bilhah and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives. Joseph brought to his father very evil reports about them. One word is translated evil reports, with a second word meaning evil as a modifying adjective. The repetition of evil makes that the superlative, very, in Hebrew. Bringing slanderous reports showed the wrong motive, when his goal apparently was to curry favor with Jacob, not to change the brothers’ behavior. Joseph’s sin of slander opened the door to the lies of Potiphar’s wife.
Our tongues do sin and we too should remember to walk in repentance every day of the year, guarding every word, because no one is able to tame the tongue of men.. (Jcb. 3:8)
Greek New Testament Texts. The Gospel message of God’s love and redemption comes clearly through every one of the thousands of hand-copied Greek manuscripts that we now have available. There are variations because these were hand-copied, but they do not contradict one another because most were changes well-meaning copiers inserted to enhance the basic message. Of course, there were also some mistakes in hand-copying. The ideal is to use the most authoritative and authenticated Greek text, translated to express more precisely what the words meant to the authors of the New Testament.
To achieve this goal necessitates not only scholarship, but accuracy in bringing out the full intent of the written word so that its meaning will equip and inspire a new generation of believers. As we come closer to the original, as in this translation, a dramatic unfolding of the Word of God occurs, and one can sense a new immediacy of God’s Word as it impacts us today.
The nearer to the original first century writings, the more anointing a Scripture will have. Of today’s available Greek texts, the United Bible Society (UBS) text stands out as the closest to first century writings. This is the text used for the New Testament of The One New Man Bible. Understanding the differences in the various texts is very important for Christians. We are speaking of at most a few hundred words that are in dispute, out of about 200,000 words in the entire New Testament.
REASONS FOR DIFFERENCES:
- The earliest first century copiers did not know they were copying Scripture, just Good News to send to a friend. Koine Greek, or common Greek, had variations according to the different regions, thus the copier might change a word for a particular area.
- In hand copying, mistakes were made. The first copies were simply Good News being sent to a friend. Few of us get upset if a letter from a friend contains mis-spellings or grammatical errors.
- In the early centuries efforts were made to harmonize the Gospels, adding the longer ending to Mark 16, from Matthew 28.
- From the fourth century on, some phrases were added to reinforce Roman Catholic ideology, such as the phrase, still in many Bibles, on immersion in Matt. 28:19, which Constantine inserted at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD.
- The longest addition is the passage on the woman caught in adultery
Jn. 7:53 – 8:11. None of the oldest manuscripts has this passage and these early writings include texts from Israel, Egypt, Syria, Armenia, Italy, and others. See Adultery elsewhere in Glossary.
- Monks when copying would have someone seated at a head table, facing a group of copiers, also seated at tables. The one at the head table would dictate the text. Sometimes he saw a notation in a margin that made a passage stronger or clearer, so he would dictate this, inserting it at the appropriate place.
- Copiers did not catalog and retain older copies. When a manuscript became unreadable or unusable, it was either scraped or erased with an acid solution and re-used, or it was destroyed. A re-used manuscript is called a Palimpsest. At least ninety-seven Palimpsest manuscripts exist from the second to eighth centuries. About thirty-six are from the second or third centuries.
BACKGROUND OF GREEK TEXTS
The New Testament is the most copied of all ancient Greek literature, with well over 5000 Koine Greek texts of the New Testament. With the invention of the printing press about 1450 a standardized Greek text became possible. The Erasmus Text was the first New Testament Greek text to be published, in 1516. Although Erasmus was the greatest scholar of the 16th century, he did not attempt a scholarly study of ancient texts for his 1516 printing. He used only six manuscripts, five Byzantine and one 12th century non-Byzantine, completing his task in just seven months so he would be the first to publish. Meanwhile, an official Roman Catholic printing with a more comprehensive text was delayed, awaiting Vatican approval. So Froben, a Swiss printer, paid Erasmus to come up with the text which made Froben the first to publish a Greek New Testament.
The Greek of the New Testament is called Koine, meaning common, to differentiate that from classic Greek. Koine was the common language of the ancient Mediterranean/Middle Eastern world. Koine Greek scholars have organized the manuscripts into four groups, or families with similar variations. Copying 200,000 words for 1500 years, one can see potential for minor differences. One misspelled word may be repeated in each successive document. All ancient manuscripts have been traced to four basic families of texts:
Byzantine: Roman Church, largest geographically, most numerous, taken throughout Europe from Asia Minor by the Roman Church.
Western: Smallest Family. Developed during the second century when some scribes made minor changes, to harmonize different passages or to make smoother reading.
Caesarean: Used by Origen when staying in Caesarea. He added a good portion to Mark.
Alexandrian: Oldest complete text, found by Count Constantin von Tischendorf. In May, 1844, he saw what he knew had to be a truly ancient text in a basket to be used as kindling in St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt. These manuscripts turned out to be the oldest complete manuscript of the New Testament. Known as the Alef, or Codex Sinaiticus, it is considered the most reliable text by Koine Greek scholars.
Today, we have three Greek texts considered as ‘authentic.’
United Bible Society Text (UBS)
The Textus Receptus is a name applied to the King James Version (KJV). The name Textus Receptus was first used by the Elzevir brothers for their second edition of the Greek New Testament in 1633. Commercial printers in Holland, they published seven editions of the New Testament, the first in 1624. Their second edition, not a critical, scholarly work, became standard throughout Europe. Some scholars believe the Textus Receptus to be the text used for the KJV, but since the KJV was published 22 years earlier in 1611, this text could not have been used, although it was from the same family of texts.
The Majority Text is more recent. In the latter half of the 20th century, editors of the KJV modified the Textus Receptus to bring it in line with the Byzantine manuscripts. Since those texts form the majority of New Testament manuscripts, two Dallas Theological Seminary professors coined the phrase ‘Majority Text.’ Some later manuscripts are faithful to ancient manuscripts, but most are not.
None of the manuscripts of the Majority Text was copied earlier than the 10th century. In contrast, there are hundreds of truly ancient manuscripts, many quite reliable. It is important to understand that the oldest manuscripts now available to scholars were not known in the 17th century when the KJV was translated. But for more than 100 years, scholars have had more than 30 manuscripts from the second and third centuries. All of the oldest manuscripts, however, were ignored by those coining the phrase: The Majority Text! Therefore, the Majority Text is not a critical text. It is one that simply takes a vote, in essence, saying, “Because more manuscripts say this, it must be right!”
The United Bible Society Text (UBS) The United Bible Society is a group of scholars, knowledgeable in the Koine or common Greek language in which the New Testament was written. Their life work is the study of these ancient texts. Their sole purpose is to determine which text is most likely what the first century author wrote. What texts then are available?
1st century: No manuscripts
2nd century: A few manuscripts
3rd century on: Increasing number from each new century. There are also lectionaries, or weekly readings of Scripture from early churches in the Middle East and Mediterranean countries. Some New Testament books could be entirely or almost entirely reconstructed using these lectionaries.
The UBS uses methods similar to those used by scholars of classic Greek, who have standardized Greek classical literature. Scholars of classic Greek have far fewer manuscripts with which to work. Their (UBS) work is called ‘Textual Criticism’ and the result is a ‘Critical Text.’ The fourth edition of the UBS Greek text is essentially the Nestle-Aland text of the early 20th century, and is as close as modern scholarship can come to the first century Christian authors.
Most translations of the New Testament are very ‘western’ in their thinking and fail to capture the power and authority that is in the Greek text. An example is the Lord’s Prayer. (Matt. 6:9) Therefore you must be praying in this way: ‘Our Father, Who is in the heavens; Your name must at once be made holy: Your kingdom must now come: Your will must be done right now, as in heaven also on Earth.’
This is the literal translation and emphasizes not only the power, but that the responsibility is ours. How is God’s name made Holy on earth? It is by the righteous behavior of those who worship Him. It is not something we are asking God to do – we are praying that we must become more like Him! If we are not making His name Holy, then we are profaning it! See Lord’s Prayer elsewhere in this Glossary.
God’s healing power is continually emphasized throughout the Scriptures, and while Mark 16 is used in many teachings on healing, the New Testament in this Bible is The Power New Testament, which continues to powerfully validate and convey the absolute integrity of God’s Word on healing and deliverance in many other verses.
Y’shua ordered His disciples to minister healing and deliverance. His order still stands and each born again believer is His disciple, to be equipped to minister healing and deliverance.
We see many healed and delivered by the awesome and unchangeable power of God as we continue to teach God’s Word in America and around the world.
We encourage believers to read the Word, actually ‘eat’ the Word of God for growth and maturity. Not only is every word and promise validated by our ancient texts, but the integrity of all of God’s commands, instructions and teachings of the first five books of the Bible, the Hebrew Torah, are inclusive in this translation that brings out the rich Hebrew idioms and our Jewish roots, giving a wonderful fullness of God’s Word. This is the power of the Gospel, the power that is clearly seen in this fresh translation.
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the plan of God for salvation for everyone who believes, Jewish first and then Greek. For the righteousness of God is revealed in this, coming out of faith for greater faith, just as it has been written, And the righteous will live by faith. (Rom.1:16,17)
According to the grace of God, since it was given to me as a skilled master-builder, I placed a foundation, but another is building. And each must continually see how he is building. For no one is able to place another foundation other than the One being laid, Who is Y’shua Messiah. (I Cor. 3:10,11)
 The Word says the LORD* is Savior in: 2 Sam. 22:3, Isa. 43:11; 45:15; 49:26; 63:8, Jer. 14:8, in addition to the quote here from Hosea.