It is generating a bit of steam!
From the Masoretic text of the OT, and the Aramaic Peshitta Text of the NT:
It is generating a bit of steam!
From the Masoretic text of the OT, and the Aramaic Peshitta Text of the NT:
It is FINALLY here!
I HOPE you get your copy, and are blessed and increased by reading His Word from these sources, and from a better, Messianic Jewish perspective, glorifying His Name and not hiding/blotting it out.
Click the link “HaDavar D’var יהוה ” below…. amazon has it, they just haven’t posted the cover image yet. If you struggle with the link, you can go to Amazon and search on “HaDavar Perek” and you’ll find it.
Read about it below if you’re not familiar yet with our project:
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails well fastened are those that are composed in collections; they are given from One Shepherd. And furthermore, my son, be admonished: of the making of many books there is no end…”
When one encounters a new translation of the sacred writings, one is perhaps hesitant, and that is understood. But, the words of G-d are indeed ‘nails well fastened,’ and are powerful beyond language. Nevertheless, a new translation begs the question, what would compel a soul to attempt another rendering of these same words in a language which has offered so many translations already? Is it fanciful desire? Or necessity? For us, who undertook this monumental task with great hesitance and trepidation, it was necessity. We realize what we see as necessity may not be so looked upon by others, but we had a specific goal in mind, and we hope every reader can find value in our bringing that goal to fruition out of our necessity.
What authority or qualifications do we have in order to presume to do this work and offer it to the wider believing community? We do not claim any superior authority over anyone else, nor intellectual authority over His Word, that precludes anyone else having interpretive authority over His Word. Further, we do NOT presume to have authority over The Creator and His Son, who are the arbiters of our destiny. But, we do know this “One Shepherd” who is the composer of these words in Hebrew and Aramaic, collected herein in English, and are as capable through Him of understanding them as any other who has studied those languages. Our great desire is to restore the context of those words from the original texts: historical, religious, and cultural context, as well as scriptural and linguistic.
While many people helped to bring this final version to print, this was primarily the effort of one person, a BA in Biblical Studies and an MA in History, whose study of the Hebrew language began some twenty-one years ago, after having become a Messianic believer by studying the Greek and Greek-sourced “New Testament” texts. After becoming a fluent reader of the Hebrew scriptures, and learning of the Aramaic Peshitta texts, he began to study the Aramaic Peshitta Brit Khadashah in Hebrew and Aramaic. He is now convinced by those words, and also other, external proofs, that they preceded the Greek translations, and are the source texts of those Greek translations. We realize not many scholars agree with this conclusion, but some very qualified persons do, and so we are in good company. But, the greater desire was to have a completely Semitic source of scriptures rendered into English, with the ancient Hebrew and Peshitta texts in Hebrew on facing pages, to give The Word a single flavor: a Jewish flavor. We still await the completion of a Hebrew/English version. But, there are many reasons for the desire of a more Jewish, English rendering of the sacred Hebrew texts, even though some already exist. Those reasons are further elucidated herein.
This is not the making of another book entirely. This is the making of a single volume that contains the Tanakh and Brit Khadashah writings of the ancient Jews who trusted in יהוה for Salvation. This work is meant to offer the Jewish scriptures which most call the “Old Testament”, in their original language, sourced from the Masoretic Texts, with an improved English rendering of those texts. The necessity of another English rendering is predicated upon seeing His Name, יהוה , in the English side of the book, and of seeing the Hebrew nature of the ancient concepts that are communicated in Hebrew to a modern world. It is thereby meant to bring the reader of the English closer to the Creator, if only from another, slightly different perspective. We are confident that the English Tanakh herein does exactly that, with integrity, and with beauty.
This work is also meant to offer a Brit Khadashah portion of the printed writ, “HaDavar,” [The Word] in the Hebrew language, sourced from the Aramaic Peshitta texts, and an English rendering on the facing pages. We still await the Hebrew version. But, this English version shows the reader that His Name, יהוה , was used by Yeshua and by His Talmidim, including Sha’ul, to declare the Good News of Messiah to the world. This Brit Khadashah text in English does that, and also serves to offer readers the Jewish flavor of HaDavar, maintaining the integrity of the original texts. It also shows just how Jewish the believers in the Brit Khadashah were, and remained for the rest of their lives. This volume, therefore, will be unique, giving the reader a different perspective on the use of the Name, completely Semitic text sources for both sides of the Bible, and Hebrew transliterations of important biblical words and concepts.
This translation contains translations of the Masoretic Texts of the Tanakh, and an English rendering of the Aramaic Peshitta Brit Khadashah. The English Tanakh herein is new and original, but relies heavily on the Jewish Publication Society 1917 Tanakh. Similarly, the Brit Khadashah herein is new and original, but relies heavily on Lamsa’s 1933 New Testament. Other sources were consulted for controversial/disputed passages, such as the “Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon”, the “Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible” by Jeff Benner, “The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon”, by Benjamin Davidson, and “Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud Bavli, Talmud Yerushalmi and Midrashic Literature” by Marcus Jastrow.
We realize there are similar works out there, but none that we found using the Peshitta as a base text for the Brit Khadashah and the Masoretic Hebrew texts as the base for the Tanakh, that also satisfies our other desires, in a single volume.
There is not one volume offered by anyone we found that offers both the English and the Hebrew of these source texts in a single volume. And that was our primary motivation for setting about to do this work. We have yet to complete the Hebrew translation of the Brit Khadashah, but chose to publish the English ahead of time, by request.
Our secondary and tertiary motivations have already been stated: those of giving The Name יהוה a preeminent place in the English versions, of making the English language more Jewish in tone, and of clearing up confusing and/or contradictory renderings of certain phrases seen in the more traditional versions of scripture. We will cite just a few of those to begin to make our point herein.
There are many places where other Jewish translations of the Hebrew Tanakh into English are obviously not drawing on the Hebrew language alone, but possibly on doctrine, and they seem to betray a motivation to hide the Messiah Yeshua from our Jewish people. One of these places, and perhaps one of the more important, is in the book of Zekhar-Yah [Zechariah] 12:10 “…and they shall look unto Me [ where it is clear that יהוה is speaking ] whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.” The traditional, Jewish renderings of this verse, which read in this wise: “and they shall look unto Me because they have thrust him through”, change the meaning altogether, seemingly in an attempt to hide Messiah from the Jewish reader. The Christian community has also done likewise with certain verses, seeming to promote doctrine rather than translate the text faithfully. One example is from the book of Ma’asei HaShlikhim [Acts] 20:7, “And at the beginning of the week, when we assembled to break bread…” Most offer a different reading of this verse, inserting a word, seemingly to support a doctrine. Similarly, though probably not deliberate, the use of antiquated English words can leave room for misinterpretation. The best example of this, perhaps, is the use of the word “tongues” in the Brit Khadashah, where the context clearly shows us this word is referencing known, earthly languages. Others have used the literal but vague nature of this rendering to create doctrine.
There are several examples in both sides of the book [OT and NT] where these types of renderings give us pause. Again, this was NOT our primary motivation, and we are not trying to say that all other versions are bad, but only that in certain places the translators seemed to have been influenced by something other than the language and culture of the scriptures. Having these passages cleared up and made more plain seemed a useful pursuit. Returning the English to a closer, more faithful “Hebrew” flavor gives the reader a better sense of the Jewish nature of these texts, and an understanding of the plain meaning of the text itself, leaving the establishment of doctrine to the reader[s], as much as possible.
The last motivation, but a good one, was that giving the Hebrew tone of the names of Biblical characters, places, and consecrated items not only gives the reader a better sense of the culture of the book, and compels the reader to learn more vocabulary, but also allows a Hebrew student to learn the language more quickly. Having the Hebrew on hand with this volume makes learning the language more meaningful, by having so large a vocabulary accessible in the texts, and a glossary to help learn those words.
This eight years of diligence, dedication, hard work, and sacrifice has truly been a labor of love. We truly hope that everyone who invests their time and means into this work is blessed for doing so, as we know and trust that His Word is the most important earthly evidence of our Creator, apart from His People, and the creation itself.
“Yes, He loves the peoples, all His K’doshim, they are in Your hand; and they sit down at Your feet, receiving of Your words.” ~D’varim 33:3
Boy, do I wish that were a prophecy about Yeshua; and it is, but that is not the purpose of the declaration, in this context…
This is the requested update concerning the timing of the publication of “HaDavar יהוה “, the new edition of the sacred Jewish Scriptures of the Tanakh and Brit Khadashah.
The English file is complete, and ready for publication. The Hebrew file is complete, but as we are hoping to use the best edition of the Hebrew Brit Khadashah [and the only one we are aware of sourced from the Aramaic Peshitta texts], which is still under copyright, we are asking permission from the copyright owner to allow us to put it side by side with our English text in this new publication. We have been in touch with the copyright holder, and our request is under review as I write this update. We can only pray that he respects what we have done in the English, and that he is given to helping us get His Davar out into more hands and hearts.
If for any reason we are not permitted to use this version, we are going to go ahead and publish an ENGLISH ONLY edition, while I then begin to translate the Aramaic Peshitta directly myself. At that point, the full English/Hebrew edition would be released. I do not know how long that will take, or whether I will further delay my other writing pursuits to do it. I am praying about that.
Many of you know that I have another novel in the works, and I have delayed that for this project. Should Abba not sway our friend in Yisra’el to allow us to go forward with the English/Hebrew version, then I have to wrestle with whether or not to delay my own pursuits further. That is a real struggle for me, as I have many reasons for wanting to finish that other work too.
We have asked for his review to be complete by 03/19. Whether he will be able to oblige us is unknown at this point. But, should he delay further, and simply ask for more time to review our material and request, we’d be happy to oblige.
I am beginning to be of the mind to just go ahead and publish the ENGLISH ONLY version while we await his decision. But I still pray earnestly about that.
It would cost MANY THOUSANDS of dollars to publish it ourselves. On-demand presses cannot handle the size of the two-language version. If anyone is aware of a publisher who might be interested in fronting the cost for this work, please send them my information! I’ve thought of contacting “Messianic” publishers, but their dogma would stand in the way of this work, I’m afraid. Other major Bible publishers do not have my respect. As usual, we walk a very narrow road, up hill.
If a decision is made to self-publish the English version, I will notify everyone as soon as possible of that.
Please continue to pray that Abba keeps His hand in this project, and it goes exactly as HE planned, large or small, as it has every step of the way up to this point. I truly believe He has afforded me the opportunity to make this a very worthy rendering of His Word into English.
That sounds like a good idea! But today, many who are sanctimonious think eating meat is bad, and say that anyone who does it is ‘weak’, or worse, ‘inhumane.’
To the first accusation: it is actually the vegetarian/vegan that scriptures call ‘weak.’
Would Yeshua use the epithet above, “Kill the fatted calf,” in order to express one of the greatest testaments to faith, if eating meat was a weakness? Was the Father ‘weak’ to celebrate his son’s homecoming by slaughtering a bull, to eat with his guests? Are we so arrogant to presume this was not the culture of the day, when every parable Yeshua told related to that culture?
“Assist him who is weak in HaEmunah. And do not waver in your reasoning. For one believes that he may eat all things; another who is weak eats [only] vegetables.”
This portion of scripture was written to former pagans. Most people today do not realize that vegetarianism is a byproduct of paganism. Many early gentile believers were former pagans, who had certain days they would only eat certain foods. They worshipped the creation rather than the creator, who made animals FOR FOOD. This is NOT an issue of salvation, NOR is it an issue of tzedaka, because we are NOT made righteous or unrighteous by what we eat. However, to raise the status of the animal to that of human, OR to lower the status of human to that of animal, is an affront to the creator. Much of vegan/vegetarian thinking does exactly that.
It is ELOHIM that created the animal to die as innocent for the sake of mankind. That is NOT a weakness of man, that is an act of G-d. Mankind was indeed vegetarian in the garden, and for 1,100 years thereafter, until the flood. G-d HIMSELF killed an animal on day ten of human history, in order to atone for man’s new nakedness, his fallen estate. An innocent creature died for the sake of man.
G-d Himself is the one who told No’akh to eat meat, after the flood, putting enmity between man and beast FOR THAT VERY PURPOSE. We certainly would not call Avraham or the Malakh יהוה weak, even though we see the father of FAITH, who even in the weakest estate of his old body TRUSTED, eating meat together with the Malakh יהוה . And this was BEFORE the written Torah and the covenant between G-d and Yisra’el through Moshe. EACH TIME Elohim made the covenant promises to Avraham, animals were slain and eaten by Avraham. When Avraham offered Yitz’khak on the altar, but Elohim provided a RAM to take his place, the animal died for the sake of the man. This is a GODLY principle. This is not a show of weakness.
When the Kohanim were set apart to serve Yisra’el, the whole nation of Yisra’el was to set apart one third of ALL THE CATTLE IN YISRA’EL, so that the Levi’im could EAT. The tithe was FOOD for the Levites. Further, EVERY SINGLE TIME any ONE Jew brought an offering to the temple that was a calf, a goat, or a bull, or a ram, the animal’s best part was given to Elohim, and the REST of it given to the Kohen who performed the rite, AND TO HIS FAMILY, who was with him in the Temple! It was their DAILY FOOD. They had to eat, and the DIVINE MENU was meat, along with grains, wine, and other produce. That is not a sign of weakness, and neither is it inhumane. It is the provision of the Almighty, under HIS DIRECTION.
To say that it is inhumane to kill an animal and eat it is so akin to worshipping the creation that it is disconcerting to hear believers support the notion. To accuse believers who eat meat of being inhumane is a violation of the principles of scripture, most notably of Romim 14, where this very issue is settled, and where the vegetarian is called the weak one. And, meat eaters are instructed there to STAY FIRM IN THEIR REASONING. Even during the Millennium, while the Strong One, Messiah Yeshua, is ruling in Yerushalayim, we will be bringing BULLS up to the Kadosh City in order to offer them up, AND EAT THEM. The killing of and eating of meat is NOT isolated to Pesakh, but was and will be a DAILY RITE in the Temple, including throughout the Millennium.
Elohim Himself consumed animal sacrifices, in fire. Does that make the Creator inhumane? Does that make Him weak?
We are instructed to eat meat in the Torah: Gen 9 tells No’akh that every living thing that moves on the earth is now food for mankind. But, at the same time, He tells us that there was already a classification of clean meat and unclean meat. If Elohim did NOT want us eating meat at all, would HE not have classified it all as NOT FOOD? He classified clean meat as FOOD, and tells us, IT WILL BE FOOD FOR YOU in VaYikra 11, and in D’varim 14. Does a command from Elohim necessarily mean that He is feeding a weakness of man? Again, mankind was weak BEFORE THE FLOOD, and He did not command us to eat meat until after.
It is not bad logic, but strong reasoning, to infer that man NEEDED meat after the flood. When we consider that before the flood there was no rain, and that the flood was caused by the water that was between the firmaments falling to earth, we can see that that water probably served as a radiation barrier, protecting mankind from the harmful rays of the sun, and thus causing mankind to live up to 1100 years+. After the flood, the lifespan of man quickly diminishes, and scriptures now say that a man is considered blessed just to live 80 years. Rarely does one make it to 100+ any more. This is certainly more sound reasoning than the notion that anyone who eats meat is weak in faith, especially since scripture plainly states that it is the vegetarians who are weak.
It is absurd to think that now, after 6,000 years, it is suddenly wrong to eat meat. The Nation of Yisra’el is shown throughout history to be consumers of LOTS of meat, not only religiously, but in their daily lives. It is the spirit of paganism consuming believers and dividing the Body of Messiah over the pettiest of doctrines, where vegans/vegetarians start hurling accusations of unrighteousness at meat eaters. I have always said, choose not to eat meat for your own reasons. But, do not try to foist the reason for it on other believers, especially since SO MANY ANIMALS died for the sake of mankind in scripture, as a DIVINE PRINCIPLE. And also, since Sha’ul addressed this very issue clearly in scripture, telling both groups NOT to judge the other. The difference today is that now, it is NOT FORMER pagans who are vegetarians, struggling with the notion of eating meat, but it is believers who grew up confidently eating meat, who now adopt the pagan idea that this is inhumane. They seem to be turning, if ever so slightly, to worshipping the creation rather than the Creator, who gave us meat, FOR FOOD.
וְאֶת זָכָר לֹא תִשְׁכַּב, מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה: תּוֹעֵבָה, הוא
Above is the verse that relates to one of the most difficult and controversial topics about which people opine very near daily in every forum. I have refrained from doing so, so as not to lend to the cacophony, but have been compelled, seemingly from within and/or above, to raise my voice in an attempt to lend some clarity about this subject, or at least to apply some balm, if that’s possible.
Many are very emotional about this issue. And part of the reason for that is because of its prominence in social discussion; but, also, part of the reason for such emotion is because of one’s personal exposure to the issue, one’s perspective, and also due to the very polar positions people take on this politically, especially if a loved one has embraced the behavior.
The verse above reads:
“And unto a man you shall not bed, as one beds a wife. It is a repulsive thing.”
This verse is in VaYikra [Leviticus] 18:22, and is listed among a whole host of other things that are repulsive to יהוה. [His ‘NAME’, the name of the Creator of the Universe to whom all men will one day give an account of their lives.]
But, for some reason, this one verse is the ‘topic du jour,’ and the other repulsive things slip into oblivion.
The word there for ‘repulsive thing’ is “toh’evah,” which means disgusting, or abhorrent. It is usually translated as ‘abomination,’ but there are so many societal overtones and stereotypes to that word, I chose not to use it here, but bring it up to point out that society has created a perverted concept around this whole issue.
Christian society believes that this is the ONLY thing ‘abominable’ to יהוה . It is not. There are many things abominable, or repulsive to Him, not the least of which is violating His Sabbath and perverting His feasts with pagan idolatry. So, to avoid the hypocrisy of religion and the stigma around this word, we will use a different word for toh’evah: repulsive.
Toh’evah is a word that describes an ‘act,’ a behavior that Elohim [G-d] abhors. But, once again, there are many other ‘acts’ or ‘behaviors’ that He abhors passionately, like when we eat shrimp, bacon, and catfish [which we do not do any longer, having repented [turned from it], for that reason, so don’t assume and call us hypocrites!].
Idolatry mixed with the worship of Elohim is abhorred by יהוה . So, when evangelicals beat the ‘abomination’ drum, they do indeed come off as hypocrites, and so the argument just stays in the spin cycle. “First, take the LOG out of your own eye; then you will see clearly enough to take the spec out of your brother’s eye.” ~ Yeshua the Messiah
VaYikra 18 is full of OTHER sexual sins that, again, get NO attention from the political ‘right’ or evangelicals. Plain ole adultery is also ‘toh’evah,’ or repulsive; EVERYTHING in that chapter is called ‘toh’evah.’ [see verse 29!]
I said all of that to say this: I in no way have any ill will against those who call themselves ‘homosexual/gay,’ nor do I think they, as a group, are ‘bad people,’ any worse than anyone else. Neither are they in any greater danger of going to hell than anyone else.
Now, to the question, ‘is this a sin?’:
The Father says yes.
Sin is when we break His Torah. It is the Brit Khadasha [Renewed Covenant scriptures] that defines this very plainly: “He who sins breaks the Torah [law]; because sin IS transgression of the Torah.” [Yokhanan Alef 3:4 (1st John)] VaYikra is the book of being ‘set apart,’ or made ‘holy,’ and is a big and important part of the Torah, defining many of the behaviors that He says are good, and those that He says are harmful. This one is indeed harmful. We will discuss how later. But, for Christians to quote this one verse out of this book on the one hand, and on the other say ‘we do not have to follow the ‘law’ because it is a burden, their hypocrisy is laid bare, so their argument is ineffective.
So, why does this one error get SO MUCH attention above all the other harmful behaviors listed in Torah but that are very nearly ignored? Well, there are likely many reasons for that, but the first one I will address here is this: because some people only read ONE side of the Bible, reading it without the pretext of the Torah. Many do so innocently, because they are taught that way. Our hope is that someone reading this will see that error and stop doing that, no matter what side of this argument they choose.
But, theologians fall into two categories, usually, about this topic. Some of them wittingly ignore the ‘old testament’ texts so as to perpetuate an erroneous system of MAN’S DOCTRINE. This group deliberately points at this ONE error, and screams and hollers about it, so as to draw attention away from the other errors in the ‘church.’ Truly, homosexuality is the modern scapegoat for many. The other group, however, is completely and wittingly dismissive about this one verse, and about the verses in the Brit Khadasha that do say something about this particular error, quite at length.
Since we have said that this is ‘sin,’ or error, let’s further define what that is, beyond just ‘breaking Torah.’ Torah and Khata [law and sin] are two archery terms in the Hebrew language. ‘Torah’ is more accurately ‘translated’ as ‘instruction,’ and NOT ‘law.’ Instruction is ‘directional,’ in the sense that it is the arrow pointing at the bull’s-eye in the target; and khata is the arrow in flight that has ultimately missed the target.
Messiah Yeshua gave us the ‘goal’ of PERFECTION, His perfection. He never sinned; He never broke the Torah. He tells us to be like Him. He [Messiah] is the ‘goal’ at which the Torah aims. [Rom 10:4, check the greek!] And He gives us an opportunity to be conformed, as closely as possible, into that perfection while we are on this earth. There are many who do not strive at all to reach that goal after they come to believe. And there are many who strive, as if fighting inside an open fishing net, because they don’t ‘see’ that the Messiah’s Perfection is HIS TORAH. He embodied Torah: “The Word [Torah] became a BODY [flesh] and lived among us.” He kept it perfectly, and told us to strive to do so as well. [Matt 5:19, John 14:15] Breaking this ‘controversial’ command is just ONE way of not reaching toward the perfection of Messiah.
So, having established that this is error, ie sin, and having established that it is NOT the only sin, and that we do not patently condemn all who commit this sin, let’s now look at what the Brit Khadashah says about this type of ‘missing the target.’
Chronologically, the first place in the Brit Khadashah where this error is mentioned is in Romim 1:19-2:1 [Romans].
“Because that which may be known of Elohim is manifested to them, for Elohim has revealed it to them. For, from the very creation of the world, the invisible things of Elohim have been clearly seen and understood by His creations, even His eternal power and divinity; so that they are without excuse. For they knew Elohim, and did not glorify Him and give thanks to Him as Elohim, but became vain in their imaginations, and their hearts were darkened so that they could not understand. And while they thought within themselves that they were wise, they became fools, and they have changed the glory of the incorruptible Elohim for an image made in the likeness of corruptible man,
[Some of Christianity has violated that last line. They ‘think’ that because Yeshua is a man, that Elohim is just like man. Doctrine has made people think that “Jesus” is just like us, and overlooks our sins. That is a manmade ‘image’ of Elohim [G-d]. The ways of Elohim are far HIGHER than our ways, and He does NOT think like us. Many Christians pervert the words of “Jesus” and Shaul [Paul], and TWIST scripture to fit their ‘idea’ of “god.” That is IDOLATRY.]
Romans 1 goes on to say:
and in the likeness of birds, and of four-footed beasts, and of creeping things on the earth. That is why Elohim also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their own bodies among themselves; and they have changed the truth of Elohim for lies, and worshipped and served the created things more than their Creator, to whom belongs glory and blessings forever. Amein. Therefore Elohim gave them up to vile [repulsive] passions; for even their women have changed the use of their natures into that which is unnatural; and likewise also their men have left the natural use of the women and have run wild with lust toward one another, male with male committing shameful acts, and receiving in themselves the due recompense of their error. And as they did not consent in themselves to know Elohim, Elohim gave them over to a vain mind, to do the things which should not be done; being filled with all manner of iniquity, fornication, bitterness, malice, extortion, envy, murder, strife, deceit, and evil thoughts. They are slanderers, backbiters, haters of Elohim, revilers, proud boasters, inventors of evil things, without reason, disobedient to their parents; these have no respect for a covenant. They know neither love nor shalom, nor is there mercy in them. Knowing the judgment of Elohim, that those who commit such things He condemns to death, they not only do them, but also associate with those who practice them. Therefore you are without excuse, O man, to judge your neighbor; for in judging your neighbor, you condemn yourself; for even you who judge practice the same things yourself.”
The first issue in this passage is the mixture of worshipping created things with worshipping the Creator. That is the reason Elohim gave them over to the lusts of their hearts. That is the reason they changed their sexual practices. This is all of mankind. They were NOT CONTENT to know Elohim [G-d], but wanted to do things that should not be done, because of their idolatry.
Idolatry was the great sin; Elohim gave them over to their lusts because of that. This is not new. This has been going on since the beginning. But, there is not one human who escapes ALL the behaviors listed in this passage, who hasn’t at one time or another committed ANY of these repulsive acts. This is what the hypocrisy is among the religious who point the finger only at the ‘homosexual.’
One should not be alarmed that people outside the Body of Messiah would do these things. But, when people who claim to know the Messiah do several of these things, but point out only the one behavior of others, there is the great hypocrisy. That is why the ‘church’ makes very little headway in this debate. That is why so many who say they believe in the Messiah feel ‘okay’ embracing this one behavior, because so many who claim to believe in Messiah commit so many of the OTHER behaviors here listed!
The next place where this error is addressed in the Brit Khadashah is:
“Do you not know that the wicked shall not inherit the kingdom of Elohim? Be not misled, neither the sexual sinners, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the corrupt, nor men who lie with males, nor extortionists, nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor defrauders shall inherit the kingdom of Elohim. And some of these evils were to be found in some of you, but you have been cleansed, and have been sanctified, and made righteous in the name of Adoneinu Yeshua HaMashiakh and through HaRuakh of our Elohim.”
Korinti’im Alef [1 Cor] 6:9-11
Now, this is quite compelling, as again we see this one error listed with a host of other errors: [all] sexual sin, idolatry, adultery, corruption, extortion, theft, drunkenness, reviling, defrauding; yet very rarely does anyone get as up in arms about these things as they do about ‘homosexuality.’ Why does this particular ‘sin’ garner so much attention, when the others do not? In my personal life, as a consumer of news, I see these others FAR MORE than I see homosexuality! Our society glorifies most of these as acceptable, even laudable behaviors! And has for years. Yes, homosexuality gets a lot of ‘play time’ these days in television and movies, but what I’m talking about is the number of people ACTUALLY COMMITTING these errors. The truth is that less than 5% of people actually adopt a homosexual lifestyle, 10% at the most, whereas the corrupt, the adulterers, the fornicators, the drunks [and drug users], extortionists, etc, are many of today’s leaders! Why is the believing community not speaking against these things as vehemently as against this one error? Again, only if we address the others will we effectively deal with this one.
If one studies scripture, one finds that these other behaviors are all forms of IDOLATRY! They are all forms of turning from Elohim, and they lead to the one sin many are upset about. Society turns to this egregious behavior because of idolatry!
The next place where this particular error is mentioned is the last specific reference to the behavior that is only modestly detailed in the Torah in Leviticus 18. But, this passage teaches something about the Torah and those who follow it, as well:
“Now the fulfillment of the mitzvah is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of a true faith, from which some have gone astray and have turned aside to foolish words, desiring to be teachers of the Torah; not understanding what they speak, nor even whereof they argue. But we know that the Torah is good, if a man walks in it according to Torah, knowing this, that the Torah is not made for the righteous, but for the wicked and rebellious, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the profane and unclean, for those who abuse their fathers and ill-treat their mothers, for murderers, for whoremongers, for those who defile themselves with males, for kidnappers of well-born sons, for liars, for perjurers, and for whatever is contrary to sound doctrine; this is according to the glorious B’sorah of the blessed Elohim, which was entrusted to me. And I thank Adoneinu Yeshua HaMashiakh who has given me strength, and has counted me trustworthy and has appointed me to His ministry, who was before a blasphemer and a persecutor and a reviler; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. Now the grace of Adoneinu has become abundant in me, as well as my faith and love in Yeshua HaMashiakh. It is a trustworthy saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Yeshua HaMashiakh came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause He had mercy on me, that in me first Yeshua HaMashiakh may show forth all patience, for a pattern to those who should hereafter believe in Him to life everlasting.” 1 Tim 1:5-16
Shaul understands that EVERYONE is counted in the list of sinners given above, and included himself as a chief violator! The Torah is meant for us ALL, so that we can correct our behavior after Messiah cleanses us, so we do not again defile ourselves. Those who do not understand this and yet desire to be teachers of the Word are confused themselves [though they think not], and so they confuse others. They speak out both sides of their mouths! They have not seen that they themselves were [and many still are!] among those in need of the Torah! Sha’ul understood this! And he lists ALL the things that are repulsive to יהוה. And, again, the ‘homosexual’ error is counted among that same list of OTHER offenses, all of which are offensive to יהוה.
Interestingly, Sha’ul writes another letter to this same person, and warns him about the “Akharit HaYamim,” the last days, which many believe we are now in or encountering. He again makes a list of things not pleasing to Yah, but does NOT specifically mention this particular error:
“And men shall be lovers of themselves and lovers of money, proud, conceited, blasphemers, disobedient to their own people, ungrateful, wicked, false accusers, addicts to lust, brutal, haters of good things, traitors, hasty, boasters, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of Elohim; having a shade of the fear of Elohim, but far from the power of Elohim; from such turn away.” 2 Tim 3:1-3
It is easy to see that this, and all sexual sins listed in Leviticus 18, are included in the phrase, “addicts to lust.” But, so are a lot of other errors included in that one phrase: greed for money, alcoholism, addiction to facebook, etc…we give ourselves over to many things that take control of our minds more than they should!
Lest someone get bogged down in the semantics of the language, the greek in 1 Tim and 2 Tim, and in 1 Cor, all referenced herein and that is translated as ‘man who lies with man, ‘ is arsenokoites, and cannot be translated any other way; and it perfectly expresses a violation of the topic of this article, Leviticus 18:22. “Man shall not lie with man as with woman.’ ‘Arseno’ means ‘man’ and ‘koites’ means ‘bed’ as a verb meaning the sexual act: ‘man-bedder,’ a man who ‘beds’ a man. Further, Romans 1 spells out the behavior, instead of using the one word that the other three scriptures used to encapsulate the behavior so detailed in Romans 1. All of these passages were written by the same man, and we can conclude that he was speaking of the same behavior in each passage. Also, just because the female rendering is not given in those three later verses does not release females to the behavior, because Romans 1 also addresses that gender, very specifically and detailed. It is error on the part of both male and female to ‘bed’ a member of the same gender.
My point is this: yes, there is error in doing certain things, and having sex outside the biblical boundaries is indeed error: it is sin. But, it is NOT any worse a sin than any other listed as ‘repulsive’ to יהוה . Where people get really upset is in the phrase in 1 Corinthians, where Sha’ul twice states that anyone who does these things ‘shall not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim.’ The reason they get so upset is because they think this is a ticket of condemnation: the religious see it as justification for stating that someone is going to hell [but again, they excuse the adulterer, fornicator, drunkard, angry, etc etc.]. Then there are those who have a loved one who has given in to this behavior, and they worry they will not ‘see them in heaven,’ but that they will ‘go to hell.’ Neither of these conclusions is true! Talk to any homosexual, and you will find that this behavior is merely a ‘part’ of who they are, and that they are just like every other person on earth, and in many cases, better behaved and more kind than most who ‘hate’ homosexuals!
Inheriting the Kingdom of Elohim and ‘going to heaven’ are vastly misunderstood today: “some have gone astray and have turned aside to foolish words, desiring to be teachers of the Torah; not understanding what they speak, nor even whereof they argue. But we know that the Torah is good.”
Those who inherit the kingdom are those who not only trust in Yeshua the Messiah as their salvation, but also OBEY HIS TORAH. These are they who will assemble around His Throne and see the face of Elohim, The Father. These are those who turn from ALL these behaviors. They will rule over MANY who did trust in Yeshua for salvation, but did NOT choose to obey Him fully! Those who rule with Him do so because they understand that He will rule by HIS TORAH.
Those who are the ruled did not seek Him with a whole heart. They will not see Elohim and His Throne! But, they will not ‘go to hell,’ provided they repent in the great time of testing that is to come. They are those who, like Sha’ul, committed these sins unwittingly, not KNOWING that they themselves were sinning, because of the TEACHERS who told them they could keep on living a life outside of Torah and what is Righteous. They are the ones who ‘have the smell of smoke on their garments.’ They are ‘saved,’ but not much more than that. These are the ones over whom those who DO inherit the Kingdom will rule during the Millennium, the 1000-year reign of Messiah on earth.
Inheriting the Kingdom of Elohim is NOT the same thing as ‘salvation,’ or ‘going to heaven.’ Salvation is being rescued from eternal destruction. Inheriting the Kingdom means ruling with Messiah. Those who do not rule with Him are ruled BY Him, AND by those who rule WITH Him, with Torah as the body of ‘law’ governing His Kingdom. [See Isaiah 2:1-4, and other places that show us Torah is the mechanism of His rule].
The ones who ‘go to hell’ are those who KNOW that they should do right, but they choose NOT to; they DEFY Elohim, REJECT Yeshua, twist their philosophy/religion to make themselves arbiters over what is ‘right and wrong,’ saying ‘anything goes,’ deigning to say that G-d does not exist, or that they do not care if He does. They hear of His Son Yeshua and they REJECT Him. They are persecutors of His People. They are deceivers. These people are those who say ‘whatever MY heart tells me is right is right.’ They are the ‘iniquitous,’ the ‘wicked,’ the ‘evil’ people in this world. And, yes, this is MOST people. And some of them claim to be ‘Christian.’ The wicked have always far out-numbered the ‘righteous.’
The difficulty for many who have succumbed to homosexual behavior is that they ‘think’ that they must succumb to it, and they are now being told by society that they should. They have been told that they are born that way. Irresponsible ‘scientists’ are insisting there is a ‘gay gene,’ which is a lie, and their assertion is not backed by scientific method.
Many homosexuals have been labeled all their lives by many who think that their ‘tendency’ to behave like the other gender MEANS that they are ‘gay.’ Because they did not fit in societal molds, and because peers and parents did not understand that their ‘personality’ was not a sexual identity, they have been ‘informed’ by society that they are made that way, that their ‘tendency’ should be translated into their sexual ‘choice,’ which, to them, is really no choice at all. Words are powerful, and when a young man hears from his ill-trained, hateful peers that because he is ‘soft’ or ‘artsy’ or ‘intuitive,’ then he must be ‘gay,’ he begins to look for others who ‘feel’ the same way. He seeks companionship with those who are the same as he, and it eventually ends up that his sexual behavior becomes defined by his affection for those who share his plight. Most of them are without the plain reading of The Word on the issue, and they are just trying to be loved, as everyone in society is, in some way or another. They do not see that every behavior, every sexual ACT, is a choice, and they become trapped in the lie, seeking like-minded persons to help them be happy. This is the very reason the underground homosexual community began to call themselves ‘gay,’ when they began to reveal their behavior to society: gay means ‘happy.’ They thought they were now ‘happy.’ The truth is, they just ‘unionized’ their behavior.
They have been told that it is ‘right’ that they embrace this behavior. Yet, many who are raised in the confines of faith and yet identify with this are perplexed, because they have been told they will go to hell. And this is where this issue gets so difficult. Many have believed the contrived doctrine that all homosexuals go to hell, so when they have children who evince a ‘tendency’ toward behaving like the other gender, they threaten their child with hell, hoping to ward off the behavior, and instead drive the child into the arms of the seemingly more merciful and accepting homosexual community. Many times, this gives the child the idea that the god of their parents is hateful, so they reject G-d altogether, or embrace a man-made version of one, and accept the twisted interpretations of scripture. In many cases, the parents end up also doing the same, out of love for their child and a desire to make amends and have a relationship with their child.
Some parents today who believe in Messiah go ahead and embrace the deceit, and accept their child’s ‘behavior,’ thinking that it is how they were ‘created.’ No. Elohim does not create sin. Society fails these individuals, and it is idolatry that has given them the ‘green light’ to go into the behavior, because SOCIETY has rejected Elohim and His Word! “And as they did not consent in themselves to know Elohim, Elohim gave them over to a vain mind, to do the things which should not be done; being filled with all manner of iniquity…” This is just ONE result of most of society turning away from HIS WORD.
Yes, some homosexuals will ‘go to Sheol,’ or be cast out of His Presence for eternity. But, some will not, because they are victims of bad and false teachers in the religious community. They may never hear the truth about their plight. They are trapped in this sin, because people are telling them they can be. “The law has been fulfilled, so we don’t have to worry about doing all those Jewish laws….” LIE. Since they do not seek Elohim diligently, they will barely escape the flames, but SO WILL MANY OTHER BELIEVERS who reject HIS definition of sin and do all those other behaviors, because of bad and false teachers. “Sin IS breaking the Torah.” 1 John 3:4 The reason they barely escape the flames is because they should ALL have sought Him in His Word more diligently, instead of allowing society, and bad and false teachers, to define their lives and tell them how to behave.
Are we giving all homosexuals a ‘ticket to ride’ if we take this position? No. They should stop behaving that way. It is very distasteful behavior to
יהוה . But, so are MANY other behaviors. Those who call themselves ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’ and also call themselves believers or Christians, they should stop the behavior. Not because anyone tells them to, but because the Creator made them for better things, and because they should love HIM enough to do what He says. And, if they want to be a prince in His Kingdom, they MUST stop that behavior. But also, if they learn that it IS a thing that יהוה abhors but then INSIST on doing it, then their ‘belief’ and professed love for G-d is a false confession:
“For if any man sins [breaks Torah, 1 John 3:4] willfully after he has received the knowledge of the truth, [“Your Torah is Truth, Ps 119:142] then there is no more sacrifice to be offered for sins, but only impending fearful judgment, and the fiery indignation which shall consume the adversaries. He who transgressed the Torah of Moshe, on the word of two or three witnesses died without mercy: how much more punishment do you think he will receive who has trodden underfoot HaBen HaElohim, and has considered the blood of His covenant, through which he had been sanctified, as ordinary blood, and has blasphemed HaRuakh of Grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says יהוה.”
And again, ” יהוה shall judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living Elohim.” [Hebrews 10:26-31]
Only those who REJECT correction will actually be rejected by Elohim. And this applies to ALL those who break Torah commands, once they have heard them and understood them plainly. This is a GREAT LOT of people, even in the Christian community. If we are going to apply this principle to the homosexual community, we need to apply it to the wider berth of ALL of society. Those homosexuals who have heard the B’sorah [Good News of Messiah] and received it need gentle correction; they need to be shown the validity of the Torah, versus the hypocrisy of religion. Those who have not heard the B’sorah of Messiah need to hear it. But, the fact that so many are now ‘coming out’ is SOCIETY’s fault, because we have TURNED TO IDOLATRY of every variety. If religious people are looking for someone to blame, they should blame themselves. They created this mess, by rejecting the PLAIN MEANING OF HIS WORD:
“Consider that the longsuffering of יהוה is salvation; even as our beloved brother Sha’ul also, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his letters, he speaks concerning these matters, in which there are certain things so hard to be understood that those who are ignorant [of Torah] and unstable twist their meaning, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, my beloved, seeing that you know these things beforehand, beware, lest you follow the error of the Torah-less, and fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace and in the knowledge of Adoneinu and Savior, Yeshua HaMashiakh, and of Elohim.” [2 Peter 3:15-18]
May our hearts be turned to do His Truth.