Scripture

Scripture, the Word of God, originally started off with the Hebrew compilation, TaNaKh, an acronym for Torah (instructions), Nevi’im (Prophets) and K’tuvim (Writings). The Word of God was written by 40 authors over a period of 1 500 years. It was mainly written in Hebrew, with some texts having been done in Aramaic and a few texts in Greek, mostly during the time of Yeshua, when this was the only document available to them and all quotes that we read of during the period of Yeshua were made from the TaNaKh. Many historians were taking notes and wrote many books, which give us a wealth of information regarding that period. A few other writers and followers of Yeshua noted their interaction with Him and others, while some of them also wrote letters to various congregations for encouragement, to fortify their faith and to also assist in day-to-day living. The writings, done in the era of the Apostles, or delegates, those trained and sent out mainly by Yeshua, are called the Apostolic Writings and was added to the TaNaKh to form the complete Scripture. Unfortunately, most of Judaism, the “religion” of the Jews at the time of Yeshua, disregarded most of these Apostolic Writings, like they dishonoured Yeshua as Messiah, therefore only a small number of Hebrew scholars held on to these manuscripts. Since not one of the authors was Christian, Scripture can consequently not be called a Christian Bible. What the Christians did to create their Bible, however, was to mistranslate, misquote and ravage some of the original texts, then put it together as a Bible with plenty of incorrect doctrine and loads of misinformation and plenty of lies.

Scripture has only one flaw, though, and that was caused, once again, by sinful man. In the most familiar form of Scripture found today, there are 66 books: 39 in the “old testament” and 27 in the “new testament”. These are divided by one or more pages separating the “first” part with the “second” part. If you have a printed version of Scripture, I would encourage you to tear that separation out and burn it. God never intended any separation of Scripture, likewise not between fellow human beings nor in any other way. He made us in His image and promises us in Yochanan 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. God hates separation and even commands it through Yeshua: Mattityahu 19:6 Thus they are no longer two, but one. So then, no one should split apart what God has joined together.” This does not only relate to husband and wife, but everything God created and gave us. Emphasis on both these texts are mine.

Good, now that you have one, unified Scripture, let’s continue…

God created heaven and earth for humans and intended humans to live as families. A family stays in a house and a house is made up of the foundation, the walls, the windows, the doors and the roof.

For the sake of understanding Scripture, we can group (not divide) it into four sections, each with its own unique characteristics which will be described below in detail:

  1. Torah. Let’s call this the foundation
  2. Prophets. We can call this the walls
  3. Writings. Here we have the windows
  4. Apostolic Writings. This will represent the roof

Now our “house” is almost set up, but before we can examine each section in detail, we need to be able to get inside. For this we need a door. Yeshua tells us, amongst a few other verses, in Yochanan 10:9: “I am the gate (door); if someone enters through me, he will be safe and will go in and out and find pasture.” This is a confirmation of two verses prior, where He states: “Yes, indeed! I tell you that I am the gate for the sheep.”

In order to examine the “house”, Scripture, to see how it is made, what it consists of and Who the God behind all of it is, we can only enter “through” Yeshua.

TORAH

The most well-known author is probably Mosheh, to whom the first five books are attributed. However, it is possible that he may have had help from fellow writers. The five books, called Torah in Hebrew and Pentateuch (five books) in Greek, form the basis of any believer’s way of life. It has incorrectly been translated mainly as “law” in most translations, but it primarily means instructions and commands. It is unfortunate that many Christian churches and preachers prefer not to use the Torah and may only infrequently refer to it from the Apostolic Writings. According to Christianity, the “law” was done away with, but we’ll prove the opposite. Each of the five books has its own characteristic traits and teaches us in part the plan of salvation God has for all who follow Him according to His rules – according to His Torah.

B’reisheet: The first book of Torah is called “b’reisheet” which is the Hebrew for “in beginning”, the first word of the first verse of the first chapter. The “b” simply means “in” and “reisheet” is “start” or “beginning”. There is no “the” in the original text, as the translation then should have read “b’hareisheet”; this already is a clear indication that most translations out there have been copied from other incorrect translations or the translators didn’t understand what they were doing. The more acceptable translation of verse 1 should read: “In starting, God created the heavens and the earth.”.

The book of B’reisheet contains the creation of the world, man’s sin, the flood involving Noach, and God calling out a nation, Yisra’el, unto Himself, through which He would work His plan of salvation for all mankind – in short, the start of earth and mankind. The name Genesis was used by the translators of the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the entire TaNaKh, by some 70 Jewish scribes.

Sh’mot: This is the second book of Torah and means “names”. This book gives a clear indication of the tribes that went to Mitzrayim as all their names are mentioned. All the information to build a Sanctuary is given in detail and the book ends where God takes His place in the Tabernacle. It also teaches us many things God considers important and which have never ceased, at least not for the spiritual Yisra’el.

Vayiqra: Stuck between two interesting books mainly dealing with the wilderness, we find the least read and understood book of Torah, Va-yi-qra, meaning “and He called”. God called Mosheh from the Tabernacle to have him instruct the Levites regarding offerings, sacrifices, service in the sanctuary, forbidden relationships and then some. Most important, however, are the food laws in chapter 11 and the festivals laid down in chapter 23. All these festivals are instituted by God not for Yisra’el, but as God’s festivals (see end of verse 2), for mankind to honour and celebrate. These festivals also point to Yeshua as the only Salvation. Combining all these festivals with the weekly Shabbat, it will never be necessary for any person to “go on holiday”, since God exonerates him/her from duty for a specific period of time. If everybody on earth were to honour these festivals, there would never be dead periods where some worked and some didn’t, temporarily stopping production for some and causing bottlenecks elsewhere. The same applies to the food laws given to mankind, not only one nation. Some animals were made for food, while others were made to be scavengers, living “vacuum cleaners”, that clean the earth and the oceans. Then man thought he was more clever than God and took over…

B’midbar: The Hebrew name of the fourth book in Torah means “in [the] wilderness”, but sometimes the word “desert” is also used. It is interesting that the sons of Yisra’el have just come out of a semi-wilderness country where they were slaves for many years, only to be sent back into a different wilderness. However, this time not as slaves but as free people, accountable only to the One true, set-apart Creator-God. Some more rules and regulations are given, but mostly the travels to the 42 destinations are mentioned.

D’varim: The last book of Torah is the “second law”, Deuteronomy, but the Hebrew actually translates to “words”. Here Mosheh is on the final straight towards the goal posts. He recalls and repeats instructions, but towards the end of the book we see blessings and curses for the nation of Yisra’el (both physical and spiritual) for complying with or disregarding God’s commandments respectively. The book ends with the death of Mosheh and allows his successor to start leading the nation into the promised land.

NEVI’IM

There are quite a number of prophets mentioned in Scripture. The list has been categorised into major prophets and minor prophets. While this doesn’t have anything to do with their quality of prophecies, it simply indicates the size of the manuscript they left behind. At a later stage, over time, all the prophets will be listed here separately with more information about each one. Suffice to say for now, not all prophets left us any of their prophecies in separate written documents, but may have been taken up in other books, as we’ll see shortly. The full manuscripts taken up in Scripture come to 16, of which 4 are major and 12 are minor prophets. The book of M’lakhim contains plenty of information of mainly Eliyahu and Elisha, two prophets who didn’t leave their own manuscripts. Apart from M’lakhim, we also find Sh’mu’el sorting amongst the prophetic books. Both were extremely large scrolls and for ease of handling was split into two books by the translators of the Septuagint. The scheme was similarly used in Scripture.

K’TUVIM

All other books in the TaNaKh fall under this category, even though some of them could have been prophetic books. While Dani’el is considered a major prophet, his book was not taken up in the Nevi’im, since it was written in Aramaic and outside of the land of Yisra’el, while in exile in Bavel. The most well-known book in this category is Tehilim, the Psalms we all love to read and sing. Then follows the book of Mishlei, written mainly by Shlomo, with some other contributors. All the other books and writers will be added at a later stage, as time allows.

APOSTOLIC WRITINGS

This section, erroneously called the “new” testament by many people, is once again divided into 4 categories only for the sake of differentiation. These books, written from the time of Yeshua until some time in the first century, by at least nine people, will all find their way onto this page in due time. Contrary to what most Christians want everybody to believe, most of these books were written in Hebrew or Aramaic, the language of the people who wrote and who were written about. While some books could have been written in Greek, especially epistles to Greek speakers, it only makes sense that a Hebrew person would write to fellow Hebrews in Hebrew! Most scholars of the Apostolic Writings agree that these books are commentaries on the TaNaKh.

Gospels: For lack of a better English word, this category covers the first five books after the TaNaKh. Some 400 years go by with no prophet, no word from God, between Mal’akhi and the birth of Yeshua. The term “gospel” is supposed to mean “good news”, from the Greek εὐαγγέλιον, transliterated as euangélion. As time allows, much more information will be forthcoming regarding the writers and content of each of these books.

Epistles: Four of these letters to various congregations also carry the names of their writers: Ya’aqov, Kefa, Yochanan and Y’hudah. The fifth book, Hebrews, was written by at least four people: Sha’ul, Luka, Bar-Nabba and Apollos. Once again it won’t make sense to write to the Hebrews in a language other than their own.

Pauline Epistles: Sha’ul, a delegate of Yeshua, having been born a Hebrew, was called to bring the message of redemption to the pagan nation, of whom most at that time and in close vicinity were Greek or spoke the Greek language. While speaking to them, or signing the epistles, he would sign as Paul, being a Greek name. Another fallacy that the Christian church loves to tell, is the “conversion” of Sha’ul to Christianity. He was never converted, but merely called out by Yeshua on the road to Dammesek and accepted Yeshua as his Redemption. Christianity was only formed during the fourth century by the Roman Catholic Church, therefore he could never have converted. Even after having been called to repentance, he still followed every aspect of the Judaism of that time, the same way Yeshua did and the same way we should – not modern-day Rabbinical Judaism, which is an abomination before God. These epistles were most likely written in Greek, a language Sha’ul was as fluent in as he was in Hebrew. There are ten epistles to various congregations or individuals acting on behalf of Sha’ul, although three of them are also broken up into two sections each, probably having been written at different times.

Prophecy: The last book of Scripture can’t be categorised with any of the others and stands isolated in its own category, yet remains of the most important parts of Scripture. Sometimes referred to as the second part of Dani’el, this book was written by the apostle Yochanan, one of the twelve, and also the most loved delegate. While on the island Patmos, having been exiled there by Caesar Nero because of his religious convictions, Yochanan was commanded to record the revelation given to Yeshua about events that would be happening soon. Please note the book goes by the singular, Revelation, and not the plural as so many people have incorrectly been taught. The entire revelation given to Yeshua is one only, not a series.

Please bookmark this page to return regularly, as updates will be made as time is available. May you be blessed!

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