Introduction to the Hebrew Bible: Miqra, another name of Tanakh is the collection of canonical Hebrew Scriptures. Scripture is anything which is written commandment, or sacred order of Prophets, Messengers, Saints and Hermits. Usually, we see Miqra as a set of round paper rolls or scrolls. Israelis and Rabbis use Scrolls of Laws, Prophets and Gospels during their prayers in a Synagogue or Ghetto.
And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all THE WORLD, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the talmidim, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brothers dwelling IN JUDEA. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
1) The personal name of YAHWEH was changed 113 times to Adonai in the Masoretic Text from the original Hebrew manuscripts.
2) The Masoretic text takes the word for pierced in Psalm 22:16 (a clear crucifixion Psalm) kaaru and changes the last letter from a vav to a yud. The change of letter changes the meaning from pierced my hands, and feet, to lion, as in as a lion they are at my hands and feet. The Septuagint has pierced from the original Hebrew karu not kaari. According to the Dead Sea Scrolls dated about 100 BCE, the Hebrew Word in verse 16 is kaaru pierced and not lion. Not only that but the Aramaic Peshitta also agrees with the Septuagint.
3) In Isaiah 53 the Masoretic is missing a key word in verse 11. After the word “see”, there should be another word “light” qualifying what the Suffering Servant sees. But the missing word LIGHT is found in the Septuagint, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
4) In the Masoretic text Exodus 1:5 and Gen 46:27 states that 70 souls came to Egypt from Canaan. But the Septuagint and Dead Sea Scroll say 75 souls.
5) In Genesis 10:24 the Masoretic text is missing generations. The New Testament in Luke 3:36 inserts Canaan as does the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls, leaving 3 biblical witnesses.
6) In Deuteronomy 32:8 the Masoretic text uses the term “children of Israel.” The Septuagint uses the term “Cherubs Of Elohim” as do the Dead Sea Scrolls.
7) In Isaiah 61:1 the Masoretic does not contain the phrase “recovery of sight to the blind.” Yet Luke 4:18 does as does the Septuagint.
8) In Psalm 40:6 the Masoretic text has purposely changed the phrase “a BODY you have prepared for me”, as properly quoted again in Hebrews 10:5, and verified by the Septuagint and also the Dead Sea Scrolls to the phrase “you have opened up my ears.” The original names of our Creator, YAHWEH, and his Son, our Savior Yahshua, are also used throughout. The name YAHWEH or HWHY is in the original Paleo Hebrew manuscripts 6,823 times. Almost every translation on earth, including the King James, takes out the Creator’s personal name and
replaces it with the name “Lord”, a generic title that means ‘Baal or Master’. Also, our Savior’s true given Hebrew name, Yahshua, which means “Yah is salvation” is changed to a Greek hybrid of Jesus, which is a poor transliteration from the Greek IE-Zeus. The English transliteration of Yahshua would be the equivalent to Yahoshua. There was no letter “J” in any language until the 16th century. So the Greek name “Jesus” would not be the name of our Savior. The third commandment strictly forbids taking the name (of) YAHWEH in vain. In vain literally means to ‘change, falsify, or make common’. Taking the name YAHWEH or Yahshua and changing it to ‘Lord or Jesus’ is definitely going against the clear instruction of the third commandment. So we will use the original, true Hebrew names of the Father YAHWEH and the Son Yahshua throughout this bible translation. We will also use the original Hebrew word, Elohim, instead of the incorrectly translated “god”. God is the personal name of the Babylonian deity of fortune.
Please see the note on Is 65:11. We will keep all Hebrew titles for our Heavenly Father such as El Shaddai, Adonai, El Elyon, etc exactly as they appear in the original manuscripts. Also, the Catholic Church changed the original Hebrew book order, so we have arranged the book order back into its original place. In the 1st covenant we have the Torah, the prophets and the writings, which make up the Tanach, and in the New Testament we have the 4 Good News messages and Acts, and then, the 7 epistles by the early congregational leaders, and then, the Apostle Paul’s epistles ending with John’s Revelation.
The church adopted the Hebrew Bible as a precursor to its largely Hellenistic gospels. It was an important association for it, with an old and respected tradition. Our primary concern is the Bible of the ancient Israelite and Jewish community – the 24 books grouped in the Torah, Prophets and Writings on that other sheet – which is common to all Bibles. Whether Jewish or Christian, those 24 are the baseline common books. So those are the 24 that we’re going to focus on. Because the term “Old Testament” is a theologically loaded term, it sort of suggests the doctrine that the New Testament has somehow fulfilled or surpassed or antiquated the Bible of ancient Israel, you’re going to hear me refer to the object of our study as the Hebrew Bible. You may certainly use any other term, and you may certainly use the term Old Testament, as long as it’s clear we’re talking about this set of 24 books and not some of the other things that are in the Old Testament that aren’t in the traditional Hebrew Bible.
It means you’re studying less, so that might be a good thing. So, it’s fine with me if you want to use that but I will prefer the more accurate term “Hebrew Bible.” Also while we’re on terminology, you’ll notice that I use BCE to refer to the period before 0 and CE to refer to the period after 0; the Common Era and Before the Common Era, and in a lot of your secondary readings and writings they’ll be using the same thing. It corresponds to what you know as BC, Before Christ, and Anno Domini, AD, the year of our Lord. It’s just a non-Christian-centric way of dating and in a lot of your secondary readings you’ll see it, so you should get used to it: BCE and CE, Before the Common Era and the Common Era. From earliest times, Christians made use of the Bible but almost always in its Greek translation, and the Christian Old Testament contains some material not in the Hebrew Bible, as I’ve mentioned. And some of these works are referred to as the Apocrypha – so [some of] you will have heard that term. These are writings that were composed somewhere around here, sort of 200 BCE to 100 CE. They were widely used by Jews of the period.
The word “echad” is a Hebrew word that although could denote the number one can also denote (as in this case) a unified state between 2 things or people. The word for “naked” in verse 25 and the word for “cunning” are derived from the same root word in Hebrew. This is the very first messianic scripture promising redemption directly after the sin of the man and woman. It is interesting that the prophecy is for a redeemer to come from the seed of a woman when most times in scripture legal genealogies come through a man. This is a hint to the virgin birth, Is 7:14. A very clear scripture showing in Yahweh’s judicial order the wife’s desire should be toward her husband as a helpmate and not toward her own independent private goals.
Due to the rejection of Yahweh’s judicial order today divorce is at an all time high. This scripture is very clear that man is mortal and will die, (Heb 9:27, Eccl 9:5). After this there will be a first and second resurrection for all those who ever lived (Rev 20:4-15) and those who have done good will receive eternal life and those who have done evil will go to the lake of Fire and cease to exist. When Eve was created she was simply called eshah or woman, but now since it was prophesied that the messiah would be born from her lineage in verse 15, she has become the mother of all living through the coming messiah.
The New Testament is not considered authentic by Jews. They simply weren’t considered to be of the same status as the 24 books. I’m glad they pick up the garbage at 11:10 on Wednesday mornings. But they did become part of the canon of Catholic Christianity and in the sixteenth century, their canonical status was confirmed for the Catholic Church only. With the Renaissance and the Reformation, some Christians became interested in Hebrew versions of the Bible. They wanted to look at the Hebrew and not the Greek translation from the Hebrew. Protestants, the Protestant church, denied canonical status to the books of the Apocrypha.
They said they were important for pious instruction but excluded them from their canon. There are also some works you may know of, referred to as the Pseudepigrapha – we’ll talk about some of these things in a little more detail later – from roughly the same period; [they] tend to be a little more apocalyptic in nature, and they were never part of the Jewish or the Catholic canon, but there are some eastern Christian groups that have accepted them in their canon.
The point I’m trying to make is that there are very many sacred canons out there that are cherished by very many religious communities, and they’re all designated “Bibles.” So again, we’re focusing on that core set of 24 books that are common to all Bibles everywhere, the 24 books of what would in fact be the Jewish Tanakh. Not only has there been variety regarding the scope of the biblical canon in different communities, but there’s been some fluidity in the actual text itself. We don’t, of course, have any original copies of these materials as they came off the pen of whoever it was who was writing them, and in fact before the middle of the twentieth century, our oldest manuscripts and fragments of manuscripts of the Bible dated to the year 900. That’s an awful long distance from the events they’re talking about. And we’ve got to think about that, right? You’ve got to think about that and what it means and how were they transmitted and preserved without the means of technology, obviously, that we have today; and what was so exciting in the middle of the twentieth century was the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
I’m sure that you’ve heard of them. They brought about a dramatic change in the state of our knowledge of our Hebrew manuscript evidence. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in caves in the Judean desert. We used to think they were a library of a sectarian community; now I think they think it was a pottery factory or something. So maybe they were just shoved there by people fleeing the Roman conquest in 70. So that’s up for grabs. But we have this really great collection of scrolls, and among them we have found an almost complete copy of every book of the Bible. Sorry – almost complete copy of the Book of Isaiah and then partial copies or fragments of all of the biblical books, except maybe Esther. Am I wrong about that? I don’t think there’s an Esther from Qumran, I think that’s the only one. And some of them date back to the fourth and third century [BCE]. So do you understand now why everybody was so excited? Suddenly, we have evidence, thirteen or fourteen hundred years earlier, that people were reading this stuff and, by and large, it’s a pretty constant textual tradition. Sure there are differences, sure there are differences.
We see that our manuscripts are not exactly like those fragments, but there is a remarkable degree, a high degree of correspondence so that we really can speak of a relatively stable textual tradition but still some fluidity. And that’s going to be interesting for us to think about. There are many translations of the Bible, but I would like you to purchase for this course the Jewish Study Bible So let me turn now to just some of the administrative, organizational details of the course, the secondary readings that we’ll be using. I’m asking you to pick up the Jewish Study Bible not only for the translation of the Tanakh, which is a very good translation, but because it contains wonderful scholarly articles in the back. It used to be we had a course packet for this course that was two volumes, and now with the purchase of this, I’ve been able to really consolidate the readings.
They’re really wonderful; great introductions to the individual books of the Bible and so I think you will find that this will become like a Bible to you. This most recent challenge to the long-standing hypothesis that the settlement at Qumran near the Dead Sea was home to a monastic sect, has been issued by archaeologists Yitzhak Magen and Yuval Peleg. In “Back to Qumran: Ten years of Excavations and Research, 1993-2004,” in The Site of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Archaeological Interpretation and Debate, eds. Katharina Galor, Jean-Baptiste Humbert, and Jurgen Zangenberg (Brill, 2006), Magen and Yuval argue that Qumran was the site of a pottery factory, and that there is no essential connection between the activity of the site and the library of scrolls found in near-by caves. The view has raised interest but has not replaced the prevailing consensus that the scrolls were the library of a monastic sect that lived at Qumran.
Pritchard, James B. 1965. The Ancient Near East, vol. 1, ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Berlin, Adele, Brettler, Marc Zvi, and Fishbane, Michael. 2003. The Jewish Study Bible: Featuring The Jewish.
Pritchard, James B. 1965. The Ancient Near East, vol. 1, ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
1. And the man knew his wife Eve. And she conceived and bore Cain, and said, I have gotten1 a man, YAHWEH; 2. And she continued to bear his brother, Abel. And Abel became a shepherd of flocks. And Cain became a tiller of the ground; 3. And it was in the end of days, it happened that Cain brought an offering to YAHWEH from the fruit of the ground; 4. And Abel brought, he also, from the first lings of his flocks, even from their fat. And YAHWEH looked to Abel and to his offering; 5. And He did not look to Cain and to his offering. And Cain glowed greatly with anger, and his face fell.2; 6. And YAHWEH said to Cain, Why have you angrily glowed, and why has your face fallen?; 7. If you do well, is there not exaltation? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is toward you; but you should rule over it; 8. And Cain talked with his brother Abel and said let us go out into the field; And it happened as they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him; 9. And YAHWEH said to Cain, Where is your brother Abel? And he said, I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?; 10. And He said, What have you done? The voice of the blood of your brother cries to Me from the ground; 11. And now you are cursed more than the ground which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand; 12. When you till the ground, it will not again give its strength to you. You shall be a vagabond and a fugitive on the earth; 13. And Cain said to YAHWEH, My punishment is greater than I can bear; 14. Behold! You have driven me out from the face of the land today. And I shall be hidden from Your face. And I shall be a vagabond and a fugitive on the earth. And it will be that anyone who finds me shall kill me; 15. And YAHWEH said to him, If anyone kills Cain, he shall be avenged sevenfold. And YAHWEH set a mark on Cain, so that anyone who found him should not kill him; 16. And Cain went out from the presence of YAHWEH. And he settled and married in the land of Nod, east of Eden 3; 17. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and he called the name of the city according to the name of his son, Enoch; 18. And Irad was born to Enoch; and Irad fathered Mehujael And Mehujael fathered Methusael; and Methusael fathered Lamech; 19. And Lamech took two wives to himself the name of the first was Adah; and the name of the second was Zillah; 20. And Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those living in tents, and raising livestock; 21. And the name of his brother was Jubal; he was the father of all those playing the harp and the organ; 22. And Zillah also bore Tubalcain, the hammerer of every engraving tool of copper and iron. And the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah; 23. And Lamech said to his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice, you wives of Lamech; listen to my words; for I have killed a man because of my wound, and a young man because of my hurt; 24. For Cain is avenged sevenfold, and Lamech seventy seven; 25. And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son. And she called his name, Seth, for Elohim has appointed to me another seed in place of Abel because Cain killed him; 26. And a son was also born to Seth, and he called his name, Enos. Then it was begun to call on 4 the name of YAHWEH.
Here, Yahweh Yahshua the High priest of the Melchizedek order does the first sacrifice and since death came through man, we see that also restoration of life would also come through man, and the seed of Adam Ro 5:12-16.
1). This Hebrew word for gotten “Kanati” also means to purchase and the root can mean to fix, repairor restore. Understandably, Adam and Eve thought that Cain was the prophesied messiah of Gen 3:15, and he would repair the covenant that they had broken.
2). In chapter 3:21 YHWH already set the precedent that sin brings the shedding of innocent blood. Here, Cain was trying to bring a bloodless sacrifice without a true heart for YHWH.
3). It is widely assumed that Cain married his sister but that is nowhere ever mentioned in scripture and is clearly against the Torah (Lev 18:9) and abominable in the eyes of Yahweh. Incestuous marriages was a
Canaanite practice (Lev 18:3,24) and clearly not ordained by YHWH. From this verse and also verse 14, we can see that there were other human beings on the earth.
4). This word can also mean to curse.
1. This is the book of the generations of Adam in the day that Elohim created mankind, He made him in the likeness of Elohim; 2. He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name “Adawm1” in the day when they were created; 3. And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years and fathered a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and called his name Seth; 4. And the days of Adam after he fathered Seth were eight hundred years. And he fathered sons and daughters; 5. And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years. And he died; 6. And Seth lived one hundred and five years, and fathered Enos; 7. And after he fathered Enos, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years. And he fathered sons and daughters; 8. And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years. And he died; 9. And Enosh lived ninety years and fathered Canaan; 10. After he fathered Cainan, Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years, and he fathered sons and daughters; 11. And all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years. And he died; 12. And Cainan lived seventy years and fathered Mahalaleel; 13. And after he fathered Mahalaleel, Cainan lived eight hundred and forty years. And he fathered sons and daughters; 14. And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years. And he died; 15. And Mahalaleel lived sixty five years and fathered Jared; 16. And after he fathered Jared, Mahalaleel lived eight hundred and thirty years. And he fathered sons and daughters; 17. And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred and ninety five years. And he died; 18. And Jared lived one hundred and sixty two years and fathered Enoch; 19. And after he fathered Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years. And he fathered sons and daughters; 20. And all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty two years. And he died; 21; And Enoch lived sixty five years and fathered Methuselah; 22. And Enoch walked with Elohim three hundred years after he fathered Methuselah. And he fathered sons and daughters; 23. And all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty five years; 24. And Enoch walked with Elohim. Then he was not, for Elohim took him; 25. And Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty seven years and fathered Lamech; 26. And after he fathered Lamech, Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty two years. And he fathered sons and daughters; 27. And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty nine years; and he died; 28. And Lamech lived one hundred and eighty two years and fathered a son; 29. And he called his name Noah, saying, This one shall comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands because of the ground which YAHWEH has cursed; 30. And after he fathered Noah, Lamech lived five hundred and ninety five years. And he fathered sons and daughters; 31. And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy seven years.
And he died; 32. And Noah was five hundred years old. And Noah fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 1 Although, also, the personal name of the first human being, here “Adawm” means mankind.