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PLEASE NOTE

This is my own personal rendering or paraphrase of (and commentary on) the Tanakh and Apostolic Writings. It should not be considered in any way authoritative. It is based on The World English Bible: Messianic Edition, also known as the Hebrew Names Version, which is in the Public Domain.

About This Version

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE.
For assistance in pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.
My short comments on the text are notated in “maroon pop-up text tips” which are accessed by “hovering” your mouse over the text. [Some short comments look like this.] Longer comments are included in footnotes. I have added emphasis to some phrases simply to call them to your attention.
Tanakh Scroll

Why Yet Another Paraphrase Version?

Something that has bothered me for a very long time about English translations of the Scriptures is that, as far as I know, the English Bible is the only body of “literature” that makes a concentrated effort to disguise the true ethnicity of the people involved by changing their names so they don’t sound quite so “Jewish.” When a book written in Spanish about a character named Juan Rodriguez is translated into English, the translator doesn’t translate the character’s name as John Rogers. But when English-speaking translators render the Bible into English, all sorts of strange things happen.

  • Avraham becomes Abraham
  • Yitzchak becomes Isaac
  • Ya'akov becomes Jacob, but only when it appears in the “Old Testament”
  • Ya'akov (the exact same word) becomes James, but only when it appears in the “New Testament”
  • Moshe becomes Moses
  • Yehoshua becomes Joshua ...
    and so on.

This results in a loss of who the characters are, how they live, and what they think. The entire history of the Israelites becomes not only Anglicized but also mythologized. All sorts of strange ideas and traditions creep into the text. This is especially so of the Apostolic Writings, resulting in terrible distortions of God’s message to mankind.

  • Yosef becomes Joseph
  • Miryam becomes Mary
  • The Jewish Rabbi Yeshua HaMashiach becomes the “Gentile God” Jesus Christ
  • Yeshua’s Torah-observant Jewish brothers Ya'akov and Y'hudah become the anti-Torah Gentile “Christians” James and Jude
  • Rabbi Sha'ul, a devoutly Torah-observant Pharisee, who might even have been a member of the Sanhedrin, who never “planted a Church” in his life, and who never preached a single sermon out of the “New Testament,” becomes anti-Torah Paul who “planted Gentile Churches” throughout the ancient world
  • The Torah-observant Jewish followers of Mashiach become anti-Torah Gentile “Christians”

But even worse than the total distortion of the ethnicity and true beliefs of the people involved, the entire message of the Apostolic Writings has become corrupted and all sorts of strange myths, unbiblical traditions, and anachronisms have become accepted as “Gospel truth.”

  • The Good News of the Kingdom of God here on earth becomes a quest for “heaven” somewhere “in the sweet bye and bye”
  • God’s divine loving instruction to humanity becomes an unbearably burdensome and tyrannical “Law” imposed upon humanity by a capricious Deity only to show mankind it is impossible for them to obey Him
  • The Gentiles who have been adopted into Israel through faith in the Jewish Messiah steal the birthright from the natural-born children and relegate the natural-born children to a status of loathsome outsiders
  • God revokes his Eternal Covenants with Israel and transfers them to the “Gentile Church”
  • God divorces His Bride Israel and marries “The Church”
  • The “Church” becomes exempt from God’s judgment for rejecting Torah and blatantly violating His Covenants
  • The Messianic Jewish sect known as “The Way” becomes a Gentiles-only “Church”
  • God’s eternal covenant day with Israel, Shabbat, is replaced by the pagan Roman “Venerable Day of the Sun”
  • Observing God’s eternal Appointed Times becomes “Galatianism”
  • The pagan festivals of Ishtar and Saturnalia become the unbiblical holidays “Easter” and “Christmas”
  • The infant Messiah becomes born in a barn or stable in mid-winter instead of in a sukkah during the Autumn Feast of Sukkot
  • A group of Jewish philosopher/scientists from Babylon become “Three Kings”
  • The “test” for whether or not a Jew has truly accepted the Jewish Messiah is whether or not he is willing to sin and violate God’s Torah by eating “unclean food” (a ham sandwich or deep-fried shrimp, for example), renounce his/her Jewish heritage, and live as a Gentile

Whether it has been done out of ignorance or done intentionally to follow the example of the first Pope, Constantine, to eradicate everything Jewish from the both the Church and the Holy Scriptures, the result has been to divide the Body of Messiah and to destroy the unity for which Messiah so fervently prayed (John 17:21) and for which the Apostles gave their lives (Ephesians 2:14; Colossians 3:9-11). It has also led directly, I believe, to over 1,500 years of persecution of the Jews by “the Church.” If the original “Jewishness” of the Scriptures, especially the Apostolic Writings, had been retained, the Jewish Messiah Yeshua would never have become the Gentile God “Jesus Christ” (a false prophet according to the Torah’s requirements for a prophet, categorically rejected by Torah-believing Jews of all ages) and the Jewish Sect called “The Way” would never have become “the Church.” How difficult it would have been for followers of the Jewish Messiah Yeshua to have persecuted Yeshua’s relatives in the name of that Jewish Messiah!

My objective for this effort is to provide an annotated version of the Scriptures which preserves the “Jewishness” of the people and the message of the original. My secondary objective is to provide brief explanatory comments on the entire Biblical text as well. I believe that Dr. David Stern has done an excellent job in his translation of the Complete Jewish Bible, and that is the version that I personally use for most of my own Bible study and devotional reading. However, I cannot afford the copyright use fees the publisher charges to use the CJB as the text for a commentary, so I had to find an alternative.

The World Messianic Bible, formerly known as the Hebrew Names Version, is in the Public Domain, but I do not believe the translators have gone far enough in retaining the real “Jewishness” of the Sacred Text. So using the HNV as a starting point, I have attempted to render the text a bit more faithfully to what I believe was the “ethnic flavor” of the original, and to that paraphrase I am in the process of adding my notes and comments.

The division of the Tanakh and Apostolic Writings into chapters and verses was originally done by medieval Christians, and only later adopted by Jews; however, very early on (probably before the Second Temple Period) the Jews “divided” the Torah into weekly portions, or parashot, and referred to that section by the first or key word or words of the section, much as we now refer to sections by chapter and verse. I have included the Parashot identification in this version of the Torah.

I anticipate this effort will probably take the rest of my life to complete, as I have already exceeded my allotted “threescore years and ten,” but I will work as quickly as priorities allow and keep this section of my website as current as I possibly can. 

My prayer is that you will find this rendering of God’s Word useful and, hopefully, insightful.

Shalom b'Mashiach!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page last updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2016 11:26 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes after May 3, 2015 are identified as "Revisions”)