Tag Archives: Bible

Is wearing jewellery, wrong for a Christian?

West,_Benjamin_-_Isaac's_servant_trying_the_bracelet_on_Rebecca's_arm

Eleazer tying the bracelet on Rebecca’s arm by Benjamin West

While some would think of this as absurd, it is quite a legitimate question which is raised by many Christians today. Is it against God’s Word and Will to wear Jewellery? The short answer would be “NO”, as we do not see any objections raised against wearing of Jewellery anywhere in the Scriptures. But we will research this topic nonetheless to get a better understanding of the subject, and iron out any queries that remain by testing the proof texts used to say “wearing jewellery is unchristian like”.

Let’s review the usage of Jewelry in the Scriptures

♦ Abraham sent Jewellery to Rebekah who wore them
Gen 24:22  And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold;
Gen 24:30  And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well.
Gen 24:47  And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands.
Gen 24:53  And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.

♦ God asked to recover precious things from the Egyptians and put it on their sons and daughters
Exo 3:22  But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.

♦ All of Israel brought Jewellery as offerings to Moses, so he could build the Tabernacle for God
Exo 35:22  And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD.

♦ The officers who returned from the battle with the Midianites offered the spoils to God, for the victory without a single casualty.
Num 31:50  We have therefore brought an oblation for the LORD, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before the LORD.

♦ Joseph wore Jewellery
Gen 41:42  And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;

♦ Daniel wore Jewellery
Dan 5:29  Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

♦ God speaks of Israel as a bride who He adorned with Jewellery
Eze 16:11,12  I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.
Isa 61:10  I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

♦ God equates Israel who has forgotten YHVH, to a woman who has forgotten her jewellery or a bride who has forgotten her fine clothing
Jer 2:32  Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.

The above examples make it clear that jewellery was worn by many in the Scriptures, and that there exists no Commandment or restriction against the wearing of such given by God.

So what are the verses often used to prove this argument against Jewellery?
♦ One of the main verses of Scripture used to further this argument is, of the story of Jacob and how earrings were removed according to his instructions.
Gen 35:2-5 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.

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Bracelets of Nimlot- (Egypt – 22nd Dynasty, around 940 BC – The British Museum)

The above passage is often used as proof of all jewellery being unbiblical and against God’s way. But read it again, and you see that Jacob’s request is that they “Put away the strange gods”, to which the people hand over “all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears”. Why did they give the earrings along with the idols, when his request was to put away idols? The only reason could have been that the jewellery was either consecrated or been made with figures/embellishments of pagan gods. This was a common practice in ancient cultures and there are quite a few ancient artifacts such as rings, bracelets and earrings in museums around the world which contain pagan religious symbols to prove this fact. If this was the case, Jacob’s request to put away idols, being met with the giving away of their earring would make complete sense.

♦ The second set of verses are quoted from the letters of Paul and Peter.
1Ti 2:9,10 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness–with good works.

1Pe 3:3,4 Do not let your adorning be external–the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear. but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

Peter and Paul both instruct their congregations in the verses above, to dress the inward parts of their lives, rather than adorning themselves in jewellery. But these verses cannot be taken out of context to say that wearing jewellery is wrong before God’s eyes. What they simply said was that everyone should strive for inner beauty rather than looking beautiful externally. Reading the verses before and afterwards in these letters, the above highlighted verses of Paul and Peter, makes this fact clear – as this was the context of their messages in the letters.

Conclusion
Wearing of earrings, jewelry, perfume, etc is becoming a problem even here in Sri Lanka. Some teach that these things are wrong and that Christians should not wear such things. In the Bible there is no such prohibition. Nowhere does it say wearing jewelery is wrong. Abraham sent jewelery to Rebekah (Gen 24:22). Moses used jewelery from israelites when making the tabernacle (Exo 35:22, Num 31:50). God speaks in parables using jewelery to show how he loved Israel (Eze 16:11). These are only a few of the examples that showcase this fact.

The Christianity of our day, is looking at the outer things and pointing fingers at these, while the more important commandments such as the Sabbath, Food Laws, Feast days are forgotten and discarded. We need to concentrate on decorating the insides of our lives, more than the outside – but this does not mean jewelry is a bad thing, or that it is forbidden in the bible. The only thing we need to remember when wearing jewellery is, to wear it decently. And as in all things, wear, walk, talk, so that we bring glory to God in all that we do. Each Christian should remember the wise words of King Solomon – “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.” (Pro 11:22)

The Five Fold Ministry. Before or After Christ?

Most Christians believe that the Five Functions or duties noted by Paul in Eph 4:11, commonly known as the “Five-Fold Ministry” came about after Yeshua(Hebrew name of Jesus). Namely, The Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors & Teachers. Even though we do not see many Apostles, the other categories are seen in almost all “Free Churches” as well as ones from traditional backgrounds.

Are these functions new ones? Were these functions there before Messiah’s appearance, even in Old Testament times? Are these Positions of Power or Duties to be carried out as Servants? These are some of the questions we will try to answer today.

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

In the following explanations of each of these functions, we will also take a closer look at the origins of these titles by looking at the Greek and Hebrew words which the English words derive from. The Strong’s Greek/Hebrew concordance has been used for this purpose, alongside the KJV Translation of the English Bible. 

1. The Apostle
G652 – ἀπόστολος – apostolos – ap-os’-tol-os –
a  messenger, he that is sent

The word “Apostle” in the English language originates from the Greek equivalent “Apostolos” which meant “a messenger” or “one that is sent”. This was not a title specifically made for Christianity, for any messenger would have been called “Apostolos” in Greek. In Joh 13:16, the Greek Word “Apostolos” is translated as “he that is sent” while in 2Cor 8:23 & Philip 2:25 it is translated as “messenger” revealing the true meaning behind the word apostle.

Most people have misunderstood Luke 6:13 to mean that Christ created this new position called “Apostle”. Luk 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles. The true meaning should be that He chose 12 amongst His pupils as the ones who would take His message out into the world.

As the word “Apostle” derives from its Greek cognate “Apostolos”, this word cannot be found in the Old Testament. But this does not mean “messengers” who spread God’s Word were not found in the time before Messiah. Haggai was known as the “messenger” of the LORD (YHVH) centuries before the Apostles in the New Testament(Hag 1:13). The priests who worked in the Temple were also known as “messengers” of God(Mal 2:7). The Scripture say that many “messengers” of God were sent before the Babylonian exile(2Chr 36:16).

2. The Prophet
H5030 – נביא – nâbı̂y’ – naw-bee’ –
a prophet or (generally) inspired man: – prophecy, that prophesy, prophet.
G4396 – προφήτης – prophētēs – prof-ay’-tace
a foreteller (“prophet”); by analogy an inspired speaker; prophet.

Much like the “Apostle” which derived from the Greek word “Apostolos”, the English word “Prophet” also derives from the Greek Word “Prophetes”. The Old Testament had many Prophets. Naming them, I think, is unnecessary. Although, I must mention a few to help you understand what it means to be a Prophet. A Prophet is not only the ones who are called, “Prophet – so and so”. Whoever speaks for God, in the name of God, and represents Him, is a Prophet. It is not a designation. It is merely a duty and a description of what the person does. Abraham (Gen 20:7), David (Acts 2:30), Enoch (Jude 1:14) are but a few characters written in the Scriptures who were never known specifically as “Prophets”, even though they were clearly considered Prophets.

Yeshua was also called a Prophet (John 4:44, Luke 4:24, 13:33, Mat 13:57, Acts 3:22,23, 7:37), and prophesying through the Holy Spirit was done before the Day of Pentecost. Zechariah, Father of John, prophesied being filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:67). A person can also prophesy(Say something that comes from God) without knowing it, like Caiphas, the High Priest who prophesied about Yeshua dying for the whole Nation(John 11:51)

The duty of a Prophet could fall onto a Male or a Female. Miriam, Moses’ sister (Exo 15:20). Deborah, the Judge of Israel (Judg 4:4), Huldah (2Kin 22:14), Philip’s four daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:9) & the widow Anna (Luke 2:36) were all female prophets.

It is also important to note that just like some can Prophesy in Truth and in God, some can prophesy falsely saying it is in God’s name(Jer 23:21, 28:15-17, 29:31, Eze 13:7, 1John 4:1). Not all who Prophesy in Christ’s name, is known by Him (Mat 7:22,23).

3. The Evangelist
G2099
– εὐαγγελιστής – euaggelistēs – yoo-ang-ghel-is-tace’
a preacher of the gospel: – evangelist.
G2098 – εὐαγγέλιον – euaggelion – yoo-ang-ghel’-ee-on –
a good message, gospel.
G2097 – εὐαγγελίζω – euaggelizō – yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo
to announce good news (“evangelize”) especially the gospel: – declare, bring (declare, show) glad (good) tidings, preach (the gospel).

The above 3 Greek words (“yoo-anghelistace”, “yoo-anghel-eeon”, “yoo-ang-elidzo”) are closely connected to the meaning of “Good news”. The word translated as “Gospel” in our English Translations is G2098 – “yoo-anghel-eeon”. So effectively, the word “Evangelist” means a “Preacher/bringer of Good News”. Matt 11:5 is a good example of this fact. “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. The pharse “the gospel preached to them” is translated into English off a single Greek Word, which is G2097 – “yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo”. This same word is used as “Preach” in the case of John (Luk 3:18), of the 12 Disciples (Luk 9:6, Acts 5:42), of Christ (Luk 4:43, 7:22, 16:16, 20:1), & of all believers (Act 8:4), making them all Evangelists.

The Greek word “yoo-anghel-idzo” cannot be seen in the Old Testament Scriptures which were written in Hebrew. Much like in the case of the word “Apostolos”, this does not mean the function of an Evangelist (who brings/preaches Good News) was not there in Old Testament times. The word “Evangelist” itself can be seen only 3 times in the New Testament (Eph 4:11, Acts 21:8, 2Tim 4:5) even though the function of an Evangelist (Bringing/preaching Good News) “G2097 – “yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo” can be seen over 50 times.

In the Old Testament Scriptures, we see that Isaiah is known as one who “preaches good news”(Isa 61:1) which was also quoted by Christ in Luk 4:18. The word used by Yeshua in Luke 4:18 for “preach the gospel” is none other than G2097 – “yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo”.

The author of Hebrews in Heb 4:2 says “For unto us was the “gospel preached”, as well as unto them“. The word which is translated as “gospel preached” here is G2097 – “yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo”. Who does the author refer to as “them” in this verse? The context reveals that it is the people of Israel in the Old Testament, which means “Evangelizing” happened in the Old Testament times as well. (Please read Heb 4:6 for a similar verse and Chapter 3 for context)

4. The Pastor
G4166
– ποιμήν – poimēn – poy-mane’
a shepherd (literally or figuratively): – shepherd, pastor.
H7462 – רעה – râ‛âh – raw-aw’
to tend a flock, that is, pasture it; pastor, shepherd.

The word “pastor” is connected to shepherd both in the New Testament as well as in the Old. Not only is it connected, it is more often than not, translated as “Shepherd” throughout the Bible. In fact, the English word “pastor” is seen only in Eph 4:11 while the Greek word that it is translated from (G4166 – poy-mane), is seen 18 times in the New Testament, translated as “shepherd” into English 17 out of 18 times(Mat 9:36, 25:32, 26:31, Mar 6:34, 14:27, Luk 2:8,15,18,20, Joh 10:2,11,12,14,16, Heb 13:20, 1Pe 2:25)

The English translation of the Old Testament contains the word “pastor” many more times (Jer 2:8, 3:15, 10:21, 12:10, 17:16, 22:22, 23:1,2) than the New Testament which contains it only once(Eph 4:11). But similar to the New Testament Translation of the word “Pastor”, the actual meaning of the Hebrew word(H7462 – raw-aw) which is translated in these instances is “shepherd”. The word “shepherd” itself is used in the capacity of “leader” in the Old Testament (Isa 56:11, 63:11). Even though “G4166 – poy-mane” & “H7462 – raw-aw” are translated as “pastor” in some places and “shepherd” in others, the true meaning is “shepherd” (a leader of a flock).

5. The Teacher
G1320 – διδάσκαλος – didaskalos – did-as’-kal-os –
an instructor (generally or specifically): – master, teacher.

The Greek word which is translated as “teacher” in Eph 4:11, is in most places translated as “Master” (mosty pertaining to Yeshua). The true meaning of the word is instructor/teacher, as the Greek word “G1320 – didaskalos” derives from the word “G1321 – didasko” which means “to teach”.

The Old Testament Scriptures also prove that there were many teachers appointed by God before the time of Christ. Moses was a teacher appointed by God (Exo 24:12, Deut 4:5). There were appointed people who went around the land of Israel teaching God’s Word (2Chr 17:8-10). The tribe of Levi were instructors of God’s Word and His ways (Deut 17:9-11, 24:8, 33:8-10, 2Chr 30:22, 35:3). The priests (Aaron’s sons) were mainly appointed to teach God’s people (Lev 10:8-11, 2Chr 15:3, 2Kin 12:2). Samuel who was a judge of Israel was also a teacher (1Sam 12:23). Nehemiah and Ezra were also teachers (Neh 8:9) along with a host of others (Neh 8:7). It was a Commandment of God to teach everyone in Israel, man, woman & child (Deut 31:11-13).

Positions or Duties? Leaders or Servants?
In some Christian congregations today, being an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher carries a sense of power and hierarchy. These have become titles and designations rather than functions in the body of believers. It is important to respect everyone, from a fellow believer to one who is appointed to lead/serve. But sad to say, this respect has been misused, and at times, changed into positions of power.

Christ is the embodiment of all the 5 functions mentioned in Eph 4:11.
He was an Apostle (“one that is sent”) sent by Our Heavenly Father. (Joh 5:30, 6:39, 8:42, 17:8)
He was a Prophet (“one who represents & speaks for God”). (Mat 13:57,Luk 13:33, Joh 6:14, 7:40
He was an Evangelist (“one who preaches Good News”). (Matt 11:4,5, Luk 4:18, 8:1, 20:1)
He was a Pastor (“Shepherd”). (Matt 25:32, 26:31, Joh 10:11,14, Heb 13:20, 1Pet 2:25)
He was a Teacher (“one who teaches God’s Word”). (Mat 10:24,25, 22:16, Joh 1:38, 3:2, 13:13)

wash feetEven though He was the epitome of Righteousness and God’s image, what did He say to His Disciples under Him? What was the example He left with His followers who were to become leaders in the body of believers?

Joh 13:14,15  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
Mat 20:26  But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Luk 22:25-27  And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

Whoever is appointed to serve, whether he/she be an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher, they are all servants. And according to the example left to us by Yeshua, whoever is a leader, is in fact a servant who is humble enough to wash the feet of whoever is put under his/her authority.

Conclusion
The “Five fold Ministry” is thought by many to have been instituted after Yeshua, even though there are clear indications that all of these functions existed well before New Testament times. Most of these misunderstandings have come about because of the English translations we read. As seen in the evidence above, even though most of these cognate words (English words that have derived straight from the Greek counterparts – eg. Apostle & Apostolos, Evangelist & Yooanghelistace) cannot be seen in the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures (because they derive from Greek), it does not necessarily mean that the function did not exist in Old Testament times.

Not only were all of these functions or services there in the Old Testament era, they were part and parcel of God’s Word. Accordingly Christ Himself embodied all of these functions, acting as a servant rather than one who is served, leaving His Church an example to follow. “whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant”.

What is the Biblical definition of the phrase “Word of God”.

Some Words AbolishedAll of us, as Christians believe that we must obey the Word of God. But what exactly is the Biblical Definition for the “Word of God”? Is it the whole Bible? Or is it part of the Bible? Can parts of God’s Word, even be done away? What did Christ refer to as the “Word of God”? As followers of Christ, we must have a clear understanding of this definition, and this is exactly what we hope to research in this short study.

In an earlier post (What does it mean to be like a “Berean”?) we learned that Christ, His disciples and all of the writers of the New Testament agreed that “Scripture” in their eyes was what we call, the “Old Testament”. A basic knowledge of History would allow anyone to know that the New Testament writings were compiled almost 3 Centuries after the time of Christ. If this is so, what did Christ and all His disciples refer to as the “Word of God”. Let’s look at the evidence.

1. Christ said that Man lives not by food alone, but by the “Word of God” quoting Deut 8:3

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Luk 4:4  And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Deu 8:3  And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

We can conclude that every Word that proceeds from the Mouth of God is known as the “Word of God” by comparing Mat 4:4 with Luk 4:4. We can also understand that the “Word of God” referred by Christ in these verses, is the same as what was referred to by Moses in Deut 8:3, as this is the exact verse quoted by Messiah.

2. Christ confirms that God’s Commandments given through Moses is the “Word of God”

Mar 7:9-13  And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

In the above passage, Yeshua(Jesus’ true name) rebukes the Pharisees telling them that they are breaking God’s Commandments by keeping their own traditions (Please read about the Pharisees for a clearer explanation on what they believed). One of the most important things that many glance across in this reading, is that Christ calls the Commandments of God, given through Moses as the “Word of God”.

3. Christ preached the “Word of God”

Luk 5:1  And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

Christ preached the Word of God as clearly stated in the above passage. If the “Word of God” was (by His own definition), the writings of Moses, then this means that what He preached came from what we now call the Old Testament. (Much of the misunderstandings, such as Christ abolished the Law, comes from a weak knowledge of what He preached. Read an example here)

4. Christ called whoever hears the “Word of God” and does it, “Blessed” and also part of “His own Family”

Luk 11:28  But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Luk 8:21  And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

5. The “Word of God” stands forever according to Isaiah and Peter

Isa 40:8  The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
1Pe 1:24,25  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

We see Peter quoting the words written by Isaiah agreeing with him, that “God’s Word” stands forever, which means it cannot fade away or be abolished.

6. Christ says that “Scripture” (which is the Old Testament) cannot be broken, and refers to it as the “Word of God”

Joh 10:34,35  Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
Psa 82:6  I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

In the above verse we see Christ quoting Psalms 82:6, and goes on to say that Scripture cannot be broken (done away/abolished). Furthermore, He calls the people who received this Word (which is in Psalms, which is part of the Old Testament) as the ones to whom the “Word of God” came. Thereby making “The Word of God” equal to “The Scriptures” or “Old Testament” as it is known today.

7.Conclusion
Yeshua saw every word that proceeded from God’s Mouth as “The Word of God”, and clearly equaled it to the writings of Moses in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament we see clear phrases such as “The LORD (Yehovah) spoke”(Exo 25:1) or “The Word of the Lord came”(Gen 15:1) that refers to “God’s Word” or the “Word of God”.

Even though much of today’s believers are taught that some parts of the Bible are no longer valid for them, and that the “Word of God” is the New Testament Writings, looking at the evidence, we can conclude that “The Old Testament” was regarded as the “Word of God” by our Messiah. If anyone teaches or believes that the Old Testament is done away, they are inadvertently saying that God’s Words are abolished.

It is time that we ask ourselves important questions such as, can parts of God’s Word be abolished, done away or removed?… When Peter and Isaiah both say that “The Word of God” endures forever. Through Yeshua’s own Words and testimony it is clear that this cannot be, and that He regarded “The Scriptures” which is “the Old Testament” as the authoritative “Word of God”. As a follower of Christ, what do you believe?

What’s “out of place” in this picture of the Birth of Christ?

NativityChristmas is around the corner, and we can hear carols playing on the radio already. Shops are getting ready with their Christmas sales and people are getting ready to decorate their houses. One of the main pieces of decoration in many Christian homes would be the “Nativity Scene”, “Manger Scene” or “Crib” as it is known, which is the depiction of the Birth of Yeshua (Jesus’ true name). This story is by far, one that is read more than any other in the Bible by almost all Christians. But their is something out of place with this picture we have grown up with. Can you guess what? It’s the Wise Men!

What do I mean by saying that the Wise Men are “out of place”? What I mean is that the Wise men did not bring gifts to the place where Yeshua was born. Nor were they present where He was lying in a manger, biblically. Before you cry “Blasphemy” or call me “plain silly”, I would ask you to re-read the Gospel accounts to understand the truth as I have tried to explain in the study below. If you are interested in knowing the true story – read on!

The Birth of Yeshua is mentioned only in the accounts of Matthew and Luke. Reading the account of Yeshua’s birth in the gospel of Luke (2:1-18), we find that the shepherds were indeed present at the time of His birth, and that they saw the baby laid in a Manger. The misunderstood verses are in the account of Matthew.

Please read through Mat 2:1-16 once more. I have provided the important parts of the text below, and have given a short explanation afterwards:
Mat 2:7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
Mat 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Mat 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

In the gospel of Matthew, we find that Yeshua is born in Bethlehem in the time of King Herod. Wise men come from the East to Jerusalem, to worship the one who is born “King of the Jews”. This upsets King Herod. Then he gathers the Chief priests and scribes and asks them where Christ would be born, to which they reply “In Bethlehem” according to the Prophets. Then Herod secretly asks the Wise Men when they saw this star appear in the sky. This verse is one of the keys to understanding the account written in Matthew, which we will come to shortly. Then Herod sends them to Bethlehem in search of this child king asking them to bring back information to him. Then Matthew’s account reads that the Wise men finally arrived at the “House” where Mary and Joseph resided (Not a stable). It further more reads that they came and worshiped the “Young Child” who was with his Mother (Not a baby in a Manger). They give gifts – namely, gold, frankincense, and myrrh (There is no mention of 3 Wise Men – only that there were 3 varieties of gifts). Then they return to their own country through another route without going back to Herod. Joseph is also warned to take the Child to Egypt because of Herod. Meanwhile King Herod understood that the Wise men had ignored his advice and was furious. The next verse is the Key to understanding why the Wise Men were not present at Yeshua’s birth. Matthew explains that Herod killed all the children that were in Bethlehem and in the coasts, from two years and under, “according to the time” he secretly inquired from the wise men; the time when they had seen the star appear, as we saw in Mat 2:7.

The Gospel account of Matthew is clear on these following facts
1. The wise men entered a House (Mat 2:11), not a stable with a Manger as described in Luk 2:7
2. They worshiped a young Child (Mat 2:11), not a baby in a Manger as described in Luk 2:16
3. There is no indication whether there were 3 Wise men. Only that there were 3 varieties of gifts (Mat 2:11)
4. The most important of facts from the account of Matthew is that King Herod killed the Children under 2 years according to the information from the wise men about the time the star appeared (Mat 2:7,16). This means that the Wise Men arrived in Judea some time about 2 years after Yeshua’s Birth, as the star is what informed them of His birth (Mat 2:2). Why would Herod have killed children under two years otherwise? He could have killed only newborn babies, if His birth had just happened.

Further Evidence
According to Matthew’s gospel account; Mary & Joseph took the child and fled to Egypt according to a vision/dream(Mat 2:13,14) and was there till Herod’s death(Mat 2:15). If they had fled to Egypt on the day of birth, and was away till Herod’s death; and even after his death came and only settled in Nazareth – how were they present at the Temple in Jerusalem for the circumcision on the 8th day after birth(Luk 2:21) and for the Purification after 40 days? (Luk 2:22, Lev 12:2-4).

Why did they offer a pair of turtledoves/pigeons when the Law asked that a lamb was to be sacrificed by a person who is able? If the wise men had given the gifts on the first day itself, they would have had enough money to buy a lamb instead of the turtledoves/pigeons which were a substitute only for people who could not afford a lamb(Lev 12:6-8).

Conclusion
This study is a small bit of information to understand the true account of the early years of our Messiah. Does it make a big difference to Biblical doctrine? I guess not. The importance in knowing this information, lies in the fact that the story and the pictures that are communicated to our children as well as new believers today, is Biblically inaccurate. The Wise Men were not present at the day of Yeshua’s birth. They came to Bethlehem almost 2 years after His birth possibly to the House that they were then living in. While celebration of “Christmas” or the “Birth of Christ” was never commanded, instituted or endorsed by Christ, the disciples or the writers of the New Testament books, it has now turned into a celebration where even the facts are changed and not known or understood. I hope this study has helped shine a bit of light on the events of Christ’s Birth and that in turn, it will help you understand that their are many misunderstood verses and events which are written in the Bible. And that most of the traditions that we have grown up with are biblicaly inaccurate.

What does it mean to be like a “Berean”?

“Be like a Berean!” is a popular motto amongst modern Christian Congregations today. What does it encompass to be like a Berean? What were the qualities of the Bereans? And are we anything like Bereans? The Bereans are mentioned only in passing, in the Book of Acts 17:10&11.
“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:10,11).

So we see that the Bereans
1. Were called noble
2. Because they received the Word with readiness
3. And searched the Scriptures to examine Paul & Silas’ words

One of the main qualities of a Berean was to “Search the Scriptures”. This brings us to another very important question. What is the Biblical definition of the word “Scriptures”?
Christians would answer saying “The Bible” without giving it a thought, but is this answer correct? What many Christians fail to understand is, that the New Testament was not available in the 1st Century. In fact the New Testament was not readily available till the late 4th Century. Most of the Epistles of Paul were directed at specific Congregations, which means the letter to the Romans went only to the Church of Rome, the letter to the Corinthians went to the Church of Corinth, and so on.

Please note that this study is not meant to demean the New Testament writings. The New Testament writings take an important part when it comes to our Faith. Without the Gospels, the epistles and other books in the New Testament, we would have no knowledge of our Messiah, the apostles and their teachings. This study is meant as an eye opener to all Christians to understand what “Scripture” meant to Yeshua (Jesus’ true name), His apostles and everyone in the 1st Century including the Bereans.

There is only one logical conclusion to the question “What was considered as Scripture by the Bereans?”  –  The Old Testament!
Most of the New Testament wasn’t even written at this point, and even if parts were written they were not in mass-distribution. Furthermore, the Bereans were checking whether Paul’s and Silas’ claims of the Good News was true. The only way to check this was to go back to the Old Testament and check all the prophecies that were fulfilled in Yeshua.

Christ considered what we call “The Old Testament” as Scripture
Mat 21:42, Mat 22:29, Mat 26:54,56, Mar 12:10,24, Mar 14:49, Luk 4:21, 24:27,32,45, Joh 5:39, 7:38, 10:35, 13:18, 17:12,

The Gospels & Apostles considered what we call “The Old Testament” as Scripture
Mar 15:28, Joh 2:22, 19:24,28,36,37, 20:9, Act 1:16, 8:32,35, 17:2,11, 18:24,28, Rom 1:2, 9:17, 10:11, 11:2, 15:4, 16:26, Gal3:8,22, 4:30, 1Cor 15:3,4, 1Tim 5:18, 2Tim 3:15, Jas 2:8,23, 4:5, 1Pet2:6, 2Pet1:20,21, 3:16

Yeshua, His Apostles and everyone who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob considered what we call the “Old Testament” as “Scripture” including the Bereans. The sad turn of events that have shaped our history and Christian Doctrine, has made the “Scripture” of our Messiah and His Apostles, into an “Old”, “By the way” part of the Bible. The majority of Christian congregations today, cannot truthfully say, that they give equal prominence to the so called “Old Testament” as they give to the “New”.

Christians have forgotten that the Words spoken out of the Mouth of God and most of the Prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled, are all in the “Old” Testament. Each and every writer of the New Testament wrote the Gospels, Epistles and other writings based on the “Scripture” of their day. And we, who are far removed from their time, have gradually forgotten the importance that they gave to what we call the “Old”.

Be a Berean! Read, test, check and examine whether what I am saying is actually true. If it is, in fact true, be of noble nature, and give the attention “The Scriptures” justly deserve. And let it not be “Old” and “New”, but one in the same, a continuation of the Love story between God Almighty and His Children.

The Biblical Timeline – From Creation to the time of Exile

Very few people understand that the “Bible” which we read, is a Historical Document as much as the Inspired Word of God. The Old Testament Scriptures give us an accurate timeline of everything that took place in the past, right from Creation upto the 4th Century BC.

Bible-timeline

If you are like me, and you had tried to read the Old Testament (or at least part of it), you would have noticed lengthy chapters on Genealogies and how old this person was, and how many children he had, and so on and so forth. All of this information was not included in the Bible for no reason. Other than the period of Judges written in the “Book of Judges”, the rest of the Scriptures provide us with such a wealth of information regarding history, that we can accurately piece together the Timeline of everything that has happened from Creation itself.

(There are many timelines of the Bible on the internet, but I could not find one with Scriptural Proof to go alongside it. So for quite some time I have been piecing together a timeline myself. This Timeline, while being Scripturally accurate could still have a few flaws. Please let me know if you find anything out of place, so I can correct it accordingly)

Why be bothered with a Biblical Timeline?
There are many reasons we should at least have a basic understanding of the Timeline recorded in the Bible. I will highlight a few key reasons that you should be well versed with this Timeline.

1. It will help you to create a clearer picture of Biblical events
For example, in my mind, the event of the Flood seemed to have happened relatively soon after Creation, while the Timeline makes it clear, that it happened 1600 years after Creation.

2. It will help you to understand the Chronology of the Scriptures
Most people think that the books in the Bible are in order. While this is true to an extent, the books of the prophets are dispersed alongside the time of the Kings of Judah & Israel. Knowing which prophet comes at which period helps us to understand the context of these books.

3. It will help you see details you would have not seen otherwise
For example, did you know that Shem, the son of Noah died after Abraham?

4. It will help you to understand that God works according to a plan
The Creation account itself gives us a prophetic overview of everything which would happen on earth. Some could dismiss this idea. But you be the judge of the similarities given below.
1st Day – Light and Darkness (in the 1st 1000 years, Adam sins, bringing darkness into the earth)
2nd Day – Separation of Waters (in the 2nd 1000 years, the Flood happened separating Noah from all other people on earth)
3rd Day – Earth brought forth trees through seed (in the 3rd 1000 years, Abraham is promised to be father of Nations through his Seed, bringing forth the nation of Israel)
4th Day – Lights in the firmament (in the 4th 1000 years, Messiah brings light to our world)
5th Day – Multiplying of creatures (in the 5th 1000 years, Populations soar, Many nations and Religions come into existence)
6th Day – God creates Man in His image (in the 6th 1000 years, the time period we live in, it seems that God is creating a people for Himself)
7th Day – God ended His work (in the 7th 1000 years, yet to come, Messiah will rule and reign on earth as it is written in the Scriptures)

5. It will help you to see that the end days are actually near
When you look at the Biblical Timeline, it is evident that Yeshua (Jesus’ real name) appeared on earth almost 4000 years after Creation. Almost 2000 years have passed after He finished His earthly ministry. We are living in the age where the end of the 6000th year is at hand. The 1000 years or Millennial reign of Messiah is almost upon us.

As I mentioned before, please help me improve this Timeline in anyway possible. Let me know your suggestions and your comments. I sincerely hope that this Timeline will help you in your studies, so that you would be able to have an even closer walk with God Almighty, who created all things, giving us His Word, to be a guide in our lifetime.

What is the Biblical Day, Week, Month, Year? and does it really matter?

Questions are often raised regarding the Biblical Day, Week, Month & Year, while some even regard it worthless. The internationally accepted calendar system(known as the Gregorian Calendar) which is in use today, is not the same as the Biblical Calendar. When God created the Sun and the Moon, it was for the benefit of His creation to know His Appointed times and also the divisions of days and years as He set it to be.

sun moon and stars
Let us examine the Scriptures and find out the Day/Week/Month/Year which is Biblically accurate, and study the differences and similarities of the Standard Gregorian Calendar which is in use today, to the Biblical Calendar instituted by God.


————————————————– DAY —————————————————

Differences/Similarities between the Gregorian Day/Biblical Day
The Standard Calendar Day is calculated from Midnight to Midnight, while the Biblical day is from one Sunset to the next. The Biblical Day and Gregorian Day both seem to agree on the division of the day into a 24 Hour period. One could think that it’s strange to calculate a 24 hour day from one evening to the next. It actually is not that strange, when you think of the Gregorian day, which is calculated from one Midnight to the next. In the case of the Biblical Day, it starts with the Sunset, while the Gregorian Day starts in between the Sunset and the Sunrise.

The Biblical Day
♦ The Biblical day was divided into 12 Hours/Parts of Daytime (John 11:9) and presumably 12 Hours/Parts of Night (Mat 20:6)
♦ The Biblical day starts at Sundown
→ God’s Prophetic Appointments were to be from evening to evening [Sundown to Sundown] (Exo 12:18, Lev 23:32).
→ Nehemiah orders the Gates of Jerusalem to be closed when it was getting dark, denoting the sabbath started at evening (Neh 13:19)
→ The laws of uncleanness denotes that a person who becomes unclean because of a reason such as coming to contact with a carcass will be unclean till evening. If the person becomes unclean at night, he/she is unclean till the next evening (Lev 11:24,25, Deut 11:23)
→ A person who is put to death was supposed to be buried before the evening (Deut 21:22,23, Jos 8:28, 10:26,27)
→ Samson asks a riddle that needed to be answered within 7 days. The philistines answer him before the eve of the seventh day, denoting the end of the day was at sunset (Judg 14:12,18)
→ The sabbath was about to start when Yeshua was taken down from the cross in the eve (Luk 23:54, Joh 19:31)

————————————————– WEEK —————————————————

Differences/Similarities between the Gregorian Week/Biblical Week
Both the Gregorian and Biblical Calendar weeks consists of 7 days. In ancient times, some cultures have had weeks which contained differing number of days and some cultures still use these today. Even though the number of days in a week, is equal in both Calendars, the day numbers vary. (Eg: Most European countries consider Monday as the first day of the week, while many Middle-East countries consider Saturday as the first day)

The Biblical Week
♦ The Biblical Week has seven days
→ God’s creation took 6 days and a 7th day of rest, so that the week contains 7 days (Exo 20:9-11)
→ The feast of Weeks (Pentecost – which means 50 days) was to be celebrated by counting 7 weeks (Lev23:15,16, Deut 16:9,10)
→ The number seven is connected to the word “week” in the Scriptures (Gen29:27)
♦ The days in the Biblical week did not have names such as “Monday, Tuesday, etc.” The days in the Biblical week were numbered as 1st Day, 2nd Day, 3rd Day, 4th Day, 5th Day, 6th Day & the 7th Day which was known as the Sabbath. (Exo 16:5,22, Exo 20:11, Joh 2:1)
♦ The 7th Day in the Biblical Calendar is the day corresponding with Friday Eve/Sunset to Saturday Eve/Sunset in the Gregorian Calendar.
→ The Greek word used for the “Sabbath” in the Original Manuscripts of the New Testament  “sabbato” is the same name used for Saturday in Greek even today! In other words ; In Greece, the day which is called “Saturday” is still called “Sabbato” – the same word which is in the Original Greek New Testament Manuscripts which is translated as “Sabbath” in English.
→ Look at the similarities in the names used for Saturday in other Languages and “Sabbath” – Arabic: Sabet, Armenian: Shabat, Bosnian: Subota, Bulgarian: Sabota, Corsican: Sàbatu, Croatian: Subota, Czech: Sobota, Greek: Sabbato, Indonesian: Sabtu, Italian: Sabato, Latin: Sabbatum, Polish: Sobota, Portuguese: Sábado, Russian: Subbota, Serbian: Subota, Slovak: Sobota, Slovene: Sobota, Somali: Sabti, Spanish: Sabado, Sudanese: Saptu, Ukrainian: Subota
The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed. vol. 4, p. 988, tells us: The week is a period of seven days, having no reference whatever to the celestial motions — a circumstance to which it owes its unalterable uniformity… It has been employed from time immemorial in almost all eastern countries. The Hebrew people spoke of the days of the week by number rather than by name. The only day that had a name was the seventh day which was called Shabat, the Sabbath, or the rest day. In at least 108 different languages the name for the seventh day, corresponding to our “Saturday”, is a word meaning “rest day.”
Some point out the Calendar changes in history makes it impossible to know the actual day of the Sabbath. This theory is inaccurate. The change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, has had no effect whatsoever upon the order of the days of the week. (click here for details on this calendar change). Because of this, the Calendar changes has had no effect towards Saturday which is still the same day Yeshua celebrated the Sabbath on.

————————————————– MONTH —————————————————

Differences/Similarities between the Gregorian Month/Biblical Month
The Gregorian Calendar system has no reason for a Month to be 28,29,30 or 31 days. This system was a main characteristic of the Gregorian Calendar, and was done so that the days of the year would equal to 365 days. Unlike the Gregorian calendar, the Biblical Calendar depends on the Moon to calculate the beginning of the month. A complete revolution of the Moon is considered a Month in the Biblical Calendar. Science determines that a Moon revolution lasts roughly about 29.5 days, and because of this reason, a Biblical Month lasts 29 or 30 days.

The Biblical Month
The Biblical Month is connected to the Moon in Scripture
1Ki 8:2  And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month(H3391-ירח- yerach-month) Ethanim, which is the seventh month(H2320-חדשׁ-chôdesh-new moon). The 2 Hebrew words translated as Month in our English Versions are “Yerah” and “Kodesh”. “Yerah” means Month, while “Kodesh” means New Moon. See 1Kin 6:38 as well.
Gen 29:14 & Num 11:20,21 contains “space of” or “whole” month, using the Hebrew word “Khodesh” while 2Kin 15:13 & Deut 21:13 contains “full” month, using the Hebrew word “Yerah”. Both these words are clearly connected, showing the relation of Moon to Month, Biblically.
♦ The New Month, or the first day of the Month is proclaimed when there is a New Moon which is identified by the first visible sliver of the Moon.
→ The New Moon(Kodesh) is mentioned as a “particular day” in 1Sam 20:5,18, 2Kin 4:23, Eze 46:1,6 indicating that it was a day which was proclaimed in some way.
→ The word Hodesh originates from a Hebrew word called H2318-חדשׁ-châdash which means “new”, “to make new” or “renew”. The moon itself is not renewed, but with the Lunar cycle, the light of the Moon increases, becomes full, decreases and goes dark. And it is again renewed, and the cycle continues. In this way, when the first sliver of light is seen on the Moon, the beginning of the month is proclaimed.
→ Some hold to the belief that the Conjunction (Full dark Moon) is the New Moon as per Modern Astronomy. This is hard to believe, as the people in ancient times would not have been able to accurately know the day of Conjunction as the Moon can stay dark for more than 2 days
♦ Much like the sun indicates the beginning of a day, the Moon indicates the beginning of the Biblical Month. Even an uneducated person could have understood when the New Month begins, just by looking up at the sky, with this sign that God created in the Heavens.

————————————————– YEAR —————————————————

Differences/Similarities between the Gregorian Year/Biblical Year
The Gregorian Calendar system calculates a year by counting 365 days (366 days in a leap year) which is the time it takes for the earth to finish a revolution around the Sun, hence it is known as a Solar Calendar. The Biblical Calendar on the other hand, depends on the Sun and Moon both to calculate the beginning of the Year, hence being known as a Luni-Solar Calendar. Even though January 1st is regarded the day of the New Year in the Gregorian Calendar (Roman Consuls in the time of the Roman Empire, as far back as 153BC, first entered office on January 1st), The Biblical Calendar is determined completely differently.

The Biblical Year
♦ The Biblical Year began with the New Moon when the Barley Harvest was in the stage of ripening which was called “Abib” in the Scriptures. The period between Biblical New Years have 12 or 13 months or New Moons.
→ The month of the Abib is called the first month in Scripture (Exo 12:2, 13:4, 34:18)
Abib is a state of ripening in Grains. Exo 9:31,32 And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear(Abib), and the flax was bolled. But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up. (H24 – אביב – aw-beeb’ – A state of ripening)
→ Abib is the state which is, in between the stage of green colour ripening grain and completely ripe golden streaks of grain. It is the stage when the grain is a light yellowish colour.
→ The Month of Abib is also known as Nisan in the Scriptures (Est 3:7, Neh 2:1)
→ The Month of Abib is usually the month that the Spring/Vernal Equinox happens
♦ To this day, the Karaite Jews in Israel engage themselves in an exercise called the Abib Search to ascertain whether the First Month can be proclaimed. This way, when the Grain is Abib and the Sliver of the New Moon appears in the Sky, the First Biblical Month is proclaimed.

Conclusion
One could ask whether knowing the “Biblically Accurate” dates, really matter? Or whether there is any value in understanding and studying these things and knowing both the similarities and differences in our Standard Calendar and the Biblical Calendar? When God says 7th Day, He means the 7th Day and no other Day. When He says the 1st Month, He means the 1st Month and no other month. Jeroboam the 1st King of the Divided Kingdom of Israel, did just this. He instituted a Feast on the 8th Month, which was like God’s Feast, when God had specifically told people to celebrate the Feast on the 7th Month (1Kin 12:32,33).

As Messiah Yeshua quoted from the Book of Isaiah, saying “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men (Isa 29:13/Mat 15:8,9). It is my belief that it is better to follow God, than man. It is better to follow God’s Word, than any man’s word. And it is better to follow God’s Calendar, than any man made calendar.

I am in no way saying, that we should throw the Gregorian Calendar away, as it is recognized as the standard amongst the whole world. But I am saying that all of us need to learn God’s Calendar and use His days and His ways to worship, honor and draw close to Him. The lack of knowledge of His calendar has led to so many misunderstandings and mistakes in our walk with Him. His Appointed Times/Feast all depend on His Calendar. This is the same Prophetic Calendar which Yeshua used and fulfilled by His Death(Passover), His Resurrection(Firstfruits) and Giving of the Holy Spirit(Pentecost). It is time to mend our ways and come back to Him. Are we really too technologically advanced to adhere to His Calendar by lifting up our eyes to the Sun and the Moon that He created?

How many of each animal did Noah take into the Ark? Hint: It wasn’t 2 of each

We have all been taught that Noah took Animals of each kind into the Ark, two by two. Most people teach this to their children. Teachers teach it at Sunday Schools. We see pictures of it in story books and have watched it in cartoon form. We even sing songs to that extent in our gatherings. But what is the truth? and does it matter to us today?

I would have read this story in the Old Testament many times, and for many years believed myself that “2 of each” was correct . But what does the Bible really say?

Most of us, like myself read Gen 6:19-22 and made the assumption that God told Noah to take “2 of each” of all animals into the Ark.
Gen 6:19-22 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he. 

But God spoke to Noah again, and described what he wants done more thoroughly right after these words
Gen 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

Wait a minute. Why did God say 2 at first and then say “sevens” and “two”
What God meant by 2 of every sort was that Noah had to take the Male and Female of each animal. Then He went onto describe the numbers of Animals he wanted saved.
Clean Animals = Seven Pairs of each kind (Seven Males & Seven Females)
Unclean Animals = Two Pairs of each kind (Two Males & Two Females)

“Clean” and “Unclean” animals before “Moses and the Food Laws”?
The interesting fact is that God’s classification of “Clean” and “Unclean” animals, written down in Leviticus 11 & Deuteronomy 14 through Moses, had been there even at Noah’s time. Noah knew which animals were “Clean” and which were “Unclean”.

So what’s the BIG DEAL?
One of the reasons this is important is, that we are giving a wrong picture to people when we say “2 of each”. It simply is not the truth. Another reason this should interest some, would be because saying “2 of each” hides the fact that the Food/Dietary Law division which was written down by Moses, was actually in effect even in Noah’s time.

God’s Commandments & Instructions are valid for us today, in the same way they were valid in Moses’ time and even before. As we see by this simple study, the division of “Clean” and “Unclean” animals has been there even in Noah’s time. It is a pity that 2000 years after the Messiah, that we have the notion that these dietary laws have been done away with, when in fact it was even in effect before Moses. And as far as I understand, the scriptures say that God’s Word does not change – they are forever (Matthew 5:18, 24:35, Isaiah 40:8, Psalm 119:160). Then how can these instruction given direct by God Almighty, change?

Links of interest

A page of the King James Bible printed in 1611, which contains our Heavenly Father’s Holy Name

The image below is a page from the King James Bible printed in 1611, and shows part of the 5th & 6th Chapters of the Book of Exodus. Special attention should be given to Chapter 6, where God’s name is specifically mentioned and was printed as “IEHOVAH”. Exodus 6:3 is one of the few places that retained God’s true name in the KJV.

King James Bible Imprinted at London : By Robert Barker …, 1611. In Annenberg Rare Book and Manuscript Library. BS185 1611 .L65.

God’s Holy name has been printed as “Jehovah” in later prints of the KJV Bible, and is now seen as “LORD” in the New King James Version. All English Translations carry the title “LORD” in capital letters instead of his actual name “YEHOVAH”. “LORD” is not our Heavenly Father’s Name. It is only one of His many titles. For further information on this subject, consider reading this article.

You can view the printed pages of the King James Version produced in 1611, by visiting this link.

Does God have a name?

We find lots of foreign gods mentioned by name throughout the Bible, while God Almighty is almost exclusively mentioned as “LORD God” in our English Translations.

Some of the foreign deities mentioned in the Bible include Tammuz (Ezek 8:14), Baal (1Kin 18:25,26), Dagon (1Sam 5:2), Baalpeor (Psalms 106:28), Chemosh (Judges 11:24), Ashtoreth & Milcom (1Kings 11:5), Nisroch (2Kin 19:37), Nergal / Ashima / Nibhaz / Tartak / Adrammelech / Anammelech (2Kin 17:30,31), Rimmon(2Kin 5:18), Baalzebub (2Kin 1:2), Zeus & Hermes (Acts 14:12), Artemis (Acts 19:24).

But is it true that God Almighty, who we believe made the Heavens and Earth did not have a name among men? Was He always known by a title such as “God” or “Lord”? Or did He have a name? Not one that man had made up for Him, but one that He made known to man?

Some would question whether it is of any importance to know such a name or whether it really matters. From the beginning of time mentioned in the scriptures, we read that God named people from Adam(Gen 5:2), Abraham(Gen 17:5), Sarah(Gen 17:15), Isaac(Gen 17:19), Jacob/Israel(Gen 35:10) and a number of others upto John(Luke 1:13) and even our Messiah “Yeshua” – Jesus’ true name (Mat 1:21). All of the names which God gave people had meaning, purpose and a prophetic nature in them. For example, Abraham meant “Father of a multitude” & Yeshua meant “God’s Salvation”.

If names given to humans were of such importance to God, wouldn’t His own name have even a little significance in our lives? And if such a name does exist, why do we not know, or use this name?

God speaks of His name throughout the Bible
Exo 9:16  But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.
Num 6:27  “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”
Jer 23:27  who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal?

Our English translations portray His NAME as “the LORD
Hos 12:5  the LORD, the God of hosts, the LORD is his memorial name
Isa 42:8  I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.
Exo 3:15  God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
Exo 33:19  And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
Lev 19:12  You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.
Lev 22:2  “Speak to Aaron and his sons so that they abstain from the holy things of the people of Israel, which they dedicate to me, so that they do not profane my holy name: I am the LORD.
Jer 16:21  “Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the LORD.”
Eze 39:7  “And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel, and I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
Zec 13:9  They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’
Psa 135:13 Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages.
Psa 9:10  And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Micah 4:5 For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever.

So is God’s name “LORD”?
Confusing as it sounds, wherever “LORD” (in capital letters) is mentioned in our English Bibles, the Original Manuscripts of the Scriptures, which were written in Hebrew, read “יהוה“.
(Strong’s Hebrew Concordance – H3068 – יהוה – yehôvâh – yeh-ho-vaw’)
These 4 Hebrew letters can be equaled to “YHVH” in English. Pronounced as Yahweh, Yehovah or Jehovah. (Although we will not get into the correct pronunciation, which we will tackle in a future study, my personal studies have shown the most accurate pronunciation would be “Yehovah”. I will share my findings on this, with you on a later date as I am still collating enough evidence.)

What does all of this mean? It means we have been calling the creator of heaven and earth as “Lord” and “God” which are mere titles, when He clearly showed that His name is “YHVH”(Yehovah). In Exodus 3:15, our Creator, introduced Himself to Moses saying “Say this to the people of Israel, Yehovah”, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

“YHVH” is used over 6000 times in our bibles, and each time it has been changed to “the LORD”. Whenever you see “LORD” in capital letters in your English Bibles, it should actually carry “YHVH” instead. (“LORD” should not be confused with “Lord”. The word “LORD” in our English Bibles has replaced “YHVH”, while “Lord” is amongst many titles given to “YHVH”. You can clearly see the difference here, when Moses refers to God as “YHVH” and calls Him, his “Lord” –  Exo 4:10  But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”)

The Hebrew word “יהוה“(YHVH) which appear as “LORD” in English capital letters over 6000 times in the Bible, has also been preserved as “Jehovah” in 4 places in our English versions.
Exo 6:3  And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
Psa 83:18  That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.
Isa 12:2  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
Isa 26:4  Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Even though the exact pronunciation should have been “Yehovah” (the “Ja” sound is not in the Hebrew vocabulary), we should be happy to at least see the holy name for ourselves printed in our bibles in some way.

The Poetic form of God’s Name, in HALLELUYAH!
If you have ever sung or said “Halleluyah!”, you have already proclaimed God’s name in it’s poetic Form “YAH”. The word we use as “Halleluyah” is actually a combination of 2 Hebrew words. (H1984 – הלל – hâlal – haw-lal’ which means “Praise”) and (H3050 – יהּ – yâhh – yaw which is the first part or first 2 letters of “יהוה” YHVH). Whenever you say “Halleluyah”, you are not merely saying “Praise be to God”. You are in fact praising His name, saying “Praise be to Yehovah”.

This poetic form “YAH” can be seen close to 50 times in the scripture (Mainly in Psalms used along side הלל – “HALLAL” which means “Praise”) It is even preserved in our English version in, Psa 68:4  Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. (A better way to read and write this word would be “YAH”, instead of “JAH” as the “J” sound is not in the Hebrew vocabulary)

In the Scriptures, God’s name “Yehovah” was combined with other words to give him more glory, such as

  • Gideon built an Altar to God calling it Yehovah is Peace – Jdg 6:24  Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
  • Moses built an altar to God calling it Yehovah is my BannerExo 17:15  And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:
  • Abraham called the mountain top where he went to sacrifice Isaac as Yehovah will See (as in “see” to it)Gen 22:14  And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

In conclusion, I want to make a few points clear. I am not part of the denomination called “Jehovah’s Witnesses” nor do I approve of their doctrines. But the fact is, that they have come very close to the original name of God “YHVH” (The correct pronunciation should be  “Yehovah” and not “Jehovah”, which I will not get into right now).

A person who believes in God Almighty, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is in no way sinning by calling YHVH, by His titles which are “Lord” and “God”. But the fact is God’s name is “YHVH”, and it is better for us to know it, and use it, just as everyone in the Scriptures did. Which children do not know of their Father’s true name? Do we really want to fall into that category?

The answer to the question of whether the God of the Bible has a name is a clear “Yes”. And it is not merely LORD, as there are many “Lords” in the world. His name is not “God”, as there are many God’s in every nation. His Name has been, is, and will be, only “YHVH” (Yehovah).