The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
ב״ה
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

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 tipsMy comment is displayed like this.” which are accessed by “hovering” your mouse over the text or tapping your touch screen. [A few short comments look like this.] Longer comments are included in footnotes or links to other pages. Sometimes my paraphrase provides all the commentary needed to clarify the passage. I have added emphasis to some phrases simply to call them to your attention. Explanations of Greek and Hebrew words are from the NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries Copyright © 1981, 1998 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved Lockman.org. In order to get the most from these pages, please follow all the hyperlinks, nearly all of which will open in a new tab or window.

Introductory Notes and Comments
Bible Books Index  •  Global Notes  •  Biblical Numerology
Torah  •  Neviim  •  Kituvim  •  Apocrypha  •  Apostolic Writings


Introduction to
My Paraphrase, Notes, and Comments
on the Whole Bible

Tanakh ScrollThe text used for my notes and comments is my personal paraphrase based primarily on The World Messianic Bible, formerly known as the Hebrew Names Version, which is in the Public Domain, with constant reference to the original Hebrew and Greek texts, though I am in no way a language scholar. I have paraphrased the text because I have felt that a slightly different translation or phrasing better conveyed what I believe was the original writer’s intent and to clarify difficult ideas into modern terms. Whenever I have done so, I have tried to ensure that the original text actually allows my rendering or paraphrase by comparing it with several other modern translations. It should not be considered in any way authoritative. I have also retained the Hebrew names of Jewish individuals and places because I believe an understanding of their ethnic identity is critical to a correct understanding of the Scriptures. I have also tried to keep my notes and comments conversational, as if you and I were seated together to discuss the text. While this may offend some as being “unscholarly,” I believe it will be more comfortable for the majority of readers. (See “Vocabulary Matters”)

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, because the author wants you to know he’s Hispanic. But when ambivalent (or antisemitic)  English-speaking translators render the Bible into English, all sorts of strange things happen.

This results in a total 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 Writingsthe so-called“New Testament”, resulting in terrible distortions of God’s message to mankind.

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.”

Whether it has been done out of ignorance or done intentionally to follow the example of the de facto first Roman 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 and rightfully rejected by Torah-believing Jews of all ages) and the Jewish Sect called “The Way” would still be a part of Judaism and 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 the Jewish Messiah!

My primary objective for this effort is to provide brief explanatory comments on the entire Biblical text as well. I believe that Dr. David Stern has done an excellent job of preserving the “Jewishness” of the people and the message of the original text in his translation of the Complete Jewish Bible, and that is the version that I personally use as the “jumping-off point” 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 WMB 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. My hope is that you, the reader, will be able to experience the Scriptures as if you were one of the intended recipients of the original text.

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 each 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 my version of the Torah.

I anticipate this effort will probably take the rest of my life to complete, as I have already well 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!

____________

  1. In an apparent effort to flatter the king who commissioned the 1611 English translation of the Bible, the “translators” arbitrarily changed the name of Messiah’s half-brother from Ya'akov to “James” (which they rendered as “Jacob” in the “Old Testament”), apparently so the monarch could see his name in the Scriptures. The question needs to be asked, can we trust the accuracy of a translation in which the “translators” (who were not at all proficient in the Hebrew language) were specifically instructed to consider the traditions of the apostate Church of England of greater priority than accuracy of translations, and who place political favor above textual accuracy? And it begs the question, why haven’t more recent translators corrected this situation? [RETURN]

Page revised on Sunday, 19 April 2020

Page last updated on Sunday, 11 July 2021 11:17 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return
ANXIOUSLY WATCHING FOR MASHIACH’S RETURN,
SPEEDILY AND IN OUR DAY. MARANA, TA!