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"Hellen"(greek word) Diasporic Jew or Greek?

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  • "Hellen"(greek word) Diasporic Jew or Greek?

    Shalom to all,

    I've been looking further into the translation of a simple word in the Greek of the NT that makes, dare I say, as big or even BIGGER difference than the translation of nomos!!! The word is "hellen" - typically translated as "gentile" or "Greek". Take a moment to consider the implications of translating this (and related terms) as hellen-JEWS (not the typical hellen-gentiles, as is assumed). If it hasn't hit you yet, let me give you some food for thought:
    1) Rather than "Paul, the apostle to the gentiles" we have "Shaul, the one sent to the Hellenized Jews of the dispersion" -- This would be a paradigm-shift that would rock everything!!! And - if this translation is accurate - would demonstrate just how far replacement has been taken!

    2) Rather than "gentiles" as the "uncultivated wild olive branch" being "grafted into the culitvated olive branch (for the first time)" we have "Hellenized (dispersed) Yisra'el" being "grafted BACK INTO (regathered/teshuvah/renewed) the olive branch" from which they had become estranged and understandably "wild" in comparison to.

    3) Halacha (Oral Torah) was called a "fence" for the Torah by the rabbis. Part of that "fence" meant that faithful Israel needed to stay seperated from "Hellenized Israel" (for example, not eating in their houses like Kepha was condemned for doing by Shaul). When Shaul speaks of the "middle wall of partition" being "broken down" ...are Christians right in saying this refers to the seperation between "Jew" and "gentile"? The Aramaic (from the Peshita) for "middle wall of partition" is the VERY SAME termonology used by the rabbis for - yep, that's right - "fence" (of the Oral Torah!!!). SO... let's put it together. Shaul (submitted to the beit din headed by Ya'chov [James]) was explaining the halachic decision made by the Beit Din HaNetzarim located in Yerushalaim, namely, that Israelites-Tzadikim (righteous Israelites) were NOT to remain seperated from Hellenized-Israelites-Ba'al-Teshuva (Hellenized Israelites who were returning to Torah, but not YET living righteous lives) BECAUSE the previous halachic decision ("fence") had been "abolished in the flesh of Moshiach" BECAUSE Moshiach had come FOR THE VARY REASON of cleansing Yisra'el of her sins and making possible the REGATHERING of the DISPERSED OF ISRAEL. Ahhhhhh... now THAT makes sense in the context.

    4) Getting back to Shaul's self-conception... what was it he saw himself as doing? Was he "sent to the gentiles" because the "Jews" had rejected their Messiah? This sets the stage for the obvious conclusion that "gentiles" replaced "Israel after the flesh" because they are the "spiritual Israel" who accepted what the "Jews" forfeited. Here's where a MASSIVE paradigm shifts takes place. "Jews" (in the Gk) is actually "Judeans" (i.e. the Israelites who were NOT in the dispersion, or Judeans who had moved into the dispersion for whatever reason). Let's try out the (correct?) translation and see what happens. Shaul sees the "Judean Israelites" as not (as a whole) accepting their Mashiach. Therefore, Shaul goes to the "Hellenized Jews" in the dispersion, because Yahoshua is the Messiah of ALL Yisra'el (not just the Judeans). After all, the Neviim (prophets) had spoken EXTENSIVELY (nearly all of them!) about the REGATHERING of the dispersed of ISRAEL. The dispersed needed to hear that their redemption had come. Keep in mind that Shaul saw himself as an example of him who's "feet on the mountain brings good news ("gospel")". According to Isaiah (and nearly ALL the other prophets!), who was it that was to receive this "good news"? Was it "gentiles"? Ahhh, NO! It was the dispersed of Yisra'el of course, the "Hellenized Jews". It was good news because Elohim was to regather them and re-establish Yisra'el to make her a "praise in all the earth" and to RENEW the covenant He had made with them. It was good news because Israel - though they had violated the covenant and been scattered to the four corners of the earth - was now to be regathered and re-established. Who was to make this happen? The "son of David" of course - the Messiah. The same one that Shaul was offering. I tried to ask myself the questions that a 1st century faithful Jew would ask. What in the Scriptures would drive Shaul to be so passionate about being "sent to the gentiles"? - I don't see it. On the other hand, what in the Scriptures would drive him to be so passionate about being "sent to the dispersed (Hellenized) of Israel"? - I see nearly ALL of the prophets VERY PASSIONATELY describing this sort of calling!!! I suspect Shaul would be VERY HONORED to call the dispersed of Israel to do teshuvah, but I think he would be VERY CONFUSED if he was asked to go to the "gentiles". Being "sent to the gentiles" makes absolutely no sense according the Scriptures!!! However, being "sent to the dispersed (Hellenized) of Israel" is in fact the ENTIRE THEME of the prophets!!!!!!! And, notice where in fact Shaul goes - the SYNAGOGUES.

    5) I could go on, because the possibilities open a NEW PARADIGM for interpretting Shaul, the Netzarim, and the entire foundation of how they saw: themselves, Hellenized Israelites, and gentiles. Just IMMAGINE... Shaul (the one sent to the Hellenized-Jews) writing to SYNAGOGUES in the dispersion, rather than "Paul" (the apostle to the gentiles) writing to "Christian Churches" he "established (from scratch)" throughout the world. Which truly makes sense... I think Shaul was "sent" to the "hellens" alright (the literal Gk), but I think the "hellens" were hellen-JEWS... after all, if we indeed see his letters as written to synagogues (not "churches") then we can see how "Jews" could be the obvious context for which "hellens" he was refering to. There were several "hellens" and some of them were Jews. This is esspecially interesting in Romans 9-11.

    Well... write me back and tell me what you think. I admit, the idea is radical, but radical in comparison to what? It's only radical to Christian theology, which is replacement garbage. On the other hand, NOT interpretting it this way is radical to Jewish theology. This interpretation flows perfectly and consistantly, and I am growing in the opinion that it surely must be the right one... not "gentiles" but "Hellenized Jews" of the dispersion.


    Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech HaOlam

    "Those who love your Torah find great peace, and nothing can make them stumble." Tehillim 119:165

  • #2
    Well, maybe I can spark a conversation with myself, since it seems pretty lonely in here.... he he he....

    I looked up "hellen" in my concordance and greek dictionary, and did some cross-checking for its use in the LXX (this comes in very handy ever since I have been enrolled in my greek classes). I found very quickly another term - "ethnos". This term is usually translated "nation" or "people group". It can mean bloodline, but that specific use is usually the word
    "phoo-lay" (used for "tribe" in NT, as in the tribes of Israel). In Isa. 49 (you should look this up) for example, ethnos is translated "gentiles" or "nations". HOWEVER, the context seems to GLARINGLY contradict this translation!!! It seems obvious (to my limited understanding anyway) that it is the dispersed of Israel that is being refered to - look elsewhere from chps 40-55 to see what I mean. Isa 49:1-7 is sometimes called the other "servant's song" because it resembles Isa 53. The "literal meaning" (first level of the so called "four-levels of understanding" - PaRDes as explaned at SANJ) of Isa 53 is obvious - "suffering servant = Israel". The other "levels of understanding" are what's used to point to the Messiah.
    Here's the thing. By ALL OTHER wording in Isa 40-55 it seems the dispersed of Israel are who receive the "light in the darkness" and wait for the "justice" (mishpatim) to be delivered to them. HOWEVER (and here's where I think the confusion comes in), it is the "servant" (of YHVH) that brings all these things to the "ethnos" (what's translated as "nations" or "gentiles"). Here's the confusion. The translators ask (I know this because I went to the LXX and the Masoretic Hebrew to translate this myself), "How can 'Israel' be the 'servant' and deliver this 'light' to 'Israel' (as in the dispersed of Israel)???????" That's the question I asked myself in trying to understand these cryptic prophecies. I think other translators have asked these same questions, and have consequently solved this apparent paradox by translating "ethnos" as "nations/gentiles".

    HOWEVER, THIS FAILS!!! The context seems to refer to these same "ethnos" people as ISRAEL!!! How can this be??? I asked myself this and pondered...

    When I was trying to understand Shaul's writings I was baffled why he contrasted "ethnos" with "Israel". I was also baffled why he contrasted "hellen" with "Israel". These are the two main terms that Christians translators use to prove that their "apostle Paul" was "sent to the gentiles". (By the way, the Greek can also be translated as "amoung the ethnos ["nations"]). I thought to myself, "Isa also seems to contrast "ethnos" with "Israel", but Isa seems to mean this in such a way that "ethnos" is actually the DISPERSED OF ISRAEL!!!


    What if Shaul read to prophet Isaiah... What if Shaul understood the "servant" to be Israel-the-faithful-remant... What Shaul also used PaRDes (deeper levels of understanding beyond the literal) to understand a more hidden meaning of this "servant" to ALSO indicate the Messiah... What if Shaul understood the contrast between "Israel" and "ethnos" to be contrasting "Israel-the-faithful-remnant" with "the dispersed of Israel"... What if Shaul used "ethnos" to describe the dispersed of Israel in his letters SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE that term was already used in the LXX to describe the dispersed of Israel, thus making it obvious WHO he was refering to and making it easy to make the conection between his ministry and Isaiah's prophecies... What if this has been OBVIOUS the whole time but Christian translators have only perpetuated the the false dogma (like they have in everything else) and they can't see past the dogma anyway because 1900 years of "scholarship" has blinded people to any other interpretation... Then again, what if I'm wrong...

    These questions kept me up last night with books all over my floor. It would all come together if the LXX translation of Isaiah uses "ethnos" (contrasted with Israel) to mean the "dispersed of Israel". If that is so, then there can be no other interpretation to Shaul's letters, PERIOD - case closed. Shaul proved his message using "Scripture" and the Bereans (most likely Greek-speaking-Jews) confirmed his message in the SCRIPTURES - Tanach. Isaiah is by far quoted the most (second only to Devarim, Dt.), and understanding Isa would reveal how Shaul viewed his mission!!! Other quotes he uses are revealing. In Romans he quotes Hosea (speaking for YHVH) in saying (paraphrased) "Those I called 'not-my-people' I will call 'my-people'". This is UNARGUABLY refering to the dispersed of Israel in the book of Hosea, so why should we think Shaul is speaking of someone else in his letter? Did Shaul not know what Scripture meant??? It could be argued that Shaul was using PaRDeS to apply this to "gentiles", but I don't see why if there is a better answer. What if Shaul - following the exact same wording as he found in Isaiah - contrasted "Israel" with "ethnos" to mean contrasting "Israel-the-remnant" with "Israel-the-dispersed-and-captive-in-darkness"....... This makes sense when trying to interpret the beginning of Romans chp 11.

    Equally as important, "Jews" needs to be translated literally "Judeans". Further research also needs to be done in how first century Jews used the terms "ethnos" and "hellen". For example, if one Jew is speaking with another Jew about Jews, would he simply say "hellen" to refer to a hellenized short for short... or would need to specify "hellenized Jew" rather than simply say "hellen". For example, even today, if an Orthodox Jew is speaking to another Orthodox Jew about another (non-religious) Jew, and he simply calls him "hellenized" he has no need of specified that he doesn't mean "gentile" but he means "hellenized-Jew". This should not seem odd...

    Well, in hopes of good responses, Shalom...


    Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech HaOlam

    "Those who love your Torah find great peace, and nothing can make them stumble." Tehillim 119:165


    • #3
      Greetings simchat_torah
      You have presented some interesting posts.

      I personally thought it was common knowledge that Hellenist meant Greek speaking Jews in the Greek Scriptures (New Testament). But I realize now that it is translated Grecian (#1675) in the KJV and not Hellenist. The KJV has done much in the way of causing division, discord and a lack of understanding due to the way it was translated.

      But as far as I know the word Hellenist (1675) is only used in Acts 6:1, 9:29 and 11:20.

      The Hebrew Scriptures tell us that the Greeks are descended from Noah's son Japheth, Yavan, and although it doesn't say a lot about them it does tell us that there will be conflict between them and the children of Israel, who come from the line of Shem.
      Daniel 8:21
      And the shaggy goat is the king of Yavan (Greece, KJV) and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

      Daniel 10:20
      And he said, Do you know why I have come to you? And now I will return to fight with the ruler of Parac (Persia, KJV). And when I have gone out, then the ruler of Yavan shall come.

      Daniel 11:2
      And now I will declare to you the truth. Behold, three kings will yet stand up in Parac, and the fourth shall be rich in all greater riches. And when he is strong by his rulers he will stir up all the kingdom of Yavan.

      Joel 3:6-8 (4:6-8)
      6) And the children of Yahudah and the children of Yerusalem you have sold to the children of the Yavanim (Greeks, KJV), that you might remove them from their border.
      7) Behold, I am arousing them from the place where you have sold them, and will return your reward on your own head.
      8) And I well sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Yahudah...

      Zechariah 9:13
      For I have bent Yahudah as my bow; I filled it with Ephraim and I will stir up your children, Tsion and make you as the sword of a mighty man, against your children, Yavan.
      Now the KJV translated Yavan as Greece, but that is not entirely accurate because Yavan predates Greece. Greece is one of those descended from Yavan.

      According to Strong's Concordance:

      Hellas #1671; Greece or country of Europe.
      Hellen #1672; a Grecian or inhab. of Hellas; by extens. a Greek-speaking person, espec. a non-Jew.
      Hellenikos #1673; Hellenic, i.e. Grecian in language.
      Hellenis #1674; fem. of 1672; a Grecian (i.e. non-Jewish) woman.
      Hellenenistes # 1675; a Hellenist or Greek-speaking-Jew.
      Hellenisti; from the same as 1675; Hellenistically, i.e. in the Grecian language.

      Yavan H#3120
      the name of a son of Japheth, and of the race (Ionians, i.e. Greeks) descended from him, with their territory.

      According to my dictionary:
      Hellene [Greek proper name]
      1. Greek Myth., a member of a Thessalian tribe led by Hellen, legendary ancestor of the true Greeks;
      2. later, a person of the pure Greek race of the classical period;
      3. a modern Greek

      1. strictly, pertaining to, or characteristic of, classic Greece; especially, pertaining to the social and cultural aspects of classical Greek civilization, or to classic Greek art and literature;
      2. pertaining to the Greeks in general;
      3. pertaining to the literary Greek language as distinguished from Romaic, the modern vernacular.

      1. a Greek manner of speech;
      2. admiration or imitation of the Greeks;
      3. the Greek national spirit;
      4. the spirit characteristic of the classic Greek period.

      1. a Jew who spoke Greek in preference to Hebrew;

      2. one learned in Greek;
      3. a scholar who spread Greek culture during the Renaissance;
      4. one who believes that the primary basis for personal culture is to be found in the spirit of the ancient Greeks.

      1. aimin at, or tending toward, the Greek spirit;
      2. possessing, or partaking of, Hellenic characteristics with foreign or decadent admixture: used especially of Greek art, literture, and culture after the time of Alexander the Great.

      to cause to conform to Greek standards or usages; to imitate the Greeks in language and custom.

      Ionian [Greek Ionios]
      1. pertaining to Ionia, the western coast of Asia Minor and the neighboring islands, or to its inhabitants:
      2. a member of the main divisions of the ancient Greek race which settled first in Attica, Euboea and Achaia, and later spread to the western coast of Asia Minor and the adjacent islands.

      Ionic [Greek Ionikos]
      1. of or pertaining to Ionia, the western coast of Asia Minor and the neighboring islands, or to its inhabitants;
      2. pertaining to the main divisions of the ancient Greeks which settled originally in Attica, Euboea, and Achaia, and later in Ionia;
      3. pertaining to the language spoken by them.



      • #4
        As regards to ethnos (#1484) in the Greek Scriptures meaning Hellenized Jews, I am not sure. I can see where it may fit in some cases, but as a whole I don't see it.

        However there is no "ethnos" in the Hebrew Scriptures, it is "goy/goyim" which does mean "nation/nations".



        • #5
          Hi Japhet, Great to see you here. I love what you have written.
          According to my Hebrew dictionary, "A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language"
          The Jews will 'spit' and say 'goy or plurel goym', this they do concerning their own who have left their belief.
          How would you spell 'hellen' in greek? I may be mistaken but I don't think there is an "H" in the Greek.



          • #6
            Japheth, I was just discussing this very topic with friends before coming online.
            I believe that Jesus was sent to and for the lost house of Israel only.

            Matthew 15:22-28 Behold, a Canaanite woman came out from that region, and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Messiah, Son of David: my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came to him and kept asking him, saying, “Send her away, for she is shouting out after us.“ He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

            Luke 19:9-10 And Yahushua said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham.” For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

            Matthew 10:5-6 These twelve Yahushua sent out after instructing them, saying, “Do not go in the way of the gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; But rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

            Luke 19:10 “For the son of man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

            John 17:8-9 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.

            Hebrews 2:10 It was fitting that Yahweh, for whom and through whom everything exists, would in bringing many sons to glory, make perfect through suffering the leader of their salvation. For consecrator and consecrated are all of the same stock; that is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers.

            The Jews were given the laws of the universe in the very beginning and were to teach mankind as they were ready to receive. However some of the Jews strayed off with the nations and became lost within them. The lost Jews need to be brought back into right standing before the Jews can teach anyone else. We must always remember to clean up our own house before trying to clean out someone else's.
            When Jesus and Paul sent their apostles out they were to go into all the world making apostles out of the Jews that were dispersed in all of the world.



            • #7
              Hello Marietta and Japheth
              In the Hebrew Scriptures the words goy/goyim are used not only for any and all nation/nations but also in reference to Israel as a nation.
              Genesis 10:5
              The coasts of the nations (goyim) were divided by these in their lands, each by his tongue, by their families, in their nations (goyim), the sons of Japheth

              Genesis 10:20
              These were the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their tongues, in their lands in their nations (goyim)

              Genesis 10:31-32
              31) These were the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their tongues, in their lands, according to their nations (goyim)
              32) These were the sons of Noah, by their generations, in their nations (goyim). And from these the nations (goyim) were divided in the earth after the flood

              Genesis 12:2
              And I will make of you (Abram) a great nation (goy)

              Genesis 17:4-5
              4) I behold My Covenant with you (Abram), and you will be a father of many nations (goyim)
              5) And your name will be Abraham; because I have made you a father of many nations (goyim)

              Genesis 17:16
              I have blessed her (Sarah) and she will become nations (goyim)

              Genesis 17:20
              and I will make Ishmael a great nation (goy)

              Genesis 18:18
              and Abraham surely will become a great and powerful nation (goy), and all the nations (goyim) of the earth will be blessed in him.

              Genesis 21:13
              and also I will make a nation (goy) of the son (Ishmael) of the servant-girl, because he is your (Abrahams) seed.

              Genesis 25:32
              and YHUH said to Rebekah, Two nations (goyim) are in your womb; yes, two people will come forth from your body.

              Genesis 35:11
              and Elohim said to Jacob, I am El Shaddai...
              A nation (goy) and a company of nations (goyim) will be from you

              Exodus 9:24
              ...since Egypt became a nation (goy)

              Exodus 19:6
              and you will become a kingdom of priests for Me, a holy nation (goy)


              • #8
                Hi Sandy, Again these are gross mistranslations. I don't have time right now to go through all of the verses but I will go through the first.

                Genesis 10:5.
                FIRST WORD:mem ahleph lahmed he:
                mem=from, of: ahleph
                lahmed he:=goddess, curse, to worship as deity

                SECOND WORD: nun pe rehsh daleth waw:
                nun pe rehsh daleth:=separate, different, odd: waw=the conjunction; and, therefore

                THIRD WORD: ahleth yod yod: proper noun; Aii

                FORTH WORD: he gamel waw yod mem:
                he:=the definate article; the
                gamel waw yod mem:=goym, irreligious Jews, nations
                gamel waw yod:=body, gentile, irreligious Jew
                mem: of, from:

                FIFTH WORD: beth ahleph rehsh tsadee taw mem:
                beth:=within, in
                ahleph rehsh tsadee:=Artz, earth
                taw mem:=without blemith, was ended, was complete,
                perfect, innocent
                in earth's perfction

                SIXTH WORD: ahleph yod shin:= man, to man
                ahleph:=on, upon
                yod shin:=possession, property, existence, substance,

                SEVENTH WORD: lahmed lahmed shin nun waw:
                lahmed:=unto, towards
                lahmed shin nun: to slander
                waw: and, therefore

                EIGHTH WORD: lahmed mem shin pe cheth taw mem:
                lahmed:=unto, towards
                mem shin pe cheth:= scab
                taw mem:= was ended, complete, innocent, perfection

                NINTH WORD: beth gamel waw yod he mem:
                beth:=within, in
                gamel waw yod: body, goy, irreligious Jew
                he mem:=they
                mem:=from, of

                5. from goddess separate therefore Aii the body from within Artz innocent upon existence unto slandering therefore unto scab without blemish within body them



                • #9
                  Shalom Sandy and Marietta:

                  Marietta, thank you for the warm welcome.

                  One thing I have pondered much lately is the use of "commonwealth of Yisra'el". According to Oral Torah, the outcast (or more explicitly the dispersed Isreallite) was not a part of the "commonwealth of Yisra'el". Those verses seem to pertain to the dispersion, as Ephsians is addressed as such. Then the phrase can be more readily understood in this new light.

                  One thing I do worry about, Marietta, is replacement theology springing from the idea of the Jews as a whole rejecting Y'shua. Of course, it was prophesied by Shaul that this would happen for a time, yet this is what drove Shaul to go to the dispersion. It does not lead to a logical jump of replacement by gentiles. I know you weren't necessarily going there, but I just wanted to have that stated.

                  Shalom and blessings to all,
                  Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech HaOlam

                  "Those who love your Torah find great peace, and nothing can make them stumble." Tehillim 119:165


                  • #10

                    Hi Simchat_Torah,

                    Welcome to the Lo Ammi Forum! Thank you for your posts. You are enthusiastic. Enthusiasm is infectious as well as joy. Children are charmed by it. Enthusiasm overcomes shyness. In the days to come, if you continue to let it flow, you will not be lonely here.

                    Forgive me if I have been restrained and remiss in my greeting of you. By nature, I am a loner, and I am shy, but I do enjoy playing with other kids as I am caught up in the play.

                    I view myself as a descendant of Joseph. Whether of Ephraim or Manasseh, I do not know. I have no family history to warrant such a conclusion. I am a gentile, and I am definitely a replacement in a number of areas. Messiah said:
                    Matt 21:43
                    43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of ELOHIM shall be taken from you, and given to a nation (ethnos) bringing forth the fruits thereof. (KJV)
                    Perhaps, you are here to help us show forth those fruits. Again, welcome to Lo Ammi.

                    Sincerely, Spying
                    The Currahee Band Of Brothers Are Beginning To Arise In The HOLY PLACE! Listen to them!!!


                    • #11
                      Spying wrote:
                      Matt 21:43
                      43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of ELOHIM shall be taken from you, and given to a nation (ethnos) bringing forth the fruits thereof. (KJV)
                      Can you back that up with something from the Hebrew Scriptures?


                      • #12
                        Spying, just what are the fruits of christianity? The history of christianity seems obscene to me. The things I associate with christianity are pograms, the inquision, the expulsion of JEWs from their homelands, the crusades, the holocaust, etc. How do such fruits make christianity a substitute for the people who bear their Eloheem's name? Don't you realize how antisemitic this verse is? How does christianity warrant being a replacement for the JEWish people in any sense? This verse reminds me of Est.3:13, where the edict is given to distroy all JEWs. Saying such a thing to a JEW, is worse than spitting on them. I'm sure that the author of this verse, knew this, before he wrote it. ....Michael


                        • #13
                          Replacement theology?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

                          What is Replacement theology in the eyes of a Jewish Believer? I have posted, in the past, my ideas (and traditional “Jewish Believer’s” take) on various aspects of replacement theology. But now I sit down to actually sum all of it’s teachings up in a nice neat package. (*** How strange it seems to me that Christians were not claiming to be Jews during the Holocaust…. Just a thought)

                          ; )

                          Has G-d forsaken His people? This would be the first logical step in determining if a new people have now replaced Yisra’el. First let us look at Heb. 6:13 & 17.

                          “6:13 For when Elohim made a promise to Avraham, since he could swear by none greater, he swore by himself . 6:17 Wherein Elohim, being determined to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath”

                          Here we can see that His promise was eternal. He could find no greater way to seal His covenant, thus He swore by Himself. To break this….. well, you can imagine the theological magnitude of this….

                          But what if Yisra’el borke the covenant?

                          Jeremiah. 46:28 Don't be afraid you, O Ya`akov my servant, says YHWH; for I am with you: for I will make a full end of all the nations where I have driven you; but I will not make a full end of you, but I will correct you in measure, and will in no way leave you unpunished.

                          G-d will never make an end to Yisra’el. He may punish them, but never fully destroy Yisra’el.

                          Jeremiah . 31:35 Thus says YHWH, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who stirs up the sea, so that the waves of it roar; YHWH of hosts is his name: 31:36 If these ordinances depart from before me, says YHWH, then the seed of Yisra'el also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. 31:37 Thus says YHWH: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the eretz searched out beneath, then will I also cast off all the seed of Yisra'el for all that they have done, says YHWH.

                          Here we can see that as long as there is a sun, moon, stars, Earth, and sea there will be a distinct people Yisra’el- no matter what they do.

                          In ancient days, covenants were made in a special way. Sacrificial animals were cut in two and their severed bodies placed in two lines. Both parties entered into the covenant would then walk between the carcasses. By doing so they were symbolically saying, “If I break this binding agreement, if I fail to uphold my side of the pact, then let me suffer the same fate that these animals have suffered.” But something was different in Genesis 15. Only G-d passed through the pieces! This was a one-way deal.

                          Gen. 15:17 It came to pass that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace, and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 15:18 In that day YHWH made a covenant with Avram, saying, "To your seed have I given this land, from the river of Mitzrayim to the great river, the river Perat: 15:19 the Kinim, the Kenizzi, the Kadmoni, 15:20 the Hitti, the Perizzi, the Refa'im, 15:21 the Amori, the Kana`anim, the Girgashi, and the Yevusi."

                          Romans . 11:28 As concerning the good message, some are enemies because of you: but as concerning the chosen people, they are beloved for the fathers ' sakes. 11:29 For the gifts and calling of Elohim are irrevocable.

                          Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech HaOlam

                          "Those who love your Torah find great peace, and nothing can make them stumble." Tehillim 119:165


                          • #14
                            Part two

                            Then some ask, “Why are the Jews living outside the ‘new’ covenant if they are the covenant people?” Shaul had a simple answer to this:

                            Rom. 9:6-8
                            “Is it not as though G-d’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Yisra’el are Yisra’el. Nor because hey are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children…. In other words, it is not the natural children who are G-d’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.

                            Natural children refers to Yisra’el as a whole. G-d’s children refers to the believing remnant within natural Yisra’el.

                            We can see a similar parallel within Christianity. There are those who have been born into the ch-rch, and then there are those who are spiritually the ch-rch. These are those who have faith outside of simply being a part of Christianity only because that is what they were raised in. (this is only an example to show Christians what I mean)

                            On no definite occasion does the Brit Chadasha ever call the ch-rch Yisra’el. In fact, out of the 77 times the words “Yisra’el” and “Israellite” occur in the Brit Chadasha, there are only two verses in which Yisra’el couild possibly refer to the ch-rch as a whole: Gal. 6:16, where Shaul speaks of the “Yisra’el of G-d” and Rev. 7:4, where Yochanan speaks of the 144,000 seald from the twelve tribes of Yisra’el. This is saying something! Seventy-five “definites” and only two “maybes”. I wouldn’t want to side with the “maybes”!

                            Actually the terms “true Yisra’el” or “spiritual Yisra’el” never occur in the Bible, and it might be helpful to completely avoid using them.

                            As for the verses open to dispute, in Galations 6:16 the KJV, the NKJV, and the NASB all imply the same thing: “The Yisra’el of G-d” does not refer to the whole ch-rch. It refers to believing Jews. The same can be said for the description of the 144,000 sealed in Rev. 7:4. It most likely describes the harvest of the Jews worldwide. Elsewhere in the Book of Rev. “Yisra’el” means “Yisra’el” (Rev. 2:14) and “the twelve tribes” mean the “twelve tribes of Yisra’el”, as distinguished from the “twelve apostles” (Rev. 21:12-14).

                            Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech HaOlam

                            "Those who love your Torah find great peace, and nothing can make them stumble." Tehillim 119:165


                            • #15
                              Part three

                              Now let’s examine Rom. 2:28-29
                              “A man is not a Jew if he is ONLY one outwardly, nor is circumcison MERELY outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such is a man’s praise not from men, but from G-d.

                              Here he is directing his argument to Jews, as we can see from the context provided in Rom. 2:17-29. Within that context he is defining who the “real” Jew is- spiritually speaking.

                              In the greek Brit Chadasha, the word Jew occurs over 190 times. More than 190 times it definitely means a Jew nationally and ethnically. Only 2 times could it possibly mean something else. Those two times are: Rev. 2:9 & 3:9 where the reference is mae to “those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of HaSatan.”

                              I’m afraid my interpretation of the above verses will offend many, so I will leave it up to your interpretation.

                              But if someone understood Romans 2:2-20 to say that believing Gentiles were spiritual Jews (it is easy from the text to see ‘why’ many Christians believe this about themselves.) that would not change this important fact: Shaul never said that natural Jews were no longer Jews. He only said that the natural Jews were not Jews in this Special, Fuller sense. Just keep reading his letter! After making his point in Rom. 2:28-29 (remember, it is one of the few times in the entire Brit Chadasha that the word Jew is used like this), he goes back to referring to ALL Jews in the normal sense.

                              If you have any doubt read the next verse!

                              “What advantage is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? MUCH in EVERY WAY!….” (Rom. 3:1-2)

                              In other words, since being a Jew outwardly and physically doesn’t guarantee a right relationship with G-d, what’s the advantage in being a Jew, a physically, circumcised, ethnic Jew? Much, in every way, because G-d entrusted His Word to His physical, natural people-the Jews! It really is quite simple. If Shaul was teaching that natural Jews were no longer Jews and that believing Gentiles are not the real Jews, what in the world did he mean in Romans 3:9?

                              “We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.”

                              If Jews are not Jews and Gentiles are not Gentiles, what was Shaul trying to to say in Romans 3:29?

                              “Is G-d the G-d of the Jews only? Is He not the G-d of the Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too.”

                              And what then would be the meaning of Rom. 15:27 if believing gentiles are now Jews?

                              “… For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.”

                              Clearly gentile means gentile and Jew means Jew.
                              It is one thing to argue that once or twice Shaul used the words “Yisra’el” and “Jew” in a special sense, referring to the whle sh-rch as the “Yisra’el of G-d”, and all believers as “Jews”. (I personally disagree with this, but I certainly wouldn’t call this position dangerous) But it is another thing entirely to turn around and ignore the remaining 268 Brit Chadasha references to “yisra’el” and “jew” and claim that Yisra’el is no longer Yisra’el and Jews are no longer Jews! That most certainly is dangerous.

                              It is one thing to say, “Shaul used the word ‘circumcision’ in a special sense (Phil. 3:3) to refer to all believers.” It is quite another thing to say, “Those who are physically circumcised on the eigth day are no longer counted as Jews”! Even the book of Dueteronomy recognized two circumcisions; the circumcision of the heart and the physical body.

                              As basic as this is, later ch-rch interpreters went way beyond the meaning of the Word. First they say, “You see, it is not all who are descended from Yisra’el who are Yisra’el. It is the true believers who are Yisra’el, and we are the true believers. We are Yisra’el! It’s not just believing Jews who are Yisra’el. Everyone who simply believes is Yisra’el too!”

                              What is so terrible about saying this? Maybe noting so far, but the next step was simply disastrous: “If the ch-rch is spiritual Yisra’el, the new Yisra’el, then there is no need for NATURAL Yisra’el, the OLD Yisra’el anymore. They are no longer the covenant people, we are.”

                              Allow me to quote just one of THOUSANDS throughout history who have exemplified this attitude:

                              “All the blessings given to Yisra’el are now ours… forever. As for you Jews, to hell with our cursed race!” (A papal ambassador to Poland during the Holocaust)

                              But the ch-rch has not cursed Yisra’el. The ch-rch has cursed herself! Shaul’s exhortation must be heard again:

                              “Do not be arrogant, but be afraid…. I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, borthers, so that you may not be conceited.” Rom. 11:20, 25

                              Look at the strong words Shaul uses: arrogant, ignorant, conceited. What a critically important subject for the ch-rch to understand! Ignorance of G-d’s purposes for Yisra’el breeds conceit. And a conceited ch-rch is a ch-rch resisted by the L-rd, for “G-d opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

                              Unfortunately, many in the body today still claim that it is the ch-rch alon who is the true Yisra’el. One well known author has written at length and with great passion saying, “Wake up Ch-rch! You alone are Yisra’el!”

                              Why don’t we just accept the obvious meaning of the text? Why don’t we just give up all our interpretive gymnastics?

                              G-d is looking for believers, not acrobats.



                              P.S. Much of the above is borrowed from Michael Brown’s book “Our Hands Are Stained With Blood” chapter 13. I highly recommend this book, but beware, tears will flow as you read the first few chapters. Blessings to all….
                              Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech HaOlam

                              "Those who love your Torah find great peace, and nothing can make them stumble." Tehillim 119:165