The claim that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew is something that must be substantiated by those who believe it with historical references, textual support, and most of all extant manuscripts in Hebrew. These references must be credible, the textual claims must be supported within a relatively conservative framework of exposition, and the manuscripts must be verified as authentic by organizations such as United Bible Societies or the American Bible Society. Thus far, no one in the Messianic community has been able to prove a written Hebrew origin for the entirety of the New Testament on the basis of these factors.
Do you believe that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew? It seems that many within today’s Messianic movement believe the New Testament was written in Hebrew, but they lack substantial proof for this.
I heard a Messianic teacher call Hebrew the “pure language.” Can this at all be substantiated? He used this to discredit the inspiration of the Greek New Testament.
John McKee discusses the controversy over whether the Hebrew terminology b’nei Yisrael is best understood to be restrictive as “sons of Israel,” or more inclusive as “children of Israel.”
One area that receives some discussion, in various parts of the Messianic movement, is whether or not the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)—which we usually refer to as the Torah—should ever be called the Law. A statement that can be heard from time to time in our Messianic faith community, is: The Torah is teaching. The Torah is not the law. It is said that Torah just means Teaching or Instruction, and should never be referred to by the term law.
J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics goes through the study questions for Ch 1 in the Messianic Beginnings workbook:
1. Explain some of the reasons why Believers should study the Tanakh, the Scriptures of Israel.
2. What does being a Hebrew or Ivri mean? What are some spiritual applications of this?
3. In what context were the Patriarchs “Hebrews”? What did Biblical characters such as Abraham, Moses, and David do to make them “Hebrews”?
4. Explain some of the similarities and differences between the Jewish book and verse order of the Tanakh, versus that of the Christian Old Testament. Do you think these are significant? Why or why not?
5. Explain how Hebrew is an action-oriented language. Look up several passages in the Tanakh and how they might reflect our relationship to God.
6. Using the examples discussed in the chapter, how reverent were the people when the Torah was read publicly? What are some applications that can be drawn?
7. Have you ever been taught in your denominational tradition that Yeshua (Jesus) was a Torah obedient Jew, or that He at least followed some of the Old Testament commands? How might this change your perception of what you have been taught in the past?
8. Have you ever been taught that the Disciples and Apostles were Torah obedient, First Century Jews? How might this change your perception of what you have been taught in the past?
9. Using the examples given in the chapter, why do you think so many people believe that the Apostle Paul opposed the Torah? What challenges relating to Paul’s letters do you foresee when reading them?
10. How do you think that more consciously studying the Tanakh, the Scriptures of Israel, will change various aspects of your spiritual walk?
Mark Huey of Outreach Israel Ministries discusses the great significance of how increasing numbers of Believers in the Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus), who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are studying more and more about the ancient origins of their faith in the Scriptures of Israel. Something is happening among people as the Bible is being reexamined to dig for truths which have often been overlooked by the masses of Christianity. Thousands are being encouraged to return to the foundations of our faith in the Tanakh (Old Testament), and it is deepening their walk and commitment to the Lord.
J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics discusses the challenges of how too many people are stuck using the Strong’s Concordance dictionary for Hebrew and Greek, when there are many other, more useful tools available.
J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics responds to three categories of questions: Tanach (OT), Apostolic Scriptures (NT), and theology/Biblical Studies.
1. What is the Isaiah 45:18-25 background for Philippians 2:5-11?
2. John 20:30-31 does not say anything about affirming Yeshua as God for salvation.
3. Do you believe the New Testament was written in Hebrew?
J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics discusses the significant problems the Sacred Name Only movement has caused over the “correct” Hebrew name of the Son.