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MINI-DESPATCHApril 1, 1999.

Link to Hebrew Roots info including
Link to Preservation of the Greek New Testament

The Inspiration of the New Testament
is being misunderstood in our day by many people.


There is great confusion amongst Christians about the following points

1. The closed Canon of Scripture, which must not be interfered with.
....What does this mean?

2. The language in which God inspired the New Testament.
....Was it Greek or Hebrew? Which?

3. What is a "testament?"
....What is a "testator?"
... Who is the Testator of the New Testament?

SUM-UP
.... 


We will deal with these issues in this Mini-Despatch, because the authority of God's Word is being attacked severely in our day . There are those who  would tell us that various Jewish books must be consulted if we are to know the "real" truth of our New Testament. There are those who insist that the Old Testament is a greater revelation than the New Testament is, and that we must go back to the Old Testament in order to understand the New Testament. There are those who would tell us that the  first  New Testament was written in Hebrew, and that the Greek  which the English version was translated from was NOT the inspired Scriptures, they were only a version of the Hebrew originals. We must get back to those  originals, say  some Jewish ministries at this point of Church history. What is the truth in all this controversy? Here we must turn to the Christian Church fathers, the recognised scholars of the Christian Church, NOT to the Jewish ministries which are seeking power and influence in the Christian Church for their own agenda. We must not turn to those who are counterfeit Christians either. There are now Jewish ministries which speak of the Messiah as being “Yeshua” but know nothing of being truly born-again by faith in Christ’s death. These may have Judaic learning, but most know little of Christian doctrine and have no real expertise in the Christian Scriptures.

1. The Closed Canon of Scripture.

When God completed the Scriptures, both New and Old Testaments, the Canon was closed. There is a curse upon  all who would seek to add to the Canon, giving any other books or authorities a place alongside the Holy Scriptures. We Christians may indeed consult commentaries, but they are  never given authority in the place of Scripture. They are only to be taken notice of if they firmly adhere to the absolute authority of God's Word.  These can only open up what is already revealed in the Bible. The Jewish books being cited in the Church today are NOT in the same category as Christian commentaries. Neither are any "midrash" interpretations in the same category as mere Christian commentaries on the Bible. Firstly, the Jewish books are being  brought out in order to ALTER the revealed Word of God.  Secondly, the Jewish books are being described as being better than the Greek New Testament. Thirdly, the Jewish books and "interpretations" are being brought to Christians as the "real" NT, as opposed to our “faulty “ Greek -source NT.   These  Jewish books are not commentaries on our Bible, they are substitutes for our Scriptures. This is forbidden by the Lord. The Canon is complete. NO substitutes can be tolerated! (See Revelation 22;18,19). Of course, the Jewish converts/ministries  will say this is not so. If it is not so, then why are they seeking to give us a "new" text instead of the Greek New Testament? What is wrong with the authorised  New Testament?

CANON  comes from the root word "reed."  Hebrew form is "ganeh"  and Greek is "Kanon." It is a measure, the reed was used as a measure. The  Canon denotes what we call 'the rule of faith,' it is the standard we use to measure and evaluate.  Applied to Scripture it is the officially accepted list of books. These were not invented by the Christian Church or the Jewish  nation. They are books recognised as being inspired by God  from their inception.

2. We are being told by the Jewish converts that the New Testament
was NOT given to us in the Greek language.

Who will you believe? The revered Christian scholars? The  evidence of history? The fore-fathers of Christianity itself? Or will you believe the Jewish converts and Lubavich trained Jewish ministries? The fact is quite plain for all to see, the New Testament was given in its original, inspired from the Hand of God, in GREEK, not Hebrew. What then are the Hebrew  "scriptures" that the Jews are seeking to foist onto the Christian Church? They are ancient writings, often with occult sources, traditional material which are NOT Scripture at all. They are extra-biblical sources of knowledge. Is there evidence that the  NT was given in Greek? Of course there is. See our Website for “The Preservation of the Greek New Testament.” This comment from a modern writer, Josh McDowell, on the  authenticity of the Greek language Scriptures should satisfy any sincere Christian.

" [The Bible] was  written in three languages

Hebrew was the language of the Old Testament. In II Kings 1826-28 called 'the language of Judah.'
In Isaiah 19:18 called 'the language of Canaan.'
Aramaic was the 'lingua franca' of the Near East until the time of Alexander the Great
(6th  century B.C. - 4th century B.C.) 14/218
Greek [was] the New Testament language ... the international language at the time of Christ.”
(Evidence that Demands a Verdict, p.18).

Do you still believe that the New Testament could have been originally written in Hebrew?
Will you believe W.E.Vines. M.A. "Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.”
And I quote

“...the New Testament Greek is not the Attic of the Classics...it is the ordinary vernacular Greek of that period, the language of every day life, as it was spoken and written by the ordinary men and women of the day...the “koine”, of “Common” Greek of the great Graeco-Roman world.’
(Foreword).
Here is another quote for those who are still not sure.
Be not deceived believers.

This time from “ The New Bible Dictionary” with editor J.D. Douglas., B.D., S.T.M., Ph.D.
He was formerly of Tyndale House, Cambridge.
With consulting editors including,
F.F. Bruce., M.A.,D.D.
Rylands Professor of Biblical Exegesis, University of Manchester, and
R.V.G. Tasker, M.A., D.D. Emeritus Professor of New Testament Exegesis, University of London.
I could go on endlessly with these experts.

Do any Christian scholars say that the New Testament was actually written in Hebrew?
No, of course they do not.
I quote from the dictionary above

“The language of the New Testament, Hellenistic or “koine” Greek...” (p 494).
The New Testament was merely influenced by Hebrew words, which were then used in a remarkable way in the text, consider the word “abba”, but never was there ever a complete Hebrew NT which is the original manuscript. We have in our hands a reliable, God-given New Testament in English in the KJV.
Seek no further and be filled with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord for His provision.

3. What is a "testament" and a "testator?"
....Who is the “TESTATOR" in the New  Testament?

The sacredness, the holiness and the veracity of the Greek New Testament is attested by the fact that it is the  TESTAMENT of One Who gave His own Blood that He might leave  His NEW COVENANT. Jesus Christ Himself  is the Testator. Dare anyone challenge His own Testament?  We would not dare to challenge the testament of a mere man, who left his will and requirements written up in a legal  manner. Yet, today there are those who would challenge the veracity of Christ Jesus' Testament of the New  Covenant in His Blood.

The Old Testament showed the legal institutions of the sacrificial system of Judaism. The greatest promises in the OT are centred on cleansing from sin through ritualistic purification (e.g. Ezekiel 36:25,29). In the Gospel however, the cleansing is still there and the greatest of our needs is still the cleansing from sin,  BUT this time there has been One who has died once and for all.

We have  the glorious NEW  COVENANT  or NEW TESTAMENT promises which centre completely on the power of the cleansing Blood of the Lamb of God, the Blood of Christ. (II Peter 1:4).  In this  "New Testament"' the Testator Himself shed His Blood, and the record is laid out  legally in the Testament of the Christian Church. ALL the promises of God are accepted by faith, but none can be  enjoyed except by the shedding of the Blood of the Testator, Jesus Christ. Read Hebrews 4:2; 11:17; Romans 4:19-21; 10:6-9.

"Whereby are given unto us  exceeding great and precious promises that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
(II Peter 1:4).
I am trying to say how important the New  Testament is because it is the Blood-bought document of the Son of God. It is not JUST His will, per se.  He is even more than a Testator, in an ordinary sense of the word, He is also the Divine Victim of the Covenant.  He is even beyond the Testator.

A Testator is one who transfers something to another’s account.

Jesus Christ did this, but He also became the Victim Sacrifice in an agreement between God and mankind.

I will explain:

DIATITHEMI means to arrange, dispose.
It is used of making a covenant in Hebrews 8:10 and 10:16, also see Acts 3:25. In covenant-making, there was a sacrifice of a victim (Gen.15:10; Jer.34:18,19). When someone made a covenant it was at the cost of a life.
I will quote here from Vine’s “Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words”
 

“While the terminology in Heb.916,17 has the appearance of being appropriate to the  circumstances of making a will, there is excellent reason for not adhering to the meaning ‘covenant-making.’ The rendering “the death of the testator” would make Christ a Testator, which he was not. He did not die simply that the terms of a testamentary disposition might be fulfilled. Here He who is “the mediator of a new covenant” (ver.15) is Himself the Victim whose death was necessary. The idea of making a will destroys the argument of ver.18.” (End of quote).

The death of Christ brought about a covenant. That covenant is what the New Testament IS!
How vital that believers resist any attempts to down-play or alter that Blood-bought covenant. What is this covenant  that is the New Testament?

This covenant is called the

‘NEW’  Heb.9:15,
the ‘SECOND’ 8:7,
the ‘BETTER,’ 7:22.
It is a promise or undertaking which is divine, Gal.3:15.
A promise which is made on the part of God  - Luke 17:2;  Acts 3:25;  Rom.9:4; 11:27;  Gal.3:17;  Eph.2:12;  Heb.7:22; 8:6,8,10; 10:16.
It is the basis, which was established by the very death of Christ,  upon which the salvation of men is secured. Matt. 26:29;  Mark 14:24;  Luke 22; I Cor.11:25 ; II Cor.3:6 ; Heb.10:29; 12:24; 13:20.

The New Testament is the Covenant of the fullness of the time, it is the consummation of all ages
(Gal.4:4; Heb.9:26).
It is the everlasting covenant ( cf. Heb.13:20; 12:28 ).
Covenant Grace has reached the finale of its revelation in the New Testament.
This covenant has been given through the grace which Christ is and brings, and He alone.

SUM-UP.

We Christian believers can never yield to the concept that the New Testament is not as “deep” as the Old Testament. Nor can we yield to “Hebrew Roots” theology that claims that our New Testament must be interpreted by Jewish manuscripts et al. The New Testament is a vast expanse of revelation from the Lord God Almighty. It is a covenant which is awe-inspiring. It is sacred and precious beyond measure. We must defend God’s Word,  as found in the New Testament, for in it lies the only Truth which can ever lead sinful men off their one-way highway to hell.

The New  Testament is a legal document in a way. It is GOD’S GRACE extended in the form of legal pardon, from the Judge of Eternity, for guilty but repentant sinners in Heaven’s dock.

The glory of God’s Grace is also shown in the fact that He gave the world the New Testament in GREEK. God arranged that the world would be controlled by one culture, the Romans. The New Testament could be distributed easier because Rome controlled the whole earth. And God gave to the world His NT in Greek, because it was a universal language at that time, so the common man could understand. We now have utterly reliable texts in our own homes, in English, in other languages which have been translated from the sound Greek texts. Praise the Lord’s Holy Name!

From Timothy and Barbara Aho

“The Hebrew Roots Movement is based upon the FALSE premise that the original Gospels were written in Hebrew, or possibly Aramaic, and that the Greek New Testament is a mere translation of Hebrew or Aramaic originals. The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, which has influenced Messianic ministries on a broad scale, is a major source of this error....
The JSSR is a non-Christian, Jesus-Seminar type of institution which has connections with and sponsors various Messianic and Hebrew Roots ministries such as Moriel Ministries and Messengers of Messiah. It is not surprising, therefore, that Peter Michas of Messengers of Messiah takes the position of the JSSR with respect to the lack of originality of the Greek gospels ...” (End of quote).
(See the Preface of Michas’ apostate book, “The Rod of An Almond Tree in God’s Master Plan.”)

BEWARE! There is a Semitic New Testament coming our way!
From the Ahos

“Having contended earnestly for their respective Greek Received and Alexandrain Texts, in true dialectical fashion, Christians will soon be offered the synthesis - the Semitic New Testament based on various Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts such as the Syriac Pershitta.”
Access these documents from their site Parts I, II,
http://watch.pair.com/peshitta.html
May God give us all wisdom and strength in these perilous times!

W. B. Howard ...Editor of Despatch


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Editor of Despatch W. B. Howard
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