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Hermeneutics


This document is not meant for an in-depth study of various Jewish sects, nor a persuasion for those who practice Judaism. The views expressed are solely the authors and do not represent Christian theology or any specific branch of Christianity, or any sect of Judaism.

For those who practice Judaism, within this document there is use of YHWH in plain form which is forbidden to those under Rabbinic Law. The use of Hashem or G’d shall not be written as such, but plainly spelled out, or written in English/Hebrew translated form.

Moreover, the author is of Jewish origin who believes is no longer burdened under Torah Shebekhtav or Torah Shebealpeh, but has received grace as Avraham through HaMashiach Yeshua Ben Elohim. As is known, Rabbi and those practicing Judaism generally reject Yeshua and consider such idolatry.

For those who are Christian, the document expounds upon sects of Judaism post Roman rule with the emergence of Mishnah and Talmud over the centuries from non-traditional Judaistic dogma. The author may not answer emails or commentary on the subject and may not expand with further documentation concerning this topic.

Any data not the authors, includes source and link, and all information herein is for Christian instructional and educational purposes only.

Daniel Joseph Zawada


The Eight Rules of Biblical Interpretation

 

  1. The rule of DEFINITION: What does the word mean? Any study of Scripture must begin with a study of words. Define your terms and then keep to the terms defined. The interpreter should conscientiously abide by the plain meaning of the words. This quite often may require using a Hebrew/English or Greek/English lexicon in order to make sure that the sense of the English translation is understood. A couple of good examples of this are the Greek words “allos” and “heteros”. Both are usually translated as “another” in English – yet “allos” literally means “another of the same type” and “heteros” means “another of a different type.”
  2. The rule of USAGE: It must be remembered that the Old Testament was written originally by, to and for Jews. The words and idioms must have been intelligible to them – just as the words of Christ when talking to them must have been. The majority of the New Testament likewise was written in a milieu of Greco-Roman (and to a lesser extent Jewish) culture and it is important to not impose our modern usage into our interpretation. It is not worth much to interpret a great many phrases and histories if one’s interpretations are shaded by pre-conceived notions and cultural biases, thereby rendering an inaccurate and ineffectual lesson.
  3. The rule of CONTEXT: The meaning must be gathered from the context. Every word you read must be understood in the light of the words that come before and after it. Many passages will not be understood at all, or understood incorrectly, without the help afforded by the context. A good example of this is the Mormon practice of using 1 Cor. 8:5b: “…for there be gods many and lords many…” as a “proof text” of their doctrine of polytheism. However, a simple reading of the whole verse in the context of the whole chapter (e.g. where Paul calls these gods “so-called”), plainly demonstrates that Paul is not teaching polytheism.
  4. The rule of HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: The interpreter must have some awareness of the life and society of the times in which the Scripture was written. The spiritual principle will be timeless but often can’t be properly appreciated without some knowledge of the background. If the interpreter can have in his mind what the writer had in his mind when he wrote – without adding any excess baggage from the interpreter’s own culture or society – then the true thought of the Scripture can be captured resulting in an accurate interpretation.Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Our only interest in the past is for the light it throws upon the present.”
  5. The rule of LOGIC: Interpretation is merely logical reasoning. When interpreting Scripture, the use of reason is everywhere to be
    assumed. Does the interpretation make sense? The Bible was given to us in the form of human language and therefore appeals to human reason – it invites investigation. It is to be interpreted as we would any other volume: applying the laws of language and grammatical analysis. As Bernard Ramm said:

    “What is the control we use to weed out false theological speculation? Certainly the control is logic and evidence… interpreters who have not had the sharpening experience of logic…may have improper notions of implication and evidence. Too frequently such a person uses a basis of appeal that is a notorious violation of the laws of logic and evidence.” (Protestant Biblical Interpretation, Boston: W. A. Wilde, 1956)
  6. The rule of PRECEDENT: We must not violate the known usage of a word and invent another for which there is no precedent. Just as a judge’s chief occupation is the study of previous cases, so must the interpreter use precedents in order to determine whether they really support an alleged doctrine. Consider the Bereans in Acts 17:10-12 who were called “noble” because they searched the Scriptures to determine if what Paul taught them was true.
  7. The rule of UNITY: The parts of Scripture being interpreted must be construed with reference to the significance of the whole. An interpretation must be consistent with the rest of Scripture. An excellent example of this is the doctrine of the Trinity. No single passage teaches it, but it is consistent with the teaching of the whole of Scripture (e.g. the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are referred to individually as God; yet the Scriptures elsewhere teach there is only one God).
  8. The rule of INFERENCE: An inference is a fact reasonably implied from another fact. It is a logical consequence. It derives a conclusion from a given fact or premise. It is the deduction of one proposition from another proposition. Such inferential facts or propositions are sufficiently binding when their truth is established by competent and satisfactory evidence. Competent evidence means such evidence as the nature of the thing to be proved admits. Satisfactory evidence means that amount of proof which would ordinarily satisfy an unprejudiced mind beyond a reasonable doubt. Jesus used this rule when he proved the resurrection of the dead to the unbelieving Sadducees in Matt. 22:23-33. Source

 

1. Judaism

Talmudic law was decided, with reference to the Torah, after much debate. In a first stage, the debate crystallized as the Mishnah; in a later stage, as the Gemara. The methods used in such discourse to interpret the Torah document are known as ‘hermeneutic’ principles (or, insofar as they are prescribed, rules). In Hebrew, they are called midot (sing. midah), meaning, literally, ‘measures’ or ‘virtues’. This Talmudic ‘logic’, as we shall see, has certain specificities, both in comparison to generic logic and intramurally in the way of distinct tendencies in diverse schools of thought. Various Rabbis proposed diverse collections of such methodological guidelines, intending thereby to explain and justify legal decision-making[1]. Avi Sion http://www.thelogician.net/JUDAIC-LOGIC/Traditional-Teachings-9.htm

The Jewish Bible, or Tanakh, consists of this 5-volume Torah, together with the 8 other prophetic books (of which one includes twelve minor prophets) and 11 other holy scriptures (counting the books of Ezra and Nehemiah as one), written under Divine inspiration over the next 800 years or so, mostly in the land of Israel and in a few cases in the first Babylonian exile. TaNaKh is an acronym, including the initials T of Torah, N of Neviim (Prophets) and K of Ketuvim (Scriptures); the books of the Bible other than those written by Moses are therefore simply known as the Nakh[4]. The latter play a relatively secondary role in the development of Jewish law, being referred to occasionally to resolve certain questions of detail[5] or to provide illustrations.

The Talmud (which means, teaching) is an enormous compilation of legal discussions between Rabbis, stretching over several centuries, starting about 2,100 years ago (at least). It includes two main components: the Mishnah (meaning, learning by repetition – pl. Mishnaiot), which was edited by R. Yehudah HaNassi in the 1st century CE, followed by the Gemara (meaning, completion – pl. Gemarot), which was redacted by R. Ashi in the 5th century. Actually, there are two Talmuds: the Bavli (or Babylonian), which is the one we just mentioned, and the parallel Yerushalmi (or Jerusalem[6]), which was closed in Israel some 130 years earlier, in the 4th century, and carries relatively less authority.[7]

The Mishnah is divided into six so-called Sedarim (Orders – sing. Seder)[8], to which there corresponds sixty-three Gemara commentaries called Masekhtot (Tractates – sing. Masekhet), found in one or both of the Talmuds. The names of the Orders and corresponding numbers of Tractates are as follows: Zeraim (Seeds), 11; Moed(Appointed Time), 12; Nashim (Women), 7; Nezikin (Damages), 10; Kodashim (Consecrated Objects), 11; Taharot (Purities), 12.

Jewish law, or the Halakhah (meaning, the Path, or the ‘Way to go’), as it stands today, is (as we shall see) the outcome of a long historical process of debate and practise, in which the above mentioned documents, mainly the Torah and the Talmud, have played the leading roles. Jewish law, note, concerns not only interactions between individuals (be they civil, commercial or criminal) and societal issues (communal or national structures and processes), but also the personal behavior of individuals (privately or in relation to Gd) and collective religious obligations (which may be carried out by selected individuals, such as the priests or Levites). http://www.thelogician.net/JUDAIC-LOGIC/Introduction-1.htm

Now that you have a base understanding:

Before proceeding and for those who study – people of all faith must be wary of false translations!

The wolves have surrounded to deceive, to alter the word of Elohim for the purpose of deception and damnation. Always cross reference what you read. Never believe anything you see in text without direction and diligent attention from the Spirit of YHWH, or manipulation can be guaranteed.

Below is an example of absolute deception with highlights for correction in BLUE:

שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה ׀ אֶחָֽד׃

Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.

The above highlight is incorrect and a direct alteration of the Word of YHWH.

One: אחד

Alone: לבד

As seen above ONE and ALONE are two different words, not to be confused AT ALL.

The correct translation is:

Hear O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD:

and which follows proper extant manuscript. Even Maimonides agrees in Mishneh Torah, Reading the Shema:

“They all answered, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” This means, “Our father, Israel, hear this, our [confession of faith]: ‘the Lord our God is one Lord'”. The aged patriarch then ejaculated, “Blessed be the name of His glorious Sovereignty for ever and ever.” Hence, all Israelites keep the custom of reciting, after the first verse of the Shema, the thanksgiving uttered by the Patriarch Israel.”

So why did the author, who have doomed themselves without repentance, alter the translation?

Very simple – to eradicate knowledge of Mashiach.

You see it provides an argument for saying Yeshua cannot receive worship, and that only Elohim alone, whereas, Judaism does not understand Yeshua and Elohim are one Lord. This to Rabbi is idolatry as they do not understand from the Spirit of YHWH, which led to falsehood. According to Rabbi Louis Jacobs:

“The God of truth is found wherever there is truth and His absence is felt wherever there is falsehood.”

And so it is dear reader and so it shall also render contradiction in the word of YHWH and again,

Deceiving others is strictly forbidden: “The Holy One, blessed be He, hates a person which says one thing with his mouth and another in his heart” Pesahim 113b

All should take care and search the translations as required based on the Spirit of Elohim. Now concerning Rabbi, or Pope, Imam, or Priest, should anyone accept translation without study?

Well yes of course, as to those who are innocent to deception. Is not deception warranted by those who shall follow men and not God? Rabbi believe they are doing their best to follow Tanakh, and as Yeshua said,

Matthew 13:52

He said to them, And because of this, every scribe who is instructed for the Kingdom of Heaven is like the man, a house owner, who brings from his treasure new and old things.”

So then let us be diligent servants to study the word of YHWH and not take for granted that men are as ravenous wolves seeking to devour the innocent to mislead for their own diabolical purpose. Let us look upon the New Testament of Adonai, let us look upon Tanakh, Mishneh, Talmud, Midrash, and Halacha. Let us search commentary by Alim, Christian, Karaite, Rabbi alike so we may have a full understanding (above I listed in alphabetical as to take no one above the other) of belief and therefore better understand how others view our Mashiach.

I say our’s because Mashiach Yeshua is of the Christians, rejected by Judaism and recognized within Islam as a teacher, not Adonai. So Mashiach is our Yeshua Ben Elohim. To us, Yeshua is Adonai.

With that being said Rabbi and Judaism should not then contend with what is said as they see it as idolatry and nothing will change their mind as twenty centuries have not done thus. This edification is for those who choose Yeshua (salvation) the anointed (HaMashiach) for removal of transgression.

Let us see more manipulation then on transgression removal:

“…and I will remove the transgression of that land in one day”; (Jeremiah 50:20),

“The transgression of Israel shall be sought and not be and the sin of Judah and not be found”. And behold according to the character of Good and negativity – The justice of G-d is true to give to man according to his ways quid pro quo, and there are many ways for haShem to pay man according to his actions, and by his manner will he be made, whether to kindness or to His rod. But according to the wisdom of His goodness in the rule of his perfection may He be blessed – the common aspect to them, is to return everything – to complete goodness, to a complete rectification which will be in the end.

And regarding this it says (Malachi 3:6) I am G-d I have not changed”. And in the madras of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai they said (Zohar ki Tetzei 281. and see there), “I shall not change in any place”. And indeed the manner of reward and punishment is that which is revealed and always seen by the eyes of all, but the revolving that he revolves all towards the good is very very deep, and does not serve to be revealed except at the end, but it revolves and progresses in all periods and in every hour with certainty, and does not stop:  Da’at Tevunoth 85

Modern transgression removal has many theory and based on one major fact: there is no longer Temple service.

So in the wake of this vast ocean of Commandments that us Jews can no longer follow, misinterpretation and allegories of Psalms, and an ocean of theory, debate of piety, and what is quoted above, notably philosophy, carry the weight of transgression off one’s soul. However that has not always been the case:

 

שִׁמְעוֹן הַצַּדִּיק הָיָה מִשְּׁיָרֵי כְנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה. הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר, עַל שְׁלשָׁה דְבָרִים הָעוֹלָם עוֹמֵד, עַל הַתּוֹרָה וְעַל הָעֲבוֹדָה וְעַל גְּמִילוּת חֲסָדִים:

“Shimon the Righteous was one of the last of the men of the great assembly. He used to say: the world stands upon three things: the Torah, the Temple service, and the practice of acts of piety.” Pirkei Avot 1:2

We shall explore transgression removal but not to the fullest extent within this context. It is not possible to discuss all avenues spoken of and array various subjects. I merely suggest in humility that one who should consider oneself a child of Elohim, should be immersed with the word of God and partake in the arguments of men to have a better understanding how men of faith perceive their relationship with Elohim and how they believe they can receive the blessing, grace, and joy of YHWH.

Laws (mishpat)

Laws are the judgements of civil government. One example of a law in the Torah is found in Exodus 21:1,2; “These are the laws (mishpat) you are to set before them: If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free without paying anything.”

Commands (mitzvah)

Commands are the dos and don’ts as in the Ten Commandments, “You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal.” (Exodus 20:13-15)

Regulations (mishmeret)

Regulations are the religious requirements including sacrifices, worship and priestly duties. “At the Tent of Meeting the Gershonites were responsible for the care of the tabernacle and tent, its coverings, the curtain at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting” (Numbers 3:25) The phrase “responsible for the care” is the Hebrew word “mishmeret”. This is a regulation regarding the care of the Tent of Meeting also known as the tabernacle, a mobile temple.

Ordinances (huqah)

Ordinances are the festivals and a few specific commands. Every one of the ordinances (huqah) identified in the Torah are also identified as an everlasting ordinance. Some of these everlasting ordinances will be seen several times through this book. One example of an everlasting ordinance is found in Leviticus 23:41; “Celebrate [the Feast of Tabernacles] as a festival to the LORD for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance (huqah) for the generations to come.” The word “lasting” in this verse is the Hebrew word “olam” which means “eternal” or “everlasting”. This is the same Hebrew word used for the everlasting (olam) covenant God made with Noah. We will be seeing this word quite a bit through this book. http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/holyassembly/m/chapter4.html