Friday, December 26, 2014

Hearing the Real Yeshua’s Voice – Understanding His Message & His Movement

Blessed are the SHALOM makers,
for they shall be called sons of God
. [i]

Who are the SHALOM makers? TZEDAQAH (righteousness) is one of the most important words in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Bible of Yeshua (the real Jewish Jesus). The teachings of Yeshua make it very clear that TZEDAQAH is the most important word to him, too. It is absolutely essential for us to accurately understand what it meant to him.

TZEDAQAH not an abstract notion. It consists in doing what is just and right in all relationships. Acts of TZEDAQAH result in social stability and ultimately in SHALOM (completeness and wholeness).  An important part of TZEDAQAH is “almsgiving” -- the obligation to help the poor and needy. This was considered by Jewish sages of all ages to be one of the cardinal commandments -- almsgiving is as important as all the other commandments combined. [ii]

It is the almsgiving aspect of TZEDAQAH that is the focus of the message and movement of Yeshua. For many readers today, when they hear the word almsgiving they think of acts of charity or welfare. Giving charity or providing welfare for someone in our culture is an option; the giver is doing the needy person a favor. The needy person often feels indebted or beholden to the giver. TZEDAQAH means something completely different.

TZEDAQAH is the duty, obligation, and responsibility of every person possessing the means to give what is needed by the poor to them. It is not a favor done for them.

The poor have a legal right to receive TZEDAQAH and recipients are not indebted or beholden to giver.

Recipients of TZEDAQAH are obligated to give TZEDAQAH to those in need.

The importance of TZEDAQAH reaches far beyond simply meeting the needs of the poor -- it is the foundation of social justice. [iii]

Just understanding the above information about TZEDAQAH will transform the way you understand the words of Yeshua.

You (plural) are the light of the world. A city that is set on a mountain cannot be hid. Nor do they light a lamp and place it under a bushel, but (they place it) on a lampstand and it gives light unto all the ones in the house. Thus, let your light so shine before men, so that they may see your TOV works and glorify your Father in heaven.[iv]

What’s the message? If you understand this, you will understand the central message of Yeshua and mission of his movement.

(1) Your life is the light of the world.

(2) Let the light of your life shine through your acts of TOV (good) works.

(3) When others see you doing acts of TOV they will glorify your Father in heaven.

The Hebrew word TOV is another extremely important words in the Hebrew Scriptures. It appeared seven times in the first account of Creation. It is the standard the Creator used to measure His acts of creation.

For an act to be TOV it must protect life, preserve life, make life more functional, and increase the quality of life.

The three key words of the message of Yeshua are TZEDAQAH, TOV and SHALOM. Keep the following in mind anytime you read the words of Yeshua, because it is usually “the moral of every lesson he taught.”

Almsgiving acts of TZEDAQAH (righteousness) are acts that measure up to the Creator’s TOV Standard, which result in SHALOMmaking lives of the people who received the alms more complete, total and whole – and also making the creation more complete, total and whole. When people do acts of almsgiving, they reveal the image of the Creator on the earth in their generation.

What do you think would happen in our world today if “believers in Jesus” became “followers of Yeshua” and revealed the image of the Creator on the earth today? The answer is that our world, and the lives of many people, would become more complete, total and whole. For 2,000 years Christian churches have been preaching “believe in Jesus” and look at the results.

We have witnessed what happens when “believers in Jesus” understand the teachings of Yeshua – they stop believing institutional doctrines and start revealing the image of God through their acts of TOV.

Christian churches have be arguing, fighting and splitting for the past 2,000 years. It is estimated that over 75% of Americans identify themselves as Christian, but they belong to over 30,000 denominations and para-denominations. None of them – as far as we know – are teaching the message above of Yeshua. What do you think Yeshua would like to be remembered for?

A lot people believing conflicting theologies about him but required to do nothing?
A lot of people revealing the image of God through their acts of TOV and not required to belief man-made theologies .

I thought this would be a good lesson to ponder as we come to the end of 2014. I truly believe that most of the issues we are facing today could be resolved if just Christians could learn to understand the voice of Yeshua in their Bibles so they can make his messages realities in their lives, homes, businesses & churches.

Let’s make this a New Year’s resolution for 2015 and unleash the healing power of SHALOM.

Jim Myers
Biblical Heritage Center

PS: This is probably one of the most important blogs I have written so far. Please share it with others. If you agree that is an important message, please let me know by going to our Real Yeshua Facebook page by clicking here – and -- “Like” it.

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Thank You & Be Empowered!

[i] Matthew 5:9
[ii] Encyclopedia Judaica © Keter Publishing House Jerusalem Ltd., Israel; Volume 14, col. 180.
[iii] Encyclopedia Judaica © Keter Publishing House Jerusalem Ltd., Israel; Volume 14, col. 180.
[iv] Matthew 5:12-16

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Core Message

The message repeated throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, and taught by Yeshua, is do not elevate the value of anything above the value of human.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Do you consider the work of the Biblical Heritage Center important?

As 2014 comes to an end and we prepare for 2015, we are asking those who consider the work of the Biblical Heritage Center important to help fund the work by making a generous year-end donation.

BHC provides streams of information designed to help people understand their biblical heritages – all of the things that have been linked to a biblical text. We publish this information in our newsletter Discovering the Bible, BHC Google Group, BHC Blog, The Real Yeshua Blog, From One Jesus to Many Christians Blog, BHC Bible Study Blog, Twitter, Facebook pages, and the BHC website – and we do not charge people for it.

Has BHC’s information or have we made a difference in your life? If we have – please take time to make a generous donation today – we want to be able to continue providing information for you and help others too.

For information about how to make a donation or to make an online donation today go to -- .

If you would like to set it up to automatically make a donation every month, just click on the recurring button at the time you donate.

It really helps us to know you care!

Thank you & Shalom,
Jim Myers

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Did Jesus try to start a new religion?

Did Jesus want to start a new religion or was his goal to teach his fellow Jews how to be more faithful to the Jewish Scriptures of the Jewish religion that he practiced? There is plenty of evidence that Jesus regarded Torah (Jewish Scriptures) as binding on him and his disciples—and that the early Jesus movement was making claims that were plausible within some streams of Jewish thought, if not all of them. In other words, Jesus was not trying to start a new religion–but claiming to show the inner meaning of the Jewish tradition.

(1) He appealed to higher principles within the Torah and Torah purity laws.
(2) He approved of the need for priestly purification after leprosy.
(3) He was not entirely at ease with Gentiles and Samaritans.
(4) He affirmed the sanctity of the Shabbat (Sabbath).
(5) He approved of paying tithes the Temple.
(6) He wore tassels on his garments.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Yom Kippur Before the Temple was Destroyed

Today (October 3, 2014) at sundown is the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is by far the most widely observed of Jewish holidays and fast days. Synagogues are packed with families in Israel, as well as throughout the diaspora. It has been the most important Jewish holiday throughout the centuries, going back into the Second Temple Period -- the times of the Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes and the Jesus Movement. A good way for Christians to understand its importance is to compare it to what Easter means to Christians. In this article I am going to focus on Yom Kippur during the Late Second Temple Period, rather than the rituals now practiced in synagogues. Keep in mind that what follows will reflect what Jesus and his original followers experienced every year. There are hints in the Synoptic Gospels that the final year of the life of Jesus may have coincided with the Year of Jubilees, but we will look at what happened every year at the Temple. The fact that the highest official of the Temple, the High Priest, was required to personally officiate the rituals, made the importance of Yom Kippur very clear to everyone. Download or read the compete article at --

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Love Your Neighbor: Only Israelites or Everyone?

It’s one of the most famous lines in the Bible:

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18).

Impressive. Fascinating. Inspiring. Capable of a thousand interpretations and raising 10,000 questions. A remarkable proposition coming out of ancient Judah, which was embedded in the Near Eastern world of wars, slavery, class and ethnic divisions and discriminations of all kinds.

One interpretation of this verse that has been making the rounds for years turns this grand idea on its head: The claim is that the verse means to love only one’s fellow Israelites as oneself. Instead of being inclusive, it’s actually exclusive. Is there anything to this claim?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

SHAVU’OT (Pentecost) Begins at Sundown Today

Both Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity link Shavuot to specific historical events that play important roles in establishing the legitimacy of their movements.  

For Rabbinic Judaism it was their teaching that G-d gave two different types of laws on Mt. Sinai, the Written Law and the Oral Law.  

For Christianity it was the descent of the Holy Spirit on the congregation of believers gathered at the Temple in Jerusalem for Shavuot.  

In the New Testament, SHAVU’OT is called Pentecost (Ancient Greek: Πεντηκοστή [ἡμέρα], Pentēkostē [hēmera], "the fiftieth [day]"). The name “Pentecost” reflects the 50 day period between PESACH and SHAVU’OT.

This year SHAVU’OT begins at sunset June 3rd and continues to sunset June 5th. It is an important event that should be understood by all who have a biblical heritage. Remember and give thanks for the “crops” that provide for your needs today – those raised in fields by farmers and those earned by your labor at your work.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Using the Culture Key to Unlock the Meanings of the Words of the Bible

We all think, act, and communicate in ways
that are primarily predetermined by our culture.

We didn't choose our culture any more than we chose our parents.  We are born and immediately immersed in whatever culture we happened to live in. If you had been born in another culture – you would be a very different person than you are today. Read the complete article at --

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu corrects Pope Francis – Jesus spoke Hebrew

What language did Jesus speak? Beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century a mistaken notion – Jesus only knew and spoke Aramaic -- took hold that has by-and-large continued to dominate both scholarly and popular opinion. Yet, the results of a century of archaeological evidence have challenged this assumption and brought a sea change of understanding regarding the linguistic environment of first-century Judaea. The inscriptional and literary evidence reflects a reality not unlike what we find with the Dead Sea Scrolls. Of the 700 non-biblical texts from the Qumran library, 120 are in Aramaic and 28 in Greek, while 550 scrolls were written in Hebrew. Read the complete article at --

Friday, April 25, 2014

BHC Bible Study Guideline

Back in the late 1980s, after participating in discussions that took place in our Bible studies and meetings in which endless arguments and debates flared up over the interpretations of verses or religious doctrines, I created the BHC Bible Study Guideline.

Our Belief Systems must be large enough to include all the Facts;
Open enough to be tested; and,
Flexible enough to change when errors or new Facts are discovered!

It was amazing to witness the transformation that took place when the participants focused on identifying or finding the facts and then comparing them to their beliefs – especially when hardcore fundamentalists were involved.

It didn’t take long for participants to realize that –
people who ignore the Facts, refuse to be tested, and cling to errors –
are living lives & making important decisions based on illusions – not truths –
and that doesn’t really make any sense!

If the BHC Bible Study Guideline has benefited your life – or if its new to you, but you can see its value when used in Bible studies and discussions of religion -- please let us know by clicking here & “Liking” the BHC Facebook Page.

If you would like to show that you value & appreciate it by donating today –

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Pharisees Sat in Moses’ Seat

Then Yeshua said to the crowds and to the disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore, whatever they may tell you do and keep; but do not do according to their works; because they say and do not.” (Matthew 23:1-3)

The three verses above contain clues that reveal a great deal about the real Yeshua and his Jewish world. The first clue reveals a great deal about the two groups that gathered to hear him – the crowds and the disciples. The information recorded in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke) also reveal a great deal about Yeshua as a rabbi. There can be little doubt that this was how most of the Jewish people viewed Yeshua. However, it is important to understand that being a rabbi before 70 CE in Judea and Galilee was very different from being an American rabbi today. Pay close attention to the underlined words below:

There were hundreds and perhaps thousands of such rabbis circulating in the land of Israel in Jesus’ day. These rabbis did not hesitate to travel to the smallest of the villages or the most remote parts of the land. They would often conduct their classes in the village square or out under a tree (Safrai, ibid, 965). In some instances, classes would be conducted in someone’s home. Often these classes were small. The rabbis did not hesitate to teach as few as four or five students. According to custom, one could not charge for teaching the Scriptures, so the itinerant rabbi was dependent upon the hospitality and generosity of the community . . . The rabbi’s stay in the community might last from only a few days to weeks, or even months. However, for the long term student (“disciple”), learning from a rabbi meant traveling, since the rabbi was always moving from place to place. If one wanted to learn from a rabbi, one had to “follow after him.” 1

The disciples of a rabbi – his “talmid” – would accompany the teacher on all his travels and tasks . . . talmidim (plural) were expected to be at the service of the rabbi . . . This, of course, was part of their continuing education. 2

Now let’s update the opening of the above account to include the above information:

“Then Yeshua said to the crowds and to the talmidim . . .”

Those gathered before Yeshua were members of the public and his talmidim, so it is important to watch for points that would be important to each group. I would have liked to have been with his talmidim when they gathered later and discussed what Yeshua taught that day. After all, the talmidim traveled with him from town to town with Yeshua. They would listen to him teach large public crowds and then be taught as members of his small inner circle who had the privilege of being taught by him daily.

Now let’s look at the next clues in the above verse:

“The scribes and the Pharisees sat in Moses’ seat.”

Yeshua would have called these two groups the SOFERIM (scribes) and the PERUSHIM (Pharisees). The PERUSHIM is the party (sect) representing the religious views, practices, and hopes of the kernel of the Jewish people in the time of the Second Temple and in opposition to the priestly Sadducees. They were accordingly scrupulous observers of the Torah as interpreted by the SOFERIM, or Scribes, in accordance with tradition. The Pharisees formed a league or brotherhood of their own ("HABURAH"), admitting only those who, in the presence of three members, pledged themselves to the strict observance of Levitical purity, to the avoidance of closer association with the 'AM HA-AREZ (“the people” [the ignorant and careless boor]), to the scrupulous payment of tithes and other imposts due to the priest, the Levite, and the poor, and to a conscientious regard for vows and for other people's property. They called their members "HABERIM" (brothers), while they passed under the name of "Perishaya," or "Perushim." The aim and object of the Torah, according to Pharisaic principles, are the training of man to a full realization of his responsibility to God and to the consecration of life by the performance of its manifold duties: “the one is called "'OL MALKUT SHAMAYIM" (the yoke of the Kingship of Heaven [God]) and the other "'OL HAMIZWOT" (the yoke of His commandments). 3 The last two phrases appear in Yeshua’s teachings too.

Our next clue is the phrase “sat in Moses’ seat.” What was “Moses’ seat”? It was the name given to a special chair of honor in synagogues where an authoritative teacher of the Torah sat. The teacher in practice exercised the authority of Moses in teaching and explaining the words of the Torah. The picture below is a “seat of Moses” that was unearthed at the synagogue in the city Chorazim. 4

The last clue is the underlined word in the following translations:

The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. (King James Version)

The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses seat. (American Standard Version)

Dr. Robert Lindsey recognized the importance of this clue:

The verb “sit” in Greek is an aorist. So, to be consistent with the grammar one should translate that the scribes and Pharisees “sat” on Moses’ seat.”

The New American Standard reads, “have seated themselves on the chair of Moses.”

Excellent! The translators recognized a Hebraism! The Greek translator simply had followed the patter that an aorist in Greek replaces the simple past tense in Hebrew although the Hebrew verb may or may not represent a simple past in meaning.

This idiom of “sitting” occurs in the Old Testament. Examples are:

Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly. (1 Kings 2:12)

And say, Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, that sat upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates. (Jeremiah 22:2)

To sit on the seat of somebody” means literally “to take over his authority.” It is a Hebraism. It is a Hebraism that shines through despite the fact that a Greek translator has translated the verb as simple past. Most English translators have felt compelled to do something with it. They cannot write, “The scribes and Pharisees sat on Moses’ seat”, so they have written “sit.” Once again this is a strong indication that Hebrew stands behind the Greek. 5

When we see the words of the Synoptic Gospels through the lens of the Jewish culture of the Real Yeshua, we find an abundance of clues that help us see the words through his eyes. Here, they shed light on the Hebrew though beneath the Greek words and give us new insights to the relationship of Yeshua to the PERUSHIM and SOFERIM.

I hope that you found this blog informative and it helped you more accurately understand the Real Yeshua -- who is very different from the many “theological Jesus’s” created by Gentile theologians centuries after Yeshua was crucified.

If you found this informative and would like see more blogs like it, I am going to ask you to do two things:

(1) If you did benefit from this study, go to our Facebook page by CLICKING HERE & “LIKE IT.

(2) Contribute to our work by CLICKING HEREespecially if you have never contributed before or it has been a long time since you last helped. What you read in our blogs, newsletters or on our website is made possible by someone else’s donations, so will you help make it possible for us to do more.

Thank you & SHALOM!

5 The Jesus Sources: Understanding the Gospels by Robert L. Lindsey © 1990 HaKesher, Inc., Tulsa, OK; pp. 51-52.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Roman Rule in Yeshua’s World

When Yeshua was about 10 years old (6 CE), Judea became part of a larger Roman province, called Iudaea, which was formed by combining Judea proper (biblical Judah) with Samaria and Idumea (biblical Edom). Even though Iudaea is simply derived from the Latin for Judea, many historians use it to distinguish the Roman province from the previous territory and history. Iudaea province did not include Galilee, Gaulanitis (the Golan), nor Peraea or the Decapolis.[i]

Its revenue was of little importance to the Roman treasury, but it controlled the land and coastal sea routes to the bread basket Egypt and was a border province against the Parthian Empire because of the Jewish connections to Babylonia (since the Babylonian exile). Egypt seems to have had grain surpluses often enough, so that they could be stored in state granaries and even be exported. During Roman times the country was one of the bread baskets of Rome.

In Egypt, we find barley cut at the end of six months, and wheat at the end of seven, from the time of sowing. (Pliny the Elder, Natural History, Book XVIII, chap. 10)

The capital was at Caesarea, not Jerusalem, which had been the capital for King David, King Hezekiah, King Josiah, the Maccabees and Herod the Great.

Publius Sulpicius Quirinius (Greek Κυρήνιος – Kyrenios or Cyrenius, c. 51 BCE – 21 CE), a Roman aristocrat, became Legate of Syria (Governor) in 6 CE.[i] He conducted the first Roman tax census -- the Census of Quirinius -- the enrollment of the Roman provinces of Syria and Judaea for tax purposes in 6/7 CE. The Census was taken during the reign of Augustus (27 BCE – 14 CE).[ii] It was opposed by the Zealots, who were led by Judas the Galilean, founder of the "Fourth Sect" (Zealots). He is said to have partnered with a man named Zadok (or Saddok). Judas considered the census a plot to subjugate the Jews and prevent them from freedom -- and a sign that other Jews were compliant and comfortable being ruled by pagans.[iii]

Iudaea was not a Senatorial province, nor exactly an Imperial province, but instead was a "satellite of Syria" governed by a prefect who was a knight of the equestrian order (as was Roman Egypt), not a former consul or praetor of senatorial rank. This is a clear reflection of how the Roman authorities viewed the land of the Jews. Pontius Pilate was one of the prefects appointed to govern from 26 to 36 CE. Caiaphas was one of the Roman appointed High Priests of Herod's Temple. He was appointed by the Prefect Valerius Gratus in 18 CE.

Yeshua’s childhood trips with his family to Jerusalem, as well his daily life in the Galilee, would have made him very aware of the tensions between his people and the Romans – as well as those between the Jewish sects over the presence of the Romans on Jewish soil.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Basic Tools for Studying the Hebrew Bible

I receive many inquiries asking about which Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible I would recommend. For a list of Bible Study Tools I recommend for the Hebrew Bible click on -- 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

“Corn” or “Maze” – Know the Culture of the Translator!

If you have read many of my blogs, you know how much I stress the importance of knowing as much as you can about the culture of Second Temple Judaism when you read the words of Jesus. It was his culture. But, there is another culture that you should be aware of too -- if you rely on English translations of the Biblethe culture of the translators.

Here is an example from Matthew 12:1 of the King James Version:

At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.