Blogs about the life of the real Jewish Jesus whose actual name was Yeshua. View his life, teachings and movement in the cultural context of first century Galilee and Judea. Using a Linguistic Model to more accurately understand what his words meant to his original Jewish apostles, followers and audiences.
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It’s a Yod -- NOT a Jot and Tittle!
only did Yeshua read and speak Hebrew, so did his followers and disciples! Two
very well known, but not accurately understood words in the Gospel of Matthew
prove it – jot and tittle. For some
reason jot and tittle stick in the minds of Christian Bible readers. But when you
ask them what jot or tittle mean, you get a lot of
conflicting and some really weird answers. Today, you are going to get the
facts about what Yeshua originally said and how they ended up in English
translations of the Bible as jot and tittle.
begin by reading Matthew 5:18 from the King
For verily I say
unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot
or one tittle shall in no wise pass
from the law, till all be fulfilled.
you have not read the article “From
Yeshua to Jesus” in Yeshua’s Kingdom
Handbook please take a moment to read it online by clicking
here before you continue. In it you will see how we began with the name
“Jesus” and traced it through Latin
and Greek back to his real Hebrew nameיְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Yeshua). We will use the same method to trace the words
“jot” and “tittle” back to the Hebrew words Yeshua spoke as he taught a very
important lesson to his disciples.
first step is to discover the Greek words the King James translators translated
jot and tittle.
Greek word translated jot is ἰῶτα (iota).
Greek word translated tittle is κεραία (keraia).
word ἰῶτα (iōta) is the name for the
smallest letter of the Greek alphabet.
Greek word κεραία (keraia) is defined as a horn,
anything like a horn, a small dot in writing.
When we trace the Greek words back to Hebrew, we
discover ἰῶτα (iōta) is the Greek
translation of the Hebrew word יוֹד (yod), the tenth and smallest letter of
the Hebrew alphabet.
we trace the Greek word κεραία (keraia)
back to Hebrew we discover that it is the Hebrew word transliterated qotz, which means “thorn.”
the time of Yeshua there was a popular phrase that is translated “not a yod or a thorn of a yod”. For the
Hebrew speaking audience it meant something like this – “not the smallest letter or even the smallest part of the smallest
letter.” Yeshua used that idea to make an important point.
people had accused him of “destroying”
the words of the Hebrew Scriptures.
His response was this – I will not
destroy one yod or even one qotz of a yod of the Hebrew Scriptures.” Now we
know that not only did Yeshua read and speak Hebrew, so did his followers and
disciples – otherwise they couldn’t have
understand what he taught! We will discuss how Yeshua used these words in their full
context to make some very important points in a future study soon.
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the last blog, we covered the first part of Yeshua’s lesson on Anger -- An Angry Person Should be Tried in Court like a
– keep in mind that “anger” is the focus of Yeshua’s lesson. “Whoever says to a brother, ‘RAKA,’ shall be answerable to the
Sanhedrin.” [i] Yeshua
reveals that the seriousness of the offense has become greater by elevating the
crime to the next highest court – the
Sanhedrin. It is the highest court in the nation and would be the
equivalent of our Supreme Court. What makes this offense more serious than murder,
to keep things in the context established by Yeshua? It is because of what the
angry person said out of anger – “RAKA!”
is the English transliteration of the Greek word found in the ancient
manuscripts of Matthew. Interestingly, the Greek word is also a transliteration
of a Hebrew word into Greek. Keep in mind that when a translator working on a
translation of a Greek manuscript transliterates a Greek word, he only finds
the closest equivalent En…
Jesus’s earliest memories was no doubt watching and listening to his family when
they gathered to pray the Shema at sunrise
before the day’s work began and after the working work day was over at sunset.
He also heard and participated in praying the Shema at their synagogue. He was surrounded by neighbors who also
prayed the same prayer in their homes every day. The
Hebrew word for prayer is tefilah. It
is derived from the root Pe-Lamed-Lamed and the word l'hitpalel, meaning “to judge oneself.” This surprising word
origin provides insight into the purpose of Jewish prayer. The most important
part of any Jewish prayer, whether it be a prayer of petition, of thanksgiving,
of praise of God, or of confession, is the introspection it provides, the
moment that we spend looking inside ourselves, seeing our role in the universe
and our relationship to God. Most
of Jewish prayers are expressed in the first person plural, "us"
instead of "me," and are recited on b…
I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one yod or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
(Matthew 5:18) In
the last blog we learned that a “jot” was really “yod,” the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet. So, now let’s
turn our attention to “tittle” and
see what it means. It is another one of those words you never hear or use in
everyday conversations. First,
let’s see look up tittle in an English
dictionary and see if we can find a definition. There is a definition and it is:
“a dot or other small mark in writing or printing,
used as a diacritic, punctuation, etc.” However,
when we look at a yod we do not find
any dots or small marks. Follow the arrow and look at the very upper left tip of the yod. ↓ י Do you see the small point? When we turn to the Jewish culture of Yeshua we find that the scribes had a name for it -- קוץ (QOTz). The translation of the word קוץ is “thorn.”[i] When Yeshua spoke he said, “Till heaven and earth pass, one yo…