Few in the family of faith likely know what on earth this means and yet the significance of this subject cannot be overstated. Let’s get straight to it:
There may have been an intentional deception perpetrated in a centuries-old translation of Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) which later Bible translators trusted and used to produce our modern Bibles. Even if there was not a purposeful deception, an error was made which served to mislead millions away from believing Christ is Messiah. Now, I would call that a fatal error!
For those unfamiliar with the history of our modern Bible translations, the Masoretic Text is at the very heart. Nearly all of our modern translations of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible come from it: the King James, NIV, NASB, and so on and so on. In other words, it was the original Old Testament source of the version of Scripture your Pastor or Priest are probably still teaching from today. Versions no doubt being used every day in seminaries, Bible colleges, and religious institutions, not to mention your home. So, what is this most important document, this heart of our religious training called the Masoretic Text?
You would think something SO important, the very book we base our values and most fundamental beliefs on, would be something we examined more closely to make sure the source was pristine and truly inspired by the Holy Spirit. I am just as guilty as the next person. We sat in desks, chairs and pews and trusted our teachers and religious leaders. We trusted those with lofty educations and impressive degrees from institutions whose sources we never examined or questioned.
The heart is deceitful above all things, it is incurable – who knows it? Jeremiah 17:9
For the heart of this people was made obtuse, and with the ears they barely heard, and they closed their eyes, lest they might see with the eyes, and might hear with the ears, and understand with the heart, and turn back, and I might heal them. Jesus – Matthew 13:15 Literal Standard Version (LSV) – Covenant Press.
Thanks to the internet, information is exploding. Errors previously unknown to the general public are being exposed. Ultimately, it will be up to each individual to make better choices for which versions of Scripture to rely upon. It is up to us to raise these matters to professors and pastors, in hopes those who lead will return to more original and reliable sources from which to teach and feed their flocks.
What is the Masoretic Text? Who translated it, and when? Has it earned the faith it has been given by so many Bible translators?
According to Britannica.com, the Masoretic text was begun around the 6th Century AD and completed in the 10th Century by “scholars at Talmudic academies in Babylonia and Palestine”.
Talmudic academies are educational institutions for Jewish scholars and rabbinical students. They do not believe or teach anything about Jesus Christ. They deny him and wish no Jewish person to consider His claim to be God or Messiah. And these institutions produced the Masoretic Text 1,000 years after the life and death of Christ, long after they had time to consider his life and claims and make a decision to accept or deny him. They chose the latter.
So, why is it our forefathers, who gave us the modern translations of Scripture, considered the Masoretic Text an inspired source? There was a much older source available: The Greek Septuagint is 1,200 years older than the Masoretic Text, having been produced in 200-300 BC by 70 Jewish scholars, centuries before Christ was born. It was the source for early Christians for several centuries.
Did you know Christ and the disciples quoted from the Septuagint? “…the writers of the New Testament used almost exclusively the Greek Septuagint” (Timothy Michael Law, When God Spoke Greek: The Septuagint and the making of the Christian Bible (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 850.
For anyone in Christ craving the purest source of Scripture, you understand the only sources must be Spirit-filled sources. The brightest scholarship on the planet means nothing if the power of the Spirit is not behind and infilling its work.
And when He may come—the Spirit of truth—He will guide you to all the truth, for He will not speak from Himself, but as many things as He will hear He will speak, and the coming things He will tell you; 14 He will glorify Me, because He will take of Mine, and will tell to you. Jesus – John 16:13-14 LSV
Remember, the Holy Spirit dwelled in the temple in ancient Israel. Only the purest priests could go near Him lest they lose their life approaching Him with any sinful imperfection.
When Christ began His ministry, one of the first things He did was ask John the Baptist to baptize Him, and witnesses saw the Spirit of God descend upon Him “like a dove”. They then heard the voice of God proclaim to Jesus, “You are My Son, My beloved, in whom I delight.” Luke 3:22
Guys, the Spirit had just left the temple permanently. It now filled Christ, and after his death and resurrection the Spirit would appear in the upper room to the disciples as a bright flame of fire over each of their heads. (Acts 2) They became the living Temple in that moment, the living Menorah! The Spirit was given to all who believed and followed Christ from that moment in history forward. We are His living Temple. And His Spirit guides us “into all truth”.
With apologies to the longtime teachers and students of Scripture this offends, but it cannot be overstated: no understanding, no interpretation, no translation of Scripture apart from the work of the Holy Spirit should ever have been trusted.
Adding further reason to question our heavy reliance upon the Masoretic Text, listen to this quote:
The Masoretic Text appears to have developed primarily as a response to Christianity. As Rabbi Akiba stated, “The Masora is a fence about the Law” (Würthwein, The Text of the Old Testament, 19). It appears that Rabbi Akiba intended to use the Masoretic Text to defend Judaism against Christianity by shoring up its traditions and text. (Christian Publishing House)
The problems addressed in this article and video in the Masoretic Text surround the subject of the priesthood of Melchizedek and how that affects Christ as Messiah, whether or not we believe He fulfilled Hebrew prophecy. In Psalm 110:4, David said the priesthood of Messiah would be according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5 confirmed Messiah is a priest in the order of Melchizedek, and Hebrews 7 goes further in provocatively saying the imperfection of the Levitical priesthood (required by Old Law) required the new priesthood. In line with prophecy, Jesus did not come from the tribe of Levi, but rather the tribe of Judah.
Faced with these problems to their traditions and teaching (and to their power, perhaps), using Biblical genealogies many Jewish Rabbis and scholars have taught Jesus could not be the Messiah because Shem, son of Noah, was actually Melchizedek.
I know this means nothing to the average person, but it means everything to a Jewish student seeking truth and cancels their pursuit of any Messianic prophetic fulfillment in Christ. However, this assertion is based on a glaring error (or intentional deception) in genealogical math!
To wrap, please watch the clear evidence contained in the video below (ignore the title, the core message is not pyramids) and become aware of the alterations made to the Masoretic Text which have served for centuries to lead many away from Christ. Don’t miss it!
Be armed with truth and lets purify the heart of our sources of truth, insisting only on Spirit-filled translators and teachers.
God bless His living temple, the followers of Yeshua/Jesus, our Messiah.