Blog Scripture Readings for 3-18 Through 3-24-18



Parashat Tzav — Leviticus 6:1(8)* – 8:36
Haftarah — Jeremiah 7:21– 8:3; 9:22-23 | Malachi 3:4-24**
Prophets — Isaiah 19:1 – 26:21
Writings — Proverbs 22:1 – 28:28
Testimony — John 19:1 – 21:25; Acts 1:1 – 2:47

Our annual Scripture Reading Schedule for 2017-2018 is available to download and print.

Most of this week’s blog discussion points will be on these passages. If you have general comments or questions on the weekly Scripture readings not addressed in a blog post, here’s a place for you to post those. Just use the “leave a reply” link below.

The full “Read Through The Scriptures In A Year” schedule, broken down by each day, can be found on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links.” There are 4 sections of scripture to read each day: one each from the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and from the Testimony of Yeshua. Each week, the Torah and haftarah readings will follow the traditional one-year reading cycle.

* Verse numbers in parenthesis refer to the verse number in Christian English Bibles when they differ from Hebrew Bibles or the Tanakh.

** A different Haftarah is read when it is a special sabbath in Jewish tradition. This week it is Shabbat HaGadol on the traditional calendar with a special Haftarah reading of Malachi 3:4-24.

Weekly Blog Scripture Readings for 3/18/18 through 3/24/18.


From A.D. 70 to A.D. 135 — How the Church Became Divorced From Its Hebraic Roots

What is called Christianity today in many ways is very dissimilar, and in many respects, outright antagonistic to the religion of the first-century, book of Acts believers. How did this come to be?

Many modern Christian churches prides themselves on being “a New Testament church, yet what they practice and believe is often very different from and even opposed to the teaching and practices of the apostles and primitive, first century church. For example, life for the apostolic believers in Jerusalem revolved around the temple (Acts 2:46; 3:1; 5:19-21; 5:42; Acts 21:26; 22:17; 24:18; 25:8; 26:21), and for those outside of the land of Israel, on most Sabbaths, they attended the local synagogue (Acts 13:14; 14:1; 17:1–2; 18:4, 7, 8, 19, 26; 19:8). Not only did the first apostles and early believers not celebrate any pagan influenced holidays such as Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Lent, and the rest, but they adhered to the Torah or law of Moses (see references below). The Book of Acts record is also clear that early believers kept the Bible festivals (as outlined in Lev 23; Acts 2:1; 18:21; Acts 27:9; 1 Cor 5:8; Jude 12) of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Day of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and the Eighth Day.

What’s more, the book of Acts records that both Stephen and Paul were falsely accused of teaching that the laws and customs of Moses were nullified, and, as a result of this false accusation, both lost their lives defending Torah-obedience.

A hundred other examples could easily be given showing how the Christian church has veered away from the Hebrew or Jewish roots of its faith, but hopefully, the reader gets the point.

So what happened to cause Christianity to veer so widely from the Hebrew or Jewish roots of its faith and to arrive at the place where it hardly resembles that religious faith from which it sprang? This is not an easy question to answer since one must look back nearly 2000 years and attempt to reconstruct the times in which our spiritual forefathers lived. Moreover, we must understand what was transpiring politically, religiously, and socially at the time to answer this question properly. It is also imperative that we understand the contextual social and linguistic fabric, the backdrop of history, and the parade of political Continue reading


The Anointing Oil: Differentiating Between the Sacred and the Profane

Leviticus 8:12, Anointing oil … consecrates [Heb. kadash]. The Hebrew word kadash signifies the state of something that belongs to the realm of the sacred, and which is set-apart for divine use and has been separated from the sphere of the secular, common or profane. The Bible often uses the term holy (meaning “set-apart”) to signify this state of being. The word of Elohim designate many things as set-apart:

  • The ground upon which YHVH is standing (Exod 3:5; Josh 5:15)
  • The people of Israel (Exod 19:6; Deut 14:21; 26:19)
  • The Sabbath (Exod 16:23; 20:8)
  • The Tabernacle of Moses (Exod 26:33)
  • The garments worn by the high priest (Exod 28:2)
  • The altar of sacrifice (Exod 40:10)
  • The offerings made on the altar (Lev 6:18)
  • YHVH’s feast days (Lev 23:2)
  • The camp of Israel (Deut 23:14)
  • Heaven as the abode of Elohim (Deut 26:15)
  • YHVH Elohim (Job 6:10; Pss 22:3; 78:4; 99:5)
  • Zion and Jerusalem (Ps 2:6; Matt 27:53; Rev 22:19)
  • The Spirit of Elohim (Matt 1:20)
  • The angels (Matt 25:31)
  • The servants of Elohim (Mark 6:20)
  • The name of YHVH (Luke 1:49)
  • Yeshua (Acts 2:27; 3:14)
  • YHVH’s prophets (Acts 3:21)
  • The saints (1 Pet 2:9; Rev 22:11)
  • The Torah (2 Pet 3:21)

YHVH’s people are to learn to make a difference between that which he designates as being kadash (holy) and that which is profane (Lev 10:10). In order to do this, one must know what YHVH defines as set-apart and then align our thinking and lifestyle with that.

The act of consecrating someone (or something, e.g. Exod 30:26), as occurs in Leviticus 8:12, often involves the ritual of pouring olive oil on them to signify their being set-apart for a special work or service. This is called anointing (see Exod 28:41; 29:7; 1 Sam 16:12; 1 Kgs 1:34; Isa 61:1; 2 Cor 1:21).

Yeshua’s title is Messiah (Heb. Mashiach) literally meaning, “one who is anointed, smeared or consecrated with (olive) oil.” The English word Christ derives from the Greek word Christos, which is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word mashhiach. In biblical thought, the Messiah would be One coming from heaven who would possess a super-anointing of the Spirit of Elohim (Isa 11:1–10; 42:1–21; 61:1–3; John 3:34) to accomplish the purposes of Elohim on earth.

Have you placed your trusting faith in Yeshua the Messiah, the Anointed One from heaven? He is the only one who can take away the shame, guilt and penalty of your sin, and the only one who defeated death and can lead you past the veil of death and into immortality.


Who originally canonized the NT? Definitely not the Roman Catholic Church!

John 21:24, We know. What now follows is discussion of the “we” passages in the writings of John.

James, the brother of John had been martyred in Jerusalem in the early sixties a.d., Peter in Rome in the mid to late sixties, and now it was left up to John, the remaining apostle, to finalize the New Testament canon. What is the proof of his hand in this task, and did he do it alone or did he have helpers—an editorial staff, if you will?

“John did not create the New Testament on his own. He had helpers. If one will read the writings of John carefully, these assistants can be recognized, and they played a very important part in the overall canonization. References to them are found from time to time cropping up within the contexts of John’s compositions. The elders who helped John were very important. … [M]any of them were eyewitnesses to the teachings of [Yeshua] in Judaea and they also saw him alive after his resurrection from the dead. They were a part of those 500 people still alive in a.d. 55 who Paul said were witnesses to [Messiah’s] resurrected body (1 Cor 15:6). This means that they were certainly Jewish Christians” (Martin, p. 398). At this point, Martin directs our attention to the “we” passages in John’s Gospel and epistles.

The first instance of a “we” passage is at the beginning and at the end of John’s Gospel. Chapter one starts with a “we” passage, and then throughout the 21 chapters of this Gospel John has recorded what Yeshua taught him, but then in John 21:24 there is a remark in the text that interjects what others besides John had to say about the Gospel of John. (ibid.)

John 1:14, And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (emphasis added)

John 21:24, This is the disciple which testifies of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.

“Notice the abrupt change from the third person singular to the plural. The last part of this verse is introducing further witnesses, other than John (who are identified only by the pronoun “we”). Who were these men? In the Gospel they are not identified, but it can reasonably be assumed that the first readers of John’s Gospel must have been aware of their identities. They must have represented an officially recognized body of men since they boldly gave their witness to John’s written word, “And we know that the witness he [John] gives is true” (ibid., pp. 398–399).

This is just the beginning of the “we” passages. They occur numerous times in John’s short epistle to testify to the veracity of what John is saying pertaining to his recording of the Gospel account. In these writings, we see that in the middle of John’s narrative there will suddenly be an inclusion of a “we” passage as if to lend credibility to what he is saying. Examples of this are:

1 John 1:1–4, 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us😉 that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Yeshua Messiah. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. (emphasis added)

1 John 4:11, And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. (emphasis added)

3 John 12, … and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true. (emphasis added)

“It is clear that a body of men, other than John himself, was telling the readers of his [First and] Third Epistle[s] that they too were witnesses to the truth that John was stating. These Continue reading


Happy Biblical New Year!

Today is the first day of the new biblical year. Happy new year’s day!


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And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for appointed times, and for days and years. (Gen 1:14)
The new moon of the 1st month was sighted from Israel this evening, March 18, 2018!*
From Ma’ale Adummim by Roy Hoffman at 6:12pm.
From Nitzana by Yotam Marcus at 6:30pm
Below are the upcoming holiday dates based on the finding of Aviv barley in the Land of the Israel and the sighting of the new moon.On behalf of all of us who rely on these reports, I wish to thank everyone in Israel who looked for the new moon this evening and sent in their observations in a timely manner. And a special thank you to all of you who have chosen to be a part of restoring the Biblical Calendar by supporting our efforts.If you find these reports to be of value, please consider supporting our efforts at We could really use your support!Shanah Tovah (Happy New Year)! Let’s make this year the best one yet.

Devorah Gordon
Jerusalem, Israel

We could really use your support!
Please click here to help us provide reliable Biblical Calendar information.

No Broken Bones

John 19:36, Not one of his bones. The bones in the body of Yeshua couldn’t be broken, for the Living Word of Elohim can’t be broken even as the Written Word of Elohim can’t be broken (John 10:35).

James says that if we break one of YHVH’s Torah commands, we have broken them all (Jas 2:10). Sin is the breaking of the Torah (1 John 3:4).

Yeshua, the Living Torah, was perfect and sinless. He never broke a single Torah command, even as not a single bone in his body was broken. He was the perfect, blemish and sin-free sacrificial Lamb of Elohim with no broken bones (Exod 12:46).


Aviv Barley Found in Israel


“This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.” (Exodus 12:2)
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March 18, 2018The Aviv Search Team has spent the past few days inspected the barley crop in the Land of Israel to determine whether this year needs to be intercalated with a 13th month. We concentrated our search in the Northern Negev, Judean Hills, and the Jordan Valley, as barley ripens first in these regions.

The barley in the Judean Hills and Jordan Valley was quite immature this year, while the barley in the Northern Negev was more mature. The most developed location we looked at in the Northern Negev had a good amount of patches of aviv barley. We also found some individual stalks at other fields.  It is the unanimous conclusion of the participants, that we found enough aviv barley to begin the year with the upcoming new moon sighting.

Photo by: Harold Tarter
Photo by: Yoel Halevi

We praise Yehovah for the protection He provided us on our excursions. I also wish to thank each of the participants of this year’s Aviv Search for contributing your unique skills and perspectives, and coming together as a team to make this year’s search another great success. And a very special thank you to all of you who have chosen to be a part of restoring the Biblical Calendar by supporting our efforts, we really can’t thank you enough for your support.

2018 Aviv Search Participants: Devorah Gordon, Yoel Halevi, Harold Tarter, Willie Ondricek (Northern Negev only), Cari Tarter (Judean Hills/Jordan Valley only).

I’m off to look for the new moon!

Devorah Gordon
Jerusalem, Israel