Do You Have a Swiss Cheese Bible—a Holey Bible, not a Holy Bible?

The Bible equates the “Law of Moses” with the Hebrew word Torah, which is usually translated as “law” in our English Bibles, and is a word that means “instructions, precepts, teachings [of Elohim].” As such, they are a reflection of Elohim’s very character and nature. Yeshua summarized YHVH’s Torah-laws when he stated that they show man how to love Elohim with his all and his neighbor as himself.

Are there any parts of Elohim’s precepts or instructions in righteousness that man has the right to nullify, do away with, or subdivided such that any parts of it are no longer applicable to man? If so, then who is man that he can instruct the Almighty Creator on which parts of his laws are for us today and which parts or not? Is this not extreme hubris and pride—a huge sin in itself—in fact the worst and most abominable sin of all (Prov 6:16-17)?

On the contrary, the Bible from Genesis to Revelation unquestionably presents the Torah as an indivisible whole, which stands and falls together. This includes the dietary laws, which are an aspect of being holy or set apart (from this world), even as Elohim is set apart or holy (Lev 11). James says that if you break one law, you’re guilty of breaking them all. John in his first epistle says that sin is the violation of the law. Yeshua in his Sermon on the Mount states that he didn’t come to destroys the law—not even one yud or tag of it. Paul in his epistle to the Romans says that the law is holy, just and good and grace in no way nullifies the law. None of these men of Elohim made distinctions between carnal or moral, physical or spiritual or ceremonial subdivisions of said Torah-law. This is an invention of the early church fathers because of their anti-semitic theological bias. Go read them. I can provide you with actual quotes and references—and not a few!

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Is a quiet spiritual revival occurring across the planet?

From Christianity Today at

Here is some good news for a change!

The Top Bible Verses of 2018 Don’t Come from Jesus or Paul

For the first time in recent years, YouVersion and Bible Gateway users searched for and shared verses from Old Testament prophets the most.

 The Top Bible Verses of 2018 Don’t Come from Jesus or Paul

It’s a charge that extends back to the earliest parts of Scripture, gets repeated from the lips of Jesus, and resonates the modern world. It’s also the message of the most popular Bible verse of 2018 on YouVersion, the world’s most-downloaded Bible app.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God,” reads the year’s top verse, Isaiah 41:10. “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

That exhortation from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah was shared, bookmarked, and highlighted more than any other passage by hundreds of millions of YouVersion users.

The year’s top honor at Bible Gateway comes from another Old Testament prophet. The most-read verse on the Bible website was the familiar Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

On the leading Bible website, either Jeremiah 29:11 or John 3:16 have topped the annual list every year. (The oft-quoted line from Jeremiah has come to be considered one of the most frequently misinterpreted Bible verses.)

The rest of Bible Gateway’s top 10 come from Psalm 23 (verses 1, 4, 6, and 6), Romans (Romans 8:28 and Romans 12:2), and Matthew (6:33).

YouVersion’s top verse, Isaiah 41:10, ranked thirteenth on Bible Gateway. Bible Gateway’s top verse, Jeremiah 29:11, also spiked to No. 1 in several countries worldwide, according to the YouVersion data.

The two Bible platforms’ lists end up being pretty different from one another each year, evidence that users tend to look up different verses online than they highlight or share during their study time on an app.

This year, Bible Gateway ranked popular verses based on 920 million searches across versions of the site. YouVersion’s picks stem from more than 1.7 billion highlights, bookmarks, and notes on more than 350 million devices.

Previously, YouVersion’s verse of the year award has gone to Joshua 1:9 (2017), Romans 8:28 (2016), and Proverbs 3:5–6 (2015). This year marks a shift to a prophet, but continues the theme of biblical reassurance to digital readers.

“This year’s data shows people worldwide are continuing to turn to the Bible in search of comfort, encouragement, and hope,” said Bobby Gruenewald, pastor and innovation leader for Life.Church and YouVersion founder.

While Isaiah 41:10 was the app’s most popular verse overall in 2018—and the top pick in the United States, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain—several others were ranked as No. 1 in various countries.

Joshua 1:9, the global favorite in 2017, remained the most popular verse in the Central and South American countries of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. John 3:16 took the lead spot in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Turkey. 1 Peter 5:7 topped the list in Egypt, India, and Iraq, and Matthew 6:33 was most popular in Thailand and Vietnam.

Not only was Jeremiah 29:11 the most popular verse of the year on Bible Gateway, it also claimed the YouVersion top spot in countries in the developed West (Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom) and the Global South (Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, and the United Arab Emirates), spanning demographics in a way that other verses didn’t.

At Bible Gateway, top searches for passages included Psalm 91, Psalm 23, Genesis 1, Romans 8, and Matthew 6. Its leading keyword searches of the year were “love,” “peace,” and “faith,” respectively (“amor,” which means love, was the top keyword in Spanish, too). “Holy spirit,” was the eighth-most searched word, “forgive” ranked 15th, and “truth” came in as the 19th most commonly searched term.

And with the help of an emoji-based search on YouVersion’s Bible App, which allows users to tap images corresponding to various emotions, individuals conducted more than 18 million searches to find what the Bible might say to them in the midst of their emotional highs and lows.

YouVersion celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the app in July. In the decade since it originated as one of the Apple App Store’s first 200 applications, the Bible App has grown to include more than 1,800 versions of the Bible in more than 1,250 languages. Across the globe, via the Bible App, 27.2 billion Bible chapters were read in 2018; there were 4.2 billion audio chapter listens; more than 400 million verses were shared; and nearly a billion days of Bible plan readings were completed.

Engagement with God’s Word rose across continents. In Asia, Japan led the way in increased use of the Bible App, doubling over 2017, largely due to the addition of a new Japanese translation of the Bible within the app. Nepal (69%), Indonesia (61%), and Vietnam (59%) also saw big boosts in digital Bible engagement.

European countries like Romania, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Italy amplified their use of the leading Bible application, with increases of 100 percent, 67 percent, 60 percent, 57 percent, and 53 percent, respectively. South American countries also contributed to rising overall engagement, with use in Chile increasing by 79 percent and in Argentina by 60 percent.

“Many of us grew up with the ability to read the Bible in our heart language, but countless people around the world don’t have that privilege. That’s why we’re passionate about making the Bible available in more languages through the app,” said Gruenewald.

Overall Bible engagement on the YouVersion platform reached a new pinnacle this year, featuring a 27 percent year-over-year increase in daily use from 2017. The group’s Bible App for Kids, which launched in 2013 and is now available in 42 languages, saw an increase of 55 percent in installations in the last year, reaching 27 million devices worldwide.


14 Reasons to Believe the Bible and to Obey Elohim

  1. One is a sinner (he has broken the laws of the laws of the Creator) and needs to get right with the Creator of the universe.
  2. One needs to worship, obey and serve YHVH Elohim simply because he is the GOD/Elohim of the universe and the Creator of all things and because he demands and deserves it.
  3. The Bible is the only book that lays out the path of reconciliation with the Creator of the universe through which man must come to terms with his sinful nature that is opposed to good and Elohim.
  4. Each person needs a moral compass to point him in the right direction.
  5. One needs a guardrail on the road of life to keep one from falling into the a spiritual ditch, or off of the spiritual cliff.
  6. One needs a spiritual, moral, emotional foundation upon which to build one’s life.
  7. Each person needs to understand why he was born, who made him, his purpose in life, where he has come from and what the future of holds for his life.
  8. One needs to understand the meaning of life.
  9. One needs be able to answer the deep questions of life without running from them, ignoring them or masking over them.
  10. One needs the support of a spiritual community in times of need that other like-minding believers bring.
  11. One has to decide whether one will put one’s faith in the philosophies of men, and in the reasonings of secular humanists who philosophize about Elohim, or in the divine revelation of the Creator himself as revealed in his Word, and as demonstrated by the fruits of the lives of his servants and miraculous power and anointing in which they walk. 
  12. Each person needs to get a personal revelation of who made them, why they were made them and what their purpose and destiny is.
  13. Faith helps you to understand who your are, why you’re here and where you’re going. 
  14. Man needs something outside of himself to direct his heart, focus, thoughts towards—something that can lift him upward when he is down, something beyond himself that will give him a transcendent hope, something that will give him a higher purpose and reason for living. Man has a need for this in the depths of his soul. Nothing temporal or physical will fill this need. Those who refuse to recognize this will often turn to physical, mental or emotional crutches,  to addictions or false spirituality to mask over this need. But like an air bubble that cannot be forcibly held under the water, but must rise to the surface, likewise this human spiritual need unfulfilled will rise to the surface to reveal the leanness or vacuous nature of all other things that have been used to keep man’s deep inner spiritual need suppressed.

Can you think of some other reasons to believe? If so, share them with us in the comments section. 


I Am Thankful for the Bible

Thank you Yehovah Elohim for Your Word, the Bible and for Yeshua the Messiah, the Living Word of Elohim! I would be lost hopelessly wandering in the bleak wilderness of life pursuing the wind and vanity without your word. Soli Deo gloria!  — Natan

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Ps 119:105)

How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You! (Ps 119:9–11)

Your word is very pure; therefore Your servant loves it. (Ps 119:140)

I rejoice at Your word As one who finds great treasure. (Ps 119:162)

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (Joh 17:17)

For the word of Elohim is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb 4:12)

All Scripture is given by inspiration of Elohim, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness… (2Tim  3:16)

Bibles from Natan’s old Bibles collection

My oldest Bible: published in 1790. I found this Bible in a state of disrepair in stacks of thousands of books in the basement of a used bookstore in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 2008.


Genesis chapter one from my 1790 Bible.


This is the second oldest Bible in my collection—published in 1875. I rescued this Bible from  a trash heap.


The title page of my 1875 Bible.


Matthew chapter one from my 1875 Bible.


This huge 1882 family Bible was gifted to me several days ago by a client. It had been sitting in their garage for some 20 years. They knew I’d treasure it and they were right. I’ve always wanted a Bible like this.


The title page from my 1882 Bible.


This 1882 Bible contains many wonderful pieces of artwork including this picture of the wilderness tabernacle.


Another picture from the 1882 Bible.




This Bible was published in Germany in 1900 and was brought to America in 1906 by my German emigre great-grand parents.


The title page of our family’s 1900 German Bible.



This was my first Bible that my parents gave to me in about 1964 before I could even read. I would take it to church each Shabbat and pretend I was reading it when listening to the pastor preaching his sermons.


Some day, by YHVH’s grace, perhaps I’ll come across a Bible from the 1600s that I can add to my collection.

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts.I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. I have not departed from Your judgments, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. (Ps 119 :97–104)


The Word Versus the word Explained

I get some really great comment on this blog that challenge and teach me. Some also accord me the excellent opportunity to instruct and exhort.

Today, a well-meaning individual loving challenged me in the comments section when I wrote in a recent blog post that the Word of Elohim is my best friend. He basically said that the words on the page were not his best friend, but the Person those words pointed to was his best friend. From a Western perspective, his is correct, but I didn’t write my blog piece from a Western perspective, but from Hebraic, biblical perspective. Let me explain. — Natan

What Is the Word/word of Elohim from a Hebraic Perspective?

The Word of Elohim is my best friend. The word of Elohim is not my best friend. Notice the difference between these two sentences? In the first sentence, Word is capitalized; in the second, it is not. In my post, I capitalized the word Word for a reason. You must not have caught that. There is a big difference between the two. People can religiously worship words on a page or a book. I worship him who wrote it and recognize them to be a his words, and a reflection of his very heart, mind, will and character.

Yeshua is the Word of Elohim. John 1:1–2, 14 says,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. He was in the beginning with Elohim….And the Word became 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.”

Yeshua and his word are indivisible. To love his word is to love him. He is his word. This is Hebraic thought.

Hebraically, a person and their character and reputation are inseparable. They are who and what they are.

In our Western Greek mindset, we tend to separate a person’s word from them. This is not a biblical, Hebraic approach.

For example, the Hebrew word debar not only means “a word” but also “a thing.” Here there is no separation between form and substance. If there is no substance, there is no form.

In Greek thought, we tend to look at the outward appearance of something and separate it out from its substance or essence. For example, we look at a building and declare how beautiful it looks on the outside, or how handsome someone looks, or how good that cup or cave looks on the outside.

In Hebraic thought, we are told not to judge according to appearance, but according to righteousness (John 7:24)—to judge something by its fruit (Matt 7:16–20). We have to look at the heart of the matter, or the person, and make our judgments based on that. For example, Samuel saw how lovely David looked, but YHVH was looking at David’s heart, not his handsome appearance when he chose him to be king over Israel (1 Sam 13:14). Interestingly, when the heart is right, the outward appearances will be beautiful as well. It kind of follows!

Yeshua rebuked the religious hypocrites of his day for looking good on the outside, but looking hideous on the inside (for being a dirty cup or a whitewashed tomb). He also said that our words reflect the true condition of the heart (Luke 6:45).

So word and thing are the same thing in Hebrew.

In Hebrew thought, vanity is defined as one’s words and actions not lining up with each other. If a person says one thing, and does another thing, then it’s considered emptiness or vanity. It’s nothing—only hot air or wind.

So to bring this thing back full circle, Yeshua is his word and his word is him. That’s why the Word of Elohim is my best friend. It’s a whole lot more than words on a page to me—it’s the reflection of the mind, heart, character and will of the Author of the Bible which who he is. He and his words are inseparable.

We have a saying, “A man is only as good as his word.” This is a step in the right direction to understanding better the Hebraic approach in regards to someone and their words. In the Bible, Elohim IS the/His W/word!


Which Bible Translation Do I Use?

Continually, people ask me what Bible translation I personally use when preaching and when writing. I wish there were a good answer to this question, but there isn’t. I’ve been asked this question many times over the years.

The Word of Elohim is something I take very seriously. It is something to be trembled before with a contrite heart (Isa 66:2). Sadly, there are numerous designer Messianic Bibles out there being peddled by money-grubbing charlatans or self-proclaimed experts who have just enough knowledge of the original languages to be dangerous, but not enough to competently translate a Bible. These individuals are duping those who know less than they do, and preying unsuspecting and naive people who are hungry for truth. They are proving the old adage that says “an ‘expert’ is simply someone who knows more than the next guy.” Most of these “translators” have little or no academic training or linguistic expertise in ancient biblical languages, yet this doesn’t stop them producing a constant stream of “new and improved” Bible translations. I actually have some academic background in foreign and biblical languages and have done translating work in both French and Koine Greek at the academic level, so I speak with some understanding on the subject. Yet, I am not an expert, and am not qualified to translate anything.

There is not a single Bible translation on the market today that I can unreservedly recommend. Some of the more popular ones have been translated by questionable individuals who have little or no linguistic training, yet they (dishonestly) refuse to disclose publicly what their qualifications are for translating the Bible. I find this to be a huge red flag to me. If you have linguistic qualifications, why not state them? If you don’t, it’s probably because you have none. I suspect that most of these self-proclaimed Bible translators simply sat down with a copyright free English version (e.g. the KJV) and along with the help of a concordance and a few other lexical aids, made a translation, which they now peddle for big bucks. This is dishonest and unrighteous.

Which Bible version do I personally use? I still use the KJV and NKJV, since at least they were translated by competent linguists. Because I’ve been studying Greek and Hebrew for more than 45 years, I know where all the translation biases are, and I know the Hebrew and Greek words behind many of the English words in our Bibles. As I’m reading the Bible (when preaching) or quoting (when writing), I start with the base of the NKJV, and as I am going along, I “clean” up the English. For example, I insert Hebrew words for the names of deity (i.e., God becomes Elohim, LORD become Yehovah, Jesus becomes Yeshuah, Christ becomes Messiah, Holy Spirit become Ruach HaKodesh, and so on). In cases where there are Hebrew or Greek words that the translators have translated into English using misleading words, based on the lexical meanings of the words I make changes. For example, in Romans 10:4, I change “end” to “final aim, goal.” This is totally consistent not only with the meaning of the Greek word telos but also consistent with biblical truth. Another example would be Matthew 5:17 where fulfill (Gr. pleroo) means “to fill up, to make full, to complete, to fill to the top.” In any place in both the Tanakh (Old Testament) or the Testimony of Yeshua (New Testament) where the word law occurs in referring to “the law of Moses”, I replace it with the Hebrew word Torah meaning “instructions, teachings and precepts [in righteousness of YHVH Elohim].” I could give many other examples, but hopefully the reader gets the point. I don’t carelessly or haphazardly substitute words, but do so full well recognizing the meanings of the words in the original languages, and how the biblical authors use them in the full context of the whole Bible. Again, I tremble before YHVH and his Word, I cringe at the thought of being labeled a false teacher, or bringing  curses upon myself for adding or subtracting from the Word of Elohim.