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


Did the Catholic Church Canonize the New Testament? NO!

Who canonized the New Testament?

Who canonized the New Testament?

2 Peter 2:12– 21, Near the end of Peter’s life (in the mid sixties of the first century) Peter was concerned with preserving the true and precious Gospel message for posterity. The principal subject of Peter’s Second Epistle was “the precious and exceeding great promises” of Messiah (2 Pet. 1:12) (Martin, p. 285). Second Peter 1:12-21 records Peter’s thoughts on this subject. In this passage, Martin calls our attention to several key phrases that express Peter’s intentions in this regard. Please note them.

12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to remind you of these things [the Gospel message], though ye know them, and be firmly fixed in the present truth. 13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14 knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Master Yeshua Messiah hath showed me. 15 Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. [or, But I will give diligence that at each time you may be able after my death to recall these things to remembrance.] 16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Master Yeshua Messiah, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from Elohim the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount [the Mount of Transfiguration]. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy [as opposed to those who propagate fables]; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed [to what we are saying, as opposed to those who propagate heretical fables] as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but set-apart men of Elohim spoke as they were moved by the Set-apart Spirit. (emphasis added)

What Peter is saying here is that believers would always have the truth with them. According to Ernest Martin, the only way this could rationally be accomplished is for Peter to leave some authorized written record. He alludes to this when he says, “But I will give diligence that at each time you may be able after my death to recall these things to remembrance … The phrase “at each time” means that the reader could return again and Continue reading


The Bible’s Aversion to Mathematics: Don’t Add or Subtract

Deuteronomy 4:2, You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor shall you subtract/diminish from it. YHVH warns his people against adding or subtracting from his written Word elsewhere, as well (Deut 12:32; Rev 22:18–19).


Men seem inclined to ignore YHVH’s command in this regard. Whole religions have been founded based on disregarding this prohibition. Some claim to be Bible-based (e.g. Mormonism with their Book of Mormon and rabbinic Judaism with its Talmud), and some have supplanted the entire Bible with their own book (Islam with its Quran).

Who is the author of and real power behind adding to and subtracting from or twisting YHVH’s Word? It is Satan the serpent. (See Gen 3:1ff and Matt 4:3ff.)

What did Yeshua warn the religionists of his day against in this regard? He said, “Thus have you made the commandment of Elohim of none effect by your tradition” (Matt 15:6) and, “Howbeit in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7).

What are some examples of traditions and theologies in the modern-day Christian and Jewish religions where YHVH’s Word has been superseded by man’s traditions? What are some traditions and doctrines of men you have turned away from in order to bring yourself into greater alignment with YHVH’s Word? How is your life better for it? What has been the reaction of those around you in response to your aligning your life more closely with the truth of YHVH?


Is the Torah just the law of Moses?

1 Corinthians 14:21, In the law. Usually the word law (in Gr. nomos and in Heb. torah meaning “teachings, instructions or precepts) in the Scriptures refers to the first five books of Moses, but here Paul uses the term to apply to the writings of Isaiah the prophet. Obviously, Paul had a more expansive view of the law than just to the books of Moses, for here he applies it to the prophets sections of the Tanakh or Old Testament.

Torah scroll 3

Similarly, in the Gospel of John, Yeshua refers to the Psalms (which were contained in the Writings part of the Tanakh) as the law (John 10:34), and Jewish people, like Paul, regarded Isaiah as part of the law as well (John 12:34). What all this means is that Yeshua, Paul and the Jewish people in a general sense viewed the entire Tanakh as the law, or more correctly, the instructions or teaching of YHVH, since the Hebrew word for law (i.e. torah) means exactly this.

What this means to us is that Elohim’s entire word should be viewed as his legal code or instructions to men on how to act. As such, no parts of it can be eliminated, relegated to the past or “done away with.” It is thus important to view the entire Word of Elohim as equally binding and relevant to all people at all times.


The Blessing and Glory of the Torah—Readjusting Prejudicial Mindsets

Exodus 20:1, And Elohim spoke all these words, saying.

The following is an excerpt from a larger article on the subject of the Torah, which can be found at http://hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/torahprimer.pdf.

What Is the Essence of the Torah?

Let us answer the question by posing a question. Why do you call yourself a believer, Messianic, Christian or otherwise? Why do you believe that the Scriptures are the Word of Elohim? Why are you currently reading this teaching article? Why were you created and what is your purpose in life? What is the meaning of life and what is your future destiny? Is there a Supreme Being in this universe and what does he expect from you, as a human, if anything at all? Does he care about you personally, and if he does, does he have anything to say to you about life – and about your life, in particular?

Torah reading in a synagogue with a hand holding a silver pointer

Very few humans alive, or who have ever lived, have answers to these questions. Most humans simply exist. Few actually live with purpose and meaning to their lives.

But you are privileged, for you are about to learn the answers to which so-called philosophers, sages and religious luminaries have been seeking since man has existed. Tidal waves of religion, philosophy and politics have swept across this planet carrying away peoples and nations promising to answer men’s most perplexing questions. Though volumes have been written, though countless libraries are full of millions of books, scrolls, papyri, clay tablets, documents and computer files, the answer to it all is surprisingly simple. In fact one word: It is T-O-R-A-H! The Torah of YHVH-Elohim is the Light of Truth from the Originator of Light and Truth. And it has been miraculously transmitted from heaven to earth, from the infinite to the finite, from the spiritual, boundless, eternal, omniscient and all wise mind of Elohim to the limited confines of physical existence on earth. Like a beam of Light shot through space from the great beyond, penetrating the darkness of human existence that Light became the written Torah, the Word of Elohim in the form of a Torah scroll written in Hebrew script of the set-apart Hebrew tongue (lashon kadosh) thousands of years ago.

The Torah-Word of Elohim forms the very bedrock foundation of the Scriptures. The spiritual building of the Prophets, Writings and Testimony of Yeshua rests squarely and securely upon the foundation of the Torah without which the rest would instantly crumble into nonexistence. Elohim was so determined to make that foundation so rock solid that he literally dictated it audibly letter-for-letter and word-for-word to the man Moses, who like a stenographer, wrote down exactly what he heard. This become the Books of the Law of Moses, or the Torah of YHVH Elohim. None of the Prophets or Writings in the Tanakh, though the inspired and infallible Word of Elohim, were so transmitted. The only words in all of Scripture that approach this level of purity and perfection are those words of the Written Word or Torah made flesh; namely, the words of Yeshua as recorded in the Gospels of the Testimony of Yeshua.

The level of one’s understanding of  the written Torah is the key to having a deep and abiding understanding of Yeshua, the Living Torah, and ultimately of having a blessed, a right, eternal relationship with our Father in heaven. ­Having a deep walking-it-out understanding of the Torah will also determine one’s level of rewards in the Kingdom of Elohim — whether YHVH bestows the title of The Least or The Greatest upon one (Matt. 5:19).

Below are quoted some deeply held, age-old convictions that the Jewish sages have lived and died for regarding the Torah. As you read them, please keep in the forefront of your thoughts the concept of Yeshua, the Living Torah-Word of Elohim, who was made flesh Continue reading