Archive for category Ancient Hebrew

Why Do You Believe the Bible? Part 1

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I have been teaching a discipleship class at our church (different from the Hebrews Bible Study that some of you are following). It is a four-part series on Genesis 1:1, among other things. The class is a study of the supernatural nature of the Hebrew language and the ancient Hebrew pictographs making up Genesis 1:1 and other Biblical names and passages.

I have tried to upload the Power Point files, but none of the services that I am aware of allow for the Hebrew fonts I have used, so I have taken screen captures of the slides and included them as images. I hope it makes sense. Also, there are many slides, so I will publish the teachings in multiple parts.

The first class was entitled “Why do you believe the Bible?” We looked at at three key places in scripture where the same event is graphically depicted in the ancient Hebrew pictographs. I will publish the first teaching in three parts.

Why do you believe the Bible?

Why do you believe the Bible?

Genesis 1:1

Genesis 1:1

We began, appropriately enough, “In the beginning,” by looking at the pictographs that make up the Hebrew word “Barasheet,” most frequently translated, “In the beginning.”

In the original Hebrew alphabet, each pictograph represented a letter of the alphabet, a number, and had a symbolic meaning. By looking at those pictographs, a richer, deeper understanding of the text is gained.

Barasheet is spelled in Hebrew BET (the equivalent of our letter B, depicted in the ancient Hebrew pictographs as a house or tent, symbolically meaning “house” as in a lineage; RESH (R), depicted as a man’s head, meaning the first or highest person; ALEPH (A), depicted as an ox head, meaning strength or God, as in, “the Lord is my strength;” SHIN (S or Sh), depicted as two teeth, meaning to consume or destroy; YOD (Y), depicted as an arm from the elbow to the fist, meaning “my” or efforts or works; and TAV (T), depicted as two crossed sticks, meaning mark or covenant.

The first two letters of Barasheet BET and RESH together form the Hebrew/Aramaic word “bar” or “son.” So, when we look at the ancient Hebrew pictographs, we see that “In the beginning” is actually a graphic depiction of the SON of GOD being CONSUMED/DESTROYED with his HANDS on a CROSS. The slides show the modern Hebrew letter, the name of the letter, the symbolic meaning, what is pictured in the pictograph (in parentheses), and the pictograph itself.

In the beginning

In the beginning

That’s quite a remarkable beginning. For a slightly different look at this, you can read my earlier post In the beginning.

During the class, I taught that the traditional belief that the first prophecy in scripture is in Genesis 3 is actually incorrect, and that it is, “In the beginning.” I believe the most powerful and creative force in the universe is the spoken word of God. If so, by its very nature, it must be prophetic especially in view of God’s creativity. God not only created the universe, but in speaking, He created language, an alphabet, math and science, and everything else.

This week, however, I was humbled by the Lord who showed me something else quite remarkable. In Genesis 3, the “first prophecy” is God cursing the serpent saying,

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

In the beginning,” the very nature of the Son’s destruction on the cross is accomplished by the pictograph depicting two teeth, the very manner in which a serpent would “strike.” So, the first prophecy in scripture is bothIn the beginning” and in Genesis 3.

There was obviously a lot more, it was an hour-long class. I will try to put as much as I can in parts 2 and 3 which will follow soon. Enjoy.

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Just Call Me “teacher”

BOB PostcardI am “teaching” a discipleship class at our church starting this Sunday. I’m really looking forward to it.

It has been in the planning stages since about the first of the year, but I was pleasantly (and amusingly) surprised to find a postcard in the mail from our church publicizing the class.

The class will run for four weeks on Sunday evenings. I will probably post about the classes just for fun, although a lot of what I’m going to cover is already here somewhere (see links below). It’s going to be a blast.

Note the text:

Come experience the Word of God with teacher Peter Lopez and explore treasures from the Scripture God placed there for you to find!

I have taught several classes as an adjunct faculty member at a local college, but this makes it seem more official. Didn’t they call Jesus “Teacher?” Well, henceforth, just call me “teacher,” too. ;) [Note the distinction in titles-I will forego the capitalization in reverence to my Teacher.]

The class was named after, you guessed it, this blog and will be “an exploration of the beauty of the Word of God.” Ringing any bells? Specifically, we will look at Genesis 1:1 in the ancient Hebrew pictographs and a whole slew of other cool stuff.

Each of the four weeks there will be a theme or purpose that ties in to the teaching. The plan is also to conclude with prayer for specific needs related to the themes. For example (a very rough draft):

If anyone out there in cyberspace needs or wants prayer for an increase of faith, to know Jesus as your shepherd, to encounter heaven, or for revelation from and about God and His Word, please let me know. We will pray specifically for those wants and needs, and we will pray for you individually. Let me know in the comment section below, or, if you prefer a little more privacy, use the “Contact” for above.

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Genesis 1:1 Follow Up

I am working on a post (and have been for some time now) wherein I will compile all of my posts on Genesis 1:1 and its ancient Hebrew pictographs.

I think I will initially publish it as a post and then make it a permanent page when it slips off the bottom of the the front page, but I’m still kicking this idea around. The length is the only reason I would publish it as a page only.

Anyway, for the time being, I will simply say, “Coming Soon.” In the mean time, these are the Genesis 1:1 links which I will reformat into the new post/page, if you want a preview:

Genesis 1:1 Posts:

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Why Tithe?

“Tithe” is such an emotionally charged word, it’s hard to discuss it without stirring the pot (see Tithing is Still a Touchy Subject and Why is the Tithe a Tenth?).

So, I will do my best to avoid stepping on any land mines. I do, however, want to share a little of what I was asked to share yesterday during our church’s offering time.

First, the scripture to make it official:

9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.

10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. (KJV)

Abraham and his crew, having just returned from battle, are met by Melchisedec (to use the King James spelling), King of Salem, who blesses Abraham. In response, Abraham gives Melchisedec a tenth of all.

It’s been a while, but many of you know that a primary focus of this blog is the ancient Hebrew alphabet and the stories told thereby within Biblical words. For example, see Hebrew-The Divine Language. The story told by the ancient Hebrew pictographs that make up the word “tithe” is equally remarkable.

A quick recap, the ancient Hebrew alphabet was made up of pictographs, each representing a letter, a number, and a symbolic meaning (I just recently heard that each represented a color as well, but it was news to me, and I can’t say much more about that).

The Hebrew word for “tithe” is ma’ asser, and please forgive my transliteration. In Hebrew, ma’ asser is spelled by the Hebrew letters MEM (the equivalent of our letter “M”), which is pictured as waves of water and symbolically means nations or waters; AYIN (perhaps our letter “O” or “E”), pictured as an eye and meaning to see; SHIN/SIN (“Sh” or “S”), pictured as two teeth, meaning to consume or destroy; and RESH (“R”), pictured as a man’s head, meaning the first or highest person.

God promised Abraham he would make of him a great nation. He then asks Abraham to sacrifice his son. Thus, “tithe” is the picture of Abraham, the great NATION, SEEing the DESTRUCTION of the FIRST son (Isaac was the son of promise as far as God was concerned). However, “tithe” also represents the act reciprocated by God, in part, because of Abraham’s obedience. We now know that the NATIONS have SEEN the DESTRUCTION of God’s FIRST SON.

Regardless of your theology regarding the tithe, Abraham tithed to Melchisedec after being blessed by him, and his great-grandson got credit for it; and his descendants received tithes from the rest of the nation. I can’t think of a better reason to tithe than simply because we have been blessed by God in his tithe to us: the sacrifice of His son. How better to leave a lasting legacy for your great-grandchildren’s descendants.

Here is the visual of “tithe” (recall, Hebrew is read right to left):

Tithe in Hebrew

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Stumbled by the Right Stumbler

In the shameless self-promotion category…

One of my very first posts ever (The Lord Is My Shepherd) got stumbled upon by (apparently) the right stumbler recently with pleasant results. Within a matter of a few hours, it received over 300 hits and, after a few days, it is about to cross the 1500 hit mark. I have had posts stumbled before with considerably less dramatic results, but I suppose the stars aligned for one of my favorite posts even if it was 15 months late.

I realize that to real bloggers, 1500 hits for a single post in a short period of time probably doesn’t register as anything abnormal, but from my little area of the blogosphere, it’s something to write home about (rather, to write you about).

I am particularly partial to that post because it was my first “discovery” (for lack of a better word) of the extra-textual content contained in the ancient Hebrew alphabetic pictographs. In it, I showed Elohim, Hebrew for “God,” as depicting Psalm 23.

To summarize, the word Elohim is comprised of the Hebrew letters ALEPH (similar to our letter “A,” and pictured in the ancient Hebrew as an ox head, signifying strength or God – as in the Lord is my strength); LAMED (“L,” pictured as a shepherd’s staff, meaning to shepherd or lead); HEY (“H,” pictured as a man with outstretched arms, meaning God’s grace or to behold); YOD (“Y,” pictured as the arm from the fist to the elbow, meaning my or my hand or works); and MEM (“M,” pictured as waves of water, meaning water or peoples/nations).

Thus, the LORD is my SHEPHERD by GRACE MY needs are provided for (I SHALL NOT WANT), he takes me by MY HAND and LEADS me by still WATERS. Here is the visual:

Elohim

Elohim

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Hebrew – The Divine Language

I have spent a lot of time lately contemplating the Hebrew language (even more than usual). I simply cannot escape the conclusion that the language is supernaturally composed. It almost makes me wish I was a statistician so that I could calculate the odds of a human or group of humans developing a pictographic language such as that of the Hebrews.

I hope I never become one to recycle posts (because one of my very first posts was on The Language of God), but I do want to share this again now that all (for now) of the posts on Genesis 1:1 are finished. I will compile them in a single post soon for easy reference. But, more fundamental that that…

The word “Hebrew,” or Ibrit (pronounced ee’vreet, please forgive my phonetic spelling), is derived from the word Ibri (pronounced ee’vree, which is also “Hebrew” in English). Ibri means to pass over or sojourn. Abraham was first called the Hebrew (Ibri) in Genesis 14:13 because he was a sojourner in the land, or he was one who “passed over” the land. It’s certainly no coincidence that one of the chief Jewish holidays is Passover, perhaps just a great foreshadowing.

In many ways, all believers are called to be “Hebrews,” sojourners in this world. So, what of this word, “Hebrew,” that would ultimately become the name of the language spoken by the descendants of Abraham? Ibrit is spelled using the Hebrew letters AYIN, depicted in the ancient Hebrew pictographs as an eye and meaning to see, as by revelation; BET, pictured as a house or tent and meaning a house or lineage; RESH, pictured as a man’s head, meaning the first or highest person; YOD, pictured as a hand or arm from the elbow to the fist, meaning my or my hand/works; and TAV, pictured as two crossed sticks and meaning a mark or covenant.

Before I get to the breakdown of the individual letters that make up Ibrit, I want to point out that brit is the Hebrew word for covenant. Thus, Ibrit can be fairly seen as TO SEE or a REVELATION of the COVENANT. The conclusion that I have reached is that we will SEE, or the REVELATION of, God’s COVENANT will be in and within HEBREW. Both within the word “Hebrew” itself and generally though the Hebrew language.

Now, “Hebrew.” Recall from earlier posts that the Hebrew letters BET and RESH form the Hebrew/Aramaic word bar, or son, so in Ibrit we SEE the SON with his HANDS/ARMS on a CROSS. Here’s the visual (remember, Hebrew is read right to left):

Hebrew

Hebrew

Related Posts:

God Speaks: The Origin of the Alphabet

My Covenant

The Language of God

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More Cool Bible Stuff

More Cool Bible Stuff

More Cool Bible Stuff

Here is some more really cool Bible stuff. If you spend very much time at all searching Bible stuff online, you probably already know about these, but, if not, enjoy.

Codex Sinaiticus – A fourth century Greek Christian Bible with a complete New Testament. The Codex Sinaiticus Project is an effort to digitize the entire Codex and make it viewable online. The website which was recently launched has several complete books of the Bible already available for viewing and is scheduled to have the entire Bible online by July 2009.

Ancient Hebrew Research Center – This is one of my favorite sites, and, along with Hebrew for Christians, where I really developed a love for Hebrew and its symbolism.

Hebrew for Christians – Just about everything you needed to know about the Hebrew language.

AmazingBible.org – An interesting site which treats virtually every major issue in Christianity. It is essentially one large index of Christian doctrine and theology. The site is the product of a Baptist person or organization, although I haven’t figured out who or what specifically, so file that info away for what it’s worth. Candidly, my wife and I were members of a spirit-filled Baptist Church for a while, although we attend a non-denominational church now, and I have no idea whether or not I endorse everything in the site because there’s simply so much information I haven’t even come close to seeing it all.

Biblioblogs.com – A fairly thorough list of biblioblogs, so if you are a regular reader of this or other Bible blogs and you just can’t get enough, check out Biblioblogs.com and discover other great Bible blogs.

Previous Cool Bible Stuff Posts:

Cool Bible Stuff

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