Have You Been Praying to Jupiter

Coin from Shechem (Nablus), showing the Roman period Samaritan Temple to Jupiter Hellenius (the Greek Jupiter) at the top of Mount Gerizim.In my Support Team Study, Have You Been Praying to Jupiter, I share what may be the most important discovery I've made since the publication of my last book Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence. In this update, I trace the sources for the misguided pronunciation “Yahweh” through Josephus, a first-century primer on incantations, and the work of 18th and 19th Century European Bible scholars. I also share a quick grammar lesson on the seven conjugations and four prefixes for Hebrew verbs that inform a correct understanding of the name and its pronunciation. Join me on this journey as I trace the confusion back to the Babylonian ecumenical spirit of the Samaritans and unmask the connection to the Roman god Jupiter. Continue reading

Hebrew Voices #6 – Biblical Sites with an LA Screenwriter (Rebroadcast)

"Fun Joel" Haber in Nahal HaShofetIn this episode of Hebrew VoicesBiblical Sites with an LA Screenwriter, Nehemia Gordon speaks with Joel Haber, a licensed tour guide in Israel, whose tours are so enjoyable that he earned the nickname “Fun Joel.” Joel shares powerful examples of how reading the Bible, in the land of the Bible, brings the verses to life — sharing details from the binding of Isaac, the Valley of Elah, the routing at Mt. Hermon, and the broad wall in Jerusalem. Joel explains in-depth how the roads, the riverbeds, and the typography all help to clarify events, as well as how matching historical and archaeological records with biblical accounts proves the Bible is clearly not a made up book. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #3 – Lech Lecha (Isaiah 40:27-41:16)

Prophet Pearls - Lech Lecha (Isaiah 40:27-41:16)In this week's episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Lech Lecha, covering Isaiah 40:27-41:16. As Isaiah spoke consolation to invaded Israel, Gordon and Johnson console the listener with the deep wells contained in the original Hebrew—nuances that bring even greater comfort from the promises of the Creator. Word studies include: “renewed” strength, “first and last,” “righteousness,” and “eternity”—with the significance of its second root. Gordon and Johnson consider the options concerning “who stirred up from the east” and discuss how the ancient Israelites knew who was speaking in this Portion’s fast-paced dialog. Gordon concludes with the comforting news implied by the winnowing process—not all nations will be carried away. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #3 – Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)

In The Original Torah Pearls, Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27), we revel in the extraordinary drama of Abraham’s epic: a call from heaven, famine, war, plagues, dreadful and great darkness, bisected animals, flaming torches, battles with vultures, sister wives and kings. Then the cliffhanger—the God-who-sees promises to make an everlasting covenant with a yet-to-be-conceived son, and to make him the father of 12 princes. Continue reading

Hebrew Voices #79 – The Truth About the Seven Noachide Laws

In this episode of Hebrew Voices The Truth About the Seven Noachide Laws, Nehemia Gordon talks about how the Noachide Laws are actually a Rabbinic construct, how in-fact we see in Isaiah 56 that there is one law for the native born and the sojourner, and the incredible number of people around the world who are joining themselves to Yehovah. Daniel wrote: “I really appreciate you explaining the origins of these noachide laws. Blessings to you Nehemia!!!” Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #2 – Noach (Isaiah 54:1-55:5)

In this week's Prophet Pearls,  Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Noach covering Isaiah 54:1-55:5Gordon and Johnson revel in the glorious promises to Israel and explore the various ways the Tanakh allegorizes her: as a barren and abandoned woman, a maidservant, a slave, an owned animal, and yet, wholly and eternally a beloved wife. Original language brings insight to the following words: “foaming” anger, Yehovah of “hosts,” mercy, kibbutz, and “brief” moment. Despite differing views on some issues, Gordon and Johnson stand firmly on common ground concerning the messianic promise as Yehovah connects his eternal covenant with Israel to the seed of David. Continue reading

Torah Pearls #2 – Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32)

This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Noach (6:9-11:32). The trio discusses the following questions and more: While Noah was a righteous man—relatively speaking—what spiritual disease was the rest of the world infected with?  Is doing what comes naturally the best answer for our bad selves? Does the post-flood diet really include the “all”-you-care-to eat buffet?  What was the sign of the curse and what is the sign of the covenant? When the whole earth spoke one language, what language was it? What are the implications of the 70 nations that sprung from Noah’s three sons? In closing, Gordon discusses the belief that Adam was a Talmudic scholar as well as other historical views concerning what we knew and when we knew it. Continue reading

Prophet Pearls #1 – Bereshit (Isaiah 42:5-43:10)

Prophet Pearls Bereshit (Isaiah 42:5-43:10)In this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Bereshit covering Isaiah 42:5-43:10. After a quick tutorial on the origin of the Haftarah, we learn that the Prophets aren't the golden oldies; their writings are as relevant as ever and more current than our news feeds. Gordon and Johnson explore the original context in which this portion was written, followed by the context in 168 BCE when this passage was first read aloud in the synagogue, and finally the context in September 2014 when Netanyahu spoke the holy words of Isaiah to the United Nations. In addition to parsing key words from the portion, Gordon and Johnson answer the following: What service did the Jews provide to the ancient Roman Empire? And since the Creator refers to himself in so many wonderful ways, would he really name himself, “Lord”? In closing, Gordon and Johnson remind us that while God’s one and only name may have been lost for generations, he did not lose ours—he calls every one of his covenant people by name. Continue reading

Hebrew Voices #30 – Nephilim and Demons in the Book of Enoch

Hebrew-Voices-Nephilim-and-Demons-in-the-Book-of-EnochIn this episode of Hebrew Voices, Nephilim and Demons in the Book of Enoch, Nehemia talks with Dr. Miryam Brand about the Book of Watchers, which is another name for the first 36 chapters of 1 Enoch. The intrigue begins in Genesis 6:1-4 when “sons of God” got together with “daughters of men” and “Nephilim” seem to have been the result—a passage Nehemia considers the most difficult in the Tanakh. The Book of Watchers is an attempt by ancient Jews to explain this mysterious passage in the Torah.

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Torah Pearls #1 – Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

Torah Pearls Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)This episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8). The inaugural Torah Pearl kicks off with a “Portion101” and then, game on. Gap theory, hyper-literalism, parallelism, something from nothing or something from something? Old earth or young earth? Cosmic battle or crafty animal just doing his thing? What hovered . . . an angel, wind, the “Holy Spirit”? Interpretations abound, but to Gordon, sometimes an “et” is just an “et.” What was hot-wired into the sun and moon on the fourth day? Despite chapter manipulations by an Archbishop of Canterbury what climaxes the creation story—mankind or Shabbat? Moving away from theories and interpretations, Johnson shares his own take on the creation story—where the original language speaks to him in such a way that he sees and feels the darkness flee and the light be. Continue reading