Hebrew Voices #121 – Back to Work!

In this episode of Hebrew Voices Back to Work! Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson saddle up to discuss going back to work together... to do Hebrew Gospel Pearls! It's a big commitment, so they desperately need your input. Be sure to watch this special episode "Back to Work!" to learn what is involved in them studying Hebrew Matthew together and then vote to let them know if they should do it. Ron wrote: “REALLY hoping it goes ahead! Can’t wait to hear Nehemia’s expertise on this.”

I look forward to reading your comments!

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Hebrew Voices #121 - Back to Work!

You are listening to Hebrew Voices with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

Keith: Listen to this idea: we did Torah Pearls, we did Prophet Pearls, what if did the Hebrew Gospel Pearls?

You are listening to the Hebrew Voices with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia’s Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at nehemiaswall.com.

Nehemia: We are back and, boy, there’s a lot that’s going on. We’ve got pages and pages of questions here, and I am just really excited. I’m here with Keith Johnson, my former Methodist friend. Keith, what are we going to do with all these questions? There are so many!

Keith: I’ll tell you something. I don’t know about you, but I have had one crazy week. I almost feel like I should join the protesters and say, “Let me out, I want to go back to work”.

Nehemia: This is the hashtag now, #backtowork. Can we get back to work, Keith?

Keith: We’ve got to get back to work! But, Nehemia, these questions – I just want people to realize something - we had an overwhelming response of people, the first phase of questions, I found out we have got more questions, and you haven’t even asked people in your circle for questions!

Nehemia: Right.

Keith: And so, we had a great response. Maybe you could give an example of what some of these questions are.

Nehemia: All right. Some of these are like really sophisticated questions. Let’s see. So, for example, Mark asked, “In Hebrew Gospel of Mathew, meaning by George Howard 1995, you say that Matthew 28-9 reads Yehovah yehoshia, when the text actually reads in provided Hebrew example, HaShem yehoshiyachem. Howard translates it faithfully and accurately as “May the Name name deliver you.” And we actually have talked about that in quite a lot of detail, in The Open Doors Series. I don’t know if you remember this, but I actually pulled this up… I pulled up a document that I had on my computer, and I went through every one of the available manuscripts of Hebrew Matthew and I transcribed exactly what it said, letter for letter, in every one of the manuscripts, and I was curious - when was this originally done? Because 2011 is when we did The Open Doors Series, but I guess we had discussed this before, because March 9, 2006, is when this file was created. And we have never actually presented all this information, this was background research, in order for you to talk about this in The Open Door Series, so this has actually been sitting on my computer for 14 years, and we have never shared all of it. And that is just one question!

Keith: Let me just say something about that, and that’s the research that was going on behind the scenes, and people see kind of the result, and they’re like, “Oh, that is really cool!” But the depth of research which I guess… if you remember, I called you on the phone and I said, “Nehemia, could you do me a favor?” and you said, “What?” ”Would you be willing to go to the library and check such and such?” And you said, “Well, let me see.”

Nehemia: That was back when I was sitting in front of an analogue microfilm reader, and it was brutal back then.

Keith: That’s one question. Give another couple of examples.

Nehemia: Okay. Actually, the question goes on. Basically, they are asking why is it HaShem, and you say it’s Yehovah, and what the dynamic there is. And you explained a little bit of that in The Open Door Series, we won’t get into all the details.

Judith asks, “Matthew 19:1 to 12 - I totally do not get why the comparison is made with becoming one and becoming the unit, is there something in the translation that can help out with this?” And that actually dovetails with the divorce question that we said last week that we were trying to get to.

And next question by Scott, he says, “My question has to do with Matthew 19:3 to 9 and divorce. Does the Hebrew give any indication that Yeshua’s saying anything contrary to Torah here? My immediate inclination is that the Pharisees were trying to catch Yeshua at his word, and there is no indication that they caught him, but that what he spoke was in line with the Torah. To be clear,” and this is what Scott’s writing, “To be clear, I ask because I want to see how Matthew could be reconciled with the Torah regarding divorce and remarriage, because this is a strong argument in the Christian Church, that divorce-remarriage is a sin. I don’t by any means desire to participate in divorce, I love my wife.” [laughing] Scott writes.

And the point is here that he’s trying to understand, really, I think – okay, we know what the Torah says, Deuteronomy 24 is just explicit, it’s very clear, and Yeshua references Deuteronomy 24. Is he really changing what the Torah is saying, adding and taking away from the commandments of Moses, giving a different set of commandments? Or is he actually saying something in line that has to do with the interpretation? We just have pages and pages of questions, like this. Can I read one more, Keith?

Keith: Yes, please.

Nehemia: All right. Margaret asks, “Matthew says twice, in 12:16 and 19:2, that Yeshua healed great multitudes. In 8:16 it says, he cast out spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. Question number 1, did any other teachers or rabbis in Jewish history have similar types of ministries? Question number 2,” this is a really interesting question, “Matthew 12:17, which follows the statement there, then refers back to what was spoken to the prophet Isaiah. Why did he refer to this Scripture?” And you know, when you sent me these questions, I was reading through these, and I am like, “I don’t know that we can just answer this off-the-cuff. These are really deep and intricate questions that require much more in-depth study. So, can we do it like more than one episode on this?

Keith: Nehemia, I want you to stop for a second.

Nehemia: Yeah.

Keith: Permission to speak freely.

Nehemia: Bevakasha, please.

Keith: We need one of our old fashioned come-to-Jesus meetings.

Nehemia: [laughing] You do not say that, ok? We are gonna have a come-to-Jesus meeting? Okay, no pun intended there.

Keith: How many times in our history… how many years have we known each other?

Nehemia: At least 18, if not more.

Keith: How many times have we had to come-to-Jesus meetings? Now, what do I mean by ‘come to Jesus’?

Nehemia: I think maybe two?

Keith: Well, I think we have had about six or seven!

Nehemia: Six or seven, ok.

Keith: And what does that really mean? It’s not Evangelism. It’s a chance to….

Nehemia: You’re saying metaphorically a come-to-Jesus meeting.

Keith: It’s metaphorical.

Nehemia: Yeah.

Keith: Here’s what I want to ask you to consider. The people that are asking these questions have grown in their faith and their biblical understanding. I have to just tell you something right now that’s happening. Do you know how many people now are starting to learn Hebrew and starting…? They’re putting things together and they’re asking some really important questions. I don’t think we can do as you said, a quick pass-over. [laughing] A quick Passover.

Nehemia: No. [laughing]

Keith: We can’t just pass over…

Nehemia: This is more like the 50-day count to Shavuot.

Keith: Exactly. Nehemia, would you ever be willing, if we could get enough people to say that they would be interested in this, would you be willing for us to get back to work together to really dive into this - Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, and I’m suggesting… Drumroll please. Listen to this idea. We did Torah Pearls, we did Prophet Pearls – what if we did the Hebrew Gospel Pearls, and we actually looked at the manuscripts together, for the whole book?

Nehemia: Wow! Wow!

Keith: So Nehemia, people wouldn’t be even looking at Howard. No offense to Howard, but we take the manuscripts, put them up, and do it in a way that we did Prophet Pearls together, back and forth, study in advance, talk about it. Could we ask the people that are listening right now what their response would be if we could launch Hebrew Gospel Pearls?

Nehemia: Now, I know you’ve got a lot of things going on in your ministry, I’ve got a lot of things going in Makor Hebrew Foundation. In order to be able to do this, we need people to support this. I mean, this is something that… You’re talking about a diversion of massive resources…

Keith: If this is not a good idea, tell us now so that we can just move on. But if this is a good idea, would people be willing to consider this as something we could do, the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew.

Nehemia: Wow. I would love to do that! Look, this is something that we talked about in 2015. I remember this exactly – we had rented a little apartment, it was like a sub-sub-basement cut into the side of a mountain, and we went out for a break, and we were standing – do you remember, outside? – facing the Israel Museum with the Valley of the Cross between us, and the Israel Museum and the Knesset, looking out over it, in that little area, and you said, “What’s next?” And I said, “Should we do the Hebrew Gospel Pearls?” We talked about this in 2015!

Keith: What are you talking about? I thought it was an original idea. [laughing]

Nehemia: Are we going to finally do it?

Keith: Here’s the point. In the spirit of really answering the questions and dealing with the text, it’s going to take more than just what we attempted. Last week was a disaster… So instead of doing that, could we just dive into the text? And guess what…

Nehemia: That would be very cool.

Keith: As we’re going through the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, in the manuscripts, a lot of questions will be answered and we could still give people a chance to continue to ask questions as we go through. Nehemia, how many people do you think were listening to Torah Pearls and Prophet Pearls?

Nehemia: So, I think at the time we did it, we were probably getting about 20,000 people per episode, but then over the years, we’re getting more and more. We’re probably still getting, on those reruns… A funny story, this actually happens to me all the time, but I was here in Dallas about a year or two ago, and this woman comes up to me, and a bunch of us had gotten together for a Yom Teru’ah, a day of shouting, on the Rabbinical calendar it’s Rosh Hashanah, and this woman says to me, “So we’re three or four episodes away from the end of Torah Pearls, what are you going to do next?” And I said, “Well, what do you mean?” She said, “When you’re done with doing the Torah Pearls, what are you going to do next?” I said, Well, after we did Torah Pearls, we did Prophet Pearls. She said, “What do you mean, ‘did’?” So, this is a woman, like a year or two ago, I don’t remember exactly, and she had just discovered the program, and there are people now… We’re probably getting more people listening to each episode now, the reruns, then we were when it originally came out.

Keith: So here are the questions. I’ve got a lot of people, you’ve got a lot of people, we together have a lot of people who would really be interested in this, coming from the perspective of the language, history and context of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, and if we just dive into the text the way that we did with Torah Pearls and Prophet Pearls, and still give people a chance to ask questions as we go. I’m not trying to get around the questions, but you and I have looked, and we agree – to do justice is going to take time and energy to really answer these questions.

So we could do two things at once.

Nehemia: Wow.

Keith: We could focus in on the text, the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, answer questions as they continue to come in through this program, the Hebrew Gospel Pearls, people could ask questions, ask questions, ask questions, and we’ll find a way to continue to answer them as we address the text. Now, at the end, we would have a wonderful series, we will have gone through the text, and by the way, the tool that we have, that needs work, would also be able to use, refer, back and forth. So it could be… I mean, let’s ask the people what they think. I mean, maybe this is just you and me.

Nehemia: Wait a minute, so the hashtag now is “back to work”. You’re saying we can get back to work on the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew?

Keith: Yes, but let’s ask people… Now, what’s the best way to do this? You’re the king at this.

Nehemia: So I’m going to ask people this – on Nehemiaswall.com, on my website, there is a contact form, and it says “Contact Us”. You click on that, you put in your email, you put in your name. If you think this is a horrible idea and we shouldn’t do it, tell us that. If you think this is a good idea, and you want us to do it… And tell us on a scale of 1 to 10 how much you want us to do this, versus maybe some other project that I can’t even think of at the moment.

Maybe they’ll say, “Yes, we want to do it, it’s a 3…” Tell us from 1 to 10 how…

Keith: Here’s what we’re going to do in the spirit of what’s coming. We’re going to ask you to go to Nehemiaswall Contact, we’re going to ask you to go to BFAInternational Contact, and the two together, we’re going to gather what the response is on whether people think it would be a good idea, would it be helpful, would it be a blessing to you, if we were to stop everything!

Nehemia: Everything changes!

Keith: Everything is already stopped. [laughing] No, I’m just kidding. And go into this thing. Let’s be honest, Nehemia, it’s going to take a lot of time, energy and resources to jump into this. But if we got enough people that said, “Yes, do it,” you and I would be willing to prayerfully consider doing this series like we did…

Nehemia: Can I get spiritual here a little bit? You know, most viruses are named after the city they came from, like, Ebola is a town in… I think it’s in Congo or Nigeria. So this virus that we’re currently under lockdown from, we’re still in lockdown right now, it came from Wuhan. And Wuhan in China is known in the world for building bridges. I think it’s like 50 or 60 percent of the bridges, of long expanse bridges, in the world today were designed in Wuhan.

And I think, what an incredible thing that we’re here under lockdown, you’re in North Carolina, I’m in Dallas. I’m a Karaite Jew, you are a former Methodist…?

Keith: I’m a former Methodist.

Nehemia: I need a box to put you in, Keith. And we’ve been on hiatus for five years from the Pearls. We did the Torah Pearls, we did the Prophet Pearls, it’s now been a hiatus, and the Wuhan coronavirus is now building a bridge to bring us back together to do this. I think this is spiritual! [laughing] I think this is very powerful!

Keith: Well I’ll tell you what I’m going to look for. I’m going to be honest with you. I want to know how many people that are listening will actually take a few minutes to go to BFAInternational.com and Nehemiaswall.com and say, “Yes”, “No”, 1 to 10, some response on whether you think this is a good idea. And can we just talk for just a second, Nehemia, how you think we might approach this together? Would we try to do a chapter? Would we try to do a paragraph? How do you think we could do this? And would we have a live… on Friday night, still at six o’clock, people would be able to tune in and see what we’ve done, just like what we’ve done up to this point? Right?

Nehemia: Yes, I think we can broadcast it as a premiere, where you get to watch it together live with the audience… We could do it Friday night, that’s an idea. Logistically we’d have to see how that would work.

So, Hebrew Matthew is broken up into 115 sections. Really, chapters. The chapters we use today in both the Tanakh and the New Testament are relatively modern. We’ve talked about this before, they were established in the 13th century by Stephen Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury. And so if you went to the 11th century – and there are exceptions to that, right? Psalms has chapters, although sometimes it’s not the chapters we have, [laughing] that’s a different story, not to talk about now. And then, like Lamentations has chapters, but Matthew didn’t have the chapters that we’re familiar with until relatively late. So Shem Tov’s version preserves a set of chapters that we only know from that text.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: We have other chapter systems that existed in that time. We had the Lectionaries of Eusebius, the Eusebius Canon, the Eusebian Canon. So maybe we can break it up into 115 sections. Should we do 115 episodes? I don’t know. [laughing] It’s interesting – when we did Torah Pearls, I don’t know if you remember this… I remember sitting in my mother’s guest room – and it was only audio back then. Well, towards the end, as we got to the last episodes, and the last Torah portions are really small. Right? Ha’azinu is one chapter, basically.

Keith: Right.

Nehemia: And then, Vezot HaBeracha is very small, it’s chapters 33 and 34. And as we got to the end, the episodes were two to three hours long. Are we going to be doing… [laughing]

Keith: No, no, no!

Nehemia: …115, and by the time we get to episode 114 it’ll be 40 hours?

Keith: No, no, no. Nehemia, we need to get really creative, and maybe some people can give us some ideas. We probably need to do audio and have a video supplement, or something.

Nehemia: Well, like we’re doing with this.

Keith: The video supplement becomes the thing that we do, and then let the audio be available?

Nehemia: Yeah, I don’t know, we have to work logistically and figure out how to do that.

Keith: But people, will they do this for us? Because I want to be honest. Today I cussed at Nehemia. Folks…

Nehemia: I have the text message to prove it! [laughing]

Keith: I got so frustrated at Nehemia, and not just at Nehemia – part of it is this darn Covid, locked in the house, can’t do what we do. I was so frustrated today, and really, it started last week. It spilled over today, and I finally had to say, “Nehemia, I’m sorry, I’m just really frustrated.” And I think, that if that frustration has pushed me to purpose… And I think this coronavirus is going to probably push other people into purpose.

So for me, this is one of these things – anyone who knows me knows I have been waiting for years to study the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, the way that you and I did when we did A Prayer to Our Father: Hebrew Origins of the Lord’s Prayer. Because of the pearls that exist within the text that I don’t always see in both English and Greek. The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew preserves some things that are game-changers.

And so what excites me about this, it’s a part of purpose, it’s a part of our history, we’ve kind of come to it in a way that I have to be honest – I wish we wouldn’t have come to it this way, because I’ve been so darned frustrated – but in the end, maybe this is what was supposed to happen.

Nehemia: Okay, Keith, I have an idea. It just came to me, and maybe it’s a horrible idea! [laughing] Are you ready for my idea?

Keith: Absolutely ready.

Nehemia: Okay. So we can set up something on the website, maybe – I’m not sure how to do this. We’re going to set something up, and we’ll have a link at Nehemiaswall.com and BFAInternational.com, and it’ll be a place where you can go and vote for us to do this. And look, it talks about in the Gospels that Yeshua had 5,000 people that he fed. If we can get 5,000 people to vote for us to do this – because this is a big commitment! I’m not sure I want to do this!

I’m just thinking here – 115 episodes, that’s two years’ commitment! That’s more than two years! Are you crazy?! I don’t think we should do this. Let’s just answer these 30 pages of questions and move on. [laughing] It’ll take four weeks, and we’ll be done.

Keith: There are more pages of questions, [laughing] we can’t answer the questions. Here’s the thing. Let’s take the number down. How about…

Nehemia: Whoa, whoa, no. 5,000. I’m putting it out there. If we get 5,000 votes… I’m saying it now! I’m proclaiming – if we get 5,000 votes we’ll do it. It’ll be a two-year-plus commitment. Are you with me on that?

Keith: You think this’ll be two years? I think we could do it in… I think we could…

Nehemia: No, what are you talking about? There are 115 sections in the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew. And we do one a week. That’s 52 times 2 is 104… I’m being the Jewish accountant here. I’m just telling you this. It’s over two years. [laughing] Do the math.

Keith: Okay, so let’s start with where we’re at today. You’d like to see some response, I’d like to see some response. Does this make sense? Do we do this, and if so, it would be a sense of community saying, “Yes, let’s do this.” Right? That’s what we’re asking for.

Nehemia: I don’t… put it this way, I think this is a huge commitment of time and resources, so number one, guys, if you really want us to do this, bottom line is, please head over to Nehemiaswall.com and BFAInternational.com and support our ministries so that I have the time and resources to do it, and that you have the time and resources to dedicate to this, but also, there’ll be people who don’t have resources other than what they call “sweat equity”.

Keith: Yeah, yeah.

Nehemia: So put in that sweat equity and go over to Nehemiaswall.com and vote for this and show us that you care. If there are enough people who care about it, we’ll divert resources to this. I think we have to.

Keith: I think you’re right.

Nehemia: But before we put the two-year commitment, if we get 200 people who come, and we’re done – you know what? Maybe I’m not going to put those resources in, because there isn’t a demand for it. I don’t know – what do you think?

Keith: I think there’s demand, and I think a lot of people are going to hear about this…

Nehemia: I think we need to pray about it. Can I pray?

Keith: I think that’s a good idea. And if people will pray with us, during this time, let’s just say this week we’re into prayer, everyone pray with us, and then by next week we’ll have some answer based on your responses. And, without doing the voting thing, Nehemia… do you want to do the voting thing? Or do you want them to go to the Contact? Which one do you want?

Nehemia: I want them to do both.

Keith: Okay, both.

Nehemia: We’re going to spend… So let’s say it’s 115, we’re going to spend, just in preparation, let’s call it 500 hours. If people can’t spend five minutes to send an email and vote, then maybe we shouldn’t spend 500 hours. [laughing] And that’s not even the editing… I mean, there’s a whole logistical side to this. The bandwidth costs of hosting the material…

Keith: It could change everything in terms of people understanding what’s there, if we did the Hebrew Gospel Pearls.

Nehemia: I think it would bless a lot of people, I absolutely do. I think both Jews and Christians would be blessed by this, and people who don’t know what to call themselves as well – I’ll just throw that out there – and everybody in-between, I think it would bless a lot of people. But the question is, do we dedicate these kinds… I’m going to pray.

Keith: Yes. Amen.

Nehemia: Yehovah, Avinu shebashamayim, Yehovah, our Father in heaven, Yehovah, please give Keith and I guidance and move the hearts of the people out there, that if we’re supposed to do this, that we get a clear and definitive answer from You that this is something we’re supposed to do. Yehovah, I don’t want to do this just because we’re stuck here in quarantine and in lockdown. I want us to do this so that we can honor You – everything I want to do in my life… In the Psalms we’re told if a man… 70 years, and if a man has strength, 80 years. And one of our dear friends, Father, he only got to live to be 43 years old, but in that last year of his life he got to learn the Hebrew language, and he had that dream, Peduyey Yehovah, the redeemed of Yehovah.

Yehovah, I want to share that gift with as many people in the world as possible, and so my question and request here, Yehovah, is, guide me and show me if this is what I’m supposed to do with the time and energy and resources that You’ve committed to me. If this is the stewardship You want me to carry out with what little time I have left, whether it’s one more day or another 70 years. Yehovah, please guide Keith and I to know what we’re supposed to do here, and I ask this in Your holy name, Yehovah. Amen.

Keith: And Father, thank you so much for tension, as my wife calls it, creative tension. Thank you so much for circumstances, and the way You are a maestro and You have brought us to this place where we have done so much over these years, and so much is even happening right now in both ministries. And now it seems that we have an opportunity to go further with the Hebrew Gospel Pearls, in a way that would touch many, many people. We pray that You would speak to us clearly. We don’t even want to commit, we just simply want to put this out into the universe for Your ears, and for the hearts of the people to see if in fact it’s something that we should consider.

We ask that You would lead us and guide us, as Isaiah 30:21 says, “Whether we look to the left or to the right, may we hear the voice behind us saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it.’” Thank you for the so many people that have questions – help us to find a way to answer them in a way that would be honoring both to You and to them, and in the meantime, give us a system, a way, a path, for us to be able to do it in a way that would be excellent.

We ask Your blessing, in Your name, Yehovah. Amen.

Nehemia: Amen. Okay, I don’t want to end now, I want to actually… Would you allow me to take a minute to give people a taste of the type of thing that we can do here?

Keith: 100 percent!

Nehemia: Okay. And this isn’t scripted, it just came to me. I really think there’s a lot that this has to offer, and we’ve probably talked about this a little bit in the past. We actually had somebody ask about this last time. I had one of our editors write to me and say, “Is that right, what you said? That doesn’t even make any sense.”

I want to read what it says here. It’s Matthew 5 verse 17…

Keith: This is the NASB. “Do not think that I came to abolish the law or the prophets. I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.”

Nehemia: Now before you go on, we have four Gospels, and the four Gospels provide a testimony to what Yeshua of Nazareth taught 2,000 years ago.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: There are other apocryphal gospels which are generally… Certainly, the historical church didn’t consider them reliable. Some scholars will say, “Well, Thomas might also be a testimony that’s reliable.” Who knows. I don’t know. That’s a separate question.

Do you know there’s only one verse in all four Gospels, one teaching of Yeshua in all four Gospels, for which there is testimony outside of the New Testament?

Keith: Come on with that, brother!

Nehemia: It’s an independent source that testifies to what Yeshua spoke in the 1st century, and that’s this verse that you just read, is cited in the Talmud – with some variations that we’ll talk to if we ever do Hebrew Gospel Pearls, and it’s actually really interesting, the variation there. But it’s clearly referring to Matthew 5:17. And actually you could say it’s not Matthew 5:17. In other words, it could be that Yeshua taught this same message on different occasions, and that the Talmud in, I think it’s Menachot, is providing an independent testimony to what Yeshua taught in the 1st century.

And just to be clear, the Talmud is not Yeshua’s fan there. It’s essentially… well, it’s criticizing Christians, actually, and saying, “Why don’t you do what Yeshua taught?” It’s very interesting! I was once asked by somebody you know as well, I won’t say who, but I was asked by one of the big teachers, let’s call them, and he said, “Why do you do this? Why do you do this stuff? How do you even know Jesus existed?” Because that’s one of the arguments that the counter-missionaries will bring – “How do we even know he existed?”

And my response to that is, his existence isn’t in dispute – at least in Jewish sources – and in fact there’s one verse which is quoted, and I think that is such a profound verse, or such a profound statement for him to have made, and for that to be then reiterated in the Talmud in even more clear detail as an independent testimony to what he spoke, I think is pretty powerful stuff.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: All right, read on. Two more verses.

Keith: Yes, two more verses.

Nehemia: Oh, wait, let me read you what it says in the Hebrew Matthew. “Be’et hahi amar Yeshua letalmidav,” at that time Yeshua said to his disciples, “al tachshevu shebati lehafer Torah,” do not think that I have come to abrogate the Torah, and the word there is lehafer, it’s the same word you use when you talk about doing away with a covenant. If you not just violate the covenant, but you say, “This covenant is no longer valid, it’s abrogated,” that’s the word there, lehafer, lehafer oto, in ancient Hebrew, that is. “Ela lehashlim,” but to complete.

All right, now verse 18.

Keith: Verse 18. “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the stroke shall pass away from the law until all is accomplished.”

Nehemia: And in the Hebrew, “Be’emet ani omer lachem,” in truth I say to you, “ki od shamayim va’aretz”, for as long as heaven and earth exist, “ot achat unekuda achat lo tevutal mihaTorah o miNevi’im,” one letter or one dot shall not be abolished from the Torah or from the Prophets, “sheh hakol yitkayem,” for everything will be fulfilled.

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: Can we agree that everything hasn’t been fulfilled? Or do you believe everything’s been fulfilled? Okay, and Christians speak about a second coming, where everything will be fulfilled.

Now the next verse is the one that we alluded to last week in the Q&A, and we didn’t do it justice, because like I said, the editor said, “Is that really what it says? That can’t be what it says.”

Keith: Now hold on just a second. You’re talking about 5:19?

Nehemia: 5:19. Yeah.

Keith: Drop it on us! Come on.

Nehemia: Well, read us the English first, that you have in the NASB.

Keith: It says, “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments and so teaches others shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven, but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Nehemia: Okay. Now, before I give what it says here in the Hebrew, I want to point out two things. So we have one of the Q&A questions, a really good question from Nelson, who I happen to know, he’s a great guy. A really good scholar. He asked me… let me read his question, that he went to the trouble of writing.

He says, “With all the Hebrew Matthew manuscripts available, to you have sufficient textual witnesses to be able to group all the manuscripts as a ‘Shem Tov group’? And are there versions of Hebrew Matthew that you have found that closely resemble the Shem Tov textual tradition, but deviate enough to where you could say some manuscripts evidence as an analogous textual tradition? In other words, could you at this point specify some manuscripts as part of a Shem Tov group and some other manuscripts as Shem Tov-like?”

That’s a very sophisticated question that frankly, if you don’t understand, guys, don’t worry. This is somebody who obviously has some experience with Septuagint studies maybe, but definitely with textual studies. Maybe New Testament studies, he studied… he knows something here about… it’s a bit complicated what he’s saying, if you’re not familiar with the terminology. But what he’s really saying is, “You have 28 manuscripts of Hebrew Matthew; are those all part of a single manuscript? Or are there different manuscripts?” In other words, when you deal with manuscripts, you have what’s called the “family tree” – at least, that’s the classical way of looking at it – and then over time, corruptions enter the manuscript, and you can trace them down the family tree. So, do they all trace back to a single trunk? That’s really his question. And then he says, “Are there other trunks that are analogous?”

And the answer here, is when I’m talking about the Hebrew Matthew, I’m dealing with the Shem Tov Hebrew Matthew that was copied by this rabbi, Shem Tov Ibn Shaprut, in 1380, and then we have copies of copies of copies of that. I talk about this in my book, The Hebrew Yeshua Versus the Greek Jesus, and I wrote a small little book called The Naming of Jesus in Hebrew Matthew, and we’re not going to get into too much there, but what we’re looking at right now is Hebrew Matthew, as it’s preserved, at least in some of the manuscripts, the Shem Tov’s Hebrew Matthew.

So, the other thing I want to mention here, before we read Matthew 5:19 in the Hebrew, is that the 28 manuscripts of Hebrew Matthew don’t have vowels. So what we did, “we” meaning “me”, is I sent this to a vowel… First I actually put my own vowels, but then I had a vowel editor check them, because Hebrew vowels are very complicated, and it requires someone who’s a specialist in the vowels.

And the reason I put in vowels wasn’t because I’m trying to add to this text, I’m trying to make this text more accessible. If you’re fluent in Hebrew, you can read this text with or without the vowels. Not a problem. If you’re fluent especially in ancient Hebrew, you can read it. A modern Hebrew speaker might have a little bit of trouble with some parts of it.

But if you aren’t fluent in Hebrew, then the vowels help. However, there are some cases where the vowels are ambiguous. In other words, there are two different ways that you could vocalize it, and this is an example of that. So some manuscripts have almost identically what’s in the Greek, which you just read from the NASB, which is a translation of the Greek, it’s virtually identical in some of the Hebrew manuscripts, and George Howard, when he originally published this in 1987, talked about how there was a process over time to make the text in Hebrew more similar to the Greek. In other words, as the Jews were copying this over the generations, they had had contact with the Greek text, probably through Latin, they’d heard the Latin version when talking to Christians, and they said, “Wait a minute, what I’m copying here in Hebrew Matthew isn’t the same as what’s in the Latin. Let me fix it.”

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: There’s a really famous example in the Greek text, I believe it’s in Sinaiticus, but I could be wrong, where somebody came and changed something, he put like a mark over the word, and then in the margin the scribe wrote the correction, and then a third scribe came along, put a strikethrough or something, I don’t remember if he used a strikethrough or he scratched it out, and the correction, he put a mark through it, and then he wrote in the margin, “Leave it alone, you scoundrel.” [laughing] It’s a famous example in one of the Greek New Testament manuscripts.

And the point is, a lot of times when scribes were trying to fix a text, they were actually changing it to a text that they were familiar with, and they thought they were fixing it, and they were really corrupting it.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: So, this may be an example of that in the Hebrew versions that match the Greek. What’s interesting is the Hebrew that’s different from the Greek. Let me read that.

He says, “Ve’asher ya’avor ma’amar echad…” Let’s go back here, he says, “All will be fulfilled,” “Ve’asher ya’avor ma’amar echad mimitzvot el asher alamed,” and concerning he who violates one saying of these commandments which I teach, “acharim.” I will utterly destroy. And that comes from the Hebrew word cherem, which in medieval Hebrew means excommunicate, and in modern Hebrew it means to boycott. Like the Arabs want to put a cherem on Israel, they really want to utterly destroy it, but they put as a face over that that they want to boycott Israel.

In ancient Hebrew it means to utterly destroy, we alluded to this a little bit last week, and then he says, “Ken, hevel yikra malchut shamayim.” That’s how our vocalizer vocalized it. “Thus he shall call the Kingdom of Heaven nothing. He will call the Kingdom of Heaven Abel.” Right? The name Abel. Right? Like Cain and Abel. Abel means “nothingness” or “breath” or “wind”. But it means nothing – hevel is vanity, it’s usually translated. Like when Ecclesiastes says, “Havel havalim, hakol hevel,” vanity, vanity, everything is vanity. Meaning, emptiness. Not like you’re vain looking in the mirror, everything is just a waste of time. “So he will call the Kingdom of Heaven nothingness.”

The other way to read it is, “So hevel yikareh malchut shamayim”, but then we have to add a Bet in brackets there. “Thus he will be called nothingness in the Kingdom of Heaven.” And the same exact letters can be read both ways. The first one is the more natural way to read it. “Vehamekayem vehamelamed”, and this is interesting – it’s the same word as he used in the previous verse, “everything will be fulfilled”, “everyone who will fulfill, melamed – and teach, gadol yikareh bemalchut shamayim.”

Keith: Gadol.

Nehemia: “Great will he be called in the Kingdom of Heaven.” So it says here in Hebrew Matthew, and it’s interesting, I’ve been asked this question by people who believe in Yeshua and believe at face-value what it says here, that the commandments weren’t done away with, they said, “Why would Yeshua say… Why are they even in the Kingdom of Heaven? The person who teaches other people to do away with the least of these commandments, he’s in the Kingdom of Heaven but he has a low status?” That’s what it says in the Greek and in the English translation of the Greek, but in the Hebrew version, here preserved, and I believe it’s in the British Library and some of the other manuscripts, it says, “He who violates one saying of these commandments that I teach I will utterly destroy. Thus he calls the Kingdom of Heaven vanity, emptiness. And one who maintains and teaches, great shall be called the Kingdom of Heaven.”

So that’s really interesting. Now let’s use our imagination, we’ll do a thought experiment here, right? Let’s try to think of a rabbi copying this in the Middle Ages. Because this was preserved by rabbis, who copied this generation after generation. What rabbi is going to change the words of Yeshua to make them say this? These are words that are consistent with Moses, who said, “Don’t add and don’t take away,” which as we’ll see is what it says, what’s preserved in the version in the Talmud, but basically he’s saying it here as well, and Deuteronomy 4:2 and Deuteronomy 12:32, and then Proverbs 30:6, what rabbi is going to make Yeshua’s words match the Tanakh message more than the Greek? It’s more like… This is what we call difficilior lectio, the difficult reading is preferable.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: This is different than the Greek, that makes it a difficult reading. Seems to me, at least – and look, people have to decide for themselves. I always say this, I never say, “Do away with your Greek texts,” I never say, “Throw away your Greek texts”. The Greek is still the primary witness to what Yeshua taught in the 1st century, hands down, as the British say, “full stop”, “period” in American English.

However, here we have another testimony to what he taught in the 1st century, and it’s almost the same exact letters, but slightly different, and then here, when you put the vowels in, you realize, “Wow, I see how the Greek could have gotten it wrong.”

Keith: And, Nehemia, I want to say something about what you just said. Now, of course, can I read how Howard translated this verse?

Nehemia: Yeah. Please, bevakasha.

Keith: Okay. 5:19, and this is always my litmus test, if I can say this. What I’ll do is I’ll ask the question when I hear about the translation of the Hebrew from Howard, or people who say they’re translating from the Hebrew, I’ll always go to this verse to see how they translate it.

Nehemia: And look, Howard’s text is still the only academically published text of the Gospel of Matthew.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: Just as I say, “Don’t throw away the Greek,” I say, “Don’t throw away Howard.” In fact, you can go to my website, Nehemiaswall.com, and you can buy a copy of Howard’s text that we made available, we bought it from the publisher. Everybody who cares about this text and is interested should have that in their house, I think, it’s a very important… What’s Howard got here?

Keith: Howard says, “He who shall transgress one word of these commandments and shall teach, in parentheses, others, shall be called a vain person, in parentheses, in the Kingdom of Heaven, but whoever holds and teaches in parentheses them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. And so he also is taking the word, cherim, and using the word acherim, meaning “others”.

Nehemia: Right. In other words, the word that means “others”, if you put different vowels there, can mean “I will utterly destroy.” And why do I say put in those different vowels? Because “others”, others what? In other words, if you read it as “others” the way it appears, ironically on the Hebrew side of Howard’s own text, meaning look at the Hebrew of Howard and you will see that “others” doesn’t make sense, which is why he puts the brackets.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: In other words, it would be, “Ve’asher ya’avor ma’amar mimitzvot eleh, asher alamed acherim,” that I teach others?

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: That doesn’t make any sense. So it has to be acherim in this context. It doesn’t make any sense. Meaning, utterly destroy.

Keith: I think it’s Deuteronomy 7:2 that uses the same root, cherim.

Nehemia: Oh, it’s used in many, many places…

Keith: Yes, but I’m using it, giving an example, someone can look at Deuteronomy 7:2…

Nehemia: Yeah, yeah. Okay. So it appears, from my Bible search, 102 times in the Tanakh, and look at Deuteronomy 7:2, “And Yehovah your God delivers them to you and if you defeat them you must doom them,” the JPS has. But it’s charem. “Hacharem tachrim”, it’s twice. “You will utterly destroy them to destruction, grant them no terms, give them no quarter.”

Keith: Yeah, and here’s why I wanted to read it. One second.

Nehemia: But hold on, before you get to that, I want to read this from what we call the Tochecha. So it talks about fields that are dedicated to Yehovah. That use of the word cherem is there, because you can’t do anything with it, it’s for all intents and purposes “destroyed”, because you’re not allowed to use it, it belongs to the Temple, or the Tabernacle back then.

Keith: So read Matthew 5:19, translate it for us like we’re in the Old City of Jerusalem, I’m looking over your shoulder, you’re reading Matthew 5:19, in English. Translate.

Nehemia: “Concerning he who violates one,” and by the way, each time I read it I’m translating it slightly differently, because there’s a certain amount of gmishut, a certain amount of flexibility in translation.

Keith: Right. Flexibility. Go ahead and read it.

Nehemia: Okay. “And concerning he who violates one word of these commandments that I teach I will utterly destroy, so he calls the Kingdom of Heaven emptiness. But he who maintains, or keeps, and teaches, great he will be called in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Keith: Stop for one second, Nehemia. There is such creative tension in this, because, as you said, as you’re reading there’s one way you could read it, there’s another way you could read it. The vowel pointer himself, when he did the vowel points, putting in the text, it was funny, he didn’t have an issue with what this word meant by the vowel point, correct? So he does do other times, where he’ll put little things, and saying, “it could be this or it could be that”. But he didn’t have that question for this word. Am I right or wrong?

Nehemia: Well, I think he looked at that and said, “That doesn’t make any sense.” [laughing] I mean, it does make sense in the context there, but he’s probably thinking, “Wait, I know it says ‘others’ because the Greek has ‘others’.”

Keith: But how did he vowel-point it, Nehemia? As…?

Nehemia: Acherim, “I will utterly destroy.”

Keith: Now stop for one second, please. This is a moment and a gift that you have shared – you don’t know it, but you’ve shared this gift with many people specifically regarding this verse. Can I just take a moment…?

Nehemia: How do I not know it? You mean in the Hebrew Red-Letter Series you did?

Keith: Let me just tell you how you’ve shared this gift. So, let’s just say we do decide to do this Hebrew Gospel Pearls. There are going to be people who are prepared, because they’re already studied. People who already kind of have an idea. Now, there are other people listening, they’re like, “I have no idea what you two are talking about,” but if they were to read that English verse and see the difference between “others I will destroy” versus “who teaches others”? I mean, that’s a pretty big statement that Yeshua’s making, saying it’s not a small…

Nehemia: It’s also really interesting that based on how it reads here, at least in these manuscripts, what does it mean he’s utterly going to destroy them? These are people who are scoffing at the Kingdom of Heaven to begin with. They’re saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven’s nothing, I want nothing to do with it.”

Keith: Exactly.

Nehemia: And how are they doing that? By teaching that these commandments have been done away with.

Keith: Now, I happen to know some people who do the very thing that Yeshua said, that if you do that, I shall destroy you.

Nehemia: You’re bringing controversy here. [laughing]

Keith: So now, listen, here’s what’s great. What you just heard Nehemia saying, you could actually go and compare and contrast. It’s beautiful! Thank you so much, Nehemia!

Nehemia: Look, and you can pray about it and decide that, “You know what? I’m perfectly happy with what it says in Greek, I’m sticking with that.” Okay, we’ve now presented you the options. And it’s not all or nothing, by the way. In other words, let’s say you pray about it and you’re convicted that the NASB is exactly what Jesus said in the first century. That doesn’t mean that what Hebrew Matthew preserved in some other section you have to throw out the window. In other words, this is a witness to what was spoken in the 1st century, and it’s a different witness than the Greek. That’s the point.

Keith: And that’s the point.

Nehemia: That’s a nuanced view, and there are people who don’t like it. They’re like, “Throw out the Hebrew!” or “Throw out the Greek”. And I’ve had people say to me, “Oh, I threw out my Greek Bible, I got rid of it.”

Keith: Don’t do that.

Nehemia: No, that’s not what we’re saying at all.

Keith: Don’t do that. Don’t do that.

Nehemia: We’re saying, “Hey, don’t we want as many witnesses as possible to what was taught in this situation?”

Keith: Amen. And this is one that I think is pretty radical.

Nehemia: Even the Karaite is quoting the Talmud, because it’s a witness.

Keith: It’s one verse that’s an amazing one. It changed… it stopped me in my tracks. And so thank you for sharing that.

How do we proceed, Nehemia? We’ve got all these questions, we say we want to have people pray…

Nehemia: Let people go over to Nehemiaswall.com. There’ll be a link to where you can vote, and also shoot an email to me through Nehemiaswall.com Contact so that we know this is something we should dedicate out time to, because, you know, this is a big commitment. Wow! I mean, I’m a little overwhelmed right now [laughing], because this is a 115-week commitment.

Keith: Don’t get overwhelmed. Here’s what we’re going to do.

Nehemia: Not to mention the man-hours of the editing, and this is five, six hundred hours or more, just the basic editing.

Keith: I’ve learned something. I learned in this whole process of being quarantined, it literally is not only one day at a time, for me it’s one hour at a time, sometimes it’s one minute. And I just want to say, while I’m going through the difficulty of all of this, the Father is still the maestro, and He may be preparing another symphony. [laughing]

Nehemia: Amen. Yeah.

Keith: We had no idea. Can we do a commercial real quick? I wanted you to do a commercial about really what is at Nehemiaswall, because some people need to know.

Nehemia: Okay. So, Nehemiaswall.com is really the main outlet for what I do, the main way to get the message out. We’ve got… oh, my gosh… I’ve stopped counting at 300 hours of material. 95 or more percent of it is just open to everybody, no questions asked, you don’t have to register, you just show up, you click a button, you watch. We’ve got video, we’ve got Torah Pearls, we have Prophet Pearls, we have Hebrew Voices, which is a series I’ve been doing for a number of years now, talking to all kinds of interesting people.

And this is one of the reasons – this verse, right? Like, what you get in the Greek, what you get in the NASB, is one Hebrew voice. But there are other Hebrew Voices out there you don’t get to hear unless you have special access to scholars and materials and a certain background, and I’m trying to bring that to everybody.

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: I did one interview on Hebrew Voices which was with one of the top scholars in the world, and he said, “How long is the program?” I said, “Usually 30 to 45 minutes.” He said, “I can’t imagine what we have to talk about, that would interest the common person, that would take 30 minutes.” Because he has no idea. This is a person who reads numerous languages, ancient languages, modern languages, and if I said his name – I won’t say his name – but if I said his name, anybody who’s taken any class anywhere in anything having to do with the Bible will know this person’s name, he’s just a fountain of information that we could have sat there for days, because he doesn’t understand how the people can understand – it’s complicated stuff. And what I’ve been called to do, I feel like, is share this with the people so they can understand it. That’s the Hebrew Voices.

We also have the Support Team Studies. I also call them the Raw Stream of Torah Consciousness. That’s where I turn on a recorder and I just start talking about a biblical topic that’s on my mind, that’s on my heart, and share that with people. And those are for people who help… Support Team, because people who support the ministry, Makor Hebrew Foundation, they get access to that. Numerous studies on all kinds of interesting topics are over there. We’ve got things on… Oh man, there are a whole lot of interesting things. Experiences, that I went to a place and realized, “Wow, this gives me new insight to a biblical topic I didn’t have before,” and I’ve shared that with people, and as discoveries come up I share them with people.

So, Nehemiaswall.com, and Hebrew Voices, Torah Pearls, Prophet Pearls, and Support Team Studies.

Keith: And I just want to say… I want to slow down. They used to do this when I used to be in sports. Sometimes they would say, “Okay, now forget everything else for a second, we’re going to focus in on the one thing.” And so I want to focus in on one thing that I am extremely excited about, that’s related to what you did today. And Nehemia, I cannot tell you, I’m almost… my heart is beating with joy, that you brought 5:19.

At BFAInternational.com, if you go to the front page of BFAInternational.com, you can click on something that’s called Phase 2 of the Red-Letter Series. It’s free. You go there, you listen to the introduction, and the introduction invites you to become a free… say “free”.

Nehemia: Free.

Keith: So you can go to the first lesson, which is Episode 19 on Matthew 5:19 that Nehemia just talked about. I think I have five pages of the PDF there, but what I love about it is it opens the door for people to understand themselves what’s happening in the text. I have a translation…[laughing] What I love about us, Nehemia, we go back and forth about, “It should be this,” “It should be that,” and the truth of the matter is, there’s some flexibility and there’s some room. But for 5:19, no matter how you approach it, if you come out with just at least one aspect, which is the fact that that word really means “destroy” or “utterly destroy”, it changes the entire verse, and in context it matches 5:17, 5:18 and 5:19. So that one series, which is free, is at BFAInternational.com.

Of course, as Nehemia said, more things than you can imagine – information, inspiration, revelation; you can be a Premium Member, that’s all great – 400 different audio, video and written presentations at BFAInternational.com.

Now, let me say the more radical thing. What we’re talking about doing, Nehemia, is a joint project where we need you people to do something. We need you to take Nehemiaswall.com, BFAInternational – I don’t know how we’re going to do this, you are the best at coming up with these ideas, Nehemia – how we can come together for these ministries to reach more people in a way that’s integral, where people can support us. How that happens with the Hebrew Gospel Pearls I’m not sure, but I bet we’re going to come up with an idea if people think it’s something we should do.

So please support Nehemiaswall.com. Please support BFAInternational.com. And in times like these, I don’t know about you, Nehemia, but I’m definitely seeing there’s a shifting going on. So we need the saints, the people, the friends, to come together with us, and let’s do something that will reach a whole lot of people around the world. Thank you for the opportunity to share what’s happening.

Nehemia: Yes. Beautiful. All right. Yehovah… Oh, you go first.

Keith: Okay. Father, thank you. I just want to say thank you. This is just one of those times where I know that I must not be walking in my own insights, where You may be leading, guiding, pushing, molding, shaping, opening. Do what you do, Father, with Nehemia’s heart, do it with my heart, do it with the heart of the people, and if You give us the vision, we believe that You will also give us a provision. We expect it in Your name.

Nehemia: Amen. Yehovah, Avinu shebashamayim, Abba, give us the guidance that we need, Yehovah, be with the leaders. The leaders of America and the leaders of Israel and every nation in the world, even the leader of China – be with him, to guide him to act with integrity in accordance with Your word, in accordance with the message of building bridges and making peace, Yehovah. Be with all the leaders out there who are rattling sabers and who are scared, who are worried that they’ll lose their power. Yehovah, put in their heart to be worried about the good of their people and the good of the world, Yehovah. Yehovah, Psalm 8, “Yehovah Adoneinu ma’adir shimcha bechol ha’aretz,” “Oh, Yehovah, our Lord, how majestic is Your name throughout the earth,” “asher tna hodcha al hashamayim.” “You’ve covered the heavens with Your splendor.” Yehovah, let everything that we do be to just add the splendor and honor to everything that You’re doing. To glorify You. And all those that are listening, Yehovah, be with those people out there who are locked down, who are alone, who are with family, who maybe are in places where things are open and they can walk around. Yehovah, be with those people to give them strength as we face economic hardships as a result of this virus. And in years to come, those listening to this, Yehovah, be with everybody who seeks You. Keith and my friend, there was a verse that he really loved, a verse that Keith shared, “Karov Yehovah lechol kor’av,” “Yehovah is close to all those who call upon Him,” “asher yikre’u be’emet,” “those who call upon Him in truth.” Yehovah, be there for all those who call upon you in truth. I ask this in Your holy name, Yehovah. Amen.

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: Shabbat Shalom.

Keith: Shabbat Shalom.

You have been listening to Hebrew Voices with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon’s Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

We hope the above transcript has proven to be a helpful resource in your study. While much effort has been taken to provide you with this transcript, it should be noted that the text has not been reviewed by the speakers and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. If you would like to support our efforts to transcribe the teachings on NehemiasWall.com, please visit our support page. All donations are tax-deductible (501c3) and help us empower people around the world with the Hebrew sources of their faith!

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Related Posts:
Reggie White's Spiritual Journey
How Yom Teruah Became Rosh Hashanah
Hebrew Matthew Q&A
Hebrew Voices Episodes
Support Team Studies
Nehemia Gordon's Teachings on the Name of God

Verses Mentioned:
Matthew 19:3-9
Dt 24:1-4
Matthew 12:16
Matthew 19:2
Matthew 8:16
Matthew 12:17
Isaiah 30:21
Matthew 5:17-19
Deuteronomy 7:2
Psalm 8:1
Psalm 145:18

  • Roberta Page says:

    I am so, so excited to hear you two gentlemen dig into the Hebrew Matthew! Listening to you with Torah Pearls and Prophet Pearls was so helpful to me. I am certainly praying for you! I haven’t listened to your work in over a year, but I “just happened” to open this podcast today. I’m so glad I did!! I have voted yes! for sure!!

  • Rebecca says:

    Yes, absolutely, certainly, please do, we are greatly looking forward to seeing your insights of Hebrew/Christian studies of the Hebrew Matthew. Of course it would be a truly worthwhile work. Thanks for the Torah Pearls and the Prophet Pearls. Your work is truly appreciated ( insert thesaurus here ). Let us know if you need any help with this endeavor, and please accept our sincere thanks for your work.

  • Johannes Koornstra says:

    I would really like you guys to do this.

    I have a few more requests:
    – Will you publish the hebrew text(s) you have with vowels?
    – Can you point us (with links) to actual Hebrew Matthew Manuscripts, so we can see with our own eyes?

    Shalom and may YeHoVaH bless both of you!

  • yohaisam says:

    How many votes can I buy for 10,000 dollars?

  • Jane Head says:

    Yes, a thousand times yes. Pleeeease. On a scale of 1 – 10, my vote is 11. I will commit to helping financially up to $2000.00 US. Thank you.

  • Wayne Kranz says:

    Great to see the votes still climbing, although “someone” once said:

    “The Roman journey is comforting with its measured miles, but Abram had no milestones or map; he just walked guided by that heavenly voice. And that’s how I believe our walk with Yehovah should be—not about numbered-lists of commandments or man-made rules and regulations, but about walking on the path, guided by the Creator’s voice and the Torah.”

  • Cannan Garcia says:

    I would like to see this project happen. I agree with Slyvia’s suggestion above. Maybe y’all could cover 2-3 sections per episode. I think it would be ideal make the series less than one year (52 episodes). This will free up time and resources for other projects.

  • Steve S says:

    I think that it is a great idea to do a though examination of the Hebrew Matthew manuscripts but also any other Hebrew documents of the writing of the emissaries. I voted for the work and donated what I could at the moment but will do more later along with my monthly gift.

  • donald murphy says:

    its the religion of the Roman Empire. still is.

  • donald murphy says:

    Don’t do it. its a pagan religion. remember not to learn the way of the heathen.

    • Steve S says:

      You do not know anything about what was actually taught which is the Written Torah only. Christianity is an effort by the Church of Rome and its’ associates through the use of lies and corrupted text. Yeshua and his students taught Torah and that is not pagan.

  • Ron says:

    My Christian faith was shattered years ago when I faced what I saw as conflicts between the gospels and Torah. I would like to learn what the bottom line is on the veracity of the brit chadesah. I feel like I was lied to for 40 years. I look forward to hearing the results of your efforts.

  • Gabe says:

    I happened to be listening to your more up-to-date stuff – but many of us might not hear this specific episode for a while. Please keep that in mind! You guys are better together than apart, and I can’t wait!

  • dyeymow says:

    I’m voting in favor of these teachings. Thank you!

  • Ester says:

    Mr. Nehemia let me tell why is going to be a blessing to know exactly what it was said with no bias agenda, and also is not the truth that Jewish People are the one needs to teach us.

  • Pam Burt says:

    WOW! Ok guys, not only am I convinced you should do this but I beg you to see that this is not just going to be an interesting program but a CRITICAL one. In a day and age where people are begging for truth to be told, desperately seeking truth from lies that we have been told our whole lives, (Jer 16:19 Surely our fathers have inherited lies,) WE NEED THIS!! This could potentially be the most needed and important study you will both do. How could you not? Thats the question. You can’t just present that type of possibility to us and not do it!!!!!! Thats the ultimate teaser. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO THIS!!!!!! HEBREW GOSPEL PEARLS!

  • James says:

    Please Please Please!!

  • Rusty says:

    Yes. I love the insight that you bring in scripture. You and Keith have been a huge blessing to the Torah community and any truths uncovered will be welcomed. Thank you.

  • Michelle says:

    Please do the Hebrew gospels! Go through verse by verse chapter by chapter one book at a time.

  • Jimna says:

    YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYes “10” Hebrew Gospels

  • Alexander Kuvshinov says:

    God bless you guys to return the truth from Hebrew Matthew to all

  • Martha Steward says:

    Good Morning! I truly believe that this endeavor would be a blessing to not only our generation but those to come. The Torah and Prophet Pearls is what I like to call “the gift that keeps on giving” or in this case “keeps on blessing and growing.” Like you mentioned in your “Back To Work” piece, not everybody has the knowledge, or in my opinion, devoted hours upon hours of time to learning ancient languages. Not to obtain resources the way that scholars do compared to those with other occupations. It would be a delight to my heart to at least see or be exposed to these documents in a way that can be understood by the masses.

    Whatever choice you two gentlemen make, I am sure it will be His Will. Thank you both for all that you do! Stay Safe, Healthy, and Happy!


  • Lauran-Daniel Herdien says:

    Please it would be fantastic if the two of you could do this project.

  • I am not a Christian, but I am ALL FOR you guys sharing your wisdom on these ancient and valuable resources! I sincerely hope Yah will guide you to do so. I have no doubt it would be refreshing and enlightening to hear your perspectives! So I vote YES!

  • Sylvia says:

    I think a limited series could help people see Matthew through new eyes. We need to know what was really going on then and why some statements even in the first two chapters seem odd. I’d listen, but not to a long series. Can you condense it?

  • Janet says:

    On a scale of 1 to 10 my vote is 10! I prayerfully ask you to consider doing this important project. I am thankful for your desire in seeking a deep and as clear as possible understanding of all Scripture. I dig as deeply as my minimal resources allow. Personally, I need you both to help me grow in the Word of Yehovah. May He bless you in every way as you continue to build on the foundation of your high calling.

  • Gian Augello says:

    This study will be a before and after in the understanding of Matthew.

    Nehemia, Keith and team, whatever the pure Truth is, that’s the one we want to know!

  • Heide Schoenbrod says:

    I wish you would stay in the old Testament

  • Melinda Edwards says:

    Very much looking forward to this potential study! You and Keith are a great duo and I feel this would enrich a lot of lives and faiths of people who fit in various different ‘boxes’, and even people that don’t! Thank you for considering this.