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Who Falsified the Gospel? What's Wrong with Matthew 28:19? . . .
March 07, 2012

The grand theme of the cosmic war that has engulfed our little blue planet since our first parents sinned in the Garden of Eden has always revolved around the issue of true worship of One God versus a visceral polytheism of the world! Starting in the 4th century CE, the Catholic Church created her own multi-headed, three-personed god of the “Most Blessed Trinity.” That century became the turning point for the Jewish-Gentile relationship within the ranks of those who embraced Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah of Israel. As the only true monotheists on the face of the Earth, the Jews could not and simply would not accept any other so-called god alongside the Holy One of Israel! The rest of Christendom, though, have simply inherited the deity of the apostate Catholic Church and have been happily worshiping it even up till now!

 
Believe it or not, but the controversy surrounding the object of our worship, whether it is the One God of Israel or the three-faced pantheon of Trinity,  has been steadily intensifying as we draw to the close of the Earth’s history and the glorious coming of Israel’s Messiah! During the last two millennia of the Church’s existence she has been zealously scouring the Hebrew Scriptures, (what they pejoratively call the Old Testament), with the goal of finding some undeniable proof for the reality of the god they created through the exercise of some creative pagan exegesis (textual interpretation). Many long and futile centuries later, all the honest evangelical and mainstream theological bodies have finally acknowledged the inescapable fact that on the basis of the Hebrew Bible alone, no one could ever prove that God is three-in-one, instead of the biblical definition of One God! The next logical step, of course, is to prove the Romish doctrine of Trinity from the writings of the New Testament! Can it be done? Let us examine one such example!


Matthew 28:19


Perhaps the most obvious and powerful New Testament passage that may be used to construe the existence of the triune god of Trinity is found in the gospel according to Matthew. In this text the risen Jesus is shown giving his disciples his final exhortations before ascending to the right hand of the Majesty in Heaven, the LORD God of Israel! I have heard many sermons on this passage. The central point in almost every one of them is that this passage constitutes the paramount command given to the Christian missionaries by their Lord and Master. It stands to reason, therefore, that just before being taken from His emissaries, Jesus Christ distills his words in such a way that he may convey to them the most important things of all.


Here is the text: “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” (Matthew 28:16-20)


I have adduced the text in its proper context, since I would hardly want to be accused of “a creative proof-texting,” – an unfortunate practice common in many Christian circles today. As you can see, all the eleven disciples are present and accounted for in this episode. The heart of the matter, however, is the baptismal formula, which very forcefully and explicitly commands disciples to baptize in the one name of some three deities: “. . . baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . .” This text is “the crown jewel” in any and every attempt to prove that the Christian god of Trinity is the same God that the Jews had worshipped for thousands of years prior to “the new and fuller revelation given through the Church.” Is that really so?


Acts 2:37-39


Let us take a careful look at the early church’s mission as depicted on the pages of the Bible and see if they ever followed the injunction contained in Matthew 28:19. Without a doubt, the greatest showdown between the disciples of Jesus and the rest of their Jewish compatriots happened on the memorable day of Pentecost. On that day, according to the Book of Acts, the God of Israel poured out His Holy Spirit on Jesus’ disciples gathered in Jerusalem for that very reason. After Peter delivers his most impassioned and powerful sermon recorded on the sacred pages, the pious monotheists present in Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover ask him a vital question: “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37)


As the chief of Jesus’ apostles and one of the eleven disciples who received Christ’s clear command concerning baptism and the rest of their mission, Peter answers the question of his Jewish brothers the following way:  “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (vv. 38-39) – Quite obviously, the Apostle Peter, filled to the brim with the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, forgets completely Jesus’ final injunction and exhorts his hearers to be baptized in the name of Jesus alone! Where is the famous Trinitarian formula for baptism in this case? Has Peter forgot, ignored or, perhaps, never heard such an injunction to begin with?


By the way, what does it mean to be baptized in the name of Jesus? Does it mean that you now become a part of some new organization such as Church? God forbid! Please, take notice that all of Peter’s hearers on that memorable day were the worshippers of One God of Israel who came to Jerusalem to honor their faith in Him through the ritual sacrifice of the Paschal lamb. Viewed in its proper context, the baptism advocated by the head apostle has nothing to do with joining a newly-formed organization called church! The baptism in Jesus’ name acknowledges that the God of Heaven has made a gracious provision for the redemption of humankind in the person and mission of the Perfect Lamb of God, Yeshua HaMashiah. Nothing can be further from the truth of the biblical text and Peter’s mind than inviting the faithful Jews to embrace another person of Trinity or acknowledge another god beside their HaShem!


Based on the evidence of the text of Acts 2 alone, one could rest one’s case in showing that Matthew 28:19 was, in all probability, a much later addition to the Greek Text of Matthean manuscript, and, therefore, totally, false! We should understand that it would not be a sole such addition by any means! Sadly, our Greek-speaking Church fathers have proven to be a very untrustworthy bunch of people when it came to preserving the sacred text of the New Testament. Unlike their Jewish counterparts, they have been more than willing to temper with the text in order to substantiate changing doctrines of human invention. Having said that, however, we will proceed to hammer a few more shining nails in the coffin of the spurious text of Matthew 28:19!

Believers in Samaria


When the apostles heard that people in Samaria accepted Jesus as Israel’s Messiah, they sent Peter and John to instruct them in the way of the Lord. Please, pay a close attention to the mode of baptism that was administered to the believers in this passage: “Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:14-17) – Is there any mention here of the special Trinitarian baptismal formula? Perhaps, those who preached in Samaria completely forgot about Jesus’ specific instruction just before his ascension or simply ignored them just like Peter before? I hope you begin to see the ridiculousness of the situation with the passage in Matthew 28:19. As before, the only logical and biblical conclusion is that the text of Matthew 28:19 must have been inserted into the gospel by the Trinitarian Church leaders sometime after the year 325 CE!


Cornelius’s Baptism


If you ask me, I would love to give the Apostle Peter another chance at getting his baptismal formula right once and for all. Perhaps he was too overwhelmed on the Day of Pentecost and totally forgot the explicit command of his Lord to baptize in the name of a three-headed god? Is this suggestion such an impossibility? If you are anything like me, it sounds absurd already! However, so much of the religion called Christianity either borders on or is outright absurd that we have to be ready to ask and answer the most bizarre of questions!


The Book of Acts relates another incident when the chief of Christ’s apostles gets to baptize a group of people. The setting is in the house of a certain Gentile named Cornelius. Peter reveals to the Roman centurion and his entire house the good news of God. The Holy One of Israel honors his servant’s preaching and anoints the entire gathering with His Holy Spirit: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.” (Acts 10:44-46)


Having witnessed God’s gracious gift of the Holy Spirit to these Gentile believers in the LORD God of Israel, Peter ordains that they should also be baptized. This time around he is sure to use the proper Trinitarian formula, right? “Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.” (vv. 46-48) – For some inexplicable reason, the great apostle administers the central rite of passage into the assembly of Messianic believers disregarding the sacred formula conveyed to the eleven disciples by Jesus himself all over again! Why is that? Was Peter just a forgetful guy; was he ignoring Jesus’ parting, and, therefore, most significant words concerning their mission; or, perhaps, Jesus never uttered the fateful Trinitarian formula recorded in Matthew 28:19? What do you think?


Believers’ Baptism in Ephesus


Allow me to bring in just one more witness in the case of fraudulent Scriptures of Matthew 28:19. The text will speak for itself and is very self-explanatory as well: “And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” (Acts 19:1-3)


As we know from the Bible, John’s baptism was the immersion of repentance. The Apostle Paul, therefore, is keen on having these guys baptized the proper way! We are also sure that this great theologian, to whose pen belongs the greater portion of the New Testament, knows what he is doing and will not screw up the ritual, right? Here is the text: “Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all.” (vv. 4-6) -  Once again, and for some mysterious reason, even such a great thinker, apostle and theologian as Paul administers the baptism of twelve believers without reciting the sacred formula given to the apostolic missionaries by the risen Lord himself!

Conclusion


When all is said and done, Matthew 28:19 is the only text within the canon of the New Testament where the Trinitarian formula for Christian baptism appears! It would not be too horrifying a find in and of itself unless all the other instances of baptism described in the same New Testament were not so clear in their depictions of the ritual performed by the early Messianic community. None of them cites the “sacred formula” even obliquely. In fact they all make it abundantly clear that neither Peter nor Paul nor anybody else in the first three centuries of the Messianic Judaism knew of the existence of such formula.


When studied in a cool, unprejudiced and methodic manner, the books of the New Testament corroborate the conclusion that many of its texts have been either altered or inserted with the view of supporting the official dogmas of the Great Romish Church. Thus, Matthew 28:19, along with passages such as I John 5:7, are clear examples of many forgeries committed by the Greek-speaking Gentiles in their zeal to prop up the humanly-crafted doctrines and beliefs of the apostate church!

So, when all is said and done, the answer to the question posed in the title of this article is a resounding “Yes!” The text of Matthew 28:19 is designed to tell us that God is, in fact, a compound unity or three-in-one. However, since the text itself is a brazen-faced forgery, its testimony is just as null and void as the belief in Trinity itself!


We encourage you to go the length and breadth of the New Testament and examine carefully all the passages related to the practice of Messianic baptism to see that the Trinitarian passage of Matthew 28:19 sticks out like a proverbial sore thumb among the clear witness of the rest of the Canon! I hope you join us for more mind-boggling discoveries from the pages of the Sacred Writings! May the Holy One of Israel bless you and keep you! Amen!

Does Jesus Christ Have Anything to Do with Christian Church?
March 03, 2012

I think we can all agree that hijacking is a nasty type of crime and usually leads to either suffering or death of many people. The events of September 11, 2001 have taught us to be extra watchful at our airports and other places of mass transit. I also believe that our world has witnessed an instance of the most audacious case of hijacking perpetrated against humanity. The plain truth of God’s Word has been hijacked and kept hostage for many centuries. Who dared to pull off such a presumptuous crime? Well, let us examine the facts!


It is no secret that the longest existing organization in this world, which has functioned without interruption for the past two millennia, is the Roman Catholic Church. Through its teachings and other forms of influence, the Mother of all churches has shaped the destinies of many nations and continues to be among the most powerful forces in politics, culture and, of course, religion on this planet.


The Church of Rome has always claimed a special status among the rest of ecclesiastical bodies. She emphatically denounces the rank of a sister in relation to other church denominations but boldly asserts that she is “the mother of all the other churches.” The Papal Church-state stubbornly maintains her assertion that no other denomination in the world can profess the same direct “apostolic succession” as does the Mother Church. This way she is presumed to have the prerogative of being the only true Church established by Jesus Christ himself with the chief of his apostles as her first supreme Pontiff! I suggest that we should take a careful look at one of the scriptural passages that has been used through centuries and millennia in “substantiating” this claim.


What Did Jesus Want?


In dealing with the passage in question, our chief concern will be to find a proven answer to the query: “Did Jesus establish the Roman Catholic Church? Or, perhaps, more precisely: “Was it Jesus Christ’s intention to establish anything that may be termed “Church”?!” Here is our passage: “Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17-19)


This statement of Jesus is preceded by Peter’s confession that he is the promised Messiah of Israel and followed by Christ’s request to his followers not to mention this fact to the rest of the crowds. The phrase that concerns us most is found in verse 18. In it Jesus, for the first time in Matthean gospel, mentions the word “church.” Since the gospel has come down to our time preserved in the Greek language, we will address ourselves to the Greek original, from which a certain  word has been rendered in English as “church.” By the way, it should be noted that this word is used only three times in the entire four Gospels: once in the passage under discussion and twice in Matthew 18:17! The word is used many times in the Book of Acts and the Epistles, but those instances have much less significance to us at this point than the ones in the gospels.
The word translated into English as “church” is the Greek word “ἐκκλησία” (pronounced “ekklesi’a”). What does it mean? Depending on whom you may interview regarding this word, the answers and perceived meaning of it would be different and varied. For my Catholic friends, for instance, the word “church” invariably refers to their great ecclesiastical establishment with the Pope in Vatican as their supreme leader and representative. For the rest of Christendom it either means their respective denominations or some invisible and perfect entity comprised of all the faithful Christians throughout ceaseless ages of Church’s existence.

 
The official definition of the term “ἐκκλησία” used among the adherents of Christendom is “assembly of the elect, congregation of the called-out, or, simply church.” Be that as it may, however, we should never go by what others surmise or guess with respect to any given subject. The only firm foundation for our faith and sound knowledge is the unchanging Word of God! With this in view, we should get busy uncovering the etymology, (origins and meaning), of the Greek word “ἐκκλησία”.


Greek or Hebrew?


It behooves us to mention at this point that Jesus did not speak to his disciples in either Greek or any other Gentile language. As a Jewish man, kosher rabbi and Messiah of Israel, Jesus spoke in either Hebrew or Aramaic and did his Bible studies in the Holy Tongue of Hebrew, of course!  Most likely, in making statement found in Matthew 16:18 concerning his “ekklesia,” Jesus used the most appropriate for the occasion Hebrew word “קָהָל”, (pronounced “kahal”; and read from right to left). The Hebrew term “קָהָל” and its Greek counterpart “ἐκκλησία” are closely connected both historically and theologically. By comparing these two ancient biblical words, namely Hebrew “קָהָל” and Greek “ἐκκλησία” we should be able to arrive at the correct understanding of Jesus’ original intention as recorded in Matthew 16:18.


Septuagint LXX


For the Greek-speaking writers of the New Testament, the word “ἐκκλησία” was both well-known and readily available. The term, in all likelihood, had been used some years prior to their own time, by the translators of the Hebrew Scriptures working in the ancient Egyptian City of Alexandria. The task of translating the Holy Scriptures of the Jewish people began sometime in the third century BCE and was completed by the year 132 BCE. The legend has it that either 70 or 72 sages were given the task of rendering the Hebrew Scriptures in the then Modern Greek tongue of the Hellenistic Empire. They retired to their respective work rooms and, when they emerged from them, their individual translations were in precise agreement among themselves.

We know better today than to believe this legend. Septuagint took a few stages to complete and contains many discrepancies in its text. In some instances it differs greatly from the respected and trusted Masoretic text of the Jewish Bible, faithfully preserved by the Remnant of Israel. It is also noteworthy that the only portion of the Greek Septuagint translated by the Jewish rabbis was the Pentateuch (completed in the 3d century BCE). But even there, many changes have since been made by our Greek-speaking scholars with an apparent attempt to harmonize the text with newly-fashioned dogmas of the church.


So, what was it that the learned translators of the Sacred Text rendered as “ἐκκλησία” in the Septuagint? By juxtaposing the texts of the Hebrew Bible and its Greek equivalent, one is enabled to see that the word “ἐκκλησία” was used by the translators to represent the Hebrew term “קָהָל”. The ultimate question then is: “What is the meaning of the Hebrew term “קָהָל”?” Let us take a look at a few very eloquent biblical texts where this term appears as “קָהָל” in Hebrew and “ἐκκλησία” in its Greek translation. Fair enough?


I Kings 8:14


Our first text appears in I Kings 8:14. It is couched in the immediate context of the majestic dedication of the First Temple in Jerusalem. After the Ark of the Covenant had been brought into the Holy of Holies and the Glory of the Lord filled the Temple, the King Solomon blessed the people: “Then the king turned around and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing. And he said: “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel. . .” (I Kings 8:14) – The word “קָהָל” appears twice in the Hebrew text of this short verse and is correctly translated by the NKJV as “assembly” of Israel. Amazingly enough, the Septuagint drops one of these out of its text but properly renders another as “ἐκκλησία”. Did you notice what the word actually means?


I Chronicles 13:2


In the thirteenth chapter of the I Chronicles, King David and the people of Israel decide to bring the Ark of the Covenant from Kirjath-Jearim over to Jerusalem. The first mention of “קָהָל” is found in verse 2 of the Hebrew text of this passage: “Then David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader. And David said to all the assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you, and if it is of the LORD our God, let us send out to our brethren everywhere who are left in all the land of Israel, and with them to the priests and Levites who are in their cities and their common-lands, that they may gather together to us; and let us bring the ark of our God back to us. . .” ( I Chr. 13:1-3) – Once again the Hebrew “קָהָל” becomes Greek “ἐκκλησία” and is then correctly rendered by the English NKJV as “the assembly” of Israel. Notice how this particular term is firmly joined together with the notion of Israel.


Ezra 10:1


In the Book of Ezra, chapter 10, this post-exilic God-fearer seeks the LORD’s guidance as to the foreign women and their offspring among the Israelites. Eventually all of them are sent away from Jerusalem so that no idolatry may creep in among the LORD’s monotheists: “Now while Ezra was praying, and while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down before the house of God, a very large assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from Israel. . .” (Ezra 10:1) – As you can see in this, the previous two and a host of other passages from the Hebrew Scriptures, the word “ἐκκλησία” means “the assembly” of God’s faithful monotheists, called and chosen by One God to get the world reacquainted with their true Creator and Master.

Ekklesia  =  Synagogue ! . . .


Any advanced learner of the Bible should know that the same Hebrew word “קָהָל” appears in two different variants in the Greek text of the LXX, namely “συναγωγή” and “ἐκκλησία”. In some instances it is rendered as “ἐκκλησία” while in others as “συναγωγή” (pronounced “sunagoge’y”; our word “synagogue” comes directly from it). In the overwhelming majority of cases, both Greek terms refer not just to any old assembly of people in general, but to a very specific group of people, i.e. “the assembly of Israel”. This way they are linked inseparably with the notion of God’s covenantal people, at least in their original intended meanings!


Since both Greek words point back to the same original entity, namely “assembly of Israel” or “קָהָל”, both are very Jewish in their connotation and mean the same thing: “assembly of true Israelites worshiping One God of Israel and walking in the light of His Torah.” The word “συναγωγή” is easily recognizable as our anglicized “synagogue” due to the fact that it has not been altered much. The term “ἐκκλησία”, however, has been hijacked by the longest-existing ecclesiastical institution on Earth and has served as a foundation for her baseless claims to legitimacy and supremacy. By the same token every organization in the world today that has the word “church” in its title or its name belongs in the same camp with their cunning Mother Church.

 
The truly Good News, though, is that all of us are invited by the Word of God to leave the falsehood and idolatry behind, join the biblical assembly of God’s people and become a genuine part of the Commonwealth of Israel. The Apostle Paul says it best: “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Messiah Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah.” (Ephesians 2:11-13)


Viewed in this light, Jesus’ statement about “building his “ἐκκλησία”” has nothing to do with a new form of religion, in which people would separate completely from their Jewish roots and faith in One God of Israel; worship a new and strange god of Trinity; establish some new sacred times, laws and seasons (Sunday, Easter, Christmas, etc); disregard the LORD’s eternal commandments and Law; and call themselves by a pagan name “church”. As a true son of his people, and a loyal devotee of the God of Israel, Jesus’ mission was to call his contemporaries, both Jews and Gentiles alike, back to the One True God and His eternal Torah! His call has not changed since then! Will you answer it?


Restoring Israel


You may also recall the moment when Nathanael first saw the Messiah. Jesus’ statement in reference to Nathanael reveals his heart’s longing: “Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” (John 1:47) – In this phrase, the heart of Jesus is fully revealed. He is looking around for some true Israelites, untouched by the widespread apostasy and dedicated to the Holy One of Jacob. According to the witness of the Gospels, the intention of Jesus Christ or, more precisely, Yeshua HaMashiah, was to restore the mission of God’s Chosen People to the rest of the world by establishing his faithful disciples in the faith of their fathers, obedience to the LORD God of Israel and knowledge that He had provided the Ultimate Sacrifice for their sins in the person of Yeshua. It is that simple!


Interestingly enough, the Greek word translated as “. . . will build . . .” (“οἰκοδομήσω”) in Matthew 16:18 has a broader meaning of “restoring and building up again.” Understood properly then, the chief goal of Israel’s Messiah was to reinstate the people of Israel as a bright “light unto the Gentiles,” in order to fill the Earth with the glory of One God and the knowledge of the same!


In Matthew 28 Yeshua gives his followers a commission to “teach all the nations,” or, more accurately, “all the Gentiles” what he has taught them. Once again, he speaks as a true Israelite, admonishing his disciples to spread the light and beauty of their monotheistic faith around the world! Anyone presuming that Jesus came to teach us about the triune nature of God, Sunday observance, eatable pork, Easter and Christmas celebrations, etc is simply following in the footsteps of the longest-functioning religious fallacy on Earth, the Great Romish Church!


Church = Ekklesia? . . .

So, where is the case of a mind-boggling spiritual and intellectual hijacking in all of this? It lies in the fact that a thoroughly pagan and idolatrous organization called Church has shamelessly persuaded the world that the word “ἐκκλησία” applies to herself. She then set about filling the world with her falsehood and idolatry as well. What about the rest of Christendom? After all, much of it is proud to be different from the Mother of them all! Are they really that different?


One does not have to be a history buff or have an advanced degree in theology to see a few simple facts that forever link the Romish Church with her look-alike daughters:
- First off, all of them, with just a few tiny exceptions, worship and revere the same deity: “the Most Blessed Holy Trinity.” Virtually none profess faith and obedience to the only Living God out there, the Holy One of Jacob!


- Secondly, each and every church solemnly proclaims that their religious entity has superseded Israel and has replaced them in the eyes of God. This falsehood has caused untold suffering to God’s chosen people, first at the hands of the Catholic Inquisition and later in many Protestant nations as well. Antisemitism is among the most distinctive family marks of Christendom.


- Thirdly, the sacred documents of all church denominations come from the same source, conveniently furnished by the caring Mother. A great number of quotations in the New Testament come not from the trusted Masoretic text of the Hebrew Scriptures but from the Catholic Septuagint. That’s why there are many serious discrepancies between the truly holy text and human inventions (see also our studies on Matthew 28:19, I John 5:7-8, etc)


- And fourthly, the entire Christendom lives by and breathes the same religious and cultural atmosphere created by their “loving” Mother. This big and friendly family comes together for their weekly and yearly family reunions during Sunday worship services and annual pagan festivals of Christmas, Easter, etc. Isn’t that lovely?! You may want to read Leviticus 23 to see that according to the Bible the LORD of Heaven and His covenant people celebrate a set of different family holidays!

 The English Word “Church”


Since so much of the world today is affected either directly or indirectly by the English language translations of the Bible we will do well to touch briefly upon the etymology of the Anglo-Saxon word “church” that appears in Matthew 16:18 and other passages. I will refrain from being dogmatic on this subject for the time being but feel that my case is fairly strong nevertheless. In addition to the Romance tongues such as German and English, in many Slavic languages, such as Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian, the word for “church” bears out the conclusion stated in this article.


Most likely the word “church” came into the English language from one of the Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to the British Isles by the Germanic invaders from various parts of what is now northwest Germany and the Netherlands. The Anglo-Saxon word “kirche” eventually became our familiar English “church.” There is a reason to believe that originally the term “kirche” referred to some goddess of a divine circle or a sacred sun disk. Thus, words such as “circumference, circle, circulation, etc,” are all connected to the Anglo-Frisian idea of “Kirche.” As I said above, the Slavic word for church, “церковь” (pronounced “tzerkov”) is also related to words denoting a “sacred circle”: “циркуль, цирк,” etc.


The word “kirche” had been used in the countries of the European Continent long before Christianity made its way into them. The fact that the Greek word “ἐκκλησίᾳ” was eventually translated into English as “church” speaks loudly and clearly of the church’s identification with pagan rites and beliefs. Do you still think that Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel and a true worshipper of the God of Israel, was about to establish anything like that?


Summary:


Please, understand, therefore, that Israel’s Messiah did not come to live and die among his people in order to establish some new organization with new ways to worship a new god of Trinity. The Messiah of Israel came to reintroduce His fellow Israelites to their compassionate and loving Heavenly Father, the LORD God of Israel! It was never His mission to found the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Episcopalian, Baptist, Seventh-day Adventist or anything else that may be called “church” today. His mission was to call the faithful worshippers of the One Living God out of the prevailing apostasy and spiritual lethargy of the time! Are you part of His “קָהָל”, His “ἐκκλησίᾳ”, His faithful “assembly of Israel”?

Who is Playing with My Bible? Is There a God Called Trinity?
February 29, 2012

When Jesus of Nazareth was anointed at his baptism as the Messiah of Israel and the Savior unto the Gentiles, the world around him was in a state of constant political, military and religious upheaval. In His all-seeing providence, the Almighty had given His people Israel a set of divinely-inspired documents, known as the Torah, Writings and the Prophets. The Hebrew Scriptures had been to the Jewish people a trusted anchor of truth and divine revelation for millennia. Unchanging as the Lord Himself, His Word withstood the test of time and preserved the purity of truth communicated to the nation of holy priests.


The Jewish Messiah was to use these sacred scriptures to lead Israel and surrounding them nations of pagans into the fuller knowledge and understanding of the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Being a faithful servant of His Father in Heaven, Jesus’ most often-heard phrase contained the words “It is written. . .”  Jesus of Nazareth based his teachings and substantiated his claims on the authority of the Hebrew Bible, the text of which had been scrupulously preserved by the Jewish people. After Christ’s ascension up to Heaven, where he serves in the capacity of our High Priest before the throne of the Almighty, his apostles and other disciples faithfully recorded the historical details of his earthly life and ministry, leaving behind the manuscripts of what has come to be known as the New Testament.

Are We as Safe Today?


Today we find ourselves far removed from those ancient times. The last two thousand years has seen more political, military and religious turmoil than any period in human history previous to it. Do we still have a reliable anchor of truth to guide our lives in the turbulent sea of falsehood and apostasy? I, for one, am prepared to answer in the affirmative, provided I can cite a few caveats to my response. What are those?


It is good to know that we still have the same Holy Scriptures that Jesus of Nazareth referred to as the Word of God, written and preserved in their original Hebrew. Unfortunately, in our day and age they have come to be called pejoratively as the Old Testament. We also have the writings of Jesus’ disciples, all the extant copies of which have come down to us almost exclusively in the Greek Language. Although the Hebrew Scriptures are thousands of years older than their Greek counterparts, there are only about 9 known discrepancies found in them as opposed to thousands of variant readings contained in the Greek manuscripts. Why is that? I would like to bring to your attention a very distinctive example of human tempering with God’s Word, which will showcase that the “guardians” of the Greek New Testament have often been much less scrupulous and careful in safeguarding the content of the sacred manuscripts than their Jewish predecessors!


Personal Testimony

Believe it or not, but it is a veritable fact that there are passages in our Bibles today that were nowhere to be found in the original Greek manuscripts for hundreds, and, sometimes, thousands of years! I know that it sounds almost unbelievable and can be very upsetting to many of us who love and cherish the Word of God. I was shocked and troubled myself, when I came to this startling realization a few years ago. Allow me to relate a personal encounter with this phenomenon.


A couple of years ago, when I served as a pastor within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in a beautiful State of Minnesota, I conducted a weekly Bible Study at our family’s house in the City of Hutchinson. One of the series of studies that we carried out during those meetings was dedicated to the various English-language translations of the Bible. Since my knowledge of the ancient Hebrew and Greek at the time was quite rudimentary at best, I came to define the quality of the biblical New Testament by comparing the modern-day versions, such as NIV, NASB, etc with their aging predecessors, such as KJV and NKJV. To our collective theological horror, almost all the recently-produced translations missed many verses and even entire passages on their pages! The widespread assumption, therefore, was that the time-honored and poetically written KJV stemmed from the right Greek manuscripts, whereas the rest of “innovations” were the work of the Devil and his human menials!


The King James Version is an English-language rendition of what is known as the Greek “Textus Receptus,” or “Received Text.”  Along with many of my other colleagues within the church, I came to regard the versions based on the Greek Textus Receptus as authoritative and nearly infallible. This way, I could use the KJV or NKJV to spot the missing or altered passages in other translations. One of my “proof texts” that I used as a “litmus test” with newer translations was the passage of I John 5:7-8.


Proving Trinity . . . or Proven False


For me the text of I John 5:7-8 was among the most convincing and eloquent proofs that there are three co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existing persons of the Godhead. Here is what the verse says: “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.” (I John 5:7-8) – Does not it give such a clear affirmation and such a laconic expression to what the Church has been teaching us about “the great mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity” for the past millennia? To the mind of someone who had always been deeply Trinitarian in his beliefs and convictions, this text was very precious indeed. “How could they leave such a gem of truth out of their wretched translations?” – I thought to myself while looking the passage up in yet another modern-day Bible that simply did not have it. Why were they cutting that text out?

History of the Received Text


A few words about the famous Received Text are in order here. Textus Receptus (Latin: "received text") is the name subsequently given to the succession of printed Greek texts of the New Testament which also constituted the translation base for the original German Bible, produced by Martin Luther (1534). William Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament into English, the King James Version, and most other Reformation-era New Testament translations throughout Western and Central Europe stemmed from the Textus Receptus as well.


The work to produce  the first printed Greek New Testament was undertaken in Basel by a Dutch Catholic scholar and humanist Desiderius Erasmus in 1516, on the basis of some six manuscripts, with none of them containing complete text of the New Testament. The lacking texts were supplied and translated from the Vulgate. The origin of the term Textus Receptus comes from the publisher's preface to the 1633 edition produced by Bonaventure and his nephew Abraham Elzevir who were partners in a printing business at Leiden. The preface reads, "textum ergo habes, nunc ab omnibus receptum, in quo nihil immulatum aut corruptum damus," - translated as, - "so you hold the text, now received by all, in which (is) nothing corrupt."


Even though Erasmus enjoyed more than just a passing acquaintance with the Greek language, he had only six Greek manuscripts immediately accessible to him in Basel. They all dated from the 12th Century or later, and only one came from outside the mainstream Byzantine tradition. Consequently, most modern scholars consider his text to be of dubious quality.


Comma Johanneum


The passage of I John 5:7-8 has come to be known among the textual critics as Comma Johanneum (short clause of John). It did not appear in Erasmus’s printed text of the Greek New Testament until its third edition in 1522. The Comma does not exist in the older Greek manuscripts, nor is it quoted by any of the early Church Fathers. The words apparently crept into the Latin text of the New Testament during the Early Middle Ages, "[possibly] as one of those medieval glosses (scribal notations) but were then written into the text itself by a careless copyist. Erasmus omitted them from his first edition; but when a storm of protest arose because the omission seemed to threaten the doctrine of the Trinity, he put them back in the third and later editions, whence they also came into the Textus Receptus, 'the received text'." [1]


It is a studied consensus among the textual scholars of the day that I John 5:7-8 was included in the Textus Receptus compiled by Erasmus of Rotterdam because of its doctrinal importance in supporting Trinitarianism. Owing to the widespread use of the Textus Receptus as the principal source-language text for Bible editions, the Comma is also contained in most translations published from 1522 until the latter part of the nineteenth century. If we may briefly summarize: For more than a thousand years prior to Erasmus’s work, the Church had been spreading falsehood about the three-headed god by means of its authorized Vulgate; and for almost five hundred years since Erasmus’s Greek Text saw the first light of day many millions of sincere Christians have come to believe that the Bible teaches us that God is in fact triune! What a travesty!


Although many traditional Bible translations, most notably the Authorized King James Version (KJV), contain the Comma, modern Bible translations from the Critical Text such as the New International Version (NIV), the New American Standard Bible (NASB), the English Standard Version (ESV), the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and others tend to either omit the Comma entirely, or relegate it to the footnotes.


Conclusion:


So, is there such a god as Trinity? To a keen Bible student the answer is plain and simple: If the god of the Church is as real as the texts that support his existence, then that god is a mere invention of a pagan institution desperate enough to resort to falsehood and manipulation in order to preserve its grasp on the hearts and minds of the ignorant. I only wish that passages such as I John 5:7-8 and Matthew 28:19 were the only “pious” fabrications inserted into the text of the New Testament with the view of  propping up the church’s claims to legitimacy and her pagan innovations in the field of theology. Why else would they play with my Bible?
Together with Joshua of old, I would like to address you with this statement from the Holy Scriptures: “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15) – Where do you stand today? Is your God the LORD God of Israel or a made-up idol of Trinity?

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Notes:   [1] Jaroslav Pelikan, Whose Bible Is It? A Short History of the Scriptures, Penguin Books Ltd, 2005, p. 156