Month 1:24, Week 4:2 (Shanee/Matzah), Year:Day 5936:024 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 15 April 2012
Crimes of the Masoretes II
Mutilating the Name Immanuel
Continued from Part 1
It comes as quite a shock to serious students of the Bible to learn that the Hebrew ground text used for all modern Bible translations - the Masoretic Text - has been mutilated by a group of Jewish scribes with an agenda: namely, to obscure the emet (truth) about the divinity of Messiah and the way the Tanakh (Old Testament) testifies again again that Yah'shua (Jesus) of Nazareth fulfilled all of these prophecies. Therefore we are forced, for accuracy's sake, to go to older manuscripts (MSS), some of which are a thousand years older than the Mastoretic Text, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), Septuagint (LXX) and others for more reliable renditions.
"Therefore the Lord (Yahweh) Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and she shall call His name Immanuel" (Isaiah Targum 7:14)
I have recently been studying the Targum Isaiah which I briefly alluded to in a recent sermon (on the Suffering Servant of Isaiah) which was a first century AD Aramaic paraphrase of the Hebrew Book of Isaiah. By the time of Yah'shua (Jesus) and the apostles, the main language of communication was Aramaic, a Syrian tongue related to Hebrew much as Swedish is related to Norwegian or Bulgarian to Russian. The usage of Hebrew was basically limited to schools and worship services. Thus having the Scriptures in Aramaic provided a useful means of communicating scriptural emet (truth) in the colloquial language of the time as well as giving us insights into how the Talmudic Masoretes deliberately went about mutilating the Davar (Word) of Elohim (God).
Typically, after a scripture had been read out aloud in the Synagogue, the corresponding Aramaic Targum would then be read out as its proper interpretation in the common vernacular. Thus by examining the Targums we can know what the official interpretation of the day was. A contemporary equivalent of a Targum would be a modern paraphrase version of the Bible like the Living Bible (LB) or the Contemporary English Bible (CEV) as compared with the King James (KJV) or New American Standard (NASB) versions which are more literal.
In every place where the single word and name "Immanuel" is written in the Targum Isaiah, the dishonest Masoretic Talmudists split it up into two words, emmanu El, or in English, 'El (God) with us'. You might think this is innocuous but by inserting a space, the Masoretes changed a proper name into a phrase. That would be a bit like taking the name "Yah'shua" (Yeshua, Jesus) and instead writing 'Yah saves' as though it were not refering to a personal name. Yes, Immanuel literally means 'El (God) with us' and, yes, Yah'shua literally means 'Yah saves' but these are proper names. That would be a bit like your taking my name, Christopher, and substiting it for its meaning, 'Christ-bearing', or my Hebrew name, Lev-Tsiyon and substituting it for its meaning, 'heart of Zion'.
Why is this important? Because it confirms that the first century Judeans believed absolutely that the Messiah was Divine - that He was Elohim (God). It was only after the religious Establishment had rejected Him as Messiah did the official interpretation of Isaiah change to, for example, the Sufering Servant being the Nation of Israel as a whole.
This is not an isolated mutilation of the text designed to obscure the identity of the Messiah and so deceive the Judean masses and indeed those who have since come to be called Jews. Throughout the Isaiah Targum, the Aramaic Memra, which translates the Hebrew Davar and which we render as "Word", is given six ascriptions commonly accepted by first century Judean theologians, which are that the Memra/Davar/Word was/is:
In numerous places in Targum Isaiah, this Word is clearly understood to be a Divine Person (1:14; 5:24; 6:8; 8:5; 9:6-7; 10:20; 21:16-17; 66:12-13) and is identified as the Elohim (God) of Israel.
- 1. Distinct and yet the same as Elohim (God);
- 2. The Instrument of Creation, and therefore the Creator Himself;
- 3. The Instrument of salvation, and therefore the Saviour Himself;
- 4. The Visible Presence of Elohim (God);
- 5. The Covenant-Maker; and
- 6. The Revealer/Revelation of Elohim (God).
The B'rit Chadashah Scriptures (New Testament) unambiguously declare that Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is the Memra/Davar/Word (e.g. John 1:1), thus confirming that Messiah was, and is, Elohim (God) as the first century Judeans knew He was, but which was later denied and which subsequently influenced the mutilation of the strong anti-messianic bias of the Masoretic Tanakh (Old Testament) which forms the basis of all English Jewish Tanakhs as well as our own English Christian and Messianic Bibles. One or two of the latter attempt to make extensive restorations of the original, pre-Masoretic Tanakh (Old Testament) text (such as the HRV, RSTNE) but otherwise there is a general ignorance of what has been perpetrated as an act of deception and mutilation. This has kept Jews from salvation and many Christians who, influenced by liberal theologians deceived by the Masoretes themselves (because of their own lack of faith), have come to reject cardinal doctrines like the Divine Messiah, Virgin Birth, Incarnation, prophecy, revelation, etc..
Satan has certainly had a field day with the Masoretic Text which is why I counsel believers to make sure they have a copy of the DSS and LXX in their library for accurate Tanakh (Old Testament) studies. You would be surprised how many apparent 'discrepancies' between Old and New Testaments disappear with an accurate Old Testament in your hands!
Yes, Yah'shua (Jesus) is Immanuel, is the Elohim (God) of Israel, is Elohim (God), is the Saviour of Isaiah 43:11 (and related passages), is the Davar (Word), is the only Way to the Father and home! You have the original Tanakh's (Old Testament's) guarantee of it.
Continued in Part 3
 Eliyahu ben David (Steven S. Butt), Targum Isaiah in English with Parallel Jewish and Christian Texts (Zarach, College Station, Texas: 2012)