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John 1:1 from an Hebraic perspective (Video)

By Jeff A. Benner

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

In Modern Western philosophy the focus is on the individual: me, myself and I. In contrast to this, the Ancient Hebrew/Eastern philosophy always focuses on the whole or the community: us, our and we. When we read the Bible we must interpret it according to the culture of the Ancient Hebrews and their Hebrew/Eastern philosophy, and not from our own Modern Greco-Roman/Western philosophy.

In the Hebrew philosophy, the goal is the elimination of "self," or the "ego." If what I am saying is true, then why, when we read Yeshua's words, do we always see Yeshua centered on himself, in complete opposition to Hebrew philosophy. A perfect example of this is John 14:6. "I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father but through me." The answer is, we are reading the text wrong. We are interpreting it from a Western philosophy and not a Hebrew one.

To answer this question, we need to take a closer look at John 1:1, a very controversial and, in my opinion, a very misunderstood verse. In the KJV this passage reads, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

In the Old Testament, we are repeatedly told that the words of God are his teachings, which is the Hebrew word Torah. God's teachings are his word. If we place the word teachings, within this verse we have, "In the beginning was the Teaching, and the Teaching was with God, and the Teaching was God."

Then in verse 14 we read "And the teachings became flesh." According to this passage, Yeshua took on the persona of God's teachings. After all, isn't that what Yeshua did? He came to teach the teachings of God.

Yeshua emptied himself of himself and instead took on the attributes of God's teachings. Therefore, whenever Yeshua speaks, it is not Yeshua speaking, but the teachings. When Yeshua says "I," the "I" is not Yeshua, it is the teachings.

When we look at John 14:6 again, but with this understanding, we can read this as "the teachings of God are the way the truth and the life." Interestingly, this is exactly what God teachings teach in the Old Testament.

Exodus 18:20 Teach them the Teachings and make known to them the way they are to go.

Psalm 119:142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your Teaching is the truth.

Deuteronomy 32:47 Through [the Teachings] you may live long in the land.

According to these passages, The teachings of God are "the way the truth and the life," do you think Yeshua would teach anything different from what God himself taught in his teachings?

Ancient Hebrew Alphabet and Language

Related Pages by Jeff A. Benner

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HowHow To: New Testament Greek to Hebrew (Video)
I am going to begin this instruction by examining John 1:1 in eSword, a free Bible program that works amazingly well.