Monday, August 23, 2010

A Few MIsunderstood Verses in the B'rit Hadashah

Today I thought we'd take a short look into some misunderstood verses in the B'rit Hadashah.

Eunuch is not Eunuch....groan.

Was the Ethiopian "eunuch" in Acts 8:27 actually a "eunuch?

Acts 8:27  And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship.

A eunuch would never have been allowed into the temple. He was obviously a "believer" because the verse above says he came to "worship". The problem lies in the translation of the word "eunuch". It is most likely that the Book of Acts was originally written in Aramaic. The Aramaic word "mahimna" can mean either a "Eunuch" or a "Believer". This agrees with the Peshitta (Syriac Aramaic Bible) which has the word "believer" there instead of eunuch. He was a man of great authority, the treasurer for Candace, the queen of Ethiopia. Candace was not her name though, but a title for all queens of Ethiopia. It is akin to the title of Pharaoh or Caesar.


Here is another example of a mistranslated verse of scripture. We have a leper living inside the city limits with the general population.

Mat 26:6 Now when Yahushua was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,

Simon was NOT a leper. A leper was not even allowed into the city. The Jews would not be attending a dinner at a leper's house. The Peshitta has the correct understanding. Simon was a potter or jar maker.

Although the word for leper used in the Torah is "tsara", the Hebrew word 'garab' means "Scab or itch" (Lev 21:20, Deu 28:27). The Assyrian word for leper is "garaba". The root of the Hebrew word "garab' means "a scabby type skin disease'. Garba, on the other hand,  is a potter in Aramaic. It's easy to see how a simple scribal error could have caused this mistranslation. Remember, the B'rit Hadashah was originally written in Aramaic, a dialect very similar to Hebrew.

A leper would not have been able to own property, employ servants or hold a Feast that the Jews could attend. Some might say, and have said when recognizing the difficulty, that he was no longer a leper as Yahshua may have healed him. This doesn't work either as he would no longer be called a leper; he would have been pronounced clean according to the law.

Can a Camel go through the eye of a needle?

Mat 19:23 Then said Yahushua unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 19:24  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of Elohim.

This is another example of a mistranslation of two similar words. The Aramaic word for camel is "Gamla" whereas the word for a heavy rope is "Gamala".  The implication from verse 23 is that it is difficult for a rich man dragging around all that heavy baggage (riches) to enter the straight and narrow path (eye of the needle) leading to salvation. They are too attached to their possessions to put their priority into walking the narrow path which leads to salvation. This is not saying that a rich man cannot be saved as even a heavy rope can be unraveled and passed through the eye of a needle one strand at a time. It just takes effort. (Info from

Are we promised to receive everything we pray for?

Sure sounds like it to me if you read it the way it is written. But let me tell you something, it doesn't always work. Isn't that a promise that we will get whatever we pray for? I've prayed for a lot of things I never got. So what's the problem? My faith isn't great enough? Or... could it be that YHWH's will is also involved?

The words "All things whatsoever" is a translation of the Greek words "panta hosa an". This is a  conditional statement when the "an" is attached. In the English translation, we don't see any difference between the Greek original 'panta hosa' and 'panta hosa AN'. But that little word 'an' attached to the phrase makes it conditional. The English translation should leave out the words "whatsoever" because there are certain conditions that have to be met. It has to be in YHWH's will and meet His conditions for us to receive anything. And yes, we need faith too.

More "Panty Hosas"

Mat 23:2  Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
Mat 23:3  All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

Here is another example of "panta hosa an". This is a conditional statement, not a broad brush to do everything the Pharisees sitting in Moses' seat say to do. The seat of Moses meant legislative and judicial authority, not theological. This is a call to Torah and to distance ourselves from the corruption of Moses seat by the extra prohibitions the Pharisees had added to Torah. It basically means that if they tell you to do something found in Torah, to go ahead and do it. But, don't do as they say if it is not found in Torah. Yahshua was specifically referring to those things the Rabbis told others to do, but refused to do themselves.

Their works are called "takanot" in the Hebrew. Takanot are defined as changes that modify bible law. They are the "works" of the Rabbis which includes their oral traditions.

These are just some of the things that are misunderstood in the B'rit Hadashah. I'll quit for now and save more for later.


Brick Parrish

1 comment:

  1. Brick, loved your posts, very informative. Thank you for all the study and work in putting this blog together.
    Barb & Jim in Kentucky