picture of the cover of seminal book;
          Everything You Need To Grow A Messianic Synagogue

picture of a page of the Jerusalem Talmud;
          Proves Zechariah 6:11-12 is a messianic prophecy, that Yeshua is the Messiah's prophesied Name

The above is a page in the Jerusalem Talmud highlighting this quote: "Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi says Tzemach (Code Word for "Messiah") is His (Messiah's) Name (Berakhot 17a)." This proves that Zechariah 6:11-12 is a Messianic Prophecy and, furthermore, that in the Hebrew Bible, it says, five hundred years before it came to pass, that the Messiah's personal name will be Yeshua. (Click the previous sentence to watch the video.)

Hashem sent the Zun fun Der Oybershter and named him in advance Yeshua. This is in fact the name of the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) about 515-490 BCE who returns from the Babylonian Exile to terminate the Golus of sinful estrangement from the Bashefer (Creator). His name is Yeshua Ben Yehotzadak, the “Namesake” and ominous mofet ("sign") of the coming Moshiach Yeshua (see Zechariah 3:8; 6:11-12; Ezra 3:8; Psalm 110:1-4). Notice this "sign" man of the coming Branch ("Messiah") has a name and it is not Menachem;. (Click the previous sentence to watch the video.) it is Yehoshua/Yeshua (see Zechariah 3:8 and Ezra 3:8)

Ramban Nachmanides (1194-1270) says in a Bereshis 2:9 Commentary that before Sin came, Adam “did what was right naturally.”

Rashi Shalom Yitzchaki (1040-1105) says that the Yetzer Hara entered him only when he ate of the tree (Commentary on Bereshis 2:25).

Though lauded by the Gaon of Vilna and Nachman of Breslov, Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (the "Ramhal") teaches meritorious bloodline soteriology in his book Derech Hashem. “Abraham alone was chosen because of his works and succeeded in elevating himself. And made into a superior excellent Tree, conforming to man’s highest level. It was further provided that he would be able to produce branches [and father a nation] possessing his characteristics. The world was then divided into seventy nations, each with its own particular place in the general scheme. All of them, however, remained on the level of man in his fallen state, while only Israel was in the elevated state.

So this revered sage Ramhal posits a bloodline meritocracy with 2500 years of sages, from Shimon HaTzaddik to the present, in the ascendancy.

However, if we see Rav Shaul as the quintessential Haredi, having studied under the Tanna Rabban Gamliel, and if we see the book of Romans as a midrash on Genesis chapter 3, THEN since Merit is precluded in the case of Abraham (Romans 4:1-2) and Yaakov and Esav (Romans 9:11-12) and in the case of Adam’s fig-leaf works, which displayed only shame, fear, and estrangement from God, we will by necessity come to one conclusion. If Adam is the prototypical recipient of the law (Romans 7:9-10), and if humanity in Adam has lost the divine glory (Romans 3:23) and is implicated in Adam’s fall regardless of the supposed merit of legal piety, therefore, salvation from wrath is found only by being implicated in the infinite Merit of the Zun fun Der Oybershter, Rebbe Melech Moshiach Yeshua (Zechariah 6:11-12; Ezra 3:8) through emunah (Romans 5:19; 5:1; Isaiah 53:11).

So, in rebuttal to Luzzatto's book, we say this. The Derech Hashem is not the Derech Tzidkat HaTorah (the Way of the Righteousness of the Torah) but rather the Derech Tzidkat HaEmunah (the Way of the Righteousness of Faith), the Derech Chayyim, the Way of Life), the Derech Hashem. So shall Satan be crushed under our feet (Romans 16:20; Genesis 3:15).

Unfortunately David Stern's commentary says that Abraham's faith obedience brought Abraham "full merit before God" (see p.1753 The Complete Jewish Study Bible)! This is a serious theological error that throws a pall over the entire translation-commentary endeavor. Romans 3:9 says that Jews are no more estimated by Hashem than non-Jews. Both Jews and non-Jews are under the thraldom or bondage of Chet Kadmon. We, with Abraham, are unworthy servants who have only done our duty (Luke 17:10). God accepts us into favor and bestows eternal life on us, upon the account of another--Moshiach Ben Dovid Yeshua--and apart from HIS infinite merit as the Zun fun Der Oybershter, we have no merit. And this is the fatal error of the Haredi: zayin, vav, kaf, heh, זוכה zoykhe, zoche, merit, now also creeping into Messianic Judaism. This is sadly true, even though Moses warned (Deuteronomy 9:5), "Don't say you got the land because of your merit," and Yochanan the Mikvehist gave a similar warning, "Don't say you have Abraham's merit" (Mt 3:7-12), with Rav Shaul chiming in that "Abraham had no merit" (Romans 4:1-2). We are talking about a Bloodline Soteriological error that can be traced back to Mishna Sanhedrin 10:1 "All Israelites have a share in the world to come."

Dr. Phillip Goble studied the seminal books of the Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox "tremblers" "black hats") for thirty years in order to, while being faithful to the original language, exploit their hobbyhorse (favorite topic) terms and avoid their "hot button" terms. For example, if your translation of Romans 7:7 asks the question, "What shall we say? That the Torah is considered as sin?" this sounds asinine to a Haredi, like asking a Catholic, "Was Mother Teresa a call girl?" So we use the Yiddish word Gezetz (Law) instead of Torah. On the other hand, speaking of hobbyhorse terms, since Nachman of Breslov taught self-seclusion for the purpose of finding a close personal relationship with Hashem, we incorporated that word "hitbodedut" in Luke 1:24: Elisheva "kept herself in hitbodedut (seclusion, aloneness with Hashem) for five months."

The Orthodox Jewish Bible exploits Hasidic terminology to draw the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) hashkafa (outlook) into the New Testament. For example, the "yechidus" encounter of souls that happens between the Hasid and his Rebbe is used to paint a picture in John chapter 13 and following. The original language is translated accurately with this deliberate shading. Also there is the use of the word "histalkus" which has to do with the idea that the Rebbe withdraws and yet remains present and this is used when you get to verses about "two or three gathering in His Name and He is there." There are also certain "conversation starters" in The Orthodox Jewish Bible. Among them, "Yeshua Sar HaPanim, the Prince of the Face of Hashem" photo-copied from an ancient High Holy Day Prayerbook. These are what you might call "Docking Points" where the "Yeshua Ship" can find safe harbor to possibly take on passengers, as in the last chapters of the Book of Acts. For instance, Moses' death in the midst of his redemptive mission (Deut.4:21) foreshadowing the death of Moshiach the Eved Hashem Servant of the Lord (Deut. 34:5; Isaiah 52:13; 53:11) as a paradigm or model of Messiah Yeshua.

picture of a quote from the Morning Service;
          Shows b'rachah hameshuleshet (

Here is a video on the "Kedusha Meshuleshet of Hashem". The third volume of the Zohar, Amsterdam Edition, 288b says "The Ancient Holy One is revealed with THREE Heads, which are united in One and that ONE is THREEFOLD exalted" . We are talking about the Mitgashem Memra where the Bar Enosh is born of an almah and even though Shadrach, Mishakh and Abednigo would not PEY LAMED CHET (Aramaic word meaning "serve as deity") the idols of King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3:12), all peoples will (same word) PEY LAMED CHET ("serve as deity" Daniel 7:13-14) the Bar Enosh Moshiach when He comes on the Glory Clouds This proves from the Tanakh that Moshiach is not an idol yet elohut. In other words, El Gibor (Isaiah 9:5-6), HaAdon "whom you seek who suddenly comes to His Heikhal" (Malachi 3:1), David's L-rd (Psalm 110), and "whoever calls on the Name of the L-rd will be saved" (Joel).

The Orthodox Jewish Bible was translated for study in a Messianic Synagogue. But, forgetting that there was cultural specialization in the congregation planters in Galatians 2:9, you ask, Is a Messianic Synagogue scriptural? To answer that question, we need to make a distinction between peoplehood salvation and individual salvation. Moses is preached in every shul to keep the Jewish people Jewish (Acts 15:21) and James was making it happen in Israel (Acts 21:20), but only the Lamb can save each individual Jew. When both Moses (first five books) and the Lamb (entire Bible) are preached on Shabbos and on the Yom HaAdon (Revelation 1:10), you have a Messianic Synagogue, where both the peoplehood and the individual can be saved. Paul and James were both Haredim: Paul planted congregations; James can be seen at work in Acts 21:20. (Click the previous sentence to watch the video.)

Not davening among the graves, Yochanan meets the Moshiach himself, the divine Bar Enosh of Daniel 7:13-14 (see Daniel 3:12, palach, “serve as deity"). It is yom harishon, Yom HaAdon (see Lukas 24:1-3; Revelation 1:10). Only through God's Word can we know God's salvation (Psalm 119:81; 2 Tim 3:15). God's Son (Proverbs 30:4), the source of revelation (Proverbs 30:3-5) and love (Proverbs 8:17), functioned as an Amon (Craftsman, master builder, Proverbs 8:30) or Creative Wisdom at His side as the source of creativity (Proverbs 8:12; 8:22; 8:30) and love (Proverbs 8:17). And this Son of God took on flesh as the Son of God Messiah (Psalm 2:7; 1 Chronicles 17:13; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:5-6), David's Lord (Psalm 110:1). And whoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved (Joel 2:32). God's Word, His Son, incarnated as the Son of God Messiah, has a prophesied Name. His prophesied Name is Yeshua given through Messiah's Namesake Yeshua the High Priest who made the kaporah in 516 BCE ending the Golus (Exile) of abandonment from God (Isaiah 54:7) lasting 70 years from 586 BCE to 516 BCE. Yeshua is the Kohen after the order of Melki-Tzedek (Ps 110:4) who in his abandonment (Matthew 27:46) made the kaporah ending our Exile from God, our exile of sin and death (Matt. 1:12-17).

The Bashefer (Creator) loves you. The Haredim need you to do one thing for them. Go where it says, "I want to share the Gospel with a person who reads JAPANESE and make the dropdown menu change from JAPANESE to YIDDISH; then download and print out on your printer and cut and staple the Gospel for the Ultra-Orthodox Jews.(Click the previous sentence to print your copy.) Then text or email or otherwise provide them with the film DAYS OF MOSHIACH.(Click "DAYS OF MOSHIACH" to watch the video.)

What doctrine is being taught in the OJB?  This is surely not a Roman Catholic translation. Does not the OJB teach sola scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia, solus Christus, soli Deo gloria, which some in the Messianic Movement want to discard so they can "follow the rabbis" (see p.1753 in The Complete Jewish Study Bible) (Click the previous sentence to watch the video), as if what was gained in the 16th Century can be placed on the back burner?

And Canon 24 of the Council of Trent--did it not teach salvation by faith PLUS works? “If anyone says that justice [justification] received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works, but that those works are merely fruits and signs of justification obtained, not the cause of its increase, let him be anathema. (Council of Trent sixth session, celebrated on the thirteenth day of January, 1547, Decree concerning Justification).”


So are we saved and justified by faith PLUS works?

(Click on the previous sentence to watch the video.)  

And was James the Brother of the Lord ALSO a Council of Trent type believer because he ALSO says we are justified by faith PLUS works--and he ALSO uses the word "khoREES" in James 2:18 where he says, "But someone will say, 'You have emunah and I have ma'asim.'  You make known to me your emunah without (khorees) your ma'asim, and I'll show you, Chaver, from my ma'asim, the Emunah."   No, James (his Hebrew Name was Yaakov Ben Dovid) is attacking dead formalism, not Paul. James, who apparently wrote much earlier, and Paul agree: real faith must be active in love (Gal 5:6)


But if we are saved by faith apart from the works of Gezetz (Law, Yiddish), why bother to have a messianic synagogue? Didn't the OJB translator also write EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GROW A MESSIANIC SYNAGOGUE?   So if we are saved by faith APART from the ma'asim (works) of Gezetz (Law), why bother to have a messianic synagogue? Paul seems to ask this question in Romans 3:31: "Does it follow that we abolish Torah and make it invalid through emunah?"


Paul says, "No, we uphold the Torah"  (Rom 3:31). And then in Romans chapter 8, Paul shows HOW we uphold the Torah: by believing in Moshiach Ben Dovid Yehoshua/Yeshua (Ezra 3:8; Zechariah 6:11-12) we uphold Leviticus 18:5 which says "Ye shall therefore be shomer over My chukkot, and My mishpatim; which if an ish do, he shall live by them: I am Hashem."  

Rom 8:3-4 says, in effect, that the Mitgashem Memra or Mitgashem Ma'amar (the Incarnation of the Zun fun Der Oybershter) was for this very purpose, in order that the maleh chukat haTorah (the full statute requirement of the Torah, see VAYIKRA 18:5) might be fulfilled in us who walk in the Derech HaChayyim (the Way of Life) according to the Ruach Hakodesh and not in accordance with the basar.

So in Acts 21:21 we see Rav Sha'ul rejoining the Jerusalem Messianic Synagogue community to show that he had not assimilated or reputiated the "darkhei haTorah" (the "ways of the Torah," i.e., the Sinai Covenant and its mitzvot). Even if Gentiles might (wrongly) feel relegated to "second class" status in the Court of the Gentiles (the Soreg middle wall of partition has been torn down, Eph 2:14!), they are not to seek salvation through Bris Milah and the yoke of the Torah (Gal.5:1-3), but remember both Jews and Gentiles alike are under the power of sin (Rom 3:9) and both must take the yoke of Moshiach (Matt. 11:29) and call upon Him (Rom 10:12) Who has become the servant of both (Rom 15:7-13), for Moshiach is superior to Moses with a better covenant and a better priesthood (see the Epistle to the Hebrews 13:10 "We have a Mizbe'ach from which those who serve the Mishkan have no right to eat").

All Scripture can be used to indict the flesh and reveal the Savior, for by the Gezetz ("Law" Gen 2:16-17) comes the Da'as HaChet ("Knowledge of Sin" Gen 3:7, see Rom 3:20) and all the Torah and the Nevi'im and the Tehillim speak of Messiah (Luke 24:44).

Remember: there is a Greek word spelled: chi omega rho ita final sigma   khoREES "without." Romans 3:28 OJB says "For we reckon that a man is acquitted and pronounced to be YITZDAK IM HASHEM by emunah (personal faith, trust) APART FROM (khorees) (Click APART FROM to watch the video) depending on [(supposed) zoykhe/merit-earning] ma'asim of Gezetz (Law) [not "legalistic observance of Torah commands", a CJB mistranslation, as if being picayune about observance is the only way one could get tripped up by Gezetz-based religion]

(Click the previous sentence to watch the video.)

But, on the other hand, faith plus the ma'aseh (deed, thing done, act) brings "full merit before God" (see p.1753 The Complete Jewish Study Bible)! NO, NO, NO the gonif on the tree was saved by faith ALONE...what mitzvah, what ma'aseh, what deed could he do with hands and feet nailed? As far as getting into heaven is concerned, what soteriological benefit did the ma'asim (the works of Gezetz) avail the Jewish gonif on the tree hanging there with Moshiach (Luke 23:43)? Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach says that after you have done all, say that you are an unworthy servant and have only done your duty (Luke 17:10; 18:11-13). (Look carefully at first four chapters of Romans and Ephesians 2:8-9 and see the emphasis on boasting in religion as a sure way to miss heaven) (Click "miss heaven" to watch another video.) Notice we are saved by the ALIEN merit of Moshiach imputed to us by virtue of His type-fulfilling mitzvah or righteous, worthy deed countering Adam's aveirah (Romans 5:14,18) graciously and not meritoriously received in salvation. Doing a mitzvah is not wrong; depending on a mitzvah for merit for salvation is wrong.

Compare CJB and OJB Galatians 2:16 with the Greek

even so, we have come to realize that a person is not declared righteous by God on the ground of his legalistic observance of Torah commands, but through the Messiah Yeshua's trusting faithfulness. Therefore, we too have put our trust in Messiah Yeshua and become faithful to him, in order that we might be declared righteous on the ground of the Messiah's trusting faithfulness and not on the ground of our legalistic observance of Torah commands. For on the ground of legalistic observance of Torah commands, no one will be declared righteous. (CJB).

Yet we have da’as that a man cannot be YITZDAK IM HASHEM ("be justified with G-d" IYOV 25:4) by [depending on] the ma'asim of Gezetz (Law), but through emunah in Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Yehoshua." And we have come to have bitachon in Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Yehoshua, that we can be YITZDAK IM HASHEM ("be justified with G-d" IYOV 25:4) by emunah in Moshiach and not by [supposed zoykhe merit of] ma'asim, because by taryag mitzvot KOL CHAI LO YITZDAK ("all living shall not be justified" PSALMS 143:2).(OJB).

(Click the previous sentence to download a free pdf copy of THE ORTHODOX JEWISH BIBLE.)

eidotes de oti ou dikaioutai anthrōpos ex ergōn nomou ean mē dia pisteōs iēsou christou, kai ēmeis eis christon iēsoun episteusamen, ina dikaiōthōmen ek pisteōs christou kai ouk ex ergōn nomou, oti ex ergōn nomou ou dikaiōthēsetai pasa sarx (Greek)

(Click the previous sentence to download a free pdf copy of the textusreceptus.)

Are some in the Messianic Movement not really saved? Look at Psalm 19 in the OJB: "The torah of Hashem is temimah, converting the nefesh [T.N. hithapekh Ps 66:6; 2C 5:17], the edut of Hashem is ne'emanah, making wise the simple."

(Click the previous sentence to watch the video.)

Watch this video

(Click "this video" to watch the video).

Here we’re looking at Bereshis 26:4-5 "And I will make thy zera to multiply as the kokhavim of Shomayim, and will give unto thy zera all these lands; and in thy zera shall kol Goyei Ha'Aretz be blessed; |5| Because Avraham obeyed My voice, and was shomer over My mishmeret (charge), My mitzvot, My chukkot, and My torot."

This is given as the reason why Hashem is going to give the seed. He’s going to make them multiply as the stars of Heaven and he will give this land of Israel to the seed of Abraham and in thy seed shall all the nations of the world be blessed. Now this is what we want to talk about today. We want to talk about Abraham, the real Abraham, not the Abraham that is conjured up by people who are lost and who think they’re following Abraham but actually they are not on the Derech Hashem at all and they’re not going to wind up in Heaven because they’re misled.

I’m going to speak specifically about the Complete Jewish Study Bible, the Complete Jewish Bible, and I want to speak about Bible translation and I will sometimes refer to the Orthodox Jewish Bible. However I am not saying you know choose our Bible, buy our Bible, make me rich. No as a matter of fact if you want me to contrast the Complete Jewish Bible I would like to contrast it not so much with the Orthodox Jewish Bible but with the Weymouth New Testament In Modern Speech (Click the previous sentence to start reading the Weymouth New Testament in Modern Speech), and especially his translation of Romans. This translation was done at the beginning of the 20th century by a British schoolmaster and he captures the argument of Romans far better than David Stern. There’s some things that I’m going to be doing to improve the Orthodox Jewish Bible, so I’m not saying to you it’s such a great translation. No, I think the Weymouth is better personally as far as the book of Romans is concerned.

Now let me talk to you for a minute about a "Philippe." Not Philippe Goble but Philippe Petit. Who was this guy?

Well back in 1974, when I wrote Everything You Need To Grow A Messianic Synagogue, he was the arial high wire artist who walked on a cable between the World Trade Center twin towers and wow how did he do that? Well can you imagine taking a bow and shooting an arrow with a fish line which at the end of the fish line is a rope and at the end of the rope is a cable and you string the cable over there and you only have a few minutes to do it, then you get out there with your pole and start walking from one tower to the other tower. Wow.

Now a lot of people said, This is an AVEIRAH. This is a transgression. This is a criminal act. And other people said, No this is a MITZVOH, this is something good, this is a good deed. So we see this same contrast in Romans Chapter 5 where we find that Yeshua does one mitzvoh, one righteous deed evoking the approval of Hashem. Evoking the approval of Hashem. A mitzvoh. Adam did an AVEIRAH and the second Adam Yeshua did a mitzvoh, a righteous deed.

And we see how Rav Shaul presents this. The word that he uses. "Dikaiomatos." He does not use another word that you find in the womb of Rebecca (Rivka) when she’s got the twins. In her womb there are two brothers, and one is going to be Israel, and the other one is going to be lost. Look at this word "Ergon." Romans 9:11-12 says (Weymouth translation) "and even then, though they were not then born and had not done anything either good or bad, yet in order that God's electing purpose might not be frustrated, based, as it was, not on their actions ("Ergon") but on the will of Him who called them..." Notice the word David Stern normally translates as "legalistic observance of Torah commands" he cannot translate that way in Romans 9:11-12. It cannot have that meaning. That would be absurd. How can unborn babies have legalistic actions? How could Paul be making a point about nitpickers versus the not so picayunish observant religionists in the womb of Rebecca? So this throws in question his tacking on the word "legalistic" every other time the word is used. In Rebecca's womb there were no "Ergon" going on. And that "Ergon" cannot mean mitzvot evoking the approval of God and also opening a door for boasting in the womb or Rebecca, which has already been excluded in Romans 3:27 and also in the case of Abraham whose Emunah was not a meritorious mitzvoh eliciting boasting (Romans 4:2). Also in the case of the twins, God's choice and call and plan is not fettered by claims of merit. This is the point of Romans 9:11-12.

Now why is Rav Shaul choosing his words so carefully? Well let me contrast myself a little bit with Hillary Clinton here to make this clear. You remember a 9/11 memorial in 2016 where she got sick and she went off to her car and she literally fell into the limo. Well she wasn’t really that interested in 9/11. It was just a side thing. She was interested in one thing: becoming president and she was preaching a gospel of globalism and the end of binary gender and traditional marriage and defending against the right to life and preaching also socialism and her interest was in making a lot of money and so this 9/11 was a minor thing. I have to contrast myself with Hillary here because for me 9/11 was not a minor thing. I was up all night on 9/10/2001 before it happened. I was in the Spirit prophetically because my whole ministry is about Messianic Christianity, Messianic Islam and Messianic Judaism (that is, presenting the Inerrant Scriptures faithfully to these three groups). And when this 9/11 thing happened it was an epochal event for me and that’s the way what happened with Moshiach Yeshua when he died, when he did his mitzvoh, his one righteous deed to justify many ("my righteous servant will justify many," Isaiah 53:11).

We are talking about justification through faith. This for Rav Shaul, especially from the time of the Damascus Road, was a dividing point because before then he was on a different Derech. He was on the Derech Tzidkat Hatorah ("the way of the righteousness of the Torah"), and his view of Abraham was like this: In Genesis 26:5 Abraham has already had the Bris Milah, I think that was back in Chapter 17, and now he’s anticipating everything that’s involved in that, "Whoever does these things will live by them" Leviticus 18:5. And so here he is. This is not an anachronism for Paul. No he’s seeing this Torah righteous Abraham and that’s the way his own righteousness was grounded.

The pre-Damascus Road Paul was a stickler, he was Shomer Shabbos, Frum, Haredi. In Philippians 3:6-9 the way I translate that in Orthodox Jewish Bible I use the word "Chumra." It means, "An instance of strict adherence to the letter of the law. Legalism. Not to take coffee into the Beis Medrash is a Chumra. This is the way it’s used by the Haredi Yeshiva Bochurim. So when I did Philippians, I have Paul speaking about his former life, and notice how I put it here. "With regard to zealousness, persecuting the Adat HaMoshiach, with regard to tzidkat Hatorah (the righteousness of the torah)..." There it is right there. The righteousness of the Torah. You know as opposed to the Righteous of Hashem which he talks about in Romans all the time.

He says, "I was medakdekim b'mitzvot irreproachable." In other words hair splittingly and rigorously observant, frumkeit and shomer mitzvot. You say yeah okay that’s the way Rav Shaul was before, but you know, once he became a Roman Catholic, a Christian, all that went out the window. Oh no friend at the end of his journeys you find him right back in Jerusalem doing the mitzvahs. He’s right back there and he’s in the Messianic Synagogue so here you got to go back and scratch your head and say what in the world is going on?

Now in Galatians Chapter 2 verse 15 Paul is asking a very important question. It’s about the framework of Torah observance that keeps the nation of Israel Jewish. We’re talking about Shabbos, circumcising the children, keeping the generations from parent to child, Jewish, Jewish generation after Jewish generation so that Paul and Peter were born Jewish and not goyishe sinners and here’s the question. What, and he’s really asking this question to the Judaizers, he’s saying "What has this torah rule of life done for these men who are Jews by birth?" The same question that Peter was really asking in Acts Chapter 15. Did the law of Moses justify them before God? Notice: not did legalism justify them before God? That’s not the question! And by translating the word nomos as legalism the Complete Jewish Bible dances around the issue which is not justification by legalism but obtaining merit by obedience to the "Ergon," the works.

And really to translate the word "Ergon" correctly you have to start in Chapter 9 verse 12. Why? Because if it means "legalistic works" throughout Romans, as David Stern seems to believe, then it has to mean "legalistic works" in Romans 9:12. However, Stern admits that it does NOT have that meaning in Romans 9:12 and he drops the adjective "legalistic" there. But why should he? He has no reason, if he is consistent. This shows the fallacy of his entire translation of Romans. Paul's point in Romans 9:12 is that God's choice and God's plan for the salvation of Jews and Gentiles is not fettered by claims of MERIT. Legalism is not even in the argument Paul is making.

Let's talk about legalism. I know a lady. On Friday afternoon what did she do? When she became a Messianic Jew (and she still goes to shul on Shabbos and she’s still observant) but she was a stickler, man. On Friday afternoon she would tape all the light switches so that no one could violate Shabbos by turning on and off the lights. She was a stickler. Is this what’s going on? Are we really talking about the sticklers versus the non-sticklers in the womb of Rebecca? Are we talking about the nitpickers versus the not so picayunish observant Jews? Is that what’s going on in the womb of Rebecca? Not at all.

You see David Stern’s Abraham has a self-achieved “full merit before God” and I want to show you this on page 1,753. Look at this right here in the commentary. It says the Rabban that would be Gamliel the Elder wrote that God was already aware of Abraham’s faith in potentiality but his willingness to sacrifice Isaac made his faith concrete and brought him to "full merit before God" and that’s page 1753. A comment on James Chapter 2 verse 21 in the Complete Jewish Study Bible. That is completely wrong. The whole point of Paul’s gospel is that boasting and merit are excluded. Abraham had no merit when he was justified (he was a pagan, a gentile, who had done no ergon, works; and there were no ergon or works in the womb of Rebecca (Rikva). No works period, legalistic or not legalistic.

The comment in the Complete Jewish Study Bible would mean that Abraham DID have something to boast about! But Romans Chapter 4 versus 1 and 2 is not talking about whether Abraham is or is not a machmir strict stickler sort of legalist but whether his deeds could bring him merit that he could boast about and the answer is no. The answer is no. There is a definite translational problem with the Complete Jewish Bible. By works shall no flesh be justified. Whether or not they are done legalistically doesn’t matter and this is why David Stern’s ad nauseum translation of Ergon with the word "legalistic" is wrong. The works THEMSELVES cannot save you, whether they’re done legalistically or not legalistically. Even almost sacrificing his son like Abraham did, even that work, and this is why Paul takes a time out in Chapter 4 he explains what work is. If you work then you have to be paid and God is in your debt. But if you don’t work, if you just simply believe that God can justify the ungodly, that he can do this, he has the sovereign right to do this, and before they did anything good or bad, God had already sovereignly, according to his purpose, laid out a plan; and if large numbers of seemingly Jewish people in Israel do not have faith in that plan and are lost, God is not to be held in contempt as though he did something wrong. As if what he promised came up short. The fact that David Stern gratuitously omits "legalistic" with "Ergon" in Romans 9:11-12 shows the flaw in his understanding and in his translation.

Abraham had to get right with God by faith just like the rest of us. Forget all the talk about legalism. This is a major problem with the Complete Jewish Bible translation and commentary. You don’t have to mistranslate the Greek New Testament to have a Synagogue. The word is right there in James Chapter 2 verse 2. Sigma, Epsilon, Ne, Alpha, Gamma, Omega, Gamma, Ita, Ne. So follow Paul as he follows Moshiach. First Corinthians 11:1. And that’s where you’ll find him every Shabbos, every Saturday, no matter where he is, unless he’s in jail, all over the world, and when he gets to Jerusalem that’s where you’ll find him again even in the Beis HaMikdash doing mitzvahs (we are talking about Paul a Jew and the Sinai Covenant and its mitzvot). But here’s the point: he's not DEPENDING on mitzvahs for merit, because his only merit is an alien merit or righteousness imputed to him by faith in Moshiach, "not having a righteousness of my own" (Philippians 3:9), only the alien righteousness of Moshiach Tzidkeinu.

And this is where the Weymouth New Testament is so much superior to the Complete Jewish Bible because he points out merit. You say well yeah but that’s a dynamic equivalent translation where he’s using the word merit and it’s really not in the text. It’s really IMPLIED in the text. It’s really implied in the text and so I’m not trying to sell bibles. You want to buy a bible? Buy his bible. Buy the Weymouth bible. It’s free I think on the internet. The old Paul who said I thank God I’m not like this tax collector because I do these mitzvahs. I have merit. That old Paul, that old creature has passed away. That system of merit based machmir strict attempt to get to Heaven by Torah and with the supposed merit before God of Abraham, that whole system Paul tore it down, even though he was a torah observant Jew! Look at Galatians Chapter 2 verse 12. This false theology Paul had to repent of and Abraham had no merit to boast of before God and the commentary of the Complete Jewish Bible is wrong on page 1,753 where it says that what Abraham did brought him “full merit before God” but Romans Chapter 4 verses 1 and 2 says that Abraham, that what he did, brought him nothing to boast about. Nothing.

Now no bible translator and I’m a bible translator can say my work can’t be approved so the Orthodox Jewish Bible can be approved and so can the Complete Jewish Bible. It has major problems that seriously confuse the gospel but it can be improved and I hope he will improve it before he goes to Heaven.

But look at Romans Chapter 9:32 and ask why did many in Israel miss salvation? Was legalism the culprit as David Stern translates Romans 9:32? No. The idea of merit earning mitzvot tripped them up. Ma'asim works they thought they could boast about. This is the thread of Romans Chapter 3 verse 20, Chapter 3 verse 28, Chapter 4 verse 2, Chapter 4 verse 6, Chapter 9 verses 11 and 12. This is the gospel according to Moses. Deuteronomy 9:6. Don’t say after you get the land that your righteousness got you this and this is the gospel of John the Baptist. Matthew Chapter 3 verse 9 he warns against a wrong presumption of Zoykhe, zayin vav kaf heh. Merit. Don’t say you have the merit of the Fathers, that you have the merit of Abraham. Don’t do that.

Don’t make that mistake and I want to go back also here and look at the Greek New Testament of Romans. I want to go through it real quickly here if I have time. At the very beginning Paul talks about the righteousness of God which has been revealed and so he’s talking about the Tzidkat Hashem (the Righteous of the Most High) as opposed to the Tzidkat Hatorah (the righteousness of the Torah) and the background of the whole book of Romans is the Tzidkat Hatorah, Philippians 3:6, page 1,065 in the Orthodox Jewish Bible and Genesis 26:5 which I read when I had the Torah Scroll out here. Page 24 in the Orthodox Jewish Bible and Leviticus 18:5 pages 115 to 116 in the Orthodox Jewish Bible. If a man does these things he will live by them. A mitzvah evoking the approval of God will occur and he will live if he does these things and you get the same idea in Galatians Chapter 3 verse 12 and Romans Chapter 10 verse 5, Leviticus 18:5 so when you get to Chapter 9 verse 12 of Romans okay not from mitzvot evoking the approval of God and also opening a door for boasting which has already been excluded in Romans 3:27 and also in the case of Abraham. The point is that Paul changed his derech and found his righteousness grounded in Hashem. Before he was on a different Derech, a Derech that is not the Derech Hashem and you know Amos said I’m not a prophet nor the son of a prophet so I’m not claiming to be this great prophet but what I’m trying to get a point across to you.

Here is the point in this book right here THE WAY OF GOD (Moshe Chayyim Luzzatto): when you get to this page it says Abraham was the only person who perfected himself sufficiently to merit becoming a root, the root for Israel. And only Israel was in the elevated state so we’re talking about he doesn’t even believe he has Chet Kadmon and that Abraham is not in the fallen state. This is a major problem in Judaism and you can’t dance around it like The Complete Jewish Bible does.

In the Weymouth New Testament you have a righteousness that comes from God. You have boasting as the very first on the top of the list of sins. Romans Chapter 1 verse 22 boasting in one's supposed wisdom; you have the Jew makes his boast in God. Chapter 2 verse 17. You have Chapter 2 verse 23 of Romans, you who make your boast in the Lord. You have Chapter 3 verse 20 on the ground of obedience to the works of the law no man living will be declared righteous before God. Where is there room for boasting? Chapter 3 verse 27 and it’s forever shut on what principle? On the ground of merit! And then you have Abraham and boasting in Chapter 4 verse 2. You have the erroneous derech of righteousness through the Law, chapter 4 verses 13 to 14 and then in Chapter 9 verses 11 and 12 you have the same word Ergon which Stern translated usually though not here as legalistic works of Torah. God’s choice is not fettered by claims of merit is the idea and you don’t see that idea. Meritorious mitzvot Hatorah is the way I tried to translate it. A righteousness that should arise not from faith but from what was regarded as meritorious and that’s where you have the problem. Paul said if I build up what I tore down and what did he tear down? What was it that he had to repent of and tear down? A false theology merit based Machmir strict attempt to get to Heaven by Torah and with the merit of Abraham before God which is wrong.

When he deals with the Judaizers in Galatia. When he deals with Abraham in the Book of Romans he does not emphasize the Genesis 26 verse 5 aspect. He talks about it as a goy like me a goy, Abraham was a goy and God looked at his faith, his faith. This was before Genesis 22, this was before Genesis 17, this was before Genesis 26. He looked at his faith just his faith ALONE and he credited him yes by grace are you saved through faith this is a gift from God and not of yourself so that no one could boast. No boasting. Ephesians 2:8-9. He credited him. So he was credited with what? With righteousness. And Paul is locking the door on merit theology in Romans. Did the merit of Abraham and his obedience to circumcision, did that justify him? No. We are unworthy servants. We have only done our duty. Luke 17:10. The only merit we have is the alien merit of Moshiach which is imputed to us. In Adam we are all implicated in sin and in Moshiach we are all implicated in righteousness by faith. All our own righteousness is like filthy rags. My righteous servant will justify many. Isaiah 64 verse 16 and 53 verse 11 so when we get to Chapter 2 the issue is not Chumra nitpickers versus those who are not so picyunish; the issue is Tzidkat Hatorah versus Tzidkat Hashem and excluding zoykhe merit boasting. Zayin vav kaf heh merit and we have to exclude it and that’s what God does. He excludes it.

There’s kind of a "bait and switch" thing going on in the Complete Jewish Bible. This is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone presents a partial appealing truth while hiding an unappealing falsehood and going through the translation you see inveighing against justification by legalism when the word law not legalism is actually in the Greek; and then you see hiding an unappealing falsehood that one can obtain merit by one’s own obedience which is not found except in the small print on page 1,753. This is a logical fallacy called "bait and switch." You cannot do this.

Now if you say if it is by faith apart from works of the Torah why bother to have a Messianic Synagogue? I mean look: I wrote the book. Everything You Need to Grow a Messianic Synagogue. So if we’re saved by faith apart from the works of the Torah why bother to have a Messianic Synagogue? Paul seems to even ask this question himself in Romans Chapter 3 verse 31, does it follow that we abolish Torah and make it invalid through emunah? Paul says no. We uphold the torah and then in Romans Chapter 8 Paul shows how we uphold the Torah. We uphold Leviticus 18:5 which says if a man does he shall live. Romans 8 verses 3 to 4 says in effect that the maamar memra, the incarnation, was for this very purpose in order that the maleh chukat Hatorah, the full statute requirement of Torah, might be fulfilled in us, that Leviticus 18:5 might be fulfilled in us who walk in the Derech Chayim the way of life according to the Ruach Hakodesh and not in accordance with the Basar (the flesh unrenewed by the Ruach Hakodesh).

So in Acts Chapter 21 verse 21 we see Rav Shaul rejoining the Jewish Messianic Synagogue community to show that he had not assimilated or reputed the darkhei Hatorah the ways of the Torah. In other words the Sinai covenant and it’s mitzvot. So you need to read that because I don’t have time to go through the whole thing but Paul was an observant Jew at the end and also through his entire life after the Damascus Road. He circumcises Timothy and all this other. I don’t know what else to say here except that the best New Testament is the Greek New Testament because then when you go through the Greek New Testament you see the words that Paul very carefully uses. Yes one righteous mitzvah saved us. The one that Moshiach did when he went to his mizbeiach as the son of Abraham, the Son of God, the Zun fun Der Oyberster, to be the lamb (Isaiah 53:7) that would free us. In Romans Chapter 3 it uses the word for free. You see only the little lamb and his blood could free you from Egypt. You’d never get out without that little lamb making a costly purchase of your soul. You have to see that word. You have to see the mitzvah that he did in becoming the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. You have to see His infinite merit imputed to you (I Peter 3:18 ).

We are talking about individual redemption. Moses is preached in every shul to keep the Jewish people Jewish (that is, to save their peoplehood from assimilation destruction, Acts 15:21 "For Moshe Rabbenu from ancient dorot in every shtetl has his maggidim and in the shuls every Shabbos he has been read.") and James was making it happen in Israel (Acts 21:20 "And the ones who heard were saying, Baruch Hashem! And they said to him, You see, Ach b'Moshiach, how many thousands there are among the Yehudim who have emunah [in our Moshiach] and they all have kanous (zealousness), are shomer mitzvot for the Torah [Sinai Covenant and its mitzvot]"), but only the Lamb can save each individual Jew (John 1:29). When both Moses (first five books) and the Lamb (entire Bible) are preached on Shabbos (Click "Shabbos" download the free book) and on the Yom HaAdon (Click "Yom HaAdon" to watch the video) you have a Messianic Synagogue, where both the peoplehood and the individual can be saved.

Yes there are Messianic Synagogues and more power to them but if you strut around in your Messianic Synagogue thinking you have merit (see faith plus the ma'aseh, deed, thing done, act brings "full merit before God"--see p.1753 The Complete Jewish Study Bible), you are like Shaul was before the Damascus Road and you’ve made a big mistake and are bogged down in false doctrine. I want to pray for the Messianic Jewish movement, I want to pray Dear God please get these translators correct, get me correct Lord because I’m not infallible. Help me touch up little things in the Orthodox Jewish Bible (Click "Orthodox Jewish Bible" to download the free OJB Bible) that need to be touched up and oh God keep it in print but oh God even if it goes out of print and into oblivion I know that you will get your Jewish people saved and you will get your Messianic Jews straightened out and they will come to acknowledge of the Tzidkat Hashem and be delivered from any meritorious presumption about the Tzidkat Hatorah and we’ll give you the praise. Amen. (Also see us on your smart phone on Google Play.