Chapter One (Pt. 1 of 2)
Approx. 2,500 years ago the Hebrew Scriptures were still intact, w/o any deliberate alterations, interpolations, or otherwise marring of the text. And the NAME of YAHWEH was still written in by the Sopherim (from “Saphar,” to “count,” or “number”), and pronounced by every Hebrew when the text was being read. Sadly, there came a period when the Sopherim/Scribes were directed by the High Priest to add in as a substitution to YHWH the terms adonai and/or elohim. These terms are in actuality VERY misleading when one does a proper research on their meaning and their ORIGINAL USAGE! In fact, it’s literally quite scary, and the following study proves such. However, before we go laying all the blame at the doors of the Scribes, let us also recognize that translators misused and abused their trusts as well. And so this began a trend of changes, lies and deceit beyond compare. Once you’ve discovered the TRUTH, I hope you will act responsibly and follow Timothy’s example (2 Tim. 2:15). So, let’s now take time to discover their true meaning and everything else!
First, I’d like to begin by offering a simple quote from Scripture as a prayer: To the ONE TRUE GOD YAHWEH: “Open thou our eyes that we might behold wondrous things out of thy law. Amen.”
In order to gain a proper comprehension of this article, we will need to lay some historical background. Now this may seem scholarly in its presentation, but if you stick with it, I have faith that it’ll all become crystal clear.
There’s a Hebrew (hereafter Heb.) word called “Massorah.” All the pretty decent extant manuscripts of the Heb. Scriptures (NOT the New Testament, because it did not even exist as of yet; hereafter N.T.) contain on EVERY page, beside the text (which is arranged in two or more columns), a varying number of lines of smaller writing, distributed betwixt the upper and lower margins. This smaller writing is called the “Massorah Magna” (Great Massorah), while that in the side margins and between the columns is called the “Massorah Parva” (Small Massorah). Sadly, also in marginal spaces, others (incl. later Sopherim and Scribes, as well as High Priests, and much later translators) wrote in simple observations, personal opinions, untrue assessments, etc. THIS is not Scripture, but as time went by, in many instances, these additions became part of the TEXT. But we need to keep this separate from the “Massorah.”
In the British Museum Library, there’s an excellent copy of the Heb. Text, with the Massorah, called the “Arundel Oriental,” composed approx. 1120AD. Looking at it we note, the actual Massorah. The word “Massorah” is fr. the root “masar” (i.e., to “deliver something into the hand of another,” so as to commit it to their trust). Hence the name is given to the sm. writing referred to, because it contains information necessary to those into whose trust the sacred Scriptures were committed, so that they may transcribe it CORRECTLY! The text itself had been fixed before the Massorites were put in charge of it. We noted these men “Sopherim,” and their work, under Ezra and Nehemiah (Heb. “Ezrayah,” mean. “Yahweh Helps” and “Nehemyah,” mean. “Yahweh Has Consoled”), was to set the text in proper order after the Hebrews returned from Babylonian captivity; and Scripture makes note of this at Ez. 7:1-28, and Neh. 8:1-18. Then, the Heb. Members of “The Great Synagogue” completed this work. At Neh. 8:8, the text reads the “Book of the Law.” The Talmud explains that this meant the original text; “distinctly” means explaining it by giving the Chaldee paraphrase; “gave the sense” means the division of words, etc., according to the sense (you N.T. Bible Students will recall Paul encouraging the young minister Timothy to “…rightly divide the word of truth…” (2. Tim. 2:15)); and “caused them to understand” means to give the traditional pronunciation of the actual words (which were then w/o vowel points). This entire work lasted approx. 110 years, from Neh. to Simon the First, 410-310BC.
Now, keep in mind, the Sopherim were the authorized revisors of the sacred Scriptures; and their work being completed, the Massorites became the authorized custodians of their work, thus preserving it. The “Massorah” is referred to by the Heb. as “A Fence To The Scriptures,” because it literally LOCKS ALL WORDS AND LETTERS IN THEIR PLACES! If, perchance, at any time, a later day copyist was to come to the end o a page, after copying what they believe to be correct, and discovered the letter “count” was OFF by a single number, they were not allows to edit the text and add an addendum making note of the error. They were required to throw away that entire page, no matter how long it took to copy it perfectly, except for the one letter, an begin that page ALL OVER again! The Massorah itself does NOT contains notes or comme ts as such, but facts and phenomena. It records the exact number of times the several letters occur in Scripture; the exact number of words; and even the MIDDLE word. The number of verses, and the middle verse; the number of expressions and combinations of words, etc. ALL this, not from a perverte ingenuity, but for the set purpose of safeguarding the sacred text, and preventing the losses or misplacement of a single letter or word.
The Massorah is not contained in any one single MS. It is spread over many MSS., and Dr. C. D. Ginsberg has been the first and ONLY man who has set himself to collect and collate the entire collection, and copying the Massorah from EVERY available MS in the libraries of a myriad of countries around the world. His work is published in three large volumes, which are obtainable only by the original subscribers.
“Halleluyah” (Praise Yahweh)
End of Chpt. One, Part 1
(In our next submission to “inmate blogger” we will finish Chapter One).
Mark Blain, #1154225
Nottoway Corr. Ctr.
P. O. Box 488
Burkeville, VA 23922