Thursday, October 13, 2016

The TANAKH by the Jewish Publican Society

I recently obtained a copy of the TANAKH tonight, the Jewish Publication Society's translation of the Hebrew Bible.

One of my Facebook friends who is an Episcopal priest and Hebrew Bible scholar says it is one of the one or two best translations of the Older Testament. Another priest friend of mine said it was his preferred translation in seminary.

Notice Psalm 1 translates "Torah" as "Teaching" rather than "law," as in most Christian-sponsored translations.

As a Christian, I recognize that the Teaching is based in the Older Testament, and continues in the Newer Testament.


"Let not this Book of the Teaching cease from your lips, but recite it day and night, so that you may observe faithfully all that is written in it. Only then will you prosper in your undertakings and only then will you be successful."

- Joshua 1.8 the JPS Tanakh

This translation really changes the way I think about this passage. Torah is teaching, not law here; we are enjoined to "recite," rather than "meditate" on the Teaching.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Delight Yourself in YAH

We believe in the Lord, and pray to Him especially when we are in trouble. There is nothing wrong with that. But the Teaching in the Bible instructs us to "Take Delight in YAH (Ps. 37.5)," which we do when we seek Him and enjoy His Presence. YAH is always with us, we only have to acknowledge it. The Scriptural passage, "Taste and see that YAH is good (Psalm 34.8)," is often appropriately applied to Holy Communion. But the Psalmist surely was speaking of basking in the Presence of YAH.

Do not confuse taking delight in the YAH with taking delight in religion, dogma, or our church, or even the Bible (in and of itself). However, a big part of our relationship with YAH is learning and accepting the Teaching, which is contained in Holy Scripture. We should in fact immerse ourselves in Sacred Scripture.

I believe if we can try to know YAH this way, it will lighten our burdens. Instead of just praying to YAH when we are in trouble, we can enjoy YAH all the time. It will make our burden lighter. Surely this is what Y'shua means when He says, "take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and my burden light (Matthew 11.29-30)."