Yeshua: The Alef and Tav, (Part 1)

In one of my previous blogs "The Time is Short" I spent a considerable amount of time looking at the first sentence in the Torah, Genesis (Bereshit) 1:1. I also related that when John (Yohanan) the Apostle was exiled to the Island of Patmos for his faith, it is there where Yeshua revealed himself in a way that only Yohanan understood.

The book of Revelation is one of those books that are full of metaphors and analogies, like Daniel; however, they are not hard to understand if placed in light with other passages, especially in the Torah. If you recall, I mentioned that my theory to understanding the End Days, was that you must first understand the Beginning of Days. If Yeshua is the revealed Messiah of the Tanach, then He wouldn’t only be found in the NT (Apostolic Scriptures). And, if the book of Revelation "could" stand on its own, then it would merely be a book of fairy tales. However, Revelation does not stand on its own, and when understood with other biblical passages, the book really does reveal Yeshua as the Mashiach (Messiah).

Most scholars and college professors will teach that the first prophecy regarding the Messiah is found in Bereshit 3:15, where YHVH God proclaims, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." However, if you were to look at the very first sentence of Bereshit, you will see Yeshua identified, prophesied, revealed, and what his mission was to be. That’s right! It’s all found in the first verse of the Torah. (Remember, the "i" in the word "Bereshit" is pronounced as a double "ee" so stop cursing every time you read that word out loud. 🙂 )

So, here’s a little refresher course on Bereshit 1:1:

בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ. (Genesis 1:1)

Pronounced in Hebrew, you would say, "Bereshit bara elohim et ha’shamayim v’et ha’eretz." (Seven words! Make sure the vowels are pronounced a(ah), e(eh), i(ee), o(oh), u(ouu-like ‘who’ without the ‘w.’)

I’ve made the Alef and Tav larger and "bolded" them for your convenience. (I know, I’m a nice guy.) (On some computers I was told that you are unable to see the change. It may be the communication link between iMacs and IBM compatibles.)

Anyhow, the most accurate translation by most bibles is, "In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Some have translated "heavens" as being singular (heaven). However, "heavens" has been the more widely accepted translation both from Jewish and Christian translators.

In a literal word-for-word transliteration you would see, "In beginning, created, God ** the heavens and** the earth." Therefore, to make more sense to the reader, translators inserted [the] and omitted the [**]. Why would they do this? Even the early sages taught that every letter of the Hebrew alphabet is significant. For example, God used the Hebrew letter "Bet" to start the creation process in the Torah because all the sides were closed and the north end (the open end) is where all creation began. And, it was wrong to ponder on what took place before, above, and below creation; however, we can expound on what has transpired since because God’s word (letters) allow us to do so (Genesis Rabbah Parashiyyot 1X1.A-E).

In essence, the sages believed that if we can start worlds (cities, country’s, etc.) with words (broken down into letters), then why wouldn’t God. And, if the words that formed the world were significant, then each letter would speak to creation, and all of truth; for truth is found in the letters.

That being said, why, then, are not the ALEF and TAV in Bereshit 1:1 translated? The rabbis would argue that it cannot be translated because the Alef and Tav together do not have a consonant base from which to build. Others have argued that if it means anything at all, it must refer to the spoken word of God, since God first spoke the world into existence. If that being the case then why is it found in the fourth word of 1:1?

In this humble theologian’s view, this is the MOST accurate word-for-word transliteration of Genesis 1:1,

"In Beginning created God Yeshua the heavens and(Yeshua) the earth."

Because Hebrew does not have definite articles, translators had to insert them into the text; thus, you could use "a" or "the" when translating "In [the] or [a] beginning . . . " [The] would be the most accurate definite article, since [a] conveys "one beginning out of many." Some bibles have tried to translate it that way, but that is simply irresponsible scholarship. (Maybe they don’t want to admit that God has the ability to create the world in the time span that is mentioned in the creation process, who knows.)

Therefore, with definite articles having to be inserted, my translation–the AB Version (the Adrian Bernal Version)–I would translate Genesis 1:1 as: In [the] beginning God, Yeshua, created the heavens and Yeshua [created] the earth.

For many people, especially Jewish and English translators, they may consider that I fell off my rocker or that I am simply insane; however, I don’t have a rocker, as of yet, and I haven’t had the need for a padded room, but I do have a nice leather arm chair. 🙂

In my next blog I will explain why this is the MOST accurate rendering of Genesis 1:1. I know it sounds boastful to claim it, but I wasn’t the first. Yohanan was, and Yeshua affirmed it to him in Revelation 1:8, "’I AM the Alpha (Alef) and Omega (Tav),’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’"

Shalom,

A. A. Bernal

"Changing the way people think, one blog at a time."

Copyright 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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About adrianabernal

I committed my life to the Messiah, Yeshua in 1985. In 1987 I attended bible college in Dallas, TX., where I discovered my rich heritage as a Spanish Jew (Sephardic). Like most Sephardim, I was raised more Catholic than Jewish--I can thank the Spanish Inquisition for that--however, we were for the most part not a religious family. I eventually graduated and have continued on to obtain the Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) in Biblical Counseling and Jewish Studies, and a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) in Jewish Studies with Columbia Evangelical Seminary, in Washington State. I have pastored both churches and Messianic congregations since 1993. Currently, I travel and speak at several churches, synagogues, and Messianic congregations in Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Colorado. For the past 26 years I've engrossed myself in studies on Judaism, Messianic Judaism, and Christianity. In doing so, I have an extensive background in all three disciplines, which gives me a balanced perspective on the complete Bible, both the Tanakh (O.T) and the B'rit Chadashah (N.T.). I have been married for 25 years to my wife Jennifer, and I have three wonderful children: Nathan, Adam, and Rebekah. I am also a golf teaching professional and enjoy fellowship with my Jewish and Christian brothers and family. If you'd like me to come and speak at your place of worship, please do not hesitate to email me or call. Thank you.
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