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B'rit Hadasha

Some historians feel the B'rit Hadasha (New Testament) was written in Hebrew, explaining that Greek would not have been sufficient for Jewish ideas. The Jewish New Testament, by David Stern is helpful in bringing together the Hebrew thought.

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Hebrew (עִבְרִית)

The Torah (the first five books of the Bible), and most of the rest of the Tanakh (Old Testament), are written in Classical Hebrew, that scholars believe flourished around the 6th century BCE, during the Babylonian Exile.


Hebrew was the language of the early Jews. Around 580 BC it started to be replaced by Aramaic. Though it continued to be used for religious functions, by 70 AD use of Hebrew as an everyday language had ceased.The revival of Hebrew as a spoken everyday language began during the mid-19th century.

Eliezer Ben Yehuda (1858-1922), began speaking the language in his home and encouraged use of the language by others. Today Hebrew is spoken by 5 million people in Israel, where it is the official language along with Arabic. Also, two to three million people speak the language throughout the world.

Yeshu VS Yeshua

Modern day Israeli Jews refer to Jesus as Yeshu, but the name (meaning salvation) would have been Yehoshua, or a shortened version, Yeshua (ישוע) during the time of Jesus. Tal Ilan, on the basis of her wide-ranging survey of literature and archaeology, ranks Yeshua as the sixth most common male name in her Lexicon of Jewish Names at the time of Jesus.

YHVH is the personal name of G-d and his most frequent designation, occurring over 6,800 times in the Tanakh. This is the Name of the G-d of Israel and it is composed of the four Hebrew letters Yod, Hey, Vav, and Hey. It is also referred to as the ''Tetragrammaton,'' which means ''the four letters.''

Despite the Tanakh and massive archeology in Israel, there is a group saying they have a special understanding of the phonetics of the Sacred Name and are trying to restore it. For example, there are some who want to use a ''w'' for the Vav in the Name, and then permute the niddudot (vowels) to justify their interpretation. This is not supported by the Tanakh, archeology, and Hebrew tradition. Some consider this practice a form of Gnostic occultism.

Also, many people argue over names of the Messiah. Many Jewish families in the Second Temple period named their sons Yeshua in the hope their son would be the Messiah spoken of in the Tanakh.