Ponder Scripture Newsletter Archives

 

Newsletter #18:  Cold Love

A Handicapped Woman Rides the DART Train in Dallas, TX  

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s I weaved through the throng of passengers making our way to the DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) shuttle bus, I heard a noisy, screeching metal-on-stone sound that interrupted the otherwise peaceful procession.  “What on earth IS that?” I wondered to myself.  Looking around, I spotted an old woman determinedly pushing her walker through the crowd.  The walker had front wheels, but the rear rubber pads in back had long since been ground away and the woman was making do with what she had, noisy or not.  More ...

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Newsletter #17:  How Do We Know if We Accept the King's Invitation?

We all know that man's calendar is nothing like the one established In Scripture -- but does it really matter?

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 don’t know about you, but if I knew that my family and I reckon the new year in the spring of each year and that this “new year” coincides with the timing ordained by the Creator in His Word, plus if I knew that there is a prophecy about a futuristic “horn” that would dare think to change “times and laws,” I would be very, very, very hesitant about declaring that the new year, going forward, will begin in the winter instead of the spring. Everyone has been invited to marriage supper of the Lamb, which will take place in the Kingdom of Heaven and you would think that everyone wants to be there; however, the reality is, many folks either don’t believe the marriage supper of the Lamb will ever actually take place or else they don’t give it enough thought to take it seriously.   More ...

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Newsletter #16:  Name of the Messiah:  Accepting Dialectal Variety – With An Asterisk*

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t's 2015 and an issue that seemingly won’t go away has already taken up a sizeable chunk of our time this year.  I’m referring to the topic of the Messiah’s name.  Ever since June and I began referring to Him by the name Yeshua instead of Yahshua, we’ve been criticized, ostracized and occasionally condemned by various members of the Sacred Name Movement.  We cover this fact in-depth in chapter 3 of our study Name of the Messiah.  The primary point of contention is the vowel in the first syllable of His name and if you don’t get it just right by Sacred Name Movement standards, you are regarded as being among those who remove the Father’s name from the Son’s name.  The first syllable of the Father’s name is Yah, and it is this same first syllable that, according to Sacred Name Movement adherents, must be written and pronounced as the first syllable of the Messiah’s name.  More ...

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Newsletter #15:  Does Yahweh Worship = Jupiter Worship?

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hen it comes to being a truth seeker, one of the first things we come to grips with is the name we use in reference to our Heavenly Father. Many believers are coming to the realization that you just cannot improve on the name that our Creator gave to Himself.  Sadly, that realization leads to unnecessary division amongst the very individuals seeking to emulate the One they worship because now we are faced with several opinions as to how that name is "correctly" pronounced. So on the one hand, we are unified in our drive to call upon our Heavenly Father by the name He gave to Himself, but on the other hand we're divided over how to vocalize it. The latter cancels out the former. June and I do understand that there is a reasoning process that gets each of us to the current understandings that we all have. We do understand that we may each come up with differing conclusions. What we don't understand is the apparent need that some folks have to demonize or otherwise denigrate ... More ...

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Newsletter #14:  Charlie, the Media and Freedom of Speech:  Where do we draw the line?

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 he current events dominating world news (01/11/2015) are focused on the horrific tragedy in France where terrorists stormed the office of a weekly newspaper called Charlie Hebdo, brutally executing its editor and eleven others, including staff members and two police officers. Eleven others were wounded, some seriously.  The Islamic terrorists who perpetrated this atrocity did so as an act of revenge for their prophet Muhammad, whose image had been spoofed and mocked repeatedly by the newspaper.  In a worldwide show of support for the newspaper's right to satirize and mock individuals of their choice in the name of "Freedom of Speech," world leaders joined French citizens and defiantly displayed signs of solidarity that read, "JE SUIS CHARLIE," which is translated "I AM CHARLIE."  Our hearts grieve for the loss of life and the sorrow felt by those left to mourn their loved ones. Whenever a life of another is taken, one of the questions that is often asked (and it needs to be asked) is, "Why?" While I do not pretend to have all the answers, I am nevertheless persuaded that I have some of the answers and at the risk of coming across as arrogant, I am persuaded that if everyone would put my proposed solution into practice, most, if not all, of these unspeakable horrors would be a thing of the past.  More ...

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Newsletter #13:  Can a Scriptural Month Have Only 28 Days?

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 are persuaded that the Scriptural month of Adar 2014 only consisted of 28 days.  While we had often wondered if a 28-day month might be possible, it wasn’t until 2014 that we found out that it is.  We understand that many believers may have a difficult time accepting the possibility of a 28-day Scriptural month.  This may be due to having been indoctrinated with the understanding that Scriptural months can be no shorter than 29 days and no longer than 30 days.  For what is considered normative Judaism, it is an outright teaching that months can only have 29 or 30 days – no more, no less.  What does Scripture say?  Does Scripture make allowance for months to contain fewer than 29 days?  More ...

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Newsletter #12:  Should Hanukkah Be Memorialized?

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 am writing this essay on December 7, 2013, a day that many memorialize as "Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day," the day the Japanese perpetrated an attack on Pearl Harbor, killing more than 2,400 Americans. I don't mean to seem harsh, but those who express opposition to memorializing Hanukkah may as well also express opposition to memorializing Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. There are many sources you can turn to for information about Hanukkah, so a study that June and I authored ten years ago is only one of many that brings out the fact that Hanukkah memorializes a Jewish triumph over an evil tyrant named Antiochus Epiphanes, who was responsible for massacring 40,000 Jews within the space of three days and selling 40,000 others for slaves to neighboring nations (2 Maccabees 5:11-14). We are persuaded that Yahweh used a man named Yehuda (the Maccabee) and his 3,000-man unit (I Macc. 4:6) to defeat an army of 65,000 (I Macc. 4:28) in retaliation for that massacre and other atrocities inflicted on their fellow Jews. Yehuda and his men then cleansed the temple from the swine's flesh that had been sacrificed there and rededicated it to the worship of Yahweh on the 25th day of Casleu. More ...

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Newsletter #11: Should We Translate Names?

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ne of the great mysteries in life, to me at least, is how we can live in a world that, for the most part, does not call upon the Creator by the name He gave to Himself.  While June and I are persuaded that the name our Heavenly Father gives to Himself is Yahweh, there are others who refer to Him as “Yahwah,” “Yahuwah,” “Yehovah,” etc.  Such a controversy wouldn’t exist if the “Ineffable Name Doctrine” had not been perpetrated.  The “Ineffable Name Doctrine” is promoted by Judaism and holds that the Almighty’s name is “too sacred to pronounce.”  It is not a Scriptural doctrine, especially when one considers the fact that the name Yahweh (יהוה) is used some 6,823 times in what is known as the Old Testament.  It only makes sense that those who love the Almighty and seek to have a relationship with Him would also want to know and use His name in a reverent way.  Nevertheless, this is not what is being promoted by today’s churches and assemblies.  More ...

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Newsletter #10: Update on the 2013 Calendar Feud

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ast month at this time we were on the receiving end of several e-mails explaining why the only workable Scriptural calendar is one that is based on first observing the green ears of barley in Israel, then sighting the subsequent new moon.  June and I have been reckoning the Scriptural calendar from the new moon that is sighted on or after the vernal equinox since 1999, so we’ve been exposed to all the arguments, and since we went by the green ears of barley reports prior to using our current method, we pretty much know all the pros and cons of both arguments by now.  In last month’s newsletter, we addressed how untrustworthy the current green ears of barley reports from Israel are and we continue to harbor that same sentiment this month!  More ....

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Newsletter #9: Spring of 2013 – The Calendar Wars Continue:  "Green Ears of Barley" vs. the Vernal Equinox

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ell, today is March 9, 2013 and we again find ourselves in the midst of that awkward transition time between late winter and early spring, which coincides with that time of year when people send calendar articles designed to let the reader know why their view is correct and all the others are wrong. So far this month we've heard from at least five different individuals, none of whom (to the best of my knowledge) have taken the time to read the two studies that June and I have already composed on this subject. We wrote Balancing the Calendar back in 2005, then Balancing the Calendar II five years later. To date, not one person has ever let us know of the errors of our reasoning, yet they still apparently expect us to read their own studies, which will apparently help us to "come to our senses" about the true Scriptural calendar.   More ...  

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Newsletter #8:  Bul 2011      Pagan Associations:  Have You Gone Back Far Enough?

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ccasionally, June and I are questioned about our conviction that the crescent moon is the original Scriptural "marker" for beginning a new month, and this is a question that one believer posed in his e-mail inquiry.  He has obviously been exposed to the teaching that using the crescent new moon to determine the beginning of a new Scriptural month constitutes imitating a heathen custom.  One web site, playing on the shock value of pagan association, offers this clever challenge, .... More ...
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Newsletter #7:  Elul 2011    Creation Evidence in the Midst of Drought Conditions

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lthough I do not feel there is much to gain by attempting to persuade non-believers that there is an intelligent Creator who is responsible for our existence, at the same time, I know that I was once an agnostic who didn't "really" believe there was a Creator, but through a chain of events that transpired in the year 1977, all that changed.  First, I was confronted (in a non-confrontational manner) by a couple of young men seeking converts to their church. This occurred on-campus at the university I was attending.  They asked me if I knew Yeshua the Messiah as my Savior (of course, they referred to Him as "Jesus Christ" instead of the name He was called during His earthly ministry).  My answer was yes, but within the space of three minutes of asking me some very basic questions, it became clear that I didn't have a clue about His ministry or purpose.  More ...
 
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Newsletter #6:  Ab 2011   Why Do We Use the Form Yeshua When Referring to the Messiah?

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ver the years, June and I have taken a lot of flack from Sacred Name believers about the name we use in reference to the Messiah. We decided to devote a special section of this month's newsletter to the study of the Messiah's name because, once again, we have been challenged on this topic.  More ...
 
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   Newsletter #5:  The "Pre-First Day" of Creation:  Did the Sabbath That Occurred After Creation Fall on the Eighth Day of the Month?

 
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t seems pretty simple, doesn't it?  According to the Scriptural record, Yahweh spoke the heavens and the earth into existence within the space of six days and then He rested on the seventh.  Before that first day, time as we know it didn't exist.  Before that first day, creation as we know it, including the sun, moon and the stars, did not exist.  That's the way things are presented to us in the Biblical account of Creation.  Mankind, it seems, would like to make things more complex than they really are.  Although Scripture records the "great lights," including the sun and the moon, having been created on the fourth day of Creation, a group of people known as lunar sabbatarians believe the moon had already been created in advance of day #1.  Furthermore, they are persuaded that the weekly Sabbath, even though it was the seventh day of Creation, fell on the eighth day of the month.  That's right, even though Scripture only presents a seven-day time span from the beginning point of Creation until the ending point of the seventh-day Sabbath, lunar sabbatarians maintain that the seventh day of that week was actually the eighth day of the month. More ...
 
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     Newsletter #4:  Sivan 2011  -- Is Pentecost Always on Sivan 6 When Counting from the Morrow of the Festival Sabbath?
 
 
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his third month of the Scriptural year has presented us with a hodgepodge of controversial topics to deal with, ranging from whether or not Yeshua is the Messiah to NBC’s decision to remove “God” from their Pledge of Allegiance during its coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Washington, D.C.  In this month’s Ponder Scripture Newsletter, we would like to offer brief commentaries on these and other items of interest that came our way by means of cyberspace this past month.
 
      Topping our list is the controversial issue of counting to Pentecost.  Year after year we find ourselves explaining to believers – many of whom we feel should know better – that for those of us who use the Scriptural calendar (as opposed to modern Judaism’s calculated calendar), Pentecost does not always fall on Sivan 6 when counting from the morrow of the “Festival Sabbath” of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  We’ve been pointing this out for over 20 years, but it feels as though our explanations fall on deaf ears.  The latest charge came from a fairly well-known, published author who otherwise seems to have a decent handle on Scriptural topics.   More ...
  
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Newsletter #3:  Ziv 2011 -- Should Women Wear Tassels?

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ast month we addressed a controversial topic involving whether or not we should kill a lamb at Passover time.  From time to time, we would like to address a controversial topic here in the Ponder Scripture Newsletter, and this month we have decided to examine the issue of whether or not we should wear the tassels as commanded in Numbers 15:37-41.  June and I personally find it ironic that some believers claiming to be Torah-observant teach that this law no longer applies in this day and age.  I might understand their line of reasoning if it could be demonstrated that human beings are no longer capable of forgetting to do things.   More ...
 
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Newsletter #2:  Abib 2011 -- Should We Kill a Lamb for Passover? 

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une and I have attended several Passover observances where a lamb was killed for Passover.  To be frank, our presence at these observances was somewhat on the reluctant side because we weren't really sure of which way to lean.  Some are quick to say that it should have been an easy decision to stay away, but there are a number of "pro" arguments in favor of killing a lamb for Passover that served to at least help us understand that the motives of those who kill a lamb for Passover (at least the ones we have associated with) are pure.  This is something that I believe we should all consider before we openly attack or otherwise harshly criticize those whose views don't necessarily square with our own.  Let’s take a balanced approach as we examine this controversial topic here in our Abib 2011 newsletter!  More ...
    
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Newsletter #1:  Shebat 2011 -- Should We Pray That Our Flight Not Be On the Sabbath Day?  

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anuary 2011 marked the 25th anniversary of Sabbath observance for June and me.  We have lots of memories of our journey since that venture into the unknown.  I remember that not long after June and I made the decision to observe the weekly Sabbath, we made the mistake of sharing our new-found truth with several of our best friends.  Some might say our mistake was in forcing our view on others and expecting them to believe us "or else."  But no, we expected them to study this issue on their own and let us know what they came up with, just in case we had reached a premature and incorrect conclusion.  We were (and are) willing to pursue scholarly inquiry with anyone who wanted to study this topic with us.  Even today, 25 years into Sabbath observance, June and I often find ourselves challenged by others on various Scriptural topics.  How do we respond?    More ...

 

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This is the name of our Creator, Yahweh, sometimes called the Tetragrammaton.  It is given here in (A) the Phoenician script, (B) the Ivrit Kadum (Paleo-Hebrew) script, and (C) the Modern Hebrew script (a stylization of Aramaic).

 

 

 

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