Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Prisoners Reading

Joseph Herrin (1-31-2017)

This weekend was another opportunity to prepare newsletters for men in prison. It takes two full days to print and prepare the newsletters for shipping. I have about 7 full years of newsletters to send out to men in prison. No one has finished the whole course yet, but there are about 40 men that have 6 months left of reading. I don’t think I will be adding any more, for I have culled through the stockpiles of old articles and have added anything that I thought was worthwhile for them.

The men continue to tell me how much the letters mean to them. I thought I would share some of their letters that those who support this ministry with prayers and finances would be encouraged.

Dear Joseph,

My name is Victor H. I have been getting your Parables Newsletters for about 3 years now and I really enjoy your writing and I love how your mind is to the world. I have been talking to God about you a lot asking Him to keep you well because I got that note from you saying you had been sick, so I hope everything is going well for you now.

Joseph, I have been in prison 10 years. I’m about to get out 12-13-17 and I don’t have anyone or anything, but I know it’s some work God wants me to do for Him. I have a testimony that I know God wants the kids of this world to hear. So when I got the Lunacy and the Age of Deception I understood that it’s so what’s going on in this world today, and my testimony is about all the lies and deception the world wanted me to go along with. The world would have killed me if I didn’t have God on my side at all times because my eyes have been opened.

Joseph, I’m asking you to pray and talk to God for me and let me know the feedback you get because God is the one who put it in my heart to write you. I love and understand the Bible, but keep teaching me the truth because mankind is walking in a cold world today.

Thank You,

Victor H.

Mr. Herrin,

How are you? I hope and pray all is well. I apologize for it taking so long to get back to you the last time. I was aware of the postage rates and all, but we cannot buy 22 cent postage. I have never had problems with 8 or 10 pages of notebook paper till here recently, so I was reluctant to put an extra stamp on it till I had to do so. I’m on a budget of sorts, and try to stretch my folks money as far as I am able. Sometimes I may be out of stamps or envelopes and have to wait a week or so to write back, but that doesn’t happen often. I consider myself truly blessed to have the support of my family while I’m here in prison. A lot of guys don’t have that and I know I don’t deserve it.

About the MacArthur Study Bible, the only reason I was seeking that particular Bible is because it is the only study Bible I could acquire for free. I just received the workbook titled “Fundamentals of the Faith” from Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA. After reading the history of John Calvin and MacArthur’s alignment with Calvinism I don’t feel that I should complete this workbook or acquire this particular study Bible. As you are aware, I’m in no position to research anything on my own accord. If I were a free man, or had an internet service, I would definitely research any material that I was thinking of considering for study purposes. I think this makes at least the 2nd time you saved me from veering down the wrong path. The first being when you looked up the so called college I had been considering. So I thank you. I do believe I would have eventually realized some error or untruth in the content as I studied it, as I did with the Armstrong guy, but only after wasting a lot of time that could have been put to better use.

I thank you also for the advice concerning my family. You said what I believe I would have told someone else had they asked me the same questions. I know there is no way to “make” someone want to get closer to God. I just worry about them, is all. I did write them and give them your web address. I pray they will allow God to take things from there.

You are also correct about the work I can be doing here in prison. I am very aware of the need of Godly men to spread His message here in prison. I was never intending to wait till I got out of prison to start this work. These past seven months in lockdown have been necessary to prepare me to be a different man when I go back to the regular population. I know that I was put into the tier by God to prepare me for something different. I pray daily to be open to do His will and remind myself to get out of my own way. Do you know what I mean? This is a completely new way to live life for me, and that’s one reason I need to request your guidance and opinions.

God’s already working through me here in the tier. I am still writing and encouraging my last cell-mate. He got a terrible guy moved into his room after I left, and he started having some very troubling ideas float back into his head. I think we have worked past that now. I pray so.

My current cell-mates dad just passed away, and I have been helping him work through that as well. He is a very troubled 25 year old kid who has been in lock-up since he was 13. He has had a hard life growing up, to say the least. Mostly foster homes. He only has about 2 years left until he goes home, and he has hundreds of questions about how to live in the free world. I feel overwhelmed sometimes with his questions. He knows absolutely nothing about how to live outside these walls. He tells me he looks to me as an Uncle. I feel like more of a therapist/father figure that doesn’t have the right answers. I pray that my desire to help, and the advice I have given this young man, is led by the Holy Spirit and is not getting me in the way again. This guy has a lot of potential and I wish him nothing but the best. He will be transferring to another prison in 2 months when we get out of the tier. I hope and pray our time together has encouraged him and given him hope.

I also got a note from another guy back here. I had sent him your book “Dragon Flood” and he really enjoyed it. He says he is going to write you and request your Newsletter. Praise God.

Now I don’t even know how to begin to adequately thank you for ordering me the Nave’s Topical Bible. I’m speechless. Um..., “Thank You” just doesn’t seem to say enough... Wow... I’ll tell you this. I will put it to good use. It will not sit idle or unopened. If I ever have a way to repay you I will. If there is anything I can do for you, it will be done. “Thank you again.”

In the last letter I told you I was going to re-read all of the material you sent me, mainly “Yahweh’s Book.” I have not been able to get into it very far yet. On the topic of actually reading or studying the Bible, how should I go about starting an in depth study? Something like that should not be random should it? Is there an organized, structured way to go about my daily Bible readings? I use a Daily Bread devotional, but it leaves me unfulfilled most of the time. Any thoughts or advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for all you have done. May God bless you.

Kenneth D.

Joseph Herrin,

Good morning! I woke up this morning to your Parables Bookshelf. I was reading about your bus that you turned into an R.V.. You were talking about how life is much simpler now and how you have more time to write newsletters to men in prison. That statement really touched me and I wanted you to know I really appreciate what you are doing and I really respect your dedication to Christ. You are a man after his own heart and the world needs more dedicated to Him and serving His kingdom like you.

I just wanted to write you and let you know I love ya brother, and so does our Father. Thank you, and know that your faithfulness is not overlooked.

God Bless


Ryan W.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Heart of David Bible

Joseph Herrin (01-26-2017)

The Heart of David Bible is a name I arrived at many years ago, for I have been considering translating the Bible for a long time. It could possibly be called The Heart of David Study Bible, depending on how much study material I can set aside for it. There is much to commend David’s name to the work, but the labor I had in mind was his attitude toward aiding his son in building the Temple. To understand his diligent efforts let us look back to the Scriptures. The following Scripture contains David’s instructions to his son Solomon.

I Chronicles 28:10-21
Take heed now; for Yahweh has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it. Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch of the temple, and of the houses of it, and of the treasuries of it, and of the upper rooms of it, and of the inner chambers of it, and of the place of the mercy seat; and the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit, for the courts of the house of Yahweh, and for all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the house of God, and for the treasuries of the dedicated things; also for the divisions of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of Yahweh, and for all the vessels of service in the house of Yahweh; of gold by weight for the vessels of gold, for all vessels of every kind of service; of silver for all the vessels of silver by weight, for all vessels of every kind of service; by weight also for the lampstands of gold, and for the lamps of it, of gold, by weight for every lampstand and for the lamps of it; and for the lampstands of silver, silver by weight for every lampstand and for the lamps of it, according to the use of every lampstand; and the gold by weight for the tables of show bread, for every table; and silver for the tables of silver; and the forks, and the basins, and the cups, of pure gold; and for the golden bowls by weight for every bowl; and for the silver bowls by weight for every bowl; and for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot, even the cherubim, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of Yahweh. All this, said David, have I been made to understand in writing from the hand of Yahweh, even all the works of this pattern. David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: don't be afraid, nor be dismayed; for Yahweh God, even my God, is with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of Yahweh is finished. Behold, there are the divisions of the priests and the Levites, for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with you in all manner of work every willing man who has skill, for any manner of service: also the captains and all the people will be entirely at your command.

These words of David for the building of the Temple of Yahweh were given to him by the Lord. David added to the words of God all of his strength, and all of his might. He continued by saying the following.

I Chronicles 29:1-5
David the king said to all the assembly, Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great; for the palace is not for man, but for Yahweh God. Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold, and the silver for the things of silver, and the brass for the things of brass, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, stones for inlaid work, and of various colors, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance. In addition, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, seeing that I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, I give it to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, with which to overlay the walls of the houses; of gold for the things of gold, and of silver for the things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers... Therefore David blessed Yahweh before all the assembly; and David said, You are blessed, Yahweh, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, Yahweh, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, Yahweh, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of you, and you rule over all; and in your hand is power and might; and it is in your hand to make great, and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank you, and praise your glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come of you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you, and foreigners, as all our fathers were: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no abiding. Yahweh our God, all this store that we have prepared to build you a house for your holy name comes of your hand, and is all your own. I know also, my God, that you try the heart, and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy your people, that are present here, offer willingly to you. Yahweh, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of your people, and prepare their heart to you; and give to Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for which I have made provision.

These words of David showed where his heart had been in the latter years of his life. With all of his heart he had designed and made provision for the great Temple his son would build. It was to be a great task, chosen for a man who did not know bloodshed.

I Chronicles 22:5-16
David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be built for Yahweh must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death. Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build a house for Yahweh, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon his son, As for me, it was in my heart to build a house to the name of Yahweh my God. But the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, You have shed blood abundantly, and have made great wars: you shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days: he shall build a house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever. Now, my son, Yahweh be with you; and prosper you, and build the house of Yahweh your God, as he has spoken concerning you. May Yahweh give you discretion and understanding, and put you in charge of Israel; that so you may keep the law of Yahweh your God. Then shall you prosper, if you observe to do the statutes and the ordinances which Yahweh gave Moses concerning Israel. Be strong, and of good courage. Don't be afraid, neither be dismayed.  Now, behold, in my affliction I have prepared for the house of Yahweh one hundred thousand talents of gold, and one thousand thousand talents of silver, and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and you may add to them. There are also workmen with you in abundance, cutters and workers of stone and timber, and all kinds of men who are skillful in every kind of work: of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number. Arise and be doing, and Yahweh be with you.

Many people read the account of Solomon building the Temple and they do not think of how he was aided by his father. They may remember only the following words which Yahweh spoke to David.

II Samuel 7:12-17
When your days are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who shall proceed out of your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men; but my loving kindness shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before you. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before you: your throne shall be established forever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak to David.

It may seem that Solomon was only a lad when he became king. In truth, he was 30 years old, and it was in the 4th year of his kingdom that he began to build the Temple. He labored on the Temple for 7 years. Many people think that Solomon was responsible for everything that was done in the Temple, but Yahweh gave the design to David. David also provided for the Temple with much gold and silver. Solomon did add to this gold and silver, as did the rest of the people, but David gave himself to the work.

When I think of this work by David I am mindful of the attitude that is befitting a man who gives himself to create a translation of the Scriptures. Many men have brought to the work of translating too much of that which carries forth the effort of superstition. They have erased the name of Yahweh from the book, and made many translations that are filled with error. David would not do so. He would forego all that detracts from the glory of Yah.

It is my hope that the Bible I translate would be free of error. As much as I have considered the error of the Bible, and have been made aware of the stumbling of other men, I am determined to do better. Of course, I have not been shown every error in the Scripture, but I do trust Yahweh that He will help me. My desire is to create a Heart of David Bible that will aid all those who yearn for truth.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Monday, January 23, 2017

But the Earth had Become Formless and Empty

Joseph Herrin (01-23-2017)

I first heard the doctrine of the Earth being far older than 6,000 years from Watchman Nee. In his little book titled The Mystery of Creation he opened my eyes to see things that were not understood by other members of the church and denomination I was raised in. I was only in my teens when I first encountered this book, and I had been zealous for the things of God for quite a while. I remember reading this book. I had a number of books by Watchman Nee and would have been considered a disciple of the man in my youth. In truth, though, I challenged everything that I read and Watchman Nee’s writings were no different.

There is a good bit that I disagree with Watchman Nee on, but I don’t think his errors were intentional. The identity of the spirit of man is one such matter, but I have dealt with that in another writing. When it comes to creation I find that I agree very much with Watchman Nee.

Watchman Nee got many of his ideas from an older book titled Earth’s Earliest Ages by G.H. Pember. Pember wrote down many of the ideas of much older ones who had held the doctrine as their own. About 15 years ago I was able to get a hold of a copy of Pembers book. I read the whole thing and found it very good reading on the subject.

One of the best writings on the subject of understanding how the opening lines of Genesis should be translated and understood is the book by Arthur Custance titled Without Form and Void. Custance makes many valid arguments from science and theology which I have found fascinating. I have written on this topic in the book Foundations. One need only look at the link for the chapter called The Genesis Gap. What is it that is so important about the first couple of verses of Scripture? We can see two different views in the following.

Genesis 1:1-2
In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Genesis 1:1-2
In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth, but the earth had become formless and empty and darkness was upon the face of the deep and the Spirit of Elohim was moving over the surface of the waters.
(My Translation)

There are people who prefer it the first way. Don’t get stuck on a translation of man. The important thing is whether you are getting the true sense of what Yahweh has communicated to you. We can tell from the second version that those who hold to the first are not getting the same thing. We can also tell that their translation is not correct for the rest of Scriptures, or for what is known about the geologic condition of the Earth. When did the dinosaurs inhabit this world? You see, everything that happened in verse 1 and 2 had to be a part of day one if the KJV translation is correct. Following are the next verses.

Genesis 1:3-5
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

A whole lot would of had to take place during the first day. The angels would have had to be created and established in their ranks.

Job 38:1, 4-7
Then Yahweh answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,... “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone,  when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

All of this singing and shouting on day one of creation seems rather quick. The passage in Genesis is not giving the history of the Earth for the angels. It is for man. Angels aren’t even mentioned until everything has been created, and then we see Satan in his fallen state. No, the second Scripture is translated correctly and the KJV is shown to be wrong.

Remember, translations are a work of man and are frequently wrong. It is estimated that a high percentage of the most ancient texts are prone to the guesses of translators. There are no dictionaries in ancient Hebrew or ancient Greek that we can look up words in. Therefore those who have the best understanding of what Yahweh is saying are the most apt to render a word correctly. Unfortunately, this was rarely the case in translation.

I don’t claim to know all of the things Yahweh was talking about, even if they are translated correctly. Rather my aim is to bring my understanding of the Scriptures to the task of translation. There are many things that spiritually learned men can bring to the word once they get enough years on them. My understanding of Scriptures today is vastly different than it was 40 years ago. As an example, consider the following Scripture.

Hebrews 10:15-16

Now the NASU is considered to be an “essentially literal” translation of the Bible. Is it fair, therefore, to conclude that it is “essentially literal” to translate the name of Yahweh as if it was no name at all. Here is the verse that is cited.

Jeremiah 31:33
“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares Yahweh, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it.”

Even if the author of Hebrews did not quote Jeremiah correctly, we know that Yahweh was the name used in the Old Testament. A Bible cannot be called “essentially literal” if it is making wholesale changes to the name of Yahweh. There are a myriad of such changes that have been done to all of our most popular Bibles today.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Monday, January 16, 2017

BibleWorks 10

Joseph Herrin (01-16-2017)

(Click on any image to view larger)

I got my Bible software last week. Due to my printing prisoner newsletters I was not able to spend any time this weekend with it. I did have a brother named George come over and help me with newsletters on Sunday. He greatly sped up the folding, labeling and affixing of postage to the newsletters. An extra pair of hands is a tremendous help when it comes to the mailing of the Parables Bookshelf Newsletters. Saturday I printed out the newsletters. It takes about 8-9 hours of steady printing to get all of them printed and stapled.

I am now checking out my new software program and seeing how it works. It seems like an impressive program, and it should be for the price. The base program cost $389. I had looked first on Ebay, but the only program ($250) ended up being unregisterable. This was a problem because you need the registration to be able to add other programs to BibleWorks 10. I suspect I will need some more programs with it, but I am checking it out first.

I have used PC Study Bible for my Scripture studies for the past 20 years. I have 16 translations in it, including a few not available in BibleWorks, including the World English Bible. The World English Bible is a translation based on the American Standard Version of 1901 that substitutes Yahweh for Lord and God in the Old Testament. It doesn’t, however, have any of the other added changes that the original translators missed. I have been using this translation recently, and occasionally make changes to it. When I begin translating I plan on having two monitors on my desk, one showing BibleWorks and the other PC Study Bible.

BibleWorks has many tools that are head and shoulders above PC Study Bible. They are both good programs, but BibleWorks has been designed more for the challenges of Bible translation. One need only look at the numerous tabs on the right hand side, or the number of additional tools at the top of the page to see this. It really does take some getting used to, and I anticipate going through the YouTube “How To” videos which are very extensive.

BibleWorks 10

I have found that the BibleWorks program has Strong’s numbers for NAS and NKJV Bibles. I am sure there are more also, but Strong’s isn’t the only Hebrew and Greek word study tool, nor is it the best one. Following are a few more Hebrew tools with the program.

As you can see, it will require a good bit of study to become proficient with this program. Yet what kind of editor does the program have to include one’s own translation. This is not hard to figure out.

You can do text editing and make it match any Bible translation that is in the program. In other words, you can create a translation that synchs up with the other Scriptures.

I wanted to share my progress. I know some people are very interested in seeing the process for creating a new Bible translation. Of course, much of my work has been done in the former 55 years of life. The task is to make those lessons plain so that any person reading the Scriptures can find them. I wish to do it in such a way that anyone reading the Scriptures can see what they really say. 

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Canonization Of Scripture

Joseph Herrin (01-12-2017)

We cannot have an accurate version of the Bible today unless we can have some assurance that the book written by forty different men is truly the word of Yahweh to His people. There are many men making claims about the Bible today that are not historically sound. This is especially true of the New Testament. Men make many claims about different books being singled out as irrelevant or lacking some key trait like being written by an apostle. They suggest that men like Emperor Constantine chose which books to include in the Bible. The truth is much easier to tell.

The Old Testament books were the sacred charge of the Israelites. They were given the task of keeping them and determining which ones were Scripture. These books were written between 1400 B.C. and 450 B.C.. There has never been a book recorded that took a thousand years to write. The reason for it is that Yahweh is an active God. He interacts with His people, and others that are known. His words and actions need to continually be added to in order for His people to learn.

In adding to these words the people needed a scribe to keep the words updated due to their language changing over such a span of time. This wasn’t one man. There were large numbers of scribes in existence. One need only look at the Gospels to tell that there were many scribes. In the pages of the text there are mentioned many scribes. We know this went back as far as King Solomon who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 12:12
But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.

The New Testament books were all written in a brief period of about fifty years. The latter half of the first century A.D. was the time of its emergence. Many people claim that books were erased by folks that sat on committees, such as in the case of The Da Vinci Code. It should be noted that this book is fiction. We should keep its claims in the realm of make believe. Let us look at the way things actually happened.

As the books of the New Testament were written the members of the churches began to seek the anointed writings out. Keep in mind that Yahshua said, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth.” The Spirit of Yahshua made known to the churches which books were from Him. Some of this instruction even made it into the Bible. In I Timothy we have the following.

I Timothy 5:18
For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING," and "The laborer is worthy of his wages.”

Where is this found in Scripture?

Luke 10:7
“Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house.”

It also says.

II Peter 3:15-16
Just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

In these verses we find that the apostles considered Luke and the epistles of Paul to be Scripture. As we look further we can find other testimonies among the early church leaders. Polycarp wrote one letter that exists to this day. It is his letter to the church at Philippi. In that letter he states that the letter by Paul to the Ephesians is Scripture. This letter by Polycarp was written in 125 A.D.. Polycarp was considered a disciple of John, and likely was.

There were a few differences in the lists of books that appeared in the 4th century. Another church father was Eusebius. In between the years 320-330 A.D. Eusebius wrote that the churches regarded 22 of the 27 books to belong to the New Testament. The ones that were considered doubtful were James, Jude, 2 Peter, II and III John. These books are still questionable to some people today.

In 350 A.D. Cyril of Jerusalem considered 27 books to belong to the New Testament. He differed in one book. Cyril included The Gospel of Thomas and he rejected Revelation. Of all the church fathers, Cyril was the only one known to have accepted The Gospel of Thomas.

Athanasius in 367 A.D. was the first to come along and say that the church recognized the same 27 books that are included in the New Testament today. Gregory of Nazianus in 390 A.D. recognized the same 27 books. The African Canons of 393 to 419 A.D. recognized the same. Jerome, also called Eusebius Hieronymus, in 394 A.D. recognized the 27 also. Augustine in 395 to 400 A.D. further recognized the 27 books of the New Testament.

Some books that were not included in the canon of Scripture, though they were at times passed along by members of the church were The Shepherd of Hermes, The Letter of Polycarp to the Church at Philippi, The Didache, I Clement, The Gospel of Thomas, Ignatius Letters, and the Letter of Barnabas. Of The Letter of Barnabas, be aware that there are certain pseudepigrapha that have come forth in later centuries that bear his name. The Gospel of Barnabas is one of them. These should be excluded by the serious reader.

Why were not any of these other writings included with Scripture? The Holy Spirit was certainly present to keep these books from being granted Scripture authority. There are certain books that are good, but don’t deserve to be numbered among the Scriptures. I believe that a saint aided by the Spirit can tell which books are Scripture.

We have seen then that it took 1500 years to write the whole Bible. From the books of Moses to the book of Revelation, the entirety of the book of the Bible took 1-1/2 millennia. It is more properly described as the library of Yahweh than a single book. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament for a total of 66 books.

One thing that would be helpful in creating an accurate translation of the Old Testament would be an old copy in Hebrew. Such things are not available today. What happened to them? Neil R. Lightfoot gives the following answer.

The Jewish scribes looked upon their copies of the Scriptures with an almost superstitious respect. This led them to give ceremonial burial to any of the texts that were damaged or defective. Their motive was to prevent the improper use of the material on which the sacred name of God had been inscribed. Before burial, however, faulty manuscripts were hidden away in a “ginizah” (from Aramaic genaz, to hide), a kind of storeroom for manuscripts that were unusable. But however noble the intentions, the replacement of older copies with newer ones, and the burial of those discarded, have deprived us of early Hebrew manuscripts.
[Source: How We Got the Bible, Neil R. Lightfoot]

As far as we know, the Masoretic texts from the tenth century A.D. are some of the oldest and most accurate Hebrew texts. The Masoretes had exceptional error checking and would not let anything inferior serve as a Hebrew text. Unfortunately, they only go back about one thousand years. The first 2,400 years of Hebrew text are missing.

One of the most common foreign language copies of the Old Testament known of today is called the Septuagint. It was written in the 2nd century B.C.. Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament was written a little more than 400 years B.C.. The Septuagint does a good job of translating the Hebrew into Koine Greek, but it does contain some added portions that are not in Hebrew, as well as missing others. Where the Greek text and the Masorete text are compared nearly 1,200 years apart, they are virtually the same. We must assume, therefore, that the Spirit has kept a fairly accurate account of the Old Testament Scriptures and that translation of words and phrases is lacking. As we have mentioned before, the inclusion of divine names, and other matters, are clearly absent.

So this is the state that things are in today. We have fairly accurate Bible translations, but they are in ancient languages that require translation. That it was not men who were without bias in translating the Scriptures into English is fairly certain, in most cases.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Beginning

Joseph Herrin (01-08-2017)

What a wealth we have in the words of the Bible. If we could pick up a Bible and read the words of the Father in print we would have something to talk about. Unfortunately looking around at churches in this hour it is difficult to find one, even in a large city, that does not play the games that churches are accustomed to playing, or that has very sincere ministers that want to teach truth but they have embraced error. We find things this way because we do not have an accurate Bible among all of the ones in English. What do I mean by this?

There are only a few Bibles that translate the name of Yahweh into text. There are fewer still that do the same with the name Yahshua. One of my favorite Bibles to use is the New American Standard. Even so, whenever I quote it I translate the names of Yahweh and Yahshua. Following is the explanation found in the front of my Bible that excuses them from translating such an important word as the name of God. I will quote some from the article The Usage of Divine Names.

The Proper Names of God in the Old Testament: In the scriptures, the name of God is most significant and understandably so. It is inconceivable to think of spiritual matters without a proper designation for the Supreme Deity. Thus the most common name for the deity is God, a translation of the original Elohim. One of the titles for God is Lord, a translation of Adonai. There is yet another name which is particularly assigned to God as His special or proper name, that is, the four letters YHWH (Exodus 3:14 and Isaiah 42:8). This name has not been pronounced by the Jews because of reverence for the great sacredness of the divine name. Therefore, it has been consistently translated Lord. The only exception to this translation of YHWH is when it occurs in immediate proximity to the word Lord, that is, Adonai. In that case it is regularly translated God in order to avoid confusion.
It is known for many years YHWH has been transliterated as Yahweh, however no complete certainty attaches to this pronunciation.
(NASB  © 1985 Holman Bible Publishers)

As I look at this explanation I find some very distinct problems. The publishers admit that “the name of God is most significant and understandably so,” yet they go on to state that they have removed His “special or proper name” in every occurrence throughout the Old Testament, without exception. Furthermore, they state that “the most common name for deity is God,” yet God is not a name at all, it is a title denoting a divine being and it can be equally ascribed to false divinity as well as that which is true. They have even stated that God is a translation of Elohim.

Elohim is never given as the proper name of Yahweh in scripture. Elohim is a title that refers to a divine being and in the following passage we can see that it was not exclusively used as a reference to Yahweh

Exodus 12:12
For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the elohim of Egypt I will execute judgments - I am Yahweh.

The translators are clearly wrong in stating that “the most common name for deity is God.” They would have been closer to the truth in saying “the most common title for deity is God.” Anytime the authors of scripture wanted to declare who their Elohim was they gave His “special or proper name” Yahweh. They did this with amazing consistency so that Yahweh occurs 6,828 times in the Old Testament with Yah occurring an additional 49 times. Yet for all this, the translators have chosen to totally remove the names Yahweh and Yah from scripture and they have based it solely upon the following argument: “This name has not been pronounced by the Jews because of reverence for the great sacredness of the divine name. Therefore, it has been consistently translated Lord.”

Did the translators give some divine commandment as their authority for removing Yahweh’s name from scripture? No! They based this very profound decision totally upon the tradition of the apostate Jews.

Most of the Sacred Name Bibles take liberties with the other words in them, seeking to justify the views of the ones that developed the Bible. For example, they will not use the word “Lord” to describe Yahshua. Lord is an appropriate title that many use for both the Father and the Son. When one discerns the etymology, the word origin, of the title Lord, it seems especially appropriate as a designation of the Son of Yahweh. The word Lord is synonymous with the word Master and it is derived from the Old English word hlááford which literally means bread “(loaf)-ward.” It was a reference to the head of a household. The servants in the house were entitled to be fed by the master, or loaf-ward of the house.

Yahshua is certainly the one who is the master of His household, and He gives bread to those who are servants in His household. Examine the following scripture.

John 6:32-35
Yahshua therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”
They said therefore to Him, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.”
Yahshua said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”

Let me rewrite verse 34 and it becomes very illuminating. “They said therefore to Him, ‘Loaf-ward, evermore give us this bread.’” Yahshua in turn, as the Loaf-ward (Lord), gave them His flesh as their bread.

Mark 14:22
And while they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take it, this is My body.”

There are certain groups today that assert that the title Lord should never be linked to the Father or the Son, for the word Baal found often in the Old Testament is commonly interpreted as lord. Oftentimes these groups will replace the word Lord with the word Master wherever it is indicated in scripture, but in truth Baal could just as easily be translated into English as Master, and it sometimes is, so there is very little point in this. If we look at the commandments to use the name Yahweh we will see that the name must be used.

Deuteronomy 28:58-59
If you will not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, Yahweh your Elohim, then Yahweh will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses.

Psalms 29:2
Ascribe to Yahweh the glory due to his name. Worship Yahweh in holy array.

Psalms 72:17-19
His name endures forever. His name continues as long as the sun. Men shall be blessed by him. All nations will call him blessed. Praise be to Yahweh Elohim, the Elohim of Israel, Who alone does marvelous deeds. Blessed be his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and amen.

Psalms 113:3
From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, Yahweh's name is to be praised.

Hosea 12:5
Even Yahweh, the Elohim of hosts; Yahweh is his name of renown!

These are a mere tidbit of examples from scripture that show the merit of using His name. Most minsters are calling Him “Lord God,” “Lord,” or “God.” These are alright on a limited basis, but lets not keep the names Yahweh and Yahshua hidden. Yet the other translators give similar entries in their introductory material to their Bibles.

For two reasons the Committee has returned to the more familiar usage [of substituting YHWH with either the LORD or GOD] of the King James Version: (1) the word 'Jehovah' does not accurately represent any form of the name ever used in Hebrew; and (2) the use of any proper name for the one and only God ... was discontinued in Judaism before the Christian era and is entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church.
(Revised Standard Version)

The use of “any proper name” “is entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church.” The name Jehovah was a corruption and has been replaced with the more sure Yahweh. Let us use it.

In regard to the divine name YHWH, commonly referred to as the tetragrammaton, the translators adopted the device used in most English versions of rendering that name as “LORD” in capital letters to distinguish it from Adonai, another Hebrew word rendered “Lord,” for which small letters are used.
(NIV Study Bible © 1985 by The Zondervan Corporation)

We have rendered the tetragrammaton (YHWH) consistently as “the LORD,” utilizing a form with small capital letters that is common among English translations.
(New Living Translation © 1996 by Tyndale House Charitable Trust)

Every Bible translation that has chosen to render Yahweh and Yahshua as God and Lord, or some combination of them, have chosen to play games with the names. This can be dealt with by getting a Sacred Name Bible, but one has to put up with other errors that have been added to the text. Why change the text to make it appear as if it is saying hell is eternal? (See the book God’s Plan of the Ages.) One can address this by getting a Young’s Literal Bible, but why use such a literal translation for reading, and why should I opt to return to the other errors he has?

Then there are the errors introduced through common habit. Calling SUNday the Sabbath is an egregious mistake. Saying that the apostles and disciples met on Sunday is equally error. Though the Bible testifies that Yahshua created every day of the week, He testified that He was Lord of the Sabbath. The various Scriptures that speak of the church meeting on the first of the week should say “On one of the Sabbaths.” It was the normal meeting day for the Jews. For several years the church consisted of all Jews. I don’t want people to think I am a Sabbath keeper. I am not. This is the proper translation of the Scriptures though.

There is also the division of the Bible into chapters and verses. Many think this occurred from antiquity. The truth is that the Bible was not divided into the chapters and verses that we use today until around 1550. What mistakes and oversights are made today by men and women who don’t read far enough in the text to solve them? Many problems in interpretation would be solved if people read the Scriptures in the way they were intended to be read.

It does not seem that most of the problems are unknown. The translators were largely aware of them, but chose to include them. Bibles have to sell. If they don’t match what the preachers are used to then they will not be purchased. I have been reading the Bible with all of these problems in my way for all of my life. I think that perhaps the time has come for me to take on a translation into English. I don’t have any constraints upon me. Whether they sell one hundred or a million it will be all the same to me.

I am going to start translating. If it is not Yahweh’s will for me He will make it known. I have ordered some new Bible software with the most ancient manuscripts included. It will be good to read through the Bible word for word. After all these years Yahweh has opened my eyes to see some of the errors in the Bible. I will be able to correct the passages that He has shown me. It is not necessary that people should have to read a confused, error prone Bible. I will write out the findings of the word of Yahweh. It should be interesting, and to those who wish to come along you can expect some fascinating discoveries along the way.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Joseph Herrin (01-04-2017)

Time seems to fly by. In all the rush we tend to ask many questions. Will this be the year I make a million dollars? Will this be the year that the United States goes bankrupt? Will there be war or peace this year? What difference will Donald Trump bring to the White House? Will Christ return this year?

These may all seem good questions to ask, but what are the more immediate questions Yahweh would have me to ask? Perhaps they are as follows. What does the Lord desire that I do different this year? What is it that I should be doing each day? What is it that I should do today?

These are questions that are easier to answer. If I do them I will be blessed by God. That doesn’t mean that life will get better or that my situation will improve. Yahweh isn’t concerned about that sort of issue. He is looking at a longer future for each of our lives. He sees beyond the grave. This present life is the time of our probation. It is time to show what we will do. Have we counted the cost and accepted it.

Luke 14:28-35
“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

The cost Christ asks of us is absolute. Will we follow Him no matter the cost? Will we follow Him if we have to give up our job, our convenient life, our home, our possessions? The passage above was about possessions. What did it say we could keep?

Just prior to this Yahshua said we should ask a question about each member of our family. We should ask it about our mother and father. We should ask it about our sons and daughters. We should ask it about our brothers and sisters. We should even ask it about our spouse. This is the depth of analysis Christ calls us all to. It is no wonder that so many have never asked the question.

Luke 14:25-27
He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

Perhaps the question we should be asking is whether we have ever been honest with Yahshua. At this time when so many are asking questions of the new year have we ever been honest with Christ? Have we counted the cost before saying that we would follow Him? The question is seldom asked among Christians today. It is assumed that we are merely signing up for a joyous ride. We are promised all the things we wish to possess, all of our possessions, they must simply be moral. That is not what Christ told His disciples.

When Christ got my ear in 1999, many years after I had been a Christian and had been indoctrinated into United States Christianity, He let me know that He was asking for everything. Perhaps some will not have to pay the same offering as I had to, but all must prove willing to give everything. Over the next five years I had to pay the highest cost that a man could pay. I had to count the cost of my wife and my son. They chose to not walk with their hearts trusting in the Lord, whether it be life or death. What kind of a testimony comes from someone who won’t trust their life to God? Aside from that I had to surrender all my possessions, and I do mean all. I had to be willing to be counted as a worthless son to my parents and my brother and sisters. I can look at their lives and say that life has been very good to them, but what will the next one be?

The Lord has given me some things back in recent years. I was given a car and a $2,200 dollar printer. I was given a larger place to stay in, even a bus that the Lord gave to me and allowed me to fix up, but these things are for ministry. I can carry out the prison newsletter ministry and the online ministry with these things. Without them the Lord would need to show me what else He wants for me to do.

Some of you want a spiritual ministry that the Lord will say “Well done” when He gives His account of it, but you have not counted the cost of following Him. You cannot get the cart in front of the horse. All things have to be done according to Yahweh’s order. He will test every son and daughter. He will cause you to count the cost of laying everything down at His feet. If you have not done so, are you not asking Him the wrong question?

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws    

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063