- Hebrew Roots/Messianic Movement
Frequently Asked Questions
About Hebrew Roots
Hebrew Roots FAQ's
Myth. None of the
apostles (or Jesus) spoke any Greek, because it was a pagan language.
No Jew would ever speak Greek.
The understanding of
the diffusion of the Greek language and culture throughout Judea
and Galilee, as early as the first century B.C is common
thought. The Apostles, at least most of them, read and spoke
Greek as well as Aramaic, from their childhood. Palestine at the
time of Jesus was virtually bilingual, so that Christ must also
have spoken Aramaic and Greek; and He was likely fluent in
We know that
Greek was the language of commerce and a common language,
Hebrew was the language of the Temple, Latin was for Roman law.
Aramaic was also a common language among the Jews.
Historically we are
told that after the conquest of Alexander the Great, the
Greek language was spoken throughout the ancient world
from about 330 B.C. to 330 C.E. Koine, or common Greek,
was spoken in Rome, Athens, Alexandria and Jerusalem.
When the Romans conquered the Greeks in 146 B.C. they
assumed much of the Greek customs and language
themselves. The apostle Paul, writing his letter to the
saints in Rome, which was the capital city of the
empire, wrote it in Greek, not Latin.
The Jews of the first
century spoke Aramaic as a common language among
themselves. Aramaic is in some ways similar to Hebrew.
In commerce they used the common Koine Greek that many
of the peoples in the area used for hundreds of years.
They probably spoke at least two or three languages as
many people in Israel still do today. The Roman rulers and their military personnel, who occupied Jerusalem at that time, spoke predominantly Greek and Latin.
If we look at historical documents we will find that many of the writers of the day, both Jewish and Roman, and also after the time of Christ, wrote in the Greek language. For example.
[C.E.37- C.E.100]: Josephus was a Jewish chronicler
whose historical writings are viewed as some of the most
valuable historical resources for information on Jewish
history and early Christianity. Josephus resided in Rome
as a guest of the government, where he wrote historical
works in the Greek language, although it is believed
that his native language was Aramaic.
Cassius Dio was a
historian from Bithynia, and his writings were in Greek,
although few of them have survived. He was born around
C.E. 163, and was a Roman consul in C.E.205 and also in
The Dead Sea Scrolls are one of the most valuable discoveries of our day. They have given us a look into the writings of the time before, during, and after Christ. There are literally thousands of scroll fragments. The number of different writings represented is quite large, and they are written in three different languages: Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek. There were none written in Latin.
It is also important to note, that the Gospels in the
New Testament portion of the Latin Bible are translated
from the Koine Greek manuscripts.
and today speak Greek. Or whatever language is used where they
reside. We also know that the Jews, as shown in Acts 2, spoke
many languages and dialects.
Acts 2:5 And
there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of
every nation under heaven.
6 Now when
this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and
were confounded, because that
every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to
another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
how hear we every man in our own
tongue, wherein we were born?
and the dwellers in
(various dialects, Syrian, Persian, Akkadian, Aramaic)
Pontus, and Asia,
(Arabic, Greek, Aramaic),and
in the parts of Libya about
strangers of Rome,
Jews and proselytes,
we do hear them speak in our tongues
the wonderful works of God.
Myth. Hebrew will be the Holy
language of heaven or Hebrew is the Holy language heaven or the divine language of Heaven. People can learn it now,
from special Hebrew Roots scholars.
A. Is Hebrew a
Hebrew a special Holy language (leshon ha Kodesh) that is
special and different than all of the other languages? Some
Hebrew roots teachers have stated that Hebrew is a language so
Holy, that it is impossible to even curse in it. Some have also
stated that because of its Holiness, it was the language used to
create the world, and most assuredly will be the language of
Heaven. Let’s first take a look at where all the languages
originated from, so that we can better understand the origins of
the Hebrew language:
Genesis 11:6 And The
LORD said, Behold, the people is
one, and the lip one to all of them,
and this they are
beginning to do, and now all which they have purposed to do will
not be restrained from them.
Come, let Us go down and
confuse their language so that they
cannot understand one another's speech.
8 And the
LORD scattered them from there, over the face of all the earth.
And they stopped building the city.
9 On account
of this its name is called Babel, because
the LORD confused the language of all
the earth there. And the LORD scattered them abroad from
there on the face of all the earth.
is a language that evolved historically from proto Canaanite
(1400 bce) into Phoenician (1050 bce) then into paleo,
middle, and late Hebrew, which finally ended up becoming the
Biblical Hebrew (with vowels) that we find today in the
Masoretic text. From there modern words were added, and then
once again it evolved into the modern Hebrew that is spoken in
Israel today. Let’s take a quick look at Biblical Hebrew so that
we can examine the “Holy” status of it during Biblical
(written approx 700 bce)
5 Then I said, Woe is me! For I am cut off; for I am a man of
unclean lips (H8193), and I live amongst a people of
unclean lips (H8193); for my eyes have seen the King, the
LORD of Hosts.
6 Then one of the
seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his
hand, snatched with tongs from the altar.
7 And he touched
it on my mouth, and said, See, this has
touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away,
and your sin is covered.
lip, language, speech, shore,
bank, brink, brim, side, edge, border, binding
lip (as body part)
edge, shore, bank (of cup, sea, river, etc)
Part of Speech:
Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number:
probably from H5595 or H8192 through the idea of termination
is another example of how the same word lip or language is used:
9 For then will I restore to the people
a pure (H1305)
that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him
with one accord.
to purify, select, polish,
choose, purge, cleanse or make bright, test or prove
to purge, purge
to choose, select
to cleanse, make
to test, prove
to purify oneself
to polish arrows
to purify oneself
to show oneself pure, just, kind
Part of Speech:
Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number:
a primitive root
we know that Isaiah spoke and wrote in Hebrew, and he himself
said that he is a man of unclean lips
(speech), and since God stated in
which is a book that was written after Isaiah that he will restore a
pure language, then
it is obvious by the text that Biblical Hebrew is not a pure
language currently, nor was it at the time of Isaiah (700 bce).
3:8 we read this:
wait for Me, declares the LORD, for the day I rise up to the
prey. For My judgment is to gather the nations, for Me to
gather the kingdoms, to pour My fury out on them, all My hot
anger. For all the earth shall be burned
up with the fire of My jealousy.
above passage, it should be clear that the pure language
has not been established yet.
theory, is that the restored pure language could possibly
be the language that God used to converse with Adam and Eve in
the garden. This language was before the fall, and hence they
had no knowledge of good and evil, therefore corruption could
have not been spoken by them.
need to examine the fact that there are parts of various books
in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that are written
partially in Aramaic (Daniel, Ezra, Jeremiah, Genesis).
Aramaic is a language that came out of Canaan, where the people
worshipped idols, and was also spoken in pagan Babylon during
the captivity. If Hebrew is a Holy language, then why would God
mix the language used by a pagan cultures with Hebrew in the
Scriptures? In the book of Daniel, in the portion where the
Aramaic begins, it opens like this:
Daniel 2:4 And the
Chaldeans spoke to the king in
Aramaic: O king, live forever! Tell your servants the
dream, and we will reveal the meaning.
passages directly following the opening, we find Aramaic words
such as Melecha (H4430), Shamaya (H8065), Elahh
(H426), and others throughout the text. The Aramaic
continues until to the end of chapter seven, spanning almost
five chapters. It should be noted that Abraham came from Ur of
Chaldees, and then in obedience he left his pagan culture, and
crossed over into the land that God had promised him which
Nehemiah 9:7 You are the LORD the God who chose
Abram, and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and
appointed his name, Abraham.
It should also be noted that there are loan words
which are transliterated from Greek to Aramaic in the book of
The word zither
the word for harp
(from G5567-5568) and pipes
symphonia (G4858), are all of Greek origin.
There are fifteen Persian (Iranian) loan
words recorded in the book of Daniel. There are also Persian
words such as the name of Esther (H635) found in the book
named in honor of her, purim which is derived from the Persian
word pur or
which would be goral (H1486) in Hebrew,
as well as the word paradise (H6508) which can be found
in three books. (Neh
2:8, Eccl 2:5, Song 4:13)
should examine the use of languages in first century Judea,
listed below (parenthesis) are a few of the possible
languages spoken in those regions at that time. Please keep in
mind that the list is by no means comprehensive:
1 And when the day of Pentecost
was fully come, they were all with one
accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound
from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all
the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them
cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of
4 And they
were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with
other tongues, [languages] as
the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling at
Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under
6 Now when this was noised abroad,
the multitude came together, and were confounded,
because that every man heard them
speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and
marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these
which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how
hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
and the dwellers in Mesopotamia,
dialects, Syrian, Persian, Akkadian, Aramaic)
and in Judaea,
Pontus, and Asia,
(Arabic, Greek, Aramaic),and
in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, (Latin,Greek,
and strangers of Rome, (Latin,Greek)
Jews and proselytes,
Greek, Aramaic) we do hear them
speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
Would God through His Holy Spirit allow the
apostles to speak, in what some Hebrew roots teachers have
claimed to be pagan languages, if they truly were according to
God’s standards? If this was the case,
have been easier for the apostles to speak only in Hebrew, and
then for God to miraculously have all of the different people
who spoke the many other languages, be able to understand what
the apostles said in the “Holy language” of Hebrew?
Instead the apostles spoke, and praised God in what some have
taught are unclean pagan languages that they claim no self
respecting Jew would ever speak. Some Hebrew roots teachers have
circulated the “myth” that the Jews of that day believed
it was better to eat swine flesh, than to speak Greek. I guess
the apostles never got the memo on that, nor did the Holy
Spirit, or maybe there was a shortage of swine flesh at that
time, because as they were being led by the Holy Spirit, they
spoke Greek as one of the many languages. This is detailed in
the passage recorded in Acts. Keeping in mind, that since Greek
was established as the common language, and the language
of trade since the rule of Alexander almost four centuries
before the time of Christ in 332 bce, that many others
throughout the Roman empire also spoke and understood Greek as
Jesus spoke Aramaic while on the Cross, and in some
other passages found in the New Testament. If Hebrew was the
Holy language, why would Jesus choose to speak Aramaic in
these passages, and especially in Mark 15:34? It is written in
Scripture, that when He addressed the Father from the Cross, He
cried out “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” which is clearly
in the Aramaic language. Jesus most likely conversed in Greek or
possibly Latin with Pilate at His trial. He also spoke in a
Hebraic language (some scholars say Aramaic) to Paul on
the road to Damascus in the book of Acts. Paul, who wrote
thirteen or fourteen books of the New Testament spoke Aramaic,
Hebrew, Greek, probably Latin (Roman citizen), and
because he lived in Tarsus at an early age, he possibly would
have spoken a local dialect which would probably be related to
modern Turkish. Some scholars have theorized that Paul may even
have spoken a few other languages or dialects that he would have
learned while traveling abroad establishing the assemblies.
an argument sometimes presented that Hebrew is the language of
God, because of an errant belief that He wrote the Ten
Commandments in Hebrew with His own finger into the tablets made
of stone. The Ten commandments were not written in what we
consider Hebrew, and we are able to discern this due to the time
frame when they would have been written. The language of that
time was proto Canaanite which has been definitively established
through archaeological finds. It is theorized that proto
Canaanite is the language that Abraham spoke, and the language
that God may have used to converse with him. (approx 1800 bce)
The Ten Commandments were given before the five books of Moses
(Torah), which is dated approximately 1500-1400 bce when
proto Canaanite was still in effect as a language. Other
languages used by many of the idol worshipping cultures of the
area were also derived from it such as the dialects of the
Amorites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizites and Jebusites, and then
Greek was developed from the Canaanite/Phoenician alphabet later
around 750 bce. If the Ten Commandments had been written in
Hebrew as we know it, then Moses and the children of Israel
would have not been able to understand what was written. This is
because it is a different alphabet due to the fact that Hebrew
script, which is a derivative of proto Canaanite, only came into
being in the 9th century bce, a full six centuries later.
in mind, that Moses was raised in the court of Pharaoh, so he
probably spoke Akkadian as well as the proto Canaanite and
Phoenician languages that the Hebrew slaves would have spoken,
so there would be no problem reading the tablets in proto
Canaanite or Phoenician.
roots teachers have stated that the only way one can really
effectively understand the Old Testament Scriptures, is by
learning to read and understand them in the Hebrew language.
Currently, English is spoken (sometimes as a second language)
by a much larger percentage of the six billion people in the
world today, than the five million people world wide who
currently speak Hebrew. This works out statistically to be a
negligible percentage of the worlds population that speaks and
understands Hebrew. Would God have been so short sighted as to
write His word into Hebrew, which for the most part was a dead
language until recently resurrected in the last half of the
nineteenth century as modern Hebrew, if it could not be
accurately translated and comprehended in other languages such
as English? If translating from one language to another creates
such a serious problem, then wouldn’t this also be true in
reference to the Torah starting out in proto Canaanite, evolving
from there to Phonecian, then to paleo Hebrew, middle Hebrew,
late Hebrew, and then to the Biblical Hebrew that we have today
over a span of twenty four centuries? This should be something
for us to consider, but not to trouble ourselves too greatly
over, because it is written:
The words of the LORD
are pure words: as
silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from
this generation for ever.
Myth. It is not possible to curse in Hebrew.
was clearly a prophet of the Lord who spoke Hebrew. He stated,
Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am
a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of
unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of
One merely needs
to do a search on the internet with 'hebrew swear words" or
"hebrew curse words" to know that this is blatantly false as
well. It's not the language that is the issue. It's the spiritual
condition of the person and what comes out of their mouth.
Matthew 15:16-20 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without
understanding? 17. Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever
entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast
out into the draught? 18. But those things which proceed out
of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the
man. 19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,
murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness,
blasphemies: 20. These are the things which defile a
man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
Clarity will comes through word studies and research
with books like Hebrew dictionaries and lexicons. By
recognizing Hebrew idioms and learning the differences
between modern translations, bad translations and
humanism., which muddle our understanding, but learning
the ancient Hebrew language, is just the start to really
studying the scriptures. We also need to learn the
A. We are
called to study to show ourselves approved, and that is
something many take seriously. And many do not. It is a mistake
broad brush believers in such a way.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your
own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus
Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Galatians 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then
shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in
1Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which
Are there any Scriptures which state, "Clarity
comes through word studies and research with books like Hebrew
dictionaries and lexicons, (and hence rabbinic writings). We
need to recognize Hebrew idioms and learn the differences..."?
Peter said, 2 Peter
1:2-12 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the
knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3.
According as his divine
power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life
and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called
us to glory and virtue: 4. Whereby
are given unto us exceeding
great and precious promises: that by these ye might be
partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the
corruption that is in the world through lust.
5. And beside this, giving
all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue
knowledge; 6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance
patience; and to patience godliness; 7. And to godliness
brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you
that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the
knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9. But
he that lacketh these things
is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that
he was purged from his old sins. 10. Wherefore the rather,
brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election
sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you
abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ. 12. Wherefore I will not be negligent
to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye
know them, and be established in the present truth.
Hebrew Roots FAQS & Myths
Basic Doctrinal Issues
Under the Law
Sacrifices, Feasts, Celebrations
God & Jesus
Who Is Jesus
for Hebrew and Greek Word definitions from Strong's Exhaustive
Concordance by James Strong
"Thayers" > Thayer's
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament
>Brown-Driver-Brigg's Hebrew Definitions
All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise
Copyright . All articles are the sole property of SeekGod.ca and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.
Do You KNOW Jesus
Now is the time
to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. "Behold now is the
accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation."
If you read only one article on this
please let it be:
Plan of Salvation.
It concerns the most important
you will ever make in your life!
Don't let this
opportunity to be saved pass you by.
If you don't know Jesus Christ as your Lord and
Savior, and would like some help understanding His gift of
eternal salvation, please contact us. Saying a prayer
won't save you. Prayer is merely expressing to God how you
feel. Believing and repenting are just the beginning of
walking with Jesus Christ as Lord and