Checking it Out

It goes without saying that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. This is also true in the area of biblical studies. After all, sometimes it does seem that there are different ways of interpreting a given passage of the Bible.

An opinion is one thing; a misinterpretation due to a linguistic or informational mistake is quite another issue. Sometimes we make mistakes in interpreting the Bible simply because we do not have adequate or reliable information. All of us do that; there are no exceptions. 

This part of TRI’s website is devoted to help Bible students to be better informed about popular teachings that, on the surface seem wonderful, but upon more careful examination, have serious flaws due to misinformation.

The Truth about alef–tav
It has sometimes been said by well-meaning Bible teachers that the Hebrew word, alef-tav is one of the many names for God found in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Here is how the thinking goes: Alef is the first letter of the Hebrew alef-bet (alphabet), so it signifies the fact that God (or Yeshua) is the First, the Beginning. Tav is the final letter of the Hebrew alef-bet, therefore, God (or Yeshua) is the Last, the End. Those who hold to this view often cite Genesis 1:1 as an example where we can see that right from the beginning of creation, God is the First and the Last, since alef-tav is used in the very first verse of the Bible.

All of this sounds good except there is a big problem. The big problem is that alef-tav simply does not mean “the first and the last” or “the beginning and the end.” In passages like Genesis 1:1, alef-tav serves as a point in Hebrew grammar. It is related to the Hebrew word for “sign”.

Because of this relationship, alef-tav is used in Hebrew grammar to designate which word in the sentence is the direct object. As such, it is, therefore, simply the “sign” of the direct object, when a sentence has a direct object. It is nothing more and nothing less. As the sign of the direct object, alef-tav is not to be translated. It has no translated meaning. It merely serves to show which word in a Hebrew sentence is the direct object of the verb.

As viewable PDF: The Truth about Alef-Tav

The Sacred Name – Escaping the Maze of Misinformation,
Does the very speaking of the Name have some kind of innate power? If one knows how to pronounce the Name, does one have a spiritual weapon which those ignorant of the Name lack? In this lecture Tim Hegg addresses these questions with the following points:

  • 3:20  Current trends
  • 10:00  Why so hard to determine the sacred name?  Introduction of vowel points by the Masorites.
  • 30:25  The original pronounciation recovered? What did the churchfathers do with the Tetragrammaton? YHVH in the the Greeks manuscripts (LXX and the Apostolic Scriptures)
  • 48:25 The heart of the Issue

The lecture is available on youtube with this link. There is also an article on about this subject.

We further recommend other articles on the TorahResource site.