The Hebrew Roots Movement and Their redefining of Words

by Marshall Beeber & dirk Yount (2/22/2021)

Introduction:

Ever wonder why it is so hard agreeing upon the meaning of some of the most commonly used Biblical words like;  “grace”, or “freedom” or even “truth” to a Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM) or Torah observant Messianic member? It’s like the person doesn’t even speak your language
! In fact, you are mostly right in that assumption.  Their incomprehension of Biblical word meanings is due to the age old psychological ploy of “redefining words”, or in modern jargon “flipping words”.  This bit of linguistic deceit has been practiced since ancient times and has recently been successfully adopted by the “Political Left” and not so surprisingly “religious cults”.

 

As an example of "redefining words in ancient times, during the Greek wars around 400 BC, Thucydides writes:

They even changed the agreed-upon meanings of words to the opposite of the right ones. Rash impudence was called “courageous loyalty”; careful deliberation, “specious cowardice”….

King Solomon, knowing man's sinful nature and his ability to go to great lengths to deceive his fellow man stated in Ecclesiastes 1:9 "What has been done is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun"

Just like in ancient times and in modern "Leftist" politically correct wordage, Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM) wordage often means the opposite of its commonly perceived meaning.  Once psychologically reinforced, as the HRM person reads or hears a word that has been redefined, it's commonly perceived meaning is “flipped” in that person's mind to be the redefined word meaning.  It's amazing how easily a person can be deceived with just a few changes in the meaning of language.  The motivation for redefining the meaning of Biblical words is to nullify the gospel's "gracious freedom" so eloquently taught in New Covenant writings, replacing it with a false gospel based on a loosely observed Mosaic Law narrative.  Through experience I have found that arguments based on the meaning of particular Biblical passages are almost useless, but to intellectually challenge them on the meaning of their "redefined" or "flipped" words may be more successful in getting them to think about what they have accepted as the truth.  Such arguments addressing the way they redefine words may indeed be their "Achilles' Heel", but not necessarily for those fully indoctrinated , but more so for those who still have a sense of intellectual curiosity. It is often easier to be aware of deceit in the corruption of language than to find error in a Biblical passage. From my experience, HRM devotees will say the language was corrupted by early Church writers and they state that they have corrected it,  but such an argument does not hold water since they have corrupted even those word meaning that have long been accepted by most Jewish scholars, not just Christian ones.  You will note this evidenced in the list of corrupted word means listed below

Redefined Words:

Below is a list of  HRM “flipped words” that Dirk Yount helped me compile with their corrected meaning.  Dirk is experienced in the manner which HRM and Torah observant messianics redefine words to fit their theology.


Flip #1
False Meaning: Truth = Torah
True Meaning: Biblical truth encompasses both the Law of Moses and New Covenant gracious freedom, although the word flip has metaphorically redefined the meaning of Biblical truth to only encompass the Law, thus nullifying gracious freedom. See "Word Study" of NT use of "truth" at https://ekklesia4him.net/Truth_study.pdf

Flip #2
False Meaning: Grace = Law
True Meaning: Grace is a pardon from the punishment of disobedience to the Law. Grace existed thru the Sacrificial System in OT times, although with Jesus atoning sacrifice, the requirements of the Law was fulfilled, nullifying the need for animal sacrifice. Therefore in this current "Age of Grace" both Jew and Gentile are justified by faith in Jesus alone and the Law of the Spirit, not the Law of Moses. See NT "Word Study" of "grace" at https://www.logosapostolic.org/greek-word-studies/5485-charis-grace.htm)

Flip #3
False Meaning:  Renewed Covenant redefines New Covenant (HRM teachings refutes the existence of a New Covenant)
True Meaning: HRM falsely claims the word "New Covenant" was mistranslated from the word "Renewed Covenant", thus asserting the Renewed Covenant to be based on the Mosaic Law rather than gracious freedom of the New Covenant. This of course is absurdity since both OT prophets prophesied a New Covenant and NT books of Acts and numerous Epistle passages support New Covenant gracious freedom.  See study on "Refuting Renewed Covenant" at https://kjcword.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/hebrew-roots-refuted-new-covenant-or-renewed-covenant/

Flip #4
False Meaning: Freedom = Torah
True Meaning: An obvious word flip, since the Law forbids much of the freedom granted in the New Covenant and condemns such freedoms as licensciousness, whereas the Pauline Epistles defends those freedoms. To consider "freedom" and "Torah" synonymous would nullify all New Covenant freedoms.  See NT word study on "freedom" at https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/freedom-bible-verses/

Flip #5
False Meaning:  Lawlessness = Being without the Law of Moses
True Meaning:  The above flip implies that those under "Grace" and not under the "Law of Moses" are lawless and subject to judgment.  Whereas the gospel of grace and freedom clearly states those who by "faith alone in the atoning sacrifice of Yeshua" are saved from eternal judgment.  See study on "lawlessness" at https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/lawlessness.html


Flip #6

False Meaning: Word = Torah ("Word" as referred to in John chapter 1)
True Meaning:  Word does not = Torah (since "Word" is referring to Yeshua (Jesus) as being God in John chapter 1, not Torah or Five Books of Moses. See study on the use of "Word" in John chapter 1 at https://carm.org/bible-studies/bible-study-on-gospel-of-john-chapter-1/)

Flip #7
False Meaning: Word = Tanakh ("Word" as referred to in John chapter 1)
True Meaning: Word does not = Tanakh (since "Word" is referring to Yeshua (Jesus) as being God in John chapter 1, not Tanakh (Tanakh = Five Books of Moses, Psalms, Proverbs, Major and Minor Prophets. See study on the use of "Word" in John chapter 1 at https://carm.org/bible-studies/bible-study-on-gospel-of-john-chapter-1/)

Flip #8
False Meaning: Word = Whole Bible ("Word" as referred to in John chapter 1)

True Meaning: Word does not = Whole Bible (since "Word" is referring to Yeshua (Jesus) as being God in John chapter 1, not the entire Bible. See study on the use of "Word" in John chapter 1 at https://carm.org/bible-studies/bible-study-on-gospel-of-john-chapter-1/)

 

Summary:

To say the least, HRM theology presents an "all out" assault on New Covenant truths and must be opposed in a manner consistent with Biblically motivated reason and love. Remember that your Hebrew Roots or Torah observant Messianic person may be so thoroughly indoctrinated with these or other “redefined words” that explaining to them how they have been “linguistically blinded” will be a challenge. It would only be by the power of the Holy Spirit and your prayer that they understand the true meaning of those words and “re-flip” those word meanings back to open their minds and hearts to understand the “Gospel of Gracious Freedom”.


Studies Exposing HRM Word Redefination & Doctrinal Error

Hebrew Roots Movement - Messin' With the Word (Joyfully Growing In Grace)


Hebrew Roots Movement - Redifination of Terms A-F (Joyfully Growing In Grace)

Hebrew Roots Movement - Redifination of Terms G-L (Joyfully Growing In Grace)

Hebrew Roots Movement - Redifination of Terms M-Z (Joyfully Growing In Grace)

Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM) - Spiritual Awakening or Heresy? (I Don't But He Does)

A Response to Hebrew Roots - Matthew 5:17-18 (I Don't But He Does)

The Displacement Theology of Hebrew Roots (I Don't But He Does)

 
MLC Studies & Commentaries Supporting Grace Oriented Doctrine

Epistle To The Hebrews; A Better Covenant

Epistle To The Romans; The Gospel of God's Righteousness

Epistle To The Galatians; Defending The Gospel

Dismantling Legalism in the MJM Today

References of Freedom In Paul's Epistles

Why Gentile Believers Should Not Observe Torah

The Torah Observant Messianic Jewish Movement and its Cultural Marxist Roots

"One New Man" Error In the Messianic Jewish Movement

Hebrew Roots Movement Redefining Words

Commentaries On Legalism In the MJM & Hebrew Roots Movement

The Messianic Movement & It's Perpetual Identity Crisis (Rev. Dr. Alan Poyner-Levison, Beit Shalom Ministries, UK)

The Law of Moses and the Law of Messiah (Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Ariel Ministries, USA)

The Jewish Roots Movement: Flowers and Thorns(Jews for Jesus Article by Stephen Katz)

About Torah Observance - by Rich Robinson, Jews for Jesus


Grace Oriented Teachings and Ministries

 

Grace Oriented Messianic Jewish & Hebrew Christian Ministries


 

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