I just wanted to provide you with an outline of my axioms and methods that I use in my work. I think it should help you better understand the approach I use to come to conclusions that are being presented on this blog. This should also be a good summary of methods for those who never studied the Pentateuch critically. Also, this is basically an outline of the entire Written Torah philosophy.
What I follow, practice and preach can be described as Torah-centric Judaism, also known as Scientific Monotheism.
Please see this article for detailed definition and description of Torah-centric Judaism.
My general axioms are as follows:
- God exists. (Genesis 1:1)
- There is only ONE God. I reject a concept of trinity or similar concepts, even though the word "elohim" appears to imply some form of plurality. This has been proven by science - big bang/everything came from ONE source/singularity of infinite properties and size, which are essentially attributes of a perfect, one God. (Exodus 20:2-3)
- God's name is Yahuah (Y-AH-U-AH), God of our fathers, God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob. (Exodus 3:15)
- There is only ONE TRUE Law of God - the Pentateuch - first five books of the Bible -Written Torah. I do not accept all other books of the Tanakh as divine. I do not accept so-called Jewish "oral law" (aka Talmud) or Christian New Testament as divine. I accept them only as historical accounts and as texts that preach Written Torah observance. I consider only Written Torah the only true word of God that is eternal and can never be (or will be) changed. (Exodus 24:12, Numbers 15:22-23, Deuteronomy 4:2)
- Only Levites and appointed Judges have the authority to interpret the Written Torah. I reject authority of anybody else, i.e. a rabbi, pastor, etc. (Deuteronomy 17:8-13)
- Tabernacle (Mishkan) is the ONLY true dwelling of God which is said to be FOREVER (olam), approved and commanded by God Himself. Written Torah does not speak of any Temple and/or Jerusalem, and all rituals are tied specifically to the Tabernacle. Levites are also commanded to receive a tithe SPECIFICALLY for the work in the TENT!!! So, ONLY Tabernacle!!! (Exodus 27:20-21, Leviticus 16:32-34, Leviticus 24:2-4, Numbers 18:20-24, Numbers 18:31 and Leviticus 26:11, Exodus 25:8)
- Land of Canaan (Israel) is the only God's appointed land for the Hebrews and we all must do everything we can to get back there by being Written Torah observant. 10 commandments should be the constitution of the Land of Canaan and Written Torah should be the law of the land of Canaan. Rabbinic theocracy or any form of democracy will never work in the land of Canaan. Written Torah is the only law that will work and bring peace to the region.
- I consider all three available witnesses (MT, SP and DSS) as a valid sources of the Pentateuch, even though I lean toward the Samaritan Pentateuch more as it seems to be more harmonized and provides important details about the Tabernacle not found in the traditional Masoretic Text.
- I also consider other secondary sources of the Pentateuch, such as Targums (translations). For example Septuagint provides a very interesting insight into which text (MT or SP) was used to compile traditional texts and translation as we have them today.
- I assume that the original language of the Written Torah consisted only of 22 letters, not 27 as in Masoretic tradition (see this post). Also, I do not consider the Masoretic system of vowels original, even though I agree with it on many points.
- I reject all traditional ways of the division of the text (aka perek symbols) and punctuation marks in translations, as they sometimes corrupt the meaning of the original text.
- Even though I use traditional Masoretic pronunciation of the words of the Pentateuch, I do not consider them original as there are many different ones and it is hard to say which one is the original one.
- I use modern critical analysis methods to analyze the text, and I absolutely reject the rabbinical methods of analysis of the text (aka Talmudic logic).
- I use only logic and reason as the ONLY and PRIMARY method of determining what Written Torah says. This is because the Torah text is severely corrupted and can't be trusted. Also, this is the only sure proof way to interpret the Torah without a fear to make a serious mistake. All other approaches are deficient and lead to mistakes. So use ONLY LOGIC AND REASON when interpreting the Torah !!!
- I read the text primarily in its original languages, however I do also rely on the translations of the Written Torah in different languages to help me to extract the meaning of the text.
- I use modern technology (aka computer analysis) to analyse the text. I use software such as ISA (the best and MUST HAVE - here is the old version that works better), BibleWorks and Accordance to help extract the meaning of the text. There is also Groves-Wheeler Westminster Hebrew Morphology for TheWord - a must have. I also use custom designed SQL databases to process and analyse the text of the Pentateuch. Internet, in general, is also very important tool for Torah study. Anyone who does not use Internet to study Torah can never achieve any significant results in Torah interpretation.
- MOST IMPORTANT: Written Torah takes precedence over any and all the works that were created or will be created. This goes for everything presented on this blog as well. If it will ever be found that my work contradicts the Written Torah, my work shall be disregarded in favor of the Written Torah. I do not want to be worshiped and I do not want my work to be declared holy or divinely inspired. I do not want to make the same mistake that rabbis did.
Now to my methods of analyzing the text of the Written Torah; the methods that were used in all posts on this blog. I usually use comparative critical analysis of the text, with cross-referencing of the verses. As well as other techniques, such as looking at the context in which that verse/word is being used, looking at who commandment is addressed, what precedes/follows the commandment, gender and tense of words in the text, etc.
I hope that now you would be able to utilize this knowledge and these approaches to analyze the text the same way I do.