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Hebrews 12:1: Two Ways to Improve Your Race

“Therefore let us also, who have all these witnesses surrounding us like clouds, cast from us all encumbrances and sin which is always prepared for us; and let us run with patience the race that is appointed for us.” (Hebrews 12:1 AENT pg.424).

Notice here how we are encouraged to remove ourselves not only from sin, but ALSO from “encumbrances.”

Encumbrances must be somehow different from “sin:”  Why else would the writer distinguish the two using the separator “and?”  Therefore, we can improve our Race by removing (1) sin and (2) encumbrances from our lives.  Here we will focus on #2. However, the NT definition of sin may surprise you: Check here and here.

Back to “encumbrances:”  Are there things in your life which slow down your race, even if they’re not firmly in the “sin” category? Take a moment and prayerfully consider this.

Chocolate may not qualify as sin, but it could be an encumbrance; caffeine and alcohol are arguably in this same category.  With what reading material do we fill our minds?  Which TV shows, movies, music do we allow past the gates of our eyes & ears?  Which relationships hinder our walk, and which friends exhort us higher?  Our expenditures of time, money, and resources: Are these an encumbrance to our race?  It is up to the individual to decide for themselves.

Consider the witnesses who surround us who are mentioned in the previous chapter:  Hebrews 11.  Consider the shortness of this present life compared with eternity.  Are we really running our race with patience, efficiency, with a goal to actually win?

Don’t you know that they who run in the stadium, run all of them; yet it is one who gains the victory.  You run so as to attain.  25. For everyone who engages in the contest restrains his desires in everything. And they run to obtain a crown that perishes; but we, one that does not perish.  26. I therefore so run, not as for something unknown; and I so struggle, not as struggling against air;  27. But I subdue my body, and reduce it to servitude; lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should despise myself.  (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 AENT pg.514.)

May the Messiah Y’shua bless your race.


Do you find the translation of these NT verses to be attractive?  They have been translated into English directly from the Aramaic–the language spoken by Messiah Y’shua.  More info at the link below:

P.S.  The Aramaic-speaking Syrian church has always known without a doubt that the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews was Paul the Apostle.  This fact was only debated in the West, never in the East.

AENT for Africa: Prayer

Please mobilize intercessors. The distributor’s head translator is starting to examine the Aramaic English New Testament, its notes & appendices. If he approves, we can get all Africa! Yeshua, unveil his eyes! I am staying on in Nigeria a week extra to be available & to pray.

Aramic English New Testament

The above link brings you to the site to purchase the Aramaic English New Testament. Use this link when you purchase, and you’ll not only be edifying your own walk but helping others as well. We really really like this Bible!

Before I read this AENT Bible, I never knew the Mark 7:19 issues. Apparently the phrase “by this Jesus declared all foods clean” is NOT in the earlier Greek manuscripts OR the Aramaic. It’s just added in there mysteriously. At best, it should be in the margin. But it’s in there in many of our English translations (and other languages) because it’s in some later Greek manuscripts. Consequently this phrase has been used for centuries as a proof text to claim that God changed dietary instructions in the “New Testament.”

It takes courage to investigate the question “have I been somewhat misled all this time?” But we are called to be like the Bereans of Acts 17:11 who “received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily whether those things were so.”

Readiness of mind: being prepared to receive the Truth, no matter the consequence or the personal inconvenience.

Searching the Scriptures: not being satisfied with the English or whatever translated language you read as a mother tongue – but searching, investigating, digging into the original languages.

In Titus 3:9 where the Greek says “law,” the Aramaic says “scribes.” Try reading that verse in your own Bible and substitute “scribes” back in there in place of “law” and you’ll see the different meaning that exists in the Aramaic. Yeshua always opposed the scribes and the Pharisees – and so does the epistle to Titus. Yet the Greek tries to make it seem as if any discussion regarding the Torah is superfluous and even heretical (v.10). I guess at least one of the Greek scribes took it personally – being criticized in the Epistles — as so often occurred in the Gospels (against Hebrew scribes). Well, he responded by doing the very thing Yeshua criticized – changing the Word.

To say that an Aramaic scribe must have copied the NT from the Greek, and changed “nomikos (law)” to “scribes (sapra)” is a bit ridiculous, don’t you think? Why would a scribe bring bad light upon himself in such a way?

Besides all this, many pastors and congregants are telling me that they just love the way the Aramaic English New Testament sounds when I read it out loud. It has a beautiful flow to it. The Aramaic vs. Greek primacy issue needs to be brought to the table and discussed, of course. But first we got to just read it prayerfully and in tune with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).

May Yeshua guide each one of you into more and more Truth.

And remember to pray for me as I seek to release these Bibles into Africa.