Who We Are

Who Is the Berean Bible Fellowship?

We are a non-denominational, "unchurched" group of Truth-seekers, coming together weekly, and annually to obey Christ's command, as a Fellowship ("A mutual association of persons on equal and friendly terms" - Webster).

Our Fellowship desires is to let the Scriptures speak for themselves.

We accept the Bible as it Truthfully is; “THE INERRANT WORD OF GOD”

Acts 17:10-11 YLT
(10)  And the brethren immediately, through the night, sent forth both Paul and Silas to Berea, who having come, went to the synagogue of the Jews;
(11)  and these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, they received the word with all readiness of mind, every day examining the Writings whether those things were so;

While we certainly claim NO increased nobility, we practice receiving:

“the word with all readiness of mind, every day examining the Writings whether those things were so.”

We WELCOME all who are seriously wanting to study Scriptural matters without relying on a single person, group or an organization of human filters.

Towards that end, we are not a traditional organized religion.

We have no human supreme authority, either in an individual or a group.

We have no pastor, nor preacher, nor teacher, nor elder, etc.

Each member if the Fellowship is equal in every respect to every other member and evangelizes G2097 , as it were, the results of their own Scriptural studies to each other for open discussion among the Fellowship.

evangelizes G2097
- Strong's: From G2095 and G32; to announce good news (evangelize) especially the gospel: - declare bring (declare show) glad (good) tidings preach (the gospel).

We do have a Moderator.
As defined by WEBSTER:
"The person who presides over a meeting or assembly of people to preserve order, propose questions, regulate the proceedings and declare the vote; as the moderator of a town meeting or of a society."

Often times the Fellowship agrees with each other; just a often, there are differences in understanding that remain unresolved by the Fellowship as a whole.

The final authority in all differences is the Judeo-Christian Bible. More on that below.

Our Fellowship believes in and practices :

In Scriptural essentials – UNITY
In interpretation – LIBERTY
In ALL things – CHARITY

Why was the Scripture quoted above from Young's Litereal Translation (YLT)?

This translation is the choice of the Moderator, not necessarily that of each

member of the Fellowship.

Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible was first translated in 1862 by Robert Young, a Scottish publisher who was self-taught and was fluent in various ancient languages.

Young also compiled Young’s Analytical Concordance and Concise Critical Comments on the New Testament.

A revised version of the YLT was published in 1887 and a new revised version in 1898, a year after Young’s death.

It is an extremely literal translation that attempts to preserve the tense and word usage as found in the original Greek and Hebrew writings.

Young was very concerned that many English translations changed the tenses of the Greek and Hebrew verbs, and he insisted on using the more accurately translated present tense in places in which most other translations used the inaccurately translated past tense.

In the Preface to the Second Edition, Young wrote:
"If a translation gives a present tense when the original gives a past, or a past when it has a present; a perfect for a future, or a future for a perfect; an a for a the, or a the for an a; an imperative for a subjunctive, or a subjunctive for an imperative; a verb for a noun, or a noun for a verb, it is clear that verbal inspiration is as much overlooked as if it had no existence. THE WORD OF GOD IS MADE VOID BY THE TRADITIONS OF MEN." [Emphases in original.]

YLT also consistently translates the Hebrew Tetragrammaton throughout the Old Testament as "Jehovah," instead of the traditional practice of representing the Tetragrammaton in English as "LORD" in all capitals.

NOTE: The early translators generally substituted 'Lord' for 'YHWH'. The Reformers preferred Jehovah, which first appeared as Iehouah in 1530 A.D., in Tyndale's translation of the Pentateuch (Exodus 6:3), from which it passed into other Protestant Bibles.

Very likely, YLT is the most strictly literal English translation ever developed.

However, in our Thursday night study, one is likely to hear Scriptures read from:
The Authorized King James Version (KJV);
New American Bible, St. Joseph Edition (NAB-A);
New American Standard Version (NASV);
New American Standard Updated Edition (NASUE);
New King James Version (NKJV);
English Standard Version (ESV);
Hebrew Names Version (HNV);
The Altar Translation (AT);
Concordant Literal Version (CLV);
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB);
Young’s Literal Translation (YLT);
Hebrew Study Bible with Strong's (HSB+)
Interlinear Greek New Testament with Strong's (IGNT+);
as well as other translations.

You may notice different English words than either the Young's Literal, the King James, or your own translation of the Hebrew and Greek.

If you investigate the definitions of the differing words using a concordance such as Strong's, you'll discover the many times the words are similar, but not necessarily the same, in definition.

YLT correlates quite well with dictionaries and concordances normally keyed to the KJV. There are printed versions of YLT keyed to Strong's numbers.

Strong's numbers are from The New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, which is widely regarded as the most accurate concordance for Bible word study.

An example of Strong's numbers and definitions is above:
evangelizes G2097
- Strong's: From G2095 and G32; to announce good news (evangelize) especially the gospel: - declare bring (declare show) glad (good) tidings preach (the gospel).

Numbers with a "G" prefix represent Greek words from the Greek Scriptures (New Testament), while those with an "H" prefix are from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).

The Hebrew and Greek dictionaries have been augmented with definitions from the classic reference work Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.

Aspects and nuances that could only be understandable to those who can read and understand the original Greek are clarified in the YLT.

On the downside, the strictly literal translation method can make YLT somewhat difficult to casually read and in some instances very unnatural sounding in English.

But then, our Berean Bible Fellowship seeks accurate knowledge and understanding of YHVH's Word - we are not a literary society.

About quoted Scriptures:

Act_17:10-11   <=== Link to the Scripture for e-Sword users
Acts 17:10-11 YLT   <=== Verbose Scripture reference with Translation Abbreviation
(10)  And the brethren immediately, through the night, sent forth both Paul and Silas to Berea, who having come, went to the synagogue of the Jews;
(11)  and these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, they received the word with all readiness of mind, every day examining the Writings whether those things were so;

In keeping with our commitment to study as closely as possible as the Bereans studied, our studies consist primarily of Scriptures plus Scriptural cross-references plus using Strong's (and a few others) to understand the original Greek or Hebrew word's meaning (as opposed to its English translation) with narration and secular discussion only as required for continuity and/or understanding.

The one glaring example of an exception to this is in discussing Hebrew and Christian traditions, which may or may not correlate to Scripture, but which, nonetheless, have infiltrated their way into many teachings and beliefs.

The traditions are explained and discussed to help in understanding how they have affected people's understanding of the Bible.

A Word About the English Translations

There are many words and phrases in any language that do not translate well, or even at all, into another language.

Every translator often supplies words in his language to help the reader "understand better" what the translator thinks - or wants - that translation to say.

In reputable translations, the reader will see these words identified by being in italics or inside brackets.

For example:
1 Corinthians 15:45 IGNT+ (Interlinear Greek New Testament with Strong's Numbers)

(45) G3779 SO G2532 ALSO G1125 [G5769] IT HAS BEEN WRITTEN, G1096 [G5633] BECAME οG3588 THE G4413 FIRST G444 MAN G76 G1519 ADAM G5590 A SOUL G2198 [G5723] LIVING; οG3588 THE G2078 LAST G76 G1519 ADAM G4151 A SPIRIT G2227 [G5723] QUICKENING.

English translation:

1 Corinthians 15:45 YLT
(45)  so also it hath been written, 'The first man Adam became a living creature,' the last Adam is for a life-giving spirit,

Notice the word "is" in italics in the YLT.

That word was supplied by the translator to make the sentence more "understandable".

Whenever you read a Scripture with italicized words, the best thing to better understand what the author was writing is to read that verse in an interlinear Hebrew or Greek translation to arrive at the most accurate true understanding.

Also, almost all of the Scriptures in this text are quoted from the Young's Literal Translation for the reasons mentioned earlier.

ONE EXCEPTION: In our public observation of the Memorial Night Remembrance, we use the King James Version (KJV) because that is still the translation most people have in their homes, and for the sake of continuity with cross references and concordances.

For example, you may have heard the Creator, the Heavenly Father, referred to by His title, God, or by various translations of His personal name:

Psalms 83:18 YLT
(18)  And they know that Thou—(Thy name is Jehovah—by Thyself,) Art the Most High over all the earth!

Psalms 83:18 KJV
(18) That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

(the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: - Jehovah, the Lord.


Psalms 83:18 CLV (Concordant Literal Version)
(18) So that men may realize that You, You, Whose Name is Yahweh, Yours alone, Are the Supreme over all the earth.
The name of God in the Jewish Scriptures is an enigmatic mystery.

Exodus 3:13-15 CLV
(13) Now Moses said to the One, Elohim: Behold! When I am coming to the sons of Israel, and I say to them, The Elohim of your fathers sends me to you, then they will say to me, What about His name? What shall I say to them?
(14) Then Elohim spoke to Moses: I shall come to be just as I am coming to be. And He said: Thus shall you say to the sons of Israel, I-Shall-Come-to-Be has sent me to you.
(15) And Elohim said further to Moses: Thus shall you say to the sons of Israel, Yahweh, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name for the eon, and this the remembrance of Me for generation after generation.

While people often pronounce God's name as “Yahweh”, “Jehovah” or "Yehhovah", the God of the Israelites, His name was revealed to Moses as four Hebrew consonants (YHWH) called the Tetragrammaton (the term to designate the sacred name of Jehovah, in four letters, יהוה .).

The truth is that we don’t really know how to say it.

In most Bibles the tetragrammaton is translated as “the LORD”.

After the Babylonian Exile (6th century BCE), and especially from the 3rd century BCE on, Jews ceased to use the name that is believed to be, Yahweh, apparently for two reasons:
As Judaism became a universal rather than merely local religion, the more common noun Elohim, meaning “God,” tended to replace "Yahweh" to demonstrate the universal sovereignty of Israel’s God over all others.
At this same time, the divine name was increasingly regarded as too sacred to be spoken; it was replaced vocally in the synagogue ritual by the Hebrew word Adonai (“My Lord”), which was translated as Kyrios (“Lord”) in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures.

The Masoretes, who from about the 6th to the 10th century worked to reproduce the original text of the Hebrew Bible, replaced the vowels of the name YHWH with the vowel signs of the Hebrew words Adonai or Elohim.

Latin-speaking Christian scholars substituted the Y (which does not exist in Latin) with the letters "I "or a "J" (even though the sound, "Jay" was not invented yet, instead it was pronounced in Latin as a variant form of "I").

Thus, the tetragrammaton became the artificial Latinized name, "Jehovah".

As the use of "Jehovah" spread throughout medieval Europe, the initial letter "J" was pronounced according to the local vernacular language rather than Latin.

How did the letter "J" get the sound we use today?

Both "I" and "J" were used interchangeably by scribes to express the sound of both the vowel and the consonant.

It wasn't until 1524 when Gian Giorgio Trissino, an Italian Renaissance grammarian known as the "father of the letter J", made a clear distinction between the two sounds, giving "J" the sound we use today.

Although Christian scholars after the Renaissance and Reformation periods used the term "Jehovah" for the tetragrammaton, in the 19th and 20th centuries biblical scholars again began to use the form "Yahweh".

Early Christian writers, such as Clement of Alexandria in the 2nd century, had used a form like "Yahweh", and this pronunciation of the tetragrammaton was never really lost.
Many Greek transcriptions also indicated that the tetragrammaton should be pronounced "Yahweh".

What about the name of Jesus?

Yeshua and His disciples were all Jewish and so they had Hebrew names - although they would likely have spoken Aramaic.

The “J” sound used to pronounce Jesus’ name does not exist in Hebrew or Aramaic, which is strong evidence that Jesus was called something entirely different by his contemporaries.

Jesus' original Hebrew name is Yeshua, which is short for Yehōshu'a.

It’s a version of Joshua, and it means “Jehovah-saved”.

The name Jeshua was known and used in Jewish history – you can find men called Yeshua in the roll calls of teams serving in the temple:

1 Chronicles 24:11 YLT
(11)  for Jeshuah the ninth, for Shecaniah the tenth,

2 Chronicles 31:15 YLT
(15)  And by his hand are Eden, and Miniamin, and Jeshua, and Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shechaniah, in cities of the priests, faithfully to give to their brethren in courses, as the great so the small,

Ezra 2:2 YLT
(2)  who have come in with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah: The number of the men of the people of Israel:

Luke 1:30-31
(30) And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
(31) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus G2424 .

Jesus G2424
Of Hebrew origin [H3091]; Yeshua (that is, Jehoshua), the name of our Lord and two (three) other Israelites: - Yeshua.
יְהוֹשֻׁ עְ יְהוֹשוּ עְ
yehôshûa‛ yehôshûa‛
yeh-ho-shoo'-ah, yeh-ho-shoo'-ah
Jehovah-saved; Jehoshua (that is, Joshua), the Jewish leader: - Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Joshua.

Since not every language shares the same sounds, people have historically adapted their names so as to be able to pronounce them in various languages.

Even in modern languages, there are differences in the pronunciation of "Yeshua".

In English, the name is pronounced with a hard “J” sound while in Spanish, even though the spelling is the same, the name is pronounced with what would be an “H” sound in English.

It is precisely this type of transliteration that has evolved “Yeshua” into the modern “Jesus.”

The New Testament was originally written in Greek (hence, the "Greek Scriptures"), which not only uses an entirely different alphabet than Hebrew but also lacks the “sh” sound found in “Yeshua.”

The Greek Scriptures translators decided to use the Greek “s” sound in place of the “sh” in Yeshua and then added a final “s” to the end of the name to make it masculine in the language.

When, in turn, the Bible was translated into Latin from the original Greek, the translators rendered the name as “Iesus.”

John 19:19-20 YLT
(19)  And Pilate also wrote a title, and put it on the cross, and it was written, 'Yeshua the Nazarene, the king of the Jews;'
(20)  this title, therefore, read many of the Jews, because the place was nigh to the city where Yeshua was crucified, and it was having been written in Hebrew, in Greek, in Roman.

This inscription has been a standard part of depictions of the crucifixion in Western Christianity for centuries as “INRI,” an abbreviation for the Latin Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum (pronounced: eye-ee-sus Naz-uh-ree-nuss Rex eye-oo-day-oh-rum), or “Iesus the Nazarene King of the Jews.”

Since Latin was the preferred language of the Catholic Church, the Latin version of “Iesus” was the name for Christ throughout Europe.

Even the 1611 publication of the King James Bible used the “Iesus” spelling.

In Swiss, the “J” is pronounced more like an English “Y”, or the Latin “Ie” as in “Iesus”.

When the Catholic Queen, “Bloody” Mary I took the English throne in 1553, droves of English Protestant scholars fled, and many ultimately found refuge in Geneva.

It was there that a team of some of the most devout English Christian minds of the day produced the Geneva Bible that used the “Jesus” with a "J", Swiss spelling.

The Geneva Bible was an enormously popular translation and was the version of the Bible quoted by Shakespeare and Milton.

Eventually, it was brought over to the New World on the Mayflower.

By 1769, most English translations of the Bible were using the “Jesus” spelling popularized by the Geneva Bible.

Thus, the name used by English-speakers today is an English adaptation of a German transliteration of a Latin transliteration of a Greek transliteration of an originally Hebrew name.

Though His name may actually be Joshua, the name "Jesus" wasn't born out of creativity but of translation.

When "Yeshua" is translated into Greek, from which the New Testament is derived, it becomes Iēsous, which in English spelling is "Jesus."

Overall, the difference in names is due to translation.

While any particular religious group may prefer one of the other, the Bible doesn't explicitly deem one translation more respectful than any other.

Whether identified as Jesus or Yeshua, the story of His life and mission remains consistent.

About the first century Jewish Understanding of Time:

Please bear in mind that EVERYTHING in the Greek Scriptures (New Testament) is based on the Jewish concept of TIME.

For that reason, an understanding of how the Jews during Yeshua's lifetime understood time will be most helpful.

For a detailed discussion of this, please refer to Study 1 - Introduction, in the Memorial Comprehensive Study.

For our purposes, just a basic understanding of how first century Jews understood a "day" should be sufficient.

Genesis 1:3-5 YLT
(3)  and God saith, 'Let light be;' and light is.
(4)  And God seeth the light that it is good, and God separateth between the light and the darkness,
(5)  and God calleth to the light 'Day,' and to the darkness He hath called 'Night;' and there is an evening, and there is a morning—day one.

Notice how the darkness precedes the light in defining when a Day begins.

Yeshua alludes to there being twelve hours in a day.
John 11:9 YLT
(9)  Jesus answered, 'Are there not twelve hours in the day? if any one may walk in the day, he doth not stumble, because the light of this world he doth see;

The Romans had 12 day-hours and 12 night-hours.
Their next day began at midnight.
The first daylight hour (hora prima) began at sunrise, noon was the sixth hour (hora sexta), and the last hour (hora duodecima) ended at sunset.
There were no minutes or seconds.

The Jewish day begins at sunset and ends at the next sunset, roughly 24 hours later.
Depending on the time of year there may be more or less hours in the daytime and nighttime.

Yeshua mentioning "twelve hours in a day" was typical of the average amount of sunlight during a day depending on the season.

The length of each hour was relative.

The Jewish daytime (light) always had twelve hours and the night (darkness) twelve hours.
It was the hours themselves that would be shorter or longer to fit into the season of the year.

Not really an issue when you don't have a clock controlling
your every moment.

Ancient Jewish writings always refer to hours in a relative sense.

The Romans were similar in their reckoning as well.

Genesis 1:5 should ultimately be our authority and was likely Yeshua’s, as well:
“and there is an evening, and there is a morning—day one. ”

Each new day had an evening and a morning, or a sunset followed by a sunrise, and lasting until the next sunset.

Scripturally, one day is approximately twenty-four hours: twelve hours in daylight and twelve in darkness, but this is relative because in Christ's time on earth it is the sunset that determines when it starts and finished - not hands on a clock as in modern times.

YHVH's clock is the master clock.

A closing thought:

1 John 1:1-10 YLT
(1)  That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we did behold, and our hands did handle, concerning the Word of the Life—
(2)  and the Life was manifested, and we have seen, and do testify, and declare to you the Life, the age-during, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us—
(3)  that which we have seen and heard declare we to you, that ye also may have fellowship with us, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ;
(4)  and these things we write to you, that your joy may be full.
(5)  And this is the message that we have heard from Him, and announce to you, that God is light, and darkness in Him is not at all;
(6)  if we may say—'we have fellowship with Him,' and in the darkness may walk—we lie, and do not the truth;
(7)  and if in the light we may walk, as He is in the light—we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son doth cleanse us from every sin;
(8)  if we may say—'we have not sin,' ourselves we lead astray, and the truth is not in us;
(9)  if we may confess our sins, stedfast He is and righteous that He may forgive us the sins, and may cleanse us from every unrighteousness;
(10)  if we may say—'we have not sinned,' a liar we make Him, and His word is not in us.