I sure hope the fonts come through on my title. But if they don’t, א ת BS = aleph-taw BS. I”m guessing everyone knows what the last two letters mean if they can’t identify the first two Hebrew letters. (Note: taw is also transliterated and pronounced tav).
Way back in 2009 I was unfortunate enough to see a YouTube video sermon about “alpeh and taw” — the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The speaker equated these letters with the description of Jesus as the first and the last, and as the Word in John 1:1. The result? Why, Jesus is in Genesis 1:1, since we see a small two-letter word there, made of the letters aleph and taw! As I noted in a 2009 blog post about this, the claim is that “these two letters have mystified scholars for millennia — who were too stupid to see Jesus in the aleph and tav.”
Fortunately, the original video I mocked has disappeared from YouTube. Unfortunately, it’s been replaced by many others spouting the same bunk.
This bad memory returned to me today when I got an email from someone asking about the teaching. Bless that guy for thinking about what he heard. In his email he noted that he’d heard that the “mysterious” aleph-taw combination only occurs 22 times (so clever of God to have encrypted it so seldom — and 22 = the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet … I’m getting goosebumps … or maybe those are hives).
Anyway, I ran two searches through the Hebrew Bible for the inquirer that he could take back to the “teacher” who had spewed nonsense in his direction that decimate the claim. The aleph and taw spell what is known as the accusative (direct object) marker (and scholars have known it for millennia – no mystery here). It is not translated since it is a grammatical/syntactical pointer. There is also an identical preposition in biblical Hebrew. The direct object marker occurs just under 11,000 times, while the preposition is just under 900.
I suppose I’ll get comments now about how mean I am to well-intentioned Bible teachers. Honestly: so what. If you want someone to lie to you in the name of Jesus, you’ll have to go somewhere else.