Fort Worth, Texas – The Way International, an ostensibly Christian group often branded a “cult” (1) and with a history of alleged anti-Semitism(2), has filed a federal lawsuit against The Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism (also known as the Worldwide Nazarene Assembly of Elohim http://www.wnae.org), an organization of Jewish believers in Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah of Judaism.
The suit claims that the Hebraic Roots Version (HRV) Bible, the standard version of the Scriptures for many Nazarene Jews worldwide, infringes on the copyright of the Aramaic English Interlinear New Testament once published by the Way. The Way seeks through this suit, to ban the HRV Bible.
The Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism maintains that all translations of the Bible read very much alike and that the Hebraic Roots Version does not infringe on anyone else’s copyright.
This action is the latest in a series of similar legal actions by the Way International which raise questions concerning the free exercise of religion.
In 2007 The Way International sent a letter to The Way, a Baptist church located in Grant County, Kentucky, threatening to sue them over use of the name “The Way”(3)
That same year, they filed a lawsuit against “The Way Ministries” claiming trademark infringement (4).
The term “The Way” is actually a term found in the Bible for the early followers of Yeshua (Jesus) (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23 & 24:14).
In this latest move, The Way International seeks not only to control use of the biblical term “The Way,” but also seeks to ban the accepted Scriptures of a Messianic Jewish Group.
(1) Listed as a “cult” by Watchman Fellowship a leading Christian anti-Cult ministry. Their “profile” on the Way International is at: http://www.watchman.org/profile/waypro.htm
(2) The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette says concerning The Way International: ”Charges of anti-Semitism brought more unwanted publicity when followers were urged to read “The Myth of the Six Million” and “The Hoax of the Twentieth Century.” Both books cast doubt on the Holocaust. Six ex-followers have told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazettethat Wierwille and other Way leaders had taught that the Holocaust was a myth concocted by the Jews.”
– The Way: After a family breaks up, questions arise about the group; By Mary Hargrove; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Staff Writer