Healing and Beneficial Message
Trust the Torah or Believe the Gospel?
The author of the letter to the Galatians began his landscape-altering treatise by changing his name and then boldly announcing...
“Paulos (Paulos – of Latin origin, meaning lowly and little), an apostle (apostolos – a messenger who is set forth, a prepared delegate who is dispatched; from stello, one who is set, placed, and prepared, and apo, to be separate), not (ouk) from (apo – separating) men (anthropon), not even (oude) by the means of (dia – through, by, or on behalf of) man (anthropou), but to the contrary (alla – certainly and emphatically) on behalf of (dia – through, by, and by means of) Iesou Christou (ΙΝΥ ΧΡΥ – Divine Placeholders for Yahowsha’ and Ma’aseyah, albeit in the wrong order and devoid of the definite article) and (kai) God (ΘΥ – Divine Placeholder for ‘elohym and thus Yahowah), Father (ΠΡΑ – Divine Placeholder for ‘ab – father) of the (tou) one having roused and awakened (egeiromai – having caused to stand, raising; from agora – to assemble people for a public debate, to vote, or to conduct business with) Him (autos) out of (ek – from) a lifeless corpse (nekros – death, a useless, futile, and vain carcass, an ineffective, powerless, and deceased cadaver, a dead body having breathed its last breath; from nekus – a corpse, carcass, or cadaver).” (Galatians 1:1)
It is interesting, indeed telling, that this man born Sha’uwl would choose to rename himself, disgorging his Hebrew heritage in the process. The language of God’s revelation was rejected to select a Latin nom de plume. Sha’uwl, now Paulos, was thereby estranging himself from Yahowah’s testimony while reflecting his allegiance to Rome – to mankind’s most powerful kingdom. There was no place on earth more overtly religious, more aggressively political, more aggressively militaristic, or more wealth driven than Rome. At this moment, no other nation was as morally corrupt or ruthlessly oppressive. This change in identity alone should have been sufficient to motivate readers to “sha’uwl – question him.”
This opening line affirms that Paulos, as he now chose to be known, wanted his audience to believe that he was “an Apostle,” and thus was on the same footing with Yahowsha’s Disciples. He said that he had been “apostolos – prepared and placed as a delegate and messenger” of “Iesou Christou.”
It is interesting, of course, that the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ said no such thing. The title of “Apostle” was not given to Sha’uwl / Paulos by Yahowah, either. In fact, rather than speaking for God, God said that Sha’uwl / Paulos spoke presumptuously and deceitfully.
Paulos’s claim that his message was unrelated to any man or men is untrue. He, by his own admission, was trained to be a rabbi. And this, like every letter Paulos’s wrote, reads like the Talmud, which is a collection of rabbinical arguments regarding the Torah.
It should also be noted that even if he had correctly written “the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’, in reality the corporeal manifestation of God didn’t speak for Himself. He spoke for Yahowah. So not only does Paulos have His name and title reversed, He has upended Yahowsha’s relationship with Yahowah. And this is no “paulos – small” mistake. Yahowsha’ did not convey His own message. His words were not His own. According to Yahowah, Yahowsha’ is His mouth, the living embodiment of His Word. Yahowsha’ came in Yahowah’s name to communicate and affirm Yahowah’s message. So to invert Yahowsha’s relationship with Yahowah in this way is to circumvent His purpose. But more on all of this, including the Divine Placeholders, in a moment.
God did not die. God cannot die. Yahowsha’ did not fall asleep. And with absolute certainty we know that Yahowsha’s corpse was not resurrected. So all of this is a lie in that it is wholly inconsistent with Yahowah’s teaching and prophecy on the subject.
Let me explain. Yahowsha’s represented the perfect Passover Lamb. Moments before His physical body was sacrificed on our behalf as the Pesach lamb, Yahowah’s Spirit left Him. That is one of the reasons He cried out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” The other reason, of course, was to direct our attention to the 22nd Psalm so that we might understand what was occurring. Rather than dying, Yahowsha’s soul descended into She’owl, the place of separation from God, on the Miqra’ of Matsah, or Unleavened Bread, to remove the fungus of sin from our souls. It was the most horrid experience imaginable, and thus hardly a snooze.
At this time His corpse was incinerated, ceasing to exist in harmony with the Towrah’s instructions regarding the Passover lamb. Then on the Miqra’ of Bikuwrym, known as FirstFruits, Yahowsha’s soul was reunited with Yahowah’s Spirit becoming the first-born of the Covenant, thereby fulfilling the Towrah’s promise to adopt us. Further, as evidence that His corpse was not awakened, raised, reanimated, or resurrected, the only common denominator amongst the three eyewitness accounts that same day was that no one recognized Him. Moreover, if He arose from a corpse He would have been disqualified as the Passover Lamb, because according to the Torah (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:10), the remainder of the lamb’s body had to be incinerated that evening.
So in his opening statement Paul got everything wrong: his name, his title, his status, his sponsor, Yahowsha’s title and name, as well as the relationship between Yahowah and Yahowsha’, all while promoting the myth that God died, fell asleep on the job, and was bodily resurrected from a corpse. It was not an auspicious beginning.
Whether or not each of the acquisitions that I’ve laid before you all prove to be valid will be determined in due time, as that is the entire purpose of this book. But it is especially telling to note that Sha’uwl didn’t say, at least in his opening line, that he was speaking for “God, the Father.” That subtlety is lost on most Christians who have replaced Yahowah with their “Lord Jesus Christ,” in effect focusing on the implement as opposed to the One wielding it.
This issue isn’t insignificant. While Yahowsha’ came from Yahowah, they are not equivalent. Yahowsha’ cannot equal Yahowah because Yahowsha’, by His own admission, and by necessity, is the diminished manifestation of Yahowah. All of God cannot fit into a human form, and the undiminished presence of God would consume our planet. This concept was affirmed by Yahowsha’ when He acknowledged: “The Father is greater than I am.” (Yahowchanan / Yahowah is Merciful / John 14:28)
This concept is also affirmed by Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2. Since Yahowah is Spirit and describes Himself as Light, He is energy. Yahowsha’ as a man was corporeal, and thus matter. Einstein’s formula reveals that energy and matter are exactly the same thing, but they are not equivalent. He proved that matter is a substantially diminished form of energy.
If the human manifestation of God was equal to God, what’s known as the “Lord’s” prayer would become nonsensical, as it would have Yahowsha’ saying: “Pray to Me who is in heaven, set apart is My name, My kingdom come, My will be done ” So, now with the Son having returned to the Father, it’s curious that Paul saw himself representing the representative.
The express purpose of this introduction from Sha’uwl’s perspective was conveyed by the unification of the first two words, the amalgamation of his new name and the title “Apostle.” It is a distinction he bequeathed upon himself because Yahowsha’s Disciples refused to convey it to him. For Paulos, it was essential that he be seen as Yahowsha’s Apostle, even though it was a title he did not earn and was never given.
The Greek word that we transliterate “Apostle,” apostolos, when used correctly is extraordinarily important. It means “to be set apart, prepared, and equipped.” While Paulos was a misguided soul, even today far too many individuals go off as witnesses without first studying the Torah and Prophets. As a result, those who are inadequately and improperly enlightened all too often do more harm than good.
By changing his name and then misappropriating the title, the opening line of Sha’uwl’s first letter became inaccurate in multiple ways. Those who knew Yahowah, and thus Yahowsha’, recognized that Sha’uwl was not an Apostle, and that there would never be a Roman in this role. Every one of Yahowah’s prophets was a direct descendent of Abraham who were introduced to us using their Hebrew names. Further, Sha’uwl did not walk in Yahowsha’s footsteps, nor personally witness His fulfillment of Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, or Seven Sabbaths. He was not there in person in the upper room when the Set-Apart Spirit descended upon those Yahowsha’ had Called Out on the Miqra’ of Shabuwa.
There were twelve Apostles by this definition, all chosen by Yahowsha’. All twelve lived with Him and witnessed His every word and deed. And that is why He referred to them as “disciples,” meaning “those who learn.” But from this introduction, as well as from the introductions Paulos wrote to the Corinthians, Romans, Colossians, and Ephesians, we know that Sha’uwl coveted the title the actual Apostles were unwilling to give him. And yet so all-consuming was his craving to be seen as important and credible, he arrogantly and presumptuously overstepped his bounds. He knew that every word of this was a lie – one he would repeat many times.
Additionally, one of the reasons we know that Paulos intended to convey “Apostle” as a title, rather than use apostolos as a descriptive term, is that in his letters to Rome and Corinth, he writes “Paulos, called an Apostle.” The men and women he fooled called him by the title he craved.
In that Paul claimed to speak in the title and name of the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’, even though he reversed them, making it seem like Iesou’s last name was Christou, we are compelled to consider his statements in light of the Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 13 and 18 tests established by God to evaluate the consequence of such assertions. So while we will delve into both in the third and twelfth chapters of this book, suffice it to say for now, in the first of these criterion Yahowah reveals that the best way to know who isn’t speaking for Him is to know what He has said. Yahowah wants us to closely examine and carefully consider every word of His Towrah. He says that knowing and understanding that His Towrah is a source of instruction comes first. Acting upon His guidance and engaging in His Covenant Relationship is next. Then He says that no one has been or will be authorized to add to or subtract from His Towrah. So if we witness the Towrah’s role in our lives being diminished by someone or if we find a writer adding something new, like a new covenant, we should be careful because such a person isn’t speaking for God.
In Dabarym 13, Yahowah reveals that if the prophet stands up and establishes himself, as Paulos has done, he is a false prophet. If he claims to have performed miracles, as Paulos will do, he is a false prophet. If he encourages his audience to go after other gods by other names, like the Roman Gratia or Greek Charis, whom Paulos sponsored, he is a false prophet. If he promotes religious worship, which has become the result of Paulos’s letters, he is a false prophet. If his writings don’t affirm our love of Yahowah, recognizing that Paulos calls Yahowah incompetent, impotent, and worse, he is a false prophet. If he directs us to disregard the terms and conditions of the Covenant or the Path Yahowah has provided for our salvation, he is a false prophet. And of such prophets, God says that they are in opposition to Him, both ruinous and deadly, so we should completely remove their disagreeable, displeasing, and evil corruptions from our midst.
Then in Dabarym 18, Yahowah delineated the six signs of a false prophet: they speak in His name, they are arrogant, overstepping their bounds, their words are inconsistent with the Torah’s instructions, they recite the names of foreign gods, their historical presentations are inaccurate, and their prophetic promises fail to materialize. All of these concerns scream “Paulos” as well.
In his opening salvo, Sha’uwl says that he did not represent any man or any human institution, and that would of course include the ekklesia, the Greek term most similar to the Hebrew Miqra’ey – Called-out Assembly. And that’s a bit of a problem because the Miqra’ey provide the lone path to Yahowah, and Yahowsha’ established the ekklesia. And that would make Sha’uwl a freelance operator and an independent contractor. Moreover, Paulos will contradict himself and refer to the ekklesia as his own.
The flip side of this admission is problematic. If Sha’uwl didn’t write on behalf of what he learned from men in Rabbinical school, then his ubiquitous references to the “nomos” must denote the Torah as opposed to Rabbinical Law. This being the case, the principle methodology used by those who are Torah observant to reconcile Paul’s epistles with Yahowah’s Word was torn asunder by the wannabe “Apostle’s” opening statement. The facts are evident and undeniable. There is no getting around the realization that the “nomos” is an object of scorn and ridicule in this epistle. And at no time does Sha’uwl associate the “nomos” with Rabbinical Law, by citing Talmudic sources. Not once – ever. To the contrary, his examples and citations are all from the Torah, clearly identifying the document he is assailing.
Also convicting, if Paulos was speaking for Yahowsha’, why didn’t he quote Him? If he was Yahowah’s messenger, why is Yahowah’s Word discounted and never cited accurately? Why, if Paulos was speaking for God, is his most repeated line, “But I Paulos say....” If Sha’uwl was Yahowsha’s or Yahowah’s apostle, why do his letters contradict God?
Sha’uwl / Paulos / Paul proved that he was out of touch with the truth, and therefore with Yahowah and Yahowsha’, by his insistence that the Torah is a set of binding laws and strict rules. This was the position held by the religious rulers of the day—the Pharisees—whom Yahowsha’ spent a good deal of His time refuting and rebuking. So whether he was referring to the Oral Laws of the rabbis or to the Torah, itself, his conclusions were all wrong – especially since he has told us that he isn’t speaking based upon what he learned while training to be a rabbi.
Based upon his opening stanza, Paul has positioned himself as an authority on God, as someone who spoke for God, but not ostensibly as the founder of a religion—albeit that is what he has become. His greeting displays neither religious qualifications nor an overt religious agenda. In fact, Sha’uwl only used the word religion twice, and both times it was to condemn the institution. That is a sobering thought if you are a “Christian.”
Paul would, however, contradict himself and establish all of the trappings for a new religion, replete with a paid and empowered clergy and a plethora of personal edicts – all of which he said had to be obeyed. And he perverted Scripture to make his assertions appear both reasonable and divine. (Read 1 Timothy 5:17-18, 1 Corinthians 9:1-11, and then 16:1-3 for evidence of this.)
I am aware that Christians have been led to believe that “Jesus Christ was the founder of the religion of Christianity,” and that “Paul spoke for Him,” but those conclusions aren’t supportable. The institution of Christianity is founded on Paul’s writings, not Yahowsha’s words or deeds. After all, Yahowsha’ was Torah observant. Every minute aspect of His life and His teachings were derived from and inspired by the Torah. Therefore, to follow Him, the devotee would have to become Torah observant. And in so doing, he or she would cease to be a Christian.
To his credit, or shame, Sha’uwl was telling the truth up to a point. He wasn’t inspired by men. In his second letter to the Corinthians, as we have already read, he claimed to be demon-possessed, guided and controlled by one of Satan’s messengers.
But that is not to say that everything Paulos wrote was inaccurate. He correctly referred to God as the Father. But this statement of fact in a sea of lies only serves to make his deceptions appear credible. Far too many people have been beguiled into believing that everything Satan says is a lie. They even believe that in a satanic religion, Satan is worshiped as himself. But this is not how he or his associates deceive and this is not what he wants. Satan usurps Yahowah’s credibility to fool the unsuspecting to worship him, not as the Adversary, but as if he was God. Satan wants to be known by the title Yahowah gave him: “Lord.” It illicits bowing, control, servitude, ownership, and worship.
Our Heavenly Father is the one who enabled Yahowsha’ to fulfill Bikuwrym by reuniting Yahowsha’s soul with His Spirit. And while it may not mean much to many, since nekros is based upon nekus, meaning “corpse,” the end of the verse actually reads as I have rendered it: “and God, Father of the one having roused and awakened, having caused to stand, raising Him out of being a lifeless corpse (nekros – death, a useless, futile, and vain carcass, an ineffective, powerless, and deceased cadaver, a dead body having breathed its last breath).” So while “raising Him from the dead” sounds familiar to Christian ears, only Yahowsha’s physical body suffered the indignity of death, not His soul, nor His Spirit. Further, He was not asleep and His corpse did not rise.
This isn’t a small technical point. Passover is the lone means to eternal life. Unleavened Bread alone perfects us. FirstFruits is the only way to be adopted into our Heavenly Father’s Covenant family. If Yahowsha’ didn’t enable these promises perfectly, if He slept on the job, if He was ineffective, then we all die estranged from God.
And while Passover is essential, Unleavened Bread is vastly more important. That is why suggesting that nothing happened on Matsah, and that Yahowsha’ slept though the Shabat, completely negates Yahowah’s plan of salvation.
Moreover, FirstFruits is symbolic of our souls being reborn Spiritually into our Heavenly Father’s Family. And as I’ve previously mentioned, the Torah says the following regarding the body of the Passover Lamb: “And do not leave it until morning, and what remains of it before morning, you are to burn with fire.” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:10)
Moving on to the deployment of the Divine Placeholders, they are often overlooked. Not one Christian in a million knows of their existence. And yet four of the most common names and titles for God were used in this greeting. The ΙΝΥ, ΧΡΥ, ΘΥ, and ΠΡΑ represent: “Yahowsha’” meaning “Yahowah Saves,” “Ma’aseyah” conveying the “Work of Yahowah,” “‘elohym” the “Almighty,” and Yahowah’s favorite title, “‘ab” which means “Father,” based upon the first word comprised of the first two letters in the Hebrew lexicon and alphabet.
Examples of placeholders not used in this particular statement, but ubiquitous throughout the rest of the Greek texts, and universally found in every first-, second-, third-, and early fourth-century manuscript, describe the “Ruwach – Spirit,” the “’Edon – Upright One,” who is the “Upright Pillar,” as well as “Mother” and “Son,” when used in reference to God.
While codices dating to the first three centuries differ considerably among themselves, and differ substantially from those composed after the influence of General Constantine, the use of Divine Placeholders is the lone exception to scribal variation among the early manuscripts. These symbols for God’s name and titles are universally found on every page of every extant codex written within 300 years of Yahowsha’s mission, and without exception. But, nonetheless, they are universally ignored by Christian translators, writers, and preachers. By including them here in the text, as all of the Disciples themselves did, it is incumbent upon us to expose and condemn 1,700 years of religious tampering and corruption.
The very fact that these placeholders are found on all of the more than one-hundred manuscripts unearthed prior to the mid fourth-century tells us that it wasn’t a regional or scribal choice. Instead, they convey something so profoundly important that they were purposefully inscribed throughout the original autographs—in the texts penned by the authors of these Greek texts. The same technique was used in the Septuagint, first penned hundreds of years before any of these documents were written.
And so while these manuscripts all differ from one another with regard to their wording, the only constant is the one thing every translator has ignored. There isn’t even a footnote in any of our English translations indicating that these Divine Placeholders were universally depicted in all of the oldest manuscripts, including the codices, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. As a result, Christians do not know that these symbols existed, much less that they were later replaced by translators substituting the very names and titles which would have been written out by the original authors had they been intended. (For those interested in a comprehensive presentation and analysis of the use and significance of the Divine Placeholders, study the “His Name” Volume of An Introduction to God (www.IntroToGod.org).)
Kappa Sigma and Kappa Upsilon, in capital letters with a line over them, were used to convey Yahowah’s name and Yahowsha’s “Upright One” title, even though every English bible replaces these symbols with “the Lord,” which according to God, is Satan’s title. The fact Kappa Sigma conveys “Yahowah,” the preponderance of the time it is used, is something I discovered when translating Greek quotations of Hebrew passages cited by Yahowsha’ and His Disciples.
This obvious conclusion has been reaffirmed recently by the publication of early Septuagint manuscripts. In them we find a transition from writing Yahowah’s name in paleo-Hebrew in the midst of the Greek text throughout the first and second centuries, to using the symbolism of Kappa Sigma to represent Yahowah’s name beginning in the third-century. So, we now know for certain, what seemed perfectly obvious before: the Divine Placeholders ΚΣ and ΚΥ were used to designate Yahowah’s name in a language whose alphabet could not replicate its pronunciation.
Also, by finding “Yahowah” written in paleo-Hebrew in the oldest Greek translations of the Hebrew Scriptures, especially in those dating to the first and second centuries BCE and into the first two centuries CE, we have an interesting affirmation that my initial rationale regarding the Divine Placeholders was accurate. Yahowah’s name can’t be accurately transliterated using the Greek alphabet, so to avoid a mispronunciation, the Hebrew alphabet was used. Then after Hebrew became less familiar, due in large part to the Romans murdering, enslaving, and exiling most Jews, Greek symbolism was substituted.
Moving on, the placeholders Iota Epsilon (ΙΗ), Iota Epsilon Nu (ΙΗΝ), Iota Sigma (ΙΣ), Iota Epsilon Sigma (ΙΗΣ), Iota Upsilon (ΙΥ), and Iota Nu (ΙΝ) were used to convey Yahowsha’s name every time it is found in the Greek manuscripts. And that means that there is absolutely no basis whatsoever for the 17th-century corruption written as “Jesus.” Beyond the fact that there was no “J” sound or letter in English prior to the 17th century, and never in the Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, or Latin languages, “Jesus” isn’t an accurate transliteration of Iesou, Iesous, or Iesoun—which were conceived as a result of Greek gender and grammar rules. But most importantly, none of these names was ever written in the original Greek texts—not once, not ever. It is therefore inappropriate to transliterate something (to reproduce the pronunciation in the alphabet of a different language) which isn’t actually present. So the name “Jesus” is a colossal fraud purposely promoted by religious leaders desirous of separating Yahowsha’ from Yahowah.
The title “Ma’aseyah” was represented by Chi Rho (ΧΡ), Chi Rho Sigma (ΧΡΣ), Chi Sigma (ΧΣ), Chi Upsilon (ΧΥ), Chi Rho Upsilon (ΧΡΥ), Chi Omega (ΧΩ), Chi Rho Omega (ΧΡΩ), and Chi Nu (ΧΝ). More on these Divine Placeholders in a moment.
The Hebrew ‘el and ‘elohym, meaning “Almighty,” but most often translated “God,” were conveyed using the placeholders Theta Sigma (ΘΣ), Theta Upsilon (ΘΥ), Theta Omega (ΘΩ), and Theta Nu (ΘΝ). And while God’s name and title are not interchangeable, there are times when these placeholders represent “Yahowah” instead of His title, “God.”
Ruwach is the feminine Hebrew noun for “Spirit.” Without exception, the Set-Apart Spirit’s title throughout the Greek historical and eyewitness writings was conveyed using the placeholders Pi Nu Alpha (ΠΝΑ), Pi Nu Sigma (ΠΝΣ), and Pi Nu Iota (ΠΝΙ). Just as Yahowah is our Heavenly Father, the Ruwach Qodesh is our Spiritual Mother.
In addition to these two names and three titles, the noun and verb forms of “upright pole,” and “to affix to an upright pillar,” were rendered Sigma Rho Omega Sigma and Sigma Rho Omega followed by Mu Alpha Iota to indicate the verb—both with a line over them to signify divinity. Making sure that we wouldn’t miss the Divine connection between the “upright pole” and the “Upright One” (the ‘edon of the Torah), stauros was never written out in the Greek text. But this connection between God and the Doorway to salvation was lost when the Roman Catholic Church ignored the placeholder and then changed the reference to suggest that it signified a pagan “cross.” And this is indicting, because it means that the Church ignored what was actually written and then deliberately and knowingly changed the meaning of what had been conveyed.
The cross was a common religious symbol used throughout antiquity in Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome to signify the intersection of the constellation Taurus (the Bull which represented their god) with the sun during the Vernal Equinox. The closest “Sun”-day to this event was called Easter by these pagans who believed that the Sun impregnated Mother Earth on this day, giving birth nine months later on the Winter Solstice (then December 25th) to the Son of the Sun. Solar worship, known as Sol Ivictus (the Unconquerable Son) was thereby incorporated into Constantine’s new religion – where it remains to this day. This process began with his vision of a flaming cross superimposed on the sun, which was his god, along with the edict: “Under this sign conquer.”
Beyond these seven universal placeholders, we find Father, when used in reference to our Heavenly Father, Mother, when used in reference to our Spiritual Mother, and Son, when designating Yahowsha’, rendered in the same format in most of the earliest manuscripts. And what I find especially affirming about this is that the title “Mother” was designated by a Divine Placeholder in the Codex Sinaiticus when Yahowsha’ discussed the real meaning of the Second of Seven Instructions He etched on the Second of Two Tablets.
Now, returning to “Christ,” and the improper title’s appearance in English translations of the Galatians 1:1 passage, it turns out that the over-scored Greek symbols Chi Rho (ΧΡ), Chi Rho Sigma (ΧΡΣ), Chi Sigma (ΧΣ), Chi Upsilon (ΧΥ), Chi Rho Upsilon (ΧΡΥ), Chi Omega (ΧΩ), Chi Rho Omega (ΧΡΩ), and Chi Nu (ΧΝ), weren’t based upon Christos, Christou, Christo, or Christon, but instead upon Chrestus—an entirely different word.
Christos means “drugged.” As proof, the one time it was actually written out in the Greek text, it was used to say that the Laodicean assembly applied a man-made drug, an ointment in this case, to their eyes. Chrestus on the other hand means “useful implement,” and “upright servant,” as well as “merciful one,” and it was used to “depict the good and beneficial work of a moral servant.” This is quite similar to the implications of Ma’aseyah, which is the Implement Doing the Work of Yahowah. As such, it is useful for you to know that “ha mashyach – the Mashiach” was never written as a title. Daniel used mashyach as an adjective to convey the realization that Yahowah’s messenger would “be prepared and set apart to serve” as a messenger. Further, as a name, “Ma’aseyah,” was written over twenty times in the Hebrew Scriptures, telling us that Yahowsha’ would be the “Implement Doing the Work of Yahowah.”
In this regard, it is not likely that Yahowah would miss this opportunity to associate His Work with His name. Likewise, it is unlikely that Rabbis, who are adverse to Yahowah’s name and authority, would miss an opportunity to substitute an errant title, especially one without Yahowah’s name, thereby disassociating their Mashyach from Yahowah’s Ma’aseyah. Therefore, as a result of this evidence I’m not advocating the use of “Chrestus,” but instead “Ma’aseyah—Implement Doing the Work of Yahowah.” Chrestus is nothing more than an affirmation of this important symbolism.
The realization that Yahowsha’s Disciples selected Chrestus, not Christos, as the closest Greek allegory to Ma’aseyah, can’t be distinguished from the first, second, third, or early fourth-century Greek placeholders for Ma’aseyah, because Chi Rho, Chi Rho Sigma, and Chi Sigma, represent both words equally well. But, that isn’t to say that there isn’t a textual affirmation for Chrestus; there is. In all three depictions of the epithet used to depict the first followers of The Way, in Acts 11:26, 26:28, and in 1 Shim’own (Peter) 4:16, the Codex Sinaiticus reveals that Crestuaneos was penned initially, not Christianous. The same is true with the Codex Vaticanus. Then, after Constantine in the 4th century, Crestuaneos, meaning “useful tools and upright servants,” was replaced by Christianous, transliterated as “Christian” today, but literally meaning “those who are drugged.” If you are a Christian reading this, please take the time to not only verify the accuracy of this realization, but also to consider its implications.
But there is more. The Nestle-Aland 27th Edition Greek New Testament reveals that Chrestus (χρηστὸς) was scribed in 1 Shim’own (Peter) 2:3, not Christos. Their references for this include Papyrus 72 and the Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest extant witnesses of Peter’s (actually of Shim’own Kephas’) letter.
In 1 Shim’own, which was attested by both ancient manuscripts, Yahowsha’s Disciple tells us: “As a newborn child, true to our real nature (logikos – be genuine, reasonable, rational, and sensible), earnestly desire and lovingly pursue (epipotheo – long for and crave, showing great affection while yearning for) the pure and unadulterated (adolos – that which is completely devoid of dishonest intent, deceit, or deception) milk in order to grow in respect to salvation, since we have experienced (geuomai – partaken and tasted, have been nourished by and perceived) Yahowah (ΚΣ) as the Useful Implement and Upright Servant (Chrestus – the Upright One who is a superior, merciful, gracious, kind, and good tool).” (1 Shim’own / He Listens / Peter 2:2-3)
With the realization that we find Chrestus written in the Codex Sinaiticus, and the placeholder ΧΡΣ written in P72 in the same place in this passage, we have an early and irrefutable affirmation that the Divine Placeholder representing the title “Ma’aseyah” was based upon the Greek Chrestus.
The related Greek term, chrestos, means: “kind,” “good,” “useful,” “benevolent,” “virtuous,” and “moral,” as in the sense of “being upright.” Words directly related to chrestos and chrestus speak of “integrity” in the sense of being trustworthy and reliable, “receiving the benefit of a payment,” as in providing recompense and restitution, of “fulfilling one’s duty,” as in being a loyal servant, “doing what is beneficial” in the sense of healing us, “transacting business,” as in fulfilling one’s mission, “providing a Divine message and response,” in the sense of being the Word made flesh and Savior, “being fit for use,” as in being Yahowah’s Implement, and “conveying a beneficial and trustworthy message which produces a good result,” which is synonymous with “euangelizo—which is to convey the healing and beneficial message” of Yahowah.
Writing about the great fire of Rome circa 64 CE, the revered Roman historian Tacitus (the classical world’s most authoritative voice regarding this time and place) in Annals 15.44.2-8, wrote: “All human efforts and propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the fire was the result of an order [from Nero]. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Chrestuaneos by the populous. Chrestus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate.”
Also, the Roman historian Suetonius (69 to 122 CE) makes reference to Chrestus in his Lives of the Twelve Caesars. A statement in Divus Claudius 25 reads: “He expelled from Rome the Iudaeos / Yahuwdym constantly making disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus.” And then in summary, he wrote: “Since the Iudaeos constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome.” This event is dated by Suetonius to 49 CE. The historian also wrote in Nero 16: “Nero issued a public order calling for the punishment of Chrestuaneos in the year of the Great Fire of Rome due to the superstition associated with Chrestus.”
These two highly credible secular sources, in addition to Pliny, who used the same spelling, provide additional and convincing evidence in favor of Chrestus over Christos, of “the Useful and Merciful Servant,” over “the Drugged One,” and Chrestuaneos over Christianios, “those who are useful and merciful servants,” over “those who are drugged.”
The placeholders are errantly called “nomina sacra” by theologians, which is Latin for “sacred names.” This moniker is wrong on three accounts. First, only two of the ten placeholders designate a name, while seven convey titles. One represents a thing, in this case the “Upright Pole,” and the other speaks of how the Upright Pillar became the Doorway to Haven.
Second, there is nothing “sacred” in Scripture, only individuals and things which are set apart. The human term “sacred” is religious (meaning “devoted to the worship of a deity in a religious service and worthy of religious veneration”), while the divine designation “set apart” is relational. It explains the association between Yahowah and the Set-Apart Spirit, for example.
Third, the Greek text is already a translation of Aramaic and Hebrew conversations, as well as Hebrew Scriptural citations. Therefore, adding the Latin nomina sacra designation is another step in the wrong direction.
Christian scholars use the same hypocritical sleight of hand to explain the universal presence of the placeholders in the Greek texts that Rabbis have deployed to justify their removal of Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s name from the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. They suggest that the “names were considered too sacred to write.” But if that were true, if the Disciples thought that these ten names and titles were “too sacred to write,” then why are they written today? If it was wrong then, it cannot be right now.
Anyone who has spent fifteen minutes reading any portion of the Torah and Prophets from any one of the hundreds of Qumran manuscripts recognizes that the “too sacred to write” notion is in complete discord with Yahowah’s approach to every name and title in Scripture including His own. Moreover, God, in the midst of criticizing and rebuking religious clerics, said: “‘Their plan is for (ha hasab – considering everything, their thinking, calculation, decision, devise, and account reveals that they are determined for) My people (‘am – My family) to overlook, to forget, and to cease to properly value (sakah – to ignore, to be unmindful of, to lose sight of the significance of, and to no longer respond to) My personal and proper name (shem) by way of (ba) the revelations and communications (ha halowm – the claims to inspired insights) which (‘asher) they recount to (saphar – they proclaim, record, and write to) mankind (‘iysh), to their fellow countrymen and associates (la rea’ – to others in their race and company), just as when in a relationship with (ka ‘asher ‘eth ba – similarly as when engaged in the same relationship with) the Lord (ha Ba’al), their fathers (‘ab – their forefathers and ancestors) overlooked, ignored, and forgot (sakah – were not mindful of and ceased to appreciate the significance of) My personal and proper name (shem).’” (Yirmayahuw / Yah Lifts Up / Jeremiah 23:27)
We know that this clerical sleight of hand began much earlier because Yahowah is recorded in His Torah warning that the crime of diminishing the use of His name was punishable by death and separation (in Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 24:9-16). The Rabbis, however, took the opposite approach and said that the use of Yahowah’s name was a crime punishable by death. It is why Rabbis replaced Yahowah’s name with “Lord,” under the guise that it was “too sacred to say.” Affirming this, the publishers in the preface of most every popular English bible translation openly admit that they replaced God’s name with “the LORD” because of religious traditions, as if rabbinical authorization was a license to deceive.
So if this same Rabbinical mindset was shared by the Disciples, we would have absolute proof that their writing style was influenced by religion, and was not inspired by the same God who conveyed the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. And that would mean that nothing in the Christian “New Testament” could be considered inspired, and thus to be Scripture.
It is curious, of course, that not one in a thousand pastors, priests, religious teachers, or scholars even mentions the universal application of the ten placeholders on every page of every manuscript written within three centuries of Yahowsha’s earthly life. And yet, if any portion of the Greek text was inspired by God, then these ten placeholders were designated by God. It is as simple as that. Ignoring them would then be in direct opposition to God’s will.
I am convinced that there are only two rational reasons for Yahowah to write out His name 7,000 times in the Hebrew Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, and reference His titles countless times more, only to never have any of them written in the Greek manuscripts—even when Hebrew verses are being quoted by Yahowsha’.
First, Yahowah’s name, Yahowsha’s name, and all of God’s titles convey essential truths in Hebrew which are lost in translation. Rather than replace those meanings with Greek pseudo-equivalents, Yahowah wants us to turn to the Torah and Prophets for complete explanations and accurate answers. The Torah is the foundation upon which Yahowah’s plan is based, so to understand His plan, we have to view it from this perspective.
The second reason is that the sounds produced by the 22 Hebrew letters differ from the sounds represented by the 24 letters in the Greek alphabet. Of particular interest, there is no Y, W, soft H, or SH in Greek, the letters which comprise Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s name. And since names don’t change from one language to another, and always sound the same, there was simply no way to transliterate Yahowah or Yahowsha’ using the Greek alphabet. So rather than change His name, or misrepresent it, Yahowsha’ taught His Disciples to use placeholders.
I’m not the first to recognize this predicament, or the first to deal with it. As I mentioned a moment ago, every extant first- and second-century BCE and first- and second-century CE copy of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, inserts Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s name into the Greek text using paleo- or Babylonian Hebrew letters. It was only after the scribes were no longer conversant in Hebrew that the Greek placeholders were used to convey God’s name.
A prominent early manuscript scholar offered a different, albeit uninformed, comparison between the Greek placeholders and the presentation of God’s name found in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, of which you should be aware. He claimed that the Hebrew letters YHWH represented a contraction similar to what is found in the early Greek texts. But if that was true, every single word in the Hebrew text would be a contraction. Said another way, Yahowah’s name isn’t written any different from any other Hebrew word or name used in Scripture or throughout Yisra’el. And the reason that this isn’t a problem is that the letters which comprise Yahowah’s name represent three of the five Hebrew vowels—with the Aleph and Ayin representing the other two. Using these vowels, every Hebrew name, title, and word is pronounceable.
Since there are very few things more important than understanding why the ten placeholders were used, and knowing what they represent, there is one more thing you should know. Technically speaking, there are actually eleven placeholders because the verb and noun form of “Upright Pole” and “to affix to an Upright Pillar” are both represented by Godly symbols.
Also worth noting, while the seven placeholders representing Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s names and titles, in addition to Upright Pillar in both its verb and noun forms, are represented by Divine Placeholders 100% of the time on 100% of the Greek manuscripts dated to within 300 years of Yahowsha’s life here on earth, the remaining symbols, specifically Father, Mother, and Son, when applied to God, are commonly used, but not exclusively. And the reason for this is that the Greek words for father, mother, and son are too closely associated with their Hebrew equivalents to justify the ubiquitous application of a unique distinction.
The entire purpose of these Divine Placeholders was completely undermined, however, when Greek words, titles, and errant transliterations were substituted for them. If you were to read the Textus Receptus or more modern Nestle Aland, you wouldn’t even know that these symbols ever existed. The same is true with every popular English translation. A stunning amount of crucial information pertinent to our salvation was discarded in the process.
Therefore, to the Christian, Yahowah’s name became “Lord,” Yahowsha’s name became “Jesus,” the Ma’aseyah was changed to “Christ,” and the feminine Ruwach, became the gender-neutral pneuma, which was rendered “Spirit.” It is also how Upright Pillar migrated over time to “cross.” Yet if any of these words, titles, names, or symbols were appropriate, the Disciples would have simply written them in their Greek manuscripts—but they didn’t, ever.
The truth is: “Lord” is Satan’s title. That is because the concept of lord represents the Adversary’s agenda and ambition. At best, “Jesus” is meaningless, and at worst, it is the name of the savior of the Druid religion (Gesus), where the Horned One is God. Recognizing that Constantine’s initial share of the Empire consisted of Britain, Gaul, and Spain, where the Druid religion flourished, the selection of Gesus could well have been politically expedient, as was incorporating most every pagan holiday into the new religion.
Worse still, as I’ve previously mentioned, “christos” means “drugged” in Greek. In fact, it is from the rubbing on of medicinal ointments that the anointed connotation of christos was actually derived. The Rx or Rho Chi symbolism associated with today’s drug stores is a legacy of the first two letters in christos.
And most intriguing of all is that the placeholder for Ma’aseyah, ΧΣ, was actually based upon Chrestus, not Christos—an entirely different word. And that is why all of the earliest manuscripts say that the first followers of “The Way” were called “Crestuaneos,” not “Christians.” They, like the one who had led the way to their salvation, were “useful tools and upright servants.”
All of this known, and it is important, after dedicating more than a year of my life to Sha’uwl’s letters, I don’t think he deployed the placeholders that are now found even in the oldest manuscripts. And if he did use them, it would have been because these same placeholders are used throughout the Septuagint. He would have wanted his epistles to look like Scripture. But the thing he did not want was for Yahowsha’ to be Yahowah Saving Us. Yahowsha’ could not be the Ma’aseyah, the Work of Yahowah, without completely undermining the entirety of Sha’uwl’s thesis. So just as Sha’uwl changed his own name, jettisoning its Hebrew meaning, he most assuredly discarded the message conveyed by the most important Hebrew title and name.
Therefore, while it is essential that you know that Yahowah, Himself, saved us by working on our behalf, which is what the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ means, Sha’uwl, now Paulos, did not want anyone to realize this. As proof, he never once explains the meaning behind God’s title or name to his Greek and Roman audiences. So therefore as a result, in every translation of Galatians I’m going to make the most reasonable and informed assumption: that a scribe in Egypt harmonized Paulos’ epistles with copies of the Disciple’s eyewitness accounts and with the Septuagint, thereby adding the placeholders which were never intended by Paulos to accurately convey: the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’. Moreover, as a former rabbi, he would have been duty bound to avoid all things “Yah.”
Speaking of religious malfeasance, since Galatians is the principle text used to undermine Scripture’s foundation, and since it is cited to undermine Yahowsha’s repeated affirmations that He did not come to annul the Torah, but instead to fulfill it, it’s important that we consider the troubadour of the Christian justification: the King James Bible, as well as the Latin Vulgate upon which this revision was ultimately based. Therefore, recognizing that the Greek text reads, “Paulos, an apostle or delegate, not separating men, not even by the means of man, but to the contrary and emphatically on behalf of Iesou Christou and God, Father of the one having roused and awakened Him for public debate, raising Him out of a dead corpse...,” here is the KJV rendition of Galatians 1:1: “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)” It reflects its source, the Latin Vulgate: “Paulus, Apostolus, not from men and not through man, but through Iesum Christum, and Deum the Father, who raised him from the dead.”
In that credibility has merit, here is how the most highly respected text, that of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition with McReynolds English Interlinear, reads: “Paul delegate not from men but not through man but through Jesus Christ and God father of the one having raised him from the dead...”
Sadly, the most recent rendition of Paulos’s letter simply reiterated all of the same mistakes. Consider the New Living Translation’s regurgitation of prior prose: “This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.”
What’s particularly regrettable regarding the New Living Translation is that the “New Testament’s” coordinator was none other than Philip Comfort. And yet every book Professor Comfort has published on the extant early Greek manuscripts acknowledges the consistent presence of the Divine Placeholders. He isn’t ignorant of them, and therefore, he is without excuse.
Before we move on, please notice that all three translations transliterated apostolos, rather than translate its meaning. They all ignored the four placeholders found in the Greek manuscripts, and then improperly conveyed Yahowsha’s name, Yahowsha’s title, and Yahowah’s title. Further, egeiromai, meaning “to rouse from sleep,” was translated based upon a tertiary definition in all three cases, as was nekros.
It is a natural, albeit annoying, tendency in spoken communication to use dependent clauses. But in the written word there is no excuse for run-on sentences, some of which comprise a paragraph or more.
Paulos’s first sentence of his first letter began, “Paulos, an apostle or delegate, not separating men, not even by the means of man, but to the contrary and emphatically on behalf of Iesou Christou and God, Father of the one having roused and awakened Him for public debate, raising Him out of a dead corpse,” and then continued:“and (kai) all (pas) the (oi) brothers (adelphos) with (sym) me (emoi) to the (tais) called out (ekklesia – out called; from ek – out of or from and kaleo – to call) of the (tes) Galatias (Galatias – the Roman province of Galatia in Asia Minor, bounded on the north by Bithynia and Paphlagonia, on the east by Pontus, on the south by Cappadocia and Lycaonia, and on the west by Phrygia) ” (Galatians 1:2)
First, Paul had a posse. Like all religious founders, he sought followers.
Second, there is no basis for anything remotely related to a “church” in the Greek texts. Ekklesia is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Miqra’ey because those who are Called Out are able to separate themselves from human institutions and join Yahowah’s Covenant family by responding to the Torah’s Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God. Second only to the religious corruption of Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s names through the avoidance of the Divine Placeholders, the replacement of ekklesia with “church” is the most lethal copyedit found in the so-called “Christian New Testament.”
Third, the “book” of Galatians is actually an open letter, or epistle. Paulos was responding to a myriad of opponents who had criticized his preaching in Galatia. We are witnesses, however, to only one side of this debate – in similar fashion to the never-ending argument which permeates Muhammad’s Qur’an. And in our quest for accuracy, the proper pronunciation of the name ascribed to this audience is Gal·at·ee·ah.
Unlike what we find in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, where God is seen dictating His message to a prophet or scribe who then writes down what he has heard in his native Hebrew tongue, Sha’uwl’s letters are the result of dictating a stream of consciousness to one of his devotees, to someone who was not a professional scribe, in Greek, a language foreign to him, rather than his native Hebrew, Aramaic, or Latin. Further, Paulos’s continued focus upon himself and his repetitive use of “but I say,” where “I” represents Paul, not Yahowah, differentiates this self-proclaimed Apostle’s epistles from God’s Word. It also positions Paulos as the lead candidate for the wolf in sheep’s clothing who would come in his own name and still be popularly received.
As a result of this stylistic choice, Sha’uwl’s letters contain some of the most difficult passages to translate. There are many missing words, and Paul’s epistles are famous for their run-on sentences. Moreover, in Galatians, Sha’uwl is being attacked, and he is clearly on the defensive, trying to justify his persona, authority, and teachings, especially those in conflict with the Torah of the God he is supposedly representing. His claim of being an “Apostle” was being questioned, because he was not a witness to Yahowsha’s words or deeds.
Galatia, itself, was a Roman province in Asia Minor which extended to the Black Sea. The Galatians were originally Gauls who moved down the Rhine to mingle with Greeks and Jews. They were known for their quick temper, prompt action, inconsistency, and malleability. Sha’uwl knew them well, as he had traveled throughout their land in the pursuit of his mission.
Now as we will do throughout this review of Galatians, here are the Nestle-Aland, the Latin Vulgate, and the King James renditions of the second verse. The NA reveals: “and the with me all brothers to the assemblies of the Galatia.” Next, the LV conveys: “and all the brothers who are with me: to the ecclesiis Galatiæ.” Of which, the KJV published: “And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:” In this case, its most egregious error cannot be blamed on the Latin Vulgate.
It is worth restating that few things in Christendom have been as harmful as changing the ekklesia, which means “called out,” to “church.” It created the impression that “Jesus Christ” had conceived a new, Christian institution to replace the Chosen People, and that this religious construct was somehow unrelated to Yahowah’s seven Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with Him, or even the Sabbath. And that led to the notion that the Feasts were nothing more than quaint “Jewish holidays.” But now, at least you know who to blame for this devastating corruption of the text. The Rosicrucian Francis Bacon, serving the political interests of King Iames, was the first to perpetrate this grievous and damning corruption. His predecessors, such as John Wycliffe, either transliterated ekklesia or wrote “assembly.”
In their desire to be politically correct, the revisionary paraphrase known as the NLT suggested: “All the brothers and sisters here join me in sending this letter to the churches of Galatia.” There is no Greek textual basis for “and sisters,” “here,” “join me,” “in sending,” or “this letter.” And ekklesia means “called out,” not “churches.” Equally misleading, the NLT created a new sentence, replete with a verb, to make it appear as if Paulos wasn’t actually engaged in a long-winded diatribe.
Also worth noting, only Galatians among Sha’uwl’s first five letters went out under his name alone. First and Second Thessalonians were sent from “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy.” First Corinthians was from Paul and Sosthenes, while the immensely troublesome, indeed demonic, epistle of Second Corinthians bears Timothy’s name in addition to Paul’s. In today’s vernacular, Sha’uwl wrote Galatians before his posse was popular.
The evidence suggests that this letter was dictated in haste immediately after the Yaruwshalaim Summit, immediately before Paul fell in love with Timothy. Equally telling is that while Sha’uwl will acknowledge Barnabas in this epistle, since the two severed their relationship in the immediate aftermath of the Yaruwshalaym Summit, he was excluded from the greeting and demeaned in the midst of a rather mean-spirited rant.
This next dependent clause is a great example of why it is so difficult to determine what Paulos was trying to say, and for us to ascertain why he chose to be so provocative. At issue here: there is no verb, and Charis (Greek) and Gratia (Latin) is the collective name of a very popular pagan trio of goddesses. “ Grace (charis – the name of the lovely and lascivious Greek goddesses of merriment, known to the Romans as the Gratia, from which “Grace” is derived) to you (humeis) and (kai) peace (eirene – harmony and tranquility, freedom from worry) from (apo) God (ΘΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘elohym, the Almighty), Father (pater) of us (emon) and (kai) Lord (ΚΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘edon, the Upright One, or Yahowah’s name), Iesou (ΙΗΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey Yahowsha’, meaning Yahowah Saves) Christou (ΧΡΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey Ma’aseyah) ” (Galatians 1:3)
Thankfully, charis is not found in the earliest and foundational books: Disciple Matthew or Mark (which was penned under the influence of the Disciple Shim’own Kephas / Peter). The Christian fixation on Charis, and its Roman manifestation, Gratia, is therefore a direct result of Paulos. Charis appears 107 times in the self-proclaimed Apostle’s letters, and another 14 times in Acts, a book written mostly about Paul and for Paul.
The only other mentions of charis in the Greek texts appear after the publication of Paul’s epistles. We find charis used in just one conversation in Yahowchanan / John (1:14-17). It is found four times in Luke, a book written from Paul’s perspective (of which there is no first-, second-, or third-century manuscript to verify these inclusions). Of the remaining 16 occurrences, we find all but two sprinkled in the poorest attested books: ten in Shim’own’s (Peter’s) letters (of which there are no reliable first-, second-, or third-century manuscripts (the late 3rd-century Papyrus 72 is extremely free (meaning imprecise and subject to substantial alterations), which suggests that it was heavily influenced by Marcion)), twice in Ya’aqob / James (of which there is no pre-Constantine manuscript of the 4:6 passage in which it appears), once in Second Yahowchanan / John (of which there is no pre-Constantine manuscript), and once in Jude (but P78 doesn’t include charis in the 4th verse indicating that it was later added by a scribe whose agenda was other than accuracy).
The first use of charis in Revelation (1:4) is attested only by a fragment too small to validate which appears to be written by an untrained and unprofessional scribe (as determined by his penmanship) and in the early fourth-century on Papyrus 18, and is thus unreliable. The second purported inclusion of charis is found in Revelation 22:21, but no pre-Constantine manuscript covers anything past the beginning of the 17th chapter, so it cannot be validated. Therefore, apart from the one poorly attested inclusion, there is no verification that charis was used by anyone other than Paul prior to the early fourth-century.
The reason that this is an issue is because Charis is the name of the three Greek Graces, known as the Charities (Charites). The English word “charity” is a transliteration of their name. These pagan goddesses of charm, splendor, and beauty, were often depicted in mythology celebrating nature and rejoicing over fertility. They were overtly erotic. Collectively they make four appearances in Homer’s Iliad and three in The Odyssey. In the order of their appearances, they are depicted offering bedroom attire to Aphrodite, participating in a ruse to trick Zeus, serving to lure Hypnos via promises of sex to mislead the father of the gods, as objects of beauty when splattered with blood, as the source of feminine attractiveness for handmaidens, as those who pampered Aphrodite after she was caught being unfaithful to her husband, and finally as a means to enchant through erotic dancing. And in the case of Aphrodite, the Graces “bathed her, anointed her with ambrosial oil, and dressed her in delightful apparel so that she might resume her loving duties” after having been caught in “the embrace of love with Ares,” the God of War. Homer used the enchanting lure of the Graces to depict the beauty of war.
Some accounts attest that the Graces were the daughters of Zeus. Others claim that Charis were the daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite. And that is particularly troubling because Paul claims to hear one of Dionysus’ most famous quotes during his conversion experience on the road to Damascus. And as it would transpire, Paul’s faith came to mirror the Dionysus cult (Bacchus in Roman mythology), which is one of the reasons why so many aspects of Pauline Christianity are pagan. (These troubling associations are detailed for your consideration in the “Kataginosko – Convicted” chapter.)
The Graces were associated with the underworld and with the Eleusinian Mysteries. Their naked form stands at the entrance of the Acropolis in Athens. Naked frescoes of the Charites adorn homes in Pompeii, Italy which means that they transcended the Greek religion and influenced Rome where they became known as the Gratia. Their appeal, beyond their beauty, gaiety, and sensual form, is that they held mysteries known only to religious initiates. Francis Bacon, as the founder of the Rosicrucians, would have loved them.
At issue here, and the reason that I bring this to your attention, is that Yahowah tells us in the Torah that the names of pagan gods and goddesses should not be memorialized in this way. “Do not bring to mind (zakar – remember or recall, mention or memorialize) the name of other (‘acher – or different) gods (‘elohym); neither let them be heard coming out of your mouth.” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 23:13)
And: “I will remove and reject the names of the Lords and false gods (ba’alim) out of your mouth, and they shall be brought to mind and memorialized (zakar – remembered, recalled, and mentioned) by their name no more.” (Howsha’ / Salvation / Hosea 2:16-17)
And yet the name of the Greek goddesses, Charis, is the operative term of Galatians—one which puts Paulos in opposition to the very Towrah – Teaching and God which condemns the use of their names. Simply stated: the “Gospel of Grace” is pagan. It is literally “Gott’s spell of Gratia.”
In ancient languages, it’s often difficult to determine if the name of a god or goddess became a word, or if an existing descriptive term later became a name. But we know that Greek goddesses, like those in Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, and Rome, bore names which described their mythological natures and ambitions. Such is the case with the Charites. They came to embody many of the things the word, charis, has come to represent: “joy, favor, mercy, acceptance, loving kindness, and the gift of goodwill,” in addition to “licentiousness, sensuality, hedonism, merriment, and eroticism.” So while we can’t be certain if the name Charis was based on the verb, chairo, or whether the verb was based upon the name, we know that it conveys all of these things, both good and bad.
There is a Hebrew equivalent to positive aspects of this term—one used in its collective forms 193 times in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. It is chen, from the verb, chanan. As a noun, it means “favor and acceptance by way of an unearned gift,” which is why it is often mistranslated “grace” in English Bibles. To be chanan is “to be merciful, demonstrating unmerited favor,” and as such chanan is errantly rendered “to be gracious.” The author of the eyewitness account of Yahowsha’s life, whom we know as “John,” was actually Yahowchanan, meaning “Yahowah is Merciful.”
Before we move on, I want to bring your attention to another problem with our English translations. In this passage, the purpose of the placeholders for Yahowsha’s name and title, ΙΗΥ for “Yahowsha’” and ΧΡΥ for “Ma’aseyah,” and were ignored as usual. And in both cases, the placeholders were replaced by the Greek name and title which does not actually appear in the oldest manuscripts. In this way, the placeholders became Iesou Christou and then Jesus Christ.
For the second time in a row, Paulos has reversed the proper order of title and name, and I suspect to infer that “Iesou’s last name was “Christou,” a ruse Christians have swallowed as if the poison was laced with Kool-Aid. But this is like writing “Francis Pope” rather than “Pope Francis.” It is akin to writing “George King” instead of “King George.” So even if the title “Christou” was accurate, and it is not, even if the Ma’aseyah was Greek, and He was not, writing Iesou Christou is wrong on every account.
Worse, now that Satan’s title, “Lord,” has been associated with Iesou Christou, those who are cognizant of the Adversary’s agenda see his demonic influence on this letter. Satan could not corrupt Yahowsha’ while He was here, so now that He’s gone, he has inspired Sha’uwl to corrupt His nature.
Beyond this, absolutely no attempt was made in any English bible to translate or transliterate the Hebrew basis of Yahowsha’s title or name. And yet, the Greek charis, which is used as if it were a title in the phrase “Gospel of Grace” throughout Paul’s letters, was neither translated nor transliterated from the Greek, but instead was conveyed by replicating the name of the Roman version of the Greek goddesses, and therefore as “Grace.” Inconsistencies like this are troubling, because they prove that the translators cannot be trusted.
While it is a smaller distinction, Yahowah and Yahowsha’ convey “shalowm,” which speaks of “reconciliation.” It is focused upon “restoring a relationship.” Paulos, on the other hand, speaks of “eirene – peace,” which is the absence of war. They aren’t the same.
Continuing our review of the sources of Christian corruption, the NA reads: “favor to you and peace from God father of us and Master Jesus Christ.” Next, the KJV begins verse 1:3 by offering the pagan Goddesses to the Galatians: “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,” This time, their inspiration was the Latin Vulgate, which reads: “Gratia and peace to you from the Father, our Domino, Iesu Christo.”
I am always interested in knowing how pagan terms enter into the religious vernacular. In this case, we just learned that “Grace” comes to us by way of the Roman Catholic Vulgate. Gratia was the Latin name for the Greek Charis. And that is why they are known as the “Graces” in English.
In Pagan Rome, the three Gratia, or Graces, served as clever counterfeits for euangelion—Yahowsha’s healing and beneficial message. So all Christendom has done is transliterate the Roman name into English, and then base a religious mantra, “the Gospel of Grace,” upon the name of these pagan deities.
This is deeply troubling. It is a scar upon the credibility of the texts. It is a mortal wound to Paul’s epistles, and it is an irresolvable death blow to Christendom.
In the NLT, rather than Paulos offering the Galatians “Grace,” the Father and Son are depicted doing so. “May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.”
All three translations got one name right, that of the pagan goddesses, “Grace.” The other name and titles, they got wrong—and those belonged to God. In fact, throughout this review, you will find that all of the most important names and titles – Yahowah, Ma’aseyah, Yahowsha’, Upright One, Ekklesia, and Healing Message – are always rendered errantly while all of the made up or less meaningful names and titles are transliterated accurately in most every English bible translation. And that is incriminating.
Sha’uwl’s rambling introductory sentence continues with: “ the one (tou) having given (didomi – having produced and allowed) Himself (heautou) on account of (peri – concerning and regarding) the (ton) sins (hamartia – wrong doings, wanderings away, and errors) of us (emon), so that (hopos – somehow, as a marker of indefinite means) He might possibly gouge or tear out (exaireo – He might choose to pick, pluck, root, or take out (in the aorist tense this depicts a moment in time, in the middle voice, He, not we, is affected by his actions, and in the subjunctive mood, this is a mere possibility)) us (emas) from (ek) the (tou) past inflexible and unrelenting circumstances of the old system (aionos – the previous era, the long period of time in history operating as a universal or worldly system, something that was existence in the earliest or prior times that continued over a long period of time; from aei – circumstances which are incessant, unremitting, relentless, invariable, and inflexible) which (tou) had been in place (enistamai – had occurred in the past but was influencing the present circumstances in which we had been placed, depicting were we had come from, and now found ourselves, presently threatened by a previous edit (in the perfect tense this is being used to describe a completed action in the past which still influences the present state of affairs, in the active voice the subject is performing the action, and as a participle in the genitive, the circumstance into which we have been placed is being presented as a verbal adjective which is being described by the following)) which is disadvantageous and harmful (poneros – which is wicked and worthless, evil and faulty, immoral and corrupt, annoying and mischievous, laborious and criminal, unprofitable and useless, unserviceable and malicious, malevolent and malignant (in the genitive, this adjective is modifying the previous genitive participle)) down from and in opposition to (kata – extending downward from, with regard to, and against) the desire and will (to thelema – the wish, inclination, intent, choice, pleasure, and decision) of the (tou) God (ΘΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘elohym, the Almighty, or Yahowah’s name) and (kai) Father (ΠΡΣ) of us (ego) ” (Galatians 1:4)
While it’s a fairly small copyedit, modern Greek texts use hyper between “giving Himself,” and “us missing the mark,” but on Papyrus 46, we find peri, instead. While these words convey similar thoughts, hyper, meaning “for the sake of and in place of,” makes a stronger case, which is why scribes may have replaced peri with it.
This known, there are some insights to be gleaned from this passage – all of which are horrendous. First, once we come to understand that Ma’aseyah and Yahowsha’ mean the “Work of Yahowah” and “Yahowah Saves,” we realize that Yahowah is the one who personally gave of Himself to save us. However, when these clauses are joined, we find Paulos claiming that the “Lord Iesou Christou,” was “the one having given Himself.” This is not a small distinction. It defies the very purpose and nature of God. This error in perception is akin to calling our Father “Lord.”
While Paul expressly denounces this connection with hopos, which is a “marker of indefinite means.” By including it, this introductory statement infers that the methods deployed by God to save us were “not planned,” they “did not unfold on a fixed or appointed schedule,” and that His “means were unclear, vague, and imprecise.” Since this is all untrue, it’s instructive for you to know that Yahowah set apart from Himself a diminished corporeal manifestation to cure us of our sins. In this way, Yahowsha’s body served as the Passover Lamb and His soul, once associated with our mistakes, was placed in She’owl on the Sabbath to honor the promise to perfect us on Unleavened Bread.
But none of this occurred according to Paul. His Lord slept through it all. And he must have awakened in a horrible mood, at least based upon the angry and violent verb his apostle ascribed to him – exaireo: He might gouge, tear, and pluck out.
Or perhaps, the transformation from Sha’uwl, the murderous rabbi, to Paulos, the Lord’s Apostle, was a bit overstated. By any standard, and most especially in this context, exaireo was a poor choice of words. It literally speaks of “gouging and tearing out,” in addition to “plucking and rooting out.” Yes, exaireo can also convey “to rescue, to remove, and to take out,” but when these softer approaches are connected with what the “Lord Iesou Christou” is allegedly delivering us from, it only gets worse.
In the Complete Word Study Dictionary, the primary definition of exaireo is “to take or pluck out an eye.” They provided this example because both times Yahowsha’ is translated using the verb it is to depict the “plucking out of an eye.” The only other time exaireo is used by other than Paul, Stephen is translated in Acts telling the High Priest that Yowseph was “exaireo – delivered from” all of his afflictions. Reflecting this usage, the secondary definition in the Complete Word Study Dictionary is “to take out of affliction.” So in a moment we’ll consider the source of affliction from which this Lord is supposedly “rescuing” us.
The Dictionary of Biblical Languages concurs with its peers, reporting that exaireo principally means: “take out, gouge out, and tear out.” Secondarily, they attest that it can convey “to rescue and set free.” Then they point us to its root, haireomai, and reveal that exaireo also means “to choose.” But this too is a problem. While Yahowah has every right to choose whomever He wants, for the most part, the option is ours. We were given freewill so that we might choose to engage in a relationship with God.
Moving on, the Exegetical Dictionary lists “pluck it out” as its favored definition. This is supported by Strong’s Lexicon which presents “to pluck out” as the most accurate depiction of exaireo. This is not a loving embrace.
Nonetheless, Paulos deployed exaireo in the aorist tense, which depicts an isolated moment in time without any respect to a process. As such, the sacrifices made by Paul’s Lord were random events, neither promised nor part of a plan. They didn’t even occur on a prescribed schedule – all of which is untrue. In the middle voice, his Lord is being affected by his own actions, which could only be valid if the Lord is Satan, not Yahowsha’. With regard to Yahowsha’s sacrifices, it is Yahowah’s Covenant children who benefited from them. But if Paul’s Lord is Satan, then it is the Adversary who is most favorably affected by this inversion of the truth. And last but not least, by using the subjunctive mood, faith becomes operative, because it presents a mere possibility.
This has been a horrendous beginning, with the rejection of his Hebrew name, the selection of a Roman moniker, the unfounded boast of being named an apostle, denying his rabbinical training and its influence, inverting the order of Yahowsha’s title and name not once but twice, inferring that God slept through the most vital aspect of His mission and that His corpse was reanimated, suggesting that he had followers, specifically noting that the pagan Graces were now operative, revealing that his god was the Lord, inferring that there had been no plan, that God’s schedule and timing were irrelevant, only to write that his Lord was now plucking us away from something. But from what do you suppose was Paulos’s Lord tearing us away from?
To answer that question we have to isolate the specific “aionos – prolonged circumstance, old or new system, or era, past, present, or future” Paul is labeling “corrupt and worthless” with the adjective poneros. And fortunately, our first hint comes from “enistamai – the system in which we had been placed” by the inclination of God. With the verb scribed in the completed variation of the past tense where there is a lingering effect, we can be fairly sure that subject this verb and adjective are addressing with aionos is a “previous or old system” under which people, at least according to Paul, are still being adversely influenced. So while the identity of this entity should be obvious, since knowing for certain is vital to our understanding of Sha’uwl’s intent, please bear with me a while longer as we uncover something which is, well, disturbing.
In a general sense, aionos can be used to address any era or age, past, present, or future. It speaks of prolonged periods of time, even of so many lifetimes these periods might seem as forever. It reflects eons and ages, which is why it is often translated “forever” or “into perpetuity.” Aionos is used to describe “worldly systems” and “universal circumstances.” But not every condition can be conveyed using aionos, because it is based upon “aei – circumstances which are incessant, unremitting, relentless, invariable, and inflexible.” This is telling because this is similar to how Sha’uwl describes Yahowah’s Torah.
Paul uses aionos as if it was synonymous with the “world as it presently exists” in 1 Corinthians 8:13. It is used to mislead people into believing that there is an “order of” Melchisedec in Hebrews 5:6. Then in Ephesians 3:9, Paulos again deploys aionos to speak of a mystery which has been hidden by God from the “beginning of the world.”
But it is his selection of aionos in Colossians 1:26 which is especially telling. There, and once again in association with “mysterion – something which is a mystery, both secret and mysterious, something unspoken” and also “apokrypto – deliberately hidden and concealed,” we find aionos depicting “past ages,” especially with regard to previous generations.
So let’s turn to that letter and examine what Paulos had to say about the mysterious and hidden aionos. This discussion begins with the self-proclaimed apostle arrogantly and erroneously presenting himself as the “co-savior” and “co-author” of his new religion in Colossians 1:24-25: “Now (nyn – at the same time), I rejoice (chairo – I embrace and hail, I thrive and benefit (present tense, active voice, indicative mood)) in (en – by and in association with) the sufferings and misfortunate afflictions (tois pathema – the evil calamities and adverse emotional passions) for your sake (hyper sy – for the benefit of you, beyond you and over you), and (kai – also) I actually complete (antanapleroo – I fill up and fulfill, I make up for that which would otherwise be deficient (in the present tense the writer is portraying his contribution as being in process, in the active voice, he is signifying that subject, which would be either Sha’uwl or the afflictions is performing this, and with the indicative mood, the writer is portraying his fulfillment of the sufferings as being actual, and thus real, even though he may not believe it himself)) that which is deficient and lacking (hysterema – that which is needed, missing, wanted, and absent from, addressing the deficiencies associated with that which is left to be done due to prior failures and inferior performances) of the (ton) afflictions (thlipsis – pressing troubles, anguishing distresses, burdensome tribulations, oppressive pressures, straits, and persecutions) of the (tou) Christou (XPU) in (en) the (te) flesh (sarx – corporeally) of me (mou) for the benefit of (hyper – for the sake of, on behalf of, beyond and over) the (tou) body of (soma – the human and animal nature of) Him (autou) who (os) is (eimi – He presently, and by His own accord, exist as (present active indicative)) the (e) called out (ekklesia – called-out assembly, congregation, meeting), of which (hos – that means), I (ego), myself, exist as (ginomai – myself conceive and bring into existence, become, cause, belong to, appear as, and possess similar characteristics to) a servant (diakonos – one who serves without necessarily having the office) extended down from (kata – in accordance with or against, with regard to or in opposition to) the administration and arrangement (oikonomia – the management, task, job, oversight, dispensation, or plan) of this (tou – the) god (ΘΩ), the (ten) appointment having been produced and granted (didomi – one caused, assigned, entrusted, committed, and given for his advantage (in the aorist participle this one time appointment was in antecedent time, in the passive this god was influenced and acted upon, and in the accusative singular this appointment was solely granted) to me (moi – to and for myself (in the dative, Sha’uwl is saying that this belongs to him)) to (eis – for and into) you all (umas) to complete and fulfill (pleroo – to fully provide, completely enable, and finish, bringing an end to) the (ton) word (logon – statement, speech, and account) of the (tou) god (ΘΩ).” (Colossians 1:24-25)
Like I said, in addition to calling himself the “co-savior,” Paulos would have us believe that he is the “co-author” of God’s Word. If we are to believe him, God personally granted Paulos the authority to complete Scripture and the Plan of Salvation. It all sounds a bit Muhammadan, doesn’t it? On a one to ten scale of presumptuousness and ego, of intoxicating and deadly deceit, this would be off the planet.
So now after revealing that he is both “co-savior” and “co-author,” God’s means to make up for His own deficiencies, Paulos turns to mythology to say that his enormous contribution and this marvelous accommodation had been unknown to the Jews, which is to the descendants of Abraham and the Covenant, to those blinded by the old system. He writes:
“The mystery and mythology (to mysterion – the sacred secrets, used as a technical religious term in the pagan cults of Greece and Rome to depict a secret rite or esoteric knowledge confided only to the initiated and not spoken to mere mortals) of the one having been hidden and concealed (to apokrypto – the one kept a secret) from those of (apo) the past age (ton aionos – the old system), and from (kia apo) their generations (genea – the descendants who were related, thus speaking of the offspring of the old system who were Abraham’s descendents, a.k.a., Yahuwdym), but right now at this exact moment (de nyn – however presently at this time as part of this current discourse) it is being revealed (phaneroo – it is being disclosed and displayed) to (tois) his (autou) holy and pure ones (hagios – dedicated, consecrated, sacred, and set-apart saints).” (Colossians 1:26)
Since this has been all about Paul’s contributions, it would be reasonable to assume that he was inferring that God wanted him to become known to the world in this way – by Paul’s own hand. But that is not why we turned to the Colossians letter. We were seeking to define aionos which, now having been linked to the “genea – descendants,” can be none other than the Towrah and its Covenant. In Paul’s mind, that was the “old system.”
Returning to Galatians 1:4, as I mentioned before, with “enistamai – had been placed in” scribed in the perfect tense, thereby describing something that had been completed in the past but with a legacy influence, we have yet another affirmation that aionos was being deployed to depict an “old, or previously existing, system.” And then when these circumstances are presented in context to “to thelema – the intent and decision” of God, the aionos is most assuredly the Torah.
That is a problem for a number of reasons. First, Paulos is describing God’s “old system,” His Towrah, saying that it is: “poneros – disadvantageous and harmful,” when Yahowah’s perspective on His Towrah is the opposite. Just imagine having the gall to call God’s teaching and guidance “wicked and worthless, evil and faulty, immoral and corrupt, annoying and mischievous, laborious and criminal, unprofitable and useless, unserviceable and malicious, malevolent and malignant.” No. Sorry. Not even remotely. Just the opposite.
Second, Paulos is introducing the myth which would forever haunt Christendom: that of an “Old Testament” being replaced by a “New Testament.” And yet God only has one testimony. His message has not changed. Likewise, Yahowah only has one Covenant, and it has yet to be renewed. Yahowah and Yahowsha’ emphatically affirm that the Towrah is forever. Nothing can be added to it or taken away from it. And yet here, it is being discarded as trash, as porn.
Third, why would anyone in their right mind believe that God authorized someone to be His Apostle so that he could malign and discredit Him? Associating poneros with His system, with His Way, is about as slanderous as words allow.
And fourth, if God’s original system was so worthless and immoral, why would anyone suspect that His revision would somehow be worthy? How is it that the Author of such a disadvantageous and harmful scheme could ever be credible? Moreover, if this is God’s history, if what He has revealed and promised through His previous prophets is so awful, so counterproductive, why believe this apostle?
And as mind-bendingly atrocious as all of this is, and it is as bad as bad ever gets, there is yet another implication so rotten, so insidious, once I saw it, I had to put my response off for a day just to cool down. Paul is saying that his “Lord Iesou Christou” is “tearing us away from” the Torah. It is the unspoken secret of Christianity.
While Yahowsha’ bluntly and boldly declared to all who would listen that He came to fulfill and affirm the Towrah, and that no one should think that He came to discredit or discard it, Paulos is refuting all of this. He is literally turning everything Yahowsha’ represents upside down. After demeaning the Word of God, he is tossing it away.
Yahowah’s entire plan has been torn asunder. Yahowsha’s mission is now for naught. The Covenant is meaningless. The Invitations to Meet with God will go unanswered. The Torah is public enemy number one. And yet by writing in God’s name, by claiming God’s authorization and sponsorship, Paulos with the stroke of a pen has handed billions of unsuspecting souls over to Satan.
We are witnessing the creation of Christianity. Paul’s religion would be based upon the lie that the “Lord Jesus Christ came to save us from the evils of the Torah and from its mean and incompetent God.” In Christendom, rather than the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ being the corporeal manifestation of Yahowah saving us by affirming and fulfilling the Torah’s promises, the “Lord Jesus Christ” would be “kata – in opposition to” the “thelema” will and intent” of God, “exaireo – ripping us away from” His “poneros – disadvantageous and harmful” “aionos – Old System.”
I am reminded of what Yahowah said of this man some 2,500 years ago: Pay attention, he will be puffed up with false pride. His soul, it is not right nor straightforward in him. So, through trust and reliance, by being firmly established and upheld by that which is dependable and truthful, those who are upright and vindicated live. (2:4)
Moreover, because the intoxicating wine and inebriating spirit of the man of deceptive infidelity and treacherous betrayal is a high-minded moral failure, and his is arrogant and meritless presumption, he will not rest, find peace, nor live, whoever is open to the broad path, the duplicitous and improper way, associated with Sha’uwl.
He and his soul are like the plague of death. And so those who are brought together by him, receiving him, will never be satisfied. All of the Gentiles will gather together unto him, all of the people from different races and nations in different places. (2:5)
But they do not ask questions, any of them, about him. Terse references to the word they lift up as taunts to ridicule, with implied associations that mock, controlling through comparison and counterfeit, along with allusive sayings with derisive words arrogantly conveyed.
There are hard and perplexing questions which need to be asked of him, and double dealings to be known regarding him. So they should say, ‘Woe to the one who claims to be great so as to increase his offspring, acting like a rabbi, when neither apply to him. For how long will they make pledges based upon his significance, becoming burdened by his testimony?’” (Chabaquwq / Embrace This / Habakkuk 2:6)
While it is a painful reminder, in his opening line, Paulos actually wrote: “ the one having produced and given Himself on account of the sins and errors of us, so that somehow, through indefinite means, He might possibly gouge or tear out, pluck or uproot us from the past circumstances and old system which had been in place which is disadvantageous and harmful, corrupt and worthless, malicious and malignant extended downward from and in opposition to the desire and will, the inclination and intent of God and Father of us ” (Galatians 1:4)
Reflecting some, but not all of this, the McReynolds translators, who provided the Nestle-Aland Interlinear, opted to ignore the caustic and confrontational nature of Paulos’s greeting when they offered: “the one having given himself on behalf of the sins of us so that he might pick out us from the age the present evil by the want of the God and father of us.” And not surprisingly, the dark side of the message laden within the Greek text was also ignored in the version of Galatians 1:4 found in the KJV: “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father,” Other than “present wicked age,” the Vulgate is identical.
The NLT, however, decided to be more creative: “Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.” While the inclusion of a subject is required, “Jesus’” name isn’t part of this clause. Further, arbitrarily adding a subject to the clause artificially elevates the writing quality, giving the false impression that this could have been inspired by a rational being. Furthermore, there is no basis for “his life” in the Greek text.
Although the words Paulos selected, taken on their own merits, provide convincing proof that what he was proposing was nefarious, since the accusation that I’ve leveled against him, if true, would make him the most evil man in human history, I’d like to share something germane from this same man’s sixth letter, the one he wrote to the Romans.
This particular discussion begins in clever fashion, albeit in an arrogant and condescending manner, and by using an ill-suited straw man. Before I share it, it is important that you know that the Towrah provides very few instructions regarding marriage. It reveals that men and women become one in marriage and that adultery is highly inadvisable. It speaks against incest, homosexuality, and bestiality. There is some guidance regarding a woman’s menstrual period and on showing compassion to enslaved women. And as for divorce, it is as simple as having the man hand his estranged wife a certificate. The lone rule regarding divorce says that if the woman remarries and divorces again, the first husband can’t have her back. Beyond this, there is a non-binding recommendation on how a man can assist his brother’s widow in the case of a childless marriage.
“Or alternatively (e), are you presently ignorant (agnoeo) brothers (adelphos)? Knowing and understanding (ginosko) then (gar) the Torah (nomon), I say (laleo) that (hoti) the Torah (nomos) is lord and master, ruling over (kyrieuo) the man (anthropos) for (epi) however long and to whatever degree that (hosos chronos) he lives (zao).” (7:1)
The Romans were not ignorant, but since they knew very little about the Torah, they were susceptible to what may be one of the most twisted and disingenuous arguments I’ve ever witnessed. Here, Paul is claiming that he is an expert on the Torah, telling the Romans that he “knows and understands it.” But rather than revealing what it actually says, Paul speaks of the Torah being akin to a Lord and Master. And yet in actuality, there is no correlation between the Yahowah’s Towrah and the mannerisms of Satan, who is the Lord. The Towrah emancipates the Children of the Covenant from slavery, from being oppressed by human religious and political institutions. And as a liberating document from our Heavenly Father, it does not function as a “lord.”
“To explain (gar), under the male (huphadros – subject to a man’s authority), a woman (gyne) to (to) a living (zao) man (andri) is bound, restricted and imprisoned (deo – tied, compelled, and forced, under his authority) in the Torah (nomo). But (de) if (ean) the man (o aner) should die (apothnesko), it provides release (katageomai – it makes inoperative, it abolishes and invalidates this, discharging her) from (apo) the Torah (tou nomou) of the (tou) man (andros).” (7:2)
It is Paul’s letters which subject women to men. The Torah says no such thing. So this, the premise of Paul’s argument, is not only a lie, he knows that it is invalid. Therefore, Paul was lying through his teeth when he set up this argument to explain how he claims we have been released from the “old written system” “of the Torah.” But by considering his preamble, we are witnessing just how devious and convoluted a misguided man’s arguments can be.
“As a result then (ara), accordingly (oun) with the man living (zao tou andros), an adulteress (moichalis) she will be considered (chrematizo – based upon what God makes known and instructed) if (ean) she may come to be (ginomai) with another man (heteros andri). But (de) if (ean) the man (o aner) might die (apothnesko), she is (estin) free (eleutheros – no longer a slave) from (apo) the Torah (tou nomou), her (auten) not being (me einai) an adulteress (moichalis) by being with (ginomai) another (etero) man (andri).” (7:3)
Here again, after inverting the evidence by mischaracterizing the Torah, Paul is negating reason. The woman’s relationship to the Torah is unchanged by her husband’s death. If I were to die, for example, while my wife would be free of me, she would not be released from the American judicial system. The Constitution of the United States is unaltered by my demise, as would be my widow’s rights under it.
The only reason that the widow wouldn’t be considered an adulteress for being with another man is that she is no longer married. Her changed status is irrespective of the Torah.
“So as a result (hoste), brothers (adelphos) of mine (mou), also (kai) you all (umeis) were put to death (thanatoo – you were all executed, made to die and deprived of life, even exterminated, ceasing to exist) in the (to) Torah (nomo) by way of (dia – through) the body (tou soma – the physical being) of the (tou) Christou (ΧΡΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples to convey Ma’aseyah) into (eis) you all (umas) become (ginomai) of another (etero), to the (to) dead (nekros) having been awakened and arising (egeiromai – being aroused and raised to life) in order to (hina) bear fruit (karpophoreo) of the (to) God (ΘὨ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘elohym, the Almighty).” (7:4)
This is a leap out of irrational ignorance into mind-numbing stupidity. There is no correlation between the widow’s husband dying and the Romans being put to death. And while Romans murdered hundreds of thousands of Torah observant Jews, very few Romans were killed because of the Torah – and none in Paul’s audience. Yahowsha’s body, serving as the Passover Lamb, upheld and affirmed the Torah, so that we might live. Therefore, to suggest that the fulfillment of Passover equates to the death of the Torah is a non sequitur.
“For (gar) when (ote) we were (emen) in (en) the (te) flesh (sarx), the suffering and misfortune (pathema – the evil afflictions and uncontrollable impulses and sexual desires) of being evil, offensive, and errant (hamartia – of being misled and of being sinful, doing wrong) was a result of (dia – by, through, and on account of) the (tou) Torah (nomou) operating and functioning (energeo – bringing about and producing) in (en) our (emon) bodies (melos – members) to (eis) bear the fruit (karpophoreo) of (to) death (thanatos – the plague, pestilence, and pandemic disease associated with dying and punishment).” (7:5)
Paul equates Yahowah’s Torah to the “flesh” because he was overtly opposed to the sign of the Covenant which is circumcision. And by the “flesh,” he means “evil” – something he admits by calling the Torah a source of “pathema – suffering, misfortune, and evil afflictions.” He even goes so far as to say that as a result of the Torah, “hamartia – that which is evil, offensive, and errant,” is brought about in us. In other words, according to Paul: the Torah is the source of all evil.
Forgetting for a moment that the opposite is true, where is the logic which connects the death of a woman’s husband to this absurd mischaracterization of Yahowah’s Torah? And how is it that God’s teaching regarding what is good and bad, suddenly becomes the source for bringing about that which is bad? That is like saying that a documentary film on the hazards of using illicit drugs is responsible for drug abuse.
Lastly, since Yahowsha’s body, representing the Passover Lamb, opened the doorway to life, something which was affirmed and celebrated during FirstFruits, it ought not be equated with death.
“But (de) now at the present time (nyni – at this very moment), we have been released and removed from (katageomai apo – we have made inoperative, abolished, and invalidated, having been discharged from the uselessness of) the Torah (tou nomou), having died (apothnesko) in (en) that which (o) inappropriately hindered and restrained us, holding us down (katecho – possessed and controlled us, holding us back) in order to (hoste – for the purpose and so as to) enslave us (douleuo emas – subjecting us to servitude, slavery, and forced obedience), to (en – in or with) different and completely new (kainotes – extraordinarily recent, unused, unprecedented, uncommon, and unheard) of spirit (pneuma) and not (kai ou) the old, inferior, obsolete, and former age and way of (palaiotes – the antiquated and arcane system, the ancient and worn out state of affairs of) that which was written (gramma – the written document).” (7:6)
This is so incongruous, it staggers the mind to realize that billions of souls have been beguiled by Paul’s rubbish. There is absolutely no connection between the death of a woman’s husband and her being released from the Torah. And there is no correlation between that hypothetical death, and either the Torah dying or us being released from it.
I’d be surprised if there was a single individual in Paul’s audience who had chosen to be bound to the Torah, which means they could not be released from it – nor would they want to be. The choice to accept or reject the Torah, and its promises and provisions, is ours alone. Yahowah does not impose it, or its benefits, on us.
According to God, His Torah liberates us, freeing us from slavery, from death, and from judgment. But not according to Paul. His garbled and concocted version of the Torah hinders and enslaves.
Paul’s answer is to reject the “palaiotes gramma – the old and obsolete way which was written” with a “kainotes pneuma – a completely different and recent spirit.” But at least now we have come face to face with Paul admitting that my interpretation of his opening statement in Galatians was correct. The “Old System” that he was calling “poneros – corrupt and harmful” was none other than the Torah. Based upon his incessant use of Torah in this argument, we are left with no other viable alternative. Moreover, for those who would claim that Paul was assailing the Oral Law of the rabbis, think again. Paul’s enemy was the “gramma – written” “nomos – Torah.” And let’s never lose site of the fact that in Galatians 3:10, a statement we considered in the previous chapter, Paul, himself, translates the Hebrew word “towrah” using the Greek term “nomou.”
Of course, by calling the Torah a “palaiotes – an old, inferior, obsolete, antiquated, and arcane system of a previous age,” Paul is once again projecting a message which is in complete and irreconcilable conflict with Yahowsha’s testimony regarding His Torah. One is not speaking for the other. Sha’uwl is contradicting Yahowsha’ on behalf of a “kainotes pneuma – a completely different and recent, unprecedented and unheard of spirit.” And that means that the spirit Paul is advocating cannot be Yahowah’s Spirit, the “Ruwach Qodesh – Set-Apart Spirit” of the Towrah.
So what spirit do you suppose Paul is advocating? Do you know of a spirit adversarial to Yahowah who is also opposed to His Towrah? I know him and I suspect you do as well. So all I can say is that I’m glad to have this wicked man and his demonic spirit out of my life. Christians, you can have him.
As ignorant and irrational as this argument has been thus far, it is about to get ludicrous – ridiculous to the point of comical.
“What (ti), therefore (oun), shall we say (eroumen)? The Torah (o nomos) is misleading, errant, and offensive (hamartia – is evil, sinful, and wrong)? If only it were not so (me ginomai – may it not be or I wish it was not true (in the aorist, this state exists without regard to any process or plan, in the middle voice the subject, which would be Paul as the speaker, is acting on his own initiative, and with the optative mood, the implied subject is conveying his personal wishes and desires regarding a mere possibility)).
Nevertheless (alla – but however, making an emphatic and certain contrast), I would not have actually known (ouk ginosko – I would not be familiar with or recognize (aorist active indicative)) that which is evil, sinful, and wrong (hamartia – that which is misleading, errant, and offensive) if not (ei me) through (dia – by) the Torah (nomou).
For (gar – because) also (te – in addition to this), lust and craving (epithymia – strong impulses and desires), I would not have been aware of (ouk oida – I would not have been able to recognize (pluperfect active indicative)) if not (ei me) for the (o) Torah (nomou) saying (lego), ‘You will not have strong desires (ouk epithymeo – you will not long, lust, or crave, you will not be sexually perverted or licentious (future active indicative)).’” (7:7)
How is it that a notion so absurd became the foundation of a religion that influences billions of souls? Since Yahowah is the author of the Torah, Paul is saying that God and His testimony are “hamartia – misleading, errant, and offensive.” And yet at the same time, he wants you to believe that this same God is not only speaking through him, but has authorized him to vilify Him. Beyond this, he wants us to believe the God who has deliberately misled everyone thus far. It is little wonder faith and religion are synonymous.
The God Paul claims enslaved and killed everyone, now under Paul’s stewardship is suddenly transformed as a new and different spirit providing freedom and life. And the means of our salvation is through disassociating everyone from His foundational thesis. Moreover, the book which discourages us from going astray and being evil is actually the source of evil and of being misled.
The basis of his argument is as follows: 1) you are ignorant, 2) Paul is brilliant, 3) he says the Torah acts like a Lord, 3) women are under men, 4) the Torah binds, restricts, and imprisons women to men, 5) when a man dies a woman is released from the inoperative Torah, 6) as a result, the woman is no longer an adulteress, 7) when the widow goes to be with another man she is no longer a slave to the Torah, 8) as a result, you were put to death by the Torah, 9) the body of Christou caused you and the Torah to die, 10) you came to another by dying, 11) by being awakened and arising you bear the fruit of God, 12) for then in the flesh you suffer evil afflictions and uncontrollable urges, 13) you are evil, offensive and wrong because the Torah is operating within you producing the fruit of death, 14) but now, you have been released from the invalidated Torah, 15) you have died, 16) you were inappropriately hindered and held down by the Torah, 17) the Torah’s purpose was to enslave you, 18) you have been released into the care of a different and completely new spirit, 19) you have been freed from the old, obsolete, and inferior way which was written in the Torah, 20) we should say that the Torah is misleading, evil, and wrong, 21) we don’t want to say this, 22) nonetheless, Paul would not have known that he was evil if it had not been for the Torah, 23) so therefore, the Torah is responsible for Paul’s lustful cravings, coveting, and sexual perversions, 24) it also killed him, but he is not dead.
On what planet does any of this make sense? I don’t suppose that with such sublime rhetoric anyone is going to confuse Paul with Plato anytime soon.
“But now (de) the opportunity, excuse, and pretext (aphorme – the basis and starting point of the favorable environment and the opportune circumstance) to grasp hold of and experience (lambano – to select and be exploited by) that which is evil, sinful, and wrong (hamartia – that which is misleading, errant, and offensive) through (dia) the commandment (entole – the regulation) it was brought about thoroughly (katergazomai – it was performed, effected, committed, accomplished, and worked) in (en) me (emoi), including every and all (pasan) deep desire and longing (epithymia – lust and craving, uncontrollable urges, sexual perversion, and licentiousness).
For indeed (gar – because certainly), without (choris – apart from, by itself, or separately from) the Torah (nomou), that which is misleading, errant, and offensive (hamartia – that which is evil, sinful, and wrong, even guilt and the consequence of sin) is dead and no longer an issue (nekros – is lifeless and has departed, and thus is useless, futile, ineffective, and powerless).” (7:8)
Beyond the fact that there are no “Commandments,” but instead “Three Statements and Seven Instructions,” not one of them says: “You will not lust, crave, desire, long, or have uncontrollable urges.” There is none which speaks of restraining a person’s capacity to engage in “sexual perversions” or “licentiousness, either. Not only isn’t passion or promiscuity addressed, not one of the Ten Statements was written in the future tense. Most, if not all, were scribed in the imperfect, which speaks of ongoing and habitual behavior without reference to time. Additionally, reasonable people realize that a document which discourages harmful behaviors, does not facilitate sin.
Also relevant, adultery, murder, lying, and stealing don’t go away by discarding the book which opposes these things. If anything, if everyone ignored the Torah, there would be more adverse behavior, not less. Moral individuals the world over have always known that adultery, murder, lying, and stealing are wrong.
However, since Paul has been fixated on his lustful urges, since he never married, and since the only person he admits to actually loving was a young man named Timothy, it’s hard to ignore the possibility that he was a homosexual, especially now that he has said that his sexual urges were not only uncontrollable, but that he was motivated to do what the Torah disapproves. So I suspect that we are witnessing yet another confession. And as usual, rather than blaming himself for his licentiousness, Paul is blaming God. He is inferring that God made him a pervert.
And speaking of God, in the next chapter, you will discover that in His prophetic warning against Sha’uwl, Yahowah exposed Paul’s fascination with male genitalia. It is almost as if God read Paul’s letters before commenting upon them – and that He came to the same conclusion.
Mind you, so long as he wasn’t a rapist, incestuous, or a pedophile, as was the case with Muhammad, Sha’uwl’s sexual orientation is irrelevant up to a point. It becomes fair game, however, when he denounces what he, himself, practices, whether that be homosexuality or promiscuity. Beyond this, since Paul is fast becoming a model for the man known as the “Antichrist,” it is relevant to note that he, too, will be gay.
And on the subject of gaiety, what are we to make of the connection between Paul’s uncontrollable lusts and Charities, known as the Gratia or Graces in Rome? After all, these naked beauties were the pagan embodiment of lasciviousness.
The indulgent and unrestrained one’s fixation on death continues, along with his animosity towards God’s Torah...
“So then (de – therefore) I (ego) was living (zao – was alive) apart from and without (choris – disassociated from and independent of, separated from and devoid of any relationship with) the Torah (nomou). But (de) once (pote – at the point that) having happened upon (erchomai – come to) the commandment (tes entole – the regulation, injunction, and prescribed precept), the evil sin (hamartia – errant wrongdoing, being misleading and offensive) sprung to life again (anazao – became alive again, was revived, started anew, functioning and operating once more). (7:9)
They say that confession is good for the soul. But methinks this isn’t helping. Paul has again admitted that “evil and sin are all thriving within him, having sprung to life.” He is “operationally offensive and functionally errant.”
Now if we are to believe Paul, a mythical commandment saying, “Thou wilt not be passionate, indulgent, lustful, or sexually perverted” killed him.
“So then (de – therefore), I (ego) died (apothnesko – ceased to exist) when (kai) was found (heuriskomai – was discovered and experienced) in me (moi) the commandment (e entole – the regulation, injunction, and prescribed precept) with reference to (e eis) living (zoe – how to live life), this (aute) brought (eis) death (thanatos). (7:10)
“For indeed (gar), this evil sin (e hamartia – this means to be mistaken and to mislead, this offensive wrong-doing, this moral consequence, and the guilt) took hold of this opportunity (aphorme lambano – ceased this pretext to grab hold of and exploit) through (dia – on account of) the commandment (e entole – the regulation, injunction, and prescribed precept) to thoroughly deceive and completely beguile me (exapatao me – to systematically entice and utterly delude me, unscrupulously and methodically cheating me), and so (kai) through it (dia autes), it killed (apoktenno – depriving me of life). (7:11)
Then proving that he was wholly beguiled and completely deceived, unscrupulous and delusional, after systematically attacking the restrictive, enslaving, and murderous Torah and its evil and deadly commandment, the duplicitous one wrote...
“So as a result (hoste) this (o) affirms (men – shows and reveals) the Torah (nomos) is holy (hagios – sacred, dedicated, and consecrated) and also (kai) the commandment (e entole – the regulation, injunction, and prescribed precept) is worthy of veneration (hagion – sacred, holy, and sincere), also (kai) good (agathos – valuable and generous).” (Romans 7:1-12)
That is pretty good I suppose for an old, dead, and obsolete, book. But it is enough to make your head spin and stomach queasy. Paul is not only contradicting God, he is now contradicting himself.
Sadly, this all reminds me of the Qur’an, where after Allah tells us that there should be no compulsion in religion, he orders Muslims to kill all non-Muslims in addition to any Muslim who rejects his or her religion.
But perhaps even in the swirling tornadic winds of circular reasoning, there is an explanation for Paul’s conclusion, whereby he negated his own long and drawn out premise. Maybe it was good from his perspective that the Torah killed him. That way he could present himself rising from the dead to serve as mankind’s savior, especially now that the Torah had schooled him in all manner of unscrupulous methods and beguiling deceit. And of the latter, he was lord and master.
There has always been an unspoken and ignoble aspect of Christianity that Romans 7 seems to foster. The old god, the god of the old system, died, which is why his witness was relegated to an Old Testament and why his words are no longer considered relevant. Laying the foundation for this myth, Paul has the husband, which is the metaphor Yahowah applies to Himself in relation to both Yisra’el and the Covenant, dying. This thereby frees believers from the deceased deity and his arcane methods. Christians, will of course deny that their religion killed God, but there is no denying that they treat Him as if He were dead. From the Christian perspective, Yahowah was replaced by Grace. And in the process a real and rewarding monotheistic relationship became a pagan religion.
Sha’uwl’s long and deeply troubling initial announcement concludes with the following clause: “ to whom (o) the assessment of the brilliant splendor (e doxa – the opinion regarding the glorious radiance, the view or perspective on the appearance of the shining light, the estimation of amazing greatness, and as a characterization of a manifestation of God’s reputation) by means of (eis – to, on behalf of, and with reference to) the old and the new systems (tous aionas ton aionon – the past and present circumstances), Amen, let it be so (amane – verily and surely, this is indeed as it ought to be, also Amen, the name of the Egyptian sun god).” (Galatians 1:5) This time with aionos, without a verb in sight, and now in the plural form, tous aionas ton aionon becomes “the old and the new systems.”
It should be noted that Paul, in his second of three conflicting accounts on what he saw and heard on the road to Damascus, in Acts 22:11, used doxa, which was translated here as an “assessment of the brilliant splendor.” But since by comparing Acts 26:14 with 2 Corinthians 12:7 in the first chapter, now that we know that the encounter was with Satan, we are compelled to consider doxa’s association with the Adversary. And from Strong’s Lexicon, we learn that its primary connotation is “to express an opinion, to present one’s own view or estimate regarding someone or something.” It is from dokeo, meaning “to be of the opinion and to repute,” thereby saying: “it seems and is pleasing to me to question and to suppose.” The Complete Word Study Dictionary concurs, writing that doxa is “to think or suppose, to be of the opinion that something is so.”
It is Paulos’s assessment that Satan is Lord. He sees him as brilliant, radiant, and beautiful. It is how the Adversary sees himself. It is their opinion mind you, and they would be wrong, but it is instructive for us to be aware of it.
They were now a team, with one goading the other. The Master had his apostle put him on the pedestal he craved. The Lord, in Paulos’s opinion and estimation, was a manifestation of God. He was glorious. And it would be by transitioning from the Old System to the New System that Sha’uwl’s Lord would be empowered. He even concluded his opening statement with the name of the god of Egypt, Amen, saying: “Let it be so....”
Sha’uwl has undermined Yahowsha’ while equating His Lord, Satan, to a “messenger of light.” He would say the same thing of Satan, in 2 Corinthians 11:14. And his depictions of the “flashing light” he experienced on the road to Damascus, as chronicled in Acts 9, 22, and 26, is identical to Yahowsha’s depiction of Satan’s fall from heaven as recorded in Luke 10:18-19 – passages which we will analyze and compare in due time.
The Greek word amane is a transliteration of the Hebrew amein, meaning “trustworthy and reliable.” Capitalized as “Amen,” it becomes a transliteration of the name of the Egyptian sun-god: Amen Ra. And as such, Amen is the name of the god to whom Christians pray when they say, “in god’s name we pray, Amen.” So, based upon its position at the end of this clause, and its reemergence in Sha’uwl’s signoff at the end of this letter, there would be no justification for translating the meaning of the word, strongly suggesting that the inappropriate transliteration was intended.
It is interesting in this regard to note that among many of the obelisks around Rome, including one now at the center of the Vatican, their bases are inscribed with testimonials to the sun. In fact, one in front of St. John’s Basilica still has the inscription “The Name of our God is Amen.” Such obelisks were then sanctified by Christian clerics and became church steeples replete with crosses.
Bringing this to a conclusion, the opening sentence of Paulos’s first letter concludes as follows according to the Nestle-Aland Interlinear: “to whom the splendor into the ages of the ages amen.” And so as we probe the King James and Vulgate, it appears obvious that they wanted us to believe that the Egyptian sun-god, Amen Ra, was eternal and glorious. The KJV reads: “To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” The LV says: “To him is glory forever and ever. Amen.”
But they were not alone. The NLT conveys the same message: “All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.” The only difference between them is that the NLT arbitrarily added “God,” and thereby associated this title with “Amen.”
There is an advantage to dissecting every statement, one word at a time, but there is also a benefit to seeing a writer’s thoughts presented as a collective whole – no matter how longwinded or misguided. So here again is Paulos’s opening statement in its entirety:
“Paulos, an apostle or delegate, not separating men, not even by the means of man, but to the contrary and emphatically on behalf of Iesou Christou and God, Father of the one having roused and awakened Him for public debate, raising Him out of a dead corpse, (1:1) and all the brothers with me to the called out of the Galatias, (1:2) Grace to you and peace from God, Father of us and Lord Iesou Christou, (1:3) the one having produced and given Himself on account of the sins and errors of us, so that somehow, through indefinite means, He might possibly gouge or tear out, pluck or uproot us from the past circumstances and old system which had been in place which is disadvantageous and harmful, corrupt and worthless, malicious and malignant extended downward from and in opposition to the desire and will, the inclination and intent of God and Father of us, (1:4) to whom the assessment of the brilliant splendor, the opinion regarding the glorious radiance and appearance of the shining light, the characterization of a manifestation of God’s reputation, by means of the old and the new systems, Amen, let it be so.” (Galatians 1:5)
It didn’t take Paulos very long to reveal whose side he was on. This was not an auspicious beginning.
What follows affirms that Paul’s preaching had failed. The moment he had left town, the Galatians ignored what he had told them. Accentuating the problem, this is just the second sentence of his first letter.
“I marvel (thaumazo – I am amazed and astonished, wondering and surprised) that (hoti – namely) in this way (houto – in this manner) quickly (tacheos – suddenly in haste) you change, desert, and depart, becoming disloyal apostates (metatithemai – you are waylaid, abandoning your loyalty, you are transposed, transferred to another, becoming traitors (in the present tense this is the current condition, in the middle voice they have done this to themselves under their own volition, and in the indicative mood the writer is revealing that this was actually occurring)) away from (apo) your (sou) calling in the name of (kaleo en – summons in reference to the name) Grace (Charis – the name of the lovely and lascivious Greek goddesses of merriment, known to the Romans as the Gratia, from which “Grace” is derived) to (eis) a different (heteros – another) healing message and beneficial messenger (euangelion – a compound of eu meaning beneficial, healing, and prosperous and aggelos, which is messenger and sometimes message), ” (Galatians 1:6)
It is hard to imagine this getting worse, but that may be the case. There are five serious problems associated with the opening portion of Paulos’s second sentence.
First, God’s spokesmen know, they do not “wonder.” God’s prophets are aware of what is going to happen, they are not “surprised.”
Second, the benefits of Yahowah’s teaching and guidance endure. Those exposed to His Towrah, those who understand the benefits of His Covenant, those who act upon Yahowah’s guidance don’t go astray. They are transformed by His Instructions, and not for a moment, forever.
Third, by selecting metatithemai, Paulos is speaking of a mutiny. He is criticizing the Galatians because they have turned on him. This has become personal. The Galatians’ disloyalty was being directed at Paulos, himself. And because he saw himself as the founder of a new religion, he considered these traitors to be apostates.
Fourth, following kaleo, Paulos has now affirmed that he was using Charis as a name. And while these girls were alluring, they were mythological. God does not call us to false gods, even when they are cute.
And fifth, by saying that the Galatians had embraced a “different” healing message and messenger, what are we to make of Paul and his competition? Was he fighting against Yahowsha’, and was his foe the Torah?
Having studied Sha’uwl’s initial letters, I’ve come to the conclusion that he never provided his audience with a sufficient number of appropriate Scripture references for them to understand God’s plan of salvation. His style was to issue a wide range of unsupported opinions under the banner: “But I say .” So rather than deliver the information they would need to know Yahowah, and the reasons to trust Him, Sha’uwl asked the faithful “to believe him.” He even encouraged them to “imitate” him.
The other reason that Paul had so much trouble with his first three assemblies, the Galatians, Thessalonians, and Corinthians, is that his message was so radically different than Yahowah’s, Yahowsha’s, and the Disciples. And since the overwhelming preponderance of the first to capitalize upon God’s teaching were Yahuwdym (more commonly known as Jews), they not only knew the Torah, they had come to recognize Yahowsha’ through the Torah. And they realized that Sha’uwl lacked the authorization to annul any part of it.
So it became a credibility issue. They could trust Yahowah or believe Paul. And initially, based upon the evidence contained in the five epistles to the Galatians, Thessalonians, and Corinthians, the people who actually met with Paul, who listened to his preaching, overwhelmingly chose God over Paulos. In fact, considering Paul’s desperate admission to Timothy, for a while all of Asia rejected Paul: “You know this, that all those in Asia have turned away from me....” (2 Timothy 1:15). What did they recognize that Christians are ignoring today?
Galatians 1:6 is enlightening in this regard. It states that there were two competing “euangelion – healing messengers and beneficial messages.” Obviously, one of the messengers and messages was Paul, and as we make our way through his initial letter, we will know him and it all too well. But then who was or were his competitors? Our options are Yahowah and His Towrah, Yahowsha’ (who is a diminished manifestation of Yahowah) and that same Towrah, or one or more of the Disciples, namely Shim’own Kephas, Yahowchanan, or Ya’aqob, but their message was the same as Yahowah’s. And that leaves only one potential competitor: God. And perhaps that is why Paulos spoke of “their calling in the name of Grace,” and not in God’s name. They were more attractive, at least, from Paul’s perspective.
One of the reasons our options are so constrained is because the challenger was said to be wielding a different “euangelion – healing messenger and beneficial message.” Therefore, Paulos’s foe can neither be Judaism nor Rome. At this place and time, they were the antithesis of healing and beneficial. Furthermore, in his subsequent letters and in Acts, Paul will speak glowingly about both Judaism and Rome, eliminating them as adversarial candidates. Reinforcing this conclusion, Yahowsha’ denounced Judaism and was convicted by Rome, so they cannot be considered beneficial or healing.
Even though the answer is obvious, the reason that it isn’t seen as such is because of Paul’s approach. By claiming to speak on behalf of the individual and message he is opposing and against the spirit he is promoting, to discover the truth, a person has to compare God’s testimony to Paul’s. But by disparaging Yahowah’s revelation and by ignoring Yahowsha’s testimony, those who are swayed by Paul are predisposed to discard this evidence against him. So long as the audience remains religious, operating in the realm of faith, Paul’s scheme prevails. To understand who is opposing whom, we have to be willing to examine the evidence and process it judgmentally.
In reality, Paul defined his foe in the first sentence of his first letter. He wrote that we were being plucked away from the counterproductive and laborious Old System, more accurately known as the Towrah. If it wasn’t his enemy, poneros would not have been used to demean it. So now in the second sentence, Paulos is distinguishing his approach from God’s. And he is showing his bewilderment and frustration that those he spoke to in Galatia prefer that old God to his new plan.
Had it not been for two clever tricks, the obvious answer would have become apparent to most everyone centuries ago. The first of these is that by pretending to speak for God, by pretending to be a brother, Sha’uwl became the wolf in sheep’s clothing. He was seen for other than what he was. He was accepted and viewed as being one with them, even while he was devouring them.
It is why Yahowah admonishes us for not questioning Sha’uwl. It is why Sha’uwl changed his name. It is why Yahowsha’ warned us, telling us that a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a man now named “Paulos – Lowly and Little,” would seek to discredit and discard the Towrah.
The second ploy is found in the writing style, which blends circular reasoning and all manner of logical flaws with a myriad of inappropriate word choices. The opening sentence is a prime example. Due diligence is required as is thoughtful consideration to understand why a violent verb was deployed against a pornographic and arcane system. But those who have been conditioned by their political, religious, academic, and media institutions to avoid being judgmental, even critical, read right through Paul’s confession and are left wondering.
Before we move on, and with regard to Galatians 1:6, please note that Sha’uwl did not write “Gospel” at the end of his sentence. Euangelion, pronounced “yoo·ang·ghel·ee·on,” is a compound of two common Greek words. It is not a name or a title. And if it were a name or title, it should have been transliterated, “Euangelion,” which was done in Jerome’s Latin Vulgate, but not in any modern English translation. For example, in the King James, euangelion was neither translated nor transliterated, but instead, the Greek word was replaced by the religious term “Gospel.”
The King James conveys: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.” But here, now for the second time, we cannot blame Jerome for the mistake found in the KJV. There is no “Gospel” in the Latin Vulgate: “I wonder that you have been so quickly transferred, from him who called you into the grace of Christi, over to another evangelium.” We can, however, blame Jerome for the inclusion of “Christi,” which is errant on three accounts. If it is a word, it should have been translated “Implement Doing the Work of Yahowah.” If it is a title, the Divine Placeholder should have been transliterated “the Ma’aseyah.” But, according to P46, the oldest witness to this letter, Paul did not actually include the Divine title in this sentence, neither by placeholder nor by actually writing it out.
This affirms two things. First, the King James is a translation of the Latin Vulgate, not the Greek text—as are most subsequent translations as we shall see with the NLT. And second, Paul called his faithful to “Charis / Gratia / Grace,” not to the teaching and guidance of Yahowah’s Towrah, which was different in every imaginable way.
I do not know if the term “gospel” was first deployed in the King James Version in the early 17th century. But I do know that it cannot be found in John Wycliffe’s translation, the first made in the English language. Wycliffe used “euangelie,” not “Gospel,” in the late 14th century.
Let’s juxtapose the New Living Translation against Sha’uwl’s actual words so that you might fully appreciate the liberties they have taken: “I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News ” Compared to the NA: “I marvel that thusly quickly you change from the one having called you in favor of Christ into other good message.” And as a reference, more complete and correct, this is what Paulos conveyed: “I marvel, am amazed and astonished, wondering and surprised that namely in this way quickly and in haste you change, desert, and depart, becoming disloyal apostates and traitors away from your calling in the name of Grace to a different healing message and beneficial messenger, ” (1:6)
As a result of some religious tampering, whereby euangelion was replaced with “Gospel,” Christians now believe that Paul’s preaching was in harmony with the eyewitness and hearsay accounts contained in what have become errantly known as the “Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.” But there are many problems with that theory. First, Sha’uwl never quoted a single line from any of them. He didn’t even reference them. And second, these biographical accounts were not called “Gospels.”
At the time this letter was written in 50 CE, all of the contemporaneous and credible historical evidence affirms that Mattanyah’s eyewitness account was still in its original Hebrew. And while it was cherished in Yaruwshalaym, it wasn’t widely distributed beyond Yahuwdah / Judea at that time. It would have been irrelevant to Sha’uwl.
Moving on to Mark, Eusebius wrote: “Markus, who had been Peter’s interpreter, wrote down carefully all that he remembered of Yahowsha’s sayings and doings. For he had not heard Yahowsha’ or been one of his followers, but later, he was one of Peter’s followers.” Origen, Tertullian, and Clement concurred, writing at the end of the 2nd century that “Mark compiled his account from Peter’s speeches in Rome.” As such, Galatians predates Mark by a decade. Therefore, a connection between Mark’s hearsay account based upon Shim’own Kephas’s witness and testimony cannot be made. Also, we must be careful. While the historical evidence suggests that Markus compiled the book attributed to him in Rome, there is no credible evidence that suggests that his primary source, Shim’own, was ever in Rome.
Lukas was unknown to Paulos and to Yahowsha’s Disciples at the time Galatians was scribed. Therefore, his historical, albeit hearsay, portrayal had not been written, making any association between it and Paulos’s use of euangelion in Galatians 1:6 ill-advised.
Based upon the enormous popularity of Yahowchanan’s eyewitness account, as evidenced by the sheer quantity of extant pre-Constantine manuscripts, had his portrayal of Yahowsha’s life been circulated by this time, Paul would have been compelled to reference it. But he didn’t. Not in this letter, and not in any of his subsequent letters.
So we know for certain that Paulos was not writing on behalf of nor promoting the historical portrayals of Yahowsha’s life found in Mattanyah, Marcus, Lucas, or Yahowchanan. At the time the Galatians letter was written, Scripture was comprised solely of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. It still is. Every statement Yahowsha’ made affirms this reality, as do the Disciples in their portrayals of His life.
Should you be wondering why in his subsequent letters Paulos never so much as even refers to the existence of the historical presentations of Yahowsha’s life found in Mattanyah, Marcus, Lucas, or Yahowchanan, the answer is two-fold. First, his message was the antithesis of that which can be derived from Yahowsha’s words and deeds. The caricature of “the Lord Iesou Christou” painted by Paulos differs so substantially in identity, nature, style, and substance from the actual Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ that they have precious little in common.
And second, Paul’s ego got in the way. He was in competition with Him and them. After all, he wanted us to believe that he was both “co-savior” and “co-author,” the chosen one completing what God, Himself, could not accomplish without his assistance. Someone of his status would never cite a lesser individual.
The Old English moniker, “Gospel,” like the use of the Greek goddesses’ name, Charis, known by the Latinized “Gratia – Grace,” has caused millions to believe that the “Gospel of Grace” replaced the Torah, when instead the Torah is the source of “mercy.” To know the Towrah is to know “chanan – unearned favor” and the liberty it provides.
So this bears repeating: there never was such a thing as a “Gospel.” There still isn’t.
No matter where you look, Christian apologists say that “Gospel means ‘good news.’” But if that is true, why not simply write “good news.” Or more to the point, since euangelion actually means “healing messenger and beneficial message,” why not translate the Greek term accurately?
Christian dictionaries go so far as to say that “gospel is from go(d) meaning ‘good,’ and spell meaning ‘news.’” But “god” was never an Old English word for “good.” Instead, “god” is a transliteration of the Germanic “Gott,” an epithet for Odin. The Old English word for “good” was “gud.” And the Middle English “spell” is from the Old English “spellian,” which means “to foretell, to portend, or to relate.’” As such, “gospel” does not mean “good news,” and is therefore not a translation of euangelion as Christians protest.
Other dictionaries, suggest that gospel is “derived from an Anglo-Saxon word which meant ‘the story concerning God,’” even though there is no etymological history of such a term in the annals of the Anglo-Saxons.
While we are on this subject, it is insightful to know that, according to Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the English word, “spell,” came to us “from Old English by way of Middle English.” And “circa 1623 (which would be around the time the KJV was being popularized) a spell 1) was a spoken word or form of words which were held to have magic power, 2) was a state of enchantment, or 3) was used in the context of casting a spell.”
Webster’s Twentieth Century Dictionary says: “The word ‘god’ is common to the Teutonic tongues . It was applied to heathen deities and later, when the Teutonic peoples were converted to Christianity, the word was elevated to the Christian sense.”
Further affirming that “Gospel” conveyed being under “Gott’s spell,” Merriam Webster explains: “god is from Old English by way of Middle English and is akin to the Old High German got, which was derived before the 12th century CE.” Along these lines we learn that gottin is the Old High German word for “goddess.”
Digging a little deeper in our quest to understand the religious origins of “gospel,” circa 17th-century Europe, when the religious connotation was conceived and initially promoted, the Encyclopedia Britannica says that “God is the common Teutonic word for a personal object of religious worship applied to all superhuman beings of the heathen mythologies. The word god upon the conversion of the Teutonic races to Christianity was adopted as the name of the one Supreme Being.” Therefore, in the manner common to most every Christian corruption of Yahowah’s Word, the religious term is drenched in paganism.
By comparison, there is nothing particularly special about the Greek word, euangelion. The first recorded use was in the feminine, as euanggelia, as opposed to the neuter form most common to the Greek eyewitness and historical accounts. It was attributed to Augustus in 9 BCE in Priene where the Roman Caesar was hailed as the “Savior of the world for the ‘beneficial proclamation’ of the Julian calendar.”
As I have mentioned, euangelion is a compound of two common Greek words. Eu means “beneficial, healing, and prosperous,” and aggelos is the Greek word for “messenger” and thereby “message.” So while Christians will protest that something which heals and is beneficial is by definition “good,” and that a message can be “news,” there is no reason to extrapolate when the primary meaning is readily apparent. Therefore, those who seek to know and share the truth are compelled to translate euangelion accurately so that others will understand its intended meaning.
Along these lines, if aggelos meant “news,” as opposed to “message,” the aggelos, or “spiritual messengers,” would be “newscasters,” instead of Yah’s spiritual envoys, representatives, and messengers. This odd connotation would also apply to Yahowsha’, who is often described using the Hebrew equivalent of spiritual messenger—mal’ak.
Moreover, while eu can be translated “good,” “beneficial and healing” are both more accurate as definitions and more descriptive of Yahowah’s plan and of Yahowsha’s mission. After all, if the intent was to communicate “good,” as in “Good News,” the preferred Greek words for “good” are kalos and agathos. Yahowsha’ is translated using the former in Mattanyah 5:16, saying: “Thusly, let your light shine before men so that they might see within you the responses and endeavors which are good (kalos), thereby wonderfully attributing them to your Heavenly Father.” And with the latter, Yahowsha’ says “I am good (agathos),” in Mattanyah 20:15.
However, since this statement was originally presented and then recorded in Hebrew, the word Yahowsha’ actually used to convey “good” would have been towb. This then becomes a serious problem for Pauline advocates because Yahowah says that both He and His Towrah are “towb – good.”
But before I present Yahowah’s perspective on what is actually “towb – good,” I’d be remiss if I didn’t share the fact that the same light and endeavors Yahowsha’ spoke about in His Instruction on the Mount are equated to Yahowah and His Towrah in the 105th Psalm, which proclaims: “Because they focus upon and observe, closely examining and carefully considering, His clearly communicated prescriptions of what we should do in life to live, and His Torah, His Source of Teaching and Instruction, they are saved, radiating Yah’s light.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 105:45)
With this connection established, and especially now that Yahowah and His Towrah have become Sha’uwl’s enemy, let’s take a moment more and consider the position articulated by the other side in this debate.
While I cited much more of what Dowd / David was inspired to write in the 19th Psalm concerning Yahowah’s message, His Guidance and His Towrah in the previous chapter, please consider this reminder...
“Yahowah’s Towrah (Towrah) is complete and entirely perfect, lacking nothing, helpful, healing, beneficial, and true (tamym), returning, restoring, and transforming (suwb) the soul (nepesh). Yahowah’s testimony (‘eduwth) is trustworthy and reliable (‘aman), making understanding and obtaining wisdom (hakam) simple for the open-minded (pethy).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 19:7)
In this Proverb, this same Towrah is called “towb – good.” This means, according to God, the “good news” and His Towrah are synonymous, making Paul’s claims ridiculous.
“Consistently listen (shama’) children (ben) to the correct and disciplined instruction (muwsar) of the Father (‘ab) and (wa) pay attention (qasab) so as (la) to know and discover (yada’) understanding and discernment (bynah). For indeed, such teaching and learning, instruction and direction (laqah) is good, beneficial, and helpful (towb – is proper, prosperous, favorable, pleasing, enjoyable, valuable, and healing). For this reason, I have given you (la natan) My Towrah (Towrah). You should not forsake, neglect, or reject it (‘al ‘azab).” (Masal / Word Picture / Proverbs 4:1-2)
The 119th Psalm is comprised of the most inspiring and beautiful lyrics in Scripture. Let’s turn to it next.
“You have actively engaged and accomplished (‘asah) good, beneficial, and generous things (towb) with and through (‘im) Your associate and coworker (‘ebed), Yahowah (Yahowah), in accordance with (ka) Your Word (dabar). The good and positive aspects associated with (tuwb) exercising good judgment, the whole process of informed, rational, decision making (ta’am), leading to (wa) understanding based upon knowledge (da’ath) teaches me so that I might benefit by choosing to respond appropriately (lamad). So indeed (ky), in (ba) the terms and conditions of Your binding covenant agreement (mitswah), I completely trust and totally rely because they are verifiable and enduring (‘aman). (119:65)
Prior to the time that I responded and answered this invitation, before I was thoughtful, spoke truthfully, and composed these songs, I was preoccupied and (terem ‘anah) I (‘any) unintentionally erred, I inadvertently wandered aimlessly without deliberation and sinned without meaning to do so because I was unwittingly deceived and therefore placed my faith in mistaken opinions (shagag). But (wa) now, at this point in time (‘atah), I literally keep my eyes totally focused upon, carefully and completely observing, closely examining, diligently exploring, and genuinely evaluating, the complete totality of (shamar) Your Word, Your Instruction, and Your Promise (‘imrah). (119:66)
You (‘atah) are good (towb - generous and pleasing, enjoyable and festive, beautiful and pleasant to be around), Yahowah (Yahowah), and (wa) are doing what is good and beneficial by (yatab) helping me learn, becoming better acquainted, while teaching me how to properly respond to (lamad) Your clearly communicated prescriptions of what I should do to share life with You (choq). (119:67)
The self-important, self-motivated, and presumptuous (zed) lie, they mislead and deceive with their speeches promoting worthless beliefs (sheqer). Smearing and slandering with misinformation, their scribes conceal what I have said on behalf of God by plastering over it with their official message (‘al taphal). (119:68)
I will (‘any), with all my heart, with all my energy, personal commitment, and sense of purpose (ba kol leb), engage my Savior by keeping close to and by observing (natsar) Your precepts, those instructions which You have entrusted to us, encouraging us to pay close attention to and examine for guidance so that we respond appropriately to You (piquwdym). (119:69)
Your Towrah (Towrah) is actively engaged in my life because I delight in it, something I find totally enjoyable (sha’a). (119:70) It is good and beneficial for me (towb la) that indeed (ky) You responded, providing Your testimony (‘anah) for the purpose of (ma’an) teaching me how to properly respond to (lamad) Your engraved and clearly communicated prescriptions of what I should do to be cut into this relationship (choq). (119:71)
The Towrah teaching, instruction, direction, and guidance (towrah) of Your mouth (peh) is better and more prosperous for me (towb la) than (min) thousands of (‘eleph) gold and silver coins (zahab wa keceph).” (Mizmowr 119:65-72)
In that Dowd / David is speaking to and on behalf of Yahowah and His Towrah, his insights and perspective regarding both are relevant to this discussion. In the 25th Psalm, we find him saying...
“The sins (chata’ah) of my youth (na’uwrym) and rebellion (pesha’) do not remember (lo’ zakar) as (ka) Your love and mercy for me is remembered (chesed zakar la ‘atah) on account of (ma’an) Your goodness (towb – Your perfect nature), Yahowah ( ). (25:7)
Yahowah ( ), the Most High (‘al), is good (towb – moral, perfect, beautiful, pleasing, joyful, cheerful, happy, favorable, beneficial, generous) and always right, completely correct and consistently straightforward (yashar), therefore (ken), He is the Source of teaching and instruction, and He guides and directs (yarah) sinners (hata’) along the Way (ba ha derek). (25:8)
He enables the way of (darak) the unpretentious and sincere who respond and actively engage (‘anaw) with this means to exercise good judgment and to achieve justice by resolving disputes (ba ha mishpat). He provides the information to teach (lamad) those who respond to His call and act upon (‘anaw) His Way (derek). (25:9)
All (kol) the mannerisms and conduct (‘orah) of Yahowah ( ) are merciful and beyond reproach (checed) and they are trustworthy and reliable (‘emeth) for (la) those who are preserved by (natsar) His Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth) and His enduring Witness and restoring Testimony (‘edah). (25:10)
As a result (ma’an) of Your name (shem), Yahowah ( ), You will choose to genuinely and completely forgive (wa salah) my sin (la ‘awon), which (ky huw’) is great (rab). (25:11)
Hence (zeh), whatever (my) individual (‘ysh) respects and reveres (yare’) Yahowah ( ), He will teach and guide him (yarah) in (ba) the Way (derek) He should choose (bahar). (25:12)
His soul (nepesh), in (ba) the most favorable, pleasing, and festive circumstances (towb – goodness, beauty, prosperity, and enjoyment), will dwell and endure (lyn), and his descendants (zera’) will inherit (yaras) the realm (‘erets). (25:13)
A very close and intimate fellowship with (cowd) Yahowah ( ) is certain for (la) those who respect and revere Him (yare’). And His Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth), He makes known to him (yada’).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 25:7-14)
Speaking of “towb – good,” here is another insight...
“And then (wa) I encourage you to consider acting upon and actively engaging in (‘asah) that which is good, beneficial, moral, agreeable, generous, and pleasing (towb – that which is in accord with the standard, is valuable, prosperous, ethical, just, worthy, and worthwhile) and as a result (wa) live (sakan) forever (la ‘owlam).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 37:27)
A bit more comprehensive illustration regarding the enduring merits of Yahowah’s Towrah is advanced in the 40th Psalm. And once again, these lyrics were scribed by a man whose name means “Beloved.” If you want God to view you similarly, this is good advice...
“At that time (‘az) I shared (‘amar), ‘Behold (hineh), I am coming (bow’) with (ba) the scroll (magilah) of the written document (cepher) which was dictated and scribed (katab) on my behalf (‘aly) regarding (la) the work You have done and will do to accept me, God (‘asah rasown ‘elohy). I genuinely want and willingly accept this (chaphets). (40:8)
Your Towrah – Your Instruction and Teaching, Your Guidance and Direction – is within the midst (tawek) of my inner nature (me’ah). I have proclaimed the good news of (basar) vindication fairly and accurately, responsively, honestly, and correctly (tsadaq) in (ba) the great assembly and esteemed community (rab qahal). Behold (hineh), my lips (saphah) have not been restrained (lo’ kala’), Yahowah ( ). (40:9)
You (‘atah), Yourself, know, You respect and acknowledge (yada’) that I have not hidden nor concealed (lo’ kacah) Your means to achieve righteousness through vindication (tsadaqah) in the midst of my heart (ba tawek leb). (40:10)
I have spoken about (‘amar) Your trustworthiness and reliable nature (‘emuwnah) and (wa) Your salvation (yashuw’ah). I have not hidden nor concealed (lo’ kachad) Your mercy (chesed) or (wa) Your integrity, honesty, and steadfast reliability (‘emeth) on behalf of (la) the esteemed community and great assembly (qahal rab). (40:11)
Yahowah ( ), You (‘atah) will not withhold (lo kala’) Your love and mercy (rachamym) from me (min). Your unfailing devotion, love, and unearned favor (chesed). Moreover (wa), Your integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness (‘emeth) continually (tamyd) protect me from harm and they spare my life (nasar). For indeed (ky), You are surrounding me, providing a covering for me, God (‘aphaph ‘al). (40:12)
For the entire duration of time (‘ad), evil and wrongdoing will not be counted against me (ra’ah lo’ ayn ‘aown). And (wa) I will not be able (lo’ yakol) accordingly to see (la ra’ah) them though they be more numerous (‘atsam) than (min) the hairs on my head (sa’arah ro’sh). (40:13)
So (wa) my heart (leb) is restored (‘azab), accepting and delighted with (rasah) Yahowah ( ) saving me (nasal). Yahowah ( ) is prepared and ready, even excited about (chuwsh), helping and supporting me, influencing and assisting me (‘ezrah).’” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 40:8-14)
Let’s consider one last word of advice, some of which also appeared at the end of the previous chapter. This next bit of guidance comes from the Towrah, itself. Moseh is summarizing what he has learned for our benefit.
“The covered and concealed (satar) belong to Yahowah (la ), our God (‘elohym), and those things which are revealed and made known (galah) belong to us (la), and are for (la) our children (ben) eternally and forever (‘ad ‘olam), to act upon and conduct ourselves in accordance with (‘asah ‘eth) all (kol) the words (dabar) of this (ze’th), the Towrah (ha Towrah – the signed, written, and enduring way of treating people, giving us the means to explore, to seek, to find, and to choose the source from which instruction, teaching, guidance, and direction flow, that provides answers which facilitate our restoration and return, even our response and reply to that which is good, pleasing, beneficial, favorable, healing, and right, and that which causes us to be loved, to become acceptable, and to endure, purifying and cleansing us so as to provide an opportunity to change our thinking, attitude, and direction). (29:29)
Indeed, truly and surely (ky), you should actually listen to (shama’ ba) the voice and the call, the invitation and summons (qowl), of Yahowah ( ), your God (‘elohym), for the purpose of observing, closely examining, and carefully considering (la shamar) the terms and conditions of His binding covenant contract (mitswah) and His clearly communicated prescriptions regarding life (wa chuwqah), which are inscribed (ha katab) in (ba) the written scroll (ha seper) of this (ze’th), the Towrah – the Instruction and Teaching, the Guidance and Direction (ha Towrah). That is because (ky) you will actually be transformed, be changed, be restored, and return (suwb) to (‘el) Yahowah ( ), your God (‘elohym), with all (ba kol) your heart and emotions (leb), and with all (wa ba kol) your soul and inner nature (nepesh). (30:10)
For (ky) these (ze’th) terms and conditions of the agreement (mitswah) which beneficially (‘asher), I am (‘anky) instructing and guiding you (sawah) this day (ha yowm), they are not too difficult for you, they are not a hardship (huw’ lo’ pala’) for you (min), nor are they beyond your reach (wa lo’ huw’ rahowq). (30:11)
For indeed (ky), the exceedingly powerful and great (ma’od) Word (ha dabar) of your God (‘el) facilitates your approach and brings you near, enabling you to engage in a close and personal relationship (qarowb)—as part of your speech (ba peh), and in your heart, influencing your feelings and attitude (wa ba leb)—to engage with, capitalize upon, and celebrate Him (la ‘asah). (30:14)
Open your eyes, establish this perspective, and become aware (ra’ah): I am offering (natan) on your behalf and in your presence (la paneh) this day (ha yowm) an association with (‘eth) the Life (ha chay) and (wa) an association with (‘eth) that which is Good (ha towb). But also (wa) that which is associated with (‘eth) death (ha mawet) and (wa) an association with (‘eth) that which is bad, evil, wicked, harmful, and destructive (ra’). (30:15)
Because, that which (‘asher) I am (‘anky) instructing and guiding you (sawah) this day (ha yowm) is for the purpose of (la) you really wanting to genuinely love, and you choosing to actually demonstrate your affection in a personal and familial relationship (‘ahab) so as to be closely associated with (‘eth) Yahowah ( ), your God (‘elohym), and achieving this result by (la) actually walking (halak) in His Ways (ba derek),
and (wa) for the purpose of (la) actually observing, closely examining, and carefully considering (shamar) His terms and conditions as they pertain to His binding relationship agreement (mitswah), His clearly communicated and engraved prescriptions of what we should do in life to live (chuwqah), and (wa) His means used to exercise good judgment and justly resolve disputes (mishpat), and also (wa) to restore your life and keep you alive, renewing and preserving your life (chayah), and (wa) to make you great, increasing you exponentially so that you grow in every possible way (rabah),
and so (wa) Yahowah ( ), your God (‘elohym), will kneel down, diminishing Himself in love to greet, welcome, and bless you, invoking loving favors upon you (barak) in the realm (ba ha ‘erets) where relationally (‘asher) you (‘atah) are going to, and will be included within (bow’ la), this named place of renown (sham / shem), receiving it as an inheritance (la yaras). (30:16)
But if (wa ‘im) you turn your heart away from Him (panah / paneh leb), and if you do not listen (wa lo’ shama’), and you are lured away (wa nadah), and you bow down in worship (hawah) to other gods (la ‘aher ‘elohym), and you actively engage with and serve them (wa ‘abad), (30:17) I am reporting the following message, warning, and verdict (nagad la) this day (ha yowm) that indeed (ky) you will be utterly destroyed and completely annihilated, ceasing to exist, and thus (‘abad ‘abad) not elongating your days (lo’ ‘arak yowmym) upon (‘al) the earth (‘adamah). (30:18)
I have testified repeatedly to restore and warn (‘uwd) you in (ba) this day (ha yowm) with regard to (‘eth) the spiritual realm (ha shamaym) and with regard to (‘eth) the material world (ha ‘erets), and about life (wa ha chay) and death (wa ha mawet). I have freely offered (natan) on your behalf and in your presence (la paneh) the blessing which restores the relationship (barakah) and also (wa) the curse of being abated and seen as worthless (qalalah). So (wa) you should actually choose in favor of (bahar ba) continued life and renewal, of nourishment and growth (chay), so that (ma’am) you (‘atah) and your offspring (zera’) are restored to life, renewed, and are spared (chayah). (19)
This is accomplished by (la) choosing to genuinely love and closely associate with (‘ahab ‘eth) Yahowah ( ), your God (‘elohym), by (la) really listening to (shama’) His voice and His call (qowl), and by (wa la) choosing to stay especially close to Him (dabaq). For indeed (ky), He (huw’) is the source of your life, and of renewal (chay), and of lengthening (wa ‘orek) your days (yowm), enabling you to dwell (la yasab) in the realm (‘al ‘adamah) which (‘asher) Yahowah ( ) promised (saba’) to your fathers (la ‘ab), to Abraham (la ‘Abraham), to Yitschaq (la Yitschaq), and to Ya’aqob (wa la Ya’aqob), to give it as a gift (natan) to them (la).” (30:20)
Yahowah’s perspective, His guidance, is sufficiently clear to guide those who are seeking to know Him, who are seeking to understand what He is offering, and who are seeking to learn how to respond.
Now we are in a better position to ascertain the differences between Paulos’ Graced-based “euangelion – healing messenger and beneficial message” and the alternative, Yahowah and His Towrah. And in this light, if we are going to seriously consider the so-called “Christian New Testament,” it is incumbent upon us to accurately relate the words contained therein so that they can be understood correctly. If it is to be considered a Godly document, we are not at liberty to change it, at least without consequence. And if it is not Godly, by changing it, we obfuscate the evidence thoughtful people require to evaluate its veracity. So let’s not change euangelion to “Gospel.”
Having introduced his second thought with, “I marvel, am amazed and astonished, wondering and surprised that namely in this way quickly and in haste you change, desert, and depart, becoming disloyal apostates and traitors away from your calling in the name of Grace to a different healing message and beneficial messenger, ” (1:6) Paulos continued with:
“ which (hos) does not exist (ou eimi) differently (allos – as another, other, different, or contrasting), if not (ei me – conditionally or hypothetically negated because) perhaps some (tis – or things) are (eimi) the ones (oi) stirring you up, confusing you (tarasso sou – causing you to be troubled and distressed, causing commotion and agitating you), and also (kai) wanting and proposing (thelo – desiring and deciding, taking pleasure in and aiming, resolving and being of the opinion) to change and pervert (metastrepho – to turn one thing into another, overturn and reverse) the beneficial messenger and healing message (to euangelion) of the (tou) Christou (ΧΡΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey Ma’aseyah) ” (Galatians 1:7)
So that you know, this same clause was translated in the Nestle-Aland 27th Edition McReynolds English Interlinear as: “what not is other except [not applicable] some are the ones troubling you and wanting to turn across the good message of the Christ.”
So since the writing quality is poor, since Paul infrequently defines his terms, since it required a considerable effort to ascertain the distinction between Paul’s position and God’s, I suspect that the Galatians were scratching their heads, wondering what Paulos was trying to say. Half a breath ago, he bemoaned that there were two distinctly different approaches. He was angry because so many had abandoned his mantra for the other proposition. Now he appears to be saying that these two messages aren’t different at all, but that they are only being made to appear to be in discord by some unknown agitators. But how can that be so when, in his previous sentence, he had his Lord snatching us away from the Old System.
And in spite of this, our maestro of confusion is calling his rivals “tarasso – confusing.” The man responsible for the greatest upheaval in human history said that those who had challenged his upending of God’s message were guilty of perversion. It is the tactic politicians deploy to demean their rivals, projecting their faults upon their opponents. So when the party who is not actually guilty of the crime responds, the audience becomes sufficiently confused to question those inappropriately slandered, leaving the actual perpetrator of the crime unscathed, their biggest fault no longer considered. That is precisely what is occurring here. Paul could not have been more disingenuous if he tried.
In these words, we are also witnessing the insecurity of the man, the very trait which made him susceptible to Satan. Paul has thin skin. He cannot tolerate a rival. He pounces on every opponent, every threat to his authority, real or imagined. The liar calls others, perceived more worthy, liars, in an attempt to cut them down so that he can rise above them. And like most all insecure men, he is drawn to those who are confident, in this case Yahowsha’ and His Disciples, in hopes of filling the enormous void in his own life, only to turn against them as a result of his own flawed and corrupt character. It is a dance which has been played a thousand times, and in every walk of life, but never with the stakes this high.
If you have never witnessed the destructive capacity of an insecure individual, you are fortunate. And if, as a result, you don’t see this character flaw driving Paul’s inappropriate and angry rant against the Galatians for not believing him, then at the very least I hope that you see his words as mean-spirited and disingenuous. This is a million miles from Scripture.
When this introductory statement is set into the context of Paul’s life and writings as we know them, it becomes obvious that Paul’s message was the only one which was completely different than everyone else’s, including Yahowah’s, Yahowsha’s, and the Disciples’. And considering the qualifications of the others, Sha’uwl’s was hard to believe. So the purpose of this epistle was to launch a defensive of his authority through a series of offensive attacks.
Consistent with the preview presented in the opening chapter, Paul will continue to undermine, belittle, and besmirch the Torah, separating Yahowsha’ from it so as to nullify His sacrifice. And before long, we will witness him discrediting Yahowsha’s Disciples, effectively nullifying the Ma’aseyah’s message. These things done, he substituted his own doctrine while claiming to have God’s authorization.
You may be wondering why I am now so judgmental, tearing Paul to ribbons for mistakes big and small, especially since I admitted to being fooled by him for many years? The reasons are varied. As I’ve shared, my intent wasn’t to expose and condemn the differences between Pauline Doctrine and the Torah, but instead to resolve them. I began doing what many have done before me. In fact, some have made a religion of it. By blending rabbinical Judaism with Pauline Doctrine, they call themselves Messianic. But then I reached a point where I just couldn’t do it anymore. I could no longer find common ground. The chasm grew too large as the conflicts grew insurmountable. And the more I looked to Yahowah and Yahowsha’ for help, the more I found them at odds with Paul. Ultimately I had to take sides. I could either be with God or be with Paul. And while that was an easy choice, neither Yahowah nor Yahowsha’ are ever easy on those who corrupt their message. Their approach is now mirrored in this book. It is informed, rational, relentless, uncompromising, and especially judgmental. Too much is at stake to take any other approach.
Also I suppose that I’m sympathetic to those who believe, as I once did, that Paul spoke for God. I fully appreciate how enormously difficult it will be for many of you to process and accept the evidence which is being laid before you. So while I make no apologies for being judgmental, I nonetheless appreciate the fact that this approach, along with the unpopular nature of this message, will turn many people away who might otherwise have been helped if this review wasn’t so one sided. And yet ultimately, every one of us will eventually take sides on this argument. I’ve made my choice.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t especially hard for me to admit that I was wrong – even that I had been played for a fool. In fact it was a relief, as I hope it is for you one day. There is something wonderfully liberating and reassuring when you come to a place that everything falls into place, where there is no longer a collection of odd-shaped pegs which have to be wiggled and whittled to fit.
But the bottom line with all of this is that you shouldn’t trust me any more than you trust Paul. Yahowah alone is trustworthy. Do your own research. Compare their testimony. Then decide.
Speaking of perverting, as we have been, the King James Version changed “if not” to “but.” They added “there,” and “that” without justification. They ignored thelo, and its meaning entirely, as if the verb was not in the text. “Turned around and changed” was rendered “pervert” and euangelion was replaced with “gospel.” Then to add insult to injury, the KJV replaced “XPY (Chi Rho Upsilon),” the Divine Placeholder for “Ma’aseyah,” with a transliteration of a derogatory Greek word which was not actually written in the text, and they wrote “Christ.” Besides all that, they did a pretty good job with: “but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” The Latin Vulgate reads: “except that there are some persons who disturb you and who want to overturn the evangelium Christi.” To Jerome’s credit, “overturn” is a literal translation of metastrepho and evangelium is an accurate transliteration of euangelion.
To help all of us retain our footing, the text actually reads: “...which does not exist differently, if not conditionally or hypothetically negated because perhaps some are the ones stirring you up, confusing you, and also wanting and proposing to change and pervert the beneficial messenger and healing message of the Christou,” (1:7)
But evidently feeling at liberty to write whatever they wanted, the New Living Translation completely ignored the presence of euangelion in their rendering: “You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.” Yet that wasn’t their only liberty. Tarasso doesn’t mean “you are being fooled.” There is no basis whatsoever for “by those who deliberately” or “the truth concerning.” And the XPY placeholder is based upon Chrestus, not Christos, and it represents the Ma’aseyah, not Christ.
But by stating that the Galatians were “being fooled by those who were deliberately twisting the truth concerning Christ,” the NLT exonerates Sha’uwl while condemning Yahowah’s witnesses. Truth had been upended.
As you consider the third clause of the second sentence, keep in mind that there were two messengers who came out of heaven, one trustworthy, the other deceitful. Also note the switch from Paulos, as the ultimate individual, to “we.” I suspect that this is because he wanted his audience to believe that he was now speaking in conjunction with his god. This is something I’m particularly attuned to because I’ve seen it in Muhammad, who also admitted being demon-possessed. He not only used “we” similarly throughout the Qur’an, he positioned himself as errantly and egotistically. So at the very least, even if you aren’t yet ready to acknowledge the satanic influence, Paul is elevating himself to the place where he and his god are now speaking with the same voice. Furthermore, he is inferring that he is a messenger from heaven, while stating unequivocally that a person will be cursed if they challenge Paulos.
“...but (kai) to the contrary (alla), if (ean) we (emeis – first person nominative plural) or (e – another comparable) a messenger (aggelos – a heavenly envoy and spiritual servant) out of (ek – from) heaven (ouranos – the abode of God (this was written in the singular even thought Yahowah and Yahowsha’s consistently use the plural form)) might convey a healing messenger or beneficial message (euangelizo – may announce a helpful and prosperous communication or communicator) to you (sou) which is approximate or contrary to what (hos para – which is near, beyond, greater than, associated with, less than, positioned alongside, or is in the opinion of some in opposition to that which), we delivered as a beneficial messenger (euangelizo – we announced and told as a healing claim) to you (sou) then a curse (anathema – a dreadful consequence has been set up and) exists (eimi).” (Galatians 1:8)
This not only screams insecurity, which incidentally manifests itself as paranoia, with everyone else seen as a lesser form of life and as a potential foe, but also as delusional, with an insatiable need to be viewed as essential and right – no matter how useless or wrong. And this time Paul has gone so far as to say that he and his Lord are going to curse the opposition even if the competitor is a heavenly messenger.
From this point forward, and we are a mere two sentences into Paul’s first letter, Christians would invoke a curse on any and all who would question their faith. Any opposition to Pauline Doctrine would be demeaned as Satanic. And yet it was Satan, speaking through his Apostle, who was cursing humankind with these words.
In reality, Yahowah, Himself, sent “a Messenger out of heaven to convey His healing and beneficial message.” His name explained His purpose: Yahowsha’, meaning Yahowah Saves. His message was in perfect harmony with His Towrah, making it the opposite of that being conveyed by Sha’uwl. Therefore, a “dreadful consequence exists.”
Satan was also “a messenger out of heaven,” as are all of Yahowah’s mal’ak – to cite the Hebrew term for “heavenly messenger.” His message even “approximates” Yahowah’s witness, making it an effective counterfeit, something which appears genuine and yet is contrary to our interests.
Using Sha’uwl in this way, the Adversary has brought a curse upon himself and upon all who are in league with him. Yahowah announced this sentence in the Garden of Eden nearly six-thousand years ago, telling us that the serpent would be cursed for having beguiled Chawah by corrupting His testimony. So the curse that the Adversary brought upon himself has now found its way into Paulos’ preamble.
By writing this, Paul’s intent was to render any competitive message moot – especially Yahowah’s, Yahowsha’s, and the Disciples. He wanted his audience to join him in condemning his foes, God and His spokesmen. This is akin to Islam where Allah warns Muslims to be ever ready to attack, even slander and kill, all who would besmirch the Islamic god’s reputation by telling the truth. So while Allah is Satan, the wannabe god prevails by labeling his opponents “satanic,” and thereby confusing the feeble-minded.
This duplicity confuses people because most cannot fathom why Satan would oppose Satan, as he appears to do in both Christianity and Islam. But the moment a person considers who Satan is and contemplates what he wants, the answer becomes obvious. Satan does not want to be known as the Devil nor as the Adversary, but instead as the Lord. He wants to be worshipped as if he were God. Therefore, it is perfectly rational, even clever, for Satan to oppose his Adversarial title in texts which not only present the Lord as god, but which at the same time undermine the credibility of the real God, His nature and His Covenant.
When the verb euangelizo is changed to a proper noun and becomes “gospel,” as is the case with the KJV, we are left with nothing but the curse: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
In this verse, the authors of the King James changed alla to “but,” as if Sha’uwl selected de to begin the sentence. They ignored kai, which means “and,” and then mistranslated ean as “though,” as opposed to the preposition, “if.” They transliterated (replicated the pronunciation of) aggelos as “angel,” instead of translating (replicating the meaning of) it as “messenger.” They added “preach” when there is no basis for it in the Greek. They then included the words “any other” without a textual justification, and replaced the first euangelizo, a verb, with the noun “gospel.” Then the KJV arbitrarily added “unto,” “than,” and “that,” all without textual support. They included a second “we,” rendered the second euangelizo, not as “gospel” this time, but as “have preached,” inadequately representing the word rather than replacing it. They added another “unto,” without textual support, and then included the pronoun “him” as if Sha’uwl had written it. Since there is very little association between what Sha’uwl said and what the King James Version published, it’s easy to see how people have been misled by their product.
So it is fresh in your mind, Paul actually wrote: “...but to the contrary, if we or a messenger out of heaven might convey a healing messenger or beneficial message to you which is approximate or contrary to, beyond, or positioned alongside what we delivered as a beneficial messenger and announced as a healing message to you, then a curse with a dreadful consequence exists.”
If you have disposed of your King James for a New American Standard Bible, the version which claims to present a literal rendering of the oldest Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, I’m sorry to say that it isn’t much better. It is as incongruent as the KJV, and obviously little more than a revision of its more popular predecessor. “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!”
Again, it was inappropriate to transliterate aggelos, “angel.” But the crux of the issue here is that the verb euangelizo was rendered “preach to you a Gospel” the first time it appears (which is wrong linguistically), and then the second time the exact same verb appears, it was simply rendered “preach,” as if euangelizo was one of many Greek words for “speak.”
Recognizing that the vaulted and acclaimed Nestle-Aland Interlinear reads: “But even if we or messenger from heaven might tell good message to you from what good message we ourselves told to you, curse let there be,” the New International Version is equally distant from the Greek: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned.” The common dissimilarity from the words Paul actually penned, combined with their similarity to one another, affirms that these translations were actually revisions of one another.
The NLT, which we have learned is nothing more than a loose paraphrase under the slogan “The Truth Made Clear,” reads: “Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.” While “preaches Good News” would have been a slightly more accurate translation of the first occurrence of euangelizo, demonstrating that the words, themselves, are irrelevant to their presentation, they translated the second euangelizo differently, this time without any reference to “different kind” or “Good News,” even though the same exact word appeared twice.
Further, the sentence order in the NLT was reversed, and God’s title was added without textual support. In so doing, the passage now infers that God is the one cursing a specific individual, as opposed to the contrarian message existing as a curse.
Christian theologians are deliberately being inconsistent, because “Gospel” and “Good News” are central to their theology. Christendom is based upon these concepts. It is as critical and errant as the doctrine of the Trinity in this regard.
We find the following in Jerome’s blend of the Old Latin manuscripts: “But if anyone, even we ourselves or an angelus from Heaven, were to evangelizet other than the one that we evangelizavimus to you, let him be anathema.” Once again, we find evidence that Jerome wasn’t to blame for the corruption of euangelizo, but he was to blame for the subsequent treatment of Catholic heretics, due to his personalizing of the curse.
These translations all affirm that Paul wanted his rivals cursed. And by his definition, his opponents were those whose message was contrary to his own. So as we will discover as we make our way through this letter, Sha’uwl’s rivals will come to include: Yahowah and His prophets and Yahowsha’ and His Disciples. While they all spoke with one voice, their message was contrary to Sha’uwl’s. And that is the bottom line.
Repeating himself, but this time slipping from first person plural to singular to underscore the fact that this Benjamite was a lone wolf among men, we are left to question the motivation for the duplication. And with Sha’uwl so overly fixated on his rivals, do you suppose the reason he didn’t name them was because, had he done so, his credibility would have been destroyed?
The Nestle-Aland McReynolds Interlinear reads: “As we have said before and now again I say, if some you tells good message from what you took along curse let be.” The basis of their translation was as follows: “As (hos – like) we have said before (proepo – we have said already), and even (kai) just now (arti – simultaneously or immediately thereafter) also (palin – again repetitively) I say (lego – I convey), if (ei – under the condition) someone (tis) delivers a helpful messenger or communicates a useful message (euangelizo) to you (sou) contrary or in opposition to (para – close to but yet besides, which is approximate to, near, beyond, greater than, or is positioned alongside) that which (hos) you received (paralambano – you brought in or associated with), it shall be (eimi – I wish or command that it shall exist as (the present tense means that this state currently exists and that it will continue for an undisclosed period, the active voice means that the subject, Paulos (who is the speaker), is actively engaged bringing about the curse, and the imperative mood serves as either a command or as an expression of the speaker’s desire, or both)) a curse with a dreadful consequence (anathema).” (Galatians 1:9)
Since this is Paul’s first letter, the “as we have said before” is little more than a reference to the previous sentence, something he makes clear by way of “arti – simultaneously and immediately thereafter.” As a result, since Paulos is writing exclusively under his own chosen name, we must consider what he was trying to accomplish by using “we,” and then ponder why then he felt it was necessary to transition back to “I.” Who were his partners and why at times did he exclude them?
It is telling, therefore, that Galatians 1:6 begins: “I am amazed” (first person singular present tense), but then transitions to “we delivered” (first person plural past tense) in Galatians 1:8. Paul’s recent visit to Galatia was with Barnabas, according to Acts, perhaps accounting for the prior and plural message delivery. But in the short period between the Yaruwshalaym Summit and the time this letter was dictated, Barnabas and Sha’uwl had a heated argument and split up, accounting for the present singular perspective. At least that would be the case had Galatians 1:9 not included “we” and “I” in immediate succession. Also interesting, Sha’uwl will take a mean-spirited swipe at Barnabas before this letter is through.
As is the case with everything Paul writes, he never bothers to explain the nature of the argument. All this says is that “I’m always right and everyone else is always wrong.” As such, even if Sha’uwl’s opinions were right, without a basis in fact, this wouldn’t be helpful. Thus far, and indeed throughout Paul’s letters, we will be exposed to Paul’s opinions, and we will be apprised of his attitude, but nothing else.
Other than omitting the accusative “contrary or in opposition to,” adding “preach” without justification, replacing the verb euangelizo with the noun “gospel,” and adding a pronoun at the end of the verse, the KJV got most of this right: “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Their inspiration was obviously Jerome’s Latin Vulgate: “Just as we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone has evangelizaverit to you, other than that which you have received, let him be anathema.” The NLT paraphrase reads: “I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.” All three versions were unable to translate para, meaning “close, but yet in opposition,” appropriately when it was used in conjunction with their Gospel and Good News. But by changing paralambano to “welcomed,” the NLT was, once again, the least accurate.
Before we move on, I want to underscore a deficiency associated with the previous statements—and indeed with all of Sha’uwl’s letters. For this to be an effective warning, for it to be instructive and useful, we must know exactly what Paul told the Galatians, and also know how his preaching differed from those he was cursing. Without this information, speculation reigns supreme, and false interpretations are far too readily developed. As it stands, all we have is that anyone who delivers a message which differs from Paul’s should be cursed, all of which sounds hauntingly similar to the Qur’an’s first eighty surahs chronologically. And while that was designed to censure debate, and while it has kept most critics at bay, by repeating this, Paul has tipped his hand. He has said that his skin and doctrine are so thin that neither can tolerate criticism. It is a sure sign of insecurity.
Those who cannot defend their message attack those who are critical of it. In politics, this strategy is known as “killing the messenger.”
Introductions aside, here is a quick review of Sha’uwl’s second and third sentences:
“I marvel, am amazed and astonished, wondering and surprised that namely in this way quickly and in haste you change, desert, and depart, becoming disloyal apostates and traitors away from your calling in the name of Grace to a different healing message and beneficial messenger, (1:6)
which does not exist differently, if not conditionally or hypothetically negated because perhaps some are the ones stirring you up, confusing you, and also wanting and proposing to change and pervert the beneficial messenger and healing message of the Christou, (1:7)
but to the contrary, if we or a messenger out of heaven conveys a healing messenger or beneficial message to you which is approximate or contrary to, beyond, or positioned alongside what we delivered as a beneficial messenger and announced as a healing message to you then a curse with a dreadful consequence exists. (1:8)
As we have said already, and even just now, immediately thereafter, repetitively, I say, if under the condition someone delivers a helpful messenger or communicates a useful message to you contrary or in opposition to, close or approximate to, even greater than that which you received, it shall be (in fact I command and want it to exist as) a curse with a dreadful consequence.” (Galatians 1:9)
As we move to the next statement, while the interrogative required to frame the questions presented in most English translations do not appear in the Greek text, they are implied because Paul is asking us to choose. These questions, however, are rather odd considering the fact that Paul has pitted his message against God. Also, the first is advanced using a peculiar verb – one that runs the gambit from perplexing to inappropriate, from conceited to bewildering.
If I may, since the writing quality is so poor, let’s begin with the Nestle-Aland McReynolds Interlinear. “Now for men I persuade or the God. Or I seek men to please. If still men, I was pleasing of Christ slave not – I was.” So then amplified, we find:
“For (gar – because) currently (arti – simultaneously, just now) men (anthropos) I persuade (peitho – I presently, actively, and actually use words to win the favor of, I seduce, mislead, coax, convince, appease, and placate) or (e – alternatively) the (ton) God (ΘΝ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘elohym, the Almighty, or Yahowah)?
Or (e – alternatively by comparison or contrast) I seek (zeto – I attempt and desire) to please (aresko – to accommodate) men (anthropos – humans)?
Yet nevertheless (eti – in addition besides), if (ei) men (anthropos), I was pleasing and accommodating (aresko – I was exciting the emotions of and lifting up) slave (doulos) of Christou (ΧΡΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey Ma’aseyah), certainly (an) not (ou) was me (eimi).” (Galatians 1:10)
The initial verb, peitho, was written in the first person singular, present active indicative, which not only means that Paulos is again operating on his own, but also that the opening sentence literally reads: “Because currently men ‘I presently, actively, and actually use words to win the favor of (peitho)’ or the God?” So regardless of which option we choose, this question poses a series of serious problems.
First, the transition from “we” as the sources of the lone acceptable message and as the originators of the curse, to “I” in a question, where “men” and “God” represent the universe of potential answers, is curious. Rather than partnering with men, as “we” might imply, is Paul opposing men in some sort of grand debate? Or rather than partnering with God, as “we” might also suggest, is Paul actually arguing against Him? And while Paul’s personal confessions, his positions and his approach, affirm that his partner is Satan, there is a hint of delusional arrogance here in this transition back to “I” because, no matter how we translate peitho, Paul is implying that his rhetoric and reason are sublime. It is as if he wants us to believe that he was so much smarter than everyone else, he could take on God and men single-handed.
Second, “winning favor,” along with “persuade and convince,” is the best we can do with peitho. Every other connotation makes this question substantially worse, because it would read: “I presently, actively, and actually seduce, mislead, coax, appease, and placate” men or God?
Third, in spite of what religious zealots have been led to believe, we are not called to “win the favor” of men, and we cannot “win the favor” of God. We are not called to “persuade or convince” men. And the notion of “persuading and convincing” God is nonsensical. It’s God’s job to convince, not ours. And even then, Yahowah isn’t interested in “winning our favor” or in “persuading” us. He lays out the opportunity to form a relationship with Him, He proves that we can trust Him, and He invites us to get to know Him, but that is as far as God goes. Therefore, even if we render peitho as favorably as possible, if the answer to the question is “men,” Paul’s approach is ungodly. And if the answer is “God,” then Paul’s arrogance is in league with Satan.
That’s the good news. When any of peitho’s alternative definitions are considered, Paul becomes the Lord of Deceit. The Devil “peitho – seduces, misleads, coaxes, appeases, and placates.” That is why he is known as the Prince of Lies.
As you might suspect, peitho is almost exclusively Pauline. It is used in Paul’s letters and attributed to him throughout Acts. One of the few times it is found in association with Yahowsha’, Mattanyah is translated using it to convey the religious mindset of the opposition by writing: “but the chief priests and elders peitho the multitude that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Yahowsha.” Shortly thereafter, in 28:14, and now in a political setting, Mattanyah is translated using peitho again to say: “and if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will peitho him.” Luke, who was Paul’s attaché for awhile, in his hearsay account, translates Yahowsha’ using peitho twice, but neither translation is credible in that Luke wasn’t an eyewitness and Yahowsha’ never spoke Greek.
Now I understand that religious individuals don’t see any issue with men persuading other men on behalf of God, but that is because they have been deceived into believing that it is God’s will that we “win souls for Him.” They see a “conversion” to their religion as a favorable event, as something that bolsters their faith. They not only send out evangelists to persuade people into believing as they do, the Church has used the threat of violence to convert the masses for centuries. But not only is Paul’s message opposed to God’s message, winning souls isn’t God’s style. He is only interested in people who are interested in Him. And all He wants any of us to understand is who He is and what He is offering. That way we can choose of our own volition to get to know Him, to ignore Him, or to reject Him. With God, it is all about freewill.
These things known, there is no way to over emphasize the consequence of this question. No matter the answer, it proves that Paul did not speak for God. It also demonstrates that his use of “we” did not include God.
But it does not get better from here. After posing a question where both options have horrendous ramifications, indeed religious implications, Sha’uwl spins his question, posing it a different way. And yet, we ought not try to accommodate or please men. Yahowah doesn’t. Yahowsha’ didn’t. In fact, God’s approach is the opposite. He is resolutely intolerant. He does not accommodate the views of the vast preponderance of people. And He is displeased with humanity. While it is Yahowah’s desire for us to get to know Him, He only accommodates the few who do.
Also problematic, with the juxtaposition of the first and second “e – or,” we cannot isolate Paul “seeking to please men” from the possibility that he is “attempting to accommodate” God. The first option is disingenuous and pathetic while the second is ludicrous.
Not only were these questions left unanswered, which leaves one wondering why they were posed, they were followed by “eti – nevertheless” and “ei – if,” strongly suggesting that Paul actually wanted us to think that he was capable of sparring with God. Further, aresko, the next verb Paul deploys, isn’t a cerebral concept, but instead speaks of “exciting and enticing emotions.” And the object this time is “Christou,” indicating that God, rather than being predictable and dependable, can be swayed by an emotional appeal. So while Yahowsha’ has an emotional component to His nature, everything that we know about God affirms that He values an informed and rational response over misdirected feelings.
It should go without saying, but because Paul routinely infers that he died to become “Christ,” which is what “of Christou, certainly not was me” conveys, to the degree that this is thought to be the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’, nothing could be further from the truth. However, if one sees Paul’s Iesou Christou as the new and mythological caricature upon which the Pauline religion was contrived, then the author of this letter is the living embodiment of the Christian “Jesus Christ.” Paul is to “Jesus Christ” as Muhammad is to Allah. They are one and the same. If you know one, you know the other. If you like one, you’ll like the other.
If we were to dispense with the dubious connections, and evaluate Paul’s rhetoric as if this was a debate, he’d flunk that test too. Sha’uwl deployed a non sequitur. The initial question was not answered by his hypothetical. And there was no quid pro quo between “accommodating man” and “serving his Chistou.” Moreover, how is it that Paul, who fashions himself as the one who liberated the faithful from bondage to the Torah, is now positioning himself as a slave? And not just anybody’s slave, he is now in servitude to the same Christou whose death supposedly freed everyone from slavery. So this has become a litany of contradictions.
And the fact remains, only an egomaniac would suggest that someone might actually wonder whether or not this man was “persuading God.” And that is especially troublesome since the opening stanza of this letter affirms that Paul wasn’t effectively “persuading and convincing men.”
Beyond this, perhaps we can deduce that Paul’s intent was to convince his audience, by displaying hostility toward the Galatians at large, as well as against any other messenger or message, that he was demonstrating, even proving, that he was out to please God and not men. But nothing displeases God more than denouncing and discarding His testimony.
This is a serious problem for thinking Christians. When Paul wasn’t focusing on himself, he was focused on presenting an errant characterization of Yahowsha’. Neither perspective has merit. Even Yahowsha’ told us that we should focus on the Father and not on Him. But since Paul is opposed to Yahowah and His Torah, that isn’t possible.
I am keenly aware that there is a limit to the amount of criticism an audience will endure. And while we are called to love our enemies, we are actually encouraged to expose and condemn God’s foes, which is why questioning Paul is so essential. But to be appropriate, our criticisms need to be bolstered by evidence and reason, they need to be consistent with God’s testimony, and they should be focused on an individual, an institution, or on a specific message. However, in Paul’s case, his blanket dismissal of an entire province and nation isn’t appropriate, nor is criticism without justification, and Paul seldom if ever provides any. This letter opened similarly to the Romans 7 diatribe, with a universal condemnation.
So while it is appropriate to constructively criticize religious documents and institutions, it is not appropriate to rail against their victims en masse. And yet, Paul is lashing out at everyone, while undermining everyone, because he suspects everyone is his foe, from heaven to earth, and he feels compelled to cut them all down. In this regard, his tone will evolve from condescending to vicious—becoming stunningly uncivilized. And while never appropriate, since Paul posed the question, his wholly antagonistic attitude toward men reveals the answer to the questions he has posed. In his mind, he was debating God. Moreover, as the evidence will demonstrate, Paul’s rage was universally misplaced. Sha’uwl’s adversaries were leading the Galatians to Yahowah, while Sha’uwl was taking them for a ride in the opposite direction.
Apart from the errant title, “Christ,” my concern with the most influential translations is that neither were consistent with the actual text. They both added a plethora of words to artificially elevate the writing quality. While Paul wrote, “For because currently and simultaneously, men I persuade, I presently, actively, and actually use words to win the favor of, seducing, misleading, coaxing, convincing, appeasing, and placating, or alternatively, the God? Or by comparison and contrast, I seek and desire to please and accommodate humans? Yet nevertheless, if men, I was pleasing and accommodating, exciting the emotions of and lifting up a slave of Christou, certainly not was me,” the KJV published: “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” While Christians no doubt see this as a rhetorical question, the deeper we dig into Paul’s mantra and mindset, the more likely it becomes that Paul thought himself qualified to persuade God to change His plan of salvation. LV: “For am I now persuading men, or God? Or, am I seeking to please men? If I still were pleasing men, then I would not be a servant of Christi.”
Unlike the King James and Vulgate, the New Living Translation reads beautifully. It is a shame God didn’t inspire Paul to write as eloquently. “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” While there is an extremely remote possibility that this may have been what he meant to say, it absolutely wasn’t what he wrote. And should they have magically captured Paul’s intent, we are incapable of “winning the approval of God.” That is the reason God conceived a plan whereby He did all that was required to make us acceptable.
Next, we find Sha’uwl professing that the message he was revealing was his own. And Paulos wanted everyone the world over to recognize that the mantra which would become known as “the Gospel” was “hypo ego – by, under and through me, by reason and force of me, because of and controlled by me.”
“But (de – therefore, however, and nevertheless) I profess and reveal (gnorizo – I perceive and tell, I provide the knowledge I’ve gained to make known, I recognize and declare) to you (sou) brothers (adelphos) of the (to) beneficial messenger and healing message (euangelion – the rewarding envoy and helpful communication) which (to) having been communicated advantageously (euangelizo) by (hypo – under and through, by reason and force of, because of and controlled by) myself (ego), because (oti) it is not (ou eimi) in accord with (kata – according to) man (anthropos).” (Galatians 1:11)
This, of course, means that Paul was solely responsible for his “gospel.” He conceived it all by himself, and he, alone, was authorized to declare it. As such, Paul was solely responsible for the mythology which became Christianity. There is no one else to credit or to blame. If his personal and individual revelations are not true, the religion he conceived is wholly unreliable.
Christian clerics universally recognize and readily admit that Paul opposed Yahowsha’s Disciples. This statement merely explains why. His message was his own while theirs was Yahowsha’s. And set into the context of debating God, this is an incriminating confession.
But even if you were unaware of Paul’s underhanded slap at his adversaries, both human and divine, it was either egregiously presumptuous or an outrageous confession to write “gnorizo – I reveal and provide” the “euangelion – beneficial messenger and healing message” and I “euangelizo – communicate it advantageously” “hypo ego – by myself.” If Paul were speaking for God, shouldn’t he be touting His words and not his own? Said another way, someone who is actually speaking for God knows that it’s His message which matters, not the one who delivers it.
Had this been anything more than Paul claiming the world as his own, he would have done what we are doing, which is to dissect the errant message, showing through evidence and reason where it is wrong. Sha’uwl should have delineated pertinent examples of the euangelion which differed from his own. But the only message Paulos has condemned is God’s, discrediting and discarding His Torah.
The McReynolds Interlinear reveals that the Nestle-Aland text reads: “I make known for to you brothers the good message the having been told good message by me that not it is by man.” So in order to make those words appear credible, euangelion and euangelizo had to be rendered differently, even though their etymological basis is identical in the KJV: “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.” That was incriminating. The King James Version accurately asserted that Paul “certified” that “the gospel which was preached” was “of me.” In a rational world, this would have been sufficient to bury him.
Jerome’s blend of Old Latin texts was both less accurate and less convicting. LV: “For I would have you understand, brothers, that the evangelium which has been evangelizatum by me is not according to man.” But ever in form, the NLT ignored six of the twelve Greek words, and they added ten English words of their own choosing. Still inadequate to support their theology, they grossly misrepresented, and inconsistently translated euangelion. “Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning.” The use of “mere” implies that “human reasoning” was a contributing factor. And that suggests that Yahowah’s message was incomplete or inadequate, and that He required the contribution of Sha’uwl’s considerable intellect.
When you combine Paul’s arrogant and incriminating statements with the Christian interpretation of them, you have the crime and confession laid at your feet. So why have so few people held Paul accountable?
What follows is the other half of Sha’uwl’s defense. He’s saying that he wasn’t influenced by any human agenda or institution, while implying that those who oppose him are in opposition to God. The opposite, however, is true. Paul’s approach and style are rabbinic, and it would be hard to find someone more opposed to God than he.
Now if only someone could have taught Paulos how to write...
“But neither (oude – nor or not) because (gar – for the reason then) I (ego) by (para – among, from, or for) man (anthropos) associating myself with (paralambano – I received, learning and accepting) it (autos). Nor (oute – but neither) was I taught (didasko – was I instructed as a disciple). But to the contrary (alla – by contrast) by way of (dia – through) a revelation (apokalypsis – an appearance or disclosure, an uncovering or unveiling) of Iesou (ΙΗΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey Yahowsha’, meaning Yahowah Saves) Christou (ΧΡΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey Ma’aseyah).” (Galatians 1:12)
Contradicting his previous statement, while at the same time contravening Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s approach to teaching, Paulos would have us believe that he did not associate with men and that he was not taught. He is evidently not ready to disclose the fact that he has been in rabbinic school for many years.
According to Paulos, his message had been previously undisclosed, and he alone had the right to convey what was miraculously unveiled, appearing to him in a revelation attested by no one. So it begs the question: if this is so, why did Yahowah bother with His Towrah – Teaching? If this is so, why did Yahowsha’ bother with Disciples. If this is so, why did Yahowsha’ bother to say or do anything? If this is so, why did Yahowsha’ direct those with questions to the Torah and Prophets for answers? If this is so, how could Paulos be speaking for Yahowsha’ when God’s attitude, approach, and affirmations were the antithesis of what is being written here?
Since it would be natural to assume that I’m sabotaging Paul by making him appear illiterate, please note that the scholastic Nestle-Aland published: “But not for I from man took along it nor was I taught but through uncovering of Jesus Christ.”
Beyond the fact that I now understand that the underlying purpose of Galatians was to separate Yahowsha’ from the Torah, and thereby negate His sacrifice while nullifying the means to our salvation, to say that he “was not taught” his message is to say that he did not learn the truth in the same place Yahowah and Yahowsha’ directed all of us to go for understanding: the Torah. Neither Sha’uwl, you, nor I need private instruction regarding God’s public disclosure. Proving this, the Disciple Yahowchanan recorded: “Yahowsha’ answered him, ‘I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple where all of the Yahuwdym come together. And I spoke nothing in secret.” (Yahowchanan / Yah is Merciful / John 18:20) This, of course, would also mean that what Paul just wrote was a lie. Yahowsha’s statement and Paul’s cannot be reconciled.
This was not Paul’s only claim to “secret” revelation. In the New American Standard Bible’s rendition of Romans 16:25, we read: “Now to him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past but is now manifested.” “According to my gospel” confirms the obvious, but nonetheless I appreciate the confession: this is the “Gospel of Paul” and not the “Gospel of ‘Jesus Christ.’” But God doesn’t keep secrets – at least not regarding anything vital to our relationship with Him. Mysteries form the sum and substance of the myths which permeate pagan religions. And since Paul never once cited Yahowsha’s “preaching,” in a rare moment of truth, calling the “gospel” he was preaching “his own” should have been sufficient for Christians to reject him and their religion. God does not have a “gospel,” nor should you.
And speaking of revealing something important regarding Yahowsha’, this is now the third time in three tries that Paulos has not only placed His “title” after His “name,” but has omitted the requisite definite article. The backwards approach gives the impression that “Iesou’s” last “name” was “Christou,” further distancing Him from Yahowah.
Paul’s fixation on unverifiable secret revelations, on mystery and mythology, was further advanced in his letter to the Ephesians, when according to the New American Standard Bible, he wrote: “...if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was make known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit...of which I was made a minister...to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things.” (Ephesians 3:2-9) Funny thing though, the prophets never spoke of mysteries, and to the contrary, Yahowah used them to dispel myths. The Disciples never spoke of mysteries either, nor did Yahowsha’. For those who are open to Him, Yahowah is an open book. Open His Towrah and you will find Him there. In fact, the only reason that God authored His Torah was to reveal Himself to us so that we might come to know Him.
King Dowd (more commonly known as David) was inspired to share the following insight into the nature, purpose, and effect of the Torah: “Yahowah’s ( ) Towrah (towrah – source from which teaching, instructions, guidance and directions flow) is complete and entirely perfect (tamym – without defect, lacking nothing, correct, right, helpful, beneficial, and true), returning, restoring, and transforming (suwb – turning around and bringing back) the soul (nepesh – consciousness). Yahowah’s ( ) eternal testimony (‘eduwth – and restoring witness) is trustworthy and reliable (‘aman – verifiable, confirming, supportive, and establishing), making understanding and obtaining wisdom (hakam – educating and enlightening oneself to the point of comprehension) simple for the open-minded (pethy).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 19:7) Few things so essential to life are this succinct. And that is why you’ve seen this verse before and will see it again.
But let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that the murderer who had been Sha’uwl, who by his account was forced to become an apostle during a rather nasty encounter with a prodding and debilitating spirit on the road to Damascus, was a special case, that he was too remarkable an individual to learn about God the way the rest of us mere mortals have done – by observing the Torah as God suggested. It’s certainly God’s prerogative to teach someone individually if He so desires. The Disciples had some group instruction, most of which they made public. And their subsequent message, unlike Sha’uwl’s, was wholly consistent with everything Yahowah and Yahowsha’ proclaimed publicly. So if God had a private meeting with Paul, why was there no prophetic affirmation of it, and why was everything they allegedly discussed the opposite of what had been conveyed so many times before? And why do you suppose, if this revelation actually occurred as Paul professes, that there isn’t a single quote from Yahowsha’ in the callosum of Paul’s letters? Rather then write, “Yahowsha’ said, “...,” Paul wrote: “But I say....” Beyond not citing anything from their mythical private meeting, the self-proclaimed Apostle only quoted one snippet of something Yahowsha’ said publicly, and in his lone citation, Sha’uwl bungled the quote. As such, Paul’s entire premise is ludicrous.
And most revealing and incriminating of all is the realization that Paul’s message is the antithesis of everyone else’s, including Yahowah, who just happens to be God, all of Yahowah’s prophets, Yahowsha’, who just happens to be the living manifestation of the Word, and Yahowsha’s Disciples. It was one man against the Word and world. Everything the Ma’aseyah did and said affirmed the importance of the Torah. And yet the primary thrust of Sha’uwl’s testimony is to belittle and demean the Torah. His claim to a secret revelation from God for which he alone has a license to promote is not only rationally impossible, it is preposterous.
While I’m admitting flogging a dead pig, since so many seem oblivious to the obvious, if Sha’uwl spent time one-on-one with Yahowsha’, as he claims, why didn’t he tell us anything about his encounter? Why, unlike everything else God has revealed, wasn’t there a single prophecy which could be used to validate the inspiration?
The Torah, by contrast, is set into the context of history. It details Moseh’s meetings with Yahowah, in addition to their interactions with the Egyptians and the Children of Yisra’el over the course of time. There are not only thousands of witnesses, the Towrah is filled with historical and prophetic insights which serve to verify its validity. Moreover, its primary purpose was to explain the purpose of God. And that means the Yahowsha’ was not only included, but was also explained and predicted in this very same plan. And now we are to believe that all of those promises and predictions were for naught? There was no reason for any of it?
Also relevant, since most of the Torah consists of Yahowah speaking in first person through Moseh, which is the same format used throughout the Prophets, why is Galatians written in Paul’s voice? The Prophets Zakaryah, Yasha’yah, Yirmayah, and Mal’aky, to name a few, routinely get out of the way and allow Yahowah to speak through them. Their personalities, their styles, their messages, and their reputations are never an issue. But the same cannot be said of Paul.
There are seven signs, all along the same path, all pointed in the same direction, all conveying the same message, all from the same God, and then there is Sha’uwl. And his sign is on a distinctly different path, it points in the opposite direction, and it conveys an entirely different message. And yet for every one person choosing to follow the path laid out by the seven in concert with God, hundreds of thousands prefer Paul’s instead.
Other than misrepresenting the second most important name and title in the universe, the KJV and LV handled the rest of the words appropriately enough. The King James reads: “For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” LV: “And I did not receive it from man, nor did I learn it, except through the revelation of Iesu Christi.”
Unable to restrain themselves, the NLT felt compelled to add their own personal embellishments to an otherwise simple statement. “I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.”
Incidentally, and forgetting about the Divine Placeholders for a moment, just because the Greek reads: “Iesou Christou,” that does not automatically mean that it is always appropriate to order the name and descriptive title this way in English. In Greek, like Hebrew and Latin, in fact in many languages, adjectives follow the nouns they are modifying. But in English the opposite is true. For example, the Hebrew reads “Ruwach Qodesh,” but in English, it is written “Set-Apart Spirit.” But then at issue is whether Ma’aseyah is an adjective or a title, and if it is a title, why is the definite article routinely omitted? And also, since Paul has already deployed Satan’s title, “the Lord,” writing “the Lord Iesou Christou,” why is the improper title in the proper place but the proper title is not?
Then, turning from the text to the religious translations of it, regardless as to whether it was deployed as an adjective or a title, why is “Iesou Christou” the lone exception, the only case where English translators failed to move adjectives, adverbs, and titles forward, so that they precede the nouns and verbs they are describing. Calling the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ “Jesus Christ” is like writing “James King,” where “King is inferred to be James’ last name, instead of his title. And yet, it is hard to miss the possible intent and unavoidable consequence: the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ became “Jesus Christ” to Christians.
You can be the judge as to whether this was incriminating, or affirming:
“For because currently and simultaneously, men I persuade, I presently, actively, and actually use words to win the favor of, seducing, misleading, coaxing, convincing, appeasing, and placating, or alternatively, the God? Or by comparison and contrast, I seek and desire to please and accommodate humans? Yet nevertheless, if men, I was pleasing and accommodating, exciting the emotions of and lifting up a slave of Christou, certainly not was me. (1:10)
But nevertheless, I profess, reveal, perceive, provide, and declare to you brothers of the beneficial messenger and healing message which having been communicated advantageously by, under, through, by reason of, because of, and controlled by myself, because it is not in accord with man. (1:11)
But neither because I by man associating myself with it. Nor was I taught or instructed as a disciple. But to the contrary, by way of a revelation, an appearance serving to uncover and unveil of Iesou Christou.” (1:12)
Sha’uwl’s animosity toward the Torah began before his conversion. As a rabbinical student, he had been trained to argue against God. So Paulos wasn’t so much addressing his former association with Judaism, but instead revealing the mindset which permeated his writings.
Initially, at least before I discovered that each of the hundreds times “towrah” was written in Yahowah’s Word as a proper noun that it was translated using nomos throughout every extant copy of the Septuagint, I was hopeful that by confessing his affinity for Judaism and the religion’s oral traditions, Paul would associate his use of nomos with the Talmud instead of the Torah. But that did not happen and it is not possible. While he knew the Talmud’s Oral Laws like the back of his hand, Sha’uwl never made the connection to Rabbinic Law and he routinely associated the “nomos” he was assailing with Yahowah’s Torah. Moreover, the notion of rendering nomos as anything other than “Torah” is torn asunder by Paul’s own translation in Galatians 3:10. So now, listen carefully to what he says:
“For (gar – because indeed) you heard of (akouo ten – you received news of) my (emos) behavior (anastrophe – wayward conduct and upside-down way of life) in some time and place (pote – whenever, speaking of an undisclosed point in the past or future; from pou – where, addressing a place and te – not only and both) in the practice of Judaism (en to Ioudaismos – in association with the Jewish religion), namely that because (hoti – since) throughout and accordingly (kata – coming down from and regarding this) showing superiority, surpassing any measure of restraint (hyperbole – to an extraordinary degree, preeminently, excessively, beyond measure, and better than anyone else) I was aggressively and intensely pursuing (dioko – I was hastily striving toward, systematically running after, persecuting, oppressing, and harassing) the (ten) Called Out (ekklesia – from ek – out and kaleo – call) of (tou – the) God (ΘΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘elohym, the Almighty), and (kai) I was and am devastating her, continuing to annihilate her (portheo autos – I was and am attacking and overthrowing her, I was and am undermining and ravaging her, continuing to destroy her; from pertho – sacking (in the imperfect tense, this ongoing action began in the past but there is no indication when it might cease if ever, in the active voice, Paulos was and is personally engaged ravaging and destroying, and in the indicative, these attacks are being presented as actually occurring)).” (Galatians 1:13)
The Nestle-Aland’s Interlinear presents this same revolting pallet of words using a slightly more sparse array of colors: “You heard for the my behavior then in the Judaism that by excess I was pursuing the assembly of the God and was ravaging her.”
The King James Version helped fan the flames of anti-Semitism by combining “Jews’ religion” and “beyond measure I persecuted the church of God.” “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:” What’s interesting here is that there is actually no basis for or indication of a “conversion” in Paul’s letter.
And the British can’t blame the Roman for this Christianity’s deadly opposition to Judaism. The Vulgate’s rendering was somewhat more accurate. Jerome’s Latin translation reads: “For you have heard of my former behavior within Iudaismo: that, beyond measure, I persecuted the ecclesiam Dei and fought against Her.” But here again, while “former” is a superior rendering of pote than is “conversion,” it isn’t accurate. It speaks of “any place and time, of some place and time, of an undisclosed point in the past, present, or future” and is, therefore, by no means limited to a “former” time.
This is not a minor point, because Paulos specifically used the imperfect tense in association with portheo to say that he had and was continuing to ravage and destroy” those who have chosen to be with God. He never stopped attacking.
The New Living Translation turned back the clock even further on truth by completely ignoring pote, by rendering ekklesia “church,” and by failing to communicate the ongoing nature of the final imperfect verb. “You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it.” God has a lot of things, but “church” is not among them.
In this passage, Sha’uwl wasn’t putting himself in opposition to Judaism, nor suggesting that he was no longer practicing the religion, but instead was stating that the Jewish religion was in opposition to God’s people. In fact, later in Acts, before a Jewish assembly, Paul will speak of Judaism as if it remained the love of his life. And yet throughout this letter, and in others, his comments are decidedly anti-Semitic, fueling the animosity Christians would harbor against Jews. This duplicity is an enigma unless perceived from the perspective that Paul wanted to be seen as both in league with and in opposition to everyone and everything.
And there is no question that Sha’uwl was and continued to be religious. It is therefore instructive to know that Ioudaismos is based upon Ioudaizo, which in turn is defined as “the adoption of Jewish customs, traditions and religious rites, even the observation of the ritual law.” Thereby Ioudaismos describes: “Rabbinic Judaism.”
Being a fundamentalist practitioner of Judaism made Sha’uwl opposed to a redeeming Ma’aseyah, to a suffering servant, as opposed to a conquering warrior, but that still does not explain his unbridled animosity toward those who quietly elected to follow Him. Judaism, unlike Islam, indeed even unlike Christianity, has never inspired rage. From the religion’s fledgling beginnings circa 200 BCE to the present day, Jews have fought six defensive campaigns, the first three of which failed, all hoping to liberate their homeland from invaders: the Greeks once, the Romans twice, and more recently on three occasions against Muslims. The religion isn’t sufficiently aggressive or violent to inspire the kind of rage Sha’uwl expressed. Nor is there any evidence to suggest that Sha’uwl was anything more than a lone wolf – singularly vicious and out of control.
This is the second time Paul has revealed that his cravings were insatiable. First it was libertine lusts, sexual perversions, which he blamed on the Torah. And now he is attributing his unrestrained annihilation of passive and peaceful people on his religion. And yet, lost in his arrogance, he wants us to believe that he alone was selected by God to slander Him and undermine His Torah.
But I know someone similarly perverted and violent – Muhammad. His bloodlust and appetite for sexual abuse were hallmarks of his life where terrorism was used to supply an endless stream of booty and babes. His religion grew out of his lust. Paul’s may have as well.
As we consider Paulos’s claim, I’d be surprised if more than a handful of people, most of whom would have been relatives of his victims, would have heard of him. I suspect that Sha’uwl was a legend in his own mind.
And the evidence indicates that Judaism wasn’t responsible for his actions. There is no historic evidence to suggest that others were operating similarly. There is no record of such orders in any rabbinic archive, and you’d be hard pressed to find any group more committed to documenting their aims and arguments.
That may be one of many reasons that Paulos provided no specificity with regard to time or place. And if you are wondering why he would admit these awful things, especially if they were exaggerated, it is because he thought that the comparison between the old Sha’uwl and new Paulos would serve to demonstrate the relative merits of the Old System compared to his New Testament. The same strategy is deployed in Islam which is why I recognize the ploy.
And while these are all serious and deeply troubling issues, they don’t measure up to juxtaposing “hyperbole – showing superiority surpassing any measure of restraint,” “dioko – aggressively and intensely pursuing,” and “portheo – devastating and annihilating,” especially when scribed in the imperfect and directed at God’s children. Had Paulos wanted to say that he had been conceited, that he had been out of control and intensely aggressive in the past while annihilating, which is to murder in mass, God’s Covenant children, he would have used the perfect tense, which describes actions which were completed in the past which lead to the present state of affairs. The fact he didn’t, not only confirms that his assault on the Covenant was ongoing, indeed never ending, but also that he had no respect for his audience, believing that they were so inferior to his intellect that they’d never figure it out no matter how obvious he made it for them.
We don’t know all of the details of Sha’uwl’s life. He told us that he studied to be a rabbi, but we don’t know for certain if he never became one. As a young man, he claims to have studied under the famed Gamaliel, which would have put him in Jerusalem while Yahowsha’ was there. But an undisclosed time thereafter he claims to have been making tents back in his hometown of Tarsus, in what is now southwestern Turkey. So since there was no shortage of rabbis in Yaruwshalaym to harass the followers of The Way, should that have been their unofficial mission, why recruit a vicious and egotistical unbridled libertine?
That makes no sense, unless, of course, Sha’uwl was so immoral, myopic, and uniquely savage that he became an ideal candidate for all of the wrong reasons. But even then, how depraved would an individual have to be to engage in a mission where the goal was to mercilessly bludgeon your own people, ripping innocent families apart who had broken no laws, only because you disagreed with their conclusions? A moral and rational individual could never have done such a thing. So since Sha’uwl has confessed to all of these acts and attributes, and since the attitude required to actually have done these horrendous things permeates this letter, it is incumbent upon us to consider the character flaws which motivated him.
Returning to the passage itself, the ekklesia, describing those who were “called out” of the world and unto God, is a translation of the Hebrew qara’ – itself the basis of Miqra’, the title of Yahowah’s seven Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with Him. It is telling that the ekklesia is feminine. This is because it represents Yahowah’s “beryth – Covenant,” also feminine, and because inclusion in it is facilitated by the “ruwach qodesh – Set-Apart Spirit, the feminine manifestation of God’s nature.
Beyond this, Yisra’el, like beryth, ekklesia, and ruwach, is feminine, with the first two representing Yahowah’s bride—at least symbolically. Before the divorce decree was announced through the prophet Howsha’ / Hosea based upon Yisra’el’s infidelity, the Familial Covenant Relationship was a monogamous marriage between Yahowah and His Chosen People. But when God’s bride chose to cavort with Ba’al (the “Lord” in Hebrew), Yahowah announced the divorce, a split which He has promised to resolve on the Day of Reconciliations two thousand years after He healed the rift with Yahowsha’s and the Set-Apart Spirit’s fulfillment of the first four Miqra’ey. In so doing, Yahowah honored each of the five promises He had made to His Covenant children, with our Spiritual Mother enriching and empowering the “ekklesia – called out” on “Shabuw’ah – Seven Sabbaths.” And it had been on this Miqra’, after tangibly demonstrating the purpose of Passover, Un-Yeasted Bread, and FirstFruits on the way out of Egypt, that the Towrah was revealed to God’s children. It is another connection Christians seldom acknowledge.
Sir Francis Bacon, the occultist that King Iames, as he was then known, most likely hired to shepherd his self-serving translation, in addition to the politically savvy theologians who served with him, must have felt that since the opening verb of Galatians 1:13 was “you heard,” they had liberty to change “wayward behavior” to “conversation,” after all, they could be pretty sure Paulos wasn’t going to object. And I suppose it sounded more racist to say “the Jews’ religion,” rather than “Judaism,” which explains that decision as well. But no matter what their justification may have been for copyediting Sha’uwl, as a consequence of replacing “ekklesia – called out” with “church,” the lone aspect of the message which had any merit was lost, and a devastating misnomer was born.
While I have attempted to hold Sha’uwl, himself, accountable for the severe character flaws required to perpetrate savagery on innocent kin, he must also bear the burden of his legacy. His positioning of Judaism as a ruthless enemy of God’s “church” has fanned the flames of racial hatred and caused horrible and needless suffering. Translations exacerbated the problem to be sure, but it was Paul who presented Judaism as the enemy of his faith: Christianity. The foreseeable and inevitable consequence was to rally Christians to persecute Jews out of a misguided sense of divine retribution.
This is a glaring red flag, a dire warning signal, a dead canary in the coal mine, which most have missed. Satan’s religions engender a hatred for Yahowah’s Chosen People. In the Torah we read: “For you are a set-apart people unto Yahowah, your God. Yahowah, your God, has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a treasured possession above all of the peoples on the face of the earth.” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 7:6) God’s love for His people is unmistakable and unshakable. But so is Sha’uwl’s animosity.
The Babylonians and Assyrians, as the first practitioners of Satanic sun-god religious schemes, were especially savage toward Jews (or correctly, Yahuwdym, meaning Related to Yahowah), plundering their towns and hauling the people off into slavery. The Egyptians, who practiced the same religion under different names, held the Yisra’elites captive for four centuries. Again changing the names but still practicing the same religion, the Seleucid Grecian Empire, which was created as a result of Alexander’s conquests, ruthlessly sacked Yaruwshalaym under Antiochus IV Epiphanes (“the Manifestation of God”), as is described in the books of Maccabees. The Romans, who worshipped the same gods, but also under different names, were perhaps even more barbaric in their treatment of Jews than were the Babylonians and Assyrians. They razed Yahowah’s Home, salted Yahuwdah so that nothing would grow, and then renamed the Promised Land “Philistina,” solely because the Torah presents the Philistines as Yisra’el’s most annoying enemy. From whence we get the myth of a “Palestinian people.”
Constantine’s Christians, governed as they were by Pauline Doctrine, were so anti-Jewish, observing any aspect of Yahowah’s Torah became a crime punishable by death. Then came Islam, a religion born out of plundering, enslaving, raping, and murdering Jews en masse. But they were not alone. Such discrimination and lack of moral judgment lingered throughout the reign of Catholicism in Europe, facilitating the horrid treatment of Yahowah’s Chosen People under the dominion of the first Socialist Secular Humanist regimes: Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia.
The common denominator manifest in each of these religions, including the faith conceived by Sha’uwl, is a ruthless animosity directed at God’s Covenant Children, especially those who were naturally born: Yisra’el and Yahuwdym. It is Satan’s trademark. It is why Yahowah predicted that the Serpent would “bruise the heel of man.” Ya’aqob, who was named Yisra’el by Yahowah, is based upon the Hebrew word for “heel.” Therefore, Sha’uwl’s animosity toward God’s chosen people should have been seen as a red flag of monumental proportions.
Displaying the kind of arrogance that is the hallmark of the most grossly insecure individuals, Sha’uwl continued to brag. But rather than isolate his next statement from his previous one, let’s join them because one flows out of the other. And as you read these words, please note that the selection of the imperfect tense, which made Paul’s last statement so indicting and devastating, is manifest again in his follow on comments, thereby, conveying two things. First, Paul is suggesting that Judaism was the cause of his bloody rampage. And second, he is saying that he is still progressing in the religion.
“For because indeed you heard of my wayward behavior in some time and place in the practice of Judaism, namely that because throughout, showing superiority, surpassing any measure of restraint, to an extraordinary degree, and better than anyone else, I was aggressively and intensely pursuing, hastily striving toward, persecuting, oppressing, and harassing the Called Out of God, and I was and am devastating her, continuing to undermine, overthrow, and annihilate her.” (1:13)
“And so (kai) I was and continue to progress (eprokopto – I was accomplishing a great deal, and I persist moving forward, advancing; a compound of pro – before and kopto – cutting, striking, and smiting (scribed in the imperfect, where the writer is portraying the action as an ongoing process which while initiated in the past is continuing to occur with no assessment of when if ever it will end, in the active voice, which signifies that the subject, Paulos, is performing the action, and in the indicative mood, whereby the writer is saying that his assessments are genuine and his accomplishments are real)) in (en) the practice of Judaism (Ioudaismos – the Jewish religion), over and beyond (hyper – to a greater degree and for the sake of) many (polys – the preponderance of) contemporaries (synelikiotes – people of similar age) among (en) my (ego) race (genos – progeny, descendants, ethnic group, kin, or nationality), excessively (perissoteros – over abundantly and to a much greater degree) enthusiastic (zelotes – zealous, jealous, and excited, devoted, emotional, and burning with passion, vehemently adherent; from zeloo – to burn with zeal, heated, envious, and angry, boiling over) to belong to (hyparcho – to be identical to, to exist with and possess, to be equivalent to and yield to, and to be present with and assimilate (in the present tense Paulos, at this very moment and moving on into the future, is currently striving to embrace Judaism and to incorporate its Oral Law, in the active voice, Paulos is doing whatever it takes to achieve this state, and a participle, and thus as a verbal adjective, his desire to belong is influencing him with regard to)) the traditions and teachings handed down by (paradosis – to being given over to the word of mouth which has been passed on by) my (ego) forefathers (patrikos – ancestors).” (Galatians 1:14)
First things first. By successively deploying the imperfect tense, Paulos has left no doubt that his unrestrained and depraved behavior and his participation in this degenerate religion were not limited to the past experiences, but was an ongoing devotion. He was and would continue to be a religiously inspired assassin. And indeed, Paul morphed many of the worst characteristics of Judaism into Christianity, thereby spreading its devastating consequences from a few to many, from Yahuwdym to Gowym.
This confession means that there was no conversion experience on the road to Damascus. Paulos is what Sha’uwl was. Nothing changed. He did not progress from attacking God’s Covenant children to nurturing them, from rabbinical traditions to the Christian religion.
If, as Yahowah asserts, it was Satan under the guise and moniker of the Lord who had influenced the Yisra’elites to oppose His Towrah and to reject His Covenant in favor of their Oral Traditions, then as Sha’uwl will later admit, it was the same spirit who appealed to the founder of the Christian religion on the road to Damascus. In his opposition to God, Paulos would display the same attitude and approach now manifest throughout the Talmud. And he was just like the authors of Jewish traditions who while claiming to speak for God, did the opposite.
Likewise, and in the manner of the rabbis, Sha’uwl’s characterization of the Ma’aseyah would bear no resemblance to most of the promises made about Him in the Torah or Prophets. The Christian Christ, like the Rabbinic Mashiach, would be estranged from Yahowah. And most penalizing of all, there would be no connection between the Ma’aseyah and His fulfillment of the Miqra’ey in the Talmud or these Epistles.
Also, as was the case with the rabbis, Paulos would deploy arguments which made his testimony, at least in the eyes of his adherents, more relevant than, even vastly superior to, God’s. To this day, religious Jews hold their Talmud over the Towrah, just as every religious Christian values their “New Testament,” comprised chiefly of Paul’s letters, over the Word of God – and most especially over His Towrah. Nothing changed except the audience.
In these words, Sha’uwl has conveyed and indeed embraced the rabbinical mindset, defining what it means to be an adherent of Judaism. The religion was conceived to zealously incorporate and integrate every descendant of Ya’aqob so that each and every religious Jew would have their lives defined and governed by these Oral Traditions. Christianity has had a very similar influence on Gentiles, with nations, communities, and cultures for vast swaths of time often being indistinguishable from the religion.
While we shouldn’t have been surprised, the Greek word designating the religious teaching and traditions of Sha’uwl’s elders, paradosis, also means “to surrender, to give up, and to deliver oneself into the hands of others.” It is based upon paradidomai, whose tertiary definition after “surrender” and “to be delivered into custody,” is “to be judged, condemned, punished, put to death, and be anguished as a result of treachery.” The fourth connotation conveys “to be taught in such as way as to be molded as a result of verbal reports.” In the realm of etymology, this is especially revealing because it exposes the cause and consequence of religious traditions and teachings. Therefore, so has Paul. He loved his religion. He just hated his people. They would not honor him the way Gentiles have done.
With regard to Sha’uwl’s affinity for Judaism, please consider this confession. Having climbed some stairs to rise above his audience, motioning for them to be silent, and then speaking in Hebrew, Sha’uwl proclaimed: “Men, brothers and fathers (andros adelphos kai pater), you must listen to me (akou mou – now I command you to hear me (aorist active imperative)), to this regarding and against you (tes pros umas – with this advantageously), the current and present (nuni – this moment’s) defense and justification (apologia – answer and retort). (Acts 22:1)
As is the case throughout Paul’s letters, he is defending and justifying his credentials and message, not Yahowah’s or Yahowsha’s. It is a broken record figuratively and literally. Rather than encouraging us to listen to God, Sha’uwl is demanding that we listen to him.
Then rather than tell the uplifting story of Yahowsha’ of Nazareth, the troubled troubadour continued to tout Sha’uwl from Tarsus...
And then (de) having heard (akouo) that the Hebrew language (oti te Ebraida dialektos) he had been and was continuing to use to address them (prosphoneo autois – he was summoning them, calling them to him by speaking to them (imperfect active indicative)), the more (mallon) they continued to be (parecho) quiet (hesychia – still and silent). And he declares (kai phemi – so he says and affirms), (Acts 22:2)
This serves as one of several indications that the conversations later recorded in Greek throughout the so-called “Christian New Testament” were originally spoken in Hebrew – the language of Yahowah and Heaven. Therefore, any name or concept derived from Greek rather than Hebrew should be discarded. Inclusive of religious perversions, this includes: Jesus, Christ, Christian, Gospel, Cross, Church, Grace, resurrection, religion, obedience, worship, holy, hell, and angels in addition to Peter, Paul, John, James, and Matthew in addition to Jew among the list of invalid names and corrupt concepts. Since there is no support for the following in the Greek text, Christmas, Easter, and Sunday as the Lord’s Day, as well as the Eucharist, Communion, and the Trinity were derived from the pagan religious practices of Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome and therefore cannot be blamed on Christianity’s New Testament.
Sha’uwl then admitted...
‘I am (ego eimi – I exist as) a Jewish man (aner Ioudaios – an adult male Jew; an inaccurate transliteration of Yahuwd, meaning Related to Yah), having been born (gennao) in Tarsus (en Tarsos – from tartaroo – being appointed to decide who is held as a captive and cast into hell) of (tes) Cilicia (Kilikia – due south of Galatia in modern-day Turkey).
But then and now (de) having been reared, nourished, and educated (anatrepho – having been brought up, cared for, and trained; from trepho, fed by suckling at the breast, and ana, into the midst) in (en) this (taute) city (polis) alongside (para – from beside) the feet (pous) of Gamaliel (Gamaliel – a transliteration of the Hebrew Gamly’el, from gamal ‘el, meaning to deal with God by repaying God), having been educated and trained (paideuo – having been taught and guided, having been instructed and disciplined in youth, having been chastised, criticized, and reprimanded with words; from pais, a child, slave, servant, attendant, or minister) with regards to (kata – according to) the most perfect and strictest conformity to, being absolutely accurate in exacting accord with (akribeia tou – the very careful, precise, and thorough approach to the fundamentalist and rigorous application of; from akibestatos – the most precise, the strictest, the most exacting and careful interpretation and observation of the most minute precepts of) the forefathers’ (tou patroos – the ancestral) apportionment which was received (nomou – allocation of inheritance which is parceled out), a zealous enthusiast and adherent (zelotes – a devoted and emotional zealot), present and existing (huparchon – equivalent and identical to, belonging to and found at the hand) of God (tou ΘΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘elohym, the Almighty), according to and in the same proportion degree as all of you (kathos pas su – inasmuch as you all, just as, and when compared to you all).” (Acts 22:3)
This single proclamation contains several exceptionally inappropriate statements. This man, who claimed to speak for the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ wallowed in the idea of being “educated and trained” by a Rabbi, the leader of those Yahowsha’ had said “were born of serpents.” It would have been one thing for him to admit in passing that he had once been one of Gamaliel’s students, but it’s another altogether to speak of this acclaimed rabbi as if he was filling the role of the Set-Apart Spirit. It is obvious that Paul admired a man Yahowsha’ would have despised.
The problem Yahowsha’ had with Rabbinical traditions, known as the Oral Torah (later codified in the Talmud), is that it changes, corrupts, counterfeits, and conceals Yahowah’s actual “Towrah –Teaching.” So why did Paul call the inheritance which was received from his forefathers “precisely accurate” when Yahowsha’ said the opposite? And speaking of perfect, Sha’uwl used the perfect tense with reference to the training he had received from Gamaliel, saying that while his education was complete, it had lingering effects. Therefore, we must ask: why did Sha’uwl claim to be a religious fundamentalist, to be a zealot in strict conformity with that which was parceled out by his forefathers?
This question is vital because it also suggests that Paul was either a compulsive liar who cannot be trusted or he never converted from Judaism to Christianity – not that one was better than the other. Further, based upon this statement, since Sha’uwl claimed to be in absolute accord with Judaism and its Oral Traditions, the argument cannot be made that he was assailing the Talmud instead of the Torah throughout his letters. Also, Paul will twice attest that he had not been taught by men, and yet now when it suits him to gain credibility with this audience, he is admitting to have received training from the most acclaimed religious scholar of his day. So was he lying then or now?
This is one of the few times Sha’uwl specifically identifies whether it was Yahowah’s Towrah that he was addressing or the religious traditions of the Jews. And it is one of the few times he speaks favorably of the text. For those who know and love Yahowah, this juxtaposition is sufficient to demean and discount everything Sha’uwl wrote and said.
Reinforcing this reality, by placing nomou amongst qualifiers such as the teaching of the Jewish religious scholar Gamaliel, rabbinical training, conformity, being a fundamentalist, adhering to the traditions of the forefathers, and being a zealous enthusiast, the “Torah” Sha’uwl was declaring his loyalty to had to be Rabbinic, and thus could not have been Yahowah’s Towrah. So when we are finally given some clarity, the picture being presented is the antithesis of the one painted by God. Set into the context of his overt animosity for Yahowah’s Word, this is especially a-Paul-ing.
It’s becoming apparent through his testimony that Paul loved the religious Law Yahowah and Yahowsha’ despised, and hated the Towrah Yahowah and Yahowsha’ loved. And perhaps that was why he so seldom differentiates between them in Galatians. If he had made his allegiance this obvious in his initial letters, his message would have been summarily rejected by all those who actually knew Yahowsha’.
In this regard it should be noted that of the 219 times the Hebrew word towrah, meaning “teaching, direction, guidance, and instruction,” is found as a proper noun in Yahowah’s Word, in the Greek Septuagint translation of it, towrah was rendered nomos, meaning “an allocation of inheritance which is parceled out,” each and every time. Recognizing, therefore, the enormity of the Septuagint’s influence on the Greek texts which comprise the so-called “Christian New Testament,” a statement including nomos must reference unequivocal modifiers, such as are evident here in Acts, to render nomos as anything other than Yahowah’s “Towrah.” So throughout this book, unless the context dictates otherwise, we will continue to default to Torah when nomos is found in the Greek text. There is no other informed or rational option.
Addressing Sha’uwl’s concluding comment, “present and existing (huparchon – equivalent and identical to, belonging to and found at the hand) of God,” while religions such as Judaism, while religious leaders such as Gamaliel, and while religious traditions and customs such as those manifest in the Oral Traditions now found in the Talmud, seek to nourish “a zealousness for god,” their god isn’t Yahowah. The religious god is a false deity modeled after the men who conceived him.
Some fifteen paragraphs ago I suggested that Sha’uwl became Paulos and sought the acclaim of Gentiles largely because his own people refused to believe him. Already prone to anger, he became enraged. So should you want additional proof that Sha’uwl despised Yahowah’s Chosen People, consider these impassioned words from his second letter, where he rails against his race for doing what he himself had done: “You suffered, and under your own countrymen, just as also themselves under the Jews, the ones having killed the Lord Iesoun and the prophets, and having pursued and persecuted us, not pleasing God and hostile adversaries against all men, hindering us as we speak to the races so that they might be delivered. For they are filled to capacity with continuous and eternal sins. So upon them is furious indignation and wrathful judgment unto the end of time.” (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16)
If this unjustified and unbridled religious rant doesn’t bother you, you can’t be bothered. An entire book could be written about the many ways this is wrong. Woven as it was on a single thread of truth, this repositioning of Yahowah’s Chosen People as being permanently disinherited, and as being the enemy of all humankind, as being completely evil, has the Adversary’s fingerprints all over it. But at the very least, consider this: was Sha’uwl not a Jew?
Returning to Galatians 1:14, the Nestle-Aland’s Interlinear conveyed Paul’s arrogance thusly: “...and I was progressing in the Judaism beyond many contemporaries in the kind of me more exceedingly jealous existing of the fathers of me traditions.” So it isn’t that the King James is wrong, albeit it is poorly worded, but that it is inadequate, saying: “And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.” Jerome did the passage justice, however. In the LV he wrote: “And I advanced in Iudaismo beyond many of my equals among my own kind, having proven to be more abundant in zeal toward the traditions of my fathers.”
Under Philip Comfort’s guidance, the NLT suggested: “I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors.” It is as if the authors of the New Living Translation felt compelled to change even the simplest messages. Ioudaismos describes “Judaism—the practice of the Jewish religion.” It isn’t the Greek word for “Jew.” “Judaism” is a religion. “Jews” are a race. The difference is gargantuan.
Sha’uwl’s next statement is also untrue, feeding the myth of predestination and the mythos which became Calvinism. And speaking of mistakes, you should know that the independent clause depicted within the brackets below isn’t included in the text of Papyrus 46, the oldest extant witness of this letter.
“But (de) at a point in time (hote – when) it pleased (eudokeo – it was chosen, preferred, enjoyable and better) for God (ΘΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘elohym, the Almighty), the one (o) having appointed me, setting me aside (aphorize ego – having separated me) out of (ek) the womb (koilia) of my mother (mou meter) [and having summoned me by name (kai kaleo) on account of (dia) his Grace (charis autos)], (1:15)
...to reveal and disclose (apokalypto – to uncover and unveil) the Son (ton ΥΝ) of Him (autou) in (en) order that (hina) I (ego) could announce the healing message and beneficial messenger (euangelizo) among (en) the races and nations (ethnos – the multitudes of people in different places), immediately (eutheos – straightaway, forthwith, without hesitation). I did not ask the advice of or consult with (ou prosanatithemai – I did not confer or communicate with), flesh (sarx – corporeal mass, physical nature, human or animal kind) or blood (kai haima).” (Galatians 1:15-16)
Unpolished in the Nestle-Aland’s Interlinear, Paul’s words as he wrote them, read: “When but thought well the God the one having separated me from stomach of mother of me and having called through the favor of him to uncover the son of him in me that I might tell good message him in the nations immediately not I conferred in flesh and blood.”
Sha’uwl wants us to believe that God not only chose Him, but did so even before He was born. And yet since this only occurred with Yahowsha’, and only because He wasn’t actually born, Sha’uwl is lying by putting himself on par with God.
It is one thing for God to have known us before we were born, as that simply attests to the nature of His Light, where He can see the past, present, and future as if they were all right now. But choice is sacrosanct with God. The entire purpose of the universe, of life, and of the Towrah is for us to have the opportunity, and thus the choice, to know and love God. These options are ours and they necessitate freewill. Even with Abraham and Moseh, arguably the most important individuals in human history, Yahowah asked them. He did not appoint them.
That is not to say, however, that Yahowah was unaware of Sha’uwl. I have already shared two foreboding prophecies about him, and in due time you will be exposed to many more very specific predictions pertaining to the most influential man who ever lived.
Paul will soon speak of a three-year fanciful sojourn to Arabia, the heartland of the Torah, where he claims to have met with God. And yet while the timeline prepared by the historian Luke in Acts makes this trip impossible, the very notion of preparation is contrary to what this passage asserts.
While Paul’s message does not change, in that it is nothing more than reject the Torah and believe in my Gospel of Grace instead, and while Paul’s condescending attitude and circuitous style do not change, amongst his letters or between his letters and the book of Acts, it is readily apparent that Paul is a pathological liar with a faulty memory.
He began this letter in Galatians 1:1 with: “Paulos, an apostle and messenger who is dispatched not from men, not even by the means of man,” which would only be true if Gamaliel, Yisra’el’s most acclaimed teacher, was not a man and if Judaism was not a man-made religion. Then in Galatians 1:12, when he continued with: “But I profess to you brothers of the beneficial messager which having been communicated by myself, because it is not in accord with man.” This would mean that Paul was lying when he said that he was in full accord with strictest application of the religious traditions of Judaism in Acts 22:3. Also, his follow on statement, “But neither because I by man associating myself with it, nor was I taught,” would have to be dishonest if he told the truth about the many years he spent in the classroom learning how to argue against the Torah in Rabbinical school at Gamaliel’s feet.
But forgetting for a moment that Paul contradicted himself in the book of Acts when he stood up on the stairs to promote his religious credentials, he undermined his credibility in the 13th and 14th statements in this letter when he spoke of his “practice of Judaism,” stating that he “continued to progress in the practice of Judaism over any beyond his contemporaries,” and that he was an “excessively enthusiastic to conform to the traditions and teachings handed down by [his] forefathers.” So while it is possible to have been taught by both men and God, learning from each, Paul has both emphatically denied and enthusiastically embraced human teaching. And the notion that he was taught by God can only be considered valid if he, a known liar, is considered trustworthy.
So then now in Galatians 1:16, when Paul finally tells the truth, it only makes the situation worse. It is obsessively true that he: “did not ask the advice of or consult with flesh and blood.” But only because the “aggelos – messenger” prodding and controlling him, was by his own admission, Satan’s messenger. Satan is not “flesh and blood.”
It should also be noted that Paul’s unique path was completely unlike (if I may use the errant versions of some of their names for a moment to make a point) Adam, Enoch, Noah, Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moseh, Aaron, Yahowsha’, Samuel, David, Ezra, Nehemiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Jonah, Hosea, Zechariah, Malachi, Daniel, Yahowsha’, or Yahowsha’s Disciples, none of whom received any religious training. There was nothing for them to reject or unlearn as a consequence. And perhaps that is the reason behind Sha’uwl’s conflicting story. There is no denying that he continued to be extremely religious, and it is especially difficult for religious people to deal with the truth because they first have to abandon most everything they have valued, and then change their attitude, perspective and thinking. Very, very few overtly religious people are capable of doing so. Paul wasn’t.
And it was because Sha’uwl’s past was so dissimilar to those who had previously spoken for Yahowah that he spent a considerable portion of his life promoting his credentials—but never as aggressively as in Galatians. Most new religions grow out of old religions. Buddha’s teachings were considered viable because they grew out of Hinduism, the most popular religion in that part of the world. Muhammad’s Qur’an derives all of its credibility from the Talmud, just as rabbis surreptitiously usurped their authority from the Torah. Religions are seldom made out of whole cloth, but are instead a patchwork of previous traditions. That is what makes them so seductive and ultimately popular. And there is no better example of one religion growing out of another than Pauline Christianity.
It is also interesting to note that with both Christianity and Islam, their inspiration became their enemy. Muslims turned on the rabbis who had provided the many hundreds of Talmud citations which were bastardized and plagiarized to form the Qur’an, ostensibly because they could prove that rabbis, not Allah, had served as Muhammad’s inspiration. Similarly I suspect, Sha’uwl turned on Judaism because had he not done so, it would have become obvious that he had stolen their strategy and style.
Shakespeare wrote the line in Hamlet, “the lady doth protest too much, methinks,” to convey what is occurring here. By vociferously repeating his denial, we know that more than anything else, Paul wanted his audience to believe what he knew to be untrue: that his message came directly from God, as opposed to from man.
In truth, had Paul been telling the truth, he didn’t need to convey any of this ad nauseam. Yahowah had long ago established a method for us to determine who spoke for Him, and who did not. God’s test is detailed in Dabarym / Deuteronomy 13 and 18—so rest assured, we will determine with absolute certainty whether or not Paul can be trusted with regard to his claims of inspiration.
According to Scripture, there are three aspects to being a productive messenger. The first task is to cull the audience. There is no reason to waste time speaking to religious individuals because the truth will simply bounce off their veneer of faith as they struggle desperately to cling to their beliefs. Next, the ground must be prepared around those who remain. For the seeds of truth to take root, religious swamps must be drained of their stagnant waters, and the weeds of deception must be pulled. In this regard, the most effective weed pullers and swamp drainers are those who are cognizant of the delusions which permeate our societies and have polluted most people. This requires study. And speaking of preparation, we must come to understand Yahowah’s Torah before we try to educate others. Simply stated, to share the truth, you first must know the truth.
During my first pass through this material, I erroneously assumed that Sha’uwl had come to recognize the truth, and knew that his forefathers had crafted counterfeit rules and rituals, known as the Oral Law, to compete with Yahowah’s Torah. I had hoped, therefore, that Rabbinic tradition had become his primary foe, thinking that he was motivated to expose and condemn the suffocating religious regulations which had enslaved his people. Ideally, I would have liked to have seen him differentiate between man’s religious rites and the healing and beneficial message conveyed in the Torah—the one lived out in history by the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’. But alas, it was not to be.
And since Sha’uwl’s story is not going to turn out well, I thought I’d substitute my own journey from Christianity to the Torah, from religion to relationship, from believing to knowing, and from faith to trust. I was like Paul in a way. In my youth, I was the youngest ordained ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church. I provided a keynote address while in my teens at the national assembly on denominational reconciliation. I taught evangelism at a very young age, and devoured Christian literature at a prodigious pace. But a time came when I could no longer prop up my faith. There were way too many obvious conflicts between religion and reason for me to believe in Christianity, the religion of my youth, any longer.
So a time came when I devoted my life to secular pursuits. As an entrepreneur, and with the help of others, I built three companies from business plans into corporations with sales exceeding one hundred million dollars. I had the privilege of taking two of those companies public. And as a result, at least for a brief moment, I became a billionaire. But a year after having left the management of my last enterprise, I found myself on the cover of an international publication, being publicly humiliated for things I had not done. It was my moment on the road to Damascus (albeit there were no flashing lights).
Fortunately for me, as I wished it had been for Paul, all of my prior experiences, the successes and failures, were refined during this crucible of life. It was then that a dear friend taught me to write, and together we wove a word picture of what had actually happened at Value America. That story became the book, In the Company of Good and Evil.
Then, almost the moment we were done, Yahowah, a God I barely knew, asked me if I would be willing to do to Islam what I had erroneously anticipated Sha’uwl having had done to Judaism—exposing and condemning it based solely upon its religious texts. After a brief negotiation, my literary friend and I were off to Israel to ascertain the mindset of Islamic suicide bombers. It was immediately after September 11th, 2001. Our meeting with al-Qaeda is retold in Tea with Terrorists. It was during this time that I began a journey which would lead me through the pages of the Towrah to the Covenant.
Unlike Sha’uwl, who was already an expert on Jewish scriptural literature, in my quest to expose Muhammad, I had to find and study the oldest Islamic sources in order to effectively condemn the religion. But like Paul’s alleged experience in Arabia, I actually spent three years preparing to engage in the spiritual battle against a satanic foe. The result of being immersed in the scriptures of mankind’s most repulsive swamp led to the production of Prophet of Doom—Islam’s Terrorist Dogma in Muhammad’s Own Words. I would ultimately invest five years of my life exposing and condemning Islam on behalf of Yahowah, doing nearly 3,000 hours of talk radio interviews, before God finally let me know that we had accomplished what we had set out to do.
But we were not finished working together. Having known what it was like to be a Christian, having traveled to over 150 counties around the world, having learned how Islam corrupts its victim’s ability to think, Yahowah encouraged me to engage in another mission: Yada Yah—A Conversation With God (www.YadaYah.com). Recognizing that I was utterly unqualified to contribute to what is known about God is perhaps one of the principle reasons that I was asked. Making flawed instruments shine is one of Yahowah’s specialties. It was manifest again in An Introduction to God (www.IntroToGod.org), which I would encourage you to consider. The first of these two books recounts Yahowah’s scientific, historic, and especially prophetic testimony to prove beyond any doubt that He exists and that He inspired the Torah and Prophets. The second book reveals what He wants us to know about Him.
I share this story with you because, initially, I thought that I understood Paul. I thought that his flaws were my flaws. I initially saw the best and worst of myself in him. But that is no longer the case.
I now see myself as more flawed than ever. After all, I was fooled by this man for a very long time. And yet the truth was blatantly obvious, even ubiquitous, but blinded by the religious indoctrination of my past, I missed it. Yet no longer. I now understand Sha’uwl. I know his mindset and strategy. And I recognize his character flaws and his inspiration. Turns out, I’ve written a book detailing the life of a slightly more perverted and violent version of Paul, but that’s a discussion for another chapter.
As I mentioned briefly once before, after coming to realize that Paul was a fraud, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, I wrote another book, this one designed to clear all of the clutter away so that Yahowah could speak to you directly, Father to child, and reveal His Covenant relationship through His towrah teaching – just as He had with me. That presentation is available to you free at www.IntroToGod.org, which is why I’ve encouraged you to consider it.
As we return our attention to a more modern swamp, we find that the King James Version continues to render euangelizo inconsistently, preferring “gospel,” unless the context precludes the use of this inaccurate designation. Further, their inclination to translate ethnos, the basis of the English word “ethnic” and “ethnicity,” as “heathen” on some occasions and as “Gentiles” on others, is both incriminating and unprofessional. Moreover, there is no basis for the title “God” in the Greek text of this passage. This known, the KJV reads: “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:” Since “grace” cannot be found in the original Greek manuscripts, the King James must have picked it up elsewhere. The Vulgate, perhaps
Jerome wrote: “But, when it pleased him who, from my mother’s womb, had set me apart, and who has called me by his gratiam, to reveal his Son within me, so that I might evangelizarem him among the Gentibus, I did not next seek the consent of flesh and blood.”
Should God have set Sha’uwl apart, right out of the womb, to conduct this mission, then God would have been with him when he was a pervert and when he was an assign. God would have been at his side when he was religious and when he was denouncing his religion. And that would make Paul’s god every bit as schizophrenic as his wannabe apostle.
The NLT, obviously infatuated with Grace, not only adds its alluring religious charm without any textual support, but calls Grace “marvelous.” The idea of being “set apart” was evidently lost on these theologians. “But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being.”
By way of review, here is the third stanza of Sha’uwl’s initial epistle:
“For because indeed you heard of my wayward behavior in some time and place in the practice of Judaism, namely that because throughout, showing superiority, surpassing any measure of restraint, to an extraordinary degree, and better than anyone else, I was aggressively and intensely pursuing, hastily striving toward, persecuting, oppressing, and harassing the Called Out of God, and I was and am devastating her, continuing to undermine, overthrow, and annihilate her. (1:13)
And so I was and continue to progress, accomplishing a great deal, I persist moving forward in the practice of Judaism, over and beyond many contemporaries among my race, excessively and over abundantly enthusiastic, zealous and excited, devoted and burning with passion, vehemently adherent to belong to the traditions and teachings handed down by my forefathers. (1:14)
But at a point in time when it pleased and was chosen enjoyable and better for God, the one having appointed me, setting me aside out of the womb of my mother (1:15) to reveal and disclose, uncovering and unveiling the Son of Him in order that I could announce the healing message and beneficial messenger among the races, immediately. I did not ask the advice of or consult with flesh or blood.” (Galatians 1:16)
We do not have a copy of the report Sha’uwl received from the Galatians, but it is obvious from his response to them that they were, at the very least, highly suspect of his credentials and his preaching.
“I did not ascend (oute elthon – I did not travel) into (eis) Yaruwshalaim (Hierosoluma – a transliteration of the Hebrew name meaning Source of Information Regarding Reconciliation) toward the goal of being with or against (pros) the Apostles (apostolos – the messengers and enjoys who are sent out, from apo sent out, and stello prepared and equipped) before (pro) me (ego), but to the contrary (alla) I went away, withdrawing (aperchomai – I departed) to (eis) Arabia (Arabia – a transliteration of the Hebrew ‘arab, meaning to grow dark), and (kai) returned (hypostrepho) again (palin – also once more) to (eis) Damascus (Damaskos – a transliteration of the Hebrew Dameseq, meaning shedding silent tears in sackcloth).” (Galatians 1:17)
So that you know, Papyrus 46 uses elthon in the first clause, not anerchomai, as is suggested in modern compiled manuscripts. So less accurate and verbose perhaps, the Nestle-Aland’s Interlinear conveys: “But not I went up into Jerusalem toward the before me delegates but I went off into Arabia and again I returned into Damascus.”
Nothing would have been more compelling, more reassuring, with regard to Sha’uwl’s credibility, than a trip to Arabia. It would put Sha’uwl in the same conversation with Moseh. Just as the Torah was revealed to Moseh and the Children of Yisra’el on Mount Sinai in Arabia, affirmations regarding its teaching and guidance would have been revealed to Sha’uwl for the benefit of the rest of the world. Only it didn’t happen.
The first of five compelling reasons to discount the Arabian sojourn is that Paul’s Galatians testimony cannot be reconciled with his own account in Acts nine, which was written a decade later. In his testimony to Luke, Paul’s portrayal of events following his experience on the road to Damascus does not include a trip to Arabia. In the historical account, he claims that his public mission began within days of his spiritual encounter. And since the book of Acts is far better attested and vastly more detailed than Galatians, logic compels us to favor the historian’s authenticated chronology over Galatians, which is uncorroborated, when they conflict.
In this regard, in the immediate aftermath of his so-called “conversion experience,” Paul told Luke, the Greek historian who compiled Acts, that he was specifically instructed to spend time with an especially timid man named Ananias—an individual unknown to history apart from Paul’s telling of the events. And while we will consider Sha’uwl’s recollection of this meeting in a moment, the newly minted “Apostle” told Luke that, after spending a few days recovering in the home of his reluctant benefactor from the trauma inflicted by the harassing spirit who besieged him, he immediately began preaching in Damascus. We read: “He took some food and regained his strength. Now for several days he was with the Disciples who were at Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Yahowsha’ in the synagogues, saying that he is the son of God.” (Acts 9:19-20)
There is a considerable difference between spending a few days in a home in Damascus regaining strength and a long sojourn across the desert to Arabia. As such, Paul either lied to Luke or to the Galatians. Beyond the discrepancy in time, if we are to believe that Sha’uwl met with the “Healing Messenger” as he has so often attested, why did such an encounter weaken him?
This says that Paul was “with the Disciples,” which means that either he was meeting with two or more of the eleven surviving men who had walked alongside Yahowsha’, who just happened to be in Damascus, and who were so irrelevant to Paul’s story that they went unnamed, or Paul was lying once more. Moreover, recognizing that they are one and the same, in Galatians, Paulos specifically stated that he initially avoided all contact with the Apostles.
Also in direct conflict with Galatians, this time the chronology, the next line in Acts reads: “And all those who heard him continued to be amazed. And they said, ‘Is he not the one who in Yaruwshalaim destroyed those who called on this name and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?’” (Acts 9:21) Annihilating people, as we were told Paulos had done, is very different than bringing them to trial. Also, since the Romans at this time were mostly ambivalent to a person’s perspective on God, inside the Roman province of Yahuwdah / Judea, the chief priests would have had no jurisdiction in such matters. Not in Yaruwshalaim, and most especially not in Galatia. This scenario is not only unattested in history, it is incongruous with the evidence.
But Paulos would have us believe: “And then Sha’uwl kept increasing in power (enedunamouto – in raw strength), confounding (sygcheo – baffling, confusing, and causing consternation among) the Jews who lived in Damascus.” (Acts 9:22) Sure sounds like the same arrogant fellow we’ve been reading about in Galatians. All that mattered was that the world come to see Paul as great.
Well, and also that he wanted the world to come to see Jews as lesser life forms. After all, just as the rabbis had been with Muhammad, Torah observant Jews knew that he was lying. “And when many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him, but their plot became known to Sha’uwl. And they were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death. But his disciples took him by night, and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a basket. And when he came to Yaruwshalaym, he was trying to associate with the Disciples, but they were afraid of him.” (Acts 9:23-26)
This also reads just like the Qur’an. In all of the early surahs, the Meccans are shown scheming against Muhammad, only to have Allah alert his apostle and foil the plot. It was never true, mind you, in that Muhammad was little more than a whiney nuisance, but the same could be said for Paul in Damascus.
Most of this was made up to make Paul seem important. Just like Yahowsha’, the Jews plotted to kill him. Just like the Ma’aseyah, he was spirited out of town to spare his life. And just like Moseh, he was lowered into a basket.
I’ve received over one thousand death threats after having compiled Prophet of Doom, but not once have I ducked for cover, sought the help of others to save me, or fled town. Yahowah protects those who work with Him.
Therefore, the detailed testimony in Acts, which like Galatians was provided by Paul, is in direct conflict with his first epistle: “I did not ascend into Yaruwshalaim toward the goal of being with or against the Apostles before me, but to the contrary I went away, withdrawing to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.” (1:17) As such, the only possible conclusion is: Paul lied. And if Paul cannot be trusted to tell you about his own life, why would you trust him to tell you about Yahowsha’s life—or your life?
Please pause here a moment. If you are a Christian, the fate of your soul hinges upon your ability to process what you just read.
While Sha’uwl will self-inflict more than a thousand additional self-incriminating lashes on his credibility, this singular stroke was sufficient to undermine everything he had to say. And there is only one reason that Paul would lie about his calling and preparation: he was perpetrating a fraud.
And that is a serious problem considering what he has just written: “But nevertheless, I profess and reveal to you brothers of the beneficial message which having been communicated advantageously by and through myself, because it is not in accord with man. (1:11)
But neither because I by man associating myself with it. Nor was I taught or instructed as a disciple. But to the contrary, by way of a revelation, an appearance serving to uncover and unveil Iesou Christou. (1:12)
For because indeed you heard of my wayward behavior in some time and place in the practice of Judaism, namely that because throughout, showing superiority, surpassing any measure of restraint, to an extraordinary degree, and better than anyone else, I was aggressively and intensely pursuing, persecuting, oppressing, and harassing the Called Out of God, and I was and am devastating her, continuing to undermine, overthrow, and annihilate her. (1:13)
And so I was and continue to progress, accomplishing a great deal, and I persist moving forward in the practice of Judaism, over and beyond many contemporaries among my race, excessively and over abundantly enthusiastic, zealous and excited, devoted and burning with passion, vehemently adherent to belong to the traditions and teachings handed down by my forefathers. (1:14)
But at a point in time when it pleased and was chosen enjoyable and better for God, the one having appointed me, setting me aside out of the womb of my mother (1:15) to reveal and disclose, uncovering and unveiling the Son of Him in order that I could announce the healing message among the races, immediately. I did not ask the advice of or consult with flesh or blood. (1:16)
I did not ascend into Yaruwshalaim toward the goal of being with or against the Apostles before me, but to the contrary I went away, withdrawing to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.” (1:17)
Paul wanted everyone to believe that he was more important and better prepared than Yahowsha’s Disciples, and that his calling superseded theirs. According to Paul, both the Disciples and he spent three years (based upon Paul’s testimony in the next verse) in Yahowsha’s presence, but Paul, unlike the others, received private, one-on-one instruction. And yet, since Paul’s testimony was false regarding the keystone of his credibility, the entire edifice of Pauline Doctrine crumbles—as does the religion based upon it.
If you are still a Christian, you may not be ready to process what all of this actually means. I rejected Christianity for a relationship with Yahowah around a decade ago, but until recently I couldn’t deal with the errors or the conflicts in Paul’s testimony either.
For example, the “enedunamouto – raw strength” Paul was said to have increased in was a term only he used. The other seven times this verb is found in the Greek texts, they are all in his epistles. Therefore, since it is not said by or of anyone else, we know that this rather egotistical personal evaluation came from Paul himself, not his audience or God. Apart from Paul, each time a unique capability is ascribed to an individual it comes from the Set-Apart Spirit and it is called: “dunamis – power,” as it is in Acts 1:8 during the fulfillment of Shabuw’ah / Seven Sabbaths, not “enedunamouto – raw strength”
Also troubling, the first “achievement” Paul would claim on his own behalf was “sygcheo – confounding, baffling, and confusing” Jews. That is the antithesis of Yahowah’s purpose, which is to use His Towrah to teach His children. There is but one spirit who would boast about deceiving others.
A Christian apologist might say that the change in Paul’s behavior and message confused the Jews, but that excuse is undermined by Sha’uwl’s insistence that he remained true to Judaism. Moreover, Luke expressed two separate thoughts, initially saying that those who listened to him were amazed by his oratory. Then after telling us that Paul’s physical power increased, Luke said that Paul went on to befuddle his would be antagonists. The inference is that he was too clever for them to effectively refute, at least according to Paul.
The alleged plot, whereby the Jews conspired to do away with the self-proclaimed “messenger of god,” which was foiled by way of a revelation and uncanny escape, as I’ve just mentioned, is virtually identical to the story Muhammad was inspired to tell six-hundred years hence at the inception of the Islamic Era. Then, in the immediate aftermath of quoting the Satanic Verses, Muhammad imagined that he had flown to Jerusalem (as opposed to the mythical journey to Arabia) at night, where he visited with Moses and Issa (the Qur’anic “Jesus” which is actually a transliteration of Esau) prior to visiting multiple levels of heaven (something Paul will also claim). Then after the so-called “messenger of god” told the Meccans this tall tale, they conspired to kill him, but Allah revealed their plot, and Satan’s messenger slithered out of town by miraculous means under the cover of darkness. It’s the same story. So perhaps it was authored by the same spirit. And that’s a problem, because in the Qur’an, Allah was modeled after Satan and he brags that he is the best schemer.
The other problems associated with Sha’uwl’s testimony begin with the realization that it is inappropriate for him to have his own disciples – should that be what he was inferring. It is as if he was trying to impersonate the Ma’aseyah. And further incriminating his account, as I’ve previously hinted, Jews under Roman dominion had no authority to put anyone to death—especially in Syria—and most especially a Roman citizen, like Paul. The Sanhedrin didn’t have the authority to kill Yahowsha’, which is why they begged the Roman authorities to do it for them. This whole sordid affair is preposterous from beginning to end.
If you are into fairytales, then embrace the notion that this self-proclaimed murderer, this man of enormous physical strength, was as a newborn prophet “lowered” “in a basket” to save him from baffled and marauding Jews, and not to replicate the story of Moseh, where God’s messenger was similarly spared from impending death.
The second of five proofs that the Arabian sojourn was a myth is a derivative of Paul’s purpose in writing his first epistle. Galatians was composed to accomplish two goals. Paul wanted to differentiate his message from the Torah, and to accomplish that feat, he would have to be an extraordinarily credible witness. Therefore, the first two chapters focus on establishing his personal qualifications. But since everyone knew that Paul didn’t walk in Yahowsha’s footsteps, and did not thereby benefit from three years of training at God’s feet as the Disciples had done, Paul had to make up a story which would appear to the unsuspecting mind to put him on similar footing. Three years in Arabia with the Ma’aseyah would do the trick—at least if it were true.
But if Paul’s claim to have met with God in the Arabian Desert was true then it would make God a liar. After all, while standing on the Mount of Olives Yahowsha’ warned us: “If anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Ma’aseyah,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him.” (Mattanyah / Yahowah’s Gives / Matthew 24:23) God, Himself, told us that if someone claimed that they had seen Him, just as Paul has done, that they were lying. Do not believe him.
Further impugning Paul, who is the only one we know of who made these claims, Yahowsha’ went on to say: “For false Ma’aseyahs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. If therefore they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the desert,’ do not go forth, or ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe him. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” (Mattanyah / Yahowah’s Gives / Matthew 24:24-28)
This is a deathblow to the veracity of Paul’s testimony. If Yahowsha’ has told us the truth, then Paul was lying about meeting with Him along the wilderness road to Damascus and in the Arabian Desert. And if Yahowsha’ was lying, then Paul’s witness on behalf of a liar would be worthless. So since both Yahowsha’ and Sha’uwl spoke about this specific happenstance, and since this issue is central to Paul’s credibility and to the merits of Yahowsha’s advice regarding the reliability of a false prophet claiming to have seen Him, a rational person can now close the book on Paul. It’s over. His credibility has been completely undermined by the very person he claimed to represent. If you have a bible, rip Paul’s letters from its pages.
Yahowsha’ told His Disciples that from the moment He left this world to the time He returned as brilliant as the stars and was seen by everyone at the same time that anyone who claimed to have seen Him, as Paul had now done, was a liar and should not be believed. And yet as clear as this is, as irrefutable as this verdict may be, this realization is but one in many thousands which bury Paul. All that is left is for us to do is to watch the vultures gather over his rotten corpse.
Returning to Paul’s desperate, irritatingly repetitive, and almost pathetic attempts at setting himself up as God’s lone authorized prophet to the world, if he had actually met with Yahowah as Moseh had done, his testimony would have been unassailable should he have described the experience and then produced a written narrative, recounting word for word what Yahowah had said—all in keeping with the Torah’s narrative. But we have nothing. Not a word from Paul or anyone else has ever been revealed regarding the lone event which would otherwise have authenticated Sha’uwl’s authority. So when you contrast this missed opportunity with Paul’s countless protestations that we should trust him because he was God’s chosen messenger to the world, there is a credibility gap the size of the Great Rift.
Third, in an upcoming chapter (“Yaruwshalaim – Source of Reconciliation”), we will juxtapose Acts 15 and Galatians 2 in order to demonstrate that Paul’s ability to accurately recount recent events in his life was highly suspect. In this regard, the entire fifteenth chapter of Acts is devoted to describing the Yaruwshalaim Summit, sometimes called the “Apostolic Conference,” because this meeting was arguably the most important in Paul’s life, and in the history of Christianity. And yet Sha’uwl’s testimony in the second chapter of Galatians conflicts with the historical narrative provided by Luke in Acts in every imaginable way. In fact, it becomes readily apparent that had Paul not written Galatians, as his rebuttal to Yahowsha’s Disciples, his credibility would have been destroyed. But reason tells us that if Paul was willing to write a detailed revisionist account of a meeting, which was well attended and which had occurred within the previous few months, that his lone, unsupported assertion that he had gone to Arabia nineteen years earlier to meet with God—for which there were no witnesses nor corroborating testimony—is suspect in the extreme.
Fourth, as it turns out, the reason Sha’uwl was summoned to appear before Yahowsha’s Disciples in Yaruwshalaim was that his preaching was in irreconcilable conflict with the Torah. And since Yahowah’s Word was personally delivered by God to Moseh on Mount Horeb/Sinai in Arabia, the fact that Paul’s message was entirely different means that either the Source of Moseh’s inspiration was hopelessly unreliable or He was not the source of Sha’uwl’s. And this problem becomes insurmountable when we recognize that with His every word and deed Yahowsha’ affirmed the very book Paul was assailing.
That is a startling realization because the central thrust of Galatians is designed to meticulously belittle and then annul the Torah. Sha’uwl will say that the Covenant memorialized on Mount Sinai was of Hagar and that it was enslaving as a result. He will speak of the Towrah as being of the flesh, so as to demean it, calling it an outdated and outmoded taskmaster. He reports that the Towrah was a burden which no one could bear. He will say that the Towrah is incapable of saving anyone. And yet all of these things are in direct conflict with Yahowah’s testimony. Regardless, Sha’uwl will write that the Torah’s usefulness had come to an end, effectively annulling it – in direct conflict with Yahowsha’s testimony during the Sermon on the Mount. He will go so far as to say that there are two Covenants when God says that His one and only Covenant is everlasting. Therefore, since these messages are the antithesis of one another, Yahowah, who is the acknowledged Author of the Towrah, cannot be the same spirit who served as Sha’uwl’s inspiration.
And fifth, the timeline Paul provided in Galatians, delineating the number of years which transpired between his conversion and the Yaruwshalaym Summit is too great. According to Paul’s testimony in Acts 9, he spent a considerable period of time in Damascus amazing the locals while confusing the Jews after his conversion. (Acts 9:22-23) Let’s assume this took the better part of a year. Then he claims to have gone off to Arabia for three years before returning to Damascus (Galatians 1:17-18) only to be lowered down the wall in a basket. (Acts 9:24-25 and 2 Corinthians 11:32-33 where the story changed and he claimed to be fleeing a government official under the Arabian King Aretas who died in 40 CE) He then went to Yaruwshalaym to meet with Shim’own and Ya’aqob. (Galatians 1:18-19) His travelogue continues through Syria and Cilicia, a journey which collectively transpired over the course of a year. (Galatians 1:21) However, in Acts nine, Sha’uwl adds that he went to Caesarea, bypassing Syria, and then to Tarsus. (Acts 9:30) But then Paul tells us that he was summoned to the Yaruwshalaim ekklesia “after the passage of another fourteen years.” (Galatians 2:1) That’s a total of nineteen years.
Dark years, as it would transpire, because we don’t have a record of any sermon or any letter from Sha’uwl during the decade after his alleged conversion. In fact during much of this period, it is apparent that god’s self-proclaimed messenger to the world went into hiding. And that is a far cry from the “immediacy” of his mission in Galatians 1:16.
But speaking of time, the timing of the Yaruwshalaym Summit is well documented. It is dated to 50 CE. So, if you subtract nineteen years, Sha’uwl’s abuse at the hands of the prodding spirit on the road to Damascus would have occurred in 31 CE, two years before Yahowsha’ fulfilled Passover. And if that weren’t sufficiently incriminating, according to Sha’uwl, he had spent additional time building an international reputation as the most ruthless assassin of Yahuwdym before the meeting with the risen Yahowsha’ could have occurred – thereby pushing it back to 29 CE, a year before Yahowsha’ chose His Disciples. That also means that his pursuit of the ekklesia would have begun four or five years before it was conceived.
There is an old proverb which says that the problem with lying is remembering what you said. These events represented the pivotal moments in Sha’uwl’s life, so they would have been forever etched in his memory. But since the truth didn’t serve his interests, he lied, making up a story he couldn’t consistently recall from one occasion to the next. It is why we have three different depictions of his alleged conversion experience, another problem we will detail in upcoming chapters.
Since Sha’uwl has regaled us in a fictitious rendition of his initial ministry, I’d like to linger a moment longer in the ninth chapter of Acts before we return to Galatians. In Paul’s first and second, but not his third, accounting of his adventure on the road to Damascus, he was asked to meet with a fellow named Ananias, who was reluctant due to Sha’uwl’s burgeoning reputation as an uncivilized brute. So according to Paul, after Ananias hesitated to tutor the now blinded and weakened would-be apostle, “the Lord” intervened a second time, saying:
“But then (de) spoke (lego) to (pros) him (autos) the Lord [o kurios – the ruler and master who possesses (without a pre-Constantine manuscript of this verse, it’s appropriate to deploy the title Paul would have used as he spoke on behalf of his Lord while recounting the affair to Luke)), ‘Go (poreuomai) because (hote – namely) the chosen (ekloge – a selected) implement and instrument (skeuos – object and vessel) is (estin) for me (moi), this is the one (outos tou) to remove and carry away the burden (bastazo – to take up and bear, to tolerate and to put up with, to endure and sustain the yoke and weight) the (to) name (onoma – and reputation) of me (mou) in the sight of (enopion – so as to be seen by; a compound of en – in and optanomai – to look at and to be seen (the Lord said of the blind man)) the nations and races (ethnos), and (kai) sons of kings (uios basileus), and Yisra’el (Israel).
Because (gar) I (ego) by him will provide a glimpse into intimate secrets (hypodeiknymi auto – under him will show and suggest, pointing out using words and arguments to warn; from hupo – by and under and deiknuo – to show and reveal, to indicate and point out) as much as is necessary (hosos – to the degree, amount, and duration) as it is currently required and actually inevitable (dei – it is now compulsory, expected, and in fact necessary, actively binding, and realistically fitting (present tense, active voice, indicative mood)) for him (auton) for the sake of (hyper – because and on behalf of) the name (tou onoma – the designation, person, and reputation) of me (mou) to suffer through this experience (pascho – to undergo this ordeal, vexed, affected, and ultimately enduring death (the aorist tense speaks of a moment in time unrelated to any plan or process, the active voice indicates that the subject is performing the action of the verb, meaning that Paulos is causing the speaker to suffer, while the infinitive makes this verb read like an active noun)).’” (Acts 9:15-16)
When, prior to this statement, Paul claimed that Ananias told “the Lord” that: “he had heard from many about the man who had to the greatest extent possible done immoral and injurious things to your holy ones in Jerusalem, and that here [in Damascus, Syria] he [Paul] has authority from the chief priests to forcefully bind and imprison everyone calling on your name,” it became obvious that this was just another contrived fable designed to make Paul look as if he were the chosen one. Most every Middle East historian of this period acknowledges that there were no Jewish “high priests” outside of Jerusalem, much less in Damascus, Syria. And outside of Israel, the priests had no authority whatsoever. Adding to the fable, had there really been a man named “Ananias,” since it is based upon the Hebrew Chananyah, meaning “Mercy is from Yahowah,” he would have known that Yahowah didn’t need Sha’uwl’s help.
Turning to the alleged testimony from Sha’uwl’s Lord, knowing that Yahowsha’ chose twelve disciples at a time that Sha’uwl was available in Jerusalem and not selected, we are now to believe that Paulos, as a reward I presume for being especially immoral and injurious, is the chosen one. This resolutely religious and evil man claimed to be the “implement” of God, which is tellingly similar to “Ma’aseyah – the Implement Doing the Work of Yahowah.” It is yet another attempt to position himself as God’s co-messenger and co-savior.
But consider what “the Lord” wanted Sha’uwl, the man who changed his name to Paulos, to do with his “onoma – name and reputation.” “The Lord” did not select Sha’uwl to introduce his name, explain his name, share his name, proclaim his name, invite people to Yahowah using his name, or save people in his name, even say his name, all things which would have been vitally important, and none of which Paul actually did. “The Lord,” which is Satan’s title, from the name “Ba’al,” chose Sha’uwl to “bastazo – remove and carry away the burden” of his name and reputation. That is something Satan craves and Yahowsha’ disdains. This is because Yahowsha’s name is uplifting, describing the means God deploys to carrying away our burdens. But Satan’s reputation as the “Adversary” needs to be jettisoned for him to beguile souls into worshipping him as if he were God. So by selecting bastazo, “the Lord” has to be Satan, who is the only one who would benefit from having the “burden” of his adversarial name and reputation “removed and carried away.” It would be senseless and counterproductive for God to ask for such a thing.
And then we find Sha’uwl’s Lord mimicking Paulos’s mantra, which is revealing secrets. Sha’uwl even has his Lord say that the selection and implementation of Paulos was not only inevitable, it was actually compulsory and required. As for suffering, Yahowsha’s sacrifice on our behalf was not only part of a very specific plan, it was now long past, so once again, He cannot be Paul’s Lord. But Satan’s ordeal would endure.
So if we are to believe Sha’uwl’s testimony here, the three years Yahowsha’ spent with His Disciples was a colossal waste of time. All of the prophecies and instructions the Ma’aseyah spoke to Shim’own would be hereby nullified. His name would have not only been irrelevant, it was a burden He wanted removed. His teaching, the Towrah’s Teaching, must have hidden the secrets that were just now going to be revealed – secrets so intimate, God, Himself, must have been too shy to share them. And as for freewill and God being powerful, sorry, He desperately needed Sha’uwl and was compelled to deploy him.
Not that we require more evidence to distrust Sha’uwl, but this statement contradicts Paulos’s testimony throughout Galatians, where he divides the world, giving Shim’own, Ya’aqob, and Yahowchanan responsibility for the Jews, while he assumed authority over every other nation and race. And lastly, even if we discount the troublesome vocabulary, if Sha’uwl’s mission was to carry Yahowah’s to every race and place, then he failed miserably. Not one Christian in hundreds of thousands knows God’s name.
But since Christians the world over know and proclaim the “Lord’s” name, Satan was obviously the spirit who chose Sha’uwl. Fixated as they both were on immorality and injury, on submission and death, on secrets and concealment, they were a match made in She’owl – Hell. After all, Sha’uwl’s testimony has been dishonest and Lord Ba’al is the Prince of Lies.
As an interesting study, consider how many false gods have been called “the Lord.” Ba’al, which means “lord,” was the dominant deity of the Canaanites, of the Phoenicians, of the Babylonians, and of the Assyrians. The Philistines worshipped the infamous Baalzebub. Remarkably, the center of Ba’al / Lord worship was in the town of “Ba’al Chermown – the Lord of Destruction.”
In that we first considered Galatians 1:17 several pages ago, let’s review it again in advance of presenting the Christian renditions. “I did not ascend into Yaruwshalaim toward the goal of being with or against the Apostles before me, but to the contrary I went away, withdrawing to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.” It would have been a great story, if only it were true.
These translations are passable (notwithstanding that there is no “J” in Hebrew, Greek, Latin or even in English prior to the 17th century). KJV: “Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.” It reads similarly to the Latin Vulgate: “Neither did I go to Ierosolymam, to those who were apostolos before me. Instead, I went into Arabiam, and next I returned to Damascum.” The NLT published: “Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus.”
You will notice, however, that all three texts made a reasonable attempt to transliterate the Scriptural name for Yaruwshalaym, ‘Arab, and Damesheq. So why were they all unwilling to transliterate Yahowsha’ and Ma’aseyah accurately?
By way of background, Sha’uwl (meaning Question Him (and indistinguishable from She’owl, the place of questioning more commonly called Hell)) was born and initially educated in Tarsus, the capital of the Roman province of Cilicia, which is on the Mediterranean coast of what is southern Turkey today. It lies directly south of Galatia, the Roman province he was addressing with his first letter. At the time, it was home to the world’s preeminent university. Sha’uwl’s father was both Jewish, from the tribe of Benjamin, and a Roman citizen—things which will loom large as this story unfolds. His father may also have been a Pharisee, which affirms why Sha’uwl remained a religious fundamentalist.
For a frame of reference, it’s about a five-hundred-mile hike from Tarsus, south-southeast to Damascus. Similarly, Mount Horeb (also known as Mount Sinai) in Arabia, is another 500 miles by foot, almost due south of Damascus (Horeb is directly east of Nuweiba on the west coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, and is known as Jabal al-Lawz in Saudi Arabia). Jerusalem lies between the two, less than two hundred miles south-southwest of Damascus.
After lying, and telling us that he went to Arabia, but not even bothering to humor us with a word of what was spoken there, Sha’uwl revealed exactly how long he remained in the wilderness. And that is odd because other than incriminate him, the one detail he shared was otherwise irrelevant.
“Then later (epeita – thereafter in the sequence of events), with (meta – after) three (treis) years time (etos), I ascended up (anerchomai – I went up) to (eis) Yaruwshalaim (Hierosoluma – transliteration of the Hebrew name meaning Source of Guidance Regarding Reconciliation) to visit and get acquainted with (historeo – went to inquire about and investigate, hoping to gain knowledge by becoming familiar with) Kephas (Kephas – transliteration of the Aramaic word keph, meaning stone or rock, a reference to Shim’own, who became Petros (a transliteration of the Greek word for stone), and is known today as Peter) and remained (kai meno – stayed and persevered, endured and abided, continuing to persist) against (pros – to, at, among, or with) him (autos) fifteen (dekapente) days (hemera).” (Galatians 1:18)
While it may be relevant, Papyrus 46 uses meno for “stayed” in the final clause, while later scribes wrote epimeno, a related word which is much more emphatic with regard to Sha’uwl remaining in close proximity to Shim’own. However, since the Nestle-Aland was compiled from the most popular texts, not the oldest manuscripts, their McReynolds Interlinear was oblivious to the alteration. “Then after years three I went up into Jerusalem to visit with Cephas and I stayed on toward him days fifteen.”
It is instructive to know that Moseh was on Mount Sinai for 40 days, during which time he received the Torah – a three-hundred-page book with prophecies so astounding and insights so profound the resulting document left little doubt that it was inspired by God. And yet if we are to believe Paul’s story here in Galatians, as opposed to his story in Acts, Sha’uwl was in Arabia three years. And this pathetic letter is the product of all that time. Rather than being equipped to share Yahowah’s Towrah – Teaching as Moseh had been, and explain how Yahowsha’ had honored its most essential promises by fulfilling the initial Miqra’ey, we get an angry and egotistical diatribe that serves to negate everything God has said and done.
The interesting nuance in this passage is one we considered earlier. Sha’uwl may have been more comfortable communicating in Hebrew and Aramaic than he was in Greek. Recognizing that “Petros,” meaning “rock or stone” in Greek, wasn’t Shim’own’s actual name, but instead his nickname, he was at liberty to translate it—which he did, but into Aramaic. The official language of Tarsus would have been Latin. Aramaic would also have been spoken as a result of the Babylonian, Assyrian, and Persian influence in the region. So we should always be mindful of the fact that if a statement is being made by God or if two Yisra’elites are in the midst of a discussion, then the Greek text represents a translation of what was said in Hebrew or Aramaic. The reference to the Disciple Shim’own as Kephas keeps us mindful of this distinction, which is true for the entirety of the eyewitness and historical accounts.
It is a distinction, however, which was lost on Francis Bacon and his associates. But other than changing the name of the place and person, the rest of the KJV is reasonably accurate with regard to this otherwise insignificant verse. “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.” LV: “And then, after three years, I went to Ierosolymam to see Petrum; and I stayed with him for fifteen days.” NLT: “Then three years later I went to Jerusalem to get to know Peter, and I stayed with him for fifteen days.”
Speaking of names, the next one destroys one of the foundational claims of Catholicism, in addition to devastating the foundation of Protestantism. “But (de) other (heteros – different) of the Apostles (ton apostolos – of those who were prepared messengers and were sent out), I did not see (ou eidon – I did not pay attention to, concern myself with, or understand) except (ei me – if not) Ya’aqob (Iakobos – a transliteration of the Hebrew Ya’aqob who became Yisra’el), the (tov) brother (adelphos – male sibling) of the Lord (tou ΚΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘edon, the Upright One, or Yahowah’s name).” (Galatians 1:19)
In the Nestle-Aland’s Interlinear, these same words were either translated or misrepresented to say: “Other but of the delegates not I saw except [not applicable] Jacob the brother of the Master.”
Before we consider the issue this verse raises for Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians, please note that had this been an eyewitness account chronicled by the Disciples, had this been one of Yahowsha’ many citations of the Torah or Prophets, when we turned to the quoted section of Scripture, we would have found Yahowah’s name where the ΚΥ placeholder was deployed. And while I’d prefer to follow the example established by Yahowsha’s Disciples when citing Him, if we were to replace this Kappa Upsilon with Yahowah’s name, the statement would become senseless.
This is because it has been Sha’uwl’s intent to use “tou ΚΥ – the Lord,” replete with the definite article, as the proper designation of his Lord, the one who prodded and possessed him. So while I am conflicted, knowing the function of the Placeholders and realizing that “the Lord” serves as Satan’s title, while Ba’al, meaning “lord” serves as the Adversary’s name in addition to depicting his ambition, the evidence strongly suggests that Sha’uwl meant to promote the mythos of “the Lord” actually being “God.” So while neither he, nor scribes in Alexandria decades later, wanted these letters to appear different than those penned by the Disciples, one or the other deployed these devices, because they now appear in an early second-century manuscript.
So while it is impossible to know for certain if Paul actually wrote “Kuriou – Lord,” only to see his nomenclature replaced by a scribe who sought consistency and uniformity with the treasured biographic accounts of Yahowsha’s life, or whether Paul used the appropriate placeholders, knowing that if he didn’t, his letters would differ from the Septuagint and from the Disciples, so that leaves us in a quandary. Should these passages be translated as Paul likely intended, or as the placeholders portend? At issue here is: does “the Lord” or “the Upright One” more accurately reflect Paul’s purpose?
The reason this verse should be troubling to Protestants is that it undermines the credibility of the King James Bible, and indeed the credibility of every English translation since that time. While Sha’uwl correctly transliterated the name of Yahowsha’s brother, Ya’aqob, Francis Bacon changed his name to match that of his king’s. The King James Version therefore reads: “But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.”
The political mindset required to justify altering the name of Yahowsha’s brother, Ya’aqob, so that he would forever be known by the name of the reigning English monarch, is the same twisted mentality required to justify copyediting God and His messengers whenever it suits a religious purpose. Such men cannot be trusted—nor can their institutions or translations.
But what does this say about the attitude of those in the ministry today who know that this was done and yet have done nothing to correct the record – preferring instead to perpetrate the myth? Even to this day, in Christian bibles, King James’ name sits atop the letter written by Ya’aqob.
This literary fraud exposes the lack of moral character manifest by Christian leaders who continue to accept the wholesale infusion of Babylonian religious rites and symbols into Christendom. While it’s one man’s name, it’s indicative of how the Torah was replaced by “Gratia / Grace” in “Christianity,” of how Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits became “Easter,” how the Sabbath time spent with Yahowah became “Sunday worship of the Lord,” in fact it is how Yahowah became “the Lord,” and how the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ became “Jesus Christ” to Christians.
This statement, however, contains an even bigger problem for Catholicism – a religion fabricated on the Babylonian presentation of the Madonna and Child, upon the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven. Catholicism requires that Mary remain a virgin, and that she never age nor die. But this statement from Paul’s pen clearly states that Ya’aqob was Yahowsha’s brother, as do many other passages. So Jerome was in a pickle. Therefore, after writing: “But I saw none of the other apostolorum, except Iacobum, the brother of the Domini,” Jerome was forced to add the following to the Latin Vulgate: “This Iacobum is Iacobum the Less, who stayed in Ierosolymam, while the other apostolorum went out to preach the evangelium to the world. He functioned as the spiritual leader of the city where Christi preached and died; he was the Bishop of Ierosolymam. He was called the brother of the Domini because he was a cousin of Iesu, and also because he was similar in appearances to Iesu.” It was all untrue, every word of it, and Jerome knew it. But religious leaders will say and do anything to perpetuate the myths which empower them.
And yet now, with the benefit of over one hundred manuscripts dating to within three centuries of the actual witnesses, all of which affirm that Yahowsha’s brother was Ya’aqob, today’s esteemed religious scholars and theologians are still unwilling to convey the truth. Those associated with the New Living Translation failed to correct the King James’ political malfeasance. “The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord’s brother.” So much for religious integrity and biblical inerrancy. Because familiarity sells, had they not included a book named after the English King, too few Christians would have purchased their bibles for them to have profited from the endeavor.
Galatians 1:19 was otherwise inconsequential, and yet it laid two religions bare. The moral of the story is: you cannot trust men guided by religion or politics.
Seen as a collective whole, Sha’uwl’s fifth paragraph reads:
“I did not ascend into Yaruwshalaim toward the goal of being with or against the Apostles before me, but to the contrary I went away, withdrawing to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. (1:17)
Then later in the sequence of events, after three years time, I ascended up to Yaruwshalaim to visit and get acquainted with Kephas and remained against / with him fifteen days. (1:18)
But other of the Apostles, I did not see, I did not pay attention to, or concern myself with except Ya’aqob, the brother of the Lord.” (1:19)
My initial inclination in composing this review was to pass over these positioning statements and move directly into the substance of the arguments Christians raise from Paul’s writings to dismiss the Torah. And yet by studying them, we have come to know that, no matter what Paul said, he cannot be trusted. And that was worth the effort.
Sha’uwl’s next statement is troubling on three separate fronts. He wrote: “But now (de – because then) what (o – this means that which) I write (grapho – using a pen to form letters on papyrus I communicate in writing (used elsewhere to denote Scripture)) to you (umin) you must pay especially close attention to (idou – you are ordered to intently look at, focus upon, behold, carefully consider, and remember this command (in the imperative mood this is a command) in the presence (enopion – before and in front of) of God (tou ΘΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘elohym, the Almighty), because (oti) I cannot lie (ou pseudomai – mislead or deceive, speak falsely or communicate that which is not true).” (Galatians 1:20)
This message is wholly dissimilar to that of Yahowah’s prophets and Yahowsha’s disciples. They wrote “Thus says Yahowah ,” or “Yahowsha’ said ,” but Sha’uwl proclaims “But now what I write.” Those who speak for God, speak God’s words, because they know that their choice of words pales in comparison to His. Even Yahowsha’ quoted the word of God: “For He (Yahowsha’) whom God has sent, speaks the words of God.” (Yahowchanan / Yah is Merciful / John 3:34)
The only rational conclusion which can be drawn from the statement, “I cannot lie,” is that the one who made it is a liar. Apart from the human manifestation of Yahowah, no man has or ever will tell the truth all of the time. As such, this statement alone rendered this epistle worthless. And in reality, based upon what we have read thus far, Paul has made far more invalid statements than accurate ones. But on the bright side, this means that Paul was telling the truth when he said that he was vicious and perverted, not to mention possessed by one of Satan’s demons.
Further exposing Sha’uwl, the Greek word for “writing a letter” is epistello, from which we get the English word “epistle.” But it wasn’t used, even though it would have been the perfect verb to state: “I’m writing a letter to you.” And while grapho simply means “writing,” the term was often deployed by the Disciples to designate Scripture from the Torah and Prophets. But what’s particularly telling here is that Sha’uwl has set his “grapho – writing” in the context of something which “must be evaluated in the presence of God because I cannot lie.” And in that context, Paul clearly wanted his letters to be seen as “Scripture,” equivalent to the Word of God. And nothing could be further from the truth.
Before we consider Christian bible publications, the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition with McReynolds English Interlinear provides a somewhat unbiased approach: “What but I write to you look before the God [not applicable] not I lie.” Turning to the King James Version, it is apparent that Christians desire the rationally impossible, for Paul to “truthfully contradict” God. And that is why the King James Bible says: “Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.” And it is once again obvious that the King James was a revision of the Latin Vulgate, which reads: “Now what I am writing to you: behold, before God, I am not lying.”
Before we consider the NLT, as a reminder, this statement, when converted to follow English grammar rules, begins with “o – what, not “ego – I.” Further, there are many Greek words which can be translated “declare” (endeixis – to prove by declaring, apaggello – to communicate a message, gnorizo – to make known, diegeomai – to describe by way of narration, ekdiegeomai – to relate, kataggello – to announce, and euaggelizo – to bring a beneficial message), but none of these appear in Sha’uwl’s epistle. So why then did the New Living Translation publish: “I declare before God that what I am writing to you is not a lie.” Desperate is as desperate does, I suppose.
Returning to Sha’uwl’s flight of fancy, we find: “Thereafter (epeita – later then), I came (erchomai – I moved toward and happened upon) to (eis) the regions (ta klima) of Syria (tes Suria – a transliteration of the Hebrew sowr, meaning scorched rocks) and also of Cilicia (kai tes Kilikia – the Roman province in today’s southern Turkey were Sha’uwl was born). (21) But (de) I was (eimi) not known and disregarded (agnoeo – ignored or ignorant, neither recognized or understood) personally (to prosopon – by appearance as an individual) by the (tais) Called Out (ekklesia) of Yahuwdah (tes Ioudaia – transliteration of the Hebrew name, meaning Related to Yah, errantly transliterated Judea) in (eis) Christo (ΧΡΩ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey the title Ma’aseyah, but consistently deployed by Paulos without the definite article).” (Galatians 1:21-22)
As we know, Sha’uwl was born and raised in Cilicia (Acts 22:3). He was the son of a prominent Roman citizen. If he was known anywhere, it would have been there. But should he have been telling the truth, he also would have been known to the Called Out Yahuwdym in Yahuwdah because he just said that he had met with Shim’own Kephas and Ya’aqob – the leaders of that Assembly. And while I suppose that it was possible, albeit unlikely, that Sha’uwl was unknown in these communities, moments ago he claimed that his reputation preceded him. These assessments cannot all be true.
Also troubling, in Acts 9, Paul tells us that he went to Caesarea, which is on the Judean coast, before traveling to Tarsus, Cilicia, and thus bypassing Syria. While it’s just a detail, the inconsistency is troubling juxtaposed against “I cannot lie.”
Turning first to the Nestle-Aland’s Interlinear, we find: “Then I went into the regions of the Syria and the Cilicia. I was but being unknown in the face to the assemblies of the Judea the in Christ.” The King James manages to properly transliterate Syria and Cilicia, but can’t seem to do the same for ekklesia, Yahuwdah, or Ma’aseyah. KJV reads: “Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:” Jerome did a reasonable job transliterating ekklesia and Yahuwdah, but must have thought that Yahowsha’ was a Greek bearing gifts. His Latin Vulgate says: “Next, I went into the regions of Syriæ and Ciliciæ. But I was unknown by face to the ecclesiis Iudææ, which were in Christo.”
Sha’uwl has made a habit of including the definite article before every title, from “the God” to “the Lord.” And in this sentence, even the title “ekklesia” was scribed “tais ekklesia – the Called Out.” So it is telling that he has not yet included the definite article before the title of the individual he claims to be representing. And yet since “Christo” isn’t a name, what options are available to us other than to conclude that Sha’uwl wanted readers to consider it as such?
Philip Comfort, the overall coordinator of the “New Testament” passages which comprise the New Living Translation, emphatically reveals on pages 224 and 225 of his Encountering the Manuscripts that he is aware that the initial Followers of the Way were called “Chrestucians,” not “Christians.” And he knows that in all three references to these people in the Greek texts—Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, and 1 Peter 4:16—that the oldest, most reliable manuscripts, including the vaunted Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, read “Chrestucians” not “Christians.” Furthermore, Philip Comfort is keenly aware that neither “Chrestucians” nor “Christians” appear in any other passage. So why do we find “Christians” in Galatians 1:21-22? “After that visit I went north into the provinces of Syria and Cilicia. And still the Christians in the churches in Judea didn’t know me personally.” Christian publishers must believe that their religious readers don’t care that the “evidence” they are presenting is invalid.
While there is no textual basis for the NLT’s use of “that visit,” “north,” “still,” “me,” or “personally,” Mr. Comfort’s most egregious crime was changing “ekklesia - called-out assembly” to “church,” and then associating this “church” with the nonexistent “Christians.” It is as if he felt that he was at liberty to assist Paul in the creation of a new religion.
If you follow the link on the NLT’s homepage to “Philosophy & Methodology,” you will find that they don’t acknowledge the methods they have deployed in creating their “translation.” They simply list a pair of “philosophies” and a “method.” And both philosophies are opposed to the liberal transformations we have witnessed in most every NLT passage. They say:
Essentially Literal (free only where absolutely necessary): This philosophy is reluctant to “clarify” the meaning of the text, though it is open to doing so when absolutely necessary for understanding. It holds English style at a higher value than the more literal approach and often adjusts syntax to help it read better, even if this makes it less literal.
Dynamic Equivalent (free where helpful to clarify meaning): This philosophy is open to “clarify” the meaning of the text whenever a literal rendering of the text might be confusing to the normal, uninitiated reader. This does not mean it deviates from the text; on the contrary, it does whatever is helpful to ensure that the text’s meaning comes through in English. In general, such translations try to balance the concerns of both functional equivalence and literal approaches.
Based upon what we have experienced thus far, nothing the NLT has published has been “essentially literal.” They have shown no “reluctance to ‘clarify’ the meaning of the text.” So we must assume that either they don’t abide by this philosophy (and that it was stated as a diversion), or they believe that it was “absolutely necessary” to revise, ignore, change, or extrapolate most everything Sha’uwl wrote.
I recognize that this is standard operating procedure in politics, where even though the public has access to their constitution, their elected officials reinvent its meaning on a daily basis. But Paul’s epistles are positioned as the inerrant word of God, making this practice a fraud.
As for their pervasive use of what they call “dynamic equivalence,” we must conclude that they believe everything Sha’uwl had to say would have been “confusing to the normal, uninitiated reader.” And that means that if Galatians is to be considered Scripture (in the sense of being inspired by God), then the folks working for the New Living Translation believe that God is a very poor communicator. (I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that the concept of being “initiated” in a religion, especially its mysteries, dates back to the Babylonians. And it is something Paul has continued to promote.)
While it is egotistical in the extreme, not to mention ignorant, irrational, and foolish, to place one’s writing style and ability above the Creator of the universe (or even above someone claiming to speak for him), the NLT’s claim that they don’t use dynamic equivalence to “deviate from the text” is laughably inaccurate.
But none of that really matters. This pedantic posturing was designed to take your attention away from the method they actually deployed.
Paraphrase (free for clarity and to catch attention): This method is normally used by an individual translator, while the other methods usually employ committees of scholars. Creativity and style are extremely important here; the translator sometimes tries to catch the attention of readers in a fresh way, seeking to jolt and surprise them into understanding.
The New Living Translation is so “fresh,” so “jolting and surprising,” it is as if Philip Comfort and Company (a.k.a., Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) felt as if God, Himself, had personally inspired them to write their own bible.
Leaving one fictional realm, and returning to another, we find the Nestle-Aland’s Interlinear suggesting that Paul concluded his opening statement by writing: “Alone but hearing they were that the one pursuing us then now he tells good message the trust which then he was ravaging (23) and they were giving splendor in me the God.” (24)
“But then (de) only (monon – alone) they were constantly (eimi) hearing (akouo) that the one (oti o) presently pursuing and persecuting (dioko – systematically, hastily, and intensely approaching, running and following after, oppressing and harassing (scribed in the present tense)) us (emas) at various times (pote – at any undisclosed period)) now (nyn – at the present time) he presently proclaims a healing message (euangelizo – he currently announces a beneficial messenger (scribed in the present tense and middle voice, thereby influencing himself)) of faith (ten pistis – of belief) which (os) once or now (pote – at some or any unspecified period) he was attacking and continues to annihilate (portheo – he was consistently ravaging and destroying, he is devastating and overthrowing, he was sacking and is continually wasting and killing (the imperfect tense addresses an in process action which began in the past but is still ongoing with no assessment of its conclusion, the active voice says that Paulos was personally engaged in this savage behavior, while the indicative mood reveals that this depiction actually occurred)). (23) And (kai – so) they were praising and glorifying, attributing an exceptionally high value and status (doxazo – they were considering illustrious and magnificent, holding the opinion of an especially high rank, thereby supposing to honor, extol, celebrate, dignify, and magnify) in (en – in relation to, upon, with, or at) me (emoi) for the (ton) God (ΘΝ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘elohym, the Almighty).” (Galatians 1:23-24)
The presentation of “portheo – attack and annihilate” is identical to what we’ve seen before. By deliberately writing it in the imperfect tense, this grotesque behavior is ongoing. Paulos continues to ravage and destroy. That is the legacy of his letters. They remain as destructive and deadly as the day they were written.
While it isn’t currently apparent, we have been given another clue into the nature of what would become known as Pauline Doctrine. This time it comes through the forced inclusion of pistis, which I’ve translated “faith.” Etymologically, the word originally conveyed the exemplary concepts of “trust and reliance.” But that was before Paul made pistis so central to his religion that faith became synonymous with Christianity. Therefore, by alleging that his admirers equated his “euangelizo – beneficial message” to “pistis – faith,” Paul was setting the table for his treatise. Pistis was awkwardly tossed into the mouths of others because Paul’s entire edifice will be based upon faith. It will become his alternative to the Towrah.
No matter how we render “en emoi ton – in me for the” God, there is no way to incorporate “doxazo – praising and glorifying” without gagging on the result. Paul has either imagined groupies who are now worshipping him, or the Called Out from Syria to Cilicia were collectively suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome.
Keeping in mind that the scenario Sha’uwl has laid out, whereby the religion of Judaism, in concert with the instructions of its chief priests, recruited and then ordered Sha’uwl to bludgeon Torah-observant Jews, is a charade, still, at least, based upon what Sha’uwl has said about himself, it is entirely possible, perhaps probable, that the founder of the Christian faith was ruthless. But should this be the case, it means that we are dealing with a delusional and amoral psychopath.
Nonetheless, to the extent that Sha’uwl told the truth, and that he was exceptionally and uniquely vicious, in concert with his repetitive claims, then the victims of his wonton savagery may have misconstrued this apparent remission, albeit temporary, in his brutality as being praiseworthy. In such cases, victims often bond with their abuser. They see the merciless as merciful.
So in this concluding sentence, we are witnessing a psychological phenomenon that profoundly alters an individual’s ability to exercise good judgment regarding those who are abusing them nineteen centuries before it was codified and explained.
This was not the first time, nor would it be the last, that this strategy would be deployed for nefarious means. Islam, for example, would not exist without it. Muhammad expressly authorized Muslim men to berate, imprison, and beat their wives so long as they occasionally relented and showed some mercy, which was usually in the form of having their way with their bodies. And if that was not sufficient to exercise complete dominion over women, then they could murder them.
Doxazo, which is being directed at Paul, was translated: “they were praising and glorifying, attributing an exceptionally high value and status.” It also conveys: “they were considering illustrious and magnificent, holding the opinion of an especially high rank, supposing to honor, extol, celebrate, and dignify” Paul. Doxazo is from the base of doxa, which is “to form a favorable opinion,” and thus “to hold someone in high esteem by taking into account their behavior and reputation.” And since Paul’s reputation, at least according to Paul, has been that of a libertine and terrorist, both of which in the sight of God’s people would be considered reprehensible, should this declaration have occurred, the Stockholm Syndrome provides the lone rational reason to deploy “doxazo – glorified in the opinion of the beholder” in association with Paul.
And since the praiseworthy connotations associated with doxazo are directed “in me for God,” Sha’uwl’s statement can be read that people “thought highly of God in me,” which is extraordinarily arrogant, placing Paul in the company of the Caesars, Emperors, and Pharaohs who claimed to be god—or, at the very least, to represent him before men. This serves to establish Paul as co-savior and co-author, his personal contribution completing God’s work.
This is yet another way in which Paul sounds like Muhammad in the Qur’an. This sentence pushes the envelope, elevating Paul’s opinion of himself well beyond anything which is appropriate.
But the other options may be even worse, especially if we read this as saying “for God in me,” making Paul and his god one and the same. And if God is brought into the equation, and is seen as part of the arrogant evaluation, then Paul rises above his god in status.
Each of these themes will play out again in Islam, where Allah and Muhammad speak with the same voice because Allah is Muhammad’s alter ego – having demonically possessed him as he had Paul. And this similarity is germane to our evaluation of Paul because in Islam Allah is indistinguishable from Satan. They have the same personality, ambitions, attitude, and methods. In Islam, which means submission, Allah replaces Yahowah as God. In Christianity, the Lord replaces Yahowah as God. The result is the same.
The King James Version crafted a bizarre ending that serves to exacerbate the problem: “But they had heard only, that he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me.” The Latin Vulgate, from which the inappropriate ending materialized, reads similarly: “For they had only heard that: ‘He, who formerly persecuted us, now evangelizat/evangelizes the fidem/faith which he once fought. And they glorified God in me.’”
While typically I’m critical of these translations when they diverge from the original text, both conclusions are reasonable adaptations of Paul’s poorly worded statement. It is easy to construe this as if Paul was suggesting that he and his god were equally praiseworthy. And keep in mind, the path to this place was paved with the pronouncement that Paul cannot lie.
In the context of religious deceptions, it’s also important to recognize that the King James rendition of the beginning of this statement was errant because the Greek word for “preach” is kerysso, not euangelizo which means “to convey a healing messenger or beneficial message.” And since faith is the result of not knowing, how and why would it be “preached?”
Faith is required when there is insufficient information to know and thus understand. That is why it is part and parcel to Pauline Doctrine. Paul never presents sufficient information to grow beyond “faith.” This realization drives to the heart of the Great Galatians Debate.
It is only out of a sense of duty, that of pulling weeds from the swamp that has become Christendom, that I continue to share the methodology of the New Living Translation: “All they knew was that people were saying, ‘The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy!’ And they praised God because of me.”
While this isn’t what Paul wrote, if this is what he was intending to say, if this is what he believed, then we should pity him. Neither Noah nor Abraham made such a claim. We do not find these words on the lips of Moseh (Moses) nor Dowd (David). Not even Yahowsha’ said this.
Recapping the sixth Pauline stanza serves as a real eye opener.
“But now what I write to you, you must pay especially close attention in the presence of God, because I cannot lie. (1:20)
Thereafter, I came to the regions of Syria and also of Cilicia. (21) But I was not known and was disregarded, I was either ignored or ignorant, not recognized or understood, personally by appearance as an individual by the Called Out of Yahuwdah in Christo. (1:22)
But then only they were constantly hearing that the one presently pursuing and persecuting, systematically, hastily, and intensely approaching, oppressing and harassing us at various times now he presently proclaims a healing message of faith which once or now at some unspecified period he was attacking and continues to annihilate, he was consistently ravaging and destroying and he is devastating and overthrowing. (23)
And so they were praising and glorifying, attributing an exceptionally high value and status, considering illustrious and magnificent, holding the opinion of an especially high rank, thereby supposing to honor, extol, celebrate, dignify, and magnify in me for the God.” (Galatians 1:24)
The most appropriate way to conclude this chapter is to provide a review of everything Paulos has written in his first chapter. It has been a rough ride to a place most wouldn’t have even dared to imagine...
“Paulos, an apostle or delegate, not separating men, not even by the means of man, but to the contrary and emphatically on behalf of Iesou Christou and God, Father of the one having roused and awakened Him for public debate, raising Him out of a dead corpse, (1:1) and all the brothers with me to the called out of the Galatias, (1:2) Grace to you and peace from God, Father of us and Lord Iesou Christou, (1:3)
the one having produced and given Himself on account of the sins and errors of us, so that somehow, through indefinite means, He might possibly gouge or tear out, pluck or uproot us from the past circumstances and old system which had been in place which is disadvantageous and harmful, corrupt and worthless, malicious and malignant extended downward from and in opposition to the desire and will, the inclination and intent of God and Father of us, (1:4)
to whom the assessment of the brilliant splendor, the opinion regarding the glorious radiance and appearance of the shining light, the characterization of a manifestation of God’s reputation, by means of the old and the new systems, Amen, let it be so. (1:5)
I marvel, am amazed and astonished, wondering and surprised that namely in this way quickly and in haste you change, desert, and depart, becoming disloyal apostates and traitors away from your calling in the name of Grace to a different healing message and beneficial messenger, (1:6)
which does not exist differently, if not conditionally or hypothetically negated because perhaps some are the ones stirring you up, confusing you, and also wanting and proposing to change and pervert the beneficial messenger and healing message of the Christou, (1:7)
but to the contrary, if we or a messenger out of heaven conveys a healing messenger or beneficial message to you which is approximate or contrary to, beyond, or positioned alongside what we delivered as a beneficial messenger and announced as a healing message to you then a curse with a dreadful consequence exists. (1:8)
As we have said already, and even just now, immediately thereafter, repetitively, I say, if under the condition someone delivers a helpful messenger or communicates a useful message to you contrary or in opposition to, close or approximate to, even greater than that which you received, it shall be (in fact I command and want it to exist as) a curse with a dreadful consequence. (1:9)
For because currently and simultaneously, men I persuade, I presently, actively, and actually use words to win the favor of, seducing, misleading, coaxing, convincing, appeasing, and placating, or alternatively, the God? Or by comparison and contrast, I seek and desire to please and accommodate humans? Yet nevertheless, if men, I was pleasing and accommodating, exciting the emotions of and lifting up a slave of Christou, certainly not was me. (1:10)
But nevertheless, I profess and reveal to you brothers of the beneficial message which having been communicated advantageously by and through myself, because it is not in accord with man. (1:11) But neither because I by man associating myself with it. Nor was I taught or instructed as a disciple. But to the contrary, by way of a revelation, an appearance serving to uncover and unveil Iesou Christou. (1:12)
For because indeed you heard of my wayward behavior in some time and place in the practice of Judaism, namely that because throughout, showing superiority, surpassing any measure of restraint, to an extraordinary degree, and better than anyone else, I was aggressively and intensely pursuing, persecuting, oppressing, and harassing the Called Out of God, and I was and am devastating her, continuing to undermine, overthrow, and annihilate her. (1:13)
And so I was and continue to progress, accomplishing a great deal, and I persist moving forward in the practice of Judaism, over and beyond many contemporaries among my race, excessively and over abundantly enthusiastic, zealous and excited, devoted and burning with passion, vehemently adherent to belong to the traditions and teachings handed down by my forefathers. (1:14)
But at a point in time when it pleased and was chosen enjoyable and better for God, the one having appointed me, setting me aside out of the womb of my mother (1:15) to reveal and disclose, uncovering and unveiling the Son of Him in order that I could announce the healing message among the races, immediately. I did not ask the advice of or consult with flesh or blood. (1:16)
I did not ascend into Yaruwshalaim toward the goal of being with or against the Apostles before me, but to the contrary I went away, withdrawing to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. (1:17) Then later in the sequence of events, after three years time, I ascended up to Yaruwshalaim to visit and get acquainted with Kephas and remained against / with him fifteen days. (1:18) But other of the Apostles, I did not see, I did not pay attention to, or concern myself with except Ya’aqob, the brother of the Lord. (1:19)
But now what I write to you, you must pay especially close attention in the presence of God, because I cannot lie. (1:20) Thereafter, I came to the regions of Syria and also of Cilicia. (21) But I was not known and was disregarded, I was either ignored or ignorant, not recognized or understood, personally by appearance as an individual by the Called Out of Yahuwdah in Christo. (1:22)
But then only they were constantly hearing that the one presently pursuing and persecuting, systematically, hastily, and intensely approaching, oppressing and harassing us at various times now he presently proclaims a healing message of faith which once or now at some unspecified period he was attacking and continues to annihilate, he was consistently ravaging and destroying and he is devastating and overthrowing. (23)
And so they were praising and glorifying, attributing an exceptionally high value and status, considering illustrious and magnificent, holding the opinion of an especially high rank, thereby supposing to honor, extol, celebrate, dignify, and magnify in me for the God.” (Galatians 1:24)
It is spellbinding.