Judging Paul by Judging Peter
What follows isn’t pleasant. But we find it written nonetheless. It shows Sha’uwl attacking Shim’own unmercifully. This diatribe is one of many reasons why the “presumed and supposed pillars” perspective Sha’uwl articulated with respect to Shim’own, Ya’aqob, and Yahowchanan was an accurate reflection of his derogatory attitude toward Yahowsha’s Disciples.
Having spent much of my life building businesses, I recognize that this all smacks of a turf war—of one individual trying to expand his territory, his area of responsibility if you will, vying for the jurisdiction of others. Additionally, the arrogant statements which preceded this upcoming bout of character assassination, the repeated attempts to seek the approval of others only to tear them down, as well as the name-calling that ensues at the opening of the third chapter of Galatians, suggests that Paul was masking his insecurity with arrogance. I have witnessed its divisive influence on multiple occasions, all with devastating consequences—which is why I am attune to its telltale signs.
While I am admittedly over-sensitized when it comes to any manifestation of insecurity, having seen it destroy everything in its wake, there can be, at least in rare instances, a silver lining. If mild insecurity, or more accurately, inadequacy, is mediated by reliance upon Yahowah, where He fills the void, then human insufficiency becomes an opportunity for God to demonstrate His power through a flawed implement. Moseh / Moses had a speech impediment. Dowd / David battled with adultery. Solomon was gluttonous. Shim’own was impulsive. They are all testaments to the fact that Yahowah does His best work through people who recognize that they are useless without Him. That, however, was not the case with Sha’uwl.
Those who have not experienced the insanity of this cancer may be confused, thinking that insecurity would make someone shy, which flies in the face of Paul being an egomaniac (by his own admission in Colossians 1:24: “now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions” and elsewhere). But those who suffer from deep seated insecurity compensate with conceit, because it masks their infirmity and fills the void. They are aggressive, even conniving, tearing others down to lift themselves up. And knowing that they are vulnerable, they constantly tout their own “truthfulness,” while at the same time proactively and dishonestly besmirching the reputations of all those they perceive may be a threat. But more than anything, an insecure individual comes to view himself or herself as being imminently important, even indispensible, so much so they will accept no rivals. Paul was a textbook case, as was Muhammad – even Stalin and Hitler. The malady of insecurity makes an individual particularly vulnerable to the wiles of Satan.
In that an entire chapter has passed before us since we last contemplated a Galatians passage, before we continue, here is a quick review of what Paulos has written up through the first ten statements of the second chapter:
“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. (1:21) 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. (1:23)
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. (1:24)
Later, through fourteen years also, I went up to Yaruwshalaim along with Barnabas, having taken along also Titus. (2:1)
I went up, but then downward from uncovering an unveiling revelation which lays bare, laying down to them the beneficial messenger which I preach among the races down from my own, uniquely and separately, but then to the opinions, presumptions, and suppositions, not somehow perhaps into foolishness and stupidity, without purpose or falsely, I might run or I ran (2:2) – to the contrary, not even Titus, a Greek being, was compelled, forced or pressured, to be circumcised – (2:3) but then on account of the impersonators who faked their relationship brought in surreptitiously under false pretenses, who sneaked into the group to secretly spy upon and clandestinely plot against the freedom from conscience and liberation from the constraints of morality that we possess in Christo Iesou in order that us they will actually make subservient, controlling for their own ends, (2:4) to whom neither to a moment we yielded, surrendered, or submitted in order that the truth of the God may continue to be associated among you. (2:5)
But now from the ones currently reputed, presumed, and supposed to be someone important based upon some sort of unspecified past, they were actually and continue to be nothing, completely meaningless and totally worthless, to me. It carries through and bears differently the face of the God of man not take hold of, acquire, or receive, because to me, the ones currently presuming and supposing, presently dispensing opinions based upon reputed appearances, of no account, utterly meaningless and worthless, was their advice and counsel, their cause and contribution in the past. (2:6)
Contrariwise, nevertheless notwithstanding the objection, exception, or restriction, having seen and perceived that because namely I have been believed entrusted with the healing message and beneficial messenger of the uncircumcised inasmuch as Petros / Rock of the circumcised. (2:7)
Because then namely, the one having previously functioned in Petro to an apostle for the circumcision, it actually functioned also in me to the nations and ethnicities. (2:8)
And having known and having recognized, becoming familiar with the Grace of the one having been given to me, Ya’aqob, and Kephas, and also Yahowchanan, the ones presently presumed, regarded, and supposed to be pillars, and thus leaders, the right place of honor and authority they granted to me, and to Barnabas fellowship as a result. We to the nations and ethnicities, but they to the circumcision. (2:9)
Only alone by itself the lowly and poor, the worthless beggars of little value that we might remember and possibly think about which also I was eager and quick same this to do.” (Galatians 2:10)
If you are scratching your head wondering how anyone in their right mind could possibly consider this disjointed, jaundiced, self-serving, and egotistical rant to be inspired Scripture, you are not alone. But nonetheless, you are up to speed with Paul’s race against Yahowah, Yahowsha’, their prophets and disciples.
Even though “the Rock” is credited for having welcomed and listened to Sha’uwl in Yaruwshalaym, when Shim’own went to Syria, the niceties were not reciprocated...
“But (de) when (hote) Kephas (Kephas – the Rock) came (erchomai) to (eis) Antioch (Antiocheia – then the capital of Syria, but now in the southern tip of Turkey; derived from a transliteration of Antiochus, which was the name of a Syrian king, meaning to drive against), I was opposed to and against (kata) his (autos) presence (prosopon – face, person, and appearance). I stood in hostile opposition (anthistemi – I took a firm stand, resisting; from anti, against and opposed to, and histemi stand and presence) because (hoti) he was (eimi) convicted and condemned (kataginosko – judged to be guilty, to lack accurate information and to be devoid of understanding; from kata, opposed to and against, and ginosko, knowing, and thus ignorant).” (Galatians 2:11)
Shim’own was seen as a threat to Sha’uwl’s authority overall and his dominion over every nation in particular. It is as simple as that. This has nothing to do with what “Peter” was doing, but instead with what “Paul” craved.
If we were to consider the entirety of the Greek lexicon, it would be difficult to find words more condemning than anthistemi and kataginosko. Bereft of the negation, histemi speaks of Yahowsha’ standing up for us so that we could stand with Him, established upright at His side. Therefore, to be anti-histemi is to be opposed to Yahowsha’ and His purpose. Since Shim’own Kephas was not anti-histemi, it was not appropriate for Sha’uwl to confront him this way.
Ginosko is the Greek equivalent of yada’, the operative aspect of name of the book Yada Yah, meaning “to know Yah.” Therefore to be kata / against ginosko / knowing is to be opposed to recognizing and acknowledging God.
One of the most telling traits of chronically insecure individuals is that they are sufficiently cunning to ascribe their own flaws to their perceived foes. So by doing this to Shim’own, he is compelled to respond and defend himself, demonstrating that he isn’t “against knowing God.” Then by inciting this response, Sha’uwl has effectively deflected attention away from himself, while at the same time blurring the issue in people’s minds. This strategy makes it more difficult for Shim’own / Peter to demonstrate that Sha’uwl / Paul is actually the one who is opposed to knowing Yahowah, because the audience is at the very least confused by the name calling, the labels, and the subsequent smoke.
If you pay close attention to political campaigns, you will notice that this approach is as ubiquitous as it is disingenuous. It is also the way powerful conspirators behave towards those attempting to expose their schemes. The one trying to alert others so that they don’t become victims of those actually plotting against them are discredited and labeled “kooks,” thereby forcing them to defend themselves. In so doing, the audience is distracted, often confused, and the truth is lost in the midst of the slanderous attacks and accusations. An ocean of evidence is tossed aside by a single mocking sound-bite. It is a clever, albeit immoral, tactic.
For Sha’uwl, this was personal. Paulos was against the very presence of “the Rock” in Antioch. He went out of his way to demonstrate his hostility. He publicly declared his opposition to one of Yahowsha’s closest and most beloved Disciples. And then he judged him, saying that Shim’own was “convicted and condemned,” even “ignorant and irrational.” Save overtly besmirching Yahowah, denouncing the Torah, and denying Yahowsha’s purpose, there was nothing Shim’own / Peter, of all people, could say or do which would justify this level of attack. And of course, Sha’uwl was guilty of each of these things.
Shim’own may have been wrong about something, and if he was, it wouldn’t have been the first time. But, as passionate as Kephas was, he never bothered to defend himself personally. He turned the other cheek, and left Syria. Sha’uwl, however, would press his case against this amazingly important individual. And in the process, he would incriminate Ya’aqob, Yahowsha’s brother, as well.
The Nestle-Aland McReynolds Interlinear by inadequately translating the two most telling verbs, rendered the Pauline declaration: “When but came Cephas into Antioch by face to him I stood against because having known against himself he was.” In the King James, this passage reads: “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” Their rendering, which is inadequate, was derived from the Latin Vulgate: “But when Cephas had arrived at Antiochiam, I stood against him to his face, because he was blameworthy.” Uncomfortable conveying the inflammatory nature of kataginosko and anthistemi, the New Living Translation followed in the footsteps of their predecessors. “But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong.”
To put this in perspective from a geographic perspective, Antioch is less than one-hundred miles from Sha’uwl’s hometown, Tarsus, and that may have been part of the problem. It is nearly 400 miles, due north, along the coast road, from Jerusalem. “Peter” was a long way from home.
As we turn to the next accusation, we find another conflict between the late first-century manuscript of this passage and modern renderings, whereby “multiple individuals” instead of one “certain individual” arrived while Shim’own was eating. Therefore, following Shim’own Kephas’ long journey, we find Sha’uwl saying:
“Because (gar), before (pro) a certain individual (tina – someone) came (erchomai) from (apo) Ya’aqob (Iakobos), he [Shim’own] was eating together (synesthio – consuming a meal in association) with (meta) the (tov) people of different races (ethnos – a group of individuals from many ethnicities and nations), but (de) when (hote) he came (erchomai), he was withdrawing (hupostello – he was timidly hesitating and cowering, keeping silent while trying to avoid contact) and (kai) was separating (aphorize) himself (heautou), out of (ek) fear (phobeomai – frightened and afraid) of the circumcised (peritome – read Yahuwd, or Jew).” (Galatians 2:12)
By saying that Shim’own / Peter “hupostelo – withdrew,” Sha’uwl / Paul was announcing to anyone familiar with Greek, that Shim’own should no longer be considered an “apostello – Apostle (one who prepared to be sent off).” And as such, we can be assured the Paulos meant for us to render “dokei – presumed and supposed” in the most negative light.
Shim’own Kephas was doing what Yahowsha’ had asked of him. He had left home to bring Yahowah’s redemptive message to the world. He was breaking bread in fellowship with brothers whom we can only assume had been called out, and thus were children of the Covenant. Then, we are told that a Yahuwd / Jew arrived. And even though Sha’uwl would have had no way of knowing if he had been sent out by Ya’aqob, it’s certain that Shim’own wouldn’t have been afraid of him if that had been the case. Also, if the crime of which “the Rock” was guilty, was timidity, if it was withdrawing rather than engaging, and if that was what constituted Shim’own’s “conviction and condemnation,” no one could ever be saved.
While I understand that “Peter” wasn’t perfect, it’s perfectly clear that this onerous rant against him wasn’t godly. The problem is no longer just the message, it’s the attitude. And it’s also Paul’s style. Given his previous propensity for spin, it’s likely that Shim’own had a valid reason to leave (like being allergic to Sha’uwl), but Paul left this reason out in order to make the man Yahowsha’ named “Kephas – the Rock,” appear as if he had crumbled.
Rather than recognize Shim’own’s enormous liberty with respect to the Towrah and its Covenant, Sha’uwl was cleverly trying to infer that Kephas was compelled to leave because of the crushing control mechanisms of Rabbinical Judaism. He then was positioning himself as the brave Paladin of God, standing in the gap for the benefit of all mankind. None of it was true, but that didn’t seem to matter.
In the context of Paulos’s offensive assault on Yahowsha’s handpicked Disciple, we are compelled to consider Sha’uwl’s behavior in light of what he called “the deeds of the flesh” and “the fruit of the spirit,” both of which are delineated in Galatians 5. While I won’t repeat those attributes here, when the time comes, juxtapose these accusations to that presentation, and you will conclude that either Paulos wasn’t, himself, imbued with the Spirit or he was a complete hypocrite.
Of this unfortunate incident, the Nestle-Aland McReynolds Interlinear conveyed: “Before the for the to come some from Jacob with the nations he was eating with when but they came he was withdrawing and was separating himself fearing the ones from circumcision.” The KJV published: “For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.” Jerome’s Latin Vulgate reported: “For before certain ones arrived from Iakob, he ate with the Gentibus. But when they had arrived, he drew apart and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.”
Feeling at liberty to adlib, the liberated NLT scribed: “When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision.” Sha’uwl never wrote the word “Christian.” The name cannot be found in any Greek manuscript attributed to him. Further, there was absolutely no indication in the text that the issue was an “insistence on the necessity of circumcision.” To the contrary, this point had already been vetted.
Sha’uwl continued his assault: “And (kai) they (autos) were hypocritical (synypokrinomai – pretending to join in the hypocrisy, acting falsely), and also (kai) the remaining (oi loipos) Yahuwdym (Ioudaios – transliteration of the Hebrew Yahuwdym, meaning Related to Yah). As a result (hoste – therefore) even (kai) Barnabas (Barnabas) was led away (apago – he was led astray) with them (auton) in the duplicitous hypocrisy (to hypokrisis – in the insincere pretence).” (Galatians 2:13)
This is yet another affirmation that Galatians was written after the Yaruwshalaym Summit in 50 CE, but before Barnabas and Sha’uwl split up the following year. And based upon what we read in Acts, this may well have been the disagreement which led to their less-than-amicable parting. As such, and considering all of the internal evidence, we can be certain that this was Paulos’s first epistle.
Yahowah, and thus Yahowsha’, encourages us to be critical of false teaching, telling us to expose and condemn lies and liars, but “the Rock” was neither a false teacher nor a liar. If he was either of these things, his acknowledgement that “Yahowsha’ is the Ma’aseyah, the Son of the Living God,” would have to be stricken from the record. And the books of First and Second Peter would have to be expunged from the canon.
If this were the case, it would have dire consequences for Christian theology. The lone, thin, truncated, misquoted, and misunderstood pretext for considering Paul’s letters “Scripture” is allegedly found in 2 Peter 3:12-17. But if Shim’own is guilty of what Sha’uwl is accusing him, if he was a man who “was convicted and condemned, judged to be guilty, devoid of understanding, and thus ignorant,” then “Peter’s” letter would not be credible. Moreover, considering what Sha’uwl just wrote, and what had been said earlier this year in Yaruwshalaim, it isn’t even remotely plausible that Shim’own would have written a ringing endorsement of Sha’uwl.
Constructively criticizing the way Shim’own had left a meal might well have been appropriate if it engendered a conversation on how Paul’s and Peter’s interpretations of the Torah might have differed in this regard. But all we have been offered is a personal condemnation and name-calling—devoid of enlightenment. So while my feelings are irrelevant in this matter, this makes me nauseous.
But once again, the problem isn’t with the fidelity of the Greek manuscripts, but with the words Sha’uwl dictated. The Nestle-Aland McReynolds Interlinear reported: “And they were hypocritical together to him [and] the remaining Judeans so that even Barnabas was led off together of them in the hypocrisy.” This known, it’s hard to be critical of the KJV: “And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.” The LV is reasonably accurate as well: “And the other Iudæi consented to his pretense, so that even Barnabas was led by them into that falseness.” The NLT, however, created a conversation to suit their constituency. “As a result, other Jewish Christians followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.”
While it pains me to ponder the consequence of these words, we must. Collectively, Paulos has written:
“But when Kephas came to Antioch, I was opposed to and against his presence. I stood in hostile opposition because he was convicted and condemned, even ignorant. (2:11)
Because, before a certain individual came from Ya’aqob, he was eating together with the different races, but when he came, he was withdrawing and was separating himself, out of fear of the circumcised. (2:12)
So they were hypocritical, and also the remaining Yahuwdym. As a result even Barnabas was led away and astray with them in the duplicitous hypocrisy.” (Galatians 2:13)
In that it is especially germane to our discussion, let’s pause here in the midst of Sha’uwl’s vicious attack on Yahowsha’s Disciple Shim’own Kephas to consider what the victim had to say about his accuser. For that, we must turn to Second Peter 3:12-17.
By way of introduction, Pauline devotees and Christian apologists alike cite errant translations of a portion of Second Peter 3:16 completely out of context to justify affording Scriptural status to Paul’s letters specifically, and to the whole corpus of their “New Testament” generally. It is ironic, however, albeit not surprising, that “Peter,” the man “Paul” condemned in Galatians for being wrong in opposing him, is somehow right when he is construed to be providing an endorsement. Also paradoxical, when Shim’own’s evaluation of Sha’uwl’s veracity is considered in the context of this presentation, rather than endorsing the wannabe apostle’s letters, the Disciple is seen trashing them.
The damage “Peter” inflicts on Paul’s credibility is so devastating, Eusebius and Jerome claimed that “Peter” wasn’t the author of this epistle. And Calvin wrote: “I do not here recognize the language of Peter.” He postured the notion that the letter may have been compromised by mental atrophy: “now that he was in extreme old age...and near his end.” Then, demonstrating religious duplicity, Calvin said that the criticism of Paul’s letters in Second Peter, where they are called, “hard to understand,” suggests that the Apostle Peter could not have written that work. The patriarch of the Christian reformation in his commentary on 2nd Peter 3:15, wrote: “And yet, when I examine all things more narrowly, it seems to me more probable that this Epistle was composed by another according to what Peter communicated, than that it was written by himself, for Peter, himself, would have never spoken thus.”
And while it would be impossible to prove that Shim’own did or did not write either or both of the letters ascribed to him, it does not actually matter. If Yahowsha’s Disciple authored them, and if he was inspired, all of Paul’s letters have to be discarded as “misleading,” because Shim’own wrote this of them. And if Second Peter is fraudulent, then there is no justification whatsoever for considering Paul’s epistles Scripture.
The reason Christian theologians like Eusebius and Jerome, and later Calvin, want Second Peter expunged from their “New Testament” is because it accurately and effectively denounces Paul’s letters, calling them nonsensical. Their religion, and thus their livelihood, was predicated upon those epistles. Should they, along with Hebrews and Luke’s account of Paul in Acts, be stricken from the canon, nothing of Christianity would remain.
And yet, no informed and rational person disputes the fact that Paul’s letters are poorly crafted and are thus difficult to understand. And that’s indeed strange, because when Paul convolutes and contradicts Yahowah’s Torah and Yahowsha’s testimony throughout his letters, Christians universally believe Paul rather than God.
Turning to the text of the letter, itself, we find Shim’own conveying:
“Waiting expectantly (prosdokao – looking forward to the future) and (kai) having been eager regarding the suddenness (pseudo – having urged the hastening) of the (ten) presence of the coming day of Yahowah (parousia tes tou ΘΥ hemera – arrival of the day of Almighty God) on account of (dia – because) which (en), the sky (ouranos – the heavens) will be ablaze (pyroomai – being on fire, fiery, flaming, consumed, and burning in distress), with the elements (stoicheion – the substance and power of nature, its most basic principles and materials) being released (luo – they being untied and loosened, breaking apart), even (kai) becoming molten (tekomai – melting and dissolving, turning from solid to liquid) as a result of becoming intensely hot (kausoomai – being consumed by fire and heat while appearing to burn feverishly).” (2 Shim’own / He Listens / Peter 3:12)
This statement can be construed conveying one or both of the following ideas. Yahowah’s return will be so spectacular, and He will be so brilliant, the sky itself will be ablaze. This is akin to what Yahowsha’ had told His Disciples on the Mount of Olives. The inference was, appearing more like the stars in the heavens than a man, the whole world would simultaneously witness the glory of God.
The second option seems to suggest, at least as clearly as a first-century lexicon would allow, that a nuclear holocaust will precede His arrival. While Yahowah will return as the sun sets in Yaruwshalaim on the commencement of Yowm Kippurym in year 6000 Yah (6.22 PM October 2nd, 2033), those alive during this time will be pleading with God to come quickly, before man destroys this planet and extinguishes all life on it. If this is so, at least regarding the nuclear exchange during the waning days of the tribulation, then this prophecy is one of the most exacting and specific recorded by one of Yahowsha’s Disciples. The depiction of the inherent power of the elements being released in accordance with the principles of nature generating heat so intense solid objects become molten, is apt even by today’s standards.
Beyond this, by saying that Yahowsha’s return is still future, and that the occasion will be so brilliant the sky will appear to be on fire, Shim’own is refuting Sha’uwl. The wannabe apostle has already claimed to have seen Him as a flash of light, an encounter not witness by anyone else on earth.
If you think I’m extrapolating here, please hold that conclusion. Shim’own will soon warn us specifically about Sha’uwl. But first, Yahowsha’s Disciple wants to reassure the Covenant’s children. While the sky ablaze and elements liquefying is a frightening vision, Shim’own knew that it was not the end of the story. The testimony Yahowsha’ shared as part of His Revelation to Yahowchanan, He evidently conveyed to this man as well...
“However (de), a new (kainos – recently created, fresh, and previously unknown) universe and spiritual realm (ouranos – heavens) and (kai) a new (kainos – freshly created and previously unknown) earth (ges – material realm) according to (kata) the promise (to epangelma) of Him (autou) we await and expect (prosdokao – we look forward to with great expectations, favorably anticipating). In which (en ois) the righteous and vindicated (dikaiosyne – upright and approved in the correct relationship as a result of being observant and acceptable) will live (katoikeo – will reside and dwell as a result of being settled).” (2 Shim’own / He Listens / Peter 3:13)
A combination of factors, including the realization that Shim’own relied on Yahowchanan Marcus as a translator, and that the Qumran Scrolls are rife with ordinary letters written in Hebrew, lend credence to the notion that this epistle was translated out of Shim’own’s native tongue into Greek. The reason I share this with you is because I took liberty with the tenses. Since it is obvious that Kephas was speaking about the future, something he makes abundantly clear at the opening of this very chapter, and realizing that in Hebrew there is no past, present, or future tense, I rendered his statements appropriately in English.
Shim’own is looking forward to eternity. He knows, because Yahowsha’ told him, that the Ma’aseyah’s fulfillment of the Towrah’s promises regarding Passover, Un-Yeasted Bread, and FirstFruits will vindicate the Covenant’s children, enabling those who have embraced His Towrah to live forever in the new heaven and earth God will create on behalf of His family. Few realizations are as enticing.
The operative word in this prophetic proclamation is dikaiosyne, which was conveyed “righteous and vindicated,” but could just as easily be translated “acceptable, correct, and approved.” It is the opposite of “anthistemi – hostile opposition” and the antithesis of “kataginosko – convicted and condemned,” the terms Paul used against Peter. Dikaiosyne is “focused upon the manner in which souls are approved by God.” It speaks of “being observant and thinking correctly so as to become acceptable.” It is based upon dikaios, which is defined as “becoming upright by observing God’s instructions.”
Dikaiosyne is, therefore, the fulcrum upon which “Peter’s” evaluation of Paul will pivot in this circumstance, especially since Sha’uwl is seen opposing the Torah. In this regard, it is also instructional to know that dikaios is based upon dike and deiknuo which convey the idea of “exposing the evidence to determine if something is consistent with that which is authorized.”
Continuing to speak of becoming acceptable so that we are prepared to live in heaven with God, Shim’own wrote:
“Therefore (dio – for this reason), loved ones (agapetos – dear friends, those who are unique and welcomed), those eagerly anticipating (prosdokao – confidently look forward to) this (tauta), earnestly make every effort to become (spoudazo – engage, diligently endeavoring to do your best to be ready) pure and spotless, without blemish or defect (aspilos – undefiled without fault) and (kai) blameless (amometos – beyond reproach, without fault, avoiding judgment) for Him (auto), learning to be found with (heuriskomai en – discovering how to attain) reconciliation leading to salvation (eirene – the closest Greek analog to shalowm – being united in a harmonious relationship which brings restoration and salvation).” (2 Shim’own / He Listens / Peter 3:14)
Those who earnestly make every effort to observe the Torah can expect to experience Yahowah in a purified state. The Covenant’s children avoid judgment because the benefit associated with responding to this relationship’s third codicil, which is to “walk to Yahowah to become perfect,” makes us immortal and blameless in God’s eyes.
As an interesting aside, in two verses we have already benefited infinitely more from Shim’own than we have gained in two Pauline chapters. Kephas wrote about how we can be made right with God while Paul has written about how he is right.
Thus far, Shim’own has predicted the sky being ablaze upon Yahowah’s return – perhaps even to thwart the devastation of a nuclear exchange. He has said that God is going to create a new universe for those His promises have saved. As a result, he has encouraged us to be observant so that we learn how God vindicates, thereby becoming perfected and righteous, reconciled in the relationship. Therefore, Yahowsha’s Disciple realizes that the Covenant’s children are not judged and should eagerly anticipate entrance into heaven. Having listened to Yahowsha’, he knows that God perfects those who actively observe His Guidance, those act upon the terms of His Covenant, those who capitalize upon the Torah’s promises. And to these insights, and in the context of being observant regarding Yahowah’s testimony, Shim’own adds this warning:
“Also (kai) this regarding (ten tou – of, about, and in association with in the accusative feminine addressing reconciliation and genitive masculine addressing) our (emon) Upright One, Yahowah (KY – a Divine Placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey Upright Pillar of the Tabernacle and Yahowah’s name): steadfast endurance and constraint (makrothymia – show restraint under trial, always analyzing while expressing righteous indignation toward the adversary, being hostile, even exasperated, willing to wage war with great passion) considering forming opinions (hegeomai – thinking in matters pertaining to an directions and guidance, influence, authority, and counsel) regarding the process of salvation (soteria – when the object is being saved) inasmuch as it pertains (kathos – just as accordingly in the manner) then (kai) to this (o), our (emon) esteemed (ho agapetos – unique and dear, welcoming and entertaining) countryman (adelphos – brother and / or fellow Yahuwd / Jew [and thus not afforded the title Apostle title he craved]), Paulos (Paulos – Latin for Little and Lowly), throughout (kata – pertaining to and in accordance with) the (ho) clever use of human philosophy (sophia – wisdom and insights gleaned and capacity to understand derived from man’s knowledge, intelligence, and experience [and thus not Godly inspiration]) having been produced (didomai – having been given, granted, entrusted, and appointed) by him (auto) in writing (grapho) to you (umin).” (2 Shim’own / He Listens / Peter 3:15)
Shim’own Kephas is saying, “make every effort to become blameless” “learning about and finding reconciliation,” because he wants us focused on the testimony “regarding our Upright One, Yahowah,” so that we are properly prepared to show “steadfast endurance and constraint concerning forming opinions regarding the process of salvation” “inasmuch as” Yahowah’s approach differs so dramatically from his “countryman, Paulos.” So after undermining the veracity of Paul’s alleged conversion experience, the man Yahowsha’ called, “the Rock,” is now prepared to provide a life and death contrast between this man and God.
The Rock has established that salvation is a steadfast and unwavering process, neither instant nor capricious. No one stumbles into God’s lap. Those who find their relationship with Yahowah “shalowm – reconciled and restored” are observant and engaged, traveling to Him along the path He has articulated. Even this is in sharp contrast to Sha’uwl, who has promoted the myth that faith rather than thinking provides access to salvation.
The first of many intriguing words, makrothymia, is from makrothumos. It was translated “steadfast endurance and constraint” because of the words from which it was comprised. Macros, meaning “lengthy and for a long time,” is defined by Strong’s as “longanimity,” a Latin compound of “longus – long” and “animus – reasoning.” It speaks of “calmly suffering through an adversary’s injurious attack.” The second aspect of makrothymia is from thumos, meaning “to be hostile, inflamed with righteous indignation.” It is used to convey “being exasperated with someone” and of “waging a war with great passion against them, overtly showing animosity and anger.” Thumos, itself, is derived from thuo, which speaks of “a sacrifice whereby the victim dies,” so it is a very serious concept.
Therefore, the English translations which render makrothymia as “patience,” which is often the lack of a response, or as “forbearance,” which suggests acceptance, grossly shortchange and misrepresent the word’s etymology. Shim’own, as we should be, is “inflamed with righteous indignation,” he is “exasperated and angered” by what Sha’uwl has written. And, therefore, he wants everyone to be “steadfast and circumspect, to calmly and methodically examine the evidence” so that we are “neither swayed nor capricious, showing constraint.” Paul is “sacrificing lives” and “injuring” souls by representing the “adversary,” and “Peter” passionately disapproves. That is a lot to convey in a single word, and yet every facet is revealing.
Hegeomai also presents a challenge to communicate properly within the construct of a single sentence. While it was rendered “considering forming opinions,” it specifically addresses the idea of “thinking diligently regarding matters pertaining to the directions, guidance, and influence of those in positions of leadership who claim that their counsel has been authorized.” Based upon ago, the emphasis is on “being led,” and thus “misled,” succumbing to the wrong influence. Rather than believe Paul, rather than follow Paul, “Peter” wants us “to think” so that we aren’t “mislead.”
Recognizing that there are few things as vital to our wellbeing than “soteria – the process of salvation,” since there is nothing controversial about the term, let’s move on to Shim’own’s curious depiction of Sha’uwl. To the great dismay of Christians, he does not refer to him as an “Apostle,” the title Paul not only craves but has bequeathed upon himself. He is simply an “adelphos – brother” which is used to identify someone from the same race or nation. It is akin to acknowledging that Sha’uwl, now Paulos, was still a Jew.
At first blush, agapetos, is awkward in this derogatory evaluation. But it does not always mean “beloved,” or even “dear,” rather “esteemed, unique, welcoming, and entertaining.” And at the time this letter was written, for some, Paul was all of those things. Many adored him then as now – as they were and continue to be mesmerized by his bold assertions. And few men have ever been as esteemed, even venerated. But Paul was most of all, unique. From the beginning, it has been Paul against everyone, including God. He stood with no man. And his message was his own. Yet in a way, even through his hostility and hatred, he was welcoming, because in his faith, believers didn’t need to know or do anything. And as the subject of countless books and bible studies, it would be hard to find something more entertaining.
However, based upon how Sha’uwl treated Shim’own, and based upon the fact that he vociferously condemned him in the very letter Peter was now referencing, it strains credulity to believe that that Yahowsha’s Disciple penned the word “agapetos – dear and esteemed”—unless the “esteemed” connotation was a tongue-in-cheek reference to Paul’s notorious ego. It is, to my mind, much more likely that second- or third-century scribes operating under Marcion’s influence augmented the text to serve their religious masters. It is the most reasonable explanation. But, more on this in a moment.
So, since the status Paul craved most was not afforded him, and since “Peter” has now associated Paul with the race the wannabe apostle has been opposing, we would be wise to see Shim’own’s tongue planted firmly in his cheek, and his eyebrows raised mockingly, regarding the notion of “esteemed.” And realizing that Paul was now virtually unknown as Sha’uwl, Shim’own addressed the man now identified with the letters that have become the bulk of the “Christian New Testament” by his chosen name: Paulos. I suspect he did so in light of Yahowsha’s foreboding warning: “I, Myself, have come in the name of My Father, and yet you do not receive Me. But when another comes in his own name, that individual you all will actually receive.” (Yahowchanan 5:43)
The next phrase, kata sophia didomai auto grapho umin, contains this passages most controversial terms. This begins with kata, whose primary connotation is “downward and against,” but can also convey “throughout, among, opposed, with regard to, or in accordance with,” even “in the name of.” I selected “throughout,” but any of these options, so long as they can be worked into the sentence, could be justified.
Sophia, usually translated “wisdom” was also chosen to the chagrin of Christians. They would have preferred “inspiration.” And while sophia can describe any form of wisdom, most every lexicon identifies it first and foremost as “the wisdom of men—the synthesis of education and experience, of philosophy and science.” For example, in Acts 7:22, sophia was used by Luke to convey: “Moses was learned in all the wisdom (sophia) of the Egyptians.”
In this light, consider the difference between Shim’own and his adversary, Sha’uwl. The Disciple was a fisherman with no formal education. He had learned everything he knew from walking in the footsteps of Yahowsha’. Sha’uwl, by contrast, had been born into a wealthy family. He was a Roman citizen. He was educated in Tarsus of Cilicia, the home of what was then a most prestigious university. And Sha’uwl studied Judaism in Jerusalem at the feet of the world’s leading religious scholar. From Peter’s perspective, Paul was steeped in human understanding.
Since it implies “insights gleaned from man’s knowledge,” the statement “throughout the clever use of human philosophy having been produced by him in writing to you” should not be construed as a compliment, much less an endorsement of Paul’s message—especially as presented in the Galatians epistle. Considering Paul’s over the top protestation in Galatians, one he contradicted in Acts, that he was inspired by God and not taught by men, this was written to rebuke those claims. It was a punch to the gut, an attempt to knock the wind out of the man.
You may have noticed that the final clause of 2 Peter 3:15 speaks of a specific letter which had been written by Paul to a common audience. So to understand which letter Peter was referring to we have to conduct a little investigation. In 2 Peter 3:1, Shim’own says that this is “the second letter I am writing to you.” And in 1 Peter 1:1, we learn that Shim’own’s first epistle was addressed to “those who reside as foreigners scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappodocia, Asia, and Bithynia.” The lone point of intersection between Paul’s letters and Peter’s recipients is “Galatia.” And not so coincidently, this is the letter in which Peter was openly condemned by Paul.
Before we press on, remember that Paul continually insisted that Peter’s ministry was limited to Jews, while the wannabe and self-proclaimed apostle’s realm was comprised of the rest of the world. Obviously Shim’own didn’t agree. Last time I checked, “foreigners scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappodocia, Asia, and Bithynia,” could not have been Jews in Judea. Therefore, when Paul implied that Shim’own, Ya’aqob, and Yahowchanan had agreed with him that their ministries were limited to “the circumcised,” he was either misinformed or lying.
This known, Peter’s next line reads: “And even (kai – also) as (hos – like and in a similar way, when and because) in (en – throughout) all (pas) letters (epistole – epistles), inside (en) them (autais – they) speak (laleo – proclaim and convey a message) all around and on the other side of (peri – about, encompassing the proximity or sides concerning an account, with regard to or remotely about; from peran – beyond the extremity to the other side, and heteros, that which is different and opposed to) this (touton).” (2 Shim’own / He Listens / Second Peter 3:16)
Yahowsha’s Disciple is announcing to all who will listen that there is a common and universal theme in all of Paul’s letters: “throughout they proclaim the message of the other side” – meaning that they speak for the Adversary. Sure, they talk all around God and His plan of salvation, but just as circular reasoning is designed to mislead, and just as going around someone never gets you to them, Paul’s letters have this effect.
The subject has been and remains diligently observing and acting upon Yahowah’s unwavering nature and unchanging plan in order to live with Him. In contrast, Paul’s epistles were penned to speak “all around” this subject. That is to say that circular reasoning was deployed to convey a view which is “opposed and different.” So if Yahowah’s message is from God, if His message is truthful and reliable, if His message saves, what might we reasonable conclude about a different message which is opposed to His?
And so now you know the reason Christian theologians want Peter’s epistle expunged from their “New Testament.” They don’t want you to consider these questions.
To fully appreciate Shim’own’s next line, it behooves us to contemplate the meaning of dusnoetos, which will be translated “difficult to understand,” below. As a compound of “dus – difficult, injurious, detrimental and in opposition” and “noeo – thinking, perception, consideration, and understanding,” the word literally means: “opposed to understanding and detrimental to thinking.” And that would make what follows considerably worse than it already appears to be.
“Within (en) which (ais) there are (hos eimi – there is the existence and presence of) some things (tina – a considerable number of important issues) difficult to understand (dusnoetos – hard to comprehend, detrimental to thinking, and injurious to comprehension), which (tina) the (ho) uneducated (amathes – unlearned and ignorant who have not been properly taught) and (kai) malleable (asteriktos – the unstable and poorly established with flexible and wavering views, perspectives, and attitudes) misinterpret and distort, turning away (strebloo – pervert and twist deriving a false meaning which turns people away, tormented and suffering as a result), ” (2 Peter 3:16)
Strebloo is an especially undesirable term, so unpleasant that it is often translated “torture and torment,” including the “wrenching limbs on a rack designed to inflict anguishing pain and suffering to the point of agony.” Its root, trope, speaks of “turning way from heaven.” It is about distortions which lead away from God, about perversions which prompt many to turn away from the Torah, about the undue suffering caused by misinterpreting and then twisting Yah’s testimony.
Having studied Yahowah’s testimony and Sha’uwl’s letters, I unequivocally agree with “the Rock’s” assessment. As a result of the writing quality and ambiguity, as a result of circular reasoning and his irrational approach, as a result of his affinity for self-promotion and his tendency to contradict himself, Paul’s letters are at the very least difficult to understand, especially in light of his propensity to twist the truth and misquote Scripture. And because of their deficiencies, the Pauline epistles are remarkably easy to misinterpret and distort, especially among those who are unaware of what the Torah actually reveals, in addition to by those who ignore most of what Yahowsha’ said and did. And that is why Paul’s letters have become a stumbling block for so many.
And while that is reprehensible and inexcusable, this represents the least condemning interpretation of dusnoetos and strebloo. More literally rendered, Paul’s epistles are “torturous and agonizing” to those who know and love Yah’s Torah because they are “detrimental to understanding – a genuine hindrance when it comes to knowing Yah.” Precluding this is the one thing even worse than misleading someone. It’s the very reason Yahowah condemned Sha’uwl by name, speaking through the prophet Chabaquwq / Habakkuk, calling the author of half of the Christian New Testament the “plague of death.” By replacing knowing with faith, by denouncing and obsolescing the Torah, God’s primary source of answers, by misrepresenting the purpose of Yahowsha’, Sha’uwl created a scenario where is becomes difficult, if not impossible, for those who ingest his poison to find God’s remedy. The one place they should look is the last place they’d consider.
In the six-thousand years Satan has been given to come up with a scheme to undermine Yahowah’s Towrah testimony and to negate Yahowsha’s life, this is his crowning achievement. And even the combination of Yahowah’s prophetic warning, Yahowsha’s Instruction on the Mount, and the Disciple Shim’own’s written condemnation were collectively insufficient to keep a lone insane, irrational, perverted, ruthless, and demon-possessed megalomaniac from luring billions of souls away from God.
One of the reasons that Sha’uwl’s letters are so prone to misinterpretation is the window dressing that accompanies them. He claims to be an Apostle, although he was not appointed as such. He claims to speak for God, and yet he consistently misquotes Him. He claims to represent the Ma’aseyah and yet by separating Yahowsha’ from the Torah, Sha’uwl, not the Rabbis nor Romans, wielded the most deadly and devastating blow against Him. He claims that he cannot lie, and yet that is all he has done. These things combined with the placement of his letters in the “Bible,” as if they were “Scripture,” work to enhance the credibility of the world’s most egregious deceiver. This man’s twisted rhetoric became the recipe for religious perversions of monstrous proportions.
Even here, steeped in Pauline Doctrine, Christian apologists will claim that I am misinterpreting “Peter’s” testimony to impugn Paul. And yet all I’m actually doing is presenting the Disciple’s words as accurately as is possible in the hope that a few more people will be saved from Paul. And of course, I am trying to relate to you what Yahowah had to say of him so that all who will listen with an open mind might choose to trust God rather than believe Sha’uwl.
If you recall, Yahowah said: “Moreover, because the intoxicating wine and inebriating spirit of the man of deceptive infidelity and treacherous betrayal who tries to influence and control others without justification through trickery and deceit is a high-minded moral failure, an arrogant and meritless man of presumption, so he will not rest, find peace, nor live, whoever is open to the broad path, the opportunistic, 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, those who associate with and join him, those who are removed and withdrawn from the company of God, assembling with him, will not be satisfied. All of the Gentiles, the people from different races, nations, and places, will gather together unto him, all of the people from different ethnicities in different places.
They do not ask questions, any of them, about him. Terse references to the word they lift up as taunts to ridicule, with clichés becoming bywords with implied associations to mock and counterfeit, along with allusive sayings with derisive words (malytsah – mocking interpretations wrapped in enigmas arrogantly spoken). There are hard and perplexing questions which need to be asked of him (chydah la – there are difficult queries to be solved, dark and hidden secrets, and double dealings to be known regarding him). And they should say, ‘Woe to the one who claims to be great and increases his offspring, to the one who thrives on numbers and who considers himself exceedingly important, even as a rabbi, none of which apply to him. For how long will they make pledges and be in debt based upon his significance, pursuant to the weight and burden of his testimony and the grievous honor afforded him?’” (Chabaquwq / Embrace This / Habakkuk 2:5-6)
Yahowah and Shim’own view Sha’uwl and his writing similarly – if not identically. I agree with them. How about you?
Ignoring the overt criticisms Shim’own Kephas has leveled at Sha’uwl’s initial letter, and disregarding what he will say about the remaining epistles Sha’uwl had written by this time, the following sentence fragment is commonly misquoted and removed from its context to serve as substantiation, the lone “proof” Christians deploy to suggest that Paul’s letters specifically, and their “New Testament” generally, should be considered “Scripture.”
The concluding clause of the Disciple’s statement reads...
“ as (hos – approximating in a somewhat similar way) also (kai – then even) with the (tas) remaining (loipos – inferior, residue, left over, or other) writings (graphas – letters; from grapho – to write (expressed here in the plural, thus addressing multiple written documents or letters), pertaining (pros – as a consequence with regard) to their (ten) own individual (idian – one’s distinct and unique) destruction and annihilation (apoleia – complete and utter ruin and obliteration) of themselves (auton).” (2 Shim’own / He Listens / Peter 3:16)
Considering the lofty role these words are said to play in the lore of Christendom, and recognizing that there are several potential obstacles to understanding that should be resolved to be certain that we have captured Shim’own’s intent, before we work through the list of potential pitfalls, let’s reestablish our bearings by reviewing where Shim’own has taken us thus far.
“Waiting expectantly and looking forward to the future knowing what is coming, and being eager regarding the hastening of the presence of the coming day of Yahowah, on account of which the sky will be ablaze with the elements being released, even becoming molten, as a result of becoming intensely hot. (3:12)
Therefore, we await a new universe and a previously unknown spiritual realm, and a freshly created earth according to His promise, expecting in which that the righteous and vindicated will live. (3:13)
So dear friends, those eagerly anticipating this, earnestly make every effort to become pure, without blemish or defect, blameless, avoiding judgment for Him, learning to be found with reconciliation leading to salvation. (3:14)
Also this regarding our Upright One, Yahowah: steadfast endurance and constraint, always analyzing while expressing righteous indignation toward the adversary, even being exasperated, considering forming opinions regarding the process of salvation inasmuch as it pertains then to this, our esteemed countryman, Paulos, through the clever use of human philosophy having been produced by him in writing to you. (3:15)
And even as in all epistles, inside them they speak and convey a message which encompasses the other side, deploying circular reasoning, which is different and opposed to this, within which there are some things difficult to understand, hard to comprehend, and detrimental to comprehension, which the uneducated and improperly taught as well as the malleable misinterpret and distort, turning away, as also with the remaining inferior writings, pertaining to their own individual destruction and annihilation of themselves.” (2P3:16)
Dealing with the individual words, themselves, through the deployment of “hos kai – as also,” the concluding statement is unquestionably connected to analyzing and opposing the formation of opinions regarding the process of salvation as it pertains to Paul, as well as to the clever use of human philosophy produced by him in his letters. This comparative approach also associates the realization that all of the epistles convey a message which through circular reasoning is different, difficult to comprehend and detrimental to understanding which is subject to misinterpretation, causing the improperly educated to turn away with the comments which follow “as also....” And for those who are rational, this is among the most serious problems we have encountered thus far.
In the extremely unlikely event that Shim’own’s intent was to suggest that the letters he has criticized thus far should be afforded “Scriptural” status, in the sense of writings which are considered divinely inspired, the status of God’s Word must inevitably be demeaned. By association then, it would not only be Paul’s contradictory, sometimes insane, and often irrational epistles, which are to be seen as “misleading, difficult to comprehend, and a hindrance to understanding,” but everything from Genesis to Revelation. The Christian ploy is therefore suicidal. Nothing can be gained. Everything is lost. To cite the Disciple, doing this is “to their own individual destruction and annihilation.”
In reality, there is no basis for the Christian assertion that “Peter” is conferring a “Scriptural” designation to the corpus of Pauline epistles. And that is because, while the Greek word graphe is often convoluted to designate “Scripture” throughout the “Christian New Testament,” all it actually means is “writing.” Literally, it depicts “any representation by means of lines, a drawing, or a portrayal by way of a picture.” And here, the Greek word was written in the plural as graphas, thus conveying a collection of “illustrations,” “writings,” “documents,” or “letters.”
Neither Yahowah, Yahowsha’, nor His Disciples ever used the word “scripture.” It is a transliteration of the Late Latin, scriptura, the “act of writing,” which in turn was derived from scriptus, the past participle of scriber, meaning “to write.” Therefore, while scriber and grapho conveyed similar concepts, neither was understood to mean “Scripture” in the sense of a text being divinely authorized by God. This Christian extrapolation is wholly unfounded etymologically – ultimately negating any benefit the religion seeks to derive from misappropriating Shim’own’s statement.
Further, the Christian religious interpretation cannot be salvaged by association with Yahowsha’, because He neither spoke Greek nor Latin. And the few times His words were translated using graphas, Yahowsha’ was citing the Psalms, which even today are called “the Writings.” Affirming this, the acronym, Tanakh, is based upon Towrah (Teachings), Naba’ym (Prophets), and Kathabym (Writings – inclusive of the historical books, Proverbs, and Psalms). That is why His citation of Psalm 118:22 in Mattanyah 21:42 was appropriately translated “the Writings” from graphas. The same is true in Mark 12:10.
Simply stated, there is no linguistic or textual justification for rendering graphas “scriptures.” Transliterating the Latin word for writing, scriptura, rather than translating Greek for writing, graphe, into English as “Scripture” instead of “writing,” is inappropriate. This is nothing more than an unsupported leap of faith.
Beyond this, Yahowsha’s Disciple has already stated that the “graphas – writings” he was addressing were comprised of the “epistole – letters” written by Paulos. So this sentence fragment is merely stating that the rest of the letters Sha’uwl wrote after Galatians were comparable. They were similarly destructive and misleading. Shim’own is simply expanding his critical evaluation of Galatians to include everything Paul had written.
Yahowsha’s Disciple recognized, expressly because Yahowsha’ told him, and through him all of us, that those who do not learn from the Torah, those who misinterpret and distort Yahowah’s enduring testimony, lose their souls. Separated from the source of life, they will cease to exist. Such individuals don’t know God, and God doesn’t know them. The same fate awaits the malleable, because they are easily swayed by religious rhetoric.
If, as reason dictates, “Peter” was addressing the rest of Paul’s letters, then once again he would be accurate. Those who approach Sha’uwl’s epistles from a perspective other than that presented in the Torah, the one affirmed by Yahowsha’, will find their souls annihilated. It is the consequence of rejecting Yahowah’s invitations and failing to meet with Him during the Miqra’ey. Shim’own is thereby warning Christians about the consequence of Pauline Doctrine—calling it deadly and destructive.
While “Peter” stubbed his toe from time to time, he never wavered from the path. When it came time to stand up and boldly declare the truth, the Disciple led the way. This is but one of many reasons that it is ridiculous to suggest, as Christians do, that “Peter” meant the “remaining writings” to be a reference to something they call “Scripture,” as opposed to the rest of Paul’s letters. And they do so, of course, without thinking, because if the reference was to “other Scripture,” then Yahowsha’s Disciple would be categorically stating that Yahowah and Yahowsha’ were poor communicators, that their offer of relationship and message of salvation was convoluted. And if so, then Shim’own Kephas could not have been inspired and speaking for God, because God says:
“Yahowah’s Towrah (towrah – teaching, instruction, guidance, and direction) is complete and entirely perfect (tamym – without defect, lacking nothing, correct, sound, genuine, right, helpful, beneficial, and true), returning, restoring, and transforming the soul. Yahowah’s enduring testimony and restoring witness is trustworthy and reliable, making understanding (hakam – educating and enlightening to the point of comprehension) simple for the open-minded and receptive.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 19:7)
Since the Author of the Towrah and the Inspiration of these Writings is also the Architect of life, having actually designed us, you’d have to be ignorant, irrational, and or insane to suspect that His conclusion regarding His testimony was errant. So where does that leave you with Paul?
Yahowah’s Towrah – Teaching is only difficult to understand when viewed from the perspective of Pauline Doctrine, when it is disassociated from Yahowsha’, when its instructions are taken out of context or errantly translated. Those whose thinking and attitude have been corrupted by Judaism, Christianity, or Islam, who have been beguiled into believing that the Torah is comprised of laws to be obeyed as opposed to guidance to be observed, are easily misled by those who misrepresent testimony they, themselves, neither know nor understand.
That is not to say that knowledge comes without effort or that understanding occurs in a vacuum. To know what Yahowah has said, you have to be willing to listen to Him. To understand what Yahowah is offering, you have to closely examine and carefully consider what He has written on our behalf.
It is because Sha’uwl claims that the Torah is no longer relevant that Christians no longer observe it. And in this way, Paul’s letters have become the ultimate hindrance to understanding. As a result, it is the “New Testament” which is distorted and discredited by the inclusion of Paul’s letters.
So while reason dictates that the Christian interpretation of this passage is invalid, the question may remain for some: what besides Paul’s letters could have been meant by the use of the Greek word loipos? Providing a religious perspective, most every English translation wants us to believe that it means “other.” They do this to infer that Paul’s letters are “Scripture,” having also misrepresented graphas. But there are many irresolvable issues associated with this assessment.
First among them is that the primary Greek word for “other” is allos, not loipos. Allos is translated “other” or “another” 143 of the 160 times it appears in the Greek text. Allos, not loipos, is defined as “another person or thing of the same kind.” Therefore, allos, not loipos, would have been the perfect word to deploy here if such an association were actually intended. The very fact that it wasn’t tells us most of what we need to know.
Second, while loipos can be translated “others” when speaking of people and things, loipos is a “plural feminine adjective.” In this context, it appears to be modifying the feminine plural noun, graphas, so it would have to be written “others writings,” not “other scripture.” But there is only one Divine revelation referred to by Yahowsha’, He, Himself translated referring to the “Torah and Prophets” as a single entity. Therefore, it is only when “Peter” is seen referring to Paul’s “remaining writings” that everything fits.
Third, along these lines, the primary definition of loipos is “remaining,” not “others,” which is why it was rendered as such. Loipos is derived from leipo, meaning: “that which is left.” By way of confirmation, in Mattanyah / Matthew 25:11, loipos was used for the first time in these Greek manuscripts. There it was deployed in a translation to describe the “remaining” bridesmaids who were denied entry to the wedding for lack of oil, a metaphor for the Spirit, making them inadequate. Loipos was used in Acts 2:37 as a reference to the “remaining” eleven Disciples who witnessed Shim’own’s speech on the Invitation to be Called Out and Meet with God of Seven Sabbaths.
Fourth, as suggested above, leipo carries the derogatory connotations of “forsaken, inadequate, and inferior,” which in this context affirms that “Peter” is saying that Paul’s writings were “inferior and inadequate,” even “disassociated” from God, in essence turning the tables on his tormentor.
And fifth, it’s worth noting that in Greek, adjectives, which is how loipos was deployed, usually follow the nouns they are modifying. But in this case, loipos precedes graphas, which is sufficiently unusual to mention.
It is also worth noting that many people consider Galatians to be Paul’s worst letter—thus invalidating the notion that other epistles were “inferior.” But their criterion is typically biased upon the horrible writing quality rather than being predicated upon the message itself. So when the criterion is based upon the magnitude of the deception, every one of Paul’s subsequent letters are inferior—including: First and Second Thessalonians, First and Second Corinthians, and Romans. We have and will continue to explore the justifications for this conclusion.
Therefore, the “other Scripture” connotation required to infer that Paul’s letters were inspired isn’t remotely plausible. Moreover, there is no textual basis for the continuous adding of “he” and “his” in English bibles, which is also required to make the connection between Paul, his letters, and the Writings. The ESV, for example, adds “he does,” “his letters,” and “he speaks,” all without textual support.
In summary, by writing the following words, Shim’own Kephas was alerting us to the fact that the Pauline epistles were poison.
“Therefore, we await a new universe and a previously unknown spiritual realm, and a freshly created earth according to His promise, expecting in which that the righteous and vindicated will live. (3:13) So dear friends, those eagerly anticipating this, earnestly make every effort to become pure, without blemish or defect, blameless, avoiding judgment for Him, learning to be found with reconciliation leading to salvation. (3:14) Also this regarding our Upright One, Yahowah: steadfast endurance and constraint, always analyzing while expressing righteous indignation toward the adversary, even being exasperated, considering forming opinions regarding the process of salvation inasmuch as it pertains then to this, our esteemed countryman, Paulos, through the clever use of human philosophy having been produced by him in writing to you. (3:15) And even as in all epistles, inside them they speak and convey a message which encompasses the other side, deploying circular reasoning, which is different and opposed to this, within which there are some things difficult to understand, hard to comprehend, and detrimental to comprehension, which the uneducated and improperly taught as well as the malleable misinterpret and distort, turning away, as also with the remaining inferior writings, pertaining to their own individual destruction and annihilation of themselves.” (2P3:16)
Shim’own’s view of Sha’uwl’s letters is consistent with Yahowah’s observations, especially as they were prophetically presented in the second chapter of Chabaquwq / Habakkuk. But they also mirror Yahowsha’s assessment, as He prophetically presented His sentiments in the second half of His Instruction on the Mount. So while we considered Yahowsha’s pronouncement in the first chapter, it is especially relevant here, especially since it concludes by referencing the name Shim’own was given: the Rock.
“At the present time you all should be especially alert, being on guard by closely examining and carefully considering, thereby turning away from (prosechete apo) the false prophets deceptively pretending to be divinely inspired spokesmen (ton pseudoprophetes) who (hostis) come to you, currently appearing before you making public pronouncements (erchomai pros umas) as if they belonged (esothen) by (en) dressing up in sheep’s clothing (endyma probaton), yet (de) they actually are (eisin) exceptionally self-promoting, self-serving, and swindling, vicious and destructive (harpax) wolves (lykos). (7:15)
From (apo) their (autos) fruit (karpos), by conducting a careful, thorough, and competent inquiry in the future, you all will be able to use evidence and reason to genuinely comprehend (epiginosko) them (autos). Is it even rationally possible (meti) to collect (syllego) a bunch of grapes (staphyle) from (apo) a thorn (akantha), or from (e apo) a thistle (tribolos), figs (suka)? (7:16) In this way (houto), every (pas) good and useful (agathos) fruit tree (dendron) produces (poieomai) exceptionally suitable and commendable (kalos) fruit (karpos). But (de) a tree (dendron) which is corrupt, rotten, and harmful (sapros) bears (poieomai) diseased and worthless, seriously flawed and faulty, annoying and perilous (poneros) results (karpos). (7:17)
It is not possible (ou dynamai) for a good and useful (agathos) fruit tree (dendron) to produce (poieomai) seriously flawed or disadvantageous (poneros) fruit (karpos), nor (oude) a tree (dendron) which is corrupt, unsuitable, and destructive (sapros) to make (poieomai) suitable or commendable, genuine, approved (kalos), fruit (karpos). (7:18) Any and every (pas) tree (dendron) not (me) producing (poieomai) suitable, fitting, genuine, approved, and advantageous (kalos) results (karpos) shall actually be cut off and done away with, eliminated and removed (ekkopto), and toward (kai eis) the fire (pyr), it is thrown (ballo). (7:19)
So then indeed (ara ge), by (apo) their (autos) production (karpos), you will be able through careful observation and studious contemplation to actually know and understand them (epiginosko autos). (7:20)
Not (ou) any (pas) one saying (legon) to Me (moi), ‘Lord (kyrie) Lord (kyrie),’ will actually as a result enter into (eiserchomai eis) the kingdom of the heavens (ten basileian ton ouranon), but by contrast (alla) the one presently acting upon (o poieomai) the purpose and desire (thelema) of (tou) My (mou) Father (patros), the One (tou) in the heavens (en tois ouranois). (7:21)
Many (polys) will say (erousin) to Me (moi) in that specific day (en ekeinos te hemera), ‘Lord (kyrie) Lord (kyrie), in Your (to so) name (onoma) did we not actively speak genuinely inspired utterances (ou propheteuo)? Also (kai) in Your (to so) name (onoma), we drove out (ekballo) demons (daimonion), and (kai) in Your (to so) name (onoma), many mighty and miraculous things (pollas dynamis), we made and did (poieomai). (7:22) And then (kai tote) I will profess to them (homologeo autois) that because (oti) I never at any time knew you (oudepote ginosko umas), you all must depart from Me (apochoreo apo emou) those (oi) of you involved in (ergazomai ten) Torahlessness, who are in opposition to and have attempted to negate the Towrah, thereby, those of you without the Towrah (anomia). (7:23)
Everyone (pas), therefore then (oun) who (ostis) presently and actively listens to (akouo) these (toutous) statements (logos) of Mine (mou), and (kai) he or she genuinely acts upon them (poieomai autous), will be likened to (homoioo) a wise, intelligent and astute, a prudent and sensible (phronimos) individual (andros) who (ostis) edifies and strengthens (oikodomeo) his or her (autos) house (oikia) upon the (epi ten) rock (petra). (7:24) And even when (kai) the rain (e broche) descends (katabaino), (kai) the rivers (oi potamos) come (erchomai), and the rapidly shifting winds (anemos) blow (pneo), descending upon (prospipto) this specific (te ekeine) home and household (te oikia), then (kai) it shall not fail (ouk pipto) because (gar) the foundation was previously established and is enduring (themelioo) upon (epi) the rock (petra).” (Mattanyah / Yah’s Gift / Matthew 7:25)
Yahowah and Yahowsha’ are of one mind, affirming the same testimony. Yahowsha’s Disciples universally concur. The only one with bellowing a different story in an effort to shift our attention is Paul.
Although the Rock (duly noting the connection between Yahowsha’s chosen moniker for one man and His assessment of another) has made his point in this regard, I would be remiss if I didn’t share the last two lines of Shim’own’s epistle. In the context of Paul’s remaining letters being twisted and misunderstood, even inferior and destructive, what he wrote next is especially relevant.
“You, therefore (gmeis oun), beloved (agapetos – dear esteemed ones, those set apart and welcomed), now knowing this in advance (proginosko – currently possessing this foreknowledge), you should be observant, on guard, keeping your distance (phylassomai – you should choose to keep away and abstain by being especially watchful and protective, isolating yourself from this, completely disassociating to be safe) in order that (hima) not (me) in or of this (te ton) un-appointed, unprincipled, and irreverent (athesmon – unrighteous and licentious, unjust and Torahless, self-gratifying) deceptive delusion (plane – perversion and corruption), you are forsaken, having been led astray (ekpipto synapagomai – you yield and fall, you are carried away, drifting off course, and you are judged, being held accountable, submitting to an improper association with the lowly and inadequate (the meaning of paulos), perishing) from the steadfast and dependable One (tou sterigmos idiou – from the firm and unchanging guarantee of the One who saves).” (2 Shim’own / He Listens / Peter 3:17)
Shim’own Kephas warned the Galatians to be on their guard, to be especially observant, keeping their distance from Paulos, so as not to be led astray into deception or delusion by the un-appointed one, the unprincipled one, who sought to gratify himself by annulling the Towrah. The only thing worse than being forsaken by Yahowah is to be judged by Him. And the best way to prevent that from happening to you is to recognize that God’s guidance is dependable, serving as a never changing guarantee of salvation. But for you to do that, you will first have to reject Paul.
It’s little wonder that Christians disassociate “Peter’s” last statement from the preceding one. This one line undermines most of what Paul will say in the remainder of his Galatians epistle, because the Disciple is establishing the fact that God’s message is dependable because it never changes, in effect affirming Yahowsha’s statement that the Torah was and will always be the source of life.
The Galatians, and also us based upon the public distribution of the Disciple’s letter, have been made aware that Paul’s epistles would lead countless people astray, into deception and delusion, causing many to forego salvation. In this regard, dikaiosune remains Shim’own’s fulcrum term. As you recall, it speaks of “thinking correctly so as to become acceptable,” of “becoming upright by observing God’s directions,” and of “exposing the evidence required to teach and prove something is consistent and authorized.”
Therefore, those who twist Peter’s words relative to Paul’s epistles, and thus misinterpret the Disciple’s overwhelmingly critical assessment of Pauline Doctrine, convoluting a condemnation into a glowing endorsement, must ignore or reject everything that was written before and after the supposed characterization.
If an endorsement, why would Shim’own tell those he loves to be wary of Paul’s epistles, to be on their guard lest they be led astray into the delusion of the un-appointed one and thus lose their hope of salvation? After all, if he isn’t advising us to be wary of Paul’s letters, then the Rock would be suggesting that the Torah itself is a hindrance to understanding. And since that’s ridiculous in the context of Shim’own’s Discipleship, the Rock’s conclusion affirms he was condemning Sha’uwl’s epistles, not commending them.
The purpose of the Covenant, in fact the purpose of the entirety of the Towrah, is for us to become our Heavenly Father’s children and grow as a result. Shim’own Kephas says as much...“So grow in mercy and knowledge of Yahowah, our Upright One and Savior, the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’. To Him the splendor, brilliance, and greatness, now and throughout all time. This is truthful and reliable.” (2 Shim’own / He Listens / Peter 3:18) Knowledge and understanding leads to trust and reliance upon the eternal Light of the universe.
Notwithstanding the last two statements, if 2 Shim’own 3:16 represents the lone Christian affirmation that Paul’s letters were Scripture—word for word inspired by God—then they are out on a limb of their own making. The Rock gave no such assurances. And these were his last words.
Before we move on, it’s past time we consider another ugly underpinning of Christianity: Marcion of Sinope. His influence is especially relevant here because Papyrus 72, the oldest extant manuscript containing Peter’s epistles, was likely influenced by his scribes. Suffice it to say for now that Marcion played a pivotal role in the formation of the “New Testament” canon, especially with regard to textual liberty (inaccuracy), and the inclusion of Paul’s contradictory epistles. Born to a bishop in Sinope around 85 CE, Marcion, a wealthy ship owner, fled to Rome during Rabbi Akiba’s Bar Kokhba revolt in 133 CE. There, he studied under Cerdo, an influential Gnostic.
In the process, Marcion became a raging anti-Semite who rejected Yahowah and the entirety of His Torah and Prophets, and Psalms. He saw Paulos of Tarsus as the only true Apostle, and he sought to elevate his thirteen epistles, as well as his own significantly edited version of Luke and Acts (which were written under Paul’s influence), elevating their status, while at the same time rejecting all other books. In his view, one which shaped Christendom in the second and third centuries (and on to this day), Yahowah was a lesser, wrathful, tyrant and evil demiurge when compared to the “all-forgiving, loving, and gracious” god, Ieosus Christos, found in Paul’s epistles. Ironically, his dualistic view was both Gnostic in nature and shared by the Jewish theologian, Moses Maimonides – blending the worst of Greek philosophy and rabbinical thinking, not unlike Paul, himself.
Had it not been for Marcion, in all likelihood, all of Paul’s letters would have been rejected as apocrypha and ultimately disassociated from the eyewitness and historical texts. They would not have been canonized. And had this occurred, the Christian religion would not exist.
Christians are universally ignorant of the influence Marcion had on their faith because Marcionism was ultimately denounced as heresy in 144 CE, not so much because he was wrong, but because he became a competitor of the emerging Church, threatening their desired exclusivity over establishing doctrine and manuscript production. He was, therefore, bad for business. But that didn’t stop Marcion from preaching to large crowds and forever altering the mindset of the religious community.
Foremost among his influences, Marcion was the first to capitalize on Paul’s categorization in Galatians 1:4, where he claimed that what Yahowah had revealed represented the “aionos – old system of past circumstances” which Yahowsha’ was “exaireo – tearing out” because it was “poneros – disadvantageous ineffective,” thereby coining the term “Old Testament,” in the sense of being the obsolete will of a now retired and out of touch deity. In its place, and as a replacement, he promoted Paul’s “New Testament,” a canon comprised of the Pauline epistles, and his heavily edited versions of Luke and Acts—where all things “Jewish” were demeaned. In the process, Marcion promoted the division Sha’uwl had established, one which had not previously existed. Capitalizing on Paul’s letters to the Galatians and Romans, he advanced the notion that the Torah was now obsolete, having been replaced by the “Gospel of Grace.” Anything which didn’t support this view was either erased or ignored. It was a transition in perspective that would influence and haunt Christianity forevermore.
And while these teachings and titles continue to permeate Christian doctrine, Marcion’s most haunting legacy was his propensity to edit the text so that it could be interpreted to support the religious views he shared with Paul. Over time, Marcion became the father of what’s called the “Western,” “Popular,” or “Free” text of the “Christian New Testament.” Under his influence, scribes were encouraged to harmonize the accounts, improve their readability, and add popular traditions and beliefs as they saw fit. Marcion not only made copious copies of his “Gospel” and “Bible,” his followers became prolific copyists, and using Marcion’s considerable wealth, they flooded the empire with their versions of Luke, Acts, and the Pauline epistles. As a result of the sheer quantity, immense popularity, and appealing anti-Semitic tone of their manuscripts, much of what now appears in today’s Majority Texts of the “Christian New Testament” is suspect because it has all been heavily edited. Proof of this is the realization that there are more than three-hundred thousand known discrepancies between the oldest manuscripts – nearly twice as many variations as there are words in these codices.
Papyrus 72, the late third-century manuscript we were unfortunately required to use in our rendering of Second Shim’own / Peter (in that it is the oldest surviving witness to the Disciple’s letters), is the most “Free,” and thus least reliable, of the seventy manuscripts which predate Constantine. It was written by someone who was neither a professional scribe, nor interested in accurately conveying what had previously been written. And as such, Marcion’s fingerprints are all over it. Therefore, we need to be sensitized to anything and everything which artificially elevates Paul—especially when derived from the hand of Sha’uwl’s most outspoken critics, the Disciples Shim’own, Ya’aqob, and Yahowchanan.
Yahowsha’ made yet another prediction regarding Sha’uwl. And just as Shim’own’s last words warned us about this man, the following prophetic admonition was the last Yahowsha’ would make before returning home.
As was His custom, God’s preamble provided the information we need to understand His prediction, so let’s begin where this specific conversation began. But keep in mind, this is actually a translation of what Yahowsha’ said in Hebrew into Greek and then into English. Also, with the exception of portions of seven words from a tattered one by three inch fragment of the 18th and 19th verses on P109 dating from the late second century, nothing prior to the wholesale corruption of the text under Constantine’s Roman Catholicism in the mid 4th century exists from which to verify the authenticity of this translation. So while the fragment from the 2nd century affirms that this conversation took place, and that Yahowchanan recorded it, we must be careful reading too much into the words themselves as they were subject to translation and copyedit.
This conversation followed a theme which completely undermines Christianity and its bogus notion of bodily resurrection. Yahowchanan, who recorded these words as an eyewitness, was with Shim’own Kephas (meaning: He Listens to the Rock), Ta’owm (known as Thomas today but called Didumos, with both names suggesting that he was a twin), Nathan’el (meaning: the Gift of God), the sons of Zabdy (meaning: Endowment and transliterated Zebedee), and two other unnamed Disciples, had gathered together on the shores of the Sea of Tiberias to go fishing. And as was the case with every prior meeting with Yahowsha’ after His fulfillment of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym, not even those who knew Him best, and who had recently seen Him, could recognize Him. That is the antithesis of what we would expect to read if bodily resurrection occurred, again negating the preeminent claim of the Christian religion.
These things known, please note the change from “agapas – showing and taking pleasure in love” to “phileo – engaging in a loving familial relationship” as Yahowsha’s conversation with Shim’own progresses.
“This was already the third time (outos ede tritos) Yahowsha’ (ΙΣ – a placeholder used by the Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey Yahowsha’ –Yahowah Saves) was seen (phaneroo – was disclosed and displayed, made known and revealed) with the Disciples who were Learners (tois mathetes – to the followers who were students being educated regarding the relationship), having been aroused and equipped to stand up (egertheis – having been caused to be recalled, restored, and appear; from agora – assembling His facilities and collecting His capabilities for the purpose of being seen, debated, and chosen in a public place) out of lifelessness (ek nekron – out of breathing His last breath, being spiritually deficient in a state of ineffectiveness and powerlessness, unable to respond, departed and separated). (21:14)
Therefore (oun – as a result), while (hote – when) they ate breakfast (aristao – they consumed food early in the morning), He says (lego – He speaks) to (to) Shim’own Kephas (Simoni Petro – an awkward transliteration of the Hebrew Shim’own, meaning He Listens, combined with a translation of the Aramaic Kephas to the Greek word “Rock”) being Yahowsha’ / Yahowah Saving (o ΙΣ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey following the article o in the nominative: being Yahowsha’, meaning being Yahowah Saving), ‘Shim’own of Yahowchanan / He who listens to Yahowah’s Mercy (Simon Ioannou – crude transliterations of Shim’own – He Listens to Yahowchanan – Yahowah’s Mercy), do you show your love for Me more than these (agapas me pleon – do you take pleasure in, desire, and express your love for Me to a greater degree than these)?’
He says to Him (legei auto), ‘Yes (vai – verily acknowledging agreement), Yahowah (ΚΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘edon, the Upright One, or Yahowah’s name), You are aware (ou oieda – You realize, know, acknowledge, and appreciate) that I am engaged in a loving relationship with You (oti phileo de – that I have great affection for You based upon our friendly and familial association; from philos – to engage in a close, family-oriented relationship as a companion similar to a marriage).’
He says to him (legei auto), ‘Feed (boskomai – tend to, caringly guide, and nourish) My sheep (ta arnia mou – the young lambs of Mine).’ (21:15)
He says to him (legei autos) again, a second time (palin deuteros), ‘Shim’own, of Yahowchanan / He who listens to Yahowah’s Mercy (Simon Ioannou – transliterations of Shim’own – He Listens to Yahowchanan – Yah’s Mercy), do you love Me (agapas me – do you revere and respect Me)?’
He says to Him (legei auto), ‘Yes (vai – verily acknowledging agreement), Yahowah (ΚΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘edon, the Upright One, or Yahowah’s name), You are aware (ou oieda – You realize, know, acknowledge, and appreciate) that I am engaged in a loving relationship with You (oti phileo de – that I love You fondly as my close friend and that I have great affection for You based upon our family-oriented relationship).’
He says to him (legei auto), ‘Shepherd (poimaino – acting as a shepherd guide, care for, feed, protect, tend to, and assist) My sheep (ta probate mou – My adult flock).’ (21:16)
He says to him (legei autos) a third time (to tritos), ‘Shim’own, of Yahowchanan / He who listens to Yahowah’s Mercy (Simon Ioannou – transliterations of Shim’own – He Listens to Yahowchanan – Yah’s Mercy), are you engaged in a loving, family-oriented relationship with Me (phileo me – are you My companion and friend; from philos – to engage in a close, familial relationship akin to a marriage)?’
The Rock (o Petros – a translation of Kephas, the Aramaic word for rock) was saddened (lypeomai – was grieved and distressed) because (oti) He said to him a third time (eipen auto to triton) ‘Are you engaged in a covenant relationship with Me (philies me – are you participating in a close, friendly, and family-oriented association with Me consistent with the vows of a marriage)?’
So he says to Him (kai legei auto), ‘Yahowah (ΚΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘edon, the Upright One, or Yahowah’s name), You are aware (oidas su – You perceive and realize, know and recognize) of everything (panta – of all of this). You (ou) know and understand (ginosko – through examining the evidence and evaluating it recognize and realize) that I am engaged in the loving, family-oriented, covenant relationship with You (oti pilo de – that I have great affection my association with You, see You as friend and family).’
Says to him (legei auto) Yahowsha’ / Yahowah Saving (o ΙΣ – a placeholder used by the Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey Yahowsha’ –Yahowah Saves), ‘Nurture and tend to (boskomai – feed and nourish, care for and guide) My sheep (probaton mou – My adult flock).” (Yahowchanan / Yahowah is Merciful / John 21:14-17)
Yahowsha’, whom it appears Shim’own Kephas of Yahowchanan thoughtfully and appropriately addressed as “Yahowah” in His post Bikuwrym state based upon the Divine Placeholder, wasn’t talking to His pupil about grazing, about sheep, or about animal husbandry. The “sheep” were a reference to Yahowah’s “Covenant children.” It is why Yahowah is called “My Shepherd” in the 24th Psalm, and is credited with guiding, nurturing, and protecting His flock. Their “food” is “the Towrah.” As a “shepherd,” Yahowah through Yahowsha’ was asking His Disciple “to guide and protect” His flock, keeping His sheep out of harm’s way, while keeping the wolves at bay. And never forget, they were and remain “His” sheep, not “Peter’s,” and especially not Paul’s, not a pope’s or a pastor’s.
“Tending” to Yahowah’s Covenant children requires a shepherd to be “properly prepared,” which means Shim’own would have to diligently study Yahowah’s Towrah while comparing Yahowsha’s words and deeds to it, so that he would be able to teach our Heavenly Father’s children what they need to know to survive and grow, and to be properly nourished and guided.
To tend the most highly valued sheep in the universe, “the Rock” would have to remain “observant,” which is to say that he must be vigilant, never letting his guard down, lest a diseased or vicious predator, unfit food, improper guidance, or an unauthorized shepherd mislead God’s flock. And the best way to do that would be to nurture Yah’s children on the merits of the Torah, so that they would be equipped to care for their children for generations to come.
Agapao, the verb meaning “to love,” and agape, the noun for “love,” express the ideas of “showing love, expressing love, and enjoying love.” Agapao is from agan, meaning “much,” thus emphasizing quantity versus quality. And while the verb phileo can also be rendered “love,” its etymology, based as it is on “philos – friendly and familial association akin to a marriage relationship,” is more focused upon the “nature of the relationship” than the feelings associated with it. Phileo was, therefore, being deployed in translation to ask Shim’own whether or not he “was engaged in the family-oriented covenant relationship” Yahowah established in His Towrah. While our response to our Heavenly Father saving us may be agapao, this emotional retort, while appropriate, isn’t as important as whether or not we phileo – have engaged in the Covenant.
Cognizant that Yahowah was telling Shim’own Kephas to fend off false prophets by properly feeding, directing, and protecting His children, regardless of place or race, Yahowsha’ provided this prophecy to Shim’own regarding Sha’uwl before returning to Yahowah
“Truly (amen), truly (amen – this is certain and reliable), I say (lego) to you (soi), when you were younger (ote es neoteros), you were girding yourself (ezonnues seauton – you were fastening the ties of your own garments, preparing yourself for work, clothing yourself in protective armor (second person singular imperfect active indicative of zonnymi)), and you were walking (peripateo – you were living, traveling around, conducting, and directing your life) wherever you were intending and whenever you decided (hotan thelo otan – as often as you were proposing and as long as you wanted, desire, and determined).
But (de) when you grow older (gerasko – when you age), you will extend (ekteneis – as a gesture you will hold out, stretching forth) your hands (tas cheipas sou) and another (kai allos – and a different kind of person) will gird you, placing a yoke on you to control you (se zosei – will fasten a strap around your midst; from zugos – imposing a yoke of bondage to manipulate and control, used to depict the burden of troublesome religious laws and commands (future active indicative third person singular)) and he will move (kai oisei – he will bring, manipulate, and drive (future active indicative third person singular)) you to a place where you do not presently intend or desire (hopou ou thelo – you do not currently want, wish, propose, or determine (present active indicative second person singular)).’ (21:18)
And then this (touto de – in addition, therefore this is what), He said (eipen – but now this He shared, providing meaning) making the future clear, signifying (semaino – intentionally producing an insight to indicate, make known, and foretell) what kind of (poios – to answer questions regarding the manner, nature, and whereabouts) deadly plague (thanatos – pandemic death and physical demise, judgment separating dying and diseased souls) he will attribute to Yahowah (doxasei ton ΘN – he will impart and extol as being supposedly worthy regarding his opinion and estimate on how to properly judge, value, and view God).
And this (kai touto) having been conveyed (eipon – having been communicated), He said to him (lego auto), ‘You should choose to follow Me (akoloutheo moi – you should decide to actively accompany Me and engage as My Disciple, learning from Me and electing to side with Me on My path; from a – to be unified and one with keleuthos – the Way (present active imperative)).’” (Yahowchanan / Yahowah is Merciful / John 21:18-19)
Since this follows God asking Shim’own to shepherd His children, to feed them, to protect them, and to guide them, wherever they may be, when He speaks of the Disciple’s current liberty to accomplish this mission being constrained in the future by another person, we should be looking to identify the man (third person masculine singular in the text) who openly sought to limit Shim’own’s ability to influence individuals outside of Yisra’el. The second clue that we were given to identify this villain is that he “attributed a deadly plague to God,” in essence killing millions of people with his words. Third, since this advisory concludes with Yahowsha’ encouraging Shim’own to follow His Way instead of the path proposed by his future adversary, and recognizing that Yahowsha’ was the living manifestation of the Torah, we should be on the lookout for someone whose philosophy differed from God’s, someone who was demonstrably opposed to the Torah, its Covenant, and its Invitations to Meet with God. And fourth, since this is a prophecy, for it to have merit, this heinous man would have to be known to history, he would have to appear on the scene within a reasonable number of years, and he would have to caustically interact with Shim’own during that time, limiting the Disciple’s audience, while attempting to thwart his ability to negate this foe’s contrarian message.
I know such a man, and so do you. Sha’uwl is a perfect fit in every regard. And I dare anyone reading this material to suggest any other viable candidate.
You’ll notice that this begins and ends with freedom. And that is because the children of the Covenant, like Shim’own and all of those who follow Yahowsha’, are liberated by the Towrah. It is the great irony of religion, the putrid misnomer of Christianity. Beguiled by Paul into believing that they are emancipated from “the Law” by believing “Jesus’ Gospel of Grace,” in reality by rejecting the Towrah’s guidance and therefore Yahowsha’s path, Christians are controlled by the religion that claimed to free them. Moreover, all who follow Yahowsha’ are Torah observant because He was Torah observant. It is nonsensical to believe that one can reject the former without also denying the latter.
The Towrah’s prescriptions for living, and its means to resolve disputes, when approached by those embracing the terms of the Covenant, not only free us from all forms of human oppression, they bequeath Yahowah’s promised benefits: eternal life, vindication, adoption, enrichment, and empowerment. This is the Way of Yahowsha’, the path He not only followed, but also encouraged Shim’own and all of us to walk along with Him, learning from Him along the way.
This explains why Yahowsha’ encouraged Shim’own of Yahowah’s Mercy to be wary of the man who would try to put his own yoke upon him. It would lead not to life, as Paul would promise, but instead to the death of billions – to the greatest pandemic the world would ever know: Pauline Christianity. And this is why Yahowah said “She’owl is the plague of death.”
The Hebrew equivalent of the Greek thanatos that Yahowsha’ almost assuredly communicated to Shim’own is deber. It speaks of “diseased statements,” of “words which plague,” of “pandemic death resulting from a spoken or written message.” Deber is not only associated with “divine judgment,” but it is also a “thorn” and a “sharp pointed stick,” also known as a “goad” – things which are directly associated with Sha’uwl and his poison pen. Further cementing deber’s place in this discussion, it depicts a “pasture where flocks of sheep are grazed.” Therefore, Yahowsha’ was not predicting Shim’own’s ultimate demise, but instead the deadly plague that would be unleashed upon the world by his rival – Sha’uwl.
Unfortunately, as was the case with much of what Yahowsha’ told His Disciples, Yahowchanan, the eyewitness who chronicled this conversation, may not have understood its prophetic intent. If he actually wrote the commentary which was added much later, then he incorrectly assumed, especially with Yahowsha’s crucifixion vivid in his mind, that the reference to “ekteneis tas cheipas sou – you will extend your hands” was a prophetic portrayal of the nature of Shim’own’s death. But in context, it’s obvious that this isn’t possible because those who are nailed to a wooden beam become immovable, and thus cannot be taken to a place they do not intend. Moreover, since we don’t actually know how Shim’own died, it’s likely that the commentary was added much later by a scribe to keep the prediction from appearing irrelevant. And since I don’t suppose Yahowsha’ squandered His last opportunity to talk directly to His Disciples by conveying an immaterial message, I’m inclined to do as we have done, and ascertain exactly what He was predicting. And in this regard, we were given many useful clues – some of which we have already deployed to identify our villain.
The most compelling words which lead us to the perpetrator are: zosei, oisei, semaino, doxasei, and akoloutheo. On the surface they mean “gird,” “move,” “clearly predict,” “opinion attributed,” and “follow,” respectively. But to fully appreciate the prophecy, we will have to dig a little deeper – just as we did with thanatos.
Zosei, translated “will gird you, placing a yoke on you to control you,” is from zugos, which means “to tie together so as to yoke, to apply a burden, or to enslave.” Those who are zosei and zugos will find a strap fastened around their midst by someone who is trying to control and manipulate them. Yahowsha’ is translated using the term to depict the burden of troublesome religious laws and commands which were imposed by man. It was also used by Shim’own in his debate against Sha’uwl during the Yaruwshalaim Summit.
Remember Acts 15:10: “Now, therefore, why do you test and tempt (peirazo – do you (speaking to Sha’uwl and Barnabas) look for mistakes and try to exploit and trap) God, to place upon and impose a yoke (zugos – a mechanism for controlling the movement of animals) upon the neck of the Disciples which neither our fathers nor we were given the authority to accept, support, put up with, or endure in our walk?” (Acts 15:10) I suspect that Shim’own used zugos expressly because of Yahowsha’s warning seventeen years earlier.
“He will move,” was transcribed in the third person singular, affirming that there is one solitary male individual in the Disciple’s future who would attempt to manipulate “the Rock,” dragging Yahowsha’s Apostle to a place he had not intended. And we find this occurrence bluntly conveyed in Galatians with Sha’uwl condemning Shim’own and pushing the Disciple out of Antioch, driving him back to Yaruwshalaym. Sha’uwl’s rhetoric and force of personality, especially the devotion he seemed to garner initially with his followers, caused Shim’own to cower as he had before on Passover, and even retreat, leaving Yahowsha’s flock to be devoured by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Keep in mind, Yahowsha’, as He had before, let Shim’own know that this would occur.
Adding fuel to the fire, as we shall soon witness in Ephesus, in Acts 19, Paul admits to “setting boundaries” for Yahowsha’s Disciples, notably Shim’own and Yahowchanan. And even Kephas’s comments regarding Paul’s epistles were used in a way “the Rock” never intended. Rather than being seen correctly, as a warning to God’s sheep, telling them to be on their guard lest Paul’s epistles confuse them and lead them to their own demise, Christendom twisted what “Peter” wrote to infer that Paul’s letters were “Scripture.” The Disciple had been taken to a place he did not intend to go.
Beyond the fact that these words came from the mouth of God, beyond the fact that this was His last prophecy prior to returning to heaven, Yahowsha’ is translated using semaino, a word which affirms that this was a prophetic prediction, one which was designed to clearly communicate a future event, making it known to us. As such, only a fool would ignore its implications, one focused upon the most deadly plague ever foisted upon human kind. And in this light, there is only one possible perpetrator, the man who did this very thing.
We have already examined thanatos, associating it with the Hebrew deber, so we recognize that the revelation Yahowsha’ wanted to make perfectly clear was the demise of billions of diseased souls, all separated from their Shepherd, from life, nourishment, protection, and guidance, as a result of the words one man would write while “doxasei ton ΘN – attributing his opinions to God.” And that, more than anything else, was the problem. Had Sha’uwl not claimed that his message was inspired, he would have been summarily rejected for being insane, for being arrogant, presumptuous, and delusional. But Paul provided a new, entirely different way to view God, one that made salvation as simple as believing. There was nothing to know, nothing to do, and the saved were at liberty to sin. All that was required was to believe Paul while ignoring God, His prophets, and His disciples.
As a compound of a, “signifying unity and being part of,” and keleuthos, “the Way,” Yahowsha’ used akoloutheo to tell Shim’own to “Follow the Way”—the narrow path to God continually described by Yahowsha’ as being accurately and completely delineated within the Towrah. This is especially relevant when considered adjacent to Chabaquwq / Embrace This / Habakkuk 2:5:
“Moreover, because the intoxicating wine and inebriating spirit of the man of deceptive infidelity and treacherous betrayal who tries to influence and control others without justification through trickery and deceit is a high-minded moral failure, an arrogant and meritless man of presumption, so 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, those who associate with and join him, those who are removed and withdrawn from the company of God, assembling with him, will not be satisfied. All of the Gentiles will gather together unto him, all of the people from different races and places.”
Written as akolouoei, it was rendered in the present active imperative tense. The use of the present active tense indicates that He wanted the man He had trained to follow The Way right now, at this very instant, and never stop. The imperative mood was deployed to express that this instruction was subject to the exercise of freewill, and yet it was expressing an earnest desire. This was supportive advice upon which a choice should be made, and thus in full recognition that Shim’own’s volition was in play.
Yahowsha’ wanted “the Rock” to “Follow His Way” to the Father—not Paul’s way of faith which was different (by his own admission) and led in the opposite direction.
Should you want additional proof that it was appropriate to refer to Sha’uwl as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” let’s turn our attention to Bare’syth / Genesis 49:27. There, Yahowah spoke about Sha’uwl, the man who has become the most infamous member of Benjamin’s tribe.
But first, let’s affirm that Paul was from the tribe of Benjamin. The wolf in sheep’s clothing wrote, notably and admittedly communicating his own personal mantra, wrote: “I say (lego – I speak and I provide meaning), therefore (oun – indeed as a result), not (ue) pushed away, rejected, or repudiated (apotheomai – cast aside, thrust or driven away) the God (o ΘΣ) the people of Him (laos autou – the nation of Him). Not may it be (ue genoito). And yet (kai – so then) indeed (gar), I, myself, am (ego eimi) an Israelite (Israelites – transliteration of Hebrew Yisra’el), from (ek – out of) the seed (sperma – semen singular) of Abraam (‘Abraam – a transliteration of the Hebrew ‘Abram), the tribe (phyle) of Benjamin (Beniamin – a transliteration of the Hebrew Benyamyn).” (Romans 11:1)
While the connection to Benjamin was all we were looking for, I’d be remiss if I didn’t correct Paul’s erroneous statements. God temporarily rejected Yisra’el in Howsha’ / He Saves / Hosea, divorcing them for infidelity because they, like Paul, embraced the religions of the Gentiles. And He has repudiated their political and religious leaders countless times for their false teachings. So while Yisra’el and Yahuwdym will be reconciled with Yahowah on the Day of Reconciliations in 2033, Paul’s “not may it be” is in direct conflict with God’s testimony. Further, Yisra’el and Yahuwdym were supposed to be a people set apart unto Yahowah, making them the antithesis of “laos – common.”
However, since Sha’uwl has shown his utter disregard for Abraham, consistently referring to him by his pre-Covenant name, Abram, and will profess in his letter to the Galatians that the Covenant he formed with Yahowah enslaved and thus had to be replaced, it’s Sha’uwl who has rejected Yisra’el. He also repudiated Moseh and the Torah, Dowd and his songs he wrote to the Torah, and all of the Hebrew prophets, including the most Hebrew of prophets, Yahowsha’, even pushing His Disciples, all of whom were Yisra’elites, away.
Since we know that Paul has a propensity to twist God’s Word, it is incumbent upon us to determine why. And in this case, the reason is obvious. Paul’s theory is that, since God has not rejected all of His people (at least according to Paul), it serves to reason that He has not repudiated “me,” “for indeed I, myself, am an Israelite.” Simply stated, Paul was bad to the bone.
Also, there was a twinge of Sha’uwl’s messianic complex being revealed here because Paul said that he is “from the seed (singular) of Abram,” a distinction that would otherwise be redundant to being an “Israelite.” The notion that there was “only one seed of Abram” will be twisted in the third and fourth chapters of Galatians to jump from Abraham to Yahowsha’, bypassing the Towrah. But now according to Sha’uwl, he, himself, is that seed.
Before we consider Yahowah’s prediction regarding Sha’uwl, the Benjamite, remember that in the Chabaquwq / Habakkuk prophecy which calls Sha’uwl out by name, we find a reference to a later time: “So therefore the expectation and subsequent realization of this revelation from God is for the appointed meeting time. It provides a witness to and speaks in the end. Whatever extended period of time is required for this question to be resolved this shall not be proven false. Expect him in this regard because indeed he will absolutely come, neither being delayed nor lingering.” (Chabaquwq / Embrace This / Habakkuk 2:3) With this in mind, the preamble to Yahowah’s next indictment is found in Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 49:1, where we read: “And Ya’aqob called his sons and said, ‘Gather together so that I may declare to you what is to befall you in the last days.’”
Then, speaking of this Benjamite, and his animosity toward the Ma’aseyah (who was presented coming from Yahuwdah in verses 8-12), the Towrah reveals that at the time of the Ma’aseyah: “Benjamin (Benyamyn) is a wolf (za’eb – a predatory animal) viciously tearing apart, continually mangling and actually killing (taraph – tearing and plucking the life out of his victims) in (ba) the morning (boqer – early part of the day), consistently devouring (‘akal – actually feeding upon) his prey (‘ad), and in the evening (‘ereb – during the dark of night at the end of the day), he divides and destroys (halaq – he apportions, assigns, and distributes that which they have harmed and ruined) that which has been spoiled (shalal – possessions of value, plunder, and prey).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 49:27)
The horrible crime perpetrated by this wolf from the tribe of Benjamin would occur during the very period of time Yahowsha’ predicted. In the tenth verse of this same discussion, we were told: “And the tribe and scepter (shebet – the family and authority) shall not depart (lo’ bow’) from (min) Yahuwdah (Yahuwdah – those who are related to Yahowah), or the staff of the leader with the authority to inscribe instructions (wa mahoqeq – the power to lead and to write authorized prescriptions for living; from chaqaq – to cut in and cut out, to inscribe and engrave, and to establish guidance (scribed in the rare poel stem, whereby the object receives the benefits of the verb’s action)) for understanding (min byn) His footsteps (regel), until (‘ad) indeed (ky) the arrival (bow’) of Shyloh (Shyloh – to Him whom these things belong and from whom reconciliation flows (the home of the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle of the Witness which is used in reference to the Ma’aseyah)).”
At the close of the fourth millennia, every tribe except Yahuwdah and Benyamyn were lost and thus unknown, this being the legacy of the Assyrian conquest of the Northern Kingdom six hundred years earlier. And immediately after Sha’uwl penned his last letter, it became impossible for either of the two remaining tribes to demonstrate affiliation because Rome razed the Temple where all of their genealogical records were stored. As such, the time marked from the arrival of Shyloh to the destruction of Temple is so constrained, there really is no other viable candidate for this dire prophecy other than Sha’uwl.
Hebrew lexicons affirm that Benyamyn is a compound of ben, meaning son, and yamyn, conveying either “right, right hand, or south.” As such, we might see this connotation reflected in Sha’uwl’s attempt to take the upper hand and position himself as “God’s right hand man,” thereby replacing Yahowsha’ and His Disciples. Or perhaps, this could be a reference to Paul leading his flock—Christians—south, and therefore back into the wilderness. Also interesting, Sha’uwl has already spoken of “the right hand being offered to him.” And it has become obvious that Sha’uwl, a man whose name is indistinguishable from She’owl, served at Satan’s right hand.
Perhaps also we should look at yam in the name’s root. Yam is the Hebrew word for “sea,” and it is symbolic of Gowym, distinct from Yahuwdym who are associated with the “’erets – land.” It is hard to miss Paul’s repetitive and braggadocios claim of dominion over Gentiles.
As we examine Yahowah’s Towrah prediction, we find that “taraph – plucking the life out of his victims” is an accurate prophetic portrayal of what Sha’uwl would do to Christians in addition to being a rather precise match for thanatos in Yahowsha’s statement to Shim’own. Written in the qal imperfect, as was “‘akal – consistently devouring,” “taraph – viciously killing” reveals that the wolf actually tore them apart, continually mangling what God had promised, “consistently ripping the life out of” the Torah which ultimately led to the “ongoing and unfolding death” of countless Christian souls. Sha’uwl continually devoured the truth, leaving nothing but a “rotting and neglected carcass” in his wake.
Sha’uwl was indeed cunning as a “za’eb – wolf.” He was a “predator” masquerading as the Shepherd’s “right hand” while dressed as one of His sheep, all to “pluck” souls away from the flock.
“Boqer – in the morning,” meaning “the first part of the day,” is also insightful. To begin, Paul was the first to mangle Yahowsha’s message. As Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Paul was the great Coryphaeus (voice and leader of the chorus), and the first corrupter of the doctrines of ‘Jesus.’” (From Jefferson’s letter to W. Short (Published in The Great Thoughts by George Seldes (Ballantine Books, 1985, page 208)))
Second, Paul’s treachery occurred at the very onset of the fifth day of human history, at least as measured from the fall of Adam. So this timing is indicative of his arrival. According to the Bare’syth / Genesis account, and history, this is the time of confusion when new religions would and now have ravaged the world.
Third, the “morning” reference adroitly connects Yahowsha’s “breakfast” conversation in which the prophecy warning about Paul’s predatory practices was revealed. It makes an otherwise extraneous comment relevant.
And fourth, Sha’uwl began his career murdering those who came to know and trust Yahowsha’. (Acts 7:58, 8:1-3, and 9:1) And then in Galatians 2:9, he claims Gentiles has his exclusive territory, thereby marking his prey. His constant wrangling for money, or plunder, would then dominate his later writings, and thus represent the evening of his career – all in keeping with the prophecy.
‘Akal, rendered “devouring,” and meaning “to eat and feed upon,” in addition to “to consume, ruin, and destroy something valuable,” is an even more exacting fit for Yahowsha’s prediction. While Shim’own was feeding God’s sheep, Sha’uwl viciously savaged and devoured him. Likewise, Yahowah is not speaking of “wolves and their prey” in a literal sense, but instead, of “predators” and their “victims,” with the prey representing the souls of the “sheep” He is offering to protect. Therefore, the wolf and sheep references adroitly connect these two predictions.
‘Ereb, translated “evening,” is indistinguishable in the Hebrew text from ‘arab, which means “desolate and lifeless” in addition to “making a pledge which exchanges one thing for another.” Paul’s promise was that “belief in his Gospel of Grace” replaced “trusting the Torah.” And lest we forget, Sha’uwl’s credibility was derived from his encounter on the road to Damascus and his subsequent imagined journey to Arabia.
Halaq doesn’t just mean “divides and destroys.” It also speaks of someone who is a “smooth talker,” and a “slick operator,” as well as of the “slippery slope” they lead their victims down to their “ruin.” Halaq is “flattery, words that reflect illegitimate praise.” And it describes the “use of seductive words which are deployed to persuade people in a suggestive manner.” Paul was the poster child for halaq.
Additionally, halaq is a “smooth stone used as an impromptu religious altar, and as a stand-in for an imaginary god.” Grace, Gratia, and Charis fit this bogus bill.
And that leaves us with “shalal – the spoils,” the victims and their possessions. At the end of the day, under the cover of darkness, Paul’s legacy, the Christian Church, divvies up what they have been able to confiscate from the lives of those they have destroyed.
So it is hard to miss the connections between Paul and Benjamin, and between Yahowah’s predictive description and Yahowsha’s prophetic warning. Benjamin was not only the last name on Yahowah’s list, and the last prophecy in Bare’syth / Genesis, the prophetic reference to Sha’uwl was the last prediction Yahowsha’ would make before He returned to heaven.
Once again, there is but one man in all of human history who fits Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s prophecies: Sha’uwl.
Before we move on, it should also be noted that Yahowah provided other Benjamites a better option: “Concerning (la) Benyamyn, he said (‘amar – he accurately and completely declared (qal stem and perfect conjugation meaning literally and totally)), ‘The beloved (yadyd – those who are attractive to and loved) of Yahowah ( ) choose to consistently and genuinely live (shakan – elect of their own volition to continually dwell, actually campout, and always remain (qal stem, imperfect conjugation, jussive meaning collectively conveying a reality which is an ongoing choice)) by approaching with (la) absolute confidence through complete trust (betach – reliance which is proven and bold, leading to salvation) upon His, the Almighty’s (‘al), protective covering (chophaph – shelter, enclosure, and shield, keeping the beneficiary safe from harm) over and around him (‘al) each and every day (kol ha yowm). And by understanding (wa byn – so by comprehending) His supportive garment and His outstretched arm (katheph – His willingness to adorn us by shouldering our burdens, reaching out His arm while at our side), he lives (shakan – he dwells, camping out, inhabiting His home).’” (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 33:12)
Absolute confidence is the antithesis of faith, putting Yahowah’s declaration in irreconcilable opposition to the fulcrum of Pauline Doctrine, which is salvation through faith. Diligent and disciplined observation of the prevailing evidence, followed by careful and discerning consideration of it, leads to knowing and understanding, which in turn, facilitate trust, and thus engender complete confidence. And remember, Yahowsha’ is the outstretched arm and hand of Yahowah.
Yahowsha’s prophetic warning to Shim’own was the last He would make before returning home, but some thirty-nine years later, Yahowsha’ warned Yahowchanan about the same wannabe “Apostle” and those who had now leagued with him. He said to His beloved Disciple: “To the messenger of those Called Out in Ephesus write....” This was one place where Yahowchanan’s and Sha’uwl’s footsteps and writings crossed paths. Therefore, the Ma’aseyah revealed the following regarding those Yahowchanan had shepherded and the wolf and his self-proclaimed apostles had tried to snatch away:
“I am aware of and recognize (oida) your (sou) works and undertakings (ergon – the things you have responded to and have engaged in), the difficult and exhausting encounters (kai ton kopos – the bothersome trouble burdens encountered), and your (sou) unswerving and enduring perseverance (kai ten hypomone – continual steadfastness and unwavering dependability, fortitude under circumstances where others would succumb) and that (kai oti) you cannot possibly accept, tolerate, support, nor endure (ou dynamai bastazo – you haven’t the will, desire, ability, or state of mind to take up with, walk along side of, lift up, or carry forward, advance, sustain, or promote) that which is incorrect, immoral, injurious, pernicious, destructive, or baneful (kakos – errant, wicked, wrong, evil, harmful, noisome, morally corrupt, diseased, culpable, mischievous, demonic, or hurtful having an ill effect, a bad nature which is not as it ought to be, and a mode of thinking, feeling or acting which is invalid).
And you have observed, examined, and objectively tested (kai peirazo – you have scrutinized, coming to learn the nature and character of others through enquiry, judging them and catching the mistakes of) those who claim and maintain (tous phasko – those who say, affirm, profess, declare, promise, or preach) of themselves (eautous) that they are (eimi) apostles (apostolos – special messengers who are prepared and sent forth) but are not (kai ouk eisin). And (kai) you have found them (heurisko autos – you have examined and scrutinized them, you have come to understand, discovering and learning through closely observing them that they are) false, deceitful, and deliberate liars (pseudes – are pretending to be something they are not, they are erroneous deceivers).” (Revelation 2:2)
It is especially relevant to this statement that Ephesus was the only city listed among the seven described in Yahowsha’s Revelation letters where Paul and his pals were known to have preached. And it is the only one with a warning against false Apostles. Surely this is not a coincidence.
While Revelation is a prophetic book, Yahowsha’s commendation was written in the present and past tense. And that is significant because Yahowchanan scribed Revelation in 69 CE, seven years after Sha’uwl wrote his letter to the Ephesians, and two years after the self-proclaimed apostle’s death. So considering the fact that Paul and his traveling companions were the only men who claimed to be Apostles in Ephesus during this short span of time, Yahowsha’ was calling Sha’uwl an “errant, demonic, deceitful, charlatan.” We are without excuse. Christians cannot claim that they were not warned about this horrible man.
Even Yahowsha’s parting comments paralleled things we have read pertaining to the distinction between Yahowah’s Way and Paul’s way. “And you have loyal steadfastness and enduring consistency (hupomone) and have endured (bastazo) through My name. You have worked hard (kopiao) and have not grown tired.” (Revelation 2:3)
Since I’ve made the claim that Paul and comrades preached in Ephesus, that they presented a contrarian view to that of Yahowsha’s Disciples, notably, Yahowchanan, and thus singled themselves out as being the deceitful liars who were falsely claiming to be apostles, let’s consider the evidence. I’ll be providing this testimony largely based upon the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition with McReynolds English Interlinear to be as accurate and fair as possible. This is Paul’s personal testimony as recorded by Luke, and so as we have come to expect, much of what he said is difficult to comprehend.
“But it became in the Apollos [Paul’s most acclaimed disciple still bore the name of the Greek god Apollo] to be in Corinth [the Greek city where Paul preached for the longest period of time and to which he wrote two early letters], Paulos, having gone through the uppermost parts, came down to Ephesus so as to find some Disciples. (19:1) But he said against and regarding them, ‘If conditionally, spirit holy you received having trusted the ones but not him, then not spirit holy there is we heard.’ (19:2) He said, ‘But into what then were you immersed?’ And they said, ‘Into Yahowchanan’s immersion.’ (19:3) But Paulos said, ‘Yahowchanan immersed immersion of change mind to the people, saying to the coming after him that they might believe this is in the Iesous.’ (19:4) So having heard, they were immersed into the name of the Lord Iesou. (19:5) And having set on them the hands of Paulou, it came, the spirit of the holy on them. They were speaking but in tongues and were uttering prophecy. Were but the all men as twelve.” (Acts 19:1-7)
While it is impossible based upon the writing quality to know for certain what actually happened, it appears that Paul was threatened by the information he received from Apollos in Corinth. He knew that his message was vastly different than Yahowsha’s Disciples, and he was convinced that one or more of them was treading upon his turf by speaking to these Gentiles. So he headed south, arriving in Ephesus to find the Disciples who had challenged him. When he arrived, rather than meeting with Shim’own or Yahowchanan, Sha’uwl sought to undermine them, suggesting that the Spirit they received as a result of responding to Yahowchanan was not the right spirit – substituting one of his own.
Then this dialogue gets a bit murky because Paul’s next sentence has two hypothetical conditions, three buts, and a negation in the original Greek text. Navigating through them, it appears that Paul was troubled by the idea that the Ephesians had been immersed in Yahowchanan’s message. So Paul immediately claimed that Yahowchanan had instituted unauthorized changes. He then questioned the nature of the spirit they had received. So after listening to Paul’s contrarian view, a dozen Ephesians were re-baptized by Paul, with Paul laying his hands on them. This then imbued these men with an entirely different spirit, one which caused them to blather on in tongues, believing that they were inspired prophets. But whatever they were saying, the twelve were now Sha’uwl’s disciples, just as Yahowsha’ had chosen twelve.
It is telling, however, that Yahowsha’ never once immersed or baptized anyone, so there is no need for it and no established way to do it. Therefore, it was absurd to suggest that Yahowchanan’s technique was wrong and Sha’uwl’s was right. Further, baptism is not the means Yahowah or Yahowsha’ designated to receive the Set-Apart Spirit. There is no mention of it anywhere in the Towrah. And adding insult to injury, when the Spirit came upon those who were set apart in Yaruwshalaim on Seven Sabbaths, they were empowered to speak the languages of the nations surrounding Yisra’el. They were not baptized, there was no laying on of hands, they knew nothing of Sha’uwl, they did not speak in tongues, and they did not prophesize.
Unfortunately, Paul was just warming up. “But having gone into the synagogue he was preaching fearlessly (paresiazomai) for three months, disputing (dialegomai – arguing and contending) and persuading (peitho – to coax followers to become disciples and to seduce them to obey) about the kingdom of the god.” (Acts 19:8)
Here, “preaching fearlessly” was from parhesiazomai, which means that he was “using the freedom to speak in a daring manner.” It is a compound of pas, which means “individually,” and rheo, meaning “to pour forth.” So let there be no mistake: this was Sha’uwl’s message and his alone. And equally insightful, “disputing” was from dialegomai, which means “to argue against someone using different thinking.” It is “to contend with and convince through discourse.”
Even peitho is telling. It could have been rendered “seducing,” because it means to “win the favor of others by misleading and coaxing them,” even to “conciliate and strive to please.” Peitho speaks of tranquilizing those who listen, inducing them through words to believe, persuading them to favor one individual over another and to join with them. So it is hard to miss the fact that Paul is confessing to the crime Yahowsha’ addressed in His letter to Ephesus through Yahowchanan.
Also, the order of the verbs is revealing. The message and spirit of Yahowchanan had to be “dialegomai – disputed, even argued against by presenting a different message” prior to Paul “peitho – persuading others to obey him, winning them over and seducing them to become his followers.”
Next we find Sha’uwl’s hypocrisy in full bloom. He presented his “Gospel of Grace” as the alternative to obeying God’s Torah, which he presents as an onerous set of laws. And while there is no Hebrew word for “obey,” and while Torah does not mean “law,” Sha’uwl routinely demanded that his audience obey him...
“But as some were being stubborn (sklerynomai – were being hard headed and obstinate, even offensive and intolerable, refusing to listen) and they were disobedient (apeitheo – they were disobeying, refusing to believe, rejecting faith, being noncompliant, rebellious, and insubordinate), speaking abusively of and maligning (kakologeo – cursing and maligning, insulting and denouncing) the way before the crowd. Having revolted against, forsaken, and alienated them (aphistamai – abandoned, avoiding association with them), he appointed and marked off boundaries, separating (aphorize – he set aside and excluded in an attempt to get rid of) the Disciples (tous mathetes – those who had been taught by and followed Yahowsha’) through daily (kata hemera) disputes (dialegomai – arguments and speeches presenting a different message) in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. (19:9) And this took place for two years so that everyone residing the Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Judeans and Greeks.” (Acts 19:9-10) (We are continuing to rely on the Nestle-Aland’s McReynolds English Interlinear to recount Paul’s testimony, while augmenting and clarifying it using the most highly regarded lexicons.)
If you recall, Yahowsha’ specifically stated that there were some in Ephesus who did not believe the false apostle, a reality which has been resoundingly born out in Paul’s own words. And while Yahowsha’ praised the Ephesians for rejecting the liar and his lies, Sha’uwl saw them differently. The very people Yahowsha’ commended, Sha’uwl condemned, calling them “sklerynomai – stubborn, hardheaded, and obstinate, even offensive and intolerable, for refusing to listen.” Based upon skleros, Paul viewed those he could not beguile as “hard, harsh, and rough men who were stern, intolerant, offensive, and violent.” That’s almost funny considering the source.
Sha’uwl went on say that his rivals were apeitheo, which means that he saw the Disciples as being “insubordinate” because they “disobeyed him and rejected his faith.” If that doesn’t take your breath away, considering whom he was rebelling against, you may want to check your pulse. One of the most egotistical and presumptuous men to ever purport to speak for God called the Disciples God had chosen “apeitheo – disobedient,” and that was because they “apeitheo – refused to believe” him when his message differed from the one God had conveyed to them in word and deed.
Paul was laying down the law, his law, to which everyone had to obey or suffer the consequences. There was a new Lord in town.
The next verb in Paul’s intolerant diatribe was translated “speaking abusively of and maligning” as a rendering of kakologeo, which is “to curse and to revile, denouncing through evil and insulting speech.” The verb is a compound of kakos, which describes that which is “of a bad nature” and is an “inappropriate mode of thinking, feeling, or acting which is troublesome, pernicious, baneful, and wicked,” and logos, the “spoken word.” Paul, like all insecure individuals, was ever ready to curse his perceived opponents, but would not tolerate reciprocation.
Yahowsha’ and His Disciples are often translated using histemi to convey that God stood up for us so that we could stand with Him. But Paul’s twist on this is markedly different. Aphistamai, rendered “having revolted against, forsaken, alienated, and separated” from them, is colored by apo, which speaks of separation, even of abandonment. It tells us that Paul “caused the rebellion” and then “avoided association, forsaking and abandoning, misleading and withdrawing from” the Disciples. It was and continues to be, Paul against everyone, from Yahowah and Yahowsha’, to Abraham, Moseh, and the Disciples.
Aphorize, rendered “he appointed and marked off boundaries, separating” the Disciples, means that Sha’uwl did exactly what Yahowsha’ warned Shim’own and Yahowchanan would occur. Paul “set aside and excluded them in an attempt to get rid of” the Disciples, “severing the relationship while excommunicating them in an attempt to drive them out” of Asia. By selecting this word, Paul was admitting “to excluding” the Disciples because he claimed that they “were disreputable.” Aphorize is also from apo, “to separate,” but then shaped by horizo, meaning “to define, setting boundaries and limits, determining and appointing territory.”
Aphorizo’s primary connotation is therefore: “to determine, to define, and to mark off boundaries for those who are disreputable, to separate them by establishing limits which they may not transgress, excluding them.” And since the objects of these constraints were Yahowsha’s Disciples, Paul was admitting to the very crime Yahowsha’ warned the Ephesians about.
Contentious to the bitter end, Paul once again bragged of “dialegomai – arguing against and disputing” the Disciples because their “thinking was markedly different.” But this time, Paul was not to be found in the synagogue – in the place where those seeking to learn about Yahowah considered His Towrah. Sha’uwl turned instead to the “Tyrannos Schole,” where Tyrannos denote “the Lord is a Tyrant.” There should be no mistaking that Paul’s Lord was indeed a despot seeking supremacy. And Paul was lecturing on his behalf.
It is a fact little known, but if Paul’s preaching is reflected in his letters, he never accurately conveyed anything Yahowsha’ said. In just one of his thirteen letters he made a brief passing attempt, citing a few words Yahowsha’ spoke about Passover, albeit taking His testimony completely out of context while misquoting Him. So rest assured, when Sha’uwl claims that everyone in Asia heard him “preach the word of the Lord,” he was preaching Satan’s mantra. Reinforcing this reality, Yahowah consistently refers to the Adversary as “ba’al – lord” because Satan craves supremacy, mastery, control, obedience, subordination, enslavement, and ownership.” Sha’uwl’s predilection for these very same things is revealing.
Yahowah and Yahowsha’ routinely tell us that “dunamis – ability, inherent power, miracles, signs, and wonders” typify braggadocios false prophets. But since Christians don’t listen to either, they typically associate such things with God. And yet here, Paul is saying that God had nothing to do with them. His supernatural power and his extraordinary mastery and skill were the work of his hands, conceived, fashioned, and brought forth without God’s assistance.
“Miraculous miracles and wondrous supernatural powers (dynamis – the ability to perform miracles and wonders) and not having obtained in association with the god (te ou tas tygchano o theos – having disclaimed an experience with, having disavowed happening upon or meeting with, even relationship with God) were performed through the hands of (dia ton cheiron – by way of the person, authority, control, and power of) Paulou.” (Acts 19:11)
I realize that this sounds too incriminating to be true, not unlike Paul admitting to being both insane and demon-possessed. So I encourage skeptics to verify the meaning of te (likewise and corresponding to, serving as the marker of a relationship), ou (constituting a negation and denial), tas (the definite article in the accusative form), and especially tygchano for yourself. It was negated in this statement by “ou – not in any way” and precedes “tas theos – of God,” and in this context denotes “having disclaimed an experience with God, having disavowed happening upon or meeting with God, and of not having a relationship with God.” And while that’s indicting, by turning to tygchano’s secondary connotation we find Paul admitting to “not hitting the mark regarding extraordinary and unexpected performances which require uncommon skill.” Therefore, it appears that the very attitude which got Satan expelled from heaven was now afflicting Paulou.
And his legend grew with these fanciful claims... “Also that (kai hoste – and as a result) upon the weak (epi tous astheneo – upon the being incapacitated and ill) was to be carried away (apophero – to be led off and taken away) from the skin of him (apo tou chrotos autou – separated from the surface of his body) handkerchiefs (soudarion – napkins or pieces of cloth often used for wiping perspiration, blowing one’s nose, or during preparation for burial) or aprons (e simikinthion – or worker’s smocks) and to be settled upon them (kai apallassomai apo auton – so to be set free, separated from them) the illnesses (tas nosous – the sicknesses and diseases) the and (ta te – denoting a closely related association with) annoying spirits (pneumata ta poneros – worthless, morally corrupt, seriously faulty, toilsome, and wicked spirits) to depart out (ekporeuesthai – to come forth, go out, and leave).” (Acts 19:12)
“Handkerchiefs” is from soudarion, which also means “pieces of cloth, towels, or napkins which may or may not be used as burial cloths over the face of the deceased, to blow one’s nose, to wipe perspiration for one’s face, or to dry one’s hands.” It is of Latin origin. “Aprons” was rendered from simikinthion, another Latin word, which is “a bib-apron worn by common workers and servants to protect their clothing.” Therefore, what Paul is claiming is that napkins or aprons were placed upon his skin and then carried to those who were sick, and that as a result annoying spirits were exorcised from the diseased. This is creepy in the extreme, not unlike today’s charlatans who fleece their flock by pretending to heal the sick during religious spectacles. It is another case of Paul claiming to be divine. But this time he was also incriminating himself by suggesting that “evil spirits” cause “disease” and must be “exorcised” to heal the “sick.”
The term Paul chose to infer that his handkerchiefs were healing the sick, apallassomai, means “to be set free, separated from them,” as if a piece of cloth that has made contact with his skin would exorcise demons. And while that is obviously untrue, this term’s secondary connotation, “to change, to settle with, and to reconcile,” infers that the feeble may have simply come to accept their maladies. It is derived from allasso, which denotes “exchanging one thing for another.” So perhaps the blind became lame and the deaf became dumb?
The “spirits to depart out” were called “poneros – annoying, burdensome, harassing, troublesome, wicked, corrupt, worthless, faulty, and criminal.” It is the same revolting word Paul associated with “the old system” which he later identified as the Torah. And here, the Spirit associated with Yahowchanan, Yahowsha’s most beloved Disciple, was the one rejected by Sha’uwl and replaced by another of his choosing during the rebaptism. So I suspect that the reason Paul saw the Set-Apart Spirit as “annoying” is that She was opposed to everything he said and did.
Paul’s account gets stranger by the moment. Consider what he claimed next (again as reported the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition with McReynolds English Interlinear and corrected by the Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains in an effort to be as accurate as possible)...
“But (de) were attempting to put our hands on (epicheireo – with the assistance of anyone were trying to promote an undertaking upon) some (tines), and the (kai ton) circuitous wanderers (perierchomai – the traveling about and roving around) of the Judeans (Ioudaion – an errant transliteration of the Hebrew Yahuwdym, meaning Related to Yah), exorcists (exorkistes – those who drive out evil spirits; from exorkizo – to extract using an oath or force to adjure) to be known (onomazomai – to name or designate) for the (epi tous) possessing (echo – having and holding on to) the evil and annoying spirits (pneumata ta poneros – the worthless, morally corrupt, seriously faulty, toilsome, and wicked spirits) the name of (to onoma) the Lord (tou kuriou – the master who owns, controls, subjugates, and possesses (a Satanic title)) Iesou (Iesou – an errant misnomer without any semblance to Yahowsha’), saying (legontes) put under oath (horkizo – implore and swear) you the (umas ton) Iesoun (Iesoun) whom (on) Paulos (Paulos – of Latin derivation meaning Lowly and Little) announces (kerysso – preaches in his official capacity).” (Acts 19:13)
Recognizing that the Interlinear version, even amplified, is at best confusing, let’s consider the New American Standard Bible which claims to be literal: “But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying ‘I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.’”
There is no discussion of exorcism in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, nor in the Talmud or the Oral Law of Yahuwdym, and there is no such thing as a Jewish exorcist. So this is a complete fabrication. More damning still, Paul, in his testimony to Luke, actually admits the obvious: there is a difference between “the Iesous whom Paulos proclaimed” and the actual individual who was proclaimed by Yahowsha’s Disciples, Yahowchanan and Shim’own.
While I cannot attest to the veracity of the following scholarship, I found it both credible and interesting relative to the origins of Sha’uwl’s Iesou. Since you may as well, in the Gospel History and Doctrinal Teaching Critically Examined by Arthur Dyott Thomson, which was written and published in London by Longmans, Green, and Company in 1873, under the heading “Derivation of the Name of Jesus,” on page 247, we find:
“The whole system is developed in the Mithraic monuments, but it is only necessary to observe here that the seven fires, stars, or flames which are on the bas-reliefs which represent this myth, and which are always placed between the sun and the moon, refer to the Pleiades, which correspond to the constellation of the Bull.
When Christianity arose, the Jews had thronged Alexandria, and had acquired by means of bribes many of the privileges reserved to the companions of Alexander (Jos. Cont. Apion, 1. Ii. C. 4). The Ptolemies being patrons of literature and of science, learned men of all nations resorted to Alexandria, which soon became the theatre of religious disputes, and each party in turn appealed to the Egyptian monuments, on which the secretes of the mysteries were preserved in the symbolic characters. Contact with Paganism produced the same effect on the Jews as it had done previously when the Asmonean princes had been compelled to issue an edict forbidding the Jews to read Greek books. Sects were formed, the Jewish sacred books were translated, and commentaries were written upon them. The Caraites wished to keep to the literal meaning of the Scriptures, but the majority addicted themselves to the allegorical interpretation of them, and Aristobulus went so far as to write a commentary on the Mosaic text in favour of Ptolemy Philometer.
At this time some of the Alexandrian astrologers ascertained that it was the blood of Aries, not that of the Bull, to the commencement of which the Iesou corresponded in the zodiacs. Iesou in the sacred language signifies the divine power of the heavens, or the winter solstice, because it is at that period that the sun resumes his strength in order to return towards the north.... The Iesou, or winter solstice, always corresponded in the zodiacs to the first degree of Aries. This Iesou, which was symbolically represented by a child sucking its finger, was placed over the interval between Aries and Pisces, and as Virgo, the symbol of the summer solstice, had to come to the primitive Iesou, in order to determine when the reign of God should commence, by means of the precession of the equinoxes, this Iesou was called the sacred, or anointed one, which the Greeks have correctly translated Christos, but which does not in the least correspond to the Hebrew mashyach / Messiah....
The Alexandrian astrologers conceived the error into which the followers of Mithras had fallen, and either through ignorance or design, took Virgo, who marked the commencement of the year (Hor. Apollo, Hierog. Iii.) for the symbol of the vernal equinox, at which period the Alexandrine year used to commence. They announced, therefore, that the end of the world would take place when the vernal equinox corresponded to the star alpha of Pisces. In the mystic language they would have said: ‘The blood of the Ram has just been shed; the union of Virgo and Aries has just been brought about; Virgo has just given birth to Aries; Virgo has just given birth to Iesou; Virgo has just crushed the head of the serpent [the spirit of death and darkness]; the reign of God is at hand.
We know that the names of Jesus, John, and Mary are found on the monuments long anterior to Christianity. On the Zodiac of Denderah the Celestial Virgin holding Horus, symbols which the Egyptians called Marim and Iesou in the mystic language, have been so mutilated by the Christians that only the heads of them remain. This was probably done because there were hieroglyphs which might have revealed the mystery. Iesu, that is, “the divine power of the world,” was the sacred name of the Word, or Demiurgus, and was therefore easily confounded with the Iesou of the Zodiacs. The Iesu whom the Virgin carried in her arms was to be put to death at the end of the world, in order to rise again, or give place to another Iesu. This mystery is represented in the sanctuary of the temple of Hermonthis (see Atlas de la Commiss. D’Egypte, A, Vol. I.).”
Returning to the book which latched onto and promoted the myths ascribed to Iesou, we find the McReynolds Interlinear interpretation of the Nestle-Aland:
“But were of some, Skeva, a Jewish ruler priest, seven sons this doing.” (Acts 19:14) From this, the New American Standard Bible published: “And seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.” Skeuas is of Latin origin, not Hebrew, and it means “mind reader.” But that is not the worst of Paul’s misstatements. No “Jewish” priest, much less a high or chief priest, by that name, or any other name remotely akin to Skeva / Sceva, ever existed. Furthermore, there never were any “Jewish” high priests living in Ephesus. As such, this too is a complete fabrication – a fairytale – in the midst of the Christian New Testament.
“But having answered, the evil and annoying spirit said to them, ‘Indeed, Iesoun I know (ginosko) and this Paulon, I understand (epistamai), but who are you?’” (Acts 19:15) Here, the New American Standard Bible reports: “And the evil spirit answered and said to them, ‘I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”
According to Sha’uwl, Satan’s demon only “ginosko – recognized and was generally aware of” Yahowsha’, while said demon “epistamai – knew everything there was to know, was completely acquainted with and totally understood” Paul. An individual’s choice of words, especially when making a distinction, reveals so much about them. Such is the case with Sha’uwl, who like Satan, wants to be seen as having a higher status than God. And when we recognize that Sha’uwl fabricated this whole story for the express purpose of elevating his status and acclaim, it is especially devastating.
Now it appears as if spiritual beings have legs and are leapers, that they have dominion over the sons of imaginary “Jewish high priests,” and that they have the power, authority, and inclination to disrobe and wound them... “And having leaped upon the man on them in whom there was the annoying and evil spirit, having dominion and mastered over, overpowering and lording over both (katakyrieuo amphoteroi – ruled over the two), was strong against them so that naked and having been wounded to flee out from that house.” (Acts 19:16) This tall tale as chronicled in the NASB reads: “And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them and subdued both of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”
While we should not be surprised, the New American Standard Bible edited Paul’s testimony to correct an obvious contradiction. The seven sons became “amphoteroi – a total of exactly two” in the Greek text. Moreover, the point Paul is trying to make here is that Jews were incapable of doing what he did routinely. Paul claims to have influence over the demonic spirits which overpower and lord over Jews. And while there is no indication that demons plague Jews more than any other race, the reason they responded to Paul was because he was working for the Lord of Demons.
“So this became (ginomai) known (gnostos) to all Judeans both and Greeks, the ones residing in Ephesus. And pressing against, falling upon, and embracing fear and terror on (phobos epi) all of them. And was being made great the name of the Lord Iesou.” (Acts 19:17) Or from the NASB: “And this became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified.”
So that there is no confusion, here the verb is “ginomai – came to exist,” and gnostos, the basis of Gnostic, was used as an adjective to convey “what is known and what can be known.” Therefore, Sha’uwl was terrifying his audience by saying that those who rely on the testimony and ability of Jews will become demon-possessed and it was only by believing him and his Lord that one could be saved from this horrible fate. And mind you, the Disciples Shim’own, Ya’aqob, and Yahowchanan were Yahuwdym. So this entire fabrication was conceived to make this point. It is not unlike a Christian threatening damnation and hell fire on those who don’t submit.
While the point has been made, and it’s obvious that Paul was the false, self-proclaimed, and dishonest apostle who Yahowsha’ warned us against in His letter to the Ephesians, there is a bit more to this incredulous story. “So many of those who believed (pisteuo) were coming, agreeing, consenting, confessing, and professing allegiance (exomologeomai – giving thanks and offering praise) and declaring their deeds (praxis – actions, functions, and practices).” (Acts 19:18)
Sha’uwl is therefore saying that he and his pals won, that the people of Ephesus believed him, consenting, confessing, and professing their allegiance en mass to him, praising and thanking the self-proclaimed apostles in opposition to Yahowsha’s Disciples.
Now that Sha’uwl has denounced and marginalized Yahowsha’s Disciples, starting a precedent that would haunt the world for centuries to come, the paranoid preacher promoted the burning of books.
“So enough (de hikanos) of the ones who were busybodies and meddlers with their superfluous, impertinent, and trifling information and interference (ton ta periergos – of the one who overstepped their authority and were fixated on the details, neglecting what actually matters, the ones intrigued by conspiracy theories while overemphasizing the satanic influences).
Having received and experienced (prasso), having gathered together (symphero) documents consisting of scrolls and books (biblos), burning them (katakaio) in front of everyone (enopion pas). And they calculated, computing (kai sympsephizo) a monetary values, price, and worth (time) of them and (autos kai) discovered (heuriskomai) fifty-thousand pieces of silver money (arguion myrias pente).” (Acts 19:19) Too bad they didn’t burn his letters instead.
While I don’t suspect that it can be proven, especially since there are no pronouns associated with the verbs or nouns in the first or second sentence, making it difficult to ascertain who was doing what to whom, based upon Yahowsha’s letter to the Ephesians regarding Sha’uwl and Sha’uwl’s testimony to Luke as it is recorded here in Acts, the scrolls and books which were burned were most likely comprised of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms along with the eyewitness accounts of Yahowsha’s words and deeds as they were recorded in Mattanyah and Yahowchanan. They were in irreconcilable conflict with Paul’s message and they proved that he was lying. And with Paul now providing the sermons, scripture, sacrifice, and salvation, there was no room or need for anyone or anything else.
Burning books shortchanges knowledge and impoverishes us. It seldom if ever produces anything of value, especially money. And by putting this in a favorable light, the founder of the Christian religion legitimized a horrid practice. By way of example, rather than burning Qur’ans, I collected them, studied them, and then, in light of what I learned from the Islamic Sirah / Biography, Tarikh / History, and Hadith / Oral Reports, I was able to help many Muslims the world over reject their overtly Satanic religion.
And while Paul’s message is as incomprehensible and incomplete as ever, there are some things we can reasonably discern. For example, with periergos, which in the plural speaks of those who “overstep their authority, who are overly fixated on the details while neglecting what actually matters, the ones intrigued by conspiracy theories while overemphasizing satanic influences,” and thus from Paul’s perspective: “irrelevant and superfluous meddlers interfering” in his affairs while “fussing over other people’s business in a disrespectful and unnecessary way.” So Sha’uwl is taking one last swipe at Yahowsha’s Disciples, the men and message he went to Ephesus to refute and repress. Insecure men are not only intolerant of rivals, real or imagined, they are compelled to tear them down, trashing their reputations. Paul would never forgive them for not endorsing his message nor respecting his dominion over the Greek and Roman world.
In that this will become especially relevant in a moment, it is helpful to know that periergos is a compound of peri, which “expresses concern about an act while noting the point from which it proceeds,” and ergon, the Greek word for “works, speaking of actions, attempts, and undertakings. Paul uses ergon repeatedly to besmirch God’s Word, saying that no one can be saved by “ergon nomos – works of the Torah.” So he is trying to smear Yahowsha’s Disciples and Yahowah’s Towrah with the same brush.
Also relevant to our understanding of what and whom Paul wanted eliminated from consideration, this tormented troubadour deployed periergos a second time in his letter to Timothy, the only other occasion it appears in the Christian New Testament, and in that context, he defined it for us:
“But (de) at the same time (hama) also (kai), they learned (manthano – they came to realize) that these thoughtless and useless ones (argos – the inconsiderate and indifferent) were going around to the houses (perierchomai tas oikias), not alone (ou monon), but the thoughtless and useless ones (de argos) to the contrary (alla) were foolish gossips and babblers, disrespectful tattlers uttering vain and stupid things (phluaros – snitches rambling on with condescending hearsay) and also (kai) overstepping their bounds with their superfluous and trifling interference (periergos – busybodies and meddlers overdoing it, fixated on the details and neglecting what actually matters while intrigued by conspiracy theories and overemphasizing the occult) speaking that which (laleo ta) was not necessary or beneficial (me dei – not binding or proper).” (1Timothy 5:13)
While Paul was actually demeaning women in this portion of his letter to his lover, Timothy, he left no doubt as to the meaning of periergos. And considering the fact that he applied all of its decidedly negative connotations to Yahowsha’s Disciples, Sha’uwl indirectly revealed that they were trying to rein him in, to contest his appeal, to emphasize what really matters, while exposing the Satanic overtures found throughout Paul’s preaching.
Recognizing that what Paul was devastating for their business, the authors of the New American Standard Bible took great liberty with their rendering of the Greek. “And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.”
The etymology of periegos does not support the “practicing magic” rendering found in the NASB, nor in any other popular translation. But desperate to justify Paul’s decision to burn books, simply calling them “gossipy” or “meddlesome” was woefully insufficient. So it was Paul’s unjustifiable decision which led to the unjustifiable definition.
That is not to say that you won’t find “magic” buried in the definitions of periergos in the lexicons compiled by Christian publishers. It is there to make the founder of their religion appear sane. In affirmation of this, when the same word appears in the same author’s letter to Timothy, there is no reference to magic in any popular bible translation, including the NASB, KJV, NIV, or NLT.
Based upon this testimony, no informed or rational person would refute the fact that the individual Yahowsha’ referred to as a wolf in sheep’s clothing during His first public declaration is the same individual He has called a false apostle and deceitful liar in His final public statement. Remember, He said:
“I am aware of and recognize (oida) your (sou) works and undertakings (ergon – the things you have responded to and have engaged in), the difficult and exhausting encounters (kai ton kopos – the bothersome trouble burdens encountered), and your (sou) unswerving and enduring perseverance (kai ten hypomone – continual steadfastness and unwavering dependability, fortitude under circumstances where others would succumb) and that (kai oti) you cannot possibly accept, tolerate, support, nor endure (ou dynamai bastazo – you haven’t the will, desire, ability, or state of mind to take up with, walk along side of, lift up, or carry forward, advance, sustain, or promote) that which is incorrect, immoral, injurious, pernicious, destructive, or baneful (kakos – errant, wicked, wrong, evil, harmful, noisome, morally corrupt, diseased, culpable, mischievous, demonic, or hurtful having an ill effect, a bad nature which is not as it ought to be, and a mode of thinking, feeling or acting which is invalid).
And you have observed, examined, and objectively tested (kai peirazo – you have scrutinized, coming to learn the nature and character of others through enquiry, judging them and catching the mistakes of) those who claim and maintain (tous phasko – those who say, affirm, profess, declare, promise, or preach) of themselves (eautous) that they are (eimi) apostles (apostolos – special messengers who are prepared and sent forth) but are not (kai ouk eisin). And (kai) you have found them (heurisko autos – you have examined and scrutinized them, you have come to understand, discovering and learning through closely observing them that they are) false, deceitful, and deliberate liars (pseudes – are pretending to be something they are not, they are erroneous deceivers). And you have loyal steadfastness and enduring consistency (hupomone) and have endured (bastazo) through My name. You have worked hard (kopiao) and have not grown tired.” (Revelation 2:2-3)
So now that we have matched the crime with the perpetrator, the only unresolved issue is whether Paul had accomplices working with him in Ephesus so as to justify the plural deployment of apostolous. And that issue is resolved by Paul, himself, later in this same chapter of Acts, because he admits to returning to Ephesus with Gaius and Aristarchus to meet Timothy and Erastus in order to resolve a controversy. Incriminating himself further, Paul bragged, “I have fought with beasts at Ephesus,” in 1 Colossians 15:32.
And then in 1 Timothy 1:3, Paul told Timothy to remain in Ephesus, as an legitimate agent of his apostleship, to issue a command prohibiting the presentation of any doctrine different than his own. That letter begins so presumptuously and inaccurately, I thought I’d share it with you. It is particularly germane because Paul not only claims to be an apostle, he admits to trying to influence the Ephesians by his deputy, Timothy, making him the accomplice Yahowsha’ was referencing. It is a very short list of men who made these claims in this place at this time. And none were as famous, influential, argumentative, or deceitful as Sha’uwl and Timothy.
Once again, to make quick work of this, I’ll be citing the McReynolds English Interlinear due to its association with the Nestle-Aland, correcting it only when a name as it is presented in the text is altered or its rendering veers away from a word’s primary connotation.
“Paulos (Paulos), Apostle (Apostolos) of Christou Iesou (Christou Iesou) by mandate, command, and direct order (epitage – ordinance and authority) of God (theou), deliverer (soter – rescuer) of us (emon), and (kai) Christou Iesou (Christou Iesou), the hope of us (tes elpis emon), (1:1) to Timothy (Timotheo – meaning Putting a Price on God; from time – determining and establishing the price and theos – god), genuine and legitimate (gnesios – lawful, true, sincere, and loyal) child (teknon) in (en) faith (pistis – belief), grace (charis – the name of the Greek goddesses of charity, licentiousness, and merriment, known as the Gratia in Rome, and thus the Graces), mercy (eleos), peace (eirene) from (apo – speaking of separation, departing, and fleeing) god (theou), father (patros), and Christou Iesou (Christou Iesou), the Lord (tou kuriou – the master who subjugates and controls, possesses and lords over, and owner) of us (emon). (1:2)
Accordingly (kathos – in as much as) I pleaded (parakaleo – I begged) with you (se) to remain longer (prosmeno – to stay on and continue) in Ephesus (en Ephesos) [while I was] traveling (poreumai – proceeding) to Macedonia (eis Makedonin) in order that (hina) you might command (parangello – you may order and instruct) certain individuals (tisin – those considered important and everyone else) not to teach a different doctrine (me heterodidaskaleo – not to teach heresy)...” (1 Timothy 1:1-3)
Confessing to the crime Yahowsha’ told Yahowchanan had been committed, Paul admitted that Ephesus was the primary battleground in his war against Yahowah’s Torah (and its Covenant genealogies) and Yahowsha’s Disciples. Having fought for years against both, he would deploy every resource to keep his adversaries at bay.
Now seeking to undermine the Torah with its long genealogies whereby the beneficiaries of the Covenant are documented, Paul writes: “...nor (mede – neither) carefully consider (prosecho – turn to or give oneself over to) myths and fables (mythos – tales and legends) or (kai) endless genealogies (aperantos genealogia – unlimited family lineages), or whatever (hostis) worthless speculation and aimless arguments (ekzetesis – questioning and debate, imagined controversy, or idle disputes; from ek – from and zeteo – seeking, thinking, and reasoning) they maintain (parecho – they hold and cling to), instead of (mallon), as the alternative (e – it is better), the administration (oikonomia – the management, trusteeship, and stewardship of the household affairs and oversight) of god (theou) in the faith (ten en pistis – according to the belief system).” (1 Timothy 1:4)
Since we know from the historical accounts published by Luke in Acts that Paul was targeting Yahowsha’s Disciples, it’s their presentation of Yahowsha’s words and deeds, especially as they were explained and foretold in the Torah and Prophets, which represents the “myths, fables, endless genealogies, and worthless speculations” that Paul wanted Timothy to curtail and condemn. In their place, he wanted the alternative: “the administration of god in the faith.” He is thereby advocating his new religion, prioritizing it over following Yahowsha’s example, above Yahowah’s teaching, over the Disciples’ witness, above the Covenant, and over the Word of God. He was now “managing” God, just as Christians have done throughout the ages. In this regard, Paul was also demanding that “pistis – faith” in his “oikonomia theou – oversight and stewardship of the affairs of God” take precedence over “ekzetesis – seeking knowledge, thinking, and reasoning.”
It was a religious trifecta: God’s testimony was suppressed, religion trumped God, and evidence and reason were now foes. Is it any wonder Yahowah and Yahowsha’ expressly condemned this man and his message?
According to Paul, his flock can dispense with the Torah, because all you need is love and a clean heart. And sadly, to their own demise, Christians the world over believe him. “So (de) the end (to telos – the result and entirety) of the command (tes paragelia – of the proclamation, announcement, order, or instruction) is (estin – exists as) love (agape) from (ek) a clean (katharos) heart (kardias), (kai) a good conscience (agathos syneidesis – a moral awareness, worthy psychology, or useful sensitivity), and (kai) non-hypocritical and unquestioning faith (anypokritos pisteos – sincere and genuine belief; from a – not as a form of negation and hupokrinomai – accepting another’s statements based upon what they have decided for themselves)...,” (1 Timothy 1:5)
The Towrah never speaks of having a “clean heart,” so Paul’s claim that it is the “end and result of the command” cannot be true. The only place we find a reference to a “leb tahowr – clean heart” in the totality of God’s Word is in Psalm 51:12, where the entire Mizmowr / Song is devoted to asking Yahowah to cleanse and perfect every aspect of our nature of corruption. It speaks of “bones rejoicing” and “lips singing” but they didn’t make Paul’s list.
Since we can always learn something from the Architect of life, let’s read what Yahowah inspired Dowd / David to write. And while we are at it, see if you can condense these six stanzas of his song, much less the entirety of the Torah and Prophets into a trio of platitudes.
“Hide (cathar – conceal) Your face (paneh – Your appearance and presence) from (min) my sin (chet’ – guilt for having gone astray), and all of (wa kol) my corruption (‘awon – wrongdoing, distortions, and perversions) blot out and destroy (machah – wash off and wipe away so that they no longer exist and are no longer known). (11)
Create (bara’) for me to approach (la), O God (‘elohym), a clean (tahowr) heart (leb), with (wa) the Spirit (ruwach) established and renewing (kuwn chadash – preparing, supporting, restoring, and reaffirming) in my inner nature (ba qereb – in my midst). (12)
Please do not cast me away from (‘al shalak min la) Your presence (paneh), and therefore (wa) the Set-Apart Spirit (ruwach qodesh) do not take away (laqach) from me (min). (13)
I want to be restored (suwb la – please return me) to the joy (sasown – happiness) of Your salvation (yasha’), and so with (wa) the Spirit (ruwach) who is worthy of respect (nadybah – who is willing and generous) sustain and uphold me (camak). (14)
I will choose to consistently teach (lamad) the rebellious (pasha’ – those who transgress by stepping away) Your ways (derek – Your path through life) and (wa) sinners (chata’ – those who miss the way) will return to You (‘el shuwb – will change their mind, attitude, and direction regarding You, God). (15)
Deliver me (natsal – save me) from dying dumb (min damym – from being cut off, silenced, unable to respond, and destroyed (note: damym is from damam)), O God (‘elohym), the God (‘elohym) of my salvation (tashuwa’ah – of my deliverance). My tongue (lashown) will sing for joy (ranan) of Your righteous vindication (tsadaqah – of Your justice which exonerates and establishes upright).” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 51:11-16)
While we could linger here and immerse ourselves in the beauty and merit of these lyrics, alas, since our mission is to question Paul, let’s return to his summation of “tes paragelia – the command.” And in this regard, while we are encouraged to use our “nesamah – conscience” to distinguish between truth and lies, having “agathos syneidesis – a moral awareness” is going to preclude an informed and rational individual from embracing Pauline Doctrine.
The last of Paul’s triumphant trio of virtues is a bit of an odd duck. Since “faith” fills the void when we do not understand, how can it be “genuine?” Since “believing” is the result of not knowing, how can it be “sincere and non-hypocritical?” Therefore, it is only by searching anypokritos’ etymological roots that we can make any sense of this. As a compound of “a – do not” and “hupokrinomai – accept another’s statements based upon what they have decided for themselves,” we have Paul suggesting that the virtuous reject the testimony of those who opposed his mantra. And in this regard, “unquestioning faith” may be the most accurate rendering of Sha’uwl’s inaccurate and unsupported conclusion.
But I must ask: if the following is true, why was Paul the antithesis of what he claimed was virtuous? “So the end and result of the command and proclamation is love from a clean heart, a good conscience with moral awareness, worthy psychology, or useful sensitivity, and unquestioning faith,...” Why was Sha’uwl so argumentative, condemning everyone who didn’t capitulate, and why was he deliberately duplicitous, if all that matters is a loving and pure heart?
If that was the case, why wasn’t Yahowsha’ loving, even nice, when He lashed out so viciously at most all of those who opposed Him? By Paul’s standard, Yahowsha’ should be condemned.
Mind you, Yahowah does not agree with Sha’uwl either. According to God, those who ignore His seven annual invitations to meet with Him, either die with their souls ceasing to exist, or they are eternally separated from Him in She’owl.
If a clean heart, good conscience, and unquestioning faith were all that was required for salvation, Paul’s claim that some deviated and strayed based upon idle discussions would be impossible, because evidence and reason are irrelevant to feelings and faith.
“...of which (on tines), some deviated and erred (astocheo – abandoned these goals, wandering away and deviating from the proper aim). They were disabled through avoidance (ektrepomai – they strayed, turning aside, and were becoming dislocated) by (eis) meaningless conversations (mataiologia – idle and empty talk, senseless and vain words). (1:6)
Deciding and desirous of (thelo – proposing, wanting, and enjoying, even delighting in) being (einai – of presently and actively existing as) teachers of the Towrah (nomodidaskalos – a compound of nomos – an allotment for an inheritance (the Greek substitute for towrah throughout the Septuagint) and didaskalos – teacher), not ever giving though or understanding (me voeo – not considering, comprehending, or recognizing), neither (mete) what they say (a lego) nor (mete) concerned about (peri) what they state with such confidence (tinon diabebaioomai – what they insist upon, maintain, and proclaim so assuredly).” (1 Timothy 1:7)
No matter where one turns in Paul’s writings, the argument is most always the same. It is Paul’s teachings against the Towrah’s teachings. And yet Paul wants everyone to believe that the God of the Towrah chose him, a rude, arrogant, often enraged, murderous, perverted, anti-Semitic, always duplicitous, and usually disingenuous man to undermine and contradict everything He had said and promised. And let’s not mince words: Paul is accusing Yahowsha’s Disciples, and notably Shim’own and Yahowchanan in Ephesus, of “thoughtlessly teaching the Torah without considering or comprehending it.”
Since the God Sha’uwl claims authorized his mission also authored the Torah, how can that Torah only be good under the conditions he imposes on it? But before you answer that question, and before I attempt a translation of what appears to be a nearly incomprehensible string of words, let’s use the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition with McReynolds Interlinear as a guide: “We know but that good the law if some it lawfully might use (8) knowing this that to right law not is set to lawless but and unsubmitting irreverent and sinners unholy ones and desecrators, father killers, mother killers, men murderers, (9) sexually immoral ones, male bed partners, man trappers, liars, perjurers, and if some other in the being healthy teaching lies against (10) by the good message of the splendor of the fortunate God which was trusted I.” (11)
Now if I may, please note that what you are about to read is not only untrue, it is insane. But nonetheless, this is what Sha’uwl wrote to Timothy in support of his open war against Yahowah’s Towrah and those who observe it and teach it. When I consider the words Sha’uwl claimed were inspired by God, it is hard to fathom how someone this irrational, this jaundiced, this pathetically hostile to Yahowah’s testimony and teaching found one person to believe him, much less billions. He and his message are beyond reprehensible. This is repulsive...
“But (de) we have come to be somewhat aware (oida – we previously acknowledged, albeit vaguely, the possibility (representing the weakest form of knowing in Greek which was further weakened by the indicative mood and then put into the past by the perfect tense)) that (oti) good (kalos – moral and advantageous, sound and fit) the Towrah (o nomos – the nourishing allotment which provides an inheritance (nomos is universally used in the Greek Septuagint rendering of the Hebrew Towrah to translate towrah)) if conditionally (ean – if ever with the implication of a reduced probability) someone (tis – an individual) might deal with it (chraomai auto – might possibly treat it a certain way, perhaps currently and passively using it (present passive subjunctive)) correctly in accordance to the rules (nomimos – properly). (8)
Having realized this (oida touto – having become aware of this (perfect active participle)), that (oti – because) the Towrah (nomos) is not in place (keitai – is not appointed, set, or situated) for the righteous (dikaios – the upright or innocent) but for the Towrahless (de anomos – those without an allocation or an inheritance, for those without the Towrah), (kai) for the disobedient who are not subject to religious beliefs (anypotaktos asebes – the independent, uncontrollable, and insubordinate, who are not subdued, refusing to worship, lacking regard for religious practices), (kai) for unholy sinners (anosios – unreligious and not obedient outcasts who are mistaken), (kai) the who are accessible and open-minded (bebelos – the approachable and receptive who are irreligious and worldly willing to step up and walk across the threshold) who kill their own fathers (patroloas) and (kai) for murders their mothers (metroloas), those slaughtering mankind (androphonos – slaying humankind), (9)
...for the sexually immoral and perverted (pornos – fornicators and marketers), homosexual pedophiles and sodomites (arsenokoites), slave traders and kidnappers (andrapodistes), liars (pseustes), perjurers (epiorkos – who provide false witness), and also (kai) if (ei) some other, different, or alternative (ti eteron) thing be opposed to (antikeimai – thing hostile and adversarial to) the accurate (te hygiaino – the sound) doctrine (didaskalia – teaching and instruction) (10) in accord with (kata) the beneficial message (to euangelion – the healing messenger) of the brilliant and glorious (tes doxa – the great and mighty), the blessed and fortunate (makarios – the blissful and lucky) god (theou) which (o) was entrusted to me (pisteuo – have faith place in me (aorist passive indicative first person singular)), myself (ego – I (scribed in the nominative, thereby renaming the subject, which in this sentence was the lucky god)).” (1 Timothy 1:8-11)
While they have mistranslated nomos as “law,” and feature some antiquated phrasing, the King James Version proudly presents Sha’uwl’s ungodly rant just as the wannabe apostle intended: “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; (8) knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, (9) for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; (10) according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.” (11)
Collectively, Paul and Timothy “have become aware that good the Towrah,” but only “if as a condition someone deals with it in accordance with the rules.” But those rules aren’t found in the Towrah, because on Paul’s planet the Torah is for those without the Torah. Of course, that means that the Torah can’t be for anyone because the moment those without the Torah grasp hold of it, they would cease to be Torahless, thereby disqualifying themselves. Paul may have been schooled in religion, but not in logic.
Also according to Paul, as professed at the end of this rant, everything regarding God has been entrusted to him. So therefore, his “blissful god is fortunate, even blessed,” to have someone with Paul’s credentials conveying this healing message. But it does cause one to wonder why God bothered providing humankind with His Torah and Prophets, especially now that they have been replaced by Paul’s letters. I mean it has to be embarrassing for God to have failed so miserably, only to have to rely on this man to fix all of the problems He couldn’t resolve. And it’s either that, or someone was lying.
If you are prone to ignorant and irrational rants, Sha’uwl has reinforced the central plank of his argument against the Towrah by stating: “the Towrah is not in place, appointed, nor suited for the righteous, upright, or good.” It is a backhanded way of saying “the Torah cannot save” – which was the primary premise of his Galatians letter. But here he takes this point way beyond incapability to corruptibility. From Paul’s perspective, one he initially articulated in his letter to the Romans, the Towrah, rather than discouraging bad behavior, actually encourages it. And I suppose that reflects Satan’s view, because it most certainly isn’t God’s.
I do find Sha’uwl’s listing of Torah-prone behaviors, revealing. The Torah does not ask us to obey anything or anyone, and in fact there is no Hebrew word for obey, completely eliminating this possibility. And yet the first thing Sha’uwl says of those who prefer God’s instruction to his own is that they are “anypotaktos – disobedient.” That can only mean that Sha’uwl is demanding obedience, which is to say that he is now reflecting his Lord’s persona.
Claiming to free souls from having to be obedient to a set of arcane laws by way of faith in the Gospel of Grace, Pauline Christianity takes its devotees in the opposite direction. While Yahowah’s Towrah liberates, Paul’s religion calls for obedience, while denouncing those who do not readily comply.
Those who are anypotaktos reject religious beliefs and are averse to worshiping their gods, just as the Towrah implores. Therefore, once again we see Paul demeaning what Yahowah encourages. Their messages are the antithesis of one another. Similarly, while lords and their political institutions subordinate and subjugate in a quest to control, our Heavenly Father’s Covenant resolves these human tendencies.
Asebes, the second supposedly unsavory term on the Pauline list of despicable behaviors is defined as “an aversion to religious beliefs and practices.” And while Paul considers this to be “ungodly and irreverent,” even “wicked,” Yahowah is overtly opposed to all aspects of religion and views our willingness to walk away from such beliefs and practices as being Godly and reverent. Once again, God loves what Paul hates.
Not that it was Sha’uwl’s intent, but the Towrah is for “anosios – unholy sinners,” for “societal outcasts,” the “disobedient,” and “the unreligious.” Yahowah’s guidance was specifically designed to save sinners who by disobeying religious and political edits become societal outcasts.” It is these souls who are invited into His home.
Likewise, Yahowah’s Towrah Teaching only appeals to those who are “bebelos – open-minded and accessible.” Those interested in approaching God along the path that He has provided, those who are receptive to and respond to His invitations to meet with Him, are saved. Interesting in this regard is that bebelos literally speaks of “being willing to step up and walk across a threshold,” and therefore expresses a willingness to approach God by walking through Passover’s life-giving door and across the redemptive threshold of Un-Yeasted Bread which collectively prepare us for adoption into the Covenant family.
The fourth item on Paul’s list, “patroloas – father killers,” is a twist on the Second of the Three Statements Yahowah etched on the First of Two Tablets, where God told us that one of the reasons He is opposed to religion is that by twisting His testimony fathers corrupt their own children, and their children’s children, precluding their salvation. And then when we add “metroloas – mother murderers” to the list, we have an upheaval of the Second of Seven Instructions Yahowah etched on the Second of the Two Tablets whereby God encouraged us to value our Heavenly Father and Spiritual Mother. And by embracing the Towrah, we demonstrate our respect for God in this way.
The Third of Seven Instructions listed in the Towrah asks us not to make a habit of killing, and yet Sha’uwl would like his religious, and thus ignorant and irrational, audience to believe that the Towrah inspires killing. It is ironic, without the Towrah, all men and women die, their souls ceasing to exist. But with the Towrah, a way is provided to life eternal. It is the path Yahowsha’ followed; His very purpose.
Beyond discouraging incest, homosexuality, bestiality, and especially adultery, the Towrah has very little to say about human sexuality. It is Sha’uwl, not Yahowah, who is fixated on “pornos – fornication.” And while homosexual pedophilia made Paul’s list, it is interesting that he omitted adultery, the lone sexual act to make it onto Yahowah’s top ten list. And of course it is telling that Paul’s lone love was the boy to whom this letter was written.
Kidnapping and slave trading are forms of theft, and are thus opposed by God. In fact, for the victims of such crimes, He has a remedy – one known to those who read the central book of the Towrah and consider the purpose of the Yowbel. And even in the First Statement Yahowah etched in stone, God states that His purpose is to free us from slavery. Therefore, here again we find Yahowah and Sha’uwl at cross purposes.
The same thing can be said of “pseustes – liars” and “epiorkos – perjurers,” in that both behaviors are discouraged by the same Instruction: “You should not make a habit of being a false witness.” So there is no affinity between the Towrah and lying.
And then there was the broad net, the catchall phrase: “and also if some other, different, or alternative thing be opposed to the accurate doctrine in accordance with the beneficial message...entrusted to me.” Anything in opposition to Pauline Doctrine was thereby defined as a crime akin to murder. And that is perhaps why the Roman Catholic Church for better part of a thousand years exterminated everyone who wouldn’t capitulate.
The idea that God would cease to speak for Himself through His Towrah and Prophets, would repudiate that testimony, would abdicate the thing He was best at doing, to hand the single most important job in the universe to a stunningly flawed, admittedly insane and demon-possessed individual who was an abject failure at rational communication, is ludicrous. And here, Paul wasn’t just claiming the world apart from Yisra’el for himself, he was claiming that “the beneficial message...of god was entrusted to him.” So why did Yahowah bother with Yahowsha’? Why did Yahowsha’ select and train twelve Disciples? Why was Yahowsha’s and Paul’s message so different? How can Paul’s god be trusted if his previous attempt to deal with humankind was a complete failure?
This statement from Paul to Timothy highlights the place that these wannabe apostles differed most from Yahowah and Yahowsha’. The humans positioned God’s Torah as a set of laws which condemned mankind. God, however, presents His Towrah as a set of instructions which guide His children toward a relationship with Him so that by way of its promises, He can save His children, empower, and enrich them. Since it is His Towrah, and since Yahowah and Yahowsha’ are of like mind on its merit and purpose, who do you suppose is right?
It is God’s position that His Towrah guides individuals who are seriously flawed, directing them to the provisions He has provided to make His Covenant children righteous. Therefore, His Towrah is the only book for righteous individuals, because it was written expressly written to teach imperfect men and women how to become perfect, and thus vindicated and innocent. But Sha’uwl wants to associate the Towrah, not with divine righteousness, but instead with the worst of human behavior.
Since God says that there is one Towah for everyone, that its purpose is to make men righteous, that it is guidance to be followed not laws to be obeyed, that it makes us Godly by curing us of our sin, and that it clearly instructs us not to murder, methinks Paul is completely wrong. But nonetheless, since Paul despised those who were Torah observant, he continued to equate the Torah with the very things it opposed.
Those trying to exonerate Paul, might protest, saying that the Torah isn’t needed by righteous men because they are already perfect, and that Paul was actually suggesting instead that it was designed for faulty individuals. But such justifications are absurd. First, there is no mention of “righteous men.” Paul wrote “to righteousness the Torah is not appointed,” which is to say that, according to Paul, it isn’t the Torah’s purpose to perfect us.
Second, since the only means to righteousness is by observing the Torah’s instructions, the Torah is the one and only book every righteous man and woman has in common. Third, while the Torah can save a disobedient sinner, even a murderer, fornicator, homosexual, and lying slave trader, if these behaviors define an individual, as they are presented here, then such people would be adverse to the Torah because it is adverse to these behaviors.
Fourth, this ridiculous justification requires us to ignore everything Paul has written up to this point and to believe that the Torah he has been assailing is actually the means to salvation when in fact he had made the exact opposite claim. And fifth, Paul just told Timothy that “accurate instruction and beneficial doctrine is opposed to it,” with “it” representing the “Towrah.”
Paul is so consistently arrogant, disingenuous, and duplicitous, I am seldom surprised by anything he says. But on occasion, something he writes is so evil it takes my breath away. Such is the case with his concluding line, where he infers that God is somehow “blessed and happier, blissful, fortunate, and lucky” to have him on the job. Sha’uwl not only claims that his convoluted and contradictory diatribe is “hygiaino – accurate,” even that he was a “euangelion – good, healing, and beneficial messenger,” but that God’s purpose was in Paul’s voice: “pisteuo ego – entrusted to me.” The God Paul claimed was impotent and could not save anyone was now moot. Paul would do the talking and saving from now on.
Sha’uwl no doubt realized that his Lord, especially with the godlike mystique he invented for him, was pleased. As a result, he would be less tormented by his goad. And also he no doubt believed that his new and improved message would be much more popular than his adversary’s, ultimately making Paul the most influential individual in human history.
But I’ve had enough of him. So now that I’ve have demonstrated that Paul and Timothy were the deceitful apostles immortalized in Revelation, let’s turn the page and press on. We still have a lot of nasty ground to cover.
Since we have not yet dealt with the fourth chapter of Galatians, and Paul’s “Two Covenant Theory,” had we not considered Paul’s testimony in Acts and First Timothy, you might have been left wondering what it was about this man that caused Yahowah and Yahowsha’ to be so adverse to him. After all, he was just one guy sharing his opinion. But there was there more to Paul than this.
Returning to the portion of the book of Acts that we considered briefly in the first chapter, we discover that Paul deliberately put a pagan proverb into his god’s mouth in the third of his three depictions of his “lightning” conversion experience. In Acts 26:14, with Sha’uwl defending himself before King Agrippa, we read:
“And everyone (te pas) of us (emon) having fallen down (katapipto – having descended from one level to another, lower one) to the earth (eis ten ge), I heard (akouo – I paid attention, listening, comprehending, and obeying) a voice (phone – a sound, crying out) saying to me (lego pros ego – speaking according to me) in the (te) Hebrew (Hebrais) language (dialektos), ‘Sha’uwl, Sha’uwl (Saoul, Saoul – a transliteration of the Hebrew name, Sha’uwl, meaning “Question Him,” a designation synonymous with She’owl – the pit of the dead), why (tis) are you actually pursuing me (dioko me – are you following me, really striving with such intense effort to reach me, hastening and zealously running toward me)? It’s hard (skleros – it’s demanding and difficult, even rough, harsh, violent, and cruel, especially offensive and intolerable) for you (soi) to resist (laktizo – to kick, to strike with the heel) against (pros) the goad (kentron – a pointed sharp stick used to prick and prod and thus control animals featuring the stinger of a deadly scorpion with the power to ruin and kill, making resistance vain or perilous).” (Acts 26:14)
While it is absurd to suggest that Yahowsha’ would choose to say “it’s difficult for you to kick against or resist a goad stinger” on this occasion, if those who are prone to give credence to Paul’s claim of a godly encounter do a little homework, they will discover that this citation was actually derived from pagan literature. You’ll find the phrase cited on line 790 of Euripides’s play, The Bacchae, where “kicking against the goad” was used to describe the consequence of trying to resist Bacchus or Dionysus (the Roman and Greek god who was considered the son of the sun). Rebelling against popular religious beliefs is difficult because the prevailing religious establishment is typically hostile to a person’s refusal to worship their god or gods. This insight from Euripides’, therefore, became a common Greek idiom.
The Bacchae was named after Bacchus’ maenads—or female followers. Euripides’ story pictures the pagan god intoxicating those who believe him. In that the play was written centuries after the Towrah, the faithful are shown striking rocks in Mosaic fashion with Dionysus’ staff, such that water and wine gushed forth from the earth. Honey trickles down from this thyrsus, just as manna came down from heaven. In Euripides’ play, the maenads had King Pentheus’ cousin betray him, luring the king into the woods so they could murder him, literally tearing him apart, after he banned the worship of Dionysus. It was all reminiscent of the Babylonian Tammuz, for whom Christmas, Lent, Easter, Sunday Worship, and the Christian cross first originated.
So, we are left with three less-than-ideal choices: 1) Yahowsha’ revealed Himself to Sha’uwl in the same way He witnessed Satan falling from heaven and then cited a pagan proverb because He couldn’t think of anything better to say. 2) Satan revealed himself to Sha’uwl in his natural form and quoted a pagan proverb from Dionysius because there was no better counterfeit upon which to base Pauline Doctrine or the religion of Christianity. 3) Paul was struck by lightning and made up the rest of the story, citing the line from The Bacchae because he thought that King Agrippa would be impressed by his grasp of Greek and Roman literature. Paul may also have hoped that King Agrippa would equate the Pauline god with Dionysius or Bacchus, with whom he would have been familiar.
Dionysius (known as Bacchus in Roman mythology, Osiris in Egypt, and Tammuz in Babylon) was chosen by Sha’uwl (or Satan) as a model for his god, because the Son of the Sun in pagan literature provided the closest Greek and Roman counterfeit of Yahowsha’. As the most recent of the twelve Olympian gods, Dionysius represented change: a new and different kind relationship with the gods. And unlike the vengeful gods of old, Dionysius was fun, even forgiving—foreshadowing the Christian distinction between Yahowah and Yahowsha’. Very few, if any, religions have created their gods out of whole cloth, but have instead woven the strands of earlier tapestries into their own. The names and locals tend to change, but not much else.
Dionysius was considered an “epiphany – the manifestation of god who mysteriously arrives on the scene to occasionally interact with humankind.” His appearance was said to illuminate his followers and change the meaning and essential nature of what had come before—in perfect harmony with Pauline Doctrine. Even today, January 6th is observed as the Epiphany, commemorating the Magi, or Gentile recognition of god’s appearance in keeping with the Dionysian Mysteries. And considering Paul’s affinity for being both a divine messenger to be heeded and a divine example to be emulated, Dionysus’ constant companion was Hermes—the messenger of the gods.
Just as blood is represented by wine in the Torah, and therefore became associated with Yahowsha’s fulfillment of Passover, Dionysius was the god of wine. Just as Yahowsha’ had a divine father (Yahowah) and a mortal virgin mother (Mary), Dionysius had a divine father (Zeus (the father of the gods)) and a mortal virgin mother (Semele). Just as Yahowsha’s Heavenly Father told Yowceph to carry the newborn child to Egypt, as soon as Dionysus was born, Zeus carried him away to Egypt to protect him from the envy of rival gods. And up to this point, these traits associated with Dionysus came long after they were predicted of Yahowsha’ in Yahowah’s Towrah.
But now as we press forward, deeper into the mythology, we find that the following aspects of the pagan god’s existence foreshadowed their adaptation into Christianity. By his death and resurrection, Dionysius was responsible for liberating his believers and thereby providing the faithful with eternal salvation, in complete harmony with being saved by way of faith in Paul’s Gospel. So Dionysius was not only killed and then resurrected each spring; his holy week mirrors the week-long Christian observance of Easter. The annual resurrection of Dionysius, on the Sunday closest to the Vernal Equinox, celebrated the promise of resurrection from the dead. As such, Dionysius, and thus Bacchus, was known as the “Eleutherios – Liberator,” mirroring the central thrust of Paul’s letters where “believers were freed from being slaves to the Law.” The very mission of Dionysus was to bring an end to burdens and worries. According to Greek mythology, Dionysus was the first to open communications between the living and the dead, paving the way for prayers to Mary and the Christian saints. Even the Roman Catholic Eucharist myth of transubstantiation, where priests allegedly turn wine into blood, was first practiced in the Dionysian religion.
Dionysus was a hermaphrodite, blurring the lines between male and female, and thus contributed to the corruption of Yahowah’s Covenant symbols of father and mother, husband and wife. And he was sexually confused, as was Sha’uwl.
Known as the god who inspired religious rituals, Dionysius’ holy week was celebrated over the course of five days each Spring. And it was the Dionysia which set the stage for the Christian replacement of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, with Palm Sunday (“Passion Sunday”), Maundy Thursday (“institution of Communion”), Good Friday (“death and burial of Jesus Christ”), Holy Saturday (where “Jesus rested in the grave”), and Easter Sunday occurring during the last week of the Babylonian festival of Lent.
Just as the Christian “Jesus Christ” is bereft of his Hebrew heritage, Dionysus was considered an alien among the gods—distanced from his Olympian birth. And consistent with the Lord Ba’al manifestation of Satan, the bull, satyrs, and the serpent became the enduring symbols of the Dionysian religion. He is often shown as a mighty hunter, wearing leopard skin, and standing in a chariot drawn by black panthers—all of which is symbolic of Nimrod, the father of the Babylonian religion. The thyrsus staff he is often depicted holding is distinguished by the adornment of a large pinecone—a phallic symbol representing “coming forth from the seed,” and thereby foreshadowing Paul’s animosity to circumcision and his devotion to the seed of Abraham. By way of this “seed,” the uninitiated were miraculously purified and enabled to dwell with the gods so long as they believed the words of their messengers.
Especially troubling, considering Sha’uwl’s affinity for the Greek Charis and Roman Gratia, Dionysus was their father. They were the “love children” of his affair with Aphrodite—the goddess of love.
Two-hundred and fifty years before Sha’uwl associated Dionysus’ testimony with his conversion experience, Greeks living in what is now southern Italy, as born-again maenads, began celebrating the Bacchanalia, a drunken festival replete with grotesque debaucheries in which the faithful rebelled against all forms of authority, foreshadowing the Catholic celebration of Mardi Gras.
And troubling as all of this is to the credibility of the Christian religion, there is more to the Dionysus line than first meets the eye. Satan used it to warn Sha’uwl that he would not be able to rebel against him. The Adversary had a way of controlling the man. Paul’s ego would be his vulnerability, and demon-possession would be the implement. This confession is found in 2 Corinthians 12, the ego-laden demonic encounter we’ve considered previously.
By way of review, Paulos wrote: “But when Kephas came to Antioch, I was opposed to and against his presence. I stood in hostile opposition because he was convicted and condemned, even ignorant. (2:11)
Because, before a certain individual came from Ya’aqob, he was eating together with the different races, but when he came, he was withdrawing and was separating himself, out of fear of the circumcised. (2:12)
So they were hypocritical, and also the remaining Yahuwdym. As a result even Barnabas was led away and astray with them in the duplicitous hypocrisy.” (Galatians 2:13)
Beyond what Yahowsha’ and Shim’own had to say about Sha’uwl and his letters, there are additional ways to ascertain the merits of his epistles. One way would be to examine the writing quality. For that, I present Exhibit A: Galatians 2:14. But before we ponder this incomprehensible verse, please note that Papyrus 46, dated to as early as 85 CE, and no later than 125 CE, omits “kai ouchi zao Ioudaikos,” from the end of this passage. Translated, the extra-textual phrase means “and do not live Yahuwdym.”
Therefore, with the scribal additions in brackets, along with the omitted words, Sha’uwl evidently recited: “Nevertheless (alla – by contrast and to the contrary), when (hote) I saw (horao – perceived as a result of seeing with my own eyes) that (hoti – because) they were not walking through life rightly (ou orthopodeo – they were not behaving as they should; literally straight or upright foot) with (pros) the (o) truth (aletheia – that which is in accord with reality) of the healing messenger and beneficial message (euangelion), I said (eipon) to (to) Kephas (Kephas – a transliteration of the Aramaic word for Rock) in front of (emprosthen) all (pas): ‘If (ei) you (sy) Yahuwdym (Ioudaios – an inaccurate transliteration of the Hebrew Yahuwdym, meaning Related to Yah, commonly known today as Jews) actively being (hyparcho – existing as (present active)) ethnic (ethnikos – races or ethnicities; a derivation of ethnos – ethnicity; while only used this once as an adverb, as a noun Paul uses it to infer Gentile) [and (kai) do not (ouchi) live (zao) Yahuwdym (Ioudaikos)], how (pos – in what way) the ethnicities (ta ethnos – people from different races and places) you compel and force (anagkazo – you necessitate by compulsion) (being/acting) Yahuwdym (Ioudaizein – Paul concocted a Greek verb out of the Hebrew proper noun, Yahuwdym – Related to Yah (verb present active infinitive))?’” (Galatians 2:14)
In the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition with McReynolds English Interlinear, we find this same amalgamation of words, albeit inclusive of the extraneous clause, rendered: “But when I saw that not they walk straight to the truth of the good message, I said to the Cephas in front of all if you Judean existing nationally and not Judaically live how the nations you compel to judaize?” This was written so poorly, these scholars had to make up two words, “Judaically” and “judaize,” in their attempt to “translate” Paul.
If we are to believe Paul when he protests that faith alone saves, then a person’s walk through life should be irrelevant. And who appointed Paul judge – the one who determines who is right and who is wrong? Moreover, what was the basis of his verdict?
While poorly worded, the opening clause is at least comprehensible: “Nevertheless, by contrast, when I perceived that they were not walking rightly, behaving as they should, with the truth of the beneficial message,....” Sha’uwl claimed in his letter to Timothy that his “euangelion – beneficial message” had been entrusted exclusively to him, and to him alone, by God, so anyone who didn’t capitulate regarding his mandate and agree with his doctrine was behaving improperly. And since both claims were in conflict with Yahowsha’ and the Towrah, Shim’own’s actions, as His Disciple, would have consistently been inconsistent with the “truth” according to Sha’uwl. Further, the reason Sha’uwl didn’t explain why he believed “the Rock” was wrong, is that according to God, Shim’own was probably right.
For the record, Shim’own would have been in violation of Rabbinical Law for sharing a meal with Gentiles, and in compliance with the Talmud when he left. And while that is interesting, it is also irrelevant because the Disciples did not adhere to rabbinical teaching. Since nothing else was mentioned, any other conclusion would be speculation. The menu wasn’t described. All that we know is that the participants were mixed with regard to their ethnicity.
The second clause, especially without the scribal addition, makes no sense: “I said to Kephas in front of all: ‘If you Yahuwdym actively being ethnic, how the ethnicities you compel and force (being/acting) Yahuwdym?’” The first problem is that, as an adverb, “ethnikos – ethnic” is modifying the verb, “hyparcho – existing as,” making it “existing ethnically” I suppose. And since Sha’uwl typically uses ethnos to address races other than Yahuwdym, by extrapolation he may be saying that the Disciples were “acting like Gentiles.” But that notion is torn asunder by the realization that Paulos preferred the Gentile ways to those of his brethren, which would have received an accommodation from Paul, not condemnation. And from a logical perspective, the Disciples could not have been “Judaizers” if they were adapting to the Gentile customs.
The second issue is that Ioudaizein isn’t a word. It begins by attempting to transliterate the plural of Yahuwdah which is Yahuwdym, but then ends in an attempt to make the proper noun a verb. So if we were to play along, Ioudaizein in the modern vernacular it would convey “being or acting Jewish.” But then Sha’uwl’s argument falls apart, because he is opposed to what he is proposing. Moreover, neither Yahowah, Yahowsha’, the Towrah, nor the Disciples ask Yahuwdym to convert Gowym. While we are offered the same advice and guidance, and the same opportunity and benefits, Gowym do not become Yahuwdym.
Third, with God, freewill is sacrosanct, and thus compulsion is abhorrent to Yahowah, as is any form of oppression or submission. Therefore, this is pointless, and likely errant.
Further, Sha’uwl has it all wrong. God never asks Gowym to act like Yahuwdym, but instead asks Yahuwdym not to act like Gowym. And that is because of the Babylonian influence on Gentile nations. Their religions shaped the world as we know it, a world that Yahowah wants us to disassociate ourselves from. Therefore, Yahowah does not want Yahuwdym to adopt the cultures and traditions of the Gentile nations, ostensibly because they are pagan. But by the same token, Yahowsha’ made it clear that the societal customs and traditions of religious Jews were errant, hypocritical, and even Satanic.
While the Talmud, Oral Law, and Rabbinical traditions are Jewish customs, and unworthy of our attention, the Torah isn’t comprised of Jewish law or Jewish traditions. The Torah is replete with Yahowah’s instructions for living in this world and in addition to guidance to the next. So since Jewish customs and traditions are inconsistent with the truth, at least according to God, Sha’uwl, by inferring that Shim’own as a Jew wanted to force people to submit to Jewish traditions, committed one of the greatest crimes ever perpetrated on humanity.
Regarding this highly charged and nearly incomprehensible statement, the KJV elected to write: “But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?”
Trying to make sense of this, more than a thousand years earlier, Jerome crafted the following in his Latin Vulgate for his pope: “But when I had seen that they were not walking correctly, by the truth of the evangelii, I said to Cephas in front of everyone: “If you, while you are a Jew, are living like the Gentiles and not the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to keep the customs of the Iudaizare?”
While the NLT reads more smoothly, it is a flight of fancy: “When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, "Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions?”
As a result of this statement, and others Sha’uwl will make like it, Christians have been beguiled into believing that being Jewish, being Torah observant, and the religion of Judaism are synonymous. That is what Sha’uwl meant to convey with his use of “Ioudaizein – Judaizers.” But while the race and the religion often share a nexus, most Jews today are not religious. Further, while there are many Jews who are Torah observant, religious Jews, those practicing Judaism, universally reject the Torah because they favor their Talmud, not unlike Christians prioritizing their New Testament over the “Old Testament.” When they differ, which is often, those who are religious believe and apply the human instructions.
The reason this crime has been so catastrophic is that now, as a result of the mythical “Judaizers,” when someone who is actually Torah observant teaches others what God revealed, Yahowah’s instructions and invitations are summarily dismissed by Gentiles because they are perceived to be Jewish. They reject Yahowah’s Invitation to attend Passover for racial and religious reasons, even though it represents the lone doorway to life, even though Yahowsha’ observed it. Similarly, they reject Yahowah’s encouragement to make the Shabat a special part of our relationship Him, discarding it because they wrongly think that it is “Jewish,” preferring instead to embrace the Gentile religious custom of Sunday worship. The “Old Covenant” in the Christian religion was replaced by a “New Covenant” because Paul led them to believe that the former was for the Jews and the latter was for Gentiles. And as a result, Christians have universally rejected Yahowah’s one and only Covenant, precluding them from forming a relationship with God and forestalling any opportunity for their salvation.
In this regard, Yahowsha’, not Sha’uwl, provided a compelling example of how the Pharisees, the ultra-religious Jews who were devoted to their traditions and Oral Law, tried to impose their ill-conceived rules on Yahowah’s children.
“He said to them (kai lego autos), ‘You have a finely-crafted way to reject and invalidate (kalos atheteo – you have finely tuned the means to nullify and dispute the validity of) the instruction (entole – precept and prescription) of (tou) Yahowah (ΘΥ) in order (hina) to establish (histamai – to propose, maintain, and uphold) your (sy) tradition (paradosis – way and narrative that has been handed down over time, given to one person after another). (9)
For (gar) Moseh (Mouses) revealed (eipon), “Recognize and respect (timao – highly value, honor, and revere) your Father (ton ΠΡΑ sou) and (kai) your Mother (ten MTA sou),” and also (kai), “The one maligning (o kakologeo – the one reviling, cursing, and speaking badly about using unjustified and abusive language so as to denounce and insult) the Heavenly Father (ΠΡΑ) or (e) Spiritual Mother (MTA) is the plague of death (thanatos – in the separation of the soul from the body as a result of this pandemic disease) let him die, terminating his existence (teluuueutao – let this be the end of his life).”’” (Mark 7:9-10)
Yahowsha’ recognized and stated that Rabbinical Law was inconsistent with the Torah, and thus destructive. Beyond this, the realization that Father and Mother were presented by Mattanyah using Divine Placeholders affirms that they represent our Heavenly Father and our Spiritual Mother. After all, the one unforgivable sin in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms is to insult and demean Yahowah, our Heavenly Father, and the one unforgivable sin presented in the eyewitness accounts is to insult and demean the Set-Apart Spirit, our Spiritual Mother. Without Her, we cannot become God’s Covenant children. That is what Yahowsha’ is inferring here.
In this regard, kokologeo is especially telling. Comprised of kakos and logos, it speaks of “those whose words convey a bad attitude because they view things from the wrong perspective, as their mode of thinking is errant, and thus their speech is troublesome, injurious, pernicious, and destructive.”
The Ma’aseyah’s teaching in opposition to Rabbinical traditions continued with:
“‘But (de – by contrast), you, yourselves, say (umeis lego – you attest and imply), “If (ean – conditionally) a man (anthropos – an individual) may tell, speaking (eiphe – may say) to the father or to the mother (to patri e te metri), ‘Korban (korban – a Hebrew word designating a gift offering used to approach and come near God),’ which (o) is (estin) a gift (doron – an offering) that (o) conditionally (ean) you might receive as a provision and assistance (opheleo – you may benefit) from Me (ek ego), (11) therefore, you no longer permit (ouketi aphiemi – accordingly, then, you negate any additional credit or opportunity) for him (auton) to perform or provide (poieo) for the father or for the mother (to patri e te metri), (12) invalidating the authority of (akyroo – nullifying and voiding) the Word (Logos) of Yahowah (tou ΘΥ) through your traditions (te paradosis umon – by your teachings and instructions) which you have handed down as if it were an authorized (e paradidomi – that you have granted, bestowed, supplied, and controlled in an act of betrayal). And (kai) many (polys) very similar (paromoios) such things (toioutos) you do (poieomai).’” (Mark 7:11-13)
The Rabbis had devised a “wealth preservation” scheme which, according to their oral law, allowed religious Jews to shirk their responsibilities, in direct defiance of the Spirit of the Towrah teaching. Corrupting and perverting the Towrah has become a game to religious Jews, as it has to Sha’uwl. And that is why Yahowah said through the prophet, Howsha’: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being ministers for Me; because you have forgotten the Towrah of your God, I also will forget your children.” (Howsha’ / He Saves / Hosea 4:6) Rather than nailing Martin Luther’s thesis against indulgences on the doors of a Catholic cathedral, affixing Yahowah’s testimony to the door of every Christian church might actually open some eyes.
At this point, Sha’uwl contradicts himself. The “Jewish activities” and religion he has been condemning, he says makes Jews superior to heathen Gentile outcasts, in spite of the fact that he has catered to their sensibilities. While it proves that Paul cannot be trusted, there was a reason for his duplicity. Within the context of an irrational argument like this one, a disingenuous individual can feign allegiance and sympathy toward Jews, for example, thereby forestalling the charge of being an anti-Semite, while not risking the loss of his devotees because it would never dawn on them to question him.
“We (emeis) Yahuwdym (Ioudaios – Judeans) by nature (physis – in origin and character) and (kai) not (ou) from (ek) sinful (hamartolos – social outcasts avoiding the way and thus heathen) races (ethnos – ethnicities).” (Galatians 2:15) Hamartolos was commonly used by the Pharisees to describe and demean a “Jew who was not religious and who did not adhere to rabbinical rules and traditions.” From the perspective of a rabbi, it is akin to using the “N” word.
This “verse” was comprised of a pronoun (ego), two nouns (physis and ethnos), two adjectives (Ioudaios and amartolos), a conjunction (kai), a negative particle (ou), and a preposition (ek), all manner of speech except a verb. It was therefore rendered as follows by the Nestle-Aland’s Interlinear: “We in nature Judeans and not from nations sinners...”
Yahowah doesn’t want His children to emulate the pagan ways of the Gentile nations, and says so regularly in the Torah and Prophets. But He is equally condemning when it comes to the religious and political conduct of Yisra’elites. Therefore, being “Yahuwdym by nature” does not exclude them from being sinful. In other words, Paul’s comments continue to conflict with God’s testimony.
Also, by stating this in conjunction with his concocted “Ioudaizein – acting Jewish / Judaizer” commentary, Sha’uwl seems to be suggesting that it is appropriate to follow Jewish traditions, and it’s not, at least it isn’t according to Yahowah and Yahowsha’. Even worse, in the next chapter, we find Sha’uwl awkwardly and immediately transitioning to a denunciation of the Towrah, claiming that it cannot save, putting his preamble in conflict with his conclusion.
While the Greek text was grammatically inadequate, 17th-century English bible translators stood ready to make the founder of their religion appear literate. The KJV published: “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,” Jerome in his LV tried: “By nature, we are Iudæi, and not of the Gentibus, sinners.” Even the NLT played along: “‘You and I are Jews by birth, not “sinners” like the Gentiles.’”
Paul just used a dreadful pejorative to demean those he was asking to believe him and yet it didn’t faze them. But why should we be surprised? He told them that he was insane and demon-possessed, and that didn’t cause them to question him either.