Whom Do You Trust?
At long last the Galatians epistle has moved beyond Paul. So let the Great Debate begin. Should we believe his “Gospel of Grace” or should we trust Yahowah’s Torah?
Since the last thing Sha’uwl scribed was a sentence fragment, and since his next sentence has an unspecified subject, let’s transition into the debate by restating the previous verse. “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)
Then, in the order of their appearance, and rendered as correctly and completely as his words allow, this is what comes next...
“[And now (de – but then by contrast, not extant in the oldest manuscripts)] having come to realize without investigation or evidence (oida – having intuitively appreciated without doing any research, having perceived and become acquainted, having acknowledged without observation (deployed as the weakest form of knowing)) that (hoti – because) by no means whatsoever (ou – not at all and never) is made right, is vindicated, or made righteous (dikaioo – is justified, acquitted, put right, or shown to be in compliance, is judged innocent, removed from guilt, or set free, is in the right relationship) man (anthropos – a human being) out of (ek – by means of) tasks and activities associated with (ergon – works someone undertakes, engages in, or acts upon, anything that is done, including actions or accomplishments associated with) the Towrah (nomou – being nourished by that which is bestowed to become heirs, precepts which were apportioned, established, and received as a means to be proper and approved, and prescriptions for an inheritance; from nemo – that which is provided, assigned, and distributed to heirs to nourish them) if (ean – a marker of a condition with the implication of a reduced probability) not (me) by (dia – through) belief and faith in (pistis – originally meant trust but evolved to faith or belief as a result of Sha’uwl’s usage in these letters) Iesou (ΙΗΝ – a placeholder for Yahowsha’) Christou (XPN – a placeholder for Ma’aseyah),....” (Galatians 2:16)
The realization that we cannot work for our salvation, and that no one can earn a trip to heaven, is firmly established throughout the Towrah. Salvation is the byproduct of the Covenant and is God’s merciful gift to His children. But also explicit in the Towrah is the realization that salvation only comes to those who, having closely and carefully observed Yahowah’s “Towrah – Guidance,” have come to know, understand, and accept the terms and conditions of Covenant, and to those who have answered Yahowah’s Invitations to Meet, thereby walking to God along the path that He has provided. The Towrah alone provides the Divine Instructions required to be adopted into our Heavenly Father’s family and to be saved by Him. Exposing this reality was the entire purpose of Yahowsha’s life.
Said another way, the Towrah, its God, Covenant, and Invitations to Meet, saved Yahowah’s children long before Yahowsha’ walked into Yaruwshalaim on Passover to fulfill its promises. Yahowah etched this truth in stone. And apart from His promises, apart from accepting His Covenant’s terms and answering His Towrah’s Invitations, Yahowsha’s life becomes irrelevant. Believing in Him won’t do anyone any good if they don’t come to know who He is, what He did, when He did it, why He did it, and then follow His example. And none of these things can be know or understood apart from Yahowah’s “Towrah – Teaching.”
Yahowsha’ was not only Towrah observant, He was the living embodiment of the Word of Yahowah, and thus He was and is the corporeal manifestation of the Towrah. If you know the Towrah, you know Him. If you don’t understand the Towrah, there is no possible way to understand Him or benefit from Him.
Paul is therefore making a distinction where none exists, and thereby attempting to make “belief” in Iesou Christou the solution to his proposition that the Towrah cannot save. But the Towrah not only can save, and is God’s lone means to save, it is only by responding to the Towrah’s Guidance that we benefit from what Yahowsha’ has done.
Since Sha’uwl’s proposition that the Towrah cannot save is untrue, it follows that his remedy, “if not by belief and faith in Iesou Christou,” is without merit. However, even if his preamble was accurate, and it is not, his conditional proposal is invalid on its own. Our belief in Iesou Christou is beside the point. What matters is that the Towrah is true, reliable, and dependable. Yahowsha’ affirmed this many times. Therefore, Yahowsha’s reliance on the Towrah is important, as was His insistence that it is truthful and dependable, because without this He would not have followed it nor fulfilled it.
Taking this one step further, Yahowsha’, a name which means “Yahowah Saves,” is not an independent being. He is a diminished corporeal manifestation of Yahowah, set apart from Yahowah. This makes Yahowah and Yahowsha’ one in and the same, identical in every way except intensity, or magnitude if you prefer. And since Yahowah authored the Towrah, so did Yahowsha’. It then follows that if His Towrah cannot save, then nor can He. And this brings us back to the realization that Sha’uwl created a distinction where none actually exists. But by doing so, by trying to resolve a problem which does not exist by way of faith in a false assertion, Sha’uwl negated Yahowsha’s life, His example, His testimony, His nature, His purpose, and His sacrifice. It is all for naught.
To be saved, we have to walk to Yahowah the way He has provided, along the path Yahowsha’ did, which begins with the life-giving doorway labeled Passover, across the cleaning threshold called Unleavened Bread, and into the loving the loving arms of God on Bikuwrym, where the Covenant’s children are born anew into the foremost family. All of this then requires us to know, to understand, to act and rely upon the Seven Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with Yahowah – a path which is presented exclusively in the Towrah. This is not just the Way to God; it is the only Way. So therefore, Paul’s proposition that the Towrah cannot save is in direct opposition to Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s testimony and example.
If what Sha’uwl wrote was true, Adam and Chawah, Noah and His family, Abraham and Sarah, Yitschaq and Ya’aqob, Moseh and ‘Aharown, Yahowsha’ ben Nuwn and King Dowd (David), Enoch and ‘Elyah (Elijah), Shamow’el (Samuel) and all of the prophets from Yasha’yah (Isaiah) to Yirmayah (Jeremiah), from Zakaryah (Zechariah) to Mal’aky (Malachi) were all subjected to a cruel hoax by a God who lied about their salvation, thereby dooming all of them to eternal damnation in She’owl. And if He couldn’t be trusted then, why would He be reliable now?
Since Sha’uwl’s assertion is irrefutably irreconcilable with Yahowah’s testimony throughout the Torah and Prophets, let’s not rely on my translation of his letter. Please consider the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition with McReynolds English Interlinear presentation of the first half of Galatians 2:16: “Having known but that not is made right man from works of law except [not applicable] through trust of Jesus Christ...” (In its raw and unedited form there is no confusing this with the Torah or Prophets.)
So now for the housekeeping issues. For those following along using an interlinear, the de, meaning “yet or but” found in modern-Greek manuscripts, and thus in our translations, isn’t found in Papyrus 46, the oldest codex containing this letter, but the rest of the words are accurately attested. So, while I’ve included it, it may be a scribal addition.
Next, you should be aware that of the three Greek words which can be rendered “know,” oida, which was translated “come to realize without investigation or evidence,” is the weakest and least thoughtful. In a culture that valued knowing above all else, oida was the most focused on “perceptions and opinions.” It cannot be used in reference to a conclusion that has been predicated upon a comprehensive evaluation of the evidence.
I suspect Sha’uwl chose it because a close examination of the Torah consistently undermines Pauline Doctrine. Had Sha’uwl written “ginosko – know relationally,” or even “epiginosko – know for certain based upon a thorough evaluation of the facts,” it would have required his readers to observe the Towrah, closely examining and carefully considering it. Doing so would have turned everyone enriched by God’s teaching against him. And it’s not as if he didn’t understand the relative difference between the words. Elsewhere in Galatians, he will use ginosko. Therefore, Sha’uwl is appealing to ignorance.
Oida was scribed in the perfect plural which suggests that the unspecified subjects, which can be either Paul and his source of inspiration or presumptuously and inconsistently, “we Yahuwdym” from the preceding clause, have previously come to a realization without due consideration which should influence current perceptions. In the active voice, the undisclosed subjects have been responsible for the opinions which follow. As a participle, oida is a verbal adjective, letting us know that in this way the perceptions of Paul’s audience are being modified. Further, the participle can function as an imperative, inferring that this is a command.
And as I have mentioned, oida was scribed in the plural, which is the antithesis of God’s style, because He is one. And finally, oida was scribed in the nominative, which reveals that Paul’s audience is being compelled to accept this unsupported and unidentified opinion.
Ou is a harsh, uncompromising, and unequivocal form of negation, which sits in stark contrast to the fuzzy, opinionated nature of “oida – come to acknowledge without evidence.” But such is the nature of religious positions. While their precepts are based upon faith, which is the antithesis of actually knowing, the evidence and conclusions of those suspected of causing suspicion amongst believers is all too often brushed away by believers protesting, without evidence or reason, that irrefutable facts and unassailable logic “ou – by no means at all could ever” be true. This is somewhat analogous to not only “being entitled to one’s opinions,” but also demanding that others “respect them.”
Next we find dikaioo, which was translated “is made right, is vindicated, or made righteous.” In that it has been negated by ou, Sha’uwl is saying that “no one is justified or vindicated, acquitted and shown to be in compliance, that no one is ever determined innocent or set free, that no one is declared righteous, nor is it possible for anyone to participate in a rightly guided relationship” with God, and thus no one can engage in the Covenant based upon the Towrah – the lone place that same Covenant is presented.
This verb was written in the present tense, which presents an action which is currently in progress with no assessment of when it will be completed – if ever. This is to say that no person “is currently vindicated and that no person may ever become righteous” based upon the Torah. In the passive voice, the unidentified subjects who have formed this unsupported conclusion receive the action of the verb. That means that they can do nothing that makes them right with God, because they are being acted upon as opposed to engaging themselves. Further shaded by the indicative mood, dikaioo reveals that Paul is claiming that his statement, and in actuality, his commandment, is authentic. This is the voice of assertion, where the writer is portraying the inability to be saved as being actual and unequivocal, without any possibility of a contingency or the intervention or intent of another. So Sha’uwl is saying that God, Himself, cannot save anyone under the conditions He, Himself, laid out. But with the indicative, depending upon the context, the writer may not actually believe that what he is stating is truthful, but is nonetheless presenting it as genuine. Lastly, dikaioo was suffixed in the third person, singular, which makes the path away from God single file, once again upending Yahowah’s teaching where the path to Him is singular and the paths away from Him crowded.
This brings us to ergon, which was translated “tasks and activities associated with,” but could have been just as accurately rendered “by acting upon or engaging in” that which follows, even “works someone undertakes, engages in, or acts upon, anything that is done, including actions or accomplishments associated with” the Towrah. Ergon, which describes “anything someone does, whatsoever they undertake to do, and whatever activities they choose to participate in” was scribed in the genitive. This restricts this noun to a specific characterization of the next noun, which is nomou, used here to indicate Yahowah’s Towrah.
Now to the meat of the issue: how did Sha’uwl intend for his audience to view nomou? Is it “Torah” or “Law,” or both? There is every reason to suspect that he wants uninitiated readers to see these adverse terms as if they were one and the same.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, based upon whose side you may be on in this debate, Yahowah’s or Sha’uwl’s, the context which follows provides the answer. Nomou and nomo, the genitive and dative forms of nomos, are used throughout this section of Galatians to demonstrate that according to Sha’uwl Yahowah’s Towrah is a set of laws which cannot be obeyed and thus condemn rather than save. And Paul, himself, translates the Hebrew word towrah in his Galatians 3:10 citation from the Towrah using nomou, forever rendering this debate moot. And by doing so, anyone cognizant of the fact that towrah means “teaching and guidance” in Hebrew is being disingenuous when they replace the Greek nomos with “Law” in their bible translations of Paul’s letters.
For those willing to ignore the basis of nomos, which is nemo, they will find lexicons slavishly supporting existing bible translations, willing to state that nomos can be rendered “law,” and even “Law” as the Torah is often misrepresented in these same English bibles. According to Strong’s, nomos is rendered “law” all 197 times that it is used in the King James Version of the so-called “Christian New Testament.” And yet they, themselves, define nomos as: “anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, or a command.” They go on to say that nomos describes “a rule producing a state approved of God by the observance of which is approved of God,” even “an action prescribed by reason.”
Unwilling to acknowledge the fact that the Hebrew word towrah does not mean “law” and that Yahowah, not Moseh, was the Towrah’s Author, Strong’s defines nomos as “Mosaic law” – “referring to the context, either to the volume of the law or to its contents.” Adding insult to injury, this Christian publication claims that nemos describes “the Christian religion: the law demanding faith, the moral instruction given by Christ, especially the precept concerning love.” Upending this, Strong’s concludes their innovative and convoluted “definition” with: “the name of the more important part (the Pentateuch) is put for the entire collection of the sacred books of the OT.”
So while much of what Strong’s provided for our consideration was demonstrably inaccurate, the first thing they wrote, which is missed by most, was actually accurate: “nomos, masculine noun. From a primary nemo (to parcel out, especially food or grazing).” Sadly, however, Strong’s does not bother to define nemo further or reference its use elsewhere in the Greek text. Fortunately, there are better lexicons.
The Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament reports: “Etymologically, nomos derives from nemo ‘assign.’ Nomos was therefore originally that which has been ‘assigned.’ In Hesiod Philo (Op. 276ff), nomos is ‘the objective order “assigned” to a group of beings.’” In addition, they write: “In translating nomos in the NT one should not resort immediately to the OT understanding of tora. Rather, that a shift in meaning has occurred from tora to nomos should be taken into account (of the approximately 220 OT occurrences of tora the LXX translates approximately 200 with nomos).” That is to say, while nomos was used ubiquitously in the Septuagint from 200 BCE to 200 CE to represent the Hebrew word, towrah, meaning “teaching, instruction, direction, and guidance,” throughout the Greek translation of the Torah and Prophets, its original meaning was altered. I wonder by whom.
Buried in their analysis, the EDNT recognizes that: “the Torah is, therefore,...the ‘instruction’ of Israel found already in the covenant.” And: “from the very beginning the Torah was not understood ‘legally.’ Therefore, the translation ‘law’ (instead of ‘teaching’) does not imply a ‘legal’ understanding.” Which is to say that those Yahowah initially shared His “Towrah – Teaching” with realized that it represented, not a list of laws, but instead: “guidance, instructions, and directions” from their Heavenly Father. Of the subsequent misinterpretation, one initiated by infighting amongst rabbis vying for power, the EDNT wrote: “It is open to question whether in the course of the postexilic era [after the return from Babylonian captivity when a compilation of oral traditions was established as a rival to the Towrah] the first traces of a legal understanding of the Torah are evident.”
The Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament goes on to share the findings of Monsegwo Pasinya, who wrote: “nomos does not signify ‘Law’ in the legal and juridical sense of classical Greek, but rather ‘Instruction, Teaching, Doctrine,’ in accordance with the original sense of the corresponding Hebrew term tora.”
Taking a step backwards, the Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament published: “nomos has a basic meaning law, i.e., what is assigned or proper. Generally any law in the judicial sphere, as a rule governing one’s conduct, a principle, or more specifically in the NT of the Mosaic system of legislation as revealing the divine will (the Torah) or (Law of Moses).” While errantly representing Yahowah’s Towrah as “law,” at least these folks seem to know that nomos conveyed “what is assigned and proper,” that it communicated “rules governing conduct,” and that in the “NT,” nomos describes “the Mosaic system of legislation as revealing the divine will (the Torah) or (Law of Moses).” So since Paul’s letter to the Galatians is found in the NT, nomos was intended to read “Torah.” But since this concept conveys “the divine will,” it follows then, that according to Paul, it must be God’s will to condemn everyone.
The Complete Word Study Dictionary, at least in the case of nomos, is especially helpful. It begins by telling us that “nomos, genitive nomou, masculine noun from nemo (see aponemo ) to divide among, to parcel out, to allot. Etymologically something parceled out, allotted, what one has in use and in possession; hence, usage.” Then doing as they suggest, and turning to 6320, aponemo, we find: “from apo, meaning from, and nemo, meaning to give, to attribute, to allot, to apportion, to assign, and to bestow, a derivative of dianemo: to distribute throughout and kleronomos: to become an heir, distributing an inheritance, something parceled out to restore.”
Enriched by this precisely accurate appraisal, let’s consider the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, where we find: “The concept that nomos means law is religious in origin and plays a central role in these cultures.” They go on to state that Rabbinic Judaism and Roman Catholicism were to blame for this corruption of nomos.
In the TDNT, the original meaning of nomos is defined. It isn’t “law,” but instead, its implications “were derived from nemo,” a word which speaks of “being nourished by that which is bestowed to become heirs, of precepts which were apportioned, established, and received as a means to be proper and approved, and of prescriptions for an inheritance, that which is provided, assigned, and distributed to heirs to nourish them.” Our Heavenly Father is therefore nourishing His children’s minds with His instructions and teaching us how to live as members of His Covenant family, all while inheriting all that He is offering.
And yet, it is apparent that while Paul was referring to Yahowah’s Towrah, the original meaning of towrah and nomos was not what he intended to convey, because someone who benefitted from nourishment, becoming an heir and receiving His inheritance, would be right with God, growing, healthy, vindicated, and acquitted. Sha’uwl instead wanted his audience to read nomos as “Law,” something both oppressive and restraining, restricting one’s liberty, while at the same time associating these things with the Torah. Nomo and nomou are almost always deployed in the singular and directed at the one and only Torah.
Therefore, while Paul meant his audience to read nomou as “Law,” and think “Torah,” this requires those who believe him to be ignorant of the fact that Towrah actually means: “the source from which teaching, direction, instruction, and guidance flow.” It even requires ignorance of the etymology of nomou, because properly translated, Yahowah’s Towrah is actually a source of “nourishment that has been bestowed so that we can become heirs, inheriting and receiving prescriptions which cause us to be proper and approved.” It also requires readers to be unaware that ninety percent of the time Towrah appeared in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, nomos was deployed in the Septuagint’s Greek translation of God’s Hebrew terminology.
Furthermore, Sha’uwl cannot possibly be proposing that “by no means whatsoever is made right, is justified or vindicated, man out of engaging in or acting upon that which is nourishing, providing us with an inheritance which makes us proper and approved.” Sure, Paul is prone to double talk, circular reasoning, and contradicting himself, but this would be too overtly duplicitous.
These things considered, the remainder of this epistle will serve to affirm that the “nomos / nomou / nomo” Paul is attempting to mischaracterize as law, to demean as incompetent, and to annul as antiquated is Yahowah’s Towrah. And that means that this debate is between Yahowah’s Towrah and Sha’uwl’s Epistles. It is the word of God versus the letters of a man.
Realizing this, the conditional conjunction in Galatians 2:16, “if not by,” from ean me dia, means that, according to Sha’uwl, the remedy for the Towrah’s inability to save those who act upon it “ean me dia pistis IHN XPN – could be, but probably isn’t, faith in Iesou Christou.” I say “could be” because ean is a “marker of a condition with the implication of a reduced probability,” and thus is not a certainty – faith never is.
As we make our way through Sha’uwl’s jarring announcement, we next have to determine how to render pistis – a word which originally conveyed “trust and reliance.” Written here in the genitive feminine form, I decided to translate it “belief and faith,” because Paul’s letters, which comprise half of the “Christian New Testament,” leave no other informed or rational option. Paul never provides sufficient information to know Yahowsha’, to trust Yahowah, or to rely on His Torah, precluding these connotations. Moreover, Paul consistently positions “faith” as being preferred to knowing and understanding, which are required for trust. In fact, sharing the Torah, and thus learning what it says, is strongly discouraged in favor of simply believing Paul. This is the intended goal of his letters.
So while pistis is almost always, and correctly, rendered “faith” or “belief” in English bibles when penned by Sha’uwl, when spoken by Yahowsha’ and His Disciples, we should remain cognizant of the fact that the Greek word originally conveyed “confidence and assurance in what is known.” It spoke of “reliability and proof,” as well as “persuasion based upon a thoughtful evaluation of the evidence.”
Therefore, at the time this epistle was written, pistis was about “conviction in the veracity of the truth.” Pistis was “that which evoked trust and that which could be relied upon as being dependable.” And as such, pistis was once the opposite of “faith and belief,” because when evidence is sufficient to know and understand, faith becomes irrelevant—even counterproductive because it tends to stall inquiry.
However, languages evolve. Influential individuals shape the meanings of words. And pistis is the lever upon which Pauline Doctrine pivots. It is therefore likely that his epistles changed the lexicon and caused pistis to evolve from “trust” to “belief,” from “reliance” to “faith.” I say this because Paul and his lies have influenced more people than anyone else in human history. And twisting words and their meanings was the means to his madness.
Moreover, it bears repeating: Paul never provides the kind of evidence which would be required for someone to know Yahowah or understand His plan of salvation sufficiently to trust God or rely upon His plan. So in the context of Galatians, “trust” is a fish out of water, while “faith” survives swimmingly. And so we should not be surprised that the founder of the world’s most popular religion transformed the concept of “faith” so that it is now synonymous with his “religion,” or that “believers” are often equated with Pauline “Christians.”
In this particular context, it is actually impossible to credibly translate pistis “trust in or reliance upon” because those who know enough about Yahowsha’ to trust and rely upon Him understand that there can be no condition which differentiates between Him and the Towrah. Said another way, since Yahowsha’ was Torah observant, if the Torah cannot save, then neither can He. More to the point, a person cannot rely upon and thus benefit from Yahowsha’s participation in Passover, Unleavened Bread, or FirstFruits before they understand what these Invitations to Meet with God accomplish on our behalf and how they enable the Covenant’s benefits.
Paul never explains the purpose of these Meetings, and thus his audience was never provided the information required to trust in or rely upon Yahowsha’s fulfillment of them. And that may be why he chose oida as his opening verb, hoping that no one would do the research necessary to question the dichotomy he foolishly purports exists between the Towrah, Yahowsha’, the Covenant, and our salvation through responding to Yahowah’s seven Invitations to Meet with Him. God’s consistent, unwavering, and dependable guidance and example on one hand and Paul’s faith-based religion on the other.
The integration of “if not by belief in Iesou Christou” is completely misdirected. Even if the Towrah had been properly presented and even if Yahowsha’s name had been accurately conveyed, it’s His perceptions of the Towah that matter, not our perceptions of Him. So to have any hope of being appropriate, rather than us placing our “faith in Him,” we should be celebrating the fact that Yahowsha’s reliance was upon the Towrah and that He trusted it, observed it, affirmed it, lived it, and fulfilled it.
Speaking of Yahowsha’, it is entirely possible that Paul never actually deployed the placeholders we now find in subsequent copies of his letters. He would have had no reason for using them. His audience was not familiar with His Hebrew name or with the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms – so they would not have known what the placeholders represented nor have any way to look them up. They would not have recognized the name, Yahowsha’, nor realized that it meant “Yahowah Saves.” In fact, using placeholders would have been counterproductive to Sha’uwl’s mission, which was to present his caricature of “Iesou Christou” as the Savior, not Yahowah. And contributing to this realization, based upon Greek grammar rules, Yahowsha’ was a girl’s name and Iesous was sufficiently similar to Zeus’ name in Greek mythology to facilitate attributing their attributes to one another. Therefore, considering these factors, it is likely that Paul wrote and said “Iesou, Iesous, and Iesoun” in his appeal to Greeks.
So while Papyrus 46, the oldest extant manuscript of these epistles, uses Divine Placeholders normally reserved for the title and name “the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha,” reason dictates that a scribe in Alexandria, Egypt added them in an effort to harmonize Paul’s letters with the popular eyewitness accounts published by the Disciples Mattanyah and Yahowchanan.
As further evidence for this, had Sha’uwl intended to write “ha Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’,” accurately conveying God’s name and title, he would have contradicted his proposition. If the Savior is “the Ma’aseyah – the Work of Yahowah,” then Galatians 2:16 is an outright lie. Since the Ma’aseyah is the work of the Towrah, He cannot both save and not save at the same time. Simply stated, the Ma’aseyah is a tool designed and wielded by Yahowah to fulfill the Torah’s promises and plans, something Sha’uwl is refuting.
Similarly, since Yahowsha’ means “Yahowah Saves,” Yahowah is our Savior, not Iesou Christou. When the name and title are properly communicated, Yahowsha’ cannot be separated from Yahowah and the Ma’aseyah becomes the Torah in action, concepts which negate Pauline Doctrine.
Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the Divine Placeholders were added by scribes one or more generations after Paul penned his epistles so that they would correspond to the same standard found throughout the more highly revered eyewitness accounts. Or at the very least, Sha’uwl deployed them realizing that his animosity toward the Torah would conceal their actual meaning.
Lastly in this regard, even if the placeholders were correctly replaced by Yahowsha’s title and name, they cannot be ordered as Paul has them: “Yahowsha’ Ma’aseyah,” much less “Iesou Christou” or “Jesus Christ.” Ma’aseyah, Christos, and Christ are not last names. Ma’aseyah, as a title, when presented in conjunction with a name, must read “ha Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’,” replete with the definite article, and in that order. So Sha’uwl was either unaware, which bodes poorly for inspiration, or he was attempting to make Iesou Christou read like his god’s first and last name. And if the later is true, he succeeded in fooling most everyone.
The moment we acquiesce to the inevitable, and adjust our rendering of pistis in Sha’uwl’s epistles to “faith,” which is what he obviously intended, and then convey “Iesou Christou,” as Paul most likely said it and wrote it, the few things Paul conveyed which could be construed positively, become as deceptive as the rest of his agenda. Consider this proclamation as a prime example: “We Yahuwdym by nature and not from the social outcasts of sinful and heathen races (2:15) having come to realize without investigation or evidence that by no means whatsoever is made right, is vindicated, or made righteous man by means of tasks and activities associated with the Towrah if not by belief and faith in Iesou Christou,....” (Galatians 2:15-16)
This changes the paradigm from being an affirmation that we cannot save ourselves to a referendum on religion. And it is a devastating one for Christians because Iesou Christou is a mythical moniker for a savior who is unrelated to Yahowah, one made in the image of a man, one who was killed by men and then resurrected like the pagan gods of the heathen races.
The sum and substance of most religious systems is embodied in the means its members deploy to earn salvation. Depending upon the religion, the faithful either obey religious edicts, make significant monetary contributions, lead a good life, advance the common good, deny themselves, or engage in jihad. In Judaism, for example, one achieves righteousness by complying with Rabbinical Law. Becoming liberated from this works-based salvation scheme would have been cathartic for Sha’uwl, literally turning the world of this former rabbi upside down. Right would be wrong. Wrong would be right. Good would be bad and bad would be good. To develop a relationship with Yahowah, everything he had been told, everything he had experienced, everything he had believed, and everything his family and friends held dear had to be rejected. And sadly, based upon what Paul told his detractors in Acts, he was never able to take this step.
This internal turmoil may have led to Paul’s crusade against legalism. And while he would have been right to expose and condemn the religious myth of works-based salvation, he was wrong in not saying that the set of laws he was impugning were conceived by rabbis. But in all likelihood, that was by design. It wasn’t Rabbinical Law that he speaking about. Unlike the Torah, Sha’uwl never cites the Yaruwshalaim Talmud. And yet, by never making the distinction clear, he diminished his susceptibility to criticism.
During the time Galatians was written in 50 CE, Yahuwdym represented the overwhelming preponderance of the followers of The Way. As a result, most everyone understood the relationship between Yahowsha’ and the Torah. And yet, some may have been unable to remove religious traditions from their lives as they were ingrained in their culture. For example, even though I know that Christmas is based on pagan myths, it is such a pervasive part of our society, that it’s difficult to completely eliminate its influence.
Sha’uwl was equally conflicted. As a student of Gamaliel, he had a working knowledge of the Torah and Prophets, but he would have been far more devoted to Jewish Oral Law. As a Pharisee in training, he would have known it better than he knew the Word of God.
And therein lies one of the biggest challenges with Sha’uwl’s epistles. For him, and for the preponderance of religious Jews, then and today, “the Law” was not the “Torah,” but instead Rabbinical Law derived from Oral Traditions known as “Halakhah.” Meaning “the path that one walks,” Halakhah is Jewish Law, a complete set of rules and practices that Jews are compelled to follow, including commandments instituted by Rabbis and other binding customs. While the Torah is credited as being one of many sources of “Jewish Law,” the overwhelming preponderance of the rules which comprise Halakhah were either conceived or modified by men. Paul’s ubiquitous “But I say” statements are remarkably similar in style and format to what we find throughout the Talmud.
Rabbi Maimonides referenced the Torah to usurp its credibility for his religion (as did Paul, Muhammad, and Joseph Smith). Corrupted and truncated paraphrases of God’s testimony served as the launching point from which he conceived the list of 613 Mitzvot he compiled in his Mishneh. The Talmud is similar in that it was comprised of Rabbinical arguments on how to interpret the Torah. And in that way, the Talmud reads like Paul’s epistles. And also similar is the Qur’an, which Talmud readings also inspired. Likewise, Rabbinical Law referenced the Torah simply to give Rabbis the pretence of authenticity. It is being used the same way by Paul. Akiba’s rantings, like Paul’s, and like Muhammad’s after them, claimed that the Torah was inspired by God and yet they had no compunction against misrepresenting it to make it appear as if it was the source of their twisted religious ideas.
The reason I have brought this to your attention is to let you know that one of the many failings of Paul’s letters is that they purposefully blur the enormous distinction between the Oral Law of the Jews and the Towrah Teaching of Yahowah. The result of this is that the Torah is deliberately and deceitfully miscast as being both Jewish and as being comprised of a set of Laws. Therefore, when a Christian steeped in Pauline mythology hears that someone is Torah observant, rather than correctly concluding that such individuals are interested in knowing what God had to say, they falsely assume that they are either Jewish or have converted to Judaism. For this alone, Paul’s letters are an abomination.
When trying to make a distinction between these things, Yahowsha’ removed all potential confusion by adding “Prophets” and/or “Psalms” to His Towrah references, thereby making it obvious that He was speaking of His testimony which begins with His Towrah followed by His Psalms, or Writings, and Prophets. But unfortunately, Sha’uwl didn’t follow God’s example—in this or any other way. When Yahowsha’ criticized the inappropriateness of Jewish Law, He always did so in the context of its authors, the Rabbis. But Sha’uwl only makes this distinction once, leaving those unwilling to consider his declaration in Galatians 3:10, where he actually translates towrah using nomou, guessing which set of instructions he was talking about: Jewish Law or Yahowah’s Torah.
However, the answer screams out of Paul’s letters. If Galatians 2:16 through 5:15 is viewed as a cohesive argument, then every reference to nomos / nomo / nomou must be translated: “Torah.” There isn’t a single verse referencing Rabbinical Law, and there are many which explicitly reference the Torah. Moreover, as Paul builds to the climax of his argument in the fourth chapter of Galatians, any doubt that he was assailing the Torah vanishes. He references the site the Torah was revealed to demean its Covenant.
In this light, I’d like you to consider the opening statement of Galatians 2:16 once again now that you are aware that its message is hopelessly twisted. “Having come to realize without investigation or evidence that by no means whatsoever is made right, is vindicated, or made righteous man by means of tasks and activities associated with the Towrah if not by belief and faith in Iesou Christou,....”
Therefore, “faith in “Iesou Christou – Jesus Christ” is Paul’s solution to his preposterous notion that Yahowah’s Towrah, His Covenant, and His Seven Invitations are incapable of performing as promised. But if that is true, why did the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ observe them and fulfill them?
So it is now Yahowah’s Torah versus Paul’s Gospel. It is trust in Yahowah versus belief in Paul. So tell me, since this is such an obvious choice, why have as few as one in a million chosen God over this man?
And who is “Yahowsha’” if He is not Yahowah? If the Torah isn’t trustworthy, how can the corporeal manifestation of it be reliable? If the Torah’s Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God on Passover and Unleavened Bread were incapable of producing vindication, then why did Yahowah continuously claim that they were responsible for saving the Children of Yisra’el from religious and political persecution in Egypt? If the Torah wasn’t the solution, why did the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ refer to it to answer most every question?
As we shall discover, Paul is committed to negating the Torah’s purpose, to severing the connection between the Torah and Yahowsha’, and to pitting the Ma’aseyah against the testimony of Yahowah. But when any of these things are done, Yahowsha’s life becomes immaterial, His words lose their meaning, and His sacrifice is nullified. There is no salvation, and life under these circumstances is for naught.
Considering this background, we should not be surprised that Paul repeats himself, creating a darkened mirror image of this diabolical message in the second half of Galatians 2:16. Here it is as he intended (that is to say, translated consistently with the rest of this epistle)...
“...and (kai) we (ego) to (eis – into and on) Christon Iesoun (ΧΝ ΙΝ – divine placeholders for the Ma’aseyah (Work of Yahowah) Yahowsha’, (Yahowah Saves), however, since this epistle has disassociated Yahowsha’ from Yahowah and the Ma’aseyah from the Towrah, it’s misleading to connect that which the author has severed), ourselves believed (pisteuo – we have had faith (scribed in the aorist tense to portray a snapshot in time without any consideration of the process which may have brought it about, in the active voice revealing that whoever “we” represents was providing the faith, and in the indicative mood indicating that belief is being presented as valid even though the writer may not, himself, concur)) in order for (hina) us to have become righteous, to have been acquitted and vindicated (dikaioo – for us to put right or to be set free, to be justified or acquitted, to be shown to be in compliance, to be judged innocent and declared righteous, and to be right in the relationship (scribed in the aorist, passive, subjunctive collectively conveying a current condition without prescient or promise of being acted upon which is probable)) out of (ek) faith in (pisteuo – belief in) Christou (ΧY – a placeholder for the Ma’aseyah (without the definite article), and (kai) not (ou) out of (ek – by means of) acting upon or engaging in (ergon – works someone undertakes, works which are done, including actions, tasks, accomplishments, or activities associated with) the Towrah (nomou – the allotment which is parceled out, the inheritance which is given, the nourishment which is bestowed to be possessed and which is used to grow, the precepts which are apportioned, established, and received as a means to be proper and approved, and the prescription to become an heir (singular genitive, and thus restricted to a singular specific and unique characterization)), because (hoti) out of (ek) works of (ergon – things someone undertakes, engaging in and acting upon) the Towrah (nomou – the nourishment which is bestowed to be possessed and used by heirs to be proper and approved) not will be acquitted, vindicated, nor made righteous (ou dikaioo – not will be justified nor set free, not be declared innocent nor be in compliance, not will be in a proper relationship) any (pas – all) flesh (sarx – corporeal mass of humans and animals).” (Galatians 2:16)
It’s a significantly more sinister version of the same errant and lifeless message, this time in reverse order. The reason that the inverse is worse is that this time Sha’uwl eliminates any possibility of absolving him of the crime of denouncing Yahowah’s Towrah. He goes beyond erroneously and unequivocally stating that salvation is entirely the result of “Christon Iesoun believing,” but also that it is absolutely impossible for anyone to be saved by responding to Yahowah’s Towrah.
While the difference may appear subtle, it is an enormous and deadly step from “having come to realize without evidence that by no means whatsoever is vindicated or made righteous man by means of acting upon the Towrah if not by belief in Iesou Christou,” to “we on Christon Iesoun, ourselves believed in order for us to have become righteous and to have been acquitted and vindicated out of faith in Christou, and not by means of acting upon or engaging in the Towrah, because by means of engaging in and acting upon the Towrah not any flesh will be acquitted nor made righteous.” If you are not careful, the initial statement may seem plausible, especially if Yahowsha’ and the Towrah are combined to render salvation, but that cannot be done with the inverse iteration because belief in Iesoun and acting upon the Towrah are distinct, with one prevailing and the other failing.
While it is not the biggest problem in this pile of rubbish, it bears mentioning, our “sarx – flesh” is irrelevant. Yahowsha’ constantly encourages us to value our “nepesh – soul” sufficiently to observe His Towrah. There will be no physical bodies in heaven. Paul’s animosity toward and fixation upon the flesh is a derivative of his Gnostic leanings.
As a master communicator, Yahowah presents His story from every imaginable perspective, using a wide array of characters, word pictures, and symbols. Throughout it all, regardless of the perspective or occasion, God is always consistent and consistently correct. But more often than not, man simply repeats his mistakes. That is what Sha’uwl has done in Galatians 2:16 as a prime example:
Since close and careful observation requires effort, since relationships require both parties to engage, since an invitation must be answered, since a path necessitates walking along it to get to wherever it leads, it is a mistake to refrain from “acting upon the Torah.” By doing so, an individual forestalls all of Yahowah’s guidance. And in this regard, in the fourth chapter of Galatians, Paul would have us believe that “no man is saved by observing the Torah.” That of course, would be news to God.
Knowing that there is no such thing as the “faith of Jesus Christ,” why do you suppose the authors of the King James Version said that there was? “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” The notion that God would have “faith” is absurd in the extreme.
And it appears as if we have Jerome and his Latin Vulgate to blame for the anomaly of reason: “And we know that man is not justified by the works of the legis/law, but only by the fidem/faith of Iesu Christi. And so we believe in Christo Iesu, in order that we may be justified by the fide/faith of Christi, and not by the works of the legis/law. For no flesh will be justified by the works of the law.”
Not that it is difficult, Galatians must be twisted for Christianity to survive, so the always entertaining New Living Translation makes their faithful contribution with: “Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”
In their novel enterprise, each of the following words were added without textual justification – all to satisfy the whims of the religious: “yet, we know, a person, is made right, with God, faith, Jesus Christ, obeying, the, law, we have, believed, Christ Jesus, so that, we might, be made, with God, because, our faith, in Christ, we have obeyed, the, for, no one, will ever, be made right, with God, by obeying, the, law, law.” But they were on solid footing with “that, by, in, not, by, and, in, right, because.” Yet in fairness, the NLT can be credited with accurately conveying Paul’s intended message. Too bad what he wrote wasn’t true.
This is the essence of the Christian religion as it was conceived and promoted by Paul. The Torah, although positioned as the Word of God, was rejected, considered inept and passé. The fact that Yahowsha’ observed it, affirmed it, and lived it, was ignored. Inexplicably then, faith in Him was established as the means to salvation, even though Yahowsha’s testimony and example undermined the premise. The proposition was as insane as the mind of the man who devised it. Altogether, it reflects poorly on the will of men and women to think.
In God’s attack on the Scribes and Rabbis in Mattanyah 23, Yahowsha’ clearly identifies His foes. He explains what they have done to earn this condemnation. And then, He reveals why it would be inappropriate for any of us to be similarly religious. Therefore, while this is a translation two times over, from Hebrew to Greek and then to English, to the degree that the tenses, voices, and moods capture Yahowsha’s attitude toward political and religious leaders, there is much we can learn from His testimony...
“Then, at that time (tote), Yahowsha’ spoke to (laleo) large crowds of common people (tois ochlos – many, excluding political or religious leaders) and also (kai) to His Disciples (tois mathetes autos – followers, those in a close personal relationship, and students who were learning), (23:1) saying (lego): ‘The Scribes (oi Grammateus – the political leaders, experts, scholars, government officials, public servants, clerks, teachers, and the media) and the Pharisees (oi Pharisaios – the rabbis devoted to the Oral Law and Talmud, fundamentalist clerics engaged in the public acceptance and expression of perfunctory religious rites, those who claimed God’s authority for themselves) have appointed themselves, trying to seat themselves with the influence and authority to interpret (kathizo kathedra – have attempted to put themselves in an exalted seat as judges and teachers along with (aorist active indicative)) Moseh. (23:2)
Therefore consequently (oun – accordingly, these things being so), individually (pas – or collectively) if (ean – when if ever, and in the unlikely case, presented as a condition which has a low probability of occurring) and to the degree that (hosos – so long as, as much as, and as far as) they might of their own initiative convey, perhaps possibly sometime communicating (lego – they acting on their own perhaps say, maintain, or intentionally imply at some point in time (aorist active subjunctive)) to you (sy), you may choose to engage (poieomai – you have the option to act, or even carry out or perform the assigned task (aorist (irrespective of time) active imperative (possibly acting of your own volition))) or (kai – also on the other hand) you can choose to be observant (tereo – you may presently elect to be on your guard, eyes open and focused, beholding and contemplating to learn by looking; from theoreo – attentively viewing, closely surveying, and carefully considering everything that can be perceived and discerned with your eyes, scrutinizing everything within your view (the present tense indicates action which is current and ongoing, the active voice denotes the fact that the observant are themselves acting and engaging in this way, and the imperative mood suggests that this was a polite request which as an expression of freewill, may or may not be accepted)) accordingly (kata).
But (de) the (ta) assigned tasks (ergon – works, acts, pursuits, and undertakings, business, actions, deeds, and things acted upon or engaged in) associated with them, you should refrain from, choosing not to do them ever again (autos me poieomai – these things you should question and be adverse to doing them, regarding them you should want to be hesitant, aware of the negative purpose and consequences of these assigned tasks, choosing of your own volition to no longer or ever again, act this way, in denial of the ideas behind these behaviors, negating their assumptions (third person personal plural masculine pronoun, negative particle, present active imperative verb)).
For indeed (gar – because), they choose to speak (lego – they try to attribute and imply), but (kai) they never actually act (ou poieomai – they do not desire to genuinely engage nor elect to really perform the assigned tasks on an ongoing basis (present active indicative)).” (Mattanyah / Yah’s Gift / Matthew 23:3)
To begin, Yahowsha’ was warning common people to be wary of, even to suspect and to be critical of the nation’s leadership – questioning those in positions of political, academic, and religious authority – to the point of disassociating from them. In essence, He called those with the most influence “hypocrites.” Unlike Yahowah and therefore Yahowsha’, who personally follows His own advice, doing what He says, political and religious leaders say one thing while doing another. In opposition to them, God revealed the means to their madness, saying that they had appointed themselves, personally claiming the authority to influence the nation by usurping the Towrah’s authority. But contrary to their claims, as was the case with Sha’uwl, neither their authority, their interpretations, or their instructions came from God – something we’d be wise to consider today.
But what is especially relevant here is that Yahowsha’ is as equivocal as words allow relative to the chance possibility that a nation’s leaders might actually say something useful relative to the Towrah. He is translated using “oun – these things being so,” “pas – individually or collectively,” “ean – in the unlikely event with a low probability of occurring,” and “hosos – as far as or to the degree,” that “lego (in the aorist subjunctive) – they might possibly at some time convey something” “sy – to us,” we then can take it under advisement. He said “poieomai (in the aorist imperative) – we could chose the proper response, which might be to engage and act, or not,” in recognition of the fact that the most influential deceivers make their lies appear credible through counterfeit, where some of the strokes are genuine.” Consistent with Yahowah’s guidance in the Towrah, Yahowsha’ is “tereo (in the present active imperative) – encouraging us to be observant, to keep our eyes open and be on our guard, so that we can survey and assess the situation, gathering information, and then contemplate what we have learned so that we can make an informed and rational decision.”
In complete discord with most English bibles, Yahowsha’ did not ask us to observe, in the religious sense of “keeping or obeying,” what they say. He was instead asking us to be wary of clerics, so as to scrutinize their words, and thereby determine whether they are in concert with the Towrah or out of tune with it.
The best part of all, however, is God’s conclusion. He is no longer even remotely unequivocal. Yahowsha’ did a great deal more than simply encourage us not to participate in the pursuits of political and religious leaders. The phrase “autos me poieomai,” when scribed in the present imperative, tells us that we should not only refrain from religious and political behavior, but that we should attempt to thwart the political and religious agenda, bringing it to an end – stopping it here, now, and always. God said: “Don’t do it,” recognizing that while this was His desire for us, refraining from engaging in religion or politics is our decision. This particular variation of negation expressly encourages us not to get into the habit of participating in national customs, societal traditions, political parties, or religious rites. In other words, don’t follow the example or the behavior, and do not act upon the stipulations, of government employees, the media, scholars, one’s political leadership, or clerics, especially fundamentalist religious leaders who attempt to assert their authority and who claim to speak for God. Yahowsha’ wants us to question them, to be adverse to them, to be hesitant to follow them. He wants us to consider the negative consequences of their agenda. Recognizing the fact that His Guidance is the antidote for the plague of religion, Yahowah repeatedly encourages His children to listen to Him while closely and carefully observing His Towrah.
In that Yahowsha’ had more to tell us about the hypocrisy and negative influence of societal leaders, both religious and political, let’s listen in a moment longer. It is as if God sees people in positions of authority as parasites, burdening their citizens so that they are compelled to serve them. “So they tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they, themselves, are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. They do all their deeds to be noticed by men, to be watched and to be seen; for they broaden their phylacteries (read: religious quotes, pontifications, and outward appearances) and lengthen the tassels of their garments (read: decorated uniforms, clerical robes, and distinguished suits and trappings). They love the place of honor at banquets, the most valued seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi (meaning “exalted”) by men.’” (Mattanyah / Yah’s Gift / Matthew 23:4-7)
Yahowsha’ was blunt when He exposed and condemned the Scribes and Pharisees. He was not only rebuking their hypocrisy, He demonstrated how we, ourselves, should respond to all religious and political proclamations. We ought to be wary of Rabbinical Law, of the Talmud, and of religious and political parties. His advice was clear: scrutinize everything they say and don’t do anything they do. And in this context, it is worth noting that Sha’uwl has told us that he was trained to be a Rabbi. He was and remains one of them. He acts and sounds remarkably similar to those Yahowsha’ scorned and warned us about.
But there was more to Yahowsha’s instruction. Under the surface, He was contrasting man’s legalistic religious schemes with His perspective on the Covenant relationship. Men place burdens on people, oppressing them. Religions are works based, and thus one’s salvation is predicated upon what they do. By contrast, while God wants us to engage in a relationship with Him, He gives infinitely more than we provide. And when it comes to our salvation, God requires nothing of us, except that we answer His Invitations, walk along the path He has provided, and reach up and grasp His hand. Said another way, God lifted the burden of sin from us, taking it upon Himself.
These insights, one superficial, the other lingering right beneath the surface, are what is missing in Paul’s writings. On the surface, his communication skills are deplorable. And the deeper one looks, the more obvious it becomes that he was weaving a web to ensnare his victims.
There is no more devilish or diabolical act than misrepresenting Yahowah’s testimony, and yet this is what Sha’uwl has done by denouncing His ability to save His children. It renders everything Yahowsha’ said and did invalid.
And don’t be confused by the notion that Sha’uwl repetitively claims to be authorized by God. Muhammad did the same thing, and in his religion, Allah is Satan. Both did it to satiate their lust for unchallenged power and to neuter their critics.
Sha’uwl neither met, spoke with, nor knows Yahowah. He never once explains the meaning behind Yahowsha’s name or His title, both of which are essential to knowing who He is and what He did. He never once explains the terms and conditions of the Covenant, which is the only way to engage in a relationship with God. He never speaks of Yahowah’s seven annual Meetings, or mentions that they represent the narrow path to God and thus to our salvation. There isn’t a single reference in his letters to Yahowsha’s Instruction on the Mount, where Yahowsha’ conveyed the enduring nature of His Torah to all who would listen. Not once does Sha’uwl present Yahowsha’ as the diminished corporeal manifestation of Yahowah, and twice he lies, promoting the preposterous myth that “the completeness of the godhead resided on him bodily.”
Most of what Paul has written is untrue. And while we have not yet seen an example, should one arise, the occasional accurate statement will only serve to distract those who are easily confused. He was an extraordinarily evil man. And with his last statement, he has removed the veil hiding his hideous nature.
There would be no point to Yahowsha’s willingness to acquit us if we were not sinners. So if that was the intended purpose of Sha’uwl’s next statement, it is superfluous:
“But (de) if (ei) seeking and finding (zeteo – desiring and looking for, asking or demanding, and trying to obtain) to be made righteous (dikaioo – to be vindicated and innocent, to be right) in (en) Christo (ΧΡΩ – the Ma’aseyah (but without the definite article, the errant Christou used as a name is a better grammatical fit than the appropriate title “the Work of Yahowah”), we were found (heuriskomai – we were discovered and were experiencing), also (kai) ourselves (autos) sinners (hamartolos – social outcasts devoted to sin and estranged by missing the way), should not we be anxious (ara – an interrogative implying impatience, anxiety, and distress over a question with a negative response) Christos becomes (ΧΣ – placeholder for the Ma’aseyah (scribed in the nominative whereby the subject of the noun is renamed, inferring “to be”) a guilty, errant, and misled sin (hamartia – an evil, mistaken, and estranged) servant (diakonos)? Not (me) may it exist (ginomai – may it be, become, or happen (scribed in the aorist (a snippet in time without respect to a process or a plan), middle (saying that the subject, which is implied to be Christos, is being affected, and thus is becoming misled and mistaken, by His own action), and optative (whereby the writer is portraying this as being possible and desirable)))?” (Galatians 2:17) We remain mired in the realm of poor writing and errant ideas.
Before discussing this rather odd statement, let’s consider how Christian publications rendered it. The scholastically acclaimed Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition with McReynolds English Interlinear, the NA for brevity henceforth, attests: “If but seeking to be made right in Christ, we were found also ourselves sinners, then Christ of sin servant. Not may it become.” The KJV proposed: “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.” LV: “But if, while seeking to be justified in Christo, we ourselves are also found to be sinners, would then Christus be the minister of sin? Let it not be so!” If this was Scripture, and Divinely inspired, why was it necessary for Paul to answer his question?
While some may applaud the NLT for attempting to make sense of the senseless, the arrogance of independently authoring something they have the audacity to pass off as Scripture is appalling—even reprehensible. “But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not!” A-Paul-ing indeed.
First and foremost, according to Yahowah’s “Towrah – Teaching,” our first priority shouldn’t be our salvation. We should instead seek to know Yahowah first. Second, through careful observation of the Towrah, we should come understand the terms and benefits of His Covenant so that we can participate in this relationship by embracing all five of Yah’s conditions, thereby becoming children in our Heavenly Father’s family. And then fourth, during this process, we are invited to walk to God along the path He has provided to make us perfect and thus righteous, in addition to immortal, enriched, and empowered. Therefore, seek Yahowah first, inclusion in His Covenant, next, because only then can we be vindicated.
It would be irrational and counterproductive for God to save those who neither know Him nor enjoy His company. Heaven, filled with the same kind of souls who populate the Earth, would cause it to be no less horrific than the mess we have made for ourselves here – only then the problems would be everlasting, turning heaven into hell. God is smart enough to populate His home with those who find His guidance worthy and His teaching edifying, even enjoyable. This then, as a result of Paul’s letters, excludes all Christians.
Therefore Paul, as is the case with Christians, have this all wrong. It is as if they are desirous of being saved by a God they do not know and whose plans they do not respect. They are unwilling to consider the fact that a sane God would have no interest in spending eternity with such misled and self-centered individuals.
Second, it is the Miqra’ of Matsah which makes us perfect, not Christo. Yahowah promised to remove the fungus of sin from the souls of those who answered His Invitation to be Called Out and Meet on Unleavened Bread. Through separation, Yahowsha’s soul paid the price to ransom those who avail themselves of this promise. Moreover, Yahowsha’s name means “Yahowah Saves,” revealing to us that Yahowah is our Savior, not Christo.
Especially telling, “heuriskomai – we were found” was written in the aorist indicative which denotes “past tense.” It was also scribed in the passive, suggesting that the condition of being sinners was placed upon us. Reason dictates that this was done was to infer that the Torah makes people sinners, when in actuality, it is the Torah which resolves the issue of our sin. Also, based upon the tenses, this cannot inferring that by continuing to sin after being saved that we are somehow disrespecting the Ma’aseyah’s sacrifice. From Paul’s warped perspective, it is the Torah which causes everyone to be evil and misled.
Mind you, I’m not extrapolating here. As we discovered previously, Paul says that the Torah is the source of sin and death in his letter to the Romans: “For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sins through the Torah were working in our members to bear fruit unto death. But now that we have been released from the Torah, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of spirit and not in the oldness of letter. What shall we say? Is the Torah sin? Not may it be. However, I did not know sin except through the Torah.... For apart from the Torah, sin is dead. And I was alive apart from the Torah once, but when the command came, the sin revived, and I died. And the command which was to result in life, this I found to result in death. For sin, having taken the occasion through the command, deceived me, and through it, killed me.” (Romans 7:5-11)
Third, there is no “ara – anxiousness” when, as a result of knowing and understanding who Yahowah is and what He is offering, we come to trust and rely upon Him. Distressful inquiry is an irresolvable product of faith.
Fourth, the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’, as the diminished manifestation of Yahowah, set apart from God to do the work of Yahowah, which is to save His Covenant’s children, was innocent, correct, and properly led because He was Torah observant. Since He lived and affirmed Yahowah’s Towrah without reservation or exception, there is no condition whatsoever whereby He could have been considered evil or mistaken. But since Sha’uwl wants to infer that the Torah condemns rather than saves, his perverted incarnation of Christos would also have been misled by this very same Torah.
Fifth, since Sha’uwl presents the Torah as an implement of sin, a Torah-observant Ma’aseyah would, from this perspective, have to be a servant of sin. That is why Paul was required to remake his Christos in his image – disassociating Yahowsha’ from the Torah while ascribing his warped Roman’s 7 interpretation to Him. This is not only wrong; it is repugnant.
And this leads us to Sha’uwl’s parting comment. “Me ginomai – not may it exist” was scribed in the aorist, which represents a snippet in time without respect to a process or a plan. And of course, the process and plan that this is being disassociated with is the Torah’s Covenant and its Invitations. In the middle voice, Paul is saying that the subject, which is implied to be Christos, is being affected, and thus is becoming misled and mistaken, by his own actions. Paul’s god, therefore, needs Paul’s help, Paul’s correction, Paul’s preaching and letters to resolve that problem. This arrogant position was underscored by the interjection of the optative mood, where we discover that Paul is actually portraying this perverted perspective as being possible and even desirable. It is shades of Colossians 1:24-26 all over again. Paul is affirming that he is “co-savior” and “co-author” of his plan of salvation.
So in this case, based upon the grammatical choices Sha’uwl made, as the writer, he was expressing his own personal desires regarding the portrayal of a new prospect he wants to achieve and promote. He was, therefore, communicating his own personal longings with this statement, and not God’s will or plan. And as a snapshot in time, Paul was expressly disassociating Yahowsha’s life from its foundation in the Torah. Further, Paul wanted his audience to view his “Christ” as a new paradigm, as a “New Testament,” and as a new and different way. Such is the essence of Pauline Doctrine.
With this in mind, if the fifteenth through twenty-first verses are evaluated as one cohesive thought, then the seventeenth verse transitions from nearly incomprehensible to utterly unconscionable. According to Paul, the source of sin, the very definition of sin, is the Torah. Just as sin is wrong, Paul believes that doing what the Torah says is wrong. So he is actually communicating: “But if seeking and finding to be made righteous and innocent in Christo, we were found also ourselves social outcasts and sinners (by observing the Torah), shouldn’t we be anxious that Christos becomes a guilty, errant, misled, sinner who is a servant (of the Torah)? Not may it exist (I don’t want to consider him being guided by any plan associated with the Torah).” (Galatians 2:17)
Sha’uwl is attempting to besmirch the Word of God by saying that it has been replaced by faith in his Gospel. Sha’uwl’s goal is to sever the connection between Yahowah and Yahowsha’, and between the Torah and the Ma’aseyah. He doesn’t want anyone to believe that the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ served as an implement of Yahowah to fulfill and enable the Torah’s promises relative to the Covenant Relationship and Invitations to Meet with Him.
But in actuality, the moment that Yahowsha’s Passover and Unleavened Bread sacrifices and FirstFruits and Seven Sabbaths fulfillments are disassociated from their Torah’s promises, His ordeal and life no longer has any purpose or benefit. Apart from the Torah, Yahowsha’s life was a lie and He endured it all for nothing.
What follows is so awkwardly worded, it wasn’t until I came to understand Sha’uwl, that I was prepared to decipher his arrogant and obnoxious claim. According to the Nestle-Aland McReynolds Interlinear, he wrote and the NAMI published: “If for what I unloosed these again I build transgressor myself I commend.” This rendering is based upon the following Greek words, this time more completely and correctly translated...
“Because (gar – for) if (ei – upon the condition real or imagined) that which (os) I have actually torn down, dissolved, and dismantled (kataluo – I have put down, invalidated, abolished, disunited, overthrew, negated, rendered vain, deprived of benefit, brought to naught, subverted, abrogated, discarded, put an end to, and completely destroyed), this (houtos) on the other hand (palin – making a contrast) I restore or reconstruct (oikodomeo – I repair or rebuild this household (i.e., the Towrah’s Covenant), strengthening and promoting this edifice) transgression and disobedience (parabates – negligence, violation of the Towrah and an abandonment of trust, passing over and leaving the previously established path untouched), I myself (emautou – of myself, by myself, and on my own accord) stand with, bring into existence, and recommend (synistao – commend, demonstrate, arrange, establish, set into place, and approve).” (Galatians 2:18)
Kataluo was written katelusa, which is first person, singular, aorist, active, indicative. First person singular active means that Sha’uwl is personally taking credit for this, while the aorist indicative reveals that Sha’uwl has already accomplished this feat – as in past tense. Cognizant of these grammatical nuances, katelusa says: “I have already torn down” “this home and household.” It means “I have really put [the Towah] down in the sense of demeaning it,” as well as “I have actually dismantled, dissolved, and destroyed” Yahowah’s Towrah. And the fact that Paul’s next statement says that he actually died as a result of the Towrah, it is certain that the book this demonic individual claims to have “invalidated, subverted, and discarded” was Yahowah’s Towrah.
Kataluo is a compound of kata, meaning “down with, according to, or against,” and “luo – to undo that which connects.” It is used to speak of “breaking up a marriage,” to “deprive an authority of influence,” and to “render something unlawful.” The covenant is often presented as a marriage and the Torah was written under the authority of God.
More telling still, katalusa also means: “I have actually loosened that which was previously bound and have removed a burden.” It often refers to “travelers loosening the yokes and burdens of their animals when they arrive home at the end of a journey.” Therefore, Sha’uwl not only believes that “he has personally dissolved” the Torah and “dismantled it,” he believes that “he has personally and actually untied the yoke” of the Torah and “removed this burden” from his believers.
Now that Sha’uwl has taken credit for having “kataluo – belittled and dissolved, dismantled and invalidated, abolished and overthrown, negated, discarded, and abrogated” the Torah, the last thing he wants is to restore or resurrect it anew. So, in an ironic twist, he says that to observe the Torah is to be “parabates – Torahless.” How’s that for circular reasoning?
In that Paul’s rhetoric is clever, this bears repeating. The reason he stated in the sixteenth verse that “no one is saved by acting upon the Torah,” not once but twice, is that he wants to dissolve the Torah, dismantling and destroying the Word of God. So now that he has established his “New Testament” in the seventeenth verse, in the eighteenth, he is saying that he doesn’t want God’s “Old Testament” to be reestablished.
But the depths of Sha’uwl’s depravity knows no bounds. He is fully aware that the Hebrew word, beryth, meaning “Covenant Relationship,” is based upon beyth, the Hebrew word for “family and home.” And that is where oikodomeo comes in. It is usually translated “built or rebuilt,” but that obfuscates Sha’uwl’s intent and the verb’s actual meaning. You see, oikodomeo is a compound of oikos, “house, home, household, and familial dwelling place,” and doma, “building a home.” Therefore, the “house, home, and familial dwelling place” Sha’uwl claims to himself have “torn down, destroyed, discarded” is the “beryth – Familial Covenant Relationship.” He will affirm this horrid suggestion later in this same letter, saying that the covenant presented in the Torah was replaced because it was of the flesh and enslaved.
The one thing Paul got right, however, is his conclusion: “I myself (emautou – of myself, by myself, and on my own accord) stand with, bring into existence, and recommend (synistao – commend, demonstrate, arrange, establish, set into place, and approve) transgression and disobedience (parabates – negligence, violation of the Towrah and an abandonment of trust, passing over and leaving the previously established path untouched).”
And even with this confession, Sha’uwl was mocking God and playing his audience for fools. The operative term of the “beryth – Familial Covenant Relationship” is halak, in which Yahowah encourages us to “walk” to, beside, and with Him. Parabates is from parabaino, which means “to turn away from, to depart from, to overstep, and neglect the path, to go a different way without passing through or touching the previously established route.” It is a compound of para, “with and beside,” and baino, “walking.” Therefore, Sha’uwl wants believers to follow him on a new path which not only bypasses the established route of the Torah, but also walks away from God.
The message Paul should have conveyed is that there are two reasons that it isn’t appropriate for us to habitually sin after we have been saved. First, when we accept our Heavenly Father’s Torah advice on how to live, our lives are more joyous and productive. And our relationship with God is enhanced. Second, while our sin doesn’t lead to our expulsion from Yahowah’s family and home, it can influence the choices others make with regard to associating with God. If it is obvious that we don’t respect what Yahowah has told us when we disregard His Torah, then why would anyone trust what we have to say regarding Yahowah’s Word?
While you have to smile at the use of “prevaricator,” it would be unfair to criticize these translations based upon what they had to work with. LV: “For if I rebuild the things that I have destroyed, I establish myself as a prevaricator.” KJV: “For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.” Since neither Bacon nor Jerome valued the Towrah and its Covenant, they were comfortable sharing Paul’s claim of having dissolved it.
Here we can blame the New Living Translation’s anti-Torah and Covenant rhetoric on Paul. This is very close to what he intended to convey. “Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down.” This was written in Paul’s voice, so it reveals that Paul believes that he would be a sinner, not based upon rejecting Yahowah’s Torah, but instead by affirming it. If this does not make you angry, then you don’t know God.
I acknowledge that dissolving Yahowah’s Torah and replacing it with Paul’s “Gospel of Grace” is in Christendom’s DNA. And I realize that most Christians have no conception of how the Torah and Rabbinical traditions differ. While both concepts are wrong, for them, the Torah is both “the Law” and Judaism. So, if the church, a pastor, or a professor made this claim, I’d attribute it to ignorance and confusion. But this repudiation of the Torah is from Paul, in a letter Christians believe is inspired Scripture. And that is why it is so devastating—so damning.
In the 19th verse, two derivations of the Greek word nomos are repeated side by side, even in the oldest extant copies of Paul’s letter. So, the pieces which comprise Sha’uwl’s next puzzle, in the order of their appearance in the Greek text, reveal that, according to Sha’uwl, the Torah is deadly and estranging: “I for through law in law died that to God I might live. In Christ I have been crucified together.” (Nestle-Aland Interlinear)
Closer examination further reveals: “I (ego) then (gar – by reason of and because) by (dia – through and on account of) the Towrah’s (nomou – the Apportionment’s (the genitive case restricts the noun to a specific characterization, marking it as the source of)) allotment and inheritance (nomo – share which is parceled out, inheritance which is given, nourishment which is bestowed to be possessed and used, precept which was established and is received as a means to be proper and approved, prescription to become an heir; from nemo – that which is provided, assigned, and distributed to heirs to nourish them (the dative denotes an indirect object and refers to the person or thing to which something is given or done)) I actually died and was separated (apothnesko – I endured physical and spiritual death (aorist (without regard for process, plan, or precedent), active (which says that the subject, which is Paul, killed himself) indicative (inferring that the reader is to believe that this actually happened in the past, that his death was real, not symbolic, even though Paul, himself, doesn’t believe it) first person singular)) in order that to (hina – so as a result for the purpose of) God (ΘΩ) I might currently live (zao – I am probably alive as a result of my personal actions (in the aorist tense this reference to life is a snapshot of the condition without any connection to any plan or process, in the active voice, Paul is responsible for restoring his own life, and in the subjunctive mood, this condition is a possibility, not a probability nor a certainty)). In Christo (ΧΡΩ – in the Ma’aseyah (but without the definite article, the errant Christou used as a name is a better grammatical fit than the appropriate title “the Implement Doing the Work of Yahowah” (while the preposition “in” was not written, the dative form is used for indirect objects, especially people or things to which something is given)) I have actually been crucified together with (Ω suneotrai – I was affixed to an upright pole accompanying and beside; from sun – with, beside, and accompanying, together and in union with, and stauroo – to be staked, from stauros – upon an upright pole; (perfect tense describes a complete action in the past which carries forward into the writer’s presence, the passive voice and indicative mood signifies that this was actually done to Sha’uwl, first person singular)).” (Galatians 2:19)
Before we consider this iteration of Sha’uwl’s theology, and try to make sense of this man’s claim to have been killed by Yahowah’s Torah only to have been crucified alongside Yahowsha’, let’s re-examine the key words under an etymological microscope. As we discovered a moment ago, nomou and nomo are derived from nemo, the Greek word meaning: “to provide, to assign, and to distribute an inheritance to nourish heirs.” Based upon nemo, nomos, nomo, and nomou reflect “an allotment which is bestowed and parceled out for the purpose of feeding God’s hungry sheep.” Metaphorically, then, nemo, nomos, and nomou describe “a prescription for living which is given to us by God so that we might thrive with Him as His children, so that we might be fed and grow, inheriting all of the property and possessions that are His to give.” In this regard, and properly defined, nomos, nomo, and nomou actually provide a fitting depiction of Yahowah’s “Towrah – teaching, guidance, direction, and instruction” on the benefits of choosing to engage in His Covenant Family.
In that the world is part of our inheritance from God, and because it nourishes us, nomos was used to depict “the natural systems which undergird the universe” and to convey the “order assigned to nourish and support life.” These concepts are also consistent with the Towrah and its Covenant
Digging ever deeper, but not going in the right direction, Greek Sophists, known as philosophers (men of rhetoric), often wrote of the nomos being “a collection of false opinions formed by the majority.” By this definition, the Oral Law of the Rabbis and Church Canon Law are examples. The Greek Stoics (who held that men should be free from passion, unmoved by grief or joy, and submissive to natural systems) saw the nomos as “universal truth,” something they, themselves, knew very little about.
Also germane to this discussion, while Rabbis were skilled in Hebrew and Aramaic, to the extent that they communicated in Greek, they associated nomos with their Talmud, or Jewish Law. Sha’uwl, as a Rabbinical student, appears to have seized upon this misappropriation of the term in his attack on Yahowah’s Towrah. Likewise, religious Christian scribes, immersed in and corrupted by Pauline Doctrine, advanced the myth, leaving us with a nearly universal rendering of nomos as “law” in virtually every English bible translation. And the intended implication is then to apply this derogatory mischaracterization to the Towrah, even though there is no actual association between law and Torah.
So, while there was once, at a time long past, a dichotomy of opinion regarding the meaning of nomos, that is no longer the case today. The word which originally spoke of how the nurturing nature of Yahowah’s Word enabled us to become heirs to the Covenant has become a disparaging and dishonest portrayal of the most important document ever written.
As a result, lexicons, which are universally the products of religious publishers, say that nomos describes societal laws in general and the Torah specifically. And yet jettisoned of this religious baggage, most Greek dictionaries simply say that, in addition to representing “an inheritance or allocation of something which is nourishing,” nomos addresses “the rules related to civil rights and human conduct within a system of justice.”
As we discussed previously, Strong’s initially and accurately conveys that nomos is derived from nemo, which it says spoke of “parceling something out, and especially providing food to grazing animals” – which would have been sheep in the day, but they get many things wrong from that point on. And in concert with the primary revelation, The Complete Word Study Dictionary reveals that “nomos and nomou are from nemo, meaning: to divide among, to parcel out, to allot, to use and possess.” As we have learned, they then point to aponemo, the variation of the word used in 1 Shim’own / Peter 3:7 to convey “heir,” for a more complete understanding. The apo prefix of aponemo means “from” and addresses the ideas “of going forth, proceeding from one object to another, and of separation in the sense of being set apart from an entity that it was originally part.”
This known, the definition then of aponemo is: “to give, to attribute, to allot, to apportion, to assign, and to bestow, distributing an inheritance to an heir.” It is related to “kleronomos – to hold, and to have it in one’s power to distribute an inheritance to an heir,” with klero denoting “an allotment which is divided.” This form of nemo is found in Mattanyah and Ya’aqob to suggest that Yahowsha’ is the heir of all things. Nemo is also akin to dianemo, which is used in Acts to “denote divulging the means to disperse something over a wide area, spreading it throughout the world and throughout time.” And in this case, the prefix dia simply means “through.”
While Strong’s, unwilling to consider its own etymological research, or even Paul’s own translation of towrah using nomos in Galatians 3:10, defines nomos as “anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command; representing any law whatsoever,” it was not until their tenth definitional clause that they associated nomos with “the Mosaic law.” The “Torah” was not mentioned by Strong’s. It is one of many reasons that a single lexicon is wholly insufficient. To cut through the clutter of religion, a diligent individual on a quest for the truth has to thoughtfully consider many resources, consistently going over the same material in recognition that repetition and understanding serve as the catalysts which enable retention.
In this light, and as I’ve stated previously, in the Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, we find: “Etymologically, nomos is derived from nemo, “assign.” They reveal that “in the 5th century BCE nomos became the written law of the population in the developing Greek democracy as an expression of the will of the deity.” Further, this Exegetical Dictionary writes: “of the approximately 220 OT occurrences of tora, the Septuagint translates approximately 200 with nomos, and altogether nomos is found 430 times in the LXX.” (“LXX,” representing the Roman number 70, is the scholarly notation for the Septuagint, the early Greek (circa 200 BCE) translation of the Hebrew Torah, because as its name implies there was a myth that seventy translators were deployed on the project.) So this is the basis for and validation of Sha’uwl’s use of nomos to say “Torah.” Considering the influence of the Septuagint on early Christendom, especially on scribes, based upon this realization, the conclusion that Paul deployed nomos to convey “Torah as Law” is essentially irrefutable.
Interestingly, and I am augmenting some of this to underscore an essential insight, the Exegetical Dictionary also acknowledges: Congo Archbishop “Monsengwo Pasinya [who was awarded a doctorate in Biblical Studies from the Biblical Institute in Jerusalem] strongly contests the view that nomos conveys the idea that the Torah is a set of laws. He wrote ‘nomos does not signify “Law” in the legal and juridical sense of classical Greek, but rather ‘Instruction and Teaching’ in accordance with the original sense of the corresponding Hebrew term Torah.’ He stretches the interpretation of nomos in Dabarym 17:10 with the help of the Psalms to mean ‘instruct and teach.’ According to Dr. Pasinya, nomos in the LXX should be translated as ‘instruction / teaching.’”
But then, recognizing how incongruous this conclusion is from modern religious indoctrination, the Exegetical Dictionary dismisses this scholar’s accurate rendering of nomos as “teaching and instruction” with: “If such were the case, however, the LXX translator would have been detaching himself completely from the contemporary meaning of nomos. Nomos in the LXX should for the most part, therefore, be translated as ‘law.’” So even when a scholar stumbles upon the truth, theologians dismiss it. After all, if nomos actually means “teaching and instruction” then everything Paul wrote falls apart, including his own translations of the Torah. Christians can’t have that, now can they?
This reality was reinforced by the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament where, if you recall, they reported: “The concept that nomos means law is religious in origin and plays a central role in these cultures.” And in this same vein, referring to Yahowah’s “Towrah – Teaching” as if it was “Mosaic Law” is also the product of religious deception.
Throughout his letters, based upon his citations, translations, and commentary, there can be no doubt that Sha’uwl used nomo, nomos, and nomou to present Yahowah’s “Torah as Law.” He never quotes from any Talmudic source, negating the possibility of nomo, nomos, or nomou representing the Oral Law of the Rabbis. Moreover, it would be another 450 years before most of these Rabbinical arguments were codified in the Babylonian Talmud. So Paul is deliberately mischaracterizing Yahowah’s “towrah – source of teaching, instructions, directions, and guidance.” While God wants us to observe His Towrah in the sense of closely examining and carefully considering His Teaching, Sha’uwl has corrupted and mischaracterized God’s Guidance as a “set of Laws” which could not possibly be obeyed, and which therefore condemn. And it is this perspective, this position, this pivot point, where the religion Sha’uwl conceived separated itself from God’s Instructions.
And make no mistake, Paul is fixated on Yahowah’s “nomos – Towrah.” Of the 195 times nomos is used in the so-called “Christian New Testament,” 122 are found in Paul’s letters, 27 are scribed in Lukan writings, who initially was one of Paul’s defenders, and two thirds of those are in Acts which presents a historical portrait of Paul’s life. We find 14 iterations of nomos in Hebrews, a book written by one of Paul’s associates. Collectively this means that 84% of the time nomos was used to designate the Torah, Paul inspired the criticism.
Even though it should be obvious, Yahowsha’ did not speak English – a language derived from Anglo Saxon in the 15th century CE. He did not speak Greek either. He would have delivered His Instruction on the Mount in either Hebrew or Aramaic – a cognate of Hebrew. So Yahowsha’ would have articulated the title “Towrah,” a concept as familiar to His audience as were Yisra’el and Yahuwdah. Further, the original autograph of Mattanyah’s eyewitness account of Yahowsha’s initial and most substantial public address was written in Hebrew, actually citing the words the Ma’aseyah spoke. But unfortunately, rabbis burned every copy, so all we are left with is a Greek translation of His speech. And in it, we find nomos used to depict the Towrah.
For evidence of this assertion, that Hebrew copies of Mattanyah’s eyewitness accounting of Yahowsha’s words and deeds, replete with Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s actual name were burned by rabbis, consider the Babylonian Talmud: Tosef., Shabbath xiii. 5; Tractate Shabbath, Folio 116a, Yer. Shabbath 15c, 52; and Sifre Number 16. In it, you will find: “The Gilyonim [a Hebrew corruption of euangelion as scribed by Mattanyah and Yahowchanan] and the books of the Minim [Yisra’elite followers of Yahowsha’] were not saved from fire, but one lets them burn together with the names of God written upon them.” “On the week-days the names of God are cut out and hidden while the rest is burned.” “I swear by the life of my children that if they fall into my hands I shall burn them together with the names of God upon them.” “The Book of the Minim [Yisra’elite followers of Yahowsha’] may not be saved from a fire, but they must be burnt in their place, they and the Divine Names occurring in them.” “The blank spaces above and below on account of those writings [which is a reference to the Divine Placeholders used in Greek texts of the eyewitness accounts] and the Books of the Minim, we may not save them from a fire. One must cut out the Divine Names which they contain, hiding them, and then burn the rest.”
Further research affirms that Rabbi Meir, in 135 CE, corrupted the Greek euangelion to gilyonim and then used minim, in Hebrew, to convey “worthlessness of a scroll.” The eyewitness accounts scribed by Mattanyah and Yahowchanan were called “sin-scrolls” in Shabbath 116a. And should you be wondering, it was considered a sin in rabbinic Judaism to burn a scroll with Yahowah or Yahowsha’ written upon it, so these names were to be cut out before being consumed in the flames. The original eyewitness account of Mattanyah was written in Hebrew, so in it, Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s name was accurately scribed.
Although it is a translation, finding nomos associated with something Yahowsha’ said appeared problematic prior to coming to appreciate the etymology of nomos, because Christian publishers are wont to render it “Law” – a definition the Author of the Towrah would never have ascribed to His Teaching. But, now that we know the whole truth, nomos isn’t inappropriate – at least so long as it is translated in a way which is consistent with its root. The Towrah is Yahowah’s means to nourish us and to provide us with an allocation of His power and possessions, which is an inheritance in the familial sense of the Covenant. And also, when used to say “towrah,” nomos by association means “teaching, instruction, direction, and guidance.”
Aware of these facts, Yahowsha’ can be accurately translated using nomos for Towrah. Such is the case in Mattanyah / Matthew 7:12, where the nomos / Towrah is equated to “our Heavenly Father’s good, healing, and beneficial gift,” and “to the narrow doorway to life.”
For the purpose of full disclosure, there are times where nomos was used in correlation with the Pharisees, and thus as a reference to their Oral Law. One such example is found in Luke 5:17. Also in Yahowchanan / John 8:17, Yahowsha’ spoke of “your nomos” in a discussion with the Pharisees, men whose very existence revolved around the allocation of traditions they inherited from their forefathers. Therefore, at least apart from Paul, when we are considering Greek references to “nomos,” we have to let the context dictate whether the Torah or Judaism’s Oral Law is represented by the Greek term.
In Sha’uwl’s letter to the Galatians, the first occurrence of nomos was written in the genitive singular as nomou. The genitive is a restrictive usage of a noun which denotes a very specific characterization – making nomou “the Towrah” because there were many versions and variations of the rabbinic traditions. The genitive also serves to “mark a noun as the possessor of something,” much like adding an apostrophe “’s” after a noun, making it possessive. So nomou is “the Towrah’s....” The second application of nomos was in the dative form (nomo) denoting that it was a less specific indirect object. And that means that nomou nomo is “the Torah’s allotment and inheritance,” literally, or “the Torah’s laws” in Pauline parlance. Proving this beyond any doubt, as we have already discovered, Paul, himself, translated towrah from the Hebrew text of the Torah in his Galatians 3:10 rendering of Dabarym / Deuteronomy 27:26 using nomou.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, there are a plethora of words which provide different shadings on the related concepts of terms, conditions, requirements, ordinances, authoritative directions, teachings, instructions, guidance, and prescriptions for living. For example, Towrah is a proper noun, as well as a word which conveys many of these things, albeit a relatively small portion of the Torah is dedicated to establishing regulations, and even then, they all serve as symbols to educate us.
In that few insights are more vital to our understanding, please consider the etymological definition of Towrah based upon the words which comprise this title. The numbers presented within the parenthetical are from Strong’s, and were included to facilitate your own investigation.
“Towrah (8451) – from tow (8420) – signed, written, and enduring, towrah (8452) – way of treating people, tuwr (8446) – giving us the means to explore, to seek, to find, and to choose, yarah (3384) – the source from which instruction, teaching, guidance, and direction flow, which tuwb (8421) – provides answers which facilitate our restoration and return, even our response and reply to that which is towb (2895) – good, pleasing, joyful, beneficial, favorable, healing, and right, and that which causes us to be loved, to become acceptable, and to endure, tahowr (2892) and tohorah (2893) – purifying and cleansing us, towr (8447) – so as to provide an opportunity to change our thinking, attitude, and direction.”
By turning to Ancient Hebrew, the original language of revelation, where each alphabetic character was designed to graphically display its meaning, we can learn even more about this Towrah – ת ו ר ה. Remembering that Hebrew reads right to left, what we discover is that the first letter, a Taw (ת), was conveyed by a pictographic representation of an upright pole replete with a horizontal support beam: which became . It signified the upright pillar used to support and enlarge a tent, which was a home in its day, and also the Tabernacle, where God met with His children. Inclusive of the support beam, the original Taw depicted a doorway, and thus continues to be symbolic of Passover, the Doorway to Life. The name of the character itself, Taw, is a rabbinic corruption of the letter’s original designation, tow, which means “signature, sign, and mark of authority.” Even today, a is considered to be a “mark” and “signature.” So, by taking all of these insights into consideration, in the first letter of Towrah, we find Yahowsha’. He is the Upright Pillar. He is the Doorway to Life and the Passover Lamb. And as the visual sign of the Towrah, as the Word of God in the flesh, Yahowsha’ is Yahowah’s signature.
The second letter in Towrah is Wah (ו). It was drawn in the form of a tent peg, , and is thus symbolic of enlarging and securing a tent home and shelter. The Wah speaks of making connections and adding to something, as is characterized by the conjunction “wa – and” in Hebrew today. The Wah therefore addresses the Spirit’s role in enlarging and securing Yahowah’s Covenant family and home. Yasha’yah / Isaiah 54 provides a wonderful affirmation of this, tying this tent peg reference to enlarging and securing Yahowah’s family.
The third letter, Rosh (ר), was depicted by drawing an individual’s head . Stripped of the preposition “ba – in,” a Rosh has the honor of serving as the first letter of the first word of the Towrah. Re’shyth describes “new beginnings in time, the first and foremost priority, the best choice, the highest point or designation, the head of a community and family, its first born, being reborn, and renewal.” Even today, the Hebrew word, re’sh, which just so happens to be the letter’s original name, conveys all of these same ideas. Therefore, Towrah’s third letter speaks of the new beginnings which are now possible for humankind as a result of the Towrah, at least for those who prioritize God’s teaching, make the right choice, and thereby reach the highest possible place and status, as the firstborn children of the head of the eternal household. And the Rosh, as a depiction of a human head , suggests that we should use our eyes to observe Yah’s teaching, our ears to listen to God’s guidance, our brains to contemplate His instructions, and our mouths to respond to Him once we understand what He is offering.
The fourth and final character in Towrah is Hey (ה). This letter was originally depicted by drawing a person looking up, reaching up, and pointing to the heavens: . As such, it means to observe. And as a living legacy of this connotation, we find that the Hebrew word hey still means “behold, look and see, take notice, and consider what is revealed.” For those seeking God, for those reaching up to Him for help, all they need do is reach for His Towrah and observe what it reveals.
Yahowah’s “Towrah – Teaching, Instruction, Guidance, and Direction,” therefore, written as or , conveys all of these linguistic and graphic ideas. They are all there to enlighten those who are observant.
So that there is no confusion, in Hebrew, dath is actually the word for “law,” in the sense of a “decree, edict, regulation, or rule.” A choq is an “inscribed prescription for living which cuts us into the covenant relationship.” Similarly, a chaqaq is a “clearly communicated written instruction.” A tsawah is an “authorized direction or teaching.” The mitswah speak of “the terms and conditions pursuant to the covenant.” A mishpat is the “means to exercise good judgment regarding the process of judiciously resolving disputes.”
And as we discussed previously, in total, we find nomos used 195 times in the Greek manuscripts. The vast preponderance of these are found in Paul’s letters, especially in Galatians with 32 inclusions. I find it interesting, however, that nomos is not found in either of Shim’own’s letters, even though the context suggests that he was criticized for observing the Towrah by Sha’uwl. And Ya’aqob, who was also demeaned by Sha’uwl in the same letter, mentions the Towrah ten times in his relatively short epistle. But that is because Ya’aqob’s letter was written to condemn Pauline opposition to the Towrah.
With Paul’s latest statement regarding the Torah, there is no longer a dispute that the nomos Paul was claiming to have “actually tore down, dissolved, dismantled, invalidated, abolished, subverted, abrogated, discarded, and destroyed” is Yahowah’s Towrah. That realization alone is sufficient to see Paul as a false prophet and false apostle.
In spite of the anguish they have caused God, here again for your consideration are the words Sha’uwl scribed in his letter to the Galatians...
“I (ego) then (gar) by (dia) the Towrah’s (nomou) allotment / law (nomo) I actually died and was separated (apothnesko) in order that to (hina) God (ΘΩ) I might currently live (zao). In Christo (ΧΡΩ) I have actually been crucified together with (Ω suneotrai).” (Galatians 2:19)
Moving on to the next interesting term in this, the 19th verse of the 2nd chapter of Galatians, we find that apothnesko, which is a compound of apo and thnesko. Thnesko denotes “mortality,” and thus “the separation of the soul from the body. It also speaks of pandemic diseases or plagues” Apo, which is the principle Greek word for “separation,” when used with thnesko conveys the idea that there is yet another separation, and that could only be separation of the soul from the Spirit of God. As such, it denotes spiritual death. Further apothnesko was written as apeoanon, in the first person singular aorist active indicative. That means that Paul is saying, “I actually died and was really separated.” From whom is the question.
By using the aorist, Sha’uwl is taking yet another swipe at the purpose, process, and precedent of the Towrah, as it is independent of any plan or process. In the active voice, he is taking credit for his own death. And by using the indicative, Paul wants readers to believe that this incredulous event actually occurred.
Then by saying that he was actually crucified alongside the Ma’aseyah, Sha’uwl is inferring that Yahowsha’, like Sha’uwl, himself, was killed by the Torah. Sha’uwl even concludes with another lie, saying that he was “actually crucified together with” Him, as if Sha’uwl wants everyone to believe that he is the co-savior. But for that to have any value, Sha’uwl would have had to have been perfect, resolutely Torah observant, and divine. I don’t suppose that he was actually that delusional, but these are the questions which arise from his claims.
Paul takes his preposterous “co-savior” notion to the extreme of religious mythology in Colossians 1:24-25, by writing: “Now (nyn – at the same time), I rejoice (chairo – I embrace and hail, I thrive and benefit (present tense, active voice, indicative mood)) in (en – by and in association with) the sufferings and misfortunate afflictions (tois pathema – the evil calamities and adverse emotional passions) for your sake (hyper sy – for the benefit of you, beyond you and over you), and (kai – also) I actually complete (antanapleroo – I fill up and fulfill, I make up for that which would otherwise be deficient (in the present tense the writer is portraying his contribution as being in process, in the active voice, he is signifying that subject, which would be either Sha’uwl or the afflictions is performing this, and with the indicative mood, the writer is portraying his fulfillment of the sufferings as being actual, and thus real, even though he may not believe it himself)) that which is deficient and lacking (hysterema – that which is needed, missing, wanted, and absent from, addressing the deficiencies associated with that which is left to be done due to prior failures and inferior performances) of the (ton) pressures and afflictions (thlipsis – pressing troubles, anguishing distresses, burdensome tribulations, oppressive pressures, straits, and persecutions) of the (tou) Christou (XPU) in (en) the (te) flesh (sarx – corporeally) of me (mou) for the benefit of (hyper – for the sake of, on behalf of, beyond and over) the (tou) body of (soma – the human and animal nature of) Him (autou) who (os) is (eimi – He presently, and by His own accord, exist as (present active indicative)) the (e) called out (ekklesia – called-out assembly, congregation, meeting), of which (hos – that means), I (ego), myself, exist as (ginomai – myself conceive and bring into existence, become, cause, belong to, appear as, and possess similar characteristics to) a servant (diakonos – one who serves without necessarily having the office) extended down from (kata – in accordance with or against, with regard to or in opposition to) the administration of the household (oikonomia – the management, task, arrangement, oversight, dispensation, or plan regarding the heirs in a household) of this (tou – the) god (ΘΩ), the (ten) appointment having been produced and granted (didomi – one caused, assigned, entrusted, committed, and given for his advantage (in the aorist participle this one time appointment was in antecedent time, in the passive this god was influenced and acted upon, and in the accusative singular this appointment was solely granted) to me (moi – to and for myself (in the dative, Sha’uwl is saying that this belongs to him)) to (eis – for and into) you all (umas) to complete and fulfill (pleroo – to fully provide, completely enable, and finish, bringing an end to) the (ton) word (logon – statement, speech, and account) of the (tou) god (ΘΩ).” (Colossians 1:24-25)
Trimmed considerably for readability, Sha’uwl just reported: “Now, I rejoice, embrace and hail, in the sufferings and misfortunate afflictions, the evil calamities and adverse emotional passions, for your sake, and I actually complete, making up for that which would otherwise be deficient and that which is lacking and left to be done due to prior failures and inferior performances of the afflictions of the Christou in my flesh for the benefit of the body of Him who is the called out, of which, I, myself, conceive and bring into existence as a servant extended down from the administration and arrangement of the household of this god, the appointment having been produced and granted to me to you all to complete and fulfill the word of the god.”
And should you not trust my rendition of Sha’uwl’s words, consider the NA: “Now I rejoice in the sufferings on behalf of you and I fill up the lacks of the afflictions of the Christ in the flesh of me on behalf of the body of him who is the assembly of which became I servant by the management of the God, the one having been given to me in you to fill the word of the God.” LV: “For now I rejoice in my passion on your behalf, and I complete in my flesh the things that are lacking in the Passion of Christ, for the sake of his body, which is the Church.” KJV: “Who now rejoice in my suffering for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.” NASB: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church.” NLT: “I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church.”
Therefore, just as the juxtaposition of the 18th and 19th verses of Galatians 2 resolved any question regarding which nomos Paul claimed to be annulling and destroying, by comparing the Galatians 2:19 with Colossians 1:24, it becomes obvious that Paul wanted Christians to see him as a “co-messiah” and “co-savior.” He wants to be perceived as completing the deficiencies that he claims were inherent in Yahowsha’s sacrifice as well as in Yahowah’s testimony. But that is like saying: without some bird droppings spattered on the roof and some dirt blown onto the steps, Yahowah’s Temple isn’t complete.
We should also note that in Galatians 2:19, zao, rendered “I might currently live,” was written zeso, in the first person singular, aorist, active, subjunctive. This means that Sha’uwl “believed that it was probable, but not certain,” that the subject (in this case God) at “some undisclosed time” caused him “to live, breathe, and behave in a particular manner.”
Finally, sustauroo, translated “was crucified with,” but literally meaning “to be affixed to the pillar upright with,” wasn’t actually written in the oldest Greek witness of this letter. A placeholder, using the capitalized letter Omega with a horizontal line over it designating an association with Divinity, was deployed instead, but this time with the addition of suneotrai. And that means that there is something about the word which isn’t properly conveyed in Greek, and which is better understood in the context of the Hebrew Scriptures.
If the placeholder and word had been written out, it would have read sunestauromai. Sun means “with” in Greek. And estauromai is the first person singular perfect passive indicative form of stauroo, which is the verb form of stauros, meaning “to affix to an upright pole.” As we have learned, the indicative tense tells us that Paul wants us to believe that this really happened—that, in his words: “I was literally crucified with Christo.” The passive tense tells us that Paul is claiming that his wannabe god did this to him—that he was acted upon as opposed to choosing this for himself. The perfect tense reveals that Paul would have us believe that his crucifixion was endured right along with Christo’s—that it was perfectly completed in the past rendering the present state of affairs.
The Greek verb is derived from stauroo (to affix to a stake which is placed upright) and stauros (upright pole or pillar), which are both derived from the root, histemi, meaning “to stand upright so as to enable others to stand.” Stauros’ Hebrew equivalent is ‘edon, meaning “Upright Pillar,” a Divine title which is applied to Yahowah and Yahowsha’ throughout the Torah—which is the reason for the Ω placeholder. The Hebrew equivalent of histemi is quwm, meaning “to stand up and to establish.”
These things known, let’s see if we can decode Sha’uwl’s riddle. Reduced to its essentials, over the past five “verses,” Paul wrote:
“We Yahuwdym by nature and not from the social outcasts of sinful and heathen races (2:15) having come to realize without investigation or evidence that by no means whatsoever is made right, is vindicated, or made righteous man by means of tasks and activities associated with the Towrah if not by belief and faith in Iesou Christou, and we on Christon Iesoun, ourselves believed in order for us to have become righteous, to have been acquitted and vindicated out of faith in Christou, and not by means of acting upon or engaging in the Towrah, because by means of engaging in and acting upon the Towrah not any flesh will be acquitted, vindicated, nor made righteous. (2:16)
But if seeking to be made righteous and innocent in Christo, we were found also ourselves social outcasts and sinners, shouldn’t we be anxious that Christos becomes a guilty, errant, and misled, servant of sin? Not may it exist, (2:17) because if that which I have actually torn down, dissolved, and dismantled, invalidated and abolished, subverted, abrogated, and discarded, this on the other hand I restore or reconstruct, promoting this edifice, I myself bring into existence and recommend transgression and disobedience. (2:18) I then, because of, and by the Towrah’s allotment / law, myself, actually died and was separated in order that to God I might currently live. In Christo I have actually been crucified together with.” (Galatians 2:19)
While it is possible to “die and be separated from” Yahowah, this is the fate of those who dismantle and demean the Torah, and not of those who observe it. And speaking of dying, Paul was not “actually crucified with the Ma’aseyah.” He wasn’t even a witness to the fulfillment of Passover or Unleavened Bread, much less a beneficiary. For had he observed Passover, he would not have died. And if he had benefited from Unleavened Bread, he would not have been separated. That is the purpose of the first two Miqra’ey.
Instead of availing himself of the Ma’aseyah’s fulfillment of Yahowah’s promises and plan, Sha’uwl presented himself as god. So he imagined that his work was even more important than Yahowsha’s had been, because he completed what was lacking in His work. Rather than accepting Yahowah’s gift, Sha’uwl wanted believers to see him as the one who provided it.
But based upon his god’s credibility problem, even Sha’uwl was uncertain of his destiny. To which I have good and bad news. Based upon his own admission of his spiritual affiliation, Sha’uwl lives and will never die. But he is separated from God, spending his eternity with Satan in She’owl. With his ego, Sha’uwl is probably claiming that She’owl was named in his honor.
According to Yahowah, He fulfilled His Torah’s promises so that we could live with Him. While the Torah delineates the Way, that Way had to be facilitated for us to be acquitted. Yahowah provided the path and Yahowsha’ paid the toll. Therefore, these aren’t separate things, one which kills and the other which provides life, but instead God’s depiction of the path to life which He, Himself, enabled.
Recognizing what the Greek actually reveals, let’s consider whether the King James and Vulgate are, in the strict sense, translations. The KJV reads: “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.” Now for the Latin Vulgate (at least as it has been revised): “For through the legem/law, I have become dead to the legi/law, so that I may live for God. I have been confixus/nailed to the cruci/cross with Christo.” The NLT was similar, but then its authors couldn’t restrain themselves and conspired to create a point of their own with: “For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God.” But to be fair, if one excludes what we can learn from the tenses, voices, and moods ascribed to these verbs, these are all reasonably close to: “I then by and because of the Towrah’s allotment /law actually died and was separated, I actually endured physical death, killing myself, in order that to God I might currently live. In Christo I alone in unison with him was actually crucified.”
As you may know, there were no numerical verse designations in manuscripts prior to the Geneva Bible, which was published in the late 16th century. However, the spacing on Papyrus 46 suggests that the sentence “I was crucified with the Christo” belongs with the placeholder for God, ΘΩ, and thus exists as part of the previous statement. However, most modern revisions remove the ΧΡ and Ω placeholders from the previous sentence and attach them to the next one. Also, while the Textus Receptus, the Novum Testamentum Graece, and the Nestle Aland Greek New Testament, as well as most all English translations read “the Son of God,” the oldest witness to Sha’uwl’s letter does not. With this in mind, the preceding vain and vile rant was followed by...
“I live (zao – I am alive (present tense, active voice, indicative mood, first person singular)), but (de) no longer (ouketi – not any more) I (ego). He lives (zao – he is alive (present, active, indicative, third person singular)) then (de – but) in (en – within) me (ego) Christos (ΧΣ – Ma’aseyah (errantly presented without the definite article)).
This (os – which) because (de – but) now (nym – at the present) I live (zao – I am alive (present, active, indicative, first person)) in (en) flesh (sarx – physical body, corporeally), in (en) faith (pistis – believing (originally meant trusting and relying but migrated in concert with Sha’uwl’s usage)) I live (zao – I am alive (present, active, indicative, first person singular)), the of the (te tov – perhaps he meant to say “that the”) God (ΘΥ) and (kai) Christou (ΧΡΥ – Ma’aseyah (once again without the definite article required before a title)) the one (tov) having loved (agapao – having tangibly demonstrated devotion for (aorist, active, participle, singular, and genitive which collectively convey that this condition once existed in the past as a snapshot in time without any consideration for the process which made it possible and it was done especially and exclusively for)) me (ego), and (kai) surrendered and entrusted authority (paradidomi – handed over the power to control, influence and instruct, to teach and to betray exclusively and especially of (aorist, active, participle (happened in the past but was not part of a process), singular, genitive (restricting this characterization to a single individual)) Himself (heautou – of Him (reflexive pronouns denote mutual participation in the act)) for the sake of (hyper – on behalf of and because of) me (ego).” (Galatians 2:20)
I recognize that this passage doesn’t flow well in English, but I double-checked the oldest manuscript, and this is exactly how it reads. Also, on the pages of codex known as Papyrus 46, we find “ΘΥ kai ΧΡΥ – God and Christou,” so that is why it was conveyed this way instead of “the Son of the God” as reported in the Nestle-Aland, whose Interlinear published: “Live, but no longer I lives but in me Christ what but now I live in flesh in trust I live the of the son of the God the one having loved me and having given over himself on behalf of me.”
Sha’uwl’s line, “I am alive, but not I, he lives in me, Christos,” affirms what I’ve long suspected. Sha’uwl wanted his audience to view him as Christos incarnate. Frankly, there is no other rational way to interpret these words. Paul was alive, which means that he could not have been dead.
By way of clarification, it is the Set-Apart Spirit who lives within those of us who are adopted into Yahowah’s Covenant family, not the Ma’aseyah. In this way, Yahowah enriches and empowers His Covenant children with some of His Spiritual energy, but it would be senseless to place a corporeal manifestation inside of a physical body. So this means that Sha’uwl wants people to believe that he has become the embodiment of Christou – which, incidentally, he continues to deploy as a name rather than a title.
The problem with this for Paul, besides being wrong, is that he consistently condemns the flesh, which he claims is bad, because he wants to infer that his spirit is good. But now that he is touting his flesh as the embodiment of Christou, he spins the result, telling his audience to accept this hypocritical conflict by faith.
Furthermore, this arrogant perspective, in the midst of a deplorable boast to have not only negated the Torah but to have made up for Yahowsha’s deficiencies, is further underscored by the grammatical tenses, voices, and cases Sha’uwl ascribed to the verbs agapao and paradidomi, in addition to the meaning of the concluding verb.
By using the aorist “snapshot” tense with both verbs, “love and surrender,” Sha’uwl is deliberately isolating Yahowsha’s actions, disassociating them from Yahowah’s promise and purpose. Without consideration for the process which made these things possible, there is no longer an association between Yahowsha’s sacrifice and the Towrah in the minds of those beguiled by this myth. This negates everything Yahowah accomplished through Yahowsha’.
To believe Sha’uwl, Yahowsha’ decided to allow mortal men to kill immortal God, nailing Him to a pagan cross. The fact that it happened on Pesach, the doorway to life was irrelevant. Yahowsha’ would have to have squandered the Shabat too, accomplishing nothing of value on the Miqra’ of Matsah. And in the isolated madness of Pauline myths, especially with regard to his religion’s Easter Sunday, rather than observing the Torah, the god man killed would have to have been physically resurrected. Too bad for Sha’uwl’s devotees the eyewitness accounts all say that no one recognized the most important individual in their lives upon the fulfillment of Bikuwrym.
In reality, Yahowah established the doorway to life, the means to be perfected, and the adoption process into His Covenant family to honor the promise of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym, presenting and explaining these Invitations to Meet with Him for a reason. He wants us to respond to these Invitations, to observe the Guidance He has provided, and to capitalize upon what He has done so that we might accept His merciful offer. But that is seldom done when people are fooled into disassociating these promises from their fulfillments.
And it gets worse. Rather than presenting God’s love and sacrifice as something done for all of us, Paul scribed both verbs as singular and then in the genitive suggesting that his Christou exclusively and especially loved him and therefore decided to surrender and entrust His authority to Sha’uwl alone.
This concern is highlighted by the realization that up to this point Paul has been conveying his message using the royal we, as was the case with Muhammad, thereby inferring that he and his god were speaking with the same voice. In the Qur’an, this is because Allah is Muhammad’s alter ego, making the man and his god one and the same. But here, we’ve now transitioned from “we,” used similarly, suggesting that Sha’uwl wanted to be perceived as the voice of God, to “ego – me, myself, and I” when Paul is positioning himself as the exclusive object of his god’s adoration and as the sole recipient of his authority. (Should you be curious, the transition from “we” to “I” occurred when we left the 15th, 16th and 17th verses and transitioned into the world of make believe in verses 18, 19, and 20.)
Regarding the personalization of these arrogant claims, we find the use of “‘paradidomi – surrendered and entrusted authority individually, especially, and exclusively’, himself mutually participating in the act with me for my sake and because of me.” Paradidomi speaks of “handing over authority, turning it over and delivering it up to another, entrusting them with it, yielding to them.” Secondarily, it means “to be betrayed.” And its tertiary meaning speaks of “granting the authority to instruct and to teach.” It is from para, which conveys “from, of, by, or with,” and “didomi – to give, granting, bestowing, and entrusting something for mutual advantage.” Therefore, written in the singular genitive, Paul wants us to believe that his Christou surrendered, handing over his authority exclusively to him. Once again: a-Paul-ing.
Rather than Yahowsha’ being in charge, it was Paul who was lord and master – man’s savior and the voice of god. Rather than the Towrah being the authorized source of teaching and instruction, its authority was surrendered, yielded to Sha’uwl. For those who know Yahowah, it is more than enough to make one want to scream.
If Paul had wanted to say that Yahowsha’ “offered Himself sacrificially for our benefit,” he would have written zabach (Strong’s 2076) or dabach (Strong’s 1685) in the first person plural. But deliberately, egotistically, and deceptively, he selected paradidomi, and then he scribed it in the singular genitive.
Yahowsha’ is translated using this same word in the context of “on the way to court with an adversary, settle differences expeditiously so that your accuser doesn’t hand you over (paradidomi) to the judge, who will throw you into prison.” (Mattanyah / Matthew 5:25) It is used again in Mark’s account, to say in 15:1: “The leading priests and the rabbis of the religious law bound Yahowsha’, and handed Him over (paradidomi) to Pilate, the Roman governor.”
In Luke 20:20, by searching for the meaning of paradidomai, we find a dissertation on Sha’uwl’s duplicitous nature and intent: “And having observed Him closely (paratereo), they prepared and dispatched (apostello) spies (egkathetos – people who secretly lie in wait, and who cleverly bribe and entrap), themselves pretending (hypokrinomai – themselves duplicitous insincere hypocrites, using the statements of another to feign and separate under false pretenses) to be upright and justified (dikaios – Torah observant) in order to seize control of (epilambanomai – to take Him into their custody against His will along with) His word (logos – [Torah pronouncements]) so that they could betray Him, cause Him to surrender, and hand Him over to the control of (paradidomi) the supreme ruling authority (arche): the governor with the freedom to judge (exousia).”
Substitute Sha’uwl for “the duplicitous men separating people from God under false pretences,” and Satan for “the supreme ruling authority,” and you will understand the hideous intent of Galatians 2:20. And while I realize that this would be a stretch if reliant only on this isolated passage, this is perhaps the only reasonable interpretation of his use of paradidomi in this context.
Paradidomi, written in the aorist active participle masculine singular genitive, as paradontos, becomes a verbal adjective which is restricted to a singular individual. It thus conveys that the Ma’aseyah was betrayed, that He surrendered, yielding Himself and His authority to Sha’uwl. And therefore, Sha’uwl no longer lived. He was now “Christou” in the flesh. Telling you that I’m the man in the moon, would be more credible.
There is an interesting “catch 22” evident here in our diagnosis of Pauline Doctrine. It’s obvious that this letter was poorly written, perhaps making the specificity and frequency of these criticisms seem a bit unfair. And if Paul were an average fellow, admitting to be unskilled in the art of written communication as opposed to bragging about his prowess, and if he openly stated that these letters contained his opinions as opposed to God’s message, then the strident nature of this evaluation might be insufferable for Pauline aficionados. But that is not the case. Paul has repeatedly protested that he is the Ma’aseyah’s appointed apostle, if not the living embodiment of his god. He not only claims that his message was from God, but that his god yielded his authority to him. So from that perspective, considering the consequence, every misstatement and every errant nuance must be exposed and condemned.
All of this brings us face to face with something else Paul got wrong, and which has subsequently influenced Christianity. In this verse, and in many others like it, the Ma’aseyah and His alleged agent have become the focus, when our eyes should be on the Father. Yahowsha’ is Yahowah’s implement, a tool. He is a substantially diminished manifestation, or corporeal representation, of God, set apart from Yahowah. The Christian perspective is like being captivated by a toenail clipping while ignoring the person from whom it was attached. Yahowsha’ is important, but immeasurably less so than Yahowah.
Additionally, this verse says: “God (ΘΥ) and (kai) Cristou (ΧΡΥ).” The conjunction separates them as if they were different individuals, which while consistent with Christian mythology, isn’t true. It would be more accurate, and more instructive, to say “Yahowsha’ was set apart from Yahowah to demonstrate His love for us.”
Had Sha’uwl written: “the moment we come to trust and rely upon Yahowah and His Towrah, and act upon the terms and conditions of the Covenant, we cease to be mortal, our souls are restored, and we become God’s children, immortal and perfect,” he would have had a valid point. This condition is possible because Yahowah tangibly demonstrated His love for us, fulfilling His Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, and Seven Sabbaths promises, thereby enabling all five of the Covenant’s benefits. But Sha’uwl didn’t convey any of these things.
Instead he lied: “I live, but no longer I. He lives then in me, Christos. This because now I live in flesh in faith I live the of the God and Christou, the one having loved me and surrendered, entrusting authority, yielding and handing over the power to control, influence and instruct, and to betray exclusively and especially of Himself for the sake of and because of me.”
The KJV’s rendering has become so familiar to us, it’s a shame that it isn’t accurate: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Jerome’s Latin Vulgate reads: “I live; yet now, it is not I, but truly Christus, who lives in me. And though I live now in the flesh, I live in the faith of the Son of God (in fide vivo Filii Dei), who loved me and who delivered himself for me.” In the NLT we find: “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” While much of this is wrong, to their credit, at least on this occasion, team Tyndale actually translated pistis correctly.
The first portion of what follows would have been sage advice if not for the name of the always-naked Greek and Roman goddesses of licentiousness. Apart from the invalid association, and violation of the First, Second, and Third Statements Yah etched on the First Tablet, and the Sixth Instruction He wrote on the Second Tablet, it would otherwise underscore the life and death decision we are all given the opportunity to evaluate. Bur alas, since Sha’uwl has rejected Yahowah’s source of mercy by denouncing His Torah, this is just another lie...
“I do not reject or disregard (ou atheteo – I do not regard as invalid, I do not refuse nor set aside, or literally: not, I do not actually at present rely on (present tense, active voice, indicative mood, first person singular)) the (o) Charity / Grace (charis – attractiveness, charm, and frivolity; the name of the Greek goddesses of Charity, known to the Romans as the Gratia, which was transliterated “Grace”) of the (tov) God (ΘΥ)....”
The reason that this is so sinister is because Paul is claiming that by rejecting the Torah, he did not reject God’s mercy. Yahowah’s position, however, is the antithesis of this, and we know that because after denouncing religion, and most especially religious corruptions like this at the conclusion of the Second of Three Statements on the First of Two Tablets, He wrote: “My mercy is for the thousands who approach Me in love and who closely and carefully observe the terms of the relationship.” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 20:6) The conditions associated with our participation in the Covenant are found in the first book of the Towrah and nowhere else on earth. The same is true of the lone path which has been provided to save us. Therefore, according to Yahowah, the God who in the first of those statements introduces Himself as our Savior, the relatively few individuals (thousands represent one in a million people) who receive His mercy do so by studying the Towrah’s Guidance so that they can walk to Yah along the path He has provided as part of His Covenant family. So by claiming that the Torah can be discarded without invalidating its benefits, Paul has contradicted God while confusing Christians. As a result, the billions who have been beguiled by Paul’s rhetoric, by disregarding the Towrah, have rejected God’s mercy. That is what makes him so deadly.
The second half of Paul’s statement is more challenging to interpret, because of its hypothetical nature, and because of the lack of specificity regarding the identity of the nomou Sha’uwl was addressing because it is only distinguished by the genitive nature of the Greek noun. And yet in this particular context, there can be little doubt to Sha’uwl’s intent. He appears to be saying: “If the Torah could save, then there was no reason for Christos to die.” Listen and see if you don’t agree (with that explanation, not with that message).
“...if because (ei – presenting a real or hypothetical condition) then (gar – as a transition suggesting a continuation, translation, reason, or cause and effect) by or through (dia – on account of) the Torah (nomou – the allotment which is parceled out for the purpose of nurturing those with an inheritance (restricted to a singular and specific characterization in the genitive)) righteousness (dikaiosyne – becoming acceptable and upright, being virtuous and correct) consequently as a result (ara – then, therefore, and accordingly, based upon the prior thought the conclusion is drawn) Christos (ΧΡΣ – Ma’aseyah (but without the definite article)) undeservedly, for no reason (dorean – for no purpose or cause, without benefit, for naught, and in vain) he died (apothnesko – he suffered death in the past; from apo – separation and thnesko – to die).” (Galatians 2:21)
By comparison, the NA published: “if for through law rightness, then Christ as a gift died.” Setting aside their errant translation of nomou and unjustified transliteration of Christos, the message is similar with the exception of dorean, an adverb which the Nestle-Aland’s Interlinear rendered as “gift” instead of “undeservedly, for no reason.” But to be fair, had dorean been scribed as a noun, its root does speak of a gift, albeit one given without reason or benefit.
Focusing on the words themselves, this assertion inverts Yahowah’s Towrah teaching, upending the relationship between the Towrah and Ma’aseyah. According to God, it is because of the Towrah’s promises that Yahowsha’ endured Passover and Unleavened Bread, so that He and we could enjoy FirstFruits. Had there been no Towrah, there would have been nothing to observe on these days and no benefits associated with them – therefore, no reason to fulfill them. So Paul’s statement isn’t just misleading, it is a boldfaced lie, totally deceptive, destructive, deadly, and damning.
These four days – Pesach, Matsah, Bikuwrym, Shabuw’ah – provide those who answer God’s Invitations with all five of the Covenant’s blessings: eternal life, perfection (righteousness and acceptability), adoption, enrichment, and empowerment. So according to God, we become righteous and acceptable as a result of responding to His willingness to honor the promises He made regarding His Covenant in His Towrah.
It is only by negating this association between Yahowah’s Word (Towrah) and Yahowah’s Work (Ma’aseyah) that either would be in vain. But that only happens under the specific scenario Sha’uwl has laid before us – which is what makes his letters so devastating.
There are three utterly and inexplicitly absurd aspects to Paul’s, and thus the Christian, position on the “death” of God. It is impossible. God, by His own definition, is immortal. It is irrational. Death is the absence of life, neither a remedy nor solution to our mortality. And it is inconsistent with God’s testimony as well as with the eyewitness accounts.
Therefore, the big picture is devastating to Christianity. God cannot die. Man cannot kill God. And God’s death, should it even be possible, would not make us righteous or acceptable.
On Pesach, Yahowsha’s physical body, representing the Passover Lamb, was sacrificed, but only after Yahowah’s presence, by way of the Set-Apart Spirit, departed. By fulfilling this specific aspect of His promise, in harmony with the Exodus, the lives of the Covenant’s children are spared, making us immortal. In Yah’s parlance, “we avoid the plague of death and destruction.”
The next day, which began at sundown, Yahowsha’s soul, representing His life and consciousness, now separated from God, went to She’owl, fulfilling Matsah, known as Un-Yeasted Bread, on a Shabat. His soul, thereby, paid the price to ransom us, making us acceptable by removing our corruption, represented by the yeast which had now been removed from the bread. The remains of Yahowsha’s body was incinerated following Passover in keeping with the Towrah’s instructions. (Shemowth / Exodus 12:10 reads: “Do not leave of it (the lamb) until morning, and what remains of it you are to burn with fire.”)
So then on Bikuwrym, meaning “firstborn child and foremost child,” Yahowsha’s soul, now released from She’owl, was reunited with the Set-Apart Spirit, making Yahowsha’ the first born unto our Heavenly Father’s family. In this way, we too are adopted into the Covenant by being reborn Spiritually.
Next, just as He had done when He initially revealed His Towrah Teaching to us, God enriched His children with His Guidance on Seven Sabbaths, empowering us through the Set-Apart Spirit on Shabuw’ah. Therefore, Yahowsha’s observation of the Towrah mattered because the promises of the Towrah matter.
The Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’, the Qodesh Qodesh or Most Set Apart, as the diminished corporeal manifestation of Yahowah, in concert with the Set-Apart Spirit, honored and enabled all four of these Towrah promises in 33 CE (Year 4000 Yah). They are essential and necessary individually but also collectively. One without the others can be counterproductive. For example, if a person were to observe Passover but not Unleavened Bread, they become immortal, but still unacceptable to God, so they would be eternally separated from Him in She’owl. So by over emphasizing one aspect of Yahowsha’s life, and by mischaracterizing it, the result can be worse than severing the overall connection between Yahowsha’ and the Towrah.
Therefore, it bears repeating: the opposite of what Sha’uwl has just written is true. If Christians believe Him and focus on God’s alleged “death,” they will die. And should they make the connection between Yahowsha’ and the Passover Lamb, but nothing more, their soul is destined for She’owl. That is why Yahowah warned us about this particular man in the second chapter of Chabaquwq / Embrace This / Habakkuk.
If Sha’uwl had wanted to say that fundamentalists who adhere to the Oral Law cannot save themselves, because Rabbinic teaching is in conflict with the Torah, then he should have said so—and provided examples, just as Yahowsha’ had done. And if Sha’uwl had wanted to say that we need a savior because we aren’t perfect, he could easily have phrased this in a way that everyone would have understood. But he didn’t. Instead he postured what could best be spun as an ill-defined and beguiling hypothetical, one which pits the “Torah” against the Ma’aseyah’s fulfillment of it. A proposition which ignores both the Covenant and the conflict between human nature and Godly perfection which can only be resolved on Matsah.
Because they don’t know or understand the Towrah’s presentation of Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, and Seven Sabbaths, most Christians now believe that Paul was authorized to undermine the value of the Torah and thereby replace it with the “death” of “Christ” on a “cross.” In their mind, it is as if these things provided a solution that was afforded by faith. But unless Yahowah had a plan to reconcile sinful man, one which Yahowsha’ enabled, then “the cross” was nothing more than a gruesome spectacle.
Since this is literally life and death, let’s be as clear and unequivocal as possible. Yahowsha’s existence, His words, His deeds, and His sacrifice, are irrelevant without the Torah. Apart from the Torah, Yahowsha’s life was a lie and His sacrifice was a complete waste of time. If not for the Torah, no one would have been saved by Yahowsha’s actions. Therefore, as a standalone concept, “believing in Jesus Christ” is as meaningless as the name and title are erroneous.
Yahowsha’s life matters expressly because He was Torah observant, providing us with the path we should follow to live in harmony with God’s Word. And, by honoring the Torah’s promises, Yahowsha’ paid the penalty for our noncompliance, making it possible for a just God to accept otherwise flawed children into His presence. So it is by viewing Yahowsha’s life from the perspective of Yahowah’s Word, from the viewpoint of the Torah, that we can come to appreciate who He is and understand what He did. Then, based upon this understanding, we have the opportunity to trust and rely upon Yahowah’s provision as it is written in the Torah and lived by Yahowsha’, or we can reject it as Sha’uwl has done. But be aware, Paul lied, so by rejecting the Towrah, you forego Yahowah’s mercy.
Yahowah has conceived, articulated, and facilitated a seven-step path for us to follow to achieve His ultimate objective, the Covenant, which enables us to campout with our Heavenly Father as His children. Yahowah calls His Way the Miqra’ey—the Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God. Yahowsha’ and the Set-Apart Spirit fulfilled the first four, Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, and Seven Sabbaths, which is the reason He and She were sent.
Worse even than the senseless carnage which would otherwise be the legacy of Yahowsha’s sacrifice, by devaluing the Torah relative to its fulfillment, this line of reasoning pits Sha’uwl against the Ma’aseyah. Yahowsha’ explained His sacrifices from the perspective of the Torah, and Paul is attempting to sever that association. As such, there is no way for Sha’uwl to be right or to be trustworthy. It is irrational to claim that Yahowsha’ is God, to claim to be Yahowsha’s apostle, and then contradict Yahowsha’ on the very purpose of His life.
While it is now a gnat on a camel, those who rely on the King James Version should know that it is impossible for anyone to “frustrate the mercy of God.” So why does the KJV say: “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” The source of the King James translation is obvious. The Latin Vulgate reads: “I do not reject the grace of God (gratiam Dei). For if justice is through the legem/law, then Christus died in vain.”
If the NLT’s rendering is accurate, then Paul’s intent was as I have stated: to devalue the Torah and to sever the connection between the path to salvation delineated in God’s Word from the toll Yahowsha’ paid along the Way. “I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.” The exact opposite is true. The Torah is the reason for the Ma’aseyah’s sacrifice.
Gathering this portion of Paul’s thesis together, and adjusting the text to more accurately reflect his intended message based upon the whole cloth of this epistle, the ultimate abomination of desolation reads:
“We Yahuwdym by nature and not from the social outcasts of sinful and heathen races (2:15) having come to realize without investigation or evidence that by no means whatsoever is made right, is vindicated, or made righteous man by means of tasks and activities associated with the Towrah if not by belief and faith in Iesou Christou, and we on Christon Iesoun, ourselves believed in order for us to have become righteous, to have been acquitted and vindicated out of faith in Christou, and not by means of acting upon or engaging in the Towrah, because by means of engaging in and acting upon the Towrah not any flesh will be acquitted, vindicated, nor made righteous. (2:16)
But if seeking to be made righteous and innocent in Christo, we were found also ourselves social outcasts and sinners, shouldn’t we be anxious that Christos becomes a guilty, errant, and misled, servant of sin? Not may it exist, (2:17) because if that which I have actually torn down, dissolved, and dismantled, invalidated and abolished, subverted, abrogated, and discarded, this on the other hand I restore or reconstruct, promoting this edifice, I myself bring into existence and recommend transgression and disobedience. (2:18) I then, because of, and by the Towrah’s allotment / law, myself, actually died and was separated in order that to God I might currently live. In Christo I have actually been crucified together with. (2:19)
I live, but no longer I. He lives then in me, Christos. This because now I live in the flesh, in faith I live of the God and Christou, the one having loved me and surrendered, entrusting authority, yielding and handing over the power to control, influence and instruct, and to betray exclusively and especially of Himself for the sake of and because of me. (2:20) I do not reject or disregard the Charity / Grace of the God if because then by or through the Torah righteousness consequently as a result, Christos undeservedly, for no reason or cause, without benefit, for naught, and in vain, he died.” (Galatians 2:21)
After enduring this breathtakingly toxic display of Sha’uwl’s error and arrogance in invalidating, dismissing, and disassociating Yahowah’s Torah, here is a breath of fresh air from Yahowsha’s Rock, Shim’own Kephas. Speaking of Paulos, it’s now apparent that Peter was right:
“Paulos, through the human wisdom that had been given to him, wrote to you. And even as in all [Paulos’] epistles, inside they use circular reasoning to speak around and about this. Within them, that is to say, there are some things difficult to understand, hard to comprehend, and detrimental to understanding, which the uneducated and ignorant, as well as those who are malleable, misinterpret and distort, also like the remaining inferior writings, to the consequence of their own individual destruction and annihilation. You, therefore, beloved, knowing this in advance, be on your guard, keep away from this and be especially observant, in order that you are not led astray, associating with the deception and delusion of Torahlessness, forsaking and falling away from one’s individual guarantee of salvation and perseverance.” (2 Shim’own / He Listens / Peter 3:15-17)
The third chapter of Galatians opens with some fairly insulting language. “O (o) ignorant and irrational (anoetos – foolish and senseless, lacking knowledge and understanding, unintelligent and unreasonable, unthinking and mindless) Galatians (Galatai – land of the Gauls; from Galatia, pronounced gal-at-ee-ah). To whom (tis) you (humeis) bewitched, deceived, and slandered (baskaino – practiced black magic and deluded, brought evil upon and seduced)?” (Galatians 3:1) This sounds eerily similar to the ongoing rant between Muhammad and the Meccans in the Qur’an – and it’s almost as poorly written.
Anoetos is a compound of a, the Greek form of negation, and noeo, “the ability to be judgmental, to be discerning, to perceive, to think, and to understand.” I am quite familiar with the term, because I use its English equivalent quite often when speaking of those bewitched by religion and politics in America and the West. No amount of fact or reason has any influence on the preponderance of religious individuals today. They remain blissfully ignorant. And sadly, even when the evidence needed to make an informed decision is provided, because they are irrational, most are incapable of processing the facts logically. Far too many religious individuals, largely because of Paul’s and Muhammad’s proclamations, have become: ignorant and irrational, albeit there is no reason to attribute this to the Galatians.
I am also familiar with baskaino, translated “bewitched and deceived.” Based upon phasko (recognizing that “you” seems to be out of place in the sentence), it appears to be telling us that Paul thought that the Galatians had been fooled by people who “affirmed that what they were professing” was Godly, when it, at least according to Paul, was Satanic, or that the Galatians were now criticizing Paul, and he was slandering them for having done so. Either way it’s a bogus bill and an ad hominem fallacy.
Based upon the evidence at our disposal, and consistent with what we learned in Acts and have read thus far in Galatians, I’m convinced that the opposite of what Paul was inferring was actually true. Those Paul was slandering told the Galatians that Yahowah had instructed us to observe the Torah, while Paul has sought to dissolve and dismantle the Word of God. So it is like the Qur’an once again. The one who was doing the misleading, in that case Muhammad, recited words he attributed to God which were designed to convince his audience that the liar (Muhammad) was telling the truth, and that those who were telling the truth (the Meccans) were actually lying. And now it appears as if Paul invented the trick to achieve the same result. And like Muhammad, Paul got away with it. Billions believe that both deceivers were messengers of God.
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that it is Godly to expose and condemn ignorance, as well as failures in thinking. It is even Godly to infer that people have been bewitched and deceived by religion and politics. It is merciful, even compassionate, to hurt someone’s feelings if in the process you prompt them to change their thinking and their affiliations, so that they might come to know Yahowah, and thus save their soul. However, when Christian apologists attack those who bluntly condemn ignorance, suggesting that applying these labels isn’t godly, then since Paul did this, he could not have been godly. And while it is clear to those who are neither ignorant nor irrational that Paul is the furthest from being Godly, this is a bit of a conundrum for the faithful.
Had Sha’uwl told the truth, as opposed to weaving his lies in and out of God’s Torah tapestry, his bluntness might have been admirable. We should never care what people think about us, or be concerned over how we will be received, but instead care about sharing what we know about Yahowah, and telling people who He is and what He has done.
And that is precisely what Sha’uwl did next well, sort of. It is one thing to say that Yahowsha’s life and deeds were predicted in the Torah and Prophets, and it is another altogether to explain the nature of the prophecies He fulfilled—especially those associated with our salvation, such as Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, and Seven Sabbaths.
“To whom (os – which) down from (kata – extended downward toward and according to) eyes (ophthalmos) Iesous Christos (ΧΡΣ ΙΗΣ – divine placeholders used by the Disciples for Ma’aseyah (the Implement Doing the Work of Yahowah), and Yahowsha’ (Yahowah Saves); but since this epistle has disassociated Yahowsha’ from Yahowah and the Ma’aseyah from the Work of the Towrah, it’s misleading to connect that which Sha’uwl has deliberately severed) described beforehand in writing (prographo – was documented in written prophecy) to be affixed to an upright pillar (EΣTPOΣ – placeholder for stauroo).” (Galatians 3:1)
Prographo, rendered “described beforehand in writing,” is a compound of pro, meaning “before hand,” and grapho, the Greek word for “writing” which is often the designated term for the written Scripture found in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. So while every significant aspect of the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’s life was predicted in advance, and in writing, no aspect of it was fulfilled before Sha’uwl’s eyes or those of the Galatians – no matter how one deals with “down from eyes.” Moreover, if Sha’uwl had wanted to resolve the perceived issue of Galatian “ignorance,” and had he sought for them to be “rational,” he would have cited any one of the many prophecies predicting Yahowsha’s and the Set-Apart Spirit’s fulfillment of Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, and Seven Sabbaths. But he didn’t, and that speaks volumes. We should never call someone “ignorant and irrational” unless we are prepared to resolve this condition. Paul never does.
It is also interesting that Sha’uwl scribed prographo in the passive which suggests that “Iesous Christos” was acted upon, as opposed to the active voice which would have correctly revealed that Yahowsha’ chose to observe the Towrah, engaging in and acting upon its guidance. I don’t suspect that this was a careless mistake.
The antidote which has the power to protect people from the beguiling and bewitching influences of political and religious pontifications is Yahowah’s Towrah Teaching. In this regard, Yahowsha’ consistently explained His life in the context of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. So, if you want to inoculate yourself from man’s ignorant and irrational schemes, if you want to understand Yahowah’s merciful gift of salvation, if you want to benefit from the path home God has provided, if you want to capitalize on Yahowsha’s sacrifice, turn to the seven Called-Out Assemblies presented in the heart of the Torah and rely upon the Ma’aseyah’s fulfillment of these prophetic announcements.
Or you could choose to wallow in the swamp of man’s translations. And speaking of them, you should know that there is no mention whatsoever of “the truth,” or of “obedience” in the Greek text in reference to this passage. So, not only are the King James and Vulgate erroneous, the fact that their errors are identical is proof that they are associated with one another, as opposed to being related to the Greek text. KJV: “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” LV: “O senseless Galatæ, who has so fascinated you that you would not obey the truth, even though Iesus Christus has been presented before your eyes, crucifixus/crucified among you?”
The way the NLT dispenses with the Scriptural references is indeed bewitching: “Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross.” Speaking of deceiving with “a picture of his death on the cross,” there is no reference to a “picture” in the passage, and the image of a “cross” would be pagan. Then adding insult to injury, the placeholder (EΣTPOΣ) represented a verb, not a noun (and thus not “cross”), and therefore the reference was to an event, not a religious icon or graven image.
Of this demeaning declaration, the NA published: “O unmindful Galatians who you bewitched to whom by eyes Jesus Christ was written before having been crucified.” If this is divinely authored Scripture, God is illiterate.
Sha’uwl advances his theory by asking a rhetorical question: “This (houtos) alone (monon – only) I wish (thelo – I propose, want, and desire) to learn (manthano – to be appraised of) from (apo – speaking of dissociation and separation) you (sy): out of (ek – by means of) acts (ergon – works, tasks, accomplishments, and activities) of the Towrah ([n]omou – of the allotment which is parceled out for the purpose of nurturing those with and inheritance, nourishment which is bestowed to be possessed and used by heirs, precept which was apportioned, established, and is received as a means to be proper and approved, prescription to become an heir (genitive: singular and specific)) the spirit (ΠΝΑ – placeholder for Ruwach using pneuma) you received (lambano – acquired, grabbed hold of, and obtained or exploited by deception were possessed by) or (e – alternatively) out of (ek – from) hearing (akoe – listening to) of faith (pistis – of belief (the meaning migrated from trust and reliance as a result of the popularity of Sha’uwl’s epistles))?” (Galatians 3:2)
Again, if this is to be considered the inspired word of God as Paul and Christians protest, I hereby declare that we should find a much smarter, more articulate, and more dependable deity. And fortunately, I know right where to find Him: in the very Towrah Sha’uwl was assailing with this toxic drivel.
In the vernacular of our day, and buffed up a bit, the question may well have been: “Could you just answer one question for me: did you receive the spirit as a result of something you learned by observing the Torah, or because you decided to believe the message I preached to you?” As such, Sha’uwl has openly admitted that his preaching differed materially from Yahowah’s Word, and has inferred that his message delivered superior results to God’s instructions.
If this is true, and I don’t see any way around it, then this is a confession. Paul is guilty of committing the most heinous of all crimes: bearing false witness about God. Case closed.
Before we contemplate Yahowsha’s position on this topic, let’s review the Christian translations of the charlatan’s statements. The NA wrote: “This alone I want to learn from you from works of the law the spirit you received or from hearing of trust?” Of which, the KJV published: “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” “Hearing of faith” is a very odd concept, one obviously inherited from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate: “I wish to know only this from you: Did you receive the Spiritum/Spirit by the works of the law (operibus legis), or by the hearing of faith (auditu fidei)?” To their credit, while these read poorly, they are reasonably consistent with the underlying text, which says: “This alone I want to learn from you: out of accomplishments of the Towrah the spirit you received or alternatively out of hearing of belief?”
Since the New Living Translation theologians know that there was no modifier, or adjective, associated with the placeholder for “Spirit” in this passage, why do you suppose they added the pagan term “Holy” before Her title? Additionally, do you suppose that men who purported to be Greek scholars didn’t know that there was no reference in this passage to “obeying,” no reference to “Moses’s” name, no answer to the rhetorical question being asked, no basis for “message” or to “Christ?” Just perhaps, there is the possibility that they may have lacked the professional integrity one might expect of those claiming to publish the inerrant word of God? “Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ.”
So I presume another question is in order: why did the NLT change Paul’s message? Since they call Galatians “Scripture,” are they suggesting that their god and this messenger he allegedly surrendered his authority to were such poor communicators that they needed their help? Or are they knowingly advancing a fraud, trying simultaneously to alter Paul’s message to suit their religion while at the same time elevating the writing quality in order to make the resulting piece of fiction seem credible? Or are they just frustrated authors, and saw this as an opportunity to publish their first novel?
Since Sha’uwl has posed this question regarding the receipt of an undesignated spirit, it is beneficial to know that Yahowah introduced the gender, power, scope, and purpose of the “ruwach of ‘elohym” to us in the opening statement of the Towrah. Let’s listen to God:
“In the beginning (re’shyth – the first born), the Almighty (‘elohym – God) created (bara’ – fashioned and conceived, giving birth to) and was alongside and closely associated with (‘eth ‘eth) the heavens (samaym – the spiritual abode) and the material realm (‘erets – the physical world).
And the material realm (wa ‘erets – the physical world) existed (hayah) as a formless (tohuw – in a state of lifeless confusion, as something which would dissipate into nothingness without energy added), empty void (bohuw – a deserted and unoccupied space, desolate of life), and darkness (hosek – ignorance and obscurity, without light) was upon (‘al) the presence (paneh – face and appearance) of great commotion (tahowm – of the Big Bang; from huwm: that which is anxious, agitated, perplexed, loud and distracting).
The Almighty’s (‘elohym – God’s) Spirit (ruwach – the manifestation of the divine power of God; from ruwych: that which can be accepted and is acceptable, that which can be tangibly experienced, that which is delightful and aids in perception and understanding, that which is enormous and brings relief, revival, renewal, restoration and the breath of life; a feminine noun) hovered over, ministered to, and expanded (rachap – caringly moved over, served, cleansed, and purified) according to (‘al) the presence (paneh – face and appearance) of the waters (maym – serving as a metaphor for life and cleansing).
And God (wa ‘elohym – the Almighty) said (‘amar – spoke, communicated, and declared), ‘Let there be (hayah) light (‘owr),’ and there was light (‘owr). And God (‘elohym) saw (ra’ah) that (‘eth) the light (‘owr) indeed (ky) was good, valuable, and pleasing (towb).
And the Almighty (wa ‘elohym) conceived a division (badal – drew a distinction) to encourage understanding of (bayn) the light (‘owr – that which shines, brightens, illuminates, enlightens, provides sight, warms, and enables life and growth) and the darkness (hosek – obscurity, the absence of light, and people who are unknown).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 1:1-4)
In the Towrah’s opening statement, the Spirit of God is credited with the “formation,” and thus “birth,” of the universe and its “expansion” and thus growth—giving it life, affirming Her role as our Spiritual Mother. Bigger than all of the galaxies combined, She (Ruwach is a feminine noun) filled the “void,” just as she does in our lives, enabling us to live eternally in Yahowah’s presence, cleansing us with Her living waters. And as a result of Her work, Her enlightenment, we can avoid “the ignorant confusion” of lifeless deceptions, and thus preclude “dissipating into nothingness.” She encourages understanding, enriching us with insights into Yahowah’s Teaching, helping us better appreciate the Light. She perfected creation, just as Her Garment of “Light” makes us look perfect in God’s eyes.
The Spirit is the “manifestation of God’s power and enlightenment who we can personally experience.” If “we accept Her, She makes us acceptable.” The ruwach “renews and restores us, reconciling us with God.” She is not only the “breath of eternal life,” She “enlightens us.”
The nature of the spirit a person is receptive to and receives determines whether they spend eternity with Yahowah or with the Adversary in She’owl. So it is interesting to note that the rach root of rachap, translated “hovered over, ministered to, and cleansed,” conveys many spiritual attributes. Rachamah depicts a “mother’s womb.” Rechem is a matrix, the source from which life originates, develops, and takes form.” Rachmany is a “compassionate woman,” whereas rachuwm is simply “compassion.” Racham is “love, deep, tender, affectionate, nurturing, familial, compassionate, merciful, and motherly love.” Rachats is a “trusted female servant at a bath who washes and cleanses.” Rachsah is “to wash and cleanse, removing all contaminants and filth.” Rachem is “mercy.” Rachab is “expansive, enormous in scope and breadth,” even “enlarging, growing, and liberating.” Rachash is “to move and stir, to awaken, invigorate, and motivate.” A rachath is a feminine noun depicting a “winnowing implement, something which is used to separate the wheat from the chaff.”
The ruwach-Spirit is always associated with “waters,” as She is here, because of their life-giving and cleansing properties. The ruwach-Spirit is always associated with “light” as She is here, because “‘owr – is that which shines, brightens, illuminates, enlightens, provides sight, warms, and enables life and growth.” And the ruwach-Spirit is always associated with “separation” as She is here, because Yahowah wants us to be set apart unto Him. He delights in those who are enveloped, covered, and adorned in the “Ruwach Qodesh – Set-Apart Spirit’s” Garment of Light, but He does not know those shrouded in darkness.
Yahowah invites us to come into the presence of the maternal manifestation of His light on the Miqra’ of Matsah, the day each year where we are perfected by God. We are also encouraged to answer His invitation to approach this same feminine aspect of God’s light on Yowm Kippurym, the Day of Reconciliations. Souls who don’t respond to Yahowah’s Invitation on either occasion, die, ceasing to exist, or they will be permanently separated from God in She’owl, where they will spend eternity with Sha’uwl. And between, on Seven Sabbaths, Yahowah’s Set-Apart Spirit empowers and enriches the Covenant’s children, helping them learn and grow.
Had Sha’uwl asked Yahowchanan, the actual Apostle and Disciple would have told the imposter that the only way the ruwach-Spirit could be acquired was by observing the Torah. After all, the genuine Apostle and Disciple transcribed one of the most important spiritual conversations in human history. Let’s listen in:
“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of Yahuwdah’s ruling council. He came to Yahowsha’ at night and said to Him, ‘Teacher, we know You have come from God. For no man could perform the miraculous signs You are doing if God were not inside of him.’
In reply Yahowsha’ declared, ‘I teach you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born from above.’
‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be reborn.’
Yahowsha’ answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit.
You should not be surprised or marvel at My saying, you must be born from above. The Spirit blows like the wind and breathes life wherever it desires. You are endowed with the faculty to hear its voice, yet you do not know from where it comes and becomes known or where it is going. In this manner, he who is to have eternal life, each and everyone is born, brought forth, and delivered by the Spirit.’
Nicodemus said, ‘In what manner or way can this happen, becoming a reality?’
Yahowsha’ answered, ‘You are Yisra’el’s teacher, and do you not understand this? Most assuredly, I tell the truth concerning this. We speak of what we have known and bear witness to what we have seen, but still you do not receive our testimony.’
If I have spoken of the earthly and human, and you do not trust, how then might you rely when I speak of trusting the heavenly? No one has ever ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man.
Just as Moseh lifted up the snake in the desert, so likewise, in the same way and manner, the Son of Man must be lifted up, in order that everyone who relies on Him may have eternal life.
For Yahowah so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever trusts and relies upon Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever relies upon Him is not judged, separated, or condemned, but whoever does not rely stands condemned already because he has not trusted in the name of God’s only Son.
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved the darkness instead of light, because their behavior was annoying.
Everyone who practices evil hates the Light, and will not come into the Light concerned that his behavior and deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the Light, in order that it may be seen plainly, that what he has done is taking place in close proximity to God.” (Yahowchanan / Yah is Merciful / John 3:1-21)
As a Pharisee in Yisra’el, Nicodemus should have been considerably more aware of what the Torah teaches regarding the Set-Apart Spirit, our spiritual birth into the Covenant, and the role the Invitations to Meet with God play in our receipt of the Spirit. Nonetheless, after chiding him for his ignorance, Yahowsha’ explained the process of our adoption into our Heavenly Father’s Family. And I suppose He did so, because Nicodemus was receptive, something he demonstrated by his search and his questions, things religious individuals all too often avoid.
Returning to Galatians, in a case of darkness calling the night black, Sha’uwl protested: “In this way (houto), ignorant and irrational (anoetos – lacking in knowledge and unable to think logically, foolish and senseless, dimwitted and without understanding) you are (eimi – you exist). Having begun (enarchomai – having commenced by way of) with spirit (ΠΝI – used by the Disciples as a placeholder for Ruwach using pneuma), now (nyn – at the same time) in flesh (sarx) you are completing (epiteleo – you are undergoing and finishing, bringing to a close (present tense which portrays an uncompleted action in process, middle voice reveals that those Sha’uwl is calling ignorant are doing this to themselves, and indicative mood indicating that this assessment is real))?” (Galatians 3:3)
When considered together (Galatians 3:2 through 3:5), it becomes obvious that Paul is associating the Torah with the flesh, and disassociating both from the Spirit in unbridled Gnostic fashion. Fortunately, however, those who are informed and rational recognize that the Set-Apart Spirit is a product of the Word and She completes and establishes us while we are still human – just as She did for Yahowsha’. Further, once we have been born anew from above by way of our Spiritual Mother, we are a new creation – just as was the case with Yahowsha’ during Bikuwrym / FirstFruits following Pesach and Matsah. Therefore, even if his connections and disassociations were accurate, which they are not, Paul’s premise remains flawed.
Also relevant, the moment we are born anew from above, we are established, we are eternal, and we are perfect children of the Covenant, at least in our Heavenly Father’s eyes. And His perspective is the only one which matters. So, once we have begun with the Spirit, there is nothing left to do relative to our status, rendering Paul’s protestation “ignorant and irrational.”
In this case, it’s not that these translations are errant; it’s the message they translated which is wrong. NA: “Thusly unmindful you are. Having begun in spirit, now in flesh you are thoroughly completing.” KJV: “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” LV: “Are you so foolish that, though you began with the Spirit, you would now end with the flesh?” But alas, there is an exception to every rule. NLT: “How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” It’s clearly Christians who make Christianity deceptive.
“So much (tosoutos – so many, so great, and so long these things) you suffered (pascho – you were affected and you were vexed, annoyed, and angry) without reason or result (eike – without purpose or cause, in vain, randomly and chaotically without a plan). If (ei) indeed, really (ge) and yet then (kai – and also) thoughtlessly and for nothing without cause (eike – without reason, result, or purpose, and for naught).” (Galatians 3:4)
Sha’uwl is insinuating that Yahowah’s plan of salvation, which consists of Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, and Seven Sabbaths, and which the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ devoted His life to fulfilling, is comprised of thoughtless, random, and chaotic events that are neither part of an overall plan nor productive, and that by answering God’s invitations to celebrate these festival feasts with Him the participant suffers greatly, they are vexed and annoyed without benefit. Perhaps he is even insinuating that being observant is a complete waste of time because his replacement can be accepted impulsively, easily, and thoughtlessly – by faith no less. He is also suggesting that our Spiritual rebirth can be aborted. But none of this is so.
The primary meaning of pascho, rendered “you suffered,” speaks of “an experience which is typically unpleasant,” but at its heart it is mostly about “feeling” rather than thinking. It is about being “affected emotionally” rather than using evidence and reason to form a rational and reliable conclusion. So Sha’uwl is trying to turn the tables on those who are observant, accusing them of what he demands: belief in the unknown rather than trust in what has been revealed and can be known. Disingenuous politicians deploy this tactic to confuse the unsuspecting and to make it more difficult for their opposition to attack their weaknesses. In reality, ignorance is required to believe Paul and Yahowah is known to those who are observant.
If Paul was speaking for God, he would not only have known if the Galatians had been born anew from above by way of the terms and conditions of the Covenant, he would have known that his question was ridiculous. It’s akin to asking someone if they have traveled across a bridge if after crossing it they retreat and go back to the original side.
In that this has all been so devious and deceitful, demeaning and demonic, let’s check the NA just to make sure Sha’uwl’s message is being conveyed accurately: “Such things you suffered without cause. If indeed also without cause.”
Therefore, trying to put lipstick on this pig, “So much and so long these things you suffered, you were affected and you were vexed, annoyed, and angry, without reason or result, even chaotically without a plan. If indeed, really and yet then also thoughtlessly and for nothing without cause. reason, or result,” the KJV proposed: “Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.” LV: “Have you been suffering so much without a reason? If so, then it is in vain.” Our salvation is a joyous affair, which is why Yahowah’s Seven Invitations to Meet with Him are Festival Feasts. Further, the message of Yowm Kippurym, the Day of Reconciliations, is that God suffered for us so that we might be able to celebrate and enjoy Sukah—camping out with our Heavenly Father.
The Covenant and the Way to participating in it is the most beneficial agreement in the universe and the most enjoyable path to follow, yet ignorant of this, the NLT proposed: “Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?”
Paul cannot refrain from belittling the Torah. “The one (o) therefore (oun – consequently or then) supplying further (epichoregeo – providing and supporting) you (ou) the spirit (to ΠΝI – placeholder used by the Disciples for Ruwach (a feminine noun in Hebrew) using pneuma (a neuter noun in Greek)), and (kai) causing to function and operating (energeo – bringing about and producing to grant the ability of (present tense, active voice, participle (verbal adjective), nominative (to be or to become), singular, masculine (thereby misrepresenting the maternal nature of the Ruwach Qodesh))) powers (dunamis – abilities, authorities, and supernatural capabilities (feminine plural)) in (en) you (sou) out of (ek) acting upon and engaging in (ergon – observing and working on the tasks assigned in) the Torah (nomou – the allotment which is parceled out for the purpose of nurturing those with an inheritance (singular genitive and thus specific)) or (e) from (ek – out of) hearing (akoe – listening) faith (pistis – belief (the original meaning was trust but migrated to faith as a result of Sha’uwl’s letters))?” (Galatians 3:5)
If you are still clinging to the myth that this was inspired by God, you may be thinking that my translations are unfairly making Sha’uwl appear inarticulate. So please, consider this from the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition with McReynolds English Interlinear, or NA for short: “The one then supplying further to you the spirit and operating powers in you from works of law or from hearing of trust.”
It is apparent that Sha’uwl was not an eyewitness to Yahowsha’s participation in Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym in Yaruwshalaim, so he missed the fact that the Ruwach Qodesh – Set-Apart Spirit on Shabuwa’ enriched and empowered all of the Children of the Covenant who observed Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. And as a result, Paul is either ignorant of the fact that these Invitations to Meet with God not only fulfilled the Towrah’s promises, they facilitated all five of the Covenant’s benefits – eternal life, perfection, adoption, enrichment, and Spiritual empowerment – or he was deliberately misleading his audience.
Beyond being an effective communicator, Yahowah is trustworthy, as is His Torah. Yahowsha’ is reliable because He is the human manifestation of the Word—the living embodiment of the testimony contained in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. The Set-Apart Spirit is dependable because She is the one who enlightens us when we study Yahowah’s teaching.
There is no dichotomy, therefore, between the Torah and the Spirit, between the Torah and Yahowsha’, between the Torah and God’s trustworthy and reliable message, between the Torah and possessing Yahowah’s power and ability. So it is unfortunate that Sha’uwl postured a conflict between them.
Paul is saying that it is better to believe what he has verbally communicated than it is to trust what is written in the Torah. In fact, he is saying that believing his preaching provides direct access to spiritual power and that the Torah’s guidance does not. By making this claim, this distinction, Paul is affirming that his message not only differs substantially from God’s, but also that his message is superior. If you believe him, you are a Christian.
Simply stated: Paul was attempting to devalue the Torah relative to his preaching. And having read both, that was an arrogant and foolish thing for him to propose.
The most effective lies not only contain an element of truth, they twist and corrupt the truth. In this regard, the passage devoid of the either/or, might have had some value if it was interpreted to say that we are not empowered because of things we do, but instead based upon trusting in and relying upon the things Yahowah has done. In this light, however, dunamis, translated “powers,” in the plural, would have been singular instead, because there is only one source of “sufficient power, strength, skill, resources, authority, and ability to accomplish whatever task is necessary.” Deployed in the business of sharing God’s message, this capability is infinitely superior to having the power to dazzle people with a display of miracles (signs and wonders in Paul’s parlance).
But even that hint of truth is obscured by these translations of, “The one therefore supplying you the spirit, and functioning to become powers and supernatural capabilities in you out of acting upon and engaging in the Torah or from hearing faith?” to: KJV: “He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” LV: First in Latin: “Qui ergo tribuit vobis Spiritum, et operatur virtutes in vobis: ex operibus legis, an ex auditu fidei?” Now in English: “Therefore, does he who distributes the Spirit to you, and who works miracles among you, act by the works of the law, or by the hearing of the faith?” And then in the fictional version (NLT): “I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.”
The Spirit’s power in our lives is directly attributable to the first four Miqra’ey, the presentation of which sits at the heart of the Towrah. For example, the power of the Set-Apart Spirit was unknown to the Called-Out Assembly until the fulfillment of the fourth Called-Out Assembly: Seven Sabbaths. As a direct result of the fulfillment of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, the Set-Apart Spirit came upon the members of Yahowah’s family on Shabuwa, empowering them to convey God’s healing and beneficial message to the world.
Shim’own / Peter experienced the Seven Sabbaths transformation in person, just as he had witnessed the Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits requirements being fulfilled in advance of this day. Paul had missed them all, and as a result, seemed to be missing the most important connections between the Torah and Yahowsha’, between the Set-Apart Spirit and the Invitations to Meet with God, and between those Festival Feasts and the Covenant.
On the predicted and promised day of the Spirit—Shabuwa—Yahowah enabled every member of His Called-Out Assembly to preach His Towrah testimony to people of every race in every language. The Spirit gave us the power to share Yahowah’s Torah, His prescriptions for living, with all mankind.
In that it is often helpful to see an author’s thoughts in unison, one sentence flowing to the next, the first five verses of Galatians 3 say:
“O ignorant and irrational, foolish and senseless, unintelligent and unreasonable, Galatians. To whom you bewitched, deceived, and slandered, brought evil upon and seduced? (3:1) This alone I want to learn from you: out of accomplishments of the Towrah the spirit you received or alternatively out of hearing of belief? (3:2)
In this way, you are ignorant and irrational, lacking in knowledge and unable to think logically. Having begun with spirit, now in flesh you are completing? (3:3) So much and so long these things you suffered, you were affected and you were vexed, annoyed, and angry, without reason or result, even chaotically without a plan. If indeed, really and yet then also thoughtlessly and for nothing without cause. reason, or result. (3:4)
The one therefore then supplying you the spirit and causing to function and operating powers in you out of acting upon and engaging in the tasks delineated in the Torah or out of hearing faith?” (3:5)
Paraphrasing God’s Word to advance his next point, Sha’uwl will say that Abram had faith in Yahowah before the Torah was written. While his assumption is invalid, making this argument a straw man, his intent will be to demonstrate that the Torah was, therefore, irrelevant to the Covenant. He will continue to develop this theory throughout the remainder of this chapter and into the next. His logic is so flawed, however, it is a wonder he fooled so many people on such a crucial issue: the relationship between the Torah and Covenant.
This peculiar argument only prevails with those who are unaware of Yahowah’s Towrah – its content, meaning, and purpose. That is a fact, not an opinion because God told us in His Towrah that He had shared His towrah with Abraham. Listen...
“And (wa) I will grow and thrive (rabah – I will greatly increase) with (‘eth – alongside) your offspring (zera’ – seed) in connection with (ka – corresponding to) the highest and most illuminated (kowkab – speaking of the light emanating from stars in the loftiness of) heaven (shamaym – spiritual realm of God).
Then I will give (natan – I will bestow and deliver, I will grant a gift) to (la) your offspring (zera’ – seed) everything (kol) associated with (‘eth) the (ha) realm (‘erets – land and region) of God (‘el).
And also (wa) all (kol) people from every race and place (gowym – gentile individuals) on the earth (‘erets – realm and land) will be blessed with favorable circumstances (barak – they will be greeted and adored) through (ba – with and because of) your offspring (zera’ – seed).
This is because (eqeb – this is the result and consequence of), beneficially focused on the relationship (‘asher – for the purpose of developing a close and favorable association), Abraham (‘Abraham – a compound of ‘ab – father, raham – loving and merciful, and hamown – enriching, meaning: Loving, Merciful, and Enriching Father (a metaphor for Yahowah)) listened to (shama’ – he heard, paid attention to, and understood) the sound of My voice (b-qowl-y – My verbal communication and call; from qara’ – My invitation, summons, and recital, My welcome to meet and to encounter Me) and (wa) he continuously observed, closely examined, and carefully considered (shamar – he kept his focus upon and diligently evaluated, he paid attention to the details so that he could understand) My observances (mishmereth – My things to carefully examine; from shamar – to observe, examine, and consider Me), My terms and conditions (mitswah – My binding covenant contract and authorized relationship instructions), My inscribed prescriptions for living (chuwqah – My clearly communicated and engraved instructions regarding what you should do to be cut into the relationship), and My Towrah (Towrah – My teaching, guidance, direction, and instruction: from tow – My signed, written, and enduring, towrah – way of treating people, tuwr – giving you the means to explore, to seek, to find, and to choose Me, yarah – the source from which My instruction, teaching, guidance, and direction flow, which tuwb – provides answers that facilitate your restoration and return, even your response and reply to that which is towb – good, pleasing, joyful, beneficial, favorable, healing, and right, and that which causes you to be loved, to become acceptable, and to endure, tahowr / tohorah – purifying and cleansing you, towr – so as to provide you with an opportunity to change your thinking, attitude, and direction toward Me).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 26:4-5)
Turning back a few pages, let’s consider the quotation Sha’uwl was about to corrupt. It reads: “And so (wa) he completely trusted and totally relied through verification (‘aman – he was established, enduring, and loyal, standing steadfast (scribed in the hiphil stem which causes the object, Yahowah, to participate in the action, which is providing evidence which leads to trust, and in the perfect conjugation which conveys that Abraham’s reliance was total and complete)) in (ba) Yahowah ( ) and (wa) He genuinely considered this (chashab – He thought, imputed, valued, and regarded this (in the qal stem this should be interpreted literally and is a genuine response, while through the imperfect conjugation we learn that this consideration was ongoing throughout time)) to approach as a result of (la) vindication (tsadaqah – being considered innocent, justified, and right).” (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:6)
You will notice, even here, God mentioned nothing remotely related to “faith.” He did not say, nor did He infer, that the benefits of the Covenant occurred because “Abraham believed Him.” And as such, you can and should trash the entire book of Galatians. Because in it, as we shall soon see, Paul attempts to bypass the Torah by saying that Abram’s righteousness was the result of this man’s “faith,” and that it had nothing to do with his willingness to listen to Yahowah’s instructions or observe the conditions of His Covenant as they were articulated in His Towrah Teaching. In other words, when it comes to participating in the Covenant, the means Yahowah provided to engage in this relationship are the opposite of Paul’s.
Since there is the potential for misunderstanding here, please be aware that shama’ does not mean “obey.” It only means “to listen.” There is no Hebrew word for “obey.” These things known, we are better prepared to evaluate the veracity of Paul’s claims as he begins to weave the spell which has become known as Pauline Doctrine.
“Just as (kathos – to the degree that, in as much as, and accordingly) Abram (Abraam – a transliteration of the Hebrew, ‘ab-ram, Abraham’s name before the Covenant was consummated) believed (pisteuo – had faith in; as it evolved over time based upon Sha’uwl’s usage) the God (to ΘΩ) and (kai) it was reasoned (logizomai – it was recorded and accounted) to Him (autos) to (eis) righteousness (dikaiosune – justice, being upright and virtuous; from dikaios and dike, meaning in accord with divine instruction, virtuous, and innocent from a judicial decree).” (Galatians 3:6)
In the previous chapter, we were correctly informed by Shim’own / Peter, that “Sha’uwl / Paul wrote around and about dikaiosune,” the word translated “righteousness” in Galatians 3:6. And he was correct. We discovered that it “describes the manner in which souls are approved by God.” Dikaiosune speaks of “thinking correctly so as to become acceptable.” The dikaios root of this word conveys the idea of “becoming upright by observing God’s instructions.”
More to the point, dikaios is based upon dike and deiknuo which speak of “exposing the evidence to teach and prove that which is consistent with the law, as in resolving a dispute with a just verdict.” The comparable term in Hebrew and in the Towrah is “mishpat – to exercise good judgment regarding the just means resolve disputes.” And indeed, we should think our way through this material, judicially comparing Paul’s rhetoric to Yahowah’s testimony, if we are to avoid falling into the trap which has ensnared so many.
Once again, context is critical. If we were to remove Paul’s statement from those which have come before it, and more importantly, from those which will follow, we could be led to believe that Abram was considered righteous because he trusted the promises God made to him. What makes this misconception so enticing is that it is a clever variation of the truth. It veils the fact that Abraham was “upright and acceptable” because he trusted and relied upon the Author of the Covenant and Torah, which therefore makes this distinction irrelevant.
Further, it was possible for Abraham to trust Yahowah, because God spoke directly to him, walked with him, and ate with him. And while God personally revealed Himself to Abraham, he was not unique in this way. Yahowah has spoken to the rest of us through His words. He has personally revealed Himself to us through His Word made flesh—Yahowsha’. So we too can come to know Yahowah. We can come to trust Him, and as a result, we too can be considered upright.
Paul is trying to establish a distinction between the promises made to Abraham and the Covenant memorialized in the Torah, as if they were somehow separate things. And then he will use this illusion to demean the Torah by suggesting that Abraham didn’t need it to be right with God. But Yahowah shared His Towrah with Abraham and we need it as well, which is one of many crucial points Sha’uwl has chosen to misconstrue. We are incapable of becoming a beneficiary of the Covenant established between Yahowah and Abraham without understanding it, as well as responding to the means God delineated to participate in it. Such information is found in only one place – the Towrah.
Also telling, in this very letter, Paul will say that the Covenant presented in the Torah, the one written on Mount Sinai, enslaves, because it was established with Hagar, not Sarah, Abraham’s wife (the Covenant was affirmed with Sarah’s child, Yitschaq, while Hagar’s child, Ishmael, was expressly excluded). But since Abraham and this Covenant are completely unknown to the world apart from this very same Torah, citing the Torah he is discrediting to validate his denunciation of it is irrational. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t claim that your corruption of a story from the Torah proves your point and then use your point to discredit the Torah – at least not without circular reasoning.
This realization affirms that Shim’own / Peter was right with regard to his evaluation of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Sha’uwl uses “circular reasoning to speak around and about dikaiosune,” but not in a positive sense as the rest of Peter’s assessment portends. Paul twists the facts, and then deploys a plethora of logical fallacies to suggest that the Torah is worse than irrelevant; it is our foe.
Also at stake here is the definition of pisteuo, which I have translated using its current meaning, “believed,” as opposed to its original connotation: “to trust and rely upon.” Pisteuo is from pistis, “to think so as to be persuaded by the evidence.” But considering the fact that Sha’uwl never provides sufficient evidence “to trust” anyone or anything, and his logic is too flawed “to rely” on anyone or anything, it is obvious that he intended to convey “faith and belief,” concepts which thrive in the absence of information and reason.
In this case, Sha’uwl wants Christians to believe that Abram had faith in God. And then he wants to equate Abraham’s alleged faith with the merits of believing his preaching. But in the context of meeting directly with God, conceiving a child at 100, and witnessing the salvation of his nephew, Lott, and demise of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham’s firsthand experience trumps belief, destroying Sha’uwl’s premise. Furthermore, those who observe the Towrah know that Yahowah conveyed His Teaching to Abraham, completely undermining the foundation of Pauline Doctrine.
In spite of what the Christian translations suggest, Abraham knew God; he walked, spoke, ate, and drank with God. Believing, which is accepting that which is not assured, was not relevant in his situation. So it was inappropriate for Paul to write: “Just as and to the degree that Abram believed and had faith in the God so it was reasoned and accounted to Him as righteousness, having disputes justifiably resolved.” KA: “Just as Abraham trusted the God and it was reasoned to him for rightness.” KJV: “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” LV: “It is just as it was scriptum/written: “Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him unto justice.” NLT: “In the same way, ‘Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.’” In direct opposition to the NLT, KJV, and even the Qur’an, Abraham didn’t have a faith; he enjoyed a genuine and personal relationship with God. Abraham knew Yahowah, and he understood His Towrah, and because of those facts, faith was beside the point.
It begs to be noted at this juncture, however, that Abraham’s name confirms that “mercy” isn’t new, nor is it the lone prerogative of the so-called “Christian New Testament.” The Covenant was established with Abraham, a man whose name means “Merciful, Compassionate, and Forgiving Father.” And that is something Sha’uwl cannot accept, which is why he consistently refers to Abraham as Abram, by his pre-Covenant moniker, by the name he was born with rather than the name Yahowah gave him. But you’ll notice that every English translation corrected Paul’s backhanded swipe at God.
Paul’s next point sounds reasonable, at least up to the point that we pause long enough to really think about it. He said:
“You know (ginosko – you have the information necessary to recognize, perceive, understand, and acknowledge) as a result (ara – consequently) that (hoti – because) the ones (oi) out of (ek – from) faith (pisteuo – belief), these (outoi) sons (huios – male children) are (eimi – exist as (present tense conveying an action in process, active voice suggesting that “the ones” are acting on themselves, indicative mood saying that are actually)) Abram (Abraam).” (Galatians 3:7)
On my first pass through this material, trying to give Paul the benefit of the doubt, and not fully appreciating that this was still the preamble of his overall assault on the Towrah, I interpreted this verse metaphorically. But then I realized that the symbolic meaning was torn asunder by its disassociation from form “Abraham – a transliteration of the Hebrew, ‘ab and raham, meaning the Merciful, Compassionate, and Forgiving Father” and Yah’s “Towrah – Teaching” regarding the Covenant. And the moment we have to transition from a metaphorical interpretation to physical lineage, the merit of symbolism dissipates.
Also, Abraham was a mere mortal. No one can choose to be one of his descendants. And that means that this plank in Paul’s thesis was wrong spiritually and literally.
For example, both of Abraham’s children, Ishmael and Yitschaq, died, and one is still dead because he was expressly excluded from the Covenant. Likewise, Esau was a direct descendant of Abraham, and he is most assuredly dead, because God has told us that He hates him for having married one of Ishmael’s daughters, thereby rebelling against the Towrah and Covenant. So being Abraham’s child has no merit beyond one’s temporal life, no matter how upright Abraham may have been. The only reason Yitschaq still lives is that he personally benefited from Yahowah’s direct intervention and provision on Mount Mowryah. It is the only way any of us can survive our mortal existence.
Abraham became the forefather of a great (in the sense of being important and empowered) family, the Covenant, by way of Yitschaq initially, the firstborn of the Covenant. Yitschaq’s son, Ya’aqob, became Yisra’el, and his son, Yahuwdah, brought us the Ma’aseyah.
But simply being invited to participate in the Covenant, being hand delivered an invitation in the Torah, doesn’t by itself enable the recipient to transcend mortality, no matter to whom they may be related. It’s how we respond to Yahowah’s Covenant that matters. In support of this, we have the opportunity to answer God’s invitations and participate in seven annual meetings, or we can dismiss them and Him, placing our faith instead in someone else’s promises. We can accept Paul’s “Gospel of Grace” on faith, or we can come to know and trust Yahowah through His Torah. The choice is ours, and so are the consequences.
Metaphorically, we become Abraham’s children when we choose to accept the same Covenant in which he elected to participate. This symbolic perspective is derived from the fact that Abraham’s name confirms that he was a stand-in for our Merciful and Forgiving Father. But since our adoption into Yahowah’s family is by way of His one and only Covenant, the one which was memorialized in the Torah, this is only possible when we appreciate the connection between Abraham and Yahowah, between the Covenant and the Torah, and between observing and responding. And yet these are the very associations which Paul severs.
Therefore, what Sha’uwl wrote is not true, nor is it relevant. The message of the Towrah is that we can become Yahowah’s Covenant children as a result of acting upon its terms and conditions. There are five of these. First, Yahowah asked us to walk away from our country and from all things associated with Babylon, specifically national and religious dependence, politics, patriotism, military and economic schemes. Second, God asks us to trust and rely exclusively upon Him, which necessitates coming to know Him and understanding what He is offering. Third, He wants us to walk to Him and become perfect, the means to which is made possible through the seven Invitations to Meet with God. Fourth, Yahowah asks us to closely examine and carefully consider His Covenant, which is accomplished by studying the Towrah. And fifth, God asked parents to circumcise their sons so that we remember to raise them to become Children of the Covenant.
Beyond this, faith is for fools; it is the residue of ignorance, and it is the stuff of religion. A relationship with Yahowah is based upon knowing Him through His Word, and then trusting and relying upon that which we come to know. But according to the KJV: “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” LV: “Therefore, know that those who are of faith, these are the sons of Abraham.” NLT: “The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.” They would all be wrong on all accounts, but because Paul was wrong, not on account of their translations of: “You know as a result that the ones out of faith, these sons are Abraham.” And just for verification, the NA published: “You know then that the ones from trust these sons are Abraham.”
If Sha’uwl intended pistis to mean “trust and reliance” in this next statement, and indeed elsewhere, then it would have been incumbent upon him to validate the Towrah, conveying its teachings, because this is the only place where God can be known and His plan for vindication can be understood. But instead, he has consistently discounted it. So while the original meaning of pistis, which is “trust and reliance,” remains valid, that connotation is possible only when the source of the promise and the nature of the offer is known and understood. Faith, however, is operative even in the face of ignorance – which is why there are so many religious people.
Therefore, while this too is very poorly written, what Paul appears to be saying is that his god, knowing beforehand that Paul would be advancing an alternative plan of salvation for the Gentiles based upon faith, predicted the advent of his plan. Of course, that prediction is supposedly in the Torah, the book Paul is invalidating, thereby negating the merits of the argument.
“Having seen before (proorao – having seen beforehand, having obtained the ability to see things in advance of them occurring) then (de – but by contrast) the (o) writing (graphe – the written word; used to describe the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms), that because (hoti) out of (ek) faith (pistis – belief, recognizing that the original connotation of trust and reliance evolved to accommodate these letters) makes right (dikaioo – causes acquittal, being right, and pronounced just, is justification, vindication, and righteousness, with guilt removed so as to be declared innocent, in compliance with the standard as a result of a judicial decision (present, active, indicative – at the present time faith actually produces righteousness in)) the people from different races and places (ethnos – the nations and ethnicities, specifically Gentiles), the God (o ΘΣ), He before beneficial messenger acted (proeuangelizomai – acted in advance of the positive messenger; from pro – before and euaggelizo – good, beneficial, and healing messenger (presented in the aorist middle indicative, collectively revealing past tense whereby the subject, “the God,” is being affected by His own action)), to the (to) Abram (Abraam – a transliteration of Abraham’s name before the Covenant was affirmed), that (hoti – because) they will in time be spoken of favorably (eneulogeo – they would be kindly conferred benefits; from en – in a fixed position in place or time and eulogeo – beneficial words, and therefore well spoken praise (future, passive, indicative)) in (en) you (soi) all (pas) the races (ta ethnos – the ethnicities, peoples, and nations).” (Galatians 3:8)
In the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, Yahowah’s proposed and enabled a specific plan to reconcile fallen man back into a relationship with Him. The Covenant with Abraham was ratified on Mount Mowryah with a dress rehearsal. It served as a prophetic picture of Passover, whereby Yahowsha’ facilitated the five benefits of this Familial Relationship forty Yowbel later on that same mountain by fulfilling Pesach, Matsah, Bikuwrym, and Shabuwa’. The gift of salvation, as a byproduct of reconciling the relationship, was conceived, presented, predicted, promised, and gift-wrapped in the Torah so that it could be unveiled before us, opening our eyes to this knowledge and understanding.
But as we press on, we will quickly learn that this wasn’t what Paul was trying to convey. He wants his audience to move from the oral promise made to Abram to bless his descendants, directly to the Ma’aseyah, bypassing the Torah along the way. It will be as if the promises were somehow in conflict with the only document which memorialized and explained them.
Further, Sha’uwl wants his audience to equate listening to and believing him with Abraham’s alleged faith, because he also listened to God. Sure, that’s an extraordinarily weak argument, but it is the foundation of Pauline Doctrine.
And while it is a small issue, “Scripture” does not “foresee.” Yahowah foresees. And neither the Torah nor the Covenant exist because God foresaw that different people from different races would be blessed by way of the message delivered to Abraham. This is a benefit of the Covenant, not the reason it was conceived. Moreover, Sha’uwl’s version of it is incongruous with Yahowah’s depiction, negating Paul’s prophetic implications.
Thus far we have been confronted with a steady diet of pistis, a noun which as you know, originally meant “trust and reliance.” It is from the verb, pisteuo, meaning “to trust” and “to rely.” Opening the pages of the world’s most acclaimed lexicons and Greek dictionaries, we discover that the primary definition of the noun and verb in the first-century CE conveyed the ideas of: “confidence, assurance, commitment, fidelity, reliability, proof, persuasion, conviction, truth, veracity, reality, that which can be known, that which can be trusted, that which evokes trust, that which can be relied upon as being dependable, that which is reliable, that which enables the absolute assurance of a promise being kept, and the use of one’s conscience to test and thus prove that something is reliable and true.” But unfortunately, Paul’s use in this context precludes this connotation because he was devaluing the lone source of knowledge and understanding which would have made these things possible. And therefore, since Paul’s letters are the most influential ever penned in Greek, and recognizing that the traditional definition of pistis is wholly dysfunctional in these letters, the perception of pistis evolved to “faith and belief” among the world’s religious devotees.
Taking this a step further, the Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament says of pistis and pisteuo: “The noun and verb occur 243 times each in the NT. Neither occurs in Second or Third John. In the Book of John, we only see the verb. And in Colossians, Philemon, Second Peter, and Revelation, only the noun is used. But since the same statement is expressed by the noun and verb, they should be considered together.” The ED of the NT reveals: “They were not used as catchwords for those engaging in religious propaganda in the Hellenistic world, nor among those involved in Judaism. They were not religious terms, nor used in religious contexts.”
And yet today, as a direct result of Paul’s promotion of faith, and the influence of the religion that flowed out of it, faith and religion have become synonymous. A person’s faith is their religion – their belief system. And yet while this view is completely incompatible with the word’s original meaning, its connotation was convoluted to give the erroneous impression that those who believe are saved. Worse, by misrepresenting the story of Abraham, so that it is perceived to be about salvation rather than relationship, the Covenant is left out of the equation. It is as if Paul wants his audience to believe that his god is willing to save people who don’t know him and who are adverse to his message. But to a large degree, the religion of Christianity was founded upon this particular and peculiar error in perception.
A careful reading of Galatians demonstrates that the concepts of “faith” and “belief” fit comfortably in every passage where Paul writes pistis and neither “trust” nor “reliance” are ever acceptable because Paul never provides anything to trust or rely upon. Word meanings evolve over time, driven in part by the way that they are wielded by influential authors. In all likelihood, Paul’s epistles changed the way the populous came to view pistis, and indeed faith, associating it with believing in Paul’s letters as opposed to relying upon Yahowah’s testimony.
But this is now and that was then: according to the ED of the NT: “Pistis and pisteuo’s closest Hebrew equivalent would have been ‘aman.” ‘Aman means “to be firmly supported, established, built up, and nurtured by that which can be confidently trusted and relied upon.” ‘Aman was used in connection with ‘edon, the Upright Pillar of the Tabernacle. It conveyed the idea that “something or someone was trustworthy and faithful, and thus reliable, making them dependable.” As a verb, “‘aman meant ‘to trust,’ and was used to say: ‘Dany’el trusted God,’ in Dany’el 6:23-24.” ‘Aman affirmed that we can “depend upon someone and can give credence to their message, so long as it is understood.”
The ED of the NT would go on to write: “In secular usage, pistis and pisteuo conveyed that someone should: ‘give credence to a message and to the messenger . Depending upon the context, they mean “consider something true and trust it.”’” And this is important only because the Disciple Yahowchanan is translated using pisteuo in conjunction with Yahowsha’, necessitating the pre-Pauline perspective.
The “Christian New Testament” book called “Hebrews” was written by one of Sha’uwl’s disciples and is every bit as errant and misleading as are the thirteen Pauline epistles, yet it provides an interesting laboratory in which to contrast the old and new connotations of pistis. This is because its author attempts to translate many Hebrew verses into Greek. In one sentence in particular we find the Greek words for “true,” “trust,” “certainty,” “belief,” “faith,” and “hope.”
They are all developed in Hebrews 10:22-23, where: “We approach and draw near with a genuine and true (alethinos – totally accurate, in absolute accord with the evidence, and in complete harmony with the one true name, and thus the opposite of a counterfeit) heart (kardia – inner nature) by trusting and relying (pistis) with complete certainty (plerophoria – in full assurance and total confidence and conviction based upon a complete understanding), cleansing and purifying (rhantizo – sprinkling and splashing) the heart (kardia – our inner nature) from a worthless and defective (poneros – morally corrupt and malicious) conscience (suneidesis – mental faculty used to distinguish right from wrong, truth from lies; from suneido, to see and be perceptive, to perceive, comprehend, and understand), and also bathing (louo – washing and cleaning a wound, removing deadly impurities from) the body (soma – physical being) [with] clean and pure (katharos) water, continuing to believe (katecho – holding fast and suppressing doubt) the profession of faith (homologia – the confession that you agree with others; from logos, spoken words, and homou, together with others in an assembly) and unwavering (aklines – and unfading) hope (elpis – the basis of anticipatory faith in an expectation as opposed to an actuality), because (gar) we are trusting and relying upon (pistos) the (o) messenger (epangellomai – from epi, by way of, the aggelos, the messenger).” (Hebrews 10:22-23)
In actuality, Yahowah wants us to approach Him with an open mind and receptive heart. It’s His job to make our hearts pure, something that is perfected when He writes His name and Towrah on them. Further, trust and reliance are not facilitated by the heart, but instead are the products of our minds. Our emotions relative to Yahowah should be a result of coming to know Him. So while those who know Him love Him, you cannot love Him without first coming to know Him through His Towrah.
Further, while we can love to a great extent, certainty is a cerebral concept and not an emotional one, negating this author’s message. And Yahowah is in the business of cleansing souls, not hearts. The Adversary does just the opposite. For example, in the Qur’an and Hadith, the Islamic god purifies hearts, removing that which is defective. So this reads a lot like Islam. Moreover, our conscience isn’t managed through feelings, but it is instead the enabler of good judgment.
This unknown author was also wrong in suggesting that our bodies are bathed to become pure. Yahowah’s cleansing is focused on our souls. Correcting yet another mistake, there is no profession of faith to be found anywhere in the Towrah, Prophets, or Psalms. This is something which once again mirrors Islam where a profession of faith is central to the religion. Paul and Muhammad, the founders of Christianity and Islam, share much in common.
Lastly, the only way to trust and rely upon the Messenger, the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’, is to come to know Him and understand what He is saying and doing by viewing Him from the perspective of the Torah and Prophets. And when we do this, we discover that we ought not focus on the Messenger when we can know the One who sent Him.
These things known, the juxtaposition of the words and concepts we are considering in this statement still has merit. “Truth” was from alethinos, which designates that which is “totally accurate and in absolute accord with the evidence.” Alethinos describes that which is “real, genuine, sincere, honest, and true, sure and certain,” and thus “trustworthy and dependable.” It is “applied to someone who cannot lie.” Strong’s Lexicon takes a slightly different tact, by saying that alethinos represents “the actual name and corresponding resemblance or manifestation” of someone or something. They say it is from alethes, meaning “true.” Alethes in turn is a compound of a, the Greek negation, and lanthano, describing “that which is hidden, secret, and unknown.” So alethinos is the opposite of being ignorant because someone has hidden the evidence. Simply stated, if Paul had used this term correctly instead of pistis, he would have conveyed that God is knowable because He has revealed Himself in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms.
“Complete certainty” is from plerophoria, which means “to have full assurance and total confidence in someone or something based upon a complete understanding.” In other words, “to be convinced beyond any doubt based upon the totality of the evidence.” Plerophoria is from plerophoreo, meaning: “full and complete assurance, lacking nothing.” Its component parts delineate the path to assurance as well as its benefit. Plerophoria is from pleres, “full and complete,” and phoreo, which conveys the ideas of “bearing constantly,” and “wearing protective garments.” Therefore, these would have been appropriate terms to convey that to become “convinced,” we must diligently seek and carefully observe the available evidence, considering it thoughtfully. And when the subject is the Torah, once we learn to confidently trust Yahowah’s provision, we are prepared to engage in His Covenant. This level of conviction regarding the relationship is possible because we have been given access to the evidence. But still, we must possess will to consider it rationally and respond reasonably.
This leads us to suneidesis, rendered “conscience.” It is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew nesamah, encapsulating the means Yahowah gave us to exercise good judgment so that we could capitalize on the gift of freewill. We can use our conscience to “distinguish right from wrong and truth from lies.” Suneidesis endows us with the ability to be moral and judgmental, to be discerning and discriminating, and to think rationally. It is derived from suneido, meaning “to closely observe so as to be perceptive, which in turn leads to understanding.” This is the tool we deploy to jettison the unknown and nebulous realm of “belief and faith” in order to embrace the enlightened realm of “trust and reliance” in that which is known and understood.
If our “suneidesis – conscience” is defective, corrupted, or unused, we are rendered incapable of bridging this gap, remaining mired in the myth of religion, which is why clerics teach that it is a sin to be judgmental and discriminating. It isn’t per chance that “Political Correctness,” the replacement moral code of man, holds the same view, imploring its unthinking and amoral victims to be tolerant, and accepting of everything, even mutually exclusive ideas.
The next three words are all related and essential to our understanding of the lexicon. If there were no Greek words for “belief,” “faith,” or “hope,” other than the misapplication of pistis, we could not be nearly as dogmatic in our translations of their original intent. But all three exist within the Greek lexicon.
“Belief” is from katecho. It means “to hold fast and suppress doubt.” It is a compound which begins with kata, the ubiquitous term denoting everything from “down, through, according to, and with regard to,” but also “the opposite of and against.” The suffix is echo, the most common Greek term denoting: “having, holding, possessing, keeping, owning, wearing, or clinging to.” Katecho is therefore “being about desperately clinging to something, trying to hold on.” Our lexicons tell us that someone who “katecho – believes” is likely to “quash messages” and “suppress evidence” they are uncomfortable considering. People who “believe” hold on to the object of their faith as if their soul depended upon the unremitting tightness of their grip as opposed to the trustworthiness and merit of the individual or thing to which or whom they are clinging.
The idea of a “profession of faith” hails from homologia. It speaks of the “group dynamics” inherent within religious “assemblies” where “pressure to agree with others” prompts a “spoken confession of faith.” For example, devoted Catholics speak with one voice, with everyone conforming to the edicts of the Pope.
“Faith” in the sense of “hope,” which is “a favorable expectation regarding an unknown or uncertain outcome,” is from elpis—the final word in our linguistic laboratory. It expresses “an expectation based upon something which cannot be proven as opposed to something which is an actuality.” Elpis is “an anticipatory prospect.” And in this case, “hope” was strengthened by “aklines – unwavering and unfading,” suggesting “unremitting faith in a hopeful outcome.”
Had a Greek author wanted to convey the idea of “persuading someone to believe,” he would have used peitheo. Derived from peitho, it means “to believe” and “to express one’s faith.” Similarly, peitho speaks of “inducing a desired response” of “tranquillizing someone,” and of “seducing them to yield,” in addition to “pacifying or inciting them,” not unlike a more modern date-rape drug. However, peitho, and especially its derivative pepoitha, can communicate the somewhat more positive connotation of “convincing an audience to believe by way of one’s rhetoric.”
So now that we have examined the full pallet of linguistic terms at Paul’s disposal, we can say with absolute confidence that pistis originally conveyed “trust and reliance,” not “faith, hope, or belief,” but that Paul misappropriated the term, corrupting its meaning. If we were to give him the benefit of the doubt, we’d say that this was simply a mistake born out of ignorance. But since it has been Paul’s unrelenting nature to corrupt Yahowah’s words, twisting them, it was more likely by design. And honestly, determining the intended meaning of pistis has become a rhetorical issue, because most every Christian translation assumes that Paul meant pistis to convey “faith.” Frankly, this conclusion is impossible to argue since faith has become synonymous with the Christian religion. Playing off Paul, a Christian will introduce himself or herself as “a person of faith,” and they will often use faith and religion interchangeably.
These lessons known, it’s time to consider the English and Latin variations of Galatians 3:8: “Having seen beforehand then by contrast, the writing, that because out of faith makes right the people from different races and places, the God, He before beneficial messenger acted, to the Abram that they would in time be spoken of favorably in you all the races.” Or if you prefer, in the Nestle Aland, you’ll find: “Having seen before but the writing that from trust makes right the nations the God he told good message before to the Abraham that they will be well spoken in you all the nations.”
From this, the KJV produced: “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” Sha’uwl didn’t write “heathen,” “faith,” or “gospel.” So why does the King James contain these words? And why was the King James a willing accomplice in the advancement of Pauline Doctrine when reason dictates that there was no association between Abraham and faith, or between Abraham and Paul’s “Gospel?”
Regardless of the answers, two of the four corruptions found in the KJV came from the Roman Catholic Jerome. His Latin Vulgate says: “Thus Scriptura/ Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentes by faith, foretold to Abraham: ‘All nations shall be blessed in you.’”
It isn’t that the assemblage of pastors and authors responsible for the NLT didn’t know that pistis meant “trust and reliance;” it’s that saying so would be bad for business. “What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’”
And while it is possible that none of these “scholars” did the research we have just done regarding “katecho – belief,” “homologia – faith,” and “elpis – hope,” as compared to “pistis – trust and reliance,” ignorance is neither ally nor excuse. They have passed off their product as Scripture, the inerrant Word of God, when it’s not even accurate.
And finally, here is the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition with McReynolds English Interlinear: “Having seen before but the writing that from trust makes right the nations the God he told good message before to the Abraham that they will be well spoken in you all the nations.” So because the only meaningful departure between it and my rendering was proeuangelizomai, which I translated “before beneficial messenger acted,” I’d like you to know that the reason that “messenger” was chosen over “message” is because proeuangelizomai is a compound of “pro – before,” “eu – beneficial,” and “aggelos – messenger,” not “message.” Over time, the noun, euangelion, which is derived from this verbal form, became “gospel,” which was then construed to mean “good news.” Therefore, this Christian publication is advancing the religious evolution of this term – much like what I’ve done with pistis.
Also, while we are considering proeuangelizomai, I found it odd that Paul presented it in the aorist middle indicative, whereby the subject, “the God,” was affected by His own action sometime in the past. This infers that the perceived superiority and popularity of Pauline Doctrine changed Him.
The concluding verb is also an odd choice. It goes directly against something Yahowsha’ said during the Instruction on the Mount. It was the Ma’aseyah’s testimony that anyone who sought to negate or nullify any aspect of the Towrah’s Teaching “would be called by the name lowly and little.” And yet Paulos, which means “lowly and little,” is suggesting that he and his faithful will “eneulogeo – in time be spoken of favorably, even praised.”
Continuing to develop his thesis using this divisive line of reasoning, Sha’uwl told the Galatians:
“As a result (hoste – therefore), the ones (oi) out of (ek) faith (pistis – belief (while it originally conveyed that which can be known, trusted, and relied upon, the popularity and influence of these letters, shaded by religious custom, altered the connotation so that it is now synonymous with religion)), we are spoken of favorably (eulogeo – we are praised, the objects of beneficial and healing words) together with (syn) the faithful (to pistos – the believer and thus the full of faith and religious) Abram (Abraam – a truncated transliteration of the Hebrew Abraham meaning Merciful, Compassionate, and Forgiving Father).” (Galatians 3:9)
On Mount Mowryah, Abraham demonstrated that he was willing to trust Yahowah, not that he, himself, was trustworthy. So once again, Paul has twisted the Torah to serve his agenda. He has artificially elevated the status of a man instead of acknowledging the status of God.
As the years progressed, Abraham’s continued relationship with Yahowah was strengthened by God’s ability to fulfill His promises. As a result of what God had done for and with him, Abraham grew steadfast in his allegiance to the Covenant and was therefore willing to do whatever Yahowah asked of him, no matter the cost, even if it meant sacrificing his only son, Yitschaq.
But it was Yahowah, not Abraham, who proved that He was trustworthy and reliable, because He provided the sacrificial lamb this day, and again exactly 2,000 years later in exactly the same place. It was God, therefore, not man, who facilitated the promise He had made to bless all mankind through this Covenant.
The Familial Covenant Relationship was enabled on Mount Mowryah by Yahowah because He was trustworthy and reliable. The name of the mountain even means “Revere and Respect Yahowah.” And we, by coming to know, understand, and accept the same terms and conditions of the Covenant Abraham embraced, become God’s children.
There are seven essential stories in the Torah, and this is one of them. Yahowah explained how and why He created the universe and life in it. He told us about the Garden of Eden, so that we might understand the nature of the relationship He intended and appreciate its purpose. This, of course, was frustrated by man, which is why we are regaled with the story of Noah and his ark. Next, we are told about the Covenant, and we witness its conditions and promises in the life of Abraham.
As the narrative progresses, we see the Covenant expanded from an individual relationship to a family of people with the Exodus. It is the story of the journey out of religious and political oppression and into the Promised Land. And as the Yisra’elites began their walk with Yahowah, the Torah was revealed through Moseh, so that we might learn who God is, what He wants, and how to enter His home. And finally, in the very heart of the Torah, the seven Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God are presented as the means to the Covenant’s blessings. This is the path to our salvation.
But some just never seem to get it. Mired in the milieu of religion, and unable to escape from the shadow of the Catholic Vulgate, the KJV says: “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” It was plagiarized from Jerome, who wrote: “And so, those who are of faith shall be blessed with faithful Abraham.” NLT: “So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.” Even if the NLT hadn’t arbitrarily inserted “Christ,” their willingness to replace “trust” with “faith” was sufficient to miss the point.
And now as we turn the page to a new chapter, let’s give Sha’uwl the last word:
“Just as and to the degree that Abram believed and had faith in the God so it was reasoned and accounted to Him as righteousness. (3:6) You know as a result that the ones out of faith, these sons are Abram. (3:7)
Having seen beforehand then by contrast, the writing, that because out of faith makes right the people from different races and places, the God, He before beneficial messenger acted, to the Abram that they would in time be spoken of favorably in you all the races. (3:8) As a result, the ones out of faith, we are spoken of favorably, even praised together with the faithful Abram.” (3:9)