Are We Useful Tools or Drugged Victims?...
Most Christians have been led to believe that Paul was the principal agent used by God to create a new religionone predicated upon "faith in his Gospel of Grace." They think that the lone individual who referred to himself as an "Apostle," and yet who did not walk in Yahshua’s footsteps, was authorized to annul the Torah, its Commandments and Feastseven contradict the Disciples.
If this actually occurred, the means to this miracle is chronicled in Paul’s epistle to the Galatians which serves as the foundation of Christianity. But did this actually take place? Did Paul annul the Torah, and if so, was his replacement credible, believable? Is Christianity established on the bedrock of Scripture and logic or on the shifting sands of one man’s unsubstantiated opinions?
In the end it all comes down to GalatiansPaul’s first letter, as evidenced by the epistle itself. It is the principle place in the Renewed Covenant Writings where the Torah is seriously assailed. Without Galatians, there is no credible debate between "Trusting the Torah" and "Believing the Gospel." While there are critical passages in Paul’s other letters, and most especially in Romans, we will discover that Galatians provides the most methodical and ingenious approach to obfuscating Yahweh’s previous testimony.
Galatians is one of only two epistles where Yahweh’s Sabbath and Feasts are placed in doubt, the other being Paul’s letter to the Colossianswhere the conflict is more a legacy of errant translations. So without Paul’s epistle there is no justification for Sunday Worship, Christmas, or Easter.
Galatians is the place where "faith," which has become synonymous with "religion," was first pitted against the Law, which in turn was considered symbolic of "legalism." It is here, in the fourth chapter of Galatians, that Paul positions his belief in two Covenants, with the one codified by Moses on Mount Sinai being labeled as a cruel taskmaster which ultimately enslaves and condemns everyone. It is the first time Jerusalem, Judea, and Jews are demeaned by someone claiming to speak for their God, with all of them becoming Paul’s and the "Church’s" foes.
But more than just being ground central for Christianity’s disdain for all things YahwehHis name, His Word, His Commandments, His Sabbath, His Called-Out Assemblies, His Land, His Chosen People, His Way, and even His MessiyahGalatians pits Christianity’s founding fathers against themselves. In the epistle, Peter is mercilessly condemned by Paul, and Ya’aqob and Yahuchanan are demeaned.
But worse, the Acts and Galatians accounts of the Jerusalem Summit, the most important meeting in the history of "The Way," are irreconcilableisolating Paul from the Disciples. In fact, Galatians may well be Paul’s response, his rebuttal, to having had his message censured, his authority assaulted, and his reputation assailed, by the Jerusalem Assembly. Paul’s summation of this meeting sits in the midst of this epistle, as do the two issues which prompted the summitthe purpose of the Torah and the merit of circumcision. These themes dominate Galatians, with Paul’s position running in opposition to Yahweh, Yahshua, the Disciples, and the Word of God. In due time we will juxtapose these texts. So do not be concerned if you are currently unaware of this meeting, or of the incompatible accounts of it.
More important still, Shim’own’s evaluation of Galatians (found in Peter’s Second Epistle), contains the single most important verse in Christendom, as it is the lone place where Paul’s epistles specifically, and the Renewed Covenant Writings generally, are potentially afforded Scriptural status. So if this lone endorsement falters, if it isn’t credible, or if this isn’t what Peter actually said, then the idea of the "New Testament" being "Scripture," and being "inspired by God," completely vanishes. Evidence for such a position would be relegated to the murk of myth, and the realm of human tradition. And that is why we will dissect Paul’s overt condemnation of Peter, just as we will study Peter’s direct response to Paul under a linguistic microscope, contemplating the Disciple’s view of the Apostle’s message, his claims and letters.
In ignorance of the evidence, Christian theologians unanimously side with Paul over Peter with regard to the Great Galatians Debate. In so doing, they have established their religion in opposition to Yahweh, Yahshua, the Disciples, and the Word of God. In their view, Paul was right to associate the Torah with bondage, Yahweh’s Festival Feasts with Judaism, circumcision with Jews, and the Mosaic Law with legalism. For Christians, as a result of Paul’s depiction of "two covenants" in the fourth chapter of Galatians, it is appropriate to divide the "Bible" into two Testaments: one "Old" the other "New," one failed and counterproductive with the other providing the promise of salvation. For Christians, solely as a result of Paul’s epistles, hell awaits everyone who observes the Torah, while heaven embraces all those who place their faith in Paul’s Gospel of Grace.
With the stakes this high, with the credibility of the religion of Christianity resting upon one man’s letter, with the salvation of a billion souls at stake, few things could be as important as considering the possibility that Paul’s epistle might not be trustworthy if he openly contradicted the God he purported to represent. But if this world-renowned individual pulled off this feat, if he managed to supersede something as well known and revered as the Torah, and if he supplanted it with something as nebulous and mystical as faith, and convinced the world that he had done so without contradicting God, Galatians would have to be among the most brilliantly written theses of all time.
To determine if Paul changed everything, including our understanding of God and Scripture, even the means to salvation, we are going to examine his words under the lens of the world’s most acclaimed lexicons while referencing the oldest extant manuscripts. Paul’s thoughts will also be scrutinized, juxtaposing each proposal against Yahweh’s Scriptural position on similar subjects. We will leave nothing to chance or supposition. And while we are cognizant that over a billion people believe Galatians is Scripture, we will be honest, even if the result is offensive. Regardless of how many religious preconceptions succumb to the evidence, our pursuit of the truth will be relentlessly rational.
For those who have not read the Letter to the Reader, you should know that at the onset of this study, I was inclined to think that Paul did no such thing. At the beginning of what would become an in-depth evaluation of Paul’s veracity, I was predisposed to think that scribal error, misleading translations, unsupported interpretations, confusion over which "Law" Paul was assailing, and an overall ignorance of the Torah’s purpose, had collectively conspired to conceive religious teachings which were inconsistent with the Apostle’s intended message. And yet, it will be Paul’s words, not my preconceived ideas, which will determine whether or not Paul had the audacity to contradict God, undermine His Scripture, and to establish a "New Testament" in place of the one he sought to annul. If he did, and if he made his case, then Christianity is on solid footing. If he didn’t, billions of souls have been tragically misled.
In this light, it is instructive to know that Paul’s given name was Sha’uwl. It is of Hebrew origin, and it means "to question." And that is precisely what we are going to do: question Paul. You should also know that sha’uwl is indistinguishable in the Scriptural text from she’owl, Hebrew for "the grave," "the pit," and even "hell."
To arrive at the truth, we, like those who have gone before us, must resolve which "Law" Paul was assailing: Natural Law, Roman Law, Rabbinic Law, or Mosaic Lawknown as the Torah. We will have to closely compare the oldest textual witnesses to our modern-Greek manuscripts to determine if Paul’s words have been affected by scribal error, attributing things to Sha’uwl that he did not actually say. And after presenting Paul’s letter in English, rendering it as accurately as possible from the oldest manuscripts, we will have to compare our findings to other translations to ascertain whether or not translational errors have artificially altered our impression of Paul’s purpose in writing this epistle.
One of the surprising obstacles we will have to overcome along the way will become obvious in short order. Paul’s letter to the Galatians is poorly written; reflecting the worst writing quality found in the Renewed Covenant. We will encounter a steady diet of missing words, and worse. Many of Paul’s sentences are incomprehensible. The fact that the wording is well beneath the dignity of God is something we will wrestle with, even though this doesn’t seem to matter to a religion hell bent on distancing itself from Yahweh, from the Covenant, from the Torah, from the first four Commandments, and from six of the seven Feasts.
Before we embark on this journey, there is something else you should know. There are those who suggest that there is a possibility that Paul did not write Galatians. They think that this epistle could have been a clever fraud which was later attributed to him. In support of this argument, there is phraseology prevalent in Galatians that appears nowhere else in the epistles assigned to Sha’uwl.
In support of Galatians being from Paul, we must recognize that the book of Acts reveals that the Apostle had the kind of contentious relationship with the Galatians which is reflected in this epistle. We are told that the Galatians went from seeing Paul as the incarnation of a Greek god to wanting to stone him.
Second, Peter, in his second letter, evaluates an epistle Paul had written to the same audienceone that we learn from his greeting in First Peter must be Galatia, because it is the only community where their audiences overlap. So, based upon Peter, we know that Paul wrote to the Galatians. If not this epistle, then the authentic letter has been lost. But more than that, the language Peter uses to describe Galatians, accurately reflects the contents we find in the surviving copy.
Third, the issues raised at the Jerusalem Summit serve as the centerpiece of Paul’s epistle. After reading Luke’s testimony in Acts, it’s hard not to see Galatians as Paul’s response to this meeting, and his desire to position himself as favorably as possible. In fact, it will become obvious that this letter was written immediately after that meeting, long before tempers cooled. And that means that Paul would have had thirteen subsequent opportunities to distance himself from this epistle had it been a fraud.
Fourth, Galatians is about Paul, about his childhood, his education, his mission, his preaching, his credibility, and his trials and tribulations. Within its text, we find Paul referring to himself as the mother of the faithful, as the parent of his spiritual children, as the perfect example to follow, as a person who can do no wrong, and as someone who cannot lie. So if Paul didn’t write it, Galatians was either scribed by his publicist, or by someone who spent the better part of their life polishing Paul’s sandals.
Fifth, the oldest extant codex containing Paul’s epistles, Papyrus 46, places Galatians in the midst of the other letters attributed to Sha’uwl. In order of their appearance in the codex, these epistles include: Romans, Hebrews, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, and 1st Thessalonians. And since P46 is dated between 85 and 125CE, we know that one of the earliest assemblies to collect portions of the Renewed Covenant believed that Paul had penned this letter.
Sixth, Paul had a propensity to sign his letters so that his audience would have some assurance that he was the author. But with Galatians, he did more than just sign his name. Much of the last chapter attests to have been written by his own hand.
And seventh, Paul’s signature term is charis, which is transliterated into English as "Grace," based upon the Roman name Gratia. Apart from Paul’s letters, the use of charis can only be attested by an ancient manuscript in one other place in the whole of the Renewed Covenant. Therefore, the frequency of its use in this letter suggests that it came from Paul.
And this leaves us with a third alternative, that Paul was indeed the author, but that he never intended this letter to be circulated, much less to be considered Scripture. He was clearly angry, and may well have dashed off an emotional response that, from a more sober perspective, he would have wadded up and thrown away. Most of us have written letters like this; and many have had the good sense to hold on to them long enough to read them again once our passions have subsided.
The only benefit of distancing this epistle from Paul, should it prove to be a false witness, is that it would not tarnish the remainder of the letters attributed to him. But even then, the potential benefit would be fraught with peril, in that it would open the floodgates to questioning the appropriateness of everything in the Renewed Covenant. And that is because the Galatians epistle was written in first person. It is based upon the life of the Apostle Paul. So if it is a counterfeit, the letter is not only a complete fraud, the authorship, and therefore authority, of more than half of the Renewed Covenant becomes suspect. But in reality, as we will discover in the last chapter of this review, there is very little difference between Galatians and the rest of Paul’s letters. It is readily apparent that the same individual wrote them and that he was promoting the same message.
And yet, ultimately the only question which really matters is whether or not Galatians is true. Is it the inspired Word of God, and thus Scripture, or not? If it is valid, so is Christianity. But if it is false, the religion is brought down with it.
This conclusion is inescapable because Galatians is the only book devoted to systematically demeaning and demoting the Torah. So, without Galatians there is no way to justify Christianity’s corruption and violation of the first four Commandmentsas they would still stand. Without Galatians there would be no way to explain Christianity’s opposition to six of the seven Called-Out Assembliesas they would still delineate the path to God. Without Galatians there would only be one Covenant, and thus no room for a "New Testament," or a "Gospel"-based religion.
Without Galatians, Yahweh’s Torah remains the means to liberate humankind from religious and political oppression. But with Galatians, the Torah is mankind’s foe, the path to enslavement and condemnation.
Without Galatians the "Gospel of Grace" would be superseded by the promise of the Torah, and its healing and beneficial message. Without Galatians, our association with God would be based upon the Covenant, upon knowing Yahweh, His Son and Spirit, as He presented Himself in His Word. Without Galatians, admission to heaven would be predicated upon understanding the path Yahweh articulated in the Torah sufficiently to trust and rely upon it and Him. Without Galatians, "faith," is irrelevant, as is the religion of Christianity.
And in this regard, faith is the opposite of trust. Trust emerges from a discerning evaluation of the evidence, while faith thrives in the absence of information and reason.
So, while there will be some lingering debate regarding the authenticity of this epistle, we will proceed as if Galatians is genuine. And while we may never be able to adequately resolve whether or not the epistle was written by Paul, at least in the minds of those predisposed to think otherwise, we will be able to determine with absolute certainty whether or not it was inspired by God. And in the end, that is all this study portends to determine.
Because the religion of Christianity has severed its relationship with Yahweh’s Covenant, His Commandments, His Called-Out Assemblies, His Chosen People, and with His Torah, should Paul’s epistle to the Galatians prove to be neither inspired by God nor reliable for any reason, the religion of Christianity falls, as it can be neither inspired nor true. It is that simple, that clear cut.
While we will analyze every word of Galatians, from Sha’uwl’s greeting to his handwritten closing statement, our review of Christendom’s foundational treatise will commence at the same place Christians begin their assault on the Torah. That occurs in Galatians 3, verses 10 through 14. So, let’s take a moment and consider the King James Bible (Christianity’s most influential translation) and New Living Translation’s (the most recent variation and among the most popular) depictions of these passages, juxtaposed against a literal rendering of the earliest first-century manuscript of Sha’uwl’s letter.
Reason dictates that if the following KJV and NLT translations are accurate, then the "Law," better known as the "Torah," is God’s way of cursing humankindnot saving us. And if this is true, Yahweh and Yahshua are liars. The King James reads: "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." (3:10)
More clearly presented, albeit, less aligned with the Greek text, the New Living Translation published: "But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.’ (3:10) If they are correct, God’s Word is God’s curse.
Based upon the words Sha’uwl selected, this is what he actually said: "For as long as they exist by means of doing the assigned tasks and activities of the Torah, they are under a curse, because it is written that: ‘All are accursed who do not remain alive in and who do not persevere with all that is written in the scroll of the Torah, doing it.’" (Galatians 3:10) (Please note: for those more accustomed to the amplified translations which make Yada Yahweh unique, replete with the Hebrew and Greek text, they exist for every passage we will review, even these, when they reappear in the natural flow of this letter.)
Recognizing that the preceding translation is a literal rendering of Papyrus 46, the oldest extant manuscript of Sha’uwl’s letter (dated to the late first or early second century), it’s hard to explain the KJV’s and NLT’s considerable variation from it. Rather than saying that "those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse," Sha’uwl cited a Torah passage which says the opposite: "All are accursed who don’t remain alive in all that is written in the scroll of the Torah, doing it." According to the Scripture passage Sha’uwl quoted, without the Torah, there is no life.
Sha’uwl misquoted Deuteronomy 27:26, which reads: "Cursed (invoking harm upon oneself) is whoever is not established (restored and supported) by the words of this Torah (towrah law, prescriptions for living, directions, teachings, and instructions), observing and accomplishing them. And the entire family said, ‘This is true, acceptable, and reliable.’" (Deuteronomy 27:26)
Oddly, the verse Sha’uwl mangled in Galatians undermines the Christian argument, as well as his own position, because it obliterates the idea that the Torah is passé. But even if observing the Torah wasn’t presented as the lone means to becoming restored and established, as God has just stated, if the Almighty was actually a capricious prankster, and if His Torah was really a curse as Paul and others have claimed, then citing it as evidence for that conclusion would be irrational, because nothing God said could be trusted.
Christian apologists, steeped in Pauline Doctrine, will say that the Torah isn’t a pick and choose sort of thing, and that to be redeemed you would have to do everything it says all of the time, or else you’ll be cursed by it. But that is not the message conveyed in this Deuteronomy passagenor by Yahshua. God knows that we cannot be perfect, which is why He provided the means to recovery in the heart of the Torah. But since Paul severed the relationship between the Torah and the Messiyah, and then completely rejected the path to salvation Yahweh provided through His seven Called-Out Assemblies, most Christians are unaware of the Torah’s redemptive properties.
As a result of Pauline Doctrine, the overwhelming preponderance of Christians don’t recognize that when Yahshua said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life," that the Messiyah’s "Way" and His definition of "Truth," were both embodied in observing and following the Torah. And that is why at the conclusion of His Sermon on the Mount He called the Torah "the narrow way to Life." Simply stated, by fulfilling Passover and Unleavened Bread, Yahshua facilitated the gift of salvation Yahweh promised and provided in the Torah. But by severing this connection, by disassociating Yahshua from Yahweh’s Word, the Messiyah’s life, His testimony, and His sacrifice become as meaningless as the faith Christians place in them.
Moving on to Sha’uwl’s next thought, as it is found in the King James, we find: "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, ‘The just shall live by faith.’" (3:11) Updated for modern sensibilities, the New Living Translation passage reads: "So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life.’" (3:11) And yet Paul’s first point was anything but "clear," because he cited a passage which contradicted his premise. But more telling still, the Scriptures don’t actually say anything about "faith," much less that it leads to being "just" or "righteous."
Therefore, both positions are illogical. Even if no one was justified by the Torah that would not infer that the just or righteous shall live by faith. Rather than cause and consequence, these ideas are unrelated. It is like saying: red wagons don’t work so it is evident we should put our faith in blue tricycles. More to the point, if God’s Torah cannot be relied upon, in whom are we to express our "faith?"
And as I had mentioned, "the Scriptures" DO NOT "say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life.’" The passage Sha’uwl truncated this time actually reads: "Behold, the puffed up; his soul is not considered to be upright in him. The upright and vindicated live by trusting that which is trustworthy (by finding security and safety in that which is firmly established, consistently faithful, always steadfast, dependable, honest, and true)." (Habakkuk 2:4)
Unfortunately we can’t spin this to suggest that Sha’uwl was actually speaking of the inadequacy of legalistic works, and most especially of the inappropriateness of the Oral Law of the Rabbis, when he wrote: "But with that Law, no one is vindicated or justified alongside God (represented by the placeholder ΘΩ), because [it is] clearly evident ‘The upright and just live (and are alive) out of faith (pistis originally conveyed "trust and reliance" but migrated over time as a result of Sha’uwl’s epistles to mean "belief and faith").’" (Galatians 3:11) If Sha’uwl did not hang himself with these words, at the very least he was twisting the knot which would become his noose. I say this because his statement is the antithesis of God’s instructions. If Paul was right, it would be equivalent of God saying: "I will save those who contradict Me and justify those who negate and belittle the plan I have established."
The reason we cannot substitute Rabbinical Law for Mosaic Law in this passage is because the sentence begins "But with that Law," clearly referring the Torah citation in the previous verse where Paul used nomou (the singular genitive case (explained in chapter 7, "Towrah Prescriptions") to represent the Hebrew title "the Towrah." Also worth noting, while "pistis trust and reliance" would normally have been translated "trust" or "reliance" in any Renewed Covenant passage, it will become obvious over time that Paul used it to convey "faith or belief," because he never once supplies the kind of evidence which would be required for understanding, much less "trust or reliance."
Continuing to mislead by way of senseless prose, the KJV renders the next verse: "And the law is not of faith: but, the man that doeth them shall live in them." (3:12) Deploying a different tactic, the NLT authored a statement which could only be considered true in the context of religion. "This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, ‘It is through obeying the law that a person has life.’" (3:12)
Should the translation team deployed by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. have meant that "the way of the Christian faith is very different than the way of the Torah," then they would be right. But "can that ‘way of faith’ be right" is the multi-billion soul question. Can Paul’s thesis, his faith, his religion, be "very different from the way" delineated by God in the Torah and still reconcile fallen man into a relationship with that same God? Has God endorsed a revised plan which is counter to the one He originally authored? And yet if He did such a thing, wouldn’t it make Him untrustworthy and unreliable?
Irrespective of the answer, at least the battle lines have been drawn. According to the most popular modern translation it is now the Torah vs. Christianity. So let the Great Galatians Debate begin: are we to trust Yahweh’s Torah or believe Paul’s Gospel of Grace?
Examining the words Sha’uwl wrote, we find him quoting (or more correctly, misquoting) the very Torah Christians are wont to deny and separate themselves from: "The Law exists not out of faith or belief (pistis originally conveyed "trust and reliance" but migrated over time as a result of Sha’uwl’s epistles to mean "belief and faith"), but to the contrary, ‘The one who performs them lives by them.’" (Galatians 3:12) Recognizing that Paul didn’t express this thought very well, we must turn to the passage he referenced to ascertain the point he was trying to convey.
Leviticus 18:5 imparts the following Divine instruction: "Observe (closely and carefully examine) My prescriptions and My stipulations. Whoever prepares and accomplishes one’s life mission with them, that person is restored to life and lives (is renewed, nurtured, spared, and kept alive) in them. I am Yahuweh."
It appears that Paul has once again abbreviated a passage which is inconsistent with his own message, perhaps hoping that the use of a common word, this time "perform," in conjunction with "the law" would be sufficient to convince his audience that God supports his position.
But in the quoted verse, God did not say that the "law is very different than faith," or that "through faith a person has life," or anything remotely like that. He said that a careful and close examination of His prescriptions prepares a person for their life’s mission, while at the same time, restoring their life. This is once again, the antithesis of the Christian position.
Moving on to the next verse as it is presented in the King James and New Living Translation, we find: KJV: "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:" (3:13) If the King James has accurately reflected Paul’s thought, then, according to Paul, the Torah is a curse. For this interpretation of Paul’s statement to be correct, rather than fulfilling the Torah, Yahshua ransomed us from its clutches. It also means that Yahshua, rather than being the prefect Lamb of God, judged from the perspective of the Torah, embodied all the negativity a "curse" implies.
Absolving Paul of the untenable position he has been placed in by the King James Version, the New Living Translation twists the text to convey a different perspective: "But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’" (3:13)
To the New Living Translation’s shame, there is no reference to a "cross" anywhere in the Renewed Covenant, much less in this passage. To Sha’uwl’s shame, the Torah verse should not have been abridged nor misquoted out of context. While the Deuteronomy prediction is profoundly accurate, and stunningly prophetic, its merit was mitigated by the way Paul truncated it.
But first things first: here is how the Greek text of Sha’uwl’s letter reads: "The Messiyah (ΧΡΣ a divine placeholder for Messiyah, the Implement of Yahweh) redeemed us from the curse of the Torah, coming to exist as a curse for our sake, because it is written: ‘Accursed is everyone who is hanging upon wood.’" (Galatians 3:13)
The Scripture reference Sha’uwl quoted is Deuteronomy 21:23. It is Messianic, predicting that Yahshua would be judged to be guilty of a sin worthy of death (our revolt against God), that He would be suspended from a wooden timber, that His body would be removed from the upright pole before the sun set, that his lifeless corpse would be prepared and placed in a sepulcher, as opposed to being buried in the ground, and that as a result of having our sins associated with Him, the Messiyah would be the scorned and despised of Godsomething which was required to redeem us from our sins.
The Torah passage reads: "When it comes to pass that an individual is judged guilty of sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and you suspend and hang him on a wooden timber, do not allow his dead body to stay overnight (remain after sunset) on the wooden timber. Rather instead you shall surely prepare his dead body for a tomb and place it inside (it is essential that you bury him in a sepulcher) on that same day. Indeed because he who is hanged (suspended and displayed), is the disparaged and degraded (is the maligned, abused, vilified, scorned, and cursed) of God. Do not cut into your soil which Yahuweh, your God gave to you as an inheritance, making it unclean." (Deuteronomy 21:22-23) This is a prophetic picture of the Messiah’s fulfillment of the Torah’s presentation of Passover and Unleavened Bread. Yahweh uses prophecies like this one, and a thousand more like it, to prove that He inspired His Scriptures. He did this so that we would be able to trust everything else He has to say. Only God can get every prophecy right, every time without fail.
So what we have learned thus far is that the King James is unreliable and inaccurate, and that the New Living Translation isn’t a translation of the Greek text, but instead a very loose paraphrase whereby its authors became story tellers. To its credit, the NLT reads smoothly, and sounds nice, which is why I suppose it has become so popular. But as a study tool, it is of no practical use and is potentially harmful.
We have also learned that Paul has misapplied and misquoted Scripture, which is troubling. All four citations were abridged, taken out of context, and altered to make it appear as if Paul’s message and God’s were in sync. This will become a bad habit, one which many Christians have come to emulate to justify their religious views. And it is also curious that each of the four Scriptural passages Sha’uwl cited actually affirmed the value and enduring nature of the Torah, and thus undermined the Christian religion. And that suggests Paul had very little respect for the intelligence of his audience.
Since we are on the subject, let’s consider Yahshua’s statements regarding the Torah to ascertain whether or not Paul had the authority to annul it, should that have been his intent. The human manifestation of God said: "Do not assume that I have come to weaken, dismantle, invalidate, or abolish (kataluso loosen, tear down, or dissolve, put an end to, do away with, or annul) the Torah (nomos Law) or the Prophets. I have not come to do away with it, but instead to completely fulfill it." (Mattityahu/Matthew 5:17) That was as unequivocal as it was opposed to Christian tradition. To annul the Torah, one has to contradict God.
"Truly (amein this is reliable and trustworthy) I say to you, till heaven and the earth pass away not one jot (iota the smallest letter in Hebrew) nor tittle (keraia the top stroke of Hebrew letters) shall be passed by (parerchomai be ignored or disobeyed, be disregarded) from that which was established in the Towrah until the time and place it all happens." (Mattityahu/Matthew 5:18) And therein, the notion of a "New Testament" is torn asunder. According to God, His original is still in vogue. More telling still, the majority of Yahweh’s prophecies, including His return, have not yet happened, and the heavens and earth remain, and thus the Torah stands.
"Therefore, whoever dismisses (luo does away with, dissolves, invalidates, or abolishes) the least of these commandments (entole precepts, prescriptions, and authoritative directions) or teaches (didasko indoctrinates or instructs) people to do the same, they will be called the least important (elachistos will be considered to be so small as to be insignificant and undignified) in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever performs (poieomai accomplishes and celebrates, practices and profits from) them, and teaches them, they will be called the greatest and most important in the kingdom of heaven." (Mattityahu/Matthew 5:19) Now that’s something for Christians to think about, especially considering the subject and speaker.
But it raises a question: since this is Yahshua’s assessment of those who dismiss the Torah, how would you evaluate Sha’uwl’s standing with Yahweh if he convinced the world that he had done this very thingand all with God’s blessing? Said another way, is there even one chance in a billion that God inspired, even condoned and endorsed, the writings of a man who invalidated the Torah in light of this statement by Yahshua? Do Christians honestly believe that Paul can contradict God and still be trusted?
Recognizing that Sha’uwl was, or at least claimed to be a Pharisee, please consider what Yahshua said next: "Because I promise and say to you, that unless your righteousness, integrity, legal standing, and adherence to the relationship is abundantly superior to and more appropriate than the religious teachers, experts, scribes, scholars, and Pharisees (Pharisaios members of a fundamentalist political and religious party comprised of hypocritical Jews who coveted authority, were overtly religious, set rules which others had to abide by, established religious rituals and traditions, and interpreted Scripture to their liking), you will never move into or experience the realm of heaven." (Mattityahu/Matthew 5:20)In that we are a mere four verses into our study, it would be presumptuous for us to assume that Paul’s overall intent was to belittle and foreclose the Torah. But these Galatians passages certainly suggest that Christian theologians are justified in their interpretation of Paul’s message when they cite this letter as evidence that the Torah is an outdated burden which enslaves, and when they preach that Paul’s "faith" liberates. But why is it that not one Christian theologian has the character, courage, and intellectual integrity to say that Paul’s position, if Christians have interpreted it correctly, is diametrically opposed to Yahshua’s teaching on the subject of salvation, and his statements are in direct conflict with Scripture?
Speaking to those who are willing to invest the time required to know the truth, Yahshua said: "Ask, making an earnest request, and it shall be given as a gift to you. Seek, searching for knowledge, and you will discover and experience it, know the truth and find what you are looking for. Knock, requesting acceptance at the door, and it will be opened for you, and you will be granted entrance to the place you desire and will be given access to understanding. For then all who make an earnest request receive, they will be acquired and accepted, and they will be taken by the hand and carried away. And those who search for the location and for knowledge, who desire to learn, will know the truth and find the place they wish to experience. Those who request acceptance at the door, they will be granted entrance and given access to understanding."
"What man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him as stone? Or if he should ask for a fish, would give him a snake? If then you being morally corrupt know and understand how to give good, valuable, and generous gifts to your children, how much more by way of contrast will your Father who is in heaven produce and give valuable, good, and generous gifts to those who ask Him?" (Mattityahu/Matthew 7:7-11)Yahshua would conclude His Sermon on the Mount with this announcement: "For then this is the Torah and the Prophets: begin by entering through the narrow, exacting, and specific doorway because the passageway is crafted to be wide, artificial, and unreliable, and the way of life is wide open which deceives and influences someone to go astray to the point of destruction and perishing, needlessly squandering their existence, and the vast preponderance of people start the first step in their journey through it. The doorway is exacting and specific, and the way of life is unpopular, which leads to life, and few experience it." (Mattityahu/ Matthew 7:12-14) Therefore, if Yahshua (Yahweh’s human manifestation) was telling the truth, the Torah is the lone path to life, and all other paths lead to destruction. And paths which "needlessly squander a person’s existence" would include faith-based paths.
But this also means that popular pathsand there are none more popular than Christianitylead to the death and destruction of those who follow their edicts. This is a profoundly important truth few Christians consider. And yet it is the reason, the only reason, we are examining Paul and his letter to the Galatians.
As an interesting aside, Yahshua’s instructions regarding eternal life tell us to "begin by entering through a specific doorway." And that is because the first of seven steps to our salvation begins by answering Yahweh’s summons to walk through the doorway labeled "Passover." This blood-smeared doorway which initiated the exodus from the crucible of Egypt, and the liberation of God’s Chosen People from their enslavement in oppressive human political and religious schemes, represents heaven’s portal. Yahshua is the doorway, the living embodiment of Passover, the first of seven steps to the final result, which is camping out with God.
But Yahshua was not yet finished warning Christians not to disregard the Torah. With these words, he would tell them not to trust Paul: "You must be alert, carefully examine, prosecute, and turn away (prosechete you should pay close attention, watch out for and beware of, guarding yourself) from false prophets who come to you from within dressed in sheep’s clothing, yet they actually are wolves who are exceptionally self-promoting and self-serving (harpax vicious carnivorous thieves who secretly and deliberately rob, extort, and snatch away; from harpazo: to violently, forcibly, and eagerly claim and seize for oneself and pluck away)." (Mattityahu/Matthew 7:15)
Yahshua could not have made this message any clearer for you. He told you what you could rely upon and who you should not trust. He just said that a self-serving insider would feign an alliance with Him so that he could more easily snatch souls away from God. He was speaking about Pauland those who have allied themselves with him.
"Indeed as a result, you will completely know, recognize, and understand (epiginosko complete and accurate understanding based upon a thorough examination of the evidence) them from their fruit, from their results and harvests. Not all those calling Me "Lord Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven, but to the contrary, those in heaven are those who do My Father’s will (thelema do what He decided and proposed [read: who observe Yahweh’s Torah]). Many will say to Me in this specific day, "Lord, Lord, did we not speak inspired utterances and prophesy in Your name and drive out demons in Your name, and perform many mighty miracles in Your name?’ And then at that time, I will profess to them that I never acknowledged, recognized, understood, or associated with them. You all must leave and depart from Me, those who bring about that which is Torah-less (anomia Lawless)." (Mattityahu/Matthew 7:20-23) Are you listening?
"All of those who really listen to and actually hear My words and who do as I have said, they are like a sensible and wise, intelligent and prudent, man who builds, edifies, and strengthens a family home upon the rock (petra a reference to Shim’owm Kephas (a.k.a. Petros - Peter) and to Himself as the Rock of our Salvation). And rain descended and the rivers came, and also the tempestuous wind blew, and yet their family and household did not fall down or prostrate themselves because the established foundation was upon the rock." (Mattityahu/Matthew 7:24-25) While Christians will tell you that Paul won the argument he had with Peter over the importance of the Torah, Yahshua begs to differ.
Since this introductory chapter was written to frame the issues which are at stake, let’s pause a moment and consider the options at your disposal regarding Paul’s Scriptural misquotes. You can ignore them based upon the notion that you believe that I have misrepresented Paul’s or Yahweh’s statements. But this approach is easily resolved. Flip forward to the "Towrah Prescriptions" chapter where every Hebrew and Greek word delineated in these passages is displayed so that you can do your own due diligence and verify the text and the translations for yourself. Or simpler yet, just compare standard English translations of the Scripture passage and Sha’uwl’s quotation and note the differences.
Since the first option is a nonstarter, you can accept the fact that the citations are different, but attribute their divergence to an inadvertent mistake on Paul’s part. But if you do, you must also abandon the notion that Paul’s letters are Scripturethe inerrant Word of God. And with that realization, the foundation of Christianity crumbles.
You can admit that there is a pattern of malfeasance with regard to all of Paul’s Scriptural citations, and recognize that they are misquoted and then twisted to support Pauline Doctrine, which means that he intended to misrepresent them. But if you take this path, you will be compelled to label Paul a false witness. And at that point, Christianity becomes a false religion.
Since the last two options were devastating, and the initial one was invalid, you could blame the mistakes on scribal error, suggesting that Paul’s Scriptural quotations were correct initially, but then believe that over time, scribes inadvertently misrepresented his words, creating a false impression. But this is a slippery slope. The oldest significant codex of Renewed Covenant is Papyrus 46, which is dated between 85 and 125CE, thirty-five to seventy-five years after the epistle was scribed, and it contains a complete copy of most all of Paul’s epistles. If it isn’t reliable, then nothing in the Renewed Covenant is reliableas there is only one superior witness, Papyrus 75 which covers Luke and John, and it was scribed one-hundred years later. Therefore, if scribes significantly altered Paul’s letters during this relatively small period of time, the list of appropriately supported and reliable Renewed Covenant books would shrink to two: portions of Luke and John. The rest, based as they are on far less reliable and far more recent manuscripts, would be far too suspect to believe. And of course, that would mean that the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms would still stand, as they would be unchallenged.
Or you can take the quietly popular, albeit seldom articulated, Christian position regarding these misquotesone derived from Marcion in the early second century. He concluded that the God who inspired the Torah was mean spirited, and no longer relevanta position which many Christians hold, even if they are too timid to voice it. As such, Marcion nullified the Torah by encapsulating it within a collection which he labeled the "Old Testament," and thus suggested that it was the will of a now deceased, or at least irrelevant deity. Marcion believed that Paul was the only true Apostle, and that he alone spoke for the new and improved God of his "New Testament." Paul’s letters were canonized as a result, and Sha’uwl of Tarsus was thereby empowered to correct the errors that the old God had made. As a result, Paul’s new faith forever separated believers: from Yahweh, from God’s first four Commandments, from six of His seven Called-Out Assemblies, from the Chosen People and the Promised Land, and from Yahweh’s WordHis Towrah.
Beyond the fact that this makes a man’s opinions more important than God’s Word, the Messiyah Yahshua’s testimony is in complete harmony with Yahweh and it is in total conflict with Sha’uwl’s epistles. Simply stated, the Christian position is unsupportable; it is ignorant and irrational. So the question remains: are you?
Let’s lay out some ground rules before we consider Paul’s opening comments in Galatians. Calling the Renewed Covenant Writings "Scripture" is a human edict, not a Godly directive. Neither Yahweh, Yahshua, nor any of the Renewed Covenant authors, ever referred to their writings as such.
According to Yahweh and Yahshua, the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms are Scripture. Therefore, the only parts of the Renewed Covenant which should be considered inspired by God are the words and deeds of Yahshua which are recorded in the four biographies, the book of Revelation which was given by dictation, and the Renewed Covenant’s citations of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms.
Sha’uwl’s epistles, on the other hand, only contain one citation from Yahshua (which he gets wrong), and no accurate quotations of the Torah, which serves as an admission, that his letters contain his opinions. So our mission will be to determine whether or not Paul’s opinions were accurate.
In this light, you may have noticed that there were ten italicized words set within [brackets] among the four Galatians’ verses already cited. These pronouns, prepositions, and verbs were not written in the Greek text. And yet for the sentences to read appropriately, they had to be added. And even then, Sha’uwl’s thoughts were inadequately compiled, opening the door to invalid interpretations. In fact, as we shall see, Sha’uwl’s letter to the Galatians was so poorly conceived, it is insulting to suggest that God inspired it, word for word as it was written.
As with everything God had to say, and frankly to understand any message, we must always consider it in context. The practice of citing isolated verses to prove a point is completely inappropriate. It is how the church has managed to justify the many religious doctrines which are contrary to the Torah. Clerics get by with doing so, because most Christians are unwilling to compare their religion’s teachings with passages which oppose them. They aren’t even willing to check to see if the context of the discussion alters the religious edict.
According to Yahweh and Yahshua, nothing the Renewed Covenant says can in any way, no matter how big or small, alter or abolish, add to or subtract from anything in the Torah. So, any claim to the contrary, is contrary to God. Therefore, first among the many reasons behind the Christian confusion regarding the relationship between the Torah and the Renewed Covenant is derived from Paul’s letters, and most especially his notion that there are "two covenants." This division and polarization was then aided and abetted, and the connection was ultimately destroyed, by way of horridly errant English translations. And that is why this chapter began focusing on themsomething we will continue throughout this review.
Having just reviewed only four verses out of context, it would be presumptuous to conclude that this portion of Sha’uwl’s letter was intended as a debate between the Torah and "Grace," or even between the Torah and his "Gospel." From the most favorable vantage point, we could probably spin Paul’s words to infer that men and women cannot work their way to God. To be saved, at least according to this very narrow, and probably unsupportable interpretation, Paul could be affirming what Scripture actually says: that to be saved we must closely observe, come to understand, and then trust and rely upon the healing and beneficial message delineated in the Torah, and fulfilled by Yahshua. Trust and reliance upon what Yahweh said and what Yahshua did is the one and only answer according to the Torah. But we are still six chapters removed from knowing if this is what Sha’uwl actually intended to confirm, or if this is what he intended to refute.
Second, the Christian perspective on God and His plan may well be backwards and upside down. It is from the end, rather than from the beginning. To appreciate a set of plans, and the home built by way of those plans, you have to start with the foundation, not with the roof. The Torah is the beginning, the foundation, while Revelation is the cupola set upon the roof of His Tabernacle.
Third, Christians confuse "observing the Torah" with Judaism, as if these things were related. But they are not. Religious Jews observe the Talmud, which is based upon their oral traditions. The religion of Judaism is in conflict with the Torah, which is why it was exposed and condemned by Yahshua. Also, Rabbis don’t understand that "observing the Torah," doesn’t mean to "do it," but instead to "carefully examine" what it says so as to comprehend its message.
Fourth, the essence of the Torah isn’t a set of laws to be followed, but instead the Torah is a word picture of Yahweh’s purpose. It is a portrait of His Covenant. And it serves as a symbolic depiction of His plan of salvation. The Torah’s every story and example represent facets on a diamond, providing a perspective from which to observe, enjoy, and benefit from Yahweh’s brilliant Light. The Torah is overwhelmingly metaphorical and symbolic, painting word pictures to help us know Yahweh, understand His plan of salvation, and rely on His provision. In this light, it is better to understand the relevance of Passover and Unleavened Bread, and capitalize upon these gifts, than it is to simply do what is delineated on the right date. Understanding leads to trust, trust leads to reliance, and reliance leads to salvation. Our works don’t lead to any of these places.
Fifth, the Torah and Yahshua are inseparable. According to Yahweh, the Torah is the Word of God and Yahshua is the Word made fleshthe living embodiment of the Torah. So the very notion that we must choose between the Torah or God’s favor, is an attempt to divide the indivisible.
Sixth, the Torah is the basis, the foundation, the purpose of Yahshua’s life. He came to fulfill the Torah. He came to enable the seven Called-Out Assemblies by paying the toll so that we could walk to and with Yahweh. As He told the men on the road to Emmaus immediately after fulfilling Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, if you want to understand Him, who He is and what He did, you have to change your perspective, your attitude, and your thinking to that of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. According to Yahshua, it isn’t the Torah versus Mercy, but instead the Torah providing His unearned and fortuitous gift. The Torah is the source of the healing and beneficial message the human term "Gospel" corrupts.
Seventh, perhaps the biggest problem of all is reflected in one of the discussions Yahshua had with His disciples. When they failed to understand that the yeast which was removed from our souls on Unleavened Bread, was none other than religious and political pontifications, teachings, and doctrines, Yahshua said: "How is it that you did not think so as to understand (noeo use your mind to comprehend) that I was not speaking about a loaf of bread when I said ‘Be alerted to and turn away from (prosecho apo beware of, guard against, and distance yourself from) the yeast (zyme leavening fungus) of the Pharisees (the overtly religious leaders) and Sadducees (the worldly-minded, liberal political leaders)?" (Matthew 16:11) For the most part, religious people don’t think. And the few who do, suffer from corrupted datahorribly errant translations.
The author of the letter to the Galatians began his landscape-altering treatise by announcing: "Paulos (Paulos of Latin origin, meaning small), an Apostle/a prepared messenger who is set apart (apostolos a representative who is dispatched; from stello, one who is prepared and equipped, and apo, to be set apart; but often transliterated as a title: Apostle), [is] not (ou) from (apo) men (anthropos), and [is] not even (oude) by the means of (dia) man (anthropos), but to the contrary (alla) [exists and writes] on behalf of (dia on account of and by means of) [the] Messiyah Yahushua (based upon the placeholders ΧΡΥ ΙΝΥ). God (from the placeholder ΘΥ), the ’Ab-Father (based upon the placeholder ΠΡΑ), caused Him (autos) to be restored, to stand up, and to rise (egeiromai) from (ek and out of) a corpse (nekros)." (Galatians 1:1)
This opening line affirms that Paul, Paulos as he was known in Greek, or Sha’uwl in Hebrew, unequivocally believed, or at least wanted others to believe, that he spoke for "the Messiyah Yahushua." Whether or not that proves to be true, will be determined in due time, as it’s the purpose of this book. But it is interesting to note that Sha’uwl didn’t say, at least in this verse, that he was speaking for "God, the Father." That subtlety is lost on most Christians who have replaced Yahweh with their "Lord Jesus Christ," in effect focusing on the implement as opposed to the One wielding the tool.
This issue isn’t insignificant however. While Yahshua came from Yahweh, they are not equivalent. Yahshua cannot equal Yahweh because Yahshua, by His own admission, and by necessity, is the diminished manifestation of Yahweh. All of God cannot fit into a human form, and the undiminished presence of God would incinerate our planet.
If the human manifestation of God was equal to God, what’s known as the "Lord’s" prayer would have Yahshua saying: "Pray to Me who is in heaven, set-apart is My name, My kingdom come, My will be done..." So, now with the Son having returned to the Father, it’s curious that Paul saw himself representing the representative.
The key aspect of this introduction from Sha’uwl’s perspective is the unification of the first two words, the amalgamation of his name and the title "Apostle." It is a distinction he bequeathed upon himself because Yahshua’s Disciples refused to convey it to him. For Paul, it was essential that he be seen as Yahshua’s Apostle, even though it was a title he did not earn.
The Greek word that we transliterate "Apostle," apostolos, is extraordinarily important. It means "to be set-apart, prepared, and equipped." Far too many people go off as witnesses without first studying the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. As a result, improperly enlightened individuals do more harm than good.
By misappropriating the title, the opening line of his first letter became technically inaccurate in multiple ways. In the mindset of the first followers of "The Way," Sha’uwl was not an Apostleat least as the term is transliterated into a title. Sha’uwl did not walk in Yahshua’s footsteps, nor personally witness His fulfillment of Passover, Unleavened Bread, or FirstFruits. He was not there when the Set-Apart Spirit descended upon the Called-Out Assembly on the Miqra’ of Shabuwa. There were twelve Apostles, by this definition, one of whom was now dead. But from this introduction, as well as from the introductions to the Corinthians, Romans, Colossians, and Ephesians, we know that Paulos coveted the title men of his day were unwilling to give him, and as such, he had presumptuously overstepped his bounds. And the reason we know that Paul intended "Apostle" to be his title, rather than a descriptive presentation of his purpose, is that he writes "Paul called an Apostle," in his letters to Rome and Corinth.
And since Paul claimed to speak in the name of the Messiyah Yahshua, we are compelled to consider his statements in light of the Deuteronomy 18 test established by God to evaluate the authenticity of such assertions. There, Yahweh delineated the six signs of a false prophet: they speak in His name, they are arrogant, overstepping their bounds, their words are inconsistent with the Torah’s instructions, they recite the names of foreign gods, and their historical presentations are inaccurate, and their prophetic promises fail to materialize.
Sha’uwl’s greeting tells us that he was convinced that he did not represent any human institution, and that would include the ekklesia, the Renewed Covenant’s called-out assembly. And that’s a bit of a problem because Yahweh and Yahshua were represented by the Yaruwshalaym Ekklesia. And that would make Sha’uwl a freelance operator and an independent contractor.
The flip side of this admission is problematic. If Sha’uwl didn’t write on behalf of what he learned from men in Rabbinical school, then his ubiquitous references to the "nomos law" must denote the Torah as opposed to Rabbinical Law. This being the case, the principle methodology used by those who are Torah observant to reconcile Paul’s epistles with Yahweh’s Word was torn asunder by the "Apostle’s" opening statement. The facts are evident and undeniable. There is no getting around the realization that the "nomos law" is an object of scorn and ridicule in this epistle. And at no time does Sha’uwl associate the "nomos law" with Rabbinical Law, by citing Talmudic sources. To the contrary, his examples and citations are all from the Torah, clearly identifying the "nomos law" he is assailing.
Based upon his opening stanza, Paul hasn’t positioned himself as the founder of a religionalbeit, that is what he has become. His greeting displays neither religious qualifications nor a religious agenda. In fact, he only used the word religion twice, and both times it was to condemn the institution. That is a sobering thought if you are a "Christian."
I am aware the Christians have been led to believe that "Jesus Christ was the founder of the religion of Christianity," and that "Paul spoke for Him," but that conclusion isn’t supportable. The institution of Christianity is founded on Paul’s writings, not Yahshua’s words or deeds. After all, Yahshua was Torah observant. Every minute aspect of His life and His teachings were derived from, inspired by, and governed in their entirety by the Torah.
To his credit, Sha’uwl was aware, and has accurately stated, that God is our Father. He is the one who caused Yahshua to rise. And while it may not mean much to many, since nekros is based upon nekus, meaning "corpse," the end of the verse actually reads as I have rendered it. While "raising Him from the dead" sounds more familiar to our ears, only Yahshua’s physical body suffered the indignity of death, not His soul, nor His Spirit.
Often overlooked, four of the most common Divine Placeholders for God’s names and titles were used in this passage. The ΧΡΥ, ΙΝΥ, ΘΥ, and ΠΡΑ represent: "Messiyah, the Implement of Yah," "Yahushua," meaning "Yah Saves," "Yahweh," or "Elohym-God," and His favorite title "’Ab-Father," based upon the first word in the Hebrew lexicon.
Examples of placeholders not used in this particular verse, but ubiquitous throughout the rest of the Renewed Covenant, and universally found in every first-, second-, third-, and early fourth-century Greek manuscript, describe the "Ruwach-Spirit," the "’Edon-Upright One," and the "Upright Pillar." And Placeholders for "Mother" and "Son," like "Father" are also common, but not universal.
While codices dating to the first three centuries differ somewhat among themselves, and differ significantly from those composed after the influence of General Constantine, the use of Divine Placeholders is the lone exception to scribal variation among the early manuscripts. These symbols for God’s name and titles are universally found on every page of every extant codex written within 300 years of Yahshua’s day, without exception. But, nonetheless, they are universally ignored by Christian translators, writers, and preachers. By including them here in the text, as all of the Renewed Covenant authors themselves did, it is incumbent upon us to correct 1,700 years of religious tampering and corruption.
The very fact that these placeholders are found on all of the more than one-hundred manuscripts unearthed prior to the mid fourth-century, tells us that it wasn’t a regional or scribal choice. Instead, they convey something so profoundly important that they were purposefully inscribed throughout the original autographsin the texts penned by the authors of the Renewed Covenant.
And so while these manuscripts all differ from one another with regard to their wording; the only constant is the one thing every translator has ignored. There isn’t even a footnote in any of our English translations indicating that these Divine Placeholders were universally depicted in all of the oldest manuscripts, including the codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. As a result, Christians do not know that these symbols existed, much less that they were later replaced by translators, substituting the very names and titles which would have been written out by the original authors had they been intended.
Kappa Sigma and Kappa Upsilon, in capital letters with a line over them, were used to convey Yahweh’s name and Yahshua’s "Upright One" title, even though every English bible replaces these symbols with "Lord." The fact Kappa Sigma conveys "Yahweh," the preponderance of the time it is used, is something I discovered when translating Greek quotations of Hebrew passages cited by Yahshua and His apostles in the Renewed Covenant.
This obvious conclusion has been reaffirmed recently by the publication of early Septuagint manuscripts. In them we find a transition from writing Yahweh’s name in paleo-Hebrew in the midst of the Greek text throughout the first and second centuries, to using the symbolism of Kappa Sigma to represent Yahweh’s name beginning in the third-century. So, we now know for certain, what seemed perfectly obvious: the Divine Placeholders ΚΣ and ΚΥ were used to designate Yahuweh’s name in a language whose alphabet could not replicate its sounds.
Also by finding "Yahuweh" written in paleo-Hebrew in the oldest Greek manuscripts of the Covenant Scriptures, especially in those dating to the first and second centuries BCE and CE, we have an interesting affirmation that my initial rationale regarding the Divine Placeholders was accurate. Yahweh’s name can’t be accurately transliterated using the Greek alphabet, so to avoid a mispronunciation, the Hebrew alphabet was initially used, and then, after Hebrew became a dead language, Greek symbolism was substituted.
Moving on, the placeholders Iota Epsilon (ΙΗ), Iota Epsilon Nu (ΙΗΝ), Iota Sigma (ΙΣ), Iota Epsilon Sigma (ΙΗΣ), Iota Upsilon (ΙΥ), and Iota Nu (ΙΝ) were used to convey Yahushua’s name every time it is found in the Renewed Covenant. And that means that there is absolutely no basis whatsoever for the 17th-century corruption written as "Jesus." Beyond the fact that there is no "J" sound or letter in the Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, or Latin languages, "Jesus" isn’t an accurate transliteration of Iesou, Iesous, or Iesounwhich were conceived as a result of Greek gender and grammar rules. But most importantly, none of these names was ever written in the Greek textnot once, not ever. It is therefore inappropriate to transliterate something (to reproduce the pronunciation in the alphabet of a different language) which isn’t present in the text. So the name "Jesus" is a colossal fraud purposely promoted by religious leaders desirous of separating Yahshua from Yahweh, and the Torah from the Healing and Beneficial Message.
The title "Messiyah" was represented by Chi Rho (ΧΡ), Chi Rho Sigma (ΧΡΣ), Chi Sigma (ΧΣ), Chi Upsilon (ΧΥ), Chi Rho Upsilon (ΧΡΥ), Chi Omega (ΧΩ), Chi Rho Omega (ΧΡΩ), and Chi Nu (ΧΝ). More on these Divine Placeholders in a moment.
The Hebrew ‘el and ‘elohym, meaning "Almighty," but most often translated "God," were conveyed using the placeholders Theta Sigma (ΘΣ), Theta Upsilon (ΘΥ), Theta Omega (ΘΩ), and Theta Nu (ΘΝ). And while God’s name and title are not interchangeable, there are times when these placeholders represent "Yahuweh" instead of His title, "God."
Ruwach is the feminine Hebrew noun for "Spirit." Without exception, the Set-Apart Spirit’s title throughout the Renewed Covenant Writings was conveyed using the placeholders Pi Nu Alpha (ΠΝΑ), Pi Nu Sigma (ΠΝΣ), and Pi Nu Iota (ΠΝΙ). Just as Yahweh is our Heavenly Father, the Ruwach Qodesh is our Spiritual Mother.
In addition to these two names and three titles, the noun and verb form of "upright pole," and "to affix to an upright pillar," were always rendered Sigma Rho Omega Sigma and Sigma Rho Omega followed by Mu Alpha Iota to indicate the verbboth with a line over them to signify divinity. Making sure that we wouldn’t miss the Divine connection between the "upright pole" and the "Upright One" (the ‘edon of the Torah), stauros was never written out in the Greek text. But this connection between God and the Doorway to salvation was lost when the Roman Catholic Church ignored the placeholder and then changed the reference to suggest that it signified a pagan "cross."
In addition to these seven universal placeholders, we find Father, Mother, and Son rendered in the same format when they refer to our Heavenly Father, Spiritual Mother, and to the Son of God, in most of the earliest manuscripts. And what I find especially affirming about this is that the title "Mother" was designated by a Divine Placeholder in the Codex Sinaiticus when Yahshua discussed the real meaning of the Fifth Commandment.
Now, returning to "Christ," and the improper title’s appearance in English translations of the Galatians 1:1 passage, it turns out that the over-scored Greek symbols Chi Rho (ΧΡ), Chi Rho Sigma (ΧΡΣ), Chi Sigma (ΧΣ), Chi Upsilon (ΧΥ), Chi Rho Upsilon (ΧΡΥ), Chi Omega (ΧΩ), Chi Rho Omega (ΧΡΩ), and Chi Nu (ΧΝ), weren’t based upon Christos, Christou, Christo, or Christon, but instead upon Chrestusan entirely different word.
Christos means "drugged." As proof, the one time it was actually written out in the Greek text, it was used to say that the Laodicean assembly applied a manmade drug, an ointment in this case, to their eyes. (And of course that’s also interesting, in that it’s being applied to the current "church age.") Chrestus on the other hand means "useful implement," and "upright servant," as well as "merciful one," and it was used to "depict the good and beneficial work of a moral servant." As such, this affirms my earlier conclusion that rather than write "ha Messiach" the two times the title appears in the Old Covenant, Daniel actually wrote "ha Ma’sehyah"telling us that the Suffering Servant would be the "Implement of Yah," the Upright Servant and Useful Tool God would use to save all mankind.
In this regard, there is no chance that Yahweh would miss this opportunity to associate this essential title with His name. Likewise, there is no chance that Rabbis, who are adverse to Yahweh’s name and authority, wouldn’t corrupt their favorite title, disassociating it from Yahweh’s name, given the opportunity. Therefore, through this evidence I’m not advocating the use of "Chrestus," but instead "MessiyahImplement of Yah." Chrestus is nothing more than an affirmation of this important symbolism.
The fact that Yahshua’s Disciples selected Chrestus, not Christis as the closest Greek allegory to Messiyah, can’t be distinguished from the first, second, third, and early fourth-century Renewed Covenant placeholders for Messiyah, because Chi Rho, Chi Rho Sigma, and Chi Sigma, represent both words equally well. But, that isn’t to say that there isn’t a textual affirmation for Chrestus; there is. In all three depictions of the epithet used to depict the first followers of The Way, in Acts 11:26, 26:28, and in 1 Peter 4:16, Codex Sinaiticus reveals that Crestuaneos was penned initially, not Christianous. The same is true with the Codex Vaticanus. Then, after Constantine’s corrupt rule, Crestuaneos, meaning "useful tools and upright servants" was replaced by Christianous, transliterated as "Christian" today, but meaning "those who are drugged."
But there is more, the Nestle-Aland 27th Edition Greek New Testament reveals that Chrestus (χρηστὸς) was scribed in 1 Peter 2:3, not Christos. Their references for this include Papyrus 72 and the Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest extant witnesses of Peter’s (actually of Shim’own Kephas’ letter).
In Shim’own’s letter, which was attested by both ancient manuscripts, the Apostle tells us to: "As a newborn child, true to our real nature (logikos be genuine, reasonable, rational, and sensible), earnestly desire and lovingly pursue (epipotheo long for and crave, showing great affection while yearning for) the pure and unadulterated (adolos that which is completely devoid of dishonest intent, deceit, or deception) milk in order to grow in respect to salvation, since we have experienced (geuomai partaken and tasted, have been nourished by and perceived) Yahuweh (ΚΣ) as the Useful Implement and Upright Servant (Chrestus the Upright One who is a superior, merciful, gracious, kind, and good tool)." (1 Peter 2:2-3) The fact that we find Chrestus written in the Codex Sinaiticus, and the placeholder ΧΡΣ written in P72 in the same place in this passage, we have an early affirmation that the Divine Placeholder representing the title "Messiyah" was based upon the Greek Chrestus.
The related Greek term, chrestos, means: "kind," "good," "useful," "benevolent," "virtuous," and "moral," as in the sense of "being upright." Words directly related to chrestos and chrestus speak of "integrity" in the sense of being trustworthy and reliable, "receiving the benefit of a payment," as in providing recompense and restitution, of "fulfilling one’s duty," as in being a loyal servant, "doing what is beneficial" in the sense of healing us, "transacting business," as in fulfilling one’s mission, "providing a Divine message and response," in the sense of being the Word made flesh and Savior, "being fit for use," as in being Yahweh’s Implement, and "conveying a beneficial and trustworthy message which produces a good result," which is synonymous with "euangelizowhich is to convey the healing and beneficial message" of Yahweh.
Writing about the great fire of Rome circa 64 CE, the famous Roman historian Tacitus (the classical world’s most authoritative voice) in Annals 15.44.2-8, wrote: "All human efforts...and propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the fire was the result of an order [from Nero]. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Chrestuaneos by the populous. Chrestus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate."
So now from this secular source, we have additional evidence in favor of Chrestus over Christos, of "the Useful and Merciful Servant," over "the Drugged One," and Chrestuaneos over Christianios, "those who are useful and merciful servants," over "those who are drugged."
The placeholders are errantly called "nomina sacra" by theologians, which is Latin for "sacred names." The moniker is wrong on three accounts. First, only two of the ten placeholders designate a name, while seven convey titles, one represents a thing, in this case the "Upright Pole," and one the process of becoming the Doorway to Haven.
Second, there is nothing "sacred" in Scripture, only individuals and things which are set-apart. The human term "sacred" is religious (meaning "devoted to the worship of a deity in a religious service and worthy of religious veneration"), while the divine designation "set-apart" is relational. It explains the association between Yahweh and the Set-Apart Spirit, for example.
Third, the Renewed Covenant’s Greek is already a translation of Aramaic conversations, and often of Hebrew citations, so adding the Latin nomina sacra designation is another step in the wrong direction.
Christian scholars use the same hypocritical sleight of hand to explain the universal presence of the placeholders in the Renewed Covenant that Rabbis have deployed to justify their removal of Yahweh’s and Yahshua’s name from the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. They suggest that the "names were considered too sacred to write." But if that were true, if the authors of the Renewed Covenant thought that these ten names and titles were "too sacred to write," then why are they written today? If it was wrong then, it cannot be right now.
Anyone who has spent fifteen minutes reading any portion of the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms from any one of the hundreds of Qumran manuscripts recognizes that the "too sacred to write" notion is in complete conflict with Yahweh’s approach to every name and title in Scripture including His own.
Yahweh said that the crime of diminishing the use of His name was punishable by death and separation (in Leviticus 24:9-16), whereas the Rabbis said that the use of Yahweh’s name was a crime punishable by death. It is why Rabbis replaced Yahweh’s name with "Lord," under the guise that it was "too sacred to say."
So if this same Rabbinical mindset was shared by the Renewed Covenant authors, we would have absolute proof that their writing style was influenced by religion, and was not inspired by the same God who conveyed the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. And that would mean that nothing in the Renewed Covenant could be considered inspired, and thus to be Scripture.
It is curious, of course, that not one in a thousand pastors, priests, religious teachers, or scholars even mentions the universal application of the ten placeholders on every page of every manuscript of the Renewed Covenant written within three centuries of Yahshua’s earthly life. And yet, if any portion of the Renewed Covenant text was inspired by God, then these ten placeholders were designated by God. It is as simple as that. Ignoring them would then be in direct opposition to God’s will.
I am convinced that there are only two rational reasons for Yahweh to write out His name 7,000 times in the Hebrew Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, and include His titles countless times more, and then never have any of them written in the Greek Renewed Covenanteven when Hebrew verses are being quoted.
First, Yahweh’s name, Yahshua’s name, and all of God’s titles convey essential truths in Hebrew which are lost in translation. Rather than replace those meanings with Greek pseudo-equivalents, Yahweh wants us to turn to the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms for complete explanations and accurate answers. The Torah is the foundation upon which Yahweh’s plan is based, so to understand His plan, we have to view it from this perspective.
The second reason is that the sounds produced by the 22 Hebrew letters differ from the sounds represented by the 24 letters in the Greek alphabet. Of particular interest, there is no Y, W, or soft H in Greek, the letters which comprise Yahuweh’s and Yahuwshua’s name. And since names don’t change from one language to another, and always sound the same, there was simply no way to transliterate Yahuweh or Yahuwshua using the Greek alphabet. So rather than change His name, or misrepresent it, God inspired the Disciples to use placeholders.
I’m not the first to recognize this predicament, or the first to deal with it. As I mentioned a moment ago, every extant first- and second-century BCE and CE copy of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, inserts Yahweh’s and Yahshua’s name into the Greek text using paleo- or Babylonian Hebrew letters. It was only after the scribes were no longer conversant in Hebrew, that the Greek Divine Placeholders were used in place of God’s name.
A prominent early manuscript scholar offered a different, albeit uninformed, comparison between the Renewed Covenant placeholders and the presentation of God’s name found in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, of which you should be aware. He claimed that the Hebrew letters YHWH represented a contraction similar to what is found in the early Greek texts. But if that were true, every single word in the Hebrew text would be an unpronounceable contraction or placeholder. Said another way, Yahuweh’s name isn’t written any different than any other Hebrew word or name used in Scripture or throughout Yisra’el. But the reason that this isn’t a problem is that the letters which comprise Yahuweh’s name represent three of the five Hebrew vowelswith the Aleph and Ayin representing the other two. Using these vowels, every Hebrew name, title, and word is pronounceable.
Since there are very few things more important than understanding why the ten placeholders were used, and knowing what they represent, there is one more thing you should know. Technically speaking, there are actually eleven placeholders because the verb and noun form of "Upright Pole," and "to affix to an Upright Pole" are both represented by Godly symbols.
Also worth noting, while the seven placeholders representing Yahweh’s and Yahshua’s names and the titles, in addition to Upright Pillar in both its verb and noun forms, are represented by Divine Placeholders 100% of the time on 100% of the Greek Renewed Covenant Manuscripts dated to within 300 years of Yahshua’s life here on earth, the remaining symbols, specifically Father, Mother, and Son, when applied to God, are commonly used, but not exclusively. And the reason for this is that the Greek words for father, mother, and son are too closely associated with their Hebrew equivalents to justify the ubiquitous application of a unique distinction.
The entire purpose of these Divine Placeholders was completely undermined, however, when Greek words, titles, and errant transliterations were substituted for them. If you were to read the Textus Receptus or more modern Nestle Aland, you wouldn’t even know that these symbols ever existed. The same is true with every popular English translation. A stunning amount of crucial information pertinent to our salvation was discarded in the process.
Therefore, to the Christian, Yahweh’s name became "Lord," Yahshua’s name became "Jesus," the Messiyah was changed to "Christ," and the feminine Ruwach, became the gender-neutral pneuma, which was rendered "Spirit." It is also how Upright Pillar migrated over time to "cross." Yet if any of these words, titles, names, or symbols were appropriate, the authors of the Renewed Covenant would have simply written them in Greekbut they didn’t.
The truth is: "Lord" is Satan’s title. And lord represents the Adversary’s agenda and ambition. At best, "Jesus" is meaningless, and at worst, it is the name of the savior of the Druid religion (Gesus), where the Horned One is God. Worse still, "christos" means "drugged" in Greek. In fact, it is from the rubbing on of medicinal ointments that the anointed connotation of christos was actually derived. The Rx or Rho Chi symbolism associated with today’s drug stores is a legacy of the first two letters in christos.
And most shocking of all is that the placeholder for Messiyah, ΧΣ, was actually based upon Chrestus, not Christosan entirely different word. And that is why all of the earliest manuscripts say that the first followers of "The Way" were called "Crestuaneos," not "Christians." They, like the one who had saved them, were "useful tools and upright servants."
Speaking of religious malfeasance, since Galatians is the foundational text used to undermine Scripture’s foundation, and since it is cited to undermine Yahshua’s repeated affirmations that He did not come to annul the Torah, but instead to fulfill it, it’s important that we consider the source of the Christian justification: the King James Bible, and the Latin Vulgate upon which this revision was ultimately based. Therefore, recognizing that the Greek text reads, "Paulos, an Apostle not from men, and not even by the means of man, but to the contrary on behalf of the Messiyah Yahushua (ΧΡΥ ΙΝΥ). God (ΘΥ) the ’Ab-Father (ΠΡΑ) caused Him to be restored, to stand up, and to rise from a corpse," here is the KJV rendition of Galatians 1:1: "Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)" It reflects its source, the Latin Vulgate: "Paulus, Apostolus, not from men and not through man, but through Iesum Christum, and Deum the Father, who raised him from the dead."
Sadly, the most recent rendition of Sha’uwl’s letter simply reiterated all of the same mistakes. Consider the New Living Translation’s regurgitation of prior prose: "This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead."
What’s particularly regrettable regarding the New Living Translation is that the Renewed Covenant coordinator was none other than Philip Comfort. And yet every book he has published on the extant early Greek manuscripts acknowledges the consistent presence of the Divine Placeholders. He isn’t ignorant of them, and therefore, he is without excuse.
Before we move on, please notice that all three translations transliterated apostolos, rather than translate its essential meaning. They all ignored the four placeholders found in the Greek manuscripts, and then improperly conveyed Yahushua’s name, Yahushua’s title, and Yahweh’s title. Further, egeiromai, meaning "to be restored, stand up, and rise," was inadequately translated in all three cases, as was nekros, meaning "corpse," in addition to "dead."
If this had been Yahuchanan’s eyewitness account, I would have designated the ΘΥ placeholder as "Yahuweh," not "God." But in the context of the Galatians text, I don’t think that this is justified for reasons which would be premature for me to share now, but which will become apparent as we make our way through this epistle. And yet the single most important Scriptural message is that God’s one and only name is "Yahuweh," and that a god by any other name is a fraud. The second essential truth is that Yahshua’s name designates the Savior’s source and describes His mission. But all of this was lost by translators who became copyeditors and authors.
As is the tendency with the spoken word, as opposed to the written word, Sha’uwl communicates by way of dependant clauses, some of which comprise a paragraph or more. This is the beginning of one such clause: "With (sym) all (pas) my (ego) brothers (adelphos) [to] the set-apart assemblies (ekklesia) of Galatia..." (Galatians 1:2)
There are three useful insights here, one stated, two which are not. First, those who are set-apart unto Yahweh our Father, are brothers. We are family.
Second, there is no basis for anything remotely related to a "church" in the Renewed Covenant Writings. Ekklesia is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Miqra’ey because the Renewed Covenant’s Called-Out Assembly is based upon the Torah’s Called-Out Assemblies. Second only to the religious corruption of Yahweh’s and Yahshua’s names through the avoidance of the Divine Placeholders, the replacement of ekklesia with "church" is the most lethal copyedit found in the Renewed Covenant.
Third, the book of Galatians is actually a letter. Sha’uwl was responding to a myriad of perceived problems which had arisen within the Galatian Called-Out Assembly. We are witnesses to only one side of this conversation. And in our quest for accuracy, the proper pronunciation of the name ascribed to this audience is gal·at·ee·ah.
Unlike what we find in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, where God is seen dictating His message to a prophet or scribe who then writes down what he has heard in his native Hebrew tongue, Sha’uwl’s letters are the result of dictating a stream of consciousness to a friend, someone who was not a professional scribe, in a language other than his native Aramaic and Latin, but instead in Greek. Paul’s repetitive use of "but I say," where "I" represents Paul, not Yahweh, differentiate the self-proclaimed Apostle’s epistles from God’s Word.
As a result of this method, the kind of corrections and thoughtfulness that are possible with a word processor and copious study aids today, was not possible then. And that is why Sha’uwl’s letters contain some of the most difficult passages to translate appropriately. There are many missing words, such as "[to]" in the last verse and in the next one. And Paul’s epistles are famous for their run-on sentences. Moreover, in Galatians, Sha’uwl is being attacked, and he is clearly on the defensive, trying to justify his persona, authority, and teachings, especially those which stretch beyond the Torah. His credentials of being an "Apostle" were being questioned, because he was not a witness to Yahshua’s words or deeds.
Also, so that you know, Galatia was a Roman province in Asia Minor which extended to the Black Sea. The Galatians were originally Gauls who moved down the Rhine to mingle with Greeks and Jews. They were known for their quick temper, prompt action, inconsistency, and malleability. Sha’uwl knew them well, as he had traveled throughout their land in the pursuit of his mission.
As we will do throughout this review of Galatians, here are the King James and Vulgate renditions of the second verse. The KJV says: "And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:" In this case, its most egregious error cannot be blamed on the Latin Vulgate, which reads: "and all the brothers who are with me: to the ecclesiis Galatiæ."
It is worth restating that few things in Christendom have been as harmful as changing the ekklesia, which is the "called-out assembly," to "church." It created the impression that "Jesus Christ" had conceived a new, Christian institution to replace the Chosen People, and that this religious construct was somehow unrelated to Yahweh’s seven Called-Out Assemblies. And that led to the notion that the Feasts were nothing more than quaint "Jewish holidays." But now at least, you know who to blame for this devastating corruption of the Renewed Covenant. The Rosicrucian Francis Bacon, serving the political interests of King James, was the first to perpetrate this grievous, deadly, and damning corruption. His predecessors like John Wycliffe, either transliterated ekklesia or wrote "assembly."
In their desire to be politically correct, the revisional paraphrase known as the NLT wrote: "All the brothers and sisters here join me in sending this letter to the churches of Galatia." There is no Greek textual basis for "and sisters," "here," "join me," "in sending," or "this letter." And ekklesia means "called-out assembly," not "churches."
Also worth noting, only Galatians among Sha’uwl’s first five letters went out under his name alone. First and Second Thessalonians were sent from "Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy." First Corinthians was from Paul and Sosthenes, while the immensely troublesome epistle of Second Corinthians bears Timothy’s name in addition to Paul’s. In today’s vernacular, Sha’uwl wrote Galatians before he had a posse. It was dictated in haste immediately after the Yaruwshalaym Summit, immediately before Paul fell in love with Timothy. Equally telling, that while Sha’uwl will acknowledge Barnabas in this epistle, since the two severed their relationship in the immediate aftermath of the Yaruwshalaym Summit, he was excluded from the greeting and demeaned in the text of the letter.
This next independent clause is a great example of why it is so difficult to determine what Paul was trying to say, and ascertain why he chose to be so provocative. At issue here: there is no verb, and Charis is the name of a pagan goddess. "...Charis-Charity/Gratia-Grace (charis loving kindness and the gift of goodwill) [to] you (humeis) and (kai) peace (eirene harmony and tranquility, freedom from worry) from (apo) God (ΘΥ), the Father (pater), and our (ego) Upright One (ΚΥ), [the] Messiyah (ΧΡΥ) Yahushua (ΙΗΥ)..." (Galatians 1:3)
Thankfully, charis is not found in the earliest and foundational books of the Renewed Covenant: Matthew or Mark (which was penned under the influence of Shim’own/Peter). The Christian fixation on Charis, and its Roman manifestation, Gratia, is therefore a direct result of Paul. Charis appears 107 times in the wannabe Apostle’s letters, and another 14 times in Acts, a book written about Paul and for Paul.
The only other mentions of Charis in the Renewed Covenant appear after the publication of Paul’s epistles. We find charis used in just one conversation in John (1:14-17). It is found four times in Luke, a book written from Paul’s perspective (of which there is no first-, second-, or third-century manuscript to verify these inclusions). Of the remaining 16 occurrences, we find all but two sprinkled in the poorest attested books of the Renewed Covenant: ten in Shim’own’s letters (of which there are no reliable first-, second-, or third-century manuscripts (the late 3rd-century Papyrus 72 is extremely free, and heavily influenced by Marcion)), twice in Ya’aqob/James (of which there is no pre-Constantine manuscript of the 4:6 passage in which it appears), once in Second John (of which there is no pre-Constantine manuscript), and once in Jude (but P78 doesn’t include charis in the 4th verse indicating that it was later added by a scribe). The first use of charis in Revelation (1:4) is attested only by an insignificant fragment written by an untrained and unprofessional scribe in the late third-century on Papyrus 18, and is thus unreliable. The second purported inclusion of charis is in Revelation 22:21, but no pre-Constantine manuscript covers anything past the beginning of the 17th chapter. So, apart from the one exception, we have no verification that charis was used by anyone other than Paul prior to the fourth-century.
Charis is the name of the three Greek Graces, known as the Charities (Charites). The English word "charity" is a transliteration of their name. These pagan goddesses of charm, splendor, and beauty, were often depicted in mythology celebrating nature and rejoicing over fertility. Collectively they make four appearances in Homer’s Iliad and three in the Odyssey.
The Charis were the daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite. And that is particularly troubling because Paul puts one of Dionysus’ most famous quotes in Yahshua’s mouth during his conversion experience on the road to Damascus. And as it would transpire, Paul’s faith came to mirror the Dionysus cult (Bacchus in Roman mythology), which is one of the reasons why so many aspects of Pauline Christianity are pagan. (These troubling associations are detailed for your consideration in the "Kataginosko Convicted" chapter.)
The Graces were associated with the underworld and with the Eleusinian Mysteries. Their naked form stands at the entrance of the Acropolis in Athens. Naked frescoes of the Charites adorn homes in Pompeii, Italy which means that they transcended the Greek religion and influenced Rome where they became known as the Gratia. Their appeal, beyond their beauty, gaiety, and sensual form, is that they held mysteries known only to religious initiates. Francis Bacon, as the founder of the Rosicrucians, would have loved them.
At issue here, and the reason that I bring this to your attention, is that Yahweh tells us in the Torah that the names of pagan gods and goddesses should not be memorialized in this way. "Do not bring to mind (zakar remember or recall, mention or memorialize) the name of other (‘acher or different) gods (‘elohym); neither let them be heard coming out of your mouth." (Exodus 23:13) And: "I will remove and reject the names of the Lords and false gods (ba’alim) out of your mouth, and they shall be brought to mind and memorialized (zakar remembered, recalled, and mentioned) by their name no more." (Hosea 2:16-17)
And yet the name of the Greek goddesses, Charis, is the operative term of Galatiansone which puts Paul in opposition to the very Law and God which condemns the use of their names. Simply stated: the "Gospel of Grace" is pagan. It is literally "Gott’s spell of Gratia."
In ancient languages, it’s often difficult to determine if the name of a god or goddess became a word, or if an existing descriptive term later became a name. But we know that Greek goddesses, like those in Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, and Rome, bore names which described their mythological natures and ambitions. Such is the case with the Charites. The Charis came to embody everything that the word charis has come to represent: "joy, favor, mercy, and acceptance, loving kindness, and the gift of goodwill." While we can’t be certain if the name Charis was based on the verb chairo, or whether the verb was based upon the name, we know that it conveys: "to rejoice and to be glad, to be well and to thrive when acceptance is granted."
There is a Hebrew equivalent to this termone used in its collective forms 193 times in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. It is hen, sometimes vocalized chen, from the verb chanan. As a noun, it means "favor and acceptance by way of an unearned gift," which is why it is often translated "grace" in English Bibles. To be chanan is "to be merciful, demonstrating unmerited favor," and as such chanan is usually translated "to be gracious." The author of the eyewitness account of Yahshua’s life, whom we know as "John," was actually Yahuchanan, meaning "Yah Offers Fortuitous Acceptance."
Before we move on, I want to bring your attention to another problem with our English translations. In this passage, the purpose of the placeholders for Yahushua’s name and title, ΧΡΥ for "Messiyah," and ΙΗΥ for "Yahushua," were ignored as usual. And in both cases, the placeholders were replaced by the Greek title and name which does not actually appear in the oldest manuscripts: Christou Iesou. The errant title and name were then reversed and transliterated "Jesus Christ." No attempt was made in any English bible to translate the basis of Yahshua’s title, nor represent the Divine Placeholder with the actual Hebrew title it designated. And yet, the Greek charis, which is used as if it were a title in the phrase "Gospel of Grace" throughout these Renewed Covenant translations, wasn’t transliterated, but instead was rendered "Grace." At least, so it appears on the surface. But in actuality, rather than transliterating the names of the Greek goddesses into English, "Grace" is nothing more than the transliteration of the goddesses’ Roman name. Inconsistencies like this are troubling, because they prove that the translators cannot be trusted.
Continuing our review of the sources of Christian corruption, the KJV begins verse 1:3 by offering the pagan Goddess to the Galatians: "Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ," This time, their inspiration was the Latin Vulgate, which reads: "Gratia and peace to you from the Father, our Domino, Iesu Christo."
I am always interested in knowing how pagan terms enter into the religious vocabulary. In this case, we just learned that "Grace" comes to us by way of the Roman Catholic Vulgate. Gratia was the Latin name for the Greek Charis. And that is why they are known as the "Graces" in English.
In Pagan Rome, the three Gratia, or Graces, were goddesses of joy, beauty, charm, happiness, and feasts. As personifications of happiness, prosperity, and well-being, and as the messengers for Aphrodite and Eros, the Gratia served as clever counterfeits for euangelionYahshua’s healing and beneficial message. So all Christendom has done is transliterate the Roman name into English, and then base a religious mantra, "the Gospel of Grace" upon the name of these pagan deities.
This is deeply troubling. It is a scar upon the Renewed Covenant. It is a mortal wound to Paul’s epistles, and a death blow to Christendom.
In the NLT, rather than Sha’uwl offering the Galatians "Grace," the Father and Son are depicted doing so. "May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace."
All three translations got one name right, that of the pagan goddess, "Grace." The other name and titles, they got wrongand those belonged to God. In fact, throughout this review, you will find that all of the most important names and titles, Yahweh, Messiyah, Yahshua, Upright One, Ekklesia, and Healing Message, are always rendered errantly while all of less meaningful names and titles are rendered perfectly in every English bible transliteration. And that my friends is incriminating.
Sha’uwl’s introductory sentence continues with: "...giving (didomi producing and depositing) Himself (heautou) on account of (peri concerning and regarding) us (ego) missing the mark (hamartia wandering away from the path, being errant and mistaken, and being misled), so that (hopos) we (ego) can choose to be rescued, set free, and be taken (exaireomai elect and vote to be drawn, torn, and plucked) out of (ek) our present (enistamai) worthless, immoral, and corrupt (poneros wicked, evil, and valueless, annoying, burdensome, laborious, oppressive, and criminal) world system (onos human practices, standards, and circumstances), in accordance with (kata) the purpose and the will of (thelema the intent of) God (ΘΥ), our (ego) Father (ΠΡΣ)..." (Galatians 1:4)
While it’s a fairly small copyedit, modern Greek texts use hyper between "giving Himself," and "us missing the mark," but on Papyrus 46, we find peri, instead. While these words convey similar thoughts, hyper, meaning "for the sake of and in place of," makes a stronger case, which is why scribes may have replaced peri with it.
This known, there are some insights to be gleaned from this passage. To begin, the idea of Yahshua "producing and depositing Himself" speaks of Yahweh being responsible for His manifestation as a man, and of His soul being placed in Sheowl to pay the toll so that we could freely follow the path He has provided and enabled. While Paul doesn’t make this connection, it’s instructive nonetheless.
Second, the passage says that God did this because mankind has "missed the mark and has wandered away from this path." The "mark" that we have missed is the Torah. And the way most have wandered away from is the seven-step path delineated in the Called-Out Assemblies. But, once again, there is no indication that Paul meant to convey any of this, and to the contrary will renounce these ideas, yet his view should not stop us from finding truth in the lexicon.
Third, we see freewill being affirmed in this verse, because exaireomai, translated "can choose to be rescued, set free, and taken" is a compound of haireomai, meaning "to choose, to prefer, to elect, and to vote," and ek, which means "from or out of." It is literally "out of choice" and thus defines freewill.
Fourth, according to the passage, it is "the will, purpose, and intent of God, our Father" to have us "choose to be drawn out of the world." This speaks of Moseh, whose name means "to draw out," and of the Exodus, where Yahweh "drew His people out of the crucible of Egypt." It is the plan of salvation memorialized and celebrated by the Miqra’ey, which lie at the heart of the Torah. At issue, however, as we read further into Pauline Doctrine, is that Yahweh and His Torah will soon be presented as an unbearable burden and as the source of enslavement, so we are compelled to ask: who is this god whom Sha’uwl believes wants to liberate us?
Along these lines, recognize that I usually cite Yahweh’s name in reference to the ΘΥ (Theta Upsilon) or ΘΣ (Theta Sigma) placeholders, because that is Yahweh’s intent. Having translated hundreds of Greek Renewed Covenant quotations of Hebrew Scriptural passages where Yahweh’s name was written, I have consistently witnessed these placeholders in the exact location in which Yahweh’s name was inscribed. So, I’m simply following God’s example. But as I’ve already shared, I’m reluctant to do so in Paul’s epistles for reasons which will become apparent in subsequent chapters.
The fifth insight which can be gleaned from Galatians 1:4 is that in the crucible of Egypt, like in Rabbinical Israel, and like in the entire Roman Empire, we find an "onos worthless, immoral, and corrupt world system," ones steeped in "oppression" and "crafted by man." They represent an "annoying, wicked and burdensome mix of religion and politics" which is seen as being "valueless and criminal." This is man’s "world," a mix of human practices and standards." And it is from this that God is desirous of "rescuing and freeing us," so long as we are willing. However, be forewarned, that while I have associated this "world system" with man at this point in our discussion, before we are finished with this epistle, Sha’uwl will connect it with Yahweh’s Torah, and thereby disassociate himself from this positive perspective.
Sixth, in this passage, we are not being called into religion or politics, but instead away from these things. This serves as a forerunner of Revelation’s famous "Come out of her my people," where Yahweh is calling us out of Babylon.
And seventh, we might infer from this verse that Sha’uwl may have recognized that the Judean, Galatian, and Roman religious and governmental institutions were evil. In actuality, they represented a system from which we need God’s assistance to become free. And if we were to apply this to our time, it means that the present Western, Communist, and Islamic religious institutions and governments are immoral and oppressive. However, since belittling and annulling the Torah will become the central thrust of Galatians, we must be careful when speculating about which system Sha’uwl wants to liberate us. As I have already insinuated, later in this epistle, the author will directly associate the Torah with "rudimentary worldly systems."
The message laden within the Greek text, as well as the reference to freewill, is lost in the version of Galatians 1:4 found in the KJV: "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father," Other than "present wicked age," the Vulgate is identical.
The NLT, however, decided to be more creative: "Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live." While the inclusion of a subject is required, "Jesus’" name isn’t part of this clause. Further, arbitrarily adding a subject to the clause artificially elevates the writing quality, giving the false impression that this could have been inspired by God.
Moreover, there is no basis for "his life" or "our sins" in the Greek text. Sha’uwl wrote "giving Himself on account of us being misled." While the consequence of going in the wrong direction is death, for which Yahshua’s mortal life was given, the consequence of wandering away down the wrong path is separation from God, and the remedy for that was the separation of the Messiyah’s soul from Yahweh on Unleavened Bread.
The NLT also ignored the "freewill" aspects of exaireomai, and thereby obfuscated the merit of the passage. Along these lines, the New Living Translation misconstrued God’s message as well. Yahweh’s desire, rather than his plan, is for us to come out of man’s religious and political schemes. Yahweh’s plan, rather than His desire, is the means to that endspecifically Yahushua’s fulfillment of the Called-Out Assemblies.
Sha’uwl’s long sentence concludes with the following clause: "...to (eis) whom (hos) the manifestation of brilliant, radiant, splendor (doxa the glorious reputation and the appearance of shining light, amazing might, glory and benevolence) [belongs] forever and ever (onos onos). Amen (amane is trustworthy and reliable)." (Galatians 1:5)
It should be noted that doxa, translated "radiant splendor," is from dokeo, which means "to think and to be judgmental." This combination of things enlightens the path to God. But, once again, we must be careful here because Sha’uwl equates Satan to a "messenger of light" in 2 Corinthians 11:14, and his depiction of the "flashing light" he experienced on the road to Damascus (revealed in Acts 9, 22, and 26) is identical to Yahshua’s depiction of Satan’s fall from heaven (Luke 10:18-19) passages which we will analyze and compare in due time.
The Greek word amane is a transliteration of the Hebrew amein, meaning "trustworthy and reliable." Capitalized as "Amen," it becomes a transliteration of the name of the Egyptian sun god: Amen Ra. And as such, Amen is the name of the god to whom Christians pray when they say, "in God’s name we pray, Amen." So, based upon its position at the end of this clause, and its reemergence in Sha’uwl’s signoff at the end of this letter, there would be no justification for translating the meaning of the word, strongly suggesting that the inappropriate transliteration was intended.
As we probe the King James and Vulgate, it appears obvious enough that they wanted us to believe that the Egyptian sun-god, Amen Ra, was eternal and glorious. The KJV reads: "To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." The LV says: "To him is glory forever and ever. Amen."
But they were not alone. The NLT conveys the same message: "All glory to God forever and ever! Amen." The only difference between them is that the NLT arbitrarily added "God," and thereby associated this title with "Amen."
There is an advantage to dissecting every verse, one at a time, but there is also a benefit to seeing a writer’s thoughts presented as a collective whole. Here then is Sha’uwl’s opening statement:
"Paulos, an Apostle, not from men, and not even by the means of man, but to the contrary on behalf of the Messiyah Yahushua, God, the Father, caused Him to rise from a corpse, (1:1) with all my brothers to the set-apart assemblies of Galatia, (1:2) Charis-Charity/Gratia-Grace to you and peace from God, the Father, and our Upright One, the Messiyah Yahushua, (1:3) giving Himself on account of us being misled, so that we can choose to be set free from our present immoral world system, in accordance with the purpose of God, our Father, (1:4) the manifestation of brilliant shining light forever. Amen." (1:5)