Questioning Paul

Chapter 4

part 2


This is as clear as words allow. If an individual wants to demonstrate that he or she is speaking for God, then that person should share Yahowah’s testimony. They should neither annul any aspect of it nor augment God’s Word with their own ideas. And please, neither personal revelations nor signs and wonders are credible.

Yahowsha’ would be even more specific regarding Paul, tailoring the prophetic prediction to reflect the wannabe Apostle’s boast that he met with Him in Arabia, the ultimate Scriptural "wilderness." Listen to God:

"Please pay attention (idou – indeed, behold, encouraging you to be alert and to focus (aorist active imperative)), I’ve told you this beforehand, forewarning you (proeipon umin – I have spoken to you about this previously, predicting in advance that it will occur in your future (perfect active indicative)). (24:25) When (ean), therefore (oun), they say (eiposin – they speak and imply) to you (umin), ‘Behold (idou – look at this snapshot in time, demanding that you pay attention to it (aorist active imperative)), He is actually present (estin – He happens to currently be (present active indicative third person, singular and thus "He currently and actually exists") in (en) the (te) wilderness (eremos – uninhabited desert),’ you should not go out (me exerchomai – you should not go forth or proceed, coming out), yourself, looking (idou) in (en) the inner room (tois tameion – the treasured chamber of a household or storehouse where [the Spirit] will be distributed). You should not think this to be true (me pisteuo – you should not trust or rely upon this and you should not believe it or place your faith in it)." (Mattanyah / Yah’s Gift / Matthew 24:25-26)

Making matters even worse for the self-proclaimed Apostle, in the next verse, Yahowsha’ will go on to say that when He is next seen on earth, He will be seen by all. It is yet another nail in Sha’uwl’s now crumbling coffin.

The otherwise ill-fitting instruction of "not going out yourself to look in the inner room," provides a second insider look into Yahowsha’s style. The Disciples met with Him after His fulfillment of Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym in an "tameion – inner room." It is where they received the treasure of the Set-Apart Spirit. Yahowsha’ had miraculously walked through the wall of the room to appear before them. And while He looked so different than He had previously that they didn’t initially recognize Him, He did not appear to them as flashing rays light, but instead in the form of a man. The inner room was also the private place Yahowsha’ told His Disciples that they should go when they wanted to talk with the Father.

Juxtapose this with Paul’s claim to have encountered the Ma’aseyah on the road to Damascus, and then to meeting with Him in Arabia, and once again, Paul is not only a perfect fit for this warning, he is the only candidate who made these claims within the lifetimes of Yahowsha’s audience. Therefore, the only informed and rational conclusion is that Yahowsha’ specifically warned His Disciples about Sha’uwl’s deceptive claims—and us through them—telling us not to believe him. Are you listening?

While we are on the topic of Paul hanging himself with his own words, I’d like you to consider his "conversion experience" alongside Yahowsha’s statement regarding Satan. Describing Satan’s fall from heaven, and our dominion over him, Luke, in 10:18, translates the Ma’aseyah saying:

"But then (de) He said (eipon) to them (autois – addressing the seventy witnesses He had sent out), I saw (theoreo – I was watching) the Adversary, Satan (ton Satanan – the Devil who opposes; a transliteration of the Hebrew satan – adversary and antagonist who slanders and accuses in opposition), as (hos – like and similar to, approximating) lightning (astraphe – radiating a bright beam or ray of flashing light in the form of a natural, weather-based phenomenon; from astrapto – a shining and dazzling object) from (ek – out of) the heavens (tou ouranos – the sky and the spiritual abode of God), having fallen (pipto – descending to a lower realm, now prostrate, bowed, failed, and inadequate).

Behold (idou – now pay attention, indeed), I have given you (didomi umin – I have offered and provided to you all) the authority, ability, and opportunity (ten exousia – the legal jurisdiction and authorization, the control, power, choice, and right) to trample (tou pateo – to step and tread under foot, to crush, subdue, subjugate, and devastate), being superior to (epano – being above and having authority over), serpents (ophis – snakes which serve as a metaphor for Satan and his fellow demons) and scorpions (kai skorpios – poisonous insects which sting and supernatural demonic powers, from skopos, skeptics who conceal).

So upon (kai epi) the entirety of (pas – all of) the Adversary’s (tou echthros – the hated and odious hostile enemy’s) power (dynamis – ability and rule, capability and strength, especially the performance of miracles), therefore (kai), you (umas) will absolutely never be harmed by his fraudulent deceit (ouden ou me adikeo – will not be injured by his wrongdoing and injustice or his violation of the standard)." (Luke 10:18-19)

Now for Paul’s depiction of what he experienced: "But (de) to me (moi) it happened (ginomai – it came to be), traveling (poreuomai – going to) and (kai) approaching (engizo – nearing) Damascus (te Damasko – a transliteration of Damaskos, the capital of Syria; from the Hebrew Dameseq, a compound of dam and tsedeq: justice torn asunder leaves the righteous weeping) around noon (peri mesembrian – near midday), suddenly and unexpectedly (exaiphnes – unforeseen and immediately) from (ek – out of) the sky (tou ouranou – the atmosphere (singular masculine)), a nearby lightning strike (periastraphai – lightning glittering roundabout, shining brightly all around, flashing nearby; a compound of peri – about, near, and concerning, and astrape – lightning, a beam or flashing ray of bright light which dazzles (aorist as a moment in time unrelated to any plan, active and thus doing the flashing or striking, and infinitive, turning glittering into a verbal noun)), sufficient and adequate (hikanos – enough) light (phos) about (peri – around and concerning) me (eme)." (Acts 22:6)

Paul’s depiction of the lightening strike, other than to add "peri – about or near" to "astraphai – lightning," was exactly as Yahowsha’ had described the fall of Satan. Although Sha’uwl did say that the lightning bolt was both "unexpected" and "adequate," whatever that might be worth.

It might also be worth noting that Paul’s explanation of this lightning strike differs in Acts 9:3, 22:6, and 26:13. No one else was affected by the bolt of lightning in Acts 22:6, but in Acts 26:13, Paul’s traveling companions are also enveloped in it. "In the middle of the day (mesos hemera), along the road (kata ten odon), King (basileus), I saw (eidon – I perceived) from the sky (ouranothen), beyond (hyper – to a greater degree than) the sun’s (tou helios) brightness (lamprotes – radiance and brilliance), shining around (perilampo) me (me) light (phos), and (kai) the ones (tous) traveling (poreuomai) together with (oun) me (emoi)." (Acts 26:13)

Beside the fact that all three of Paul’s "conversion" accounts are materially different is that the primary meaning of hyper isn’t "beyond or to a greater degree," but instead, "for the sake of and on behalf of." So in actuality, Paul was saying that he "saw from the sky for the sake of and on behalf of the sun’s brilliance, brightness shining around me." This is akin to General Constantine, the first Pope, seeing a pagan cross in the sky superimposed upon his god, which was the "Unconquerable Sun," and then hearing a voice, perhaps the same one Paul said he heard, saying: "In this sign, conquer."

But even when we turn to the secondary meaning of hyper, with the "shining around" being "beyond" the sun’s brightness, we find Paul saying something that would not only have permanently blinded everyone, but would have been such a unique event in the human experience, it would have been duly noted and recorded in Damascus. And speaking of Damascus, why would Yahowsha’ reveal Himself there, and not in Yaruwshalaim, and as lightning rather than as a man?

Paul said things in his own defense that he never should have thought, much less conveyed. Along those lines, Paul’s depiction of his encounter with "Yahowsha’" as lightning, as a flash of light from the sky, was inconsistent with the way the risen Ma’aseyah appeared to the women at the tomb, to His Disciples in the upper room, to the men on the road to Emmaus, and to some five hundred other witnesses over the course of forty days, in which He always appeared as a regular, nondescript man. It was also different from the way Yahowah appeared to Adam, Abraham, Ya’aqob, Moseh, and Yachezq’el / Ezekiel. Yahowah is actually humble: "He has no good looks or majesty. When we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him." (Yasha’yah 53:2)

Beyond these comparisons, you may have noticed that Yahowsha’ gave His witnesses the express "authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions" in the context of confronting Satan’s power. We know that the Scriptural metaphor for Satan was established as a "serpent" in the Towrah’s presentation of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. This symbolism was then reinforced four thousand years later by Yahowsha’ when He said that religious clerics were the children of poisonous snakes in Mattanyah 23. But even with "pateo – to step and tread under foot," we find another correlation to the Towrah, because there we were told that Satan would bruise man’s heel.

And while that explains the association between Satan and these "serpents," why did Yahowsha’ add "scorpions" in the context of His prophetic portrayal of Sha’uwl’s spiritual encounter? Those who were paying close attention know the answer. You may recall that Sha’uwl claimed that his enormous ego was held in check because: "Therefore it should be self-evident, in order that I not become overly proud and be lifted up, exalting myself beyond what would be justified, there was given to me a sharp goad and troubling scorpion’s stinger (skolops) in the body, a messenger and spiritual envoy of Satan, in order to strike and restrain me, controlling me, so that as a result at the present time there is the possibility that I might not be conceited, currently exalting myself beyond what would be justified, lifting myself up." (2 Corinthians 12:6-7) In addition to being a "sharp pointed prod or thorn," skolops means "scorpion." In a criminal trial, as in this evaluation, the details tell the tale. And rest assured, there is yet another convicting detail hidden within this confession.

While it’s a big picture item, it is also worth noting that in the Olivet Discourse, in the context of warning His Disciples about the likes of Paul, Yahowsha’ said that when He returns, He will be seen by everyone from the horizon in the west to the east, and not just by a one fellow in the company of a couple of others. If Yahowsha’ was telling the truth, Paul was lying.


So could it be? Is it possible that Yahowsha’ was right about Paul? Was his bout with the lightning bolt actually an encounter with Satan? It is interesting to acknowledge, after all, that Paul seemed to know. And to prove this, we are going to take a stroll through Sha’uwl’s second letter to the Greeks living next to the isthmus of Corinth, because our spiritual spokesman has a lot to say about himself, including that he has become insane, and about Satan, who he admits to having possessed and controlled him.

After shaking down his followers for money, saying in 2 Corinthians 9:7 that "God loves a cheerful giver," thereby encouraging them to dig deep if they wanted to be rewarded by his god, Paul tried to undermine Yahowah’s most treasured possession, His Covenant. Saying that he was engaged in a war against the flesh – which is a reference to circumcision, the sign of the Covenant – in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, he wrote in 10:5 that "we are destroying speculations" and "taking every thought captive." He was in essence removing evidence and reason from the equation so that faith in his message might prevail over knowing God. Paul wanted belief to trump understanding.

Then, contradicting his own overt animosity toward legalism, the founder of the Christian religion hypocritically wrote: "And we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete." (2 Corinthians 10:6) Not only is "obedience" something Yahowah opposes, justice is His not ours.

Paul told his followers in 2 Corinthians 10:7 "not to look outwardly" so as to avoid observing the Towrah, I suppose, but instead "to consider what is within," all in support of a faith nurtured by feelings and beliefs rather than conviction derived from observation and contemplation.

Of his role promoting such rubbish, the always arrogant, self-promoter, wrote: "Even if I should boast somewhat further about our authority...I will not be put to shame." (2 Corinthians 10:8) I imagine Satan thinking the same thing.

This is followed by another odd and indicting comment: "For I do not wish to seem as if I would terrify you by my letters." (2 Corinthians 10:9) Sure, the tone is condescending and the prose bizarre, but unless written by a despot with a large and ruthless army, why would a letter "terrify" anyone?

An even more peculiar reference is conveyed by: "For they say, ‘His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive, and his speech is contemptible.’" (2 Corinthians 10:10) While I don’t care what Paul looked like, and you’d have to be delusional to view his rhetoric as weighty, he was correct in this regard: his speech was contemptible. But alas, this devolves into an incomprehensible clash of egos in 2 Corinthians 10:11 through 18, with Sha’uwl positioning himself as the only one whose boasts are justified.

Paul digresses further in opening of the 11th chapter of his second letter to the Corinthians, writing: "I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me." (2 Corinthians 11:1) Unless I’m reading this wrong, to put up with Paul is to be foolish. But seriously, why would anyone want to suffer such foolishness if he or she could instead observe God’s brilliance by reading the Towrah?

And even though Sha’uwl errantly wrote that "love is not jealous" in his first letter to those living in Corinth, now he admits to the same audience: "For I am jealous for you." (2 Corinthians 11:2) Ever the chameleon and schemer, in conjunction with this hypocrisy, Paul wants to present those who have been beguiled by his letters as "pure virgins," which is to say untouched by the Torah and its God. (This is the conclusion of 2 Corinthians 11:2 as presented from the New American Standard Bible.)

Paul’s next statement is among his most beguiling, because it is predicated upon being a virgin to the Towrah by the simplicity of Christ. Also rendered from the NASB, it reads: "But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of Christ." (2 Corinthians 11:3) This is to suggest that if a person ignores everything, and simply believes, that they are pure, and thus free from Satanic deception. And yet Yahowah says just the opposite, that the only way to prevent being beguiled is to observe His Teaching.

While Sha’uwl craftily deployed the exact same tactic Satan used in the Garden, that of removing Yahowah’s instructions from their context and misquoting Him to convey a believable delusion, at issue here is that faith is simple because it isn’t based upon anything real; it requires no knowledge or understanding. But without knowledge and understanding, Yahowsha’ is unknowable and what He did and said cannot be understood. So while Yahowah’s desire to build a growing family through His Covenant is a relatively simple concept, the means He deployed to facilitate it, so that He could include us within it, is anything but simplistic.

There is a reason that Yahowah’s teaching and guidance in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms requires over one thousand pages of precise instructions to accomplish His intended goal. If He intended it for simpletons, He’d have drawn a couple of pictures and not wasted our time or His. But that wouldn’t have achieved His goal, because He wants to spend eternity with those who are eager to learn, with those who enjoy the adventure of discovery. Moreover, the directions which systematically reveal who God is and what He is offering, while explaining how we can most beneficially respond to Him, are too essential to our relationship and to our salvation to shortchange.

Yahowsha’ consistently answered every question, including explaining who He was and what He was doing, by directing His audiences’ attention to the Towrah and Prophets. There was no shortcut to understanding then and still isn’t now.

Furthermore, once a person comes to know Yahowsha’, they become Towrah observant because He was Towrah observant. But when this occurs, they cease to be Christians because they come to recognize that Paul’s opposition to the Torah puts them in opposition to God. And that is why Sha’uwl wanted to present "pure virgins" to his wannabe god.

Until a person appreciates the connection between Yahowsha’ and Yahowah, and between Yahowsha’ and Yahowah’s Towrah, there is no way to properly respond to and thus benefit from His fulfillment of Pesach, Matsah, Bikuwrym, and Shabuwa, and thus no way to be saved. Such a person cannot process anything Yahowsha’ said during His initial and most comprehensive public declaration known as the Sermon on the Mount. As a diminished manifestation of Yahowah, Yahowsha’ is profoundly revealing, tangibly demonstrating the extraordinary depth and complexity of a God who is neither shallow nor simple.

Demonstrating that these conclusions are correct, Sha’uwl was afraid that his simplistic and erroneous presentation of the Ma’aseyah would be exposed and criticized by those who knew better, so he wrote: "For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear beautifully." (2 Corinthians 11:4 from the NASB)

The actual Yahowsha’ bears no resemblance to the Christian Jesus, a character who has far more in common with Dionysus and Mithras than Yahowah or His Towrah. The Pauline Christian misnomer is no longer the living manifestation of the Word of God, but is instead a caricature contrived to annul it.

As for a different spirit, Yahowah has but one Spirit that we can receive, the Set-Apart Spirit, and She exists to help us understand and then share Yahowah’s Towrah. That means Paul’s "different spirit" represents the Adversary.

Turning to a "different gospel," Yahowah has but one "euangelion – beneficial Messenger and healing message," His Ma’aseyah and His Towrah. And yet while they are one in the same, they are in wholesale conflict with Paul’s preaching. As for "bear beautifully," I’ll let you grapple with that one because following "bear foolishly," it doesn’t make much sense to me.

This leads to another arrogant and indeed errant announcement: "For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles." (2 Corinthians 11:5) Paul’s pride became blinding.

Incapable of being rational, he considered himself brilliant: "But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made evident to you in all things." (2 Corinthians 11:6) By comparison to Yahowah and thus Yahowsha’, I’m dumb as a stone. By comparison to Moseh and Dowd, I’m but a flickering candle in relation to a bonfire. But at least I know that the only source of knowledge worth considering is Yahowah’s testimony. If Paul was a fraction as smart as he claimed to be, he would have educated his audience by drawing their attention to the terms and conditions of the Covenant. He would have explained how the Covenant’s benefits were enabled by Yahowsha’s work during the Miqra’ey. But instead, he condemned the Covenant, created a new one, and denounced the Invitations to Meet with God because they got in the way of his faith.

If it was not so sad, the notion that Paul questioned whether "I committed a sin in humbling myself," "because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge?" (2 Corinthians 11:7) would be funny. Can you imagine being so full of yourself that you’d think, or worse, write, that you might be committing a sin by being humble, or that you ought to have charged for sharing the stream of verbal diarrhea that he has spewed our way? And while it should be obvious, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that Yahowah has a Towrah not a gospel."

If you think that I’m being too hard on this arrogant, errant, and delusional wannabe apostle, since he has suggested that he shortchanged himself for not billing the Corinthians for this beguiling message, you might want to consider: "I robbed other churches, taking wages to sever you." (2 Corinthians 11:8)

It is interesting that Sha’uwl tells us that "for when the brethren came from Macedonia, they supplied my need." (11:9) The Torahless one known as the Antichrist will come from Macedonia.

Recognizing that Paul never quoted Yahowah or Yahowsha’, at least not accurately, he lied when he wrote: "As the truth of Christ is in me," but not when he concluded: "this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia." (2 Corinthians 11:10) Followed by: "Why? Because I do not love you? God knows." (11:11)

Sha’uwl not only knew, but acknowledged, that he was competing with others whose claims were more credible (the Disciples), and that his message was considerably different than theirs... "But what I am doing, I will continue to do, that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting." (2 Corinthians 11:12) While Yahowsha’s Disciples did not boast, an insecure individual like Paul views any confident individual as an affront to his credibility.

A systematic review of the literature emanating out of the mid to late first century reveals that the only prophets and apostles which Paul could have viewed as being in competition with him, and whose message was opposed to his, were Yahowsha’s Disciples and perhaps those who had learned from them – and thus those filled and equipped by the Spirit on Shabuwa. That makes this next statement especially toxic. "For such are false prophets, treacherous and deceitful (dolios – tricky and clever) workmen (ergates – perpetrators) masquerading as (metaschematizo – converted and transformed so as to appear, disguised and pretending to be) [the] Ma’aseyah’s (ΧPΥ) Apostles (apostolos – prepared messenger who is sent out)." (2 Corinthians 11:13)

At the time Paul wrote this letter to the Corinth Assembly, he alone was a "false prophet, treacherous and deceitful, masquerading as the Ma’aseyah’s Apostle." And history tells us that no one outside of Paul and his followers feigned Apostleship to the Corinthians. Moreover, since there is no evidence that Paul ever issued an accurate prophecy, there is no reason to view this as a prediction of future events either. (Paul’s lists of future human attributes in Romans and elsewhere were already common to his day, especially in Rome. And since it has not yet occurred, Paul’s prediction that the "rapture" would take place during his lifetime was untrue.)

Most every English translation ignores the inclusion of "autos – himself" in this next statement, because of what it implies. And of course, they aren’t keen on providing a complete translation of thauma, because this sounds like a confession. Literally, in the order Paul wrote the words, the next sentence reads: "And (kai) no (ou) wonder, himself a great object of worship (thauma autos – himself a wonderful, marvelous and miraculous vision and individual to be admired)." (2 Corinthians 11:14) But before we conclude that Satan was being called "great," and a "wonderful object of worship," a word of caution is in order.

There is no direct Greek equivalent to the English word "do" with regard to "do not," so it could be, and probably should be, supplied. This reshapes the text to read: "And do not marvel (thauma – be amazed or wonder)…"

Also, while autos, translated "himself," follows the noun "thauma – wonder" in the Greek text, and proceeds the conjunction "gar – for," which begins the next thought or sentence, depending upon the punctuation, it is common for conjunctions to follow pronouns if the thoughts are being combined, as opposed to being isolated in separate sentences. But adding to the potential confusion, Paul routinely omits pronouns in his letters, so the specific inclusion of autos, after thauma, would normally convey "himself a marvel." Moreover, there is no denying that Paul was taken in by Satan’s "glorious manifestation and radiant brilliance" in 2 Thessalonians, a passage we’ll review in a moment.

Yet since there is a way to avoid the problem of praising Satan here in 2 Corinthians, by adding "do" in front of "not," and then repositioning the pronoun, I’m compelled to join the first and second halves of the 14th verse into a single sentence. Combined, they would then read: "And (kai) [do] not (ou) wonder (thauma – marvel at this miraculous vision, nor be amazed in admiration) [at this], for indeed (gar), he (autos), the Adversary Satan (Satanas), changes his appearance (metaschematizo – masquerades, disguising himself, transforming his image) into (eis) a spiritual, heavenly messenger (angelos – divine representative) [of] light (photos)." (2 Corinthians 11:14)

And while that solves one problem, it creates another. This is exactly like Paul experienced him. And as always, Paul’s inadequate writing style remains especially prone to misinterpretation, leaving us wondering what he actually meant to say. Further, Satan’s origin and name, a "malak – spiritual messenger" named "Halal ben Shachar," tells us that he is a "spiritual, heavenly messenger radiating light," so this is hardly news.

Paul’s next line is as clear as it is telling. It is designed to deflect attention away from him being judged a false prophet. So Paul says that, rather than evaluate him objectively based upon his words, comparing them to God’s, he wants to be evaluated subjectively based upon his "motivation."

"[It is] not (ou) surprising (megas – great) therefore (oun) when (ei – if) also (kai) his (autou) servants (diakonos – ministers who execute his commands) masquerade (metaschematizo – pretend to be) as (hos) ministers (diakonos – servants) of righteousness (dikaiosyne – whose doctrine is acceptable to and approved by God), of which (o on) the end result and motivation (telos – their ultimate purpose and intent) will be (estai) according to (kata) their works (ergon – deeds)." (2 Corinthians 11:15) But yet judging someone’s motivation, their intent, is pure speculation. So Paul would have us move from facts and reason to opinions. That doesn’t sound Godly to me.

Illuminating this problem, telos, rendered "end result and motivation," is based upon tello, and that’s telling because it describes someone who "sets out to achieve a particular goal." It infers that the ultimate evaluation of these people should focus on their "motivations," as opposed to the content of their messages, and it should take place at the end of time, as opposed to when the message is being delivered.

Further, Paul’s evaluation is also predicated upon a person’s "deeds" rather than what they have to say. As such, Paul’s means to determine whether a person is a false prophet bears no resemblance whatsoever to Yahowah’s tests. Of this, we should not be surprised.

But this is Paul’s message, Paul’s test, and Paul’s defense on behalf of his spirit. It also reflects Paul’s less than divine grammatical style. "Furthermore (palin – also and again) I say (lego), not (oe) someone (tis) I (me) presume (dokei – be of the opinion) I am (einai) ignorant and irrational (aphron – foolish, stupid, senseless, and devoid of reason). But (de) if (ei) not (me) really (ge – even) and (kai) as (os – like) foolishness (aphron – ignorance and senselessness), I (me) you will receive (dechomai – believe and welcome) in order that (ina) and I (kago) little (micron – small) someone who (ti) I boast (kauchaomai – brag and glory in)." (2 Corinthians 11:16)

Since this appears to be gibberish, let’s consider what the scholastic sources reveal. The Nestle-Aland McReynolds Interlinear reads: "Again I say not some me might think unthinking to be if but not indeed if also as unthinking welcome me that also I little some might brag." That wasn’t an improvement.

Moving on to the English Standard Version Interlinear, we find that it departs significantly from the text, ignoring and adding many words: "I repeat, let no one think me [being (omitted)] foolish. But even if [you do (added)], [not also (omitted)] accept me as [a (added)] fool, so [that (added)] I [too may (added)] boast a little."

The New International Version Interlinear suggests: "Again I say not anyone me think foolish to be [if (omitted)] otherwise [not really (omitted)] even if as foolish receive you me, [in (added)] order [that (added)] I also [a (added)] little [bit (added)] [someone (omitted)] may boast."

Moving from the most trusted interlinears to the supposedly literal New American Standard Bible, we find: "Again I say, let no one think me foolish, but if you do, receive me even as foolish, that I also may boast a little."

All we can say for sure is that the writing and message quality are well beneath God’s capability. And yet, I’m compelled to offer something sensible. So, here is my best guess regarding Paul’s testimony: "Furthermore, I say, let no one presume I am foolish. But even if not, and I am like the foolish, you will receive and accept me in order that I may boast a little."

No matter the interpretation, this statement is actually worse in content and style than anything we have encountered in Galatians. And once again, we can’t blame this on scribal error. The words are the same in Papyrus 46 (from the late first-century) as they are in the Nestle-Aland. The incomprehensible, even arrogant, nature of the text is Paul’s fault. (Of course, if you are a Christian and believe that this verbal diarrhea was the inspired word of God, then your god is a nincompoop, which is probably worse.)

"What (o) I say (lalo) [is] not (ou) according to (kata) [the] Lord/Master’s (KN) way of speaking (laleo – sayings), but to the contrary (alla) as (os) in (en) foolishness (aphrosyne – recklessness and thoughtlessness, senselessness and folly) in (en) this (houtos) substance and nature (hypostasis – essence or objective aspect and underlying reality behind everything; a compound of hupo, under, and histemi, standing upright) of (tes) boasting (kauchesis – pride and glorifying oneself)." (2 Corinthians 11:17)

If this is correct, Paul is admitting the obvious. He was not speaking for Yahowah or Yahowsha’, but was instead speaking foolishly by bragging on his own behalf—or worse. And I say "or worse" because this follows an explanation of how Satan influences false prophets.

Not to belabor the point, but the Nestle-Aland interlinear isn’t any clearer: "What I say not by Master, I say but as in thoughtlessness in this the substance of the brag."

The NASB supports my conclusion: "That which I am speaking, I am not speaking as the Lord would, but in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting." Try as they would to shade the meanings to protect Paul’s credibility, this remains extremely incriminating, even damning.

And Paul wasn’t finished exposing himself. "Because (epei – since) many (polloi) may boast (kauchaomai – brag and glorify themselves) according to (kata) [the] flesh (sarx – their physical prowess), I also (kago) glorify myself and brag (kauchaomai – boast)." (2 Corinthians 11:18) His personality and Satan’s are beginning to morph, becoming indistinguishable. But even if you aren’t yet comfortable with this assessment, surely you recognize that the man who wrote these words was not inspired by God.

Paul’s testimony has become so self centered, so braggadocios, so irrelevant, so unlike Yahowah and His prophets, let’s continue to seek verification of these words from other translations: In that regard, the NASB wrote: "Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also."

"For indeed (gar – because), gladly (hedeos – with delight and enjoyment) you accept (anechomai – bear, endure, and put up with) the senseless and foolish (aphron – ignorant and irrational) being (ontes) wise (phronimos – shrewd and intelligent)." (2 Corinthians 11:19)

This was hardly the place for sarcasm, and yet that is what we find. I’m beginning to think that Paul has either become psychotic, and thus has lost touch with reality, or that his disdain for his audience has caused him to taunt them by pulling back the veil hiding his hideous nature. It is as if Paul’s arrogance, his sense of superiority, has led him to believe that his audience was so stupid, they’d never figure him out, much less hold him accountable.

However, that is not how things materialized. Based upon what Sha’uwl wrote Timothy in his final letter, most everyone abandoned him. "You know this, that all of those in Asia have turned away from me." (2 Timothy 1:15) But alas, with Marcion as his future publicist and promoter, those who did not know him nearly as well would become fooled – billions of them. They are known as "Christians" today.

According to the NASB, Paul wrote: "For you, being so wise, bear with the foolish gladly." While this is no better, to achieve this translation, they had to upend Paul’s arrangement of words.

This onslaught of "foolishness" begs the question: are we witnessing psychosis in Paul (from the Greek psyche – mind and soul and osis – deranged and abnormal)? Most every aspect of his behavior, his attitude, and his testimony fit the textbook definition of psychotic. His letters increasingly suggest that he has lost contact with reality. He has suffered hallucinations that he calls revelations, and his claims are often delusional. He has been violent and his judgment is seriously impaired. In the immediate aftermath of his interlude with Satan on the way to Damascus, he was nearly catatonic.