Questioning Paul

Chapter 4

part 7


There isn’t an extant first- through third-century manuscript of this particular citation in Greek, so scribal error may have contributed to some of the discrepancies. Of particular issue is ‘Edowm, usually transliterated "Edom," which is the name of a place in the Hebrew text. But since it is related linguistically to ‘adam, the Hebrew word for "man," and because it is also associated with ‘edon, the basis of Yahowsha’s title, meaning "the Upright One and the Upright Pillar of the tabernacle and its foundation," scribes could easily have become confused. Therefore, in place of ‘Edowm, we find both "anthropos – mankind" and a placeholder for "kurion – lord and master."

Noting these issues, based upon the much older Hebrew witness, Amos 9:12 reads: "So that (ma’an – for the purpose and intent that) those who (‘asher) have summoned (qara’ – called out and invited) My (‘any) name (shem – personal and proper designation) upon (‘al) them may inherit (yarash – receive as an heir and possess) the remainder of (sha’eryth – remnant and rest of) ‘Edowm (‘edowm), every (kol) Gentile nation (gowym – people from different races and places), prophetically declares (na’um – announces ahead of time) Yahowah (efei), who will engage, enacting (‘asah – will do) this (zo’th)." (Amos 9:12)

Beyond the unwarranted omission of Edom, and the additions of "mankind" and "Master / Lord," in the Greek hearsay translation of Ya’aqob’s quotation of the Hebrew passage, the Acts transcription replaced "inherit" with "seek," and turned another affirmation of the importance of Yahowah’s name into a muddled mess. So while we’ve come to expect imprecision in Paul’s letters to the Galatians, Thessalonians, and Corinthians, these mistakes were recorded in the book of Acts, now causing Luke’s historical presentation to be suspect as well.

Turning to the Septuagint as a point of reference, we find that it isn’t a particularly good match for the Hebrew text of Amos or Luke’s Greek rendering of Ya’aqob’s quotation. It reads: "So that the remnant of men and all the nations shall seek out, upon those whom My name is called upon them, says Yahowah, the God who does these [things]." To this, the Codex Sinaiticus adds "an – it is possible" and "ton KN – the Lord and Master," in addition to what is now found in Acts 15:18, which reads "which was known from world and universal history." Adding to the confusion, the oldest Greek witness of this proclamation then omitted the placeholder for God’s title (ΘΣ) from the Septuagint’s translation, albeit ‘elohym wasn’t actually written in Amos 9:12.

Perhaps more concerning than the inaccuracy of the quotation, this passage, while it is profoundly important in that it speaks of an inheritance and not a witness, wasn’t especially germane to the point Ya’aqob was making, which means he shouldn’t have cited it to refute Sha’uwl. And my guess is he didn’t. I say that because our only options are to conclude that either Ya’aqob was wrong for citing it, that Luke was wrong for attributing this quotation to Ya’aqob, or that a later scribe added it because a subsequent mischaracterization of the citation seemed to fit. If you are among those who believe that the "New Testament" is "the inerrant word of God," pick your poison.

On the positive side, we have another confirmation that the placeholder, ΚΣ, which was based upon the Greek kurios, was used to represent Yahowah’s name. At first blush, however, unless it was a legacy of the Septuagint, it is curious that the Disciples would have actually chosen a placeholder which was based upon a title, as opposed to one predicated upon YHWH. But then, recognizing that these Divine Placeholders consistently begin and end with the first and last letter in the title or name they are attempting to convey, and often include an internal consonant, we discover that it would have been impossible to write an abbreviation for Yahowah’s name in Greek because the four vowels which comprise it have no counterpart in the borrowed alphabet. There is no "Y," "oW," or soft "aH" among Greek letters. (The capitalized characters which share a common appearance with the English alphabet’s "Y" and "H" represent Upsilon and Eta, respectively, and thus do not convey a similar sound.)

Also, ‘Edowm is the land of Esau and his descendants. Most notably, it is the realm of those who were related to Ishmael by way of his daughter, who became Esau’s wife (See Bare’syth 25:16-18 and 28:8-9). So Yahowah may well have been prophetically speaking about today’s Muslims by referencing ‘Edowm. Elsewhere in Scripture, Yahowah talks of Muslims plundering Yisra’el. He also addresses His response to them, which will be to annihilate Allah’s jihadists. Today, these Islamic ‘Edowmites covet the Promised Land, and they have demonstrated that they are willing to kill every Jew living in Yisra’el to capture it. But in the end, it will be the Yisra’elites who will be the beneficiaries of their land instead. The irony is sweet.

If Ya’aqob’s statement wasn’t associated with Amos 9, the testimony ascribed to him could be reordered to say: "So that (hopos) if (an) the remnant (kataloipos) of mankind (anthropos), and (kai) all (pas) the races and nations (ethnos) upon (epi) whom (ous) My (mou) name (onoma) is summoned (epikaleomai) upon (epi) them (autous), will diligently seek (ekzeteo) the Upright One (KN), says (lego) Yahowah (ΚΣ), doing (poieomai) this (tauta) which is known (gnostos) from (apo) world and universal history (aionos)." (Acts 15:17-18) But alas, this revision of the text is invalidated knowing that Ya’aqob specifically said that he was quoting Scripture, and thus there was no justification for "mankind (anthropos)" or "Upright One (KN)."

While Ya’aqob didn’t cite the final three verses of Amos’s prophecy, there is no reason we shouldn’t consider them. They read: "Look now and see (hineh – behold, stand up, look up, and reach up to God), the day (yowm) is coming (bow’), prophetically declares (na’um) Yahowah (efei), …when I will return and restore (suwb – come back and reestablish) the property and that which makes life easier and more secure for (sabuwt – the fortunes, restoring that which is good and establishing more favorable circumstances for) My (‘any) family (‘am – people and nation), Yisra’el (Yisra’el – individuals who engage and endure with God)." (Amos 9:13-14)

This is a powerful statement. It not only affirms that Yahowah will return in person, but also that His purpose will be to "suwb – reestablish" His family and to "sabuwt – fortuitously restore all that is good." And that is why the related title Shabuwa’, is defined as Yahowah’s "vow, His sworn and contractual promise between parties in a relationship to truthfully attest to our innocence." The fact is, the Miqra’ey of Shabuwa’ and Sukah are related, with one leading to the other. And it is Yahowah’s Ruwach/Spirit who makes us appear innocent, indeed perfect, before our Heavenly Father.

In His closing statement, Yahowah may be describing what occurred in 1948 and thereafter: "And they will rebuild (banah) their desolate (samen) cities (‘iyr) and live in them (yasab – inhabit). And they shall plant (nata’) vineyards (kerem) and drink (satah – consume) wine (yayn – fermented grape juice). And they shall fashion (‘asah – make) gardens (ganah) and eat (‘akal – consume) fruit (pary – their harvest) from them. And I will root them (nata’ humah – firmly embed and plant them, establishing their encampment) upon (‘al) their (humah) soil (‘adamah – earth and land). And they shall never (lo’) be uprooted (natas – pulled up and expelled) again (‘owd) from (min) upon (‘al) their land (‘adamah – soil) which relationally and beneficially (‘asher) I gave (natan) to (la) them (humah), says (‘amar) Yahowah (efei), your God (‘elohym)." (Amos 9:14-15)

Those who are careful observers of Yahowah’s Word recognize that God does not always present future history sequentially, so it would not be unusual for Him to discuss His return prior to presenting the conditions which will precede it. He isn’t doing this to be evasive, but instead because He doesn’t want His prophecies to influence, and thus change, future events. So long as His reports regarding future history are challenging to unravel, then only those devoted to Yahowah’s Word, and thus to Him, appreciate them, keeping the disingenuous from trying to sabotage His predictions.

In this prophetic declaration, Yahowah said He would personally see to it that following an "evil calamity," He would reestablish Yisra’el. But also, that once His people returned, they would never be uprooted again. Therefore, there is no reason to worry about another Islamic invasion, nor an Iranian nuclear attack. After the Roman Diaspora and German Holocaust, Yisra’elites are home for good. Islamic terrorists are not going to prevail, try as they might.

Returning to the book of Acts, according to Luke’s hearsay testimony, after citing Yahowah’s prophecy in Amos, Ya’aqob said: "Therefore (dio) I (ego) conclude (krino – decide and judge by way of separating fact from fiction, right from wrong, exercising judgment), not (ue) to make it more difficult (parenochleo – cause trouble for, excite, annoy, or disturb), by separating (apo) the races and nations (ethnos) who are returning (epistrepho – who are changing their perspectives, attitudes, thinking, and ways)." (Acts 15:19)

The Nestle-Aland’s Interlinear reads: "Wherefore I judge not to annoy along the ones from the nations returning on the God." As was the case with the first nine verses of the fifteenth chapter of Acts, starting with the nineteenth, we again benefit from the witness provided by Papyrus 45, a third-century manuscript. In it we discover that the phrase "epi ton theon – on the God" was added by a fourth-century scribe at the end of this passage and thus should not be considered.

I suppose that had the reference to Edom been retained, and with nomos conveying the "inheritance" aspects of the Towrah’s instructions, the fact that the Amos prophecy reveals that Yahuwdym would have influence over Gowym for thousands of years to come, it’s entirely possible that this combination of things led to Ya’aqob’s conclusion that he and others be excluded from witnessing to different ethnicities.

In the next verse, the phrase "tes porneias kai – the perversion, corruption, or sexual immorality" is not found in Papyrus 45, and may have been added by a scribe to harmonize Ya’aqob’s statement with the subsequent letter memorializing this compromise. So while the Nestle-Aland’s McReynolds Interlinear reports, "But to write letter to them the to hold off the pollutions of the idols and of the sexual immorality and the choked and the blood," the oldest manuscript of this passage reads:

"To the contrary (alla – nonetheless and notwithstanding), to write to them a letter (episteilai autois – to send them an epistle) for the (tou) sufficiency of receiving in full or holding separate (apechesthai – the primary meaning is to receive, the secondary connotation is to be enough or sufficient, the tertiary definition is to be away from, the fourth implication is to experience, the fifth is to avoid or abstain, and the sixth is to close an account) of the (ton) polluted and defiled (alisgema – condemned religious rituals which corrupt and make impure) of the (ton) idols and objects of worship (eidolon – the overt or outward appearance of religious worship, imagery, likenesses, idolatry, and false gods), and the (kai tou) strangled (pniktos – choked to death or suffocated as part of a bloodless religious ritual), and the (kai tou) blood (haima)." (Acts 15:20)

Apechesthai, which is the present middle infinitive of apechei is an awkward term because it is based upon an internal contradiction. It is a compound of apo, which speaks of "separation," and "echo – to have and to hold." Most English translations, therefore, ignore its primary definitions, and render the verb "abstain." Also telling, since there is no Hebrew word associated with abstaining of abstinence – this admonition is not based upon God’s Word.

Confusion aside and duplicity aside, the first item on this list has merit, in that it is a derivative of the Second of Three Statements God etched in stone on the First of the Two Tablets. Yahowah specifically asked us to avoid being religious. However, the reference to "pniktos – strangled" (which will be discussed in reference to the 29th verse) is a subset of Rabbinical Law, and thus does not come from the Torah. It is not appropriate. Further, while Yahowah asks us not to drink blood (thereby undermining the Catholic Eucharist), in conjunction with strangulation, this reference to blood would only serve to enrich Kosher butchers. So if this list was deemed sufficient, it makes you wonder why God bothered to write the Torah or inspire the Prophets.

Considering that these largely inappropriate conclusions were attributed to Ya’aqob, for his sake I hope that they were a product of scribal error. Yahowsha’ made no attempt to summarize His Scriptural instructions, only His Ten Statements – and this bears no resemblance to His recap. Also, while Yahowah did provide a synopsis of some of His Instructions by writing the Ten Statements, only one aspect of one of the statements memorialized on His Tablets of Stone was reflected in this list.

But alas, at least there was one worthy contender among the three prohibitions. Alisgema, translated "polluted and defiled" and describing "something which has become corrupt and impure by way of a religious ritual," is often associated with "sacrificial meat and drink offerings made to pagan deities." A portion was usually taken by the priests, but the remainder was either sold in the marketplace by the donor or eaten by the religious practitioner. So, by including it in his brief list, Ya’aqob was suggesting that we should avoid all contact with anything associated with religion, its imagery, rituals, and sacrifices.

However, when a similar list reappears in the "Apostles’ letter" (documented in Acts 15:29), the one thing which changes is the reference to "idols, objects of worship, and polluted and defiled religious rituals which corrupt." The more ubiquitous prohibition was replaced by saying that it is only necessary to avoid meats which have been sacrificed to idols. As such, the letter was a step backwards from an already impoverished position.

Ya’aqob’s next comment, however, was manna from heaven. "Because (gar – for indeed) Moseh (Mouses – a transliteration of the Hebrew Moseh, meaning to draw out, the scribe of the Towrah), from (ek) generations (genea – ancestors from the same ethnic group) ancient (archaios – antiquity, therefore existing for a long time), the ones announcing Him (tous kerysso auton – those who proclaimed Him and made Him known), is actually and actively held (echei – is genuinely grasped hold of, possessed and experienced) in (en) the synagogues (tais synagoge – a transliteration of the Greek word meaning assembly meetings). In accordance with (kata) every (pas) Sabbath (sabbaton – a transliteration of the Hebrew shabat, meaning rest, promise, and seven), it is being read (anaginosko – it is publicly recited aloud so that it might be known and understood)." (Acts 15:21)

Before we dissect this fabulous verse, please note that Papyrus 45 omits "[throughout / accordingly (kata) their towns and cities (polis)]." Also, "echei – is actually and actively held," shown as εχει in the third person, singular, present, active, indicative in the Nestle-Aland 27th Edition, was scribed as ekei (εκει), meaning "there, in that place," in Papyrus 45. But since most early manuscripts reflect the later form, which also works better within the flow of the sentence, methinks the oldest witness reflected a scribal error which is why I have neglected it. However, "tous – the ones" should have been written in the singular as "the one" making Him known.

The bookkeeping behind us, understand that Ya’aqob referenced "Moseh" to say "Torah" the same way we would designate the books of Yasha’yahuw, Zakaryah, or Mal’aky. By doing so, he eliminated the potential confusion between Yahowah’s Towrah and Rabbinical Traditions.

There are three revealing verbs in this passage, all of which manage to convey an aspect of Yahowah’s intent regarding His Towrah. The first, kerysso, translated "announcing," means: "to proclaim a message publicly with the intent of encouraging people, urging and warning them to acknowledge the instructions." The Towrah is Yahowah’s message to mankind. It is comprised of His prescriptions for living. He wants His guidance proclaimed publicly in hopes that people decide to listen to His advice. This is the reason Yahowah dispatched Yahowsha’.

It is written: "The entire (kol – the whole and every, the totality of the) Word (‘imrah – the promise and the prescription) of God (‘elowha) is pure, tested, and true (tsaraph – refined, precious, and worthy), a shield for (magen – an enclosure which surrounds, defends, and saves) those who put their trust in (chacah – those who seek salvation through reliance upon) Him." (Marsal / Word Pictures / Proverbs 30:5)

The second verb describing the intent of the Torah is echei, a variation on echo, which was rendered "actually and actively held" in association with unfurling the scroll of the Towrah so that it can be read and recited aloud in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Echo’s primary meaning is "to grasp hold of something and then hang on to it." In relational terms, it speaks of "embracing" someone whom or something which you care deeply about. Secondarily, echo speaks of "being clothed in something" or of "wielding it as a tool or implement." Echo’s tertiary connotation is "to figuratively and literally accept something [in this case the Torah] so that it keeps you safe, preserving you." Other definitions of echo are also germane relative to the Torah and include: "coming to possess something, owning it, carefully considering it, respecting and regarding it favorably, revering and enjoying it." These are the most appropriate responses to the Towrah.

It is written: "Yahowah’s (efei) Towrah (towrah – teaching, instruction, direction, and guidance) is complete and entirely perfect (tamym – without defect, lacking nothing, correct, sound, genuine, right, helpful, beneficial, and true), returning, restoring, and transforming (suwb – turning around and bringing back) the soul (nepesh – consciousness). Yahowah’s (efei) enduring testimony (‘eduwth – restoring witness) is trustworthy and reliable (‘aman – verifiable, confirming, supportive, and establishing), making understanding and obtaining wisdom (hakam – educating and enlightening oneself to the point of comprehension) simple for the open-minded (pethy)." (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 19:7)

This all echoes Yahowah’s consistent advice, whereby God continually encourages us to read His Towrah Instructions, especially in our homes and to our children. He has asked us to take His Towrah Guidance with us when we travel, to have it with us when we go to bed at night, and to embrace it when we wake up in the morning. God advises us to place His Towrah between our eyes, on our hands, upon our doorposts, and on our front gates so that it provides the proper perspective, guides our actions, and defines our relationship with Him and others. Yahowah wants us to clothe ourselves in the Torah, and to wear and wield its promises as if they were shields and tools. Yahowah wants us to closely examine and carefully consider what He has to say in His Towrah, so that we come to know Him and appreciate what He is offering. He would like us to respect His Word, and as a result to revere and enjoy the Torah’s Author, grasping hold, and hanging onto Him as if our life depended upon it. Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone echoed the Torah.

Many speak of loving God, but few understand the way to achieve this: "Love Yahowah, your God, with all your mind and heart, with all your soul and consciousness, and with all your might and strength. The Word (dabar) exists to be a prescription for living upon mind and heart. Repeat these prescriptions so as to teach them by rote to your children, and speak the Word (dabar) among them where you live (yasab – and where you are joined in marriage), in your house and home (beyth – family and household), during your travels (halak – your walk) on the way (derek – the path), and when you lie down and when you stand up (quwm). Bind them as a sign on your hand and as a sign between your eyes. And write them on the doorframe of your home and the gate to your community." (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 6:6-8)

The third verb in this translation of Ya’aqob’s statement before those who had gathered to judge Paul was also directed at the Towrah. Anaginosko, which was translated "it is being read" affirms that Yah’s Teaching was being "recited" in order to reveal God’s instructions. Listeners were coming to know the Torah, its Author and plan, as a result of it being "publically proclaimed." While anaginosko is most often used to describe an "open and unrestricted presentation of a written document," its literal meaning is represented by its parts. Anaginosko is a compound of ana, meaning "in the midst of," and ginosko, which means "to learn and to know, to perceive and to understand, to become acquainted with, and to acknowledge." So the verb conveys the idea of "publicly reciting [the Torah] in a way that those who listen to it come to accurately recognize and acknowledge its message." This is akin to Yahowah’s repeated instructions to "shama – listen to" and "shamar – observe" the Torah.

It is written: "Gather together and assemble (qahal – summon people to a central place for a particular purpose, uniting and congregating) the family (‘am – people), the men (‘iysh), the women (‘ishah), and the little children (tap), and the people from different races and places (ger – strangers and foreigners from different cultural, ethnic, or geographical communities who are visiting, even just passing through, temporarily living in your midst (i.e., Gentiles) who (‘asher) are within (ba) your gates and doorways (sa’ar – your property, towns, cities, and communities) so that (ma’an – for the intended purpose that) they can listen (shama’ – hear the message and receive the information), and so that (ma’an – for this intended purpose) they are instructed and learn (lamad – so that they gain access to the information which is required to be properly guided and respond appropriately) and respect and revere (yare’) Yahowah, your God (‘elohym), observing (shamar – closely examining and carefully considering) and acting upon (‘asah – engaging in, celebrating, and profiting from) all (kol) the words (dabar) of this (zo’th) Towrah (towrah – teaching, direction, guidance, and instruction." (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 31:12)

"Now (‘atah) write (katab) for all of you the words (dabar) of this (zot) song (sirah – these lyrics with an emphasis on instruction), and teach this to (lamad – provide information, guidance, instruction, and training for) the Children of Yisra’el (ben Yisra’el – children who engage and endure with God). Put them in her mouth (peh), so that they will exist (hayah) with (‘eth) Me, these lyrics (sirah) serving as an everlasting witness (‘ed – as eternal evidence and restoring testimony) amongst (ba – within) the Children who Engage and Endure with God (ben Yisra’el)." (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 31:19)

By affirming God’s instruction on the Towrah’s role in our lives, Ya’aqob’s declaration not only negated Paul’s position, it changed the nature of the debate. It was no longer the wannabe apostle against Yahowsha’s chosen Disciples. It was now Sha’uwl v. Yahowah.

If you are still a Christian, or if you are trying to liberate a Christian from their faith, consider this conundrum: to side with Paul against Yahowsha’s hand-picked and personally-trained Disciples in this debate over the role of the role of Yahowah’s Towrah in our lives is to conclude that Yahowsha’ was incompetent, failing on both accounts. This undeniable conclusion mirrors another even more profound realization: if the Towrah, which was authored by God and is arguably the most important and brilliant document ever written, is incapable of saving anyone, how is it then that letters written by a man claiming to be inspired by the Author of the Towrah he discredits are believable relative to mankind’s salvation? This has to be the single most irrational position that has come to be widely held.

Beyond the three insights provided by the verbs Luke deployed when trying to convey Ya’aqob’s declaration, there was another treasure in the Disciple’s statement. The Torah "was read aloud and became known" "in the synagogues in accordance with every Sabbath." The Christian fixation on Sunday Worship, the Lord’s Day, even Easter Sunday, is unjustifiable in every respect.

It is written: "Remember and recall (zakar – recognize, memorialize, and be earnestly mindful of) that the Sabbath (shabat – the seventh day, the time of observance, of rest, and of ceasing and desisting from ordinary labor) day is set apart (qodesh – separated unto God). Six days you shall work (‘abad) and do (‘asah) all your service of representing the Messenger and proclaiming the message (mala’kah – Godly duties and heavenly labor). The seventh (shabiy’iy – seven; from shaba’, meaning solemn promise and oath, and shaber meaning to interpret and explain the meaning or significance of a communication) day, the Sabbath (shabat – the time of promise to reflect) of Yahowah (efei), your God (‘elohym), you shall not do (‘asah) any part of the work of God’s Representative and Messenger (mala’kah – from mal’ak, the ministry and mission of the heavenly envoy and dispatch; the labor of God’s corporeal manifestation), not your son, not your daughter, not your servants and employees, not your means of production, nor those visitors in your home or property." (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 20:8-10)

Preachers lie when they say that "the first Christians went to church on Sunday to worship the Lord by proclaiming the Gospel." They weren’t "Christians," but instead were called "Chrestucians." Christian means "drugged," and Chrestucian means "upright servant and useful implement." The first to accept Yahowsha’ were Towrah observant referred to themselves as "Followers of the Way." As a result, they gathered on the Sabbath, in accordance with Yahowah’s Torah instructions and Yahowsha’s example. And they met in synagogues, not churches. There were no "Gospels." They listened to Yahowah’s Torah being recited to them.

In the presence of Yahowchanan (John), Shim’own Kephas (Peter), and all of the other Disciples and elders of the Yaruwshalaim (Jerusalem) Ekklesia (Called Out), Ya’aqob (Yahowsha’s brother who has become known as James), admonished Sha’uwl (Paul) and warned subsequent believers in the religion predicated upon his writings that nothing is more important than observing the Torah – coming to know it, understand it, and share it, because it is the source from which all good things flow, including our relationship with God and our salvation.

This next line suggests that Yahowsha’s Disciples did not trust Sha’uwl. "Then (tote – at that time) the Apostles (apostolos – those who were prepared and sent out) and the elders (presbyteros – the community leaders), along with (syn – in association and together with) the entire (holos – and complete) Called-Out Assembly (ekklesia – from ek, called out and kaleo, to call), concluded that it would be appropriate to (edoze – after consideration and thinking they were disposed to) themselves select spokesmen (eklegomai andras – choose men to speak out, from lego, to speak and affirm and ek out and andras – man) from (ek) among them (auton) to send (pempo –dispatching messengers with the Word) to (eis) Antioch (Antiocheia – the capitol of Syria based upon a transliteration of King Antiochus) with (syn) the Little and Lowly (to Paulos – the Paulos (of Latin origin following the definite article meaning the insignificant)) and (kai) Barnabas (Barnabas – a transliteration of the Aramaic bar, son of, and naby, a prophet) – Yahuwdah (Ioudas – a transliteration of the Hebrew Yahuwdah meaning Related to Yah), called (ton kaloemenon – the person named) Barsabbas (son of Sabbas) (Barsabbas – a transliteration of the Aramaic bar, son of, and saba’ meaning military conscript) and (kai) Silas (Silas – of Latin origin meaning woody), [who were] leading men (hegeomai andras – highly regarded men with the authority to provide direction and leadership) among (en) the brethren (adelpois)." (Acts 15:22)

It was the unanimous conclusion of Yahowsha’s Apostles, the elders, and the entire Yaruwshalaym Ekklesia that Sha’uwl required supervision. Yahuwdah and Silas were given the authority to act on behalf of the Apostles to control the Lowly one. It is a shame they did not prevail.

While this all blew up in Sha’uwl’s face in Antioch, if we flip back through the pages of Acts, we find that Paul had previously been in Lycaonia, which was just north of Cilicia, before traveling south through Syria. That’s relevant because of the addressees listed on the Apostolic letter. "Through (dia) having written (grapho) by their hand (auton cheir), the Apostles (oi apostolos – those who were prepared and sent out) and the elders (presbyteros – the community leaders) amongst (kata) the brethren (adelpos) to the (tois) Antiocheia (Antiochian), Suria (Syrian), and Kilikia (Cilician) brothers (adelphos), to the ones (tois) from (ek) the ethnicites (ethnos – different races, nations, and places): Joyful Greetings (chairo – a happy hello)!" (Acts 15:23)