Questioning Paul

Chapter 6

part 6

Paraphrasing God’s Word to advance his next point, Sha’uwl will say that Abram had faith in Yahowah before the Torah was written. While his assumption is invalid, making this argument a straw man, his intent will be to demonstrate that the Torah was, therefore, irrelevant to the Covenant. He will continue to develop this theory throughout the remainder of this chapter and into the next. His logic is so flawed, however, it is a wonder he fooled so many people on such a crucial issue: the relationship between the Torah and Covenant.

This peculiar argument only prevails with those who are unaware of Yahowah’s Towrah – its content, meaning, and purpose. That is a fact, not an opinion because God told us in His Towrah that He had shared His towrah with Abraham. Listen...

"And (wa) I will grow and thrive (rabah – I will greatly increase) with (‘eth – alongside) your offspring (zera’ – seed) in connection with (ka – corresponding to) the highest and most illuminated (kowkab – speaking of the light emanating from stars in the loftiness of) heaven (shamaym – spiritual realm of God).

Then I will give (natan – I will bestow and deliver, I will grant a gift) to (la) your offspring (zera’ – seed) everything (kol) associated with (‘eth) the (ha) realm (‘erets – land and region) of God (‘el).

And also (wa) all (kol) people from every race and place (gowym – gentile individuals) on the earth (‘erets – realm and land) will be blessed with favorable circumstances (barak – they will be greeted and adored) through (ba – with and because of) your offspring (zera’ – seed).

This is because (eqeb – this is the result and consequence of), beneficially focused on the relationship (‘asher – for the purpose of developing a close and favorable association), Abraham (‘Abraham – a compound of ‘ab – father, raham – loving and merciful, and hamown – enriching, meaning: Loving, Merciful, and Enriching Father (a metaphor for Yahowah)) listened to (shama’ – he heard, paid attention to, and understood) the sound of My voice (b-qowl-y – My verbal communication and call; from qara’ – My invitation, summons, and recital My welcome to meet and to encounter Me) and (wa) he continuously observed, closely examined, and carefully considered (shamar – he kept his focus upon and diligently evaluated, he paid attention to the details so that he could understand) My observances (mishmereth – My things to carefully examine; from shamar – to observe, examine, and consider Me), My terms and conditions (mitswah – My binding covenant contract and authorized relationship instructions), My inscribed prescriptions for living (chuwqah – My clearly communicated and engraved instructions regarding what you should do to be cut into the relationship), and My Towrah (Towrah – My teaching, guidance, direction, and instruction: from tow – My signed, written, and enduring, towrah – way of treating people, tuwr – giving you the means to explore, to seek, to find, and to choose Me, yarah – the source from which My instruction, teaching, guidance, and direction flow, which tuwb – provides answers that facilitate your restoration and return, even your response and reply to that which is towb – good, pleasing, joyful, beneficial, favorable, healing, and right, and that which causes you to be loved, to become acceptable, and to endure, tahowr / tohorah – purifying and cleansing you, towr – so as to provide you with an opportunity to change your thinking, attitude, and direction toward Me)." (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 26:4-5)

Turning back a few pages, let’s consider the quotation Sha’uwl was about to corrupt. It reads: "And so (wa) he completely trusted and totally relied through verification (‘aman – he was established, enduring, and loyal, standing steadfast (scribed in the hiphil stem which causes the object, Yahowah, to participate in the action, which is providing evidence which leads to trust, and in the perfect conjugation which conveys that Abraham’s reliance was total and complete)) in (ba) Yahowah (efei) and (wa) He genuinely considered this (chashab – He thought, imputed, valued, and regarded this (in the qal stem this should be interpreted literally and is a genuine response, while through the imperfect conjugation we learn that this consideration was ongoing throughout time)) to approach as a result of (la) vindication (tsadaqah – being considered innocent, justified, and right)." (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 15:6)

You will notice, even here, God mentioned nothing remotely related to "faith." He did not say, nor did He infer, that the benefits of the Covenant occurred because "Abraham believed Him." And as such, you can and should trash the entire book of Galatians. Because in it, as we shall soon see, Paul attempts to bypass the Torah by saying that Abram’s righteousness was the result of this man’s "faith," and that it had nothing to do with his willingness to listen to Yahowah’s instructions or observe the conditions of His Covenant as they were articulated in His Towrah Teaching. In other words, when it comes to participating in the Covenant, the means Yahowah provided to engage in this relationship are the opposite of Paul’s.

Since there is the potential for misunderstanding here, please be aware that shama’ does not mean "obey." It only means "to listen." There is no Hebrew word for "obey." These things known, we are better prepared to evaluate the veracity of Paul’s claims as he begins to weave the spell which has become known as Pauline Doctrine.

"Just as (kathos – to the degree that, in as much as, and accordingly) Abram (Abraam – a transliteration of the Hebrew, ‘ab-ram, Abraham’s name before the Covenant was consummated) believed (pisteuo – had faith in; as it evolved over time based upon Sha’uwl’s usage) the God (to ΘΩ) and (kai) it was reasoned (logizomai – it was recorded and accounted) to Him (autos) to (eis) righteousness (dikaiosune – justice, being upright and virtuous; from dikaios and dike, meaning in accord with divine instruction, virtuous, and innocent from a judicial decree)." (Galatians 3:6)

In the previous chapter, we were correctly informed by Shim’own / Peter, that "Sha’uwl / Paul wrote around and about dikaiosune," the word translated "righteousness" in Galatians 3:6. And he was correct. We discovered that it "describes the manner in which souls are approved by God." Dikaiosune speaks of "thinking correctly so as to become acceptable." The dikaios root of this word conveys the idea of "becoming upright by observing God’s instructions."

More to the point, dikaios is based upon dike and deiknuo which speak of "exposing the evidence to teach and prove that which is consistent with the law, as in resolving a dispute with a just verdict." The comparable term in Hebrew and in the Towrah is "mishpat – to exercise good judgment regarding the just means resolve disputes." And indeed, we should think our way through this material, judicially comparing Paul’s rhetoric to Yahowah’s testimony, if we are to avoid falling into the trap which has ensnared so many.

Once again, context is critical. If we were to remove Paul’s statement from those which have come before it, and more importantly, from those which will follow, we could be led to believe that Abram was considered righteous because he trusted the promises God made to him. What makes this misconception so enticing is that it is a clever variation of the truth. It veils the fact that Abraham was "upright and acceptable" because he trusted and relied upon the Author of the Covenant and Torah, which therefore makes this distinction irrelevant.

Further, it was possible for Abraham to trust Yahowah, because God spoke directly to him, walked with him, and ate with him. And while God personally revealed Himself to Abraham, he was not unique in this way. Yahowah has spoken to the rest of us through His words. He has personally revealed Himself to us through His Word made flesh—Yahowsha’. So we too can come to know Yahowah. We can come to trust Him, and as a result, we too can be considered upright.

Paul is trying to establish a distinction between the promises made to Abraham and the Covenant memorialized in the Torah, as if they were somehow separate things. And then he will use this illusion to demean the Torah by suggesting that Abraham didn’t need it to be right with God. But Yahowah shared His Towrah with Abraham and we need it as well, which is one of many crucial points Sha’uwl has chosen to misconstrue. We are incapable of becoming a beneficiary of the Covenant established between Yahowah and Abraham without understanding it, as well as responding to the means God delineated to participate in it. Such information is found in only one place – the Towrah.

Also telling, in this very letter, Paul will say that the Covenant presented in the Torah, the one written on Mount Sinai, enslaves, because it was established with Hagar, not Sarah, Abraham’s wife (the Covenant was affirmed with Sarah’s child Yitschaq while Hagar’s child, Ishmael, was expressly excluded). But since Abraham and this Covenant are completely unknown to the world apart from this very same Torah, citing the Torah he is discrediting to validate his denunciation of it is irrational. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t claim that your corruption of a story from the Torah proves your point and then use your point to discredit the Torah – at least not without circular reasoning.

This realization affirms that Shim’own / Peter was right with regard to his evaluation of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Sha’uwl uses "circular reasoning to speak around and about dikaiosune," but not in a positive sense as the rest of Peter’s assessment portends. Paul twists the facts, and then deploys a plethora of logical fallacies to suggest that the Torah is worse than irrelevant; it is our foe.

Also at stake here is the definition of pisteuo, which I have translated using its current meaning, "believed," as opposed to its original connotation: "to trust and rely upon." Pisteuo is from pistis, "to think so as to be persuaded by the evidence." But considering the fact that Sha’uwl never provides sufficient evidence "to trust" anyone or anything, and his logic is too flawed "to rely" on anyone or anything, it is obvious that he intended to convey "faith and belief," concepts which thrive in the absence of information and reason.

In this case, Sha’uwl wants Christians to believe that Abram had faith in God. And then he wants to equate Abraham’s alleged faith with the merits of believing his preaching. But in the context of meeting directly with God, conceiving a child at 100, and witnessing the salvation of his nephew Lott and demise of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham’s firsthand experience trumps belief, destroying Sha’uwl’s premise. Furthermore, those who observe the Towrah know that Yahowah conveyed His Teaching to Abraham, completely undermining the foundation of Pauline Doctrine.

In spite of what the Christian translations suggest, Abraham knew God; he walked, spoke, ate, and drank with God. Believing, which is accepting that which is not assured, was not relevant in his situation. So it was inappropriate for Paul to write: "Just as and to the degree that Abram believed and had faith in the God so it was reasoned and accounted to Him as righteousness, having disputes justifiably resolved." KA: "Just as Abraham trusted the God and it was reasoned to him for rightness." KJV: "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." LV: "It is just as it was scriptum/written: "Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him unto justice." NLT: "In the same way, ‘Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.’" In direct opposition to the NLT, KJV, and even the Qur’an, Abraham didn’t have a faith; he enjoyed a genuine and personal relationship with God. Abraham knew Yahowah, and he understood His Towrah, and because of those facts, faith was beside the point.

It begs to be noted at this juncture, however, that Abraham’s name confirms that "mercy" isn’t new, nor is it the lone prerogative of the so-called "Christian New Testament." The Covenant was established with Abraham, a man whose name means "Merciful, Compassionate, and Forgiving Father." And that is something Sha’uwl cannot accept, which is why he consistently refers to Abraham as Abram, by his pre-Covenant moniker, by the name he was born with rather than the name Yahowah gave him. But you’ll notice that every English translation corrected Paul’s backhanded swipe at God.

Paul’s next point sounds reasonable, at least up to the point that we we pause long enough to really think about it. He said:

"You know (ginosko – you have the information necessary to recognize, perceive, understand, and acknowledge) as a result (ara – consequently) that (hoti – because) the ones (oi) out of (ek – from) faith (pisteuo – belief), these (outoi) sons (huios – male children) are (eimi – exist as (present tense conveying an action in process, active voice suggesting that "the ones" are acting on themselves, indicative mood saying that are actually)) Abram (Abraam)." (Galatians 3:7)

On my first pass through this material, trying to give Paul the benefit of the doubt, and not fully appreciating that this was still the preamble of his overall assault on the Towrah, I interpreted this verse metaphorically. But then I realized that the symbolic meaning was torn asunder by its disassociation from form "Abraham – a transliteration of the Hebrew, ‘ab and raham, meaning the Merciful, Compassionate, and Forgiving Father" and Yah’s "Towrah – Teaching" regarding the Covenant. And the moment we have to transition from a metaphorical interpretation to physical lineage, the merit of symbolism dissipates.

Also, Abraham was a mere mortal. No one can choose to be one of his descendants. And that means that this plank in Paul’s thesis was wrong spiritually and literally.

For example, both of Abraham’s children, Ishmael and Yitschaq, died, and one is still dead because he was expressly excluded from the Covenant. Likewise, Esau was a direct descendant of Abraham, and he is most assuredly dead, because God has told us that He hates him for having married one of Ishmael’s daughters. So being Abraham’s child has no merit beyond one’s temporal life, no matter how upright Abraham may have been. The only reason Yitschaq still lives is that he personally benefited from Yahowah’s direct intervention and provision on Mount Mowryah. It is the only way any of us can survive our mortal existence.

Abraham became the forefather of a great (in the sense of being important and empowered) family, the Covenant, by way of Yitschaq initially, the firstborn of the Covenant. Yitschaq’s son, Ya’aqob, became Yisra’el, and his son, Yahuwdah, brought us the Ma’aseyah.

But simply being invited to participate in the Covenant, being hand delivered an invitation in the Torah, doesn’t by itself enable the recipient to transcend mortality, no matter to whom they may be related. It’s how we respond to Yahowah’s Covenant that matters. In support of this, we have the opportunity to answer God’s invitations and participate in seven annual meetings, or we can dismiss them and Him, placing our faith instead in someone else’s promises. We can accept Paul’s "Gospel of Grace" on faith, or we can come to know and trust Yahowah through His Torah. The choice is ours, and so are the consequences.

Metaphorically, we become Abraham’s children when we choose to accept the same Covenant in which he elected to participate. This symbolic perspective is derived from the fact that Abraham’s name confirms that he was a stand-in for our Merciful and Forgiving Father. But since our adoption into Yahowah’s family is by way of His one and only Covenant, the one which was memorialized in the Torah, this is only possible when we appreciate the connection between Abraham and Yahowah, between the Covenant and the Torah, and between observing and responding. And yet these are the very associations which Paul severs.

Therefore, what Sha’uwl wrote is not true, nor is it relevant. The message of the Towrah is that we can become Yahowah’s Covenant children as a result of acting upon its terms and conditions. There are five of these. First, Yahowah asked us to walk away from our country and from all things associated with Babylon, specifically national and religious dependence, politics, patriotism, military and economic schemes. Second, God asks us to trust and rely exclusively upon Him, which necessitates coming to know Him and understanding what He is offering. Third, He wants us to walk to Him and become perfect, the means to which is made possible through the seven Invitations to Meet with God. Fourth, Yahowah asks us to closely examine and carefully consider His Covenant, which is accomplished by studying the Towrah. And fifth, God asked parents to circumcise their sons so that we remember to raise them to become Children of the Covenant.

Beyond this, faith is for fools; it is the residue of ignorance, and it is the stuff of religion. A relationship with Yahowah is based upon knowing Him through His Word, and then trusting and relying upon that which we come to know. But according to the KJV: "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham." LV: "Therefore, know that those who are of faith, these are the sons of Abraham." NLT: "The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God." They would all be wrong on all accounts, but because Paul was wrong, not on account of their translations of: "You know as a result that the ones out of faith, these sons are Abraham." And just for verification, the NA published: "You know then that the ones from trust these sons are Abraham."

If Sha’uwl intended pistis to mean "trust and reliance," in this next statement, and indeed elsewhere, then it would have been incumbent upon him to validate the Towrah, conveying its teachings, because this is the only place where God can be known and His plan for vindication can be understood. But instead, he has consistently discounted it. So while the original meaning of pistis, which is "trust and reliance," remains valid, that connotation is possible only when the source of the promise and the nature of the offer is known and understood. Faith, however, is operative even in the face of ignorance – which is why there are so many religious people.

Therefore, while this too is very poorly written, what Paul appears to be saying is that his god, knowing beforehand that Paul would be advancing an alternative plan of salvation for the Gentiles based upon faith, predicted the advent of his plan. Of course, that prediction is supposedly in the Torah, the book Paul is invalidating, thereby negating the merits of the argument.

"Having seen before (proorao – having seen beforehand, having obtained the ability to see things in advance of them occurring) then (de – but by contrast) the (o) writing (graphe – the written word; used to describe the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms), that because (hoti) out of (ek) faith (pistis – belief, recognizing that the original connotation of trust and reliance evolved to accommodate these letters) makes right (dikaioo – causes acquittal, being right, and pronounced just, is justification, vindication, and righteousness, with guilt removed so as to be declared innocent, in compliance with the standard as a result of a judicial decision (present, active, indicative – at the present time faith actually produces righteousness in)) the people from different races and places (ethnos – the nations and ethnicities, specifically Gentiles), the God (o ΘΣ), He before beneficial messenger acted (proeuangelizomai – acted in advance of the positive messenger; from pro – before and euaggelizo – good, beneficial, and healing messenger (presented in the aorist middle indicative, collectively revealing past tense whereby the subject, "the God," is being affected by His own action)), to the (to) Abram (Abraam – a transliteration of Abraham’s name before the Covenant was affirmed), that (hoti – because) they will in time be spoken of favorably (eneulogeo – they would be kindly conferred benefits; from en – in a fixed position in place or time and eulogeo – beneficial words, and therefore well spoken praise (future, passive, indicative)) in (en) you (soi) all (pas) the races (ta ethnos – the ethnicities, peoples, and nations)." (Galatians 3:8)

In the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms Yahowah’s proposed and enabled a specific plan to reconcile fallen man back into a relationship with Him. The Covenant with Abraham was ratified on Mount Mowryah with a dress rehearsal. It served as a prophetic picture of Passover, whereby Yahowsha’ facilitated the five benefits of this Familial Relationship forty Yowbel later on that same mountain by fulfilling Pesach, Matsah, Bikuwrym, and Shabuwa’. The gift of salvation, as a byproduct of reconciling the relationship, was conceived, presented, predicted, promised, and gift-wrapped in the Torah so that it could be unveiled before us, opening our eyes to this knowledge and understanding.

But as we press on, we will quickly learn that this wasn’t what Paul was trying to convey. He wants his audience to move from the oral promise made to Abram to bless his descendants, directly to the Ma’aseyah, bypassing the Torah along the way. It will be as if the promises were somehow in conflict with the only document which memorialized and explained them.

Further, Sha’uwl wants his audience to equate listening to and believing him with Abraham’s alleged faith, because he also listened to God. Sure, that’s an extraordinarily weak argument, but it is the foundation of Pauline Doctrine.

And while it is a small issue, "Scripture" does not "foresee." Yahowah foresees. And neither the Torah nor the Covenant exist because God foresaw that different people from different races would be blessed by way of the message delivered to Abraham. This is a benefit of the Covenant, not the reason it was conceived. Moreover, Sha’uwl’s version of it is incongruous with Yahowah’s depiction, negating Paul’s prophetic implications.

Thus far we have been confronted with a steady diet of pistis, a noun which as you know, originally meant "trust and reliance." It is from the verb, pisteuo, meaning "to trust" and "to rely." Opening the pages of the world’s most acclaimed lexicons and Greek dictionaries, we discover that the primary definition of the noun and verb in the first-century CE conveyed the ideas of: "confidence, assurance, commitment, fidelity, reliability, proof, persuasion, conviction, truth, veracity, reality, that which can be known, that which can be trusted, that which evokes trust, that which can be relied upon as being dependable, that which is reliable, that which enables the absolute assurance of a promise being kept, and the use of one’s conscience to test and thus prove that something is reliable and true." But unfortunately, Paul’s use in this context precludes this connotation because he was devaluing the lone source of knowledge and understanding which would have made these things possible. And therefore, since Paul’s letters are the most influential ever penned in Greek, and recognizing that the traditional definition of pistis is wholly dysfunctional in these letters, the perception of pistis evolved to "faith and belief" among the world’s religious devotees.

Taking this a step further, the Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament says of pistis and pisteuo: "The noun and verb occur 243 times each in the NT. Neither occurs in Second or Third John. In the Book of John, we only see the verb. And in Colossians, Philemon, Second Peter, and Revelation, only the noun is used. But since the same statement is expressed by the noun and verb, they should be considered together." The ED of the NT reveals: "They were not used as catchwords for those engaging in religious propaganda in the Hellenistic world, nor among those involved in Judaism. They were not religious terms, nor used in religious contexts."

And yet today, as a direct result of Paul’s promotion of faith, and the influence of the religion that flowed out of it, faith and religion have become synonymous. A person’s faith is their religion – their belief system. And yet while this view is completely incompatible with the word’s original meaning, its connotation was convoluted to give the erroneous impression that those who believe are saved. Worse, by misrepresenting the story of Abraham, so that it is perceived to be about salvation rather than relationship, the Covenant is left out of the equation. It is as if Paul wants his audience to believe that his god is willing to save people who don’t know him and who are adverse to his message. But to a large degree, the religion of Christianity was founded upon this particular and peculiar error in perception.

A careful reading of Galatians demonstrates that the concepts of "faith" and "belief" fit comfortably in every passage where Paul writes pistis and neither "trust" nor "reliance" are ever acceptable because Paul never provides anything to trust or rely upon. Word meanings evolve over time, driven in part by the way that they are wielded by influential authors. In all likelihood, Paul’s epistles changed the way the populous came to view pistis, and indeed faith, associating it with believing in Paul’s letters as opposed to relying upon Yahowah’s testimony.

But this is now and that was then: according to the ED of the NT: "Pistis and pisteuo’s closest Hebrew equivalent would have been ‘aman." ‘Aman means "to be firmly supported, established, built up, and nurtured by that which can be confidently trusted and relied upon." ‘Aman was used in connection with ‘edon, the Upright Pillar of the Tabernacle. It conveyed the idea that "something or someone was trustworthy and faithful, and thus reliable, making them dependable." As a verb, "‘aman meant ‘to trust,’ and was used to say: ‘Dany’el trusted God,’ in Dany’el 6:23-24.". ‘Aman affirmed that we can "depend upon someone and can give credence to their message, so long as it is understood."

The ED of the NT would go on to write: "In secular usage, pistis and pisteuo conveyed that someone should: ‘give credence to a message and to the messenger…. Depending upon the context, they mean "consider something true and trust it."’" And this is important only because the Disciple Yahowchanan is translated using pisteuo in conjunction with Yahowsha’, necessitating the pre-Pauline perspective.

The "Christian New Testament" book called "Hebrews" was written by one of Sha’uwl’s disciples and is every bit as errant and misleading as are the thirteen Pauline epistles, yet it provides an interesting laboratory in which to contrast the old and new connotations of pistis. This is because it’s author attempts to translate many Hebrew verses into Greek. In one sentence in particular we find the Greek words for "true," "trust," "certainty," "belief," "faith," and "hope."

They are all developed in Hebrews 10:22-23, where: "We approach and draw near with a genuine and true (alethinos – totally accurate, in absolute accord with the evidence, and in complete harmony with the one true name, and thus the opposite of a counterfeit) heart (kardia – inner nature) by trusting and relying (pistis) with complete certainty (plerophoria – in full assurance and total confidence and conviction based upon a complete understanding), cleansing and purifying (rhantizo – sprinkling and splashing) the heart (kardia – our inner nature) from a worthless and defective (poneros – morally corrupt and malicious) conscience (suneidesis – mental faculty used to distinguish right from wrong, truth from lies; from suneido, to see and be perceptive, to perceive, comprehend, and understand), and also bathing (louo – washing and cleaning a wound, removing deadly impurities from) the body (soma – physical being) [with] clean and pure (katharos) water, continuing to believe (katecho – holding fast and suppressing doubt) the profession of faith (homologia – the confession that you agree with others; from logos, spoken words, and homou, together with others in an assembly) and unwavering (aklines – and unfading) hope (elpis – the basis of anticipatory faith in an expectation as opposed to an actuality), because (gar) we are trusting and relying upon (pistos) the (o) messenger (epangellomai – from epi, by way of, the aggelos, the messenger)." (Hebrews 10:22-23)

In actuality, Yahowah wants us to approach Him with an open mind and receptive heart. It’s His job to make our hearts pure, something that is perfected when He writes His name and Towrah on them. Further, trust and reliance are not facilitated by the heart, but instead are the products of our minds. Our emotions relative to Yahowah should be a result of coming to know Him. So while those who know Him love Him, you cannot love Him without first coming to know Him through His Towrah.

Further, while we can love to a great extent, certainty is a cerebral concept and not an emotional one, negating this author’s message. And Yahowah is in the business of cleansing souls, not hearts. The Adversary does just the opposite. For example, in the Qur’an and Hadith, the Islamic god purifies hearts, removing that which is defective. So this reads a lot like Islam. Moreover, our conscience isn’t managed through feelings, but it is instead the enabler of good judgment.

This unknown author was also wrong in suggesting that our bodies are bathed to become pure. Yahowah’s cleansing is focused on our souls. Correcting yet another mistake, there is no profession of faith to be found anywhere in the Towrah, Prophets, or Psalms. This is something which once again mirrors Islam where a profession of faith is central to the religion. Paul and Muhammad, the founders of Christianity and Islam, share much in common.

Lastly, the only way to trust and rely upon the Messenger, the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’, is to come to know Him and understand what He is saying and doing by viewing Him from the perspective of the Torah and Prophets. And when we do this, we discover that we ought not focus on the Messenger when we can know the One who sent Him.

These things known, the juxtaposition of the words and concepts we are considering in this statement still has merit. "Truth" was from alethinos, which designates that which is "totally accurate and in absolute accord with the evidence." Alethinos describes that which is "real, genuine, sincere, honest, and true, sure and certain," and thus "trustworthy and dependable." It is "applied to someone who cannot lie." Strong’s Lexicon takes a slightly different tact, by saying that alethinos represents "the actual name and corresponding resemblance or manifestation" of someone or something. They say it is from alethes, meaning "true." Alethes in turn is a compound of a, the Greek negation, and lanthano, describing "that which is hidden, secret, and unknown." So alethinos is the opposite of being ignorant because someone has hidden the evidence. Simply stated, if Paul had used this term correctly instead of pistis he would have conveyed that God is knowable because He has revealed Himself in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms.

"Complete certainty" is from plerophoria, which means "to have full assurance and total confidence in someone or something based upon a complete understanding." In other words, "to be convinced beyond any doubt based upon the totality of the evidence." Plerophoria is from plerophoreo, meaning: "full and complete assurance, lacking nothing." Its component parts delineate the path to assurance as well as its benefit. Plerophoria is from pleres, "full and complete" and phoreo, which conveys the ideas of "bearing constantly," and "wearing protective garments." Therefore, these would have been appropriate terms to convey that to become "convinced," we must diligently seek and carefully observe the available evidence, considering it thoughtfully. And when the subject is the Torah, once we learn to confidently trust Yahowah’s provision we are prepared to engage in His Covenant. This level of conviction regarding the relationship is possible because we have been given access to the evidence. But still, we must possess will to consider it rationally and respond reasonably.

This leads us to suneidesis, rendered "conscience." It is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew nesamah, encapsulating the means Yahowah gave us to exercise good judgment so that we could capitalize on the gift of freewill. We can use our conscience to "distinguish right from wrong and truth from lies." Suneidesis endows us with the ability to be moral and judgmental, to be discerning and discriminating, and to think rationally. It is derived from suneido, meaning "to closely observe so as to be perceptive, which in turn leads to understanding." This is the tool we deploy to jettison the unknown and nebulous realm of "belief and faith" to embrace the enlightened realm of "trust and reliance" in that which is known and understood.

If our "suneidesis – conscience" is defective, corrupted, or unused, we are rendered incapable of bridging this gap, remaining mired in the myth of religion, which is why clerics teach that it is a sin to be judgmental and discriminating. It isn’t per chance that "Political Correctness," the replacement moral code of man, holds the same view, imploring its unthinking and amoral victims to be tolerant, and accepting of everything, even mutually exclusive ideas.

The next three words are all related and essential to our understanding of the lexicon. If there were no Greek words for "belief," "faith," or "hope," other than the misapplication of pistis, we could not be nearly as dogmatic in our translations of their original intent. But all three exist within the Greek lexicon.

"Belief" is from katecho. It means "to hold fast and suppress doubt." It is a compound which begins with kata, the ubiquitous term denoting everything from "down, through, according to, and with regard to," but also "the opposite of and against." The suffix is echo, the most common Greek term denoting: "having, holding, possessing, keeping, owning, wearing, or clinging to." Katecho is therefore "being about desperately clinging to something, trying to hold on." Our lexicons tell us that someone who "katecho – believes" is likely to "quash messages" and "suppress evidence" they are uncomfortable considering. People who "believe" hold on to the object of their faith as if their soul depended upon the unremitting tightness of their grip as opposed to the trustworthiness and merit of the individual or thing to which or whom they are clinging.

The idea of a "profession of faith" hails from homologia. It speaks of the "group dynamics" inherent within religious "assemblies" where "pressure to agree with others" prompts a "spoken confession of faith." For example, devoted Catholics speak with one voice, with everyone conforming to the edicts of the Pope.

"Faith" in the sense of "hope," which is "a favorable expectation regarding an unknown or uncertain outcome," is from elpis—the final word in our linguistic laboratory. It expresses "an expectation based upon something which cannot be proven as opposed to something which is an actuality." Elpis is "an anticipatory prospect." And in this case, "hope" was strengthened by "aklines – unwavering and unfading," suggesting "unremitting faith in a hopeful outcome."

Had a Greek author wanted to convey the idea of "persuading someone to believe" he would have used peitheo. Derived from peitho, it means "to believe" and "to express one’s faith." Similarly, peitho speaks of "inducing a desired response" of "tranquillizing someone," and of "seducing them to yield," in addition to "pacifying or inciting them," not unlike a more modern date-rape drug. However, peitho, and especially its derivative pepoitha, can communicate the somewhat more positive connotation of "convincing an audience to believe by way of one’s rhetoric."

So now that we have examined the full pallet of linguistic terms at Paul’s disposal, we can say with absolute confidence that pistis originally conveyed "trust and reliance," not "faith, hope, or belief," but that Paul misappropriated the term, corrupting its meaning. If we were to give him the benefit of the doubt, we’d say that this was simply a mistake born out of ignorance. But since it has been Paul’s unrelenting nature to corrupt Yahowah’s words, twisting them, it was more likely by design. And honestly, determining the intended meaning of pistis has become a rhetorical issue, because most every Christian translation assumes that Paul meant pistis to convey "faith." Frankly, this conclusion is impossible to argue since faith has become synonymous with the Christian religion. Playing off Paul, a Christian will introduce himself or herself as "a person of faith," and they will often use faith and religion interchangeably.

These lessons known, it’s time to consider the English and Latin variations of Galatians 3:8: "Having seen beforehand then by contrast, the writing, that because out of faith makes right the people from different races and places, the God, He before beneficial messenger acted, to the Abram that they would in time be spoken of favorably in you all the races." Or if you prefer, in the Nestle Aland, you’ll find: "Having seen before but the writing that from trust makes right the nations the God he told good message before to the Abraham that they will be well spoken in you all the nations."

From this, the KJV produced: "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." Sha’uwl didn’t write "heathen," "faith," or "gospel." So why does the King James contain these words? And why was the King James a willing accomplice in the advancement of Pauline Doctrine when reason dictates that there was no association between Abraham and faith, or between Abraham and Paul’s "Gospel?"

Regardless of the answers, two of the four corruptions found in the KJV came from the Roman Catholic Jerome. His Latin Vulgate says: "Thus Scriptura/ Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentes by faith, foretold to Abraham: ‘All nations shall be blessed in you.’"

It isn’t that the assemblage of pastors and authors responsible for the NLT didn’t know that pistis meant "trust and reliance;" it’s that saying so would be bad for business. "What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’"

And while it is possible that none of these "scholars" did the research we have just done regarding "katecho – belief," "homologia – faith," and "elpis – hope," as compared to "pistis – trust and reliance," ignorance is neither ally nor excuse. They have passed off their product as Scripture, the inerrant Word of God, when it’s not even accurate.

And finally, here is the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition with McReynolds English Interlinear: "Having seen before but the writing that from trust makes right the nations the God he told good message before to the Abraham that they will be well spoken in you all the nations." So because the only meaningful departure between it and my rendering was proeuangelizomai, which I translated "before beneficial messenger acted," I’d like you to know that the reason that "messenger" was chosen over "message" is because proeuangelizomai is a compound of "pro – before," "eu – beneficial," and "aggelos – messenger," not "message." Over time, the noun, euangelion, which is derived from this verbal form, became "gospel," which was then construed to mean "good news." Therefore, this Christian publication is advancing the religious evolution of this term – much like what I’ve done with pistis.

Also, while we are considering proeuangelizomai, I found it odd that Paul presented it in the aorist middle indicative, whereby the subject, "the God," was affected by His own action sometime in the past. This infers that the perceived superiority and popularity of Pauline Doctrine changed Him.

The concluding verb is also an odd choice. It goes directly against something Yahowsha’ said in the Sermon on the Mount. It was the Ma’aseyah’s testimony that anyone who sought to negate or nullify any aspect of the Towrah’s Teaching "would be called by the name lowly and little." And yet Paulos, which means "lowly and little," is suggesting that he and his faithful will "eneulogeo – in time be spoken of favorably, even praised."

Continuing to develop his thesis using this divisive line of reasoning, Sha’uwl told the Galatians:

"As a result (hoste – therefore), the ones (oi) out of (ek) faith (pistis – belief (while it originally conveyed that which can be known, trusted, and relied upon, the popularity and influence of these letters, shaded by religious custom, altered the connotation so that it is now synonymous with religion)), we are spoken of favorably (eulogeo – we are praised, the objects of beneficial and healing words) together with (syn) the faithful (to pistos – the believer and thus the full of faith and religious) Abram (Abraam – a truncated transliteration of the Hebrew Abraham meaning Merciful, Compassionate, and Forgiving Father)." (Galatians 3:9)

On Mount Mowryah, Abraham demonstrated that he was willing to trust Yahowah, not that he, himself, was trustworthy. So once again, Paul has twisted the Torah to serve his agenda. He has artificially elevated the status of a man instead of acknowledging the status of God.

As the years progressed, Abraham’s continued relationship with Yahowah was strengthened by God’s ability to fulfill His promises. As a result of what God had done for and with him, Abraham grew steadfast in his allegiance to the Covenant and was therefore willing to do whatever Yahowah asked of him, no matter the cost, even if it meant sacrificing his only son, Yitschaq.

But it was Yahowah, not Abraham, who proved that He was trustworthy and reliable, because He provided the sacrificial lamb this day, and again exactly 2,000 years later in exactly the same place. It was God, therefore, not man, who facilitated the promise He had made to bless all mankind through this Covenant.

The Familial Covenant Relationship was enabled on Mount Mowryah by Yahowah because He was trustworthy and reliable. The name of the mountain even means "Revere and Respect Yahowah." And we, by coming to know, understand, and accept the same terms and conditions of the Covenant Abraham embraced, become God’s children.

There are seven essential stories in the Torah, and this is one of them. Yahowah explained how and why He created the universe and life in it. He told us about the Garden of Eden, so that we might understand the nature of the relationship He intended and appreciate its purpose. This, of course, was frustrated by man, which is why we are regaled with the story of Noah and his ark. Next, we are told about the Covenant, and we witness its conditions and promises in the life of Abraham.

As the narrative progresses, we see the Covenant expanded from an individual relationship to a family of people with the Exodus. It is the story of the journey out of religious and political oppression and into the Promised Land. And as the Yisra’elites began their walk with Yahowah, the Torah was revealed through Moseh, so that we might learn who God is, what He wants, and how to enter His home. And finally, in the very heart of the Torah, the seven Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God are presented as the means to the Covenant’s blessings. This is the path to our salvation.

But some just never seem to get it. Mired in the milieu of religion, and unable to escape from the shadow of the Catholic Vulgate, the KJV says: "So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." It was plagiarized from Jerome, who wrote: "And so, those who are of faith shall be blessed with faithful Abraham." NLT: "So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith." Even if the NLT hadn’t arbitrarily inserted "Christ," their willingness to replace "trust" with "faith" was sufficient to miss the point.

And now as we turn the page to a new chapter, let’s give Sha’uwl the last word:

"Just as and to the degree that Abram believed and had faith in the God so it was reasoned and accounted to Him as righteousness. (3:6) You know as a result that the ones out of faith, these sons are Abram. (3:7)

Having seen beforehand then by contrast, the writing, that because out of faith makes right the people from different races and places, the God, He before beneficial messenger acted, to the Abram that they would in time be spoken of favorably in you all the races. (3:8) As a result, the ones out of faith, we are spoken of favorably, even praised together with the faithful Abram." (Galatians 3:9)