Questioning Paul

Volume 1: The Great Galatians Debate

Chapter 11 part 1

Prautes – An Appropriate Response

How Are You Going to Respond…

The longer the sentence, the more challenging it can be to comprehend. That is especially true with Paul. So, as we begin our review of the sixth chapter of his thesis and rebuttal to the Galatians, consider this rendition of his next pronouncement as it is rendered in the Nestle-Aland 27th Edition McReynolds Interlinear: "Brothers if also might be taken before man in some trespass you the spiritual ones put in order the such in spirit of gentleness looking carefully yourself not also you might be pressured." It is almost as if Paul cleverly selected twenty-three words and strung them together as a puzzle to tantalize his fellow Gnostics.

While I am not exactly sure what this is supposed to mean, I know that it does not contribute to knowing Yahowah or to our understanding of His Covenant. And therefore, the following exercise in linguistics is for naught...

"And also (kai) brothers (adelphos), if (ean) a man (anthropos) may have previously detected or caught (prolambano – might have previously held) someone (tini) in (en) a false step (paraptomati – a slip up, misdeed, or deviation, trespass or transgression), you all (umeis), the spiritual ones (oi pneumatikoi – the ones who bear and bring forth the spirit), you must be prepared to completely restore (katartizo – you are commanded to make and render wholly mended; from "kata – according to" and "artios – perfectly fit") the one (ton) such as this (toioutos) with (en – in) a meek and gentle (prautes – humble) spirit (ΠΝΙ / pneumati – Divine Placeholder for the Ruwach (however, since Sha’uwl’s spirit bears no resemblance to the Set-Apart Spirit, the lowercase is appropriate)), carefully observing (skopeo – focusing on, closely watching, being concerned, and thinking about) yourself (seauton), so then (kai) you, yourself, may submit and be tempted (ou peirazo – you, yourself may or may not be tested or trapped having tried to catch a mistake)." (Galatians 6:1LEB)

Ever the paranoid hypocrite, Paul knew that he had been caught lying to the Galatians. And yet unlike his response to Shim’own Kephas, he wanted those he deliberately deceived to cut him a break. But since he has told us that he cannot lie, he couched his message in a generic instruction, one that everyone in his original audience would have seen right through.

There are so many things wrong with Sha’uwl’s last proclamation, with an eye to exposing errant Christian theology, let’s tackle these one word at a time. The problems begin with "prolambano – may have previously detected or caught." This is very similar to the Qur’an asking Muslim children to spy on their parents and turn them in to the authorities if they suspect them of rejecting any of Muhammad’s commands. It was how most everyone in Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany were controlled. It was the spirit behind the Salem Witch Trials in America. And it is how professors, politicians, priests, preachers, and media spokespeople are compelled to walk a conforming path today. It is the operating mechanism behind Political Correctness. It is the spirit behind: "We are watching you, and if you step out of line (remember "stoichomen – march in a conforming line following the leader), we will send you off to be reprogrammed." It is why the National Security Agency is spying on the phone calls and internet clicks of ordinary Americans.

Moving from Paul’s police to the "paraptomati – false step," we discover that in the Pauline Faith "deviations" from Pauline Doctrine would not be tolerated. No one will be allowed to "slip away or turn aside from the path" which has been articulated by the self-proclaimed messenger of god. It is especially telling that paraptomati is a compound of para, meaning "from," and pipto, "to descend, being thrust down, prostrating oneself." Paul is establishing a religion, which like this letter, will not tolerate a rival, nor any challenge to his authority or instructions. All those who rebel and offer dissenting views must be caught and thoroughly dealt with. Welcome to the impetus behind the Inquisition.

By the way, Yahowsha’ encouraged us to carefully examine the rhetoric and platitudes of religious and political leaders, but not ordinary people. And His standard for this review was anything that deviated from His instructions in the Torah and Prophets. As a result, if we were to follow Yahowsha’s advice and example, we would all be holding Sha’uwl accountable for his deliberate deviations from the Word of God.

Prior to examining this passage, I had wondered how "pneumatikoi – being spiritual and acting spiritually" became synonymous with the Christian religion. But now I realize as do you that the concept was sponsored by Sha’uwl. And unfortunately, like faith and belief, it has given rise to a host of erroneous concepts and errant behaviors.

God never asks anyone "to be spiritual," because the most active "spirit" on this planet is Satan’s. Instead, the standard God wants us to observe is the Towrah, which is why the example we are encouraged to follow is Yahowsha’—the Word made flesh.

Christians demonstrate what it means to "act spiritual" when they wave their arms in the air at praise services, and when they point to the heavens after achieving some success in an athletic event. Spirituality is on display when someone, ignorant of the purpose of freewill, says "God has a plan for your life," or says "it was all part of God’s plan," in an ill-advised attempt to blame their misfortune on God, suggesting that their failures were His will. Spirituality is manifest again at funerals when someone claims that a deceased friend was called home. Worse, Christians think that they are demonstrating their spirituality when they insist others do what "Jesus Christ," did, not recognizing that the Christian caricature they worship was crafted by Paul, and thus is unrelated to God.

Also interesting in this regard, this is one of the few Greek passages where a form of pneuma was actually written out, as opposed to being represented by a Divine placeholder for Ruwach (as it is the second time in this sentence). The only thing which distinguishes pneumatikoi from pneuma is the tikoi suffix. Tikto means "to bring forth, to bear, and to produce." It is used in the context of "a woman giving birth."

If it were not for the fact that "katartizo – you must be prepared to completely restore" was written in the second person plural as katartisete, then it would have been a worthy instruction. But this is not our job. It’s the Qodesh / Set-Apart Ruwach / Spirit’s responsibility to "repair and renew" our souls, "making us totally complete and entirely sound." Worse, katartisete was written as an active imperative, and thus as a "command" or "commandment" that the subject of this order must perform at the insistence of Paul.

Both times we have encountered prautes, I have translated it in accord with the primary definitions found in most every lexicon: gentile, meek, and timid. And that is because the favored meanings, while wildly hypocritical, fit Paul’s presentation of Gnostic attributes. However, the secondary connotation is "consideration." Therefore, "prautes – an appropriate and considered response" is what Questioning Paul was written to inspire. You have been encouraged to "carefully evaluate the evidence and then respond appropriately."

With regard to prautes, Aristotle said that the word stood in the middle between getting angry without reason and not getting angry at all. Prautes describes a "measured and considered reaction which is suitable to the circumstance." It isn’t passivity or aggression, but instead the "fitting reply based upon adequate knowledge and proper understanding."

Prautes is most often rendered "meekness or humility" but the word does not suggest weakness, being impotent, or being lowly or impoverished, because all of that misses the point. Prautes is the courage and character to do what is right regardless of the consequence. It was used by Yahowsha’ in the Sermon on the Mount to describe those who understand the appropriateness of relying upon Yahowah as opposed to themselves. Therefore, prautes isn’t about meekness as we use that word, but instead about understanding the human condition relative to Yahowah’s Word, and then engaging appropriately.

The merit of prautes is that it encourages us to consider the evidence thoughtfully before we respond. It is an "informed and rational reply." So, now that you know that Sha’uwl’s message is the antithesis of Yahowah’s, who are you going to trust?

The key, or course, to making the right decision is "focus." We must "skopeo – carefully observe, be concerned and think about" Yahowah’s Word. But unfortunately Paul told Christians to "skopeo seauton – focus upon, carefully observe, and think about yourself."

The reason Sha’uwl wants Christians to be self-aware, guarded, and circumspect is so that "ou peirazo – you, yourself, may not be trapped by trying to catch a mistake" another has made. His message, therefore, cuts both ways. He wants his spies to toe the line he has drawn, so that they "aren’t tempted" to reject his dogma. And he is equally insistent that they don’t "test his instructions so as to ascertain the truth" for themselves.

Peirazo is from peira, "to conduct a trial." But it also means "to know by way of personal experience." It is often translated "to put to the test," "to examine," or "to prove." But keep in mind; while these concepts are appropriate when it comes to evaluating a message or messenger, peirazo written in the second person singular, "you," was coupled with "ou – yourself" in this text which negated all of these things.

Without the clutter of the Greek, and without excessive amplification, the opening verse of the sixth chapter reads: "And also brothers, if a man may have previously detected or caught someone in a false step, you all, the spiritual ones, you must thoroughly prepare and completely restore the one such as this with a meek and gentle spirit, carefully observing yourself so then you, yourself, may submit and be tempted, having tried to catch a mistake." (Galatians 6:1LEB)

In the Latin Vulgate, Jerome blazed the trail all others have followed: "Brethren, and if a man be overtaken in any fault, you, who are spiritual, instruct such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." Based upon this interpretation, the King James Bible, as a translation of the Latin, and not the Greek, reads: "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."

Moving into the more modern translations, the literal New American Standard Bible scribed: "Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted."

In spite of the fact that there is no reference to "sisters," "believers" or "godly" in the entire epistle, much less in this verse, the New Living Translation authored: "Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself." In other words, adhere to church doctrine and don’t you dare think for yourself.

After that romp into the realm of religion, we encounter this pearl of fluidity. In it, Paul introduces yet a third "Torah." We had Sarah’s promised liberation from the Torah, Hagar’s enslavement to the Torah, and now the Torah of Christou. And yet, like Yahowah and His Covenant, there is only one Torah. But beyond a Trinity of Torahs, the preamble to the myth may be even worse than its conclusion.

"Of one another (allelon), the (ta) weighty burdens (baros – hardships, heaviness, and oppressive sufferings) you carry, remove, and endure (bastazo – you undergo, bear, and take away) and (kai) thus in this way (houto) you all complete (anapleroo – provide, fulfill, enable, supply, replace, and obey; from "ana – in the midst" and "pleroo – make full, complete, furnish, and supply") the (ton) Towrah (nomon) of the (tou) Christou (ΧΥ / Christou)." (Galatians 6:2LEB)

Yahowsha’ and the Towrah are one – wholly inseparable. The former cannot be known, appreciated, understood, or capitalized upon without the latter. Yahowsha’ is the corporeal manifestation of the Word of God: the Word made flesh. But since Paul has condemned the Torah transcribed by Moseh on Mount Sinai, it’s obvious that his mythical "Torah of Christou" is an imaginary replacement crafted to fit his Faith.

And speaking of fantasies, the notion that ordinary people "complete and fulfill" the Torah is only possible in Paul’s religious realm. But in the world Yahowah created, He alone fulfills and completes His Word—and He does it His Way and on His schedule.

No man "bastazo – endures or carries, removes or bears," the "baros – burdens" of others. We cannot remove our own burdens, much less someone else’s. This is God’s job. He alone is qualified. And this makes every aspect of Paul’s instruction fraudulent. Frankly, since Yahowsha’ endured pain and separation beyond imagination to fulfill the Towrah on Passover and Unleavened Bread explicitly to remove and bear our burdens, Paul asking others to perform this same job is presumptuous and insulting.

It is telling to note that Rabbis like Sha’uwl were told to avoid reading Yasha’yah / Isaiah 53, so Sha’uwl would never have considered its message while studying to be a Pharisee. And yet it affirms the Ma’aseyah’s role in our redemption. Please consider:

"Surely our sickness and maladies He, Himself, lifted from us, accepted, and bore (nasa’ – lifted up, sustained and carried away), and our pain (mak’ob – physical suffering and emotional anguish) He carried away (cabal – sustained the load, dragging our burden away)." (Yasha’yah / Salvation is from Yah / Isaiah 53:4LEB)

"All of us like sheep have gone astray (ta’ah – erred by wandering away, staggered while intoxicated, deceived ourselves, and have been misled). Mankind has turned to his own way. But Yahowah has caused the guilt and punishment (‘aown – the liability, perversity, depravity, iniquity, and the consequence of twisting and distorting) of us all to fall on Him (paga’ – to encounter Him for Him to make intercession)." (Yasha’yah / Salvation is from Yah / Isaiah 53:6LEB)

This next statement speaks of Yahowsha’s soul enduring She’owl on our behalf on the Invitation to be Called Out and Meet with God on Un-Yeasted Bread. "When, as a concession, He shall render His Soul as a guilt offering (‘asham – to be declared guilty, offensive, and desolate, suffering the punishment) for sin… He will be numbered with those who rebel, Himself lifting up and bearing (nasa’ – taking and carrying away) the crimes and penalties of many. And He will intercede for those who are in rebellion. Shout for joy." (Yasha’yah / Salvation is from Yah / Isaiah 53:10-12LEB - 54:1LEB)

The contrast between Yahowah’s Word and Paul’s drivel is monumental. It is the difference between God and man. So why is it that billions believe Sha’uwl?

The Nestle-Aland McReynolds Interlinear published: "Of one another the burdens bear and thusly you will fill up the law of the Christ." It is what Jerome wrote in the Vulgate as well: "Bear ye one another’s burdens: and so you shall fulfill the law of Christ." So, we should not be surprised to see this repeated in the KJV: "Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Good luck with that.

Recognizing the hubris and pain associated with even pretending to do what the Ma’aseyah had done, the NLT arbitrarily changed "complete" to "obey." "Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ." But that would require observing the Torah.

Having digressed from utter nonsense to utterly wrong over the course of two sentences, let’s approach the third with a touch of skepticism. Therefore, in our quest for accuracy, please note that we find "eiper – since if / if indeed" in Papyrus 46 in place of the Nestle Alands’ "ei gar – because if," at the beginning of the next sentence.

"Since if (eiper – if indeed or if after all) someone (tis) supposes and presumes (dokei – is of the opinion or is reputed) to be (einai) somebody (ti) he is (on) nothing (meden). He deceives (phrenapatao) himself (eauton)." (Galatians 6:3LEB)

Paul should have worn this as a sign around his neck. He claimed to be God’s exclusive apostle to the world, deceiving all who believed him.

He wrote this for the same reason that he used dokei previously in this letter, besmirching the authority Yahowsha’ vested in the Disciples Shim’own, Ya’aqob, and Yahowchanan. He viewed those God chose and trained as rivals and as a threat.

And from this reprisal, this new statement indicts Sha’uwl. It affirms that he was fully aware of the derogatory implications of "dokei – supposes and presumes" when he wielded it against the Disciples in order to demean their status. So, since Sha’uwl seems to know what the word meant here, he knew what it meant there. Remember Galatians 2:9LEB: "And having recognized, becoming familiar with the Grace of the one having been given to me, Ya’aqob, Kephas, and also Yahowchanan, the ones presently presumed and supposed (dokei – the opinionated and imagined) to be leaders, the right place of honor and authority they granted to me, and to Barnabas fellowship as a result. We to the nations and ethnicities, but they to the circumcision." Therefore, those who would cut Paul a break there, cannot use the word correctly here without foregoing their integrity.

As for the established translations, we find this in the NAMI: "If for thinks some to be some nothing being he deceives mind himself." From this, Jerome wrote: "For if any man think himself to be some thing, whereas he is nothing, he deceiveth himself." Once again demonstrating that the KJV was a translation of the Latin Vulgate, not the Greek text, we find: "For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself." Writing their own bible, the NLT scribed: "If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important."

After incriminating himself, the Devil’s Advocate boasts:

"But (de) the (to) work (ergon – deeds, assigned tasks, accomplishments, and performances) of himself (heauton) he must examine (dokimazo – he is commanded to scrutinize and demonstrate worthy, proving meritorious (present active imperative third person singular)) [each (ekastos – every) omitted from P46], and (kai) then (tote) to (eis – into) himself (auton) alone (monos – to the exclusion of all others) the (to) boast and brag (kauchema – justification for pride and praise, exaltation and glory) that person will possess and hold (echo – will have and experience (future active indicative third person singular)) [and (kai) omitted in P46], not (ouk) to (eis) the (ton) other (heteron – another)." (Galatians 6:4LEB)

Playing with the pieces of the same puzzle, the NAMI assembled: "The but work of himself let approve each and then in himself alone the brag he will have and not in the other." The LV proposed: "But let everyone prove his own work: and so he shall have glory in himself only and not in another." Parroting Jerome, the KJV said: "But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another."

Smoothed out and streamlined a bit, my interpretation of Paul’s last two combined statements are quite similar to the translations, even though we would view the implications very differently: "Indeed if someone supposes and presumes to be somebody, he is nothing. He deceives himself. (Galatians 6:3LEB) But the work, performances, and accomplishments of himself, he must examine and prove meritorious, and then to himself, alone, at the exclusion of all others, the boast and brag, the justification for pride and praise, the exaltation and glory that person will possess and experience, and not for any other." (Galatians 6:4LEB)

So, if this is what Paul meant to say, and it probably is, then we have to question his mental stability. The last two verses are at cross purposes with each other. One says that if someone presumes that they are important, then they are deceiving themselves. But then he says that we should examine everything we have done so that we can boast and glorify ourselves.

Beyond the duplicity, there is an additional problem. We shouldn’t be about the business of boasting in what we have done. We aren’t to glorify or exalt ourselves. Our mission should never be about us, especially to the exclusion of others. Our words and deeds should be focused on encouraging people to consider Yahowah’s words and deeds.

And yet, knowing Paul, the first of these two statements was designed to impugn his rivals, Yahowsha’s Disciples. And the second was postured for Paul’s benefit. He is trying to justify boasting, claiming that if you consider the scope of his work that he is worthy of exultation.

Recognizing this problem, the NLT simply changed the text to keep Paul from looking like an egomaniacal lunatic who had just contradicted himself. "Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else."

Speaking of hallucinogenic schizophrenia, after telling his audience that they should remove and bear other people’s burdens, as if they were, themselves, fulfilling the Towrah, Sha’uwl says that everyone will carry their own load. Some would call that an internal contradiction.

"For (gar – because then) each and every one (ekastos) their (to) own individual and distinct (idion – unique and separate, belonging to oneself) burden (phortion – load, cargo, and obligations) will carry and bear (bastazo – will accept, undergo, endure, and remove)." (Galatians 6:5LEB)

In the real world, Yahowah has already removed the burdens of all those who have engaged in His Covenant. But to know that, you’d have to read His Towrah.

Beyond the fact that Paul has contradicted himself regarding a command he has just issued, and beyond the fact that this negates Yahowsha’s fulfillment of Unleavened Bread, bastazo was rendered in the future tense and the indicative mood (making it a reality from the writer’s perspective). That means that Paul is saying that they "will actually continue to bear and endure" their "burdens" into the future. In other words: there won’t be any forgiveness. And unfortunately, for those who believe Paul, there will not be any.

These translations are an accurate reflection of Sha’uwl’s errors. NAMI: "Each for the own pack will bear." LV: "For every one shall bear his own burden." KJV: "For every man shall bear his own burden."

But in league with those who benefit financially from Christianity, and therefore willing to alter the words which were written in Galatians to make Paul appear credible, the New Living Translation not only perpetuates the deception that Sha’uwl was inspired by God, they published a text that they knew was not accurate: "For we are each responsible for our own conduct." There is no possible way the Greek scholars responsible for translating Galatians actually thought that "phortion – burden" meant "responsible," or that "bastazo – carry" meant "conduct." This is fraud, a knowing and willful deception perpetrated for money. It is criminal.

Now that the first paragraph of the sixth chapter is complete, let’s review what Sha’uwl has said thus far:

"And also brothers, if a man may have previously detected or caught someone in a false step, you all, the spiritual ones, you must thoroughly prepare and completely restore the one such as this with a meek and gentle spirit, carefully observing yourself so then you, yourself, may submit and be tempted, having tried to catch a mistake. (Galatians 6:1LEB) Of one another, the weighty burdens you carry, remove, and endure and thus in this way you all supply and complete the Towrah of the Christou. (Galatians 6:2LEB)

Indeed if someone supposes and presumes to be somebody, he is nothing. He deceives himself. (Galatians 6:3LEB) But the work, performances, and accomplishments of himself, he must examine and prove meritorious, and then to himself, alone, at the exclusion of all others, the boast and brag, the justification for pride and praise, the exaltation and glory that person will possess and experience, and not for any other. (Galatians 6:4LEB) For each and every one their own individual and distinct burden will carry and bear." (Galatians 6:5LEB)

End of part 1