Questioning Paul

Chapter 9

part 5


We find the following in Jerome’s Latin Vulgate: "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise." Which was then reflected in the King James: "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise." And then this was augmented in the NLT to convey: "And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just like Isaac." It was a case of money see, monkey do." Unwilling to admit the "announced promise" is contained in the Torah, and that the "assured agreement" was the "Covenant," each religious tome parroted Paul’s inaccurate and uninspired drivel.

Since nothing more need be said with regard to exposing Christians to the fact that Paul should not be trusted, let’s move on to his next line. The Nestle-Aland McReynolds Interlinear proposed the following: "But as indeed then the by flesh having been born pursued the by spirit thusly also now." Perhaps if I was insane, like Paul, or demon-possessed, this would make so much sense it would appear inspired. But since I’m not, this is the best I can do...

"Otherwise (alla – on the contrary, nevertheless, or certainly) just as (hosper) at that time (tote – then) this (o) accordingly (kata), flesh (sarx – the physical body) having given birth (gennao – having been born) pursued, persecuted, and expelled (dioko – hastily pressed forward, putting others to flight, running over them and driving them away, harassing and oppressing) this (ton) according to (kata – down from) spirit (ΠΝΑ) and so it continues (kai houto – also likewise it follows) even now (nyn – at the present time)." (Galatians 4:29)

Let’s be honest in our appraisal. This "sentence" is incomprehensible. So rather than attempt to comment on what Paul actually wrote, let’s consider the Roman Catholic interpretation of his words. Jerome ventured: "But as then he that was born according to the flesh persecuted him that was after the spirit: so also it is now." I wouldn’t know where to begin if asked to "translate" this.

The King James appears to be taking a racist approach, suggesting that Yahowah’s Jews were persecuting Paul’s Christians: "But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now." While there was a very limited history of Jews harassing Jews, there is no indication that Jews persecuted Gentiles.

As we have come to expect, the authors of the New Living Translation embraced this potentially anti-Semitic slant and made the most of it: "But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit." While I can’t quarrel with the realization that this may well encapsulate Paul’s intent, it isn’t even remotely close to what he actually wrote.

There is no association between "to observe" and "to keep" or between the "Towrah" and "law." There is no correlation between the "Covenant" and "Ishmael," and both "Ishmael" and "Isaac" were conceived "by the human effort" of Abraham. Further "Isaac" was not "persecuted," nor was Yitschaq "born by the power of the Spirit." So while Ishmael is said to have teased Yitschaq, that’s a world away from "dioko – persecution." Moreover, since dioko means "to persecute by hastily pursuing someone, to oppress and harass them, and thereby cause the victim to flee, and ultimately be expelled," it’s the wrong verb to apply to the intermittent taunts Ishmael launched in Yitschaq’s direction, especially since it led to Ishmael’s, not Yitschaq’s, expulsion from the Promised Land. So no matter how Paul’s message is interpreted, it is consistently wrong. And speaking of mistaken...

"Otherwise (alla – on the contrary, nevertheless, or certainly) what (tis) says (lego) the Writing (e graphe), ‘Throw out and expel (ekballo – cast, drive, and send out) the (ten) slave girl (paidiske) and (kai) the (ton) son (huios) of her (autes) [not (me – the first of the two negations is not extant in P46)] for (gar – because then) will not receive (me kleronomeo – will not gain possession or inherit through a chance throwing of lots; from kleros – to cast or draw lots) the son (o huios) of the slave girl (tes paidiske) with (meta) the son (tou huios) of the free (tes eleutheros – free, unrestrained and not bound).’" (Galatians 4:30)

Once again, Paul’s attempted citation of the Torah was garbled and inaccurate. But so that we have another perspective from which to consider his misquotation of Genesis 21:10, let’s turn to the Nestle-Aland McReynolds Interlinear and consider what they have published: "But what says the writing: Throw out the servant girl and the son of her not for not will inherit the son of the servant girl with the son of the free."

Jerome’s Latin Vulgate reads: "But what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman." So we should not be surprised that the KJV conveys the same thing: "Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman." Other than confirm that Paul was attempting to quote the Torah, the NLT’s rendering is very similar: "But what do the Scriptures say about that? ‘Get rid of the slave and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the free woman’s son.’"

The Torah passage Sha’uwl cited begins similarly, but ends differently. Most importantly, it is in Sarah’s voice, not God’s: "And (wa) she said (‘amar) to (la) Abraham (‘Abraham – from ‘ab – father and raham – enriching and merciful), ‘Banish (garas – remove and expel) the female servant (ha ‘amah – the maid) and also this one, accordingly, her son (ha zo’th wa ‘eth ben), for (ky – indeed) the maid’s son (ha ‘amah ben), he will not be an heir (lo’ yarash – he will not receive an inheritance) along with (‘im) my son (beny), Yitschaq (Yitschaq – Laughter).’"(Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 21:10)

But Galatians reads: ‘Throw out and expel the slave girl and the son of her for will not receive by lots the son of the slave girl with the son of the free." Therefore, why do you suppose Paul removed "And she said to Abraham" from the beginning of this sentence? After all, he was positioning Sarah as the "Mother of the faithful" so her words should have carried Divine authority. But, more importantly, why did Paul corrupt the ending of the sentence, changing what Sarah said: "and also this one, accordingly, her son, for the maid’s son, he will not be an heir along with my son, Yitschaq?" Pretending to quote the Towrah, Sha’uwl concluded: "for will not receive by lots the son of the slave girl with the son of the free."

Beyond the fact that it is inappropriate for the creation to misquote the Creator, it’s obvious that he misappropriated and misrepresented God’s statement because he wanted the passage to fit his thesis. So when Sarah didn’t differentiate between "the son of the slave girl and the son of the free," Sha’uwl changed the text to create the illusion that he had a Divine sanction for his faith.

What’s so deeply troubling about all of this is that Sha’uwl knew that this particular passage was one of many which affirm that there was no covenant established with Hagar or Ishmael. They were banished into the desert, and were separated from God and from the Children of Yisra’el. Thus the basis for Sha’uwl’s adversarial covenant, the one allegedly memorialized on Mount Sinai with Hagar, which enslaves us, is torn asunder.

It is, therefore, once again evident that Paul was playing his audience for fools, banking on the hunch that they were too poorly informed and too irrational, to connect these things and thereby rebuke him. And as it turns out, his assessment was accurate. So perhaps this explains one of the reasons Sha’uwl spurned Jews. They knew the Torah and would have held him accountable for twisting it. Recognizing that his ploy wouldn’t prevail before an informed audience, marketed his ideas exclusively to Gentiles who didn’t know any better. It is one of the reasons there are so few Jewish Christians today.

Before we move on, I’d like you to consider something. If we were to put aside the big picture for a moment where Paul’s message has been the antithesis of Yahowah’s, how can anyone believe that this poorly written and illogical letter is Scripture, the inspired and inerrant Word of God? All one has to do is compare Paul’s quotations to the original source and it becomes obvious that they are inconsistent and inaccurate. And by definition, inaccurate is not inerrant, thereby destroying the most important percept of the Christian faith.

If you are a Christian your options to resolve this problem are limited. They include blaming the source of inspiration. That is to say, you can accept the fact that Paul wasn’t inspired by the Spirit who revealed the Torah. But that means Paul didn’t speak for God, and was thus a liar.

You can also blame scribes, thereby claiming that they changed Paul’s words. But this justification is devastating, because only Papyrus 75, which covers part of Luke and most of Yahowchanan / John, is more reliable. And it was written one hundred years after Papyrus 46, which documented all of Galatians in the late first-, or early second-century. So if scribal error significantly changed the text of Galatians over the course of thirty to fifty years, then nothing in the so-called "Christian New Testament" could be considered remotely reliable, save perhaps isolated portions of Yahowchanan. As such, the entire foundation of Christendom crumbles.

The only other option is to side with Marcion, and believe that God Himself was so incompetent and senile that He could no longer remember what He said and, therefore, was no longer relevant. Worse, that God, if He was still alive, came to realize that His original plan was so hopelessly flawed that He needed to have someone correct it for Him. But how is that possible since the Ma’aseyah affirmed every aspect of Yahowah’s Word and plan, and Paul has alleged that his message is the same as Yahowsha’s? Besides, if God authorized Paul to contradict Him, and change His message and plan of salvation, why is Paul quoting from the failed plan which has been annulled?

Considering the options, it’s little wonder Paul based his "faith" on "believing him." Those who are informed, and who are willing to think for themselves, will overwhelmingly conclude that he was untrustworthy. Removed from a religious context where the faithful will believe most anything, Paul’s thesis isn’t the least bit credible.

Returning to the Towrah, so that we might come to appreciate what Sha’uwl was hoping his religious audience would ignore, we read: "God (‘elohym) said to (‘amar ‘el) Abraham (‘Abraham – Merciful and Enriching Father), ‘Do not show a distressed or troubled outward appearance regarding (‘al ra’a ba ‘ayn ‘al) the young man who went astray (ha na’ar – the teenager who was a lost sheep). And regarding the maid (wa ‘al ‘amah), everything which (kol ‘ashar) Sarah (Sarah – meaning to Engage and Endure, Contend and Strive) says to you (‘amar ‘el), listen to what she says (shama’ ba qowl). Indeed (ky), through Yitschaq (ba Yitschaq – by Laughter), your offspring (zera’ – descendants and family) will be invited to approach (qara’ la – will be called out and welcomed, summoned to meet).’" (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 21:12)

Qara’, which means "to call out, to invite and to summon, to meet and to greet," as well as "to read and to recite," serves as the basis of Miqra’, the name Yahowah selected to describe His Called-Out Assemblies – telling us that they are "Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God." And the Miqra’ey in turn serve as the basis of the ekklesia—or Called-Out.

In this simple and direct statement, Yahowah undermined the whole of Pauline Doctrine. Hagar was excluded from Abraham’s family and from Yahowah’s Covenant, negating the crux of Sha’uwl’s argument which claimed that the Towrah’s Covenant was enslaving because it was based upon the "slave woman." Further, to suggest that the Towrah accurately records a conversation where Yahowah intervened between Abraham and Sarah, but did not record the promise Paul alleges was the basis of his faith, is preposterous.

Also, since Paul makes women subservient to men, his credibility in doing so is undermined by God asking this man to listen to his wife. But most revealing of all, Yahowah told us that it would be through Yitschaq that the children of the Covenant "would be called out, invited to approach, and welcomed" by God. And this means that it is the promises actually recorded in the Towrah, especially those associated with the Miqra’ey, that apply, not Paul’s imagination.

This was followed by Yahowah’s affirmation that Ishmael was sent away, and thus excluded from the Towrah’s ongoing narrative and Covenant: "And also (wa gam – so then besides), accordingly (‘eth), the son of the maid (ben ha ‘amah), concerning pagans of different races (la gowy – to approach other places and nations, expressly Gentiles, and thus the heathen, uncultured, and pagan) I will put him (sym – I will appoint, list, place, and set him) because (ky) he’s your descendant (huw’ zera’)." (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 21:13) To be consistent then, the Gentile church born out of Paul’s letters, would be the descendants of Ishmael. They were and still embody every aspect of gowy.

While Yahowah was resolute regarding the exclusion of Hagar and Ishmael, He, Himself, was not harsh. Per His instructions, Abraham responded quickly and decisively, but he didn’t send the maid and child out into the desert to die. They were freed, thereby negating another plank in Paul’s ploy.

"Getting up early (shakam – taking action at daybreak), Abraham (‘Abraham – Merciful and Enriching Father) in the morning (ba ha boqer – at daybreak) obtained and grasped hold of (laqah) a loaf of bread (lechem) and a skin of water (wa chemeth mym), and he gave them to (wa natan ‘el) Hagar (Hagar – meaning to Flee), placing them on her shoulder (sym ‘al shekem) along with the boy (wa ‘eth ha yeled) and he sent her away (wa salah). Then she walked (wa halak) and she wandered in error (ta’ah – she went astray, deceiving herself, staggering around without understanding) in the desert wasteland (midbar – in a place devoid of the word) of Beersheba (Ba’er Sheba’ – Well of the Sevenfold Oath)." (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 21:14)

Directly contradicting Sha’uwl’s testimony, Hagar and Ishmael were freed. They were no longer slaves and therefore could not represent the concept of being enslaved. Furthermore, they were sent away many centuries before Yahowah dictated His Towrah Teaching on Mount Sinai, expressly disassociating them from the Covenant He codified therein.

Excluding both mother and son from the Covenant’s promise of eternal life in God’s family was one thing, but robbing him of his earthly life would have violated the oath Yahowah made to his father. "And she walked (wa halak), settling down opposite him (yashab la min), about as far away as you could shoot an arrow from a bow (neged rachaq ka tachah qesheth), then she said (ky ‘amar), ‘I do not want to be a witness (‘al ra’ah) at the death (ba maweth) of the boy (ha yeled).’ So sitting opposite him (wa yashab min neged), she raised her voice (nasa’ ‘eth qowl) and wept (wa bakah)." (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 21:16)

It is a bit strange, seeing that Ishmael was a taunting teenager, that his survival instincts and his will to live were surpassed by his mother. It does not speak well of his work ethic or character. And in this regard, since Yahowah said that Ishmael’s descendents "would be wild asses of men, their hand raised against their brother and their brother’s hand raised against them while living in hostility against the whole world," that Islam’s every flaw was being manifest before our eyes. But nonetheless, adjacent to a spring, today’s troubadours of trouble gave up.

Aware of the boy’s plight, God did not send him back to Abraham or Yisra’el. He simply did as Abraham had done—He had an envoy provide for him. This messenger offered some encouragement, and then sent mother and son on their way.

"Then the Almighty heard reports of (wa shama’ ‘elohym) the sounds of the teenage lost sheep (‘eth qowl ha na’ar – the voice associated with the young man who had gone astray), and summoned a messenger of the Mighty One (wa qara’ mal’ak ‘elohym) to Hagar (‘el Hagar) from the spiritual realms (min ha shamaym). And he said to her (wa ‘amar la), ‘What concerns you Hagar (mah la Hagar)? You have chosen not to be respectful (‘al yare’), but indeed (ky), to the Mighty One (‘el ‘elohym) have come audible reports of (shama’) the young man’s voice who has gone astray (ha na’ar qowl) wherever he is around here (ba ‘asher huw’ sham)’" (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 21:17)

Unlike His encounters with Abraham and Sarah, Yahowah didn’t meet with Hagar or Ishmael. They would not enjoy a familial covenant relationship with God. The Almighty sent a messenger – and a troubled one at that.

This rather harsh spiritual being went on to say: "Stand up (quwm), lift up the lost teenager (nasa’ ‘eth ha na’ar), and with your strong and resolute hand (wa hazaq ‘eth yad – with your harsh, hard, and severe hand) upon him, indeed (ba ky), I will cause him (sym – I (the spiritual envoy said) will appoint him and place him) to approach many pagans of different races seeking status (la gowy gadowl – to move toward other relevant places and important nations, expressly Gentiles, and thus the heathen, uncultured, and pagan).’" (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 21:18) While we are not told the identity of this spiritual envoy, considering what he said, who he was speaking to, and what he ultimately achieved through Muhammad, Ishmael’s descendent, we have every reason to suspect that this was Satan.

And: "Then the Almighty (wa ‘elohym), He existed against (hayah ‘eth) the lost young man who went astray (ha na’ar – the teenager who was a wayward sheep) and so he was became boastful and exalted (gadal). Settling down in the desert (wa yashab ba ha midbar – so inhabiting the lifeless place devoid of the word), he existed (wa hayah) hunting and fighting as a great archer (rabah qashath)." (Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 21:20)

The story of the Covenant was just beginning, but the story of Ishmael was over, at least in relationship to God, His Towrah, and His Covenant. The next time we hear of Ishmael, we discover that he was specifically excluded from inheriting any portion of Abraham’s estate. Then we learn that Esau earned Yahowah’s wrath for having married one of Ishmael’s daughters. From that point, the bastard child fades into oblivion, only to be resurrected by Muhammad to serve Allah and Islam.

Paul knew all of this. He knew that there was no covenant established with Hagar or her son. He knew that Hagar wasn’t associated with the revelation of the Torah on Mount Sinai. And that is why it was so unconscionable for him to state otherwise.

I suppose that Paul’s parting salvo on the mythical second covenant might be valid if it were prophetic, and not historic, and you darted six centuries ahead in time, and associated Ishmael with Islam.

"Therefore (ara – so then [as found in P46 as opposed to dio in the NA]), brothers (adelphos), we are not (ou eimi) children (teknon) of slave girl (paidiske), to the contrary (alla), the free (tes eleutheros)." (Galatians 4:31) In reality, neither Sarah nor Hagar conceived again. But a religion was conceived from these words—one which would be astonishingly anti-Semitic and ardently opposed to the Torah.

Regarding this concluding statement, the NAMI offered: "Therefore, brothers not we are of servant girl children but of the free." Jerome embellished his Latin Vulgate with: "So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christus has made us free." Surprisingly, the KJV removed the reference to "Christus:" "So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free."

Rather than simply consider the New Living Translation’s rendition of this passage, a more comprehensive view seems appropriate. Interpreting and trumpeting Paul’s blasphemous manifesto, these Evangelical Christians wrote:

"Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law actually says? The Scriptures say that Abraham had two sons, one from his slave wife and one from his freeborn wife. The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise.

These two women serve as an illustration of God’s two covenants. The first woman, Hagar, represents Mount Sinai where people received the law that enslaved them. And now Jerusalem is just like Mount Sinai in Arabia, because she and her children live in slavery to the law. But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother. As Isaiah said, ‘Rejoice, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into a joyful shout, you who have never been in labor! For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband!’

And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just like Isaac. But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit. But what do the Scriptures say about that? ‘Get rid of the slave and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the free woman's son.’ So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman." (NLT Galatians 4:21-31)