Questioning Paul

Chapter 2

part 6


Christian theologians are deliberately being inconsistent, because "Gospel" and "Good News" are central to their theology. Christendom is based upon these concepts. It is as critical and errant as the doctrine of the Trinity in this regard.

We find the following in Jerome’s blend of the Old Latin manuscripts: "But if anyone, even we ourselves or an angelus from Heaven, were to evangelizet other than the one that we evangelizavimus to you, let him be anathema." Once again, we find evidence that Jerome wasn’t to blame for the corruption of euangelizo, but he was to blame for the subsequent treatment of Catholic heretics, due to his personalizing of the curse.

These translations all affirm that Paul wanted his rivals cursed. And by his definition, his opponents were those whose message was contrary to his own. So as we will discover as we make our way through this letter, Sha’uwl’s rivals will come to include: Yahowah and His prophets and Yahowsha’ and His Disciples. While they all spoke with one voice, their message was contrary to Sha’uwl’s. And that is the bottom line.

Repeating himself, but this time slipping from first person plural to singular to underscore the fact that this Benjamite was a lone wolf among men, we are left to question the motivation for the duplication. And with Sha’uwl so overly fixated on his rivals, do you suppose the reason he didn’t name them was because, had he done so, his credibility would have been destroyed?

The Nestle-Aland McReynolds Interlinear reads: "As we have said before and now again I say, if some you tells good message from what you took along curse let be." The basis of their translation was as follows: "As (hos – like) we have said before (proepo – we have said already), and even (kai) just now (arti – simultaneously or immediately thereafter) also (palin – again repetitively) I say (lego – I convey), if (ei – under the condition) someone (tis) delivers a helpful messenger or communicates a useful message (euangelizo) to you (sou) contrary or in opposition to (para – close to but yet besides, which is approximate to, near, beyond, greater than, or is positioned alongside) that which (hos) you received (paralambano – you brought in or associated with), it shall be (eimi – I wish or command that it shall exist as (the present tense means that this state currently exists and that it will continue for an undisclosed period, the active voice means that the subject, Paulos (who is the speaker), is actively engaged bringing about the curse, and the imperative mood serves as either a command or as an expression of the speaker’s desire, or both)) a curse with a dreadful consequence (anathema)." (Galatians 1:9)

Since this is Paul’s first letter, the "as we have said before" is little more than a reference to the previous sentence, something he makes clear by way of "arti – simultaneously and immediately thereafter." As a result, since Paulos is writing exclusively under his own chosen name, we must consider what he was trying to accomplish by using "we," and then ponder why then he felt it was necessary to transition back to "I." Who were his partners and why at times did he exclude them?

It is telling, therefore, that Galatians 1:6 begins: "I am amazed" (first person singular present tense), but then transitions to "we delivered" (first person plural past tense) in Galatians 1:8. Paul’s recent visit to Galatia was with Barnabas, according to Acts, perhaps accounting for the prior and plural message delivery. But in the short period between the Yaruwshalaym Summit and the time this letter was dictated, Barnabas and Sha’uwl had a heated argument and split up, accounting for the present singular perspective. At least that would be the case had Galatians 1:9 not included "we" and "I" in immediate succession. Also interesting, Sha’uwl will take a mean-spirited swipe at Barnabas before this letter is through.

As is the case with everything Paul writes, he never bothers to explain the nature of the argument. All this says is that "I’m always right and everyone else is always wrong." As such, even if Sha’uwl’s opinions were right, without a basis in fact, this wouldn’t be helpful. Thus far, and indeed throughout Paul’s letters, we will be exposed to Paul’s opinions, and we will be apprised of his attitude, but nothing else.

Other than omitting the accusative "contrary or in opposition to," adding "preach" without justification, replacing the verb euangelizo with the noun "gospel," and adding a pronoun at the end of the verse, the KJV got most of this right: "As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Their inspiration was obviously Jerome’s Latin Vulgate: "Just as we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone has evangelizaverit to you, other than that which you have received, let him be anathema." The NLT paraphrase reads: "I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed." All three versions were unable to translate para, meaning "close, but yet in opposition," appropriately when it was used in conjunction with their Gospel and Good News. But by changing paralambano to "welcomed," the NLT was, once again, the least accurate.

Before we move on, I want to underscore a deficiency associated with the previous statements—and indeed with all of Sha’uwl’s letters. For this to be an effective warning, for it to be instructive and useful, we must know exactly what Paul told the Galatians, and also know how his preaching differed from those he was cursing. Without this information, speculation reigns supreme, and false interpretations are far too readily developed. As it stands, all we have is that anyone who delivers a message which differs from Paul’s should be cursed, all of which sounds hauntingly similar to the Qur’an’s first eighty surahs chronologically. And while that was designed to censure debate, and while it has kept most critics at bay, by repeating this, Paul has tipped his hand. He has said that his skin and doctrine are so thin that neither can tolerate criticism. It is a sure sign of insecurity.

Those who cannot defend their message attack those who are critical of it. In politics, this strategy is known as "killing the messenger."

Introductions aside, here is a quick review of Sha’uwl’s second and third sentences:

"I marvel, am amazed and astonished, wondering and surprised that namely in this way quickly and in haste you change, desert, and depart, becoming disloyal apostates and traitors away from your calling in the name of Grace to a different healing message and beneficial messenger, (1:6)

which does not exist differently, if not conditionally or hypothetically negated because perhaps some are the ones stirring you up, confusing you, and also wanting and proposing to change and pervert the beneficial messenger and healing message of the Christou, (1:7)

but to the contrary, if we or a messenger out of heaven conveys a healing messenger or beneficial message to you which is approximate or contrary to, beyond, or positioned alongside what we delivered as a beneficial messenger and announced as a healing message to you then a curse with a dreadful consequence exists. (1:8)

As we have said already, and even just now, immediately thereafter, repetitively, I say, if under the condition someone delivers a helpful messenger or communicates a useful message to you contrary or in opposition to, close or approximate to, even greater than that which you received, it shall be (in fact I command and want it to exist as) a curse with a dreadful consequence." (Galatians 1:9)


As we move to the next statement, while the interrogative required to frame the questions presented in most English translations do not appear in the Greek text, they are implied because Paul is asking us to choose. These questions, however, are rather odd considering the fact that Paul has pitted his message against God. Also, the first is advanced using a peculiar verb – one that runs the gambit from perplexing to inappropriate, from conceited to bewildering.

If I may, since the writing quality is so poor, let’s begin with the Nestle-Aland McReynolds Interlinear. "Now for men I persuade or the God. Or I seek men to please. If still men, I was pleasing of Christ slave not – I was." So then amplified, we find:

"For (gar – because) currently (arti – simultaneously, just now) men (anthropos) I persuade (peitho – I presently, actively, and actually use words to win the favor of, I seduce, mislead, coax, convince, appease, and placate) or (e – alternatively) the (ton) God (ΘΝ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘elohym, the Almighty, or Yahowah)?

Or (e – alternatively by comparison or contrast) I seek (zeto – I attempt and desire) to please (aresko – to accommodate) men (anthropos – humans)?

Yet nevertheless (eti – in addition besides), if (ei) men (anthropos), I was pleasing and accommodating (aresko – I was exciting the emotions of and lifting up) slave (doulos) of Christou (ΧΡΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey Ma’aseyah), certainly (an) not (ou) was me (eimi).” (Galatians 1:10)

The initial verb, peitho, was written in the first person singular, present active indicative, which not only means that Paulos is again operating on his own, but also that the opening sentence literally reads: "Because currently men ‘I presently, actively, and actually use words to win the favor of (peitho)’ or the God?" So regardless of which option we choose, this question poses a series of serious problems.

First, the transition from "we" as the sources of the lone acceptable message and as the originators of the curse, to "I" in a question, where "men" and "God" represent the universe of potential answers, is curious. Rather than partnering with men, as "we" might imply, is Paul opposing men in some sort of grand debate? Or rather than partnering with God, as "we" might also suggest, is Paul actually arguing against Him? And while Paul’s personal confessions, his positions and his approach, affirm that his partner is Satan, there is a hint of delusional arrogance here in this transition back to "I" because, no matter how we translate peitho, Paul is implying that his rhetoric and reason are sublime. It is as if he wants us to believe that he was so much smarter than everyone else, he could take on God and men single-handed.

Second, "winning favor," along with "persuade and convince," is the best we can do with peitho. Every other connotation makes this question substantially worse, because it would read: "I presently, actively, and actually seduce, mislead, coax, appease, and placate" men or God?

Third, in spite of what religious zealots have been led to believe, we are not called to "win the favor" of men, and we cannot "win the favor" of God. We are not called to "persuade or convince" men. And the notion of "persuading and convincing" God is nonsensical. It’s God’s job to convince, not ours. And even then, Yahowah isn’t interested in "winning our favor" or in "persuading" us. He lays out the opportunity to form a relationship with Him, He proves that we can trust Him, and He invites us to get to know Him, but that is as far as God goes. Therefore, even if we render peitho as favorably as possible, if the answer to the question is "men," Paul’s approach is ungodly. And if the answer is "God," then Paul’s arrogance is in league with Satan.

That’s the good news. When any of peitho’s alternative definitions are considered, Paul becomes the Lord of Deceit. The Devil "peitho – seduces, misleads, coaxes, appeases, and placates." That is why he is known as the Prince of Lies.

As you might suspect, peitho is almost exclusively Pauline. It is used in Paul’s letters and attributed to him throughout Acts. One of the few times it is found in association with Yahowsha’, Mattanyah is translated using it to convey the religious mindset of the opposition by writing: "but the chief priests and elders peitho the multitude that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Yahowsha." Shortly thereafter, in 28:14, and now in a political setting, Mattanyah is translated using peitho again to say: "and if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will peitho him." Luke, who was Paul’s attaché for awhile, in his hearsay account, translates Yahowsha’ using peitho twice, but neither translation is credible in that Luke wasn’t an eyewitness and Yahowsha’ never spoke Greek.

Now I understand that religious individuals don’t see any issue with men persuading other men on behalf of God, but that is because they have been deceived into believing that it is God’s will that we "win souls for Him." They see a "conversion" to their religion as a favorable event, as something that bolsters their faith. They not only send out evangelists to persuade people into believing as they do, the Church has used the threat of violence to convert the masses for centuries. But not only is Paul’s message opposed to God’s message, winning souls isn’t God’s style. He is only interested in people who are interested in Him. And all He wants any of us to understand is who He is and what He is offering. That way we can choose of our own volition to get to know Him, to ignore Him, or to reject Him. With God, it is all about freewill.

These things known, there is no way to over emphasize the consequence of this question. No matter the answer, it proves that Paul did not speak for God. It also demonstrates that his use of "we" did not include God.

But it does not get better from here. After posing a question where both options have horrendous ramifications, indeed religious implications, Sha’uwl spins his question, posing it a different way. And yet, we ought not try to accommodate or please men. Yahowah doesn’t. Yahowsha’ didn’t. In fact, God’s approach is the opposite. He is resolutely intolerant. He does not accommodate the views of the vast preponderance of people. And He is displeased with humanity. While it is Yahowah’s desire for us to get to know Him, He only accommodates the few who do.

Also problematic, with the juxtaposition of the first and second "e – or," we cannot isolate Paul "seeking to please men" from the possibility that he is "attempting to accommodate" God. The first option is disingenuous and pathetic while the second is ludicrous.

Not only were these questions left unanswered, which leaves one wondering why they were posed, they were followed by "eti – nevertheless" and "ei – if," strongly suggesting that Paul actually wanted us to think that he was capable of sparring with God. Further, aresko, the next verb Paul deploys, isn’t a cerebral concept, but instead speaks of "exciting and enticing emotions." And the object this time is "Christou," indicating that God, rather than being predictable and dependable, can be swayed by an emotional appeal. So while Yahowsha’ has an emotional component to His nature, everything that we know about God affirms that He values an informed and rational response over misdirected feelings.

It should go without saying, but because Paul routinely infers that he died to become "Christ," which is what "of Christou, certainly not was me" conveys, to the degree that this is thought to be the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’, nothing could be further from the truth. However, if one sees Paul’s Iesou Christou as the new and mythological caricature upon which the Pauline religion was contrived, then the author of this letter is the living embodiment of the Christian "Jesus Christ." Paul is to "Jesus Christ" as Muhammad is to Allah. They are one and the same. If you know one, you know the other. If you like one, you’ll like the other.

If we were to dispense with the dubious connections, and evaluate Paul’s rhetoric as if this was a debate, he’d flunk that test too. Sha’uwl deployed a non sequitur. The initial question was not answered by his hypothetical. And there was no quid pro quo between "accommodating man" and "serving his Chistou." Moreover, how is it that Paul, who fashions himself as the one who liberated the faithful from bondage to the Torah, is now positioning himself as a slave? And not just anybody’s slave, he is now in servitude to the same Christou whose death supposedly freed everyone from slavery. So this has become a litany of contradictions.

And the fact remains, only an egomaniac would suggest that someone might actually wonder whether or not this man was "persuading God." And that is especially troublesome since the opening stanza of this letter affirms that Paul wasn’t effectively "persuading and convincing men."

Beyond this, perhaps we can deduce that Paul’s intent was to convince his audience, by displaying hostility toward the Galatians at large, as well as against any other messenger or message, that he was demonstrating, even proving, that he was out to please God and not men. But nothing displeases God more than denouncing and discarding His testimony.

This is a serious problem for thinking Christians. When Paul wasn’t focusing on himself, he was focused on presenting an errant characterization of Yahowsha’. Neither perspective has merit. Even Yahowsha’ told us that we should focus on the Father and not on Him. But since Paul is opposed to Yahowah and His Torah, that isn’t possible.

I am keenly aware that there is a limit to the amount of criticism an audience will endure. And while we are called to love our enemies, we are actually encouraged to expose and condemn God’s foes, which is why questioning Paul is so essential. But to be appropriate, our criticisms need to be bolstered by evidence and reason, they need to be consistent with God’s testimony, and they should be focused on an individual, an institution, or on a specific message. However, in Paul’s case, his blanket dismissal of an entire province and nation isn’t appropriate, nor is criticism without justification, and Paul seldom if ever provides any. This letter opened similarly to the Romans 7 diatribe, with a universal condemnation.

So while it is appropriate to constructively criticize religious documents and institutions, it is not appropriate to rail against their victims en masse. And yet, Paul is lashing out at everyone, while undermining everyone, because he suspects everyone is his foe, from heaven to earth, and he feels compelled to cut them all down. In this regard, his tone will evolve from condescending to vicious—becoming stunningly uncivilized. And while never appropriate, since Paul posed the question, his wholly antagonistic attitude toward men reveals the answer to the questions he has posed. In his mind, he was debating God. Moreover, as the evidence will demonstrate, Paul’s rage was universally misplaced. Sha’uwl’s adversaries were leading the Galatians to Yahowah, while Sha’uwl was taking them for a ride in the opposite direction.

Apart from the errant title, "Christ," my concern with the most influential translations is that neither were consistent with the actual text. They both added a plethora of words to artificially elevate the writing quality. While Paul wrote, "For because currently and simultaneously, men I persuade, I presently, actively, and actually use words to win the favor of, seducing, misleading, coaxing, convincing, appeasing, and placating, or alternatively, the God? Or by comparison and contrast, I seek and desire to please and accommodate humans? Yet nevertheless, if men, I was pleasing and accommodating, exciting the emotions of and lifting up a slave of Christou, certainly not was me," the KJV published: "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." While Christians no doubt see this as a rhetorical question, the deeper we dig into Paul’s mantra and mindset, the more likely it becomes that Paul thought himself qualified to persuade God to change His plan of salvation. LV: "For am I now persuading men, or God? Or, am I seeking to please men? If I still were pleasing men, then I would not be a servant of Christi."

Unlike the King James and Vulgate, the New Living Translation reads beautifully. It is a shame God didn’t inspire Paul to write as eloquently. "Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant." While there is an extremely remote possibility that this may have been what he meant to say, it absolutely wasn’t what he wrote. And should they have magically captured Paul’s intent, we are incapable of "winning the approval…of God." That is the reason God conceived a plan whereby He did all that was required to make us acceptable.

Next, we find Sha’uwl professing that the message he was revealing was his own. And Paulos wanted everyone the world over to recognize that the mantra which would become known as "the Gospel" was "hypo ego – by, under and through me, by reason and force of me, because of and controlled by me."

"But (de – therefore, however, and nevertheless) I profess and reveal (gnorizo – I perceive and tell, I provide the knowledge I’ve gained to make known, I recognize and declare) to you (sou) brothers (adelphos) of the (to) beneficial messenger and healing message (euangelion – the rewarding envoy and helpful communication) which (to) having been communicated advantageously (euangelizo) by (hypo – under and through, by reason and force of, because of and controlled by) myself (ego), because (oti) it is not (ou eimi) in accord with (kata – according to) man (anthropos)." (Galatians 1:11)

This, of course, means that Paul was solely responsible for his "gospel." He conceived it all by himself, and he, alone, was authorized to declare it. As such, Paul was solely responsible for the mythology which became Christianity. There is no one else to credit or to blame. If his personal and individual revelations are not true, the religion he conceived is wholly unreliable.

Christian clerics universally recognize and readily admit that Paul opposed Yahowsha’s Disciples. This statement merely explains why. His message was his own while theirs was Yahowsha’s. And set into the context of debating God, this is an incriminating confession.

But even if you were unaware of Paul’s underhanded slap at his adversaries, both human and divine, it was either egregiously presumptuous or an outrageous confession to write "gnorizo – I reveal and provide" the "euangelion – beneficial messenger and healing message" and I "euangelizo – communicate it advantageously" "hypo ego – by myself." If Paul were speaking for God, shouldn’t he be touting His words and not his own? Said another way, someone who is actually speaking for God knows that it’s His message which matters, not the one who delivers it.

Had this been anything more than Paul claiming the world as his own, he would have done what we are doing, which is to dissect the errant message, showing through evidence and reason where it is wrong. Sha’uwl should have delineated pertinent examples of the euangelion which differed from his own. But the only message Paulos has condemned is God’s, discrediting and discarding His Torah.

The McReynolds Interlinear reveals that the Nestle-Aland text reads: "I make known for to you brothers the good message the having been told good message by me that not it is by man." So in order to make those words appear credible, euangelion and euangelizo had to be rendered differently, even though their etymological basis is identical in the KJV: "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man." That was incriminating. The King James Version accurately asserted that Paul "certified" that "the gospel which was preached" was "of me." In a rational world, this would have been sufficient to bury him.

Jerome’s blend of Old Latin texts was both less accurate and less convicting. LV: "For I would have you understand, brothers, that the evangelium which has been evangelizatum by me is not according to man." But ever in form, the NLT ignored six of the twelve Greek words, and they added ten English words of their own choosing. Still inadequate to support their theology, they grossly misrepresented, and inconsistently translated euangelion. "Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning." The use of "mere" implies that "human reasoning" was a contributing factor. And that suggests that Yahowah’s message was incomplete or inadequate, and that He required the contribution of Sha’uwl’s considerable intellect.

When you combine Paul’s arrogant and incriminating statements with the Christian interpretation of them, you have the crime and confession laid at your feet. So why have so few people held Paul accountable?

What follows is the other half of Sha’uwl’s defense. He’s saying that he wasn’t influenced by any human agenda or institution, while implying that those who oppose him are in opposition to God. The opposite, however, is true. Paul’s approach and style are rabbinic, and it would be hard to find someone more opposed to God than he.

Now if only someone could have taught Paulos how to write...

"But neither (oude – nor or not) because (gar – for the reason then) I (ego) by (para – among, from, or for) man (anthropos) associating myself with (paralambano – I received, learning and accepting) it (autos). Nor (oute – but neither) was I taught (didasko – was I instructed as a disciple). But to the contrary (alla – by contrast) by way of (dia – through) a revelation (apokalypsis – an appearance or disclosure, an uncovering or unveiling) of Iesou (ΙΗΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey Yahowsha’, meaning Yahowah Saves) Christou (ΧΡΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey Ma’aseyah).” (Galatians 1:12)

Contradicting his previous statement, while at the same time contravening Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s approach to teaching, Paulos would have us believe that he did not associate with men and that he was not taught. He is evidently not ready to disclose the fact that he has been in rabbinic school for many years.

According to Paulos, his message had been previously undisclosed, and he alone had the right to convey what was miraculously unveiled, appearing to him in a revelation attested by no one. So it begs the question: if this is so, why did Yahowah bother with His Towrah – Teaching? If this is so, why did Yahowsha’ bother with Disciples. If this is so, why did Yahowsha’ bother to say or do anything? If this is so, why did Yahowsha’ direct those with questions to the Torah and Prophets for answers? If this is so, how could Paulos be speaking for Yahowsha’ when God’s attitude, approach, and affirmations were the antithesis of what is being written here?

Since it would be natural to assume that I’m sabotaging Paul by making him appear illiterate, please note that the scholastic Nestle-Aland published: "But not for I from man took along it nor was I taught but through uncovering of Jesus Christ."

Beyond the fact that I now understand that the underlying purpose of Galatians was to separate Yahowsha’ from the Torah, and thereby negate His sacrifice while nullifying the means to our salvation, to say that he "was not taught" his message is to say that he did not learn the truth in the same place Yahowah and Yahowsha’ directed all of us to go for understanding: the Torah. Neither Sha’uwl, you, nor I need private instruction regarding God’s public disclosure. Proving this, the Disciple Yahowchanan recorded: "Yahowsha’ answered him, ‘I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple where all of the Yahuwdym come together. And I spoke nothing in secret." (Yahowchanan / Yah is Merciful / John 18:20) This, of course, would also mean that what Paul just wrote was a lie. Yahowsha’s statement and Paul’s cannot be reconciled.

This was not Paul’s only claim to "secret" revelation. In the New American Standard Bible’s rendition of Romans 16:25, we read: "Now to him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past but is now manifested." "According to my gospel" confirms the obvious, but nonetheless I appreciate the confession: this is the "Gospel of Paul" and not the "Gospel of ‘Jesus Christ.’" But God doesn’t keep secrets – at least not regarding anything vital to our relationship with Him. Mysteries form the sum and substance of the myths which permeate pagan religions. And since Paul never once cited Yahowsha’s "preaching," in a rare moment of truth, calling the "gospel" he was preaching "his own" should have been sufficient for Christians to reject him and their religion. God does not have a "gospel," nor should you.

And speaking of revealing something important regarding Yahowsha’, this is now the third time in three tries that Paulos has not only placed His "title" after His "name," but has omitted the requisite definite article. The backwards approach gives the impression that "Iesou’s" last "name" was "Christou," further distancing Him from Yahowah.

Paul’s fixation on unverifiable secret revelations, on mystery and mythology, was further advanced in his letter to the Ephesians, when according to the New American Standard Bible, he wrote: "...if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was make known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit...of which I was made a preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things." (Ephesians 3:2-9) Funny thing though, the prophets never spoke of mysteries, and to the contrary, Yahowah used them to dispel myths. The Disciples never spoke of mysteries either, nor did Yahowsha’. For those who are open to Him, Yahowah is an open book. Open His Towrah and you will find Him there. In fact, the only reason that God authored His Torah was to reveal Himself to us so that we might come to know Him.

King Dowd (more commonly known as David) was inspired to share the following insight into the nature, purpose, and effect of the Torah: "Yahowah’s (efei) Towrah (towrah – source from which teaching, instructions, guidance and directions flow) is complete and entirely perfect (tamym – without defect, lacking nothing, correct, right, helpful, beneficial, and true), returning, restoring, and transforming (suwb – turning around and bringing back) the soul (nepesh – consciousness). Yahowah’s (efei) eternal testimony (‘eduwth – and restoring witness) is trustworthy and reliable (‘aman – verifiable, confirming, supportive, and establishing), making understanding and obtaining wisdom (hakam – educating and enlightening oneself to the point of comprehension) simple for the open-minded (pethy)." (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 19:7) Few things so essential to life are this succinct. And that is why you’ve seen this verse before and will see it again.

But let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that the murderer who had been Sha’uwl, who by his account was forced to become an apostle during a rather nasty encounter with a prodding and debilitating spirit on the road to Damascus, was a special case, that he was too remarkable an individual to learn about God the way the rest of us mere mortals have done – by observing the Torah as God suggested. It’s certainly God’s prerogative to teach someone individually if He so desires. The Disciples had some group instruction, most of which they made public. And their subsequent message, unlike Sha’uwl’s, was wholly consistent with everything Yahowah and Yahowsha’ proclaimed publicly. So if God had a private meeting with Paul, why was there no prophetic affirmation of it, and why was everything they allegedly discussed the opposite of what had been conveyed so many times before? And why do you suppose, if this revelation actually occurred as Paul professes, that there isn’t a single quote from Yahowsha’ in the callosum of Paul’s letters? Rather then write, "Yahowsha’ said, "...," Paul wrote: "But I say...." Beyond not citing anything from their mythical private meeting, the self-proclaimed Apostle only quoted one snippet of something Yahowsha’ said publicly, and in his lone citation, Sha’uwl bungled the quote. As such, Paul’s entire premise is ludicrous.

And most revealing and incriminating of all is the realization that Paul’s message is the antithesis of everyone else’s, including Yahowah, who just happens to be God, all of Yahowah’s prophets, Yahowsha’, who just happens to be the living manifestation of the Word, and Yahowsha’s Disciples. It was one man against the Word and world. Everything the Ma’aseyah did and said affirmed the importance of the Torah. And yet the primary thrust of Sha’uwl’s testimony is to belittle and demean the Torah. His claim to a secret revelation from God for which he alone has a license to promote is not only rationally impossible, it is preposterous.

While I’m admitting flogging a dead pig, since so many seem oblivious to the obvious, if Sha’uwl spent time one-on-one with Yahowsha’, as he claims, why didn’t he tell us anything about his encounter? Why, unlike everything else God has revealed, wasn’t there a single prophecy which could be used to validate the inspiration?

The Torah, by contrast, is set into the context of history. It details Moseh’s meetings with Yahowah, in addition to their interactions with the Egyptians and the Children of Yisra’el over the course of time. There are not only thousands of witnesses, the Towrah is filled with historical and prophetic insights which serve to verify its validity. Moreover, its primary purpose was to explain the purpose of God. And that means the Yahowsha’ was not only included, but was also explained and predicted in this very same plan. And now we are to believe that all of those promises and predictions were for naught? There was no reason for any of it?

Also relevant, since most of the Torah consists of Yahowah speaking in first person through Moseh, which is the same format used throughout the Prophets, why is Galatians written in Paul’s voice? The Prophets Zakaryah, Yasha’yah, Yirmayah, and Mal’aky, to name a few, routinely get out of the way and allow Yahowah to speak through them. Their personalities, their styles, their messages, and their reputations are never an issue. But the same cannot be said of Paul.

There are seven signs, all along the same path, all pointed in the same direction, all conveying the same message, all from the same God, and then there is Sha’uwl. And his sign is on a distinctly different path, it points in the opposite direction, and it conveys an entirely different message. And yet for every one person choosing to follow the path laid out by the seven in concert with God, hundreds of thousands prefer Paul’s instead.

Other than misrepresenting the second most important name and title in the universe, the KJV and LV handled the rest of the words appropriately enough. The King James reads: "For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." LV: "And I did not receive it from man, nor did I learn it, except through the revelation of Iesu Christi."

Unable to restrain themselves, the NLT felt compelled to add their own personal embellishments to an otherwise simple statement. "I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ."