Questioning Paul

Chapter 3

Part 3

Yaruwshalaim – Source of Reconciliation


By consistently filling in words which aren’t actually in the Greek text to improve readability, without designating them as being added by way of brackets or italics, translators have artificially elevated the status of this epistle, far beyond what the words deserve. But other than that, the KJV rendering is permissible: "But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:" LV: "But even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Gentilis/Gentile, was not compulsus /compelled to be circumcidi/circumcised," Jerome, a Roman, couldn’t write "Greek," even though the text required it. That’s funny in a way.

Arbitrarily putting words into Paul’s mouth has lost its charm. There is no basis for the NLT’s opening clause: "And they supported me and did not even demand that my companion Titus be circumcised, though he was a Gentile." Do you suppose that the team of scholars and religious leaders who compiled this supposed "translation" really thought that "Hellen" meant "Gentile"?

The reason that I suggested that this statement, at least without a proper explanation, was counterproductive, is that it could be construed to suggest that Paul and others were in a position to annul one of Yahowah’s most essential instructions. Rabbis would in fact claim this power for themselves, albeit never regarding something as clear as circumcision. Akiba, in particular, playing off Yahowah’s penchant for volition, promoted the view that a majority vote by Rabbis ("sages") could override the Torah on any subject that was of interest to men. This arrogant assertion eventually became the basis of Judaism as it is practiced today, with rabbinical arguments in the Talmud superseding the Torah. And in a roundabout way, it is also the basis of Roman Catholicism, whereby a Pope, elected by Cardinals, is seen as having the authority to establish new rules, even those which contradict God’s guidance. Therefore, this is one of many places where Sha’uwl’s lack of specificity has become problematic. And frankly, there is no way to see any of this as productive.

But that’s not the only issue at play here. First, by transitioning from: "Later, through fourteen years, also, I went up to Yaruwshalaim along with Barnabas, having taken along also Titus. (2:1) I went up, but then downward from uncovering an unveiling revelation which lays bare, laying down to them the beneficial messenger which I preach among the races down from my own, uniquely and separately, but then to the opinions, presumptions, and suppositions, not somehow perhaps into foolishness and stupidity, without purpose or falsely, I might run or I ran," (2:2) to "To the contrary, not even Titus, a Greek being, was compelled, forced or pressured, necessitated or obligated, to be circumcised," (2:3) without any intervening explanation is a sure sign that: 1) The purpose of the Yaruwshalaim Summit was designed to deal with Paul’s contrarian position regarding circumcising Greeks. 2) That Paul wanted it to appear as if the Disciples agreed with his position against circumcision even though this would place everyone in opposition to God. 3) That this decision not to encourage a man to be circumcised so that he could participate in the Covenant was so fresh in everyone’s mind that no transition or introduction was required to remind the audience that the reason for the meeting had been the disconnect between Paul’s message and God’s position relative to circumcision. And as such, for this reason and many more, it is apparent that Galatians was written immediately after the Yaruwshalaim Summit in 50 CE, which was before Sha’uwl’s first visit to Thessalonica, Corinth, or Rome—the other candidates for his initial epistle.

Second, according to Paul, as we will learn, Titus was encouraged to become circumcised at this meeting. Therefore Paul’s testimony regarding his recent past is once again suspect—or, at the very least, intentionally misleading. And that means that he has violated the hayah clause of Yahowah’s prophetic test a second time. He has failed to accurately report what has already happened.

Third, as we shall soon discover, Yahowah’s position on circumcision is clearly stated, as is Sha’uwl’s opposition to it. Their views are the antithesis of one another. So if what I’m claiming is true, and it is, this begs the question: how then can an informed, rational person believe that Paul was authorized to speak for God under these circumstances? To think that Yahowah changed His position on an issue, in which He has always been unequivocal, is to believe that God is capricious and unreliable. And if that’s the case, we cannot trust anything He says, nor anyone who claims to speak for Him. Therefore, there is no possible way for Paul to be credible in this conflict.

And speaking of credibility, what follows should give us pause. Regardless of whether you or I concur with God’s position on the sign of His Covenant, the only way to justify the reference to Titus’s lack of circumcision set awkwardly between Galatians 2:2 and 2:4 is to realize that, while this letter may have been addressed to the Galatians, it was not about them. Sha’uwl went to Yaruwshalaim to undermine the competition: Yahowsha’s Disciples. This letter was designed to discredit them so that Paulos could rise unchallenged.

Grammatically, the following clause isn’t the start of a new sentence. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with Titus being a Greek or being uncircumcised (or so it would appear). And the problem with it, apart from the fact that the required transition is nonexistent, is that there is no reason to criticize someone or demean anyone without demonstrating that what they have said or have done was inconsistent with Yahowah’s instructions. Paul didn’t. And it won’t be the last time. And worse, it’s Paul who should actually be exposed and condemned for advocating the contrarian position.

With all of this in mind, Paul’s subsequent statement transitions from being inappropriate to being devastating when seen flowing out of his opening salvo against the Torah. If you recall, Paulos claimed that "the old system which had been in place" was "disadvantageous, harmful, wicked, and worthless." And since the sign of that system was circumcision, it’s hard to miss the association between this statement and Paul’s underlining contention that the Torah enslaves. So without further introduction, here is Galatians 2:4:

"...but (de – moreover then) on account of (dia – through, by, or because of) the (tous) false brothers (pseudadelphos – impersonators who faked their kinship, relationship, and affinity) brought in surreptitiously under false pretenses (pareisaktos – joining secretly, smuggled in), who (hostis – literally: whoever and whatever) sneaked into the group (pareiserchomai – crept in by stealth, slipping in) to secretly spy upon (kataskopeo – to closely investigate, evaluate, and consider but more typically: to lie in wait, to spy out, and to clandestinely plot against) the freedom and liberation (ten eleutheria – the liberty and release from conscience, from binding morality, from slavery and bondage, the emancipation from all constraints) that (en – which) we (emon) possess (echo – hold on to and experience) in (en – with or among) Christo (ΧΡΩ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples to convey the title Ma’aseyah, but used here without the definite article) Iesou (ΙΗΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey Yahowsha’, meaning Yahowah Saves) in order that (hina) us (emas) they will actually make subservient (katadouloo – they will control for their own ends, making slaves and bringing into bondage (future tense, active voice, indicative mood)),...” (Galatians 2:4)

Before we analyze this statement, let’s reconstitute our bearings by reviewing it in context: "Later, through fourteen years, also, I went up to Yaruwshalaim along with Barnabas, having taken along also Titus. (2:1) I went up, but then downward from uncovering an unveiling revelation which lays bare, laying down to them the beneficial messenger which I preach among the races down from my own, uniquely and separately, but then to the opinions, presumptions, and suppositions, not somehow perhaps into foolishness and stupidity, without purpose or falsely, I might run or I ran (2:2) to the contrary, not even Titus, a Greek being, was compelled, forced or pressured, necessitated or obligated, to be circumcised – (2:3) but then on account of the impersonators who faked their relationship brought in surreptitiously under false pretenses, who sneaked into the group to secretly spy upon and clandestinely plot against the freedom from conscience and liberation from the constraints of morality that we possess in Christo Iesou in order that us they will actually make subservient, controlling for their own ends,..." (2:4)

Therefore, we know that as a result of Paul’s "separate and distinct" "message or messenger," it "became apparent" that he "had to go up to Yaruwshalaim" to confront the "presumptions, suppositions, and opinions" of others that he "might be running foolishly and in vain." We know that "not obligating" "Greeks" to be "circumcised" was the overriding issue, a topic so vital to Paul’s credibility and mission, he felt compelled to deliberately demean the character and motives of the participants. Paul claimed that either Yahowsha’s Disciples, or those they had invited into the Covenant, or both, were "impersonators who faked their relationship." He claimed that the beneficiaries of Pesach, Matsah, Bikuwrym, and Shabuw’ah in Yaruwshalaim had "secretly snuck into" this meeting "under false pretenses" "to spy upon and plot against" the "liberation from conscience and constraints" Paul and his followers claimed to "possess." And worse, the intent of the clandestine interference of the interlopers was "to make [Paul and associates] subservient, controlling them for their own means."

You’d expect this from Machiavelli, perhaps Goebbels, or from any conniving and immoral politician, but it is crude, even rude, when written about those who personally knew Yahowsha’ by someone claiming to speak for Yahowsha’. But at the very least, the lines of the debate have been drawn and we are all compelled to take sides.

If we are to believe Sha’uwl’s words, they suggest that someone who claimed to be born anew into our Heavenly Father’s Covenant family, but who had not actually availed themselves of the adoption process (which is delineated in the Towrah), wanted to enslave Paul and his companions, making them subservient to them. But since the liberty the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ provides comes from the Towrah, and since the benefits are eternal, this scenario isn’t possible. And flowing out of an edict against circumcision, which is required to receive any of the benefits Yahowsha’ is providing by observing the Towrah, the freedom Paul is claiming for the likes of Titus isn’t possible.

While no person, spirit, government, or religious institution has the power or authority to revoke our liberties as part of Yahowah’s Covenant family, in the culture of that day, at the time the letter to the Galatians was written, there were only two human agencies which sought temporal submission and which had the power to enslave individuals during their mortal existence: the Jewish Sanhedrin and the Roman government. But if these men had been representatives of these institutions, they would have been identified as such. Moreover, to associate the curtailment of the "liberty in Yahowsha,’" which is both spiritual and eternal, with human institutions like these, which are neither, is irrational.

And why even speak of "surreptitiousness, false pretences, slipping in, and secrecy" in relationship to the "ekklesia – called out" Yahowsha’ and His Disciples, especially Shim’own Kephas, had guided? These would have been the same individuals who had been empowered and enriched by the Set-Apart Spirit during the Miqra’ of Shabuw’ah (discussed in Acts 2).

Yahowah’s plan of salvation isn’t a secret. Not only shouldn’t we concern ourselves with someone hearing the Word of God who shouldn’t, we should want everyone to hear it, even if they reject it and us. The liberation we experience in our relationship with Yahowah should be so joyously expressed, that it becomes contagious.

This diatribe sounds a bit like Paulos was part of a secret society such as Mithraism, the Babylonian religion which became the dominant mystery religion practiced in the Roman Empire in the 1st through 4th centuries. It is as if he was concerned that those mysteries, the seven grades of initiation, the clandestine symbols, the secret handshake, and insider slogans known only to the initiated, were somehow on the verge of being compromised by a spy.

The reason Mithraism was cited as an example is because as a religiously-oriented Roman citizen, it is quite possible that Sha’uwl was an initiate, especially since the religion he and Constantine conceived embraced so many of its beliefs. Mithras was the Savior god, not unlike Paul’s depiction of his god. He was born of a rock, something embraced by Roman Catholicism through their misguided association with "Saint Peter," the "Rock." Mithras loved to ride and then slaughter sacred bulls, symbolic of the son of the sun god usurping the old god’s authority, thereby demonstrating his superiority. And in Christianity, we find vestiges of sun worship woven into the fabric of the faith and see the son’s religion being presented as superior to that of the father’s outdated modes. Having done away with the old god, and thus that god’s old testament, the son of the sun could reign supreme, again in keeping with Paul’s letters.

Mithras was emblazoned with scorpions and serpents, which is incriminating because the thorn and goad Paul referenced controlling and guiding him were synonymous with scorpion stingers, and the serpent is Satan, through whom Paul admitted being possessed and inspired. Rather than observing Yahowah’s seven feasts, all of which Paul negated, Mithras ate supper with Sol (the Sun), who is shown bowing to him. He is always depicted with a halo or sunburst above his head, and is commonly shown with torch bearers whose lanterns and staffs are upside down. Especially interesting considering Paul’s inverted and twisted testimony, depictions of Mithras are most always double-faced.

This Roman god with a Babylonian pedigree is presented amidst flashing rays of light, even lightning bolts, just as Paul claimed to have seen him on the road to Damascus. He is depicted with the moon’s blessing and approval after having defeated the sun god, Sol. Mithras then ascends through the seven heavens, something Paul claimed to have done as well.

The caduceus, the symbol of Mercury, the "messenger of god," is universally associated with Mithras throughout these myths, which is telling because Paul’s principle claim was to have been God’s exclusive messenger to the world. Mithras is typically shown carrying keys, not unlike the Roman Catholic Church. He has a scepter in his hand, denoting his authority. He either holds a globe in his hand, or has one at his feet, conveying the notion that the world was his, again just as was the case with Sha’uwl. These globes are even festooned with crosses – another Pauline fixation with a pagan past.

Especially telling, considering Paul’s fixation on the death and bloodletting of his savior, in Mithraism souls are immersed and saved in their graves by the blood of their god so as to be bodily resurrected in harmony with Mercury’s message – most of which undergirds Paul’s testimony. Especially intriguing, Mithras always wore a conical Phrygian cap, which denoted freedom from the law in the pursuit of liberty – which is hauntingly familiar to those aware of Paul’s penchant to preach freedom from the Towrah. Also interesting, the Roman Savior who defeated the old god was costumed in Anatolian robes, the official dress of the land of Paul’s birth. He is even shown as a fountain, baptizing his initiates.

The birthday of Mithras was December 25th, which was celebrated as the Festival of "Natalis Invicti – the Birth of the Unconquerable." That means that he was conceived, and thus resurrected each year on Easter Sunday – nine months earlier. To be saved by him, the initiate simply swore an oath of devotion making salvation faith based. The rituals included recitals of a catechism, where believers in the mythical god were asked to provide the prescribed answers to rehearsed questions to receive the gift of salvation. The highest-ranking clerics were called "Pater – Father," carried a shepherd’s staff, and wore elaborate robes emblazoned with sunbursts, a Phrygian cap covered in thunderbolts, and a ruby ring – most of which survive today in Roman Catholicism. Their hierarchy of participation and status are all echoed in Paul’s writings as well as in Paul’s legacy: the Roman Catholic Church. Believers were united and universal, which is what "catholic" means. They identified themselves through their special handshake – something Paul also introduced. Women were excluded, just as they were from Paul’s personal life. Only men could participate and become clerics – also in keeping with Paul’s theology. So all of this provides us with something to think about.

Beyond the covert religious nature of mythology, and the fact that it plays no part of our relationship with Yahowah, we must also deal with the rather peculiar sequencing of statements and events. Paul has connected mutually exclusive concepts and inconsistent conclusions. On one hand, he has implied that he assumed the Disciples were somewhat supportive of his message, and that no one suggested that a Greek be circumcised, strongly inferring that everyone was in agreement with his position. But now, in the next breath, we discover that Paul is facing such severe opposition, that he is compelled to exclude and demean his foes—a sure sign that he could not effectively refute their message.

And we cannot blame these incompatible associations on scribal error. Papyrus 46 dates to within thirty-five to seventy-five years of the time Sha’uwl connected these conflicting statements. Further, there is no discrepancy between the Nestle-Aland and the oldest surviving manuscript. Further, we cannot even blame these conflicting notions on the difficulty of translating words from one language into another. In this case the words are perfectly clear. There is no dispute regarding their meanings—only the message.

And then we have the absurd transition from not compelling circumcision to surreptitious spies intent on making Sha’uwl subservient to them. On the surface, it is insane. It does little more than provide a window into this man’s soul and affirm that Paul was insecure and malevolent. Demonstrating the resulting paranoia, he saw everyone as a potential adversary. And so he would abandon all moral constraints to undermine those he sought to rise above.

The best that can be said of Paul is that what he wrote was nonsense. Yahowah’s willingness to free us from human oppression isn’t a secret and it cannot be invalidated by anyone—it’s the foundational message of the Torah, the Covenant, the Exodus, the Invitations, and even the Ten Statements – all of which embody an everlasting promise.

Also at issue is the fact that the men who attended this meeting were identified in the book of Acts. They were neither Romans nor members of the Sanhedrin. Some had been, but were no longer, Pharisees. They were all elders in the Yaruwshalaim Called-Out Assembly, which means that they were not "false brothers." They did not sneak into the meeting; they were invited. And they were active participants, not secret observers.

Unless something changes, we are on the cusp of having to acknowledge the unavoidable. The evidence is all too quickly becoming undeniable. It is obvious that God did not inspire these words. They are Paul’s. And they are wrong on all accounts.

Those who would excuse Galatians 2:4 forfeit the high ground of reason. And yet, theologians are driven to protect the man responsible for inspiring their faith, their prestige, and their incomes. They do so to keep from ostracizing themselves from their fellow Christians—those who believe that the so-called "Christian New Testament" is not only Scripture, but also inerrant. And yet such an assumption is a religious myth akin to the Greek Charities and the Roman Graces.

The Nestle-Aland’s McReynolds Interlinear of Galatians 2:4 reads: "through but the brought in secretly false brothers who came in along to look carefully the freedom of us that we have in Christ Jesus that us they will enslave thoroughly,..."

While the KJV’s publication of "Christ Jesus" isn’t appropriate, their translation is otherwise accurate. In this case, the problem is with Paul’s Greek, not Bacon’s English or Jerome’s Latin: "And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:"

The Vulgate acknowledges that this verse is in fact a continuation of the previous sentence: "...but only because of false brothers, who were brought in subintroductos/unknowingly. They entered subintroierunt/secretly to spy on our liberty, which we have in Christo Iesu, so that they might reduce us to servitude." Jerome’s rendering also associates the reason for not compelling circumcision with the arrival of the false brothers. So other than the transliteration of a nonexistent name and title (those of the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’), the Latin translation was quite literal.

Being literal, however, simply illuminates the senselessness of Sha’uwl’s words. Therefore Jerome explained: " ~ The sub prefix of both ‘subintroductos’ and ‘subintroierunt’ indicate secrecy or a lack of knowledge about the action of the verb. In other words, the true brothers did not realize at first that these others who were brought into the Faith were false brothers. They entered while their intentions and falseness were unknown." But this doesn’t help. No man has the power or authority to alter what Yahowah has said and what Yahowsha’ has done.

When reading a novel, I prefer style over substance. But the Christian New Testament isn’t marketed by bible publishers as a work of fiction. And yet, based upon the liberties they have taken, the NLT is a work of fiction. "Even that question came up only because of some so-called Christians there—false ones, really—who were secretly brought in. They sneaked in to spy on us and take away the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. They wanted to enslave us and force us to follow their Jewish regulations." In that Yahowah told us that: "being presumptuous, overstepping one’s bounds, and taking liberties" serves as proof that someone is a false prophet, seems Tyndale Publishing House, Inc. just revealed their true identity.

Nothing in the statement Sha’uwl wrote said anything about being "forced to follow their Jewish regulations." There was no subject or race mentioned. And while the NLT was wrong, it wasn’t completely wrong. Based upon what we learn in the Acts 15 accounting of this meeting, a disagreement arose over whether or not God’s children should follow God’s example, and thus observe the Torah. This known, however, there is no correlation between the Torah and "Jewish regulations." They are all derived from Rabbinic Traditions and the Oral Law – especially the Talmud. And yet this is a very common Christian misconception, bred out of ignorance, disdain for the Torah, affinity for Paul, religious rivalry, and anti-Semitism.

As you contemplate Sha’uwl’s response to the alleged "false brothers," recognize that "submission," from hypotage, isn’t found in Papyrus 46, the late first-century witness of this letter, even though it is included in more recently compiled texts (following eiko, meaning "yield"). Additionally, euangelion, rendered "Gospel" in most English translations, but more accurately translated "healing message and beneficial messenger," is not extant in the earliest manuscripts either. Further, in P46, we find a placeholder for Yahowah’s title between "e aletheias – the truth" and "diameno – may continue to be associated" in the oldest Greek text, but not in the Textus Receptus, the Novum Testamentum Graece, nor the Nestle Aland Greek New Testament, even though the first claimed to be the "text received directly from God," and the other two have claimed to have corrected every error of the former by referencing older manuscripts.

So, the two things we know for sure are: we are not the first to be troubled by what Paulos said, and others have already tried to fix these problems. Therefore, at the very least, this response is the product of considerable meddling and copyediting – some of which may have been required just to make what follows appear lucid.

" whom (ois) neither (oude – not even and but no) to (pros – against, among, with regard to, or advantageously) a moment (hora – an occasion in time or an hour) we yielded (eiko – we surrendered, gave in, or submitted) [to the submission (te hypotage – to the obedience and subjection)] in order that (hina – as a result) the truth (e aletheia – that which is an eternal reality and in complete accord with history and the evidence) of the God (tou ΘΥ) [beneficial message and healing messenger (euangelion)] may continue to be associated (diameno – might remain and continue) among (pros – to against, or advantageously with regard to) you (umas).” (Galatians 2:5)

With regard to this statement, the Nestle-Aland’s McReynolds Interlinear, in direct denial of their claim to have corrected their text to reflect the oldest extant manuscripts, published: " whom but not to hour we yielded in the subjection that the truth of the good message might stay through to you." The earliest witness of this statement reads: "to whom neither to a moment or hour we submitted in order that the truth of the God might continue to be associated among you." (2:5)

Excuse me while I vent for a moment, but this is pathetic. If the imposters had to be sneaky just to get into the room, and if their mission was simply to spy on Sha’uwl, why is not surrendering to them being presented as a heroic and selfless stand which was required to bring us the truth? Couldn’t we just read the Torah? Couldn’t we listen to Yahowsha’ by reading Mattanyah or Yahowchanan’s eyewitness accounts? Couldn’t we just ignore them – especially since nothing they said, if anything, is known? Why is everything being presented as if it is not only Paul against the world, but that without Paul’s brave stand against the forces of darkness that we’d all succumb? And how is it that we are to believe that Paul is the arbitrator of "the truth of the God" when he began this letter telling us that His "old system was immoral and corrupt?"

The issue here is that since circumcision is required to participate in the Covenant, the inference is that you have to submit to and obey the Torah to benefit from the old system. But you should know that there is no Hebrew word for "obey." When it is found in English "translations" it is because they have misrepresented the meaning of the Hebrew verb, shama’, which means "to listen." Likewise, there is no Hebrew word for "submit." The few times it is found in English bibles either "kachash – to deceive," "raphac – to stamp down," or "‘anah – to respond" were twisted to provide this errant connotation. At issue here is that Towrah is "teaching" that we should "listen and respond to," rather than a set of "laws" to which we must "submit and obey."

No one can diminish Yahowah’s gift, so I am at a loss to see how Sha’uwl’s failure to yield to these men would have had any material effect on anyone. But I do see an ego of gargantuan proportions masking a debilitating bout with insecurity.

Considering the audience, Paul is claiming that he is preventing the application of the same instructions our Heavenly Father provided to the Children of Yisra’el in His Towrah. So by taking this stand, Sha’uwl is freeing believers from listening to God.

While it is irrelevant in this context, should you be curious, the only people with the authority to enslave Paulos, and thus silence him, would have been representatives of the Roman government. Not even the Sanhedrin could have done so because Paulos was a Roman citizen. Moreover, as a rabbinical student in Yaruwshalaim, Sha’uwl would have known the latter personally. And as we will discover, Rome allegedly imprisoning Paulos didn’t silence him. And if the Romans had incarcerated him to moot his message, and if he was actually speaking for God, Yahowah would have found another witness. So, Sha’uwl’s response was as flawed as was his proposition.

Christian theologians, knowing what the founder of their religion will say next, would have us believe that the purpose of this troubling exchange was to free believers from the Torah. And that is because they, like Paul, despise God’s Teaching. They neither understand it nor respect it.

Christian clerics also insist that the "false brothers" who were advocating on behalf of the Torah were "Judaizers." But this is ridiculous. Judaism is predicated upon Rabbinic Law, upon the Talmud, as opposed to Yahowah’s Torah. And Jews don’t evangelize.

That means Christian theologians would be wrong on every account, that is, except their premise. It saddens me to say that it is obvious: Sha’uwl despised the Torah as much as they do. As a rabbinical student, he hated every word of it, just as do the rabbis of this day, arguing against it in their Talmud.

Yahowah’s position, since it still matters, is the antithesis of Paul’s, Christianity’s, and Judaism’s. The fulcrum upon which the Torah pivots is the Exodus: the story of Yahowah freeing His people from religious and political oppression in Egypt as a result of His Covenant.

This is why the First Statement Yahowah etched on the First of Two Tablets begins: "I am Yahowah, your God, who delivered you from the crucible of Egypt, out of the house of bondage and slavery." The Exodus serves as a historical portrait of Yahowah’s plan of liberation, one which is prophetically portrayed in the seven Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God.

The Miqra’ey, the first four of which were fulfilled during the Exodus and by Yahowsha’, free us from being subject to mankind’s political and religious schemes, from mortality, corruption, and separation. Therefore, it is blasphemous for Sha’uwl to suggest that he considered the Torah to be a source of bondage, or for Christians to promote such an idea, especially since the path to freedom delineated, commemorated, predicted, explained, and fulfilled in Yahowah’s seven Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with Him gave birth to the Called-Out Assembly Sha’uwl was addressing.

Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis chronicles Abraham’s journey away from the religious climate of Babylon and into a liberating personal relationship with God. For only the second time in human history, the Creator and His creation walked side by side as friends. This relationship developed into the Family-Oriented Covenant which served as the backbone of the Torah and as the expedient of the Exodus. The first four Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God were fulfilled to deliver its promises on Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, giving birth to the empowering and enriching aspects of Seven Sabbaths. In this way, Yahowah has freed us from death and from sin, from all forms of human oppression. And with the relationship reconciled, we are adopted into Yahowah’s family. It is one cohesive story from beginning to end. There are no turns in this path, no dead ends. There are no changes or modifications along the way.

In this light, and as I’ve shared before, the definition of the Hebrew title Towrah isn’t "Law," but is instead "Teaching and Guidance." The Towrah is our "Owner’s Manual" written by life’s Architect. It is the soil from which the Tree of Life grows. Its fruit is a loving relationship leading to salvation, to knowing God and to living forever with Him. Every word of the Towrah exists to highlight this path.

As we discussed briefly a moment ago, while infinitely more essential, circumcision is somewhat like baptism in this regard. The acts themselves don’t save us. It’s what they represent that matters. So long as we understand and accept that circumcision is symbolic of being separated and set-apart from man’s desires and from his oppressive religious schemes so that we can enter into the "beryth – Familial Covenant Relationship" with God, we are spiritually circumcised. So long as we understand and accept that baptism is symbolic of being reborn by way of the Set-Apart Spirit, of being immersed in Her Garment of Light, and of having our souls purified and cleansed by our Spiritual Mother, we are spiritually baptized. That said, physical circumcision remains a condition of the Covenant, so every man who wants to participate in it is encouraged to tangibly demonstrate his commitment to the relationship in this manner.

We observe the Towrah by closely examining and carefully considering Yahowah’s teaching and guidance. We benefit from the Towrah when we respond to what we have come to learn and understand. Slavishly devoting oneself to a rigorous regime of doing everything the Torah says, however, at precisely the right time and in precisely the right way, and never doing anything contrary to its instructions, has never saved anyone. But coming to understand the towrah, and then capitalizing upon the means to reconciliation articulated therein, has ransomed and redeemed every child of the Covenant.

Returning to the passage, here is what the King James Version says relative to Galatians 2:5, not that I understand it: "To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you." If it is possible to make Paul sound worse than he already does, credit the English for revealing it.

Since the Latin Vulgate reads: "We did not yield to them in subjection, even for an hour, in order that the truth of the evangelii would remain with you," we know why "subjection" and "gospel" were included in more recently compiled Greek texts, and in every subsequent translation. And yet, no one was trying to hold anyone in "subjection," and Yahowah doesn’t have a "gospel."

But you wouldn’t know it by reading the New Living Translation. In another break from their "Essentially Literal and Dynamic Equivalent" philosophy, one which has consistently rendered euangelion as "Good News," this time they wrote "Gospel" (even though euangelion wasn’t actually written in the Greek text). "But we refused to give in to them for a single moment. We wanted to preserve the truth of the gospel message for you." It’s too bad the Tyndale brain trust wasn’t as committed to "preserving the truth." (Not that it’s found in Paul’s epistles.)

Moving on to the next plank in the Ark of the Deception, we find our handrail in this disorienting realm of Pauline verbosity, the Nestle-Aland’s McReynolds Interlinear, suggesting that the troubadour of faith provided the following rebuttal to his critics: "From but the ones thinking to be somewhat kind then they were nothing to me it differs face the God of man not receives to me for the ones thinking nothing conferred."

More literally and completely rendered from the words Sha’uwl actually selected, his retort was materially more demeaning and considerably less convincing:

"But (de – and then now) from (apo) those (ton – the ones) currently reputed and supposed (dokei – presently presumed based upon opinions and appearances) to be (eimi) someone important (tis – something) based upon some sort of (hopoios – some kind of) unspecified past (pote – both former or present time), they were actually (eimi – they were in the past and continue to genuinely exist as (imperfect active indicative)) nothing (oudeis – of no account and completely meaningless and worthless) to me (moi).

It carries through (diaphero – it currently actively and actually (present active indicative) spreads, really performs drifting different ways, it presently bears in alternate directions; from dia – through and diaphero – to carry a burden) the face (prosopon – head, person, individual, and appearance) of the God (o ΘΣ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘elohym, the Almighty) of man (anthropou – of a human) not (ou) take hold of (lambano – presently obtain, actually acquire, or actively receive (present active indicative)).

Because (gar – making a connection) to me (emoi), the ones (oi) currently presuming and supposing (oi dokei – presently dispensing opinions based upon reputed appearances), of no account (oudeis – nothing and nobody, meaningless and worthless) was their advice and counsel (prosanatithemai – was their one time cause, additional comments, and limited contribution (in the aorist indicative this was a merely a moment in time having occurred in the past))." (Galatians 2:6)