Questioning Paul

…Is Christianity Right or Wrong?

Letter to the Reader

Are you open to a Word of advice?

Considering the consequence, should blind faith in religious promises be proven unreliable, nothing is more important, or more controversial, than questioning the viability of popular beliefs. Therefore, since the world’s most accepted religion is based almost entirely upon the letters written by Sha’uwl, known today as "Paul," as a result of having chosen the Latin name, Paulos, this systematic evaluation of his foundational epistle may be among the most valuable and challenging books you have ever encountered.

Now I realize that most all Christians chafe at the notion that "Paul," not "Jesus," created their religion, but that is the only informed and reasoned conclusion which can be drawn from the evidence. Since the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ (the actual title and name of the individual errantly referred to as "Jesus Christ") was not only Torah observant, but also unreservedly upheld every word scribed in the Torah, a person can neither understand, follow, nor benefit from His words or deeds without also being Torah observant. And the moment an individual becomes Torah (from towrah – meaning "Teaching and Guidance," not Law) observant (from shamar – meaning "to close closely examine and carefully consider," not keep), they cease to be Christian. The truth is: Yahowsha’s testimony completely and irrefutably destroys the myth of Christianity. Support for the world’s most popular faith is found only in the letters attributed to Paul.

Therefore, the underlying questions this book strives to answer are: is Sha’uwl’s / Paul’s message consistent with Yahowah’s Torah Teaching and with Yahowsha’s (a compound of Yahowah and yasha’ – saves) words and deeds? And if not, could Paul’s letters have been inspired by the God Paul contradicted? In other words: is Sha’uwl’s testimony credible? Should you believe Paulos? And if you do, what is the consequence?

If you are religious, I’m going to tell you something about yourself that you may not realize. The tendency of the vast preponderance of religious individuals is to avoid evaluating evidence, and especially the merits of arguments which appear to undermine the credibility and mythos of their faith. Instead, believers tend to dismiss documented and reasoned presentations by demeaning the character and motivations of the messenger who bears disquieting news. So while Questioning Paul isn’t about me, I am willing to share the following information.

At the onset of this study, now over five years ago, I was inclined to believe Paul’s testimony. I thought that Sha’uwl (Paulos’s given name which is indistinguishable in Hebrew from She’owl, the realm of the dead and demonic, meaning "to question") was "an Apostle," that he encountered "Jesus" on the road to Damascus, and that he spent three years in Arabia in preparation for his mission—just as he had claimed. At the commencement of what would become an comprehensive evaluation of Paulos’s (a name which means "lowly and little" in Latin) testimony, I was predisposed to think that scribal error, misleading translations, errant transliterations, unsupported interpretations, confusion over whether Sha’uwl was assailing the Torah or Rabbinic Law, and an overall ignorance of the Torah’s purpose, had collectively abetted religious doctrines which were inconsistent with Paul’s intended message.

But it will be Paul’s letters, his words, not my preconceived notions, which will ultimately determine whether or not the world’s most influential religious character had the audacity to contradict God, to undermine His testimony, and to establish a "New Testament" in place of an "Old Testament" – especially recognizing that according to Yahowah there is still only one Covenant and it has yet to be renewed. But if he did, and if he made his case, then the Christian faith may be valid. But if he didn’t, billions of Christian souls have been misled – their lives shortchanged.

To arrive at the truth, we will have to resolve whether the man born as Sha’uwl, who wrote as Paulos, and who is known as Paul, was assailing: Natural Law, Roman Law, Rabbinic Law, or Yahowah’s Towrah—which actually means "Teaching, Guidance, Direction, and Instruction." We will have to closely compare the oldest textual witnesses to modern-Greek manuscripts to determine if Sha’uwl’s words have been affected by scribal error, attributing things to him that he did not actually write. And after presenting Sha’uwl’s / Paulos’s letters in English, rendering them as completely and accurately as possible using the oldest manuscripts, we will compare these findings to a variety of other translations to ascertain whether or not translational errors have artificially altered our impression of Sha’uwl’s / Paulos’s purpose in writing his epistles.

Now, for those who may be wondering why I appear somewhat fixated on this man’s given name in addition to his chosen moniker, the answer is that Yahowah used the former and Yahowsha’ referenced the latter to convey their extraordinarily candid impressions of Sha’uwl / Paulos / Paul and his letters. Therefore, paramount to our desire to know and our ability to understand what God and man have to say, and about whom they are conversing, we must strive to be as precise as possible in our translations and transliterations. By insisting upon accurate and amplified translations, where the complete and correct meanings of the words God and this man chose to communicate are known, we will learn the truth. And by emphasizing the proven and proper ways to pronounce, and thus to transliterate, the proper names of the individuals involved in this debate, we will come to know who God is, who Paul is, and what they have to say about one another.

God’s testimony in this regard is so utterly devastating to Sha’uwl’s credibility, the question of bias becomes moot. To remain rational, and thus moral, I was compelled to embrace a far more judgmental approach to Sha’uwl much earlier in this review than his letter alone, at least up to that point, might otherwise justify. But more on this in a moment.

You should know that I have rewritten this book five times, because the evidence I discovered did not conform to my expectations, and because I’m constantly learning. I began this project defending Paul, and therefore I positioned his every word as favorably as the manuscripts and lexicons would allow. I then emphasized the positive aspects of what he had said, and all too often glossed over those things which were of concern, remaining silent when I should have spoken. Frankly, it wasn’t until the end of the third and fourth chapters of Galatians that I realized that I had been played for a fool. But even then, I was blind to the ploy Sha’uwl was using to manipulate his audience.

It was not until having lived with this material for many months, twelve hours a day, six days a week, that I finally came to understand Sha’uwl’s strategy. It had been there all the time, blatant and obvious for all the world to see – but I had read right through it. And even then, my eyes were opened as a result of a daily barrage of hints from people all around the world, most of whom I’ve never met. So when I warn you that this will be hard to accept, I speak from experience. But fortunately, I can also assure everyone that once Paul’s ploy is understood, once we have extricated his doctrine from our minds, we find God right before our eyes, speaking to us from His Towrah: His voice clear, His purpose unmistakable, His offer perfect. If you reject Paul and Christianity as I have done for Yahowah and the Covenant, you will lose nothing and gain everything.

Confessions aside, I knew that Paul’s letters were not Scripture (a transliteration of the Latin word for "writing"), in the sense of being inspired word-for-word by God, long ago. That was obvious. And yet I still believed that he aspired to tell the truth, that he had personally met with Yahowsha’, and then had spent three years with Him before he embarked upon his mission. Therefore, I considered his insights to be important. As a result, I initially skipped over his propensity to misquote Yahowah and to never quote Yahowsha’. I missed the significance of what he changed, and thus I was blind to the strategy he was deploying. This is especially painful for me to admit, because rationally evaluating rhetoric was the one thing I had thought I had a propensity to do reasonably well. But with Sha’uwl / Paulos, that was not the case.

Eventually, however, as I made my way through the text of Paul’s first epistle, it became obvious that something was dreadfully wrong. And while I immediately recognized the character flaw emerging before my eyes as being the same one that had made Muhammad, the founder of Islam, easy to manipulate, I still couldn’t put my finger on exactly what Paul was trying to accomplish.

Then I compared Sha’uwl’s review of a meeting he had been summoned to attend at the behest of Yahowsha’s ("Jesus’" actual name, meaning Yahowah Saves) Disciples (a transliteration of the Greek word which means "to follow and to learn") in Yaruwshalaim (Jerusalem’s actual name, properly transliterated, meaning Source from which Teaching and Guidance Regarding Reconciliation Flows) with the detailed history of that same event in Acts, and I found the differences to be alarming. But when I reached the preamble of Paul’s ultimate manifesto, beginning with the second and running through the third and fourth chapters of Galatians, during my second pass through this material, the charade was finally over. My eyes were opened and I came to understand the edifice he was establishing. It was then that I discovered six (now seven) very specific prophecies whereby Yahowah and Yahowsha’ admonished us to be skeptical of Sha’uwl – to avoid all association with him. After that, I found Paul’s ultimate confessions lurking in statements I had read many times before. Suddenly everything fit. There were no longer any loose ends, no more mysteries or questions.

Frankly, I was deceived initially by the purported relationship between Sha’uwl and Yahowsha’, and between Sha’uwl and Yahowsha’s Disciples: Ya’aqob (James’s actual name, properly transliterated, meaning Established in His Walk), Shim’own (Peter’s actual name properly transliterated, meaning He Listens), and Yahowchanan (John’s actual name properly transliterated meaning Yahowah is Merciful). I was also seduced by Paul’s place as the author of half of the so-called "Christian New Testament." Questioning such an individual was well beyond my comfort zone. And yet, Yahowah, Himself, reveals that far too few of us have been willing to do this very thing – and with devastating and deadly consequences.

Also challenging is the fact that we have all been conditioned to think in terms of black and white, believing that everything a false prophet says must be wrong. And yet that is not how charlatans deceive. Wrong is made to appear right by blending misconceptions with accurate statements. A counterfeit is worthless, and yet it prevails because it looks real on the surface, fooling the unsuspecting into believing that it is the genuine article. Such is the nature of Paul’s epistles. The casual reader who is not keenly observant, closely examining and carefully considering the text, while comparing Galatians to the Torah, is easily misled by the blending of truth and lies.

In this regard, the last thing Satan desires is to be known as the Adversary. He wants to be called "the Lord" and to be worshipped as if he were "God" – things Yahowah opposes. So we should expect the Adversary’s religious schemes to discredit the occult, to attack the Devil, all while corrupting Yahowah’s testimony to produce a counterfeit religious deity which appears worthy of veneration. This is accomplished by discrediting and demeaning the nature, intent, and testimony of the real God, and then by replacing these things with a new deity and beliefs which appear more accommodating.

Credible lies are woven side by side and intertwined with strands of truth, which makes the resulting deceptions vastly more beguiling. This is exactly how the serpent, representing Satan, confused Adam and Chawah (Eve’s actual name properly transliterated, meaning "source of life") in the Garden of Eden (meaning "great joy"), thereby setting a precedent many others would follow. In fact, this is precisely the strategy Sha’uwl deploys in his first epistle and then again in every subsequent letter. But that’s only half of the story.

So be forewarned, even though Paul admitted to being demon-possessed, until you come to understand the way Satan uses religions to fool the masses into worshipping him rather than engaging in a relationship with Yahowah, you may not yet be receptive to how this fallen spiritual messenger inspired Sha’uwl’s writings. But while that may be true for most, it may not be true for you. For example, the following chapter is specifically designed to motivate Christians to follow Yahowah’s guidance and Yahowsha’s example, encouraging them to begin questioning what they believe and what they have been told. If your mind is open, even just a little, perhaps you’ll be exposed to something in the first chapter which will trigger a willingness to think. And sometimes the smallest crack in a façade can lead to the floodgates being opened.

If you are an atheist, agnostic, Secular Humanist, Hindu, or Buddhist, while you are welcome to read Questioning Paul, your time would be better spent, at least initially, reading Yada Yah or An Introduction to God. It is more important that you come to know what is true than what isn’t. And at this point, your thinking isn’t corrupted by religious sentiments which have to be jettisoned prior to establishing a reliable foundation predicated upon evidence and reason.

If you elect not to heed this advice, consider this a friendly warning: having responded to over ten-thousand emails from religious individuals over the past ten years, I have come to realize that evidence and reason are irrelevant to those who are passionate about their faith. So if you define yourself as a Christian (as I once did), especially an Evangelical or Catholic, if you believe that everything in your "Bible" is the inspired and inerrant Word of God, if you go to church most Sunday mornings, if you celebrate Christmas and Easter, if you are unwilling to consider irrefutable proof that God’s name is not "the Lord," and that His Son’s name is not "Jesus Christ," and if you believe that your faith or religious affiliations determine your salvation, then you aren’t even remotely ready to consider the evidence presented in this book. It won’t do you any good, because you won’t be able to process any of it.

The preponderance of Christians are predisposed to believe that Paul’s letters are Scripture, and are thus truthful. By that definition, they are beyond reproach—and thus cannot be questioned. As evidence of this mindset, while Christians will say that their faith is predicated upon "Jesus Christ," when asked to explain it, they will invariably cite Paul rather than Yahowsha’. And when confronted with the realization that Paul’s teachings differ substantially from "Christ’s," and are the antithesis of one another, this irresolvable conflict is lost on believers, as is the reality that faith is an impoverished substitute for knowing.

If your mind is open, if there are aspects of your faith which trouble you, if you realize that there are serious problems associated with Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Secular Humanism, if you really want to know God, then what follows is for you.

The evidence you are about to consider, however, will be shocking. It leads to a place I could not have imagined before I embarked upon this voyage. And that is why I had to rewrite Questioning Paul five times based upon what I learned along the way. Words are insufficient to express how divergent my preconceived notions were from what I discovered.

It would have been much easier if I could have resolved the differences. But since I cannot, reason and compassion dictate that I should be honest regarding what I’ve learned. And so while ninety percent of what I had written in Yada Yah had nothing to do with Sha’uwl, based upon what I have discovered, it has now taken me a year to cleanse those seven volumes of Paul’s epistles.

This particular episode is not pleasant. In fact it saddens me to forewarn you that there is something horribly wrong with the written legacy of the most influential person who ever lived. But in due time, he will hang himself with his words, not mine.

What you are going to read is thoroughly researched, comprehensively translated, rationally presented, and overtly judgmental, which is the only proper response to that which claims to be from God and yet is in discord with His testimony. And once a person comes to know for certain that the edifice billions of people are risking their souls upon is unworthy and unreliable, they cease to be moral by keeping that realization to themselves. Those who think that it is loving and kind to embrace and respect everyone’s faith, no matter how faulty, are wrong.

While I’ve done my best, if you find error with my translations of the oldest extant manuscripts, or with my comparisons or reasoning, feel free to express your concerns. I’ll address them and then correct the record if necessary. But please, don’t quote a conflicting passage from one of Paul’s epistles to negate something he said elsewhere, as this would only prove that Paul contradicted himself.

Yahowah’s Word (the Torah and Prophets) and Yahowsha’s testimony (as recorded in Mattanyah, Yahowchanan, and the Revelation to Yahowchanan, and to a lesser degree the hearsay portraits found in Mark and Luke) comprise the lone reservoir of reliable evidence worthy of our consideration relative to evaluating Sha’uwl’s / Paulos’s / Paul’s veracity. The feelings and opinions of others, while important to them, are irrelevant to this endeavor.

If you are a Christian, and if you are still contemplating whether to turn the page or close this book, I have a proposition you may want to consider. Suppose I told you that by comparing Paul’s words to God’s Word, and also to Yahowsha’s example, that I could prove beyond any doubt that Paul was not an Apostle, and therefore that the religion predicated upon his letters was unreliable, would you be willing to risk considering the evidence if it meant losing your faith? What’s more important to you: your beliefs or the truth? And if it can be shown that these things not only differ, but are irreconcilable, which would you choose?

But that is not all. What if in addition to proving that Paul’s epistles, and thus Christianity, are neither trustworthy nor reliable, I could also prove beyond any doubt that there is a God whose testimony is dependable and unchanging, would you sacrifice your religion for a relationship with Him through it?

These propositions are not hypothetical. What lies before you will do both. It will take something rotten from you and it will replace it with something extraordinarily wonderful. So if you are ready for the exchange of a lifetime, here is something for you to consider:

"Yahowah’s (efei) Towrah (towrah – teaching, guidance, direction, and instruction) is complete and entirely perfect (tamym – without defect, lacking nothing, correct, genuine, right, helpful, beneficial, and true), returning and restoring (suwb – transforming) the soul (nepesh – consciousness).

Yahowah’s testimony (‘eduwth – restoring and eternal 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 and receptive." (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 19:7)

That is God’s perspective on the nature and purpose of His Torah. What is yours?