Questioning Paul

Chapter 4

part 8


You’ll notice, and these facts are significant, this meeting had been called to confront Paulos’s contrarian testimony, but upon its conclusion the letter which was drafted wasn’t from Paul and that it was addressed to the places the man being judged had previously spoken. The real Apostles were leaving nothing to chance. Far too much was at stake to allow Paul’s attack on the Torah to prevail.

But that is not to say that they weren’t in a horrible predicament. Paul had positioned himself as God’s messenger to the nations and had traveled the world preaching his perverted Gospel. He was a Roman citizen, and they were not, giving Paul an enormous advantage. Paul was smarter, better educated, far more ambitious, and a much more prolific writer.

The Apostles could have silenced Paul, but that would have required killing or imprisoning him, for which they had no legal authority. They could have openly opposed him, but that would have created an aurora of distrust between the Disciples and the people this charlatan had been soliciting. Or they could have tried to work with him—but that required compromise, something wholly unacceptable to God. And frankly, what was to be gained by negotiating with a self-proclaimed murderer and pervert, with a man who would soon admit to being both insane and demon-possessed? It would be akin to making concessions with a Muslim regarding peace in Israel.

What follows suggests that Yahowsha’s Disciples improperly chose the latter in direct opposition to Yahowah’s instructions and Yahowsha’s example. They would try to control Paul by working out an accommodation with him. It was the mother’s milk of politics. Whenever you compromise on essential values, you weaken them, weaken yourself, and postpone the inevitable, ultimately paying a much higher price.

While the Yaruwshalaym Summit had begun and had ended referring to the Torah, the Torah would not be mentioned in their letter. Christianity is the consequence.

And considering the fact that the perpetrator of the contrarian view used "tarasso – intimidation, perplexing his audience by confusing them," this next statement provides a chilling summation of the meeting held to judge Pauline Doctrine. In that God made Himself known to facilitate trust, his adversary "instilled doubts" to necessitate faith. Knowing that the Spirit he was opposing brought peace though reconciliation, Sha’uwl had used "fear tactics to terrorize" his audience into submission. And all of the "perplexing and unanswerable questions" which arose from his rhetoric, through tarasso we learn the troubling statements "were born out of a complete lack of scruples."

Here then is the Apostles’ written declaration to the nations...

"Since (epeide – seeing and recognizing that) we heard (akouo – we received news) that (oti) someone (tis) from (ek) us (emon) [went out (exerchomai) (excluded from Papyrus 45)] stirred up trouble by confusing (tarasso – distressing, disturbing, and agitating, without scruples perplexing by causing doubts, frightening and terrorizing so as to intimidate) you (umas) with statements (logos – with words, speech, a message, acquisition, or treatise) with unsettling and troubling words (anakeuazo logos – with distressful and upsetting speech, with destructive and ravaging statements, with mindless and irrational reasoning, with a treatise designed to overthrow, upend, and subvert by being terrifying) for your souls (tas psyche umon – for your psyche) which (ois) we did not authorize (ou diastellomai – we did not arrange, prepare, set into place, or send out),…" (Acts 15:24)

Keep in mind, this was written by Yahowsha’s Disciples, by the hand of the witnesses God had personally trained, to the communities in which Sha’uwl had preached regarding the merits of the self-proclaimed apostle’s message. And that is indeed "tarasso – disturbing" and "anakeuazo – distressing." These are especially condescending terms – and they were spoken of Paul.

Unfortunately, while everything Paul had promised was now suspect, nothing specifically was repudiated. All the Disciples said was that Paul’s message was confusing, perplexing, troubling, and unsettling, and that they had not "authorized" the "logos – statements" Paul’s audiences had heard.

To be fair, Yahowsha’s Disciples did not know even one percent as much about Paul as we do today. At the time this meeting took place, Paul’s first epistle, Galatians, which would be written as a hostile rebuttal to his censure at this meeting, was still months away. Paul’s next four letters, the two anti-Semitic rants to the Thessalonians and the pair of schizophrenic tomes to the Corinthians were three to five years off. As a result, no one knew that Sha’uwl would admit to being insane or demon-possessed. And Luke’s portrayal of this man’s life wouldn’t be compiled for a decade or more. Therefore, it would be some time before the world was made aware of Paul’s preposterous conversion experience or his duplicitous and conflicting testimony. So all Sha’uwl had to do at this meeting to appear credible was to lie. And that is what he did best.

Having been in their position in business, where information was sketchy and incomplete, and where the participants are naturally prone to give every party the benefit of the doubt, the strategy deployed by the Disciples is obvious. They would never disavow the Torah because it would put them in direct opposition to God. But they didn’t know enough about Pauline Doctrine to categorically state that it was entirely wrong. So victimized by Paul’s misleading testimony, the last thing they wanted was to form a conclusion that would place them in direct opposition to the many thousands, and soon millions, who found Paul’s preaching to their liking. So they deployed a tactic called "the art of emphasis." The Disciples told the truth as clearly as they knew it, but they did not confront the lies because they were unaware of the vast majority of them. And yet as a result, those unwilling to carefully scrutinize Paul’s letters, systematically comparing his testimony to Yahowah’s, were left to wonder who was telling the truth.

While the art of emphasis may be an effective marketing strategy, it isn’t remotely appropriate in association with God. So I recommend Yahowah’s approach, which is to be clear, consistent, uncompromising, and blunt, while offering as complete an explanation as can be compiled, no matter how many words that requires. Yada Yah is long because of this approach, as is An Introduction to God.

We do not have an answer to every question, and there are many things that we are still learning, but there are some things that can be known. First among them is that we cannot go wrong when we convey Yahowah’s Word accurately, or when we advocate and condemn those things which He advocates and condemns. Yahowah has asked that we circumcise our sons as our sign that we want to be part of His Covenant. And He has told us that we should observe His Towrah and listen to Him. That’s good enough for me.

Based upon Yahowah’s Word, unity with Yahowah is essential, while unity among men is only advisable when those men and women share a common and accurate understanding of the Towrah and its Covenant. In fact, God would prefer that we distance ourselves from the thinking, approach, and institutions of men. Therefore, the Disciples may have erred when they wrote:

" occurred (edozen – a derivative of dokei, presumed and supposed) to us (emin) to come to exist (ginomai) with one purpose or passion (homothymadon – common accord emotionally and temperamentally, being similarly angry; from homou, together, and thumos, expressing passion), having ourselves selected a spokesmen (eklegomai andras – choosing men among ourselves to speak out, from lego, to speak and affirm and ek out) to send (pempo – dispatching messengers with the Word) to (pros) you (emas) with (syn) the dear (tois agapetos – the beloved; from agapao – speaking of persons who have been welcomed, even entertained) of us (emon), Barnabas and also Paulo (Barnaba kai Paulo)." (Acts 15:25)

By using a derivative of dokei, Yahowsha’s Disciples were limited to their personal "opinions and suppositions" regarding the troubling message Paul had been conveying. They simply didn’t know enough to be certain. And as such, they could not have been speaking for God.

Homothymadon does not mean that "they were of one mind," but instead that their "passions and desires were similar." The Greek word for mind is dianoia, not thumos which addresses "strong emotions," and in particular, "being angry." It is also used to convey being "inflamed by sufficient wine to cause the drinker to be mad or kill himself."

Further, the Disciples were hedging their bets by calling the spokesmen "eklegomai – ones who speaks out, proclaiming and affirming the Word." When the context is God, the "legos – Word" is the "Torah and Prophets Psalms" in addition to, Yahowsha’, Himself.

Lastly, it is interesting that Barnabas’ name was listed first in this letter, suggesting that he, along with those the Disciples were dispatching, were "tois agapetos – the beloved." With Paul being second, and following "kia – and also," he was separated from the potentially endearing term. Elsewhere, it is always the other way around, with Paul receiving top billing. And in that light, it is telling that Barnabas and Paul would soon split up, with Barnabas disagreeing with Paul. Further, the root of agapetos, agapao, simply means that the Disciples "welcomed the man to their meeting and entertained his story."

"Men (anthropos) having given over (paradidomi – having delivered and instructed; a compound of para, from, and didomi, to give) their (auton) souls (psyche – consciousnesses) for the sake of (hyper) the name (tou onoma) of the Upright One (tou ΚΥ), our Ma’aseyah (ΧΥ) Yahowsha’ (ΙΥ)." (Acts 15:26)

At this juncture, it is not clear whether Yahuwdah and Silas were being described or if this affirmation pertained to Barnabas and Paul. But, even if the identity of those being offered for the sake of Yahowsha’s name wasn’t quickly resolved by what comes next, unlike Paul and Barnabas, most of the Called Out in Yaruwshalaim knew Him personally. And Yahuwdah, in and of itself, is a testament to Yahowah’s name.

"Therefore (oun – wherefore and indeed) we have delegated, prepared, and sent the Apostles (apostello – we have equipped and dispatched for this particular purpose messengers conveying the Word), Yahuwdah (Ioudas – a transliteration of the Hebrew Yahuwdah meaning Related to Yah) and (kai) Silas (Silas), and (kai) through (dia) their (autous) speech (logos – word and statements) reporting and proclaiming the same message (apangello ta auta – announcing; from apo, separation and aggelos, message and messenger)." (Acts 15:27) Therefore, the ones referred to as Apostles, the ones who were prepared and equipped to speak on behalf of Yahowsha’ and His Disciples, the ones proclaiming the same message, were Yahuwdah and Silas, not Paulos or Barnabas.

Before you consider the next codicil, a word of caution is in order. Many people say that their thoughts are inspired by the Spirit. And some may be right some of the time. For example, the accurate revelations found in Yada Yah and An Introduction to God were inspired by either the Spirit or the Word, while all of the errors are a result of a flawed and inadequate implement processing their guidance. I am incapable of being a perfect conduit, and although vastly superior, so were the Disciples.

Unfortunately, the following statement is wrong. I base this conclusion not upon my standards, but instead upon Yahowah’s teaching, His guidance, and the instructions He established in the Torah. That which is in complete accord with the Torah is right, that which conflicts with the Torah is wrong, and that which cannot be affirmed or rejected based upon the Torah is suspect. By that standard, this is not true:

"For (gar) the Set-Apart (hagios – set apart for God’s purpose, dedicated and consecrated, separated from the profane and purifying; a Greek variation on the Hebrew qodesh – set apart) Spirit (ΠΝΑ – a Divine Placeholder representing the feminine ruwach – spirit from the Greek neuter noun pneuma) seemed to be of the opinion (dokei – supposed and presumed), and also (kai) to us (emin), nothing (medeis) more (pleion) of a burden or hardship (baros – of a weight or trouble, suffering or difficult duty) to be placed upon you (epitithemai emin – should you be subjected to) except (plen) these (toeton), the indispensable requirements (ton epanagkes – things which are absolutely essential and necessary):…" (Acts 15:28)

Before we pass final judgment, please consider the Nestle-Aland’s McReynolds Interlinear’s presentation: "It thought for to the spirit the holy and to us nothing more to be set on to you burden except these the necessary." Beyond more accurately rendering "thought" and "holy," the reason that the word order differs in these presentations of Acts is that, in addition to translating the meaning of the words from Greek to English, I’ve also tried to transition from Greek to English grammar, where in English subjects precede verbs and nouns follow adjectives.

To begin, the "ruwach – Spirit" of Yahowah is not "holy" nor is She "neuter." Few things are as essential to understanding Yahowah’s nature and approach than the realization of what it means to be "qodesh – set apart," and that in a family such as the Covenant, a Father and Mother are required for children to live and grow.

Because the "Ruwach Qodesh – Set-Apart Spirit" is a part of Yahowah, set apart from Him to serve us, She does not "dokei – presume or suppose" anything. She is devoid of "opinions." As part of God, set apart from Him, the Set-Apart Spirit has complete access to all pertinent information and Her judgment is impeccable. In Greek, you would say that She "epiginosko – has evaluated all of the evidence and has come to know and understand without any hint of uncertainty." So to suggest that the Set-Apart Spirit "seemed to be of the opinion," regarding Yahowah’s message generally, and the Torah specifically, is to say that they either didn’t receive Her directions or they didn’t process them appropriately.

Baros, in the accusative case, translated "of a burden or hardship," speaks of something which is "a tremendous weight or a difficult duty which leads to suffering and sorrow and is oppressive." Its inclusion in this translation of the Disciples’ letter strongly suggests that this report is fraudulent. While there are five requirements which have to be known, understood, accepted, and acted upon to engage in the Covenant, and thus to be saved by the benefits of the Covenant, these are not "difficult duties," but are instead easy, and rather than being "oppressive" and leading to "suffering and sorrow," they are not only liberating, nothing is more rewarding or enjoyable than being adopted into our Heavenly Father’s Family. Not one of the five requirements is a "burden." They are not a "hardship." This burdensome view of Yahowah, His Towrah, and His Covenant is Pauline.

While I would encourage you to read the Covenant chapter of An Introduction to God (free at for a complete and contextual presentation of the Covenant’s requirements and benefits in Yahowah’s own words, suffice it to say for now, the conditions are as follows: 1) Walk away from your country, including all things Babylon which means disassociating from religion and politics. 2) Come to trust and rely upon Yahowah instead, which means that you will have to come to know Him and understand what He is offering. 3) Walk to God to become perfect, a path which is laid out by Yahowah and a result which is facilitated by Yahowsha’ via the seven Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God. 4) Closely examine and carefully consider the family-oriented Covenant relationship, so that once you understand its provisions you can respond to God’s offer. And 5) Parents should demonstrate their acceptance of the Covenant and their willingness to raise their children to become God’s children by circumcising their sons.

The benefits of doing these five things are: 1) The Covenant’s children become immortal on Passover. 2) The Covenant’s children become perfect from God’s perspective on Un-Yeasted Bread, their flaws no longer seen or known. 3) The Covenant’s children are adopted into God’s Family on FirstFruits, inheriting everything Yahowah has to offer. Then 4 & 5) The Covenant’s children are enriched with God’s teaching and empowered by God’s Spirit on Seven Sabbaths.

If you’re wondering, it’s true. Yahowah, through Yahowsha’ and the Set-Apart Spirit, enabled each of these benefits by fulfilling the promises He had made regarding the Covenant in succession, on the precise days of these Mow’ed Miqra’ey, in year 4000 Yah (33 CE on our pagan calendars). And it is in this way that we come to the Father through Yahowsha’.

As for the rest of the Towrah, once you embrace these extraordinarily rewarding requirements, the benefits are entirely liberating. There are no other requirements, no burdens, no hurdles, no difficult duties. At this point, like Dowd / David, a person is able to sin without eternal consequence. Ignoring the rest of Yahowah’s guidance is inadvisable and counterproductive, but as Dowd reveals, a child of the Covenant remains righteous and vindicated, immortal and enriched, not because he or she obeys every rule, but because Yahowah honors His promises.

In this light, it is interesting to note, there is no Hebrew word for "obey." And as you now know, Towrah means "teaching, guidance, direction, and instruction," not "law." So the whole notion of "baros – difficult duties and oppressive burdens" is wholly inconsistent with God’s approach to life.

The intent of the Torah is to free us from "oppression," which is why Yahowah engaged to free His children from slavery. Its purpose is to remove our "burdens" by way of the Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God. Properly observed, the Torah liberates us from "suffering and sorrow" by bringing us into a familial covenant relationship with our Heavenly Father. Yahowah says as much in the Towrah:

"Indeed (ky), you should consistently and genuinely listen to (shama’) the voice (ba qowl) of Yahowah (efei), your God (‘elohym), to approach by (la) diligently observing, closely examining, and carefully considering (shamar) His terms and conditions (mitswah – His authorized directions and instructions regarding His Covenant contract) and (wa) His inscribed prescriptions for living (chuqah – His engraved advice regarding being cut into the relationship) in this specific (ba ha zeh) written scroll (cepher – written document) of the Towrah (ha Towrah – the teaching and direction, the instruction and guidance) if (ky) you want to actually and eternally return (shuwb – you want to be genuinely and always restored, forever changing your attitude, direction, and thinking) to (‘el) Yahowah (efei), your God (‘elohym), with all of your heart (ba kol leb) and with all of your soul (wa ba kol nepesh). Indeed (ky), these (ha ze’th) terms and conditions (mitswah – authorized instructions regarding the covenant contract) which relationally and beneficially (‘asher) I am (‘anky) instructing you (tsawah – directing and guiding you by sharing with you) this day (ha yowm) are not difficult or challenging (lo’ pala’ – are not hard, troublesome, or a burden). This is not beyond your reach (hw’ min wa lo’ rachowq)." (Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 30:10-11)

If circumcision was a "considerable hardship causing great suffering and sorrow," then it would have been barbaric for Yahowah to ask parents to do this on behalf of their sons eight days after they are born. As for adult circumcision, all that is required is the removal of a small amount of skin. And if we are unwilling to do this, what does it say about our appreciation for the sacrifice Yahowah made on our behalf, where most of His skin was ripped from His body by metal-studded Roman flagellum, where He suffered excruciating pain by being nailed to the upright pole, and where He endured the separation of His soul from God, allowing Himself to be tortured in She’owl on our behalf?

Said another way, Yahowsha’ is the Torah made flesh, and His Way is easy, because He does all of the hard work, performing the heavy lifting, carrying away our burdens, so that we can walk with Him to approach the Father.

The use of "plen – except" in this context, infers by way of translation that the Disciples were saying that the items on the following list were "baros – tremendous burdens." And also, that these represented the only "epanagkes – indispensible requirements" of the Torah—neither of which is accurate.

The totality of the list was then comprised of: "…to stay away from (apechomai – to separate and keep a distance from, thereby avoiding and abstaining from) sacrificial meats (eidolothyton – animal flesh offered to pagan idols), and (kai) blood (haima), and (kai) strangled (pniktos – choked to death and suffocated as part of a bloodless religious ritual), and (kai) sexual immorality (porneia – fornication, prostitution, or illegal intercourse), from (ek) which (hos) avoiding (diatereo – keeping or abstaining from) yourselves (eautous) beneficial (eu – healthy and prosperous, good and correct) you do (prasso – you practice, carry out, and accomplish). Farewell (rhonnymai – goodbye, be strong, healthy, and prosperous).’" (Acts 15:29)

As a summation of the Torah, this is inaccurate, grossly inappropriate, and stunningly deficient. Moreover, it is wholly inconsistent with Yahowsha’s statements recorded in Mattanyah 5 through 7 from His Instruction on the Mount. Furthermore, not one of these edicts was sufficiently important to make an appearance in the Ten Statements Yahowah etched in stone. So since this wasn’t God’s list, whose do you suppose it might have been?

Eidolothyton is a compound of eidolon, meaning "images and likenesses," and thuo, which conveys the idea of "sacrificial slaughter." It is but a subset of the earlier admonition in Acts 15:20, from which the Gentiles were asked to "stay away from condemned (alisgema – religious rituals and impure) idols and false gods (eidolon)." This diminishment in scope, and distancing of the message from the Second Statement Yahowah etched in stone, is interesting because apart from the addition of "porneia – sexual immorality," the rest of the list was identical with Ya’aqob’s previous declaration.

Diatereo, rendered "avoid," is most often translated "continually and carefully keep." It is from dia, "through," and tereo, "to observe and attend to, to guard and to keep." The author of this text first used diatereo in Luke 2:51, where Yahowsha’ returned to Nazareth with his parents and "was subordinate to them. And His mother always ‘remembered and treasured (diatereo – kept and preserved)’ these words in her heart." So there is considerable room for confusion here.

However, it is true, albeit an afterthought: according to the Torah we should not consume things offered as a sacrifice to a god or goddess. We find this instruction in Shemowth / Names / Exodus 34:12-15, where Yahowah asks us to avoid any association with any religious activity. But as you read though this, please notice that it was Sha’uwl who established and boldly proclaimed a new covenant in association with the inhabitants of the nations he claimed as his own. It became a trap, ensnaring those who came to favor the alters and religious shrines that grew out of his letters – especially his association with the Graces. And Sha’uwl’s religious pronouncements were always focused on an additional and very different god, one whose name was unassociated with Yahowah.

"To approach you should be observant (shamar la – to come near closely examine and carefully consider [Yahowah’s "tsawah – instructions and directions" which was the focus of the 11th verse]) lest (pen) you cut a covenant (karat beryth – you establish a familial relationship) in association with the inhabitants of the land (la yashab ha ‘erets) which beneficially (‘asher) you are coming upon (‘atah bow’ ‘al), so that it does not (pen) become (hayah – exist as) the onset of a snare in your midst (la mowqesh ba qereb). (34:12)

But rather accordingly (ky ‘eth), their altars (mizbeah – their construction of places where gifts and sacrifices are offered during rituals to their deities) you should choose to actually and consistently tear down and shatter (nathats – you should elect to demolish) and with regard to (ba ‘eth) their religious pillars and sacred memorials (matsebah), you should, of your own volition, destroy (shabar). And with regard to his association with ‘Asherah (ba ‘eth ‘Asherah – merciful blessings; the name of the Babylonian and Canaanite goddess of good fortune and merriment (this goddess is the equivalent of the Greek "Charis – Charities" and Roman "Gratia – Graces," from whom the Christian Gospel of Grace was named and derived)), you should choose to actually and continually sever, cut off, and uproot (karat – banish). (34:13)

Indeed (ky – because) you should not act in such a way that you continually speak (lo’ chawah – you should not make pronouncements with a verbal display of words explaining about or worshipping) with regard to another different god (la ‘el ‘acher – to approach an additional ‘El, the chief deity of the Canaanites whereby "ha Ba’al – the Lord" was the son and nemesis of "‘El – god," something remarkably similar to the "Christian Lord Jesus" replacing Yahowah’s Towrah with his Gospel of Grace), because (ky) Yahowah (efei), His name (shem – He is known as), is jealous regarding exclusivity in the relationship (qana’ – pertains to zeal, passion, and devotion). He is (huw’) a zealous, passionate, and devoted (qana’ – jealous regarding relational exclusivity) God (‘el). (34:14)

You should not ever make (pen karat – you should not cut, create, or establish) a covenant (beryth – a family-oriented relationship or marriage vow) to approach or with regard to the inhabitants of the land (la yashab ha ‘erets) and (wa) follow after (‘achar) their prostitution to solicitation on behalf of (zanah – their disloyal and adulterous acts designed to profit by offering favors to) their gods (‘elohym).

And (wa) they elect to actually offer a sacrifice (zabach) to approach their gods (la ‘elohym), and he will choose to make an announcement to you (wa qara’ la – then he will elect to summon you, he will of his own volition call out to you with his proclamation, he will ask you to read and recite his calling, inviting you to meet with and welcome him with regard to you accepting his appointment and calling) and (wa) you decide to actually partake in and consume (‘akal – you elect to eat, feed upon, imbibe, and ingest) as part of (min – by means of and because of) his sacrificial offering (zebah – his propitiation or expiation as an act of worship toward a deity)." (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 34:12-15)

It is telling, of course, that in light of what we know, it’s hard not to see Sha’uwl cast as the adversary throughout this presentation. He did everything God has asked us to avoid. He even claimed to have, himself, made a sufficient sacrifice to save believers. Moreover, in 1st Corinthians 8, Paulos not only rejects the Disciple’s letter, renouncing it, but in addition, refutes God. Listen to this duplicitous man renounce knowledge as he preys on the unsuspecting while contradicting himself...

"Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know, but if any one loves god, he is known by him. Therefore, concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no god but one. For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is one god, the father from whom are all things, and we for him. However not all men have this knowledge, but some being accustomed to the idol until now eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol, and their conscience being weak is defiled. But food will not commend us to god, we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. But take care lest this liberty of yours somehow becomes a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees you who has knowledge dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, that I might not cause my brother to stumble." (1 Corinthians 8:1-13 as presented in the New American Standard Bible)

For those who value consistency, Paul consistently contradicts himself, the Disciples, Yahowsha’, and Yahowah. And his rhetoric continues to be irrational, and perhaps insane. So rather than devote more time to correct all of the errant statements found throughout this diatribe, since the point was to show that Paul was being duplicitous with regard to food sacrificed to idols, let’s move on.

Noting that the first "burden" was only indirectly valid, and totally irrelevant apart from religion, the admonition not to drink blood is legitimate. The Torah asks us not to consume blood in Bare’syth / In the Beginning / Genesis 9:4, Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 3:17 and 17:12-4, as well as in Dabarym / Words / Deuteronomy 12:16 and 23. However, these five statements pale by comparison to the many times Yahowah speaks to us about when and why we are to eat unleavened bread in celebration of Pesach and Matsah, and none of that was even mentioned. Doing one is sickening, while ignoring the other is deadly.

Particularly troubling, is that there is absolutely no instruction from Yahowah in the Torah regarding animals which are strangled. This edict comes instead from Rabbinic Law. Kashrut, the Jewish dietary rules pertaining to how an animal is to be slaughtered for consumption, requires that the jugular artery in the neck be slit while the animal is still alive so that the heart pumps the majority of blood out prior to butchering. While the Torah instructs us not to drink blood, there are much more humane, practical, and effective ways to drain blood from a carcass. So, by including "strangling" in the short list of four things to be avoided, this horrendously shortchanges the Torah, while at the same time endorsing Rabbinical Law (which Yahowsha’ condemned). Further, if Gentiles took this list to be a summation of the essential elements of the Torah, they would enrich Rabbis, as the only place they could purchase meat and be assured that an animal wasn’t strangled was from a Kosher Jewish butcher with a Rabbinical endorsement.

The heart of the Towrah’s story is the Covenant, and yet not one of its codicils nor its sign were mentioned. At the heart of the Towrah, we find Yahowah’s Ten Statements, yet not one of them found their way into this list. Nothing was said about Yahowah, His Word, His Name, His Teaching, His Covenant, His Instructions, His Invitations, or His Way – and those represent the seven things which are the most important to God.

Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus sits in the middle of the Towrah, and yet not one of the seven Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with God delineated therein was described as essential—even though they provide the lone path to God, the means to the Covenant, and the method of salvation. Not even the Great Instruction: "to love Yahowah, your God, with all of your mind, soul, and might" was found among the "indispensible requirements." So to say this list of four items (one of which was based in Rabbinical Law) "was inspired by the Spirit" is to demean God and His Spirit.

If this list is accurate, and I suspect that it is not, in trying to compromise with Paul, the Apostles became like Paul: Oblivious. This wasn’t worth the papyrus it was written on.

Pathetic as it was, the letter was sent and read, first in Antioch and then in the other places Paul had been. The audiences cheered, we are told. And we learn that Yahuwdah and Silas shared their "lengthy message" with the Called-Out Assemblies, but not a word of what they conveyed was recorded for our benefit.

It was then just four sentences later that a new rift emerged, this one between Paul and his traveling companion, Barnabas.

"But now (de), there emerged (ginomai – came to be) an intense argument (paroxysmos – a severe disagreement leading to exasperation). As a result (hoste), they separated from one another and parted company (apochorizomai autous apo allelon – they definitely severed their relationship with each other).

And so (ton te) Barnabas (Barnaban), having brought along with him (paralambano) Mark (Markos – the Latin surname used for the Hebrew man who was named Yahowchanan to distinguish him from the Disciple; Yahowchanan Markos became Shim’own’s translator and compiled the historical portrait of Yahowsha’s life that now bears his name (Mark) based upon Shim’own’s personal eyewitness testimony and recollections), sailed (ekpleo) to Cyprus (eis Kypros). (15:39)

But (de) Paulos (Paulos – of Latin origin meaning Lowly and Little), having chosen the name (epilegomai), Silas (Silas – of Latin origin meaning Woody), went away (exerchomai – literally: out of existence), having been given over to (paradidomi – having been betrayed and handed over to the authority of) the Grace (te Chariti – the Greek goddesses of favors, merriment, and licentiousness known as the Gratia, or Graces in Roman mythology) of the Lord (tou kurios – the Master who owns, possesses, and controls, the title God uses in reference to Satan) by the brothers (hupo ton adelphon)." (Acts 15:39-40) They had chosen sides, different sides. And they would tell an entirely different story about entirely different gods – one real, the other His adversary.

Then, in the oddest twist of irony and with a large dash of twisted humor, Paulos, after having chosen "Woody," circumcised Timothy, the next Greek man who desired him.

"This one (touton) wanted and desired (thelo – enjoyed and took pleasure in, consented to and wanted to have, was inclined to and ready for, aiming at) the Lowly and Little (o Paulos – the insignificant and tiny in Latin), together with him (oun auto) coming out (exerchomai).

And so (kai) he having grasp hold (lambano) circumcised him (peritemno auton) on behalf of (dia) the Yahuwdym (Ioudaious – an inaccurate transliteration of Yahuwdym, meaning Related to Yah, errantly called "Jews" today), the ones being in the places (tous ontas en tois topos) those had known (ekeinois edeisan – the ones having awareness), for (gar) entirely (hapas – all) that (oti) Greek (Hellen) the father (o pater) of him (autou) was existing (hyparcho – identically belonged to)." (Acts 16:3)

Make of that what you will, but I got a chuckle out of it, especially in the beginning. I suspect Luke did as well. You just can’t make stuff like this up.

The Apostolic Council was over. And in its wake, Paul’s letter to the Galatians was crafted as his rebuttal so that he could more easily establish and promote the precepts of Pauline Doctrine. This is the best explanation of why Paul so vociferously detailed his credentials and background, why he referenced and misrepresented what was said during the meeting, why he spoke so derogatorily of the Disciples, especially Shim’own and Ya’aqob (the two men who spoke against him), and why he focused his epistle on discrediting the Torah and disparaging circumcision.

As a result, we can now discard Galatians, Corinthians, Thessalonians, and Romans recognizing that much if not most of what Sha’uwl wrote in them is unreliable. And with regard to Paul’s other letters, when he affirms something which is written in the Torah, rely on the Torah. When Paul contradicts the Torah, ignore him. And when Paul waxes poetic on a subject not covered in the Torah, be careful.