Questioning Paul

Chapter 6

part 1

Pistis – The Birth of Faith

Whom Do You Trust?…

At long last the Galatians epistle has moved beyond Paul. So let the Great Debate begin. Should we believe his "Gospel of Grace" or should we trust Yahowah’s Torah?

Since the last thing Sha’uwl scribed was sentence fragment, and since his next sentence has an unspecified subject, let’s transitioning into the debate by restating the previous verse. "We (emeis) Yahuwdym (Ioudaios – Judeans) by nature (physis – in origin and character) and (kai) not (ou) from (ek) sinful (hamartolos – social outcasts avoiding the way and thus heathen) races (ethnos – ethnicities)...." (Galatians 2:15)

Then, in the order of their appearance, and rendered as correctly and completely as his words allow, this is what comes next...

"[And now (de – but then by contrast) not extant in the oldest manuscripts] having come to realize without investigation or evidence (oida – having intuitively appreciated without doing any research, having perceived and become acquainted, having acknowledged without observation (deployed as the weakest form of knowing)) that (hoti – because) by no means whatsoever (ou – not at all and never) is made right, is vindicated, or made righteous (dikaioo – is justified, acquitted, put right, or shown to be in compliance, is judged innocent, removed from guilt, or set free, is in the right relationship) man (anthropos – a human being) out of (ek – by means of) tasks and activities associated with (ergon – works someone undertakes, engages in, or acts upon, anything that is done, including actions or accomplishments associated with) the Towrah (nomou – being nourished by that which is bestowed to become heirs, precepts which were apportioned, established, and received as a means to be proper and approved, and prescriptions for an inheritance; from nemo – that which is provided, assigned, and distributed to heirs to nourish them) if (ean – a marker of a condition with the implication of a reduced probability) not (me) by (dia – through) belief and faith in (pistis – originally meant trust but evolved to faith or belief as a result of Sha’uwl’s usage in these letters) Iesou (ΙΗΝ – a placeholder for Yahowsha’) Christou (XPN – a placeholder for Ma’aseyah),...." (Galatians 2:16)

The realization that we cannot work for our salvation, and that no one can earn a trip to heaven, is firmly established throughout the Towrah. Salvation is the byproduct of the Covenant and is God’s merciful gift to His children. But also explicit in the Towrah is the realization that salvation only comes to those who, having closely and carefully observed Yahowah’s "Towrah – Guidance," have come to know, understand, and accept the terms and conditions of Covenant, and to those who have answered Yahowah’s Invitations to Meet, thereby walking to God along the path that He has provided. The Towrah alone provides the Divine Instructions required to be adopted into our Heavenly Father’s family and to be saved by Him. Exposing this reality was the entire purpose of Yahowsha’s life.

Said another way, the Towrah, its God, Covenant, and Invitations to Meet, saved Yahowah’s children long before Yahowsha’ walked into Yaruwshalaim on Passover to fulfill its promises. Yahowah etched this truth in stone. And apart from His promises, apart from accepting His Covenant’s terms and answering His Towrah’s Invitations, Yahowsha’s life becomes irrelevant. Believing in Him won’t do anyone any good if they don’t come to know who He is, what He did, when He did it, why He did it, and then follow His example. And none of these things can be know or understood apart from Yahowah’s "Towrah – Teaching."

Yahowsha’ was not only Towrah observant, He was the living embodiment of the Word of Yahowah, and thus He was and is the corporeal manifestation of the Towrah. If you know the Towrah, you know Him. If you don’t understand the Towrah, there is no possible way to understand Him or benefit from Him.

Paul is therefore making a distinction where none exists, and thereby attempting to make "belief" in Iesou Christou the solution to his proposition that the Towrah cannot save. But the Towrah not only can save, and is God’s lone means to save, it is only by responding to the Towrah’s Guidance that we benefit from what Yahowsha’ has done.

Since Sha’uwl’s proposition that the Towrah cannot save is untrue, it follows that his remedy, "if not by belief and faith in Iesou Christou," is without merit. However, even if his preamble was accurate, and it is not, his conditional proposal is invalid on its own. Our belief in Iesou Christou is beside the point. What matters is that the Towrah is true, reliable, and dependable. Yahowsha’ affirmed this many times. Therefore, Yahowsha’s reliance on the Towrah is important, as was His insistence that it is truthful and dependable, because without this He would not have followed it nor fulfilled it.

Taking this one step further, Yahowsha’, a name which means "Yahowah Saves," is not an independent being. He is a diminished corporeal manifestation of Yahowah, set apart from Yahowah. This makes Yahowah and Yahowsha’ one in and the same, identical in every way except intensity, or magnitude if you prefer. And since Yahowah authored the Towrah, so did Yahowsha’. It then follows that if the His Towrah cannot save, then nor can He. And this brings us back to the realization that Sha’uwl created a distinction where none actually exists. But by doing so, by trying to resolve a problem which does not exist by way of faith in a false assertion, Sha’uwl negated Yahowsha’s life, His example, His testimony, His nature, His purpose, and His sacrifice. It is all for naught.

To be saved, we have to walk to Yahowah the way He has provided, along the path Yahowsha’ did, which begins with the life-giving doorway labeled Passover, across the cleaning threshold called Unleavened Bread, and into the loving the loving arms of God on Bikuwrym, where the Covenant’s children are born anew into the foremost family. All of this then requires us to know, to understand, to act and rely upon the Seven Invitations to be Called Out and Meet with Yahowah – a path which is presented exclusively in the Towrah. This is not just the Way to God; it is the only Way. So therefore, Paul’s proposition that the Towrah cannot save is in direct opposition to Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s testimony and example.

If what Sha’uwl wrote was true, Adam and Chawah, Noah and His family, Abraham and Sarah, Yitschaq and Ya’aqob, Moseh and ‘Aharown, Yahowsha’ ben Nuwn and King Dowd (David), Enoch and ‘Elyah (Elijah), Shamow’el (Samuel) and all of the prophets from Yasha’yah (Isaiah) to Yirmayah (Jeremiah), from Zakaryah (Zechariah) to Mal’aky (Malachi), were all subjected to a cruel hoax by a God who lied about their salvation, thereby dooming all of them to eternal damnation in She’owl. And if He couldn’t be trusted then, why would He be reliable now?

Since Sha’uwl’s assertion is irrefutably irreconcilable with Yahowah’s testimony throughout the Torah and Prophets, let’s not rely on my translation of his letter. Please consider the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition with McReynolds English Interlinear presentation of the first half of Galatians 2:16: "Having known but that not is made right man from works of law except [not applicable] through trust of Jesus Christ..." (In its raw and unedited form there is no confusing this with the Torah or Prophets.)

So now for the housekeeping issues. For those following along using an interlinear, the de, meaning "yet or but" found in modern-Greek manuscripts, and thus in our translations, isn’t found in Papyrus 46, the oldest codex containing this letter, but the rest of the words are accurately attested. So, while I’ve included it, it may be a scribal addition.

Next, you should be aware that of the three Greek words which can be rendered "know," oida, which was translated "come to realize without investigation or evidence" is the weakest and least thoughtful. In a culture that valued knowing above all else, oida was the most focused on "perceptions and opinions." It cannot be used in reference to a conclusion that has been predicated upon a comprehensive evaluation of the evidence.

I suspect Sha’uwl chose it because a close examination of the Torah consistently undermines Pauline Doctrine. Had Sha’uwl written "ginosko – know relationally," or even "epiginosko – know for certain based upon a thorough evaluation of the facts," it would have required his readers to observe the Towrah, closely examining and carefully considering it. Doing so would have turned everyone enriched by God’s teaching against him. And it’s not as if he didn’t understand the relative difference between the words. Elsewhere in Galatians, he will use ginosko. Therefore, Sha’uwl is appealing to ignorance.

Oida was scribed in the perfect plural, which suggests that the unspecified subjects, which can be either Paul and his source of inspiration or presumptuously and inconsistently, "we Yahuwdym" from the preceding clause, have previously come to a realization without due consideration which should influence current perceptions. In the active voice, the undisclosed subjects have been responsible for the opinions which follow. As a participle, oida is a verbal adjective, letting us know that in this way the perceptions of Paul’s audience are being modified. Further, the participle can function as an imperative, inferring that this is a command.

And as I have mentioned, oida was scribed in the plural, which is the antithesis of God’s style, because He is one. And finally, oida was scribed in the nominative, which reveals that Paul’s audience is being compelled to accept this unsupported and unidentified opinion.

Ou is a harsh, uncompromising, and unequivocal form of negation, which sits in stark contrast to the fuzzy, opinionated nature of "oida – come to acknowledge without evidence." But such is the nature of religious positions. While their precepts are based upon faith, which is the antithesis of actually knowing, the evidence and conclusions of those suspected of causing suspicion amongst believers is all too often brushed away by believers protesting, without evidence or reason, that irrefutable facts and unassailable logic "ou by no means at all could ever" be true. This is somewhat analogous to not only "being entitled to one’s opinions," but also demanding that others "respect them."

Next we find dikaioo, which was translated "is made right, is vindicated, or made righteous." In that it has been negated by ou, Sha’uwl is saying that "no one is justified or vindicated, acquitted and shown to be in compliance, that no one is ever determined innocent or set free, that no one is declared righteous, nor is it possible for anyone to participate in a rightly guided relationship" with God, and thus no one can engage in the Covenant based upon the Towrah – the lone place that same Covenant is presented.

This verb was written in the present tense, which presents an action which is currently in progress with no assessment of when it will be completed – if ever. This is to say that no person "is currently vindicated and that no person may ever become righteous" based upon the Torah. In the passive voice, the unidentified subjects who have formed this unsupported conclusion receive the action of the verb. That means that they can do nothing that makes them right with God, because they are being acted upon as opposed to engaging themselves. Further shaded by the indicative mood, dikaioo reveals that Paul is claiming that his statement, and in actuality, his commandment, is authentic. This is the voice of assertion, where the writer is portraying the inability to be saved as being actual and unequivocal, without any possibility of a contingency or the intervention or intent of another. So Sha’uwl is saying that God, Himself, cannot save anyone under the conditions He, Himself, laid out. But with the indicative, depending upon the context, the writer may not actually believe that what he is stating is truthful, but is nonetheless presenting it as genuine. Lastly, dikaioo was suffixed in the third person, singular, which makes the path away from God single file, once again upending Yahowah’s teaching where the path to Him is singular and the paths away from Him crowded.

This brings us to ergon, which was translated "tasks and activities associated with," but could have been just as accurately rendered "by acting upon or engaging in" that which follows, even "works someone undertakes, engages in, or acts upon, anything that is done, including actions or accomplishments associated with" the Towrah. Ergon, which describes "anything someone does, whatsoever they undertake to do, and whatever activities they choose to participate in" was scribed in the genitive. This restricts this noun to a specific characterization of the next noun, which is nomou, used here to indicate Yahowah’s Towrah.

Now to the meat of the issue: how did Sha’uwl intend for his audience to view nomou? Is it "Torah" or "Law," or both? There is every reason to suspect that he wants uninitiated readers to see these adverse terms as if they were one and the same.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, based upon whose side you may be on in this debate, Yahowah’s or Sha’uwl’s, the context which follows provides the answer. Nomou and nomo, the genitive and dative forms of nomos, are used throughout this section of Galatians to demonstrate that according to Sha’uwl Yahowah’s Towrah is a set of laws which cannot be obeyed and thus condemn rather than save. And Paul, himself, translates the Hebrew word towrah in his Galatians 3:10 citation from the Towrah using nomou, forever rendering this debate moot. And by doing so, anyone cognizant of the fact that towrah means "teaching and guidance" in Hebrew is being disingenuous when they replace the Greek nomos with "Law" in their bible translations of Paul’s letters.

For those willing to ignore the basis of nomos, which is nemo, they will find lexicons slavishly supporting existing bible translations, willing to state that nomos can be rendered "law," and even "Law" as the Torah is often misrepresented in these same English bibles. According to Strong’s, nomos is rendered "law" all 197 times that it is used in the King James Version of the so-called "Christian New Testament." And yet they, themselves, define nomos as: "anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, or a command." They go on to say that nomos describes "a rule producing a state approved of God by the observance of which is approved of God," even "an action prescribed by reason."

Unwilling to acknowledge the fact that the Hebrew word towrah does not mean "law" and that Yahowah, not Moseh, was the Towrah’s Author, Strong’s defines nomos as "Mosaic law" – "referring to the context, either to the volume of the law or to its contents." Adding insult to injury, this Christian publication claims that nemos describes "the Christian religion: the law demanding faith, the moral instruction given by Christ, especially the precept concerning love." Upending this, Strong’s concludes their innovative and convoluted "definition" with: "the name of the more important part (the Pentateuch) is put for the entire collection of the sacred books of the OT."

So while much of what Strong’s provided for our consideration was demonstrably inaccurate, the first thing they wrote, which is missed by most, was actually accurate: "nomos, masculine noun. From a primary nemo (to parcel out, especially food or grazing)." Sadly, however, Strong’s does not bother to define nemo further or reference its use elsewhere in the Greek text. Fortunately, there are better lexicons.

The Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament reports: "Etymologically, nomos derives from nemo ‘assign.’ Nomos was therefore originally that which has been ‘assigned.’ In Hesiod Philo (Op. 276ff), nomos is ‘the objective order assigned to a group of being and in force among them.’" In addition, they write: "In translating nomos in the NT one should not resort immediately to the OT understanding of tora. Rather, that a shift in meaning has occurred from tora to nomos should be taken into account (of the approximately 220 OT occurrences of tora the LXX translates approximately 200 with nomos)." That is to say, while nomos was used ubiquitously in the Septuagint from 200 BCE to 200 CE to represent the Hebrew word towrah, meaning "teaching, instruction, direction, and guidance," throughout the Greek translation of the Torah and Prophets, its original meaning was altered. I wonder by whom.

Buried in their analysis, the EDNT recognizes that: "the Torah is, therefore,...the ‘instruction’ of Israel found already in the covenant." And: "from the very beginning the Torah was not understood ‘legally.’ Therefore, the translation ‘law’ (instead of ‘teaching’) does not imply a ‘legal’ understanding." Which is to say that those Yahowah initially shared His "Towrah – Teaching" with realized that it represented, not a list of laws, but instead: "guidance, instructions, and directions" from their Heavenly Father. Of the subsequent misinterpretation, one initiated by infighting amongst rabbis vying for power, the EDNT wrote: "It is open to question whether in the course of the postexilic era [after the return from Babylonian captivity when a compilation of oral traditions was established as a rival to the Towrah] the first traces of a legal understanding of the Torah are evident."

The Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament goes on to share the findings of Monsegwo Pasinya, who wrote: "nomos does not signify ‘Law’ in the legal and juridical sense of classical Greek, but rather ‘Instruction, Teaching, Doctrine,’ in accordance with the original sense of the corresponding Hebrew term tora."

Taking a step backwards, the Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament published: "nomos has a basic meaning law, i.e., what is assigned or proper. Generally any law in the judicial sphere, as a rule governing one’s conduct, a principle, or more specifically in the NT of the Mosaic system of legislation as revealing the divine will (the Torah) or (Law of Moses)." While errantly representing Yahowah’s Towrah as "law," at least these folks seem to know that nomos conveyed "what is assigned and proper," that it communicated "rules governing conduct," and that in the "NT," nomos describes "the Mosaic system of legislation as revealing the divine will (the Torah) or (Law of Moses)." So since Paul’s letter to the Galatians is found in the NT, nomos was intended to read "Torah." But since this concept conveys "the divine will," it follows then that according to Paul, it must be God’s will to condemn everyone.

The Complete Word Study Dictionary, at least in the case of nomos, is especially helpful. It begins by telling us that "nomos, genitive nomou, masculine noun from nemo (see aponemo [6320]) to divide among, to parcel out, to allot. Etymologically something parceled out, allotted, what one has in use and in possession; hence, usage." Then doing as they suggest, and turning to 6320, aponemo, we find: "from apo, meaning from, and nemo, meaning to give, to attribute, to allot, to apportion, to assign, and to bestow, a derivative of dianemo: to distribute throughout and kleronomos: to become an heir, distributing an inheritance, something parceled out to restore."

Enriched by this precisely accurate appraisal, let’s consider the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, were we find: "The concept that nomos means law is religious in origin and plays a central role in these cultures." They go on to state that Rabbinic Judaism and Roman Catholicism were to blame for this corruption of nomos.

In the TDNT, the original meaning of nomos is defined. It isn’t "law," but instead, its implications "were derived from nemo," a word which speaks of "being nourished by that which is bestowed to become heirs, of precepts which were apportioned, established, and received as a means to be proper and approved, and of prescriptions for an inheritance, that which is provided, assigned, and distributed to heirs to nourish them." Our Heavenly Father is therefore nourishing His children’s minds with His instructions and teaching us how to live as members of His Covenant family, all while inheriting all that He is offering.

And yet, it is apparent that while Paul was referring to Yahowah’s Towrah, the original meaning of towrah and nomos was not what he intended to convey, because someone who benefitted from nourishment, becoming an heir and receiving His inheritance, would be right with God, growing, healthy, vindicated, and acquitted. Sha’uwl instead wanted his audience to read nomos as "Law," something both oppressive and restraining, restricting one’s liberty, while at the same time associating these things with the Torah. Nomo and nomou are almost always deployed in the singular and directed at the one and only Torah.

Therefore, while Paul meant his audience to read nomou as "Law," and think "Torah," this requires those who believe him to be ignorant of the fact that Towrah actually means: "the source from which teaching, direction, instruction, and guidance flow." It even requires ignorance of the etymology of nomou, because properly translated, Yahowah’s Towrah is actually a source of "nourishment that has been bestowed so that we can become heirs, inheriting and receiving prescriptions which cause us to be proper and approved." It also requires readers to be unaware that ninety percent of the time Towrah appeared in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms, nomos was deployed in the Septuagint’s Greek translation if God’s Hebrew terminology.

Furthermore, Sha’uwl cannot possibly be proposing that "by no means whatsoever is made right, is justified or vindicated, man out of engaging in or acting upon that which is nourishing, providing us with an inheritance which makes us proper and approved." Sure, Paul is prone to double talk, circular reasoning, and contradicting himself, but this would be too overtly duplicitous.

These things considered, the remainder of this epistle will serve to affirm that the "nomos / nomou / nomo" Paul is attempting to mischaracterize as law, to demean as incompetent, and to annul as antiquated is Yahowah’s Towrah. And that means that this debate is between Yahowah’s Towrah and Sha’uwl’s Epistles. It is the word of God versus the letters of a man.

Realizing this, the conditional conjunction in Galatians 2:16, "if not by" from ean me dia, means that according to Sha’uwl, the remedy for the Towrah’s inability to save those who act upon it, "ean me dia pistis IHN XPN – could be, but probably isn’t, faith in Iesou Christou." I say "could be" because ean is a "marker of a condition with the implication of a reduced probability," and thus is not a certainty – faith never is.

As we make our way through Sha’uwl’s jarring announcement, we next have to determine how to render pistis – a word which originally conveyed "trust and reliance." Written here in the genitive feminine form, I decided to translate it "belief and faith," because Paul’s letters, which comprise half of the "Christian New Testament," leave no other informed or rational option. Paul never provides sufficient information to know Yahowsha’, to trust Yahowah, or to rely on His Torah, precluding these connotations. Moreover, Paul consistently positions "faith" as being preferred to knowing and understanding, which are required for trust. In fact, sharing the Torah, and thus learning what it says, is strongly discouraged in favor of simply believing Paul. This is the intended goal of his letters.

So while pistis is almost always, and correctly, rendered "faith" or "belief" in English bibles when penned by Sha’uwl, when spoken by Yahowsha’ and His Disciples we should remain cognizant of the fact that the Greek word originally conveyed "confidence and assurance in what is known." It spoke of "reliability and proof," as well as "persuasion based upon a thoughtful evaluation of the evidence."

Therefore, at the time this epistle was written, pistis was about "conviction in the veracity of the truth." Pistis was "that which evoked trust and that which could be relied upon as being dependable." And as such, pistis was once the opposite of "faith and belief," because when evidence is sufficient to know and understand, faith becomes irrelevant—even counterproductive because it tends to stall inquiry.

However, languages evolve. Influential individuals shape the meanings of words. And pistis is the lever upon which Pauline Doctrine pivots. It is therefore likely that his epistles changed the lexicon and caused pistis to evolve from "trust" to "belief," from "reliance" to "faith." I say this because Paul and his lies have influenced more people than anyone else in human history. And twisting words and their meanings was the means to his madness.

Moreover, it bears repeating: Paul never provides the kind of evidence which would be required for someone to know Yahowah or understand His plan of salvation sufficiently to trust God or rely upon His plan. So in the context of Galatians, "trust" is a fish out of water, while "faith" survives swimmingly. And so we should not be surprised that the founder of the world’s most popular religion transformed the concept of "faith" so that it is now synonymous with his "religion," or that "believers" are often equated with Pauline "Christians."

In this particular context it is actually impossible to credibly translate pistis "trust in or reliance upon" because those who know enough about Yahowsha’ to trust and rely upon Him understand that there can be no condition which differentiates between Him and the Towrah. Said another way, since Yahowsha’ was Torah observant, if the Torah cannot save, then neither can He. More to the point, a person cannot rely upon and thus benefit from Yahowsha’s participation in Passover, Unleavened Bread, or FirstFruits before they understand what these Invitations to Meet with God accomplish on our behalf and how they enable the Covenant’s benefits.

Paul never explains the purpose of these Meetings, and thus his audience was never provided the information required to trust in or rely upon Yahowsha’s fulfillment of them. And that may be why he chose oida as his opening verb, hoping that no one would do the research necessary to question the dichotomy he foolishly purports exists between the Towrah, Yahowsha’, the Covenant, and our salvation through responding to Yahowah’s seven Invitations to Meet with Him. God’s consistent, unwavering, and dependable guidance and example on one hand and Paul’s faith-based religion on the other.

The integration of "if not by belief in Iesou Christou" is completely misdirected. Even if the Towrah had been properly presented and even if Yahowsha’s name had been accurately conveyed, it’s His perceptions of the Towah that matter, not our perceptions of Him. So to have any hope of being appropriate, rather than us placing our "faith in Him," we should be celebrating the fact that Yahowsha’s reliance was upon the Towrah and that He trusted it, observed it, affirmed it, lived it, and fulfilled it.

Speaking of Yahowsha’, it is entirely possible that Paul never actually deployed the placeholders we now find in subsequent copies of his letters. He would have had no reason for using them. His audience was not familiar with His Hebrew name or with the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms – so they would not have known what the placeholders represented nor have any way to look them up. They would not have recognized the name Yahowsha’, nor realized that it meant "Yahowah Saves." In fact, using placeholders would have been counterproductive to Sha’uwl’s mission, which was to present his caricature of "Iesou Christou" as the Savior, not Yahowah. And contributing to this realization, based upon Greek grammar rules, Yahowsha’ was a girl’s name and Iesous was sufficiently similar to Zeus’ name in Greek mythology to facilitate attributing their attributes to one another. Therefore, considering these factors, it is likely that Paul wrote and said "Iesou, Iesous, and Iesoun" in his appeal to Greeks.

So while Papyrus 46, the oldest extant manuscript of these epistles, uses Divine Placeholders normally reserved for the title and name "the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha," reason dictates that a scribe in Alexandria, Egypt added them in an effort to harmonize Paul’s letters with the popular eyewitness accounts published by the Disciples Mattanyah and Yahowchanan.

As further evidence for this, had Sha’uwl intended to write "ha Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’," accurately conveying God’s name and title, he would have contradicted his proposition. If the Savior is "the Ma’aseyah – the Work of Yahowah," then Galatians 2:16 is an outright lie. Since the Ma’aseyah is the work of the Towrah, He cannot both save and not save at the same time. Simply stated, the Ma’aseyah is a tool designed and wielded by Yahowah to fulfill the Torah’s promises and plans, something Sha’uwl is refuting.

Similarly, since Yahowsha’ means "Yahowah Saves," Yahowah is our Savior, not Iesou Christou. When the name and title are properly communicated, Yahowsha’ cannot be separated from Yahowah and the Ma’aseyah becomes the Torah in action, concepts which negate Pauline Doctrine.

Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the Divine Placeholders were added by scribes one or more generations after Paul penned his epistles so that they would correspond to the same standard found throughout the more highly revered eyewitness accounts. Or at the very least, Sha’uwl deployed them realizing that his animosity toward the Torah would conceal their actual meaning.

Lastly in this regard, even if the placeholders were correctly replaced by Yahowsha’s title and name, they cannot be ordered as Paul has them: "Yahowsha’ Ma’aseyah," much less "Iesou Christou" or "Jesus Christ." Ma’aseyah, Christos, and Christ are not last names. Ma’aseyah, as a title, when presented in conjunction with a name, must read "ha Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’," replete with the definite article, and in that order. So Sha’uwl was either unaware, which bodes poorly for inspiration, or he was attempting to make Iesou Christou read like his god’s first and last name. And if the later is true, he succeeded in fooling most everyone.

The moment we acquiesce to the inevitable, and adjust our rendering of pistis in Sha’uwl’s epistles to "faith," which is what he obviously intended, and then convey "Iesou Christou," as Paul most likely said it and wrote it, the few things Paul conveyed which could be construed positively, become as deceptive as the rest of his agenda. Consider this proclamation as a prime example: "We Yahuwdym by nature and not from the social outcasts of sinful and heathen races (2:15) having come to realize without investigation or evidence that by no means whatsoever is made right, is vindicated, or made righteous man by means of tasks and activities associated with the Towrah if not by belief and faith in Iesou Christou,...." (Galatians 2:15-16)

This changes the paradigm from being an affirmation that we cannot save ourselves to a referendum on religion. And it is a devastating one for Christians because Iesou Christou is a mythical moniker for a savior who is unrelated to Yahowah, one made in the image of a man, one who is killed by men and then resurrected like the pagan gods of the heathen races.

The sum and substance of most religious systems is embodied in the means its members deploy to earn salvation. Depending upon the religion, the faithful either obey religious edicts, make significant monetary contributions, lead a good life, advance the common good, deny themselves, or engage in jihad. In Judaism, for example, one achieves righteousness by complying with Rabbinical Law. Becoming liberated from this works-based salvation scheme would have been cathartic for Sha’uwl, literally turning the world of this former rabbi upside down. Right would be wrong. Wrong would be right. Good would be bad and bad would be good. To develop a relationship with Yahowah, everything he had been told, everything he had experienced, everything he had believed, and everything his family and friends held dear had to be rejected. And sadly, based upon what Paul told his detractors in Acts, he was never able to take this step.

This internal turmoil, may have led to Paul’s crusade against legalism. And while he would have been right to expose and condemn the religious myth of works-based salvation, he was wrong in not saying that the set of laws he was impugning were conceived by rabbis. But in all likelihood, that was by design. It wasn’t Rabbinical Law that he speaking about. Unlike the Torah, Sha’uwl never cites the Yaruwshalaim Talmud. And yet, by never making the distinction clear, he diminished his susceptibility to criticism.

During the time Galatians was written in 50 CE, Yahuwdym represented the overwhelming preponderance of the followers of The Way. As a result, most everyone understood the relationship between Yahowsha’ and the Torah. And yet, some may have been unable to remove religious traditions from their lives as they were ingrained in their culture. For example, even though I know that Christmas is based on pagan myths, it is such a pervasive part of our society, that it’s difficult to completely eliminate its influence.

Sha’uwl was equally conflicted. As a student of Gamaliel, he had a working knowledge of the Torah and Prophets, but he would have been far more devoted to Jewish Oral Law. As a Pharisee in training, he would have known it better than he knew the Word of God.

And therein lies one of the biggest challenges with Sha’uwl’s epistles. For him, and for the preponderance of religious Jews, then and today, "the Law" was not the "Torah," but instead Rabbinical Law derived from Oral Traditions known as "Halakhah." Meaning "the path that one walks," Halakhah is Jewish Law, a complete set of rules and practices that Jews are compelled to follow, including commandments instituted by Rabbis and other binding customs. While the Torah is credited as being one of many sources of "Jewish Law," the overwhelming preponderance of the rules which comprise Halakhah were either conceived or modified by men. Paul’s ubiquitous "But I say" statements are remarkably similar in style and format to what we find throughout the Talmud.

Rabbi Maimonides referenced the Torah to usurp its credibility for his religion (as did Paul, Muhammad, and Joseph Smith). Corrupted and truncated paraphrases of God’s testimony served as the launching point from which he conceived the list of 613 Mitzvot he compiled in his Mishneh. The Talmud is similar in that it was comprised of Rabbinical arguments on how to interpret the Torah. And in that way, the Talmud reads like Paul’s epistles. And also similar is the Qur’an, which Talmud readings also inspired. Likewise, Rabbinical Law referenced the Torah simply to give Rabbis the pretence of authenticity. It is being used the same way by Paul. Akiba’s rantings like Paul’s, and like Muhammad’s after them, claimed that the Torah was inspired by God and yet they had no compunction against misrepresenting it to make it appear as if it was the source of their twisted religious ideas.

The reason I have brought this to your attention is to let you know that one of the many failings of Paul’s letters is that they purposefully blur the enormous distinction between the Oral Law of the Jews and the Towrah Teaching of Yahowah. The result of this is that the Torah is deliberately and deceitfully miscast as being both Jewish and as being comprised of a set of Laws. Therefore, when a Christian steeped in Pauline mythology hears that someone is Torah observant, rather than correctly concluding that such individuals are interested in knowing what God had to say, they falsely assume that they are either Jewish or have converted to Judaism. For this alone, Paul’s letters are an abomination.