Thu, 21 Sep 2017 04:48:41 -0400
|Yom Chamishi, 1 Tishri 5778 — יוֹם חֲמִישִׁי א תִּשְׁרֵי ה' תשעח|
Table Of Contents
Introduction — Returning To Torah!
"...Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.""
With these words, "Repent for the kingdom ...", a resounding theme of the "ministry" of Yeshua has actually been predetermined — incorrectly!, in our opinion, — by the many who call themselves "Christian".
What we mean is that the English word "repent" carries with it the sense to "Stop Sinning".
Yet, the Hebrew words, Hazaroh Teshuvah (in the hebrew above) carry not only the sense to "Just Stop Sinning" but more so of "Returning".
Then, Returning To What?
Novel though it may sound, we at The Iconoclast believe that an essential objective of the Mashiach would be to preach to the nation of Israel to earnestly RETURN to the Torah of יְהֹוָה [YehoVah] — that which was as given to us through His servant Moses!
We Want To Be Clear:
Please be aware that when we speak of Torah, we mean the literal Torah — the first five books of Scripture given by יְהֹוָה [YehoVah] to Moses, but also in the broader sense the entire writings of the Hebrew Scriptures, known as the Tanakh (referred to by "Christians" as The Old Testament)!
However, this is NOT what mainstream, rabbinical Judaism/Talmudists mean when they speak of "Torah Observance".
When mainstream rabbis speak of Torah, they include both the written Torah as well as what they refer to as the Oral Torah or Oral Law. Most everyone is familiar with the term "Written Torah" (otherwise known as the 5 books of Moses, aka Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy).
However, the rabbis reserve a set of esoteric/elite instructions to which they refer to as the Oral Torah (codified around 200-220 CE comprising the Mishnah and the Gemara, which together are known as the Talmud).
Essentially, the Talmud is given greater authority by the rabbis than the written Torah, given to Israel by יְהֹוָה [YehoVah] at the hand of Moses!
The "Oral Torah" was recorded and comprised by a rabbinic community. Is it not interesting that they hold their own "creation" above the particular instructions that יְהֹוָה [YehoVah] — gave us through Moses?
Yet, there is no prima facie evidence that an "Oral Torah" ever existed. There is absolutely no reference in the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures) about the "Oral Torah", even when there could have been opportunity, as in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.
Interestly, concerning "Torah Observance," in a euphemistic way what the rabbis really mean is following the teachings of the Talmudic rabbis instead of the actual written Torah itself — while they often "sprinkle" some passages of Torah along with their teachings and dictates, albeit quite often out of context! (for example: Exodus 23:2 where rabbis take their dictum, incline after the majority; see It Is Not In Heaven or Rabbinic Authority And The Oral Law or Rabbinic Contestations of Authority).
Why might we think it a novel idea that
Simply because the idea of the Mashiach, the especially anointed messenger of יְהֹוָה [YehoVah] — to focus on teaching to return to the adherence of the Torah is rather obvious to us.
To us, it follows logically that if the person who would be the Mashiach were to be the particular messenger — in effect the spokesman of the Almighty, his focus would necessarily be to promote the special revelation of יְהֹוָה [YehoVah], the Torah He gave to His servant Moses. We believe he would instruct them about turning away from their present (evil) ways and returning to the instructions, teachings and commands of the Torah! In short, to return to יְהֹוָה [YehoVah].
What we find, however, is that definitions of the Mashiach, be they from Orthodox Judaism, Pauline Christianity or even Islam, all hold the Mashiach as something quite different, from prominently a military leader, to founder of new religion, to a prophet!
We realize that our belief system and our ideas regarding the Mashiach of יְהֹוָה [YehoVah] may seem strange and perhaps heretical. Nevertheless, it is our sincere desire to convey that the specially anointed messenger/spokesman of יְהֹוָה [YehoVah] would focus especially upon following the revelation of the written Torah itself, and in its broader sense the entire writings of the Hebrew Scriptures known as the Tanakh! Just as it is recorded that Yeshua quoted from more than literally the first five books of Moses, we also hold the entire Tanakh as authoritative. The word "Torah" actually does mean "teaching/instruction"!
We find that due to extreme corruption and manipulation of ancient texts, the truth of the Mashiach may be discerned only with the aid of the Ruach HaKodesh of יְהֹוָה [YehoVah] — Himself. Therefore, when we discuss the person Yeshua (whom we consider Mashiach – see Is Yeshua Mashiach?), we find that the actual teachings of Saul of Tarsus (aka Pauline Christianity or just plain Christianity) to be in essence contrary to the essential teachings of Yeshua (particularly found in the Hebrew Matthew), which uphold the Torah given through Moses!
As we discuss below, it is our opinion that the followers of Saul of Tarsus, aka 'Paul', treat the Torah of יְהֹוָה [YehoVah] with abject contempt and disrespect. This is a direct result of following their de facto messiah, 'Paul', based upon his seminal instruction, "...You are not under the Torah" (Romans 6:14) along with the rest of his anti-Torah teaching and rhetoric!
It is with this background that we proceed to express how we think the hand-picked Talmidim of Yeshua Himself would have interpreted His instructions.
|Return To Contents||What Did The Original Community Of Faith In Yeshua HaMashiach Look Like?||Return To Top|
What Might The Community Of Faith
Have you ever given any thought to what the community of faith, in the belief that Yeshua was Mashiach, would look like had there been no Saul of Tarsus, no self–proclaimed 'Apostle Paul' to inform the world of his version of who Yeshua was?
This is how we, at The Iconoclast, think it may have looked:
Of course, there was such a person as Saul of Tarsus, whose claim to being "The Apostle To The Gentiles" entirely changed the course of history. It is 'Paul's version of Yeshua that has prevailed to inform the world of who Yeshua was!
Because of the work of Saul of Tarsus, and, we would assert anti-Jewish factions following the lives of the original Apostles, the foundation of the original faith community of Yeshua HaMashiach was, for all practical purposes, lost to history.
At The Iconoclast, we reject the fantastic notion that the original faith community of Yeshua HaMashiach, which was clearly an accepted sect of 1st century Israelite Judaism, ever left its base established by the Jewish Messiah.
We do not accept the idea that the original faith community of Yeshua HaMashiach ever changed into, 'morphed' into the new religion of 'Pauline Christianity' — that religion of 'in the name of Paul's Jesus', the Gentile focused, pagan influenced religion commonly referred to as 'Christianity'!
In essence, we reject the defining of 'Paul's Jesus', and its consequential teachings against יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]), such as 'Paul's seminal argument, "you are not under the Torah" (Romans 6:14). We only accept the Jewish Yeshua HaMashiach as defined and taught to us by the Ruach HaKodesh of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) (the Holy Spirit of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH])) and as witnessed to us from the "gleaned" writings of those handpicked Apostles who knew Him in the flesh — and His consequential teachings for יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]), such as the instructions found in Matthew 5:17-20.
17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."
'Pauline Christianity' —
'In the name of Paul's Jesus,' a new religion came into being, completely obscuring the Israelite–Jewish context, ethnicity, culture and language of the original faith community in Yeshua HaMashiach, it became a completely non–Jewish, pagan influenced religion which we refer to herein as 'Pauline Christianity', or just 'Christianity'.
Moreover, we assert that that new religion (and any outgrowth from it, including much of Protestantism) is the direct fulfillment of the prophecy found in the second chapter of the book of Daniel. That prophecy speaks of the fourth world kingdom, 'the feet of iron and clay' — the establishment of the extension of the Roman Empire, which is clearly fulfilled by The Roman Catholic church!
Does Your Essential Knowledge Of Yeshua
As per the title of this discussion, "Paul, The False Apostle," we intend to show that Saul of Tarsus, aka 'Paul', was not a true and legitimate, handpicked Apostle of Yeshua HaMashiach — we believe that this conclusion can be discovered using the existing New Testament text.
Of Course, 'Paulists' Will Disagree ...
We recognize that all Paulists—[catholic and their protestant offspring] (aka 'Bible idolators'), will vehemently disagree — they can not even challenge their exising paradigms, primarily because their sin of idolatry ensures that they will not question the true definer of their religion — their beloved 'Apostle Paul'.
It is our opinion that 'Bible idolators' have clearly accepted 'Paul's [version of] Jesus' to define their 'lord'.
Moreover, we assert that 'Paul's Jesus' is NOT the same person as has been declared by the Ruach haKodesh of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]), i.e. the true "Moshiach" — Yeshua b'Natzeret, Yeshua HaMashiach, the hope of Israel.
Rather, we contend that 'Paul's Jesus' is something quite different, perhaps a lying spirit, a demon or a fallen angel!
[It is our belief that Saul of Tarsus, aka 'Paul', was actually a FALSE PROPHET AND A SELF-PROCLAIMED APOSTLE (i.e., ALSO A FALSE APOSTLE)!]
What Was An Apostle?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"The term apostle is derived from Classical Greek ἀπόστολος (pron.:"apóstolos"),
meaning one who is sent away, from στέλλω ("stello", to send) + από ("apo", away from).
The literal meaning in English is therefore an "emissary", from the Latin mitto (to send)
+ ex (away from). The purpose of such "sending away" (not strictly "forth" which implies
"forward", πρό ("pro" in Greek), and pro in Latin) is to convey messages. Thus "a messenger"
is an appropriate alternative translation. In the case of the Christian apostles, the message
they were sent away to convey was the message of the "good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ",
and they were sent by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to the Jews. Before their sending away at
Pentecost the Twelve had been mere "Disciples", from Latin discipulus, one who learns, from disco,
to learn. Pentecost was for them thus a form of graduation, from Latin gradus, a step, on which
occasion, having been filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit, they stepped-up from being students
to teachers. Apostle is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word shaliah. Jesus is stated in the
Bible to have had Twelve Apostles who by the Great Commission spread the message of the Gospel
after his resurrection. There is also a tradition derived from the Gospel of Luke of Seventy Apostles."
Although we acknowledge the broader 'de facto' definition of "Apostle" as described above from Wikipedia internet encyclopedia, we only accept the 'de jure' definition of "Apostle" from Revelation 21:14, the lists given by hand-picked "Apostles" Mattityahu (Matthew) and Yohanan (John), and that given in the early part of the book of Acts.
We subscribe to the restricted usage of the term "Apostle" herein, the same as used by Yeshua HaMashiach ('Jesus' the Jewish Messiah (anointed of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH])-God)) as He referred to His special and particular hand-picked twelve Apostles (in the Gospel accounts of Matthew and John), and as He referred to them in the book of the Revelation 21:14. Thus, at The Iconoclast, we restrict the term "Apostle" to Yeshua's use of the term to apply only to those original hand-picked "Apostles", plus the replacement to 'Judas Iscariot', being Mattityahu (Matthias), whose selection is described in the book of Acts 1:15-17, 20-22.
We refuse to acknowledge the interpretation of the Roman Catholic church of any succession of "Apostles", nor the broad sense of the term depicted later in Acts and by Saul of Tarsus in his writings.
For Himself, Saul of Tarsus Reserved
It is clear from the internal evidence of the writings of Saul of Tarsus, that although he used the term "Apostle" liberally to refer to any emissary (one sent forth) that he reserved the restricted usage of the term "Apostle" for himself, considering himself equivalent or superior to the original hand-picked "Apostles" who were personally chosen by Yeshua HaMashiach Himself:
Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. [2 Corinthians 11:5 ESV]
Only Talmidim (Disciples) Of Yeshua B'Natzeret
We do not make this claim lightly. Rather, we refer to Yeshua's own words as recorded by His handpicked Apostles Matityahu and Yohanan (Matthew and John):
"Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and
followed thee; what shall we have therefore?"
"And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning."
"And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names
of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."
Just from these several passages, it is evident that Yeshua only ever intended that there would be twelve (12) Apostles (in the restricted sense as noted above), and they alone would be His chief witnesses!
As we note elsewhere herein, Yeshua called His talmidim, those whom He called to be His Apostles, His particular emissaries — friends! To be friends, people must know each other personally. From all accounts, the handpicked Apostles of Yeshua B'Natzeret were with Him for the three and one half years of His eartly ministry in the land of Israel.
Saul of Tarsus, aka 'Paul',
It is evident that Saul of Tarsus, aka 'Paul', never knew Yeshua B'Natzeret in the flesh, much less could he have been a personal talmid and a friend of Yeshua. That unequivocally excludes him from any possibility of being a true Apostle of the risen Mashiach of Israel, regardless of how often and how vocal were his presumptuous claims!
Remember the words of Yeshua:
"I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars" [Revelation 2:2]
Was Saul of Tarsus — A False Prophet?
This is how a false prophet is described in the Tanakh:
"20 But the prophet, that shall speak a word presumptuously in My name, which I have not
commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.'
Q: How many false prophecies does one have to give in order for that person to be declared a false prophet?
A: ONE !!!!!!!
Did Saul of Tarsus ever give a prophecy that did not come to pass?
What about his prophetic utterance in Acts 27? Did it really come to pass?
23 "For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,"
According to this vision, his prophetic utterance, Saul was told that he would be brought before Caesar and that no passengers would die.
Ironically, Luke makes it quite clear that the latter part of 'Paul's vision came to pass:
44 "And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship.
And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land."
It seems, to us, rather important that Saul of Tarsus's chief defender, companion and biographer was strangely silent in regards to giving a description of the fulfillment of Saul's prophecy that he would be brought before Caesar (Acts 27:23-24), when he had been so descriptive in detailing the part of the prophecy regarding the lives of the people on board the ship.
Since he gave such a descriptive account of all that happened on the storm–tossed ship where 'Paul' had given his prophetic utterance, it seems disingenuous to us that Luke provided absolutely no detail for the first part of Saul's vision. Almost in passing, he made mention that 'Paul' was in Rome for two years (Acts 28:30).
Here are the last two verses of the last chapter of the book of Acts which talk of the end of Saul's time in Rome:
30 "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came
in unto him,"
Interestingly, Luke had been quite emphatic (and clear) about setting forth an orderly account to Theophilus (in Luke 1 and again, as what looks to be a continuation, in Acts 1):
"1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those
things which are most surely believed among us,"
"The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,"
Why, you might ask, is any of this important?
Because it appears that there is no actual evidence that establishes, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Saul of Tarsus (aka 'Paul') ever actually faced Caesar — as he had so notably prophesied!
IF SAUL OF TARSUS DID NOT FACE CAESAR, THEN HIS PROPHETIC UTTERANCE IS SIMPLY FALSE.
!!! ONE FALSE PROPHECY
In our search to try to find out whether or not Saul of Tarsus ever appeared before Caesar, we could not find any 'hard evidence'.
What we have seen is that there are two main apologies regarding the possible fulfillment of 'Paul's prophetic utterance from Acts 27, neither of which can reasonably be considered 'hard and conclusive evidence'.
We found that the main 'proof' given by apologists is actually based upon 'church tradition', from some early 'church fathers'; basically stating that 'Paul' was beheaded at the hands of Nero.
Otherwise, most other apologies fall into a singular category, where arguments are actually derived as the extension of the text itself, in that the apologists' assume that 'since all of the New Testament' is sacred scripture [which, as such, cannot be questioned and necessarily must be true] — that Saul's prophecy would have occurred simply because it was stated!
Yet, Luke's account is completely silent
For 'tradition' to supersede Luke's account, let alone the notion that 'as Acts is sacred Scripture and any prophecies given would necessarily have to have been fulfilled', provide no actual evidence that Saul ever appeared before Caesar.
Unless indisputable evidence is provided to us (or we discover it for ourselves), we must resolutely treat Saul of Tarsus as a FALSE PROPHET. We cannot consider his writings as sacred, nor should his teachings be followed.
THEREFORE, SAUL OF TARSUS
Before יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]),
|Return To Contents||'Paul' Said, "...and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions..."||Return To Top|
Did Saul Of Tarsus ('Paul')
"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,
and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions
for the sake of his body, that is, the church,"
We have included the screen shot from http://interlinearbible.org/colossians/1.htm, above, to show that the Greek text represents the clear translation that most English versions convey.
Interestingly, many Christian commentators try to explain away the clear meaning of the text simply because of its devastating implications to those who hold Saul of Tarsus, aka 'Paul', as a true 'Apostle of Jesus Christ'!
We believe that the clear meaning of the text, as shown from the Interlinear Greek, essentially shows the extreme arrogance of 'Paul', and that he considered himself not just as an uber/Supreme Apostle, but that he alone was able to complete the work of Yeshua HaMashiach.
In doing so, wasn't he actually elevating himself above Yeshua? He was clearly stressing his own superiority and at the same time inferring the Messiah Yeshua's insufficiency!
To us, this is just another example of the kind of subtlety that 'Paul' used in instructing all of his followers how to think.
Sublety ... 'Paul's Secret Weapon!
"Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman: 'Yea, hath God said: Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?'" [Genesis 3:1 JPS-1917]
The evil one – Lucifer – has used subtlety to deceive and to control the hearts and minds of men throughout the ages. Subtlety and stealth have proven to be effective weapons, deceiving people into choosing the Gospel of Saul of Tarsus, aka 'Paul', over that of the true, handpicked, legitimate Twelve Apostles — and, yes, even over Yeshua HaMashiach Himself!
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"
We understand that 'Paul' never visited Colossae. The book itself referred to a man named Epaphras as having established the congregation there (Colossians 1:7). In the book of Colossians, 'Paul' essentially was writing the congregants to accept him as their supreme authority, their particular Apostle, the person whose 'Gospel message' alone should be followed.
This is similar to how he addressed the Corinthians:
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." [1 Cor. 11:1]
Yet, Doesn't The Ruach haKodesh Alone Teach
As it appears to have been 'Paul's pattern everywhere he went and wrote, in emphasizing his own preeminence, he either failed to express or minimized the knowledge of the truth, that it is the Ruach HaKodesh alone who teaches true followers of Yeshua HaMashiach.
In essence, those persons filled with the Ruach HaKodesh of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) do not need a self-proclaimed 'apostle' to teach them about the Holy One of Israel!
Rather, every place he went, 'Paul' declared that his 'Gospel message' was the only legitimate instruction to follow, that anyone else's 'Gospel message', not in agreement with his, even if it was given by an Angel of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) — that Angel of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) was to be accursed!
"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed." [Galatians 1:8 ESV]
Isn't that just another way of saying that anyone teaching a 'Gospel message' in opposition to 'Paul' was 'of the devil'?
Isn't That Blasphemy Against
For 'Paul' to state that anyone whose message is in opposition to his, when the person teaching is actually filled with the Ruach HaKodesh or an actual Angel from heaven (a true messenger/representative of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH])), according to Yeshua HaMashiach, making that kind of statement is actually to commit blasphemy against the Ruach HaKodesh of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]), the Holy Spirit!
Please note that Yeshua said that blasphemy against the Ruach HaKodesh of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) was not forgivable (see Matthew 12:31-32)!
Just as he claimed that other 'Gospel messages' were not sufficient, and were false, 'Paul' claimed that he alone was able to fill up (i.e. finish/complete) the work of Yeshua. As he stated emphatically, he was expressing to his audiences that 'The Holy One of Israel, the Mashiach, the anointed of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH])', Yeshua HaMashiach was LACKING, i.e. NOT SUFFICIENT!
Is that not abject arrogance?
In making this statement (Colossians 1:24), wasn't 'Paul' inferring his own preeminence over and above Yeshua HaMashiach Himself? You will not find any other New Testament writer ever indicating that Yeshua's Death And Resurrection WAS NOT SUFFICIENT. Yet, isn't that essentially what 'Paul' stated in Colossians 1:24?
Interestingly, to drive home the point of his own suffering, 'Paul' ended the letter to the Colossians by saying, "Remember my chains."
Wasn't 'Paul' Extremely Arrogant To State So Emphatically
Isn't it obvious that 'Paul' not only considered himself greater than the twelve Apostles, but by stating that he needed to fill up where Yeshua was lacking, he CONSIDERED HIMSELF GREATER THAN THE LORD HIMSELF? Wasn't he claiming that, essentially, because Yeshua's sufferings were incomplete — that it required 'Paul' to complete it?
Isn't that HERESY? Isn't that A DIFFERENT GOSPEL than that of Yeshua HaMashiach as told to us by His eyewitnesses, his own chosen Apostles?
'Paul' Essentially Taught That Yeshua HaMashiach Was Not Sufficient!
Colossians 1:24 is a clear teaching from 'Paul' that his 'Gospel message' meant accepting his version of 'Jesus Christ'. That version, unlike 'Gospel messages' as preached by Yeshua's true hand-picked Apostles, emphatically stated that the death and resurrection of Yeshua HaMashiach was not sufficient. Clearly, 'Paul' was stating his own preeminence, that he was able to 'fill up' what was lacking in Yeshua!
Remember, 'Paul' said that anyone who preached a different 'Gospel message' than 'his' was to be 'accursed' (indicating that anything else was a 'FALSE GOSPEL')!
"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel
contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed."
"Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people,
but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven."
If there arise in the midst of thee a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams
- and he give thee a sign or a wonder,
'Winners' Rewrite History!
Have you ever heard the term, "Winners Get To Rewrite History"? From the time following the death, resurrection and ascension of Yeshua HaMashiach to HaShamayim (heaven), and the subsequent destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, it is evident that the only entity that could possibly have fulfilled the 'feet of iron and clay' prophecy found in the 2nd chapter of the book of Daniel, is the extension of the old Roman Empire — the Roman Catholic church!
That prophecy spoke of a bifurcated 4th (and last) world kingdom, recognized as the 'feet of iron and clay', for which the Roman Catholic church has shown itself, throughout history, to clearly fulfill. The Roman Catholic church is the obvious extension/continuation of the old Roman Empire.
Yet, in the eyes of "the world," the Roman Catholic church is the 'Winner'. As such, 'she' has been able to rewrite history, with herself as the preeminent definer of 'her' version of the religion known as 'Christianity' — that religious system which thrust itself upon mankind 'claiming to be led by 'the Vicar of Christ', Jesus Christ on earth', intending to completely annihilate evidence, to eradicate the original faith community of the true Jewish Redeemer/Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach, which was Jewish in its ethnicity, character, worship. The Roman Catholic church has ruled with an iron hand at the expense of truth!
"And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood
of the martyrs of Jesus..."
To this point, not only has 'Rome' done its best at intimidating, persecuting and even killing anyone it considered "heretics" – but it is most likely responsible for the destruction of any then known original 'New Testament' manuscripts that may have existed up and to the time that Rome declared itself THE TRUE CHURCH.
Doctrine of 'Inerrancy & Infallibility' of Scripture
In a similar way that some 'Pharisees' interpreted the Torah (the Law) to abrogate the Law in Yeshua's day, man-made 'commandments' have become 'Laws of God' — TODAY!
Essentially, the doctrine of the inerrancy and infallibility of 'New Testament Scripture' is treated as if observing it is a direct command of Almighty God! As we illustrate below, that 'commandment of men' has been promulgated by the Roman Catholic church!
— And, YOU [Bible Idolaters] would never have imagined that the 'directive', "Come out of her, my people," could be applied to you!
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." [Revelation 18:4 KJV]
Regarding the doctrine of inerrancy and infallibility — the man-made law to treat the New Testament as if it is the absolute 'true and sacred word of God', prohibits any honest discussion into the grandiose claims that Saul of Tarsus, aka 'Paul', made on the faith community of Yeshua HaMashiach!
When one is allowed to question the authority of the New Testament text, by the text itself they then have the opportunity to discern truth previously not seen. As we illustrate later on in our discussion, 'Paul' made self-proclamations — and 'Paul' corroborated 'Paul'!
"If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true."
Once a person can take their 'Paul glasses' off they can begin to see the real Saul of Tarsus — then they can honestly examine quotes, like Colossians 1:24, to see 'Paul's abject arrogance where he even claimed to complete what he said was lacking in Yeshua himself!
Doctrine Of Inerrancy And Infallibility ... Continued
The manuscripts that have been accepted as "canon" for the assembling of the New Testament are treated as though they were assumed to have been personally approved by Yeshua and His original handpicked Apostles themselves, all of whom were Jewish!
Ironically, at least in the protestant world, the 'mantra' of 'inerrancy and infallibility' regarding the 'New Testament' seems to infer or imply that any TRANSLATION should automatically be considered as directly inspired by God, inerrant and infallible as well!
Please note: It must be understood that a TRANSLATION is itself an INTERPRETATION. An interpretation is an attempt to capture the correct meaning, but that meaning is always subject to the biases of the translators, and possibly even their agendas. That does not mean that a translation is necessarily incorrect or intentionally biased, but it can never substitute for the original writing itself.
Moreover, it takes a stretch of facts, a 'poetic license', to assume that a translation could also be considered inerrant and infallible simply because of the belief that 'original' manuscripts were purported to be so.
Please be advised that there is no prima facie evidence that 'original manuscripts' ever existed (that does not mean there weren't original manuscripts, just that there is no evidence to prove it).
In simplistic terms, the basic argument regarding the doctrine of inerrancy and infallibility for the New Testament is that the original writings were all inspired by God; therefore, as God embodies ultimate TRUTH, 'New Testament Scripture' is to be regarded as TRUE, inerrant and infallible [AND – NOT TO BE QUESTIONED!].
On the surface, that argument appears easy to follow — and even accept — without questioning the veracity of its source!
OK, What Appears To Be
Surprisingly, it will likely come as a shock, especially to those Bible Idolaters who undyingly hold onto the idea that all 'Scripture' is unequivocally inspired by Almighty God, absolutely inerrant and infallible — that the source for their 'belief' is found to be none other than the Roman Catholic church! Unwittingly, although they may be sincere in their beliefs, they have actually acquiesced to 'Rome' to share in her act of 'modern day' idolatry!
The following is an excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_inerrancy:
...The Roman Catholic view is summarized by the editors of the New American Bible:
Were 'Christian Scriptures' Written
We Want To Begin By Emphasizing This:
Non–Jewish people may not recognize or appreciate how that the Christian New Testament, particularly in the writings of 'Paul' and Luke (which comprise the majority of the writings) — are very 'Gentile–oriented, Gentile–centered'.
This is evident to us simply because of the references to Hebrew Scriptures which are quoted in the New Testament, the majority (around 2/3) are actually direct quotes from the Greek Septuagint translation and not the actual Hebrew Scriptures!
A very notable example is the often quoted, transliterated
passage found in Matthew 27:46:
That is actually a quote from the Greek Septuagint version of the Scriptures, which was supposed to be a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek but in many cases used an Aramaic source for Hebrew Scripture!
Please be aware that the Aramaic source would also have been a translation — not from an original Hebrew source of Hebrew Scriptures!). Further, that Aramaic translation was translated into the Greek language of the Septuagint, which, in turn, is quoted by the author of Matthew.
The quote is from Psalms 22 in the Hebrew Scriptures:
אֵלִי אֵלִי לָמָה עֲזַבְתָּנִי
Our transliteration of the Hebrew: "Eli, Eli Lama Azavtani".
Interestingly, both the Hebrew and Greek/Aramaic sources for the Psalms 22 passage quoted in Matthew have essentially the same meaning, "My G-d, My G-d, why have You forsaken me?", but to us it is significant that Matthew, one of the original disciples handpicked by Yeshua, would quote from the Greek Scriptures, rather than his native Hebrew Scriptures.
Disturbing to us as well is that the Matthew passage is supposed to be quoting the dying Yeshua. It just seems rather odd that Yeshua, the King Messiah, would quote an Aramaic translation in his last breaths rather than from the "Holy Tongue" (see Zephaniah 3:9).
It is our belief that had the New Testament writers themselves been in fact Israelite Hebrews, native born in Israel, they would have been much more likely to have been familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures and the Hebrew language, rather than the Greek language and the Greek translation of an Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Scriptures written in the Greek language (Septuagint)!
To us, it is rather preposterous to assume that any native Israelite would have been more versed in Greek writings than those of Hebrew to primarily reference or quote from a Greek text rather than the Hebrew Scriptures. Nevertheless, as we have mentioned above, about two thirds of the quotes from the Hebrew Scriptures in the Christian New Testament are actually sourced from the Greek version of the Scriptures, the translation known as the Septuagint, and not sourced in the Hebrew Scriptures as we may have been led to believe.
Notably, the New Testament Greek
text predominantly quotes Aramaic
rather than original Hebrew Scriptural sources!
We actually find it profound that the majority of the books in the New Testament were claimed to have been authored by Saul of Tarsus (aka Paul), or his chief biographer, Luke, neither of whom it appears to have been native born Israelites (e.g. Hebrew/Aramaic may not have been their first language)! It is quite telling in that neither Saul of Tarsus, nor Luke ever met Yeshua in the flesh!
Ironically, the original faith community of followers of Yeshua were Israelite Jews, whose native tongues would have more likely been Hebrew than Greek! We believe that that Israelite Jewish faith–community would most likely have practiced the true form of faith given by the personal teachings of the promised Messiah—Yeshua HaMashiach, himself a native born Israelite and well acquainted with the Hebrew language!
Moreover, we do not believe that the Hebrew Scriptures foretold that the Messiah was to come to bring about a new religion, loosely based upon teachings from a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. Rather, we believe that the purpose of the Messiah would have been primarily to bring the Israelite people back to the teachings of יְהֹוָה [YehoVaH].Flawed as it may be, the New Testament record reveals that Yeshua eschewed the teachings of the prevailing Israelite authorities (the rabbis). We believe that he actually taught the people to turn to יְהֹוָה [YehoVaH] and that this was in fulfilment of the Hebrew Scriptures.
A Predominant Gentile/Greek Scribing and/or Authorship!
Those of us who are ethnically Jewish find it especially disturbing how that, particularly evident in the New Testament book of John, that the ruling authorities are mostly referred to as "Jews!" — these references supposedly by a writer who himself was to have been an Israelite Jew!
To illustrate, we will cite just a few passages that refer to the Israelite ruling authorities using the term "Jews". That makes it quite clear that in the least there has been a great deal of corruption through a scribal "poetic license"; but all such examples make it look quite probable for a non–Jewish authorship as well.
However, particularly in lieu of the internal evidence we note herein, and even though we have to consider that the book of John actually may have been 'authored' by Gentile(s), that does not preclude a possibility that the Apostle John, whom the book was named after, did not write an original manuscript or would have dictated to another to write his words which could have been considered an original manuscript.
Yet, if that were the case, we find it hard to believe that the original manuscript would have been written in Greek!. Even if there was original authorship by the Apostle John, the results speak for themselves! Quite obviously, later scribes with anti–Jewish biases clearly added to the book (or wrote it en toto, as the case may have been).
Although we appreciate and may be sometimes informed by some of the books of the New Testament (they could be considered a history, after all), things like this make even original Israelite/Hebrew/Jewish authorship suspect in our opinion!
In other words, especially when reading the book of John, because the ruling authorities are typically referred to as "Jews", and not rabbis, priests, etc., it really appears that the author's point of view is from a non–Israelite, Gentile perspective.
It is our hope that it will take but a few examples to make this point.
The fact is that according to the "gospel" accounts, the original Talmidim of Yeshua were all ethnic Israelites (Jews), so the question as to why ethnic Israelites would ever refer to their own priests and/or other rulers using the term "Jews" (which appears to be derogatory) is ridiculous and absurd to us!
Moreover, it seems much more likely that a purportedly Israelite/Jewish author, to refer to their own ruling authorities by using the term, "Jews" in a derogatory way as it appears to be within the passages that follow, would only do so if he was what is modernly termed "a self-hating Jew".
Much more likely, the author was probably NOT an ethnic Israelite!
Calling the ruling authorities, Jews, when it would have been quite reasonable to call them priests, rabbis, members of the Sanhedrin, etc. is rather fantastic to us!
Note — we have changed the color of the term, Jews, for this illustration:
"And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”" [John 1:19 ESV]
"The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem." [John 2:13 ESV]
"So the Jews said to him, "What sign do you show us for doing these things?" " [John 2:18 ESV]
"Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews." [John 3:1 ESV]
"After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem." [John 5:1 ESV]
"So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed."" [John 5:10 ESV]
"This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God." [John 5:18 ESV]
"Now the Jews' Feast of Booths was at hand." [John 7:2 ESV]
"Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him."
"Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves." [John 11:55 ESV]
"Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world."" [John 18:36 ESV]
We believe that a clear distinction should be made regarding 'scribal' standards of quality and integrity between the Tanakh (the Hebrew Scriptures) and that of the Christian 'New Testament'.
Are There 'Scribal' Standards
– YES! –
Fortunately, the Roman Catholic church had absolutely no control or influence in the assembling of original manuscripts for the Hebrew Scriptures (aka the Tanakh, what Christians refer to as the Old Testament).
As we discuss below, Jewish scribes meticulously preserved the original writings of the Hebrew Scriptures under exacting scrutiny.
Were There Acceptable Scribal Standards
It is a fact that there is a huge discrepancy in the acceptable scribal requirements between what are known as the Hebrew Scriptures (the Tanakh) and the Christian Scriptures (the New Testament).
The Hebrew Scriptures were copied only under conditions of strict and rigorous scrutiny of detail and oversight.
In simplistic terms,
This point can be illustrated with a discussion regarding the Dead Sea Scrolls. The texts that were found at Qumran (the Dead Sea scrolls) show only a miniscule number of variations to the Masoretic text (which is mostly regarded as Judaism's official version). The Dead Sea Scrolls were dated from 300 years prior to the first century to the first century and the Masoretic Texts, which are used as the source for all Jewish Scriptures, were dated from around 930 C.E.
Qumran – A Community Of Scribes!
It is well known that the majority of ancient inkwells archaeologists found in the land of Israel were discovered at Qumran and/or related to it. Consequently, with this information as well as based upon the layout of its settlement and even information found in some of the recovered scrolls themselves, many people hold to the idea that Qumran was a "Scribal Community".
Hebrew Manuscripts With Scribal Errors
The "dead sea scrolls" at Qumran that comprise texts from the Hebrew Scriptures were "buried" in earthen jars. They could not be destroyed because they contained the name of יְהֹוָה [YehoVaH] (G–d)! They did not 'pass muster' for having been copied without error — they were unfit to be used in Temple (or Synagogue) worship, and were buried rather than destroyed for the aforementioned reason.
Did The 'New Testament' Scribes
Quite unfortunately, judging just by the results – there appeared to be little commitment for any such rigor or standards of excellence such as was obviously used in copying the Hebrew Scriptures for what has become the New Testament.
In fact, it is probably appropriate to say that, simply by the way they treated it, 'New Testament scribes' DID NOT CONSIDER MANUSCRIPTS THEY WERE 'COPYING' AS THE WORD OF G–D!
Yet, the texts that were accepted as "canon" for the assembling of the New Testament are treated as though they were assumed to have been personally approved by יְהֹוָה [YehoVaH] and/or Yeshua!
Ironically, at least in the Protestant world, the 'mantra' of 'inerrancy and infallibility' regarding the 'New Testament' seems to infer or imply that any TRANSLATION should automatically be considered as directly inspired by G–d, inerrant and infallible as well!
Those in the King James Only movement, those who declare that the King James translation is, in fact, the WORD OF G–D, are a testament to this kind of 'sillyness'.
Please note: It must be understood that a TRANSLATION is itself someone's INTERPRETATION.
An interpretation is an attempt to capture the correct meaning of original language documents into another language, but that meaning is always subject to original language literacy, the biases of the translators, and possibly even to private agendas. That does not mean that a translation is necessarily incorrect or intentionally biased, but it can never substitute for the original writing itself.
Moreover, in our opinion, it takes 'extreme poetic license' to assume that a translation could also be considered inerrant and infallible!
In simplistic terms, the basic argument regarding the doctrine of inerrancy and infallibility for the New Testament is that the original writings were all inspired by G–d; therefore, as G–d embodies ultimate TRUTH, 'New Testament Scripture' is to be regarded as TRUE, inerrant and infallible [AND, OF COURSE, – NOT TO BE QUESTIONED!].
It is a rather circular argument.
Original Manuscripts For The 'New Testament' DO NOT EXIST.
To make the statement, "the original manuscripts are inspired by G–d, infallible and without error" is subtly misleading, particularly when there is no prima facie evidence that original manuscripts ever existed!
We need to be very clear here: there are no extant, original, New Testament manuscripts, nor are there existing copies of the original manuscripts of the New Testament!
However, this is also true for the Hebrew Scriptures in that original manuscripts got old and copies have since replaced them.
But any similarity stops there. It is abundantly clear that the scribal integrity for the Hebrew Scriptures was so guarded that if there were any flaws in the copied manuscripts they were buried, never to be used in Temple or Synagogue service.
Whereas, it is strikingly apparent that there was little if any semblance of integrity for scribal integrity for New Testament scribes/copyists.
With literally thousands of the remnants of 'ancient', but not original, manuscripts with suspect scribal standards, none of which was found written in the native language of Israelite authors, it is embarrassing to presume that the New Testament could qualify as the wholly inspired, inerrant and infallible word of G–d.
Might it be that in doing so is to call יְהֹוָה [YehoVaH] G–d a liar?
Does that mean thatיְהֹוָה [YehoVaH] (Elohim/G–d) cannot use what has survived for His glory? Of course NOT!
"And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father,' for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham." [Matthew 3:9 ESV]
Ancient Hebrew Documents Have Survived!
Ancient Israelite documents have survived! Those from Qumran are estimated to be aged from between 300 BCE (Before Common Era) to the 1st century CE (Common Era, known also as A.D.).
Moreover, the Aleppo Codex, one of the original Masoretic texts, is from 930 CE.
Quite significantly, there are only slight discrepancies, changing no meanings whatsoever, between the Qumran (Dead Sea) scrolls of Hebrew Scripture and the Aleppo Codex.
Whereas, with the more than 5,000 Greek manuscripts, where no two agree and some significantly so, the Christian New Testament has absolutely no comparison of scribal standards and integrity to that of the Hebrew Scriptures!
Purposeful Corruption Of New Testament Manuscripts
Unfortunately, there was no such rigor and qualifications not only for authenticity but also for standards for what has become known as the corpus of texts comprising the manuscripts that have made themselves into the "New Testament".
Can The Sheer Number
Yet, there is a prevailing view by many "Christian" apologists who argue that due to the sheer number of manuscripts and 'their nearness to each other' – that qualifies them to have attained high standards 'for authenticity' – declaring that they are essentially equivalent to the same standard set by the Jewish scribes in their copying of the Tanakh! Of course, that argument for 'New Testament' authenticity is absolutely preposterous!
Isn't that 'apology' and subsequent Christian doctrine essentially stating that having an overwhelming number of documents, none of which agree completely, constitutes a model of authenticity so pure that it cannot even be questioned?
We consider that to be absolutely inane, insane and preposterous (OK, we consider it to be absolutely STUPID! — there, we said it!).
Moreover, it belies the idea that the Roman Catholic church corrupted the "body of evidence" and then purposely put a "canon" together that potentially included not only additions and untrustworthy elements but also writings that could not possibly meet rigorous standards of testing for authenticity.
Why Were Original Sources Only In A Foreign Language?
We find it odd that despite the fact that the original faith community of Yeshua was Israelite (Jewish) in culture and language, absolutely no original source writings are in either Hebrew or Aramaic, nor many (if any) references to them from other early 'accepted writings or personal letters' (note: other early writings or letters have been used to corroborate some of the manuscripts included in acceptance of documents for the 'canon').
What writings/manuscripts that "survived" the purge of the anti-Jewish factions leading into the Roman Catholic church are all copies of copies at best and often contain 'scribal additions and embellishments', but they are all written in the foreign, Greek language and apparently were added much later than when the manuscripts were supposed to have originally been written!
Again, absolutely no original Hebrew language writings were used for source material, despite the Israelite Jewish ethnicity and culture of the original handpicked messengers (aka, Apostles or Shaliachim) and others in the original faith community that followed Yeshua of Nazareth!
Should We Accept The Arguments
Modern arguments that Greek was the universal language of the time and that all of the early Israelite Jewish writers used it exclusively may entertain the many or perhaps the gullible, but we find that line of argumentation to be incredulous if not absolutely absurd and preposterous! We also expect that idea in and of itself has been given to us by the entity that has written (or re-written) the history — anti-Jewish factions extended into the Roman Catholic church (and its Protestant offshoots)!
It is our belief that the history regarding the Israelite ethnicity (aka Jewishness) of the original faith community has been grossly ignored and even expunged and supplanted by Greek culture and, especially, a 'Gentilized Religion, Christianity, centered on the teachings of one Saul of Tarsus, about Yeshua, whom he never even met'.
Moreover, the topic of our discussion regarding the credibility of Saul of Tarsus about his claims to being an Apostle (and even his own inference as an uber–Apostle) illustrate to us that the acceptance of 'Paul' has brought about the destruction of not only the core message but also the cultural and ethnic basis of the original faith community of Yeshua HaMashiach.
To us, it is clear that Saul–of–Tarsus, 'Paul's 'easy, Gentile/pagan oriented Religion about his interpretation of all things Yeshua (aka Christianity)' has supplanted, and all but eradicated, knowledge of the original faith community — that 'Israelite Faith centered in the Torah given by יְהֹוָה [YehoVaH]' which was championed by Yeshua HaMashiach and was subsequently taught by His true followers, His emissaries, His handpicked Shaliachim (Apostles)!
In fact, according to the book of John, it was to those original 12 disciples that Yeshua said would be his [exclusive] messengers:
"And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning." [John 15:27 ESV]
We sincerely doubt that any of the assemblers and many of the original writers of the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) were themselves Israelites or Jews. For, in assembling their "canon," apparently they had little interest or gave little consideration to the words attributed directly to Yeshua where he said:
"... I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
|Return To Contents||Who Was Luke's "Most Excellent Theophilus" And When Was Acts Written?||Return To Top|
When Was The Book of Acts Written?
Excerpts from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_of_the_Apostles:
"... The title "Acts of the Apostles" (Greek Πράξεις ἀποστόλων Praxeis Apostolon) was not part
of the original text. It was first used by Irenaeus late in the 2nd century. "
It is probably safe to assume that the book of Acts was written later than 'Paul's own letters, which includes the book of Galatians we have been examining herein.
Luke and the 'Most Excellent Theophilus'
To continue this discussion, we want to raise questions of just who both Luke and Theophilus were and when they lived. It's important to know because much of what is known to 'Christianity' is predicated upon trusting in the veracity of the 'New Testament', of which Luke, and of course, 'Paul' are attributed to having written over half.
No doubt that most of you have heard of Luke, but have you ever bothered to ask, "just who was Theophilus?" Interestingly, a man by the name of Theophilus is the person to whom the introduction of both of the 'New Testament' books of Luke and Acts state that they are written to:
many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been
accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were
eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it
seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some
time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught."
"In the first book,
O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach,
until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through
the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself
alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during
forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God."
Who was Luke?
From wikipedia, the online encyclopedia,
"Luke the Evangelist (Ancient Greek: Λουκᾶς, Loukás) was an Early
Christian writer whom Church Fathers such as Jerome and Eusebius said
was the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. He
is considered one of the Four Evangelists...."
Ok, we can probably assume that Luke was a contemporary of 'Paul', and his companion.
What about Theophilus? There is information all over the internet, but it is convenient to use Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophilus_of_Antioch):
"Theophilus, Patriarch of Antioch, succeeded Eros c. 169, and was
succeeded by Maximus I c.183, according to Henry Fynes Clinton, but
these dates are only approximations. His death probably occurred between
183 - 185.
Jerome  also mentions having read some commentaries on the gospel and on Proverbs,
which bore Theophilus's name, but which he regarded as inconsistent with the elegance
and style of his other works.
Of course, there are other men named Theophilus in history. From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophilus_ben_Ananus):
Theophilus was the High Priest in the Second Temple in Jerusalem from AD 37 to 41
according to Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews. He was a member of one of the
wealthiest and most influential Jewish families in Iudaea Province during the
1st century. According to some Christian traditions[who?] he was the person to
whom the Gospel of Luke is addressed.
The above are the two prominent Theophilus's, we have found, who lived around the time of Luke. Obviously, the Theophilus who was the High Priest of the Second Temple was the only contemporary of Luke. Curiously, 'you who never bothered to ask about 'Theophilus', would probably just assume that Luke was writing to the High Priest, simply because they were adults at around the same time.'
Ironically, you probably wouldn't consider that when it was recorded that when Peter went to the Centurion (the first Gentile convert) he made the statement:
And he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with
or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person
common or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me."
So, the question must be asked, why would a Jewish High Priest associate with the Gentile, Luke? Direct answer, "He would not!" Why would the Jewish High Priest be the recipient of both the New Testament books of Luke and Acts? Moreover, if the Jewish Theophilus was the High Priest during the years 37 to 41 AD, wouldn't that be much too early for Luke to have written to him regarding 'Paul', whose 'work' was much later?
We believe that the Theophilus of the late second century is the person to whom the books of Luke and Acts were written. Historical evidence obviously points to both Luke and the book of Acts as having been written at the earliest at the end of the first century and more likely early in the 2nd. If the Theophilus who Luke and Acts were written to lived at the latter half of the 2nd century, then the person writing to Theophilus could not have been the Luke who was associated with 'Paul', simply because that was long past his lifetime.
If 'New Testament' Books
If, as we assert, the books of Luke and Acts were addressed to the Theophilus of Antioch, whose work was at the latter half of the 2nd century, then it is probably safe to say that those books were not compiled from the testimony of direct eyewitnesses as they claim. Although some source material may have originated from direct testimony of eyewitnesses, that is impossible to prove.
Now, if a 'canon requirement for manuscript inclusion' was that it had to originate from an account written by an eyewitness (or perhaps even a close associate of that eyewitness), then neither Luke nor Acts would qualify. However, since these books were included in the canon, it could be inferred that those who assembled it had an agenda which potentially conflicted with the originator of the Brit HaHadashah, the New Covenant, Yeshua HaMashiach Himself!
We regard that as a serious matter not to taken lightly.
Can We Trust Luke's Account That The Mothers
A great majority of 'Believers' accept, without question, Luke's account regarding Elizabeth and Miriam (mother of Yeshua). Luke's gospel says they were relatives (some translations render cousins):
"And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived
a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren."
Is that true? Could Miriam and Elizabeth have been directly related?
A little history is helpful in looking at this!
Israelite Tribes Married Only Within Their Respective Tribes!
The Tanakh gives us important information regarding the tribes of Israel. Thus, we know that Israelite tribes married only within their own tribes (see Numbers 36:5-9), but that a stricter standard applied to Kohanim (Priests) in that Kohanim married only Kohanim, not just others from the tribe of Levi (see Leviticus 21).
The gospel of Luke is the only of the four gospels that gives any information regarding the birth and heritage of Yohanan HaMatbil (John the Baptizer). According to Luke, Yohanan's father, Zechariah, was a priest (from the tribe of Levi and the 'sub-tribe' of Aharon, Aaron). Miriam, the mother of Yeshua, was clearly from the tribe of Judah.
From our knowledge of Israelite marriage laws within tribes and stricter laws for Kohanim, the Luke account of Miriam and Elizabeth starts to look to be at or near the same level as a fairy tale!
However, in the spirit of 'fair play' it should be mentioned that in the book of 2 Chronicles it speaks about the priest, Jehoida, who was married to the sister of King Joash:
10 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.
But Aren't The Luke Accounts
Again, remember that the book of Luke was addressed to 'Theophilus'!
In our opinion, Luke's Theophilus was the Theophilus of Antioch, who served beginning at the year 169 AD — long after the events could have originally been recorded and around 100 years after most of the last eyewitnesses would have been alive! Moreover, for the 'New Testament' narrative to have gotten so watered down as to claim that Elizabeth and Miriam were near relatives simply belies credibility.
To critically examine Luke, disciple of 'Paul', to consider who Theophilus was and therefore the timeframe and authorship of the books, and to question the credibility of the accounts as we do with Luke's narrative regarding the birth of Yeshua, we must conclude that the books attributed to Luke should not be accepted as authoritative in matters of doctrine!
|Return To Contents||Is The 2nd Peter Reference To 'Paul's Writings As "Scripture" Valid?||Return To Top|
Is The 2nd Peter Reference
From the time of the ascension of Yeshua to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, any letters that used the term "Scripture" to refer to other writings would necessarily have to refer to the Hebrew Scriptures (the Tanakh - aka Old Testament), as the corpus of material to be later called 'New Testament' did not exist until long after the deaths of its writers!
A good example of this is 2 Tim. 3:14-17:
"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed,
knowing from whom you learned it"
Again, the designation of "scripture" in 2 Timothy 3 could only refer to the Hebrew Scriptures – the 'New Testament' didn't exist until much, much later.
"and how from childhood you have been
Moreover, by the context of the 2 Timothy 3 passage, which states "and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings," — those 'sacred writings' from Timothy's childhood could not possibly have been 'Paul's writings, which were contemporary to the adult Timothy — simply because they didn't exist when Timothy was a child nor at that time to be included in the context of 2nd Timothy.
2 Peter 3 — A Late Addition!
"And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation;
even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given
unto him hath written unto you;"
2 Peter 3:15-16 is often used as a 'proof text' to establish 'Paul' as a bona fide apostle!
The Internal Evidence:
The internal evidence, itself, should help the discerning reader to see that where this passage refers to all of 'Paul's writings as "SCRIPTURE", it absolutely has to be a later addition — simply because The New Testament, whose 13 of 27 books were written by 'Paul' himself, DID NOT EXIST NOR WAS THERE EVEN A CONCEPT OF A 'NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURE' AT THAT TIME!
At best, some letters may have been circulated between congregations, but there is no prima facie evidence to the extent of circulation – all we have to go on are 'Paul's allusions to his own letters being sent between congregations. But, again, THE 'NEW TESTAMENT' DID NOT EXIST AS A WHOLE, NOR WAS IT CONSIDERED 'SCRIPTURE' UNTIL MUCH, MUCH LATER IN TIME!
No doubt Shimon Kefa (Simon Peter) would not have considered 'Paul's writings as additions to the Tanakh, the Hebrew Scriptures! We believe that it would have been ridiculous for him to consider any of 'Paul's writings as 'Scripture'.
We believe that the 2 Peter 3 passage is used as a 'proof-text' for the gullible to accept 'Paul' as a bona fide Apostle!
Can you now see this ruse? 2 Peter 3 is clearly a 'scribal addition'. It is a very convenient subterfuge intended to dupe you into accepting 'Paul' as an Apostle – without giving it a second thought! Have you been fooled by this deception?
ROME absolutely expects you to!
Did The Apostle Shimon Kefa (Peter)
Here is some information from Wikipedia regarding the Greek text in these books:
"Some scholars believe the author was not Peter, but an unknown author writing after Peter's death. Estimates for the date of composition range from 60 to 112 AD. Most critical scholars are skeptical that the apostle Simon Peter, the fisherman on the Sea of Galilee, actually wrote the epistle, because of the urbane cultured style of the Greek and the lack of any personal detail suggesting contact with the historical Jesus of Nazareth. The letter contains about thirty-five references to the Hebrew Bible, all of which, however, come from the Septuagint translation, an unlikely source for historical Peter the apostle, but appropriate for a Hellenized audience; thus the use of the Septuagint helps define the audience. The Septuagint was a Greek translation that had been created at Alexandria for the use of those Jews who could not easily read the Hebrew and Aramaic of the Tanakh and for proselytes. A historical Jew in Galilee would not have heard Scripture in this form, it is argued."
If you've read this far, you would expect that we, at The Iconoclast, might find this view compelling! We feel it is a valid argument in that it, as elsewhere, reports of the scholarly writing style in Greek, which the actual Apostle Peter would most likely have not known. In fact, it is often reported that the style of the Greek is the closest to " high Greek" than any other New Testament writing!
Moreover, as Wikipedia mentions that the references to the Tanakh are from the Septuagint, this alone is a valid argument to consider regarding authenticity of authorship. First of all, the Septuagint is a translation of Hebrew Scriptures, and it is interpretive at that. Although Greek 'scholars' might gravitate to a view that it would have been authoritative, for Yeshua and His talmidim it is preposterous to assume that they would have held it equal to or superior to the actual Hebrew Scriptures! In other words, the actual Apostle, Shimon Kefa, would have quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures, not to a translation of the sacred writings.
Are there Historical Arguments For Non–Authorship Of Peter?
There are many good websites with much information regarding the authorship of the books of 1st and 2nd Peter. However, we found that the following site The Rejection of Pascal's Wager provided a good summary:
Then, Who Wrote 1st & 2nd Peter?
Interestingly, in 1st Peter, 5:12, there is a reference regarding the authorship of the book:
"By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand."
So, the question should be asked, "Just who was Silvanus?"
This following reference is from en.wikipedia.org:
Saint Silas or Saint Silvanus (Greek: / ; fl. 1st century AD) was a leading member of the Early Christian community, who later accompanied Paul on parts of his first and second missionary journeys.
There is some disagreement over the proper form of his name: he is consistently called "Silas" in Acts, but the Latin Silvanus, which means "of the forest," is always used by Paul and in the First Epistle of Peter; it may be that "Silvanus" is the Romanized version of the original "Silas," or that "Silas" is the Greek nickname for "Silvanus." Silas is thus often identified with Silvanus of the Seventy. Fitzmyer points out that Silas is the Greek version of the Aramaic "Seila," a version of the Hebrew "Saul," which is attested in Palmyrene inscriptions. The name Latin "Silvanus" may be derived from pre-Roman Italian languages (see, e.g., the character "Asilas," an Etruscan leader and warrior-prophet who plays a prominent role in assisting Aeneas in Virgil's epic poem the Aeneid).
He was with Paul in Phillipi when they were imprisoned, but were freed when an earthquake broke their chains and opened the prison door. He is thus sometimes depicted carrying broken chains.
From many sources, it appears that Silvanus and Silas were one and the same person. If so, this 'Silvanus' found in 1 Peter, would have been Silas, a close companion of Saul of Tarsus!
Moreover, if at least 1st Peter was written by a close companion to 'Paul', we should probably expect that there might be some similarities between some of the writings attributed to 'Paul' to that of Peter. In fact, one website does a pretty good job of putting the references side by side that make this in the least, suspicious!
The following information is found at Christianity Unity Blog:
This site (http://christianunityblog.net) adds the following summary:
Beyond the similarity of many verses of Paul and Peter, the overall structure of
his plea is the same. Peter introduced the letter by identifying himself as an
apostle. He proceeded to identify his intended audience by their location and by
the blessings they have received from God. He extends grace and peace. Next he
describes in more detail the great blessings they have received from God. Then he
proceeds to call for an appropriate response to those blessings. This is all very
Pauline compare to Ephesians, Colossians, and Romans. However, Peter seems to
go back and forth several times lavish description of blessings, then calling for
a response, then revisiting the blessings, and calling for a response again, etc.
One More Thing —
"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived they were uneducated,
common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus [Yeshua]."
Thus, we must ask the question, "How is it that, with knowledge of the Acts 4 passage, would "Scholars/Experts" consider that an uneducated fisherman from Galilee in the first century to be the most likely candidate to have written 2nd Peter, which is known to have been written in the highest form of Greek in all of the New Testament?"
HOWEVER, please be advised that although it is recorded in Acts 4 that Peter was perceived to be unlearned, that DOES NOT mean that he and his fellow true Apostles were actually unlearned and also unfamiliar with the Hebrew Scriptures!!! In fact, it was a law in ancient Israel that the Torah be read in the presence of the people EVERY SEVEN YEARS during the feast of Succot (aka Feast of Tabernacles)!
"10And Moses commanded them, saying:
'At the end of every seven years, in the set time of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles,
No doubt that we have not exhausted this subject. Yet, we hope by these few illustrations that it can be seen that not only did Shimon Kefa (Peter) NOT attribute the writings of Saul of Tarsus, the 'self—proclaimed apostle Paul', as equivalent to 'Scripture', but it is likely that neither book attributed to have been wrtten by 'Peter', actually was!
Of course, ROME absolutely expects that you will not question this!
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Do The Three Admonitions
There are three well-known passages in the Tanakh which especially warn about 'adding to, or taking away from Scripture'. Those people that hold the belief that the Tanakh, the Hebrew Scriptures, are the unequivocal Word of God would necessarily consider any other writings, including the New Testament, as non–sanctioned additions!
"And now, O Israel, hearken unto the statutes and unto the ordinances,
which I teach you, to do them; that ye may live, and go in and possess the
land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, giveth you."
For those select Messianic Jews ('seeds of Israel') and Messianic Non–Jews who embrace Yeshua b'Natzeret as the promised Redeemer of Israel and at the same time revere the Tanakh as the authoritative written directive from יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]), we assert that they should consider much of the writings of the New Testament as just informative and instructive, but not necessarily authoritative, in consideration of the above referenced passages.
However, we must also be careful to allow the Ruach HaKodesh to glorify יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) with the eyewitness accounts of the teachings of Yeshua HaMashiach. We assert that the words of Yeshua HaMashiach, as recorded by eyewitnesses and as they are taught to us by the Ruach HaKodesh, should be considered authoritative!
Yet, to treat the whole of The New Testament on the same level as the Hebrew Scriptures should be discouraged, simply because of the warnings in the two passages in Deuteronomy and the one in Proverbs concerned with adding to or taking away from The Word of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]), but also because of the preeminence of the doctrines of 'Paul' (Saul of Tarsus).
Moreover, we believe that the eyewitness followers of Yeshua HaMashiach would also have held to the belief that the Hebrew Scriptures were their primary written directives — the Word of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) — since we have the 'authoritative' words of Yeshua to instruct us:
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets:
I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill."
In addition to internal evidence of The New Testament writings, as noted previously, we honestly believe that the true Apostles of Yeshua could never have considered the writings of Saul of Tarsus at or near the same level as the Tanakh!
We find it ludicrous that anyone might entertain the idea that the writings of Saul of Tarsus were to be equivalent to the Hebrew Scriptures (equally preposterous and presumptuous are those non–Jews who claim they are now "Jews", simply by following 'Paul's gospel).
FACT: Neither 'Paul' Nor Luke
One often stated requirement for a letter/epistle/book to qualify to be in the canon for The New Testament was that it was to have been written by a legitimate Apostle or another talmid (disciple) who had known Yeshua personally during the three and one half years of His earthly ministry in Israel.
It must be noted that over one half of the New Testament canon contains books written by Saul of Tarsus or his companion, Luke, neither of whom spent any time at all in the personal presence of Yeshua while He ministered among His own handpicked Apostles on earth!
Spending Moments Of Time In 'Visions'
Strangely and ironically, even though the only times 'Paul' would claim that he was in the 'presence' of 'Jesus' was during his self-proclaimed 'visions', starting with the one on the road to Damascus'. Nevertheless, spending a few moments in his self-proclaimed 'visions' CANNOT POSSIBLY BE CONSIDERED EQUIVALENT to knowing Yeshua HaMashiach, spending 'quality' time with Him, and being personally 'discipled' by Him for three and a half years!
ROME hopes you do not question this!
"God Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It."
I think it fairly safe to state that most 'Bible Idolaters' hold to the following paradigm to guide their lives and faith: They unequivocally believe that what is known as the Holy Scriptures (both "Old" and "New" Testaments) are without error and completely and inherently the Word of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) ("God said it, I believe it, that settles it").
To them, it is a sin to question it at all or to consider any argument that may challenge that tenet. As such, they are potentially unable to honestly discern truth from fiction. This is especially related to the writings of Saul of Tarsus, aka 'Paul'.
Is It Essentially Idolatry
Essentially, because they believe that the New Testament is without possibility of error, 'Bible Idolaters' cannot question anything in it. In reality, theirs is what is known as a "circular argument" (it proves itself but cannot stand on its own merit except without scrutiny or challenge).
How is this so? Simply because the claims of Saul of Tarsus ('Paul') can only be PROVEN using his own writings!
|Return To Contents||'Paul' Set Us All Up By Declaring Any "Gospel Other Than His" — Is A False Gospel!||Return To Top|
'Paul' Set Us All Up By Declaring
This was accomplished through subtlety and stealth!
"Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman: 'Yea, hath God said: Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?'" [Genesis 3:1 JPS-1917]
The evil one – Lucifer – has used subtle deception to control the hearts and minds of men throughout the ages. Subtlety and stealth have been an effective tool for deceiving people into choosing the doctrines of 'Paul' over the true, handpicked and legitimate Apostles, and, yes, even over the Lord Yeshua HaMashiach Himself!
How could this have been done?
Let's look at the text: Galatians 1:6-9 [http://interlinearbible.org/galatians/1.htm]
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the
grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—
This passage is probably the most glossed over of 'Paul's writings, and yet it is also used to support core doctrinal positions effectively establishing 'Paul's gospel as superior to that of Yeshua HaMashiach!
We will try to dissect these verses to show the subtle deception employed by 'Paul' which has effectively deceived 'Christiandom' throughout the ages!
'Paul' started out by declaring his "astonishment" that some had deserted "him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel." We believe that he was actually saying that his audience, the Galatians, were abondoning God ("...him who called you")!
We assert that this illustrates Lucifer's effective use of psychological deception.
How, you might ask?
Simply because the phrase sets his audience up to be immediately defensive, to doubt their ability to think without 'Paul' to put his spin on things. It is seen in verses 6 and 7 that the audience is expected to doubt, before he declares it, that even to consider "any other gospel" other than 'Paul's is "deserting him who called you ..."
Who Were Those Who Were Causing
Ok, so have any of 'Paul's disciples (or you) asked, "just who were those who were supposedly causing the Galatians to abandon 'Paul's Gospel?"
We assert that most likely the Galatians were being influenced by true, hand-picked Apostles of Yeshua HaMashiach!
Why do we believe that?
Let's look at the following passage from Galatians 2:
"But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood
'Paul' tells us that the Apostle, Shimon Kefa (Simon Peter), was at Antioch in Galatia! Thus, we infer that 'Paul' was addressing his Galatian audience, in chapter 1, in reference to the Gospel as presented by none other than the most prominent of the handpicked Apostles of the true Yeshua HaMashiach, Shimon Kefa!
We want to continue our brief discussion of Galatians 1:6-9 passage. Particularly, we want to look at verse 8:
"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed."
We must ask here: "Isn't an angel from heaven a direct emissary of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]), Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe?"
We assert that is exactly the case!
Wasn't 'Paul' asserting that even if an angel from heaven gave a different version of the Gospel message of Yeshua HaMashiach than what he ('Paul') presented, that Angel of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) was to be accursed?
Wasn't Shimon Kefa ...
We have already established the probability that Shimon Kefa could have been who 'Paul' was alluding to, in Galatians 1:6-7, as one who was presenting to the Galatians the true Gospel of Yeshua HaMashiach and to whom 'Paul' was saying should be accursed.
What we want you to consider is that we believe that Shimon Kefa would have been "filled with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH])." As such, for 'Paul' to call him accursed would have been to commit blasphemy against the Ruach HaKodesh of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH])!
Isn't That Blasphemy Against
For 'Paul' to state that anyone whose message is in opposition to his, when that person preaching was actually filled with the Ruach HaKodesh of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) (such as, in this case, Shimon Kefa, one of the 12 personally chosen emissaries of Yeshua HaMashiach Himself), or an actual Angel from heaven (a true messenger/representative of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH])), according to Yeshua HaMashiach, making that kind of statement was actually to commit blasphemy against the Ruach HaKodesh of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH])!
Yeshua said that blasphemy against the Ruach HaKodesh of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) was not forgivable:
"Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with
Thus, 'Paul' was most likely committing blasphemy against the Ruach HaKodesh of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) in this discourse in the book of Galatians, setting himself in absolute opposition to יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) and Yeshua HaMashiach — AND illustrating how he and his Gospel message fell directly under Lucifer's authority!
The Roman Catholic church does NOT want you to discover this!
More False Teaching By 'Paul' In Galatians
Few people have noticed the subtlety of 'Paul' when he talked about the Torah (the Law) in Galatians 3:19:
"Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator." [Galatians 3:19]
"What's wrong with that," you may ask. Of course, nothing, unless you know what the Hebrew Scriptures have to say about how the Torah (the Law) was actually given! As 'Paul' stated in Galatians 3, the Law was given "... by the hand of angels."
The Hebrew Scriptures tell a different story, that the Law was not given by angels, but rather by Almighty God ( יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH])) Himself!
"And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of speaking with him upon mount Sinai, the two tables of the testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God." [Exodus 3:18 JPS-1917]
Was this a mere slip, or was this rather the manner of 'Paul' — to play 'fast and loose' with facts when reporting to an audience not necessarily versed in the knowledge of the subject at hand (or perhaps to those who would consider his writings equivalent to or superior to the Hebrew Scriptures)?
Now, in Galatians 1:12, 'Paul' declared that he was taught his gospel directly by the revelation of "Jesus Christ". Of course, Rome does Not want you asking here, "Then, who taught the twelve handpicked Apostles?" – simply because they got the true Gospel directly from Yeshua, face to face.Oh, you might ask, "But, isn't 'Paul's gospel the same as that of Shimon (Peter) and the other Apostles?".
"Ye shall know them by their fruits..."
By examining 'Paul's own self-description of how he treated the Lord's Apostles (seeing the 'fruit' of his character towards others), we should see if it measures up to Yeshua's standards.
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits...." [Matthew 7:14-15a]
Let's look at 'Paul's own words:
"Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles
before me; but I went into Arabia, and
returned again into Damascus.
This is subtle!
"Ye shall know them by their fruits...." [Matthew 7:15a]
It is apparent that he considered 'his revelation' greater than that of those who walked with Yeshua in the flesh. Simply note just from his personal testimony in the letter to the Galatians, 'Paul' informed us that after becoming a 'new believer' he did not entertain any notion that it might be a good idea to immediately spend time with any of the Lord's handpicked Apostles to learn from them!
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. [John 10:1]
Doesn't it seem logical that if he had just received a revelation that he was to be an Apostle, that he might seek out those known to be Apostles to learn from them? Did he not have any humility, nor respect (nor decency) in relation to those who were chosen PERSONALLY by the Jewish Messiah Himself – to be His particular witnesses?
Again, this is very subtle, and something that Rome does not wish you to question!
Here is something you may not have noticed: he refers to James, the Lord's brother, as an apostle in verse 19. It is apparent that 'Paul' understood somehow that there were men that were especially called out as Apostles (as he included himself in that auspicious group), but is it reasonable to assume that three years after his 'conversion' he did not know who they were?
From all accounts in the New Testament, "James", the Lord's brother, was not counted among the handpicked Apostles. You might say, rightly, that elsewhere Luke and / or 'Paul' refer to others, not of the twelve, as being "apostles" as well (one is Barnabas, who, unlike 'Paul', is never attributed to have claimed that title to himself). Aside from them, do you see anywhere in the New Testament that any of the known twelve, handpicked Apostles, refer to other "apostles" beside themselves? (The only writers to mention 'other apostles' are 'Paul' and Luke!).
More Subtlety ...
Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem
with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. [Galatians 2:1]
Obviously, you can read the passage for yourself to see the entire context. What I want to draw your attention to are the several areas where 'Paul' actually disparages the Apostles (and James, who is referenced elsewhere not as an Apostle, but rather leader of the congregation in Jerusalem):
The Subtlety Of Acquiescence
Please remember, in his own words these are examples of how 'Paul' treated the handpicked Apostles of Yeshua. In treating the Lord's special emissaries with contempt, 'Paul' openly disrespected them. It could be inferred that by treating them thusly, he was doing this to the Lord Himself!
I don't care how you frame it, but, essentially, didn't 'Paul' preach a different gospel than Yeshua and His handpicked Apostles?
IT MAY NOT BE EASY TO SEE THE SUBTLETY OF ACQUIESCENCE, first, to the idea that 'all Scripture is the Word of God' (remember, many people consider The New Testament as 'Scripture') — Which Cannot Be Questioned, and, second, that anyone opposing 'Paul' is, to him and those who follow his gospel, preaching a different gospel (see Galatians 1:6-9)!
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing,
but inwardly are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits...."
|Return To Contents||Is The Inconsistent Telling Of The Same Incident A Telltale Sign of Lying?||Return To Top|
In looking at 'Paul's character, we have considered first his own description of himself from the account in the book of Galatians. Nevertheless, it is most likely helpful to review the three occurrences in the book of Acts that describe 'Paul's conversion experience (Acts chapters 9, 22 and 26).
Is The Inconsistent Telling
In modern day Police investigations it is a common practice to ask an accused person to repeat their stories multiple times. A 'telltale' sign that someone is lying is that the stories change in some aspect each time they are told. We know that the book of Acts was compiled, most probably by Luke, who was 'Paul's own disciple. In each of the three times 'Paul's conversion is told in Acts (chapters 9, 22 and 26), each account is a bit different than the others, but all three contradict 'Paul's own description in the Galatians account (presumably written by his own hand!).
Could it have been that 'Paul' actually told his audiences different versions of the 'story'?
Assuming that Acts was compiled by just one person (Luke), shouldn't we expect that in repeating the telling of the same event that each telling should be consistent with the others?
We should — EXCEPT if the recorder was merely being faithful in writing the accounts as he witnessed them being told first hand. Could it have been that 'Paul' actually gave different accounts of the same story to different audiences? Note that two of the accounts could easily have been witnessed by the writer (the incident when before the Jewish audience (where he spoke to them in Hebrew) and the one before King Agrippa). Regardless, all three accounts, two of which may have been directly witnessed accounts of 'Paul' himself, are each different from each other in some respect – and not insignificantly!
Just as Police investigations question an accused person multiple times and get different stores when that person is lying, isn't it possible that, using the same criteria, 'Paul' himself is shown to be a liar?
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.
He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth,
because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie,
he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. [John 8:44]
Rome does not want you to ask any of these questions!
If you are unable to question 'Paul' because you regard his words too sacred, as 'the word of God', then you will not possibly see that his own claims regarding his "apostleship" cannot possibly be true. However, once you start to question Saul of Tarsus ('Paul'), you will begin to see how utterly preposterous some of his claims are!
Yeshua Called His
Consider this simple thought: Yeshua's twelve handpicked Apostles were close to Him. They knew Him face-to-face for three and a half years. And Yeshua called them His friends!
'Paul' Claimed To Be An Apostle —
'Paul' claimed to be an apostle, and this claim was only authenticated by his own accounts of secret 'visions and revelations'. This is a fact: 'Paul' proclaimed that he was appointed to be an apostle by Yeshua HaMashiach – BUT HE NEVER EVEN MET YESHUA IN THE FLESH – HE WAS NEVER A PERSONAL FRIEND OF YESHUA!
Have you ever heard that you can prove Scripture from Scripture?
If someone tells you that a claim of theirs is true based upon something else they said or wrote, would that automatically qualify their statements as being true? (of course not — you might even say, "That's utterly ridiculous!"). Ironically, isn't that what 'Paul' based his authority upon?
"If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." (John 5:31)
Claiming to have had 'visions and revelations' are the singular 'proof-claims' by which 'Paul' proclaimed that he was personally chosen to be an apostle!
The Roman Catholic church hopes that you will accept and acknowledge 'Paul's self proclamations as (the greatest) apostle, by the few 'moments' he claims to have spent with 'his familiar spirit friend', whom he called 'Jesus', in 'visions and revelations' — of course those claims are supposed to supersede (trump) that of the three and one half years that the true, handpicked, Apostles knew the real Yeshua personally – in the flesh!
Where are the independent testimonials of the people who were supposed to have been with Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus? If there were any written accounts, none of the early writers seemed to think they were important enough to include to help corroborate 'Paul's claims. In effect, there are no corroborating testimonies.
... by the mouth of two or three witnesses
If by the mouth of two or three witnesses a matter is resolved in the Torah of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]), how is it that 'Paul's claims are not allowed to be verified by anyone except himself? [see Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15-21]
Ironically, 'Paul's claims to apostleship are based upon his own, unchallenged, claims of encounters with his 'familiar spirit friend,' whom he called 'Jesus', in 'visions'; while the legitimate 12 Apostles walked personally with the real Yeshua for the three and one half years of His earthly ministry!
"If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." [John 5:31]
Did Saul of Tarsus Claim
For I suppose I
was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.
"If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." [John 5:31]
To reiterate, the legitimate 12 Apostles knew Yeshua personally. They were 'discipled' by Him directly and openly — Not In Secret — Not in unchallenged nor unconfirmed 'visions'.
Yet, Saul of Tarsus made himself out to be superior to all of them – based upon secret 'visions', and not in a personal, in the flesh, relationship with Yeshua for the entire world to see! Ironically, even though 'Paul's vision–based conversion experience is recorded four times in the New Testament, and it is different each time, adherents of 'Paul's 'gospel' seldom question his grandiose claims. Essentially, they prefer his 'gospel' to that of Yeshua!
Moreover, it is easy to see that 'Paul' did not respect Yeshua's 12 handpicked Apostles. Simply, in disrespecting the Apostles of the Lord, 'Paul' disrespected and disparaged Yeshua Himself.
Yeshua HaMashiach Called 'Paul' A Liar!
"...thou hast tried them
In the book of the Revelation of Yeshua HaMashiach, as Yeshua asked Yohanan (John – one of His handpicked Apostles) to record, Yeshua spoke directly to the congregation in Ephesus:
"I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:" [Revelation 2:2]
Interestingly, what did 'Paul' say to Timothy about the congregations in Asia (of which Ephesus was one)?
"This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes." [2 Timothy 1:15]
What is not stated is why anyone would turn away from 'Paul' and his 'Gospel message'. Without corroborating data, all anyone can do is to try to fill in the gaps.
Here's what we think anyway!
The true Apostle Yohanan (the Apostle known as the one whom Yeshua loved) was on the Isle of Patmos when he wrote down the book of Revelation. The first congregation addressed there was Ephesus, where the passsage above speaks about those calling themselves Apostles but are not and are liars.
The city of Ephesus is a port city on the Aegean Sea, of which the Isle of Patmos is off the coast and south. We do not feel that it would be a huge stretch to presume that the Apostle Yohanan himself could have actually visited Ephesus, due to the close proximity, but also because it is obvious that that congregation was influenced against 'Paul' by someone with a different 'Gospel message'.
Again, per 'Paul' to his disciple, Timothy,
"This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes." [2 Timothy 1:15]
We Believe There Were Known Disagreements
We believe that there were known disagreements between the Apostles and 'Paul'. The book of Acts tells us that when 'Paul' came to Jerusalem, he was confronted about his teaching Jews among the Gentiles to forsake the Torah:
" And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him,
You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who
have believed. They are all zealous for the law, and they have been told about
you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses,
telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs."
The account continues with 'Paul' being asked to pay the expenses of four men who had taken a vow, and to join them. When the end of the seven days was near completion, we are informed that Jews from Asia recognized 'Paul' and brought attention to him as one who taught everywhere against the Torah (see Acts 21:17ff).
The point we want to make here is that 'Paul' was accused by all groups of Jewish people, believers and non believers, of having taught Jews to forsake the Torah of Moses. These accounts make it appear to be well known that 'Paul's gospel message included that he commonly preached against the Torah of Moses as a matter of habit.
The Acts account takes the story of 'Paul' away from Jeruslalem and towards Rome thereafter. Luke, the purported author of the book of Acts, known as a disciple of 'Paul', would have had little motive nor interest in providing detail or more information regarding the accusation of Jews regarding 'Paul'. Rather, his focus was on 'Paul's Gospel message and Luke's defense of 'Paul'.
We have mentioned that Luke was a disciple of 'Paul'. If, as we believe, 'Paul' was one whom Yeshua said had falsely claimed to be an apostle and was not, but a liar, then that also tainted those who trusted 'Paul' as his own disciples!
Consequently, we believe we have found something quite interesting regarding Luke's account of the discovery of the empty tomb of Yeshua.
It is well known, from the book of Yohanan, that both Kefa (Peter) and Yohanan ran to discover the empty tomb (see John 20). However, in the account of this incident found in Luke 24, Yohanan is not even mentioned as having been with Shimon Kefa (Simon Peter). Again, we find this surprising, particularly with Luke's stated concerns on providing orderly (precise) accounts!
We have mentioned elsewhere herein regarding the books of Luke and Acts, how that they are both addressed to a man named Theophilus. In the opening chapter of the book of Luke, Luke stressed a concern to trying to record an orderly account of those who were eyewitnesses:
"Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught." [Luke 1:1-4 ESV]
Luke Purposefully Left Out Accounts Regarding Yohanan
It is our belief that it was no accident that Luke left out the account of Yohanan running to the tomb of Yeshua with Shimon Kefa. We believe that he did this purposefully, and we believe it is because Yohanan would not have accepted 'Paul' as an Apostle, that he would have regarded him as a teacher against the Torah of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]), and a liar as recorded in the book of Revelation!
If our assumption is true, in the least it sheds doubt as to whether Luke was the objective biographer that his addresses to 'Theophilus' lead to believe. If that is so, then his accounts regarding 'Paul' likely were written with an intent to minimize or hide the guilt of 'Paul' regarding the accusations not only that he taught against the Torah of Moses (the Torah of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH])), but also that Yeshua HaMashiach, Himself, directly called 'Paul' a liar! No doubt that Luke would have agreed with 'Paul' and would have had no interest in pursuing other 'Gospel messages', even from those of acknowledged, handpicked Apostles of Yeshua HaMashiach!
It is unfortunate to us how complete was the deception of Lucifer upon the entire world, but particularly upon those who want to include themselves as the Israel of God. We want to believe the best about people, but we find uncomfortable evidence against 'Paul' and his own disciples, including Luke.
We agree with Yeshua HaMashiach that Saul of Tarsus, the man who called himself an Apostle but was not — was in fact a Liar!
'Paul' called his opposition accursed. Therefore, if 'Paul' is shown to call the Gospel message of Yeshua HaMashiach as opposed to his, 'Paul' will have actually committed blasphemy against the Ruach HaKodesh of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]). That, as shown from Yeshua's own words, is a sin that cannot be forgiven (see Matthew 12:31-32).
That said, not only has 'Paul' been called a liar by Yeshua HaMashiach, his own 'Gospel message' is shown to be from the pit of hell as well!
|Return To Contents||Was Saul Of Tarsus Capable Of Discerning Between Spirits Prior To His Claim To Being 'Filled With The Holy Spirit?'||Return To Top|
Was Saul of Tarsus Capable Of Discerning
Why do we ask this question?
Of course, it is in the book of Acts where we find accounts of 'Paul's conversion 'on the road to Damascus'. Although we challenge the veracity of those writings herein, we nevertheless wish to explore the accounts for a very important, but extremely overlooked point by many!
That point is, prior to his claim that he was filled with the Holy Spirit, without the Ruach HaKodesh could Saul of Tarsus effectively discern whether the spirit that he claimed confronted him was indeed Yeshua HaMashiach and not a demon or a fallen angel?
If that situation presented itself to any other person, wouldn't it be a valid question to ask whether they had the ability, without having the Ruach HaKodesh (who gives spiritual discernment to those who know Yeshua already, those who have repented of their sins and repented of their unbelief), to effectively discern between true and lying Spirits?
When it comes to Saul of Tarsus, aka 'Paul', should not the same consideration apply?
We ask this rhetorical question:
"From the accounts in the book of Acts, prior to the time that 'Paul' claimed to have received the Ruach HaKodesh, how could he possibly have known perfectly that the Spirit that confronted him was actually Yeshua HaMashiach (referred to as 'Jesus Christ') — whom he never met in the flesh — and not a lying, fallen angel or demon, an emissary of the devil?"
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether
they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world."
We acknowledge that the context of the above referenced passage is about false prophets. However, it is in regard to testing the spirits, whether they are in men or angels, that we believe the broader instruction of the passage must apply.
Was 'Paul's 'Jesus Christ' Actually A Devil?
We absolutely challenge the veracity of the claims of Saul of Tarsus regarding the spirit he became familiar with who called himself 'Jesus'.
We believe 'Paul's familiar friend, 'Jesus', was actually a lying spirit and absolutely NOT the risen Yeshua HaMashiach!
Does 'Paul's 'Gospel'
Need we look any further than to examine how followers of 'Paul's gospel dishonor the Torah of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH])? Part of our argument is concerned with the results of the teachings of Saul of Tarsus, especially following his instructions which are summed up with "... ye are not under the law" (said another way: you are not under the Torah).
Regarding the Torah of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]), as a practical outgrowth of their faith, how do those people live out their lives, who follow the teachings/gospel of Saul of Tarsus? Do they honor the Torah or dishonor it?
If they dishonor the Torah of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]), then by extension, might it be safe to say that resulting sin is perpetrated by none other than the father of lies himself?
'Paul' Preached The Different Gospel
One of the signs that a person is a disciple/follower of 'Paul' as opposed to a disciple/follower of Yeshua is that, per 'Paul's instructions, his followers' lifestyle and doctrine DECLARE that the Torah of God, aka the Law, has been abolished!
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. [Isaiah 8:20]
In 'Paul's own words,
"For sin shall not have dominion over you:
for ye are not under the law, but under grace."
How did Yeshua feel about the Torah, "the Law?"
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets:
I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill."
Perhaps this should be directed at 'Paul's followers:
... except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of
But, of course, this is really what they express about their 'master', 'Paul':
'Paul' Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It!
What Is The Fruit Of 'Paul's Teaching?
By observing how followers of 'Paul's gospel conduct their everyday lives with respect to the Law, can we not see the fulfillment of his teaching regarding it?
It is probably safe to say that most people who consider themselves believers in Yeshua accept that the Ten Commandments found in the Torah are binding on themselves. In that light, how do those who adhere to 'Paul's gospel live their lives in regard to the Ten Commandments?
Followers of 'Paul's Gospel Blatantly Break The 4th Commandment!
We have to look no further than the 4th commandment, to keep the Sabbath day, found in Exodus 20, where it is stated very clearly,
"But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: In it thou shalt not do any work, ..." [Exodus 20:10]
How many 'Christians' treat the first day of the week, Sunday, as the de facto Sabbath and absolutely disregard the command to observe the 7th day, Saturday, which is clearly stated in Exodus 20?
But, of course, in 'Paul's own words,
The Shabbat Of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) In Isaiah 56 & 58
"Thus saith the LORD: Keep ye justice, and do righteousness; for My
salvation is near to come, and My favour to be revealed."
"If thou turn away thy foot because of the sabbath, from pursuing thy
business on My holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, and the holy of the
LORD honourable; and shalt honour it, not doing thy wonted ways, nor pursuing
thy business, nor speaking thereof;"
Treating יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) As If He Doesn't Exist
Let's look at the 3rd commandment,
"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." [Exodus 20:7]
You may not be aware of this, but the word used for 'vain', the Hebrew word 'shav', literally means 'nothing, emptiness'.
If you take it literally, the 3rd commandment essentially means that you treat God as if He doesn't exist, as if He's worthless, without value AND without consideration!
'Paul's Followers Think They Do 'Jesus' A Favor
What about when 'Paul's followers think they are doing 'Jesus' a favor in the keeping of pagan, Roman Catholic feast days such as Christmas and Easter, — and attributing them to glory of the LORD?
By following 'Paul's teaching, "Ye are not under the law", not only do they treat the Law of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) with contempt (which included the Sabbath and Jewish feast days), but followers of 'Paul's gospel religiously uphold 'a de facto Law-of-man' in the keeping of pagan celebrations and doing so in the name of 'Jesus' — this is certainly treating יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) as if He doesn't exist!
We have to look no further than the Roman Catholic pagan feast days, honored by those who follow 'Paul's gospel, than to see several commandments of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) (God) being treated with contempt.
The first commandment is stated in Exodus 20:3,
The pagan festival, 'The Mass of Christ, aka 'Christmas', was formerly known as the celebration of The Birth Of The Sun god; it was embraced instead, calling it the 'birth of christ', by Roman Emperor (and self-proclaimed Bishop) Constantine (the actual 'first pope' of the Roman Catholic church).
The pagan feast of Ishtar, worship of the 'goddess of fertility', was embraced as 'Easter' by followers of 'Paul'. Isn't it easy to see that they forsake the Torah prescribed feast, Pesach (Passover), replacing it in favor of the pagan feast of the pagan goddess, Ishtar?
Note also that there is absolutely no 'Scriptural' mandate to celebrate birthdays (although it is mentioned that Herod's birthday was celebrated — when the head of John the Baptizer was brought to him on a platter); but the celebration of the birth of the sun god (now celebrated as the birth of 'Christ'/the mass of 'Christ'/Christmas') is celebrated by the whole world! — much to the approving 'all seeing eye' of the pagan, Roman Catholic church!
"And in all things that I have said unto you take ye heed; and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth." [Exodus 23:13 JPS-1917]
Many other instances of antinomianism, how 'Paul's gospel has been translated into the everyday lives of his followers abound. However, isn't it clear from these several examples of the complete lack of respect to the Laws written on stone by none other than Almighty God are treated by those who follow 'Paul's gospel?
'OK, Now You're Meddling:
Suffice it to say that followers of 'Paul's gospel also dishonor the Torah prescribed laws regarding food. Many of those laws are found in Leviticus 11. Prominent medieval rabbi Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides, codified the commandments (known as the 613 commandments). From a small portion in his list, several of the food laws are mentioned here:
176. To examine the signs of animals to distinguish between kosher and
non-kosher Lev. 11:2
Do followers of 'Paul's gospel honor even these few laws (see Maimonides' List) as given through Maimonides (he codified the 613 commandments)?
The question needs to be addressed: where might followers of 'Paul' get their doctrine to conclude that they can somehow be part of a faith community rooted in Judaism? The following are a couple of snippets from Romans 14:
"For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak,
"I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing
unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him
it is unclean."
No matter what passages they use to justify their reasons for dishonoring the Torah of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]), those followers of 'Paul's gospel actually condemn 'Paul' as one who taught against the Torah of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) when they dishonor it in the way they live out their lives.
How should they behave, if, instead, they were to follow the true gospel of the Jewish Redeemer/Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach? Would they then be found to honor the Torah of יהוה (Yehovah [YHVH]) or dishonor it?
"They that sanctify themselves and purify themselves to go unto the gardens, behind one in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the detestable thing, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD." [Isaiah 66:17]
|Return To Contents||Who Should You Follow, The Self-Proclaimed apostle 'Paul' Or Yeshua HaMashiach?||Return To Top|
If any man serve me, let him follow me;
and where I am, there shall also my servant be:
if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
Who Will YOU Follow?
An Instruction Of Yeshua
"8But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.
9And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
10Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, [The Mashiach/The Anointed] the Christ.
11The greatest among you shall be your servant.
12Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
Note how that Yeshua admonished His talmidim NOT to call any man "Father".
An Instruction Of 'Paul'
"I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
Note how that 'Paul' was quick to declare his own preeminence. He beseeched his disciples to follow his own self, referring to them as sons, himself as their father!
'Paul' Consistently Instructed
"Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. " [1 Corinthians 4:16]
Yeshua Also Asked To Be Followed!
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples,
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross, and follow me.
Yet, It Was Obviously Within His Right
In our opinion, had 'Paul' been a faithful and true follower of Yeshua himself,
deference to Yeshua would have been his consistent attitude – always!
"Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me." [1 Corinthians 4:16]
Perhaps Yeshua's admoninition to scribes and Pharisees applied directly to the Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, aka 'Paul', — the false and self–proclaimed apostle:
" Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. " [Matthew 23:15]
"Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which
the LORD God had made..."
Ironically, just as "... the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field ...", 'Paul' was likewise very subtle in how he phrased things:
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."
Rather, since Yeshua spoke about sending the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit), wouldn't it have made sense for 'Paul' just to emphasize that others follow Yeshua only – by following the lead of the Ruach HaKodesh, given to all believers?
Had 'Paul' actually spent time learning from the true Apostles of Yeshua after his so-called conversion, his road to Damascus experience, he would have been well acquainted with the teachings of Yeshua as taught by those who knew Him best. Particularly, the Apostle Yohanan had words to say regarding this very topic:
"But the anointing that you received from him abides in you,
and you have no need that anyone should teach you.
But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true,
and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him."
Moreover, by consistently taking a preeminent position, arrogantly persuading others to follow himself,
wasn't 'Paul' actually attributing to himself the position of Mashiach?
"1I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
2Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
3Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
6If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned."
Whose Gospel Do You Follow,
When one begins to question the legitimacy of 'Paul's claims, other questions begin to surface. Have you ever heard the expression:
"It is better to give than to receive?"
Did you know that this lofty saying is found in ONLY one place in the New Testament – and it is actually attributed to having been spoken by Yeshua!
Can you guess which 'New Testament' personality supposedly attributed "It is better to give than to receive" to Yeshua? FYI, this saying is NOT corroborated elsewhere; it is not found in the four gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John); nor is it ever mentioned anywhere else in all of 'scripture':
"I have shewed you all things,
how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak,
and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus,
how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Oh, of course 'Paul' NEVER knew the real Yeshua in the flesh, so he must have gotten this exclusive tidbit of information from none other than the selfsame 'spirit' friend that spoke with him at so many other times by 'revelations' and 'visions', and with whom he was so intimately familiar!
To those who still are loyal to 'Paul', you might think about me thus:
'How dare that I challenge the integrity of 'your great APOSTLE', 'Paul', by inferring that his intimate familiar spirit friend, whom he called 'Jesus', was, in reality, a lying spirit!'
Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are
for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts,
which dwelleth in mount Zion.
Whose Gospel Do You Follow, 'Paul's Or Yeshua's?
The True, Legitimate,
From passages in the New Testament that have passed down to us, we can readily tell that there were particularly only 12 Apostles of the Lamb (of Yeshua). Again, this is confirmed to us in the book of Revelation, Ch. 21:14:
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. [Revelation 21:14]
The Names of the 12 Apostles:
* Shim'on = Simon
The list of Apostles, as found in Matthew 10:
And he called to
him his twelve disciples and gave them authority
over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to
heal every disease and every affliction.
A question must be asked, in the lists of the Apostles of Yeshua, where was Saul of Tarsus, aka 'Paul'?
"If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." [John 5:31]
In 9 of his 13 epistles, 'Paul' identifies himself as an apostle:
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart
for the gospel of God, [Romans 1:1]
The only epistles that Paul does not make a declaration claiming to be an apostle: Philippians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Philemon.
In the 21st chapter of the book of Revelation, we read:
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. [Revelation 21:14]
From the list in Matthew and partial list in John, plus the passage in Acts that has Matthias taking the 12th spot in place of Judah Iscariot, can it reasonably be assumed that 'Paul' was never considered as one of the twelve handpicked Apostles, and most certainly not as one among the names of the twelve apostles of the lamb in Revelation 21:14?
Can there be any other conclusion than that Saul of Tarsus, 'Paul', was a false apostle?
Obviously, you shouldn't just take my word for it! Perhaps you will trust Yeshua (Jesus):
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: [Revelation 2:2]
Essentially, Yeshua commended the congregation in Ephesus for having 'tried them which say they are Apostles but are not, and found them liars, because they could not bear them which are evil'!
Unless otherwise noted, 'Scripture' passages from the Tanakh (Old Testament) have been taken from the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) English version of 1917, and passages from the Brit HaHadashah (New Testament) have been taken from the King James version of the Bible.
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March 26, 2017
by Robert M. Pill