A Defense of the Apostle Paul

Revisions as of 7/25/06 in blue

What a precious treasure we have in our salvation, in Yeshua, and in the Bible. Sadly, though, there are those who are out to steal all three treasures from us. I personally know of several brethren in my circle of acquaintances who have renounced Yeshua as their Savior. They failed to guard their treasure and their hearts. Those treasures were stolen from them. The theft occurred slowly over time and it all began with doubting the Apostle Paul.

The Ebionite teaching that the Apostle Paul is a false apostle is being revived. If it hasn't touched you yet, it will. This study is actually a refutation to an article entitled, "Paul, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly", as well as other accusations not found in that article. Hopefully, this refutation will prepare you to discern the truth of the matter.

The foundation of the belief that Paul is a false Apostle lies in the inability to harmonize Paul with the rest of the Bible. Rather than waiting on Yahweh to provide understanding concerning Paul's writings, the anti-Paulists prefer to simply dismiss his writings as those of a false teacher. Peter warned us that this would happen.

2 Peter 3:15,16 reads, "And account that the longsuffering of our Master is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."

Conveniently, however, anti-Paulists would say that the second epistle of Peter was not written by the Apostle Peter and therefore should not be part of our current New Testament canon. This reveals the extent that they will go. They would discard the entire epistle in order to get rid of two verses in support of Paul. The fact is that no one knows for sure that Peter did not write this second epistle. At this point in time it is simply a theory. I offer two sources which defend Peter as the author of the second epistle; 1 , 2.

Historical Arguments

Anti-Paulists have no choice but to discard "The Acts of the Apostles" as well because it, too, contains pro-Paul statements. Luke, for example, calls Paul an "apostle" twice in one chapter (Acts 14:4, 14). The anti-Paulist says of those two verses;

"By this time in the record, Luke would have been very familiar with Paul calling himself an apostle and was no doubt in agreement with Paul's assessment of himself. By these statistics alone, it is evident that Paul is by far his own biggest fan... and his side kick Luke was his number two fan. This leaves no one else anywhere in the Bible going on record as recognizing his apostleship!"

Luke is also the only one in the Bible who goes on record to describe the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Feast of Weeks). Should we doubt that account because only Luke records it? Of course not.

According to Yeshua's words to Ananaias, Paul was specifically chosen by Yeshua to bear his name before the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel (Acts 9:15). In other words, he was sent by Yeshua which is what the word "apostle" means. We see Paul's actual separation as a sent one (apostle) in Acts 13:1-4 where the Holy Spirit spoke to the prophets and teachers in the Antioch congregation.

"Now there were in the assembly that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Master, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Spirit, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus."

It was actually the Holy Spirit that separated Barnabas and Paul for the work. Was the Holy Spirit incorrect in doing that?

Anti-Paulists will attempt to discredit Luke and Paul by showing how the three accounts of Paul's conversion differ from one another. Acts 9:7 says the men traveling with Paul "heard a voice". Acts 22:9 says of those same men, "they heard not the voice of him that spoke to me".

I offer three possible reasons for this difference;

1) One voice spoke to Paul while a different voice spoke to the rest saying something like, "Fear not"

2) They heard the same voice, but could not hear the actual words that were spoken

3) They heard all the words, but did not understand. The Greek word for "hear" can have the meaning of "understand" as in Jn. 8:43,47. The NIV uses the word "understand" in Acts 22:9, basing it upon the Greek text which reads differently.

9:7 - akouontes men tes phones

22:9 - ten de phonen ouk ekousan tou lalountos moi

Here are the notes from Dr. James R. White (a Greek scholar) in his book entitled, "Scripture Alone", pg.160:

"First, in 9:7 akouo, the verb that means "to hear," is a nominative plural participle; in 22:9 it is a plural aorist verb.

Second, in 9:7 phone, a "sound" or "voice," is a singular genetive noun; in 22:9 it is a singular accusative noun.

Third, in 9:7 akouo precedes its object; in 22:9 it follows its object. Fourth, in 9:7 the phrase is not modified; in 22:9 it is modified by "of the one speaking to me."

Finally, in 9:7 Luke is narrating an event in Greek; in 22:9 Paul is speaking to a crowd in Hebrew or Aramaic . . ."

The context of Acts 22:9 suggests that the reason the men did not hear the voice is because the voice was speaking to Paul in Hebrew, which they did not understand. Remember, Paul said they did not hear the voice and then says, "of the one speaking to me."

That either Paul or Luke was lying is not a valid choice.

Acts 29:9-18 is the third conversion account wherein Paul goes into greater detail as to what Yeshua said to him. These differences in Paul's conversion account lead anti-Paulists to doubt his apostleship.

I don't know about you, but when I give my testimony to people, it never comes out the same. I share more info with certain people than with others based on who I'm talking to and how much time I have to give my testimony. To accuse Paul of lying to King Agrippa when giving his testimony for the third time is outrageous to say the least.

Anti-Paulists accuse Paul of lying in Acts 23:6. It reads as follows:

"But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question."

They contend that he was not called in question over the resurrection, but simply lied in order to save himself. Let's look back and see what the original cause was. In Acts 21:28, Paul was falsely accused of bringing Greeks into the temple. I say "falsely" because his accusers only "supposed" that Paul brought Trophimus into the temple (Acts 21:29).

As Paul was being led away, he asked to speak to the people. He then began to recount his conversion in which he told them the resurrected Savior spoke to him. This speech took place in Jerusalem where everyone was well aware of the events that took place in putting Yeshua to death. By saying Yeshua spoke to him after his death, Paul was confirming his resurrection, through which all believers have hope in a future resurrection. Is that not what Paul said in Acts 23:6: "of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question"? Eventually, the mob cried out, "Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live" (Acts 22:22).

Paul is then taken before the Sanhedrin where he makes an honest mistake in rebuking the high priest out of ignorance of his identity (Acts 23:2-5). Anti-Paulists accuse Paul of lying here as well. They say he had to know it was the high priest because he knew he was his judge and he knew the difference between the Pharisees and Sadducees. Paul, however, had been absent from Jersualem for quite a while, during which a change in the high priest may have been made. High priests at that time were set up at the whim of the Roman government for political reasons. Additionally, any number of other circumstances may have led to Paul's ignorance in this matter.

What saddens me is that the anti-Paulists do not give Paul the benefit of the doubt in anything. They are so quick to condemn Paul in every little point they can dig up.

Paul's ensuing comments in verse 6 were perfectly true, for that is the real reason why any believer is persecuted. That is why they falsely accused Stephen in Acts 6:11-12 as well as Paul in Acts 21:28.

The Sanhedrin were well aware of that because they were guilty of such persecution for that very reason. Acts 22:4-5 read as follows:

"And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished."

Paul was commissioned by the high priest and the council of elders to imprison as many of Yeshua's followers as he could find. See also Acts 9:1-2.

Anti-Paulists continue their attack on Paul by showing how he fulfills Mt.10:16-18. It reads,

"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles."

The accounts of Saul's persecution of believers certainly seem to fulfill those verses, but does Paul's actions prior to his conversion really matter? What about the prediction Yeshua made in Mt.26:34?

"Yeshua said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice."

Should we also consider Peter a false apostle based on his actions prior to conversion? What about each of us? Were we not forgiven of much at our conversion? So, too, should Saul of Tarsus be forgiven.

Paul is also accused of lying to the Galatians. To understand this false accusation, we need to first read Acts 15:19-29;

"Wherefore my judgment is, that we trouble not them that from among the Gentiles turn to [Elohim]; but that we write unto them, that they abstain from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from what is strangled, and from blood. For Moses from generations of old hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath. Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole assembly, to choose men out of their company, and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: and they wrote thus by them, The apostles and the elders, brethren, unto the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greeting: Forasmuch as we have heard that certain who went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls; to whom we gave no commandment; it seemed good unto us, having come to one accord, to choose out men and send them unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Master Yeshua Messiah."

Please note that James calls Paul and Barnabas "beloved". Do the anti-Paulists seek to throw James out of the NT canon as well?

"We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves also shall tell you the same things by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which if you keep yourselves, it shall be well with you. Fare you well."

Here is what the anti-Paulists then say;

"There are actually several things going on here but first I want to focus on the instructions of the council. They instruct Paul to write to the churches that they avoid eating meat sacrificed to idols and from meat with blood, and from fornication (or idolatry). This is very clear. So what did Paul write to the churches about his instructions from Jerusalem?"

Galatians 2:7-10 (NASB95)

7 But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8 (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They only asked us to remember the poor the very thing I also was eager to do.

WHOA! What just happened? Paul admits to being in Jerusalem. He admits to having met the apostles. He brags that they accepted him as a brother and then concludes that all they asked us to do was remember the poor which I will gladly do. Where did this come from? Did the council ask Paul to tell the churches to remember the poor? NO! The council told Paul to write to the churches to avoid eating meat sacrificed to idols and from fornication (idolatry). Did Paul flat out lie here? Again, we will note that Paul not only refused to pass along the warning from Jerusalem but he actually taught the OPPOSITE to the churches (that is that it is ok to eat meat sacrificed to idols)."

There are actually several accusations here. I'll address the last one first. They said, " Again, we will note that Paul not only refused to pass along the warning from Jerusalem . . ." Is that true? One need only continue reading Acts 15:30-31;

"So they, when they were dismissed, came down to Antioch; and having gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle. And when they had read it, they rejoiced for the consolation."

Acts 16:4-5 read as follows:

"And as they went on their way through the cities, they delivered them the decrees to keep which had been ordained of the apostles and elders that were at Jerusalem. So the assemblies were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily."

So was Paul actually lying? No. It's the anti-Paulist's who have grossly erred in assuming and falsely accusing Paul.

The other false accusation of Paul lying concerns the reference to Gal.2:7-10. Paul said, " They only asked us to remember the poor the very thing I also was eager to do" (vs.10). The anti-Paulist responds with,

"WHOA! What just happened? Paul admits to being in Jerusalem. He admits to having met the apostles. He brags that they accepted him as a brother and then concludes that all they asked us to do was remember the poor which I will gladly do. Where did this come from? Did the council ask Paul to tell the churches to remember the poor? NO! The council told Paul to write to the churches to avoid eating meat sacrificed to idols and from fornication (idolatry). Did Paul flat out lie here?"

The answer to the last question is no, he did not lie. Paul was writing a letter to the Galatian assembly. The council never said their decrees were for all Gentile congregations, but only for the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia (Acts 15:23). Paul had no reason to give those decrees to the Galatians because the council never told him to. I mention more about this later.

Anti-Paulists also use Gal.2:6 to show Paul's supposed lack of respect of the other twelve apostles and how they have no authority over Paul. Gal.2:6 reads thusly:

"But from those who were reputed to be somewhat (whatsoever they were, it makes no matter to me: [Elohim] accepts not man's person)--they, I say, who were of repute imparted nothing to me:"

One anti-Paulist then says,

"Here Paul goes full board in his lack of respect for the twelve. Paul says of the twelve that they seem to be important but that it makes no difference to me. In other words the twelve apostles aren't important to Paul despite their apparent positions of authority. He then brags again that they ADDED NOTHING to his message. Paul wants to really drive the point home that the apostles mean little to him and wants his audience to know that he does not take direction from them nor has he been taught anything by them."

These remarks are based on divorcing verse 6 from the context which includes verses 3-5.

"But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: and that because of the false brethren privily brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Messiah Yeshua, that they might bring us into bondage: to whom we gave place in the way of subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you."

Paul was not attacking the other twelve apostles. He was referring to false brethren that snuck in to teach their doctrine of salvation by works.

To further compound their error, the anti-Paulists fail to cross reference properly. They say,

"There is one other point often overlooked in the decision of the Jerusalem council and that is that the apostles apparently didn't have full trust in Paul and thought it necessary to send someone along with him as a witness to what he was teaching. In the letter which the council drafts they say:

Acts 15:24-27 (NASB95)

24 "Since we have heard that some of our number to whom we gave no instruction have disturbed you with their words, unsettling your souls, 25 it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 "Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will also report the same things by word of mouth.

The council's letter acknowledges that Paul has received no instruction from them but has been preaching on his own. Remember, Paul himself bragged about that. The council also acknowledges that what Paul is teaching has been disturbing those who hear him."

The anti-Paulist applies verse 24 to Paul when, in reality, it is a reference to Acts 15:1, 2, 5, 6 which read as follows:

"And certain men came down from Judaea and taught the brethren, saying, Except ye be circumcised after the custom of Moses, ye cannot be saved. And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and questioning with them, the brethren appointed that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question." . . . "But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees who believed, saying, It is needful to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider of this matter."

Verse 24 is referring to the legalistic Pharisees which believed in justification by works, and were teaching the same. They were of the "number" of Jews in Judea where the Apostles were from. They went to Antioch to preach their false doctrine without the Apostles instruction to do so. The council sent their "beloved" Barnabas and Paul to correct the problem.

Anti-Paulists teach that all the believers in Asia turned away from Paul and tried to kill him. They write;

"Now to the meat of the matter! First I will prove from the accepted canon and from Paul's words himself that he was rejected in all the churches of Asia."

Acts 19:8-10 (NASB95)

8 And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the people, he withdrew from them and took away the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10 This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

Before we saw that Paul reasoned with the Jews in the synagogues but now we hear a little more of the story. Paul continued to preach in Ephesus but he wasn't well received for long for Luke records that some there began to speak evil of the Way before the people and that they had to withdraw from them. Putting aside the good and bad for a moment the facts are that Paul preached in Ephesus but eventually had to leave as they turned against him."

Who turned against Paul in the above passage, believers or hardened and disobedient, unbelieving Jews in the synagogue? Who was Paul reasoning with and persuading about the Kingdom of Elohim? Believers were already persuaded and embraced the Kingdom through Yeshua. It was the unbelieving Jews who needed persuading and who turned against Paul.

The anti-Paulist continues;

"2 Corinthians 1:8-10 (NASB95)

8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9 indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,

Paul admits that while in Asia that things got so bad they had the sentence of death put on them. In other words, the believers in Asia were going to kill Paul and his companions!"

These verses refer to the wrath of the Ephesians after Paul said their goddess Diana was no mighty one at all. Let's pick up the account in Acts 19:28-32.

"And when they heard this they were filled with wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesus. And the city was filled with the confusion: and they rushed with one accord into the theatre, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel. And when Paul was minded to enter in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not. And certain also of the Asiarchs, being his friends, sent unto him and besought him not to adventure himself into the theatre. Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was in confusion; and the more part knew not why they were come together."

This mob wasn't thinking. They were wild with resentment and wrath. If the town clerk hadn't calmed them down in verses 35-41, they may have rashly put Paul and his companions to death.

The thing that is so unbelievable to me is that the anti-Paulists read 2 Cor.1:8-10 to mean "believers" wanted to kill Paul and his companions. Would any believer go against our Savior's command to love our enemies (Mt.5:44-48) by killing them? Can you picture any believer in Acts killing anybody? Believers are sheep to be slaughtered, not slaughterers of the sheep.

The anti-Paulist also appeals to 2 Tim.1:15. They say,

"2 Timothy 1:15 (NASB95)

15 You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.

Now Paul tells us that ALL of those in Asia turned away from him. Paul had to flee Ephesus for some reason and all the believers in Asia wanted him killed."

We are not told why they turned from Paul. I suspect it was a result of what took place at Ephesus. The weaker believers feared for their lives and fled from Paul because he was the lightning rod of that entire wrath. Does that sound familiar? Did not all of Messiah's disciples turn from him out of fear for their lives? Does that make Yeshua a false Messiah? Neither does it make Paul a false apostle.

The last attack on Paul from an historical perspective that I will address comes from the anti-Paulist's pitiful interpretation of Rev.2:1-3. It reads as follows:

"To the angel of the assembly in Ephesus write: These things saith he that holds the seven stars in his right hand, he that walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks: I know thy works, and thy toil and patience, and that thou can not bear evil men, and did try them that call themselves apostles, and they are not, and did find them false; and thou hast patience and did bear for my name's sake, and hast not grown weary. "

The anti-Paulist then says;

Paul is the only one we know of in the accepted canon that went to Asia and specifically preached in Ephesus. Paul writes to the church in Ephesus saying that he is an apostle. . . This same body of believers in Ephesus are now congratulated for testing someone who claimed to be an apostles and were not. Could this be talking about Paul and Barnabas? Were they tested for three months and ultimately rejected as false apostles and ran out of town at threat of death? Did the church of Ephesus eventually conclude that Paul was a liar and was NOT an apostle?

Did you absorb that? Did the Ephesians run Paul and Barnabas out of town as false apostles? Let's read Acts 20:17-22.

"And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called to him the elders of the assembly. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, after what manner I was with you all the time, serving the Master with all lowliness of mind, and with tears, and with trials which befell me by the plots of the Jews; how I shrank not from declaring unto you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward [Elohim], and faith toward our Master Yeshua Messiah. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:"

Paul is about to depart for Jerusalem, but he desires one last meeting with the Elders of the Ephesian congregation. Let's resume in Acts 20:29-38.

"I know that after my departing grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Wherefore watch ye, remembering that by the space of three years I ceased not to admonish every one night and day with tears. And now I commend you to [Elohim], and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you the inheritance among all them that are sanctified. I coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Master Yeshua, that he himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the word which he had spoken, that they should behold his face no more. And they brought him on his way unto the ship."

Does that sound like they found him to be a false apostle or does it sound like they loved him dearly and couldn't bear not seeing him anymore? He left them on very good terms. However, in that meeting he prophesied that grievous wolves would come to Ephesus and not spare the flock. Others would draw away disciples to themselves. The "apostles" Yeshua referred to were most likely these men who were grievous wolves.

Doctrinal Arguments

The anti-Paulists not only attack Paul historically, but doctrinally as well. Let's explore some of the "heresies" that the Apostle Paul supposedly taught.

No One Righteous

In Romans 3:10-12, Paul refers to Psa.14 to prove all have sinned and no one is righteous. Anti-Paulists say Paul misquoted Psa.14. Paul wrote, "There is none righteous, no not one." Psa.14:3 reads, "there is none that doeth good, no not one." There are a few other differences as well. The truth is, Paul was not quoting, but paraphrasing. Even if he was quoting, there are other examples of people not quoting exactly. For example:

Psalm 53 is almost identical to Psalm 14 with the exception of Psa.53:5 and "Elohim" in Psa.53 where Psa.14 has "YHWH". Is David misquoting his own Psalm because it is not an exact quote? Does that make David a false prophet?

In Mt.4:4, Yeshua said:

"It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." KJV

Yeshua was quoting Deut.8:3 which reads:

"And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of Yahweh does man live."

As you can see, Yeshua did not quote this verse perfectly. He left out some words in the beginning and some at the end. Does that make him a false Messiah? Or should we blame Matthew for misquoting Yeshua and throw his book out along with Paul's writings? I'm being sarcastic, of course. The truth is that the meaning and understanding of the Psalm is being carried over by Paul.

Keep in mind that believers in ancient times did not get to carry around the Scriptures wherever they went as we do. They did not have computers to instantly write out a verse stored in its memory. They had to rely on their own memories.

I can guarantee that every anti-Paulist, at one time or another, has misquoted a verse. I wonder if they would consider themselves false brethren because of such a mistake.

Because anti-Paulist's believe Paul falsely used the word "righteous", they will also accuse Paul of teaching falsely because Scripture says Noah, Abraham, David and others were "righteous". Not only does Psa.14:3 read, "they are ALL gone aside, they are ALL together become filthy, but Eccl.7:20 reads,

"Surely there is not a righteous man upon earth, that does good, and sins not."

There were no righteous men on earth based on sinlessness. Was Solomon wrong? Solomon said again, in 1 Kgs 8:46:

"...(for there is no man that sins not,) ..."

The fact is, all the patriarchs sinned as well and therefore were not perfectly righteous in the sense that Yahweh is. They were righteous, not because they never sinned (never transgressed any of Yahweh's commandments), but because they lived by faith, and that faith was imputed to them for righteousness (Gen.15:6).

So why did Paul use "righteous" in Rom.3:10? Because Paul understood as did David and Solomon, that it only takes one sin (one unrighteous act) to become unjust and unrighteous. Since Paul was paraphrasing and not quoting verbatim, he understands "none that does good" to mean "every man has committed an act or acts of unrighteousness." If none do good, none are perfectly righteous. The two words are synonymous in Pr.14:19:

"The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous."

Yeshua was sinless. Therefore, he is the only absolutely righteous man that ever lived. His righteousness is imparted to us through faith paving the way for our justification apart from the law.

Justifying the Wicked

In Ex.23:7, Yahweh says, "for I will not justify the wicked." Anti-Paulists accuse Paul of teaching the exact opposite in Rom.4:5 which reads as follows:

"But to him that works not, but believes on him that justifies the wicked, his faith is reckoned for righteousness."

If we read Ex.23:7 in context, including verses 1-6, we will notice that Yahweh precedes His statement in verse 7 with a list of at least ten commands. His meaning in verse 7, therefore, is that He will not justify the wicked in their wickedness. Paul teaches the same thing and intended the same meaning in Rom.4:5.

In Acts 17:30, Paul says the following:

"The times of ignorance therefore [Elohim] overlooked; but now he commands men that they should all everywhere repent:"

Paul calls for the wicked to repent (turn away from their sin). In Rom.4:5, Paul is teaching that Yahweh will justify the wicked after they repent, believe and have faith. This is why Paul quotes from Psalm 32 in Romans 4:7 and says, "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered." This is exactly what Yahweh taught in Hab.2:4, "the just shall live by faith."

Call No Man Your Father

Paul wrote, in 1 Cor.4:15;

"For though you have ten thousand tutors in Messiah, yet have you not many fathers; for in Messiah Yeshua I begat you through the gospel."

Anti-Paulists accuse Paul of not obeying Yeshua's command in Mt.23:9 to call no man "father".

However, Yeshua himself and every New Testament writer except Jude used the word "father" in reference to men. James calls Abraham "our father" in Ja.2:21 as did Stephen in Acts 7:2.Therefore, we are not to understand Yeshua's words as anti-Paulists interpret them.

Yahweh says to "honor thy father and thy mother". If I then say, "I would like to honor my father in a special way," am I breaking Yeshua's command? Obviously not, for Yeshua probably had practices similar to the Roman Catholic practice of calling their priests, "Father so and so" in mind.

Justification by Faith or Works?

Anti-Paulists are quick to bring up the supposed contradictions in Paul's teaching of justification by faith alone and what James taught in James 2.

Paul wrote:

"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law." (Romans 3:28)

James wrote:

"You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." (James 2:24)

Interestingly, both apostles use the same verse (Gen.15:6) to support their position.

Paul wrote:

"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed Elohim, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." (Rom.4:3)

James wrote:

"And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed Elohim, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of Elohim." (James 2:23)

To understand this seeming contradiction, we need to understand that each apostle is looking at justification from a different viewpoint. For example, two people can look at a triangle. One may only see a triangle while the other sees a square! How can that be? They were both viewing a pyramid; one from the side and the other from the top.

Paul is looking at justification in it's initial stage (when a person first believes). James is looking at justification after one first believes. Paul sees Abraham's faith (belief in Yahweh) prior to Abraham's work of offering up Isaac. James sees Abraham's works of offering up Isaac as a fruit of his faith (after he was justified by faith).

James did not say, "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith" (James 2:24). He added the word "only" after "faith". In other words, faith comes first, but it cannot stand alone. It must be accompanied by good works.

In writing about justification, Paul was not addressing the believers behavior after having been justified. Had he addressed justification from James' viewpoint, he undoubtedly would have agreed with him. Both apostles believed the words of Habakkuk 2:4b:

"but the just shall live by his faith."

The Greek word "dikaioo", translated "justified" in James 2:24, means "to render (i.e. to show or regard as) just or innocent." Therefore, Abraham was "regarded" by Yahweh as being justified through faith, but he also "showed" he was justified by his works.

Paul the Hypocrite?

Gal.2:11-14 states, "But when Peter came to Antioch, I resisted him to the face, because he stood condemned. For before that certain came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but when they came, he drew back and separated himself, fearing them that were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that even Barnabas was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, live as do the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, how compel thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?"

1 Cor.9:19-22 read, "For though I was free from all men, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more. And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law, not being without law to [Elohim], but under law to Messiah, that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak: I am become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some."

1 Cor 10:31-33 read, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of [Elohim]. Give no occasions of stumbling, either to Jews, or to Greeks, or to the called out of Elohim: even as I also please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved."

The anti-Paulist then says:

"Why does Paul rebuke Peter for not giving offense to the circumcised and yet he himself says we should give no offense to the Jews or the Greeks and that Paul himself had become as a Jew to reach Jews and like a Greek to reach Greeks? Does Paul have a double standard?"

Is Paul being a hypocrite with a double standard? The answer is found in the motive of each man's actions. Paul's motive is found in 1 Cor.9:22:

"To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak: I am become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some."

Peter's motive is found in Gal.2:12.

"For before that certain came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but when they came, he drew back and separated himself, fearing them that were of the circumcision."

Paul acted out of love and Peter acted out of fear. What does the Apostle John teach about fear?

"There is no fear in love: but perfect love casts out fear, because fear hath torment; and he that fears is not made perfect in love." 1 Jn.4:18

Peter's fear of the Jews led to the fruit of hypocrisy and was a manifestation of a lack of love on his part. Motive is the key.


Now we come to the two most difficult teachings of Paul, circumcision and eating meat sacrificed to idols. First we shall consider circumcision.

Acts 21:27-28 states the following:

"And when the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the multitude and laid hands on him, crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man that teaches all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place; and moreover he brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath defiled this holy place."

The anti-Paulist then says,

"To me it seems clear that the Jews from Asia are upset with Paul in particular for bringing uncircumcised men into the temple in violation of the words of Ezekiel. "

That is stated as fact by this anti_paulist author. However, in verse 29, Luke says:

"For they had before seen with him in the city Trophimus the Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple."

In other words, Paul was being falsely accused of polluting the temple. They assumed he brought Trophimus into the temple, but they never actually saw him do that. A similar instance can be found where Naboth the Jezreelite was falsely accused of cursing Elohim and the king, and even stoned, yet he had committed no crime (1 Kings 21:5-16).The remaining seven chapters of Acts are all related to Paul's defense against those same false accusations. It is ironic that those same false accusations are being leveled against Paul even today, and by professing brethren in Messiah, nonetheless!.

1 Cor.7:17-20 read as follows:

"Only, as the Master hath distributed to each man, as [Elohim] hath called each, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all the assemblies. Was any man called being circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Hath any been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but the keeping of the commandments of [Elohim]. Let each man abide in that calling wherein he was called."

The anti-Paulist would then say,

This last statement by Paul in 1 Corinthians is particularly troubling since he clearly seems to indicate that if you are called when you were not circumcised then you should REMAIN uncircumcised. Why then, we must ask, does Paul have Timothy circumcised if, by his own instruction, a man should remain uncircumcised if he was "called" while uncircumcised?

We need to note that 1 Corinthians was written after Paul's first visit to Corinth in Acts 18:1-17. Therefore, Timothy's circumcision in Acts 16 and Titus' avoidance of circumcision referred to in Gal.2:3-5 and which took place in Acts 15, where both before Paul's statements in 1 Cor.17.

Note in Galatians 2:3-5, Paul refused to submit to the false brethren who demanded Titus' circumcision. It reads,

"But not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: and that because of the false brethren privily brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Messiah Yeshua, that they might bring us into bondage: to whom we gave place in the way of subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you."

This shows Paul's consistency in his teaching that Gentile converts need not be circumcised. After the Jerusalem council's decision, which agrees with Paul's teaching in that circumcision was not one of the four requirements imposed on Gentiles, Paul has Timothy circumcised. Does this contradict his belief? No.

Timothy was being chosen to accompany Paul in his ministry. Had Timothy remained uncircumcised, it would have been a great hindrance to Paul's ministry to the Jews in that area. Timothy evidently agreed to "become as a Jew to win the Jews."

Paul was not giving a steadfast command to which there could be no exceptions. Since Timothy was not fully a Gentile, his extenuating circumstance warranted a different approach. He was not being circumcised in order to be saved, but so that others would be saved. Had Timothy not been chosen for the ministry, there would have been no need to circumcise him.

Paul was not teaching against circumcision itself, but against circumcision for the wrong reason. To be circumcised in order to be saved or justified is wrong and is a denial of salvation by grace through faith.

Meats Sacrificed To Idols

(Revisions as of 12/4/10 in red)

I would like to conclude this study by examining Paul's stand on eating meats sacrificed to idols.

There are those who believe the Apostle Paul’s teaching concerning meats sacrificed to idols is contrary to Torah and contrary to Yeshua’s teaching on this subject. This study will examine Paul’s position and show that it is in harmony with both Torah and Yeshua.

Torah’s Position

Exodus 34:14-15 - For you shall worship no other elohim: for Yahweh, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous El: Lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their elohim, and do sacrifice unto their elohim, and one call you, and you eat of his sacrifice;

Numbers 25:1-3 - And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their elohim: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their elohim. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel.

While neither of these passages contain a direct command from Yahweh to not eat meat sacrificed to idols, they do show Yahweh’s concern that Israel avoid such idolatrous covenants and actions. We also see Yahweh’s anger when such idolatrous covenants were made and pagan sacrifices eaten.

Yeshua’s Position

Revelation 2:12-14 - And to the angel of the assembly in Pergamos write; These things say he which has the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where you dwell, even where Satan's seat is: and you hold fast my name, and have not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Revelation 2:18-22 -  And unto the angel of the assembly in Thyatira write; These things say the Son of Elohim, who has his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

Paul’s Position

1 Corinthians 10:16-21 - The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Messiah? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Messiah? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What say I then? That the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to Elohim: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils.

You cannot drink the cup of the Master, and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the Master's table, and of the table of devils.

It seems abundantly clear in this passage that Paul is teaching the Corinthians to not eat meat sacrificed to idols because, in reality, it was sacrificed to devils.

However, in other places in the same epistle, Paul seems to teach the Corinthians that it is permissible to eat such meat. Let’s examine those passages, but first, let’s build the foundation upon which Paul’s position is built.

In 1 Corinthians 7:1, Paul writes:

Now concerning the things whereof you wrote unto me: . . .

This teaches us that there were problems/questions that the brethren in Corinth needed help with. Out of their great respect for Paul, they chose to write to him and ask his advice. So Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians contains his reply to their questions. The question must then be asked, “What were the questions the Corinthian brethren were asking Paul?” Now we can begin to understand Paul’s first address of this issue.

Paul’s First Argument

He writes in 1 Corinthians 8:

1Co 8:1-3 - Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if any man think that he knows any thing, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love Elohim, the same is known of Him.

The issue of eating meat sacrificed to idols is obviously one of the concerns the Corinthian brethren asked Paul about. In Acts 15, it was decided that, among other things, the Gentiles should abstain from such meat. The Jerusalem Council’s decree on this issue was then sent to Antioch, Syria and Cilicia which are far from Corinth (Acts 15:23). This decree was sent by agreement of all present at the meeting, including Paul, and it was delivered by Paul himself. This shows his agreement that Gentiles are not to eat meat sacrificed to idols. Eventually the issue of eating meat sacrificed to idols had arisen in Corinth and they needed to know how to deal with it.

Paul seems to have sensed pride or conceit among some in Corinth that were elevating themselves due to their knowledge. This usually results in treating others as less important and failing to have concern for the good of others and for their edification. This, therefore, is Paul’s first correction of the Corinthians concerning this issue.

1Co 8:4-7 - As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other Elohim but one. For though there be that are called elohim, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be elohim many, and masters many,) But to us there is but one Elohim, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Master Yeshua Messiah, by whom are all things, and we by him. Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

There were brothers in Corinth that had that knowledge and therefore felt at liberty to eat meat sacrificed to idols. So Paul begins his teaching on this subject by directing his reply to those who had that knowledge. He first confirms the truth concerning their understanding of the one true Elohim and that idols are nothing. Then he goes on to teach them that their conclusion that it was permissible to eat such meat was dangerous because it may cause a weaker brother to stumble. This would be the first reason Paul gives for not eating such meat. The second reason he gives would be further on in this same epistle (Chapter 10).

Many of the Corinthian believers were converted out of idolatrous lifestyles. Some believed such meat should not be eaten because it somehow became defiled, common, or unclean through the sacrificial rites. On the other hand, there were those with no regard for idols, knowing they were nothing and could have no effect on the edibility of the meat, which saw no problem in eating it.

1Co 8:8 - But meat commends (Greek – paristemi) us not to Elohim: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

It may be that the brethren in Corinth that had such knowledge felt their knowledge and perceived liberty would cause them to be in better standing (paristemi) with Yahweh. Paul says to them “you are no better in Yahweh’s sight if you eat such meat; neither are you any worse in His sight if you don’t eat it.”

1Co 8:9 - But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

Paul gives a warning to those with such perceived liberty should they choose to eat such meat. They will be risking causing another brother to stumble. When Paul writes, “this liberty of yours”, is he acknowledging that it is a valid liberty for all or is he stating it is a liberty that the certain Corinthians with knowledge believe they have, but, in reality, don’t?

1Co 8:10 - For if any man see you which has knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

Does this example come from Paul’s heart or is he restating a question that was asked of him when the Corinthians wrote to him? Did someone ask, “Can we, who have such knowledge, sit at meat in the idol’s temple?” I suspect the latter is true. So Paul restates the question with his ensuing answer which stems from his concern that we not be a stumblingblock to any.

1Co 8:11-13 - And through your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Messiah died? But when you sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Messiah. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world stands, lest I make my brother to offend.

Paul concludes his first of two arguments against the reasoning of those in Corinth who felt at liberty to eat meat sacrificed to idols. This first argument stems from the second greatest commandment, “love your neighbor as yourself”. Love would not cause another brother to stumble. His second argument stems from the greatest commandment, “love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might”. This argument is found in 1 Corinthians 10:14-33.

Paul’s Second Argument

1Co 10:14 - Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

In this and the following verses, Paul returns to the issue of eating meat sacrificed to idols by laying out his second argument against it.

1Co 10:15-18 - I speak as to wise men; judge you what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Messiah? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Messiah? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

The answer to the last question is “yes”. The priests and Levites who ate of the sacrifices to Yahweh were partaking of the altar and the sacrifices on the altar. By doing so, they also declared their allegiance to and fellowship with Yahweh.

1Co 10:19-21 - What say I then? That the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to Elohim: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils. You cannot drink the cup of the Master, and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the Master’s table, and of the table of devils.

By eating meat sacrificed to idols, the eater declares his allegiance to and fellowship with devils. Paul is making a reference to Deuteronomy 32:17:

They sacrificed unto devils, not to Elohim; to elohim whom they knew not, to new elohim that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.

Not only is this unacceptable by giving one’s allegiance to another (devils) in opposition to Yahweh, but it creates a division between the Master Yeshua and the one who eats meat sacrificed to idols.

Once one knowingly eats meat sacrificed to an idol, he cannot partake of the Master’s table (the symbols of the bread and the fruit of the vine) until he repents and is clean once again.

1Co 10:22 - Do we provoke Yahweh to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

We provoke Him to jealousy by giving our allegiance and fellowship to another (idolatry). By partaking of idolatrous practices like eating meat sacrificed to idols, we are putting ourselves in opposition to Yahweh and fight against Him. However, since Yahweh is omnipotent, it would be utter foolishness to fight against Him. Therefore, Paul is teaching the Corinthians to not fight against Yahweh by eating meat sacrificed to idols.

1Co 10:23-24 - All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but every man another's profit.

If this verse is translated correctly, we cannot understand Paul here in the literal sense. For example, Paul is not saying it is lawful for him to murder or commit idolatry. I believe Paul’s sense is that Yahweh has given us a free will and allows us to choose right or wrong. Our wrong choices are not expedient (not to our advantage) and they do not edify us or others. Just the opposite is true; our wrong choices are to our hurt and tear us down. Idolatry and eating meat sacrificed to idols are wrong choices.

In all the choices we make, we should consider others first and put their good or their profiting before our own. (see verses 33 concerning the addition of the word “profit” in verse 24).

1Co 10:25-29 - Whatsoever is sold in the shambles (meat market), that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: For the earth is [Yahweh's], and the fullness thereof. If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and you be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. But if any man says unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is [Yahweh’s], and the fullness thereof: Conscience, I say, not your own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?

These two situations (vss. 25 & 27) may have been questions asked by the Corinthians. “Can we eat whatever is sold in the meat markets or put before us at an unbelievers feast that we were invited to?” Or, Paul may be trying to give real life examples of situations that may arise. First, this is not referring to eating unclean meat. The context is only dealing with eating clean meat sacrificed to idols. We cannot cross examine everyone who offers us food to be sure it was not offered to idols. Yahweh will not hold it against any believer if they eat meat sacrificed to an idol unknowingly. In fact, Yahweh will not hold any transgression against a believer if they are transgressing unknowingly. That is where His grace comes in as well as the power of Yeshua’s cleansing blood. However, once we find out it was sacrificed to an idol, we should not eat it so as not to grieve or offend another’s conscience.

In 1 Corinthians 10:28-29, Paul is returning to his previous argument against eating meat sacrificed to idols. That is, we must be careful to not cause another to stumble or wound their conscience. Verse 29 is often misunderstood. Why doesn’t Paul seem concerned about one’s own conscience? As they are eating meat sacrificed to idols unknowingly, they cannot have a conscience about it. Once it is revealed to them that the meat was sacrificed to idols, it is the conscience of the other that is to be their primary concern. Those that are eating know that Yahweh has given them grace to eat in such situations, but the other does not have that knowledge or liberty. When Paul writes, “my liberty”, he is not referring to the liberty he has to eat meat sacrificed to idols, but to eat such meat unknowingly.

1Co 10:30-33 - For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

Paul is still referring to the two examples given above in verses 25 & 27. In other words, if we partake of meat sacrificed to idols unknowingly, Yahweh will give us grace because it was done in ignorance. Therefore, if Yahweh gives grace in such a situation, no one should speak evil of us for eating in ignorance.

1Co 10:31-33 - Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of Elohim. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the assembly of Elohim: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

If only we would heed these words today. We would have much more peaceful homes and assemblies.

I do not believe the Apostle Paul was teaching contrary to Torah or Yeshua. Nor was he teaching the Corinthians to eat meat sacrificed to idols. He was responding to many questions they had on various subjects, one of which was whether or not a believer who knows an idol is nothing has the liberty to eat such meat. Paul says no on two accounts; 1) that it may cause another to stumble or grieve his conscience and 2) such meat was sacrificed to devils with whom we are not to have fellowship or give our allegiance.


I believe this study provides a strong explanation that should make those who oppose Paul and accuse him of teaching falsely think twice. As an apostle of Yeshua and a Spirit filled teacher of truth in many other areas, Paul deserves the benefit of the doubt if questions arise concerning his teachings. If you disagree with any portion of this study, I admonish you to seek further concerning how to harmonize Paul’s teaching rather than seeking to prove him wrong. To accuse him of being wrong and exalt our own understanding of the situation as though we are right and Paul is wrong may not only be arrogant, but dangerous. Yahweh forbid that we be found doing Satan’s work of falsely accusing the brethren.

The Apostle Paul was truly that, an Apostle appointed and sent by Yeshua himself. His writings, when properly exegeted and rightly understood, were and are a blessing to millions of believers. May they continue to be so.