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TrueTomHarley

The Incredible Desert Find: the Sinaiticus Sheepngoats, Destined to Update the Bible Canon

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31 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Are you totally bored too ? 

Actually this serves to banish boredom.

And in a strange sort of way, I offer this as a Bible teaching tool. Most people quote a verse here or there from Galatians (sometimes I think the guy that invented numbered verses should be hung on a gallows) but if you asked them what the overall book was about, they wouldn’t have a clue. Now they will.

I can picture anyone with sufficient time on his hands reading Galatians 5:12 and saying ‘he said that?’ Of course, he did not, but what he did say was not totally from another planet.

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Ah so you were bored but not now :) 

And I agree with you about numbering verses. I'm probably as guilty as anyone for taking a vese out of context. 

When we look at Paul's writings as the letters to congregations that they were, the we get a much better meaning from them. 

I would have loved to have met him. A man that wasn't frightened to speak his mind. Not all mamby pamby like the JW Org pretends to be. 

I've always found that the Org here in UK tries to act toooo posh. 

There was an old Elder in the Honiton congregation and he was an ex farmer. Henry was his name.

He would pronounce Honiton as Onitun, and Exeter as Hexeter. Poor man was always being told off by other Elders. But it was him, his character, the man he really was. But it was easy to see the other Elders didn't like it. 

It was so easy to see, and so funny, that congregants would put on a posher voice in the KH. Then once outside or away from the hall, even on the ministry, then would be back to their 'real self'. 

In my opinion God does not want posh. Jesus did not chose posh people for his disciples / apostles.   

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I love it. Galatians is about the best book to do that with because it's so dramatic.

43 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

but what he did say was not totally from another planet.

True. There are several widely published translations that don't veer too far from your version here, at least in places.

2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

it does serve to convey the basic idea of the entire Book of Galatians.

It can actually do "double-work" as commentary.

47 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

I can picture anyone with sufficient time on his hands reading Galatians 5:12 and saying ‘he said that?’

Some widely used translations are rather jarring here with expressions like: "I wish the knife would slip."

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22 hours ago, JW Insider said:

It can actually do "double-work" as commentary.

I liked that Paul was largely autonomous for 17 years. I guess that I had imagined that he had marched to the territory servant the moment Ananias left him.

And yet he was not really independent. When he did touch base, it was “for fear that somehow I was running or had run in vain.”

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2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

And yet he was not really independent. When he did touch base, it was “for fear that somehow I was running or had run in vain.”

That's how I had always read it, too. But there is also a strong possibility that he really means that he wanted to be sure that everything he was doing was not being undone by these superfine apostles from Jerusalem (like James, Peter, and John). James and Peter had influence outside of Jerusalem, obviously all the way up to Galatia, where James sent people to undermine Paul's work, and Peter actually visited himself and ended up setting a bad example for the brothers, there.

Under another topic you already responded to some of these points, but I'll pick up on them again here.

Remember, too, that Peter was a big influence in Corinth, too, so that some were saying they belonged to Paul, Apollos, or Cephas. Paul drops several hints even in Corinthians that the superfine apostles included the "James gang" and others from the "Jerusalem party."  It was easy for the Corinthians to see these apostles appointed by Jesus as a kind of Governing Body representing themselves as THE (superfine) FAITHFUL STEWARD. So Paul made a point to them that he was not a steward that needed such a human "tribunal."

(1 Corinthians 4:1-3) . . .A man should regard us as attendants of Christ and stewards of God’s sacred secrets. 2 In this regard, what is expected of stewards is that they be found faithful. 3 Now to me it is of very little importance to be examined by you or by a human tribunal.. . .

It's also pretty clear that Paul is speaking of this same tribunal that he speaks of in Galatians. Even the timing is set for us.

  • (2 Corinthians 12:1, 2) . . .I have to boast. It is not beneficial, but I will move on to supernatural visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in union with Christ who, 14 years ago—whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know; God knows—was caught away to the third heaven.
  • (Galatians 2:1, 2) . . .Then after 14 years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barʹna·bas, also taking Titus along with me. 2 I went up as a result of a revelation,. . .

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18 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

superfine apostles from Jerusalem (like James, Peter, and John).

I am under the impression that these brothers were not who Paul had in mind, but he was talking about the "Judeizers" 

Didn't he call James, Peter and John pillars? I'm not on my pc so I can't check. I will probably have to come back to this later with some scriptures...

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56 minutes ago, Anna said:

Didn't he call James, Peter and John pillars?

No. Certainly not! They were Judaizers. So he said they "seemed to be pillars."

(Galatians 2:6-9) . . .But regarding those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me, for God does not go by a man’s outward appearance—those highly regarded men imparted nothing new to me. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the good news for those who are uncircumcised, just as Peter had been for those who are circumcised— 8 for the one who empowered Peter for an apostleship to those who are circumcised also empowered me for those who are of the nations— 9 and when they recognized the undeserved kindness that was given me, James and Ceʹphas and John, the ones who seemed to be pillars, gave Barʹna·bas and me the right hand of fellowship, . . .

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59 minutes ago, Anna said:

I am under the impression that these brothers were not who Paul had in mind, but he was talking about the "Judeizers" 

Paul specifically mentions Peter as coming to Antioch and being clearly in the wrong when Peter "feared those of the circumcised class." But look who sent those men of the circumcised class:

(Galatians 2:11, 12) . . .However, when Ceʹphas came to Antioch, I resisted him face-to-face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12 For before certain men from James arrived, he used to eat with people of the nations; but when they arrived, he stopped doing this and separated himself, fearing those of the circumcised class.

It was specifically because these men had such a "superfine" reputation as the leaders in Jerusalem that Paul went to the trouble of saying that "even if it were an angel from heaven declaring a different good news" they should CURSE that angel.

(Galatians 1:7-9) . . .Not that there is another good news; but there are certain ones who are causing you trouble and wanting to distort the good news about the Christ. 8 However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, I now say again, Whoever is declaring to you as good news something beyond what you accepted, let him be accursed.

The focus was on "whoever" even if that "whoever" turned out to be "we" -- the persons the Galatians would have trusted, even an APOSTLE like Paul himself --  or even an ANGEL. Well what was considered the closest thing to an ANGEL for the congregations in that day? 

I think we know that the most likely persons were the apostles at Jerusalem who were actively trying to Judaize or the apostles who knew better but allowed their own peers at Jerusalem to influence them to Judaize. Why else would Paul immediately try to distance himself from these very apostles? Why would he immediately follow this up by showing how he distanced himself from any supposed authority or teachings coming out of Jerusalem?

(Galatians 1:10-2:7) . . .Is it, in fact, men I am now trying to persuade or God? Or am I trying to please men? . . . the good news I declared to you is not of human origin; 12 for neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it was through a revelation by Jesus Christ. . . . 15 But when God . . . thought good 16 to reveal his Son through me so that I might declare the good news about him to the nations, I did not immediately consult with any human; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before I was, but I went to Arabia, and then I returned to Damascus. 18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to visit Ceʹphas, and I stayed with him for 15 days. 19 But I did not see any of the other apostles, only James the brother of the Lord. 20 Now regarding the things I am writing you, I assure you before God that I am not lying. . . . 22 But I was personally unknown to the congregations of Ju·deʹa. . . . 2 Then after 14 years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barʹna·bas, also taking Titus along with me. . . . 3 Nevertheless, not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, although he was a Greek. 4 But that matter came up because of the false brothers brought in quietly, who slipped in to spy on the freedom we enjoy in union with Christ Jesus, so that they might completely enslave us; 5 we did not yield in submission to them, no, not for a moment, so that the truth of the good news might continue with you. 6 But regarding those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me, for God does not go by a man’s outward appearance—those highly regarded men imparted nothing new to me. 7 On the contrary,. . .

Why do we think that Paul tries to show that he never had much interaction at all with Jerusalem, and the "supposed" pillars there? Why is it important that he say he did NOT go up to Jerusalem "to those were apostles" but ran off to Arabia instead? Even after three years he only just spent two weeks in Jerusalem staying with Peter, and he happened to see James while he was there -- but NONE of the other apostles?

What is the main point here that he wants the Galatians to be sure they remember he is not lying about? It can only be that he must do his best to smash this myth that Jerusalem is the seat of some kind of authority they should accept. These Galatians are complying with Judaizers, the same problem in Antioch, because they thought that Jerusalem had authority to impose such doctrines on them. So Paul makes it clear that even when he was right there in Jerusalem, that they were not compelled to follow the Judaizers, and the "false brothers" in Jerusalem who wanted to enslave them back into aspects of Jewish law, the most obtrusive of which was "circumcision" - which Paul also utilized as a key expression to summarize the entire egregious idea of being put under law. 

You can see that here when circumcision is expanded to mean any kind of placement under law:

(Galatians 4:1-11) . . .9 But now that you have come to know God or, rather, have come to be known by God, how is it that you are turning back again to the weak and beggarly elementary things and want to slave for them over again? 10 You are scrupulously observing days and months and seasons and years. 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

But it also included putting themselves under stewards and supervisors. Now that they were no longer under law, they should understand that they are all sons and heirs, and have no reason to go back under human stewards and supervisors. This might refer back to Paul's comments about the supposed "pillars" at Jerusalem, whose authority he didn't accept.

(Galatians 4:1-11) . . .Now I say that as long as the heir is a young child, he is no different from a slave, although he is the lord of all things, 2 but he is under supervisors and stewards until the day set ahead of time by his father. 3 Likewise, we too, when we were children, were enslaved by the elementary things of the world. 4 But when the full limit of the time arrived, God sent his Son, who was born of a woman and who was under law, 5 that he might release by purchase those under law, so that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Now because you are sons, God has sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, and it cries out: “Abba, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a son; and if a son, then you are also an heir through God. 8 Nevertheless, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those who are not really gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God or, rather, have come to be known by God, how is it that you are turning back again to the weak and beggarly elementary things and want to slave for them over again?

I think we can take from this that even where the supposed pillars and supervisors (governing bodies) and stewards are faithful and give us good instruction and a good example to follow, that we never should accept that "authority" is coming from them. It should never be the Governing Body we think of them as persons to "obey." Except in the sense of following good examples that their experience has proven to be worthwhile to imitate. Just as we do should do for any elders taking the lead.

(Hebrews 13:7-17) 7 Remember those who are taking the lead among you, who have spoken the word of God to you, and as you contemplate how their conduct turns out, imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever. 9 Do not be led astray by various and strange teachings, for it is better for the heart to be strengthened by undeserved kindness than by foods, which do not benefit those occupied with them. . . . 16 Moreover, do not forget to do good and to share what you have with others, for God is well-pleased with such sacrifices. 17 Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over you as those who will render an account, so that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to you.

Those who think their changing teachings are "food" forget that Jesus is the same, unchanging, and it is undeserved kindness that is much more important than various and strange teachings. Therefore, the ones taking the lead that we are obedient to, are not ones where we feel we must be obedient to any specific teachings. We are obedient to their concerns and counsel about our CONDUCT to the extent that we respect how their own conduct and faith has turned out. This probably sounds like heresy to those who can't get over the idea that we need to be OBEDIENT to the teachings of the Governing Body, or even OBEDIENT the teachings of faithful stewards. We are actually obedient to the counsel of those who are concerned about our Christian conduct, and if we can see that this counsel conforms to their own good example. The real spiritual "food," where we should get our motivation and energy, is our response to Christ's "undeserved kindness." Our "will" should be to Jehovah's will, and find good leading examples that can help us do his will. That should be the motive. God has given us the greatest example of doing good for us, so we wish to also "do good and share what we have with others." These are the good works and conduct that should also be the "meat" of our meetings:

(Hebrews 10:24, 25) 24 And let us consider one another so as to incite to love and fine works, 25 not forsaking our meeting together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, . . .

Considering (remembering/comtemplating) one another so as to incite (lead/motivate) to love and fine works. This is the reason for meeting together and encouraging one another.

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YEAH!

I had not realized to what extent Paul went to to completely avoid any interaction with the Jerusalem Apostles, AKA the "Governing Body.!

I THINK THIS IS IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO SAVE THIS WHOLE PAGE FROM THE TOP, , TO KEEP IT IN CONTEXT, SO I MADE A .JPG, WHICH IF YOU FEEL SO INCLINED, YOU CAN DOWNLOAD.

JWI ESSAY ON JERUSALEM AND PAUL.jpg

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12 hours ago, JW Insider said:

No. Certainly not! They were Judaizers. So he said they "seemed to be pillars."

(Galatians 2:6-9) . . .But regarding those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me, for God does not go by a man’s outward appearance—those highly regarded men imparted nothing new to me. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the good news for those who are uncircumcised, just as Peter had been for those who are circumcised— 8 for the one who empowered Peter for an apostleship to those who are circumcised also empowered me for those who are of the nations— 9 and when they recognized the undeserved kindness that was given me, James and Ceʹphas and John, the ones who seemed to be pillars, gave Barʹna·bas and me the right hand of fellowship, . . .

Ok. My understanding from reading this portion of Galatians ( 2:6-9) is that it is not referring to the same people as the portion in Galatians 2:1-5:

"Then after 14 years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barʹna·bas, also taking Titus along with me. I went up as a result of a revelation, and I presented to them the good news that I am preaching among the nations. This was done privately, however, before the men who were highly regarded, to make sure that I was not running or had not run in vain.  Nevertheless, not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, although he was a Greek. But that matter came up because of the false brothers brought in quietly, who slipped in to spy on the freedom we enjoy in union with Christ Jesus, so that they might completely enslave us;we did not yield in submission to them, no, not for a moment, so that the truth of the good news might continue with you".

What I am understanding here is that Paul went up to Jerusalem to speak with the "the highly regarded men/pillars" to talk to them about a matter involving false brothers (Superfine apostles/Judaizers).

Then the following verses (6-9) I understand Paul to be talking about the  important/highly regarded men/pillars saying that it does not matter that they were circumcised because: "God does not go by outward appearance"  and so they did not impart anything new to him in that regard, on the contrary they saw Paul had been entrusted with seeing to the uncircumcised in the same way Peter had been entrusted with the circumcised. And when they (those who seemed to be pillars) recognized that, they gave him (Paul) and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship. I don't see any animosity between them and Paul, even though Paul had to chastise one of the highly regarded men/pillars - Peter (who had obviously not remained in an unfavorable position as he was given the keys to the Kingdom later).

However, those who Paul called false brothers seem to be the same ones he is talking about in Acts 15: 1-2 and the same ones he goes to Jerusalem to talk to the "highly regarded men/pillars" about. "Now some men came down from Ju·deʹa and began to teach the brothers: “Unless you get circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”  But after quite a bit of dissension and disputing by Paul and Barʹna·bas with them, it was arranged for Paul, Barʹna·bas, and some of the others to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem regarding this issue".

So it seems that these men from Judea were the Judaizers who insisted that without circumcision there is no salvation, not those who were in Jerusalem (the highly regarded men/pillars) even though some, like Peter had succumbed to a pretense for a short time because of fear of man (and even Barnabas succumbed) but then must have responded to Paul's correction (Galatians 2:11) However,  aren't the "false brothers/Judaizers" (those of whom the apostles in Jerusalem , he highly regarded men/ pillars wrote in Acts 15:23-14) the ones who caused trouble?: “The apostles and the elders, your brothers, to those brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Ci·liʹcia who are from the nations: Greetings! Since we have heard that some went out from among us and caused you trouble with what they have said,  trying to subvert you, although we did not give them any instructions "........

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1 hour ago, Anna said:

Paul had to chastise one of the highly regarded men/pillars - Peter (who had obviously not remained in an unfavorable position as he was given the keys to the Kingdom later).

Just for clarity. This parenthesised description of Peter's restoration to favour is referring to his denial of Christ and events of 33-36CE several years PRIOR to his reproof by Paul isn't it? 

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10 hours ago, Anna said:

Ok. My understanding from reading this portion of Galatians ( 2:6-9) is that it is not referring to the same people as the portion in Galatians 2:1-5:

I would guess that this particular understanding might have become popular because it moves the conflict away from the hands of Peter, James and John. But I think that Paul makes it very clear that he is referring to these same ones. Note:

Chapter 2 (1-5) says that Paul (after FOURTEEN YEARS away from Jerusalem), went up, not because they called him, but because he had a revelation from Jesus Christ, to pay "them" a visit. Who do we think that "them" refers to? So far, the only persons he has named from a previous visit to Jerusalem are Peter and James(1:18). And he had said back then that he hadn't yet gone to Jerusalem to meet with those who were apostles before he was. So, I think you already agree that "them" refers to apostles and older men in Jerusalem. 

Paul met privately with these men who were "highly regarded." He didn't want any big blow-up. And he didn't want to give anyone a chance to completely undercut his ministry before he had a chance to defend it PRIVATELY to at least a few of these "highly regarded" men in Jerusalem. Paul had already made it clear that he himself didn't show any HIGH REGARD to any persons, no matter what their reputation. He was ready to curse any highly regarded person, even an ANGEL, if necessary, and went on to say that he wouldn't have gone there to please any men. (1:8-10) He did this to make sure he was not running in vain. Now Paul already said that he knew his ministry was directly from Christ Jesus, so he already knew that his teaching and his ministry was not in vain. He was not looking for approval. He was looking to see if this visit was an opportunity to clear up a problem that brothers from Jerusalem had started to spread to other congregations.

But notice that he is still at this private meeting with apostles and older men at Jerusalem. For surely he could only see this problem get cleared up if he met with those who were held in the highest regard. He could not go to some fringe element of brothers who were not so well known, and expect that this would somehow solve the problem of people undermining his ministry to the nations.

Therefore, it's with respect to meeting with apostles and older men at Jerusalem that he says NEVERTHELESS, NOT EVEN TITUS was compelled to be circumcised, EVEN THOUGH he was a Greek. The dynamic is that Paul is writing to people in Galatia who would have expected to hear that the APOSTLES would have surely forced Titus into submission. Sure, maybe Paul could stand up to them and argue theological theory, and they could do nothing to him because he was already circumcised anyway! But the real AUTHORITY to make people submit, they all "knew" (or thought they knew) could not be denied if it came from the apostles.

So these Galatians were assuming the necessity of submitting to the authority of the apostles. This would be the reason why Paul went to so much trouble to "diminish" the supposed authority of the Jerusalem apostles and elders.

Paul says "that matter came up because of false brothers brought in quietly." Well who brought them in? Who sent them? Is Paul referring to the experience back in Antioch, or something that just happened in the middle of his "private" session with the "apostles and older men" in Jerusalem? Granted he calls some false brothers, and probably is referring directly to the ones who were "sent" or "brought in quietly." This is not a mistaken translation. It means persons who were smuggled in sneakily. We don't like to think that Paul could have referred to any of the elders or apostles themselves as "false brothers," but remember that he just potentially called such ones "ACCURSED" up in 1:8-9, so it is possible that he refers to a point in time when they were acting falsely. At the very least Paul does nothing to exonerate the apostles from the idea that they, the apostles, had secretly brought these "spies" to a private meeting, or involved them somehow.

If Paul is referring to false brothers brought in back in Antioch, then we already know that these men were sent from James. (2:12) No matter what, though, we know that the so-called pillars are Peter, James and John from 2:9. We also surmise that the matter was apparently cleared up for the moment, as is indicated in Acts 15 -- after no little disputing!

There is also a parallel in 2 Cor 11, which is also the only other place in the Bible where Paul uses a word that means "false brothers." It's clear that Paul was not always referring to Jerusalem whenever he mentioned apostles, false apostles, and false brothers (at Corinth). But note something that might be even more important in this parallel to Galatians 1:

(2 Corinthians 11:4, 5) 4 For as it is, if someone comes and preaches a Jesus other than the one we preached, or you receive a spirit other than what you received, or good news other than what you accepted, you easily put up with him. 5 For I consider that I have not proved inferior to your superfine apostles in a single thing.

We tend to understand it as if these Corinthians had their own "superfine" apostles. "Superfine" only in their own eyes. But, first, the Greek does not support the word "your" here. And, second, the term "superfine" is not the most likely meaning of the phrase, which is used only here in 2 Corinthians and nowhere else. That specific translation, not just in the NWT, might be preferred because it would then seem that there was no conflict between Paul and the apostles in Jerusalem at this particular time in their ministry.

However, the Greek text might only be saying. "I have not proved inferior to THE (not "your") EMINENT APOSTLES." The words making up the phrase actually mean just that, literally. In no other context do we find it necessary to make such words mean "super" as if in some snide or sarcastic sense. Therefore some translations say the following, instead:

    Hello guest!


    Hello guest!

For I reckon in nothing to have been inferior to those "most eminent apostles."

    Hello guest!

For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles.

    Hello guest!

For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.

    Hello guest!

For I reckon that I am not at all behind the very best apostles.

    Hello guest!

For I think that I have not come short in anything compared to those Apostles who greatly excel.

    Hello guest!

For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles.

    Hello guest!

For I suppose I was not the least behind the very chief apostles.

    Hello guest!

For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very most chief apostles.

    Hello guest!

For I reckon that I am not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.

    Hello guest!

For I suppose that I have done nothing less than the great apostles.

    Hello guest!

For I reckon that in nothing I am behind those who are in surpassing degree apostles.

    Hello guest!

For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very greatest apostles.

    Hello guest!

For I reckon that I am not at all behind the very best apostles.

    Hello guest!

for I reckon that I have been nothing behind the very chiefest apostles,

Those translations sound more like they refer to the prominent apostles in Jerusalem. (Even as it stands, it could be Paul's way of referring to the Jerusalem apostles, similar to "those who seemed to be something." Now, if Paul has just given a parallel to Galatians in this portion of 2 Cor 11, then it could easily explain why, in 2 Cor,  he might also be following it in this very next sentence with a statement about the apostles in Jerusalem. It could then be for the same reason he called them the "so-called pillars" which he named in Galatians 2:9 as Peter, James and John. These men were "chiefest" apostles in Paul's words because as he said in Galatians, these were the apostles who came before him. (1:17) He considered himself the "least" of the apostles because he had persecuted the congregation.

  • (1 Corinthians 15:5-9) . . .and that he appeared to Ceʹphas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that he appeared to more than 500 brothers at one time, most of whom are still with us, though some have fallen asleep in death. 7 After that he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 But last of all he appeared also to me as if to one born prematurely. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, and I am not worthy of being called an apostle, because I persecuted the congregation of God.

  • (Galatians 1:13) . . .I kept intensely persecuting the congregation of God and devastating it;
  • (Ephesians 3:8) . . .To me, a man less than the least of all holy ones,. . .

  • (1 Corinthians 9:2) 2 Even if I am not an apostle to others, I most certainly am to you!. . .

It makes more sense that Paul thought of himself as "least" in comparison, not with local eminent apostles in Corinth, but compared with the "most prominent and eminent" apostles in Jerusalem, which in the same context he names as "James, then to all the apostles."

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8 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

I had not realized to what extent Paul went to to completely avoid any interaction with the Jerusalem Apostles, AKA the "Governing Body.!

Hold on a wit. I think he’s all wet. Not on everything, but on some things. But it will take me a few days to get around to answering. Other matters call.

As I recall, ”certain men came down from Ju·deʹa and began to teach the brothers: “Unless YOU get circumcised according to the custom of Moses, YOU cannot be saved.”  But when there had occurred no little dissension and disputing by Paul and Barʹna·bas with them, they arranged for Paul and Barʹna·bas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and older men in Jerusalem regarding this dispute.”

It doesn’t sound to me like the “certain men” WERE the “apostles and older men in Jerusalem,”

And: “Yet, some of those of the sect of the Pharisees that had believed rose up from their seats and said: “It is necessary to circumcise them and charge them to observe the law of Moses.” And the apostles and the older men gathered together to see about this affair.”

Again, a clear distinction. Did the apostles and older men in Jerusalem hail from the sect of the Pharisees?

At any rate, JWI didn’t say that Paul went to great lengths to avoid any interaction with the AKA GB, any more than I go to great lengths to avoid interaction with you. Instead, I say, ‘You know, the old pork chop is hundreds of miles away and the place is full of dog fur. It can wait.’ 

And I have a car.

[And no, I did NOT call the GB ‘old pork chops.’ That is just your wishful thinking.]

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14 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

YEAH!

I had not realized to what extent Paul went to to completely avoid any interaction with the Jerusalem Apostles, AKA the "Governing Body.!

Well, JWI did weigh in on my take on what he had to say .... without objection. 

So I PROBABLY interpreted Galatians as JWI emphasized it correctly.

Since, if that is the case.... that was Paul's opinion, perhaps I saw it because I ALREADY believed it.

It was completely consistent with my own personal experiences, communicating with the Governing Body.

You know the old saying ....

"If I had not believed it, I would not have seen it."

Perhaps JWI will further comment to clarify, But the first chapter of Galatians is ALREADY quite clear.

I am not immune to agenda driven WDS, either.

The difference is, that it embarrasses me.

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35 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Well, JWI did weigh in on my take on what he had to say .... without objection. 

So I PROBABLY interpreted Galatians as JWI emphasized it correctly.

I was mostly thanking you for the jpg idea. I might buy the software that does that myself. I've had applications that were supposed to do this automatically, but they often fail the scrolling. In this one you have I understand that you just scroll down yourself, manually. I'm interested in the speed at which you can scroll down and it still captures everything.

On the issue of whether the Jerusalem "GB" were avoided by Paul on purpose, I don't know. Perhaps it was at first his own need to meditate on a life-changing experience, and then, when ready, he was fired up to begin full-speed ahead to his missionary journeys. 

But Paul does make it clear that it was IMPORTANT to him and this particular audience in Galatia, that he had in fact avoided much contact with Jerusalem for the entire first three years after his conversion, then a two week visit, and then another 14 years without direct interaction with apostles and other so-called pillars in Jerusalem. I assumed that this distancing himself from the J-GB was what was surprising, and as this was your own take on it, I agree that it surprises a lot of people when it's pointed out.

It might not have been completely on purpose, but Paul definitely turns that apparent avoidance into a "positive" thing. That's a little different from Witnesses I know who just must make that trek to New York at least one more time before they die. And many of them think "out loud" about "maybe meeting someone from the Governing Body."

On the issue of trying to tie Galatians to a version of the same problem Paul points out in the Corinthian letters (and even Romans to an extent), this is a conjecture. I'm just talking it out here, hoping to get some good feedback.

On the issue of understanding the difficulties in the Jerusalem apostles' attitudes, at this particular time period, we know there was a resolution from Acts 15. But we don't know that all the apostles held fast to that solution, or if these major problems are from some hold-outs who never accepted the Acts 15 solution. But what we do know is that there was a direct relationship between the false brothers who were smuggled in to spy on Paul, and the "apostles and older men" in Jerusalem. Paul indicts James for sending such men to Antioch, and he indicts Peter for not holding fast to the solutions that he had been a part of in welcoming Gentiles into the Jewish congregations.

There are ways of looking at this the way Anna has pointed out. And I've seen these offered as a specific solution against what seems obvious: that Paul is trying to warn them about these persons who say they represent the apostles themselves, or were actually sent by the apostles themselves, and for some period of time, may have actually included the apostles themselves.

If you had to judge by the word count which side might be right, then I have to admit that my "long version" tends to sound like I am "bullying" a version of events. Like I'm trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. But that's just to raise attention for those who are interested enough to read pages and pages on the topic. (I'm actually surprised you had read what I wrote, and this was part of the reason for the "Thank You" I tagged to your post. I was honored that you read it.)

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