Watchman's Teaching Letter #130 February 2009
This is my one hundred thirtieth monthly teaching letter and continues my eleventh year of publication. This is another in a series on the apostle Paul. With this lesson, we’ll continue observing his life and ministry. We will pick up his story in the 9th chapter of Acts, which is an important turning point for the establishment of the Christian ekklesia. Paul never used the term “church”! Up until Acts 9, it was all about Peter and the other of Christ’s apostles, and worship was still being conducted at synagogues and the Temple. What many don’t seem to understand is the fact that prior to this, the Temple and the synagogues had been infiltrated by the Edomites. Eusebius speaks of this in his The Church History 1:6, and my translation is by Paul L. Maier, pages 34-35:
“When the line of Jewish [sic Judaean] rulers ceased, the orderly succession of high priests from generation to generation fell into instant confusion. The reliable Josephus reports that Herod, once made king by the Romans, no longer appointed high priests of the ancient line but obscure sorts instead, a practice followed by his son Archelaus and the Roman governors after him when they took over the government of the Jews. The same writer reports that Herod was the first to lock up the sacred vestment of the high priest and keep it under his own seal rather than priestly control, as did his successor Archelaus and the Romans after him.”
Not only this, but once Herod took power he attempted to destroy all of Israel’s genealogical records, ibid. 1:7, page 37:
“... So Herod, with no Israelite ancestry and pained by his base origins, burned the genealogical records, thinking he would appear of noble birth if no one were able to trace his bloodline from public documents. A few, however, carefully kept private records of their own, either remembering the names or finding them in copies, and took pride in preserving the memory of their aristocratic birth ...”
Anyone who is unaware of this infiltration by the Edomites into the political and religious affairs of the Temple and the synagogues at that time simply cannot comprehend the environment in Judaea during the ministry of Christ and his disciples, nor during the early ekklesia period! All the term ekklesia means is a called-out assembly. Yet this same term is translated in various other ways. Remember that Stephen, at Acts 7:38, referred to “the church in the wilderness”, which was nothing more than an called-out [Israelite] assembly, or an ekklesia. Later, at Ephesus, when a mob got out of control because of Paul’s preaching the Gospel, with the pagans throwing away their idols, all of the silversmiths precipitated a riot and they ended up in the amphitheater. That too, was an ekklesia, although at Acts 19:41 the word is “assembly” in the KJV, yet there surely wasn’t anything Sacred about that group! Without knowing these things, how can anyone understand what was going on during the early ekklesia period? The book of Acts is a book of transition, which took several years to accomplish.
I would remind the reader that the Edomites were a Canaanite mixture with Esau the fornicator (which means race-mixer). This was the racial makeup of Judaea and the Temple during the time of Christ and the early ekklesia, in Acts, with His apostles. Hardly ever is this fact pointed out by nominal judeo-churchianity! That is why we need to study histories such as Josephus’ as well as the Bible. So while we are addressing the book of Acts, we should keep these things in mind. Whenever we have Edomites in the ekklesia, we are going to have problems, and that is exactly what Christ, Paul and the other disciples experienced!
Many will make the false claim that it was the Judahites, of the Tribe of Judah in Judaea, that crucified Christ. Nothing could be further from the truth. If people would only study their Bible, they would know that David prophesied at Psalm ch. 22 that Christ would be crucified under “the power of the dog”, and the Canaanites were considered dogs. Therefore, it was rather the Canaanite-Edomite half-breed-jews who were responsible for the crucifixion of Yahshua Christ!
On the other hand, we are told that many of the Judahites of Judaea believed on Christ, but they were among the few in Judaea that hadn’t race-mixed with the Edomite-Canaanites, but were racially pure members of the tribe of Judah, as Christ also was racially pure from Adam. There wasn’t one drop of racially polluted blood flowing in Christ’s veins! As we study the book of Acts, it was the non-believing Canaanite-Edomite-jews who were causing all the problems. Therefore when Paul spoke at the various synagogues, he encountered both believing pure-blooded Judahites of the tribe of Judah and non-believing racially-mixed Edomite-jews and their followers. Here again, if one is not aware of these facts, one will arrive at many flawed conclusions!
We now pick up the story of Paul with the stoning of Stephen, where we find the first mention of him at Acts 7:57-60: “57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Master Yahshua, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Master, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
Many might condemn Paul for condoning Stephen’s stoning, but at the time, Paul saw nothing wrong in this dastardly act in accordance with Lev. 24:16 & Deut. 13:9, which I will now cite:
Lev. 24:16: “And he that blasphemeth the name of Yahweh, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of Yahweh, shall be put to death.”
Deut. 13:9: “But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.”
We can see from these two passages why Paul would not have had any immediate remorse over the stoning of Stephen, but later he would regretfully realize his error, though he only tended the clothes of those who carried out the execution! We have to remember that Paul, at that time, was highly influenced by the Canaanite-Edomite-jews who had infiltrated the Temple and synagogues under Herod.
Before making any more comment, it would be well to quote Luke’s record of Paul’s conversion, found in Acts 9:1-6:
“1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of Yahshua, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Master? And Yahshua said, I am Yahshua whom thou persecutest ... 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Master, what wilt thou have me to do? And Yahshua said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
After Saul (or Paul) had played a supporting part in the stoning of Stephen, he performed a leading role in the persecution of the Nazarenes (later to be called “Christians”) in Jerusalem. In all of this, Paul thought he was doing the Almighty a favor! We will now analyze Acts 9:1-2 where it is stated:
“1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of Yahshua, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.”
It is clear from this passage that Paul was 100% against what he considered a heresy: the proclamation of the advent of Yahshua as the Messiah. Here we have Paul going to the highest authority that he knew in order to wipe out this new movement before it could get started. He was ready to kill anyone (man or woman) who would believe on Yahshua’s name. Paul was under the delusion that he had to stamp-out His name, His ministry and His miracles, never to be remembered! In the end, though, Paul came to embrace the so-called heresy that he was so adamant in destroying, for later, Paul would do a complete about-face and embrace this heresy, as he explained at Acts 24:14:
“But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.”
In other words, after Paul’s conversion, he then considered it a privilege to be called a heretic. This statement by Paul should remove all doubt that he was indeed called by Yahshua Christ to proclaim the Gospel. A false disciple would never have admitted to being a heretic in the sight of the Pharisees and Sadducees as Paul did! Paul is here confessing that he believed in “all things which are written in the law and in the prophets”, the very thing which Stephen had been stoned for! So it is clear that Paul the heretic joined Stephen the heretic! And if Paul and Stephen were heretics in their day, then too, all we Christians from Christ until today are also heretics, and we should be proud of the privilege! You will notice that Paul was never called a heretic when he was persecuting the followers of the Nazarene in Jerusalem!
To listen to some of the decadent television teachers and evangelists, they would have one believe that the book of Acts only speaks of “Jews” and “Gentiles”! It is regrettable, but most Bible “scholars” do not distinguish the difference between a half-breed Canaanite-Edomite-jew and a racially pure member of the tribe of Judah such as the racially pure Christ. Not only that, but Paul and the other disciples never used the Latin term Gentile. In most cases the Greek ethnos or ethnê should rather have been rendered “nation” or “nations”. It is important for the reader to understand this. Acts 9:2 tells us that Paul’s next move was to go to Damascus to put believing men and women in bonds and bring them to Jerusalem, and these must have been racially-pure members of the tribe of Judah, and not Canaanite-Edomite-jews.
At verse 3, we are told that as Paul and his companions were nearing Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven shone round about him, causing him to fall to the earth, and he heard a voice saying “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Paul answered the voice, “Who art thou Master?” The voice from heaven answered and said, “I am Yahshua whom you persecute!” We must understand that Paul was totally dedicated to his belief in the Old testament; he believed in the Law brought to Israel by Moses; he believed that the religion of Judaism had all the answers; he was a Pharisee of the Pharisees; his lineage was of the tribe of Benjamin. One might say that the pride of the Pharisee was then brought down to the dust and the fury of the persecutor restrained, and a new subdued Paul emerged to be taken by the hand. As a Pharisee, he absolutely hated with a passion this Yahshua from Nazareth, because he was convinced He was an impostor who was trying to destroy what was, to him, his whole purpose for living. Paul (Saul) simply didn’t understand that Yahshua Christ was the same Yahweh of the Old Testament, whom he so dearly loved, that had come in the flesh! Suddenly, Paul realized that the one he was attempting to stamp-out was the very same one that he worshiped! Paul’s surprise was that instead of following Yahweh, he was rather following Satan’s agenda! From that point forward, Paul would never look back to Judaism (which is actually Canaanitism) again! No wonder Paul was able to go through everything he had to suffer for the rest of his life, with his memory flashing back to the stoning of Stephen and the putting of his approval on a death warrant for Yahshua’s followers.
This matter of Paul at Acts 9:4, where he fell to the earth is not something new in Scripture, for at John 18:5-6 it is recorded:
“4 Yahshua therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? 5 They answered him, Yahshua of Nazareth. Yahshua saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. 6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.”
For anyone who doubts Luke’s account of Acts 9:4 must also doubt John 18:6! After all, Luke’s contribution of the books of Luke and Acts is greater in volume than the epistles of Paul! In turn, those who discredit Luke’s writings for this reason must also discredit the writings of John the apostle! Hence, I would remind the reader that the Paul-bashers are continually discrediting Luke’s account of Paul’s conversion found in the 9th chapter of Acts. Will all of this nonsense never end? If we can’t trust Luke, we might as well throw our entire Bible into the nearest trash can! I would also remind the reader that many a scholar researching Luke’s writings have found them to be accurate in the minutest detail. I would suggest to all those who doubt Luke’s account of Paul’s conversion found in the 9th chapter of Acts, to take their Bible and physically remove all of Paul’s epistles, plus Luke’s writings along with those of John the apostle, and also Peter’s since he attests to Paul’s mission, and see how much of the New Testament they have left! And after having done this, then determine whether one is a believer or a non believer! “Atheist” might be a better definition!
At Acts 9:6, we are told by Luke that: “And he [Paul] trembling and astonished said, Master, what wilt thou have me to do? And [Yahshua] said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
This was no mere mental illusion which Paul had, but a very frightening in-the-body experience! There are many like experiences recorded in the Bible. Trembling is caused by the muscles working involuntarily like hiccups. In short, Paul was in shock mentally and physically. Not only that, but it is quite clear from this verse that Paul had a drastic attitude adjustment for the better! There are countless people today who need a similar attitude adjustment, especially all of the Paul-bashers! We are informed by Luke that even the men with Paul “stood speechless”, showing that they were also in shock, and their vocal cords were temporarily inoperative. It would take a substantial shock to freeze the vocal cords in place!
Another thing that should not be overlooked is the fact that Saul obtained letters from the high priest, who was more than likely a Canaanite-Edomite-jew, for his authority to arrest and bind the believing racially pure Judahites at Damascus. In other words, Saul became a government agent, and the men with him a SWAT team, comparable to the SWAT team at the incident of Ruby Ridge, Idaho. Had not Yahshua Christ intervened, those racially pure-blooded believing Judahites at Damascus were as good as dead!
Yahweh in the flesh, as Yahshua, had every right to treat Paul as he did, for two reasons: First, Paul was born under the Abrahamic covenant, and that gave Him a lawful right to whip Paul into line. When Abraham placed Isaac on the altar, all Israelites were lawfully bound in a similar manner. Second, since Yahweh had married the twelve tribes of Israel, we Israelites came under His authority until He divorced us. Then Yahweh, coming in the flesh as Yahshua died so He could purchase us back, and thus He now owns us again, and He can do whatever is necessary to whip us back into line with His authority, and that is what He was doing with Paul at Acts ch. 9.
The next thing we are told by Luke, at Acts 9:8-9, is the fact that Paul was stricken blind, which continued for three days:
“8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.”
From the wording of this passage we can determine several things. Evidently, Paul and the men with him were riding horses, and Paul’s fall to the ground would be greater than from a standing position, and losing his balance and collapsing to the ground. Also, evidently the men that were with Paul, after they had fallen to the ground and had gotten back on their feet, were standing nearby, speechless. All I can say is, if they didn’t have horses they weren’t much of a law enforcement party. They may have also had wagons or carriages, for how else could they have taken the believing Judahites bound back to Jerusalem?
We can also observe that of this law enforcement party only Paul was blinded, so the light from heaven must have been somewhat like a spotlight focused directly on Paul alone. It is recorded here that the other men heard, but they were not stricken blind by the light, so it is uncertain whether the light was as deeply felt on their part. Surely, had the light been as intense on them as Paul, they would have been struck blind also. We are not told that a third party came from Damascus to lead Paul by the hand, so it must have been one of the men of the law enforcement party that led Paul by the hand. However Paul made it to Damascus, he didn’t get there without assistance.
We should also consider this matter of Paul being struck blind for three days. Unless one has ever experienced total blindness, he will never know just how helpless Paul became for those three days. The only times I have experienced what total blindness might be like is when I visited two individual caves. Both times, the guide taking a group through the cave demonstrated just how dark it is when the lights were turned out. When the guide shut off the lights for a few minutes, one couldn’t see his hand when holding it before his face – it was absolute 100% total darkness – equivalent to the world of the blind! So following the initial shock of the light from heaven, Paul experienced absolute total darkness for the next three days.
We are further told by Luke, at verse 9, that for those three days Paul “neither did eat nor drink”. Some may read into this that Paul went on a fast for three days, but this is not the case. Rather with the shock from the heavenly light, followed by three days of total darkness, he totally lost his appetite. We are not told why, but it is reasonable to believe that his loss of appetite was due to his feeling of guilt for fighting against the Almighty, whom he loved. We are not told so, but it is reasonable to assume that for those three 24 hour days neither did he sleep from the mental anguish and guilt for his past. No doubt Paul had mental flashbacks of the stoning of Stephen for the rest of his life, and perhaps especially when Stephen cried out with his dying words, “lay not this sin to their charge”!
We are told in Scripture that Jonah had his three days in the belly of the whale, and that Yahshua had His three days in the grave, and here we have Paul with his three days in blindness. What it amounts to is, Paul was having his death, burial and resurrection in Christ. No doubt, much of Paul’s mental anguish during those three days was contemplating how many of the followers of Yahshua he would have destroyed had he not been stopped in his tracks. So, Paul was not only blaming himself for his past, but also for the future chaos which he might have committed. When it reached the point where Paul realized he was of no earthly good to anyone, the Almighty was making other plans for him. We pick up this story at Acts 9:10-15:
“10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said Yahshua in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Master. 11 And Yahshua said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13 Then Ananias answered, Yahshua, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15 But Yahshua said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the nations, and kings, and the children of Israel.”
Please notice here that Paul’s commission by Yahshua Christ was “to bear my name before the nations, and kings, and the children of Israel.” (All three entities being are one and the same.) Misled teachers and preachers in judeo-churchianity today continue to proclaim, “Peter was sent to the Jews and Paul was sent to the Gentiles.” Acts 9:15 above is very clear that Paul was rather sent to the lost Israel nations; to lost Israel’s kings; and to the general populous of the lost children of the twelve tribes of Israel, AND TO NO ONE ELSE!!!
For comparison’s sake, before we go any further, we need to go to the account of Paul’s Damascus experience, as recorded by Luke at Acts 22: 6-12:
“6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. 7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 8 And I answered, Who art thou, Master? And he said unto me, I am Yahshua of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. 9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. 10 And I said, What shall I do, Master? And Yahshua said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. 11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus. 12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Judahites which dwelt there.” It might appear contradictory here how much the men with Paul heard, but evidently they heard and understood not. Immediately it should be pointed out that verse 12 is not speaking of any Canaanite-Edomite-jews dwelling at Damascus, but rather pure-blooded believing Judahites of the tribe of Judah!
We see from this passage that Ananias “was a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Judahites which dwelt there” in Damascus. The KJV has “Jews”, which surely is confusing and causes about 99.99% of the people who read this passage to err in their reasoning. For an example of a passage in Acts where it is definitely speaking of the Canaanite-Edomite-jews, let’s go to Acts 17:5: “But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.”
Adam Clarke, in his six volume commentary, says that many Greek manuscripts simply state, “But the Jews, moved with envy”, and nothing about “which believed not”, which I believe must have been added later as a note of some kind, and in time became part of the text, making it a gloss. I notice that William Finck also omits “which believed not” in his translation of this verse, as does Smith & Goodspeed. If it is a gloss, it is not completely out-of-order, since all we need to do is go to Christ’s own words at John 10:26-27, where He was directing His words toward the Canaanite-Edomite-jews thusly: “26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Here, Christ was telling the Canaanite-Edomite-jews that they were not His Israelite sheep, and only His Israelite sheep hear His voice and would follow Him.
It is important here to give a rundown of the events contained in Acts chapter 22, where Paul’s conversion is repeated by Luke:
At the close of the preceding chapter 21, Paul had been bound according to Agabus’ prophecy of the harsh treatment he should receive at the hand of the Canaanite-Edomite-jews at Jerusalem, yet his speech was set at liberty by permission of the chief captain to speak for himself, and so intent was Paul upon using that liberty of speaking for the honor of Christ and his duty to His cause, he ignores and makes no mention of his bonds. Rather, he speaks of the great things that Christ had done for him with much ease and cheerfulness as, if he were not even bound. We see that in Acts chapter 22: (1) Paul addresses his accusers (v.1-2); (2) He gives his lineage, tribe and citizenship (v. 3); (3) How he was miraculously converted over to the faith of Christ (v. 6-11); (4) How he was confirmed and baptized by the ministry of Ananias (v. 12-16); (5) How afterwards he was called by a warrant from heaven to be the apostle to the nations (v. 17-21); (6) The violent reaction of the rabbles accusing Paul (v. 22-23); (7) Paul’s second rescue out of the hands of the rabble by the chief captain (v. 24-25); (8) Paul’s pleading his privilege as a Roman citizen from the rabble’s inquisition (v. 26-29); (9) The chief captain’s removal of the dispute to the high priest’s court, and Paul’s appearance there (v. 30).
Luke again records the story of Paul’s conversion in the 26th chapter of Acts, verses 2 through 18 as follows:
“2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the [Canaanite-]jews: 3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Judaeans: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. 4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Judaeans; 5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: 7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the [Canaanite-]jews. 8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? 9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Yahshua of Nazareth. 10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. 11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. 12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Yahshua whom thou persecutest. 16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the nations, unto whom now I send thee, 18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
Please note the words, “it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” are not at Acts 9:5 in the Greek, but are correctly at this passage. Evidently, someone along the line decided that if they were at Acts 22:14 they should also be at Acts 9:5. It isn’t anything to argue about, but I thought I would mention it for your information. Another thing to notice in the Acts chapter 22 version of Luke’s account is that Yahshua spoke to Paul in what is translated as the “Hebrew tongue”. Actually, by the time of Christ and His disciples along with Paul the Hebrew tongue was extinct, and most lexicons and commentaries agree that it was rather Aramaic which Paul spoke on this occasion. What startled Paul’s critics so was the fact that Paul could speak both Greek and Aramaic fluently showing he was a man of higher learning. We are informed at Acts 22:3 by Luke that Paul was trained by Gamaliel, where it states:
“I [Paul] am verily a man which am a Judaean, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.” Therefore, it should surprise no one that Paul should be able to both read and speak in two languages! When Paul was being harassed and receiving harsh treatment at the hands of the Canaanite-Edomite-jews at Jerusalem, as recorded by Luke at Acts 22:2, Paul, in his own defense, spoke in the Aramaic tongue, they became quite startled and it quieted their uproar. And why wouldn’t it have? To have quieted that unruly mob, it would have taken something out of the ordinary. By doing this, Paul did get their undivided attention, that is, until he spoke of going to the “nations”.
Some reading this might be wondering why the Canaanite-Edomite-jews would be startled by the Aramaic that Paul spoke on this occasion. While the common language was Greek, and most business was conducted in that tongue, and the official language of the Roman government and armies was Latin, Aramaic was still spoken, if not perfectly, by many of the common people of Palestine – both of the Canaanites and Edomites and of the true Judahites. Yet these people were accustomed to the use of Greek and Latin in public, Aramaic being confined mostly to the home, the synagogues, and the temple. If the reader will remember, at the beginning of this teaching letter, I gave evidence from Eusebius’ The Church History how the Edomites had infiltrated the priesthood. At that time, the priesthood was given to the highest bidder, but it was necessary that, in purchasing the dignity, they too must read, write and speak Aramaic as well. I might add that the Bible repeats things for emphasis, and Luke repeats Paul’s conversion three times in the book of Acts! If Paul’s conversion is untrue, as all the Paul-bashers allege, then Luke LIED to us THREE TIMES!!!