Wednesday, November 20, 2013

If it walks like a duck: Ossuary 6 of the Talpiot 'Patio' Tomb depicts 'commonly' used Jewish images?

As usual, Mark Goodacre deleted my post to his blog here:
But he has subsequently given me a fair hearing.

Although I disagree with almost everything that James Tabor and Simcha Jacobovici have written, in my post to Goodacre's blog, I agreed with them that the Talpiot Tomb B, Ossuary 6 belonged to people who had 'Christian' beliefs.  

Mark Goodacre didn't like that. He has made Tabor and Jacobocvici the butt end of his jokes, as in his latest post above. But it has backfired on him. He has recruited one Dr Meijer in support of his views on Ossuary 6. Goodacre regards Dr Meijer as a "sharp-eyed" and "instinctively right" individual. Needless to say Dr Meijer is an expert. But weirdly he is expert in Biomolecular and Biomedical science.

Meijer says:"Therefore, in my opinion ossuary 6 is not from a distinctively Christian ‘resurrection’ tomb, but from a tomb belonging to a normal Jewish family." I ask is there any such entity as a "normal Jewish family"?  Here I will argue that ossuary 6 belonged to a prophetic family who were among the first 'Christians'.

On Goodacre's blog, the image of a 'cup' or amphora on the side of Ossuary 6 is shown along with images of cups on the so-called coins of revolt. According to Meijer (and Goodacre who regards Meijer's observations as "enlightening and persuasive") these images are "standard Jewish images of the period, not connected to the emerging Christian movement".

I pointed out to Goodacre that none of the images on the ossuary and the coins of so-called revolt, showed anything to do with the sacrifice of animals, which one may have thought would have been very important to priests.  (I have written about the coins of so-called revolt before on this blog). Ossuary 6 clearly shows, on the side, a view of the sanctuary doors. The temple as a whole is not shown, only the sanctuary.  The sanctuary, as distinct from the temple as a whole, is a highly significant symbol.  The position where one would expect to find the altar of burnt offerings was outside the sanctuary and is therefore not shown. One can only assume that the altar of burnt offerings was of no importance to the owners of ossuary 6.

Meijer says ossuary 6 belonged to a 'priestly' Jewish family, yet there is nothing to indicate that ossuary 6 did belong to priests as such.  Why does he say 'priestly', a commonly used expression of academics to blurr what they mean?  Why didn't Meijer write priest?  Is there little or no evidence that this ossuary was a priest's?.  I can accept that ossuaries were afforded by the wealthy.  But what if it was a priest's ossuary?  The priest (by birth) could have given up on animal sacrifice and converted to the prophets, as happened in the New Testament. He would have worshipped God in the Spirit, as in Acts. His place of worship would have been the altar of incense in the Sanctuary.  In Acts, the place of worship was anywhere.

On page 151 of her book Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit, Jodi Magness says that:"Levy Yitshak Rahmani connected the appearance of ossuaries with the Pharisaic belief in the individual, physical resurrection of the dead".  Pharisees and Sadducees were Roman Flavian inventions in the writings attributed to Josephus.  The only other source is the New Testament which is thus highly suspect also.  Pharisees were invented to obfuscate the prophets, and Sadducees the priests.  Pharisees were clearly interpolated into the writings attributed to Josephus. Neither Pharisees nor Sadducees are referred to in the Scrolls or Philo.  Philo (from Alexandria) does not mention Pharisees and Sadducees, only priests and Essenes.  Eusebius, supposedly quoting Philo, says that that the Essene's "lawgiver (Moses) trained an innumerable body of his pupils" and that "they were "honoured with this appellation because of their exceeding holiness". (See Philo's Hypothetica 11.1)  This was a serious slip-up by Eusebius who was clearly referring to prophets.  The use of ossuaries was thus by the prophets.  Prophets are interpolated as Essenes in the writings attributed to Josephus.  It is no surprise to me that Essenes, Sadducees and Pharisees are not named on any ossuaries, or in the Scrolls.      

Why did most of the 3000 or so ossuaries discovered come from Jerusalem?  There were no priests in the temple from the time of Herod.  They were brooding and plotting in their villages, and not having much to do with other people.  From the time of Herod, animal sacrifices had ceased.  Herod's altar had been destroyed by the priests because they considered it unlawful, and they were sent into exile out of Jerusalem.  The occupants of the sanctuary were prophets who were supported by the Herodian kings, Aristobulus II and later his son Agrippa I who was also a prophet, and a friend of Nero. Although many of the prophets were poor farmers, and not so poor construction workers, many others would have been rich, living off income from their own businesses.  They were friends of Agrippa I and Nero.   They were the anointed ones, who went back a long way in Jewish history.  Eusebius knew that the prophets (Essenes) were legislated for by Moses, as stated in Philo.  Hence he stuck to the obfuscation that they were called Essenes.  In Rome, Pompeii and other Italian cities they became the Christianos or anointed ones.  

Magness says (see page 152 of her book) that "outside of Jerusalem, the largest cemetery ....containing ossuaries is at Jericho, which was the site of the .... Herodian winter palaces and the center of  a 'priestly' community".  Why is she afraid to say it was a priest's community.  The reason is it was a prophet's community.  The relationship between priests and Herodians was at an all time low.  The cutting of rock and stone must have been a common transferable skill used in quarrying, mining, and rock-cut tombs, ossuaries, and a wide range of buildings and structures, especially in this area of Jericho near to the Herodian palaces. So, I could see some tombs and ossuaries being a DIY effort, by skilled relatively poor or relatively wealthy, whichever, workers who were also prophets.  Such workers would have been a step above farm labourers in the social scale. 

Fig. 46 in Magness's book shows a different ossuary with an amphora in between two incised rosettes. Here the amphora looks as though it has been amateurishly scratched into the surface in contrast with the rest which is professionally inscribed. The same could be said about the amphora on ossuary 6. The amphora on Fig. 46 was incorporated later, as were names that appear on other ossuaries.  Both ossuaries show amphora with a fine hole at the bottom through which a semi-liquid could flow.  This flow could be easily stopped with a plug. The amphora was of central importance to the owners of the ossuary.  The amphora was of prime importance to prophets because it contained anointing oil associated with the Spirit of God.  Anointing oil was precious, being a mixture of various perfumes with olive oil. There is thus a difference between the cups depicted on the so-called coins of revolt and the 'cup' or amphora on ossuary 6 and the amphora on Fig 46 of Magness's book.  The amphora, on ossuary 6 and Fig.46 depicts oil for anointing.  The oil would be a symbol on the side of the ossuary of people who believed they had been anointed  by the Spirit of God. "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor" Isa:61.1. There are no symbols on any of the ossuaries of animal sacrifice.  

The symbol of the amphora was a reminder that the Holy Spirit had already purified these individuals and their spirits had risen in a pure state, on death, to heaven to be with God.  The individual's spirit had been translated to heaven.  There was to be no waiting.  The prophets realised that the bones would eventually decay - "the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it" (Eccl:12.7).  
So Rahmani was wrong when he says that the bones in an ossuary were connected with the Pharisees who he says had the "notion that the decay of flesh from the bones is connected with the expiation of sin". (See page 152 Magness's book).  Magness says that Rahmani implied each individual's remains were preserved intact in an ossuary, in a sinless state, awaiting future future resurrection.  This was all a doing of the Flavian editors, passing down a falsified account of Pharisees.  Prophets believed they had already been cleansed by the Spirit.   

In Chapter 3 of Craig Evans' book, Jesus and the Ossuaries, he has quotations taken from ossuaries. These relate to scribes, builders, farmers, smiths, butchers and other professions. They were a thriving middle-class, the entrepreneurs of the day.  Eusebius, quoting Philo, knew that these people had all sorts of different jobs, and were highly organised into clubs, societies, combinations, and unions with one another, for their mutual advantage.  Quoting Philo, Eusebius says "the different members of this body have different employments in which they occupy themselves, and labour without hesitation and without cessation, making no mention of either cold or heat, or any changes of weather or temperature as an excuse for desisting from their tasks.  But before the sun rises they betake themselves to their daily work, and they do not quit it till some time after it has set, when they return home rejoicing". (Philo's Hypothetica; 11.5-6). This was a far cry from the 'Essenes' described in the writings attributed to Josephus where they are only agriculturalists.  One of their common practices was to put the bones of their dead first into tombs and then into ossuaries. They contributed jointly to purchase land for construction of their tombs and the cutting of ossuaries.  And judging by their work ethic they were not above doing much of the stone cutting themselves.  

The cup on the coins of so-called revolt has a sealed bottom to hold a liquid, possibly wine. This cup too was concerned with the Spirit (as was the grape vine)  - "those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary" Isa:62:9.  These symbols represented a celebration of the Spirit of God.  But this was a time when some of the prophets had realised that God's Spirit could be received by Gentiles.

Simon the builder of the Sanctuary

In his book Jesus and the Ossuaries, Craig Evans writes on page 56 that one of the ossuaries had an inscription "Simon, builder of the temple".  Has the christian Evans made a mistake?  A different translation from a Jewish source is "Simon, builder of the sanctuary".  Did the Jews distinguish "sanctuary" from "temple"?  The temple covered a vast acreage.  The sanctuary was much smaller by comparison.  To me it is obvious that they did.  The sanctuary was very important to prophets, because their worship was centred upon the altar of incense.  

Simon would have known every nook and cranny in and under the sanctuary.  His male relatives would have inherited his profession and knowledge.  His relatives (one may be Simon son of 'Gioras') were no doubt among the defenders of the sanctuary when it was ransacked by Titus's army.  Titus plundered the sanctuary for its wealth of gold to fund the army and Vespasian's rise to power. Earlier in 66, Nero had been let into Jerusalem by the prophets who had occupied the temple. He had destroyed many of the priests, but did not harm the prophets or pillage the sanctuary.  It was prophets, friends of herodians, who defended the sanctuary against Titus, not the mixed bag of cut-throats described by the Roman writers of War.  It was prophets who went through tunnels they had previously cut, and when their way was blocked, tried to tunnel their way out and escape.  They were using a skill acquired throughout their lives, of cutting stone.  Simon "took the most faithful of his friends with him, among them some that were stone cutters, with those iron tools that belonged to their occupation, and let himself and them all down into a certain subterraneous cavern". But they ran out of food and became exhausted.  When Simon came out of the ground, he was wearing a white garment, the simple white garment all prophets wore.  (See War 7.2.1). 


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cargill's Hypocrisy - "Bible Secrets Revealed"


This is what Cargill wrote about various people including one very wise scholar, professor Norman Golb.  Cargill reveals his sensitivies:  Robert R. Cargill for the Center for Digital Humanities, UCLA, Jul. 2009, :

"But it is not just wannabe archaeologists that prey on the Copper Scroll.  Some scholars holding to fringe theories about the origin of the Dead Sea Scrolls regularly make the Copper Scroll a central pillar of their unlikely arguments.  The University of Chicago’s Norman Golb has made a name for himself in part by appealing to the Copper Scroll to argue in support of his version of Karl Rengstorf’s theory that none of the Dead Sea Scrolls were produced at Qumran.  Others, like author Robert Feather, have written several books touting the Copper Scroll’s connection to treasures from Egypt.  The fact that most scholars have wholly dismissed claims by the Barfields, Golbs, and Feathers of the world has not stopped the latter from publishing books and raking in money from a public more than willing to entertain speculation and sensationalist claims over scholarly consensus and sound academic research." 

And never mind about the money Cargill hopes to rake in for his little virtual reality project.


Who has this bully-boy recruited for this film to stand by him?  From what I have read, the film shows the naivety of those who took part in it.       

And most Scholars have NOT dismissed claims made by Professor Norman Golb about the Jerusalem origins of the Scrolls.  These claims may not be the views of the majority, but if a vote were taken, Cargill's claims to be "scholarly" and soundly academic" and in the "the concensus" would be far from reality.  

Cargill's Ignorance

Cargill wrote here 

1."The Copper Scroll has perplexed scholars and fueled the minds of fringe theorists for decades. It is not that the scroll is “mysterious;” we know what it says and what it purports to be: a list of buried treasure. Rather, the Copper Scroll is so anomalous among the Dead Sea Scrolls that scholars have relegated it to a realm of triviality bordering on insignificance. This 30 cm tall document etched on thin sheets of copper, rolled up, and oxidized by centuries of exposure to the environs of the Dead Sea was discovered in Cave 3 near Qumran in the West Bank. But while it was discovered along with hundreds of other documents that have collectively come to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Copper Scroll remains the mother of all anomalies."

2."I join the scholars who conclude that the Copper Scroll describes articles from the second Jerusalem Temple (most likely legendary) supposedly hidden after its destruction in 70 CE, in keeping with later date of its composition.  The Copper Scroll was most likely placed in Cave 3 long after the rest of the Dead Sea Scrolls were placed in their respective caves.  And while it was discovered during the excavations that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Copper Scroll should not be considered part of this collection because its author(s), script, style, language, genre, content, and medium are otherwise unattested among the Dead Sea Scrolls."

3." the Copper Scroll is little more than what scholars have claimed since the beginning: an anomaly discovered among the otherwise informative manuscripts comprising the Dead Sea Scrolls."

Cargill will live to regret that he ever wrote such words as above.  They will come back to haunt him.

The author of the book Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, Professor Norman Golb (who Cargill ridicules in his article) lays out his argument for the Copper Scroll beautifully in Chapter 5.  We will see that the Copper Scroll was not an anomaly as Cargill describes, but was instrumental in showing:

1. That the writers had treasure beyond measure which could not possibly be possessed by poor Essenes supposedly resident at Qumran.

2. That like the treasure described in this original document, the Scrolls could only have come from Jerusalem.        

Cargill tells us three times in his article that he believes the Copper Scroll is an anomaly and thus has nothing to do with the scrolls found at Qumran.  He is like the early Jerusalem based scrolls team members de Vaux and Dupont-Sommer.  On page 121 of his book, Golb wrote: "Dupont-Sommer also quotes de Vaux as having stated that the Copper Scroll was the 'whimsical product of a deranged mind'."  Golb states that the Jerusalem team had declared that the Copper Scroll was a work of fiction.  So the question is who had or has the 'deranged mind'?  Was it or is it de Vaux, Dupont-Sommer or Robert Cargill who were or are so full of themselves that they couldn't or can't see the purpose of the Copper Scroll? 

Where did the Scrolls (including the Copper Scroll) come from?

James had been executed in 62 CE by Ananus.

The priests had captured the fortresses of Masada, Machaerus, and Qumran from Agrippa I's forces, and had taken control of Jerusalem.  The temple with its wealth, and the temple scrolls were well defended by the prophets (the 4000 so-called Essenes).  Thus the priests could not get access to the temple, and they chose to bypass it.  Instead the priests went for Agrippa I, his palace, and the Royal archives where copies of the Scroll materials including the Copper Scroll were kept.  They burned Agrippa I's archive after first removing the Scrolls.  The Copper Scroll was written before it was removed from Agrippa I's archives.  Thus Cargill was wrong when he wrote that "the Copper Scroll was most likely placed in Cave 3 long after the rest of the Dead Sea Scrolls were placed in their respective caves".  Agrippa I was caught by the priests and killed in an aqueduct.  In 66 CE, the Romans were expected, so the majority of the priests fled to the Judean desert where they esconced themselves in the fortresses.  They took ALL the Scrolls with them in a mad scramble.  The copper Scroll, from the time of Judas Maccabeus, just happened to be among the Scrolls.  

The Romans went to attack Jerusalem at night, and were let into the city by the prophets.  There was no siege of Jerusalem (they left no evidence of such).  Upon entering Jerusalem, the army took revenge on the remaining priests for killing James and Agrippa I.  Ananus was killed. Shortly after, the Romans captured the fortresses which the priests had previously occupied.    

The Romans under Nero did not touch the temple or its wealth, but left it for the prophets.  Nero took his army off to the games in Greece, leaving a guard behind.  The Romans had restored order, and there were four to five years of peace in Judea. Roman propaganda would have us believe they were five years of revolt, and that Vespasian fought a long war during this time, starting in Galilee.  There is no archaeological evidence of a Roman presence in Galilee or Samaria (such as the Roman camps as at Machaerus and Masada). 

A significant fact is that the temple wealth was left intact during the five years of peace.  After the five years, Titus, Vespasian's son mounted a raid on the temple.  Some of what he took is depicted on Titus's arch in Rome, the menorah for example.  The gold from the temple was melted down to fund the army and Vespasian's vast building programme.

So what was the copper Scroll about?  I believe it was from the time of Judas Maccabeus who purged the temple and restored the prophets.  The Copper Scroll was a record hurriedly made by priests to record where they buried temple treasure for the future.  The reason Golb described the Copper Scroll as an unknown script of the time was because it was obviously done by people who were not used to inscribing metal, and certainly not while in a hurry.  The text looks amateurish.  I thought so when I first saw it. 

So Robert Cargill, you are a mere schoolboy backed by schoolboys Goodacre and Ehrman.      


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Acts (Paul - the Church Father's Substitute for Agrippa)

In Acts we see the real reason why Paul (Saul) and Stephen were created by the Church Fathers of Caesarea as a substitute for king Agrippa.   After he was appointed king by Claudius, he did three years of training to become a prophet (Ant.19, 343).  This was the same time it took for a priest to qualify.  He was a champion of the Spirit of God and the prophets.  As a boy he had been educated in Rome.  He was a friend of Claudius, his wife Agrippina and his son Nero. He would have met many of the Roman elite such as Seneca.  Nero was placed under the care of Agrippa I, and stayed in a palace at Ein Gedi.  He had become interested in the Jewish prophetic religion of Agrippa.  The Spirit of God was proclaimed by the prophets.  Agrippa accompanied the young Nero to Rome to greet Nero’s father Claudius and his mother, Agrippina. This was an opportunity for Agrippa to proclaim the Spirit in Rome with the blessing of the Emperor Claudius.  It was not a knew religion, but was considered by its followers as a more pure form of the Jewish religion, without animal sacrifice, and in keeping with the Roman belief in spirits.  The Romans were a spiritistic society, where the idea of someone being anointed by the Spirit of God was easily acceptable.  These were called Christianos (anointed ones) as at Pompeii (not Antioch).  Thus Agrippa had been in Rome proclaiming that the Spirit was God.  Agrippa spent some time in Rome, but on one occasion was called back to Jerusalem to deal with the priests who were causing trouble. Two years later Agrippa (alias James) met his death at the hands of an unofficial Sanhedrin organised by rebel priests.(Ant.20,200). 

The Church Fathers of Caesarea have Paul first appearing in Acts in Jerusalem preaching that Jesus was the Christ.  He was the champion of a fictitious Jesus.  Later, at the end of his so-called missionary life they have Paul travelling to Rome at the same time as Agrippa went  back to Jerusalem.  Paul then vanished, typically for the Church Fathers who invented many characters who later disappeared. The fictitious Paul apparently knows so many Romans that he must have spent some time living there before embarking on his missionary journeys. (See Romans 16). Thus, it is mighty strange that he is said not to have visited Rome before.  

The Church Fathers had to acknowledge the importance of the Holy Spirit,  but for them it was received after the so called laying on of hands, and usually after baptism (See Acts 8:17).  By sharp contrast the prophets taught that God sent his Spirit to everyone, but only those who obeyed the Spirit received it.  This was a direct communication between God and man without an intercessor.  In Acts 7:51, Agrippa (alias Stephen) clearly identifies that Acts was about the Holy Spirit,  and the historical background of the Holy Spirit, beginning with Abraham. From the time of Moses, the priests had rejected the Holy Spirit. In Acts 7:52, Agrippa (Stephen) identifies himself as a prophet. In Acts 7;41,42 he speaks against animal sacrifice. In Acts 7:48,49 he teaches that the Holy Spirit is not confined to the temple. It wasn’t Moses the Jews had rejected, but God’s Spirit (changed to an angel) (Acts 7.35).  The stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58) is pure fiction to introduce the fictitious Saul (Paul) out of the blue. Agrippa (Stephen) was man-handled out of the Synagogue by the priests attending the Synagogue in Rome. The priests dare not do any more to Agrippa who they knew was a friend of Claudius.
The story about king 'Herod' executing 'James' (Acts 12) is a good example of the Church Fathers knowing the actual details of an event, and using it to create a fictitious stories, in this case about James (and Peter).   The same fictitious story about James is repeated in Antiquities 20.200 which was really about the death of king Agrippa. The true story was about the trial and execution of king Agrippa by a trumped-up Sanhedrin.  

There are images of women in the catacombs of Priscilla, leading worship, both in groups and individually.  Also high on a wall in the same catacombs is an image of a mother and child.  The women is symbolic of the Spirit .  She is the conveyor of the spirit to her child.  In Jewish theology every person has a spirit. It is a person’s spirit which gives life which comes from God.  In the early Christianos the women prayed and led prayers in the Spirit, and the men concentrated on proclaiming the Spirit. (See Acts 6).

In Chapter 26, Agrippa (alias Paul) has an audience with Claudius, who (in Chapter 27) makes the decision to send him back to Jerusalem with some of the prophets.  This was because the prophets were experiencing persecution by the priests.  They were to call in at Alexandria, and charter a grain ship, paid for by Agrippina. The grain was to help the prophets who were being starved by the priests.  It was Autumn. On leaving Alexandria, the ship had to face the North Easter, and was blown westward.  The ship's owner decided to take shelter for the winter in the lee of Cyprus at the harbour of Kato Paphos.  The shipwreck was pure fiction. 

Many of the New Testament  letters were originally short letters, probably written by one prophet, Agrippa, in Hebrew not Greek.  These letters were not written to various churches in different parts of the world from a fictitious Paul.  They were written by Agrippa from Rome to the prophets who had occupied the temple. The letters were found (may be by Titus's soldiers) before the temple was destroyed.  Later, the letters were  expanded and edited beyond recognition by the Church Fathers of Caesarea.  Thus the books of the New Testament now appear as treatises, not letters. There were many Jews living in Caesarea at the same time as the Church Fathers. Ex Jewish priests were working with the Church Fathers writing 'history' in the writings attributed to Josephus that suited both parties.  

Chapter 1
This chapter is complete fiction.  There was no former book about Jesus.
1.1.[In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day
1.2.he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions to the apostles he had chosen. 
1.3.After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.  He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
1.4.On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them
this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
1.5.For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit”.
1.6.So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord,  are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 
1.7.He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times and dates the Father has set by his own authority.
1.8.But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
1.9.After he said this, he was taken up before their eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 1.12.Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city.
1.13.When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus, and, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James,
1.14.they all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus , and the brothers. 
1.15.In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)
1.16.and said, "Brothers, the scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as a guide for those who arrested Jesus.”
1.17. He was one of our number and shared in this ministry.”
1.18.With the rewardreward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.
1.19.Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama that is, Field of Blood.
1.20.“For”, said Peter it is written in the book of Psalms, “ ‘May his place be deserted; let there be no-one to dwell in it,’ and, ‘May another take his place of leadership.’
1.21.Therefore It is necessary to choose one of the men who has been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us.”
1.22., beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us.  For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
1.23.So they proposed two men: ­­­­­­­­­­­Joseph called Barsabbas also known as Justus, and Matthias. 1.24.Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart.  Show us which of these two you have chosen take over this apostolic ministry which Judas left to go where he belongs.
1.26.Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; So he was added to the eleven apostles].
Chapter 2
The CHRISTIANOS (anointed ones) of Rome
This was a document written in the first person, an ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘we’, and ‘us’ document.
A group from Judea went to a synagogue in Rome.  This group was different.  They were prophets led and filled by the Spirit of God. Being filled with the Spirit was a normal event for these prophets.  They did everything in the Spirit, as the Spirit enabled them.  To them the Spirit was God himself.  This was a time for the Feast of Unleavened Bread when the Spirit descended.

2.1.When the [day of Pentecost] {Feast of Unleavened Bread} came, [they] {we} were all together in [one place] {the synagogue}. 

2.2.[Suddenly a sound of the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 
2.3.They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and]   

{The  Spirit} came to rest on each of [them] {us}.

2.4.All of [them] {us} [were filled with the Holy Spirit and] began to [speak] {prophesy} [in other languages]  as the Spirit enabled [them] {us}.

2.5.Now there were staying in [Jerusalem] {Rome} [God-fearing] Jews from every nation under heaven.

2.6.When they heard this

[sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them,    
2.7.Utterly amazed]

, they asked: "Are not all these men [who are speaking Galileans] {prophets}? 

2.8.[Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own language: 
2.9.Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
2.10.Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene, visitors from Rome
both Jews and converts to Judaism Cretans and Arabs –]

2.11.We hear them [declaring] {proclaiming} the [wonders] {Spirit} of God [in our own tongues] !" 

2.12.[Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"  
2.13.Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine”]

2.14.Then [Peter] {I} [stood up with the brothers, raised his voice and] addressed the [crowd] {congregation}: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in [Jerusalem] {Rome}, let me explain this to you;listen carefully to what I say. 

2.15. [These men are not drunk, as you suppose, it’s only nine in the morning.

this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: "

2.17.In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. 
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

2.18.Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days
,and they will prophesy.

2.19.[I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
2.20.The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
2.21.And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
2.22.“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 
2.23.This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge, and you, with the help of wicked men put him to death. 
2.24.But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death for it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”
2.25.”David said about him: ‘I saw the Lord always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
2.26.Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also live in hope,
2.27.because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your holy one see decay.
2.28.You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’
2.29.“Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried,  and his tomb is here to this day. 
2.30.But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.
2.31.Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ.
2.32.God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.
2.33.Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit has poured out what you now see and hear.
2.34.“For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord:  “Sit at my right hand
2.35.until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ’ 
2.36.“Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.”
2.37.When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, “What shall we do?"
2.38. Peter replied,  “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.]
2.39.The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off -- for all whom the Lord our God will call." 

2.40.[With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation”
2.41.Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their  number that day.] 

2.42.[They] {We} devoted [themselves] {ourselves} [to the apostle’s teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and] to prayer.

2.43.[Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles].

2.44.All [the believers] {of us} were together and had everything in common. 

2.45.Selling [their] {our} possessions and goods, [they] {we} gave to anyone as he had need. 

2.46.Every day [they] {we} continued to meet together in the [temple courts] {synagogue}. 

2.47.[They] {We} [broke bread in their homes and] ate together with glad and pure hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the [people] {brothers}.

2.48.And the Lord added to [their] {our} number daily [those who were being saved].

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

A division of labour - Men proclaimed the Spirit while the women prayed in the Spirit

6.1.[In those days when the number of disciples was increasing,]

The [Grecian Jews] {sisters} complained against [the Hebraic Jews] {brothers} because [their widows] {they} were being overlooked in the daily [distribution of food] {prayers}.

6.2.So [the twelve] {I} gathered all the [disciples] {sisters and brothers} together and said, "It [would not be] {is} right for [us] {the women} to [neglect the ministry of] {pray in} the [word] {Spirit} of God [in order to wait on tables.]

6.3.[Brothers, choose seven men from from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.  We will turn this responsibility over to them]

6.4.and [we] {the men} will give [our] {their} attention to [prayer and the ministry of the word] {the proclamation of the Spirit}.”

6.5.This proposal pleased the whole group.

[They chose Stephen, full of faith; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
6.6.They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid their hands on them.]

6.7.So the [word] {Spirit} of God spread. The number of [disciples] {Christianos} in [Jerusalem] {Rome} increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the [faith] {Spirit}

6.8.[Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.]

6.9.Opposition arose, however, from [members] {the priests} of the Synagogue

[of Freedmen as it was called– Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia].

These men began to argue with [Stephen] {me},

6.10.but they could not stand up against [his wisdom or] the Spirit by whom [he] {I} spoke.

6.11.Then they [secretly persuaded some men to say] {said}, “We have heard [Stephen] {James} speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against [God] {sacrifice}.”

6.12.So they [stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They] seized [Stephen] {me} and brought [him] {me} before the [Sanhedrin] {synagogue}.

6.13.They [produced false witnesses, who] testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against [this holy place and against the law] {sacrifice}”

6.14.For we have heard him say, that this [Jesus of Nazareth] {Spirit of God} will
[destroy this place and]
change the customs Moses handed down to us.

6.15.All who were sitting in the [Sanhedrin] {synagogue} looked intently at [Stephen] {me}
[, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel].

Chapter 7


7.1[Then the high priest asked him, “Are these charges true?”]

7.2.To this {accusation} [he] {I} replied, “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The [God of glory] {Spirit of God} appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran.

7.3.{He said}‘Leave your country and your people [,’ God said , ‘] and go to the land I will show you.’
7.4,So he left the land of the Chaldeans, and settled in Haran. After the death of his father, {the Spirit of} God sent him to [this land where you are now living] {the land of Canaan}

7.5.He gave him no inheritance [here] {there}, not even a foot of ground. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child.

7.6.{The Spirit of} God spoke to him in this way: ‘Your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and ill-treated for four hundred years.

7.7.But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, [’God said, ‘] and afterwards they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’

7.8.Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.

7.9.Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt.
But {the Spirit of} God was with him.

7.10.and rescued him out of all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt; so he made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.

7.11.Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our fathers could not find food.

7.12.When Jacob heard there was grain in Egypt, the Spirit sent our fathers on their first visit.

7.13.On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharoah learned about Joseph’s family.

7.14.After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all.

7.15.Then Jacob went down to Egypt where he and our fathers died.
7.16.Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.

7.17.“As the time drew near for {the Spirit of} God to fulfil his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt greatly increased.

7.18.Then another king who knew nothing about Joseph became ruler of Egypt.

7.19.He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our forefathers by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.

7.20.At that time Moses was born, and he was [no ordinary child] {filled with the Spirit of God from birth}. For three months he was cared for in his father’s house.

7.21.When he was placed outside, Pharoah’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son.

7.22.Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.

7.23.“When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites.

7.24.He saw one of them being ill-treated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defence and avenged him by killing the Egyptian.

7.25.[Moses thought that his own people would realise that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not.] (There is no mention of what Moses thought in Ex:2).

7.26.The next day, Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?

7.27.But the man who was ill-treating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us?

7.28.Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’

7.29.When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.

7.30.“After forty years had passed, [an angel] {the Spirit of God} appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai.

7.31.[When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to look more closely,]

He heard the [Lord’s] {Spirit of God’s} voice: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’

7.32.Moses trembled with fear [and did not dare to look]. (He had looked already).

7.33.Then the [Lord] {the Spirit of God} said to him, ‘Take off your sandals; the place where you are standing is holy ground.

7.34.I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’

7:35.“This is the [same Moses] {Spirit of God} whom they had rejected with the words, 

[‘who made you ruler and Judge?’ (Ex: 2:14; this only refers to two Hebrews who were fighting)] 

‘let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God, nor see this great fire any more, or we will die’. (Deut:18:16, see Acts 7:37).

[He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to Moses in the bush.]

7.36. [He] {The Spirit} led them out of Egypt and did wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and for forty years in the desert.

7.37.[This is that Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will send you a prophet like me from among your own people.’] (Deut: 18:15 – presumably referring to Jesus, and next to Deut.18:16 which the writers originally had before them in Acts 7:35).

7.38.[He] {the Spirit} was in the assembly in the desert with [the angel] {Moses} who spoke to him on mount Sinai. And with our fathers, Moses received [living words] {the Spirit} to pass onto us.

7.39.“But our fathers refused to obey [him] {the Spirit}. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt.

7.40.They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us.

[As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt – we don’t know what has happened to him!’]

7.41.That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and held a celebration in honour of what their hands had made.

7.42.But {the Spirit of} God turned away, and gave them over to [the worship of the heavenly bodies] {their sacrifices}. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets:
‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings for forty years in the desert, O house of Israel?

7.43.You have lifted up the shrine of Molech and the star of your God Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.

7.44.“Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the [Testimony] {Spirit of God} with them in the desert.
It had been made as {the Spirit of} God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen.

7.45.Having received the tabernacle, our fathers under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations the Spirit drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David,

7.46. who enjoyed the {Spirit of} God’s favour and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for [the God of Jacob] {him} .

7.47.But it was Solomon who built the house for him.

7.48.However, the [Most High] {Spirit of God} does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says,

7.49. ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord
Or where will my resting place be?
Has not my hand made all these things?’

7.51.“You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears!
You are just like your fathers: you always resist the Holy Spirit.

7.52.Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute?

[They even killed those that predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him. who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.”
7.54.When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.
7.55.But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
7.56.Look, he said, “I see heaven open and the son of man standing at the right-hand of God.”]
7.57.At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at [him] {me},

7.58.{and} dragged [him] {me} out of the [city] {synagogue} [and began to stone him].


[Meanwhile the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
7.59.While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit.”
7.60.Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord do not hold this sin against them.”
When he had said this, he fell asleep.]

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Thursday, October 03, 2013

The Epistle to the 'Romans'

Larry Hurtado wrote in his blog: "One of Geoff’s questions was about length of letters. One analysis of many surviving Greek letters yielded these data: Papyri letters average 87 words, and hardly ever exceed 200 words. The 796 letters by Cicero range from 22 to 2530 words, with an average of 295 words. The 124 extant letters of Seneca range from 149 to 4134 words, averaging 955 words. By comparison, e.g., Romans (Paul’s longest) has 7101 words." 

This is a very definite proof that Romans was expanded from a letter by later writers into an early Christian treatise.  Even Seneca did not write a letter with 7101 words. Romans was originally very much smaller than the extant text.  This letter was not written by Paul to the Romans, but, in its original form, was written by king Agrippa I from Rome to the prophets of Jerusalem.  Agrippa was a prophet and friend of the emperor Claudius and Nero.  'Romans' was similar to the letter that Agrippa wrote to the 'Philippians' (the prophets). (See )  

Larry acknowledges that he does not have the original manuscripts of the New Testament and that there is a time-gap between those and the extant texts.
This gives him a most uncomfortable problem regarding the authenticity of texts.  I posted to Larry's blog that a number of New Testament books were developed from earlier much shorter documents of a prophetic origin. Needless to say, our moderator did not approve. Never mind that it is fairly easy to pick out the literary forms of the earlier text from the later expanded additions.  Extant Romans is an expanded book.  For example, Romans 7 is largely about the law, sin and death, and is of a priestly origin.  The editors were not Jewish priests, but the second century Church Fathers of Caesarea, who were priests themselves.  They were interested in eliminating the prophets from their NT texts and in giving an apparent role to priests.  Romans 8 is largely about the Spirit and is Agrippa's work.  This is genuine original text and is of prophetic origin.  The pre-edited text and the post edited text clearly contradict one another.  They were written by different authors, one a prophet, the other a priest, a Church Father, working to please the Romans.     

In its original form, Romans Chapter 2 would have been highly critical of the priests, similar to that in the Epistle of James (KING really Agrippa). (See

‘Romans’ was originally written for a Jewish world of two spirits?   These are the two spirits that God gives to everyone in different measures.  There is the spirit of truth or light, and the spirit of deceit or falsehood or darkness.  This world was applicable to the writers of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Judaism in general.  

In 'Romans', there never was a promise of the gospel (verse 1. 2).  In verse 1.4, the editor relegates the Spirit from the Spirit of God to a power, and replaces it with Jesus Christ.  The Spirit was revealed at the creation. It was the voice of God.  The writer of original 'Romans', Agrippa, is highly critical of the Jerusalem priests who he says have ignored God's Spirit, and have listened to their own spirit of deceit.  When the Spirit declares a person’s spirit is pure, it is acceptable to God. If the Spirit declares a person’s spirit is impure it is not acceptable to God, and that person’s spirit is condemned by the Spirit. This happens before death.  A person’s spirit is considered indestructible.  It can be raised to be with God in glory or it can be condemned to the abyss. There is no special “day” of judgement for spirits.  God’s judgement occurs immediately the spirit of a person rises at death.  But for Jewish priests there is a waiting period in sheol.

The core of 'Romans' is in chapter 4.  Moses, a prophet, was cleansed by the Spirit before he sacrificed. His cleansing was credited to God as a free gift, whereas the priest's cleansing for sins was credited to their sacrifices, as a reward.  So much for justification by faith.  Circumcision was not an issue, sacrifice was.  In Romans chapter 8, the later writer hijacks the prophet's Spirit.  Agrippa's original message was that there was no condemnation for those in the Spirit. 

[ ] Read out, { } Read in

Chapter 1


1.1.[Paul] {Agrippa},

[a servant of Christ Jesus],

called to be [an apostle] {a prophet} and set apart for the

[gospel] {Spirit} of God. 

– 1.2. the [gospel] {Spirit} he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy scriptures.

1.3.[regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David
1.4., and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God, by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
1.5.Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.  
1.6.And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ].

1.7.To all in [Rome] {Jerusalem} who are [loved by God and] called to be [saints] {prophets}: 

[Grace and peace] {glory} to you from God our [Father, and from the] Lord [Jesus Christ.] 


1.8.[First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ  for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world]. 

1.9.[God] {The Lord}, whom I serve with my whole heart in [preaching] {proclaiming} [the gospel of his Son] {the Spirit} is my witness how constantly I remember you my prayers at all times;

[and I pray that now at last, by God’s will, the way may be opened for me to come to you. 
1.11.I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift
1.12. - that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 
1.13.I do not want you to be unaware, brothers that I planned many times to come to you, but have been prevented from doing so until now, in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
1.14.I am bound both to Gentiles and Jews, both to those who are wise and those who are foolish. 
1.15.That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome
1.16.I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 
1.17.For in the gospel, a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous shall live by faith.”]. 


1.18.The [wrath] {Spirit} of God is being revealed from heaven against all the [godlessness and] wickedness of [men] {priests} who suppress the {spirit of} truth by their [wickedness] {spirit of deceit},

1.19.since [what may be known about] {the Spirit of} God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 

1.20.For since the creation of the world, God's

[invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature -]

{Spirit} [have] {has} been clearly [seen] {heard}, being understood from what he has [made] {spoken}, so that [men] {priests} are without excuse.

1.21.For although they [knew] {heard the Spirit of} God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their [thinking] {spirits of truth} became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 

1.22.Although they claimed to be [wise] {righteous}, they became [foolish] {impure}   

1.23.and exchanged the glory of the [immortal] {Spirit of} God for [images] {sacrifices}

[made to look like mortal man and]

{of} birds and animals [and reptiles].

1.24.Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 

1.25.They exchanged the truth of God for a lie

[, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is for ever praised. Amen].

1.26.Because of [this] {their disobedience}, God gave them over to [shameful] {spirits of} lust[s].  Even their women exchanged [natural relations] {their spirits of truth} for [unnatural ones] {spirits of deceit}. 

1.27.In the same way the men also abandoned [natural relations with women] {their spirits of truth} and were [inflamed] {filled} with {spirits of} lust for one another. [Men] {priests} committed indecent acts with other [men] {priests}, and received in [themselves] {their bodies} the [due penalty] {spirit} [for their] {of} perversion. 

1.28.Furthermore, since they did not think it worth while to [retain the knowledge] {obey the Spirit} of God, he gave them over to [a depraved mind] {impure spirits}, to do what ought not to be done. 

1.29.They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity.  They are full of {spirits of} envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
 1.32.Although they [know] {hear} [God’s righteous] {the Spirit’s} decree  that those who [do] {obey} such [things] {spirits} deserve [death] {judgement}, they not only continue to [do] {obey} these very [things] {spirits} but also approve of those who [practise] {obey} them.

Chapter 2


2.1.[You] {Priests}, therefore, have no excuse, [you] {they} who [pass judgment on someone else] {condemn you}, for at whatever point [you] {they} [judge the other] {condemn}, [you] {they} [are] condemning [yourself] {themselves}, because [you] {they} who [pass judgment] {condemn} [do] {obey} [the same things] {impure spirits}. 

2.2.Now we know that God's [judgment] {condemnation} against those who do such things is based on his [righteousness] {purity}. 

2.3.So when [you, a mere man] {priests} [pass judgment on them] {condemn you} and yet [do] {obey} [the same things] {impure spirits}, [do you think you] {they} will {not} escape God's [judgment] {condemnation}? 

2.4.[Or do you] {They} show contempt for
[the riches of his kindness and patience, not realising that]
God's [kindness] {Spirit} that [leads] {calls} [you] {them} towards [repentance] {obedience}.

2.5.But because of [your] {their} stubbornness and [your] {their} [unrepentant] {disobedient} [heart] {spirit}, [you] {they} are storing up [wrath] {condemnation} against [yourself] {themselves} for the [day] {Spirit} of God's [wrath] {judgement}.

[, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.] 

2.6.{The Spirit of} God will [give to] {judge} each [person] {priest} according to [what he has done] {his obedience}.  

2.7.To those who [by persistence] {obey} in [doing good] {the Spirit}
[seek glory honour and immortality,]
he will [give] {declare} [eternal life] {pure}.

2.8.But for those who [are self-seeking, and who] reject the [truth] {Spirit} and [follow] {obey} [evil] {their spirit of deceit} there will be [wrath and anger] {condemnation}.

2.9.There will be [trouble and distress] {condemnation} for [every human being] {everyone} who [does evil] {disobeys the Spirit.}

[: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;]

2.10.but glory [honour and peace] for everyone who [does good] {obeys the Spirit}:

2.11 to 3.17 - all fiction

[first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 
2.11.For God does not show favouritism.
2.12.All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 
2.13.For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 
2.14.Indeed, when Gentiles who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law  for themselves, even though they do not have the law,
2.15.since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts. 
2.16.This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
2.17.Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God;
2.18.if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law;
2.19.if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, instructor of the deceitful, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth –, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself?  You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 
2.22.You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?  You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 
2.23.You who brag about the law, do you dishonour God by breaking the law? 
2.24.As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."
2.25.Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised.
2.26.If those who are not circumcised keep the law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 
2.27.The one who is not circumcised physically   and yet obeys the law will condemn you who are a law-breaker, even though you sacrifice
have the written code and circumcision. 
2.28.A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 
2.29.No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly ; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart,
by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.]

Chapter 3

3.1 to 3.17 – all fiction

3.1.[One day, Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer at three in the afternoon.
3.2.Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put came every day to beg from those going in to the temple courts.
3.3.When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.
3.4.Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!"
3.5.So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
3.6.Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
3.7.Taking him by the right hand, Peter helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.
3.8.He jumped to his feet, and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
3.9.When all the people saw him walking and] praising God,
3.10.they recognised him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
3.11.While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished
and came running to them in the place called Solomon's Colonnade.
3.12.When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
3.13.The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he decided to let him go.
3.14.You disowned the Holy and righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.
3.15.You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.
3.16. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’s name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.
3.17.Now brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders].

 (continued from 2.10)

3.18.But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets.

[saying that his Christ would suffer.
3.19.Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
3.20.and that he may send the Christ who has been appointed for you - even Jesus.
3.21.He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his prophets.
3.22.For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you.
3.23.Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’
3.24.Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days.]

3.25.And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers.

He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples of the earth will be blessed.’
3.26.[When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”]

Chapter 4


4.1.What then shall we say that [Abraham] {Moses}, our forefather, discovered in this matter?

4.2. If, in fact, [Abraham] {Moses} was [justified] {cleansed} by [works] {sacrifice}, he had something to boast about -- but not before God.

4.3.[What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness."]

4.4. Now when a [man] {priest} [works] {sacrifices}, his [wages] {cleansing} [are] {is} not credited to [him] {God} as a gift, but as [an obligation] {a reward}.

4.5.However, to the [man] {prophet} who does not [work] {sacrifice}, but [trusts] {obeys} [God] {the Spirit} who [justifies] {cleanses} the [wicked} {impure}, his [faith] {cleansing} is credited {to God} [as righteousness].

4.6.[David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
4.7."Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
4.8.Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."
4.9.Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised?
We have been saying that Abraham's]

{Moses’} [faith] {cleansing} was credited to [him as righteousness] {God}.

4.10.Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he [was circumcised] {sacrificed}, or before? It was not after, but before!

4.11.And he received

[the sign of the circumcision,]

a seal of the [righteousness] {Spirit}

[that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised]

{before he sacrificed}.  So then, he is the father of all who [believe] {obey the Spirit} but have not [been circumcised] {sacrificed}, in order that [righteousness] {cleansing} might be credited to [them] {God}.

4.12.[And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
4.13.It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be the heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.
4.14.For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless,
4.15.because law brings wrath, and where there is no law there is no transgression.
4.16.Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring - not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.
4.17.As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed – the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.
4:18.Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed, and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be."
4.19. Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead -- since he was about a hundred years old -- and that Sarah's womb was also dead.
4.20.Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,
4.21.being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
4.22.This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness."
4.23.The words "it was credited to him" were spoken not for him alone,
4.24.but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness -- to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.]

Chapter 5

5.1 to 5.19 - justification by faith a fabricated doctrine

5.1.[Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 
5.2.through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
5.3.Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering  produces perseverance;  
5.4.perseverance character; and character hope.
5.5.And hope does not disappoint us,
because he has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit he has given us. 
5.6.You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
5.7.Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 
5.8.But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  
5.9.Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 
5.10.For if, when we were God’s enemies we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 
5.11.Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
5.12.Therefore, just as sin entered
the world through one man, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned,
5.13. – for before the law was given, sin was in the world.  But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 
5.14.Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was originally a pattern of the one to come.
5.15.But the gift is not like the trespass.  For if the many died  by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many.
5.16.Again, the gift of God is not like the result of one man’s sin:  The judgement followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.
5.17.For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
5.18.Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also
the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.   
5.19.For just as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were made sinners, so also through obedience of the one man, the many will be made righteous].

5.20 follows-on from 4.11.  The law involved sacrifices which were added by Moses to reveal the spirit of deceit or falsehood in the Israelites and hence reveal the Spirit of God by contrast.

5.20.The law was added so that the [trespass] {spirit of deceit} might [increase] {be revealed}. But where [sin] {the spirit of deceit} [increased] {was revealed}, [grace] {the Spirit} [increased] {was revealed} all the more.

5.21.[So that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.]

Chapter 6

6.1.[What shall we say, then?  Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase? 
6.2.By no means!  We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  
6.3.Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death.
6.4.We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of God the Father, we too may live a new life.
6.5.if we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
6.6.For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin –
6.7.because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
6.8.Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
6.9.For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 
6.10.The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God
6.11.In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.] 


6.12 continues from 5.20

6.12.Therefore do not let [sin] {the spirit of deceit} reign in your mortal body so that you obey its [evil] {impure} desires. 

6.13.[Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God,as those who have been brought from death to life; as instruments of righteousness. 
6.14.For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
6.15.What then?  Shall we disobey because we are not under law but under grace. By no means! 
6.16.Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey. 
 -- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
6.17.But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.
6.18.You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
6.19.I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves.  Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 
6.20.When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 
6.21.What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? 
6.22.Those things result in death!  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness,and the result is eternal life. 
6.23.For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in the Christ Jesus our Lord].  

Chapter 7

 7.1.[Do you not know, brothers – for I am speaking to men who know the law -- that the law has authority over a man as long as he lives?
7.2.For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage.
7.3.So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.  But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.
7.4.So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.] 

7.5 follows on from 6.12

7.5.For when we were controlled by the [sinful nature] {spirit of deceit}, the [sinful} {impure} [passions] {powers} aroused by the [law] {spirit of deceit} were at work in our bodies. 

7.6.[But now, by dying to what once bound us we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
7.7.What shall we say, then?  Is the law sin?  Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet."
7.8.But sin, seizing the opportunity, afforded by the commandment,
produced in me every kind of covetous desire.  For apart from law, sin is dead. 
7.9.Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 
7.10.I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.
7.11.For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me ,and through the commandment put me to death].
7.12.So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy righteous and good. Did the law then, become unspiritual to me? 
7.13.Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means!  But in order that sin might be recognised as sin, it produced death in me through what was good so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. 
7.14.We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 
7.15.I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do.    
7.16.And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.
7.18.I know that nothing good lives in me, that is my sinful nature.
For I have the desire to [do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 
7.19.For what I do is not the good what I want to do; no, the evil what I do not want to do -- this I keep on doing. 
7.20.Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
7.21. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 
7.22. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;
7.23. but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 
7.24. What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death? 
7.25. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin].

Chapter 8


8.1.Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are IN [Christ Jesus] {the Spirit}.

8.2.[because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.]

8.3.For what [the law] {our spirit of truth} was powerless to do in that it was [weakened] {polluted} by the [sinful nature] {spirit of deceit}, God did by sending his own [Son] {Spirit}
[in the likeness of sinful man]
to [be a sin offering] {cleanse}  

[And so he condemned sin in sinful man, order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in]

us, who do not [live according to] {obey} the [sinful nature] {spirit of deceit} but [according to] {obey} the Spirit {of God}.  

8.5.Those who [live according to] {obey} their [sinful nature] {spirit of deceit} [have their minds set on] {do} what that [nature] {spirit} desires; but those who [live in accordance with] {obey} the Spirit [have their minds set on] {do} what the Spirit desires. 

8.6.The [mind of sinful man] {spirit of deceit} is [death] {condemned}, but the [mind] {spirit of truth} controlled by the Spirit {of God} is [life and peace] {freed}.

8.7.The [sinful mind] {spirit of deceit} is hostile to {the Spirit of} God. It does not submit to God’s [law] {Spirit}, nor can it do so. 

8.8.Those controlled by the [sinful nature] {spirit of deceit} cannot please God.

8.9.You, however, are controlled not by the [sinful nature] {spirit of deceit} but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. 

[And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 
8.10.But if Christ is in you, your body is
dead because of sin yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
8.11.And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
8.12.Therefore brothers, we have an obligation, but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according, to it,
8.13.For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
8.14.because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
8.15.For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
8.16.The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 
8.17.Now if we are children, then we are heirs -- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.]  


8.18.I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in [us] {the Spirit}. 

8.19.[The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 
8.2O.For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it,
8.21.that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
8.22.We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 
8.23.Not only so, but we ourselves ,who have  the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 
8.24.For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what he already has?
8.25.But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
8.26.In the same way,]

8.26.The Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 

8.27.[And we know that in all things the Spirit of God works for the good of those who believe him, who have been called according to his purpose. 
8.28.For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of sons, that they might be many brothers. 
8.29.And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.]

8.31.What, then, shall we say in response to this?  If {the Spirit of} God is for us, who can be against us? 

8.32.[He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all,  - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 
8.33.Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? 
It is the God who justifies.
8.34.Who is he that condemns?  Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.]

8.35.Who shall separate us from the [love] {Spirit} of [Christ] {God}?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 

8.36.[As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."]

8.37.No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who [forgives] {cleanses} us. 

8.38.For I am convinced that [neither death nor life,] neither angels nor demons, [neither the present nor the future,] nor any powers,

8.39.[neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,]

will be able to separate us from the [love] {Spirit} of God

[that is in Christ Jesus our Lord].


Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

16.1.[I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. 
16.2.I ask you to receive her in the Lord and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. 
16.3.Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow-workers, in the Lord. 
16.4.They risked their lives for me.  Not only I, but all the assemblies of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 
16.5.Greet also the assembly that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia. 
16.6.Greet Mary, who worked very hard, in the Lord for you. 
16.7.Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. 
16.8.Greet Ampliatus, whom I love, in the Lord. 
16.9.Greet Urbanus, our fellow-worker, in the Lord, and my dear friend Stachys. 
16.10.Greet Apelles, tested and approved, in the Lord. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. 
16.11.Greet Herodian, my relative. 
Greet those in the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. 
16.12.Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard, in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard, in the Lord. 
16.13.Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. 
16.14.Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers with them. 
16.15.Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them. 
16.16.Greet one another with a holy kiss. 
All the assemblies of Christ send greetings.
16.17.I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 
16.18.For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.  By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of na├»ve people. 
16.19.Everyone has heard about your obedience so I am full of joy over you;
but I want you to be wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil. 
16.20.The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 
16.21.Timothy, my fellow-worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my relatives.
16.22.I, Tertius who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord. 
16.23.Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings.
16.24.Erastus, who is the city's director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.  
16.25.Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past,
16.26.but now revealed…and made known through the prophetic writings…by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him – the only wise God be glory for ever!  Amen.]