Thursday, August 11, 2011

Paul not fluent in Greek

And as Sha’ul was about to be led into the barracks, he said to the commander, “Am I allowed to say somewhat to you?” And he said, “Do you know Greek?” (Act 21:37)

Mainstream Christianity twist this verse to make Shaul (Paul) appear as a great Greek orator. The Chief Captain, they say, was very surprised that Shaul could speak Greek with such precision. There are many problems with this, one being that Paul had already become a well-known personality. The reality was that in Paul’s day, a common saying among the Pharisees (Orthodox) was that it is better to feed swine to your children than allow them to learn the Greek language!

Observant Jews were and still are vigilant against becoming Hellenized. Paul was speaking in Hebrew, but being asked to speak Greek, there is no evidence to suggest that he was fluent in Greek. It is not likely that Paul was as proficient in Greek as Yoseph ben Mattityahu (Yosephus) who wrote, “I have also taken a great deal of pains to obtain the learning of the Greeks, and understanding the elements of the Greek language although I have so long accustomed myself to speak our own language (Hebrew), that I cannot pronounce Greek with sufficient exactness: for our nation does not encourage those that learn the languages of many nations

A prohibition in Exodus 23:13 “Make no mention of the name of other mighty ones, neither let it be heard out of your mouth” is also a deterrent for Observant Jews to embrace Greek polytheistic language or culture. The Greek language esteems Pagan deities for days and months, etc. Romans as Greek speaking “occupiers” enslaved Israel, opposed monotheistic Torah principles and made war against Jews. Paul’s background as a zealous Pharisee demanded that he not invest his time learning the Greek culture and language.

So as we can see, although Paul had Greek citizenship, he was not Greek. He was Jewish by blood and a learned Pharisee until his conversion. Paul was not a scholar of Greek and could not have written his letters in Greek either. This is contrary to what the Christian Church teaches. Evidence clearly is pointing to a Hebrew Renewed Covenant.

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