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Sha'ul, Paulos and Apollos


How much of our understanding of the epistles of Paul rests upon this single verse?

Ma’asiym (Acts) 13:9

Then Sha’ul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the RUACH HAQADASH, set his eyes on him,

We rely on this one verse for the proposition that Sha’ul was also called Paul (in the Greek, Paulos).  Is that what the Greek says?

Acts 13:9 σαυλος (Saulos) δε (But) ο (one) και (and) παυλος (Paulos) πλησθεις (imbued) πνευματος (spirit) αγιου (holy)  και (and) ατενισας (steadfastly gazed) εις (at) αυτον (him).

So, a more accurate read of this passage is: But Saulos and one Paulos, imbued with the Holy Spirit, and steadfastly gazed at him.

Now, this would change everything, would it not?  Because from this point forward, we have the acts of Paulos, and Saulos pretty much disappears from the scene.  If in fact, we are talking about two different people, then the ordination of Saulos (Sha’ul) is limited to Sha’ul and not to Paulos.

A question which has always plagued me has to do with this name change.  There is no other information concerning this name change other than this verse.  Once he was named Sha’ul (but in the Greek, Saulos) and suddenly he becomes Paulos.  Consider the name Pa’al in Hebrew, and whether a Pharisee fluent in the Hebrew would adopt this name: 

pâʻal (פָּעַל) (Strong's 6466): a primitive root; to do or make (systematically and habitually), especially to practice: —commit, (evil-) do(-er), make(-r), ordain, work(-er).

So, we have a poorly interpreted text which assigns the Hebrew word for evildoer to a man formerly named after the first king of Yisra’el, based upon two Greek words - ο και. To me, this is extremely weak evidence.  

Let us now consider the life of Apollos and compare to see if it is possible that Paulos was a person other than Saulos.

Apollonius is a Greek name; the Latin Romanized version would be Apollos. Apollos over a period of time, as well as convenience, morphed to Paulos. Paulos in its English format is Paul, but written in the ancient texts as Pol.

Apollos was born in the city of Tyana, in the Roman province of Cappadocia, in present day Turkey. At the age of twelve Apollonius moved to Tarsus and was educated there; Paul was also of Tarsus.  Both Apollos and Paul were in Tarsus at the same time in their youth. As Newman points out, Apollos and Paul were also at Ephesus and Rome at exactly the same time. Apollos' biographer does not mention Paul at all, but Paul's biographer (Luqas) speaks of Apollos having been at Ephesus with him. Many of his teachings coincide with Paul of Tarsus, and Paul is said to have done many of the same things Apollonius did.  

According to the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, by Philostratus, Apollos was often referred to as simply “Pol” the common nickname. Apollos was known to be an eloquent Jewish man who taught in the synogogues of Ephesus and Corinth and who baptized and preached in these same places. Pol’s scribe was Demas, according to this work.

Timotheus Sheniy (2 Timothy) 4:10

For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed to Tasloniqiy; Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.

Philemon 24

Marqus, Aristarchus, Demas, Luqas, my fellowlabourers. 25 The grace of our ADONAI YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH be with your ruach. Amein.

Is there more evidence that two men were present carrying forth the message?  It appears so:

Qorintiym Ri’shon (1 Corinthians) 3:4-6

For while one says, I am of Sha’ul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? 5 Who then is Sha’ul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as YAH gave to every man? 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but YAH gave the increase.

Qorintiym Ri’shon (1 Corinthians) 3:22-23

Whether Sha’ul, or Apollos, or Kepha, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23 And ye are MASHIACH’S; and HAMASHIACH is YAHUAH’S.

Qorintiym Ri’shon (1 Corinthians) 4:6

And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

Titus 3:13

Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting to them.

The book called The Life of Apollonius of Tyana was secretly carried to the Near East where it remained over 1000 years. In 1801 it was brought to Europe and was translated into English.

So, we have a question when looking at the texts.  We know the Geneva Bible translators, including John Calvin, considered many of the writings of Paul as pseudepigraphal writings, including Titus, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, Philemon and Hebrews.  We know that Romans was written by Tertius.  Romayim (Romans) 16:22. So, can we give a full credit to Sha’ul, Paul, Pol, or Apollos? 

According to Andrew S. Kulikovsky, in his Historical Context of Paul’s Letters To the Galatians and Romans, April 8, 1999, the book of Galatians has many problems in sourcing its origin. Kulikovsky writes: “There is no way of knowing for certain when the letter was written, where it was written, or even to whom it was written.”  Commentators like to include as part of Galatia the southern regions of Phrygia and Lycaonia, although it begs the question why these regions would have different names other than Galatia. The map below distinguishes between the Kingdom of Galatia, into which Sha’ul never traveled, and Galatia maximus – the broader Galatia including the other regions. However, Kulikovsky goes on to say that “no commentator ever seriously disputed the idea that Paul's letter was written to Christians living in northern Galatia.” Yet, he elaborates: “there is no record of Paul ever going into the north Galatian region, yet he appears to be quite familiar with his audience.” “Paul couldn’t have written to both areas, because the letter implies that the churches of Galatia were all founded at about the same time, but in the light of Paul’s missionary journeys, this is impossible.”


So, we arrive at the question: what did Sha’ul/Paul/Pol/Apollos mean in this passage?

Galatiym (Galatians) 4:9-11

But now, after that ye have known YAHUAH, or rather are known of YAHUAH, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Is the observance of days, months, times, and years weak and beggarly elements of bondage? In the Torah as delivered, Yisra’el is taught to observe days (namely six working days and the Shabbath), months (the first month and the seventh month), times (New Moons), and years (the Shemitah or the Sabbatical year and Yovheliym, i.e., the Jubilee). If this is so, then Sha’ul’s actions are directly contrary to such teaching.

Sha’ul kept the Shabbath: Ma’asiym (Acts) 13:13; 13:42; 13:43; 16:11-13; 18:1-4. Sha’ul kept the Pecach, Ma’asiym 20:1-6, and Matstsah (Unleavened Bread) Ma’asiym 20:6-7. Sha’ul kept Shavu’oth, Ma’asiym 20:16.

Ma’asiym (Acts) 18:21

But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that comes in Yerushalayim: but I will return again to you, if YAHUAH will. And he sailed from Ephesus.

Qorintiym Ri’shon (1 Corinthians) 5:7-8

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are matstsah. For even HAMASHIACH our Pecach is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the matstsah of sincerity and truth.

So, either Sha’ul/Paul is not denouncing the Levitical feasts set forth as feasts of YAHUAH for all generations, or someone else is writing the passage. 

Consider the days, and months, and times, and years that we currently observe as Americans (how ye turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage):

New Year's Day


Orthodox Christmas Day

Stephen Foster Memorial Day

Orthodox New Year

Lee Jackson Day

Martin Luther King Day

Robert E Lee's Birthday

Idaho Human Rights Day

Civil Rights Day

Tu Bishvat/Tu B'Shevat

Kansas Day

National Freedom Day

Groundhog Day

Rosa Parks Day

National Wear Red Day

Chinese New Year

Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras

Ash Wednesday

Lincoln's Birthday

Valentine's Day

Presidents' Day

Susan B Anthony's Birthday

St. David's Day

Texas Independence Day

Read Across America Day

Employee Appreciation Day

St. Patrick's Day

Palm Sunday

March equinox

Maundy Thursday

Good Friday

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day

Holy Saturday

Easter Sunday

Easter Monday

Seward's Day

César Chávez Day

National Tartan Day

National Library Workers' Day

Thomas Jefferson's Birthday

Emancipation Day observed

Emancipation Day

Tax Day

Patriot's Day

San Jacinto Day

Confederate Memorial Day

Administrative Professionals Day

Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

Orthodox Good Friday

Orthodox Holy Saturday

Orthodox Easter

Law Day

Loyalty Day

Orthodox Easter Monday

Yom HaShoah

Kent State Shootings Remembrance

Ascension Day

Cinco de Mayo

National Day of Prayer

National Nurses Day

National Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Day

Mother's Day

Yom Ha'atzmaut

Peace Officers Memorial Day

Whit Monday

National Defense Transportation Day

Armed Forces Day

Trinity Sunday

National Maritime Day

Harvey Milk Day

Emergency Medical Services for Children Day

National Missing Children's Day

Corpus Christi

Lag BaOmer

Memorial Day


Kamehameha Day

Army Birthday

Flag Day

Bunker Hill Day

Father's Day

Emancipation Day

American Eagle Day

Independence Day

Federal Holiday

Pioneer Day

Parents' Day

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

Coast Guard Birthday

Purple Heart Day

Victory Day

Tisha B'Av

Assumption of Mary

Bennington Battle Day

National Aviation Day

Senior Citizens Day

Women's Equality Day

Labor Day

Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Day

National Grandparents Day

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day

National POW/MIA Recognition Day

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day

Air Force Birthday

September equinox

Native Americans' Day

Gold Star Mother's Day

Child Health Day

Feast of St Francis of Assisi

Leif Erikson Day

Columbus Day

Native Americans' Day

Indigenous People's Day

Navy Birthday

White Cane Safety Day

Boss's Day

Alaska Day

Shmini Atzeret



All Saints' Day

All Souls' Day


Election Day

Marine Corps Birthday

Veterans Day

Thanksgiving Day

Black Friday

Federal Holiday

Lincoln's Birthday/Lincoln's Day

American Indian Heritage Day

First Sunday of Advent

Cyber Monday

St Nicholas' Day

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

National Guard Birthday

Pan American Aviation Day

Wright Brothers Day

December Solstice

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

Kwanzaa (until Jan 1)

New Year's Eve

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