Paul seems to think that the Torah (first 5 books of Moses) was given to the people by angels, that angels were the beings who actually gave the Word of God, not God Himself. Did Paul actually know the Hebrew scriptures, as he so often claimed? Perhaps he said this to justify that he only got his words from visions and not from actual words from God from heaven. Or, possibly it was to discredit the Torah since he preached against keeping it in almost all of his letters. Oddly, 100% of Paul’s revelations were in secret and not known to others, nor witnessed by others, and to be accepted by the movement of his lips only, to testify about himself. Does the Torah say we can testify about ourselves to prove a fact? No. Even Jesus knew better!
But in contrast, we have 1,000,000 – 3,000,000 people actually hearing from the voice of God (not angels giving the Torah to Moses secretly) from the top of Mt Sinai to verify the message that God would later give to Moses to share with everyone. Did anyone hear any of Paul’s visions to confirm that he was legit? Was there a parting of the Red Sea to verify his visions? Any other major miracles? Was the ‘outpouring of tongues” in a small room enough to verify all of Paul’s secret visions? Was this even true? If Paul was absolutely legit, why didn’t God verify it from heaven with His stamp of approval, by His mighty voice, but rather chose to keep this ‘super important change’ to within the mind of one man only?
Paul’s opinion of where the Torah came from:
- “53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”” Acts 7:53
- “19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.” Galatians 3:19
- “2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, ” Hebrews 2:2
The Hebrew Bible says that the Torah was not delivered by angels, so is Paul intentionally lying or just ignorant and doesn’t truly know his Torah?
- “22 And the Lord said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the people of Israel: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have talked with you from heaven. 23 You shall not make gods of silver to be with me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold.” Exodus 20:22-23
- “9 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children— 10 how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’ 11 And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, while the mountain burned with fire to the heart of heaven, wrapped in darkness, cloud, and gloom. 12 Then the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. 13 And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments,[b] and he wrote them on two tablets of stone. 14 And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and rules, that you might do them in the land that you are going over to possess.” Deut 4:9-14
- “33 Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? 34 Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him. 36 Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. ” Deut 4:33-36
God actually gave verbally the Ten Commandments to all of the people at Mt Sinai, and then had Moses write them down.
“And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them. 2 The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. 3 Not with our fathers did the Lord make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today. 4 The Lord spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire, 5 while I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord. For you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up into the mountain. He said:
6 “‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.7 “‘You shall have no other gods before[a] me. 8 “‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 9 You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing steadfast love to thousands[b] of those who love me and keep my commandments. 11 “‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. 12 “‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave[c] in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. 16 “‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 17 “‘You shall not murder.[d] 18 “‘And you shall not commit adultery. 19 “‘And you shall not steal. 20 “‘And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.21 “‘And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’
22 “These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and he added no more. And he wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me. 23 And as soon as you heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes, and your elders. 24 And you said, ‘Behold, the Lord our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire. This day we have seen God speak with man, and man still live. 25 Now therefore why should we die? For this great fire will consume us. If we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, we shall die. 26 For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of fire as we have, and has still lived? 27 Go near and hear all that the Lord our God will say, and speak to us all that the Lord our God will speak to you, and we will hear and do it.’
28 “And the Lord heard your words, when you spoke to me. And the Lord said to me, ‘I have heard the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. They are right in all that they have spoken. 29 Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants[e] forever! 30 Go and say to them, “Return to your tents.”” Deut 5:1-30