DID ST.PAUL GO ON A FAMINE RELIEF MISSION?: Did James, Jude & Revelations really know what happened? By Andre Austin In the book of Acts 11:25-30, the writer Luke reports that Paul went on a famine relief mission during the reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54AD). Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews Book 20 chapter 2:51 credit Queen Helena, wife/sister of Agabus with helping Jerusalem with this famine from which many people died. He didn’t mention Paul. The Famine took place over a period of time between procurators Fadus and Tiberius Alexander (Antiquities of the Jews Book 20 chapter 5:97-102) . So we can infer the famine took place between 45-48/49AD. Roman historian Suetonius states: “Once, after a series of droughts had caused a scarcity of grain, a mob stopped Claudius in the forum and pelted him so hard with curses and stale crusts…as a result he took all possible steps to import grain, even during the winter months” (Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Claudius.18). Again we can infer the “droughts” lasted more than one year. Christians claim Paul took two trips to Jerusalem: 1st one in 35Ad to interview James, etal 2nd visit is 14 years later in 49AD on a famine relief mission? His encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19), Happened after Jesus was crucified in 33AD. However, some Bible scholars equate Paul’s conversion as resembling the appearance of Dionysus to Pentheus in Euripides Bacchae , but that’s another story (see The Intertextuality of the Epistles p.215 By Thomas Brodie. Robert Eisenman doubts Paul went on this famine relief mission thinking The Acts tale is an overwrite (see James the Brother of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls Volume 1 p.347-354). What if Paul went on the famine relief mission and decided not to share the supplies. According to Paul’s own letters he lied, trick, (2 Cor 12:16), people: “I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you” (2 Cor 11:8-9) This letter was in context of Paul repudiation of the Super-Apostles (James, etal), trained speakers (2 Cor 11:6). But Acts 14:12 states he spoke like Hermes, the Greek deity associated with thief & lying and pluder. Could Luke also being using hyperbole when speaking of Paul’s Famine relief too? Paul is like that character in the Friday movie “Deebo”, (South central’s nastiest thug), who’s always taking things from other people. Paul writing in another letter in the same spirit of the one I cited above states: 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 Paul’s Rights as an Apostle 9 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. 3 This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. 4 Don’t we have the right to food and drink? 5 Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas[a]? 6 Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? 8 Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”[b] Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10 Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. 13 Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. 15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast. 16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel”. If James, Jude, and Revelation thought that Paul didn’t go on a famine relief mission or that he didn’t share the provision they would be the ones objecting. Paul in the above letter clearing is indicating that people objected to his dipping into Church supplies and provisions. In Romans 11: 1-10 Paul states: The Remnant of Israel 11 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”[a?4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” (1Kings 19:18 Keep in mind Baal is a God of rain, storms and in context 1 Kings 19:18 was about going to the desert of Damascus 1 Kings 19:15) So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. 7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, 8 as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.” Deut 29:4 9 And David says: “May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. 10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.” (Psalm 69:22) This quote is talking gall in food vinegar in drink in verse 21 just above. First lets note the epithet “Son of Belial” is applied in the Old Testament specifically to Benjaminite. It is for reasons such as these that we believe the Belial/Balaam/Bela circle of language was being applied in some manner to Paul by those hostile to him” see James the Brother of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls Volume 1 p. 108) We all know that James and Paul had a beef about Faith/Grace & Works doctrine. James 1:25; 2:12-17 believed Paul was an Empty man because he didn’t take on the entire Law of Moses. With that being said I believe that James chapter 5 along with the above chapters was directly attacking Paul’s letters in 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 and In Romans 11: 1-10. When James cited 1 King’s chapter 19 he wanted to cite 1 Kings 17. And I will tell you why after I quote James: James chapter 5 Warning to Rich Oppressors 5 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.[a] 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you. Patience in Suffering 7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! 10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. 12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned. The Prayer of Faith 13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years (see 1Kings 17:1), Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. The followers of James may have written this letter in his name. The first Christian Stephen who Eisenman says was an overwrite of James. He may have a point because just before Stephen name is mentioned it stated “They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One” Acts 7:52 is this the same as murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you. James 5:6. But anyway let me get back on point. James is inferring the drought in the OT times of Elijah with the drought of 45-48/49 a three and a half year time period. James leaves us two clues that he’s talking about that famine in Claudius time and applying it to Paul’s robbery/thief from which he self-convicts himself. 1. 1 Kings 17:1 doesn’t say 3 and a half years it says “there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word”. 2. Roman historian Tacitus reports in his Annals 14:4 “The senators were then convoked, and Suilius proceeded to find new victims in two knights of the first rank who bore the surname of Petra. The real cause of their destruction was that they had lent their house for the meetings of Mnester and Poppaea. But it was a vision of the night that was the actual charge against one of them. He had, it was alleged, beheld Claudius crowned with a garland of wheat, the ears of which were turned downwards, and, from this appearance, he foretold scanty harvests. Some have said that it was a vine-wreath, of which the leaves were white, which he saw, and that he interpreted it to signify the death of the Emperor after the turn of autumn. It is, however, beyond dispute that in consequence of some dream, whatever it was, both the man and his brother perished. Tacitus Annals Book 11:4 A strange coincidence of the ear analogy is reminder to James stating The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty (James 5:4). It’s also a rebuke and counterpunch of Paul citing: “and ears that could not hear, to this very day.” In Deut 29:4 to help him write Romans 11: 1-10. The Letters of James, Jude, 2 Peter chapter 2 and Revelations chapter 6 are all in harmony with eachother. Three of them talk about Paul’s A.error, him B. boasting, C. all four equating him with a Donkey for various reasons D. Balaam/error of food/idols and sexual immorality. 2 Peter chapter 3 talks about a Balaam/donkey rebuking Paul who Loved “wages of wickedness” piggy backs upon James rebuke of Paul The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you (James 5: 4). If you go back to James chapter 1 and 2 Paul is equated with the speech of an unrestrained Donkey for boasting and cursing the Law of Moses see Psalm 32 & Proverbs 26. The letter of Jude states Paul only shares provisions among themselves. So Paul equates himself with Elijah by going to the desert of Damascus (1Kings 19:15-18/Romans 11:1-10) where he was knocked down on the road to Damascus off of a Horse, blind eyes of scales, then gets hungry for food (Acts chapter 9:1-19) This must be why Paul cites Psalm 69:22 & duet 29:4 with its talk of eyes/ears. Acts 9:1-19 can be typologically linked with Rev chapter 6. It’s the only time Food/Scales are mentioned together with eachother. Why? The only explanation is to know that Paul is equated with Hermes in Acts 14:12. Hermes in Rome is Mercury and Thoth in Egypt. The Eye of Thoth was called the hekat a unit of volume for measuring grain. “A measure of wheat for a penny” (Rev 6:6). Now if you go back to Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews Book 20 chapter 5: 97-102, the famine is talked about in conjunction with a “troop of horsemen” who go on a killing spree. This sounds like Rev chapter 6 of the four horsemen. The punchline comes up against Paul at the last book of Revelations chapter 6 who equates Paul with the Black horse Saturn, who was symbolic of Scales and disappearance of crops in winter and the Pale Horse Mercury which is associated with famine, pestilence. Note: Its not a coincidence that Revelations chapter 6 incorporates Themes of the four horsemen with Zechariah 9:9 colt, Donkey, foal and wild horses with James use of Psalm 32: or Peter chapter 2 use of Proverbs 26. The letter of Jude called him a “Unreasonable animal” (A Donkey). Paul is with the tribe of Benjamin, which is the symbol of the Wolf that devours prey in the morning and in evening divides the plunder (Genesis 49:27). Now wonder Jude equates this division of food with a wandering Star (Venus=Morning/Evening star).