The Exodus From Crete

atlandmoon Greg 1969 Jesuspass mormons33

In the year of Christ, 424, in the reign of Theodosius the younger, another Pseudo-Messiah arose in the island of Crete, who said, that he was Moses, and sent from heaven to carry the Jews in Crete, on dry ground, through the sea, and persuaded several of them to throw themselves into the sea.

If you wish to title me a Pseudo-Messiah, the founder of a Pseudo-Religion – be my guest! I highly suggest all evangelicals who have entered politics in order to install Satan Paul’s, and Satan Darby’s, insane teaching in my Democracy, head to the ocean nearest them – and jump in!

For twenty-nine years I have tried to figure out how Paul found members of the first church. I found evidence they were redheads with green eyes. With this DNA report, you can add folks with blond hair and blue eyes. I suspect the first church began on the island of Crete where it is alleged Paul lived for two years. I suspect Paul was not a Traveler. Christianity is full of lies invented by Saul the King of Liars. I suspect the Levites were Caucasians from Crete who were not granted land like the twelve tribes, but, ruled all the major cities. They ran the National Worship. They provided a lineage of priests that was subverted by the Tribe of Judah, causing the other tribes to revolt and be dispersed. John the Baptist was the last Kohan. He did not prepare the way for Paul’s Jesus. I am the embodiment of John. Repent!

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-22527821?SThisFB

When I tried to become a Christian twenty-nine years ago, I had revelations. Then here come Saint Paul, who I title Satan Paul. Paul did away with Mosaic Laws after being converted by a fake appearance of Jesus while on the road to Damascus, as a Pharisaic Jew named Saul. Saul claims he was given a letter to hunt down the early Christians and bring them back to Jerusalem. Why? What is going to happen to them there? Will they be judged by a Judaic court of some kind? Why? A lot of Jews have adopted Greek ways.

The First Jews of Crete

“Many of these ancient people of these lands, who were now called Jews by the Romans, were from some of the most powerful tribal families that were related by blood from the old Greek empire and other countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia and Libya. Their religion, priesthood and combined military powers were the biggest threat to this new Roman Empire and religion. Therefor, the Romans would engage in a massive military campaign in the regions of these people, in order to subjugate them and to bind them by religion unto the empire under the symbol of the fasces.

One of the main strongholds and possibly the capital for these ancient tribes that are now considered Jewish people was on the ancient island of Crete, which I believe was once the main capital to the Jewish people of the Old Testament. Some of the most famous authors and historians such as Josephus and Tacitus had written that the first converts to the Christian faith under Rome were said to come from Crete.”

Saul-Paul said he tortured his prisoners nearly to death in order to get them to “denounce their Lord”. Did the High Priest care is they followed the teaching of Jesus? No! Why not just kill them where you find them, if you are going to torture them? How did that go for Saul? Did the High Priest inquire about the torture, he wanting to get Jews to return to Judaism and obey Mosaic Laws once more – the very laws that Saul as Paul – BLOTS OUT? Is this what Jesus wanted? There were a million Hellenized Jews in the Diaspora worshipping all the Roman and Greek Gods. Some Jews fashioned fake foreskin to wear in a Roman bath. When did the High Priest find out the guy he sent to crush the first church called ‘The Way’ is subverting that church, insisting they give up the God of the Jews, and the teaching of His prophet, Moses, and follow his peculiar teaching – and send some Sicarii to kill Paul who was born a Roman citizen and was inventing anti-Semitism, even abolishing the Ten Commandments. Who can read this bullshit, least follow it. No wonder millions of evangelicals have jumped ship and are following Trump.

http://www.thebible-tencommandments.com/under-grace-not-law.html

“Victims of the Sicarii included Jonathan the High Priest, although it is possible that his murder was orchestrated by the Roman governor Antonius Felix. Some murders were met with severe retaliation by the Romans on the entire Jewish population of the country. On some occasions, the Sicarii could be bribed to spare their intended victims. Once, Josephus relates, after kidnapping the secretary of Eleazar, governor of the Temple precincts, they agreed to release him in exchange for the release of ten of their captured assassins.

At the beginning of the First Jewish–Roman War, the Sicarii, and (possibly) Zealot helpers (Josephus differentiated between the two but did not explain the main differences in depth), gained access to Jerusalem and committed a series of atrocities in order to force the population to war. In one account, given in the Talmud, they destroyed the city’s food supply so that the people would be forced to fight against the Roman siege instead of negotiating peace. Their leaders, including Menahem ben Yehuda and Eleazar ben Ya’ir, were important figures in the war, and the group fought in many battles against the Romans as soldiers. Together with a small group of followers, Menahem made his way to the fortress of Masada, took over a Roman garrison and slaughtered all 700 soldiers there. They also took over another fortress called Antonia and overpowered the troops of Agrippa II. He also trained them to conduct various guerrilla operations on Roman convoys and legions stationed around Judea.[5] Josephus also wrote that the Sicarii raided nearby Jewish villages including Ein Gedi, where they massacred 700 women and children.[7][8][9][10]

The Zealots, Sicarii and other prominent revolutionaries finally joined forces to attack and successfully liberate Jerusalem in 66 AD,[11] where they took control of the Temple in Jerusalem, executing anyone who tried to usurp their power. The local populace grew tired of their control and launched a series of sieges and raids to remove the radical factions. The radicals eventually silenced the uprising and Jerusalem stayed in their hands for the duration of the war.[12] The Romans finally came to take back the city, and they led counter-attacks and sieges to starve the rebels inside. The rebels held for a considerable amount of time, but the constant bickering and the lack of leadership led the groups to disintegrate.[11] The leader of the Sicarii, Menahem, was murdered by rival factions during an altercation. Soon, the Romans stepped in and finally destroyed the whole city in 70 AD.

Paul said the law was “blotted out” by the death of Christ (Col. 2:14) and that from henceforth none can be judged by Mosaic precepts (verse 16). He concluded that the law was but a “shadow of things to come” (verse 17; Heb. 10:1).

What I will be looking at is the Jews that lived on Crete. I will put forth a theory that the Levite Priesthood came from Crete – after the eruption of Thera. They may have been sent to the Promised Land by Pharoah, along with some of the Canaanite Slaves who had become too populated. There was not enough work for them.

We will look at Titus in Crete. Paul says he was like a son, but, they may never have met. I wonder of he was the son of Titus who took Jerusalem and wanted to marry Queen Berenice – who took the Oath of the Nazarite. The larget population of the first church was on Crete. Why didn’t the High Priest send Paul and he Merry Band of Serial Killers to Crete? I believe the Romans sent Paul to Crete to subvert the Lovers of Freedom and their Abolitionist Religion that was a great threat to the Slave Masters.

I suspect John the Baptist was taken to Crete after he was born and raised by the original Levite Kohans of Moses and Aaron – that rivaled the High Priests that King Harod appointed, ignoring their genealogies and succession thru the father. I suspect the Nazarites are native to Crete. John was a Nazarite, as was James, the brother of Jesus. Obeying strict Mosaic Laws was key to taking the Oath of the Nazarite. A Nazarite Queen and her sons led the War against Rome – the slave masters interested in making money. Why didn’t Jesus go after them – with the words of Moses?

“Let my people go!”

If Jesus blotted out Mosaic Law, why are so many evangelical politician’s referring to it as they wage war on their enemies? The evangelical have their roots in the Confederacy. Their plantations look like Roman Villas. They owned human beings!

I was named after John the Baptist because my mother has a vision while in the hospital giving birth to me. John did not prepare the way for Jesus. Paul was against the Passover of the Jews that is the celebration of being liberated from slavery. Paul condoned slavery by the Romans. What does that tell you? The Levites were Abolitionists.

Jon

‘Nazarite Judge’

“I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women into prisons, 5as also the high priest and all the Council of the elders can testify. From them I also received letters to the brethren, and started off for Damascus in order to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem as prisoners to be punished. 6“But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me,…

 

http://gnosticwarrior.com/kohen-levite-dna.html

http://gnosticwarrior.com/jews.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Priest_of_Israel

Paul said the law was “blotted out” by the death of Christ (Col. 2:14) and that from henceforth none can be judged by Mosaic precepts (verse 16). He concluded that the law was but a “shadow of things to come” (verse 17; Heb. 10:1).

http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/passover/videos/history-of-Passover

The preaching of John the Baptist marks the prelude of the transition in the taking away of the Old Covenant and the establishment of the new. John’s role in God’s scheme of redemption is unique. He lived and died under the Law of Moses, yet never entered the Kingdom.

The Kingdom of God was not set up during his life time. Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is but little in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matt. 11:11).

For centuries the Mosaic Law had been read and studied by the most brilliant minds on earth. Yet few came to realize the full significance of it. Through Paul came the inspired statement of the purpose of the law. He wrote to the Romans that through the law came the knowledge of sin (Rom. 7:7).

To the Galatians he said the law was added because of sin and was designed to lead the sinner to Christ for justification (Gal. 3:19-20,23-24). Never was the Law of Moses designed to justify a sinner (Gal. 2:16). Only by obedient faith in Christ are sins removed. The blood of bulls and goats were never effective in removing sins (Heb. 10:1-4).

So until John the law and the prophets served their intended purpose. From that time forward men diligently sought entrance into the kingdom of God. On the day of its establishment (Acts 2:1-4) thousands were added to it by the Lord (verses 41,47). No one today can serve God acceptably by seeking justification under the Mosaic Law.

Many of these ancient people of these lands, who were now called Jews by the Romans, were from some of the most powerful tribal families that were related by blood from the old Greek empire and other countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia and Libya. Their religion, priesthood and combined military powers were the biggest threat to this new Roman Empire and religion. Therefor, the Romans would engage in a massive military campaign in the regions of these people, in order to subjugate them and to bind them by religion unto the empire under the symbol of the fasces.

One of the main strongholds and possibly the capital for these ancient tribes that are now considered Jewish people was on the ancient island of Crete, which I believe was once the main capital to the Jewish people of the Old Testament. Some of the most famous authors and historians such as Josephus and Tacitus had written that the first converts to the Christian faith under Rome were said to come from Crete. It was these Cretan Jews to whom Saint Peter preached on the memorable day of Pentecost, where he had converted three thousand of them to Christianity and who would then preach the gospel on their return from Jerusalem. Later, the Apostle Paul would go to Crete in order to live for two years as part of a missionary effort of Rome, where he too was successful like his predecessor Peter in converting many of the island’s inhabitants, who were now called Jews, and bind them to Christianity. Before Paul had left Crete, he had appointed the newly converted Roman Gentile, Titus as Bishop to the island, in order that he ordain elders in every city. The facts that two of the most important Roman Catholic Saints and one of the most powerful bishops had spent a lot of time and resources in Crete, proves that this island was most likely the main capital to the Jewish people in this region of the world.

Acts of the Apostles discusses Paul’s conversion experience at three different points in the text, in far more detail than in the accounts in Paul’s letters. The Book of Acts says that Paul was on his way from Jerusalem to Syrian Damascus with a mandate issued by the High Priest to seek out and arrest followers of Jesus, with the intention of returning them to Jerusalem as prisoners for questioning and possible execution.[4] The journey is interrupted when Paul sees a blinding light, and communicates directly with a divine voice.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Jewish%E2%80%93Roman_War

Acts 9 tells the story as a third-person narrative:

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

— Acts 9:3–9, NIV

The Cretans had an “attitude” weakness. Polybius, a Greek historian, described them as very revolutionary in spirit. Like so many today, they had an “authority” problem. Likely the Cretan Christians had some difficulty in ridding themselves of this self-willed disposition. Paul addresses the issue in two ways. First, he considers the matter from a positive vantage point. Then he approaches it from the negative angle.

Titus was to remind the brethren to willingly submit themselves to government authorities (cf. Romans 13:1), assuming, of course, that society’s demands were consistent with Christian principle (Acts 4:19; 5:29). Christianity was not a threat to antique society; it was to be a blessing to the citizenry of the nations. The child of God is to be a “light” to the world and “salt” for the community (Matthew 5:13-16) — ever anxious to be involved in good works.

By way of contrast, the saints were not to be slanderers of others, nor were they to be quarrelsome or mean-spirited toward their fellows. This was not designed to mute a forceful gospel offensive; it was intended to generate a gentle, controlled disposition.

“When Paul writes again to Timothy he has had a winter in prison, and has suffered greatly from the cold and does not wish to spend another winter in the Mamertine (probably) prison (2Timothy 4:13, 21). We do not know what the charges now are. They may have been connected with the burning of Rome. There were plenty of informers eager to win favor with Nero. Proof was not now necessary.

“Christianity is no longer a religion under the shelter of Judaism. It is now a crime to be a Christian. It is dangerous to be seen with Paul now, and he feels the desertion keenly (2Timothy 1:15ff; 4:10). Only Luke, the beloved physician, is with Paul (2Timothy 4:11), and such faithful ones as live in Rome still in hiding (2Timothy 4:21).

The Bible does not tell us the exact time or manner of the apostle Paul’s death, and secular history has yet to provide us with any definitive information. However, evidence highly suggests the apostle Paul’s death occurred after his fifth missionary journey ended in 67 A.D. Paul was likely beheaded by the Romans, under Emperor Nero, sometime around May or June of 68 A.D. Nero himself died by suicide on June 9th of the same year.

Although Mark’s Gospel implies that the arrival of John the Baptist is the fulfilment of a prophecy from the Book of Isaiah, the words quoted (“I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way — a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”) are actually a composite of texts from Second Isaiah, the Book of Malachi and the Book of Exodus. Matthew and Luke drop the first part of the reference.[28]

http://www.vscoc.org/Bulletinfdr/law_and_the_prophets_were_until_.htm

This explains the puzzling and ambiguous role given in the Gospels to the companions of Jesus, the twelve disciples. They are shadowy figures, who are allowed little personality, except of a schematic kind. They are also portrayed as stupid; they never quite understand what Jesus is up to. Their importance in the origins of Christianity is played down in a remarkable way. For example, we find immediately after Jesus’ death that the leader of the Jerusalem Church is Jesus’ brother James. Yet in the Gospels, this James does not appear at all as having anything to do with Jesus’ mission and story. Instead, he is given a brief mention as one of the brothers of Jesus who allegedly opposed Jesus during his lifetime and regarded him as mad. How it came about that a brother who had been hostile to Jesus in his lifetime suddenly became the revered leader of the Church immediately after Jesus’ death is not explained, though one would have thought that some explanation was called for. Later Church legends, of course, filled the gap with stories of the miraculous conversion of James after the death of Jesus and his development into a saint. But the most likely explanation is, as will be argued later, that the erasure of Jesus’ brother dames (and his other brothers) from any significant role in the Gospel story is part of the denigration of the early leaders who had been in close contact with Jesus and regarded with great suspicion and dismay the Christological theories of the upstart Paul, flaunting his brand new visions in interpretation of the Jesus whom he had never met in the flesh.

Who, then, was Paul? Here we would seem to have a good deal of information; but on closer examination, it will turn out to be full of problems. We have the information given by Paul about himself in his letters, which are far from impersonal and often take an autobiographical turn. Also we have the information given in Acts, in which Paul plays the chief role. But the information given by any person about himself always has to be treated with a certain reserve, since everyone has strong motives for putting himself in the best possible light. And the information given about Paul in Acts also requires close scrutiny, since this work was written by someone committed to the Pauline cause. Have we any other sources for Paul’s biography? As a matter of fact, we have, though they are scattered in various unexpected places, which it will be our task to explore: in a fortuitously preserved extract from the otherwise lost writings of the Ebionites, a sect of great importance for our quest; in a disguised attack on Paul included in a text of orthodox Christian authority; and in an Arabic manuscript, in which a text of the early Jewish Christians, the opponents of Paul, has been preserved by an unlikely chain of circumstances.

Let us first survey the evidence found in the more obvious and well-known sources. It appears from Acts that Paul was at first called ‘Saul’, and that his birthplace was Tarsus, a city in Asia Minor (Acts 9:11, and 21:39, and 22:3). Strangely enough, however, Paul himself, in his letters, never mentions that he came from Tarsus, even when he is at his most autobiographical. Instead, he gives the following information about his origins: ‘I am an Israelite myself, of the stock of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin’ (Romans 11:2); and ‘… circumcised on my eighth day, Israelite by race, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born and bred; in my attitude to the law, a Pharisee….’ (Philippians 3:5). It seems that Paul was not anxious to impart to the recipients of his letters that he came from somewhere so remote as Tarsus from Jerusalem, the powerhouse of Pharisaism. The impression he wished to give, of coming from an unimpeachable Pharisaic background, would have been much impaired by the admission that he in fact came from Tarsus, where there were few, if any, Pharisee teachers and a Pharisee training would have been hard to come by.

We encounter, then, right at the start of our enquiry into Paul’s background, the question: was Paul really from a genuine Pharisaic family, as he says to his correspondents, or was this just something that he said to increase his status in their eyes? The fact that this question is hardly ever asked shows how strong the influence of traditional religious attitudes still is in Pauline studies. Scholars feel that, however objective their enquiry is supposed to be, they must always preserve an attitude of deep reverence towards Paul, and never say anything to suggest that he may have bent the truth at times, though the evidence is strong enough in various parts of his life-story that he was not above deception when he felt it warranted by circumstances.

It should be noted (in advance of a full discussion of the subject) that modern scholarship has shown that, at this time, the Pharisees were held in high repute throughout the Roman and Parthian empires as a dedicated group who upheld religious ideals in the face of tyranny, supported leniency and mercy in the application of laws, and championed the rights of the poor against the oppression of the rich. The undeserved reputation for hypocrisy which is attached to the name ‘Pharisee’ in medieval and modern times is due to the campaign against the Pharisees in the Gospels — a campaign dictated by politico-religious considerations at the time when the Gospels were given their final editing, about forty to eighty years after the death of Jesus. Paul’s desire to be thought of as a person of Pharisee upbringing should thus be understood in the light of the actual reputation of the Pharisees in Paul’s lifetime; Paul was claiming a high honour, which would much enhance his status in the eyes of his correspondents.

Before looking further into Paul’s claim to have come from a Pharisee background, let us continue our survey of what we are told about Paul’s career in the more accessible sources. The young Saul, we are told, left Tarsus and came to the Land of Israel, where he studied in the Pharisee academy of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). We know from other sources about Gamaliel, who is a highly respected figure in the rabbinical writings such as the Mishnah, and was given the title ‘Rabban’, as the leading sage of his day. That he was the leader of the whole Pharisee party is attested also by the New Testament itself, for he plays a prominent role in one scene in the book of Acts (chapter 5) — a role that, as we shall see later, is hard to reconcile with the general picture of the Pharisees given in the Gospels.

Yet Paul himself, in his letters, never mentions that he was a pupil of Gamaliel, even when he is most concerned to stress his qualifications as a Pharisee. Here again, then, the question has to be put: was Paul ever really a pupil of Gamaliel or was this claim made by Luke as an embellishment to his narrative? As we shall see later, there are certain considerations which make it most unlikely, quite apart from Paul’s significant omission to say anything about the matter, that Paul was ever a pupil of Gamaliel’s.

We are also told of the young Saul that he was implicated, to some extent, in the death of the martyr Stephen. The people who gave false evidence against Stephen, we are told, and who also took the leading part in the stoning of their innocent victim, ‘laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul’. The death of Stephen is described, and it is added, ‘And Saul was among those who approved of his murder’ (Acts 8:1). How much truth is there in this detail? Is it to be regarded as historical fact or as dramatic embellishment, emphasizing the contrast between Paul before and after conversion? The death of Stephen is itself an episode that requires searching analysis, since it is full of problems and contradictions. Until we have a better idea of why and by whom Stephen was killed and what were the views for which he died, we can only note the alleged implication of Saul in the matter as a subject for further investigation. For the moment, we also note that the alleged implication of Saul heightens the impression that adherence to Pharisaism would mean violent hostility to the followers of Jesus.

The next thing we are told about Saul in Acts is that he was ‘harrying the Church; he entered house after house, seizing men and women, and sending them to prison’ (Acts 8:3). We are not told at this point by what authority or on whose orders he was carrying out this persecution. It was clearly not a matter of merely individual action on his part, for sending people to prison can only be done by some kind of official. Saul must have been acting on behalf of some authority, and who this authority was can be gleaned from later incidents in which Saul was acting on behalf of the High Priest. Anyone with knowledge of the religious and political scene at this time in Judaea feels the presence of an important problem here: the High Priest was not a Pharisee, but a Sadducee, and the Sadducees were bitterly opposed to the Pharisees. How is it that Saul, allegedly an enthusiastic Pharisee (‘a Pharisee of the Pharisees’), is acting hand in glove with the High Priest? The picture we are given in our New Testament sources of Saul, in the days before his conversion to Jesus, is contradictory and suspect.

The next we hear of Saul (Acts, chapter 9) is that he ‘was still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the High Priest and applied for letters to the synagogues at Damascus authorizing him to arrest anyone he found, men or women, who followed the new way, and bring them to Jerusalem.’ This incident is full of mystery. If Saul had his hands so full in ‘harrying the church’ in Judaea, why did he suddenly have the idea of going off to Damascus to harry the Church there? What was the special urgency of a visit to Damascus? Further, what kind of jurisdiction did the Jewish High Priest have over the non-Jewish city of Damascus that would enable him to authorize arrests and extraditions in that city? There is, moreover, something very puzzling about the way in which Saul’s relation to the High Priest is described: as if he is a private citizen who wishes to make citizen’s arrests according to some plan of his own, and approaches the High Priest for the requisite authority. Surely there must have been some much more definite official connection between the High Priest and Saul, not merely that the High Priest was called upon to underwrite Saul’s project. It seems more likely that the plan was the High Priest’s and not Saul’s, and that Saul was acting as agent or emissary of the High Priest. The whole incident needs to be considered in the light of probabilities and current conditions.

The book of Acts then continues with the account of Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus through a vision of Jesus and the succeeding events of his life as a follower of Jesus. The pre-Christian period of Saul’s life, however, does receive further mention later in the book of Acts, both in chapter 22 and chapter 26, where some interesting details are added, and also some further puzzles.

In chapter 22, Saul (now called Paul), is shown giving his own account of his early life in a speech to the people after the Roman commandant had questioned him. Paul speaks as follows:

I am a true-born Jew, a native of Tarsus in Cilicia. I was brought up in this city, and as a pupil of Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in every point of our ancestral law. I have always been ardent in God’s service, as you all are today. And so I began to persecute this movement to the death, arresting its followers, men and women alike, and putting them in chains. For this I have as witnesses the High Priest and the whole Council of Elders. I was given letters from them to our fellow-Jews at Damascus, and had started out to bring the Christians there to Jerusalem as prisoners for punishment; and this is what happened….

Paul then goes on to describe his vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus. Previously he had described himself to the commandant as ‘a Jew, a Tarsian from Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city’.

It is from this passage that we learn of Paul’s native city, Tarsus, and of his alleged studies under Gamaliel. Note that he says that, though born in Tarsus, he was ‘brought up in this city’ (i.e. Jerusalem) which suggests that he spent his childhood in Jerusalem. Does this mean that his parents moved from Tarsus to Jerusalem? Or that the child was sent to Jerusalem on his own, which seems unlikely? If Paul spent only a few childhood years in Tarsus, he would hardly describe himself proudly as ‘a citizen of no mean city’ (Tarsus). Jews who had spent most of their lives in Jerusalem would be much more prone to describe themselves as citizens of Jerusalem. The likelihood is that Paul moved to Jerusalem when he was already a grown man, and he left his parents behind in Tarsus, which seems all the more probable in that they receive no mention in any account of Paul’s experiences in Jerusalem. As for Paul’s alleged period of studies under Gamaliel, this would have had to be in adulthood, for Gamaliel was a teacher of advanced studies, not a teacher of children. He would accept as a pupil only someone well grounded and regarded as suitable for the rabbinate. The question, then, is where and how Paul received this thorough grounding, if at all. As pointed out above and argued fully below, there are strong reasons to think that Paul never was a pupil of Gamaliel.

An important question that also arises in this chapter of Acts is that of Paul’s Roman citizenship. This is mentioned first in chapter 16. Paul claims to have been born a Roman citizen, which would mean that his father was a Roman citizen. There are many problems to be discussed in this connection, and some of these questions impinge on Paul’s claim to have had a Pharisaic background.

A further account of Paul’s pre-Christian life is found in chapter 26 of Acts, in a speech addressed by Paul to King Agrippa. Paul says:

My life from my youth up, the life I led from the beginning among my people and in Jerusalem, is familiar to all Jews. Indeed they have known me long enough and could testify, if they only would, that I belonged to the strictest group in our religion: I lived as a Pharisee. And it is for a hope kindled by God’s promise to our forefathers that I stand in the dock today. Our twelve tribes hope to see the fulfilment of that promise…. I myself once thought it my duty to work actively against the name of Jesus of Nazareth; and I did so in Jerusalem. It was I who imprisoned many of God’s people by authority obtained from the chief priests; and when they were condemned to death, my vote was cast against them. In all the synagogues I tried by repeated punishment to make them renounce their faith; indeed my fury rose to such a pitch that I extended my persecution to foreign cities. On one such occasion I was travelling to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests….

Again the account continues with the vision on the road to Damascus.

This speech, of course, cannot be regarded as the authentic words addressed by Paul to King Agrippa, but rather as a rhetorical speech composed by Luke, the author of Acts, in the style of ancient historians. Thus the claim made in the speech that Paul’s career as a Pharisee of high standing was known to ‘all Jews’ cannot be taken at face value. It is interesting that Paul is represented as saying that he ‘cast his vote’ against the followers of Jesus, thus helping to condemn them to death. This can only refer to the voting of the Sanhedrin or Council of Elders, which was convened to try capital cases; so what Luke is claiming here for his hero Paul is that he was at one time a member of the Sanhedrin. This is highly unlikely, for Paul would surely have made this claim in his letters, when writing about his credentials as a Pharisee, if it had been true. There is, however, some confusion both in this account and in the accounts quoted above about whether the Sanhedrin, as well as the High Priest or ‘chief priests’, was involved in the persecution of the followers of Jesus. Sometimes the High Priest alone is mentioned, sometimes the Sanhedrin is coupled with him, as if the two are inseparable. But we see on two occasions cited in Acts that the High Priest was outvoted by the Pharisees in the Sanhedrin; on both occasions, the Pharisees were opposing an attempt to persecute the followers of Jesus; so the representation of High Priest and Sanhedrin as having identical aims is one of the suspect features of these accounts.

It will be seen from the above collation of passages in the book of Acts concerning Paul’s background and early life, together with Paul’s own references to his background in his letters, that the same strong picture emerges: that Paul was at first a highly trained Pharisee rabbi, learned in all the intricacies of the rabbinical commentaries on scripture and legal traditions (afterwards collected in the rabbinical compilations, the Talmud and Midrash). As a Pharisee, Paul was strongly opposed to the new sect which followed Jesus and which believed that he had been resurrected after his crucifixion. So opposed was Paul to this sect that he took violent action against it, dragging its adherents to prison. Though this strong picture has emerged, some doubts have also arisen, which, so far, have only been lightly sketched in: how is it, for example, that Paul claims to have voted against Christians on trial for their lives before the Sanhedrin, when in fact, in the graphically described trial of Peter before the Sanhedrin (Acts 5), the Pharisees, led by Gamaliel, voted for the release of Peter? What kind of Pharisee was Paul, if he took an attitude towards the early Christians which, on the evidence of the same book of Acts, was untypical of the Pharisees? And how is it that this book of Acts is so inconsistent within itself that it describes Paul as violently opposed to Christianity because of his deep attachment to Pharisaism, and yet also describes the Pharisees as being friendly towards the early Christians, standing up for them and saving their lives?

It has been pointed out by many scholars that the book of Acts, on the whole, contains a surprising amount of evidence favourable to the Pharisees, showing them to have been tolerant and merciful. Some scholars have even argued that the book of Acts is a pro-Pharisee work; but this can hardly be maintained. For, outweighing all the evidence favourable to the Pharisees is the material relating to Paul, which is, in all its aspects, unfavourable to the Pharisees; not only is Paul himself portrayed as being a virulent persecutor when he was a Pharisee, but Paul declares that he himself was punished by flogging five times (II Corinthians 11:24) by the ‘Jews’ (usually taken to mean the Pharisees). So no one really comes away from reading Acts with any good impression of the Pharisees, but rather with the negative impressions derived from the Gospels reinforced.

Why, therefore, is Paul always so concerned to stress that he came from a Pharisee background? A great many motives can be discerned, but there is one that needs to be singled out here: the desire to stress the alleged continuity between Judaism and Pauline Christianity. Paul wishes to say that whereas, when he was a Pharisee, he mistakenly regarded the early Christians as heretics who had departed from true Judaism, after his conversion he took the opposite view, that Christianity was the true Judaism. All his training as a Pharisee, he wishes to say — all his study of scripture and tradition — really leads to the acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. So when Paul declares his Pharisee past, he is not merely proclaiming his own sins — ‘See how I have changed, from being a Pharisee persecutor to being a devoted follower of Jesus!’ — he is also proclaiming his credentials — ‘If someone as learned as I can believe that Jesus was the fulfilment of the Torah, who is there fearless enough to disagree?’

On the face of it, Paul’s doctrine of Jesus is a daring departure from Judaism. Paul was advocating a doctrine that seemed to have far more in common with pagan myths than with Judaism: that Jesus was a divine-human person who had descended to Earth from the heavens and experienced death for the express purpose of saving mankind. The very fact that the Jews found this doctrine new and shocking shows that it plays no role in the Jewish scripture, at least not in any way easily discernible. Yet Paul was not content to say that his doctrine was new; on the contrary, he wished to say that every line of the Jewish scripture was a foreshadowing of the Jesus-event as he understood it, and that those who understood the scripture in any other way were failing in comprehension of what Judaism had always been about. So his insistence on his Pharisaic upbringing was part of his insistence on continuity.

There were those who accepted Paul’s doctrine, but did regard it as a radical new departure, with nothing in the Jewish scriptures foreshadowing it. The best known figure of this kind was Marcion, who lived about a hundred years after Paul, and regarded Paul as his chief inspiration. Yet Marcion refused to see anything Jewish in Paul’s doctrine, but regarded it as a new revelation. He regarded the Jewish scriptures as the work of the Devil and he excluded the Old Testament from his version of the Bible.

The Humbling Memory

There are fewer things more effective in initiating compassion for others than that of reflecting upon the personal blunders of one’s past. And the apostle is not unmindful of his own history; note the use of “we” (v. 3). Paul speaks of our “foolish” record. The word denotes one “without understanding,” especially in spiritual matters. We groped in darkness, following blind guides, thus being deceived. How does this square with the common notion that what one believes matters little — so long as he is sincere? Paul says we were driven by self-serving interests, slavishly devoted to passions that expressed themselves in the unbridled pursuit of physical pleasure (cf. 1 Timothy 5:6).

Employing four strong terms, the apostle says we lived (present participle – spent our time) in an existence characterized by malice, envy, being hateful, and hating. There is little motive for viewing others honorably and treating them right, when there is no sense of the spiritual in one’s life (cf. Romans 3:10-18). Life apart from the influence of God is a dismal existence. Something happened, though, to alter that situation.

The Dramatic Change

Paul indicates that the Cretan Christians had experienced a significant transformation from their earlier wanton mode of life. While they “once” (i.e., in former times) practiced the ungodly traits cataloged above, they now were different – generally speaking. They had been made “new creatures” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). But what had turned them around (cf. Matthew 18:3; Acts 3:19)? What motivated such a change?

The Life-Changing Motive

What so altered these formerly-malicious and hateful Cretans? The answer is clear. It was an exposure to the benevolent influence of a holy God (cf. 1 Peter 1:15-16).

In verses 4-7, Paul uses five expressions to emphasize the exemplary qualities of God that have the power to effect conversion.

He is “kind.” He demonstrates a “love toward man” (philoanthropia – true affection for fallen humanity). Out of his “mercy” (eleos – pity) he has provided redemption. His generosity is evidenced in the “richly” bestowed gift of the Holy Spirit. Justification is achieved as a result of divine “grace” (favor).

Grasp that – if you can: Kind, loving, merciful, generous, and giving of grace. Contemplate these qualities in the light of 1 John 4:l9 – “we love because he first loved us.”

The Divine Method

The net result in the lives of the Cretans was this. They had been “saved” (v. 5) and “justified” (v.7). so that they became “heirs” with the hope of eternal life. But how was this accomplished? There are two sides to the equation – the divine plan, and the human response.

First, Paul asserts that it was “through Jesus Christ our Saviour” that salvation was effected. The verb “appeared” (v. 4) suggests the incarnation of the divine Word (cf. John 1:14); the Saviour “appeared” (cf. 2:11) to meet his appointment at the cross.

The case is argued more extensively in Romans 3. There the apostle contends for these points.

God’s plan for man’s righteousness was foreshadowed in the law of Moses, and was manifested in the work of Jesus (3:21-22). It is available to all sinners, who, by faith, access it (vv. 22-23; cf. 5:1-2). The plan necessitated the death of Christ – the shedding of his blood – that propitiation might be accomplished through “the faith” system (v. 25). By the provision of Jesus, as a blemishless sacrifice (1 Peter 1:19), God could “justify” the obedient (cf. 6:3-4,17; Hebrews 5:9), and yet preserve his own sense of “justness” (v. 26).

To suggest, however, as many denominationalists do, that this sacred system requires nothing of man, is a serious mistake that contradicts a host of Bible passages.

Second, within this context of Titus 3, the apostle reveals that justification has a human element. It is realized when man submissively yields to God’s plan for human redemption.

In considering the matter of man’s salvation, Paul argues his case from two vantage points. Careful reflection needs to be given to this approach. Again, the apostle looks at the issue negatively; he then views it positively.

(1) Human salvation is not achieved “by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves”(v. 5a). The term “works” can refer to efforts of human merit – of which one might boast (cf. Ephesians 2:9), or it may refer to acts of obedience required by God (cf. John 6:27-29). Clearly, in this instance, the former is in view. One cannot earn his salvation with meritorious deeds. Note the concluding phrase, “which we did ourselves.”

The root verb is poieo, which simply means to “do” something. J.H. Thayer noted, however, that the term may be used with “nouns describing a plan or course of action,” and he cited Titus 3:5 as an example (Greek Lexicon, p. 526). Paul’s meaning is this. No man has the ability to plan and execute a course of action by which he can achieve salvation on his own. Redemption, as system, proceeds from God alone.

(2) Following the phrase, “which we did ourselves,” there is a contrasting conjunction, alla, which indicates that an “opposing thought” follows. One is not saved by his own righteousness; rather salvation is by God’s mercy. The preposition dia (translated “through”) is employed, which suggests that “by the agency of” or “means of” the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit” salvation is received.

One thing is clear. The “washing” and the “renewing” are not a part of those works of human righteousness that are repudiated.

First, let us look at the phrase, “renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he poured out on us richly.” The use of the term ekcheo (“poured out” – aorist tense), likely points back to Pentecost, and the endowment of the Spirit upon the apostles, as they, for the first time, proclaimed the complete gospel message of Christ’s death and resurrection (cf. Acts 2:17-18,33).

The application to Paul and Titus (“poured out on us”), and then to all men subsequently, would be intended to emphasize the effect of that event in the supernaturally-given gospel message. Those today who receive the gospel are the recipients of the benefits of the divine revelation that was issued on Pentecost.

This view appears to be confirmed by the parallel use of the term “word” in connection with “washing” in another of Paul’s letters (Ephesians 5:26). These passages represent the only two places in the New Testament where this term (loutron – washing) is employed. One may reasonably conclude, therefore, that these passages, in concert, testify to the operation of the sacred Spirit through the agency of the gospel message.

The expression “washing of regeneration” is regarded as an allusion to baptism by the vast majority of Bible expositors – even those opposed to the idea that baptism is essential to salvation (A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures, Vol. IV, p. 607). As mentioned above, “washing” is associated with “water” (Ephesians 5:26). The reference clearly is to water baptism.

The Greek word for “regeneration” is a compound term, palingenesias (palin – again; genesis — birth) — the “born-again washing.” Without doubt is the fact that there is a connection between this passage and John 3:3-5, where Jesus set forth the divine obligation to be “born again” of “water and the Spirit.”

Again, we must emphasize this point. Baptism is not a work of human merit that is excluded from the plan of salvation, as so many religionists allege. It is a divine responsibility imposed as a test of faith, that issues forth in a new relationship to God. This is symbolically depicted as a birth.

The Tribe of Levi served particular religious duties for the Israelites and had political responsibilities as well. In return, the landed tribes were expected to give tithe to support the Levites,[1] particularly the tithe known as the ‘Maaser Rishon’. The Kohanim were the priests, who performed the work of holiness in the Temple. The Levites who were not Kohanim played music in the Temple or served as guards.

When Joshua led the Israelites into the land of Canaan (Joshua 13:33), the Sons of Levi were the only Israelite tribe that received cities but were not allowed to be landowners “because the Lord the God of Israel Himself is their inheritance” (Deuteronomy 18:2).[2][3]

Having a last name of Levi or a related term does not necessarily mean a person is a Levite, and many Levites do not have such last names. Levitical status is passed down in families from parent to child, as part of a family’s genealogical tradition. Tribal status is determined by patrilineal descent, so a child whose biological father is a Levite (in cases of adoption or artificial insemination, status is determined by the genetic father), is also considered a Levite. Jewish status is determined by matrilineal descent, thus conferring levitical status onto children requires both biological parents to be Jews and the biological father to be a Levite.

Currently the only branches of Judaism which regard Jewish status as being conferable by both parents have also abolished tribal statuses and distinctions, due to a view in both cases that egalitarian principles override halakha (traditional Jewish law). Accordingly, there is currently no branch of Judaism that regards levitical status as conferable by matrilineal descent. It is either conferable patrilineally, in the traditional manner, or it does not exist and is not conferred at al

The priests of the Cretan Jewish people were known by several names such as the Curetes (Kuretes), Corybantes, Dactyls, Cabiri, and Telchines who the 1st century Greek philosopher and historian, Strabo had said were names that are often used interchangeably with one another. These priests were placed in charge of protecting Zeus (Jupiter or Jove) by his mother Rhea from his vengeful father Cronus (Saturn or Satan). Rhea was worshiped under the symbol of the Moon as they had carried the Ark.

When Zeus was about to be born, however, Rhea sought Uranus and Gaia to devise a plan to save him, so that Cronus would get his retribution for his acts against Uranus and his own children. Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete, handing Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he promptly swallowed. Then she hid Zeus in a cave on Mount Ida in Crete. (Wikipedia)

The king and greatest of all gods, Zeus (Jupiter) was now hidden in a cave in the dark by his mother the moon goddess, Rhea who would be the light to lead us through the night. The moon goddess would now be placed in charge of religion, and the ancient priesthood from Crete would be the defacto protectors. According to Sextus Empyricus, the Trojan war was fought over a statue of the moon goddess.

Rhea is called the Mother of the Gods, Mother of the World, Goddess of Heaven and the Goddess of War, just to name a few of her titles. The second largest moon of the planet Saturn is named after her. Saturn is known in the occult, as the dark planet and planet of chaos. One of Rhea’s symbols is the moon, and in ancient Crete one of their main emblems was also the moon which can often be found on Cretan seals that served as their magical talismans. In the Cretan Vocabulary, one of the names for the moon was Diana. It is said that in ancient Crete, a common practice was ritual prostitution by devotees to the Moon goddess as it was in Cyprus, Libya, Syria, Asia Minor, and Palestine.

The subject of this epistle is to represent to Titus what are the qualities that a bishop should be endued with. As the principal function which Titus was to exercise in the Isle of Crete was to ordain priests and bishops, it was highly incumbent on him to make a discreet choice. The apostle also gives him a sketch for the advice and instructions which he was to propound to all sorts of persons; to the aged, both men and women; to young people of each sex: to slaves or servants. He exhorts him to keep a strict authority over the Cretans; and to reprove them with severity, as being a people addicted to lying, wickedness, idleness, and gluttony. And as many Converted Jews were in the churches of Crete, he exhorts Titus to oppose their vain traditions and Jewish fables: and at the same time to shew them that the observation of the legal ceremonies is no longer necessary; that the distinction’of meat is now abolished; and that every thing is pure and clean to those who are so themselves: he puts him in mind of exhorting the faithful to be obedient to temporal power ; to avoid disputes, quarrels, and slander: to apply themselves to honest callings; and to shun the company of an heretic, after the first and second-admonition.

In the year of Christ, 424, in the reign of Theodosius the younger, another Pseudo-Messiah arose in the island of Crete, who said, that he was Moses, and sent from heaven to carry the Jews in Crete, on dry ground, through the sea, and persuaded several of them to throw themselves into the sea

Titus was a Greek, apparently from Antioch,[2] who is said to have studied Greek philosophy and poetry in his early years.[3] He seems to have been converted by Paul, whereupon he served as Paul’s secretary and interpreter. In the year 51, Titus accompanied Paul to the council held at Jerusalem, on the subject of the Mosaic rites. Although the apostle had consented to the circumcision of Timothy, in order to render his ministry acceptable among the Jews, he would not allow the same in regard to Titus, so as not to seem in agreement with those who would require it for Gentile converts.[4]

Towards the close of the year 56, Paul sent Titus from Ephesus to Corinth, with full commission to remedy the several subjects of scandal and dissensions in that church. From Corinth, Paul then sent Titus to organize the collections of alms for the Christians at Jerusalem. Titus was a peacemaker, administrator, and missionary. He rejoined Paul in Macedon, and cheered him with the tidings he brought from Corinth.[5]

St. Paul, after his first imprisonment, returning from Rome stopped at the island of Crete to preach. The necessities of other churches requiring his presence elsewhere, he ordained his disciple Titus bishop of that island, and left him to finish the work he had begun. Chrysostom says that this is an indication of the esteem St. Paul held for Titus.[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Titus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Titus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_of_Paul_the_Apostle

In the Pauline epistles, the description of the conversion experience is brief. The First Epistle to the Corinthians[9:1][15:3-8] describes Paul as having seen the risen Christ:

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

— 1 Cor. 15:3–8, NIV

The Epistle to the Galatians also describes his conversion as a divine revelation, with Jesus appearing to Paul.

I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.

— Galatians 1:11-16, NIV

Acts of the Apostles discusses Paul’s conversion experience at three different points in the text, in far more detail than in the accounts in Paul’s letters. The Book of Acts says that Paul was on his way from Jerusalem to Syrian Damascus with a mandate issued by the High Priest to seek out and arrest followers of Jesus, with the intention of returning them to Jerusalem as prisoners for questioning and possible execution.[4] The journey is interrupted when Paul sees a blinding light, and communicates directly with a divine voice.

Acts 9 tells the story as a third-person narrative:

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

— Acts 9:3–9, NIV

 

The conversion of Paul, in spite of his attempts to completely eradicate Christianity, is seen as evidence of the power of Divine Grace, with “no fall so deep that grace cannot descend to it”[25] and “no height so lofty that grace cannot lift the sinner to it.”[25] It also demonstrates “God’s power to use everything, even the hostile persecutor, to achieve the divine purpose.”[26]

The transforming effect of Paul’s conversion influenced the clear antithesis he saw “between righteousness based on the law,”[27] which he had sought in his former life; and “righteousness based on the death of Christ,”[27] which he describes, for example, in the Epistle to the Galatians.[27]

The high priests belonged to the Jewish priestly families that trace their paternal line back to Aaron, the first high priest of Israel and elder brother of Moses, through Zadok, a leading priest at the time of David and Solomon. This tradition came to an end in the 2nd century BCE during the rule of the Hasmoneans.[2]

 

The succession was to be through one of his sons, and was to remain in his own family (Leviticus 6:15).[3] If he had no son, the office devolved upon the brother next of age: such appears to have been the practise in the Hasmonean period. In the time of Eli, however (1 Samuel 2:23), the office passed to the collateral branch of Ithamar (see Eleazar). But King Solomon is reported to have deposed the High Priest Abiathar, and to have appointed Zadok, a descendant of Eleazar, in his stead (1 Kings 2:35; 1 Chronicles 24:2–3). After the Exile, the succession seems to have been, at first, in a direct line from father to son; but later the civil authorities arrogated to themselves the right of appointment. Antiochus IV Epiphanes for instance, deposed Onias III in favor of Jason, who was followed by Menelaus.[4]

Herod the Great nominated no less than six high priests; Archelaus, two. The Roman legate Quirinius and his successors exercised the right of appointment, as did Agrippa I, Herod of Chalcis, and Agrippa II. Even the people occasionally elected candidates to the office. The high priests before the Exile were, it seems, appointed for life;[5] in fact, from Aaron to the Captivity the number of the high priests was not greater than during the sixty years preceding the fall of the Second Temple.

With the coming of Christ, there was a “change in the priesthood” (Heb 7:12). Jesus himself was the high priest of the New Covenant. In fact, Paul spoke of Jesus as both sacrificial priest and sacrificial victim (see Eph 5:2). But Jesus also shared his priesthood with men he designated as Apostles; and he commanded them to offer the sacrifice of the New Covenant (see 1 Cor 11:25).

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/maccoby2.htm

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to The Exodus From Crete

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    The Pharisees are favorable to Jesus. Why? “It has been pointed out by many scholars that the book of Acts, on the whole, contains a surprising amount of evidence favourable to the Pharisees, showing them to have been tolerant and merciful. Some scholars have even argued that the book of Acts is a pro-Pharisee work; but this can hardly be maintained. For, outweighing all the evidence favourable to the Pharisees is the material relating to Paul, which is, in all its aspects, unfavourable to the Pharisees; not only is Paul himself portrayed as being a virulent persecutor when he was a Pharisee, but Paul declares that he himself was punished by flogging five times (II Corinthians 11:24) by the ‘Jews’ (usually taken to mean the Pharisees). So no one really comes away from reading Acts with any good impression of the Pharisees, but rather with the negative impressions derived from the Gospels reinforced.

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