WHAT’S UP WITH THE NAME SHAUL CHANGING TO PAUL?

A brother had these interesting questions: (all spellings remain as they were given)
“Mat 27:52 and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints that had fallen asleep were raised; At Jahushua's death many graves were apparently opened and witnesses of the Messiahship appeared throughout the area. Were these First-Fruits to be waved along with Messiah for the wave sheaf? Are they still alive and if so where might they be? I don't think I ever got an answer on why Paul is called Shaul. I thought it was truned around at his conversion. Also, it seems a bit distractive to use the Hebrew/Aramaic names of various books of the bible that are more commonly known to the English language AS ENGLISH names. I think I know the Bible fairly well but I find my mind distracted to have to always translate; ‘Now what is that in my KJV or NASB’" END QUOTE/QUESTION

When I think about the brother formerly known as “Shaul”, I feel like a real sluggard by comparison. Shaul is shunned today by some “Messianics” because they fail to understand his writings. This was true over 1900 years ago as well (2Pet 3:15-17). He received the right hand of fellowship from the “pillars” at Yerushalayim (Gal 2:9), yet so many today fail to recognize how greatly Yahusha used him to spread the Besorah (message) among the lost sheep. Yahusha was truly in this man IN POWER (2 Cor 12:9). Some are also confused over how he took a name-change, from SHAUL to PAUL (in the Greek distortion, we see it written as SHAULOS, then PAULOS). Acts 13:9 and Acts 13:13 are the first texts that indicate he was known by the name PAUL, with the intention of completely replacing the former name Shaul. From this point on, and throughout the letters he wrote to the assemblies and individuals, he writes his name as PAUL (PAULOS as we have it in the Received Text in Greek). We know that other talmidim/disciples were known by two, and sometimes even three names. One could speculate that a good reason for why Shaul may have changed his name is this: the name “Shaul” was associated with the reputation for exterminating the Natsarim. This was also the goal of the early “church fathers” who considered the Natsarim to be heretics. Shaul’s name in his day would have been like the reputation of “Billy the Kid”, or if I may be so bold to say, Adolf Hitler. (Prepare for the “roasting” of Lew White for saying a thing like that, even though Paul might agree!). When Yahusha told HananYah that he was to go visit with Shaul on Straight Street, he brought up that reputation:

Act 9:13-18: “And Hananyah answered, ‘Master, I have heard from many about this man, how many evils he did to Your set-apart ones in Yerushalayim, and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all those calling on Your Name.’ But the Master said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My Name before nations, sovereigns, and the children of Yisrael. For I shall show him how much he has to suffer for My Name.’ And Hananyah went away and went into the house. And laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Sha’ul, the Master Yahusha, who appeared to you on the way as you came, has sent me, so that you might see again and be filled with the Set-apart Spirit.’ And immediately there fell from his eyes, as it were scales, and he received his sight. And rising up, he was immersed.” Due to his prior reputation as Shaul, the new creation “Paul” considered himself to be the “chief of sinners” (1 Ti 1:15). It is only a guess, but it is most likely that Shaul was, after his conversion, never known by any other name but PAUL due to the horror he had inflicted in the name of Shaul; but we also know that after his conversion his life was being sought by the Yahudim. More than forty men had vowed to kill him, and a young man was sent to the Commander protecting Paul to tell him of the conspiracy to kill Paul: Act 23:21 “‘Therefore, do not let them persuade you, for more than forty of them lie in wait for him, men who have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor to drink until they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for the promise from you.’” A name-change served him well on two fronts. Some refuse to accept the namechange, and print “Sha’ul” even when the text refers to his new name, Paul. I’m changing my approach to that even now. There is another example of a namechange that many overlook. A young, dear friend of Yahusha, ELAZAR (known as “Lazarus”) was raised from the dead after remaining four days in the tomb. We don’t know his age, but he must have been rather young, the brother of Miryam and Martha living in the village of Bethany. After Yahusha called him forth from the tomb, the Yahudim set their hearts on killing Elazar, and yet we never read about him being killed, or even mentioned again, other than as “the disciple whom Yahusha loved”. The writer seems to have intended to hide his own identity to a certain extent. Like Shaul, it seems apparent that Elazar took on another name, and we know it today to be Yahuchanon, the writer of what is referred to as the “gospel of John”, and “Revelation”. No one named “John” is mentioned in the “gospel of John”, and all we know about him directly from his account is that he was “the disciple whom Yahusha loved” (see Jn 11:3). He laid his head on Yahusha’s bosom at the supper, and Kepha (also known as Peter, and Simon)

wanted to know how “the disciple whom Yahusha loved” was going to die (see context at John 21:20-25). This also segues into your question about those whose graves were opened, and were raised from the dead; Yahusha referred to “some” who were among them that would “remain” -- meaning they are still among us now -- until they see the second coming in power! (see Mark 9:1). Yahusha is the First-Fruits, and what we don’t know about the “others” is fine for now, since Yahusha told Kepha: Jn 21:22: “Yahusha said to him, ‘If I wish him to remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.’” We get a glimpse from Mt. 16:27,28, where Yahusha speaks of the time of His return, then He mentions something very curious: “For the Son of Adam is going to come in the esteem of His Father with His messengers, and then He shall reward each according to his works. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death at all until they see the Son of Adam coming in His reign.” You can read more about this in two articles: IS THE WRITER OF REVELATION STILL ALIVE? (Parts 1 & 2)
LINK: http://www.fossilizedcustoms.com/revelation.html (PART 1)

When Yahusha returns, His reign will begin in the aftermath of the great distress, during which many will “shine” (Dan 12:2,3), and they will lead many to righteousness (Torah) after being endowed with “power”, as the accuser is thrown down (Rev 12:10). We will be changed to trample over all the power of the enemy (dispel myths, false beliefs) with no one to stop us, and both male and female servants will receive an outpouring of Yahusha’s Spirit: Joe 2:28-32: “And after this it shall be that I pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men dream dreams, your young men see visions. And also on the male servants and on the female servants I shall pour out My Spirit in those days. And I shall give signs in the heavens and upon the earth: blood and fire and columns of smoke, the sun is turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of Yahuah. And it shall be that everyone who calls on the Name of Yahuah shall be delivered. For on Mount Tsiyon and in Yerushalayim there shall be an escape as Yahuah has said, and among the survivors whom Yahuah calls.”

1Co 15:51-53: “See, I speak a secret to you: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible has to put on incorruption, and this mortal to put on immortality.” As for the original names for the “books” or scrolls of Scripture, the Hebrew names are the more proper to use. Even though we have to make some effort to re-learn their names, it is part of the restoration process we are seeing today. The authentic Hebrew words and names provide us with much greater insight than the Greek. “Genesis” is a Greek word for origin or beginning. “Bereshith” means IN THE BEGINNING, and is literally the first word of Scripture. “Exodus”, and “Deuteronomy” are also Greek words. The plural ending in the word “Bereshith” doesn’t mean there were “beginnings”, but rather the plural ending relates to the weightiness (or size and scope) of the event. This is similar to the use of the word “behemoth” which also has a plural ending. It is only one animal being described, yet its size and power is conveyed by the use of the plurality. Our modern word “dinosaur” (Greek, terrifying lizard) is used for a broad range of creatures, usually extinct, and may be of any size; but whatever the creature was that Yahuah called a behemoth would most likely fit what we know today as a “dinosaur”. brother Lew White

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