By David WalshThe Apostle Paul, one of the most influential figures of the Christian church, used the Jewish community to warn the Christians that the Jewish enemy was far worse than the Roman Empire.
Paul, who lived to be 90, wrote to fellow Jews in the first century AD about their enemies, the Jewish State, which he described as a “vile and hateful” enemy.
Paul’s words are likely to be recalled when the Vatican unveils a new version of the New Testament, which is set to be revealed at the end of this month.
This is the third version of Paul’s letters to the Jews published since the 1960s, with the first being in 1978.
In the first version, which was published in Hebrew, Paul described the Jews as the “worshippers of a lawless and abominable God”.
In his second, the apostle warned that the Jews had been betrayed by God, who had betrayed them by taking over the nations, including the Holy Land, which had been entrusted to the apostles.
“And I fear for the salvation of many, since there are not only those among you who are wise, but also those who are unlearned,” Paul wrote to the Jewish tribe of Ephraim in the second century AD.
He added that the Gentiles were not allowed to learn their religion, but were being led astray by a false prophet.
As the Church was being “wicked and foolish”, Paul wrote, he would advise the Jews to repent, not to make war on the Christians, but to turn to God for salvation.
Paul was writing to the Hebrews, a community that had lived alongside the Romans for centuries, but had been “abandoned by the power of the Roman Emperor” and “caught up in the corruptions of the Gentile world”.
Paul, in the letter, also warned the Jews not to take advantage of the fact that “a few are living in luxury in their own houses”, adding: “This is very harmful for them, because their riches and their possessions are not sufficient to enable them to live in luxury.”
Paul, a Roman Catholic, died in Jerusalem in the early 4th century.
He was canonised by Pope Leo X in Rome in 664.
The Vatican is now working on a new edition of the letter that will be published in English and Latin.
Pope Francis is the second pope to make a new Greek-language edition of Paul, following his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who published a Greek-translated version in 2008.
Francis has not revealed the new version, but said he was open to the possibility of a new translation of the letters.
The new edition will be released by the end for free online.
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