I like your last post and need to give it some more reflection. For now though, regarding this statement:
In Galatians, Paul was arguing vehemently against some who were encouraging his followers to become circumcised.
And who was doing this encouraging?
For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself, for fear of those in the circumcision group. The other Jews joined in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
So Cephas, Barnabas and the other Jews were "led astray" by "certain men" who "came from James" whom Paul calls "the circumcision group," which I take to be a disparaging remark that means they are the ones (or among those) who were encouraging followers to become circumcised. And even if they were renegades and weren't acting on behalf of James in that
respect, it still stands that all the Jews, including Cephas, who was a pillar, went along with them rather than Paul regarding table fellowship with Gentiles.
And if Paul (from his own perspective) was really in line with James and the other "super apostles" (which I take to be another disparaging remark) regarding Torah observance, then what is he so upset with them about? .
2 Cor. 11:5, 12-15 and 22-23:
I consider myself in no way inferior to those super-apostles.
But I will keep on doing what I am doing, in order to undercut those who want an opportunity to be regarded as our equals in the things of which they boast. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their works.
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am speaking like I am out of my mind, but I am so much more.
"works" were in line with their
"works," then why does he call them "false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ" and say "their end will correspond to their works
Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own.