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1 Corinthians 7:18 – Circumcision important?

29-04-2019 - Posted by Andre Piet

Was anyone called having been circumcised? Let him not be de-circumcised. Is anyone called in uncircumcision? Let him not circumcise.

In this section Paul is not only dealing about being married or not. The principle of ‘remaining in the calling in which you were called’ goes much further. It also applies to the religious background. Some of Paul’s readers in Corinth were (like himself) Jewish and thus circumcised. No problem, says Paul. Do not make an effort to undo this surgically. And vice versa: if you are not Jewish and therefore uncircumcised, do not make any effort to become circumcised

With these instructions Paul typifies his “evangel of the uncircumcision” (Gal 2:7). The Circumcision play no role at all in his message. This is in contrast to “the twelve” who had previously been entrusted with the “evangel of the uncircumcision”. When Paul arrived in Jerusalem, it turned out to be the criticism of him from the large group of Messiah-professing believers (Acts 21;21). In their eyes, Paul was a ‘pagan’ apostle, ignoring Israel’s special position and the law that was entrusted to them. To a certain extent, they were right. To this day, Paul’s unique message is a stumbling stone…