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Galatians 5:3 – Cherry picking

29-09-2022 - Posted by Hans

Now I am attesting again to every m who is circumcising, the he is a debtor to do the whole law.

As a witness in court, Paul once again solemnly declares that whoever is circumcised takes upon himself the whole yoke of the law. Because as Paul had indicated before (3:10), the law is a total package and circumcision is therefore not available separately.

Evidently, the Judaizers had already persuaded the Galatians to adopt the Jewish calendar of high times (4:11) and now also insisted on circumcision (6:12). Paul knew Judaism inside out and as an ‘experiential expert’ (1:14) he could not appreciate the ‘Judaizers’ who were active in Galatia at all. They didn’t even keep the law themselves (6:13)!

In Christendom, this “selective shopping” in articles of law has become a widely accepted practice. The law is held before the churchgoers, but when it suits them, this is also changed with the greatest of ease. They say to hold the Sabbath day, but meanwhile they change the Sabbath into a Sunday. Or one ‘keeps the covenant’ but instead of circumcising, one sprinkles infants. And so on. Had one listened to Paul and his message to the nations, one would have been saved from this error…