why circumcision writings?03-09-2013 - Posted by Andre Piet
QUESTION: In an earlier blog on GoedBericht.nl, it was pointed out, on the basis of Ephesians 2, that the distinction between Jew and Gentile has no place within the body of Christ. My question is: How does this relate to the fact that James, Peter and John are exclusively for the people of the circumcision (Gal.2:9)? Is that not in conflict with each other? ANSWER: The ecclesia as one body, in which there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile (Col.3:11), we only find spoken of in Paul’s letters. It is made known to him by revelation (Eph.3:3) and through him, also, to the other apostles (Eph.3:5). To the apostles in Jerusalem was previously entrusted “the Evangel of the circumcision” (Gal.2:7-9). For Paul it was clear, however, that this message, in the meantime, was out of date, because Jerusalem would not repent (Acts 22:18) and salvation, for that reason, was sent to the nations (Acts 28:28). How this knowledge, entrusted to Paul, was understood by “the twelve” and James is difficult to say. They loyally have acknowledge Paul as an apostle of Christ (Gal.2:9), but whether-, and to what extent they have comprehended his message remains a question. Only of Peter we know, that, at the end of his life, he explicitly referred to Paul’s letters, because according to him, in them can be found the answer to the question with respect to the delay of the return of Christ (2Pet.3:15.16). letters in the future again current That James, Peter and John were for the circumcision, is a given (Gal.2:9). The words of address of their writings, leave, concerning that, no doubt (James 1:1; 1Pet.1:1, etc.). So the question is: Why are these circumcision writings in our Bible, since “the circumcision” has no separate status within the body of Christ? When we understand that God’s plan in phases is being unfolded, the answer is not difficult. In the (near) future, God will again pick up the thread with His people Israel and with Jerusalem, as “the city of the great King”. However, before that time will come, the ecclesia, which in our day is called-out (as the body of Christ), will be evacuated from the earth to God and His throne (1Thes.4; Rev.12:5). From that moment, the circumcision-letters will again be actual and be applicable to the people of the circumcision, in that time-setting. a pause The present period of time, in which the body of Christ is formed, is a pause in God’s program; an interim period; an unforeseen interruption (“not known during the time of earlier generations”; Eph3:5). The writings of James, Peter and John, however, join up with the words of the prophets (1Pet.1:10) and will become effective, when Israel comes back into the picture.