Circumcision (Gal. 6:12)

“It is those

Who want to make

A good showing

In the flesh

That try

To compel you

To be circumcised.

They do that

Only in order

That they may not be


For the cross

Of Christ.”

Ὅσοι θέλουσιν εὐπροσωπῆσαι ἐν σαρκί, οὗτοι ἀναγκάζουσιν ὑμᾶς περιτέμνεσθαι, μόνον ἵνα τῷ σταυρῷ τοῦ Χριστοῦ μὴ διώκωνται.

Paul said “It is those who want (Ὅσοι θέλουσιν) to make a good showing (εὐπροσωπῆσαι) in the flesh (ἐν σαρκί) that try to compel you (οὗτοι ἀναγκάζουσιν ὑμᾶς) to be circumcised (περιτέμνεσθαι).  They do that only in order that they may not be persecuted (μὴ διώκωνται) for the cross (ἵνα τῷ σταυρῷ) of Christ (τοῦ Χριστοῦ).”  This is the only time that the word εὐπροσωπῆσαι, that means to be of good countenance, to look well, make a fair show, or a good outward appearance, is used in the Greek biblical literature.  Paul made clear to the Galatians.  These Judaizers were trying to have the new gentile Christians become circumcised.  Thus, they would look good among their fellow Jewish people.  They wanted to show that Christianity was a mere sect of Judaism, not another way of religious belief.  They wanted to look good and at the same time avoid persecution from their fellow Jewish believers who were not following Jesus Christ.  For many of the Jewish people the Torah was the most important thing with circumcision.  The cross of Jesus Christ, on the other hand, was considered folly or foolishness.  These Judaizer Christians were not acting out of conviction but fear from their fellow Jewish believers.  Do you act out of fear or conviction?

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