Great stuff here, but what is missing in your Q & A you ironically go into pretty heavily, and that is this: Q. Who is Paul warning the Galatians against? A. Circumcised Jews attempting to gain Gentile converts by way of circumcision in order that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
Originally Posted by wpm
After giving this closing passage some more thought (as I used to agree with how the rookie sees this to mean, yet simultaneously acknowledging your concerns as well), I've come to a new conclusion that 6:12-16 is but another of many places in this letter where Paul calls these Jews who have been preaching another gospel accursed (1:6-12; 2:15-21; 3:1-5; 3:10-14; 4:8-12; 4:15-18; 4:28-30; 5:1-16).
It is Paul and other Jews who put no salvific stock in circumcision that is "the Israel of God"; he is not talking about Gentiles at all, nor do I any more believe this verse to be highlighting the two groups within the church (though I still believe them to be there). By distinguishing "the Israel of God" within all of natural Israel (as he does in Rom. 9:6-13; 11:7; etc.), Paul in essence calls those Jews who preach circumcision "accursed"; apart from the "peace and mercy" of God, and therefore cut off.
Again, the Israel of God are Jews distinguished not from their fellow Gentile brethren, but from unsaved and blinded Israel who "pervert the gospel of Christ", who "seek to please men", who separate Jews from Gentiles, seeking and preaching justification and righteousness by the law, teaching perfection by the flesh, persecuting those born of the Spirit, who "have fallen from grace", who "hindered [them] from obeying the truth", called 'the leaven in the lump', who trouble them, and sow to the flesh, desiring to boast in the Gentiles' flesh. This same principle, when applied to Phil. 3:2-3 for example, brings much clarification to this whole discussion on Rom. 9-11.
Last edited by Nihil Obstat; Sep 26th 2008 at 01:22 AM.
analyze. synthesize. repeat.
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