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Galatians; The slippery slope

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posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 07:09 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI




vv2-3 He warns them solemnly that Christ and circumcision cannot be combined.


This may be a phrasing thing but INRI has been circumcised.




This is true in a formal sense, because circumcision is the act which identifies the man as a Jew and part of the covenant of Moses.


Circumcision is Abraham's part of the covenant, long before the first Jews, which is why Ishmael and thereby Muslim males are circumcised to this day.
Also the act identifying a man as a Jew is Bar Mitsva ritual, unless you count being born to a Jewish woman.
Many Goyim are circumcised and it does not identifies them as Jews obviously.




If they receive circumcision ( as a new act) then Christ will no longer have any benefit for them.


This contrasts with the report of Mark 5:17 in a way I find disturbing, please explain.

Thanks




posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 07:31 PM
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originally posted by: wisvol
"vv2-3 He warns them solemnly that Christ and circumcision cannot be combined. "
This may be a phrasing thing but INRI has been circumcised.

In the very next sentence, I said;

f they receive circumcision ( as a new act) then Christ will no longer have any benefit for them.

I think that explains what I was talking about.
If you want to be picky, "belonging to Christ and believing in the need to be circumcised cannot be combined".

"If they receive circumcision ( as a new act) then Christ will no longer have any benefit for them. "
This contrasts with the report of Mark 5:17 in a way I find disturbing, please explain.

I can only suppose that you have accidentally misquoted the reference.
I see no contrast with the report that the Gerasenes wanted Jesus to leave the area after he healed the man with an unclean spirit.
Try again.


edit on 5-3-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 07:46 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI




I think that explains what I was talking about.
If you want to be picky, "belonging to Christ and believing in the need to be circumcised cannot be combined".


I don't mean to be picky or rude, I'm trying to learn what you're teaching.
What about the circumcised Christians? Do they not belong to Christ?



I can only suppose that you have accidentally misquoted the reference. I see no contrast with the report that the Gerasenes wanted Jesus to leave the area after he healed the man with an unclean spirit. Try again.


You're right, I was thinking of Matthew. Mea culpa



posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 08:10 PM
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originally posted by: wisvol
What about the circumcised Christians? Do they not belong to Christ?

As I said in my reply to someone else;

This is not about what has happened to them physically (Paul himself had been circumcised at birth).
It is about where they are placing their trust.

Paul's point is that the work of Christ is complete enough to make submission to the Law unnecessary.
They came to Christ by placing their trust in him.
If they submit themselves to the Law after all (as they begin to do if they accept the need to be circumcised), then they are implicitly taking their trust away from Christ and placing it in their own obedience to the Law.

I said it best in a passage near the end.

I would compare it with the difference between resting and movement.
The state of trusting in Christ crucified is a condition of rest.
The state of trusting in “works of the Law” is a condition of movement.
There is no possibility of combining the two, because anyone who begins to move has already ceased to rest.



Yes, Jesus gave an assurance that he did not come to abolish the law. And why do you think he needed to give that assurance? Surely it was because his attitude to the Law of Moses was already coming under suspicion, after his criticisms of some of the details. The best-known example is his comment on the provisions for divorce, but others can be found.
So we are obliged to distinguish between two senses of "the Law". There is what Paul calls "the written code", the detailed provisions attributed to Moses, and on the other hand there are the basic principles indicating how God wants us to behave.
The Law which Paul attacks is the written code, while he can be seen to endorse the basic principles.
The law which Jesus promises to defend is NOT, I believe, the "written code", but the basic principles, as expressed in the Sermon on the Mount.
That is supported by the usage of James, whose ideas of "law" seem to be governed by the Sermon on the Mount.
SoI think the difference between the three of them is only verbal.

edit on 5-3-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 09:03 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI

originally posted by: wisvol
What about the circumcised Christians? Do they not belong to Christ?

As I said in my reply to someone else;

This is not about what has happened to them physically (Paul himself had been circumcised at birth).
It is about where they are placing their trust.

Paul's point is that the work of Christ is complete enough to make submission to the Law unnecessary.
They came to Christ by placing their trust in him.
If they submit themselves to the Law after all (as they begin to do if they accept the need to be circumcised), then they are implicitly taking their trust away from Christ and placing it in their own obedience to the Law.

I said it best in a passage near the end.

I would compare it with the difference between resting and movement.
The state of trusting in Christ crucified is a condition of rest.
The state of trusting in “works of the Law” is a condition of movement.
There is no possibility of combining the two, because anyone who begins to move has already ceased to rest.



Yes, Jesus gave an assurance that he did not come to abolish the law. And why do you think he needed to give that assurance? Surely it was because his attitude to the Law of Moses was already coming under suspicion, after his criticisms of some of the details. The best-known example is his comment on the provisions for divorce, but others can be found.
So we are obliged to distinguish between two senses of "the Law". There is what Paul calls "the written code", the detailed provisions attributed to Moses, and on the other hand there are the basic principles indicating how God wants us to behave.
The Law which Paul attacks is the written code, while he can be seen to endorse the basic principles.
The law which Jesus promises to defend is NOT, I believe, the "written code", but the basic principles, as expressed in the Sermon on the Mount.
That is supported by the usage of James, whose ideas of "law" seem to be governed by the Sermon on the Mount.
SoI think the difference between the three of them is only verbal.


To be honest with you, I do not get what your saying. I know before the law was this covenant. After Yahweh Gave up on the nations, Yahweh experiments with a single individual of believing; Abraham’s believing withstands many a trial. Yahweh is the owner of the land, Abraham was called to. Yahweh is empowered to set conditions or residency requirements for those who would reside in it, like a landlord. Yahweh is seeking replacement tenants who are going to follow the moral rules of residence that Yahweh has established for his land. 


Yahweh’s promise to Abraham is formalized in a ritual ceremony called a suzerainty covenant. The patriarchical covenant, which is a covenant in which a superior party, a suzerain dictates the terms of a political treaty usually, and an inferior party obeys them. The arrangement primarily serves the interest of the suzerain, and not the vassal or the subject. So Yahweh is making a land grant to a favored subject, and there’s an ancient ritual that ratifies the oath. In this kind of covenant, the parties to the oath would pass between the split carcass of a sacrificial animal, as if to say, that they agree they will suffer the same fate as this animal, if they violate the covenant. 


Abraham cuts sacrificial animals in two, and Yahweh, but only Yahweh, passes between the two halves. Only Yahweh seems to be obligated by the covenant, obligated to fulfill the promise that he’s made. Abraham doesn’t appear to have any obligation in return. In this case, it is the subject, Abraham, and not the suzerain, Yahweh, who is benefited by this covenant, and that’s a complete reversal of this ritual ceremony.



posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 09:14 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI




This is not about what has happened to them physically (Paul himself had been circumcised at brith). It is about where they are placing their trust.


I get that Paul is an authority in religious matters, but it seems that Matthew also is and reports that Jesus said (paraphrased) that he didn't come to abolish the Law, which to me means that the covenant of Abraham isn't repealed.



the need to be circumcised


You chose the word "need" twice in this context, and once in italics so just for the record: it's a choice to be made, and an ersatz of the demand made to Abraham of sacrificing Isaac.
In my understanding it is a way to demonstrate an acceptance of the fact that life is a dream and G is the dreamer, so to speak, and that therefore Abraham in flesh and in grafts voluntarily remember this not only through lip service but in daring deed.

I'd go so far as to say that since Isaac was a very late gift to Sarah who would have suffered his birth to see him sacrificed, the act of Abraham being circumcised in stead of losing their son was an act of gallantry on his part and a symbol today of remembering to trust with one's intimate blood, in a way that contrary to words cannot be faked.



If they submit themselves to the Law after all (...), then they are implicitly taking their trust away from Christ and placing it in their own obedience to the Law.


One may choose the Law over other legal systems to free oneself. Please do appreciate the difference between this and submission.
No afterlife is seen by the OT and the righteous dead walking the streets of Jerusalem are understood in a bloodline capacity, akin to calling Saul Israel or saying Abraham will become nations. Modern translations often distort this.
Observance of the Law is a choice to be guided by this light rather than another and not submission to the Law, in order to be righteous and grant one's posterity a chance to live in the Jerusalem of the future.

Trusting the Law does not preclude trusting Christ in any way.



I said it best in a passage near the end.

I would compare it with the difference between resting and movement. The state of trusting in Christ crucified is a condition of rest. The state of trusting in “works of the Law” is a condition of movement. There is no possibility of combining the two, because anyone who begins to move has already ceased to rest.


This comparison would mean literally "anyone who begins to trust the works of the Law (what ever that is) has already ceased to trust in Christ crucified."

This may be exact and I don't understand it, yet I know for a fact that trusting Christ and trusting the Law are most compatible, synergic, and recommended by wiser teachers than I. A good example of someone who trusts both apparently is Christ.



Yes, Jesus gave an assurance that he did not come to abolish the law. And why do you think he needed to give that assurance? Surely it was because his attitude to the Law of Moses was already coming under suspicion, after his criticisms of some of the details. The best-known example is his comment on the provisions for divorce, but others can be found.


I think he would have précised so to dispel accusations to the contrary.

Divorce being legitimate after adultery only, as Jesus in my book is reported to wisely suggest does not go against the law of Moses.
I cannot find examples of his criticism of the Law unless criticism is used in a casuistic sense.



So we are obliged to distinguish between two senses of "the Law". There is what Paul calls "the written code", the detailed provisions attributed to Moses, and on the other hand there are the basic principles indicating how God wants us to behave.


Subtle and necessary distinction indeed, and I would like to add: the basic principles indicating how God wants us to behave were not revealed to me personally, and therefore I tend to look for insight in the detailed provisions attributed to Moses.



The law which Jesus promises to defend is NOT, I believe, the "written code", but the basic principles, as expressed in the Sermon on the Mount.


I agree, because at that time the written code was already censored, veiled, obfuscated or interpreted in good faith by less than capable careerists who allowed for Herod's Roman overlords and such nonsense, that an explanation to the populace was clearly more than welcome. Yet I'd wager that if we could -which I unfortunately can't- ask Jesus if he disagreed with the actual code written by God and given by Moses to the Egyptian rebels of Israel, he'd respond something along the lines of "no".




That is supported by the usage of James, whose ideas of "law" seem to be governed by the Sermon on the Mount. SoI think the difference between the three of them is only verbal.


An excellent synthesis. Jesus seems to have been able to understand the Law far better than his contemporaries, which is why rephrasing it to their ears and context and circumstance as he did, avoiding semantic drift's devastating effects through parable, hyperbole and poetry, was so effective.
Although I can never express the gratitude I feel for this I sometimes try.



posted on Mar, 6 2016 @ 04:38 AM
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originally posted by: wisvol
it seems that Matthew also is and reports that Jesus said (paraphrased) that he didn't come to abolish the Law, which to me means that the covenant of Abraham isn't repealed.

But he DID want to abolish details of the "written code". He said that the provision of divorce was not what God wanted; it was obviously well-known that he did not like the stoning of adulterers, which is why they tested him on it; in his discussion of the illegal things which David did, he made it clear that the ritual provisions of the Law were not as important as the Pharisees thought they were.
So he was indeed abolishing parts of the "written code". It was only the basic principles of the law which he was promising to conserve.
Try getting hold of this distinction between "details of the written code" and "fundamental principles", because if you bring up "did not abolish the law" again I will only repeat the above answer.


You chose the word "need" twice in this context, and once in italics

I emphasised the word "need" because that's exactly how it was being presented to the Galatians bythose who wanted them to do it, and this presentation was what Paul was complaining about.
The same thing in another city; "But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren 'Unless you are circumcised according the customs of Moses, you CANNOT be saved'" (Acts ch15 v1)
Paul is arguing against this claim that the Galatians need to be circumcised in order to come to God.

One may choose the Law over other legal systems to free oneself. Please do appreciate the difference between this and submission.

The difference between submission and choice does not matter for this issue.
The question at stake is; do they trust in Christ or not?
If a man trusts his belt, he does not use anything else. If he wears braces as well (if you're an American, that is probably "suspenders"), that implies that he does not fully trust his belt.
If a man trusts in Christ to bring him to God, then he trusts in Christ alone.
If he decides to rely on the Law as well, that gives away the fact that he does not fully trust in Christ.


Trusting the Law does not preclude trusting Christ in any way.

But someone who takes up anything in addition to Christ is not fully trusting Christ.
See above.

This comparison would mean literally "anyone who begins to trust the works of the Law (what ever that is) has already ceased to trust in Christ crucified."

That is exactly what it was meant to mean.
See explanation above for the reason why this is the case.

the basic principles indicating how God wants us to behave were not revealed to me personally, and therefore I tend to look for insight in the detailed provisions attributed to Moses.

They were known to Jesus, and he tried to explain them in the Sermon on the Mount.
Also I should point out that the Christian has the Holy Spirit, as Jesus promised, and the Spirit is "the mind of God".
"... words not taught by human wisdom, but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit" (1 Corinthians ch2 v13).

edit on 6-3-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 6 2016 @ 07:54 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI




But he DID want to abolish details of the "written code". He said that the provision of divorce was not what God wanted; it was obviously well-known that he did not like the stoning of adulterers, which is why they tested him on it; in his discussion of the illegal things which David did, he made it clear that the ritual provisions of the Law were not as important as the Pharisees thought they were. So he was indeed abolishing parts of the "written code". It was only the basic principles of the law which he was promising to conserve. Try getting hold of this distinction between "details of the written code" and "fundamental principles", because if you bring up "did not abolish the law" again I will only repeat the above answer.


"Adulterers deserve stoning to death" being Levite opinion based on 7th commandment and clashing with the 6th, it is indeed subject to interpretation, the correct one being that killing is worse than adultery, as evidenced by both Jesus and earlier teachers.
This is not abolishing the Law in the least, and does not contradict John.
Correct interpretation is not modification. I do bring up "did not abolish the law" again because that's what happened.




Paul is arguing against this claim that the Galatians need to be circumcised in order to come to God.


And I'm with Paul on this.
This said, the covenant of Abraham doesn't have to be repealed for this to be true.
People who don't trace back their lineage to Abraham may have different covenants or other forms of worship, and I'm not attempting to get into that.




The difference between submission and choice does not matter for this issue.


Yet it does.




If a man trusts his belt, he does not use anything else. If he wears braces as well (if you're an American, that is probably "suspenders"), that implies that he does not fully trust his belt.


Look friend, I'm not asking for anyone's foreskin. I'm saying Jesus is circumcised and therefore your claim that circumcision and trust in Christ are not compatible is false.




If he decides to rely on the Law as well, that gives away the fact that he does not fully trust in Christ.


Trusting in Christ fully is also subject to interpretation here because although Paul may understand that the law was partly abolished, Matthew does not. Only one of them quotes Jesus on this.




But someone who takes up anything in addition to Christ is not fully trusting Christ. See above.


Not fully trusting your understanding of Paul isn't "not trusting Christ." Be humbler about it.





They were known to Jesus, and he tried to explain them in the Sermon on the Mount. Also I should point out that the Christian has the Holy Spirit, as Jesus promised, and the Spirit is "the mind of God". "... words not taught by human wisdom, but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit" (1 Corinthians ch2 v13).


None of this precludes the Law Jesus didn't come to abolish. Any disciple of Christ who is also a child of Abraham would in order to fulfil his part of the covenant that was not abolished be circumcised.



posted on Mar, 6 2016 @ 08:24 AM
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originally posted by: wisvol
Look friend, I'm not asking for anyone's foreskin. I'm saying Jesus is circumcised and therefore your claim that circumcision and trust in Christ are not compatible is false.

So was Paul, for that matter (circumcised, that is).
Paul is not objecting to the physical state of circumcision; he is objecting to the teaching, being spread at the time by certain "false brethren" that Gentile Christians needed to be circumcised in order to come to God.
That teaching, and accepting the verdict of that teaching, is what is incompatible with trust in Christ.
Paul and I are simply using "circumcision" as a shorthand for that.
You have already said that you agree with Paul on this point. So all you are doing now is quibbling about the wording of one way of expressing it.

Not fully trusting your understanding of Paul isn't "not trusting Christ." Be humbler about it.

Paul is the one who says the two things are incompatible, and he says it in very clear and forceful terms.
"My understanding" of Paul doesn't come into it.

edit on 6-3-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 6 2016 @ 09:04 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI




Paul is not objecting to the physical state of circumcision; he is objecting to the teaching, being spread at the time by certain "false brethren" that Gentile Christians needed to be circumcised in order to come to God.


See now you're making sense to me.




So all you are doing now is quibbling about the wording of one way of expressing it.


Quibbling about words in matters of theology is so important you admit to Jesus doing it.




"My understanding" of Paul doesn't come into it.


You'd think so, but you'd be wrong.



posted on Mar, 6 2016 @ 11:13 AM
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a reply to: newnature1
You need to get away from the "landlord and tenant" imagery, by which God's relation with the land is primary, and his relation with his people is only secondary.
The truth is the other way round. The primary relation is that between God and his people, and the relation with the land has been subsidiary to that.

In the Old Testament, God established a relationship with Israel associated, for the time being, with the Law and with the land.
But in the New Testament he expanded that relationship to the world at large. The foundation of faith, which was always implicit (see Paul's comments on Abraham) became explicit.
At the same time, he pushed aside "the Law" and "the land"; or rather, he gave his people a new understanding of these things.
The true home of God's people is not the physical land now occupied by the state of Israel, but their living in the presence of God.



edit on 6-3-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 6 2016 @ 12:15 PM
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God is promoting only the Kingdom of God, a spiritual within (not the kingdom of heaven the promise to Israel) today and once that is finished he will go back to establishing the Kingdom on earth as promised to Israel with Jesus sitting on the throne, This it will last only 1000 years and then everything is destroyed, Man and the devil are judged executed, a new heaven and new earth will be created and the New Jerusalem will set up the Eternal Kingdom that God had intended since the beginning of his ways See Prov 8:22-24



posted on Mar, 7 2016 @ 03:00 AM
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a reply to: ChesterJohn
"God is one, and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of their faith and the uncircumcised through their faith".
Romans ch3 v30



posted on Mar, 7 2016 @ 04:02 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

what are the the works of the Law?

according to your beliefs... which would be torah... correct?




posted on Mar, 7 2016 @ 04:05 AM
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a reply to: Akragon
I am presenting what Paul is saying; and yes, he is referring to the commandments found in the Pentateuch (I see from one remark in this book that he counts even Genesis as part of "the Law").

He is not objecting so much to "doing" the works of the Law, as to depending on them as a way of approaching God.
His case is that the Galatians already have a sufficient way of approaching God, by going through Christ in faith.
If they trust in Christ, they don't need an alternative or additional route; so if they take up an alternative or additional route, that indicates a weakening of their trust in Christ.







edit on 7-3-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



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