Galatians 2:3 – Is Circumcision Required?

Wow, it has been a while since I posted on this series of problem verses.  Next we are going to get into Galatians.  This is a problematic book in that a lot of people use many of the verses out of context.  The point Paul is stressing in this entire book is salvation comes by grace and not through works of the law.  Yet, many want to say that Paul throws out Torah.  If Paul threw out Torah then why was he taking a Nazarite vow in Acts 21, which includes sacrificing animals?  Why when he defended himself in Acts 23-25 did he state he followed Torah, he was a Pharisee?  Hmmm, things to consider.

On to Galatians.  Most do not bring up anything in chapter 1 so let’s move on and revisit if we need to unless someone brings it up.  V3. begins our first confusing statement.

v3 – But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.

Everyone automatically assumes, this means we do not have to obey Torah and get circumcised.  That is not what the text says though.  He was not compelled to do it. Compelled means driven or forced into action.  Who was trying to force Titus to be circumcised?  We are told in the next verse.

v4 – But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.

Some came in wanting to put them in bondage.  Ok.  What is the first thing you thought of when the passage says “bring us into bondage”?  Come on now, admit it.  You thought of Torah or law.  Is that how the disciples or King David thought of Torah?  Let’s see:

Psalms 119:45 – And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

James 1:25 – But one who looks intently at the perfect LAW, the LAW of LIBERTY, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

Reread what James says.  Perfect law, law of liberty.  If you abide by it….be an effectual doer, then you will be blessed.  This does not sound like bondage to me.

1 John 5:3 – For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

First James now John?  John tells us His commandments are not burdensome. I know, we were always told that following the commandments are burdensome and bondage.

Did Paul have anything good to say about the Torah or commandments?  Sure he did….Romans 7:12 – So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

If the Law (Torah) is holy, the commandments are holy righteous and good, shouldn’t we do them?

I am not going to list everything King David said b/c it would be long.  But here are a few things from Psalm 119…ways are blameless if you walk in the ways of the Lord, I shall delight in your statutes, make me walk in the path of your commandments for I delight in it.

I want to be like King David, as you know was called a man after G-d’s own heart.

I digress, but you get the picture.  The Torah, the commandments are not burdensome.  Scripture tells us over and over again.

Back to v4.  What were false brethren doing to bring them in bondage?  They were trying to get those in Galatia to submit to the Torah for salvation.  They were saying you must be circumcised to be saved.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  Our father Avraham was brought into covenant with G-d 24 years before he was circumcised.  While circumcision of the flesh is a commandment, one needs to be circumcised in the heart before you are saved.  If you are not circumcised at the heart, following the commandments (unless perfect) will not do you any good.  So Titus did not need to become circumcised to be in covenant with G-d (what you might call saved).  As the Acts 15:21 meeting said, start out with these 4 things and the rest you will hear each Sabbath when the Torah is read.  Meaning the rest will come in time.

What do you think?  I hope this helps you or at least intrigues you.  Tell me what you think!

Until next time kadosh, kadosh, kadosh, is HaShem!