Galatians 5:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.

New Living Translation
I'll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses.

English Standard Version
I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.

Berean Study Bible
Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole Law.

Berean Literal Bible
Now again I testify to every man receiving circumcision that he is a debtor to keep the whole Law.

New American Standard Bible
And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.

King James Bible
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to keep the entire law.

International Standard Version
Again, I insist that everyone who allows himself to be circumcised is obligated to obey the entire Law.

NET Bible
And I testify again to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.

New Heart English Bible
Yes, I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But I testify again to every person who is circumcised, that he is obligated to observe all of The Written Law.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Again, I insist that everyone who allows himself to be circumcised must realize that he obligates himself to do everything Moses' Teachings demand.

New American Standard 1977
And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For I testify again to every man that becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

King James 2000 Bible
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

American King James Version
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

American Standard Version
Yea, I testify again to every man that receiveth circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I testify again to every man circumcising himself, that he is a debtor to the whole law.

Darby Bible Translation
And I witness again to every man [who is] circumcised, that he is debtor to do the whole law.

English Revised Version
Yea, I testify again to every man that receiveth circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Webster's Bible Translation
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Weymouth New Testament
I once more protest to every man who receives circumcision that he is under obligation to obey the whole Law of Moses.

World English Bible
Yes, I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Young's Literal Translation
and I testify again to every man circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law;
Study Bible
Freedom in Christ
2Take notice: I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole Law. 4You who are trying to be justified by the Law have been severed from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.…
Cross References
Luke 16:28
for I have five brothers. Let him warn them so they will not also end up in this place of torment.'

Acts 15:1
Then some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."

Romans 2:25
Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.

Galatians 5:2
Take notice: I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.

Galatians 5:6
For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. All that matters is faith, expressed through love.

James 2:10
Whoever keeps the whole Law but stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
Treasury of Scripture

For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

testify.

Deuteronomy 8:19 And it shall be, if you do at all forget the LORD your God, and walk …

Deuteronomy 31:21 And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen …

Nehemiah 9:29,30,34 And testified against them, that you might bring them again to your …

Luke 16:28 For I have five brothers; that he may testify to them, lest they …

Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save …

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward …

Ephesians 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you from now …

1 Thessalonians 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because …

1 John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be …

a debtor.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for …

Deuteronomy 27:26 Cursed be he that confirms not all the words of this law to do them. …

Matthew 23:16,18 Woe to you, you blind guides, which say, Whoever shall swear by the …

James 2:10,11 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, …

(3) For I testify again.--Translate rather, Nay, I protest again, introducing a further argument. He who allows himself to be circumcised thereby commits himself wholly to the Law, just as, it might be said, he who is baptised commits himself wholly to Christ. The act of circumcision placed a man under the legal system, just as the act of baptism placed him under the Christian system. From that time forward he could not choose one part and refuse another, but was bound alike by all.

He is a debtor.--He is under an obligation.

Verse 3. - For I testify again (μαρτύρομαι δὲ πάλιν); I protest again. In using the word μαρτύρομαι, pro teste loquor, "I speak in the presence of a witness," the apostle intimates that he is making his affirmation with a definite sense of the Lord being his Witness (cf. Ephesians 4:17, "This I say and testify in the Lord"). The original construction and force of the verb are shown in Judith 7:28, Μαρτύρομαι ὑμῖν τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν. The apostle is wont to use it with a distinct sense of its emphatic import (see Acts 20:26; 1 Thessalonians 2:11). The word "again" points, not to the substance of the subsequent affirmation, as if it were a repetition of that mode in the preceding verse, which in fact it does not appear to be, but to the solemnity with which he makes this fresh affirmation. For the phrase, "I Paul say unto you," was one form of solemn affirmation which in effect gaged his personality as Christ's apostle and as acting in his name; and this "I protest" is another of equally solemn import. To every man that is circumcised (παντὶ ἀνθρώπῳ περιτεμνομένῳ); to every man that is having himself circumcised. St. Paul's statements elsewhere, and his own proceeding in circumcising Timothy, as well as the present context, make it certain that, however absolute and universal his affirmation at first sight seems to be, it is nevertheless meant to be taken as made with reference to certain understood conditions. Thus: "I protest to any one of you Gentiles, who, being already baptized into Christ, has himself circumcised with the view of winning righteousness and favour with God, by obeying this one prescription of the Law - that," etc. The conjunction δὲ is most probably the δὲ of transition (metabatic), introducing a fresh particular merely; and in this instance, as often, it needs not to be represented in translation at all. Certainly s for" is not its meaning. Possibly, as De Wette supposes, it points back, as an adversative, to the words," Christ shall profit you nothing," as if it were "but on the contrary." That he is a debtor to do the whole Law (o%ti o)feile/th ἐστὶν ὅλον τὸν νόμον ποιῆσαι); that he is under obligation (Greek, is a debtor) to do the whole Law. By having himself circumcised, he adopts the token of the Lord's covenant (Genesis 17:11, 13) made with those who were his people after the flesh; he enrolls himself with them to share with them their obligations. And to them the Lord had given the Law of Mount Sinai to be their appointed pedagogue till the Christ should come. "By being circumcised" (he means) "you of your own accord put yourself back afresh under this pedagogue, and just his bidding you must do. And for what? All the ordinances and ceremonies he puts you upon observing will leave you as far off as ever from remission of sins and justification with God! And this self-surrender to the pedagogue God has not asked for at your hands; while what he does require, that you withhold, even faith in him whom he hath sent: nay, not merely withhold your belief, but by open act and deed testify your disbelief in him." Under all that the apostle is here writing there appears to lie the principle, which, however, he has not distinctly stored, but which we see to be true, that circumcision was the peculiar badge of "Israel after the flesh," appertaining to them alone and not to be meddled with by any who did not mean to become naturalized as fellow-citizens with them. (For the use of ὀφειλέτης ἰστίν, comp. Romans 8:14.) The noun more commonly points to a debt incurred, or guiltiness; but here it simply denotes obligation. For I testify again to every man,.... This is the form of an oath, a calling God to witness, swearing by the living God, and declaring as in his presence to every man, whether Jew or Gentile, whoever he be:

that is circumcised; in order to obtain salvation, and as necessary to it:

that he is a debtor to do the whole law; and this it is that made circumcision an insupportable yoke, for that itself might be bore, and was bore by children of eight days old; but the fulfilling of the whole law cannot be done by any man; and yet everyone that is circumcised, in order to procure righteousness and life, is bound to keep the whole law; because the law is only his righteousness, when he observes all that is required in it, and as the Lord has commanded; if he does not, he is pronounced accursed: and this proves what was before said, that Christ is of no profit to such persons; because they reject him and his righteousness, and, as much as in them lie, make void his obedience, sufferings, and death: hence the same thing is repeated, though not in the same words, in the next verse. 3. For—Greek, "Yea, more"; "Moreover."

I testify … to every man—as well as "unto you" (Ga 5:2).

that is circumcised—that submits to be circumcised. Such a one became a "proselyte of righteousness."

the whole law—impossible for man to keep even in part, much less wholly (Jas 2:10); yet none can be justified by the law, unless he keep it wholly (Ga 3:10).5:1-6 Christ will not be the Saviour of any who will not own and rely upon him as their only Saviour. Let us take heed to the warnings and persuasions of the apostle to stedfastness in the doctrine and liberty of the gospel. All true Christians, being taught by the Holy Spirit, wait for eternal life, the reward of righteousness, and the object of their hope, as the gift of God by faith in Christ; and not for the sake of their own works. The Jewish convert might observe the ceremonies or assert his liberty, the Gentile might disregard them or might attend to them, provided he did not depend upon them. No outward privileges or profession will avail to acceptance with God, without sincere faith in our Lord Jesus. True faith is a working grace; it works by love to God, and to our brethren. May we be of the number of those who, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. The danger of old was not in things of no consequence in themselves, as many forms and observances now are. But without faith working by love, all else is worthless, and compared with it other things are of small value.
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