Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Galatians 5:2

Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.
New American Standard Version

Adam Clarke Commentary

If ye be circumcised - By circumcision you take on you the whole obligation of the Jewish law, and consequently profess to seek salvation by means of its observances; and therefore Christ can profit you nothing; for, by seeking justification by the works of the law, you renounce justification by faith in Christ.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/galatians-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Behold, I Paul say unto you - I, who at first preached the gospel to you; I, too, who have been circumcised, and who was formerly a strenuous assertor of the necessity of observing the laws of Moses; and I, too, who am charged (see Galatians 5:11) with still preaching the necessity of circumcision, now solemnly say to you, that if you are circumcised with a view to being justified by that in whole or in part, it amounts to a rejection of the doctrine of justification by Christ, and an entire apostacy from him. He is to be “a whole Saviour.” No one is to share with him in the honor of saving people; and no rite, no custom, no observance of law, is to divide the honor with his death. The design of Paul is to give them the most solemn assurance on this point; and by his own authority and experience to guard them from the danger, and to put the matter to rest.

That if ye be circumcised - This must be understood with reference to the subject under consideration. If you are circumcised with such a view as is maintained by the false teachers that have come among you; that is, with an idea that it is necessary in order to your justification. He evidently did not mean that if any of them had been circumcised before their conversion to Christianity; nor could he mean to say, that circumcision in all cases amounted to a rejection of Christianity, for he had himself procured the circumcision of Timothy, Acts 16:3. If it was done, as it was then, for prudential considerations, and with a wish not necessarily to irritate the Jews, and to give one a more ready access to them, it was not to be regarded as wrong. But if, as the false teachers in Galatia claimed, as a thing essential to salvation, as indispensable to justification and acceptance with God, then the matter assumed a different aspect; and then it became in fact a renouncing of Christ as himself sufficient to save us. So with anything else. Rites and ceremonies in religion may be in themselves well enough, if they are held to be matters not essential; but the moment they are regarded as vital and essential, that moment they begin to infringe on the doctrine of justification by faith alone, and that moment they are to be rejected; and it is because of the danger that this will be the case, that they are to be used sparingly in the Christian church. Who does not know the danger of depending upon prayers, and alms, and the sacraments, and extreme unction, and penance, and empty forms for salvation? And who does not know how much in the papal communion the great doctrine of justification has been obscured by numberless such rites and forms?

Christ shall profit you nothing - Will be of no advantage to you. Your dependence on circumcision, in these circumstances, will in fact amount to a rejection of the Saviour, and of the doctrine of justification by him.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/galatians-5.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Galatians 5:2

If ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

The law and grace

I. God will deal with us either altogether by works or altogether by Christ; these things cannot be mixed.

II. To piece up therefore the righteousness of Christ by our own works, and to add anything to the passion as a meritorious cause of our justification, is to make Christ unprofitable.

III. We ought to content ourselves with Christ and His merits alone (Colossians 2:10). (T. Manton, D. D.)

Circumcision

I. The nature of sacraments in general.

1. Signs

2. Seals, to ratify and confirm

II. The nature of circumcision in particular.

1. A sign prefiguring baptism which has now taken its place

2. A seal of the covenant of grace, particularly of justification by faith. (Matthew Henry.)

The superfluousness of circumcision

Circumcision was the shadow of the substance which the Christian man already enjoyed. The law which prescribed it had already done its true work and was abolished in Christ. Where was the sense then of leaving the great liberator for one of the most grievous shackles of their old tyranny? (H. W. Beecher.)

Christianity not uniformity

It is not uniformity that we see in the works of God; but unity in variety or diversity. The tree has branches large and small, but the tree is one. Every plant, flower, or tree in the landscape has full freedom to unfold itself according to its nature; and yet the landscape is one. The many members in the human frame form one body. The many nations of the earth form one race. The twelve tribes of Israel constituted one “peculiar people.” The same law is true in relation to the Church. Christians are many, and differ in natural powers, gifts, education, and opinions; but they have all faith in Jesus Christ, worship the true God, and love their fellow men, and therefore form one spiritual brotherhood and Church. (Thomas Jones.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Galatians 5:2". The Biblical Illustrator. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/galatians-5.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Behold, I Paul say unto you that, if ye receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing.

Behold, I Paul say unto you ... Intensely personal and dramatic, this appeal was intended to affirm in the most dogmatic and positive way possible the truth which he was uttering.

Circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing ... There were exceptions to this rule, for Paul himself had been circumcised; and what is meant is "that circumcision with any view to its aiding or leading to one's justification would be a denial of Christ, a repudiation of the Christian gospel and the forsaking of Christianity." As MacKnight said, "This general expression must be limited; because we cannot suppose that the circumcision of the Jewish believers incapacitated them from being profited by Christ."[2]

The deduction is mandatory that the purpose of the Judaizers among the Galatians had made this their purpose, to circumcise the Galatians, no doubt representing to them that it was no great thing and did not involve them in the more onerous and expensive obligations of Judaism. Paul would expose the fraud in such a proposition in the very next verse.

ENDNOTE:

[2] James MacKnight, Apostolical Epistles and Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1969), p. 190.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/galatians-5.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Behold, I Paul say unto you,.... The apostle proceeds to give some reasons and arguments to enforce the above exhortation and dissuasion: the first of which is introduced with a note of attention, "behold"; what he was about to say being matter of great moment and importance; and also mentions himself by name, as the assertor of it; and that, either because his name was well known to them, and the rather because of his apostolical authority; and to show his full assurance of this matter, and his intrepidity, and that he was no ways ashamed of it, they might, if they pleased, say it to whomsoever they would, that Paul the apostle affirmed,

that if ye be circumcised Christ shall profit you nothing: he speaks of circumcision, not as when it was an ordinance of God, but as it was now abolished by Christ; and that got as singly performed on some certain accounts for he himself circumcised Timothy for the sake of the Jews; but as done in order to salvation, or as necessary unto it; which was the doctrine the false apostles taught and these Galatians were ready to give into: now circumcision submitted to on this consideration, and with this view rendered Christ unprofitable, made his death to be in vain, his sacrifice of no effect, and his righteousness useless: besides, Christ is a whole Saviour, or none at all; to join anything with him and his righteousness, in the business of justification and salvation, is interpreted by him as a contempt and neglect of him, as laying him aside, and to such persons he is of no profit; and if he is not, what they have, and whatsoever they do, will be of no advantage; wealth and riches, yea, the whole world could it be gained, their works and righteousness, whatever show they make before men, God has declared shall not profit them; and trusting to these renders Christ unprofitable to them. This is directly contrary to the notions of the Jews, who think they shall be saved for their circumcision, and that that will secure them from hell; they sayF13Shemot Rabba, sect. 19. fol. 104. 4. no circumcised person goes down to hell, and that whoever is circumcised shall inherit the land; but there is none shall inherit the land, save a righteous person; but everyone that is circumcised is called a righteous manF14Zohar in Exod. fol. 10. 2. ; so that circumcision is their righteousness, on account of which they expect heaven and happiness.

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Gill, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/galatians-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

1 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be a circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

(1) Another entreaty in which he plainly witnesses that justification of works, and justification of faith cannot stand together, because no man can be justified by the Law, but he that does fully and perfectly fulfil it. And he takes the example of circumcision, because it was the ground of all the service of the Law, and was chiefly urged by the false apostles.

(a) Circumcision is in other places called the seal of righteousness, but here we must have consideration of the circumstance of the time, for now baptism is a sign of the new covenant, just as circumcision was the sign of the old covenant. And moreover Paul reasons according to the opinion that his enemies had of it, which made circumcision a essential to their salvation.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/galatians-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Behold — that is, Mark what I say.

I Paul — Though you now think less of my authority, I nevertheless give my name and personal authority as enough by itself to refute all opposition of adversaries.

if ye be circumcised — not as Alford, “If you will go on being circumcised.” Rather, “If ye suffer yourselves to be circumcised,” namely, under the notion of its being necessary to justification (Galatians 5:4; Acts 15:1). Circumcision here is not regarded simply by itself (for, viewed as a mere national rite, it was practiced for conciliation‘s sake by Paul himself, Acts 16:3), but as the symbol of Judaism and legalism in general. If this be necessary, then the Gospel of grace is at an end. If the latter be the way of justification, then Judaism is in no way so.

Christ  …  profit  …  nothing — (Galatians 2:21). For righteousness of works and justification by faith cannot co-exist. “He who is circumcised [for justification] is so as fearing the law, and he who fears, disbelieves the power of grace, and he who disbelieves can profit nothing by that grace which he disbelieves [Chrysostom].

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/galatians-5.html. 1871-8.

Martin Luther's Commentary on Galatians

Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
Paul is incensed at the thought of the tyranny of the Law. His antagonism to the Law is a personal matter with him. "Behold, I, Paul," he says, "I who have received the Gospel not from men, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ: I who have been commissioned from above to preach the Gospel to you: I Paul say to you, If you submit to circumcision Christ will profit you nothing." Paul emphatically declares that for the Galatians to be circumcised would mean for them to lose the benefits of Christ's suffering and death. This passage may well serve as a criterion for all the religions. To teach that besides faith in Christ other devices like works, or the observance of rules, traditions, or ceremonies are necessary for the attainment of righteousness and everlasting life, is to make Christ and His salvation of no benefit to anybody.

This passage is an indictment of the whole papacy. All priests, monks, and nuns--and I am now speaking of the best of them--who repose their hope for salvation in their own works, and not in Christ, whom they imagine to he an angry judge, hear this sentence pronounced against them that Christ shall profit them nothing. If one can earn the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life through one's own efforts to what purpose was Christ born? What was the purpose of His suffering and death, His resurrection, His victory over sin, death, and the devil, if men may overcome these evils by their own endeavor? Tongue cannot express, nor heart conceive what a terrible thing it is to make Christ worthless.

The person who is not moved by these considerations to leave the Law and the confidence in his own righteousness for the liberty in Christ, has a heart that is harder than stone and iron.

Paul does not condemn circumcision in itself. Circumcision is not injurious to the person who does not ascribe any particular importance to it. Neither are works injurious provided a person does not attach any saving value to them. The Apostle does not say that works are objectionable, but to build one's hopes for righteousness on works is disastrous, for that makes Christ good for nothing.

Let us bear this in mind when the devil accuses our conscience. When that dragon accuses us of having done no good at all, but only evil, say to him: "You trouble me with the remembrance of my past sins; you remind me that I have done no good. But this does not bother me, because if I were to trust in my own good deeds, or despair because I have done no good deeds, Christ would profit me neither way. I am not going to make him unprofitable to me. This I would do, if I should presume to purchase for myself the favor of God and everlasting life by my good deeds, or if I should despair of my salvation because of my sins."

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Luther, Martin. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Martin Luther's Commentary on Galatians". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mlg/galatians-5.html. Zondervan. Gand Rapids, MI. 1939.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

I Paul (εγω Παυλοςegō Paulos). Asserts all his personal and apostolic authority. For both words see also 1 Thessalonians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 10:1; Colossians 1:23; Ephesians 3:1.

If ye receive circumcision (εαν περιτεμνηστεean peritemnēsthe). Condition of third class and present passive subjunctive, a supposable case, but with terrible consequences, for they will make circumcision a condition of salvation. In that case Christ will help them not at all.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/galatians-5.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Behold ( ἴδε )

Imperative singular, appealing to each individual reader.

I Paul

Comp. 2 Corinthians 10:1; Ephesians 3:1; Colossians 1:23. Asserting his personal authority.

If ye be circumcised ( ἐὰν περιτέμνησθε )

Better, receive circumcision. The verb does not mean that they have already been circumcised. It states the case as supposable, implying that they were in danger of allowing themselves to be circumcised.

Christ will profit you nothing

Circumcision is the sign of subjection to the Jewish “yoke” - the economy of the law. The question with the Galatians was circumcision as a condition of salvation. See Galatians 2:3, Galatians 2:5; Acts 15:1. It was a choice between salvation by law and salvation by Christ. The choice of the law involved the relinquishment of Christ. Comp. Galatians 2:21. Chrysostom says: “He who is circumcised is circumcised as fearing the law: but he who fears the law distrusts the power of grace: and he who distrusts gains nothing from that which he distrusts.”

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/galatians-5.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

If ye be circumcised — And seek to be justified thereby.

Christ — The Christian institution.

Will profit you nothing — For you hereby disclaim Christ, and all the blessings which are through faith in him.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/galatians-5.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

If ye be circumcised; if you seek salvation through this rite, and rely upon it as the ground of acceptance with God.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/galatians-5.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Вот, я, Павел. Самое тяжкое, что мог им возвестить апостол, это то, что они исключены из благодати Христовой. Однако что он хочет сказать фразой: Христос не приносит пользы никому из обрезанных? Разве Аврааму Христос не принес пользы? Наоборот, ведь Авраам обрезался как раз для того, чтобы получить эту пользу. Если мы скажем, что так было только до пришествия Христа во плоти, то что ответить по поводу Тимофея? Следует отметить: Павел говорит здесь не только о внешнем обрезании или каких-нибудь обрядах, скорее он выступает против нечестивого учения лжеапостолов, вообразивших, что обрезание необходимо для почитания Бога, и одновременно уповавших на него как на достойное вознаграждения дело. Именно эти дьявольские измышления и делали ненужным Христа. Они не отрицали Христа и не хотели полностью Его устранить, но так распределяли роль между делами закона и Его благодатью, что отводили Ему лишь половину нашего спасения. Апостол возражает и говорит, что спасение нельзя разделять таким образом. И Христос поможет нам только в том случае, если мы примем Его целиком.

Разве не то же делают сегодня паписты? Только на место обрезания они ставят выдуманные ими самими безделушки. Все их учение, безусловно, стремится к тому, чтобы смешать благодать Христову с заслугами дел, что совершенно невозможно. Ибо всякий, кто хочет иметь половинчатого Христа, теряет Его целиком. Однако паписты кажутся себе весьма остроумными, утверждая, что приписывают делам лишь то, что опосредуется Христовой благодатью. Но ведь именно в этом и состояло заблуждение галатов. Они не думали, что отпадают от Христа или отрекаются от Его благодати. Но когда евангельское учение извратилось в этом главном пункте, весь

Христос оказался для них утерянным. Слова: «вот, я, Павел» несут в себе ударение. Ибо апостол называет себя по имени, дабы не показалось, что он сомневается в своем деле. Хотя его авторитет и поколебался среди галатов, его было вполне достаточно для опровержения всех противников.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/galatians-5.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

Ver. 2. Behold I Paul] q.d. As true as I am Paul, and do write these things.

Christ shall profit you nothing] For he profits none but those that are found in him, not having their "own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God through faith," Philippians 3:9. As Pharaoh said of the Israelites, "they are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in," Exodus 14:3; so may it be said of Pharisaical and Popish justiciaries, they are entangled in the fond conceits of their own righteousness, they cannot come to Christ. A man will never truly desire Christ till soundly shaken, Haggai 2:7.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/galatians-5.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Galatians 5:2. Behold, This word is used to fix their attention. I, Paul;—"I, the same Paul, who am reported to preach circumcision,—testify again, (Galatians 5:3.)—continue my testimony, to every man; to you, and all men." This very emphatical way of speaking may well be understood to have regard to what he takes notice of Galatians 5:11 namely, his preaching circumcision; and is a very significant vindication of himself.If ye be circumcised, means, "If ye submit to circumcision, and depend on that, and the observance of the rest of the Jewish rites, for justification and salvation." It must have beenallowedthateitherJudaismorChristianitywasnecessaryto salvation. If Judaism had been necessary, Christianity could not be so; and (vice versa,) it is the same, if the argument be reversed. It was plain, therefore, that if the observance of circumcision, and other Jewish rites, was obligatory, all that Christ had done and suffered would have been of no advantage to them; for if the soul could not repose its confidence in him for salvation, its divided regards would be rather an affront than an act of homage.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/galatians-5.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

That is, "Behold, I Paul, your apostle, do positively declare, and expressly tell you, the Galatians, and all other Christians converted by me to Christianity, that if ye be circumcised, that is, join circumcision with the gospel as a thing necessary to justification and salvation, Christ's undertaking will profit you nothing; for embracing circumcision after Christ's coming, is virtually to deny and disown that he is come, and in effect to renounce and disclaim him; because at his coming the promise was fulfilled, and circumcision of its own nature ceased."

Learn hence, That for persons religiously to observe any of the rites of the ceremonial law, in obedience to any divine precept, or to join any thing with Christ, and faith in him, for the justification of a sinner before God, is a plain denial of Christ, and a disdaining of his ability and sufficiency to justify and save us: If ye be circumcised, verily, Christ shall profit you nothing.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/galatians-5.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

2.] ἴδε, not ἰδέ, in later Greek: see Winer, § 6. 1. a:—it draws attention to what follows, as a strong statement.

ἐγὼ παῦλος] ἄντικρυς ὑμῖν λέγω κ. διαῤῥήδην, κ. τὸ ἐμαυτοῦ προστίθημι ὄνομα, Thdrt. τὴν τοῦ οἰκείου προσώπου ἀξιοπιστίαν ἀντὶ πάσης ἀποδείξεως τίθησι, Theophyl., and so Chrys. There hardly seems to be a reference (as Wetst. “ego quem dicunt circumcisionem prædicare”) to his having circumcised Timothy. Calvin says well: “Ista locutio non parvam emphasin habet; coram enim se opponit, et nomen dat, ne videatur causam dubiam habere. Et quanquam vilescere apud Galatas cœperat ejus auctoritas, tamen ad refellendos omnes adversarios sufficere asserit.”

The present, ἐὰν περιτέμνησθε, implies the continuance of a habit, q. d. if you will go on being circumcised. He does not say, ‘if you shall have been circumcised:’ so that Calv.’s question, ‘quid hoc vult? Christum non profuturum omnibus circumcisis?’ does not come in. On χρ. ὑμ. οὐδ. ὠφελήσει, Chrys. remarks: ὁ περιτεμνόμενος ὡς νόμον δεδοικὼς περιτέμνεται, ὁ δὲ δεδοικὼς ἀπιστεῖ τῇ δυνάμει τῆς χάριτος, ὁ δὲ ἀπιστῶν οὐδὲν κερδαίνει παρὰ τῆς ἀπιστουμένης. Nothing can be more directly opposed than this verse to the saying of the Judaizers, Acts 15:1. The exception to the rule in Paul’s own conduct, Acts 16:3, is sufficiently provided for by the present tense here: see above.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/galatians-5.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Galatians 5:2. Paul now in a warning tone reveals to them the fearful danger to which they are exposed. This he does by the address ἴδε in the singular (comp. Soph. Trach. 824), exciting the special attention of every individual reader, and with the energetic, defiant interposition of his personal authority: ἐγὼ παῦλος, on which Theophylact well remarks: τὴν τοῦ οἰκείου προσώπου ἀξιοπιστίαν ἀντὶ πάσης ἀποδείξεως τίθησι. Comp. 2 Corinthians 10:1; Ephesians 3:1; Colossians 1:23

ἐὰν περιτέμνησθε] To be pronounced with special emphasis. The readers stood now on the very verge of obeying thus far—and therefore to the utmost—the suggestions of the false apostles in taking upon them the yoke of the law, after having already consented to preliminary isolated acts of legal observance (Galatians 4:10).

χριστὸς ὑμᾶς οὐδὲν ὠφελήσει] comp. Galatians 2:21. χριστὸς is emphatically placed first, and immediately after περιτ. Chrysostom, moreover, aptly remarks: περιτεμνόμενος ὡς νόμον δεδοικὼς περιτέμνεται, δὲ δεδοικὼς ἀπιστεῖ τῇ δυνάμει τῆς χάριτος, δὲ ἀπιστῶν οὐδὲν κερδαίνει παρὰ τῆς ἀπιστουμένης. On such a footing Christ cannot be Christ, the Mediator of salvation. Paul’s judgment presupposes that circumcision is adopted, not as a condition of a holy life (Holsten), but as a condition of salvation, which was the question raised among the Galatians 2:3; Galatians 2:5; Acts 15:1; Acts 16:3. Comp. Lechler, apost. Zeitalt. p. 248. The future, ὠφελήσει, which is explained by others (de Wette, Hofmann, and most) as referring to the consequence generally, points to the nearness of the Parousia and the decision of the judgment. Comp. Galatians 5:5 : ἐλπίδα δικαιοσύνης, just as previously the idea of the κληρονομία in Galatians 4:30.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/galatians-5.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Galatians 5:2. ἐὰν περιτέμνησθε, if ye be circumcised) This should be pronounced with great force. They were being circumcised, as persons who were seeking righteousness in the law, Galatians 5:4.— οὐδὲν, nothing) ch. Galatians 2:21.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/galatians-5.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible

It is manifest that the apostle is speaking here concerning circumcision, looked upon as necessary to justification, now under the gospel state. For under the Old Testament undoubtedly Christ profited the fathers, though circumcised; yea, Christ undoubtedly profiled Timothy, even under the gospel, though he was circumcised, Acts 16:3, that being done to prevent a scandal, and during a time whilst, for the gaining of the Jews to the Christian faith, the Jewish ceremonies, though dead, were (as it were) kept above ground, unburied for a time. But for men, after a sufficient time indulged them for their satisfaction concerning the abolition of the ceremonial law, still to adhere to it, and religiously to observe the rites of it, as in obedience to a Divine precept, and as necessary, over and above faith in Christ for justification, was indeed to deny Christ, and disclaim his sufficiency to save, who

is able to save to the utmost them that come to God by him, Hebrews 7:25; and besides whom there is no name given under heaven, by which men can be saved, neither is there salvation in any other, Acts 4:10,12; and who is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth, Romans 10:4. So that to join any thing with Christ, and faith in him, for the justification of the soul before God, is plainly to deny and disclaim him, and to make him insignificant to us. This Paul affirms with an apostolical authority and gravity:

I Paul say unto you.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/galatians-5.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

обрезываетесь См. пояснение к 2:3. Павел не имел ничего против обрезания как такового (ср. Деян. 16:1-3; Флп. 3:5). Но он не соглашался с тем мнением, что оно имеет значение в очах Бога или является предпосылкой или необходимым условием спасения. Обрезание имело значение в Израиле, когда оно было физическим символом очищенного сердца (ср. Втор. 30:6; Иер. 4:4; 9:24-26) и служило напоминанием о Божьем завете обетования спасения (Быт. 17:9, 10).

никакой пользы от Христа Искупительная жертва Христа ничего не даст тому, кто в деле спасения полагается на закон и обряд.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/galatians-5.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

If ye be circumcised; that is, circumcised as a profession of your dependence for salvation on the law of Moses. Acts 15:1. It was not against the simple rite of circumcision that the apostle contended, for Timothy was circumcised under his direction as a prudential measure, to avoid the prejudices of the Jews, Acts 16:3; but against circumcision as necessary to salvation, which was the error of the false teachers among the Galatians.

Christ shall profit you nothing; for ye have left him for the law.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Family Bible New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/galatians-5.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians

Galatians 5:2. ῎ιδε ἐγὼ παῦλος λέγω ὑμῖν—“Behold I Paul say to you.” The proper accentuation of ἴδε has been disputed. In later Greek it is a paroxyton, but in Attic Greek an oxyton. Winer, § 6, 1; Moeris, p. 193. This accentuation is followed by Lachmann and Tischendorf. The particle occurs frequently in the Gospels, ἰδού being commoner in the Epistles; and here it sharply summons attention to what follows, as a warning of highest moment. In the ἐγὼ παῦλος is the direct interposition of the apostle's own authority, as in 2 Corinthians 10:1, Ephesians 3:1. The name would suggest what he has said so solemnly of himself in the beginning of the epistle—“Paul an apostle, neither of men nor by man,” etc. The words are therefore decidedly more than what Jowett calls “an expression of his intimate and personal conviction.” Other allusions given to the phrase by commentators seem to be inferential and distant. Thus Grotius-apostolus . . . quod illi vestri doctores de se dicere non possunt; Koppe-cujus animi candorem et integritatem nostis; Wetstein, followed by Prof. Lightfoot-ego quem dicunt circumcisionem predicare; Wieseler-in Gegensatze zu dem Irrlehrer; Borger-ego vero, idem ille Paulus quem tam impudenter calumniantur; Brown—“who ardently loves you, and whom you once ardently loved;” Sardinoux-il pose son nom . . . par sentiment paternel de la confiance que les Galates avaient pour lui. Of course, when the apostle asserts his authority, he virtually puts himself into opposition to the false teachers, and the name might suggest many associations in connection with his previous residence among them. But the phrase especially places his personal or official authority in abrupt and warning emphasis. It is in no sense a pledge-pignori quasi nomen suum obligat (Trana), nor an oath (S. Schmid), nor is it based on any suspicion that the Judaizing teachers gave out that they were at one with him in doctrine (Jatho).

῞οτι, ἐὰν περιτέμνησθε, χριστὸς ὑμᾶς οὐδὲν ὠφελήσει—“that if ye be circumcised”—“if ye be getting yourselves circumcised”—“Christ shall profit you nothing.” (See under Galatians 1:8.) The present subjunctive indicates the continuance of the habit. He says not, that they had been circumcised, but “if ye be getting yourselves circumcised.” Klotz-Devarius, vol. 2.455. The future form of the second clause is referred by Meyer, as is his wont, to the second coming-the parousia. But the future here simply indicates certainty of result. Winer, § 40, 6; Matthew 7:16. The warning is strongly worded. Circumcision and salvation by Christ are asserted to be incompatible. The false teachers said, “Except ye be circumcised, ye cannot be saved;” and the apostle affirms, in the teeth of this declaration, “Of what advantage shall Christ be to you, if ye are trusting in something else than Christ-in the blood of your foreskin, and not in His atoning blood?” It is of course to the Gentile portion of the church that the apostle directly addresses himself. The circumcision of one who was a Jew wholly or on one side might be pardoned as a conformity to national custom, and as a sacred token of descent from Abraham, if it was meant to involve no higher principle. But when heathens were circumcised, they wore a lie in their flesh, for they had no connection with Abraham; and to declare circumcision to be essential to their salvation was not only enforcing a national rite on those for whom it was never intended, but was giving it a co-ordinate value with the death of Christ-as if that death had failed to work out a complete salvation. Conformity to Judaism so taught and enjoined, interfered with the full and free offer of pardon by the Son of God: it raised up a new condition-interposed a barrier fatal to salvation; for it affirmed that the Gentile must become a proselyte by initiation, and do homage to the law, ere he could be profited by faith in Christ. It brought two contradictory principles into operation, the one of which neutralized the other: if they trusted in Christ, there was no need of circumcision; if they observed circumcision, they would get no benefit from Christ, for they were seeking justification in another way. “What a threat!” exclaims Chrysostom; “good reason for his anathematizing angels.”

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Eadie, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jec/galatians-5.html.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Paul now began to attack the Judaizers" teaching about circumcision. Insistence on circumcision was a central feature of the false gospel that the Judaizers were promoting. It was the practice around which the whole controversy swirled.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/galatians-5.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Galatians 5:2. Behold, I, Paul, say unto you, that if ye be circumcised (suffer yourselves to be circumcised), Christ will profit you nothing. Your course is pot only foolish, but dangerous, yea ruinous. A circumcised man may become a Christian, but a Christian who deliberately undergoes circumcision, becomes a Jew (a ‘proselyte of righteousness’) and virtually trusts to the law for salvation, and not to Christ ‘Behold’ rouses attention. ‘I, Paul’ interposes the apostolic authority, in opposition to the Judaizing teachers who taught that circumcision was necessary to make them full Christians and to insure salvation. ‘If ye be circumcised,’ or ‘submit to circumcision,’ as a term of salvation; some had probably done so already. ‘Christ will profit you nothing;’ the future marks the certain result of this Judaizing course. Luther: ‘If St. Paul can venture to pass so terrible a judgment against the law and circumcision which God himself has given, what kind of judgment would he utter upon the chaff and the dross of men’s ordinances? Wherefore this text is such a thunder-clap, that by right the whole papal realm should be astounded and terrified.’

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/galatians-5.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Galatians 5:2. . The Apostle finds it necessary to express pointedly his own personal judgment on the effect of circumcision in consequence of false reports which had been circulated that he had given some sanction to the new doctrine. (See Galatians 5:11.)

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/galatians-5.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

If you converted from heathenism be circumcised, it must be by believing and professing it necessary, which is false doctrine, and the Christ will profit you nothing: not that the practice of those ceremonies was at the time sinful, especially for those that had been Jews, but it was an error to judge them necessary for converted Gentiles. Besides, he that judges circumcision necessary, must also judge himself bound to keep all the other ceremonies and precepts of the law. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/galatians-5.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Behold. Greek. ide. App-133.

unto = to.

if. Greek. ean. App-118.

be circumcised = undergo circumcision.

shall = will.

nothing. Greek. oudeis.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/galatians-5.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

Behold - i:e., mark what I say.

I Paul. However you disparage me, I give my personal authority as enough by itself to refute all opposition.

If ye be circumcised. - `if ye still suffer yourselves to be circumcised' (Present, peritemnesthe: implying continuance); namely, under the notion of its being necessary to justification (Galatians 5:4; Acts 15:1). Circumcision is not regarded simply by itself (for, viewed as a national rite, it was practiced for conciliation's sake by Paul himself, Acts 16:3), but as the symbol of Judaism and legalism. If this be necessary, then the Gospel of grace is at an end. If grace be the way of justification, then Judaism is not.

Christ shall profit you nothing (Galatians 2:21) - for righteousness of works and justification by faith cannot co-exist. 'He who is circumcised (for justification) is so as fearing the law; he who fears disbelieves the power of grace; and he who disbelieves can profit nothing by that grace which he disbelieves (Chrysostom).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/galatians-5.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) Behold, I Paul.—The strong personality of the Apostle asserts itself; instead of going into an elaborate proof, he speaks with dogmatic authority, as though his bare word were enough.

Shall profit you nothing.—”Profit,” i.e., in the way of justification, as producing that state of righteousness in the sight of God by virtue of which the believer is released from wrath and received into the divine favour. The Apostle says that if this state of justification is sought through circumcision, it cannot be sought through Christ at the same time.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/galatians-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
I Paul
1 Corinthians 16:21; 2 Corinthians 10:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:18; Philemon 1:9
that
4,6; 2:3-5; Acts 15:1,24; 16:3,4; Romans 9:31,32; 10:2,3; Hebrews 4:2
Reciprocal: Jeremiah 9:25 - that;  Ezekiel 3:21 - if thou;  2 Corinthians 11:29 - and I burn;  Galatians 2:21 - righteousness;  Galatians 4:11 - lest;  Ephesians 3:1 - I;  Philippians 3:7 - GeneralColossians 2:19 - not;  Philemon 1:19 - I Paul

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/galatians-5.html.

Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books

Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

The term "circumcised" is a present tense, so he is not suggesting that some were contemplating presenting themselves for physical circumcision, but that they already had gone through this procedure.

I think verse six sets the way Paul is using the word circumcision here. He is using circumcision as the term to encompass all that keeping the law requires. He is saying that this right, this procedure, this sign is of no use to you spiritually, and that Christ is the key.

He is saying that this sign of the Sinaitic covenant is no longer a valued act for the person desiring to follow God. It will not make you more spiritual, it will not make you more acceptable, and it will not make you more valuable to God. It can only be that step which leads you into obedience to the entire law of the old way which is physical and not spiritual.

What Paul is not saying when he says "Christ shall profit you nothing" is not that if you are Christ"s and decide to follow the law then you are lost. He is suggesting only that if you set aside Christ, you will have no profit from him. He cannot free you, He cannot be your guide, and He cannot do a thing for you - you will be bound to obey the law instead.

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Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/sdn/galatians-5.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

PART THIRD.

EXHORTATION TO STEADFASTNESS IN CHRISTIAN DUTY, Galatians 5:2 to Galatians 6:18.

1. Admonitory warnings to maintain their freedom from circumcision and legalism, Galatians 5:2-12.

2.Behold, I Paul—The apostle throws all his emphasis and all his authority into this warning. If this fail, his Galatians are lost. They would relapse into Ebionism, and in all probability become an apostate people.

If ye be circumcised—Become circumcised; that is, as was now required as necessary to justification.

Shall—Will.

Profit you nothing—Seeing ye seek justification not from Him, but from the Law. Ye are Jews rejecting the Messiah. As Chrysostom (quoted in Greek, by Alford) says: “He that becomes circumcised, does it for fear that he cannot be justified without the law, and so disbelieves the power of grace; but the disbeliever in grace receives no salvation from grace.” So in Acts 15:1: “Certain men said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.” This was a very different sort of circumcision from that of Timothy by Paul, Acts 16:3; a mere physical act performed in order to remove obstacles to his success in the ministry.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/galatians-5.html. 1874-1909.

The Bible Study New Testament

2. I, Paul, tell you this. “As a true apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ I tell you this true fact: If you let yourselves be circumcised as if it were necessary for this to be done in order for you to be saved, Christ-on-the-cross will no longer be available to you!”

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/galatians-5.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

2.Behold, I Paul. He could not have pronounced a severer threatening than that it would exclude them entirely from the grace of Christ. But what is the meaning of this, that Christ will profit nothing to all who are circumcised? Did Christ profit nothing to Abraham? Nay, it was in order that Christ might profit him that he received circumcision. If we say that it was in force till the coming of Christ, what reply shall we make to the case of Timothy? We must observe, that Paul’s reasoning is directed not so properly against the outward rite or ceremony, as against the wicked doctrine of the false apostles, who pretended that it was a necessary part of the worship of God, and at the same time made it a ground of confidence as a meritorious work. These diabolical contrivances made Christ to profit nothing; not that the false apostles denied Christ, or wished him to be entirely set aside, but that they made such a division between his grace and the works of the law as to leave not more than the half of salvation due to Christ. The apostle contends that Christ cannot be divided in this way, and that he “profiteth nothing,” unless he is wholly embraced.

And what else do our modern Papists but thrust upon us, in place of circumcision, trifles of their own invention? The tendency of their whole doctrine is to blend the grace of Christ with the merit of works, which is impossible. Whoever wishes to have the half of Christ, loses the whole. And yet the Papists think themselves exceedingly acute when they tell us that they ascribe nothing to works, except through the influence of the grace of Christ, as if this were a different error from what was charged on the Galatians. They did not believe that they had departed from Christ, or relinquished his grace; and yet they lost Christ entirely, when that important part of evangelical doctrine was corrupted.

The expression Behold, I Paul, is very emphatic; for he places himself before them, and gives his name, to remove all appearance of hesitation. And though his authority had begun to be less regarded among the Galatians, he asserts that it is sufficient to put down every adversary.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:2". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/galatians-5.html. 1840-57.