Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
And when they heard [all] this, they gave honor to God, then said to Paul, "Brother, you can see how many thousands of Jewish believers [in Christ] there are [everywhere] and all of them are eager to observe the [requirements of the] law of Moses.
For [certain] false brothers, who were secretly brought in to observe us practicing our liberty in Christ Jesus [i.e., by not having Titus circumcised], attempted to place us [back] under the bondage [of Mosaic law keeping].
This is what they wrote [in the letter]: "[This is] from your brothers, the apostles and elders [of the Jerusalem church]: Greetings to [our] Gentile brothers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia.
But certain believers, [who had been] members of the sect called Pharisees [i.e., a strict sect of the Jewish religion], began saying, "It is necessary to circumcise people [see verse 1] and require them to keep [the ordinances of] the law of Moses."
That person whose sin will not be held against him by the Lord is [truly] blessed."
Christ set us free [from condemnation under the law of Moses], so we could stay free! Remain where you are then, and do not get tangled up again in the enslaving harness [of the law of Moses].
Watch out for the "dogs!" [Note: "Dogs" were viewed with disgust by the ancient Jews (Deut. 23:18; II Kings 8:13; Rev. 22:15), so the term is used here derogatorily for Jewish Christians who were trying to impose on the church the requirements of the law of Moses]. Watch out for the evil workers! Watch out for those who mutilate the body meaninglessly! [Note: Paul here alludes, in a derogatory wordplay, to the Jewish practice of circumcision].
Pay attention so that no one takes you [spiritually] captive through his philosophy and empty deception based on human tradition, according to the principles of the world and not according to Christ.
[Now] Moses gave you [the ordinance of] circumcision and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath day. (Although it was [first] required by [your] forefathers, and not Moses).
We have heard that certain [men] who left here have been upsetting you people and [even] undermining [some people's] spiritual lives by what they have been teaching. This was done without our authorization [or approval].
1 Corinthians 7:18
Was any man already circumcised when he was called [by God to be a Christian]? Then he should not [try to] become uncircumcised. [Note: Some Jews in that day resorted to a surgical procedure in an attempt to conceal their circumcision]. Was any man uncircumcised when he was called? Then he should not become circumcised.
Then, fourteen years later I went up to Jerusalem again, [along] with Barnabas, and I took Titus also with me [this time].
For in [our relationship with] Christ neither the practice of circumcision nor refraining from its practice matters in any way; but [all that really matters is having a genuine] faith [in Christ] that causes us to work [for Him] out of a genuine love [for Him and others].
For not even those who practice circumcision comply with [the requirements of] the law of Moses, yet they want you to be circumcised so they can take credit for this physical evidence [of your compliance with the law of Moses].