What does Galatians 6:13 mean?
ESV: For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.
NIV: Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh.
NASB: For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they want to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.
CSB: For even the circumcised don’t keep the law themselves, and yet they want you to be circumcised in order to boast about your flesh.
NLT: And even those who advocate circumcision don’t keep the whole law themselves. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast about it and claim you as their disciples.
KJV: For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
NKJV: For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.
Verse Commentary:
Paul is wrapping up his letter to the Galatians by writing the ending personally, instead of dictating it to his scribe. He has returned to the issue of circumcision and the false-teaching Judaizers who insist that even believers in Jesus must be circumcised to be saved (Galatians 2:4). This was a major theme of the letter, before Paul turned to the issue of how those living according to the Spirit of God ought to act (Galatians 5:19–25).

Now Paul says that the Judaizers are also hypocrites. They do not—in fact are not able to—keep the law of Moses any more than anyone else is (Galatians 3:10–14). Their only reason to try to get others to be circumcised is so they can boast about their conversion numbers. In other words, the Galatian believers are just stats for the false teachers, as if they were salesmen working on commission.
Verse Context:
Galatians 6:11–18 is the conclusion of Paul's letter to the Galatians. He apparently took the pen from his scribe and wrote these words, with his own hand, in oversized letters. This remark is one reason some scholars think Paul might have had a problem with his eyesight. Once again, Paul reveals the motives of false teachers pressuring the Galatians to be circumcised. They are only promoting themselves. Now that Christ has come, circumcision does nothing. The Galatians should trust Christ, instead, to be made into new creations.
Chapter Summary:
Galatians 6 includes instructions for how people who are free in Christ and walking by God's Spirit, should treat each other. Christians should restore those who are caught by sin, and we should bear each other's burdens. Only those who plant the fruit of God's Spirit, by faith in Christ, will harvest eternal life. Believers should not get tired of doing good for each other! The harvest is coming. Paul concludes the letter, writing in large letters that circumcision means nothing. Only becoming a new creation through faith in Christ matters.
Chapter Context:
Galatians 5 wrapped up with a focus on what it means to be led by God's Spirit. Galatians 6 starts with describing how Spirit-led Christians serve each other by restoring those caught be sin and bearing each other's burdens. Only those who plant God's Spirit in this life, through faith in Christ, will harvest eternal life. Paul concludes the letter by writing in big letters that circumcision does not matter, only being made a new creation by faith in Christ matters.
Book Summary:
Galatians is sometimes called “a short Romans” for its similar themes of justification and sanctification through faith. A group of Christians known as “Judaizers” were preaching a gospel of legalism, rather than grace. Paul’s main purpose in writing the letter to the Galatians was to reiterate the true nature of the gospel: we are justified (made righteous) and sanctified (made more Christlike) through our faith in Jesus Christ alone. This letter was probably written shortly before the church elders in Jerusalem issued their official refutation of the Judaizers, commonly called the Jerusalem Council.
Accessed 7/17/2024 11:48:11 AM
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