Greek: to gar onoma tou theou di humas (di humas = because of you) blasphemeitai (3SPPI) en tois ethnesin, kathos gegraptai (3SRPI):
Amplified: For, as it is written, The name of God is maligned and blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you! [The words to this effect are from your own Scriptures.] [Isa. 52:5; Ezek. 36:20.] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: No wonder the Scriptures say, "The world blasphemes the name of God because of you." (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Don't you know that: 'the very name of God is cursed among the Gentiles because of the behaviour of Jews?' There is, you know, a verse of scripture to that effect. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For the Name of God because of you is reviled among the Gentiles, even as it stands written (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for the name of God because of you is evil spoken of among the nations, according as it hath been written.
|Romans — 3:21-5:21||Romans — 6:1-8:39||Romans — 9:1-11:36||Romans — 12:1-16:27|
Jew and Gentile
|Demonstration of Salvation|
|Power Given||Promises Fulfilled||Paths Pursued|
Restored to Israel
|Slaves to Sin||Slaves to God||Slaves Serving God|
|Life by Faith||Service by Faith|
Modified from Irving L. Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's Survey of the NT"
FOR THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU JUST AS IT IS WRITTEN: to gar onoma tou theou di humas blasphemeitai (3SPPI) en tois ethnesin kathos gegraptai (3SRPI): (Isa 52:5; La 2:15,16; Ezek 36:20, 21, 22, 23; Mt 18:7; 1Ti 5:14; 6:1; Titus 2:5,8) (Smith on Blasphemy)
Romans 2:17-20 shows the great privileges the Jews possessed.
Romans 2:21-23 shows the failure to practice their great privileges
Romans 2:24 shows the effect their hypocrisy had on the reputation of God among the Gentiles
As it is written - Paul quotes from the Septuagint version of Isaiah 52:5 (Lxx = "blasphemeitai en tois ethnesin", identical to the Greek here in Ro 2:24) which in Brenton's English translation of Isa 52:5 reads "On account of you my name is continually blasphemed among the Gentiles."
HCSB - Paul cited Isa 52:5 from the Greek OT (the Septuagint, or LXX) as support that Jewish sin resulted in God's name being dishonored among the pagan nations when the Jews were defeated and exiled. To pagan perception, Yahweh seemed powerless since He did not protect His people.
Bible Knowledge Commentary - Paul did not condemn this hypocrisy of the Jews on his own authority; he quoted their own Scriptures (the close of Isa. 52:5, in the LXX). Their hypocrisy dishonored God; also it caused Gentiles to blaspheme God. “Why should we honor God,” Gentiles may have reasoned, “when His Chosen People do not follow Him?”
Note that Romans 2:24 should be read with the previous passages Ro 2:17-23 for context, especially in light of the fact that Ro 2:24 begins with for (gar).
For (gar) - Always be alert for the little preposition for (there are over 7000 in Scripture!) and if the context dictates as in this passage that the for is a term of explanation, pause and ponder it by asking yourself what is the Spirit seeking to explain? In fact, stop reading right now and observe Romans 2:23 and see if you can determine what Romans 2:24 is explaining. Notice how pausing to ponder will force you to examine the context. You can (and should) practice this simple discipline every time you encounter a for, and while not every instance is a term of explanation, a for at the beginning of a verse is almost always used with that grammatical sense. I can guarantee (based on my experience and the experience of many to whom I have taught this simple principle) that if you begin to "pause and ponder," you will radically rejuvenate your "Read Through the Bible in a Year" program! You might even get a small journal and begin to keep notes on what the Spirit illuminates and how this truth can be applied to your daily life. As you practice interrogating "for" with the 5W/H questions such as "What's the for explaining?", you will begin to learn to (1) Read the Bible inductively (power point overview) and to (2) Meditate (see also Primer on Biblical Meditation) on the Scripture. Meditation or "chewing the cud" of the Scripture (cf Mt 4:4, Job 23:12-note, Jer 15:16) so to speak is a vanishing discipline (art) in our fast paced, hi tech, low touch society (unless it's a touch screen!), but a spiritual discipline which God promises to greatly bless (See Ps 1:1-note, Ps 1:2-note, Ps 1:3-note, Joshua 1:8-note, cf Ps 4:4, 19:14, 27:4, 49:4, 63:6, Ps 77:6, 77:12, Ps 104:34, Ps 119:15, 119:23, 119:27, Ps 119:48, 119:78, Ps 119:97, 119:99, Ps 119:148, 143:5, Ps 145:5) From the preceding passages which "organ" of our being is most often involved/engaged in meditation? What are the subjects or the focus of meditation? Remember that reading the Bible without meditating on it is like eating without chewing. We must read…
Scripture every day
And meditate on what God said
To fight temptation from the world
And live a life that's Spirit led
(see note) --Sper
The Name of God - God's Name is tantamount to His character, to the essence of Who He is (see study of the Name of the LORD), and so to blaspheme His Holy Name is to blaspheme the very essence of His being.
Paul introduces a bitter irony here, because this Name is the very word which none of the religious Jews would ever dare speak because they considered it so holy! And so while not doing so with their lips, they did in fact blaspheme God's Name with their lives. Our lives often speak much louder than our lips, which is a powerful reminder for all who name the Name of Jesus as their Lord. Unbelievers are always watching!
The Name of God is blasphemed - It is spoken of with reproach. God's Name is reviled by contemptuous speech that intentionally comes short of the reverence due to that holy (set apart) Name.
In a similar way Nathan confronted David with his sin against Uriah and his wife Bathsheba, asking
'Why have you despised the word of the LORD by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. 10 'Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.' 11 "Thus says the LORD, 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your companion, and he shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 'Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.'" 13 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.14 "However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die." (2Sa 12:9-14)
Keep in mind that David was probably in his mid-to-late 40's at the time of this sin. Note also that the sin reflected David (a man after God's own heart) contempt of the Holy Word and of the Holy God, two incredible statements that we otherwise would never have attributed to King David who wrote the majority of the psalms. The result was that it gave occasion to the enemies of Jehovah to blaspheme His Holy Name, and for this David was suffered severe consequences, even though God spared his life upon his confession.
Abraham experienced essentially the same thing when he told Pharaoh that Sarah was his sister and Pharaoh took her into his harem. After the discovery Abraham and Sarah went away, and Abraham had no more testimony for God before the Egyptians.
Ezekiel speaks of the blaspheming of God's name writing…
When they (Jews, the Nation of Israel) came to the nations where they went, they profaned ("dragged in the dirt" so to speak) My holy name, because it was said of them (by the pagan, idol worshipping Gentiles who were watching the Jews to see if they practiced what they preached or what they claimed to be true about God and His Law), 'These (Jews) are the people of the LORD; yet they have come out of His land (Exiled for 70 years because of their spiritual harlotry and failure to keep the Lord's Sabbaths).' "But I had concern for My holy Name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the (Gentile) nations where they went. "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy Name (God's Name was to have been exalted among the pagans, not profaned by the people who claimed His Name!), which you have profaned among the (Gentile) nations where you went. "And I will vindicate (avenge, free from allegation) the holiness of My great Name which has been profaned among the (Gentile) nations, which you have profaned in their midst (Where the profanity was clearly visible to the pagan nations!). Then ("Then" is an expression of time - When God Himself defends and avenges His great and Holy Name) the nations (the Gentiles) will know that I am the LORD (Jehovah, the Covenant Keeping God)," declares the Lord GOD, "when (This is another expression of time which describes an unfulfilled prophecy, one which will be fulfilled when the Messiah returns to take up His throne in Jerusalem and establish His kingdom) I prove Myself holy among you (the nation of Israel) in their sight. (Ezek 36:20-23)
God will show Himself faithful to His covenant and will restore Israel to the land for His "holy name's sake" not because of any merit in them
We must remember that God's people are His only representatives that many people see and so when we sin, we profane His name before the pagans. God acts to defend His holy name. He wants all people to know the awesome holiness which separates Him from all other gods.
Blasphemed (987) (blasphemeo derived from bláx = sluggish, slow, stupid + phéme = rumor, fame) OR MORE LIKELY (derived from blápto = to hurt, injure, harm + phéme from phemí = to speak) means literally to speak to harm and in general therefore means to bring into ill repute and so to slander, to defame (to harm the reputation of by libel or slander), speak evil of, to rail at (revile or scold in harsh, insolent, or abusive language and rail stresses an unrestrained berating), to speak calumny (noun form = a misrepresentation intended to blacken another’s reputation = the act of uttering false charges or misrepresentations maliciously calculated to damage another’s reputation), to calumniate (verb form = to utter maliciously false statements, charges, or imputations about - calumniate imputes malice to the speaker and falsity to the assertions).
Here are the 34 NT uses of blasphemeo - Mt. 9:3; 26:65; 27:39; Mk. 2:7; 3:28f; 15:29; Lk. 12:10; 22:65; 23:39; Jn. 10:36; Acts 13:45; 18:6; 19:37; 26:11; Ro 2:24; 3:8; 14:16; 1 Co. 10:30; 1 Tim. 1:20; 6:1; Titus 2:5; 3:2; Jas. 2:7; 1 Pet. 4:4; 2Pet. 2:2, 10, 12; Jude 1:8, 10; Re 13:6; 16:9, 11, 21
MacDonald (Believer's Bible Commentary) comments…
This combination of high talk and low walk caused the Gentiles to blaspheme the name of God. They judged the Lord, as men always do, by those who professed to be His followers. It was true in Isaiah’s day (Isa 52:5) and it is still true today. Each of us should ask:
If of Jesus Christ their only view
May be what they see of Him in you,
(Insert your name), what do they see?
Written (1125) (grapho from root graph- = primarily means to scratch on or engrave as on an ornament, reports, letters, etc; English = graph, graphic, etc) means to engrave or inscribe with a pen or stylus characters or letters on a surface which can be wood, wax, metal, leather, stone, parchment, dirt (John ), paper, etc and then to write. (Click to review all 191 uses of grapho in the NAS)
Grapho is in the perfect tense which signifies that this truth was written down in the past (in this case by the prophet Isaiah) and it remains written and in effect. The perfect tense thus speaks of the permanence of the written word of God.
It is written occurs 76 times in the (Click for these uses). When we were children and our parents told us to do something and we questioned "Why?", the answer was usually "Because I said so!". Why are we commanded to be holy? Because God said so! A popular saying is
God said it, I believe it, that settles it.
This sounds good but isn't accurate because God's Word is true, irregardless of whether we believe it or not. A more accurate "saying" would be
God said it, that settles it!
It is written should put a stop to every complaint or excuse. Paul is saying don't judge but remember you will appear before Me to give an account (as the next verse clarifies). This sobering thought should motivate us to obey this injunction.
Paul is quoting in part from the Septuagint (LXX) of Isaiah 52:5. Paul reminds his Jewish reader that God had stated in the Old Testament that the failure of the Jew to obey the law was the cause of His holy Name being continually blasphemed by the Gentiles!
Paul appeals to the testimony of the very Law they boast in as that which in fact condemns them. As alluded to above, the Jews were so zealous for the Name of God that they would not pronounce the Tetragrammaton (YHWH or "Yahweh" when one adds vowels - see study of Jehovah) and yet the tragic irony was that they acted in such a way that the Gentiles blasphemed the very Name the Jews claimed to revere!
The Old Testament prophets like Isaiah and Ezekiel and now Paul, all declare that God's character and honor are at stake and that the opinion of Him on the part of the pagans is based at least in part on the conduct of those who claimed His Name. The captivity of Israel and Judah, because of continual national unfaithfulness to Jehovah resulted in the Gentile nations scoffing at the God of the Jews. In other words His name was blasphemed because of them.
Application: If you claim the Name of Jesus as your Lord, what is the opinion your family members, co-workers, neighbors, etc have of your God because of what they know of your character and conduct?
A Modern day illustration of how God's Name is Blasphemed by those who claim to know Him: Stuart Briscoe tells about having to deal with a fellow employee who had embezzled a large sum of money from the bank for which they both worked. The reason the man embezzled was that he had two wives and families to support. When he was apprehended and fired, he stunned everyone by saying,
“I am very sorry for what I have done, and I need to know whether I should fulfill my preaching commitments on Sunday in our local church.”
Briscoe says that in the following weeks he spent a great part of his time mending the damage done by that man’s blatant inconsistency. To his chagrin, he found that his fellow workers not only despised the man, but “… were quick to dismiss the church he belonged to as a ‘bunch of hypocrites,’ the gospel he professed to believe as a ‘lot of hogwash,’ and the God he claimed to serve as ‘nonexistent.’”
Right In Our Front Yard - Grass or weeds? Bluegrass or quack grass? Thick or thin? Browning out or greening up? These are the things I look for when I drive by the front yard of a nearby office building. To the credit of its keepers, the lawn has been green and weed-free for some time now. Even in the middle of summer that grass looks first-class.
There's a good reason I'm always checking out this lawn. It graces the corporate offices of a highly competitive and well-known lawn-care firm. I suppose they would have a good excuse if their turf was not picture-perfect. They could claim they're so busy servicing the lawns of others that they don't have time for their own. On the other hand, who's going to respect a business that doesn't use its own product?
Throughout history, the people of God have been in a similar position. They have always been on display, representing the true and living God. Unfortunately, as the apostle Paul pointed out, many professing believers have been a poor testimony for the Lord (Ro 2:24).
Today, because we call ourselves Christians, we turn the heads of curious passersby. As if by reflex, people naturally watch us. They want to see if what we claim to have is really working--right in our own front yard. --M R De Haan II (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
I do not ask for mighty words
To leave the crowd impressed;
Lord, grant my life may ring so true
My neighbor may be blessed. --Anon.
What we practice proves what we profess.
Christ assailed with -Matthew 10:25; Luke 22:64,65; 1 Peter 4:14
Charged upon Christ -Matthew 9:2,3; 26:64,65; John 10:33,36
Charged upon saints -Acts 6:11,13
Proceeds from the heart -Matthew 15:19
Forbidden -Exodus 20:7; Colossians 3:8
The wicked addicted to -Psalms 74:18; Isaiah 52:5; 2 Timothy 3:2; Revelation 18:11,21
Idolatry counted as -Isaiah 65:7; Ezekiel 20:27,28
Hypocrisy counted as -Revelation 2:9
Saints grieved to hear -Psalms 44:15,16; 74:10,18,22
Gives no occasion for -2 Samuel 12:14; 1 Timothy 6:1
Against the Holy Spirit, unpardonable -Matthew 12:31,32
Connected with folly and pride -2 Kings 19:22; Psalms 74:18
Punishment of -Leviticus 24:16; Isaiah 65:7; Ezekiel 20:27-33; 35:11,12
The Danite -Leviticus 24:11
Sennacherib -2 Kings 19:4,10,22
The Jews -Luke 22:65
Hymenaeus -1 Timothy 1:20
Romans 2:25 For indeed circumcision is of value (3SPAI), if you practice (2SPAS) the Law; but if you are (2SPAS) a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become (3SRAI) uncircumcision. (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: Peritome men gar ophelei (3SPAI) ean nomon prasses (2SPAS): ean de parabates nomou es (2SPAS) e peritome sou akrobustia gegonen (3SRAI):
Amplified: Circumcision does indeed profit if you keep the Law; but if you habitually transgress the Law, your circumcision is made uncircumcision. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: The Jewish ceremony of circumcision is worth something only if you obey God's law. But if you don't obey God's law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised Gentile. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: That most intimate sign of belonging to God that we call circumcision does indeed mean something if you keep the Law. But if you flout the Law you are to all intents and purposes uncircumcising yourself! (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For, indeed, circumcision is profitable if you are making a practice of law, but if, on the other hand, you are a transgressor of law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: For circumcision, indeed, doth profit, if law thou mayest practise, but if a transgressor of law thou mayest be, thy circumcision hath become uncircumcision.
FOR INDEED CIRCUMCISION IS OF VALUE IF YOU PRACTICE THE LAW: Peritome men gar ophelei (3SPAI) ean nomon prasses (2SPAS): (Ro 2:28,29; 3:1,2; 4:11,12; Dt 30:6; Jer 4:4; Gal 5:3, 4, 5, 6; 6:15; Ep 2:11,12) (Circumcision in Bible Dictionaries - Easton, Smith, ISBE)
Steven Cole - Who are the most difficult people to reach with the gospel? I realize that only God can save a soul and that nothing is too difficult for Him. But, from a human standpoint, some types of people seem to be more difficult to bring to saving faith than others are (Luke 18:24-27). The Bible shows us that the most difficult people to reach are religious people who trust in their religion. They relish their rituals and religious traditions. They don’t see their need for a Savior from sin because they view themselves as pretty good people. They think they are right with God because of their religious performance (Luke 18:11-12). They may be Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Baha’i, Mormon, Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant. They can even be Baptists! They think that their performance of their religious rituals will somehow commend them to God. But they lack reality with the living God on the heart level. Paul knew that the most difficult people to reach with the gospel were not the pagans whom he described in Romans 1:18-32. Like Matthew or Zaccheus (Luke 5:27-32; 19:1-10), the tax collectors, or like the sinful woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears (Luke 7:36-50), many obviously wicked people know that they are sinners. They may not be sure that God could ever forgive them. But they welcome that news when they hear it. But the religious Jews didn’t see themselves as sinners and so they didn’t see any need for a Savior. They trusted in their Jewishness, in their possession of God’s Law, and in their conformity to the prescribed religious rituals, especially circumcision.
Notice the flow of Paul's argument to lead his readers to begin to see their NEED for "the power of God for salvation" and the only kind of righteousness which is acceptable to God (Ro 1:16-17). So in Ro 2:12-24 he deals specifically with the Law and how it does not bring about a righteousness which is acceptable to God. Now Paul demolishes physical circumcision, the second major Jewish pillar on which they relied (in vain) for salvation. The Jews believed that keeping the Law and circumcision were necessary for salvation (see Acts 15:1-4,5-29), but Paul explains that they were wrong.
Haldane explains that "Paul here pursues the Jew into his last retreat, in which he imagined himself most secure. He presses him on the subject of circumcision, which the Jews viewed as their stronghold—that rite even more ancient than Moses, and by which they were distinguished from the other nations. The sum of this, and the following verses to the end of the chapter, is, that the Jews being such as the Apostle had represented them, all their advantages, including circumcision, could only enhance their condemnation before the tribunal of God, and that, on the contrary, if the Gentiles, who have not received the law, observed its precepts, they would be justified without circumcision. Two things are here to be observed, namely, what is asserted of the Jews and Gentiles, and the proof that follows. The assertions are, that circumcision serves only as a ground of condemnation to transgressors of the law; and, on the other hand, that the want of it would be no detriment to those who fulfilled the law. The proof is, that before God the true Jew and the true circumcision consist not in external qualities, but in internal and real holiness. The reason why circumcision was not included in the enumeration before given of the advantages of the Jews is, that in itself it is not an advantage, but only a sign of other advantages; and it is mentioned here, because, in the character of a sign, it includes them: to name circumcision then, is to refer to them all. In this verse the Apostle does not speak of circumcision according to its real and most important signification as he does in the two concluding verses, but in that view in which the Jews themselves considered it, as the initiatory and distinctive rite of their religion, without the observance of which they believed they could not be saved." (Haldane, R. An Exposition of Romans)
MacDonald explains "Here Paul links circumcision with the Law of Moses and points out that it was only valid as a sign when it was combined with a life of obedience. God is not a mere ritualist; He is not satisfied with external ceremonies unless they are accompanied by inward holiness. So a circumcised Jew who transgresses the law might just as well be uncircumcised." (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
For indeed circumcision is of value, if you practice the Law - The Amplified says "Circumcision does indeed profit if you keep the Law." The fact is no one can continually keep the Law.
Cole however understands this passage differently writing "I do not understand him to mean, “if you practice the Law perfectly.” Some think that when Paul mentions keeping the Law in this section (Ro 2:25, 26, 27), he is speaking hypothetically of perfect obedience, which no one can do. But I understand him to be referring to a lifestyle of obedience to God’s Law, which is possible for those who have been born again (Luke 1:6; 2:25). For such Jews before the cross, circumcision was of value."
MacArthur - Circumcision is of value, Paul explains, only if you practice the Law, that is, live in obedience to God’s will. To the faithful, obedient Jew, circumcision was a symbol of God’s covenant, His blessings, His goodness, and His protection of His chosen people… A Jew who continually transgressed God’s law proved that he had no more saving relationship to God than a pagan Gentile, whom Jews often referred to as the uncircumcised.
Circumcision (4061) (peritome from perí = around + témno = cut off) (Click for more in depth word study of peritome) refers literally to cutting and removal of the foreskin. (See related discussion on Circumcision) As discussed below both the Old and New Testament also use the concept of circumcision in a figurative or metaphorical sense.
Here are the 36 uses of peritome in the NT --Jn. 7:22, 23; Acts 7:8; 10:45; 11:2; Ro 2:25, 26-notes, Ro 2:27, 28, 29-notes; Ro 3:1-note, Ro 3:30-note; Ro 4:9, 10, 11, 12-notes; Ro 15:8-note; 1 Co. 7:19; Gal 2:7, 8, 9, 12; 5:6, 11; 6:15; Ep 2:11-note; Php 3:3-note, Php 3:5-note; Col. 2:11-note; Col 3:11-note; Col 4:11-note; Titus 1:10-note
James Denny explains that…
Is of value (5623) (opheleo from ophéllo = heap up or from ophelos = increase, profit) means to provide assistance, with emphasis upon the resulting benefit. To help, to be of benefit, to be of use, to be an advantage, to be advantageous. Passive sense - to have benefit from, to profit. To be useful or profitable. It is used usually with the sense of gain, profit in both a material and non-material sense.
Louw-Nida - To provide assistance, with emphasis upon the resulting benefit (Jn 6:63). To be successful in accomplishing some goal, with the implication that such might be useful.
Vine - in the Active Voice signifies to help, to succor, to be of service; in the Passive to receive help, to derive profit or advantage
Opheleo is used in the sense of “bringing or gaining spiritual benefit” in Jn 6:63; 1Co. 13: 3; 14:6; Gal. 5: 2; Heb. 4: 2; 13:9. Opheleo occurs in the question “What does it profit a person … ?” in Mt 16:26; Mk 8:36; Lk 9:25.
Note that Paul is not saying that circumcision will save a person, for by works no man can be justified before God.
Mounce - Opheleo denotes the basic idea of benefiting through a particular condition or situation, hence, “to gain, profit, value.”
Opheleo - 15x in 15v - accomplishing(1), benefit(1), benefited(1), doing… good(1), help(2), helped(1), profit(4), profited(1), profits(2), value(1).
Matthew 15:5 "But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,"
Matthew 16:26 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Matthew 27:24 ¶ When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this Man's blood; see to that yourselves."
Mark 5:26 and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse--
Mark 7:11 but you say, 'If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),'
Mark 8:36 "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
Luke 9:25 "For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?
John 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
John 12:19 So the Pharisees said to one another, "You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him."
Romans 2:25 ¶ For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
1 Corinthians 13:3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
1 Corinthians 14:6 ¶ But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching?
Galatians 5:2 ¶ Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.
Hebrews 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
Hebrews 13:9 Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.
Opheleo - 28x in 26v in the non-apocryphal Septuagint - Ps 89:22; Pr 10:2; 25:13; Isa 30:5ff; 44:9; 47:12; 57:12; Jer 2:11; 7:4, 8; 12:13; 15:10; 23:32; Hab 2:18;
Practice (4238) (prasso) means to perform repeatedly or habitually and stresses the process leading to the accomplishment. The present tense emphasizes this is one's continual activity or habitual practice. Vaughan says, it is almost like a compound word, “if thou be a law doer”.
Paul recognizes that a Jew may protest, and say that his salvation is based on the fact that he is a descendant of Abraham. Paul rightly says that this is irrelevant regarding justification. Circumcision was a sign (Ge 17:11) of God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants, and therefore another token, besides the Law, of the special privileges which were granted to the Jew and in which they gloried and sadly which they misinterpreted to be the means of obtaining righteousness. As illustrated by the Rabbinical quotations below in the next section, the Jews believed that circumcision guaranteed their salvation. They might be punished in the world to come, but they believed that they could never be lost. Paul counters this "spiritual red herring" and proceeds to point out that circumcision is irrelevant regarding justification. In so doing he again is preparing them to see clearly their desperate need for the Gospel which is the power of God for their salvation, for in the Gospel is revealed the righteousness that God demands and that He provides to the one who repents and believes. Are you trusting in anything that you can do to merit righteousness, right standing before God? And dear believer, now that you are saved, are you still from time to time trusting in anything other than the imputed righteousness you have been granted? In other words you have been saved by faith in the Gospel, but are you daily living in the power of the Gospel by faith or are you falling back into works righteousness.
Cole - God instituted the practice of circumcision (the removal of the male foreskin) as a sign of His covenant with Abraham, over 500 years before He gave Moses the Law (see Genesis 17). It symbolized moral purity and separation from the world unto God. Under the Law of Moses, it became a sign of membership in the covenant community. So as a God-ordained ritual, circumcision was of value to the Jews as a reminder of their covenant relationship to God and of the need to be morally set apart to God. When Paul says that circumcision is of value, he is speaking to the Jews as Jews. When he addresses those who are in Christ, he says (Gal. 5:6), “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.” Circumcision was a Jewish sign of the covenant that ended when Jesus instituted the new covenant. Except for hygienic reasons, it holds no value for believers in Christ.
Jerry Bridges emphasizes the importance in the believer's life of "A Daily Appropriation of the Gospel" writing…
Instituted by God -Genesis 17:9,10
Described -Genesis 17:11; Exodus 4:25
Enforced by the law -Leviticus 12:3; John 7:22
Covenant of circumcision -Acts 7:8
Circumcision in the flesh -Ephesians 2:11
Concision -Philippians 3:2
A painful and bloody rite -Exodus 4:26; Joshua 5:8
Promises to Abraham previous to -Romans 4:9,13
A seal of the covenant -Genesis 17:11; Romans 4:11
Introductory Jewish ordinances -Galatians 5:3
Outward sign of -Romans 2:28
Inward grace -Romans 2:29
Necessary to enjoying the privileges of the Jewish State -Ex 12:48; Ezek 44:7
On males home-born and bought -Genesis 17:12,13
On the eighth day -Genesis 17:12; Leviticus 12:3
Even on the sabbath day -John 7:22,23
With knives of flint -Exodus 4:25; Joshua 5:3
By the heads of families -Genesis 17:23; Exodus 4:25
By persons in authority -Joshua 5:3
In the presence of the family, &c -Luke 1:58-61
Accompanied with naming the child -Genesis 21:3,4; Luke 1:59; 2:21
First performed on Abraham and his family -Genesis 17:24-27
Not performed in the wilderness -Joshua 5:5
Performed by Joshua at Gilgal -Joshua 5:2,7
Punishment for neglecting -Genesis 17:14; Exodus 4:24,26
Without faith, vain -Romans 3:30; Galatians 5:6
Without obedience, vain -Romans 2:25; 1 Corinthians 7:19
Denominated by -Acts 10:45; Galatians 2:9
Held it unlawful to intermarry with those not of the -Genesis 34:14; Judges 14:3
Held no intercourse with those not of the -Acts 10:28; 11:3; Galatians 2:12
Despised as unclean those not of the -1Sa 14:6; 17:26; Mt 15:26,27; Ep 2:11,15
Sometimes performed on slain enemies -1Samuel 18:25-27; 2Samuel 3:14
Abolished by the gospel -Ephesians 2:11,15; Colossians 3:11
Performed on Timothy as a matter or expediency because of the Jews -Acts 16:3
Necessity of, denied by Paul -Galatians 2:3-5
Necessity of, asserted by false teachers -Acts 15:24; Galatians 6:12; Titus 1:10
Trusting to, a denial of Christ Galatians 3:3,4; 5:3,4
Paul denounced for opposing -Acts 21:21
Saints the true spiritual -Philippians 3:3; Colossians 2:11
Readiness to hear and obey -Jeremiah 6:10
Purity of heart -Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6
Purity of speech -Exodus 6:12
BUT IF YOU ARE A TRANSGRESSOR OF THE LAW YOUR CIRCUMCISION HAS BECOME UNCIRCUMCISION: ean de parabates nomou es (2SPAS) e peritome sou akrobustia gegonen (3SRAI) e peritome sou akrobustia gegonen (3SRAI): (Ro 2:23; Jer 9:25,26; Acts 7:51)
The NLT paraphrase gives a good sense of what Paul is saying -
Fitzmyer - Paul’s bold declaration, equating a good pagan with a circumcised Jew, would have been an abomination to Pharisaic ears.
You are - The verb is in the present tense signifying that if you as a Jew "are habitually a transgressor" or "if that is the habitual course of your life" than you are in the same condition as an uncircumcised Gentile.
Transgressor (3848) (parabates from from pará = beyond or contrary to + baíno = to go; see study on cognate noun - parabasis) describes one who steps on one side and thus goes beyond or steps across a line. A transgressor is a violator of the law, one who goes beyond the law. It refers to the the person who steps beyond a fixed limit into forbidden territory. The point is that the law draws the line that should not be crossed or "stepped over". Where there is no law, people do not deliberately disobey God but they disobey in ignorance.
Trench in his discussion of discussing parabasis says that
Vincent - The primary sense of the preposition para is beside or by, with reference to a line or extended surface. Hence it indicates that which is not on its true line but beside it, either in the way of falling short or of going beyond… Parabasis differs from the Homeric hyperbasia transgression, in that the latter carries only the idea of going beyond or over. A mark or line as a standard is thus implied. Transgression implies something to transgress. With the law came in the possibility of transgressing the law. “Where there is no law there is no transgression” (Ro 4:15). Hence Adam’s sin is called a transgression (Ro 5:14), because it was the violation of a definite command. Paul habitually uses the word and its kindred parabates or transgressor, of the transgression of a commandment distinctly given (Gal 3:19; 1Ti 2:14; Ro 2:25, 27). Hence it is peculiarly appropriate here of one who boasts in the law. It thus differs from hamartia or sin in that one may sin without being under express law. Sin (hamartia) was in the world until the law; i.e., during the period prior to the law. Death reigned from Adam to Moses over those who had not sinned (hamartesantas) after the similitude of Adam’s transgression (parabaseos). The sin is implicit, the transgression explicit." (Vincent, M. R. Word studies in the New Testament. Vol. 3, Page 1-31).
Wuest - The word parabasis when used of human conduct, indicates a violation of the rights of others, or of limitations imposed upon one. This word Paul uses (in Gal 3:19 where Paul writes " Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions (parabasis) , having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed should come to whom the promise had been made") to indicate the purpose of the giving of the law. Before the law was given by Moses to Israel, the wrong doing of man was recognized as hamartia, sin, a deviation from the course of right conduct. But when the law was given, sin was seen to be, not merely the following of evil impulses, but the violation of explicit law. Thus, the exceeding sinfulness of sin was recognized by the human race, which otherwise might not have been evident. The law therefore was not given because of the existence of transgressions, but to show hamartia (sin) in its true light, an overstepping of what is right into the realm of what is wrong. This revelation of the true nature of sin, would cause man to fear God’s wrath, which in turn would give strength to the weakness of man’s moral sense and thus educate his conscience and make it more sensitive to sin. The particular phase of the Mosaic law here as well as throughout all of the Galatian letter is the purely mandatory statues of “Thou shalt,“ and “Thou shalt not.“ The law was given therefore to set the stamp of positive transgression upon already existing sin. It was not to give the knowledge of sin as sin, but to show that it was a violation of God’s commandments." (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)
In short, parabates describes one who trespasses, this English verb derived from transpass, from the Latin trans, across or beyond and passus, a step. Webster's 1828 entry says that trespass means "Literally, to pass beyond; hence primarily, to pass over the boundary line of another’s land; to enter unlawfully upon the land of another. A man may trespass by walking over the ground of another, and the law gives a remedy for damages sustained."
Here are the 5 uses of parabates in the NT (no uses in the Lxx) -
Romans 2:25 For indeed circumcision is of value, if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
Romans 2:27 And will not he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law?
Galatians 2:18 "For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor.
James 2:9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
James 2:11 For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not commit murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
Become (1096) (ginomai) means to come into existence. The perfect tense speaks of the permanence of the resulting condition (uncircumcision). In other words since you (Jews) are transgressors of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision and the result is that this state is a settled one.
Paul is saying that the physical rite of circumcision without any internal transformation equates with a foreskin! And so Paul uses akrobustia figuratively, in a negative sense of lack of relationship with God and the perfect righteousness His law demands.
Akrobustia was also used as a term of scorn and derision by Jews, for they equated uncircumcision with being a pagans, non-Jewish peoples or Gentiles. Can you imagine how a self-righteous Jew must have felt when he read Paul's argument!
Akrobustia is used 14 times in the Septuagint (LXX) - Ge 17:11, 14, 23, 24, 25; 34:14, 24; Ex 4:25; Lv 12:3; Jos. 5:3; 1Sa 18:25, 27; 2Sa 3:14; Je 9:25
Akrobustia is used 19 times in the NT -
Acts 11:3 saying, "You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them." (Refers to Gentiles)
Romans 2:25 (notes) For indeed circumcision is of value, if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
Romans 2:26 (notes) If therefore the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?
Romans 2:27 (notes) And will not he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law?
Romans 3:30 (note) since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.
Romans 4:9 (note) Is this blessing then upon the circumcised, or upon the uncircumcised (Refers to the Gentiles) also? For we say, "Faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness."
Romans 4:10 (note) How then was it reckoned? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;
Romans 4:11 (note) and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be reckoned to them,
Romans 4:12 (note) and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
1Co 7:18 Was any man called already circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised.
1Co 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.
Gal 2:7 But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised (the Gentiles) just as Peter had been to the circumcised
Gal 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.
Gal 6:15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
Ephesians 2:11 (note) Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision " by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands--
Colossians 2:13 (note) And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,
Colossians 3:11 (note) -- a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
Why does Paul address circumcision so directly? The Jews had been taught and had come to believe that physical circumcision secured eternal salvation. Below are a few quotations from Jewish sources that express this false belief…
Rabbi Menachem, commenting on Book of Moses writes that…
Another rabbinic saying was…
The Midrash (Jewish traditions compiled about 200AD, basic part of the Talmud) Tillim says,
The Midrash also taught the absurd notion that…
In sum, the rabbis taught a false gospel declaring that…
Paul is arguing that physical circumcision (or physical water baptism or any rite or ritual for that matter) does not secure salvation for anyone. It is well known for example, that the Egyptians circumcised their boys and obviously they were not saved. It is amazing and sad that many, if not most, of God's chosen people were willing to stake their eternal destiny on a lie. Things haven't changed much, have they?
ILLUSTRATION: Circumcision or baptism or any other rite practiced in an attempt to gain salvation is analogous to a label on a can of fruit or vegetables. If the outer label doesn’t match with the inner product, something is "rotten"!
Greek: ean oun e akrobustia ta dikaiomata tou nomou phulasse (3SPAS), ouch e akrobustia autou eis peritomen logisthesetai (3SFPI)
Amplified: So if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be credited to him as [equivalent to] circumcision? (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: And if the Gentiles obey God's law, won't God give them all the rights and honors of being his own people? (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Conversely, if an uncircumcised man keeps the Law's commandments, does he not thereby "circumcise" himself? (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Therefore, if the uncircumcision habitually guards the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be credited to his account for circumcision? (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: If, therefore the uncircumcision the righteousness of the law may keep, shall not his uncircumcision for circumcision be reckoned?
SO IF THE UNCIRCUMCISED MAN KEEPS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW: ean oun e akrobustia ta dikaiomata tou nomou phulasse (3SPAS): (Isa 56:6,7; Mt 8:11,12; 15:28; Acts 10:2-4,34,35; 11:3-18; 1Cor 7:18,19; Phil 3:3; Col 2:11)
If the uncircumcised man (see akrobustia in preceding verse) - This is more literally rendered “if the foreskin”. This was a phrase used by the Jews as a slang expression describing a Gentile.
The NLT conveys the idea of this passage…
James Denny explains that…
Keeps (5442)(phulasso) (Click study of phulasso) means to watch, to carry out the function as a military sentinel (Lk 2:8). Phulasso is used in this case of guarding a law from being broken, i.e., by observing its provisions. The present tense emphasizes that they continually keep the requirements of the law. Clearly, Paul is not teaching salvation by works implying that the Gentiles might be able to live such good lives that thereby they could earn salvation.
Here are the 31 uses of phulasso in the NT - Mt 19:20; Mk. 10:20; Lk. 2:8; 8:29; 11:21, 28; 12:15; 18:21; Jn. 12:25, 47; 17:12; Acts 7:53; 12:4; 16:4; 21:24, 25; 22:20; 23:35; 28:16; Ro 2:26; Gal. 6:13; 2Th 3:3; 1Ti 5:21; 6:20; 2Ti 1:12, 14; 4:15; 2Pe 2:5; 3:17; 1Jn 5:21; Jude 1:24
Wuest writes that in this verse phulasso means…
Requirements (1345) (dikaioma from dikaióo = to justify in turn from díkaios = just, righteous) in the present verse refers to an ordinance, to what God has declared to be right, referring to His decree of retribution or that which is deemed right so as to have the force of law.
Here are the 10 uses of dikaioma in the NT - Lk 1:6; Ro 1:32; 2:26; 5:16, 18; 8:4; He 9:1, 10; Re 15:4; 19:8
In Isaiah God prophesied that Gentiles would come into His kingdom writing…
Jesus affirms God's heart for the Gentiles writing…
Peter echoes the truth about the Gentiles…
This verse is part of God’s answer to the skeptic who asks
God will judge them by what they have heard, and how they have lived by it - which means that they are guilty.
The problem of the "innocent native" is that we can’t find an innocent natives anywhere!
Two questions are actually more important:
John Piper writing on Romans 2:26 explains…
John MacArthur explains…
MacDonald says that what Paul is saying is that…
Leon Morris explains this passage as follows…
Hodge explains that…
WILL NOT HIS UNCIRCUMCISION BE REGARDED AS CIRCUMCISION: ouch e akrobustia autou eis peritomen logisthesetai (3SFPI):
Uncircumcision (203) (akrobustia from ákron = the extreme + búo = cover) means uncircumcised (the foreskin not cut off) or uncircumcision and thus referred to the prepuce or foreskin. Paul is using akrobustia figuratively to refer to the uncircumcision of one's heart.
that the physical rite of circumcision without any internal transformation equates with a foreskin! And so Paul uses akrobustia figuratively, in a negative sense of lack of relationship with God and the perfect righteousness His law demands.
Regarded (3049) (logizomai) (Click study of logizomai) means to reckon, compute, calculate, to take into account, to deliberate, weigh and implies a process of reasoning. Logizomai refers to a settled conclusion by careful study and reasoning and thus in short a reasoned conclusion. It refers to a process of reasoning which results in the arriving at a conclusion. Logizomai was a bookkeeping term and used to describe the making of an entry in the account book, as when figuring an entry in a ledger. The purpose of the entry is to make a permanent record that can be consulted whenever needed.
Logizomai is used at least 19 times (out of a total of 40 NT uses) in Romans and often is translated reckoned or imputed - Lk 22:37; Jn 11:50; Acts 19:27; Ro 2:3, 26; 3:28; 4:3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 8, 9, 10, 11, 22, 23, 24; 6:11; 8:18, 36; 9:8; 14:14; 1Co 4:1; 13:5, 11; 2Co 3:5; 5:19; 10:2, 7, 11; 11:5; 12:6; Gal 3:6; Php 3:13; 4:8; 2Ti 4:16; He 11:19; Jas 2:23; 1Pe 5:12
God will regard the believing Gentile as favorably as a circumcised, believing Jew. This statement for example could potentially encompass men like Job, Enoch, Noah, etc, men who existed before God called out a people (Jews) to be His chosen possession.
The evidence of our rightness with God is not contained in outward signs or works, and it is not assured because of our parentage; the evidence is found in the work of God in our hearts, which shows itself in fruit.
Jamieson comments that…
Expositor's Bible Commentary writes that…