Paul seems to have tolerated the circumcision of Jewish Christians at first, as il- lustrated by the following sentences: "Circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law; but if you break the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. So, if those who are uncircum- cised keep the requirements of the law, will not their uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then those who are physically uncircumcised but keep the law will condemn you that have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision some- thing external and physical. Rather, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart – it is spiritual and not literal. Such a person receives praise not from others but from God" (Rom 2:25-29 NRS). "Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much, in every way. For in the first place the Jews were entrusted with the ora- cles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Will their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Although everyone is a liar, let God be proved true, as it is written, "So that you may be justified in your words, and prevail in your judging" (Rom 3:1-4 NRS). The following saying by Paul further deepened the trench between Gentile Christians and Jewish Christians. The Jewish Christians adhered to Jewish laws but believed that...
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