Galatians 5:12

I would they were even cut off who trouble you.
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AD 400
[The point is] that those who had deprived the Galatians of the grace of God should themselves be cut off from the grace of God.

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
I would that they were even cut off which trouble you. Cut off from the Church and your fellowship, lest they corrupt the whole. Cf. 1 Corinthians 5:3. This is the obvious meaning, and one befitting the dignity of an apostolic writer. However, Ambrose, Chrysostom, Theophylact, Jerome, Augustine, and others understand it of the total deprivation of the organ to which circumcision is applied, so as to bring it more closely within the scope of the whole passage, in which circumcision is the main topic. It may be asked how the Apostle can rightly imprecate a curse on the Judaisers, since this is opposed to charity, and is a mark of impatience and of a revengeful temper. "So detestable," says Jerome, "is the act of castration, that whoever inflicts it on a man against his will, or on himself, ought to be accounted infamous." 1. Jerome replies that the Apostle said this as a man and in passion; but God forbid that an Apostle, and one especially who was moved by the Holy Spirit, should so ...


AD 420
It is asked how Paul, a disciple of him who said, “Bless those who curse you,” … now curses those who were disturbing the churches of Galatia…. The words that he speaks are prompted not so much by anger against his opponents as by affection for the churches of God…. Nor is it any wonder that the apostle, as a man still enclosed in a frail vessel and seeing the law in his own body taking him captive and leading him into the law of sin, should have spoken like this once, when we observe such lapses to be frequent in holy people. . ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Observe how bitterly he speaks here against their deceivers. At the outset he directed his charge against those who were deceived, and called them foolish, once and again. Now, having sufficiently corrected and instructed them, he turns to their deceivers. And you should remark his wisdom in the manner in which he admonishes and chastens the former as his own children, and as capable of receiving correction, but their deceivers he cuts off, as aliens and incurably depraved. And this he does, partly, when he says, he shall bear his judgment whosoever he be; partly when he utters the imprecation against them, I would that they which unsettle you would even cut themselves off. And he says well that unsettle you. For they had compelled them to abandon their own fatherland, their liberty, and their heavenly kindred, and to seek an alien and foreign one; they had cast them out of Jerusalem which is above and free, and compelled them to wander forth as captives and emigrants. On this account ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
If they will, let them be not only circumcised but emasculated. But where are those who dare to emasculate themselves, drawing upon themselves the curse, slandering the divine creation and acting like the Manichaeans? For the latter say that the body itself is a deceiver and the work of evil matter. By their deeds they have given an impetus to these evil doctrines. For they cut off the member as an enemy and an intriguer…. Yet no physical member is responsible but free will. If you do not accept this, why not cut out the tongue on account of blasphemy, the hands on account of theft, the feet on account of their swiftness in pursuing evil, and, as it were, the whole body? … But this is absolutely illicit and a satanic aberration. It is necessary only to correct the disorderly impulse of the soul, the evil demon, who rejoices unceasingly in murder, who has persuaded you to cut off the instrument as though the Creator had erred. ...

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
How should he not, when he himself experiences the same? "I would "says he, "that they were even cut off which trouble you.". Wishing even the precision of them who advised the retention of circumcision.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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