Galatians 5:3

For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
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AD 400
There are some who serve the law to a certain extent without being circumcised; for many Romans in Judea served the law without circumcision. … Yet there is no one who is circumcised without being required to serve the whole law. He is a debtor, since the law was given to the circumcised. His meaning here was that they had become so negligent as to deserve to bear all the burdens of the law. ...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
I testify. He who is circumcised thereby proclaims his allegiance to the Jewish Church, its laws and its obligations, just as one who is baptized does with regard to the Christian Church. The Apostle is seeking to dissuade the Galatians by a reason drawn from the burdensome character of the yoke of the Mosaic law. ...

Epiphanius of Cyprus

AD 403
When he says “bound,” he is no longer speaking of the law as something unworthy but of a heavy burden which can be made lighter. There is one Lord, who is able to make it either heavy or light according to the choice of those who have not refused to accept salvation through his grace through his appearance in the flesh. Panarion, Third Refutation of Marcion. ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
The false teachers had insisted on the observance of circumcision and a few other rites only, as necessary for salvation; but St. Paul assures them, that the receiving of circumcision is an open profession of Judaism, and that he that makes this profession, binds himself to the observance of every part of the law, since a curse is pronounced against those that do not keep it in all its parts. If then circumcision be necessary for salvation, the whole law is necessary also. (Calmet) ...

Hippolytus of Rome

AD 235
They attend to this one commandment, and do not look unto what has been spoken by the apostle: "For I testify to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to keep the whole law."


AD 420
Just as no one can serve two masters, so it is difficult to keep both the shadow and the substance of the law. .

John Chrysostom

AD 407
That you may not suppose that this is spoken from ill-will , I say not to you alone, he says, but to every one who receives circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole Law. The parts of the Law are linked one to the other. As he who from being free has enrolled himself as a slave, no longer does what he pleases, but is bound by all the laws of slavery, so in the case of the Law, if you take upon you a small portion of it, and submit to the yoke, you draw down upon yourself its whole domination. And so it is in a worldly inheritance: he who touches no part of it, is free from all matters which are consequent on the heirship to the deceased, but if he takes a small portion, though not the whole, yet by that part he has rendered himself liable for every thing. And this occurs in the Law, not only in the way I have mentioned, but in another also, for Legal observances are linked together. For example; Circumcision has sacrifice connected with it, and the observance of days; sacrifice...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
The provisions of the law imply one another. I mean something like this. Attached to circumcision are sacrifice and the observance of days. The sacrifice again entails the observance of a day and place, the place entailing many types of purification. The purifications set up a further string of varied observances. For it is not legitimate for the impure to sacrifice, to intrude upon the holy shrines or to do any such things. Therefore through this one commandment the law drags along many others. Now if you have been circumcised but not on the eighth day; or on the eighth day but without a sacrifice; or with sacrifice but not in the appointed place; or in the appointed place but not under the prescribed forms; or under the prescribed forms but not in a pure state; or in a pure state but purified by inappropriate rites— all these things are wasted. For this reason “he is bound to keep the whole.” “Do not keep part but the whole,” Paul says, “but if it is not of the Lord, do not keep even...

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

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