Prolific penner Paul has some strong words for people who annoy Christians: Castrate yourselves! In Galatians 5 Paul is writing about circumcision. Apparently in his day circumcised people were mocked. This angered Paul so much that, in verse 12, he literally wished that everyone who annoys Christians would castrate themselves! At least in the Catholic bible. Many other translations of the bible merely say “cut off” without telling us what should be cut off. Others say they should “mutilate” themselves.
Regardless of how this verse is translated, Paul is wishing that certain people would physically harm themselves. At best we’re talking about wrist cutting. At worst Paul hopes that men will willingly cut their willies off.
In context, this verse is not saved by anything. The story goes as follows: Paul decided to make it his personal mission to travel around the Roman Empire, converting as many people as he could. Along the way he met quite a lot of resistance (from both non-Christians and non-circumcised Christians alike). When he brought up the circumcision issue, many people mocked him. Paul then cried “Christian freedom!” in an attempt to convince the others. When this failed he wished them self-harm.
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t seem very Christlike to me.
I would think it obvious what is meant by “circumcision.” I think your view here is quite mellow-dramatic at best.
Circumcision of old, as it is today, is merely the removal of the fore skin…..
In response to your equally mellow-dramatic view/interpretation of Paul’s statement found in verse 11: ” 11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!” Paul is merely stating “we are no longer under the law but by faith through grace… we are saved. And, for those who still practice circumcision under the law for all the good it will do you (being circumcised) you may as well cut everything off…. for circumcision is now meaningless as a practice of salvation.”
May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless and keep you.
That was my mistake writing verse 11 instead of verse 12. I edited the post to correct it.