Is Circumcision Mutilation of the Flesh? (Phil. 3:2)
Another passage that has been frequently quoted in an attempt to wrongly teach that circumcision has been abolished is Philippians 3:2. The following are a number of translations of this verse taken from the Greek:
Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.
(Phil. 3:2 NIV)
Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;
(Phil. 3:2 NAS)
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
(Phil. 3:2 KJV)
Some have even mistranslated the Aramaic so as to agree with the false Greek reading:
Beware of dogs; beware of evildoers; beware of the circumcisers.
(Phil. 3:2 Aramaic Bible in Plain English, Bauscher)
Beware of vicious men, beware of evil workers, beware of circumcising.
(Phil. 3:2 Lamsa)
However this translation is totally without basis in the Aramaic. The Aramaic literally reads, as it is rendered in the HRV:
Beware of dogs; beware of evildoers; beware of the cutting of flesh.
(Phil. 3:2 HRV)
The Aramaic is also similarly translated in the Murdock and Etheridge translations:
Beware of dogs; beware of evil doers; beware of the clipped in flesh.
(Phil. 3:2 Murdock)
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the cutting of the flesh.
(Phil. 3:2 Etheridge)
This passage is not speaking about circumcision at all. Instead it is referring back to the Gentile practice of making tatoos forbidden by the Torah:
You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor imprint any marks upon you: I am YHWH.
(Lev. 19:28 HRV)
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