Is Circumcision Mutilation of the Flesh? (Phil. 3:2)

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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