But as for me, brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision [as I had done before I met Christ; and as some accuse me of doing now, as necessary for salvation], why am I still being persecuted [by Jews]? In that case the stumbling block of the cross [to unbelieving Jews] has been abolished.
But, brethren, if I still preach circumcision [as some accuse me of doing, as necessary to salvation], why am I still suffering persecution? In that case the cross has ceased to be a stumbling block and is made meaningless (done away).
And as for me, brothers, if I am still preaching that circumcision is necessary, why am I still being persecuted? If that were the case, my preaching about the execution-stake would cause no offense whatever.
My brothers and sisters, I don’t teach that a man must be circumcised. If I do teach circumcision, then why am I still being persecuted? If I still taught circumcision, then my message about the cross would not be a problem.
My brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching ·that a man must be circumcised [L circumcision; C some were evidently accusing Paul of this], why am I still being ·attacked [persecuted]? If I still taught circumcision, ·my preaching about the cross would not be a problem [the scandal/offense of the cross has been removed/abolished].
But as for me, my friends, if I continue to preach that circumcision is necessary, why am I still being persecuted? If that were true, then my preaching about the cross of Christ would cause no trouble.
My brothers, I do not teach that a man must be circumcised. If I teach circumcision, then why am I still being treated badly? If I still taught circumcision, my preaching about the cross would not be a problem.
And as for me, my brothers, if I were still advocating circumcision (as some apparently allege!), why am I still suffering persecution? I suppose if only I would recommend this little rite all the hostility which the preaching of the cross provokes would disappear! I wish those who are so eager to cut your bodies would cut themselves off from you altogether!
Some people even say that I myself am preaching that circumcision and Jewish laws are necessary to the plan of salvation. Well, if I preached that, I would be persecuted no more—for that message doesn’t offend anyone. The fact that I am still being persecuted proves that I am still preaching salvation through faith in the cross of Christ alone.
As for the rumor that I continue to preach the ways of circumcision (as I did in those pre-Damascus Road days), that is absurd. Why would I still be persecuted, then? If I were preaching that old message, no one would be offended if I mentioned the Cross now and then—it would be so watered-down it wouldn’t matter one way or the other. Why don’t these agitators, obsessive as they are about circumcision, go all the way and castrate themselves!
My brothers and sisters, I do not teach that a man must be circumcised. If I teach circumcision, why am I still being attacked? If I still taught circumcision, my preaching about the cross would not be a problem.
Christian brothers, if I would still preach that people must go through the religious act of becoming a Jew to be a Christian, I would not be suffering from those who are making it hard for me. If I preached like that, the Jews would have no reason to be against the cross of Christ.
Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended.
But if I preach [to Goyim] the bris milah, Achim B’Moshiach, why am I still being persecuted? In that case, the michshol (stumbling block) of [Moshiach’s] Etz (3:12-14; DEVARIM 21:23) has been abolished.
Dear friends, why do you think the religious system persecutes me? Is it because I preach the message of being circumcised and keeping all the laws of Judaism? Not at all! Is there no longer any offense over the cross?
As for me, brothers and sisters, if I continue to preach circumcision—as these agitators claim—then why do I still face persecution? If I were to preach a compromised version of the good news, then the scandal of the cross would come to an end.
And, brethren, if I preach yet circumcision, what suffer I yet persecution? then the stumbling of the cross is voided. [Forsooth, brethren, if I preach yet circumcision, what yet suffer I persecution? therefore the offence of the cross is voided.]
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