Habete nullam fiduciam in carne
Have no confidence in the flesh
3:1 De cetero, fratres mei, gaudete in Domino. Eadem vobis scribere, mihi quidem non pigrum, vobis autem necessarium. [n. 99]
3:1 As to the rest, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not wearisome, but to you is necessary. [n. 99]
3:2 Videte canes, videte malos operarios, videte concisionem. [n. 102]
3:2 Beware of dogs: beware of evil workers: beware of mutilation. [n. 102]
3:3 Nos enim sumus circumcisio, qui spiritu servimus Deo, et gloriamur in Christo Jesu, et non in carne fiduciam habentes, [n. 103]
3:3 For we are the circumcision, who in spirit serve God and glory in Christ Jesus, not having confidence in the flesh. [n. 103]
3:4 quamquam ego habeam confidentiam et in carne. Si quis alius videtur confidere in carne, ego magis, [n. 106]
3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more: [n. 106]
3:5 circumcisus octavo die, ex genere Israël, de tribu Benjamin, Hebraeus ex Hebraeis, secundum legem pharisaeus, [n. 108]
3:5 Being circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. According to the law, a Pharisee: [n. 108]
3:6 secundum aemulationem persequens Ecclesiam Dei, secundum justitiam, quae in lege est, conversatus sine querela.
3:6 According to zeal, persecuting the Church of God: According to the justice that is in the law, conversing without blame.
3:7 Sed quae mihi fuerunt lucra, haec arbitratus sum propter Christum detrimenta. [n. 113]
3:7 But the things that were gain to me, the same I have counted loss for Christ. [n. 113]
3:8 Verumtamen existimo omnia detrimentum esse propter eminentem scientiam Jesu Christi Domini mei: propter quem omnia detrimentum feci, et arbitror ut stercora, ut Christum lucrifaciam, [n. 115]
3:8 Furthermore, I count all things to be but loss for the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ, my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them but as dung, that I may gain Christ, [n. 115]
99. Proposuit exempla quae sequi deberent, hic ostendit quorum exempla debent vitare.
99. Above, he proposed the example they should follow; here he shows whose example they should avoid.
Et circa hoc tria facit; quia
In regard to this he does three things:
primo praemittit quos vitare debent;
first, he mentions whom they should avoid;
secundo exemplum vitandi per conversationem sanctorum, ibi nos enim, etc.;
second, the examples the saints gave of avoiding, at for we are the circumcision;
tertio inducit ad vitandum eos quos illi reputabant imitabiles, ibi imitatores, et cetera.
third, he urges them to avoid those whom they considered worthy of imitation, at be imitators of me, brethren (Phil 3:17).
Iterum prima pars dividitur in tres particulas; quia
The first is divided into three parts:
primo praemittit finem huius doctrinae;
first, he mentions the purpose of his doctrine;
secundo scribendi necessitatem, ibi eadem vobis, etc.;
second, why he must write, at to write the same things;
tertio necessitatis rationem, ibi videte, et cetera.
third, the reason it is necessary, at beware.
100. Intentio admonitionis est removere fideles gentes a legalibus, ad quae quidam eos inducebant. Et ideo dicit o fratres, scilicet per fidem, de caetero, id est postquam vos monui, ut supra, gaudete in Domino tantum, non in legalibus observantiis. Hab. III, v. 18: ego autem in Domino gaudebo, et exultabo in Deo Iesu meo, et cetera.
100. The aim of the admonition is to keep the gentile believers from the ceremonies of the law, to which certain persons were persuading them; hence he says as to the rest, i.e., after my warnings, my brethren, namely, in the faith, rejoice in the Lord only, and not in the ceremonies of the law: I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation (Hab 3:18).
101. Et hoc, quia eadem, quae dixi in praesentia, non est mihi pigrum vobis scribere in absentia. Verba enim de facili transeunt, sed scripta manent. Eccli. XXXVIII, v. 25: sapientiam scribe in tempore vacuitatis, et cetera. Iud. I, 3: omnem sollicitudinem faciens scribendi vobis de communi vestra salute, necesse habui scribere vobis, et cetera. Rom. c. XV, 15: audacius scripsi vobis, fratres, ex parte tamquam in memoriam vos reducens, et cetera.
101. And this because to write, in absence, the same things to you, which I said when I was present, to me indeed is not wearisome. For words soon pass away, but writings endure: the wisdom of the scribe depends on the opportunity of leisure; and he who has little business may become wise (Sir 38:24); beloved, being very eager to write to you of our common salvation, I found it necessary to write (Jude 1:3); but on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder (Rom 15:15).
102. Et causa huius necessitatis est quia instant seductores; et ideo oportet instantius veritatem scribere, unde dicit videte, id est observate, et cetera.
102. The need for this admonition is that certain seducers are busy; therefore, he must be busier in writing to them; hence he says, beware, that is, take heed.
Et tria de his dicit: scilicet saevitiam cordis irrationabilem; unde dicit canes. Glossa: natura canis est, ut statim ex ira latret, non ex ratione, sed ex consuetudine. Sic et illi, Is. LVI, 11: canes impudentissimi nescierunt saturitatem, ipsi pastores nesciverunt intelligentiam, et cetera. Apoc. ult.: foris canes, et cetera.
He mentions three things about them: first, the unreasoning cruelty of their hearts; hence he says dogs: it is the nature of a dog to bark from anger, not from reason but from habit (Gloss). These people do the same: the dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. The shepherds also have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way (Isa 56:11); outside are the dogs and sorcerers (Rev 22:15).
Secundo perversae doctrinae seminationem, ibi malos operarios, quia non fideliter in vinea Domini laborant, nec bonum semen in agro mittunt. Matth. XIII, 28: inimicus homo hoc fecit, et cetera. II Tim. II, 15: cura teipsum probabilem exhibere Deo, et cetera.
Second, the perverse doctrine they sow: evil workers, because they do not labor faithfully in the Lord’s vineyard or sow good seed in the soil: an enemy has done this (Matt 13:28); do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15).
Tertio dissensionis, ibi concisionem. Et hoc verbo utitur in eorum suggillationem. Praedicant enim circumcisionem, quae non potest stare cum gratia Christi. Gal. V, 2: si circumcidamini, Christus nihil vobis proderit. Unde alludens vocabulo, dicit concisionem, quasi non circumcisionem, sed concisionem habeant.
Third, he mentions their error: mutilation. He uses this word to describe their mark, for they preach circumcision, which seeks to rival Christ’s grace: if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you (Gal 5:2). Hence playing on the word, he says mutilation or concision, as though they had not circumcision, but a cut.
103. Deinde cum dicit nos autem, etc., ostendit quomodo vitentur a sanctis. Et
103. Then when he says, for we are the circumcision, he shows how they should be avoided by the saints:
primo quomodo ab omnibus;
first, how they are avoided by others;
secundo quomodo ab ipso, ibi quapropter, et cetera.
second, by himself.
104. Dicit ergo: ego dico quod illi sunt concisio, sed nos vera circumcisio, qui spiritu, et cetera. Est autem duplex circumcisio, scilicet corporalis, et spiritualis. Rom. II, 28: non enim, qui in manifesto Iudaeus est, neque quae in manifesto in carne est circumcisio; sed qui in abscondito Iudaeus est, et circumcisio cordis in spiritu, non littera, et cetera. Circumcisio enim carnis est, quae est de superfluo carnis, sed circumcisio spiritus, per quam Spiritus Sanctus abscindit superfluas interiores concupiscentias. Et ideo dicit nos sumus, etc., id est qui interius circumcidit nos Deo. Rom. I: testis enim est mihi Deus, cui servio in spiritu meo in Evangelio Filii eius, et cetera. I Cor. XIV, 15: psallam spiritu, psallam et mente; orabo spiritu, orabo et mente, et cetera.
104. He says, therefore: I say that they are those who mutilate the flesh, but we are the true circumcision, who in spirit serve God. For circumcision is of two kinds, namely, bodily and spiritual: for he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal (Rom 2:28). For the circumcision of the flesh cuts off superfluous flesh; but the circumcision of the spirit is that by which the Holy Spirit cuts away superfluous internal concupiscences. Therefore, he says: we are the true circumcision, who in spirit serve God, i.e., who circumcises us inwardly to God. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of his Son (Rom 1:9); I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also (1 Cor 14:15).
105. Data est autem circumcisio, ut ostenditur Rom. IV, 16, ut signum fidei Abrahae ostenderetur, ut scilicet eius fides ostenderetur vera, quae fuit fides de futuro semine. Gal. III, 16: Abrahae dictae sunt promissiones, et cetera. Est ergo circumcisio signum fidei Abrahae de Christo. Ille ergo circumciditur, qui interius per Spiritum Sanctum renovatur in Christo, qui est veritas circumcisionis. Col. II, 11: circumcisi estis circumcisione non manufacta in expoliatione corporis carnis, sed in circumcisione Christi, et cetera. Et non habentes fiduciam in carne, id est in carnali circumcisione, quia, ut dicitur Io. VI, v. 63: spiritus est qui vivificat, caro autem non prodest quicquam.
105. But circumcision is given as a sign of Abraham’s faith, as explained in Romans, to show that his faith, which believed in an offspring to come, was true (Rom 4:16): the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring (Gal 3:16). Therefore, circumcision is a sign of Abraham’s faith in Christ. Consequently, he is circumcised who by the Holy Spirit is renewed inwardly in Christ, who is the truth of the circumcision: in him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands (Col 2:11). Not having confidence in the flesh, i.e., in the circumcision of the flesh, because, as it is stated in John: it is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is no avail (John 6:63).
Sumitur autem caro aliquando in nobis pro carnali concupiscentia, quandoque pro carnis cura, et quandoque pro carnali observantia. Et utrumque debemus circumcidere, nec in eis gloriari.
The word ‘flesh’ is sometimes taken for fleshly concupiscence, sometimes for the care of the flesh, and sometimes for observances of the flesh.
106. Deinde cum dicit quamquam ego, etc., ponit exemplum proprium, et
106. Then when he says, though I might also have confidence in the flesh, he gives his own example:
primo praemittit eminentiam suam, quam habebat in statu legali;
first, he mentions the prestige he had under the law;
secundo ostendit quomodo eam contempsit, ibi sed quae, et cetera.
second, he shows how he scorned it, at but the things that were gain.
Primum proponit primo in generali;
In regard to the first he does two things: first, he makes a general statement;
secundo explicat per partes, ibi circumcisus, et cetera.
second, he explains it part by part, at being circumcised.