Quid sit amplius Judaeo
The Jew’s advantage
3:1 Quid ergo amplius Judaeo est? aut quae utilitas circumcisionis? [n. 247]
3:1 What advantage then has the Jew: or what is the profit of circumcision? [n. 247]
3:2 Multum per omnem modum. Primum quidem quia credita sunt illis eloquia Dei. [n. 248]
3:2 Much every way. First indeed, because the words of God were committed to them. [n. 248]
3:3 Quid enim si quidam illorum non crediderunt? numquid incredulitas illorum fidem Dei evacuabit? [n. 251]
3:3 For what if some of them have not believed? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? [n. 251]
3:4 Absit. Est autem Deus verax: omnis autem homo mendax, sicut scriptum est: Ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis: et vincas cum judicaris. [n. 254]
3:4 God forbid! But God is true and every man a liar, as it is written: that you may be justified in your words and may overcome when you are judged. [n. 254]
3:5 Si autem iniquitas nostra justitiam Dei commendat, quid dicemus? Numquid iniquus est Deus, qui infert iram? secundum hominem dico. [n. 262]
3:5 But if our injustice commend the justice of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust, who executes wrath? (I speak according to man.) [n. 262]
3:6 Absit. Alioquin quomodo judicabit Deus hunc mundum? [n. 265]
3:6 God forbid! Otherwise how shall God judge this world? [n. 265]
3:7 Si enim veritas Dei in meo mendacio abundavit in gloriam ipsius: quid adhuc et ego tamquam peccator judicor? [n. 267]
3:7 For if the truth of God has more abounded through my lie, unto his glory, why am I also yet judged as a sinner? [n. 267]
3:8 et non (sicut blasphemamur, et sicut aiunt quidam nos dicere) faciamus mala ut veniant bona: quorum damnatio justa est.
3:8 And not rather (as we are slandered and as some affirm that we say) let us do evil that there may come good? Whose damnation is just.
246. Postquam Apostolus ostendit quod Iudaismus, ad quem pertinet legis susceptio, et circumcisio non sufficiunt ad salutem sine legis custodia, per quam gentilis, sine exteriori Iudaismo et circumcisione, fructum utriusque consequitur, hic obiicit contra praemissa;
246. After showing that Judaism, which involved receiving the law and circumcision, is not sufficient for salvation without the law’s observance, through which the gentile without external Judaism and circumcision obtains the fruit of each, he now objects to his own doctrine:
et primo quidem proponit obiectionem,
first, he presents the objection;
secundo solvit, ibi multum quidem.
second, he answers it, at much every way.
247. Obiicit ergo primo sic: si ita esset, sicut dictum est, quod non est verus Iudaeus, nec vera circumcisio in manifesto, sed in occulto cordis, quid ergo amplius est Iudaeo? Id est, quid amplius datum est quam caeteris? Videtur quod nihil. Et hoc est inconveniens, cum Dominus dixerit Deut. VII, 6: te elegit Dominus Deus tuus, ut sis ei populus peculiaris. Aut quae utilitas circumcisionis, scilicet exterioris? Videtur ex praemissis quod nulla, quod est inconveniens, cum sit a Deo tradita, qui dicit Is. XLVIII, 17: ego Dominus docens te utilia.
247. First, he objects: if what I say is so, i.e., that the true Jew and true circumcision are not something outward but inward in the heart, what advantage then has the Jew, i.e., what has been given to him more than to others? It seems to be nothing. But this is not fitting, since the Lord had said: the Lord, your God, has chosen you to be a people for his own possession (Deut 7:6). Or what is the profit of circumcision, i.e., outward? It seems from his previous teaching that there is no value. But this is not fitting, since it was imposed by God, who says: I am the Lord, your God, who teaches you unto profit (Isa 48:17).
248. Deinde cum dicit multum quidem, solvit praemissam obiectionem.
248. Then when he says much every way, he answers the objection:
Et primo quantum ad praerogativam Iudaismi,
first, in regard to Judaism’s prerogative;
secundo quantum ad utilitatem circumcisionis, IV cap. Ibi quid ergo dicemus?
second, in regard to the value of circumcision, at what shall we say then? (Rom 4:1).
Circa primum duo facit.
In regard to the first he does two things:
Primo ostendit Iudaeorum praerogativam;
first, he shows Judaism’s prerogative;
secundo excludit eorum gloriam, qua se gentibus superbe praeferebant, ibi quid ergo? Praecellimus.
second, he rejects their boasting over the gentiles, at what then? Do we excel them? (Rom 3:9).
Circa primum tria facit.
In regard to the first he does three things:
Primo proponit quod intendit;
first, he states his position;
secundo manifestat, ibi primum quidem,
second, he explains it, at first indeed;
tertio excludit obiectionem, ibi quid enim si quidam.
third, he excludes an objection, at for what if some.
249. Dicit ergo primo: quaesitum est quid amplius sit Iudaeo, est autem ei amplius et quantum ad quantitatem, quae significatur cum dicit multum, et quantum ad numerum, qui significatur cum dicit per omnem modum.
249. First, therefore, he says: the question is raised what advantage has the Jew. The advantage is both quantitative, which is indicated when he says much, and numerical, which is indicated when he says in every way.
Habent enim amplius aliquid et in contemplatione divinorum, secundum illud Ps. LXXV, 1: notus in Iudaea, et secundum dispositionem temporalium, Ps. CXLVII, 20: non fecit taliter omni nationi. Habent etiam amplius quantum ad patres, quantum ad promissiones, et quantum ad prolem. Infra IX, 4: quorum est adoptio filiorum Dei et gloria, et testamentum.
For they have an advantage both in contemplating divine matters: in Judah God is known (Ps 76:1) and in the provision of temporal things: he has not dealt thus with any other nation (Ps 147:20). They have further advantages relating to their ancestors, to the promises, and to their offspring: to whom belongs the adoption as of children and the glory and the testament (Rom 9:4).
Et in quolibet eorum non est parva excellentia sed magna et praecipua, quod pertinet ad id quod dicit multum.
In each of these there is no small advantage, but great and important ones, which are summed up when he says much.
Maximum enim bonum hominis est in Dei cognitione, in hoc quod Deo adhaereat et a Deo instruatur, Ps. XCIII, 12: beatus homo quem tu erudieris, Domine.
For man’s greatest good lies in knowing God, in clinging to God, and in being instructed by God: blessed is the man whom you teach out of your law (Ps 93:12).
250. Deinde, cum dicit primum quidem, etc., manifestat quod dixerat, dicens: primum quidem, id est praecipue amplius est Iudaeis quia eloquia Dei sunt tradita illis, quasi amicis, Io. XV, 15: vos dixi amicos. Et hoc est multum, quia eloquia Dei sunt honesta, Ps. XVIII, 10: eloquia Domini vera iustificata in semetipsa, sunt delectabilia, Ps. CXVIII, 113: quam dulcia faucibus meis eloquia tua, sunt etiam utilia ad non peccandum, Ps. eodem: in corde meo abscondi eloquia tua, ut non peccem tibi.
250. Then when he says first indeed, he explains his statement, saying: first indeed, i.e., the chief advantage is that the words of God were committed to them, as to his friends: I have called you friends (John 15:15). This is important, because the words of God are trustworthy: the ordinances of the Lord are true and just altogether (Ps 19:9) and pleasant: how sweet are your words to my taste (Ps 119:103) and useful for avoiding sin: I have laid up your word in my heart, that I may not sin against you (Ps 119:11).
251. Deinde cum dicit: quid enim si quidam, excludit obiectionem.
251. Then when he says for what if some of them, he excludes an objection:
Et primo ponit eam;
first, he presents it;
secundo excludit ipsam ducendo ad inconveniens, ibi numquid incredulitas;
second, he rejects it by showing its consequences, at shall their unbelief;
tertio ostendit esse inconveniens id ad quod inducitur, ibi est autem Deus verax.
third, by showing that the consequence is unfitting, at but God is true.
252. Posset aliquis praerogativae Iudaeorum derogare, opponendo ingratitudinem eorum, per quam viderentur dignitatem eloquiorum Dei amisisse. Unde dicit quid autem si quidam illorum non crediderunt; numquid per hoc excluditur quod nihil amplius sit Iudaeo? Secundum illud II Petr. II, 21: melius erat eis non cognoscere viam iustitiae, quam post cognitam retrorsum converti.
252. Someone could belittle the Jews’ prerogative by citing their ingratitude, through which they would seem to have set aside the value of God’s message. Hence he says, what if some of them have not believed? Does this show that the Jew has no advantage, especially in the light of 2 Peter: it would have been better for them never to have known the way of justice than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandments delivered to them (2 Pet 2:21)?
Non crediderunt autem, primo quidem, legislatori. Ps. CV, 24: non crediderunt in verbo eius. Secundo non crediderunt prophetis. Ez. II, 6: increduli et subversores sunt tecum. Tertio non crediderunt ipsi Filio. Io. VIII, 45: si veritatem dico vobis, quare non creditis mihi?
For they did not believe the lawgiver: they had no faith in his promises (Ps 106:24) or the prophets: for you are among unbelievers and destroyers (Ezek 2:6) or the Son of God: if I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? (John 8:46).
253. Deinde cum dicit numquid incredulitas, excludit dictam obiectionem ducendo ad inconveniens, quia si propter incredulitatem aliquorum praerogativa Iudaeorum tolleretur, sequeretur quod incredulitas hominis fidem Dei evacuaret, quod est inconveniens.
253. Then when he says shall their unbelief, he excludes this objection by showing the unsuitable conclusion it engenders. For if the Jews’ prerogative were taken away on account of the unbelief of some, it would follow that man’s unbelief would nullify God’s faithfulness—which is an unacceptable conclusion.