Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Galatians 5:3

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

He is a debtor to do the whole law - Lays himself, by receiving circumcision, under the obligation to fulfill all its precepts, ordinances, etc.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For I testify again - Probably he had stated this when he had preached the gospel to them first, and he now solemnly bears witness to the same thing again. Bloomfield, however, supposes that the word “again” here ( πάλιν palin) means, on the other hand, or, “furthermore,” or, as we would say, “and again.”

That he is a debtor to do the whole law - He binds himself to obey all the Law of Moses. Circumcision was the distinguishing badge of the Jews, as baptism is of Christians. A man, therefore, who became circumcised became a professor of the Jewish religion, and bound himself to obey all its special laws. This must be understood, of course, with reference to the point under discussion; and means, if he did it with a view to justification, or as a thing that was necessary and binding. It would not apply to such a case as that of Timothy, where it was a matter of mere expediency or prudence; see the note at Galatians 5:2.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Christ will not be the Saviour of any who will not own and rely upon him as their only Saviour. Let us take heed to the warnings and persuasions of the apostle to stedfastness in the doctrine and liberty of the gospel. All true Christians, being taught by the Holy Spirit, wait for eternal life, the reward of righteousness, and the object of their hope, as the gift of God by faith in Christ; and not for the sake of their own works. The Jewish convert might observe the ceremonies or assert his liberty, the Gentile might disregard them or might attend to them, provided he did not depend upon them. No outward privileges or profession will avail to acceptance with God, without sincere faith in our Lord Jesus. True faith is a working grace; it works by love to God, and to our brethren. May we be of the number of those who, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. The danger of old was not in things of no consequence in themselves, as many forms and observances now are. But without faith working by love, all else is worthless, and compared with it other things are of small value.