Free to be Gentile

The New Testament does not require circumcision. Silence on the subject argues loudly in favor of Gentiles retaining their distinctly non-Jewish way of life. Eat bacon and work on Saturday. Sanctification does not include assimilation into Jewish culture. So was Paul inconsistent when he circumcised Timothy, but left Titus the way he found him? The answer is no. Timothy was raised Jewish. His mother and grandmother taught him the Hebrew Scriptures. He was known as a Christian, and circumcision would have been reasonable. It was a missionary strategy. Paul knew Timothy would occupy Jewish territory and needed him to look the part so the Gospel could get the widest hearing (1 Corinthians 9:20). For Titus on the other hand, circumcision would appear to appease the Jews (Gal 2:1-5). Paul, a respected Jew, who also understood the true Gospel, protected Titus from the unnecessary procedure. This was an experiment among the Jewish Christians. He went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus to see how they would respond. The true believers didn’t care if he was circumcised or not. This is an important lesson. Gentile believers do not need to adopt Jewish customs, or be charmed by Jewish culture.