"What advantage then has the Jew?"
Text: Romans 3:1
Paul realized that his thoughts about the true Jew (Romans 2:28-29) could be easily misunderstood. Indeed, the following misunderstanding could occur (from a Jewish standpoint)
1. Paul seemed to be disparaging “the special position” that all Jews believed they enjoyed.
2. He seemed to be diluting the significance of the rite of circumcision.
3.He seemed to downplay the significance of Jewish knowledge of the law.
Paul felt that he needed to state that the Jews were greatly advantaged!
“What advantage then has the Jew,
or what is the profit of circumcision?
Much in every way! Chiefly because to them
were committed the oracles of God.”
1. Were the following things given by God an advantage?
a) The privilege of being called Jew
b) The rite of circumcision
c) The oracles of God (the law)
2. A strong affirmation
Paul did not hesitate to make a strong reply! Yes, the Jews were indeed very greatly privileged and advantaged because they had these things from God! Paul would have no quarrel with Moses’ statement appended below. Israel was greatly advantaged to have been given holy laws from God!
“And what great nation is there that has such statutes
and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set
before you this day?”
Moses would also in full agreement with Paul’s emphasis about keeping God’s laws, in order to benefit from them! He admonished Israel to faithfully and carefully keep themselves.
“Only take heed to yourself and diligently keep yourself,
lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart
from your heart all the days of your life.”