Saturday, April 2, 2022

Jew nor Gentile / Male nor Female


In Covenant Theology (CT) and Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM) circles, the use of several passages regarding the concept that there is no difference between Jew and Gentile is used in an attempt to prove that an identity change takes place when someone is born again. The newly born again person is incorrectly said to become a "true Jew" (Rom 2:29). The addressees of this passage however are the Jewish people who are relying on the law (Rom 2:17), and not all of humanity, and "true Jews" in this context are believing Jewish people.

The Content of No Difference

There are several passages that tell us there is no difference between Jew and Gentile. These are Rom 3:22-23, Rom 10:12, Col 3:11, 1Co 12:13, and Gal 3:28). These passages tell us that there is no difference between Jew and Gentile with respect to:

Rom 3:22 - All have sinned and fallen short.

Rom 10:12 - The Lord richly blesses all who call on Him.

Col 3:11 - Christ is all, and is in all.

1Co 12:13 - All baptized into one Spirit to form one body.

Gal 3:28 - we are all one in Christ Jesus.

Reading these, it is clear that Paul is teaching that as ethnic Jews and ethnic Gentiles we experience the spiritual benefits and blessings equally. In other words, there is no difference in our experience with the spiritual blessings promised to Israel and the Nations (Gen 12:3, Gal 3:8) . There is no indication anywhere that Paul has identity change in mind, because the text says nothing about identity change either implicitly or explicitly. Any inclusion of the concept of identity change is eisegetically injected into these texts.

No Male nor Female Illustrating No Jew nor Gentile

The foolishness of using these "no Jew nor Gentile" passages to attempt to prove the identity change of those born again into "true Jews" is clearly seen in Gal 3:28, when Paul declares that as there is no Jew nor Gentile, and there is no male nor female.

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

The first thing to note in this passage is that the point is not identity change, but that we are all one in Christ Jesus. No identity change is mentioned, nor is it needed or required for us all to be in Christ.

If, as CT and HRM claim, there is an identity change where we are no longer Gentiles but are now "true Jews", then what becomes our identity with regards to the illustration Paul uses of no longer being male nor female? What are we?

If the no male nor female construct is used consistent with how CT and HRM use the no Jew nor Gentile construct, where Gentile believers change identity and become "true Jews", then to be consistent, the illustration of no male nor female must mean that females experience an identity change and become "true males". Of course, this is absurd, and highlights the foolishness of using these passages to apply identity change to Gentiles.

The Confusion of Promoting Identity Change

The confusion that results from trying to fit the "no male nor female" construct into a context of identity change is significant. Clearly there are still males and females physically and spiritually. If there are still males and females then there are still Jews and Gentiles. If this is not true then Paul is nothing more than a confused person that cannot come up with appropriate metaphors to illustrate what he is saying.

Making Sense and Avoiding Confusion

Of course, the Word is infallible and inspired, so Paul is not mistaken in his use of the male nor female construct to describe what he means by saying there is no Jew nor Gentile. The only conclusion that makes sense is that Paul is not talking about identity change at all, he is speaking about the common spiritual blessings that Jews and Gentiles share.

What do Jews and Gentiles and males and females have in common? We both have sinned and fallen short, we both are richly blessed who call on Him, we both have Christ in us, we both are baptized into one Spirit and body, and we are both one in Christ. These blessings are to us both, Jew and Gentile and both, to male and female. To make these wonderful passages that list out our spiritual blessings about identity change misses the whole point of what no Jew nor Gentiles means.


The fact of the matter is that if Jews and Gentiles experience an identity change, and males and females do not, then Paul was deeply in error injecting the no male nor female construct into this argument, and so it is with CT and HRM when they do so.


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