3 Maccabees 2:29
28 "None of those who do not sacrifice shall enter their sanctuaries, and all Jews shall be subjected to a registration involving poll tax and to the status of slaves. Those who object to this are to be taken by force and put to death; 29 those who are registered are also to be branded on their bodies by fire with the ivy-leaf symbol of Dionysus, and they shall also be reduced to their former limited status." 30 In order that he might not appear to be an enemy of all, he inscribed below: "But if any of them prefer to join those who have been initiated into the mysteries, they shall have equal citizenship with the Alexandrians." 31 Now some, however, with an obvious abhorrence of the price to be exacted for maintaining the religion of their city, readily gave themselves up, since they expected to enhance their reputation by their future association with the king.
13 For those who are circumcised do not obey the law themselves, but they want you to be circumcised so that they can boast about your flesh. 14 But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that matters is a new creation! 16 And all who will behave in accordance with this rule, peace and mercy be on them, and on the Israel of God. 17 From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.
Notes and References
"... Paul wrote this catalog sometime between 54 and 57 CE. There would have been considerably fewer items on it at the time he wrote Galatians in 49 or early 5o CE. Nevertheless, Paul's South Galatian mission gave ample opportunity for scars (Acts 13-14; 2 Tim 3:11). Far from being signs of disgrace, Paul pointed to his scars as "brand marks" (stigmata). The term may refer to the custom of fugitives taking refuge in a temple and receiving the marks of the local god (and with these marks of belonging, amnesty from further molestation); it may also refer to the custom of branding slaves with the mark of their owner or (less frequently) soldiers with the mark of their general. While each option is attractive, Paul speaks of himself as Christ's slave with some regularity (Gal 1:10; Rom 1:1; Phil 1:1; Titus 1:1; cf. also 2 Cor 4:5), and this is therefore the likeliest frame of reference. The pragmatic effect of this self-identification would be to claim Christ's protection and authorization (in effect, "if anyone has a problem with me or my gospel, let them take it up with Christ") ..."
DeSilva, David A. The Letter to the Galatians (p. 514) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2018
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