Since the time these words were written, Biblical intelligence followed Biblical literacy right out the door.
It should be clear that there is not only one gospel in the Bible, but for most it is not.
Among those who claim to rightly divide the word of truth, an idea circulates that there are only two gospels in the Bible.
In the spirit of O’Hair’s comment, no intelligent student of the Bible rightly divided believes, or teaches, that there are only two gospels in the Bible .
This idea is superficial at best and dangerous at worst.
If you have learned to rightly divide the scriptures, you have heard of the gospel of the grace of God and how it differs from the gospel of the kingdom. One was prophesied and the other kept secret since the world began – a mystery (Mark 1:14-15; Rom 16:25).
However, these are not the only two gospels found in scripture. A failure to recognize other gospels has led to confusion about the transition between the ministry of Israel’s apostles and that of the apostle of the Gentiles.
Two Gospels in One Verse
Galatians 2:7 refers to two gospels perhaps you have not heard before.
One reason you may have never heard about them is that the gospels in this verse are removed or changed in other Bible translations. (Different Bibles affect important doctrines.)
“But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;” – Galatians 2:7
The two other gospels I am referring to in this verse are the gospel of the circumcision and the gospel of the uncircumcision.
The common mistake is to ignore the qualifiers to the word “gospel” and make every one the same.
“The gospel of the kingdom is the gospel of the grace of God is the gospel of circumcision is the everlasting gospel. They are all the same!”
This will not work to explain the differences found in the apostolic messages and ministries, and it will undermine the plain reading and understanding of scripture.
Those who see only two gospels in the Bible make the same mistake. The gospel of the circumcision is seen as the same as the gospel of the kingdom, and the gospel of the uncircumcision the same as the gospel of the grace of God.
While they have similarities the qualifiers are intended to emphasize their distinction, especially when they are contrasted as in Galatians 2:7.
The Gospels of Circumcision and Uncircumcision
Both of these gospels explain the channel through which God’s blessings come.
The gospel of the circumcision concerns the promise made to the circumcision that through them the world would be blessed. The emphasis is on “through them”, or as the prophets said it “in thy seed”, the circumcised seed (Gen 22:17-18).
This is the covenant given to Abraham concerning his circumcised seed. The circumcision was promised to be God’s channel of blessing to the world (all the nations). It would be fulfilled among the circumcision in Christ, the true sons of Abraham according to prophecy.
The gospel of the uncircumcision concerns the good news of how uncircumcised people can receive blessings apart from the channel of Israel and their circumcised covenant promises.
The good news to the uncircumcision is that according to the mystery of Christ, you did not need a covenant to receive God’s blessings.
“How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.” – Romans 4:10
“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;” – Ephesians 2:14
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” – Galatians 6:15
The Acts of the Apostles
Israel’s kingdom was rejected in the early chapters of Acts. The scattering of the disciples and the Holy Ghost leaving Jerusalem in Acts 8 indicated that the kingdom that was preached in the gospel of the kingdom was not coming at this time.
The prophesied kingdom was no longer “at hand”. The gospel of the kingdom was being disrupted.
Paul was raised up an apostle to preach the gospel of Christ according to the mystery, the gospel of the grace of God.
This is where people have questions about what Peter taught while Paul was preaching among the Gentiles if the prophesied kingdom was not then coming. The wrong solution is to make Peter preach Paul’s message or Paul preach Peter’s.
The answer is in acknowledging the gospels of the circumcision and uncircumcision.
While Paul preached among the Gentiles (uncircumcision) that they could receive blessing apart from Israel and their covenants, Peter preached to Israel (circumcision) that they would still be a blessing to those nations by faith in the Messiah.
The focus of Christ’s ministry was shifting from Israel to the Gentiles, and the only question that remained was whether Israel was going to be a hindrance or a help. Unbelieving Israel hindered. Believing Israel gave Paul the right hands of fellowship (Gal 2:9).
The book of Acts is the story of how Israel rejected the apostles from Jerusalem to Rome.
Worldwide blessing of Gentiles through Israel and their covenants was not going to be fulfilled. Nevertheless, blessing and salvation went to Gentiles according to Paul’s gospel of the uncircumcision, which was Christ to all men without covenants.
This is one part of the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery.
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