In Galatians 3:27-28 [NASB], Paul claims all baptized in Christ lose ethnicity and gender.

[27] For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. [28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

In Acts 9:18 [NASB], Paul is baptized - becoming no longer Jewish or male in Christ.

[18] At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized.

In Acts 21:37-40 [NASB], Paul decided he is temporarily Jewish again.

[37] As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?” - “Do you speak Greek?” he replied. [38] “Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the wilderness some time ago?” [39] Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.” [40] After receiving the commander’s permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaic


In Acts 22:22-29 [NASB], Paul decides he is temporarily Roman again.

“[22] The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!” [23] As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, [24] the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. [25] As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?” [26] When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.” [27] The commander went to Paul and asked, **”Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” - “Yes, I am,” he answered. [28] Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.” - “But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.** [29] Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.”

If Galatians 3:27-28 is true, should Paul have temporarily reverted back to being Jewish [or] Roman for his own benefit?

  • 2
    you "lose ethnicity and gender" is not the same as "your ethnicity and gender won't affect the decision they will make about you".
    – vsz
    Apr 14, 2021 at 12:42
  • 2
    Paul claims all baptized in Christ lose ethnicity and gender - He doesn't. He's simply saying that neither will affect one's salvation.
    – Lucian
    Apr 30, 2021 at 2:07

2 Answers 2


This is going to be a very short answer, and by all means I invite others to post more elaborate ones. In short, I think the answer can be found in 1 Cor 9:20-22 (ESV):

20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

In other words, Paul very smartly and conveniently adapted his outward behavior according to the situation and social context for evangelism purposes, that by all means he might save some, although inwardly he remained a servant of Christ at all times.

  • 2
    Good answer - upvoted as simple and direct. +1
    – Dottard
    Apr 14, 2021 at 1:48
  • 2
    Would “shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves” [Matthew 10:16] apply to Paul’s adaptive method for sowing “spiritual things” [1 Corinthians 9:11]? Apr 14, 2021 at 2:41
  • @חִידָה - yes, I would think so. Sounds like a very convenient and handy skill to possess for situations in which adaptation is required. Apr 14, 2021 at 2:45

Eph 2:15 having abolished in the flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace.

The question shows an immense lack of contextual & theological understanding on your part. The ethnic and gender identities are not hats to be removed and put back on. Paul never ceased to be Jewish, especially by immersion or baptism, which is a common and frequent Jewish custom for ritual cleansing.

Jewish Encyclopedia BAPTISM: By: Kaufmann Kohler, Samuel Krauss

Baptism was practised in ancient (Ḥasidic or Essene) Judaism, first as a means of penitence, as is learned from the story of Adam and Eve, who, in order to atone for their sin, stood up to the neck in the water, fasting and doing penance—Adam in the Jordan for forty days, Eve in the Tigris for thirty-seven days (Vita Adæ et Evæ, i. 5-8). According to Pirḳe R. El. xx., Adam stood for forty-nine days up to his neck in the River Gihon. Likewise is the passage, "They drew water and poured it out before the Lord and fasted on that day, and said, 'We have sinned against the Lord'" (I Sam. vii. 6), explained (see Targ. Yer. and Midrash Samuel, eodem; also Yer. Ta'anit ii. 7, 65d) as meaning that Israel poured out their hearts in repentance; using the water as a symbol according to Lam. ii. 19, "Pour out thine heart like water before the Lord." Of striking resemblance to the story in Matt. iii. 1-17 and in Luke iii. 3, 22, is the haggadic interpretation of Gen. i. 2 in Gen. R. ii. and Tan., Buber's Introduction, p. 153: "The spirit of God (hovering like a bird with outstretched wings), manifested in the spirit of the Messiah, will come [or "the Holy One, blessed be He! will spread His wings and bestow His grace"] upon Israel," owing to Israel's repentance symbolized by the water in accordance with Lam. ii. 19.

Paul was a Jew by race, and had a Roman citizenship too. None of these identities are absolved by submitting to the Jewish Messiah. Also, gender confusion and denial did not exist in the ancient Israel, it is a very modern cultural phenomenon. Paul and the Messiah Jesus would always remain Jewish.

(Romans 9:2-5 NHEB) that I have great sorrow and unceasing pain in my heart.For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brothers' sake, my relatives according to the flesh,who are Israelites; whose is the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service, and the promises;of whom are the fathers, and from whom is Christ as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God, blessed forever. Amen.

The ethnic and national distinction between Jews and Gentiles is never absolved. Paul repeatedly said that God judges everyone impartially, however the Jews first in priority and then the Gentiles.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, for it is
the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes; for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.

Rom 2:9 oppression and anguish, on every soul of man who works evil, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Rom 2:10 But glory, honor, and peace go to every man who works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Gal 2:15 “We, being Jews by nature, and not Gentile sinners,

God has not rejected his special chosen nation after giving the universal new covenant through the Messiah. This has been explained in detail in Romans 9-11. See chapter 11 for precise facts recalling the old promises and national covenant as being unconditional. The statement of Galatians 3:27-28 merely states the unity in Christ. Before the covenant of Christ, the Gentiles were godless and overlooked by God (Acts 17:30; Romans 1). The Gentiles were considered animals like dogs according to the Jews, because of their sinful life, and considered unclean, but not anymore. Christ has broken the wall of division with a superior covenant, allowing the Gentiles to join the religion of Israel equally without converting to Judaism. The law or covenant of Moses has been abolished through the Messiah (Ephesians 2:11-22)

I advise you first study some good commentaries before posting such questions.

Galatians 3:28 here is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

  1. There is in this sonship by faith in Christ, no class privileged above another, as the Jews under the law had been above the Gentiles (Ro 10:12; 1Co 12:13; Col 3:11).

bond nor free—Christ alike belongs to both by faith; whence he puts "bond" before "free." Compare Note, see on [2342]1Co 7:21, 22; [2343]Eph 6:8.

neither male nor female—rather, as Greek, "there is not male and female." There is no distinction into male and female. Difference of sex makes no difference in Christian privileges. But under the law the male sex had great privileges. Males alone had in their body circumcision, the sign of the covenant (contrast baptism applied to male and female alike); they alone were capable of being kings and priests, whereas all of either sex are now "kings and priests unto God" (Re 1:6); they had prior right to inheritances. In the resurrection the relation of the sexes shall cease (Lu 20:35).

one—Greek, "one man"; masculine, not neuter, namely "one new man" in Christ (Eph 2:15).

Matthew Poole's Commentary

There is neither Jew nor Greek; in the business or justification, the case of Jews and Greeks is the same. This he saith, that the Galatians might not think themselves disadvantaged from their not being under the law, as the schoolmaster that should lead them unto Christ.

There is neither bond nor free; neither doth Christ consider the qualities and circumstances of persons, whether they be servants or free men; for though they be servants, Christ hath made them free, 1 Corinthians 7:22 Ephesians 6:8 Colossians 3:11.

There is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus: neither hath Christ any respect to sexes: the male children under the law had many privileges; but it is all a case under the gospel, whether persons be males or females, Jews or Gentiles, rich or poor, servants or masters, bond-men or free-men.

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