In discussing whether the phrase “those of the circumcision”refers to Jews alone, Allen first notes that Albright suggested that the hoi ontes ek peritomes (those of the circumcision) should be translated “those of the circumcision party.” He basis this argument upon the similar phrase in Galataians 2:12, tous ek peritomes. The phrases are equivalent: both use the masculine plural pronoun (in Galatians it is in the accusative, and in Colossians it is in the nominative) with genitive phrase “of circumcision”.
Allen than notes that Fitzmyer rejected Albright’s contention. Fitzmyer takes the phrase to refer to “converts to Judaism.
Wenham is conclusively shown, based on its usage elsewhere, but it cannot be assumed to refer to Christians of Jewish birth. It could apply to Christian Jews of a stricter mind-set concerning the law. Strelan also argued against the common interpretation of Colossians 4 but Luke was a Gentile. He noted Selwyn’s argument that Paul would not call himself “of the circumcision,” yet no one would deny that Paul was circumcised Jew; neither would Paul place Luke in that category. Strelan suggested the phrase “of the circumcision” more than likely referred to Jewish believers were ritually strict.
Allen, 269. Allen then notes Wenham’s further observation on Luke’s potential circumcision based upon the arrest of Paul in Acts 21:
Wenham further stated how this apply to Luke at Jerusalem as well. When Luke accompanied Paul to Jerusalem, it was the presence of the uncircumcised Gentile Trophimus that nearly got Paul killed. Yet there is no hint of any trouble over Luke. “It is easier to see him acting as Paul’s a if he was a Jew by birth or a circumcised proselyte, but if he were a mere Gentile convert.”
Allen, 269. Allen ends the discussion with a conclusion that seems fair when one considers all the available argument:
It would seem precarious to dogmatically propose a Gentile background for Luke based on Colossians 4 alone.