1 What [tis] shall we say [ereo] then [oun] that Abraham [Abraam] our [hemon] father [pater], as pertaining [kata] to
the flesh [sarx], hath found [heurisko]? KJV-Interlinear
1 What then
shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? ESV
As far as the Jewish race goes, Abraham is the recognized beginning and therefore father, of that race. Much emphasis is made of what Abraham did, and as a result little emphasis is placed on what he thought. The circumcision event takes the obvious attention.
And therefore, if faith saves and circumcision does not, then of what purpose or good is circumcision?
And that is the question posed by the Jews of Pauls day.
Why then are the acts of Abraham, which by the way were not documented in writing until Moses many centuries later, but why then were they done and of what use were they? Not to mention the many sacrificial acts, feasts, and so forth. What good were they?
And that is the question that is posed, at the beginning of this chapter.
Faith is the rule. Works are not the rule. So, why so much emphasis on the works that have been so well documented? Of what use or of what purpose were those works, rituals, and so forth?