5:1 For freedom 1 Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke 2 of slavery. 5:2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you at all! 5:3 And I testify again to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey 3 the whole law. 5:4 You who are trying to be declared righteous 4 by the law have been alienated 5 from Christ; you have fallen away from grace! 5:5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait expectantly for the hope of righteousness. 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision carries any weight – the only thing that matters is faith working through love. 6
5:7 You were running well; who prevented you from obeying 7 the truth? 5:8 This persuasion 8 does not come from the one who calls you! 5:9 A little yeast makes the whole batch of dough rise! 9 5:10 I am confident 10 in the Lord that you will accept no other view. 11 But the one who is confusing 12 you will pay the penalty, 13 whoever he may be. 5:11 Now, brothers and sisters, 14 if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? 15 In that case the offense of the cross 16 has been removed. 17 5:12 I wish those agitators 18 would go so far as to 19 castrate themselves! 20
5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; 21 only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, 22 but through love serve one another. 23 5:14 For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, 24 namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” 25 5:15 However, if you continually bite and devour one another, 26 beware that you are not consumed 27 by one another. 5:16 But I say, live 28 by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 29 5:17 For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires 30 that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to 31 each other, so that you cannot do what you want. 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 5:19 Now the works of the flesh 32 are obvious: 33 sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, 34 hostilities, 35 strife, 36 jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, 37 factions, 5:21 envying, 38 murder, 39 drunkenness, carousing, 40 and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!
5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit 41 is love, 42 joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 43 5:23 gentleness, and 44 self-control. Against such things there is no law. 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ 45 have crucified the flesh 46 with its passions 47 and desires. 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with 48 the Spirit. 5:26 Let us not become conceited, 49 provoking 50 one another, being jealous 51 of one another.
1 tn Translating the dative as “For freedom” shows the purpose for Christ setting us free; however, it is also possible to take the phrase in the sense of means or instrument (“with [or by] freedom”), referring to the freedom mentioned in 4:31 and implied throughout the letter.
2 sn Here the yoke figuratively represents the burdensome nature of slavery.
3 tn Or “keep”; or “carry out”; Grk “do.”
4 tn Or “trying to be justified.” The verb δικαιοῦσθε (dikaiousqe) has been translated as a conative present (see ExSyn 534).
6 tn Grk “but faith working through love.”
8 tn Grk “The persuasion,” referring to their being led away from the truth (v. 7). There is a play on words here that is not easily reproducible in the English translation: The words translated “obey” (πείθεσθαι, peiqesqai) in v. 7 and “persuasion” (πεισμονή, peismonh) in v. 8 come from the same root in Greek.
9 tn Grk “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”
10 tn The verb translated “I am confident” (πέποιθα, pepoiqa) comes from the same root in Greek as the words translated “obey” (πείθεσθαι, peiqesqai) in v. 7 and “persuasion” (πεισμονή, peismonh) in v. 8.
11 tn Grk “that you will think nothing otherwise.”
12 tn Or “is stirring you up”; Grk “is troubling you.” In context Paul is referring to the confusion and turmoil caused by those who insist that Gentile converts to Christianity must observe the Mosaic law.
13 tn Or “will suffer condemnation” (L&N 90.80); Grk “will bear his judgment.” The translation “must pay the penalty” is given as an explanatory gloss on the phrase by BDAG 171 s.v. βαστάζω 2.b.β.
15 sn That is, if Paul still teaches observance of the Mosaic law (preaches circumcision), why is he still being persecuted by his opponents, who insist that Gentile converts to Christianity must observe the Mosaic law?
16 sn The offense of the cross refers to the offense to Jews caused by preaching Christ crucified.
17 tn Or “nullified.”
18 tn Grk “the ones who are upsetting you.” The same verb is used in Acts 21:38 to refer to a person who incited a revolt. Paul could be alluding indirectly to the fact that his opponents are inciting the Galatians to rebel against his teaching with regard to circumcision and the law.
19 tn Grk “would even.”
20 tn Or “make eunuchs of themselves”; Grk “cut themselves off.” This statement is rhetorical hyperbole on Paul’s part. It does strongly suggest, however, that Paul’s adversaries in this case (“those agitators”) were men. Some interpreters (notably Erasmus and the Reformers) have attempted to soften the meaning to a figurative “separate themselves” (meaning the opponents would withdraw from fellowship) but such an understanding dramatically weakens the rhetorical force of Paul’s argument. Although it has been argued that such an act of emasculation would be unthinkable for Paul, it must be noted that Paul’s statement is one of biting sarcasm, obviously not meant to be taken literally. See further G. Stählin, TDNT 3:853-55.
22 tn Grk “as an opportunity for the flesh”; BDAG 915 s.v. σάρξ 2.c.α states: “In Paul’s thought esp., all parts of the body constitute a totality known as σ. or flesh, which is dominated by sin to such a degree that wherever flesh is, all forms of sin are likew. present, and no good thing can live in the σάρξ…Gal 5:13, 24;…Opp. τὸ πνεῦμα…Gal 3:3; 5:16, 17ab; 6:8ab.”
23 tn It is possible that the verb δουλεύετε (douleuete) should be translated “serve one another in a humble manner” here, referring to the way in which slaves serve their masters (see L&N 35.27).
24 tn Or “can be fulfilled in one commandment.”
26 tn That is, “if you are harming and exploiting one another.” Paul’s metaphors are retained in most modern translations, but it is possible to see the meanings of δάκνω and κατεσθίω (daknw and katesqiw, L&N 20.26 and 88.145) as figurative extensions of the literal meanings of these terms and to translate them accordingly. The present tenses here are translated as customary presents (“continually…”).
27 tn Or “destroyed.”
28 tn Grk “walk” (a common NT idiom for how one conducts one’s life or how one behaves).
30 tn The words “has desires” do not occur in the Greek text a second time, but are repeated in the translation for clarity.
31 tn Or “are hostile toward” (L&N 39.1).
33 tn Or “clear,” “evident.”
34 tn Or “witchcraft.”
35 tn Or “enmities,” “[acts of] hatred.”
36 tn Or “discord” (L&N 39.22).
37 tn Or “discord(s)” (L&N 39.13).
38 tn This term is plural in Greek (as is “murder” and “carousing”), but for clarity these abstract nouns have been translated as singular.
39 tc ‡ φόνοι (fonoi, “murders”) is absent in such important
40 tn Or “revelings,” “orgies” (L&N 88.287).
41 tn That is, the fruit the Spirit produces.
42 sn Another way to punctuate this is “love” followed by a colon (love: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). It is thus possible to read the eight characteristics following “love” as defining love.
43 tn Or “reliability”; see BDAG 818 s.v. πίστις 1.a.
44 tn “And” is supplied here as a matter of English style, which normally inserts “and” between the last two elements of a list or series.
45 tc ‡ Some
47 tn The Greek term παθήμασιν (paqhmasin, translated “passions”) refers to strong physical desires, especially of a sexual nature (L&N 25.30).
48 tn Or “let us also follow,” “let us also walk by.”
49 tn Or “falsely proud.”
50 tn Or “irritating.” BDAG 871 s.v. προκαλέω has “provoke, challenge τινά someone.”
51 tn Or “another, envying one another.”