4:1 Now I mean that the heir, as long as he is a minor, 1 is no different from a slave, though he is the owner 2 of everything. 4:2 But he is under guardians 3 and managers until the date set by his 4 father.
1 tn Grk “a small child.” The Greek term νήπιος (nhpios) refers to a young child, no longer a helpless infant but probably not more than three or four years old (L&N 9.43). The point in context, though, is that this child is too young to take any responsibility for the management of his assets.
2 tn Grk “master” or “lord” (κύριος, kurios).
3 tn The Greek term translated “guardians” here is ἐπίτροπος (epitropo"), whose semantic domain overlaps with that of παιδαγωγός (paidagwgo") according to L&N 36.5.
4 tn Grk “the,” but the Greek article is used here as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).
5 tn The Greek term υἱοθεσία (Juioqesia) was originally a legal technical term for adoption as a son with full rights of inheritance. BDAG 1024 s.v. notes, “a legal t.t. of ‘adoption’ of children, in our lit., i.e. in Paul, only in a transferred sense of a transcendent filial relationship between God and humans (with the legal aspect, not gender specificity, as major semantic component).” Although some modern translations remove the filial sense completely and render the term merely “adoption” (cf. NAB), the retention of this component of meaning was accomplished in the present translation by the phrase “as sons.”
6 tn Grk “calling.” The participle is neuter indicating that the Spirit is the one who calls.
7 tn The term “Abba” is the Greek transliteration of the Aramaic אַבָּא (’abba’), literally meaning “my father” but taken over simply as “father,” used in prayer and in the family circle, and later taken over by the early Greek-speaking Christians (BDAG 1 s.v. ἀββα).
8 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:11.