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Galatians 5:13-22

Practice Love

5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; 1  only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, 2  but through love serve one another. 3  5:14 For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, 4  namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” 5  5:15 However, if you continually bite and devour one another, 6  beware that you are not consumed 7  by one another. 5:16 But I say, live 8  by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 9  5:17 For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires 10  that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to 11  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 12  are obvious: 13  sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, 14  hostilities, 15  strife, 16  jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, 17  factions, 5:21 envying, 18  murder, 19  drunkenness, carousing, 20  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 21  is love, 22  joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 

1 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:11.

2 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 σάρξGal 5:13, 24;…Opp. τὸ πνεῦμαGal 3:3; 5:16, 17ab; 6:8ab.”

3 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).

4 tn Or “can be fulfilled in one commandment.”

5 sn A quotation from Lev 19:18.

6 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…”).

7 tn Or “destroyed.”

8 tn Grk “walk” (a common NT idiom for how one conducts one’s life or how one behaves).

9 tn On the term “flesh” (once in this verse and twice in v. 17) see the note on the same word in Gal 5:13.

10 tn The words “has desires” do not occur in the Greek text a second time, but are repeated in the translation for clarity.

11 tn Or “are hostile toward” (L&N 39.1).

12 tn See the note on the word “flesh” in Gal 5:13.

13 tn Or “clear,” “evident.”

14 tn Or “witchcraft.”

15 tn Or “enmities,” “[acts of] hatred.”

16 tn Or “discord” (L&N 39.22).

17 tn Or “discord(s)” (L&N 39.13).

18 tn This term is plural in Greek (as is “murder” and “carousing”), but for clarity these abstract nouns have been translated as singular.

19 tcφόνοι (fonoi, “murders”) is absent in such important mss as Ì46 א B 33 81 323 945 pc sa, while the majority of mss (A C D F G Ψ 0122 0278 1739 1881 Ï lat) have the word. Although the pedigree of the mss which lack the term is of the highest degree, homoioteleuton may well explain the shorter reading. The preceding word has merely one letter difference, making it quite possible to overlook this term (φθόνοι φόνοι, fqonoi fonoi).

20 tn Or “revelings,” “orgies” (L&N 88.287).

21 tn That is, the fruit the Spirit produces.

22 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.

23 tn Or “reliability”; see BDAG 818 s.v. πίστις 1.a.

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