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Galatians 6:11-18

Context
Final Instructions and Benediction

6:11 See what big letters I make as I write to you with my own hand!

6:12 Those who want to make a good showing in external matters 1  are trying to force you to be circumcised. They do so 2  only to avoid being persecuted 3  for the cross of Christ. 6:13 For those who are circumcised do not obey the law themselves, but they want you to be circumcised so that they can boast about your flesh. 4  6:14 But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which 5  the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 6:15 For 6  neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for 7  anything; the only thing that matters is a new creation! 8  6:16 And all who will behave 9  in accordance with this rule, peace and mercy be on them, and on the Israel of God. 10 

6:17 From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body. 11 

6:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be 12  with your spirit, brothers and sisters. 13  Amen.

1 tn Grk “in the flesh.” L&N 88.236 translates the phrase “those who force you to be circumcised are those who wish to make a good showing in external matters.”

2 tn Grk “to be circumcised, only.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started with the words “They do so,” which were supplied to make a complete English sentence.

3 tcGrk “so that they will not be persecuted.” The indicative after ἵνα μή (Jina mh) is unusual (though not unexampled elsewhere in the NT), making it the harder reading. The evidence is fairly evenly split between the indicative διώκονται (diwkontai; Ì46 A C F G K L P 0278 6 81 104 326 629 1175 1505 pm) and the subjunctive διώκωνται (diwkwntai; א B D Ψ 33 365 1739 pm), with a slight preference for the subjunctive. However, since scribes would tend to change the indicative to a subjunctive due to syntactical requirements, the internal evidence is decidedly on the side of the indicative, suggesting that it is original.

4 tn Or “boast about you in external matters,” “in the outward rite” (cf. v. 12).

5 tn Or perhaps, “through whom,” referring to the Lord Jesus Christ rather than the cross.

6 tc The phrase “in Christ Jesus” is found after “For” in some mss (א A C D F G 0278 1881 Ï lat bo), but lacking in Ì46 B Ψ 33 1175 1505 1739* and several fathers. The longer reading probably represents a harmonization to Gal 5:6.

7 tn Grk “is.”

8 tn Grk “but a new creation”; the words “the only thing that matters” have been supplied to reflect the implied contrast with the previous clause (see also Gal 5:6).

9 tn The same Greek verb, στοιχέω (stoicew), occurs in Gal 5:25.

10 tn The word “and” (καί) can be interpreted in two ways: (1) It could be rendered as “also” which would indicate that two distinct groups are in view, namely “all who will behave in accordance with this rule” and “the Israel of God.” Or (2) it could be rendered “even,” which would indicate that “all who behave in accordance with this rule” are “the Israel of God.” In other words, in this latter view, “even” = “that is.”

11 tn Paul is probably referring to scars from wounds received in the service of Jesus, although the term στίγμα (stigma) may imply ownership and suggest these scars served as brands (L&N 8.55; 33.481; 90.84).

12 tn Or “is.” No verb is stated, but a wish (“be”) rather than a declarative statement (“is”) is most likely in a concluding greeting such as this.

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



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