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Galatians 2:14-21

Context
2:14 But when I saw that they were not behaving consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas 1  in front of them all, “If you, although you are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you try to force 2  the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

Jews and Gentiles are Justified by Faith

2:15 We are Jews by birth 3  and not Gentile sinners, 4  2:16 yet we know 5  that no one 6  is justified by the works of the law 7  but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. 8  And 9  we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ 10  and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one 11  will be justified. 2:17 But if while seeking to be justified in Christ we ourselves have also been found to be sinners, is Christ then one who encourages 12  sin? Absolutely not! 2:18 But if I build up again those things I once destroyed, 13  I demonstrate that I am one who breaks God’s law. 14  2:19 For through the law I died to the law so that I may live to God. 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ, 15  and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So 16  the life I now live in the body, 17  I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, 18  who loved me and gave himself for me. 2:21 I do not set aside 19  God’s grace, because if righteousness 20  could come through the law, then Christ died for nothing! 21 

1 sn Cephas. This individual is generally identified with the Apostle Peter (L&N 93.211).

2 tn Here ἀναγκάζεις (anankazei") has been translated as a conative present (see ExSyn 534).

3 tn Grk “by nature.”

4 tn Grk “and not sinners from among the Gentiles.”

5 tn Grk “yet knowing”; the participle εἰδότες (eidotes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

6 tn Grk “no man,” but ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women.

7 sn The law is a reference to the law of Moses.

8 tn Or “faith in Jesus Christ.” A decision is difficult here. Though traditionally translated “faith in Jesus Christ,” an increasing number of NT scholars are arguing that πίστις Χριστοῦ (pisti" Cristou) and similar phrases in Paul (here and in v. 20; Rom 3:22, 26; Gal 3:22; Eph 3:12; Phil 3:9) involve a subjective genitive and mean “Christ’s faith” or “Christ’s faithfulness” (cf., e.g., G. Howard, “The ‘Faith of Christ’,” ExpTim 85 [1974]: 212-15; R. B. Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ [SBLDS]; Morna D. Hooker, “Πίστις Χριστοῦ,” NTS 35 [1989]: 321-42). Noteworthy among the arguments for the subjective genitive view is that when πίστις takes a personal genitive it is almost never an objective genitive (cf. Matt 9:2, 22, 29; Mark 2:5; 5:34; 10:52; Luke 5:20; 7:50; 8:25, 48; 17:19; 18:42; 22:32; Rom 1:8; 12; 3:3; 4:5, 12, 16; 1 Cor 2:5; 15:14, 17; 2 Cor 10:15; Phil 2:17; Col 1:4; 2:5; 1 Thess 1:8; 3:2, 5, 10; 2 Thess 1:3; Titus 1:1; Phlm 6; 1 Pet 1:9, 21; 2 Pet 1:5). On the other hand, the objective genitive view has its adherents: A. Hultgren, “The Pistis Christou Formulations in Paul,” NovT 22 (1980): 248-63; J. D. G. Dunn, “Once More, ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ,” SBL Seminar Papers, 1991, 730-44. Most commentaries on Romans and Galatians usually side with the objective view.

sn On the phrase translated the faithfulness of Christ, ExSyn 116, which notes that the grammar is not decisive, nevertheless suggests that “the faith/faithfulness of Christ is not a denial of faith in Christ as a Pauline concept (for the idea is expressed in many of the same contexts, only with the verb πιστεύω rather than the noun), but implies that the object of faith is a worthy object, for he himself is faithful.” Though Paul elsewhere teaches justification by faith, this presupposes that the object of our faith is reliable and worthy of such faith.

9 tn In Greek this is a continuation of the preceding sentence, but the construction is too long and complex for contemporary English style, so a new sentence was started here in the translation.

10 tn Or “by faith in Christ.” See comment above on “the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.”

11 tn Or “no human being”; Grk “flesh.”

12 tn Or “does Christ serve the interests of sin?”; or “is Christ an agent for sin?” See BDAG 230-31 s.v. διάκονος 2.

13 tn Or “once tore down.”

14 tn Traditionally, “that I am a transgressor.”

15 tn Both the NA27/UBS4 Greek text and the NRSV place the phrase “I have been crucified with Christ” at the end of v. 19, but most English translations place these words at the beginning of v. 20.

16 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “So” to bring out the connection of the following clauses with the preceding ones. What Paul says here amounts to a result or inference drawn from his co-crucifixion with Christ and the fact that Christ now lives in him. In Greek this is a continuation of the preceding sentence, but the construction is too long and complex for contemporary English style, so a new sentence was started here in the translation.

17 tn Grk “flesh.”

18 tc A number of important witnesses (Ì46 B D* F G) have θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ (qeou kai Cristou, “of God and Christ”) instead of υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ (Juiou tou qeou, “the Son of God”), found in the majority of mss, including several important ones (א A C D1 Ψ 0278 33 1739 1881 Ï lat sy co). The construction “of God and Christ” appears to be motivated as a more explicit affirmation of the deity of Christ (following as it apparently does the Granville Sharp rule). Although Paul certainly has an elevated Christology, explicit “God-talk” with reference to Jesus does not normally appear until the later books (cf., e.g., Titus 2:13, Phil 2:10-11, and probably Rom 9:5). For different arguments but the same textual conclusions, see TCGNT 524.

tn Or “I live by faith in the Son of God.” See note on “faithfulness of Jesus Christ” in v. 16 for the rationale behind the translation “the faithfulness of the Son of God.”

sn On the phrase because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, ExSyn 116, which notes that the grammar is not decisive, nevertheless suggests that “the faith/faithfulness of Christ is not a denial of faith in Christ as a Pauline concept (for the idea is expressed in many of the same contexts, only with the verb πιστεύω rather than the noun), but implies that the object of faith is a worthy object, for he himself is faithful.” Though Paul elsewhere teaches justification by faith, this presupposes that the object of our faith is reliable and worthy of such faith.

19 tn Or “I do not declare invalid,” “I do not nullify.”

20 tn Or “justification.”

21 tn Or “without cause,” “for no purpose.”



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