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Galatians 3:1--6:18

Context
Justification by Law or by Faith?

3:1 You 1  foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell 2  on you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed 3  as crucified! 3:2 The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law 4  or by believing what you heard? 5  3:3 Are you so foolish? Although you began 6  with 7  the Spirit, are you now trying to finish 8  by human effort? 9  3:4 Have you suffered so many things for nothing? – if indeed it was for nothing. 3:5 Does God then give 10  you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law 11  or by your believing what you heard? 12 

3:6 Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, 13  3:7 so then, understand 14  that those who believe are the sons of Abraham. 15  3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the gospel to Abraham ahead of time, 16  saying, “All the nations 17  will be blessed in you.” 18  3:9 So then those who believe 19  are blessed along with Abraham the believer. 3:10 For all who 20  rely on doing the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not keep on doing everything written in the book of the law. 21  3:11 Now it is clear no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous one will live by faith. 22  3:12 But the law is not based on faith, 23  but the one who does the works of the law 24  will live by them. 25  3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming 26  a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) 27  3:14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles, 28  so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.

Inheritance Comes from Promises and not Law

3:15 Brothers and sisters, 29  I offer an example from everyday life: 30  When a covenant 31  has been ratified, 32  even though it is only a human contract, no one can set it aside or add anything to it. 3:16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant. 33  Scripture 34  does not say, “and to the descendants,” 35  referring to many, but “and to your descendant,” 36  referring to one, who is Christ. 3:17 What I am saying is this: The law that came four hundred thirty years later does not cancel a covenant previously ratified by God, 37  so as to invalidate the promise. 3:18 For if the inheritance is based on the law, it is no longer based on the promise, but God graciously gave 38  it to Abraham through the promise.

3:19 Why then was the law given? 39  It was added 40  because of transgressions, 41  until the arrival of the descendant 42  to whom the promise had been made. It was administered 43  through angels by an intermediary. 44  3:20 Now an intermediary is not for one party alone, but God is one. 45  3:21 Is the law therefore opposed to the promises of God? 46  Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 47  3:22 But the scripture imprisoned 48  everything and everyone 49  under sin so that the promise could be given – because of the faithfulness 50  of Jesus Christ – to those who believe.

Sons of God Are Heirs of Promise

3:23 Now before faith 51  came we were held in custody under the law, being kept as prisoners 52  until the coming faith would be revealed. 3:24 Thus the law had become our guardian 53  until Christ, so that we could be declared righteous 54  by faith. 3:25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 55  3:26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. 56  3:27 For all of you who 57  were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave 58  nor free, there is neither male nor female 59  – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 3:29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, 60  heirs according to the promise.

4:1 Now I mean that the heir, as long as he is a minor, 61  is no different from a slave, though he is the owner 62  of everything. 4:2 But he is under guardians 63  and managers until the date set by his 64  father. 4:3 So also we, when we were minors, 65  were enslaved under the basic forces 66  of the world. 4:4 But when the appropriate time 67  had come, God sent out his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 4:5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we may be adopted as sons with full rights. 68  4:6 And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, who calls 69 Abba! 70  Father!” 4:7 So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are 71  a son, then you are also an heir through God. 72 

Heirs of Promise Are Not to Return to Law

4:8 Formerly when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods at all. 73  4:9 But now that you have come to know God (or rather to be known by God), how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless 74  basic forces? 75  Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? 76  4:10 You are observing religious 77  days and months and seasons and years. 4:11 I fear for you that my work for you may have been in vain. 4:12 I beg you, brothers and sisters, 78  become like me, because I have become like you. You have done me no wrong!

Personal Appeal of Paul

4:13 But you know it was because of a physical illness that I first proclaimed the gospel to you, 4:14 and though my physical condition put you to the test, you did not despise or reject me. 79  Instead, you welcomed me as though I were an angel of God, 80  as though I were Christ Jesus himself! 81  4:15 Where then is your sense of happiness 82  now? For I testify about you that if it were possible, you would have pulled out your eyes and given them to me! 4:16 So then, have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? 83 

4:17 They court you eagerly, 84  but for no good purpose; 85  they want to exclude you, so that you would seek them eagerly. 86  4:18 However, it is good 87  to be sought eagerly 88  for a good purpose 89  at all times, and not only when I am present with you. 4:19 My children – I am again undergoing birth pains until Christ is formed in you! 90  4:20 I wish I could be with you now and change my tone of voice, 91  because I am perplexed about you.

An Appeal from Allegory

4:21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, do you not understand the law? 92  4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the 93  slave woman and the other by the free woman. 4:23 But one, the son by the slave woman, was born by natural descent, 94  while the other, the son by the free woman, was born through the promise. 4:24 These things may be treated as an allegory, 95  for these women represent two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. 4:25 Now Hagar represents Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 4:26 But the Jerusalem above is free, 96  and she is our mother. 4:27 For it is written:

Rejoice, O barren woman who does not bear children; 97 

break forth and shout, you who have no birth pains,

because the children of the desolate woman are more numerous

than those of the woman who has a husband.” 98 

4:28 But you, 99  brothers and sisters, 100  are children of the promise like Isaac. 4:29 But just as at that time the one born by natural descent 101  persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, 102  so it is now. 4:30 But what does the scripture say? “Throw out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the son 103  of the free woman. 4:31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, 104  we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman.

Freedom of the Believer

5:1 For freedom 105  Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke 106  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 107  the whole law. 5:4 You who are trying to be declared righteous 108  by the law have been alienated 109  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. 110 

5:7 You were running well; who prevented you from obeying 111  the truth? 5:8 This persuasion 112  does not come from the one who calls you! 5:9 A little yeast makes the whole batch of dough rise! 113  5:10 I am confident 114  in the Lord that you will accept no other view. 115  But the one who is confusing 116  you will pay the penalty, 117  whoever he may be. 5:11 Now, brothers and sisters, 118  if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? 119  In that case the offense of the cross 120  has been removed. 121  5:12 I wish those agitators 122  would go so far as to 123  castrate themselves! 124 

Practice Love

5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; 125  only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, 126  but through love serve one another. 127  5:14 For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, 128  namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” 129  5:15 However, if you continually bite and devour one another, 130  beware that you are not consumed 131  by one another. 5:16 But I say, live 132  by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 133  5:17 For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires 134  that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to 135  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 136  are obvious: 137  sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, 138  hostilities, 139  strife, 140  jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, 141  factions, 5:21 envying, 142  murder, 143  drunkenness, carousing, 144  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 145  is love, 146  joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 147  5:23 gentleness, and 148  self-control. Against such things there is no law. 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ 149  have crucified the flesh 150  with its passions 151  and desires. 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with 152  the Spirit. 5:26 Let us not become conceited, 153  provoking 154  one another, being jealous 155  of one another.

Support One Another

6:1 Brothers and sisters, 156  if a person 157  is discovered in some sin, 158  you who are spiritual 159  restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness. 160  Pay close attention 161  to yourselves, so that you are not tempted too. 6:2 Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 6:3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 6:4 Let each one examine 162  his own work. Then he can take pride 163  in himself and not compare himself with 164  someone else. 6:5 For each one will carry 165  his own load.

6:6 Now the one who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with the one who teaches 166  it. 6:7 Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool. 167  For a person 168  will reap what he sows, 6:8 because the person who sows to his own flesh 169  will reap corruption 170  from the flesh, 171  but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 6:9 So we must not grow weary 172  in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up. 173  6:10 So then, 174  whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith. 175 

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 176  are trying to force you to be circumcised. They do so 177  only to avoid being persecuted 178  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. 179  6:14 But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which 180  the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 6:15 For 181  neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for 182  anything; the only thing that matters is a new creation! 183  6:16 And all who will behave 184  in accordance with this rule, peace and mercy be on them, and on the Israel of God. 185 

6:17 From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body. 186 

6:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be 187  with your spirit, brothers and sisters. 188  Amen.

1 tn Grk “O” (an interjection used both in address and emotion). In context the following section is highly charged emotionally.

2 tn Or “deceived”; the verb βασκαίνω (baskainw) can be understood literally here in the sense of bewitching by black magic, but could also be understood figuratively to refer to an act of deception (see L&N 53.98 and 88.159).

3 tn Or “publicly placarded,” “set forth in a public proclamation” (BDAG 867 s.v. προγράφω 2).

4 tn Grk “by [the] works of [the] law,” a reference to observing the Mosaic law.

5 tn Grk “by [the] hearing of faith.”

6 tn Grk “Having begun”; the participle ἐναρξάμενοι (enarxamenoi) has been translated concessively.

7 tn Or “by the Spirit.”

8 tn The verb ἐπιτελεῖσθε (epiteleisqe) has been translated as a conative present (see ExSyn 534). This is something the Galatians were attempting to do, but could not accomplish successfully.

9 tn Grk “in/by [the] flesh.”

10 tn Or “provide.”

11 tn Grk “by [the] works of [the] law” (the same phrase as in v. 2).

12 tn Grk “by [the] hearing of faith” (the same phrase as in v. 2).

13 sn A quotation from Gen 15:6.

14 tn Grk “know.”

15 tn The phrase “sons of Abraham” is used here in a figurative sense to describe people who are connected to a personality, Abraham, by close nonmaterial ties. It is this personality that has defined the relationship and its characteristics (BDAG 1024-25 s.v. υἱός 2.c.α).

16 tn For the Greek verb προευαγγελίζομαι (proeuangelizomai) translated as “proclaim the gospel ahead of time,” compare L&N 33.216.

17 tn The same plural Greek word, τὰ ἔθνη (ta eqnh), can be translated as “nations” or “Gentiles.”

18 sn A quotation from Gen 12:3; 18:18.

19 tn Grk “those who are by faith,” with the Greek expression “by faith” (ἐκ πίστεως, ek pistew") the same as the expression in v. 8.

20 tn Grk “For as many as.”

21 tn Grk “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all the things written in the book of the law, to do them.”

sn A quotation from Deut 27:26.

22 tn Or “The one who is righteous by faith will live” (a quotation from Hab 2:4).

23 tn Grk “is not from faith.”

24 tn Grk “who does these things”; the referent (the works of the law, see 3:5) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

25 sn A quotation from Lev 18:5. The phrase the works of the law is an editorial expansion on the Greek text (see previous note); it has been left as normal typeface to indicate it is not part of the OT text.

26 tn Grk “having become”; the participle γενόμενος (genomenos) has been taken instrumentally.

27 sn A quotation from Deut 21:23. By figurative extension the Greek word translated tree (ζύλον, zulon) can also be used to refer to a cross (L&N 6.28), the Roman instrument of execution.

28 tn Or “so that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus.”

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

30 tn Grk “I speak according to man,” referring to the illustration that follows.

31 tn The same Greek word, διαθήκη (diaqhkh), can mean either “covenant” or “will,” but in this context the former is preferred here because Paul is discussing in vv. 16-18 the Abrahamic covenant.

32 tn Or “has been put into effect.”

33 tn Grk “his seed,” a figurative extension of the meaning of σπέρμα (sperma) to refer to descendants (L&N 10.29).

34 tn Grk “It”; the referent (the scripture) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The understood subject of the verb λέγει (legei) could also be “He” (referring to God) as the one who spoke the promise to Abraham.

35 tn Grk “to seeds.” See the note on “descendant” earlier in this verse. Here the term is plural; the use of the singular in the OT text cited later in this verse is crucial to Paul’s argument.

36 tn See the note on “descendant” earlier in this verse.

sn A quotation from Gen 12:7; 13:15; 17:7; 24:7.

37 tc Most mss (D F G I 0176 0278 Ï it sy) read “ratified by God in Christ” whereas the omission of “in Christ” is the reading in Ì46 א A B C P Ψ 6 33 81 1175 1739 1881 2464 pc co. The shorter reading is strongly supported by the ms evidence, and it is probable that a copyist inserted the words as an interpretive gloss. However, this form of the “in Christ” expression is somewhat atypical in the corpus Paulinum (εἰς Χριστόν [ei" Criston] rather than ἐν Χριστῷ [en Cristw]), a fact which tempers one’s certainty about the shorter reading. Nevertheless, the expression is used more in Galatians than in any other of Paul’s letters (Gal 2:16; 3:24, 27), and may have been suggested by such texts to early copyists.

38 tn On the translation “graciously gave” for χαρίζομαι (carizomai) see L&N 57.102.

39 tn Grk “Why then the law?”

40 tc For προσετέθη (proseteqh) several Western mss have ἐτέθη (eteqh, “it was established”; so D* F G it Irlat Ambst Spec). The net effect of this reading, in conjunction with the largely Western reading of πράξεων (praxewn) for παραβάσεων (parabasewn), seems to be a very positive assessment of the law. But there are compelling reasons for rejecting this reading: (1) externally, it is provincial and relatively late; (2) internally: (a) transcriptionally, there seems to be a much higher transcriptional probability that a scribe would try to smooth over Paul’s harsh saying here about the law than vice versa; (b) intrinsically: [1] Paul has already argued that the law came after the promise (vv. 15-18), indicating, more than likely, its temporary nature; [2] the verb “was added” in v. 19 (προσετέθη) is different from the verb in v. 15 (ἐπιδιατάσσεται, epidiatassetai); virtually all exegetes recognize this as an intentional linguistic shift on Paul’s part in order not to contradict his statement in v. 15; [3] the temper of 3:14:7 is decidedly against a positive statement about the Torah’s role in Heilsgeschichte.

41 tc παραδόσεων (paradosewn; “traditions, commandments”) is read by D*, while the vast majority of witnesses read παραβάσεων (parabasewn, “transgressions”). D’s reading makes little sense in this context. πράξεων (praxewn, “of deeds”) replaces παραβάσεων in Ì46 F G it Irlat Ambst Spec. The wording is best taken as going with νόμος (nomo"; “Why then the law of deeds?”), as is evident by the consistent punctuation in the later witnesses. But such an expression is unpauline and superfluous; it was almost certainly added by some early scribe(s) to soften the blow of Paul’s statement.

42 tn Grk “the seed.” See the note on the first occurrence of the word “descendant” in 3:16.

43 tn Or “was ordered.” L&N 31.22 has “was put into effect” here.

44 tn Many modern translations (NASB, NIV, NRSV) render this word (μεσίτης, mesith"; here and in v. 20) as “mediator,” but this conveys a wrong impression in contemporary English. If this is referring to Moses, he certainly did not “mediate” between God and Israel but was an intermediary on God’s behalf. Moses was not a mediator, for example, who worked for compromise between opposing parties. He instead was God’s representative to his people who enabled them to have a relationship, but entirely on God’s terms.

45 tn The meaning of this verse is disputed. According to BDAG 634 s.v. μεσίτης, “It prob. means that the activity of an intermediary implies the existence of more than one party, and hence may be unsatisfactory because it must result in a compromise. The presence of an intermediary would prevent attainment, without any impediment, of the purpose of the εἶς θεός in giving the law.” See also A. Oepke, TDNT 4:598-624, esp. 618-19.

46 tc The reading τοῦ θεοῦ (tou qeou, “of God”) is well attested in א A C D (F G read θεοῦ without the article) Ψ 0278 33 1739 1881 Ï lat sy co. However, Ì46 B d Ambst lack the words. Ì46 and B perhaps should not to be given as much weight as they normally are, since the combination of these two witnesses often produces a secondary shorter reading against all others. In addition, one might expect that if the shorter reading were original other variants would have crept into the textual tradition early on. But 104 (a.d. 1087) virtually stands alone with the variant τοῦ Χριστοῦ (tou Cristou, “of Christ”). Nevertheless, if τοῦ θεοῦ were not part of the original text, it is the kind of variant that would be expected to show up early and often, especially in light of Paul’s usage elsewhere (Rom 4:20; 2 Cor 1:20). A slight preference should be given to the τοῦ θεοῦ over the omission. NA27 rightly places the words in brackets, indicating doubts as to their authenticity.

47 tn Or “have been based on the law.”

48 tn Or “locked up.”

49 tn Grk “imprisoned all things” but τὰ πάντα (ta panta) includes people as part of the created order. Because people are the emphasis of Paul’s argument ( “given to those who believe” at the end of this verse.), “everything and everyone” was used here.

50 tn Or “so that the promise could be given by faith in Jesus Christ to those who believe.” 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 Rom 3:22, 26; Gal 2:16, 20; 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 because of the faithfulness of Jesus 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.

51 tn Or “the faithfulness [of Christ] came.”

52 tc Instead of the present participle συγκλειόμενοι (sunkleiomenoi; found in Ì46 א A B D* F G P Ψ 33 1739 al), C D1 0176 0278 Ï have the perfect συγκεκλεισμένοι (sunkekleismenoi). The syntactical implication of the perfect is that the cause or the means of being held in custody was confinement (“we were held in custody [by/because of] being confined”). The present participle of course allows for such options, but also allows for contemporaneous time (“while being confined”) and result (“with the result that we were confined”). Externally, the perfect participle has little to commend it, being restricted for the most part to later and Byzantine witnesses.

tn Grk “being confined.”

53 tn Or “disciplinarian,” “custodian,” or “guide.” According to BDAG 748 s.v. παιδαγωγός, “the man, usu. a slave…whose duty it was to conduct a boy or youth…to and from school and to superintend his conduct gener.; he was not a ‘teacher’ (despite the present mng. of the derivative ‘pedagogue’…When the young man became of age, the π. was no longer needed.” L&N 36.5 gives “guardian, leader, guide” here.

54 tn Or “be justified.”

55 tn See the note on the word “guardian” in v. 24. The punctuation of vv. 25, 26, and 27 is difficult to represent because of the causal connections between each verse. English style would normally require a comma either at the end of v. 25 or v. 26, but in so doing the translation would then link v. 26 almost exclusively with either v. 25 or v. 27; this would be problematic as scholars debate which two verses are to be linked. Because of this, the translation instead places a period at the end of each verse. This preserves some of the ambiguity inherent in the Greek and does not exclude any particular causal connection.

56 tn Or “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

57 tn Grk “For as many of you as.”

58 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 1:10.

59 tn Grk “male and female.”

60 tn Grk “seed.” See the note on the first occurrence of the word “descendant” in 3:16.

61 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.

62 tn Grk “master” or “lord” (κύριος, kurios).

63 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.

64 tn Grk “the,” but the Greek article is used here as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).

65 tn See the note on the word “minor” in 4:1.

66 tn Or “basic principles,” “elemental things,” or “elemental spirits.” Some interpreters take this as a reference to supernatural powers who controlled nature and/or human fate.

67 tn Grk “the fullness of time” (an idiom for the totality of a period of time, with the implication of proper completion; see L&N 67.69).

68 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.”

69 tn Grk “calling.” The participle is neuter indicating that the Spirit is the one who calls.

70 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).

71 tn Grk “and if a son, then also an heir.” The words “you are” have been supplied twice to clarify the statement.

72 tc The unusual expression διὰ θεοῦ (dia qeou, “through God”) certainly prompted scribes to alter it to more customary or theologically acceptable ones such as διὰ θεόν (dia qeon, “because of God”; F G 1881 pc), διὰ Χριστοῦ (dia Cristou, “through Christ”; 81 630 pc sa), διὰ ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ (dia Ihsou Cristou, “through Jesus Christ”; 1739c), θεοῦ διὰ Χριστοῦ (“[an heir] of God through Christ”; א2 C3 D [P] 0278 [6 326 1505] Ï ar sy), or κληρονόμος μὲν θεοῦ, συγκληρονόμος δὲ Χριστοῦ (klhronomo" men qeou, sugklhronomo" de Cristou, “an heir of God, and fellow-heir with Christ”; Ψ pc [cf. Rom 8:17]). Although it is unusual for Paul to speak of God as an intermediate agent, it is not unprecedented (cf. Gal 1:1; 1 Cor 1:9). Nevertheless, Gal 4:7 is the most direct statement to this effect. Further testimony on behalf of διὰ θεοῦ is to be found in external evidence: The witnesses with this phrase are among the most important in the NT (Ì46 א* A B C* 33 1739*vid lat bo Cl).

73 tn Grk “those that by nature…” with the word “beings” implied. BDAG 1070 s.v. φύσις 2 sees this as referring to pagan worship: “Polytheists worship…beings that are by nature no gods at all Gal 4:8.”

74 tn Or “useless.” See L&N 65.16.

75 tn See the note on the phrase “basic forces” in 4:3.

76 tn Grk “basic forces, to which you want to be enslaved…” Verse 9 is a single sentence in the Greek text, but has been divided into two in the translation because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence.

77 tn The adjective “religious” has been supplied in the translation to make clear that the problem concerns observing certain days, etc. in a religious sense (cf. NIV, NRSV “special days”). In light of the polemic in this letter against the Judaizers (those who tried to force observance of the Mosaic law on Gentile converts to Christianity) this may well be a reference to the observance of Jewish Sabbaths, feasts, and other religious days.

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

79 tn Grk “your trial in my flesh you did not despise or reject.”

80 tn Or “the angel of God.” Linguistically, “angel of God” is the same in both testaments (and thus, he is either “an angel of God” or “the angel of God” in both testaments). For arguments and implications, see ExSyn 252; M. J. Davidson, “Angels,” DJG, 9; W. G. MacDonald argues for “an angel” in both testaments: “Christology and ‘The Angel of the Lord’,” Current Issues in Biblical and Patristic Interpretation, 324-35.

81 tn Grk “as an angel of God…as Christ Jesus.” This could be understood to mean either “you welcomed me like an angel of God would,” or “you welcomed me as though I were an angel of God.” In context only the second is accurate, so the translation has been phrased to indicate this.

82 tn Or “blessedness.”

83 tn Or “have I become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?” The participle ἀληθεύων (alhqeuwn) can be translated as a causal adverbial participle or as a participle of means (as in the translation).

84 tn Or “They are zealous for you.”

85 tn Or “but not commendably” (BDAG 505 s.v. καλῶς 2).

86 tn Or “so that you would be zealous.”

87 tn Or “commendable.”

88 tn Or “to be zealous.”

89 tn Grk “But it is always good to be zealous in good.”

90 tn Grk “My children, for whom I am again undergoing birth pains until Christ is formed in you.” The relative clauses in English do not pick up the emotional force of Paul’s language here (note “tone of voice” in v. 20, indicating that he is passionately concerned for them); hence, the translation has been altered slightly to capture the connotative power of Paul’s plea.

sn That is, until Christ’s nature or character is formed in them (see L&N 58.4).

91 tn Grk “voice” or “tone.” The contemporary English expression “tone of voice” is a good approximation to the meaning here.

92 tn Or “will you not hear what the law says?” The Greek verb ἀκούω (akouw) means “hear, listen to,” but by figurative extension it can also mean “obey.” It can also refer to the process of comprehension that follows hearing, and that sense fits the context well here.

93 tn Paul’s use of the Greek article here and before the phrase “free woman” presumes that both these characters are well known to the recipients of his letter. This verse is given as an example of the category called “well-known (‘celebrity’ or ‘familiar’) article” by ExSyn 225.

94 tn Grk “born according to the flesh”; BDAG 916 s.v. σάρξ 4 has “Of natural descent τὰ τέκνα τῆς σαρκός children by natural descent Ro 9:8 (opp. τὰ τέκνα τῆς ἐπαγγελίας). ὁ μὲν ἐκ τῆς παιδίσκης κατὰ σάρκα γεγέννηται Gal 4:23; cp. vs. 29.”

95 tn Grk “which things are spoken about allegorically.” Paul is not saying the OT account is an allegory, but rather that he is constructing an allegory based on the OT account.

96 sn The meaning of the statement the Jerusalem above is free is that the other woman represents the second covenant (cf. v. 24); she corresponds to the Jerusalem above that is free. Paul’s argument is very condensed at this point.

97 tn The direct object “children” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied for clarity. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

98 tn Grk “because more are the children of the barren one than of the one having a husband.”

sn A quotation from Isa 54:1.

99 tc Most mss (א A C D2 Ψ 062 Ï lat sy bo) read “we” here, while “you” is found in Ì46 B D* F G 0261vid 0278 33 1739 al sa. It is more likely that a copyist, noticing the first person pronouns in vv. 26 and 31, changed a second person pronoun here to first person for consistency.

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

101 tn Grk “according to the flesh”; see the note on the phrase “by natural descent” in 4:23.

102 tn Or “the one born by the Spirit’s [power].”

103 sn A quotation from Gen 21:10. The phrase of the free woman does not occur in Gen 21:10.

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

105 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.

106 sn Here the yoke figuratively represents the burdensome nature of slavery.

107 tn Or “keep”; or “carry out”; Grk “do.”

108 tn Or “trying to be justified.” The verb δικαιοῦσθε (dikaiousqe) has been translated as a conative present (see ExSyn 534).

109 tn Or “estranged”; BDAG 526 s.v. καταργέω 4 states, “Of those who aspire to righteousness through the law κ. ἀπὸ Χριστοῦ be estranged from Christ Gal 5:4.”

110 tn Grk “but faith working through love.”

111 tn Or “following.” BDAG 792 s.v. πείθω 3.b states, “obey, follow w. dat. of the pers. or thing…Gal 3:1 v.l.; 5:7.”

112 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.

113 tn Grk “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”

114 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.

115 tn Grk “that you will think nothing otherwise.”

116 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.

117 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.

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

119 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?

120 sn The offense of the cross refers to the offense to Jews caused by preaching Christ crucified.

121 tn Or “nullified.”

122 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.

123 tn Grk “would even.”

124 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.

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

126 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.”

127 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).

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

129 sn A quotation from Lev 19:18.

130 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…”).

131 tn Or “destroyed.”

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

133 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.

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

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

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

137 tn Or “clear,” “evident.”

138 tn Or “witchcraft.”

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

140 tn Or “discord” (L&N 39.22).

141 tn Or “discord(s)” (L&N 39.13).

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

143 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).

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

145 tn That is, the fruit the Spirit produces.

146 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.

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

148 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.

149 tc ‡ Some mss (א A B C P Ψ 01221 0278 33 1175 1739 pc co) read “Christ Jesus” here, while many significant ones (Ì46 D F G 0122*,2 latt sy), as well as the Byzantine text, lack “Jesus.” The Byzantine text is especially not prone to omit the name “Jesus”; that it does so here argues for the authenticity of the shorter reading (for similar instances of probably authentic Byzantine shorter readings, see Matt 24:36 and Phil 1:14; cf. also W.-H. J. Wu, “A Systematic Analysis of the Shorter Readings in the Byzantine Text of the Synoptic Gospels” [Ph.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 2002]). On the strength of the alignment of Ì46 with the Western and Byzantine texttypes, the shorter reading is preferred. NA27 includes the word in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.

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

151 tn The Greek term παθήμασιν (paqhmasin, translated “passions”) refers to strong physical desires, especially of a sexual nature (L&N 25.30).

152 tn Or “let us also follow,” “let us also walk by.”

153 tn Or “falsely proud.”

154 tn Or “irritating.” BDAG 871 s.v. προκαλέω has “provoke, challenge τινά someone.

155 tn Or “another, envying one another.”

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

157 tn Here ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used in a generic sense, referring to both men and women.

158 tn Or “some transgression” (L&N 88.297).

159 sn Who are spiritual refers to people who are controlled and directed by God’s Spirit.

160 tn Or “with a gentle spirit” or “gently.”

161 tn Grk “taking careful notice.”

162 tn Or “determine the genuineness of.”

163 tn Grk “he will have a reason for boasting.”

164 tn Or “and not in regard to.” The idea of comparison is implied in the context.

165 tn Or perhaps, “each one must carry.” A number of modern translations treat βαστάσει (bastasei) as an imperatival future.

166 tn Or “instructs,” “imparts.”

167 tn Or “is not mocked,” “will not be ridiculed” (L&N 33.409). BDAG 660 s.v. μυκτηρίζω has “of God οὐ μ. he is not to be mocked, treated w. contempt, perh. outwitted Gal 6:7.”

168 tn Here ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used in a generic sense, referring to both men and women.

169 tn 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.”

170 tn Or “destruction.”

171 tn See the note on the previous occurrence of the word “flesh” in this verse.

172 tn Or “not become discouraged,” “not lose heart” (L&N 25.288).

173 tn Or “if we do not become extremely weary,” “if we do not give out,” “if we do not faint from exhaustion” (L&N 23.79).

174 tn There is a double connective here that cannot be easily preserved in English: “consequently therefore,” emphasizing the conclusion of what Paul has been arguing.

175 tn Grk “to those who are members of the family of [the] faith.”

176 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.”

177 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.

178 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.

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

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

181 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.

182 tn Grk “is.”

183 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).

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

185 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.”

186 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).

187 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.

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



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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