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Galatians 3:2-12

Context
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 1  or by believing what you heard? 2  3:3 Are you so foolish? Although you began 3  with 4  the Spirit, are you now trying to finish 5  by human effort? 6  3:4 Have you suffered so many things for nothing? – if indeed it was for nothing. 3:5 Does God then give 7  you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law 8  or by your believing what you heard? 9 

3:6 Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, 10  3:7 so then, understand 11  that those who believe are the sons of Abraham. 12  3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the gospel to Abraham ahead of time, 13  saying, “All the nations 14  will be blessed in you.” 15  3:9 So then those who believe 16  are blessed along with Abraham the believer. 3:10 For all who 17  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. 18  3:11 Now it is clear no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous one will live by faith. 19  3:12 But the law is not based on faith, 20  but the one who does the works of the law 21  will live by them. 22 

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

2 tn Grk “by [the] hearing of faith.”

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

4 tn Or “by the Spirit.”

5 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.

6 tn Grk “in/by [the] flesh.”

7 tn Or “provide.”

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

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

10 sn A quotation from Gen 15:6.

11 tn Grk “know.”

12 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).

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

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

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

16 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.

17 tn Grk “For as many as.”

18 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.

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

20 tn Grk “is not from faith.”

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

22 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.



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