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Galatians 3:26--4:7

Context
3:26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. 1  3:27 For all of you who 2  were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave 3  nor free, there is neither male nor female 4  – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 3:29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, 5  heirs according to the promise.

4:1 Now I mean that the heir, as long as he is a minor, 6  is no different from a slave, though he is the owner 7  of everything. 4:2 But he is under guardians 8  and managers until the date set by his 9  father. 4:3 So also we, when we were minors, 10  were enslaved under the basic forces 11  of the world. 4:4 But when the appropriate time 12  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. 13  4:6 And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, who calls 14 Abba! 15  Father!” 4:7 So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are 16  a son, then you are also an heir through God. 17 

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

2 tn Grk “For as many of you as.”

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

4 tn Grk “male and female.”

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

6 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.

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

8 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.

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

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

11 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.

12 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).

13 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.”

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

15 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).

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

17 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).



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