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Galatians 5:13-15

Context
Practice Love

5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; 1  only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, 2  but through love serve one another. 3  5:14 For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, 4  namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” 5  5:15 However, if you continually bite and devour one another, 6  beware that you are not consumed 7  by one another.

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

2 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.”

3 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).

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

5 sn A quotation from Lev 19:18.

6 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…”).

7 tn Or “destroyed.”



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