Why then was the law given? 1 It was added 2 because of transgressions, 3 until the arrival of the descendant 4 to whom the promise had been made. It was administered 5 through angels by an intermediary. 6
What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator.
Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.
Well then, why was the law given? It was given to show people how guilty they are. But this system of law was to last only until the coming of the child to whom God’s promise was made. And there is this further difference. God gave his laws to angels to give to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people.
The purpose of the law was to keep a sinful people in the way of salvation until Christ (the descendant) came, inheriting the promises and distributing them to us. Obviously this law was not a firsthand encounter with God. It was arranged by angelic messengers through a middleman, Moses.
What then is the law? It was an addition made because of sin, till the coming of the seed to whom the undertaking had been given; and it was ordered through angels by the hand of a go-between.
Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring would come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained through angels by a mediator.
What purpose then does the law serve ? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
[serveth] the law
It was added
the promise was made
[and it was] ordained
of a mediator
|NET © [draft] ITL|
was the law
given? It was added
because of transgressions
of the descendant
had been made. It was administered
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Grk “Why then the law?”
2 tc For προσετέθη (proseteqh) several Western
3 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.
4 tn Grk “the seed.” See the note on the first occurrence of the word “descendant” in 3:16.
5 tn Or “was ordered.” L&N 31.22 has “was put into effect” here.
6 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.