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Galatians 4:1-4

Context

4:1 Now I mean that the heir, as long as he is a minor, 1  is no different from a slave, though he is the owner 2  of everything. 4:2 But he is under guardians 3  and managers until the date set by his 4  father. 4:3 So also we, when we were minors, 5  were enslaved under the basic forces 6  of the world. 4:4 But when the appropriate time 7  had come, God sent out his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

1 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.

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

3 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.

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

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

6 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.

7 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).



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