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Galatians 4:5-7

4:5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we may be adopted as sons with full rights. 1  4:6 And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, who calls 2 Abba! 3  Father!” 4:7 So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are 4  a son, then you are also an heir through God. 5 

Galatians 4:22-31

4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the 6  slave woman and the other by the free woman. 4:23 But one, the son by the slave woman, was born by natural descent, 7  while the other, the son by the free woman, was born through the promise. 4:24 These things may be treated as an allegory, 8  for these women represent two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. 4:25 Now Hagar represents Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 4:26 But the Jerusalem above is free, 9  and she is our mother. 4:27 For it is written:

Rejoice, O barren woman who does not bear children; 10 

break forth and shout, you who have no birth pains,

because the children of the desolate woman are more numerous

than those of the woman who has a husband.” 11 

4:28 But you, 12  brothers and sisters, 13  are children of the promise like Isaac. 4:29 But just as at that time the one born by natural descent 14  persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, 15  so it is now. 4:30 But what does the scripture say? “Throw out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the son 16  of the free woman. 4:31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, 17  we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman.

1 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.”

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

3 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).

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

5 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).

6 tn Paul’s use of the Greek article here and before the phrase “free woman” presumes that both these characters are well known to the recipients of his letter. This verse is given as an example of the category called “well-known (‘celebrity’ or ‘familiar’) article” by ExSyn 225.

7 tn Grk “born according to the flesh”; BDAG 916 s.v. σάρξ 4 has “Of natural descent τὰ τέκνα τῆς σαρκός children by natural descent Ro 9:8 (opp. τὰ τέκνα τῆς ἐπαγγελίας). ὁ μὲν ἐκ τῆς παιδίσκης κατὰ σάρκα γεγέννηται Gal 4:23; cp. vs. 29.”

8 tn Grk “which things are spoken about allegorically.” Paul is not saying the OT account is an allegory, but rather that he is constructing an allegory based on the OT account.

9 sn The meaning of the statement the Jerusalem above is free is that the other woman represents the second covenant (cf. v. 24); she corresponds to the Jerusalem above that is free. Paul’s argument is very condensed at this point.

10 tn The direct object “children” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied for clarity. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

11 tn Grk “because more are the children of the barren one than of the one having a husband.”

sn A quotation from Isa 54:1.

12 tc Most mss (א A C D2 Ψ 062 Ï lat sy bo) read “we” here, while “you” is found in Ì46 B D* F G 0261vid 0278 33 1739 al sa. It is more likely that a copyist, noticing the first person pronouns in vv. 26 and 31, changed a second person pronoun here to first person for consistency.

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

14 tn Grk “according to the flesh”; see the note on the phrase “by natural descent” in 4:23.

15 tn Or “the one born by the Spirit’s [power].”

16 sn A quotation from Gen 21:10. The phrase of the free woman does not occur in Gen 21:10.

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

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