Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.
But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.
Until faith in Christ was shown to us as the way of becoming right with God, we were guarded by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until we could put our faith in the coming Savior.
Until the time when we were mature enough to respond freely in faith to the living God, we were carefully surrounded and protected by the Mosaic law.
But before faith came, we were kept in prison under the law, waiting for the revelation of the faith which was to come.
Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed.
But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Or “the faithfulness [of Christ] came.”
2 tc Instead of the present participle συγκλειόμενοι (sunkleiomenoi; found in Ì46 א A B D* F G P Ψ 33 1739 al), C D1 0176 0278 Ï have the perfect συγκεκλεισμένοι (sunkekleismenoi). The syntactical implication of the perfect is that the cause or the means of being held in custody was confinement (“we were held in custody [by/because of] being confined”). The present participle of course allows for such options, but also allows for contemporaneous time (“while being confined”) and result (“with the result that we were confined”). Externally, the perfect participle has little to commend it, being restricted for the most part to later and Byzantine witnesses.
tn Grk “being confined.”