Copyright (c) Timothy E. Clontz 1999 All rights reserved.
The Letter of Paul to the Galatians
1 Paul, an apostle-sent not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead- 2 and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia: 3 grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you by the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel-7 which is really not another gospel; but there are some who are disturbing you, and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we preached to you, let him be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let him be accursed!
10 Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it; 14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned to Damascus.
18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord's brother. 20 (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I do not lie.) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; 23 they only heard it said, "He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy." 24 And they glorified God because of me.
1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2 I went up because of a revelation; and I set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who were of reputation, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain. 3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. 4 But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had slipped in to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5 We did not yield to them even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you. 6 And from those who were reputed to be something (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)-those, I say, who were of repute added nothing to me; 7 but on the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 8 (for he who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9 and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.
11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to draw back and separate himself, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of them all, "If you, being a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?
15 "We ourselves, who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners, 16 yet who know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law will no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then an agent of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove myself a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died for nothing."
1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain-if it really was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? 6 Even so Abraham "believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."
7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you will all the nations be blessed." 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the man of faith. 10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to do them." 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "The righteous man shall live by faith." 12 But the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "He who does them shall live by them." 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"-14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15 To give a human example, brethren: even though it is only a man's covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ. 17 What I mean is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on the law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. 19 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. 20 Now a mediator does not represent just one party; but God is one.
21 Is the law then opposed to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given which could impart life, then righteousness would indeed have come by the law. 22 But the Scripture has bound everyone under sin, so that that what was promised by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23 Now before faith came, we were bound under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
26 For you are all sons of God, through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.
1 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, although he is the owner of all the estate; 2 but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. 3 So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the elemental things of the world. 4 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things? Do you desire to be enslaved all over again? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.
12 Brethren, I beg you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong; 13 you know it was because of an illness in the flesh that I preached the gospel to you at first; 14 and though my fleshly condition was a trial to you, you did not despise or scorn me, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus himself. 15 What has become of the satisfaction you felt? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They seek you, but for no good purpose; they want to shut you out, so that you may seek them. 18 But it is always good to seek a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you-20 I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
21 Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave and one by the free woman. 23 But the son by the slave was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. 24 This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,
"Rejoice, O barren woman who does not bear;
break forth and shout, you who are not in labor;
for the children of the desolate are more numerous
than the children of her who has a husband."
28 Now you, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now. 30 But what does the scripture say? "Cast out the slave and her son, for the son of the slave shall not inherit with the son of the free woman." 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the slave, but of the free woman.
1 It was for freedom that Christ has set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
2 Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. 4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love.
7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion did not come from him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine; and the one who is troubling you will bear his judgment, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brethren, still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? In that case the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished. 12 I wish that those who are troubling you would mutilate themselves!
13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you would. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then he will have reason to boast in himself alone, and not in his neighbor. 5 For each one will bear his own load. 6 Let the one who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12 Those who want to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but what counts is a new creation. 16 Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.
17 From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.