Galatians 6

Support One Another

1Brothers and sisters,
Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:11.
if a person
Here ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) is used in a generic sense, referring to both men and women.
is discovered in some sin,
Or “some transgression” (L&N 88.297).
you who are spiritual
Who are spiritual refers to people who are controlled and directed by God’s Spirit.
restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness.
Or “with a gentle spirit” or “gently.”
Pay close attention
Grk “taking careful notice.”
to yourselves, so that you are not tempted too.
2Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4Let each one examine
Or “determine the genuineness of.”
his own work. Then he can take pride
Grk “he will have a reason for boasting.”
in himself and not compare himself with
Or “and not in regard to.” The idea of comparison is implied in the context.
someone else.
5For each one will carry
Or perhaps, “each one must carry.” A number of modern translations treat βαστάσει (bastasei) as an imperatival future.
his own load.

6 Now the one who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with the one who teaches
Or “instructs,” “imparts.”
7Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool.
Or “is not mocked,” “will not be ridiculed” (L&N 33.409). BDAG 660 s.v. μυκτηρίζω has “of God οὐ μ. he is not to be mocked, treated w. contempt, perh. outwitted Gal 6:7.”
For a person
Here ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) is used in a generic sense, referring to both men and women.
will reap what he sows,
8because the person who sows to his own flesh
BDAG 915 s.v. σάρξ 2.c.α states: “In Paul’s thought esp., all parts of the body constitute a totality known as σ. or flesh, which is dominated by sin to such a degree that wherever flesh is, all forms of sin are likew. present, and no good thing can live in the σάρξ…Gal 5:13, 24; …Opp. τὸ πνεῦμα…Gal 3:3; 5:16, 17ab; 6:8ab.”
will reap corruption
Or “destruction.”
from the flesh,
See the note on the previous occurrence of the word “flesh” in this verse.
but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.
9So we must not grow weary
Or “not become discouraged,” “not lose heart” (L&N 25.288).
in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up.
Or “if we do not become extremely weary,” “if we do not give out,” “if we do not faint from exhaustion” (L&N 23.79).
10So then,
There is a double connective here that cannot be easily preserved in English: “consequently therefore,” emphasizing the conclusion of what Paul has been arguing.
whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith.
Grk “to those who are members of the family of [the] faith.”

Final Instructions and Benediction

11 See what big letters I make as I write to you with my own hand!

12 Those who want to make a good showing in external matters
Grk “in the flesh.” L&N 88.236 translates the phrase “those who force you to be circumcised are those who wish to make a good showing in external matters.”
are trying to force you to be circumcised. They do so
Grk “to be circumcised, only.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started with the words “They do so,” which were supplied to make a complete English sentence.
only to avoid being persecuted
Grk “so that they will not be persecuted.” The indicative after ἵνα μή (hina mē) is unusual (though not unexampled elsewhere in the NT), making it the harder reading. The evidence is fairly evenly split between the indicative διώκονται (diōkontai; Ƥ46 A C F G K L P 0278 6 81 104 326 629 1175 1505 pm) and the subjunctive διώκωνται (diōkōntai; א B D Ψ 33 365 1739 pm), with a slight preference for the subjunctive. However, since scribes would tend to change the indicative to a subjunctive due to syntactical requirements, the internal evidence is decidedly on the side of the indicative, suggesting that it is original.
for the cross of Christ.
13For those who are circumcised do not obey the law themselves, but they want you to be circumcised so that they can boast about your flesh.
Or “boast about you in external matters,” “in the outward rite” (cf. v. 12).
14But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which
Or perhaps, “through whom,” referring to the Lord Jesus Christ rather than the cross.
the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
The phrase “in Christ Jesus” is found after “For” in some mss (א A C D F G 0278 1881 Maj. lat bo), but lacking in Ƥ46 B Ψ 33 1175 1505 1739* and several fathers. The longer reading probably represents a harmonization to Gal 5:6.
neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for
Grk “is.”
anything; the only thing that matters is a new creation!
Grk “but a new creation”; the words “the only thing that matters” have been supplied to reflect the implied contrast with the previous clause (see also Gal 5:6).
16And all who will behave
The same Greek verb, στοιχέω (stoiceō), occurs in Gal 5:25.
in accordance with this rule, peace and mercy be on them, and on the Israel of God.
The word “and” (καί) can be interpreted in two ways: (1) It could be rendered as “also” which would indicate that two distinct groups are in view, namely “all who will behave in accordance with this rule” and “the Israel of God.” Or (2) it could be rendered “even,” which would indicate that “all who behave in accordance with this rule” are “the Israel of God.” In other words, in this latter view, “even” = “that is.”

17 From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.
Paul is probably referring to scars from wounds received in the service of Jesus, although the term στίγμα (stigma) may imply ownership and suggest these scars served as brands (L&N 8.55; 33.481; 90.84).

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be
Or “is.” No verb is stated, but a wish (“be”) rather than a declarative statement (“is”) is most likely in a concluding greeting such as this.
with your spirit, brothers and sisters.
Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:11.

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