The Letter of Paul to the

GALATIANS

Greeting

11Paul an apostle--not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead--2and all the brothers who are with me.

To the churches of Galatia:

3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord1 Jesus Christ, 4who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father; 5to whom [be] the glory forever and ever. Amen.

A Curse on False Gospel Preachers

6I marvel that you are so quickly deserting from the One who called you in the grace of Christ,2 to a different gospel. 7It is not another [gospel], but there are some who trouble you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should proclaim a gospel to you3 contrary to that which we proclaimed to you, let him be accursed. 9As we have said before, I now also say again, if anyone is proclaiming a gospel to you contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.

10For am I now trying to persuade men, or God? Or am I seeking to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I would not be a slave of Christ.

The Gospel Not from Man

11For I make known to you, brothers, that the gospel whose good news was proclaimed by me is not man's4 [gospel]. 12For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught [it], but [it came] through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

13For you have heard of my conduct at one time in Judaism, that I was persecuting the church of God to the extreme and trying to wreak it. 14And I was progressing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my race, since I was far more zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15But when God,5 who had set me apart from [the time I was still in] my mother's womb and had

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1Other ancient authorities read the Father and our Lord
2A few ancient authorities omit of Christ; still others read of Jesus Christ
3Other ancient authorities omit to you
4Lit., according to man
5Other ancient authorities read the One

Galatians 1

called [me] through his grace, was pleased 16to reveal his Son in me, so that I might proclaim the good news of him among the Gentiles, immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood, 17nor 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.

18Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. 19But I did not see [any] of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother. 20(Now in what I am writing to you, behold, before God, I am not lying!) 21Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22And I was [still] unknown by face to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23But they only kept hearing [it said], "The one who once persecuted us is now proclaiming the good news of the faith he was once trying to wreak." 24And they were glorifying God because of me.

The Gospel Confirmed by Apostles

21Then after fourteen years I went up again1 to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with [me] also. 2Now I went up by revelation; and I laid before them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles. But [I did so] privately before those who were of repute, lest somehow I should be running or had run in vain.2 3But not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. 4But because of false brothers secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might enslave us--5to them we did not3 yield submission even for a [single] hour, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you. 6And from those who were reputed to be something (what they once were makes no difference to me; God does not consider a man's position)--for those, [I say], who were of repute added nothing to me; 7but 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 the One who worked through Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised worked through me also for the Gentiles), 9and 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, so that we [should go] to the

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1A few ancient authorities omit again
2Lit., empty
3A few ancient authorities omit not, thus reading we yielded submission indeed for a [brief] hour

Galatians 2

Gentiles and they to the circumcised; 10only [they asked] that we would keep remembering the poor, which very thing I was also eager to do.

The Hypocrisy of Cephas

11But when Cephas came to Antioch I opposed him to [his] face, because he stood condemned. 12For before certain [men]4 came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they5 came he started drawing back and separating himself, fearing those of the circumcision [party]. 13And the rest of the Jews also acted hypocritically with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. 14But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before [them] all, "If you, though you are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how [is it that] you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?"6

15We [who are] Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles, 16yet who know that a man is not declared righteous by works of law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be declared righteous by faith in Christ, and not by works of law, because by works of law shall no one of flesh be declared righteous. 17But if, while we were seeking to be declared righteous in Christ, we ourselves were also found [to be] sinners, [is] Christ then a servant of sin? Definitely not! 18For if I build up again these things which I destroyed, [then] I demonstrate myself [to be] a transgressor. 19For I through law died to law, so that I might live to God. 20I have been crucified with Christ; and [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. 21I do not annul the grace of God; for if righteousness [comes] through law, then Christ died for no reason.

Law or Faith

31O senseless Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed [as] crucified? 2I wish to learn only this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by works of law, or by hearing with faith? 3Are you so senseless? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now being

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4A few ancient authorities read a certain one
5Other ancient authorities read he
6The quotation may continue through verse 21.

Galatians 3

perfected with the flesh? 4Did you experience1 so many things in vain?--if [it] really [was] in vain. 5Does then the One who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you [do so] by works of law, or by hearing with faith?

6[It is by faith], just as Abraham "believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."2 7Understand then that [it is people] of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would declare the Gentiles righteous by faith, proclaimed the gospel beforehand to Abraham, [saying], "In you shall all the nations3 be blessed."4 9So then, the [people] of faith are blessed with Abraham who had faith.

10For as many as are [trying to be righteous] by works of law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed [be] everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law in order to do them."5 11Now that no one is declared righteous before God by means of law [is] evident, because "The one who is righteous by faith shall live."6 12Now the law is not [something that saves] by faith, but [it says], "The one who does them shall live by them."7 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us--because it is written, "Cursed [be] everyone who hangs on a tree."8 14[He did this] so that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The Law and the Promise

15Brothers, I am [now] speaking with a human illustration. By way of comparison, if a man's will9 has been ratified, no one annuls [it] or adds to [it]. 16Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," as [referring] to many; but, as [referring] to one, "And to your offspring,"10 who is Christ. 17Now this [is what] I am saying: the law, which came four hundred and thirty years afterward, does not make void a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to do away with the promise. 18For if the inheritance [is given] by law, [it is] no longer [given]

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1Or, suffer 2Gen. 15:6
3Or, Gentiles 4Gen. 12:3; 18:18
5Deut. 27:26 6Hab. 2:4
7Lev. 18:5 8Deut. 21:23
9Same word as covenant in verse 17 10Gen. 17:7-8

Galatians 3

by promise; but God has given [it] to Abraham through a promise.

The Purpose of the Law

19Why then [was] the law [given]? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made; [and it was] enacted through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20Now a mediator is not [needed] for [only] one [party to act]; and God is one.

21[Is] the law then against the promises of God? Definitely not; for if a law had been given which could make alive, [then] righteousness really would have been by law. 22But the scripture confined all things under [the power of] sin, so that what was promised on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

23Now before faith came, we were being guarded under [the] law, confined for the faith that was going to be revealed. 24So then the law was our custodian [to bring us] to Christ, so that we might be declared righteous by faith. 25But since faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian. 26For through faith you are all sons of God in Chirst Jesus.11 27For as many of you as were baptized12 into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you [are] Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

41Now [what] I am saying [is that] as long as1 the heir is a minor, he is no different than a slave, though he is lord of all [the estate]; 2but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. 3So also with us; when we were minors, we had been enslaved by the elementary principles2 of the world. 4But when the fulness of time came, God sent out his Son, born of woman, born under [the] law, 5to redeem those who were under [the] law, so that we might receive the adoption [as sons]. 6And because you are sons, God has sent out the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" 7So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son [then] through God also an heir.

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11Or, For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus
12Greek baptizō means immerse
1Lit., over as long a time as
2Or, elemental spirits

Galatians 4

Paul's Concern for the Galatians

8But at that time, when you did not know God, you served those who by nature are not gods; 9but 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 beggarly elementary principles,2 which you again wish to serve [as slaves] once more? 10You observe days, and months, and seasons, and years! 11I am afraid for you lest perhaps I have labored over you in vain.

12Brothers, I implore you, become as I [am], because I also [have become] as you [are]. You did me no wrong; 13but you know that [it was] because of a sickness of the flesh [that] I proclaimed the gospel to you at first; 14and what was a trial to you in [the condition of] my flesh, you did not scorn nor disdain, but you accepted me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15Where, then, [is] your blessedness [you had]? For I testify about you that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given [them] to me. 16Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?3 17They zealously seek you, [but] for no good [purpose]; yet they wish to exclude you, so that you may zealously seek them. 18But [it is] always good to be zealously sought after with a good [purpose] and not only when I am present with you. 19My children, with whom I am again having birth-pangs until Christ be formed in you! 20And I was [just] wishing to be present with you right now and to change my [tone of] voice, because I am perplexed about you.

The Allegory of Hagar and Sarah

21Tell me, you who wish to be under law, do you not hear the law? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave-maid and one by a free-woman.4 23But the [son] of the slave-maid was born according to the flesh, and the [son] of the free-woman through the promise. 24These things are an allegory: these [women] are two covenants. One [is] from Mount Sinai, bearing [children] for slavery; she is Hagar. 25Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia;5 and she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is serving [in slavery] with her children. 26But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. 27For it is written,

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2Or, elemental spirits
3Or, by dealing truly with you
4Gen. 16:15; 21:2
5Other ancient authorities read For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia

Galatians 4

 "Be glad, O barren one who does not give birth;

break out and cry [aloud with joy], [you] who are not having birth-pangs;
because [there are] many children of the desolate [woman],
more than of the one who has a husband."6
28Now you,7 brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29But just as at that time the one who was born according to the flesh was persecuting the one [who was born] according to the Spirit, so also [it is] now. 30But what does the scripture say? "Throw out the slave-maid and her son; for the son of the slave-maid shall not inherit with the son of the free-woman."8 31Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave-maid but of the free-woman.

51For freedom Christ has set us free; keep standing [firm] therefore, and do not be trying to be held again by a yoke of slavery.

The Uselessness of Circumcision

2Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no profit to you. 3And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is indebted to do the whole law. 4You are severed from Christ, [you] who are trying to be declared righteous by means of law; you have fallen away from grace. 5For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait for the hope of righteousness. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any validity, but faith working through love.

7You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8This persuasion [is] not from the One who called you. 9A little leaven leavens the whole lump [of dough]. 10I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will think no other way; and the one who is troubling you will bear [his] judgment, whoever he is. 11But if I, brothers, am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? [For] then the snare of the cross has been done away with. 12O that those who are unsettling you would also castrate [themselves]!

The Flesh Versus the Spirit

13For you were called to freedom, brothers; only [do] not [use your] freedom as an occasion to [satisfy] the flesh, but through love keep serving one another. 14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, in the [statement],

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6Is. 54:1
7Other ancient authorities read we
8Gen. 21:10

Galatians 5

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself."1 15But if you bite and devour one another, look out that you are not consumed by one another.

16But I say, keep walking by the Spirit, and you will not satisfy the desires of the flesh. 17For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit [has desires] against the flesh; for these are opposed to one another, so that you do not do2 whatever you wish. 18But if you are being led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 19Now the works of the flesh are apparent: they are fornication, uncleanness, unrestrained sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, anger, selfish ambition, dissension, party spirit,3 21envy,4 drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. Of these things I say to you beforehand, just as I have said before, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23meekness, self-control; against such there is no law. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with [its] passions and desires.

25If we live by the Spirit, let us also stay in line with the Spirit. 26Let us not become vainly conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Help for Others

61Brothers, even if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual must restore such a one in a spirit of meekness. Look to yourself, lest you also be tempted. 2Keep carrying one another's burdens, and so you will fulfill1 the law of Christ. 3For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he is deceiving himself. 4But each one must keep examining his [own] work, and then he will have [his] reason for boasting in himself alone and not in the other [person]. 5For each one will carry [his] own load.

6And the one who is being instructed in the word must share in all good things with the one who is instructing [him].

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Chapter 5: 1Lev. 19:18

2Or, so that you might not be doing

3Or, sectarianism

4Other ancient authorities include murder

Chapter 6: 1Other ancient authorities read and so fulfill


Galatians 6

7Quit being misled; God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8Because 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. 9And let us not be growing weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not faint. 10So then, as we have opportunity, let us keep doing good to all [people], and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Final Warning and Prayer

11See with what large letters I am writing to you with my [own] hand. 12[It is] as many as who wish to make a good showing in the flesh who are trying to compel you to be circumcised, [but] only so that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13For even those who receive circumcision2 do not themselves observe the law, but they wish to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. 14But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which3 the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything, but [what counts is] a new creation. 16And [may] peace and mercy [be] on as many of those as stay in line with this rule, even on the Israel of God.

17From now on let no one be giving me a hard time; for I carry [branded] in my body the marks of Jesus.

18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

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2Lit., are circumcised; other ancient authorities read have been circumcised
3Or, through whom


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