1 Paul, an apostle, neither from men nor through a man, but through Jesus Christ+ and God the Father,+ who raised him up from the dead, 2 and all the brothers with me, to the congregations of Ga·laʹti·a:
3 May you have undeserved kindness and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 He gave himself for our sins+ so that he might rescue us from the present wicked system of things*+ according to the will of our God and Father,+ 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away* from the One who called you with Christ’s undeserved kindness to another sort of good news.+ 7 Not that there is another good news; but there are certain ones who are causing you trouble+ and wanting to distort the good news about the Christ. 8 However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, I now say again, Whoever is declaring to you as good news something beyond what you accepted, let him be accursed.
10 Is it, in fact, men I am now trying to persuade or God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I would not be Christ’s slave. 11 For I want you to know, brothers, that the good news I declared to you is not of human origin;+ 12 for neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it was through a revelation by Jesus Christ.
13 Of course, you heard about my conduct formerly in Juʹda·ism,+ that I kept intensely* persecuting the congregation of God and devastating it;+ 14 and I was making greater progress in Juʹda·ism than many of my own age in my nation, as I was far more zealous for the traditions of my fathers.+ 15 But when God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through his undeserved kindness,+ thought good 16 to reveal his Son through me so that I might declare the good news about him to the nations,+ I did not immediately consult with any human;* 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before I was, but I went to Arabia, and then I returned to Damascus.+
18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem+ to visit Ceʹphas,*+ and I stayed with him for 15 days. 19 But I did not see any of the other apostles, only James+ the brother of the Lord. 20 Now regarding the things I am writing you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.
21 After that I went into the regions of Syria and Ci·liʹcia.+ 22 But I was personally unknown to the congregations of Ju·deʹa that were in union with Christ. 23 They only used to hear: “The man who formerly persecuted us+ is now declaring the good news about the faith that he formerly devastated.”+ 24 So they began glorifying God because of me.
2 Then after 14 years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barʹna·bas,+ also taking Titus along with me.+ 2 I went up as a result of a revelation, and I presented to them the good news that I am preaching among the nations. This was done privately, however, before the men who were highly regarded, to make sure that I was not running or had not run in vain. 3 Nevertheless, not even Titus,+ who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised,+ although he was a Greek. 4 But that matter came up because of the false brothers brought in quietly,+ who slipped in to spy on the freedom+ we enjoy in union with Christ Jesus, so that they might completely enslave us;+ 5 we did not yield in submission to them,+ no, not for a moment,* so that the truth of the good news might continue with you.
6 But regarding those who seemed to be important+—whatever they were makes no difference to me, for God does not go by a man’s outward appearance—those highly regarded men imparted nothing new to me. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the good news for those who are uncircumcised,+ just as Peter had been for those who are circumcised— 8 for the one who empowered Peter for an apostleship to those who are circumcised also empowered me for those who are of the nations+— 9 and when they recognized the undeserved kindness that was given me,+ James+ and Ceʹphas* and John, the ones who seemed to be pillars, gave Barʹna·bas and me+ the right hand of fellowship,* so that we should go to the nations but they to those who are circumcised. 10 They asked only that we keep the poor in mind, and this I have also earnestly endeavored to do.+
11 However, when Ceʹphas*+ came to Antioch,+ I resisted* him face-to-face, because he was clearly in the wrong.* 12 For before certain men from James+ arrived, he used to eat with people of the nations;+ but when they arrived, he stopped doing this and separated himself, fearing those of the circumcised class.+ 13 The rest of the Jews also joined him in putting on this pretense,* so that even Barʹna·bas was led along with them in their pretense.* 14 But when I saw that they were not walking in step with the truth of the good news,+ I said to Ceʹphas* before them all: “If you, though you are a Jew, live as the nations do and not as Jews do, how can you compel people of the nations to live according to Jewish practice?”+
15 We who are Jews by birth, and not sinners from the nations, 16 recognize that a man is declared righteous, not by works of law, but only through faith+ in Jesus Christ.+ So we have put our faith in Christ Jesus, so that we may be declared righteous by faith in Christ and not by works of law, for no one* will be declared righteous by works of law.+ 17 Now if we have also been found sinners while seeking to be declared righteous by means of Christ, is Christ then sin’s minister? Certainly not! 18 If the very things that I once tore down I build up again, I demonstrate that I am a transgressor. 19 For through law I died toward law,+ so that I might become alive toward God. 20 I am nailed to the stake along with Christ.+ It is no longer I who live,+ but it is Christ who is living in union with me. Indeed, the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,+ who loved me and handed himself over for me.+ 21 I do not reject* the undeserved kindness of God,+ for if righteousness is through law, Christ actually died for nothing.+
3 O senseless Ga·laʹtians! Who has brought you under this evil influence,+ you who had Jesus Christ openly portrayed before you as nailed to the stake?+ 2 This one thing I want to ask* you: Did you receive the spirit through works of law or because of faith in what you heard?+ 3 Are you so senseless? After starting on a spiritual course,* are you finishing on a fleshly course?*+ 4 Did you undergo so many sufferings for nothing? If it really was for nothing. 5 Therefore, does the one who supplies you the spirit and performs powerful works+ among you do it because of your works of law or because of your faith in what you heard? 6 Just as Abraham “put faith in Jehovah,* and it was counted to him as righteousness.”+
7 Surely you know that it is those who adhere to faith who are sons of Abraham.+ 8 Now the scripture, foreseeing that God would declare people of the nations righteous through faith, declared the good news beforehand to Abraham, namely: “By means of you all the nations will be blessed.”+ 9 So those who adhere to faith are being blessed together with Abraham, who had faith.+
10 All those who depend on works of law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not remain in all the things written in the scroll of the Law by doing them.”+ 11 Moreover, it is evident that by law no one is declared righteous with God,+ because “the righteous one will live by reason of faith.”+ 12 Now the Law is not based on faith. Rather, “anyone who does these things will live by means of them.”+ 13 Christ purchased us,+ releasing us+ from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse instead of us, because it is written: “Accursed is every man hung upon a stake.”+ 14 This was so that the blessing of Abraham would come to the nations by means of Christ Jesus,+ so that we might receive the promised spirit+ through our faith.
15 Brothers, I speak using a human illustration: Once a covenant is validated, even if only by a man, no one annuls it or attaches additions to it. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his offspring.*+ It does not say, “and to your descendants,”* in the sense of many. Rather, it says, “and to your offspring,”* in the sense of one, who is Christ.+ 17 Further, I say this: The Law, which came into being 430 years later,+ does not invalidate the covenant previously made by God, so as to abolish the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has kindly given it to Abraham through a promise.+
19 Why, then, the Law? It was added to make transgressions manifest,+ until the offspring* should arrive+ to whom the promise had been made; and it was transmitted through angels+ by the hand of a mediator.+ 20 Now there is no mediator when just one person is involved, but God is only one. 21 Is the Law, therefore, against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, righteousness would actually have been by means of law. 22 But the Scripture handed all things over to the custody of sin, so that the promise resulting from faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those exercising faith.
23 However, before the faith arrived, we were being guarded under law, being handed over into custody, looking to the faith that was about to be revealed.+ 24 So the Law became our guardian* leading to Christ,+ so that we might be declared righteous through faith.+ 25 But now that the faith has arrived,+ we are no longer under a guardian.*+
26 You are all, in fact, sons of God+ through your faith in Christ Jesus.+ 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.+ 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek,+ there is neither slave nor freeman,+ there is neither male nor female,+ for you are all one in union with Christ Jesus.+ 29 Moreover, if you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham’s offspring,*+ heirs+ with reference to a promise.+
4 Now I say that as long as the heir is a young child, he is no different from a slave, although he is the lord of all things, 2 but he is under supervisors and stewards until the day set ahead of time by his father. 3 Likewise, we too, when we were children, were enslaved by the elementary things of the world.+ 4 But when the full limit of the time arrived, God sent his Son, who was born of a woman+ and who was under law,+ 5 that he might release by purchase those under law,+ so that we might receive the adoption as sons.+
6 Now because you are sons, God has sent the spirit+ of his Son into our hearts,+ and it cries out: “Abba,* Father!”+ 7 So you are no longer a slave but a son; and if a son, then you are also an heir through God.+
8 Nevertheless, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those who are not really gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God or, rather, have come to be known by God, how is it that you are turning back again to the weak+ and beggarly elementary things and want to slave for them over again?+ 10 You are scrupulously observing days and months+ and seasons and years. 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
12 Brothers, I beg you, become as I am, because I also used to be as you are.+ You did me no wrong. 13 But you know that it was because of a physical illness that I had my first opportunity to declare the good news to you. 14 And though my physical condition was a trial for you, you did not treat me with contempt or disgust;* but you received me like an angel of God, like Christ Jesus. 15 Where is that happiness you had? For I bear you witness that, if it had been possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me.+ 16 So, then, have I become your enemy because I tell you the truth? 17 They are zealous to win you over, but not for a good purpose; they want to alienate you from me, so that you may be eager to follow them. 18 However, it is always fine for someone to seek zealously after you for a good purpose and not just when I am present with you, 19 my little children,+ for whom I am again experiencing birth pains until Christ is formed* in you. 20 I wish I could be present with you just now and speak in a different way, because I am perplexed over you.
21 Tell me, you who want to be under law, Do you not hear the Law? 22 For example, it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the servant girl+ and one by the free woman;+ 23 but the one by the servant girl was actually born through natural descent*+ and the other by the free woman through a promise.+ 24 These things may be taken as a symbolic drama; for these women mean two covenants, the one from Mount Siʹnai,+ which bears children for slavery and which is Haʹgar. 25 Now Haʹgar means Siʹnai,+ a mountain in Arabia, and she corresponds with the Jerusalem today, 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: “Be glad, you barren woman who does not give birth; break into joyful shouting, you woman who does not have birth pains; for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than those of her who has the husband.”+ 28 Now you, brothers, are children of the promise the same as Isaac was.+ 29 But just as then the one born through natural descent* began persecuting the one born through spirit,+ so also now.+ 30 Nevertheless, what does the scripture say? “Drive out the servant girl and her son, for the son of the servant girl will by no means be an heir with the son of the free woman.”+ 31 So, brothers, we are children, not of a servant girl, but of the free woman.
2 See! I, Paul, am telling you that if you become circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you.+ 3 Again I bear witness to every man who gets circumcised that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.+ 4 You are separated from Christ, you who are trying to be declared righteous by means of law;+ you have fallen away from his undeserved kindness. 5 For our part, we are by spirit eagerly waiting for the hoped-for righteousness resulting from faith. 6 For in union with Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any value,+ but faith operating through love is.
7 You were running well.+ Who hindered you from continuing to obey the truth? 8 This sort of persuasion does not come from the One calling you. 9 A little leaven ferments the whole batch of dough.+ 10 I am confident that you who are in union with the Lord+ will not come to think otherwise; but the one who is causing you trouble,+ whoever he may be, will receive the judgment he deserves. 11 As for me, brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the stumbling block of the torture stake*+ has been eliminated. 12 I wish the men who are trying to unsettle you would emasculate themselves.*
13 You were called to freedom, brothers; only do not use this freedom as an opportunity to pursue fleshly desires,+ but through love slave for one another.+ 14 For the entire Law has been fulfilled* in one commandment, namely: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.”+ 15 If, though, you keep on biting and devouring one another,+ look out that you do not get annihilated by one another.+
16 But I say, Keep walking by spirit+ and you will carry out no fleshly desire at all.+ 17 For the flesh is against the spirit in its desire, and the spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you do not do the very things you want to do.+ 18 Furthermore, if you are being led by spirit, you are not under law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality,*+ uncleanness, brazen conduct,*+ 20 idolatry, spiritism,*+ hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, 21 envy, drunkenness,+ wild parties,* and things like these.+ I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.+
22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,* kindness, goodness,+ faith, 23 mildness, self-control.+ Against such things there is no law. 24 Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed to the stake the flesh together with its passions and desires.+
6 Brothers, even if a man takes a false step before he is aware of it, you who have spiritual qualifications try to readjust such a man in a spirit of mildness.+ But keep an eye on yourself,+ for fear you too may be tempted.+ 2 Go on carrying the burdens of one another,+ and in this way you will fulfill the law of the Christ.+ 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing,+ he is deceiving himself. 4 But let each one examine his own actions,+ and then he will have cause for rejoicing in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person.+ 5 For each one will carry his own load.*+
7 Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a person is sowing, this he will also reap;+ 8 because the one sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh, but the one sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit.+ 9 So let us not give up in doing what is fine, for in due time we will reap if we do not tire out.*+ 10 So, then, as long as we have the opportunity,* let us work what is good toward all, but especially toward those related to us in the faith.
11 See with what large letters I have written you with my own hand.
12 All those who want to make a good impression in the flesh* are the ones who try to compel you to get circumcised, doing so only to avoid being persecuted for the torture stake* of the Christ. 13 For even those who are getting circumcised do not keep the Law themselves,+ but they want you to be circumcised so that they may have cause for boasting about your flesh. 14 But may I never boast, except in the torture stake* of our Lord Jesus Christ,+ through whom the world has been put to death* with regard to me and I with regard to the world. 15 For neither is circumcision anything nor is uncircumcision,+ but a new creation is.+ 16 As for all those who walk orderly by this rule of conduct, peace and mercy be upon them, yes, upon the Israel of God.+
18 The undeserved kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ be with the spirit you show, brothers. Amen.
Or “wicked age.” See Glossary.
Or “are being so quickly removed.”
Lit., “that to the point of excess I kept.”
Lit., “with flesh and blood.”
Also called Peter.
Lit., “an hour.”
Also called Peter.
Also called Peter.
Or “he stood condemned.”
Also called Peter.
Or “shove aside.”
Lit., “learn from.”
Lit., “starting in spirit.”
Lit., “being completed in the flesh?”
See App. A5.
A Hebrew or an Aramaic word meaning “O Father!”
Or “spit at me.”
Or “takes shape.”
Lit., “according to the flesh.”
Lit., “according to the flesh.”
Or “castrate themselves; become eunuchs,” thus becoming disqualified from performing the very law they were endorsing.
Or possibly, “is summed up.”
Greek, por·neiʹa. See Glossary.
Or “shameless conduct.” Greek, a·selʹgei·a. See Glossary.
Or “sorcery; druggery.”
Or “load of responsibility.”
Or “orally taught.”
Or “such oral teaching.”
Or “give up.”
Lit., “appointed time.”
Or “who want to look good outwardly.”
Or “executed on the stake.”