THE EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL TO THE GALATIANS
The Galatians, soon after St. Paul had preached the Gospel
to them, were seduced by some false teachers, who had been
Jews and who were for obliging all Christians, even those
who had been Gentiles, to observe circumcision and the
other ceremonies of the Mosaical law. In this Epistle, he
refutes the pernicious doctrine of those teachers and also
their calumny against his mission and apostleship. The
subject matter of this Epistle is much the same as that to
the Romans. It was written at Ephesus, about twenty-three
years after our Lord's Ascension.
Galatians Chapter 1
He blames the Galatians for suffering themselves to be
imposed upon by new teachers. The apostle's calling.
1:1. Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by
Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the
1:2. And all the brethren who are with me: to the churches
1:3. Grace be to you, and peace from God the Father and
from our Lord Jesus Christ,
1:4. Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver
us from this present wicked world, according to the will of
God and our Father:
1:5. To whom is glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1:6. I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that
called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel.
1:7. Which is not another: only there are some that trouble
you and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
1:8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a
gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you,
let him be anathema.
1:9. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one
preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have
received, let him be anathema.
1:10. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to
please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the
servant of Christ.
1:11. For I give you to understand, brethren, that the
gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
1:12. For neither did I receive it of man: nor did I learn
it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1:13. For you have heard of my conversation in time past in
the Jews' religion: how that, beyond measure, I persecuted
the church of God and wasted it.
1:14. And I made progress in the Jew's religion above many
of my equals in my own nation, being more abundantly
zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
1:15. But when it pleased him who separated me from my
mother's womb and called me by his grace,
1:16. To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him
among the Gentiles: immediately I condescended not to flesh
1:17. Neither went I to Jerusalem, to the apostles who were
before me: but I went into Arabia, and again I returned to
1:18. Then, after three years, I went to Jerusalem to see
Peter: and I tarried with him fifteen days.
1:19. But other of the apostles I saw none, saving James
the brother of the Lord.
1:20. Now the things which I write to you, behold, before
God, I lie not.
1:21. Afterwards, I came into the regions of Syria and
1:22. And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea,
which were in Christ:
1:23. But they had heard only: He, who persecuted us in
times past doth now preach the faith which once he
1:24. And they glorified God in me.
Galatians Chapter 2
The apostle's preaching was approved of by the other
apostles. The Gentiles were not to be constrained to the
observance of the law.
2:1. Then, after fourteen years, I went up again to
Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus also with me.
2:2. And I went up according to revelation and communicated
to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles: but
apart to them who seemed to be some thing: lest perhaps I
should run or had run in vain.
2:3. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Gentile,
was compelled to be circumcised.
2:4. But because of false brethren unawares brought in, who
came in privately to spy our liberty which we have in
Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into servitude.
2:5. To whom we yielded not by subjection: no, not for an
hour: that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
2:6. But of them who seemed to be some thing, (what they
were some time it is nothing to me, God accepteth not the
person of man): for to me they that seemed to be some thing
2:7. But contrariwise, when they had seen that to me was
committed the gospel of the uncircumcision, as to Peter was
that of the circumcision.
The gospel of the uncircumcision... The preaching of the
gospel to the uncircumcised, that is, to the Gentiles. St.
Paul was called in an extraordinary manner to be the
apostle of the Gentiles; St. Peter, besides his general
commission over the whole flock, (John 21. 15, etc.,) had a
peculiar charge of the people of the circumscision, that
is, of the Jews.
2:8. (For he who wrought in Peter to the apostleship of the
circumcision wrought in me also among the Gentiles.)
2:9. And when they had known the grace that was given to
me, James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars,
gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship: that
we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the
2:10. Only that we should be mindful of the poor: which
same thing also I was careful to do.
2:11. But when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him
to the face, because he was to be blamed.
I withstood, etc... The fault that is here noted in the
conduct of St. Peter, was only a certain imprudence, in
withdrawing himself from the table of the Gentiles, for
fear of giving offence to the Jewish converts; but this, in
such circumstances, when his so doing might be of ill
consequence to the Gentiles, who might be induced thereby
to think themselves obliged to conform to the Jewish way of
living, to the prejudice of their Christian liberty.
Neither was St. Paul's reprehending him any argument
against his supremacy; for in such cases an inferior may,
and sometimes ought, with respect, to admonish his
2:12. For before that some came from James, he did eat with
the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and
separated himself, fearing them who were of the
2:13. And to his dissimulation the rest of the Jews
consented: so that Barnabas also was led by them into that
2:14. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly unto
the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all:
If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the
Gentiles and not as the Jews do, how dost thou compel the
Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
2:15. We by nature are Jews: and not of the Gentiles,
2:16. But knowing that man is not justified by the works of
the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, we also believe
in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by the faith of
Christ and not by the works of the law: because by the
works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
2:17. But if, while we seek to be justified in Christ, we
ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ then the
minister of sin? God forbid!
2:18. For if I build up again the things which I have
destroyed, I make myself a prevaricator.
2:19. For I, through the law, am dead to the law, that I
may live to God; with Christ I am nailed to the cross.
2:20. And I live, now not I: but Christ liveth in me. And
that I live now in the flesh: I live in the faith of the
Son of God, who loved me and delivered himself for me.
2:21. I cast not away the grace of God. For if justice be
by the law, then Christ died in vain.
Galatians Chapter 3
The Spirit, and the blessing promised to Abraham cometh not
by the law, but by faith.
3:1. O senseless Galatians, who hath bewitched you that you
should not obey the truth: before whose eyes Jesus Christ
hath been set forth, crucified among you?
3:2. This only would I learn of you: Did you receive the
Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?
3:3. Are you so foolish that, whereas you began in the
Spirit, you would now be made perfect by the flesh?
3:4. Have you suffered so great things in vain? If it be
yet in vain.
3:5. He therefore who giveth to you the Spirit and worketh
miracles among you: doth he do it by the works of the law
or by the hearing of the faith?
3:6. As it is written: Abraham believed God: and it was
reputed to him unto justice.
3:7. Know ye, therefore, that they who are of faith, the
same are the children of Abraham.
3:8. And the scripture, foreseeing that God justifieth the
Gentiles by faith, told unto Abraham before: In thee shall
all nations be blessed.
3:9. Therefore, they that are of faith shall be blessed
with faithful Abraham.
3:10. For as many as are of the works of the law are under
a curse. For it is written: Cursed is every one that
abideth, not in all things which are written in the book of
the law to do them.
3:11. But that in the law no man is justified with God, it
is manifest: because the just man liveth by faith.
3:12. But the law is not of faith: but he that doth those
things shall live in them.
3:13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law,
being made a curse for us (for it is written: Cursed is
every one that hangeth on a tree).
3:14. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the
Gentiles through Christ Jesus: that we may receive the
promise of the Spirit by faith.
3:15. Brethren (I speak after the manner of man), yet a
man's testament, if it be confirmed, no man despiseth nor
addeth to it.
3:16. To Abraham were the promises made and to his seed. He
saith not: And to his seeds as of many. But as of one: And
to thy seed, which is Christ.
3:17. Now this I say: that the testament which was
confirmed by God, the law which was made after four hundred
and thirty years doth not disannul, to make the promise of
3:18. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more
of promise. But God gave it to Abraham by promise.
3:19. Why then was the law? It was set because of
transgressions, until the seed should come to whom he made
the promise, being ordained by angels in the hand of a
Because of transgressions... To restrain them from sin, by
fear and threats. Ordained by angels... The law was
delivered by angels, speaking in the name and person of God
to Moses, who was the mediator, on this occasion, between
God and the people.
3:20. Now a mediator is not of one: but God is one.
3:21. Was the law then against the promises of God: God
forbid! For if there had been a law given which could give
life, verily justice should have been by the law.
3:22. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that
the promise, by the faith of Jesus Christ, might be given
to them that believe.
Hath concluded all under sin... that is, hath declared all
to be under sin, from which they could not be delivered but
by faith in Jesus Christ, the promised seed.
3:23. But before the faith came, we were kept under the law
shut up, unto that faith which was to be revealed.
3:24. Wherefore the law was our pedagogue in Christ: that
we might be justified by faith.
Pedagogue... That is, schoolmaster, conductor, or
3:25. But after the faith is come, we are no longer under a
3:26. For you are all the children of God, by faith in
3:27. For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ
have put on Christ.
3:28. There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond
nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all
one in Christ Jesus.
Neither Jew, etc... That is, no distinction of Jew, etc.
3:29. And if you be Christ's, then are you the seed of
Abraham, heirs according to the promise.
Galatians Chapter 4
Christ has freed us from the servitude of the law. We are
the freeborn sons of Abraham.
4:1. As long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing
from a servant, though he be lord of all,
4:2. But is under tutors and governors until the time
appointed by the father.
4:3. So we also, when we were children, were serving under
the elements of the world.
Under the elements, etc... That is, under the first
rudiments of religion, in which the carnal Jews were
trained up; or under those corporeal creatures, used in
their manifold rites, sacrifices, and sacraments.
4:4. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent
his Son, made of a woman, made under the law:
4:5. That he might redeem them who were under the law: that
we might receive the adoption of sons.
4:6. And because you are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of
his Son into your hearts, crying: Abba, Father.
4:7. Therefore, now he is not a servant, but a son. And if
a son, an heir also through God.
4:8. But then indeed, not knowing God, you served them who,
by nature, are not gods.
4:9. But now, after that you have known God, or rather are
known by God: how turn you again to the weak and needy
elements which you desire to serve again?
4:10. You observe days and months and times, and years.
You observe days, etc... He speaks not of the observation
of the Lord's day, or other Christian festivals; but either
of the superstitious observation of days lucky and unlucky;
or else of the Jewish festivals, to the observance of
which, certain Jewish teachers sought to induce the
4:11. I am afraid of you, lest perhaps I have laboured in
vain among you.
4:12. Be ye as I, because I also am as you brethren, I
beseech you. You have not injured me at all.
4:13. And you know how, through infirmity of the flesh, I
preached the gospel to you heretofore: and your temptation
in my flesh
4:14. You despised not, nor rejected: but received me as an
angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
4:15. Where is then your blessedness? For I bear you
witness that, if it could be done, you would have plucked
out your own eyes and would have given them to me.
4:16. Am I then become your enemy, because I tell you the
4:17. They are zealous in your regard not well: but they
would exclude you, that you might be zealous for them.
4:18. But be zealous for that which is good in a good thing
always: and not only when I am present with you.
4:19. My little children, of whom I am in labour again,
until Christ be formed in you.
4:20. And I would willingly be present with you now and
change my voice: because I am ashamed for you.
4:21. Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, have
you not read the law?
4:22. For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one
by a bondwoman and the other by a free woman.
4:23. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to
the flesh: but he of the free woman was by promise.
4:24. Which things are said by an allegory. For these are
the two testaments. The one from Mount Sina, engendering
unto bondage, which is Agar.
4:25. For Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity
to that Jerusalem which now is: and is in bondage with her
4:26. But that Jerusalem which is above is free: which is
4:27. For it is written: Rejoice, thou barren, that bearest
not: break forth and cry thou that travailest not: for many
are the children of the desolate, more than of her that
hath a husband.
4:28. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of
4:29. But as then he that was born according to the flesh
persecuted him that was after the spirit: so also it is
4:30. But what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman
and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir
with the son of the free woman.
4:31. So then, brethren, we are not the children of the
bondwoman but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ
has made us free.
Galatians Chapter 5
He exhorts them to stand to their Christian liberty. Of the
fruits of the flesh and of the spirit.
5:1. Stand fast and be not held again under the yoke of
5:2. Behold, I Paul tell you, that if you be circumcised,
Christ shall profit you nothing.
5:3. And I testify again to every man circumcising himself
that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
5:4. You are made void of Christ, you who are justified in
the law: you are fallen from grace.
5:5. For we in spirit, by faith, wait for the hope of
5:6. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any
thing nor uncircumcision: but faith that worketh by
5:7. You did run well. What hath hindered you, that you
should not obey the truth?
5:8. This persuasion is not from him that calleth you.
5:9. A little leaven corrupteth the whole lump.
5:10. I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will
not be of another mind: but he that troubleth you shall
bear the judgment, whosoever he be.
5:11. And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do
I yet suffer persecution? Then is the scandal of the cross
5:12. I would they were even cut off, who trouble you.
5:13. For you, brethren, have been called unto liberty.
Only make not liberty an occasion to the flesh: but by
charity of the spirit serve one another.
5:14. For all the law is fulfilled in one word: Thou shalt
love thy neighbour as thyself.
5:15. But if you bite and devour one another: take heed you
be not consumed one of another.
5:16. I say then: Walk in the spirit: and you shall not
fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
5:17. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit: and the
spirit against the flesh: For these are contrary one to
another: so that you do not the things that you would.
5:18. But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under
5:19. Now the works of the flesh are manifest: which are
fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury,
5:20. Idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions,
emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects,
5:21. Envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such
like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to
you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the
kingdom of God.
5:22. But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace,
patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity,
5:23. Mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity.
Against such there is no law.
5:24. And they that are Christ's have crucified their
flesh, with the vices and concupiscences.
5:25. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the
5:26. Let us not be made desirous of vain glory, provoking
one another, envying one another.
Galatians Chapter 6
He exhorts to charity, humility and all virtue. He glories
in nothing but in the cross of Christ.
6:1. Brethren, and if a man be overtaken in any fault, you,
who are spiritual, instruct such a one in the spirit of
meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
6:2. Bear ye one another's burdens: and so you shall fulfil
the law of Christ.
6:3. For if any man think himself to be some thing, whereas
he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
6:4. But let every one prove his own work: and so he shall
have glory in himself only and not in another.
6:5. For every one shall bear his own burden.
6:6. And let him that is instructed in the word communicate
to him that instructeth him, in all good things.
6:7. Be not deceived: God is not mocked.
6:8. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he
reap. For he that soweth in his flesh of the flesh also
shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit of
the spirit shall reap life everlasting.
6:9. And in doing good, let us not fail. For in due time we
shall reap, not failing.
6:10. Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good to
all men, but especially to those who are of the household
of the faith.
6:11. See what a letter I have written to you with my own
6:12. For as many as desire to please in the flesh, they
constrain you to be circumcised, only that they may not
suffer the persecution of the cross of Christ.
6:13. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep
the law: but they will have you to be circumcised, that
they may glory in your flesh.
6:14. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross
of our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom the world is crucified to
me, and I to the world.
6:15. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any
thing, nor uncircumcision: but a new creature.
6:16. And whosoever shall follow this rule, peace on them
and mercy: and upon the Israel of God.
6:17. From henceforth let no man be troublesome to me: for
I bear the marks of the Lord Jesus in my body.
6:18. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your
spirit, brethren. Amen.
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