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Bible Commentaries

International Critical Commentary NT

Galatians 6

Verses 1-99

(c) Exhortation to restore those who fall, and to bear one another’s burdens (6:1-5)

Mindful of the danger that not all those who purpose to live by the Spirit will always live thus, the apostle appends to the injunction of 5:25 an exhortation to those who live by the Spirit to restore any who fall, adds exhortations to mutual burden-bearing, and reminds them that each man has a burden of his own.

1Brethren, if a man be nevertheless overtaken in a transgression, do ye who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering thyself lest thou also be tempted. 2Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of the Christ. 3For if any one thinketh himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4And let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have his ground of glorying in respect to himself, and not in respect to his fellow. 5For each man shall bear his own burden.

1. Ἀδελφοί, ἐὰν καὶ προλημφθῇ ἄνθρωπος ἔν τινι παραπτώματι, ὑμεῖς οἱ πνευματικοὶ καταρτίζετε τὸν τοιοῦτον ἐν πνεύματι πραΰτητος, σκοπῶν σεαυτόν, μὴ καὶ σὺ πειρασθῇς. “Brethren, if a man be nevertheless overtaken in a transgression, do ye who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering thyself lest thou also be tempted.” This sentence is closely connected with the thought of chap. 5. Recognising the possibility, too sadly proved by experience, that one who has chosen the life by the Spirit may nevertheless fall into sin, the apostle exhorts those members of the community who have not thus fallen to care for him who has. Despite the use of ἄνθρωπος instead of 1 Corinthians 5:11) the reference is clearly not to an outsider but to a member of the Christian community.



Zahn, following Hofmann, connects Romans 10:1, 1 Corinthians 14:20, Philippians 3:13), a position near the beginning being much more common than either (1:11, 4:12, 5:11, et freq.). But a position at the end of such a sentence as 5:26, remote from any pronoun referring to the persons addressed (cf. 6:18; Philemon 1:7; also Galatians 4:12), and after a series of distinct phrases, is extremely awkward, and unparalleled in Paul. It is safe to affirm that if

Ἐάν (or εἰ) καί may be used either (a) to introduce a concessive clause (2 Timothy 2:5, and numerous instances of εἰ καί), i. e., a condition unfavourable to the fulfilment of the apodosis, in spite of which the apodosis is or will be fulfilled; or (b) when a second hypothesis similar to a preceding one is introduced, and καί therefore means “also”; cf. Luke 11:18, 2 Corinthians 11:15; or (c) when καί is intensive, putting emphasis on the immediately following word (Luke 14:34), or suggesting that the hypothesis is in some sense extreme; thus in 1 Corinthians 7:11, 1 Corinthians 7:28 it stands in a protasis referring to a condition which the apostle has in a preceding sentence said ought never to occur; its force may be reproduced in English by an emphatic form (if she do depart, 1 Corinthians 7:11; if thou dost marry, 7:28). Cf. also 1 Peter 3:14. The first use is excluded in the present case by the fact that the clause as a whole is not oppositional; without the παράπτωμα there would be no occasion for a καταρτίζειν. The second is excluded by the fact that there is no preceding similar supposition, to which this could be additional. The third possibility alone remains, and the intensive force of καί is doubtless intended to apply to the whole clause. The meaning thus yielded perfectly fits the context and constitutes an almost perfect parallel to the use of εἰ καί in 1 Corinthians 7:11. As there the apostle, having forbidden the wife to depart from her husband, goes on to say: but if (nevertheless) she do depart (ἐὰν δὲ καὶ χωρισθῆ); so here, having in 5:25 bidden his readers walk by the Spirit (στοιχεῖν πνεύματι) and in 5:26 enforced this exhortation by negative injunctions, he now deals with the case of one who should nevertheless fail to obey this injunction, saying in effect: “If now one shall nevertheless disregard the injunction to walk by the Spirit and be overtaken in a fault, it is for those who have obeyed the injunction (πνευματικοί = στοιχοῦντες πνεύματι) to restore such a one.”

Προλαμβάνω, used by classical writers from Sophocles down in a variety of meanings, does not occur in the Lxx, and in Apocr. is found only in Wisd. 17:17 and as v. l. in 17:11. In the latter it means “to anticipate, to forecast.” In 17:17, εἴ τε γὰρ γεωργὸς ἦν τιςπρολημφθεὶς [sc. αἰφνιδίῳ καὶ 1 Corinthians 11:21, where it means “to take beforehand”; in Mark 14:8, where it means “to anticipate, to forestall” (cf. also Ign. Ephesians 3:2, the only instance in Patr. Ap.); and in the present passage, for which no meaning is so probable as that which is vouched for Wisd. 17:17; Jos. Bell. 5.79 (2:4), viz., “to take by surprise,” “to seize unawares” (so Sief.)* If the word “overtake” be employed in translation it should be understood in that sense. The meaning “to detect, to discover one in an act” (Ell. Alf. Ltft. Th. and not a few others), though not an improbable derivative from the meaning “to take by surprise,” is not attested by any observed instance and is not required by this context. When with this interpretation of προλ. is combined the view that καί throws its emphasis on προλ., giving the meaning, “If one be even detected in a fault, etc.,” it yields a thought wholly inharmonious with the context. See above on εἰ καί.

Παράπτωμα, a late word meaning literally “a fall beside,” but used by Polybius, in whom the first observed instances occur, in a figurative sense, “a false step, a blunder,” is used in the Lxx for various words meaning “sin,” and with similar force in Apocr. In N. T. it is used in the synoptic gospels in speaking of forgiveness, and in the Pauline epistles, Romans 4:25, Romans 5:15, Romans 5:16, etc. Between biblical and non-biblical usage there seems little difference, except that in the biblical writers it has a more strictly ethical sense. The exx. in Paul show that the word retained for him the suggestion of its etymological sense, “a falling beside, a failure to achieve” (see esp. Romans 11:11, Romans 11:12), and it is, therefore, probable that in the present passage there is an intended antithesis to στοιχῶμεν “walk in a straight line, conform to a standard.” ἐν is figuratively spatial, meaning “in the midst of,” “in the act of.” Cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:2 and Th. s. v. I. 5.

Οἱ πνευματικοί here evidently refers to those who in obedience to the instructions of vv. 16-26, live by the Spirit, walk by the Spirit, as against those who, failing to do so, are still following the ἐπιθυμία τῆς σαρκός (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:1: οὐκ ἠδυνήθην λαλῆσαι ὑμῖν ὡς πνευματικοῖς

Καταρτίζω, found in classical authors from Herodotus down, and not infrequently in the Lxx, Apocr., and Patr. Ap., has in general three meanings: (1) “to repair,” “to restore” (to a former good condition): Mark 1:19; (2) “to prepare,” “to fit out”: Hebrews 10:5; (3) “to perfect”: Hebrews 13:21. Here evidently used in the first sense, ethically understood. On τὸν τοιοῦτον (this man, being such), cf. on τὰ τοιαῦτα, 5:21.

Of the phrase ἐν πνεύματι πραΰτητος two interpretations are possible: (a) πνεῦμα may refer to the Holy Spirit qualitatively spoken of as in vv. 16, 18, 25; in that case πραύτητος is a genitive of connection denoting the effect of the presence of the Spirit (cf. πνεῦμα υἱοθεσίας, Romans 8:15), and ἐν marks its object as the sphere in which the action takes place and by which its character is determined, as in 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 1 Corinthians 12:3 et freq. Cf. 4:6, and note that πραΰτης is named in 5:23 among those qualities which are the fruit of the Spirit. Observe, also, the connection in that case with πνευματικοί, the intimation being that those who possess the Spirit shall by virtue of that possession and the gentleness which it creates, restore the offender. (b) πνεῦμα πραὒτητος may denote a human spirit, characterised by gentleness, πραὒτητος being a genitive of characteristic, and ἐν marking its object as that with which one is furnished and under the influence of which the action takes place. See Romans 7:6, ἐν καινότητι πνεύματος, but esp. 1 Corinthians 4:21: ἐν ῥάβδῳ ἔλθω πρὸς ὑμᾶςἐν

Σκοπέω, a classical word from Homer down, signifying “to look at,” “to observe,” is used in N. T. in Luke 11:35, meaning “to take heed,” and by Paul in Romans 16:17, 2 Corinthians 4:18, Philippians 2:4, Philippians 3:17, always with a direct object in the accusative and in the sense “to consider,” “to observe,” “to give heed to”; for what purpose, whether to avoid, or to promote, or to honour, lies entirely in the context. Cf. Esther 8:13, Esther 8:2 Malachi 4:5; Clem. Rom. 51:1; Mar. Pol. 1:2. The change to the singular after the plural

Μὴ καὶ σὺ πειρασθῇς may be (a) a clause of purpose after σκοπῶν σεαυτόν (Butt. p. 242), or (b) an object clause after σκοπῶν as a verb of effort (BMT 206), σεαυτόν being in that case proleptic and pleonastic (see 1 Corinthians 16:15), or (c) a clause of fear, the verb of fearing to be supplied in thought (BMT 225). The last is the most probable, for it is against (a) that the purpose of σκοπῶν as here referred to is manifestly not so much to avoid falling into temptation as to render one considerate in dealing with those who do so fall; and against (b) that Paul elsewhere constantly uses σκοπέω, not as a verb of effort, but in the sense “to consider, observe.”

Πειράζω (from Homer down; occurring frequently in the Lxx, Apocr., and occasionally in Patr. Ap.), meaning properly “to try,” “to test,” in whatever way or for whatever purpose, is often used in N. T. (not so in the Lxx or Apocr.) in the sense “to solicit to sin” (note especially the title of Satan, ὁ πειράζων: Matthew 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 3:5; cf. 1 Corinthians 7:5), and sometimes pregnantly carrying with it the implication of yielding, also. So in 1 Corinthians 7:5, and so here also, since that which is feared is manifestly not temptation, but the sin which is likely to result from it.

2. Ἁλλήλων τὰ βάρη βαστάζετε, καὶ οὕτως Colossians 3:16. By “the law of the Christ” Paul undoubtedly means the law of God as enunciated by the Christ; just as the law of Moses (Luke 2:23, Acts 13:39) is the law of God as put forth by Moses. By the use of the official term τοῦ χριστοῦ in preference to Ἱησοῦ or even Χριστοῦ, the authoritative character of the promulgation is suggested. It is clear also that the apostle conceived of the law put forth by the Christ as consisting not in a body of statutes, but in the central and all-inclusive principle of love; though whether in his present reference to that law he had in mind its content, or thought simply of the law of God set forth by the Christ, can not be decided with certainty. Whether he is here thinking of this law as having been promulgated by Jesus while on earth and known to him, Paul, through the medium of those who followed Jesus before his death, or as communicated through his Spirit, there is likewise no wholly decisive indication. If, as seems probable, the former is the case, this is one of the few passages in which the apostle refers to teaching of Jesus transmitted to him through the Twelve or their companions. Cf. 1 Corinthians 7:10, 1 Corinthians 7:9:14, 1 Corinthians 7:11:23, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (?) 5:2 (?).


WH. read

The words βάρος and βαστάζω are common, both in classical and later Greek. βάρος is used in a great variety of applications, both literally and metaphorically; in N. T. always metaphorically, and either of what is desirable (2 Corinthians 4:17), or of what is hard to be borne (Acts 15:28, Revelation 2:24), the context alone indicating the specific nature of that which is referred to. On βαστάζω, see on 5:10. The reference here is evidently not simply to endurance (enforced and reluctant, as in 5:10), but to a willing, helpful, sympathetic sharing of the burden (cf. Romans 15:1), the element of willingness, etc., lying, however, in the context rather than in the word itself.

Ἁναπληρόω, found in classical writers from Euripides down, is used in the Lxx and N. T. as a somewhat stronger term for πληρόω, both literally and tropicaly. Cf. note on πληρόω, 5:14. Here, evidently, with a force similar to that in Matthew 13:14, it means “to satisfy the requirements of.” See ex. of its use with reference to a contract in M. and M. Voc. s. v. On οὕτως, meaning “in this way, by the conduct just enjoined,” cf. Matthew 3:15. But there must be supplied in thought some such expression as “in the matter of another’s burden,” since mutual burden-bearing is evidently not the full content of the law of the Christ.


3. εἰ γὰρ δοκεῖ τις εἶναί τι μηδὲν ὤν, φρεναπατᾷ ἑαυτόν· “For if any one thinketh himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” Introduced by γάρ this sentence gives a reason for the injunction of v. 2b, Rev_41E, ἐὰν δοκῶσί τι εἶναι, μηδὲν ὂντες. The participle ὤν is concessive, expressing a condition which is adverse to δοκεῖ, etc., equivalent to εἰ μηδέν ἐστι. Otherwise stated, the conditional clause and the participial phrase together are equivalent to εἰ δοκεῖ τις εἶναί τι καὶ μηδέν ἐστι, in which the combination of the two elements is causal-conditional. On the combination of causal and concessive conditional elements, see comment on 1:3. In such cases μή is the regular negative, both in classical and later Greek. BMT 485. Against the connection of ὤν, as a causal participle, with the apodosis φρεναπατᾷ (Zahn) the negative μή is not decisive, but the implied affirmation that no man is anything and that any man who thinks himself to be something deceives himself, imports into the sentence a harshness of judgment that is not warranted by the context or the apostle’s other utterances. Cf. esp. Romans 12:3ff. Philippians 2:3ff.

Φρεναπατάω appears here for the first time in extant Greek literature and here only in N. T. It is not found in the Lxx, Apocr. or Patr. Ap., but first after Paul, so far as noted, in Galen, Hesych. (L.&S.) and eccles. and Byzant. writers (Th.). φρεναπάτης is found in Titus 1:10, ματαιολόγοι καὶ φρεναπάται, “vain talkers and deceivers,” which is quoted in the longer recension of Ign. Trall. 6. This noun appears also in a papyrus (Grenfell, An Alexandrian Erotic Fragment, Oxford, 1896, p. 2) said by Grenfell to be not later than 100 a. d. The Greek of the passage is obscure,* but the word φρεναπάτης applied by a woman to her former lover seems clearly to mean “deceiver,” not as Blass affirms (Bl.-D.. 119. 2), “one who deceives his own mind,” “conceited.” The noun is not found in the Lxx, Apocr. or Patr. Ap. On the meaning of the verb, cf. James 1:26,

4. τὸ δὲ ἔργον ἑαυτοῦ δοκιμαζέτω ἕκαστος, καὶ τότε εἰς ἑαυτὸν μόνον τὸ καύχημα ἕξει καὶ οὐκ εἰς τὸν ἕτερον, “And let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have his ground of glorying in respect to himself and not in respect to his fellow.” This sentence being, like v. 2, a command, δέ joins it not to v. 3 (οὖν would in that case have been the appropriate particle), but to v. 2, or, better, to vv. 2, 3 taken together. The self-deceived man may boast of his superiority to the man who has fallen into a fault, not perceiving his own real condition. He has in reality ground of glorying only in respect to his fellow and his shortcomings. But the man who tests himself has his ground of glorying, whatever that be, in respect to himself. Cf. Matthew 7:1-5.


WH. bracket ἕκαστος on the basis of its omission by B Sah. But the omission is so easily explainable as in both cases a wholly inadvertent error, that even the measure of doubt expressed by the bracket seems hardly justifiable.

On the use of ἔργον, meaning “what one achieves, the result of one’s effort,” cf. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15. ἑαυτοῦ is here, as usually in N. T., emphatic. Cf. 1 Corinthians 13:5, 2 Corinthians 10:12.

Δοκιμάζω, a frequent word in classical writers from Herodotus down, in the Lxx, and in N. T., occurs in Paul in the three senses: (a) “to test,” “to discriminate”: 1 Thessalonians 2:4b, 1 Thessalonians 2:5:21; (b) “to approve”: Romans 14:22; ) “to think best”: “to choose”: Romans 1:28 (so also Jos. Ant. 2. 176[7:4]). Here clearly in the first sense. Cf. esp. 1 Corinthians 3:13ff. 1 Corinthians 3:11:28.

Τότε, though doubtless temporal, “then, when he shall have tested his own work,” has nearly the force of ἄρα, as in 5:11. Cf. 1 Corinthians 4:5. A protasis may be mentally supplied, “if his work shall be proved good,” or τὸ καύχημα may mean in effect, “his ground of glorying, whatever that be,” the implication in such case being that he who examines himself will not fail to find something of good in himself. On εἰς, meaning “in respect to,” see Romans 4:20, 2 Corinthians 10:16 (cf. vv. 15, 17, where ἐν is used in a similar relation, but expressing strictly basis or ground of boasting) Philippians 1:5. Note the emphatic position of εἰς ἑαυτὸν μόνον at the beginning of the sentence with its correlative εἰς τὸν ἕτερον.

Καύχημα, found in Pindar, but not observed elsewhere in classical writers, occurs not infrequently in the Lxx and Apocr., but not in Ps. Sol.; in N. T. in Hebrews 3:6 and ten times in Paul; in Patr. Ap. in Clem. Rom. 34:5 only, probably under the influence of Hebrews 3:6. It is in itself a less opprobrious term than the English word “boast,” referring rather to exultation, gratulation, without the implication of the English word that it is excessive or unjustified. Though sometimes used in the active sense, “boasting, glorying” (thus in the proper sense of καύχησις, as καύχησις in turn is used in the sense of καύχημα in 2 Corinthians 1:12 and probably in Romans 15:17), as, for example, in 2 Corinthians 5:12, and probably in 1 Corinthians 5:6, Philippians 1:26 (contra Mey. Ell., who maintain that καύχημα never has this sense), yet in the present passage standing as the object of ἕξει, it naturally demands the more common and proper meaning, “ground of glorying.” Cf. Romans 4:2, 2 Corinthians 1:14, etc. The use of εἰς ἑαυτόν in preference to ἐν ἑαυτῷ (cf. Romans 15:17, 2 Thessalonians 1:4 and note above on εἰς ἑαυτόν) favours, indeed, the meaning “glorying,” since εἰς ἑαυτόν can, strictly speaking, limit only the element of glorying, καύχησις, which is involved in καύχημα, “ground of glorying.” Yet such a limitation of an element of a word of complex meaning is, of course, possible, and there is, therefore, no sufficient reason for departing from the proper sense of καύχημα, especially as ἕξει also calls for the thought, “ground of glorying.” The article with καύχημα is restrictive, “his ground of glorying.” It emphasises the idea expressed by μόνον. He is to have, not “a ground of glorying in respect to himself,” but “his (only) ground in respect to himself alone.”

Τὸν ἕτερον is understood by Ell. as meaning “the other one with whom he is contrasting himself”; and this interpretation, making the article restrictive, but only as designating the individual who belongs to an imaginary situation presented to the mind, not one definitely named in the context, is not impossible (cf. Luke 11:11, Luke 11:15:8, Luke 11:9, John 16:21). But Romans 2:1, Romans 2:13:8, 1 Corinthians 4:6, 1 Corinthians 4:6:1, 1 Corinthians 4:10:24, 29, 1 Corinthians 4:14:17, Philippians 2:4 show clearly that ὁ ἕτερος was used in the sense of “fellow, neighbour” (cf. the similar use of τὸν πλησίον in Mark 12:33, Acts 7:27, Romans 13:10, James 4:12). On the other hand, in quotations from the Lxx of Leviticus 19:18, σου is always present, Mark 12:31, etc., the article having the generic indefinite force, i. e., making the noun refer not to the whole class (as, e. g., in Mark 2:27), but to any member whatever of the class. See illustrations of this latter use in the cases of τὸν πλησίον without σου cited above, and in Matthew 15:1, Acts 10:25, Galatians 4:1, et freq. The two interpretations differ only in that if the article is restrictive the reference is to the particular imagined wrong-doer with whom one compares himself; if it is generic the statement is more general; one’s glorying pertains to himself, not to his (i. e., any) fellow. The usage of ὁ ἕτερος and ὁ πλησίον, a synonym of ὁ ἕτερος, favours the latter view.

5. ἕκαστος γὰρ τὸ ἴδιον φορτίον βαστάσει. “For each man shall bear his own burden.” Between φορτίον (used by Greek writers from Aristotle down, in the Lxx, Apocr. and in N. T.; in Acts 27:10 of a ship’s cargo; elsewhere, Matthew 11:30, Matthew 23:4, Luke 11:46 and here, figuratively of a task to be accomplished or a burden borne by the mind) and βάρη (v. 2) no sharp distinction can be drawn. Starting with the exhortation to bear one another’s burdens (of sin), the apostle, having enforced this by the warning against self-deception through conceiving that it is only the other man that has such burdens to bear, and having bidden each one test himself, now argues for the necessity of such testing by the affirmation that every man has his own burden, i. e., of weakness and sin. The paradoxical antithesis to v. 2a is doubtless conscious and intentional. Cf. Philippians 2:12, Philippians 2:13. It is the man who knows he has a burden of his own that is willing to bear his fellow’s burden.


On ἴδιος as an emphatic possessive instead of ἑαυτοῦ or οἰκεῖος, see Bl.-D. 286; MNTG 87 ff. βαστάσει is a gnomic future; BMT 69.

2. Exhortations having a less direct relation to the principal subject of the epistle (6:6-10)

Having dealt with the several aspects of the situation which the judaisers had created in Galatia by their criticism of the gospel as preached by Paul, the apostle now, as in most of his epistles, but more briefly than usually, adds exhortations having to do with the general moral and religious life of the churches. Dealing first with the support of teachers, which he urges on fundamental grounds, he exhorts them to persistence in doing good work, and specifically in doing good to their fellows, especially their fellow-Christians.

6And let him that is taught in the word share with him that teacheth in all good things. 7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap; 8because he that soweth to his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the spirit shall of the Spirit reap life eternal. 9And let us not be weary in doing that which is good; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10As therefore we have opportunity, let us do that which is good towards all, but especially towards those who are of the household of the faith.

6. Κοινωνείτω δὲκατηχούμενος τὸν λόγον τῷ κατηχοῦντι ἐν πᾶσιν Romans 6:1ff. On the use of δέ at the beginning of a new division of the subject, see Romans 11:13, Romans 11:16:17, Romans 11:25, 1 Corinthians 7:25, 1 Corinthians 8:1. The expressions ὁ κατηχούμενος and τῷ κατηχοῦντι, occurring in a letter so early in the apostolic age as this one, furnish interesting and instructive evidence how soon religious teaching became an element of the life of the Christian community. The fact that those who receive instruction are called upon to contribute to the support of the teacher shows that such teaching in all probability was not undertaken merely as a voluntary and relatively light avocation (comparable to the work of a modern Bible-class teacher) but occupied in preparation for it and the work itself, if not the teacher’s whole time, yet enough so that it was necessary to compensate him for the loss of income which he thus sustained. In short, it is a class of paid teachers to which this verse refers. The article with both κατηχούμενος and with κατηχοῦντι is, of course, generic indefinite, designating any member of the class; cf. on τὸν ἕτερον, v. 4. On the teaching class in the early church, cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11, 1 Timothy 5:17. On its existence in the second century, see Dobschütz, Christian Life in the Primitive Church, pp. 345 f.; Harnack, Expansion of Christianity, pp. 333-366. On the subject of such teaching, see below on τὸν λόγον.


Ell. Ltft. Zahn, Tdf. Weizs. ERV and ARV dissociate this verse from the preceding by a paragraph at this point, and connect it with the following. Stage, Bous. and Segond put v. 6 by itself. WH. join v. 6 with what precedes, making a half paragraph at the end of v. 6; Weymouth a full paragraph. The last-named view makes this sentence an appended remark on a subject not closely connected with what precedes; the second isolates it both from what precedes and what follows. Neither view is so probable as that which finds the suggestion of the sentence in what precedes and its further enforcement in vv. 7, 8. Thus interpreted, the whole passage becomes continuous and intelligible. See below on vv. 7, 8.

Κοινωνέω, used by classical writers from Euripides down, in the Lxx, Apocr. N. T. and Patr. Ap., means in general “to share,” i. e., “to be a partner in” (a thing) or “with” (a person). The name of the person with whom one shares is in the dative, if expressed; the thing in the genitive, in the dative, or after a preposition. See, e. g., Plato, Rep. 453A, κοινωνεῖν τινι εἰς ἅπαντα, “to be a partner with one in respect to everything”; Polyb. 31.26:6, κοινωνεῖν τινι περί τινος. Sir. 13:1: ὁ κοινωνῶν ὑπερηφάνῳ ὁμοιωθήσεται αὐτῷ. Most commonly the emphasis is upon the receptive side of the partnership or fellowship, i. e., the subject is chiefly receptive. Thus in Romans 15:27, εἰ γὰρ τοῖς πνευματικοῖς αὐτῶν ἐκοινώνησαν τὰ ἔθνη, 1 Timothy 5:22, Hebrews 2:14, 1 Peter 4:13, 2 John 1:11. Yet the active aspect may also be emphasised, as in Romans 12:13, ταῖς χρείαις τῶν ἁγίων κοινωνοῦντες. Barn. 19:3 κοινωνήσεις ἐν πᾶσιν τῷ πλησίον σου, καὶ οὐκ ἐρεῖς ἴδια εἶναι· εἰ γὰρ ἐν τῷ Philippians 4:15 the verb itself is clearly mutual or neutral in meaning, though with the emphasis on the side of giving: οὐδεμία μοι ἐκκλησία ἐκοινώνησεν εἰς λόγον δόσεως καὶ λήμψεως εἰ μὴ ὑμεῖς μόνοι. It seems probable, indeed, that the word itself is always, strictly speaking, neutral in meaning, as is the English verb, “share,” and the noun, “partner.” It is the context alone that indicates which aspect of the partnership is specially in mind. In the present passage the chief determinative element is the phrase ἐν πᾶσιν Philippians 4:15 as referring to a mutual, reciprocal sharing, wherein he that was taught received instruction and gave of his property. Yet in view of the context, it must be supposed that here, as also in Romans 14:15; Philippians 4:15; Barn. 19:8, the emphasis is upon the impartation (of material good). See esp. the extended argument in Wies. Though taking the verb as intransitive, Ell. Alf. Ltft. suppose the reference here to be exclusively to the element of giving. Zahn takes a similar view. Mey. and after him Sief., on the other hand, suppose receiving only to be referred to.

Κατηχέω occurs first in extant literature in Philo, Leg. ad Gaium, 198 (30), κατήχηται δὲ ὅτι, “he was informed that”; then in N. T. Luke 1:4, Acts 18:25, Acts 18:21:21, Acts 18:24, Romans 2:18, 1 Corinthians 14:19 et h.l.; in Jos. Vit. 366 (65): καὶ αὐτός σε πολλὰ κατηχήσω τῶν Luke 1:4. But the simple verb ἠχέω, “to sound” (intrans. and trans.), is found in Hesiod, Herodotus, Euripides, etc.; and this fact, together with the existence in the Philo passage of the meaning “to inform,” which must have been developed from the literal sense “to sound down,” and the use of the noun κατήχησις in the sense of “instruction” at least as early as the third century B. C. make it probable that κατηχέω is much older than the earliest extant example. The clue to its meaning is found in the use of κατήχησις, which appears in Hippocr. 28:25 (L.&S.) in the expression κατήχησις ἰδιωτέων, with reference to the oral admonition of the physician to his patient (so Cremer); and in a passage of Chrysippus (240 B. C.) preserved in Diog. Laert. VII 1. 53 (89) (quoted by Wetstein on Luke 1:4): διαστρέφεσθαι δὲ τὸ λογικὸν ζῶον, ποτὲ μὲν διὰ τὰς τῶν ἔξωθεν πραγματειῶν πιθανότητας· ποτὲ δὲ διὰ τὴν κατήχησιν τῶν συνόντων: “And if a reasoning creature is astray, this is sometimes because of the allurements of external things, sometimes because of the teaching of his companions.” Here the word clearly means “instruction,” or “expression of opinion.” Cicero also uses it in ad Att. XV 12 (quoted by Cremer): Sed quid aetati credendum sit, quid nomini, quid hereditati, quid κατηχήσει, magni consilii est. In N. T. the verb has the two meanings: (a) “to inform”: Acts 21:21, Acts 21:24; (b) “to teach”: Acts 18:25, Romans 2:18, etc. The primary meaning of the word and its usage, though not wholly decisive, suggest that it referred chiefly, if not exclusively, to oral instruction. Cf. the derivative English words “catechism” and “catechetical.” Concerning the history of the word, especially its later ecclesiastical usage, see v. Zezschwitz, System der christl. Katechetik.

Τὸν λόγον, an accusative of content, denotes the substance of the instruction communicated by the teacher. Paul uses ὁ λόγος (absol.) of his own message in 1 Thessalonians 1:6, Colossians 4:3, but more commonly characterises it as a message of God (1 Thessalonians 2:13, Colossians 1:25, Philippians 1:14), or according to its content (1 Corinthians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 1:2:4, 2 Corinthians 5:19, Ephesians 1:13). It is undoubtedly to be taken here as an inclusive term for the Christian message. It is in the nature of the case that the instruction given by the local teachers must have been in large part that which Paul had communicated to them. The elements that entered into this body of teaching can not be defined accurately and exhaustively, but probably included: (a) the doctrine of a living and true God as against the worship of idols (see 1 Thessalonians 1:9, Galatians 4:8, Galatians 4:14); (b) those narratives of the life of Jesus and those elements of his teaching which were to Paul of central significance, especially his death, resurrection, and return (1 Corinthians 11:23ff. 1 Corinthians 11:15:1 Corinthians 11:1-8, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:1ff.); with which was joined (c) the teaching concerning the way of salvation which had its basis in these facts (see the passages cited above); (d) the fundamental principles of Christian ethics (1 Thessalonians 4:1ff. 1 Thessalonians 4:9ff.). To what extent the O. T. scriptures (in the Lxx version) were put into the hands of the converts or their teachers and made the basis of their instruction, is more difficult to determine with accuracy. That the apostle did not refer them to these scriptures as throughout an authoritative guide for the Christian life is clear from the fact that his own teaching respecting the law, in particular respecting circumcision, unclean foods, and the Sabbath, was not in accordance with the statutes of the O. T. law. Yet, on the other hand, the early acceptance of O. T. in the Christian church as sacred scripture, and the apostle’s own frequent use of it and reference to it in writing to his churches (Romans 1:2 et freq.), makes it evident that in his own day O. T. was already an important factor in the life of most of the churches founded by him. The fact that there are no express quotations from O. T. in 1 and 2 Thes. suggests the possibility that the use of O. T. in Gentile churches was due to judaising influence rather than to the apostle. Yet the evident connection between his fundamental idea of God (1 Thessalonians 1:9) and O. T., and the favourable attitude which, despite his practical rejection of its authority, he assumes towards O. T. in general (cf. Romans 7:12, Romans 9:6, et freq.), and his frequent use of it in argument, make it probable that while his message was distinctly Christian, having its authority not in the book but in his interpretation of historical facts as learned through human experience, yet he saw in O. T. an invaluable aid to the development of religious life, and as such commended it to his converts. If, then, the λόγος of the teachers was based on that of Paul, it contained elements derived from O. T., yet was distinctly Christian in content, including historic fact, Christian doctrine, and Christian ethics.

Ἐν πᾶσιν 1 Corinthians 9:11, Romans 15:27; Barn. 19:8; Did. 4:3. For Luke 12:18, Luke 12:16:25; spiritual good, Matthew 12:34, Matthew 12:35, the latter a particularly instructive example, since it refers not precisely to good conduct but to good thoughts and words, as does the present passage if it designates that which the teacher imparts. The idea of good conduct Paul usually expressed by the singular τὸ Romans 2:10, Romans 2:12:9, Romans 2:21, Romans 2:13:3b, Romans 2:14:16, Romans 2:16:19, 1 Thessalonians 5:15; cf. the similar use of τὸ καλόν in 5:21 and in v. 9 below) or ἔργον Romans 2:7, Romans 2:13:3, 2 Corinthians 9:8, Philippians 1:6). The neuter plural occurs in the Pauline letters in the phrase ἔργα Ephesians 2:10, 1 Timothy 2:10, and without ἔργα, but with the article in Romans 3:8 only, where it signifies things that are (spiritually) advantageous. The Pauline usage, therefore, furnishes no decisive or weighty evidence for or against either the material or the spiritual sense here; and in view of the common Greek usage illustrated in the passages from the gospels quoted above, the word πᾶσιν, and the inclusive, mutual sense of κοινωνέω, it seems probable that the phrase is intended to cover both the spiritual good which the teacher has to impart and the material good which he is to receive. The thought is then akin to that of Romans 15:27, the exhortation being to those that are taught to be partners with their teachers in all goods, giving to those who teach them of that which they themselves possess, as they receive what the teachers have to impart. See esp. Wieseler’s full discussion. Consistently with their respective interpretations of κοινωνείτω Ell. Alf Ltft. Zahn take it of material good only, Mey. and Sief. of spiritual good.

7. μὴ πλανᾶσθε, θεος οὐ μυκτηρίζεται· ὃ γὰρ ἐὰν σπείρἄνθρωπος, τοῦτο καὶ θερίσει. 8. ὅτισπείρων εἰς τὴν σάρκα ἑαυτοῦ ἐκ τῆς σαρκος θερίσει φθοράν, ὁ δὲ σπείρων εἰς το πνεῦμα ἐκ τοῦ πνευματος θερίσει ζωὴν αἰώνιον. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap; because he that soweth to his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the spirit shall of the Spirit reap life eternal.” With μὴ πλανᾶσθε (cf. similar use of these words in 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Corinthians 15:33* James 1:16) the apostle introduces the statement of a general principle, which serves primarily to enforce the exhortation of v. 6 by bringing the specific matter there referred to under a great general law. To the apostle’s thought the attitude of the Galatians towards their teachers is but a specific example of their attitude towards life in general. If they are unreceptive to spiritual teaching, and, undervaluing it, are unwilling to support their teachers, preferring to spend their money on themselves, they are sowing to (for the benefit of) their own fleshly natures, and the harvest will be corruption. If, on the other hand, recognising their need of teaching and its value, they are of receptive mind towards those who are able to instruct them and willingly contribute of their goods that such teaching may continue, they are sowing to (for the benefit of) the spirit, and the harvest will be eternal life. For similar instances of a seeming disparity in importance between the duty enjoined and the consideration appealed to to enforce it, see Philippians 2:1-10, 1 Corinthians 11:31-33. Yet these verses are probably not simply for the enforcement of v. 6. The apostle may also have desired to bring this principle before his readers for its own sake. Having in vv. 1-6. brought before his readers certain specific applications of the teaching of 5:13-26, thus narrowing the horizon from the general contrast between life according to the flesh and life by the Spirit, he now, reversing the process, restores the broader view with which he began.

Πλανάω, a classical word, used from Homer down in a literal sense, (a) active, “to cause to wander,” passive, “to wander,” “to go astray,” and (b) in various figurative senses, is used in the Lxx, Apocr. and N. T. both literally and figuratively, but most commonly in an intellectual and moral sense, “to turn aside from truth,” “to deceive,” “to lead into sin.” In Paul it always means “to deceive” (1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Corinthians 6:15:33; cf. 2 Timothy 3:13, Titus 3:3). It is somewhat frequent in Patr. Ap.: Ign. Eph. 16:1: μὴ πλανᾶσθε,


Θεός without the article, though infrequent as subject nominative, sometimes occurs. It is always (see 2:6 and textual note there), as in oblique cases also, qualitative, emphasising the divine attributes, and designating not simply the being God, but God as divine. This is undoubtedly the force here. God, because he is God, not man, is not mocked.

Μυκτηρίζω (cf. μυκτήρ, nose), though not found in the extant texts of classical writers, is shown by a passage in Poll. Onom. 2:78 to have been used by Lysias. μυκτηρισμός is also found in Menand. Incert. 402. Both verb and noun are frequent in the Lxx, and occur in the Apocr. In N. T. the verb alone occurs and in this passage only. If taken in its usual sense, “to turn up the nose,” “to ridicule,” or in the tropical meaning, “to ignore” (as perhaps in Proverbs 15:5), it is necessary to supply “with impunity” (Ell.). But even with this addition the meaning thus obtained is not appropriate to the context. That of which the apostle speaks is not a ridicule of God which he will not leave unpunished, but an outwitting of God, an evasion of his laws which men think to accomplish, but, in fact, can not. It seems necessary, therefore, to suppose here an easy metonymy (he who is outwitted being thereby made ridiculous) for “outwit, evade.” Cf. for a similar, though not identical, metonymy (cited by Elsner, ad loc.), Cicero, Ep. ad Diversos, XV 19:4: Scis quam se semper a nobis derisum putet. Vereor, ne nos rustice gladio velit

The figure of sowing and reaping for conduct and its results is a frequent one, occurring in Plato, Phaedr. 260C, Arist. Rhet. 3. 3:4 (1406 b. 10); (cf also Dem. 280:27f: ὁ γὰρ τὸ σπέρμα παρασχών, οὗτος τῶν φύντων αἵτιος: “For he that furnished the seed is responsible for what grows”; Proverbs 22:8, Hosea 8:7, Hosea 10:12f. Job 4:8; Sir. 7:3; Test. XII Pat. Leviticus 13:6; Philo, Conf. ling. 21 (7); Luke 19:21, 1 Corinthians 9:11, 2 Corinthians 9:6. Note esp. the last two passages. ὁ σπείρων is best taken as a general present participle, referring to any member of the class described by the participle. On the use of the article, cf. on τὸν ἕτερον v. 4 and ὁ κατηχούμενος v. 6. Though the antithesis between σάρξ and πνεῦμα recalls, probably intentionally, the same terms used antithetically in 5:13-24, the words are probably not used here in precisely the same sense as there. Had the apostle wished to reproduce the idea of the earlier passage, he must have written simply εἰς σάρκα or εἰς τὴν σάρκα. The addition of ἑαυτοῦ, the force of εἰς marking the σάρξ as the end, that unto which the action takes place (see below), not, as in 5:13-19, that from which the tendency to evil proceeds, and the connection with v. 6, all indicate that σάρξ is here not “that in man which makes for evil” (cf. on 5:13), but has reference to the body, the physical element of man. Cf. chap. 3:3, Romans 2:28, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 2 Corinthians 7:1, where σάρξ in this physical sense stands in antithesis to πνεῦμα, and chap. 4:14, 2 Corinthians 4:11, Ephesians 2:15, Ephesians 5:29, Colossians 1:22, where limited by a possessive genitive it has this sense. He who will not share his goods with the religious teacher, withholds them, it is assumed, that he may spend the more on the gratification of bodily appetites in food, drink, and the like. Thus he sows unto his own flesh, spends effort for the (supposed) benefit or gratification of it. The position of ἑαυτοῦ is emphatic (Bl.-D. 283) and the word itself conveys an essential element of the thought; to seek the physical well-being of others would be an act of quite different moral quality and effect from devotion to the gratification of one’s own physical desires. The sentence is not, then, a repetition of the self-evident proposition of v. 7 in the specific form that if one sow evil he will reap evil, but the assertion that if one devote himself to the things of his body (which is not in itself evil) rather than to those of the spirit, if he prefer the lower to the higher, such a course issues in corruption Ltft. interprets εἰς as meaning “into,” thus making the σάρξ the soil in which one sows seed. This is not seriously to be objected to on the ground urged by Ell. that N. T. usage would in this case require ἐν or ἐπί; for all his exx. are from the gospels, and Mark 4:18, though not precisely parallel, shows the possibility of using εἰς. The real objection lies in the thought which this parabolic interpretation yields. What would be meant by casting seed into one’s own flesh? What by “reaping corruption” in that literal sense which a parabolic interpretation requires as the basis of the spiritual sense? It is evident that the apostle is not constructing a condensed parable consistent throughout (like that of Mark 4:26ff.), but employing individual terms “sow” and “reap” in a figurative sense, and that εἰς is not, therefore, to be taken spatially but tropically. The meaning of σάρξ in ἐκ τῆς σαρκός is doubtless the same as in εἰς τὴν σάρκα ἑαυτοῦ: the body, or, by metonymy, the bodily desires. The article may be generic, the later clause widening the horizon of the former, but is more probably restrictive, by implication carrying an αὐτοῦ with it. (On this use of the article, cf. on 5:24.)

Φθορά (a classical word in use from Æschylus down, meaning “decay,” “destruction,” “death,” used also in the Lxx, Apocr. Ps. Sol. Patr. Ap.) interpreted solely by the clause in which it stands, would naturally mean “corruption,” “decay” (cf. Colossians 2:22) perhaps inclusive of a physical (cf. Ps. Song of Solomon 4:6 [7]) and a moral sense, but probably referring particularly to moral corruption (Wisd. 14:12, 2 Peter 1:4; 2Pe_2 Clem. 6:4; cf. the use of φθείρω in 1 Corinthians 15:33, 2 Corinthians 7:2, 2 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 4:22). Nor is it impossible that this is the apostle’s meaning, for to such a thought, eternal life, ζωὴ αἰώνιος, is not an impossible antithesis. Yet in view of the Pauline use of φθορά (Romans 8:21, 1 Corinthians 15:42, 1 Corinthians 15:50), the reference to the flesh in the immediate context, and the antithesis of eternal life in the second member of the sentence, it seems probable that by φθοράν Paul means that corruption and death of the body, from which, for those who have not lived according to the spirit, there is no rising to eternal life. See Romans 6:19-23, Romans 8:8-17, esp. 13: εἰ γὰρ κατὰ σάρκα ζῆτε μέλλετε

Εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα, ἐκ τοῦ πνεύματος is in form a perfect antithesis to εἰς τὴν σάρκα, ἐκ τῆς σαρκός. Yet πνεῦμα and πνεύματος are probably not used in precisely the same sense. The πνεῦμα unto which one sows is primarily one’s own πνεῦμα, the non-material, intellectual, spiritual side of man’s being, which is the seat of the religious life, and that which survives the cataclysmic experience of physical death or the day of the Lord. See detached note on Πνεῦμα and Σάρξ, III A 2, p. 490, and cf. 1 Corinthians 5:5, 1 Corinthians 7:34, Romans 1:4, Romans 1:2:29, Romans 1:7:6, Romans 1:8:5, Romans 1:16, Philippians 4:23, 1 Thessalonians 5:23. εἰς signifies, as in εἰς τὴν σάρκα ἑαυτοῦ, “unto,” “for the benefit of,” and the whole expression σπείρων εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα refers to devotion of energy and resources to the enrichment of the life of the spirit, in particular through the reception of the instruction of the κατηχῶν τὸν λόγον. Cf. Colossians 1:9. That ἑαυτοῦ is not added to πνεῦμα, as to σάρκα, signifies not that τὸ πνεῦμα refers to the spiritual life of the whole community, but that the explicit narrowing of the reference to the spirit of the individual would have been incongruous, suggesting a certain (spiritual) self-centredness. ἐκ τοῦ πνεύματος probably signifies from the Spirit of God, which dwelling in man is the cause of resurrection, and the earnest of eternal life (Romans 8:11, 2 Corinthians 5:5, Ephesians 1:14). The transition to this meaning from πνεῦμα referring to the human spirit, is easy because it is the human spirit as engaged in the things of the Spirit of God (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14, 1 Corinthians 2:15) to which τὸ πνεῦμα refers (cf. Romans 8:16).

Ζωὴ αἰώνιος, here for the first time in Paul, occurs in his epistles much less frequently than in the Johannine literature. See Romans 2:7, Romans 2:5:21, Romans 2:6:22, Romans 2:23; cf. 1 Timothy 1:16, 1 Timothy 6:12, Titus 1:3, Titus 3:7. The earliest appearance of this phrase is in the Greek of Daniel 12:2, translating חַיִּ֣י עוֹלָ֔ם, then in Ps. Sol. 3:16: οἱ δὲ φοβούμενοι κύριον Romans 8:38, 1 Corinthians 3:22, Philippians 1:20, etc.); accompanied by αὕτη, meaning the period of existence in the body (1Co 15:19, cf. 1 Timothy 4:3), in contrast with that which is after the resurrection; but more commonly (b), as constantly in John, in a moral-qualitative sense, denoting “existence according to the ideal of existence for moral beings,” in which ideal are included righteousness, the divine approval, blessedness (Romans 6:4, Romans 6:7:10, Romans 6:8:2, Romans 6:6). Such life, possessed by God (Colossians 3:3; cf. Ephesians 4:18) and by Christ (Romans 5:10, 2 Corinthians 4:10), belongs by virtue of his relation to God in Christ to the believer in Christ, both while still in the body (Romans 6:4, 2 Corinthians 4:10) and after the resurrection (2 Corinthians 5:4), and is not infrequently spoken of without limitation to either period of its possession (2 Corinthians 2:16, Philippians 2:16). Accompanied by αἰώνιος this ζωή is characterised as “eternal.” αἰώνιος appears first in Plato, meaning “perpetual” (Rep. 363D: ἡγησάμενοι κάλλιστον

9. τὸ δὲ καλὸν ποιοῦντες μὴ ἐνκακῶμεν, καιρῷ γὰρ ἰδίῳ θερίσομεν μὴ ἐκλυόμενοι. “And let us not be weary in doing that which is good; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” The thought of reaping, i. e., of obtaining result from one’s efforts, forms the link of connection between the preceding verses and this, in which, nevertheless, the apostle passes still further away from the thought that vv. 7, 8 were introduced to enforce (viz., the support of teachers), to speak of persistence in well-doing in general and its reward. On τὸ καλόν as a general term for the morally good (it is scarcely used at all in N. T. in an æsthetic sense), see 1 Thessalonians 5:21, Romans 7:18, Romans 7:21, and cf. on ἐν πᾶσιν


As between the two readings ἐνκακῶμεν (or ἐγκακῶμεν) and ἐκκακῶμεν, the former is undoubtedly the original. B*D* read ἐνκ. אAB3 31, 33, 326 ἐγκ. against CDcKLP al. pler. Clem. Chrys. Thdrt. which read ἐκκ. (FG ἐκκακήσωμεν). There is no sufficient evidence of the existence in N. T. times of the word ἐκκακέω, which apparently came into N. T. mss. from the usage of a later time.

Ἐνκακέω (from which ἐκκακέω apparently differs in form, but not in meaning; see Tdf. Ed. viii maj. 2 Corinthians 4:1) appears first in Polybius and belongs, therefore, to the vocabulary of the post-classical literary language. See Nägeli, Wortschatz des Ap. Paulus, p. 32. It is not found in the Lxx or, so far as observed, in other Jewish writers before N. T. In N. T. it is found in Luke 18:1, 2 Corinthians 4:1, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Ephesians 3:13, 2 Thessalonians 3:13 et h.l.; also in 2 Clem. 2:2; Herm. Mand. 9:8, and in Symm. (200 A. D.) in Genesis 27:46, Numbers 21:5, Proverbs 3:11, Isaiah 7:16. In Polyb. 4. 19:10: ἐνεκάκησαν τὸ πέμπειν: “They neglected to send”; and in 2 Clem. 2:2: τὰς προσευχὰς ἡμῶν ἁπλῶς 2 Thessalonians 3:13, μὴ ἐνκακήσητε καλοποιοῦντες, and in the present passage the meaning of the verb is, apparently, “to grow weary.” In these two N. T. passages the predication of the verb is completed by a participle in agreement with the subject. Cf. also Herm. Mand. 9:8: σὺ οὖν μὴ διαλίπῃς αἰτούμενος τὸ αἴτημα τῆς ψυχῆς σου, καὶ λήψη αὐτό· ἐὰν δὲ ἐκκακήσης καὶ διψυχήσης αἰτούμενος, σεαυτὸν αἰτιῶ καὶ μὴ τὸν διδόντα σοι. Cf. Matthew 11:1, and for the grammatical usage BMT 457, 459. In the remaining N. T. instances the verb may likewise be transitive, the subject being supplied from the context (so esp. Luke 18:1, 2 Corinthians 4:1) or intransitive “to be neglectful, slothful” (2 Corinthians 4:16, Ephesians 3:13).

Καιρῷ ἰδίῳ is paralleled, in N. T. at least, only in 1 Timothy 2:6, 1 Timothy 6:15, and even then the plural is used. Yet the use of the separate words is not at all exceptional. On ἴδιος, meaning “appropriate, due,” cf. 1 Corinthians 3:3, 1 Corinthians 15:23, Acts 1:25.

The participle ἐκλυόμενοι is conditional (BMT 436). ἐκλύω, used by classical writers from Homer down in a variety of meanings derived from the etymological sense “to loose,” “set free,” and in the Lxx and Apocr., occurs in N. T. in the passive only and with the meaning “to faint”: (1) “to become exhausted physically” (Matthew 15:32, Mark 8:3), (2) “to relax effort” (Hebrews 12:3, Hebrews 12:5 et h.l.).


10. Ἄρα οὗν ὡς καιρὸν ἔχωμεν, ἐργαζώμεθα τὸ

Ὡς ἔχωμεν is a conditional relative clause, ἄν being omitted as in a few other cases; BMT 307. On τὸ Romans 7:13, Romans 15:2. Cf. on Ephesians 4:29) or the whole expression ἐργαζώμεθα τὸ 1 Thessalonians 5:14, Ephesians 6:9 (Ell).

Though οἰκεῖοι (from Hesiod down; in N. T. in Ephesians 2:19, 1 Timothy 5:8 et h.l.) was apparently used in later Greek without distinct suggestion of a household in the strict sense, yet in view of Paul’s conception of the intimate unity of all believers (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 3:17, 1 Corinthians 3:12:12ff.) and the expression of this idea in terms borrowed from the idea of the house (1Co 3:9 cf. also Ephesians 2:19, 1 Timothy 3:15) it is most probable that οἰκείους is here used with intention to characterise those to whom it refers as members of a household, though, of course, in a metaphorical sense. τῆς πίστεως denotes the (active) Christian faith, faith in Jesus Christ. Cf. on 1:23 and detached note on Πίστις, Πιστεύω, p. 483. The genitive is a genitive of characteristic and the whole expression means “those who are members of that household, the distinguishing characteristic of which is the faith in Jesus Christ.”


The qualification of the exhortation to do good to all men by μάλισταπίστεως, if intended as a general principle, represents a lapse from the universalistic principle of 5:13, which really underlies the whole gospel of the apostle as against the particularism which the epistle opposes. To promote the spiritual welfare, e. g., of those who have faith in preference to that of those who have not, is indefensible from the general point of view of the apostle. If, however, the apostle has specially in mind the physical needs of the Christian communities, such an exhortation might be judged to be consistent with or demanded by the general principle of love to one’s neighbour. In time of famine or other general distress, the members of a Christian church composed of those who had recently come out of heathenism would, because of religious prejudice, be unlikely to receive any help at the hands of their non-Christian neighbours. Unless, therefore, their distress were relieved by their fellow-Christians, they would fare worse than the non-Christians. As the most needy, therefore, they would have a first claim. Moreover, the non-Christian members of the community would naturally expect the Christians most surely to manifest their love to one another. If, therefore, a Christian were left in distress this would be even more to the discredit of the new religion than if a non-Christian went hungry.

V. CONCLUSION OF THE LETTER (6:11-18)

1. Final warning against the judaisers (6:11-16)

In his own hand and in a larger character than the amanuensis has used, the apostle repeats briefly, but emphatically, his warning against the judaisers, and reaffirms his positive teaching that religion is wholly spiritual and in no way dependent on physical facts, such as Abrahamic descent and circumcision; he concludes with a benediction upon all who walk by this principle and a prayer for mercy upon the Israel of God.

11See with how large letters I write to you with my own hand! 12As many as wish to make a good showing in things pertaining to the flesh, these compel you to receive circumcision, only that they may not be persecuted because of the cross of the Christ. 13For not even they that receive circumcision are themselves law-abiding, but they wish you to be circumcised that they may glory in your flesh. 14But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom a world hath been crucified to me and I to a world. 15For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new act of creation. 16And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace be upon them, and mercy upon the Israel of God.

11. Ἴδετε πηλίκοις ὑμῖν γράμμασιν ἔγραψα τῇ ἐμῇ χειρί. “See with how large letters I write to you with my own hand!” At this point the apostle, who usually employed an amanuensis for the writing of his letters (cf. Romans 16:22), and doubtless had done so in the case of this letter also, took the pen in his own hand to write the concluding paragraph. Cf. similar instances in 2 Thessalonians 3:17, 1 Corinthians 16:21, Colossians 4:18. His motives were probably two: first, the usual one of authenticating the letter; second, the special one of giving emphasis to certain of the main points of the letter; notice that vv. 11-16 are almost wholly devoted to the reiteration of ideas already expressed. This second motive led him also to write, somewhat humorously yet with serious purpose, in a larger character than his amanuensis had employed; the size of the letters would have somewhat the effect of bold-face type in a modern book, or double underlining in a manuscript, and since the apostle himself called attention to it, it would impress not only the one person who might be reading the letter to a congregation, but the listening congregation, also. Precisely how far Paul continued to write with his own hand, and how far he used the large characters, we have no certain means of knowing, but probably he did both through v. 16, at least. ἔγραψα is on this interpretation an epistolary aorist (BMT 44). For other examples of autographic portions of a dictated letter, see Cic. ad Attic. VIII 1:1; XI 24; Aug. Epist. 146. Cf. Moff. Introd., pp. 51, 88.

B* 33 read ἡλίκοις. Internal evidence is wholly indecisive, either form being good usage with no preponderance of temptation to change on either side. Cf. Bl.-D. 303; also Colossians 2:1, Hebrews 7:4. This being the case, it is more probable that B* 33 have inadvertently modified the original than that all the rest of the authorities, including אACD al. have done so.

The interpretation of πηλίκοις γράμμασιν, as referring to the length of the letter (AV., “how large a letter”; so also Luth. Calv. Beng. Olsh., et al.) is here excluded by three considerations: (a) though γράμματα sometimes means “an epistle” (Acts 28:21), Paul’s invariable term for “epistle” is ἐπιστολή (so seventeen times); (b) such a meaning would have called for an accusative rather than a dative; and (c) this epistle is not notably long as compared with the apostle’s other epistles. Zahn cites, as showing how the length of a letter would be spoken of, Hebrews 13:22, 1 Peter 5:12; Ign. Romans 8:2; Pol. 7:3. Cf. also Sief. ad loc. The use of ἔγραψα as an epistolary aorist is quite in accordance with Paul’s habit. Cf. Philippians 2:28, Philemon 1:12, Philemon 1:19, Philemon 1:21, Colossians 4:8, ἔγραψα in 1 Corinthians 5:9 is, of course, not epistolary but historical, having reference to an earlier letter, and most commentators take νῦν ἔγραψα in 5:11 in the same sense. It is much more probable, however, that the verb in the latter verse is epistolary as is suggested by νῦν, and that the apostle is contrasting what he is now writing unambiguously with what he previously wrote with the same intent, but so ambiguously that the Corinthians misunderstood him. The reference of ἔγραψα in the present passage to the whole letter or the previous portion, while still interpreting γράμμασιν of the characters in which the letter is written (Ell. Alf. Wies. Zahn, et al.) is, therefore, not necessitated by ordinary late Greek or Pauline usage; while the improbability that the apostle should have thought at the outset to use the pen himself and to write in a noticeably large hand, and that he should have kept up this strained and difficult method of emphasis through all the pages of the letter, only now at the end calling attention to it, is so great, especially in the case of a letter written to groups of people and intended to be read aloud to them, as to amount to practical impossibility. The case of Cato, who, according to Plutarch, wrote histories for his son, ἰδίᾳ χειρὶ καὶ μεγάλοις γράμμασιν (see Moff. Introd. p. 88) is not at all a parallel one. That Paul wrote the letter himself because unable to obtain a scribe, and in a large hand because of some physical necessity, an accident to his hand or defect of his eyesight, is in itself improbable in view of 1:2, and rendered more so by the lack of any explanation to that effect in this sentence, in which he evidently intends by his “large letters” to appeal to the feelings of his readers. The objection that there were other parts of the letter that equally with this called for emphasis, loses its force in view of the fact that the following verses themselves repeat the chief things that the apostle wishes to impress on the minds of the Galatians.


12. Ὅσοι θέλουσιν εὐπροσωπῆσαι ἐν σαρκί, οὖτοι

Ἰησοῦ is added after Χριστοῦ by B 31 only. Eth. also has Jesu, but follows its usual custom of placing it before Christi, also prefixing domini to Jesu. There is a slight intrinsic probability in favour of τοῦ Χριστοῦ only after σταυρός (see detached note on Titles and Predicates of Jesus, III, p. 398, and cf. 1 Corinthians 1:17, Philippians 3:18). This fact, together with the absence of any strong transcriptional probability on either side favours the supposition that Ἰησοῦ in B 31 is the product of the scribal tendency to lengthen the titles of Jesus. Cf. on 2:16.

Διώκωνται is the reading of אBD al. plu. Chr. Thdrt. Dam. Following ACFGKLP 31, 234, 429, 1908 al. plus.10 Euthal., Tdf. reads ονται. The indicative is probably the result of itacism. Cf. the evidence on 6:10 above and on 6:9, 13 in Tdf. On the possibility of a present indicative after ἵνα, see BMT 198; Bl.-D. 91, 369 and the v. l. in. John 5:20, Titus 2:4.

Εὐπροσωπέω occurs here first in extant Greek literature, elsewhere only in Chrys. and still later writers. Its meaning is clear, however, from εὐπρόσωπος, “fair of face,” “specious,” in Aristoph. Plut. 976, εὐπρόσωπον καὶ καλόν, in Luc. Merced. Con. 711: οὐχ ὁρῶ τὴν Genesis 12:11; from εὐπροσωπία, “fair of appearance,” Dion. Hal. etc.; from εὐπροσωπίζεσθαι, applied to words, and meaning “to be fair” in Psalms 141:6; and from σεμνοπροσωπέω, “to assume a solemn face,” Aristoph. Nub. 363. See further in Cremer and Elsner. The term is evidently here used in a figurative sense. ἐν σαρκί means “in the sphere of things that have their basis in the body.” σάρξ is here fundamentally physical in its meaning, but is used by metonymy to include the whole sphere of life conditioned by the flesh; see detached note on Πνεῦμα and Σάρξ, II 5, and cf. 1 Corinthians 1:26, 1 Corinthians 1:7:28; also Philippians 3:3 ff., though the meaning is not quite the same there. The whole expression describes those to whom it refers as desiring to stand well in matters whose real basis is physical rather than spiritual. Chrys., ad loc., says that εὐροσωπεῖν ἐν σαρκί is equivalent to εὐδοκιμεῖν παρʼ

Of the present infinitive περιτέμνεσθαι two explanations suggest themselves: (1) As over against the aor., which would express the circumcision as a simple fact, and the perfect, which would express an existing state the result of a past fact, either of which would be suitable in speaking of those who without their own will were circumcised in infancy, Paul employs a present form (cf. 5:2, 3, 6:13) in speaking of the circumcision of Gentiles in mature life. As in verbs of effort progressiveness becomes conativeness (cf. BMT 11), so in this verb the present is the appropriate form to suggest voluntariness which necessarily accompanies circumcision under the circumstances here in mind. This idea is suggested by the English translation “receive circumcision.” Cf. Moffatt’s translation, “get circumcised.” (2) There is some reason to believe that expressions of compulsion, consisting of a verb and dependent infinitive are thought of as constituting a unit, and as being as a whole either conative or resultative. It is true, at least, that the aorist of Acts 26:11, Galatians 2:14, and here; the aorist in Matthew 14:22, Mark 6:45, Luke 14:23, Acts 29:19, Galatians 2:3.

WH. place a dash before μή, implying that the sentence is anacoluthic, Paul having intended when he wrote μόνον ἴνα to end the sentence with a positive expression. There is a certain basis for this punctuation in the fact that the apostle almost invariably places the μή of a negative ἵνα clause immediately after ἵνα, its absence from this position suggesting, therefore, that he intended to complete the clause with an unnegatived verb. Against this view, however, is the practical impossibility of supplying any such verb, of which τῷ σταυρῷ τοῦ Χριστοῦ could be the modifier. It is better, therefore, to suppose that Paul has in this case departed from his otherwise almost invariable custom and, as in 1 Corinthians 2:5, 2 Corinthians 13:10, interjected a phrase between ἵνα and μή.


13. οὐδὲ γὰρ οἱ περιτεμνόμενοι αὐτοὶ νόμον φυλάσσουσιν,

14. ἐμοὶ δὲ μὴ γένοιτο καυχᾶσθαι εἰ μὴ ἐν τῷ σταυρῷ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν, Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ διʼ οὗ ἐμοὶ κόσμος ἐσταύρωται κἀγὼ κόσμῳ. “But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom a world hath been crucified to me and I to a world.” In striking contrast with the boasting of the judaisers, which has its sphere and basis in the mere material flesh of men, the apostle sets forth as his ground of boasting—note ἐμοί emphatic by position—the central fact of his gospel, the cross of Christ (cf. Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 1:23f.) which has wrought a complete revolution in his own life. τῷ σταυρῷ undoubtedly has the same significance as in v. 12. See in v. 15 the clear evidence that the doctrine of the cross is there also the antithesis to legalism. κόσμος is quite certainly employed here in the fifth of the meanings indicated in the note on Στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου, p. 514, viz., “the mode of life characterised by earthly advantages.” But the particular earthly advantages which the apostle has in mind are not, as in 1 John 2:15, etc., the sensual pleasures of riches and other like things, but, rather, those of which he speaks in Philippians 3:3, Philippians 3:4. Paul’s world, κόσμος, with which he severed his relation, when the cross of Christ acquired for him its new significance, was that of Israelitish descent, circumcision, the rank and dignity of a Pharisee, the righteousness that is in law, touching which he was blameless. To this world he became dead by the cross of Christ, because in Christ’s death on the cross he saw a demonstration that God’s way of accepting men was not on the basis of works of law, but on that of faith in Christ. Cf. 2:19, 20, 3:13, 4:4, 5, Romans 3:21ff. Romans 3:4:25, Romans 3:5:18, Romans 3:19. For evidence that the significance of the cross is in what it proves respecting God’s real attitude towards men, see the extended discussion of 3:13. The fulness of the expression τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ adds weight to the utterance and reflects the emotion with which the statement is made; cf. detached note on the Titles and Predicates of Jesus, p. 393. As to what the apostle means by “boasting in the cross,” see 1 Corinthians 1:18ff. Romans 5:2, Romans 5:3, Romans 5:11.



On μὴ γένοιτο, see on 2:17. On the use of the dative with γένοιτυ (here only in N. T. with μὴ γένοιτο), cf. Luke 1:38; see also Matthew 8:13, Matthew 9:29. The infinitive does not occur elsewhere in N. T. after μὴ γένοιτο, but is common in Lxx; cf. Genesis 44:7, Genesis 44:17, Joshua 22:29, Joshua 22:24:16, 1 Kings 20:3 (21:3) 1 Mac. 9:10, 13:5 (cited by Ltft.); for the inf. after other forms of γίνομαι, cf. Acts 9:32, Luke 6:12, Matthew 18:13. The use of κόσμος and κόσμῳ without the article gives to both words a qualitative emphasis; cf. Romans 11:15, 1 Corinthians 3:22, 2 Corinthians 5:19. ἐμοί and κόσμῳ are datives of relation; see on νόμῳ, 2:19 and cf. Romans 6:2, Romans 6:10, Romans 6:11, Romans 6:7:6. δἰ οὗ, characterising the cross as that through the instrumentality of which he had wholly severed connection with his old world of Pharisaic dignity and legalism, leaves undescribed the process by which the cross achieved this result. For this unexpressed element of the apostle’s thought, see on 2:19, 20, and especially on 3:12, 14.

15. οὔτε γὰρ περιτομή τι ἔστιν οὔτε Colossians 3:10), but the emphasis of the expression is not on this aspect of the matter but upon the radical transformation of character implied in the choice of such a word as κτίσις, “creation,” and the addition of καινή, new. The fact referred to is that which is described in different terminology in 2:19, 20, Romans 6:4-6, Romans 6:11. What the apostle meant to affirm about καινὴ κτίσις he leaves to his readers to infer. The τι ἔστιν of the preceding clause suggests it, but, of course, conveys less than he meant; “is essential” is nearer his thought. Cf. 5:6, 1 Corinthians 7:19.


οὔτε (some authorities οὐ) γάρ is attested by B 33, 1908 Syr. (psh. harcl. pal.) Sah.(?) Goth. Chr. Hier. Aug.; while אACDFGKLP al. pler. d f g Vg. Boh. Sah.(?) Euthal. Thdrt. Dam. Victorin. Amb. Ambrst. read ἐν γὰρ Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ οὔτε. Despite the weight of the group supporting the latter reading (cf. on 2:13, 3:21, 5:26, 6:2, 11, 13) it is clearly a harmonistic corruption under the influence of 5:6. As in 2:16, the correct reading is preserved by B 33 al.

Κτίσις, in classical writers, from Pindar down, and not infrequent in Lxx and Apocr., is used in N. T. either (1) as a verbal noun, meaning “act of creation,” Romans 1:20, κτίσις κόσμου, or, (2) as a concrete noun equivalent to κτίσμα either (a) individually, “a created person or thing,” Romans 8:39, Hebrews 4:13, or (b) collectively, of the sum of created things, or the total of a particular class of created things: Revelation 3:14, Romans 8:22 (Mark 16:15); the meaning in the difficult passage 1 Peter 2:13 need not be discussed here. The use of the same phrase, καινὴ κτίσις, in the concrete (passive) sense, 2 Corinthians 5:17, suggests the concrete meaning here, but the antithesis to περιτομή and 1 Corinthians 7:19: ἡ περιτομὴ οὐδέν ἐστιν, καὶGalatians 5:6: οὔτε περιτομή τι ἰσχύει οὔτε 1 Corinthians 7:19 τήρησις ἐντολῶν is both a more external characterisation of the Christian life and more formal, in that no intimation is given of the content of the commandments. καινὴ κτίσις in the present passage is, on the one side, less definite as to the moral character of the new life than either of the other expressions, and, on the other hand, directs attention to the radical change involved rather than to the external expression or the moral quality of the life thus produced. Any close connection between this expression and the Hebrew בִּרִיָה חֲדָשָׁה (a new creature), meaning “proselyte,” is improbable.* To have used a phrase which would naturally be understood as meaning a proselyte would have been to render the sentence confused and self-contradictory. Had the expression been in current use with this meaning, Paul must at least have added ἐν Χριστῷ.

16. καὶ ὅσοι τῷ κανόνι τούτῳ στοιχήσουσιν, εἰρήνη ἐπʼ αύτούς, καὶ ἔλεος καὶ ἐπι τὸν Ἰσραὴλ τοῦ θεοῦ. “And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace be upon them, and mercy upon the Israel of God.” The apostle concludes this paragraph of brief reiterations of the chief ideas of the letter (cf. on v. 11) with a benediction upon all whose life is conformed to the great principle for which he has been contending, viz., the essentially spiritual character of religion as against the ascription of fundamental religious value to any physical or material condition, however sanctioned. κανών, occurring in N. T. here and 2 Corinthians 10:13-16 only, meaning properly “measuring rod” or “straight edge,” is clearly shown by τούτῳ (referring to v. 15) to have here its metaphorical sense of “principle.” στοιχέω doubtless has here the same meaning as in 5:25 (q. v.), viz., “to walk, to conduct oneself.” While v. 15, to which τῷ κανόνι τούτῳ refers, is affirmative rather than imperative, yet the proposition which it affirms is of fundamental importance for the determination of conduct. He who recognises the valuelessness of such externals as circumcision and uncircumcision and the necessity of the new spiritual life will, on the one hand, be unmoved by the appeal of the judaisers to receive circumcision, and on the other seek, rather, to be led by, and to live by, the Spirit.

Καὶ ἔλεος is usually joined with εἰρήνη, as with it limiting ἐπʼ αὐτούς, the comma being placed after ἔλεος (so Tdf. WH. Ell. Ltft. Alf. Wies. Sief. Zahn). Against this interpretation, however, it is to be said: (a) The order εἰρήνη καὶ ἔλεος, if both words have reference to one class of persons, is illogical, placing effect first and cause afterwards. ἔλεος is joined with εἰρήνη elsewhere in benedictions in N. T. in 1 Timothy 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:2, 2 John 1:3, Jude 1:2, always preceding εἰρήνη. Note, also, the often-repeated benediction, χάρις and εἰρήνη, in which χάρις, closely corresponding to ἔλεος in meaning, always precedes εἰρήνη. καὶ ἔλεος becomes, then, an afterthought, to which καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν Ἰσραὴλ τοῦ θεοῦ appends a second afterthought. (b) Though Romans 9:6, 1 Corinthians 10:18 show that Paul distinguished between Israel according to the flesh and the Israel according to election or promise, and Romans 2:29, Philippians 3:3 suggest that he might use τὸν Ἰσραὴλ τοῦ θεοῦ of all believers in Christ, regardless of nationality, there is, in fact, no instance of his using Ἰσραήλ except of the Jewish nation or a part thereof. These facts favour the interpretation of the expression as applying not to the Christian community, but to Jews; yet, in view of τοῦ θεοῦ, not to the whole Jewish nation, but to the pious Israel, the remnant according to the election of grace (Romans 11:5), including even those who had not seen the truth as Paul saw it, and so could not be included in ὅσοιστοιχ. In this case the benediction falls into two distinct parts. In the first the apostle invokes peace upon those who recognise and act in accordance with the principle of v. 15, and, in distinction from them, the mercy of God through which they may obtain enlightenment and enter into peace, upon those within Israel who even though as yet unenlightened are the true Israel of God. Against the combined force of these two reasons the presence of καί after ἔλεος is of little weight. It is quite explicable as slightly ascensive. In view of the apostle’s previous strong anti-judaistic expressions, he feels impelled, by the insertion of καί, to emphasise this expression of his true attitude towards his people. It can scarcely be translated into English without overtranslating.


Κανών is believed to be ultimately of Semitic origin. Cf. Gregory, Canon and Text, p. 15. It is found, however, in Greek from Homer down in a great variety of usages at a greater or less remove from the probable ground-meaning, “a tool or utensil made of reed or cane.” (1) Literally, of a large number of implements, most of which were probably originally made of cane, the name being retained though other material was later used in their construction: e. g., the rods across the hollow of the shield, through which the arm was passed: Il. VIII 193; XIII 407; the shuttle or quill, by which the threads of the woof were passed between those of the warp, Il. XXIII 761; in classical times most frequently of the rule or straight edge used by masons and carpenters: Soph. Frag. 421; Eur. Troiad. 6; Aristoph. Av. 999, 1002; Plato, Phil. 56B; Æschin. 3:200, etc. (in the same meaning, but metaphorically used: Aristoph. Ran. 799: Eur. Supp. 650); later of the scribe’s rule, Anth. Pal. 6:63; a curtain rod, Chares ap. Ath. 538D; the keys or stops of a flute, Anth. Pal. 9. 365; the beam or tongue of a balance, Anth. Pal. 11. 334. (2) Metaphorically. It is probably upon the basis of the meaning most frequently found in classical times, “a ruler or straight edge,” that the word came to be used in a metaphorical sense, of anything regulative, determinative, a rule or standard. Cf. the similar transfer of meaning in our English word “rule.” It is so used of the written law conceived of as a whole, or a section of it, Lycurg. 149. 4: of the good man, Arist. Eth. N. 3. 6 (1113 a33); of the Δορυφόρος of Polycleitus and the book explaining it: Pliny, H. N. 34. 55; Galen, Hippocr. et Plat. V 3; of a general rule or principle: Anecdota Grœca (Bekker), 1180; Epict. Diss. I 28:28; Luc. Halieus, 30; of a list of the chief epochs or eras, which served to determine intermediate dates, Plut. Sol. 27:1; and for other things of the same general character.

In the Lxx the word is found but once, in the difficult passage, Micah 7:4, where the translator either read a text differing from the Massorah, or misunderstood the Hebrew. The meaning is probably “measuring rod” or “line.” In the Apocr. it occurs only once, Jdth. 13:6 (8), for a rod used in the construction of a bed; in 4 Mac. 7:21 it means “rule” or “standard.”

In N. T., only Paul uses the word and that in but two passages: 2 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Corinthians 10:16, where the meaning probably is “measure” (others prefer the meaning, “limit, boundary-line”), and in the present passage, where it evidently refers to the preceding sentence, which it describes, as a general rule or principle, serving as a standard. The use of κανών to designate ecclesiastical statutes and ordinances, a fixed body of Christian doctrines serving as a standard of correct teaching (sometimes conceived of as summed up in the pithy sentences of the Apostle’s Creed), the clergy, the catalogue of martyrs or saints, or the collection of books accepted as authoritative for Christian doctrine and practice, does not occur until later and belongs properly under a treatment of the ecclesiastical development of the word. In the last-mentioned use it is (according to Zahn) not found until the middle of the fourth century A. D., in Athanasius, Decr. Syn. Nic.; cf. also Canon 59 of the Synod at Laodicea (Mansi II 574); Athanasius, Festal Letter 39. For a fuller treatment of the word, see Zahn, Grundriss der Gesch. des ntl. Kanons, 2 pp. 1 ff.; cf. also Westcott, The Canon of the N. T.5, App. A, pp. 504 ff.; Gregory, Canon and Text, pp. 15 ff.

Like πνεύματι in 5:25, τῷ κανόνι is a dative of means. On the use of the future (στοιχήσουσιν) in a hypothetical clause see BMT 308. Cf. Luke 17:31. On εἰρήνη, cf. on 1:3. The verb to be supplied is an optative as in 1:3, 6:18, and frequently in similar connections.


2. Appeal enforced by reference to his own sufferings (6:17)

17. Τοῦ λοιποῦ κόπους μοι μηδεὶς παρεχέτω, ἐγὼ γὰρ τὰ στίγματα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐν τῷ σώματί μου βαστάζω. “Henceforth let no man give me trouble; for I bear the marks of Jesus in my body.” This verse is best treated, as in WH., as a separate paragraph. V. 18 is the benediction of the whole epistle, hence not to be attached to v. 17, and v. 16 is the benediction concluding the paragraph begun at v. 11. With evidently deep feeling the apostle demands that henceforth he be spared the distress which his opponents have hitherto been inflicting upon him, and appeals to the scars which he has received in the service of Jesus, and which he in a figure describes as evidence that he belongs to Jesus.

Τοῦ λοιποῦ is doubtless here, as usually elsewhere, a genitive of time, meaning “henceforth.” The interpretation of Zahn, which makes it equivalent to τῶν ἄλλων, a genitive of the whole limiting μηδείς and referring to the remainder of Israel, which is not τοῦ θεοῦ, is negatived by the fact that the familiar use of τοῦ λοιποῦ in the sense of “henceforth” would have made it necessary for Paul to employ τῶν ἄλλων to express the thought which this interpretation finds here. The interpretation of Wies. which takes τοῦ λοιποῦ in the sense “finally,” equivalent to τὸ λοιπόν in Philippians 3:1, Philippians 4:8, etc., is unsustained by any clear evidence of the use of the genitive τοῦ λοιποῦ in this sense. Ephesians 6:10 is the only example that is alleged for such usage, and neither text nor interpretation of this passage is quite certain.

Κόπος is frequent elsewhere in Paul in the sense of “labour, toil,” 2 Corinthians 6:5, 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 2:9, 1 Thessalonians 3:5, etc. But the phrase κόπους παρέχειν clearly means, not “to impose toil,” but “to give trouble”; cf. Sir. 29:4, Matthew 26:10, Mark 14:8, Luke 11:7, Luke 18:5. The use of the present imperative suggests an action already in progress. With μηδείς it means, “let no one continue to give, etc.,” “let him cease giving”; cf. BMT 165.

By τὰ στίγματα Paul undoubtedly refers to the effects of his sufferings as an apostle (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:4-6, 2 Corinthians 11:23ff.), and as the ἐν τῷ σὤματί μου shows, the physical effects, perhaps actual scars. The only doubt to which the phrase is subject concerns the value which he means to ascribe to these marks of his sufferings, or the figure of speech under which he means to present them. Elsner and Raphelius* find the explanation in a custom spoken of by Hdt. 2:113, according to which a fugitive who took refuge in a temple and there received upon his body the marks of the god, could not thereafter be touched. Sief. and Cremer, following many earlier interpreters, suppose the apostle to be thinking of himself as the slave (or soldier) of Jesus, and of the marks of his sufferings as comparable to the marks on the body of a slave designating his ownership, or on that of a soldier, indicating the general under whom he serves; cf. Hdt. 7:233; Diod. Sic. 34. 2:1; Plut. Nicias, 29:2; Deissmann, whom Zahn and M. and M. Voc. follow, finds the suggestion of a charm, warding off attack, appealing especially to a papyrus of the third century A. D. (Papyrus J. 383 of the Leyden Museum*), containing a spell, in which occur both the word βαστάζω and the expression κόπους παρέχειν. The expression κόπους παρεχέτω is favourable to the first or third of these views (note the words οὐκ ἔξεστι τούτου ἄψασθαι in Hdt. 2:113 and the precise phrase κόπους παρέχειν in the papyrus). But it is doubtful whether the usage described by Herodotus was prevalent in Paul’s day and surroundings, or at any rate familiar enough so that a bare allusion to it would be intelligible. As concerns the third view, the appositeness of the papyrus passage is greatly diminished by the fact that it makes no reference to στίγματα; what the protected one bears being not marks, but a miniature coffin of Osiris. On the other hand, the thought of himself as a slave of Jesus is a favourite one with the apostle, and the custom of branding or otherwise marking slaves was undoubtedly familiar to the Galatians. These facts make it most probable that it is the idea of himself as a slave of Jesus, marked as such by the scars of his sufferings, that underlies the language of the apostle.


3. Final benedictions (6:18)

18. Ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ μετὰ τοῦ πνεύματος ὑμῶν, Philippians 4:23 and Philemon 1:25 are like Galatians in using μετὰ τοῦ πνεύματος ὑμῶν instead of the usual μεθʼ ὑμῶν. Ephesians only includes the invocation of peace, which is regularly found in the opening salutations of the apostle’s letters. On the wholly exceptional form of 2 Cor., see p. 509. The expression “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” is to be taken at its full value; for, while the apostle closely associates the love of God manifest in Christ and the love of Christ (Romans 8:35, Romans 8:39), he expressly ascribes to Christ in his earthly career a love for men and grace towards them (2:20, 2 Corinthians 8:9, etc.), and conceiving of Jesus as still living and in relation to men (1 Thessalonians 1:10, Romans 8:34, etc.) ascribes to him as thus living a gracious attitude towards men, manifest on the one hand in spiritual fellowship with them (2:20) and, on the other hand, in intercession for them (Romans 8:34). The phrase μετὰ τοῦ πνεύματος ὑμῶν shows that it is the former that is here in mind. The sentence is, therefore, a prayer that the Galatians may have the indwelling gracious presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. By the addition of Romans 11:36, Romans 16:27, Ephesians 3:21, Philippians 4:20, etc., and in Romans 15:33 to a benediction (it is apparently a scribal addition in Romans 16:24, 1 Corinthians 16:24, 1 Thessalonians 3:13, Philemon 1:25), still further emphasises the strength and depth of the feeling with which the apostle brings to a close this remarkable letter. Though it was probably dictated rapidly, and was certainly composed under the stress of deep emotion, the six brief chapters of which it consists constitute one of the most important documents of early Christianity and one of the noblest pleas ever written for Christian liberty and spiritual religion.










Ws. Weiss, Bernhard, Die paulinischen Briefe und der Hebräerbrief im berichtigten Text. Leipzig, 1896.

Cf. Confer, compare.

Lxx The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint. Quotations are from the edition of H. B. Swete. 3 vols. Cambridge, 1887-94.

Sief. Sieffert, F. Galatien und seine ersten Christengemeinden, in Zeitschrift für nistorische Theologie., vol. XLI, 1871.

* The passages cited for the meaning “to overtake” (as of one pursuing a fugitive) by Meyer, do not show it. Xen. Cyr. 5. 19; 7.7; Theophr. H. pl. 8. 1:3; Polyb. 31. 23:8; Diod. Sic. 17. 73 all show the meaning “to get the start of,” “to outdistance” (used of the pursued, not of the pursuer) quite the opposite of “overtake.” In Strabo 16. 4:15 fin. the meaning is “to seize beforehand” or possibly “to anticipate,” as in 1 Corinthians 11:21.


Ell. Ellicott, Charles John, A Critical and Grammatical Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. London, 1854. Various subsequent editions.

Ltft. Lightfoot, Joseph Barber, Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. London, 1865. 2d ed., revised, 1866. Various later editions.

Th. Thayer, Joseph Henry, A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament. New York, 1886. Rev. edition, 1889.

Kühner-Gerth Kühner, Raphael, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache. Dritte Auflage in neuer Bearbeitung, besorgt von Bernhard Gerth. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1898, 1904.

Butt. Buttmann, A., A Grammar of the New Testament Greek. E. T. by J. H. Thayer. Andover, 1873.

B Burton, Ernest De Witt, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in New Testament Greek. Third edition. Chicago, 1898.

WH. Westcott, B. F., and Hort, F. J. A., The New Testament in the original Greek. London, 1881. Vol. I, Text; vol. II, Introduction and Appendix.

אԠא. Codex Sinaiticus. Fourth century. In Imperial Library, Petrograd. Edited by Tischendorf, 1862; photographic reproduction by H. and K. Lake, Oxford, 1911.

A A. Codex Alexandrinus. Fifth century. In British Museum, London. Edited by Woide, 1786; N. T. portion by Cowper, 1860; Hansell, 1864; in photographic facsimile, by E. Maunde Thompson, 1879; and again in photographic simile by F. G. Kenyon in 1909.

C C. Codex Ephrœmi Rescriptus. Fifth century. In National Library, Paris. As its name implies, it is a palimpsest, the text of the Syrian Father Ephrem being written over the original biblical text. New Testament portion edited by Tischendorf, 1843. Contains Galatians 1:21, ἔπειτα to the end, except that certain leaves are damaged on the edge, causing the loss of a few words. So e. g. ξῆλος or ξῆλοι, Galatians 5:20.


D D. Codex Claromontanus. Sixth century. In National Library, Paris. Greek-Latin. Edited by Tischendorf, 1852.

K K. Codex Mosquensis. Ninth century. In Moscow.

L G. Codex Bærnerianus. Ninth century. In Royal Library, Dresden. Greek-Latin. Edited by Matthæi, 1791; photographic reproduction issued by the Hiersemann publishing house, Leipzig, 1909.

P P. Codex Porphyrianus. Ninth century. In Imperial Library, Petrograd. Published by Tischendorf in Mon. Sac. Ined. Bd. V, 1865.

Euthal. Euthalius. 459. See Lightfoot, Joseph Barber, Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. London, 1865. 2d ed., revised, 1866. Various later editions., p. 230, and Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects, and Doctrines. Edited by Wm. Smith and Henry Wace. 4 vols. London 1877-87.

Thdrt. Theodoretus. † ca. 458. See Lightfoot, Joseph Barber, Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. London, 1865. 2d ed., revised, 1866. Various later editions., p. 230; Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects, and Doctrines. Edited by Wm. Smith and Henry Wace. 4 vols. London 1877-87.

Dam. Joannes Damascenus. † ca. 756. See Sanday, Wm., and Headlam, A. C.. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. Edinburgh and New York, 1895. , p. c.; Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects, and Doctrines. Edited by Wm. Smith and Henry Wace. 4 vols. London 1877-87.

B B. Codex Vaticanus. Fourth century. In Vatican Library, Rome. Photographic facsimile by Cozza-Luzi, 1889; and a second issued by the Hoepli publishing house, 1904.

F F. Codex Augiensis. Ninth century. In Trinity College, Cambridge. Greek-Latin. Edited by Scrivener, 1859. Closely related to Codex Bærnerianus. See Gregory, Textkritik des Neuen Testaments, vol. II, Leipzig, 1902, pp. 113 f.

Vg. Vulgate, text of the Latin Bible.

Tert. Tertullian. † ca. 223. See Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects, and Doctrines. Edited by Wm. Smith and Henry Wace. 4 vols. London 1877-87.

Victorin. C. Marius Victorinus. Ca. 360 a.d. See Lightfoot, Joseph Barber, Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. London, 1865. 2d ed., revised, 1866. Various later editions., p. 231; Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects, and Doctrines. Edited by Wm. Smith and Henry Wace. 4 vols. London 1877-87.;

Hier. Eusebius Hieronymus (Jerome). † 420. See Lightfoot, Joseph Barber, Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. London, 1865. 2d ed., revised, 1866. Various later editions., p. 232, and Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects, and Doctrines. Edited by Wm. Smith and Henry Wace. 4 vols. London 1877-87.

Aug. Aurelius Augustinus. Ca. 394. See Lightfoot, Joseph Barber, Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. London, 1865. 2d ed., revised, 1866. Various later editions., p. 232; Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects, and Doctrines. Edited by Wm. Smith and Henry Wace. 4 vols. London 1877-87.

Ambrst. Ambrosiaster. Ca. 305 a.d. See Lightfoot, Joseph Barber, Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. London, 1865. 2d ed., revised, 1866. Various later editions., p. 232; Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects, and Doctrines. Edited by Wm. Smith and Henry Wace. 4 vols. London 1877-87.

Tdf. Tischendorf, Constantin, Novum Testamentum Grœce. Editio octava crit. maj. Leipzig, 1869-72.

M. and M. Moulton, J. H., and Milligan, G., Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament. 1914-.

Patr. Ap. Apostolic Fathers.

L.&S. Liddell, H. G., and Scott, R., Greek English Lexicon. Seventh edition revised. New York, 1882.

* συνοδηγὸν ἔχω τὸ πολὺ πῦρ τὸ ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ μου καιόμενον· ταῦτά με

* Euthalius (Zacagnius, Collect. Monum. Vet. I 561; Gallandi Bibl. Patr. X 260) and after him Photius, Amphiloch. Quest. 183 (Migne 151), and a ms. of the eleventh century (Montfaucon, Bibl. bibl. I 195) express the opinion that the statement, 6:15 οὔτε περιτομή τι ἔστιν οὔτε 1 Corinthians 7:19 is not unfavourable to the view that this is a quotation. But, on the other hand, an apocryphon entitled “Apocalypse of Moses” is not otherwise known. The statement of the others (Euthalius, etc.) is general and vague. The extant so-called “Assumption of Moses” does not contain the sentence. But even though the passage should actually have been found in the text of some apocryphon of Moses as extant in Euthalius’s day, that alone would by no means make clear what was the relation between this and the Pauline writing. Certainly the evidence as above displayed is not strong enough to prove that this is a quotation.

* Raphelius, Annot. Philol. in N. T., II, p. 460 f., says: Videtur Paulus respicere ad morem illorum, qui, quod stigmata sacra gestarent, Deo sacri erant, quosque propterea nefas erat tangere, si modo ille mos Galatis notus fuit. Caussam certe hanc affert, cur nemo sibi molestias exhibere debeat, quod stigmata Domini Jesu portet. Mentionem hujus moris facit Herodotus (lib. 2. cap. 113). Erat in littore ad ostium Nili Herculis templum, quod nunc quoque est: ἐς το ἢν καταφυγὠν οἰκέτης ὅτεῳ 2 Corinthians 11:23 seqq. Quae signa erant manifesta, ipsum illorum similem non esse, qui circumcisionem urgebant, ne ob crucem Christi persecutionem paterentur (v. 12).


* Μή με δίωκε ὅδε· ανοχ παπιπετ ου] μετουβανες· βαστάζω τὴν ταφὴν τοῦ Ὀσίρεως καὶ ὑπάγω κατα στ ῆσαι αὐτὴν ε[ἰ]ς Ἀβιδος, καταστῆσαι εἰς ταστας καὶ καταθέσθαι εἰς [αλ χας· ἐάν μοιδεῖνα κόπους παράσχῃ, προς (τ) ρέψω αυτὴν αὐτῷ. De.BS. p. 354.

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Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on Galatians 6". International Critical Commentary NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/galatians-6.html. 1896-1924.