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Lesson Fourteen: Galatians 6:1-10

  • Page ID
    125052
  • Instructions: Translate the Greek text with help from the reader notes. Complete the MYON (Make Your Own Note) and Discussion Questions if you desire.

    1 Ἀδελφοί, ἐὰν καὶ προλημφθῇ ἄνθρωπος ἔν τινι παραπτώματι, ὑμεῖς οἱ πνευματικοὶ καταρτίζετε τὸν τοιοῦτον ἐν πνεύματι πραΰτητος, σκοπῶν σεαυτὸν μὴ καὶ σὺ πειρασθῇς. 2 Ἀλλήλων τὰ βάρη βαστάζετε καὶ οὕτως ἀναπληρώσετε τὸν νόμον τοῦ Χριστοῦ. 3 εἰ γὰρ δοκεῖ τις εἶναί τι μηδὲν ὤν, φρεναπατᾷ ἑαυτόν. 4 τὸ δὲ ἔργον ἑαυτοῦ δοκιμαζέτω ἕκαστος, καὶ τότε εἰς ἑαυτὸν μόνον τὸ καύχημα ἕξει καὶ οὐκ εἰς τὸν ἕτερον· 5 ἕκαστος γὰρ τὸ ἴδιον φορτίον βαστάσει. 6 Κοινωνείτω δὲ ὁ κατηχούμενος τὸν λόγον τῷ κατηχοῦντι ἐν πᾶσιν ἀγαθοῖς. 7 Μὴ πλανᾶσθε, θεὸς οὐ μυκτηρίζεται. ὃ γὰρ ἐὰν σπείρῃ ἄνθρωπος, τοῦτο καὶ θερίσει· 8 ὅτι ὁ σπείρων εἰς τὴν σάρκα ἑαυτοῦ ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς θερίσει φθοράν, ὁ δὲ σπείρων εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα ἐκ τοῦ πνεύματος θερίσει ζωὴν αἰώνιον. 9 τὸ δὲ καλὸν ποιοῦντες μὴ ἐγκακῶμεν, καιρῷ γὰρ ἰδίῳ θερίσομεν μὴ ἐκλυόμενοι. 10 Ἄρα οὖν ὡς καιρὸν ἔχομεν, ἐργαζώμεθα τὸ ἀγαθὸν πρὸς πάντας, μάλιστα δὲ πρὸς τοὺς οἰκείους τῆς πίστεως. SBLGNT

    6:1

    [SN, TN] Ἀδελφοί (MPV) is a #vocative of direct address. This use of the vocative ἀδελφοί indicates the beginning of a new section (cf. 3:15).

    [SN] Ἐὰν with the subjunctive (προλημθφῇ) introduces the #protasis of a #third-class conditional statement, with ὑμεῖς . . . καταρτίζετε indicating the #apodosis. As such, it should probably be thought of as a simple “if A, then B” condition, with little to no indication of the likelihood of the fulfillment of the #protasis.

    [SN] The καί here is adverbial (“indeed”).

    [LN] Προλημφθῇ (APS3S LF: προλαμβάνω), “to overtake,” carries the connotation of unexpectedness or surprise. This verb occurs three times in the NT, including twice in Paul (cf. 1 Cor 11:21). It is not clear whether the verb refers here to someone slipping into transgression due to lack of vigilance or whether one is “caught/discovered” in the midst of willful transgression, but contextual factors slightly favor the former sense (cf. σκοπῶν σεαυτὸν).

    [SN] The lexical function of ἔν τινι παραπτώματι (NSD LF: παράπτωμα) depends upon how we understand the main verb προλημφθῇ (see previous note): if the former understanding, the phrase could express #means or perhaps, metaphorically, #sphere (“caught/overtaken by/in some transgression”). If the latter, a #temporal function might fit best (“caught/surprised during some transgression,” a sort of “caught red-handed” meaning).

    MYON [LN] Πνευματικοὶ: Parse and define this noun, especially in relation to the immediate context.

    [LN] Καταρτίζετε (PAM2P LF: καταρτίζω) can mean “to create,” “to prepare/qualify,” “to restore to fullness,” or “mend/repair” (cf. Matt 4:21 καταρτίζοντας τὰ δίκτυα αὐτῶν,

    “mending their nets”). In the present context the sense is “to restore.” This verb occurs five times in Paul (Rom 9:22; 1 Cor 1:10; 2 Cor 13:11; 1 Thess 3:10).

    [SN] The prepositional phrase ἐν πνεύματι expresses #manner, with πραΰτητος functioning as an #attributive genitive (“with a spirit of gentleness” or “with a gentle spirit”).

    [LN] This is the second occurrence of πραΰτητος (FSG LF: πραΰτης), “gentleness,” in Galatians (see LN on 5:23 for additional information).


    [LN, SN]Σκοπῶν (PAPMSN LF: σκοπέω) means “to look closely” or “to pay attention to,” with connotations of deliberacy and alertness. It occurs six times in the NT, including five times in Paul (cf. Rom 16:17; 2 Cor 4:18; Phil 2:4; 3:17). Here the word has the sense of cautious vigilance. It is an adverbial participle that modifies καταρτίζετε, probably #temporal (“restore . . . while watching yourself”) or possibly #attendant circumstance.

    6:2

    [LN] Βάρη (NPA LF: βάρος), “burden/hardship” or “weight” occurs three times in Paul (cf. 1 Thess 2:7; 2 Cor 4:17). The meaning here is negative, referring to struggles or hardships, but βάρος can also have a positive usage, e.g. in 2 Cor 4:17 βάρος δόξης (“weight of glory,” referring to a future hope contrasted with present affliction).

    [LN] Βαστάζετε (PAM2P LF: βαστάζω) means “to carry/bear” and occurs four times in Galatians (see 5:10; 6:5, 17).

    [LN, TN] Ἀναπληρώσετε (FAI2P LF: ἀναπληρόω), “to complete/fulfill” (lit., “to fill up”), occurs five times in Paul. The phrase ἀναπληρώσετε τὸν νόμον τοῦ Χριστοῦ is reminiscent of the language of 5:14 (ὁ . . . πᾶς νόμος ἐν ἑνὶ λόγῳ πεπλήρωται).

    [SN] Τοῦ Χριστοῦ is likely a #genitive of source.

    6:3

    [SN] Εἰ introduces the #protasis of a #first-class condition, with φρεναπατᾷ ἑαυτόν comprising the #apodosis.

    [LN, SN] Τις . . . τι are indefinite pronouns meaning “someone . . . something.” The former, τις (MSN), is the subject of the main verb δοκεῖ, while τι (NSN) is a #predicate nominative of the infinitive εἶναί.

    [SN] Εἶναί (PN LF: εἰμί) is a #complementary infinitive that completes the action of the main verb δοκεῖ.

    [SN] Μηδὲν (NSN) is a #predicate nominative of the participle ὤν.

    [SN] Here ὤν (PPMSN LF: εἰμί) is an adverbial participle of #concession (“though s/he is nothing”).

    [LN] Φρεναπατᾷ (PAI3S LF: φρεναπατάω) is a NT #hapax legomenon meaning “to mislead/deceive” (cf. ἀπατάω, which is roughly synonymous and occurs three times in the NT: Eph 5:6; 1 Tim 2:14; Jas 1:26).

    6:4

    [SN, TN] Δοκιμαζέτω (PAM3S LF: δοκιμάζω): The emphasis of the present imperative here likely points to continuous testing, furthering the theme of vigilance (cf. 6:1).

    [SN] Ἕκαστος is the subject of the main verb δοκιμαζέτω, with τὸ . . . ἔργον (NSA) serving as the object.

    [SN] Εἰς ἑαυτὸν . . . εἰς ἕτερον: Both of these prepositional phrases should be understood as expressing #reference (“with reference to himself . . . to the other”).

    [SN] Μόνον is here functioning as an adverb that qualifies the main verb ἕξει (“he will only have . . .”)

    [LN, SN] Τὸ καύχημα (NSA or NSN) can refer either to (the act of) boasting itself or to a cause for boasting. Here, given the context of self-scrutiny, it is likely that the latter meaning is meant. Because its morphology is identical in the NSA and NSN forms, there is some debate over its syntactical function here (it can be either the subject or the object of ἕξει).

    [GMN] Ἕξει (FAI3S LF: ἔχω): The verb ἔχω is irregular in its FAI form (notice the rough breathing mark).

    6:5

    [GMN] The verb βαστάσει (FAI3S LF: βαστάζω) has a dental stem ending that drops when the FAI3S ending -σει is added.

    [SN] The phrase τὸ ἴδιον φορτίον (NSA LF: φορτίον) is the accusative object of βαστάσει; it is possible that the use of ἴδιον here is more emphatic than the reflexive pronoun usage in v. 4.

    [LN] Τὸ . . . φορτίον refers to a “load” or “burden” (it may also refer to cargo, e.g., Acts 27:10). Sometimes it has a negative meaning (cf. Matt 23:4; Lk 11:46), but it can be used more positively as well (cf. Matt 11:30). The noun occurs six times in the NT, with this being its only Pauline occurrence.

    6:6

    [GMN] Κοινωνείτω (PAM3S LF: κοινωνέω) is a #contract verb, hence the contraction of the final vowel ε with the imperative ending -ετω to produce -είτω.

    [LN, TN] Ὁ κατηχούμενος (PPPMSN LF: κατηχέω) and τῷ κατηχοῦντι (PAPMSD): The verb κατηχέω appears eight times in the NT (including four times in Paul: see Rom 2:18; 1 Cor 14:19) and can mean either “to report/tell/inform” (cf. Acts 21:24) or “to teach/instruct,” with possible connotations of religious instruction (cf. Acts 18:25). The latter meaning is clearly in view here. It is unlikely that there was a widely defined process of catechism at this point, but here we may see the beginnings of what would become such a practice.

    [GMN, SN] Ὁ κατηχούμενος (PPPMSN LF: κατηχέω) is a #contract verb. This passive participle is substantival, thus designating the one being taught τὸν λόγον.

    [GMN, SN] Tῷ κατηχοῦντι (PAPMSD LF: κατηχέω) is a #contract verb. This active participle is also substantival and designates the one who is teaching τὸν λόγον to ὁ κατηχούμενος. It is the dative direct object of κοινωνέω, which typically takes its object in the dative case (however, cf. Heb 2:14).

    [SN] The prepositional phrase ἐν πᾶσιν ἀγαθοῖς expresses #reference/respect (“with respect to all good things”).

    6:7

    [LN, GMN] Πλανᾶσθε (PMM2P or PPM2P LF: πλανάω) means “to deceive” or “to mislead,” with the connotation of straying from the proper path. Here it could be read as either middle or passive voice, as the morphology is identical. If read as middle voice, a reflexive pronoun may be added to the translation (“do not mislead yourselves” vs. “do not be misled”).

    [SN] The construction (NSA LF: ὅς) . . . ἐὰν is used to communicate the indefinite or ambiguous nature of the direct object and can thus be translated as “whatever” or “that which.”

    [LN] Σπείρῃ (PAS3S LF: σπείρω) refers to the practice of “sowing/planting (seeds).”

    [SN] The demonstrative pronoun τοῦτο (NSA) refers back to the relative construction ὃ . . . ἐὰν.

    [SN] The καί here is adverbial (“also/indeed”).

    [GMN, LN] Θερίσει (FAI3S LF: θερίζω): The #dental stem ending drops out when the σ tense formative is added. The verb θερίζω refers to reaping or harvesting from what one has planted (cf. σπείρῃ).

    6:8

    [SN] Ὁ σπείρων (PAPMSN LF: σπείρω) is a #substantival participle.

    [SN] Εἰς τὴν σάρκα . . . εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα: These are both metaphorical #spatial uses of εἰς with the accusative case (“into”).

    [SN] Ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς . . . ἐκ τοῦ πνεύματος: The use of ἐκ with the genitive describes #source in both of these prepositional phrases (“from”).

    [LN] Φθοράν (FSA LF: φθορά) can refer to ruin or destruction, but it commonly refers to a state of rotting, corruption, or decay, especially the postmortem decay of organic matter (as it does here in a graphic contrast with ζωὴν αἰώνιον). It occurs nine times in the NT, including five in Paul.

    [TN] Εἰς τὴν σάρκα ἑαυτοῦ ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς . . . εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα ἐκ τοῦ πνεύματος: The prepositions εἰς and ἐκ are governed by the agricultural metaphor. The one who sows into the “soil” of the flesh will harvest decay, while the one who sows into the Spirit will harvest eternal life. Rather than sowing into the flesh signifying an acceptance of circumcision, it is more likely here that Paul means to call his audience back to the vice and virtue lists of 5:19–23, in which case “the one who sows into the flesh” is to be understood as one who gratifies desires not in keeping with Spirit-led life.

    6:9

    [SN] Ποιοῦντες (PAPMPN LF: ποιέω) could be read adverbially as a #complementary or #temporal participle.

    [LN, SN] Ἐγκακῶμεν (PAS1P LF: ἐγκακέω) means “to lose heart/become discouraged” and is a #hortatory subjunctive.

    [SN] The explanatory conjunction γὰρ signals that the following clause provides rationale for Paul’s previous exhortation.

    [SN] The phrase καιρῷ . . . ἰδίῳ is a #dative of time meaning “at the proper time.”

    [GMN] Θερίσομεν is FAI1P (LF: θερίζω).

    [LN, SN] Ἐκλυόμενοι (PMPMPN LF: ἐκλύω) means “to weaken/lose heart/give up” (also, see Matt 15:32/Mk 8:3, where it refers to fainting) and is similar in meaning to ἐγκακέω. In this verse, it functions as a #conditional participle in relation to θερίσομεν (“we will reap if we do not give up”).

    6:10

    [SN]Ἄρα and οὖν are both inferential particles usually translated as “thus/therefore.” The presence of both strengthens the logical progression from 6:9 to 6:10.

    [SN] The phrase ὡςκαιρὸν ἔχομεν creates a temporal expression that means “while we have occasion.”

    [SN]Ἐργαζώμεθα (PDS1P LF: ἐργάζομαι) is a #hortatory subjunctive.

    [SN] The preposition πρὸς with accusative πάντας (MPA) expresses a #spatial/directional sense (“toward all”).

    [LN] The adverb μάλιστα (modifying the main verb ἐργαζώμεθα) means “especially” or “particularly.”

    [SN] Τῆς πίστεως is possibly an #attributive genitive or a #descriptive genitive. The latter (“households characterized by faith”) is more likely.

    Discussion Questions (6:1–10)

    [6:2] After a sustained contrast between ἔργα νόμου and πίστις Χριστοῦ in Galatians, Paul refers to τὸν νόμον τοῦ Χριστοῦ as a law worthy of fulfillment. What is the “Law of Christ”? That is, what is the syntactical function of the genitive τοῦ Χριστοῦ?

    [6:3] How does γὰρ function in this verse? That is, how does the statement it introduces provide rationale for what precedes it?

    [6:7] Since the verb πλανᾶσθε could be read as either middle or passive voice, how is the meaning affected by either option?