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Lesson Seven: Galatians 3:10-18

  • Page ID
    125045
  • Instructions: Translate the Greek text with help from the reader notes. Complete the MYON (Make Your Own Note) and Discussion Question if you desire.

    10 Ὅσοι γὰρ ἐξ ἔργων νόμου εἰσὶν ὑπὸ κατάραν εἰσίν, γέγραπται γὰρ ⸀ὅτι Ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς ὃς οὐκ ⸀ἐμμένει πᾶσιν τοῖς γεγραμμένοις ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τοῦ νόμου τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτά. 11 ὅτι δὲ ἐν νόμῳ οὐδεὶς δικαιοῦται παρὰ τῷ θεῷ δῆλον, ὅτι Ὁ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται, 12ὁ δὲ νόμος οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ πίστεως, ἀλλ’· Ὁ ποιήσας ⸀αὐτὰ ζήσεται ἐν αὐτοῖς. 13 Χριστὸς ἡμᾶς ἐξηγόρασεν ἐκ τῆς κατάρας τοῦ νόμου γενόμενος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν κατάρα, ⸂ὅτι γέγραπται⸃· Ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς ὁ κρεμάμενος ἐπὶ ξύλου, 14 ἵνα εἰς τὰ ἔθνη ἡ εὐλογία τοῦ Ἀβραὰμ γένηται ἐν ⸂Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ⸃, ἵνα τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ πνεύματος λάβωμεν διὰ τῆς πίστεως.

    15 Ἀδελφοί, κατὰ ἄνθρωπον λέγω· ὅμως ἀνθρώπου κεκυρωμένην διαθήκην οὐδεὶς ἀθετεῖ ἢ ἐπιδιατάσσεται. 16 τῷ δὲ Ἀβραὰμ ἐρρέθησαν αἱ ἐπαγγελίαι καὶ τῷ σπέρματι αὐτοῦ· οὐ λέγει· Καὶ τοῖς σπέρμασιν, ὡς ἐπὶ πολλῶν, ἀλλ’ ὡς ἐφ’ ἑνός· Καὶ τῷ σπέρματί σου, ὅς ἐστιν Χριστός. 17 τοῦτο δὲ λέγω· διαθήκην προκεκυρωμένην ὑπὸ τοῦ ⸀θεοῦ ὁ μετὰ ⸂τετρακόσια καὶ τριάκοντα ἔτη⸃ γεγονὼς νόμος οὐκ ἀκυροῖ, εἰς τὸ καταργῆσαι τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν. 18εἰ γὰρ ἐκ νόμου ἡ κληρονομία, οὐκέτι ἐξ ἐπαγγελίας· τῷ δὲ Ἀβραὰμ δι’ ἐπαγγελίας κεχάρισται ὁ θεός. SBLGNT

    3:10

    [SN] Γὰρ (“for”) is a #postpositive explanatory conjunction that gives rationale for what precedes: “they will be blessed . . . ” (v. 9) “for/since/this is because . . . ” (v. 10).

    [LN, SN]Κατάραν (FSA LF: κατάρα), “curse,” is the object of the preposition ὑπὸ (“under a curse”). Κατάρα occurs six times in the NT, including twice in Paul (see 3:13).

    [GMN]Γέγραπται is RPI3S (LF: γράφω).

    [LN] Ἐπικατάρατος (MSN), “cursed/accursed,” occurs twice in the NT, with both occurrences in this section (see 3:13).

    [SN] Γεγραμμένοις (RPPNPD LF: γράφω) is a #substantival participle (“what is written” ) that carries the connotation of something “written in stone” or something that is currently relevant or binding (due to its perfect verbal aspect; cf. γέγραπται).

    [SN] τοῦ ποιῆσαι (AAN LF: ποιέω) is an #infinitive of purpose.

    [SN] Αὐτά (NPA) acts as the direct object of ποιῆσαι, and its antecedent is τοῖς γεγραμμένοις.

    [TN] Ἐπικατάρατος . . . αὐτά is a citation of LXX Deut 27:26, to which Paul has made several changes from our known LXX text: (1) he omits the noun ἄνθρωπος; (2) he omits the preposition ἐν before πᾶσιν; (3) he includes the phrase τοῖς γεγραμμένοις ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ in place of τοῖς λόγοις; (4) he omits the demonstrative pronoun τούτου after τοῦ νόμου; and (5) he changes the pronoun αὐτούς to αὐτά, which is fitting considering its new antecedent (τοῖς γεγραμμένοις).

    3:11

    [SN] The first use of ὅτι begins a nominal clause. Therefore, δῆλον is a #predicate adjective (“that no one is justified . . . is evident”).

    [SN] Here ἐν νόμῳ expresses #means.

    [SN]Οὐδεὶς (MSN) is the subject of δικαιοῦται.

    [SN] Παρὰ with the dative case τῷ θεῷ is a #spatial expression that conveys the idea of being before God or in the presence of God.

    [SN] The second ὅτι begins a causal clause.

    [SN] The prepostional phrase ἐκ πίστεως denotes the #means by which the righteous will live.

    [GMN, TN] Ζήσεται (FMI3S LF: ζάω): Given the use of the future tense, it is likely that this verb connotes more than present, biological living. Rather, it envisions eschatological life (e.g., life experienced with Christ beyond the “present evil age” [1:4]).

    [TN] The clause ὁ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται is a citation of LXX Hab 2:4. The underlying Hebrew text reads “his faith” (i.e., the righteous one’s faith), while the LXX text reads “my faith” (πίστεώς μου), referring to God’s faith/faithfulness. Paul omits any pronominal reference whatsoever.

    3:12

    [SN] The prepositional phrase ἐκ πίστεως likely expresses #source.

    [SN]Ποιήσας (AAPMSN LF: ποιέω) is a #substantival participle functioning as the subject of ζήσεται.

    [GMN]Ζήσεται (FMI3S LF: ζάω): See note on v. 11 regarding the connotations of this verb.

    [SN] Here ἐν αὐτοῖς expresses #means.

    [TN]Ὁ ποιήσας αὐτὰ ζήσεται ἐν αὐτοῖς is a citation of LXX Lev 18:5 to which Paul has made minor adjustments: (1) he has added the pronoun αὐτά; and (2) he has exchanged the relative pronoun ἃ for the article and omitted the noun ἄνθρωπος, thereby making the participle substantival.

    3:13

    [GMN, LN]Ἐξηγόρασεν (AAI3S LF: ἐξαγοράζω) is a rare word, used only four times in the NT (see also Gal 4:5; Eph 5:16; Col 4:5). It is a compound verb often translated “redeemed.”

    [SN, TN]Ἐκ τῆς κατάρας τοῦ νόμου: ἐκ here indicates #separation, with this nuance being strengthened by the ἐκ-compound, ἐξηγόρασεν. Note also the contrast between ἐκ τῆς κατάρας and ὑπὸ κατάραν (3:10).

    [SN]Γενόμενος (ADPMSN LF: γίνομαι) is an adverbial #participle of means (“Christ redeemed us . . . by becoming”).

    [LN] The adjective ἐπικατάρατος (MSN) refers to someone who is “accursed” or “on whom a curse has been invoked.” See 3:10 for its other occurrence.

    [GMN]Ὁ κρεμάμενος (PPPMSN LF: κρεμάννυμι).

    MYON [SN] What is the syntactical function of the participle κρεμάμενος?

    [LN]Ξύλου (NSG LF: ξύλον) can mean “tree,” “something made from wood” (club, cross), or simply “wood.” The first meaning is in view here, but Paul undoubtedly treats it as a synonym for σταυρός.

    [TN] Ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς ὁ κρεμάμενος ἐπὶ ξύλου is a citation of LXX Deut 21:23 with small (but important) changes: Paul exchanges the passive participle κεκατηραμένος (RPPMSN LF: καταράομαι) for the synonymous adjective ἐπικατάρατος. He omits the prepositional phrase ὑπὸ θεοῦ, thereby minimizing focus on God’s role in cursing. He also adds the article (to κρεμάμενος).

    3:14

    [SN] The conjunction ἵνα introduces a #purpose clause and expects a subjunctive verb (γένηται).

    [SN] Εἰς τὰ ἔθνη: The use of είς contrasts with the use of ἐκ in v. 13 (“from the curse . . . to the Gentiles/nations”) and highlights the nature of the clause (#purpose) as introduced by ἵνα.

    [GMN]Γένηται (ADS3S LF: γίνομαι).

    [SN] The second ἵνα is #epexegetical, to define further the purpose of the prior ἵνα clause. Alternatively, this could be another #purpose usage meant to be read parallel to the previous clause.

    [GMN]Λάβωμεν is AAS1P (LF: λαμβάνω).

    [SN] Διὰ τῆς πίστεως likely communicates #means (“by means of faith[fulness]”).

    3: 15

    [SN] The construction κατὰ ἄνθρωπον λέγω is an idiom (“I am speaking in human terms”).

    [SN] The particle ὅμως is used to introduce a comparison. It occurs only three times in the NT (cf. John 12:42; 1 Cor 14:7). In this instance, ὅμως relates to ἐπαγγελία(ι) and is likely meant to underscore the analogy drawn between a “human covenant” (ἀνθρώπου . . . διαθήκην) and a “divine covenant” (διαθήκην . . . τοῦ θεοῦ, v. 17). The sense is something like this: “I am speaking in human terms; all the same/even so . . . 

    [SN] Ἀνθρώπου (MSG) is a #possessive genitive in relation to διαθήκην.

    [SN] The word order in this clause can make translation difficult, so it is important to isolate the parts of speech: οὐδεὶς is the subject, διαθήκην the object.

    [SN, GMN] Κεκυρωμένην (RPPFSA LF: κυρόω) is an #anarthrous attributive participle modifying διαθήκην. Notice that κυρόω is a contract verb (hence the ω).

    [LN] Διαθήκην (FSA LF: διαθήκη) refers to a “covenant” or to a “will/testament.” It is possible that Paul’s audience would have heard this latter view, given the appearance of “inheritance” (κληρονομία) in 3:18.

    [GMN, LN] Ἀθετεῖ (PAI3S LF: ἀθετέω) is a #contract verb, as indicated by the circumflex accent. It means “to reject/annul/set aside.”

    [LN] Ἐπιδιατάσσεται (PDI3S LF: ἐπιδιατάσσομαι) is a #hapaxlegomenon that means “to add/make additions to.”

    3: 16

    [SN] Τῷ . . . Ἀβραὰμ (MSD) is functioning as the dative indirect object of the verb ἐρρέθησαν.

    [GMN] Ἐρρέθησαν (API3P LF: λέγω): The aorist passive form of λέγω is not common in the NT, and, like its more common aorist active form εἷπoν, does not share a root with the first principal part.

    [SN, TN] Λέγει (PAI3S LF: λέγω): Although no subject is named in this clause, it is likely that the implied subject is the Scripture(s) in which the promises were made (see TN on Paul’s citation of Gen 13:15, 17:8, 24:7).

    [SN] Ἐπὶ πολλῶν . . . ἐφ᾽ ἑνός: The preposition ἐπί with the genitive likely denotes reference (“about/with reference to many . . . about one”).

    [SN] Οὐ . . . ὡς and ἀλλ᾽ ὡς: This construction is used to set two ideas in contrast. What comes after the second ὡς is the favored idea, as emphasized by the strong adversative ἀλλ᾽. This type of construction is common in the NT and can be found with various negative particles.

    [SN] The pronoun ὅς (MSN) refers back to τῷ σπέρματί (NSD). The reason it does not match in gender is because Paul is identifying the σπέρμα (N) as Χριστός (M).

    [TN] The phrases καὶ τῷ σπέρματι αὐτοῦ and καὶ τῷ σπέρματί σου come from numerous LXX references to God’s promises to Abraham and his progeny. The former phrase comes from Gen 17:19, while the latter occurs in numerous other places in Genesis (see Gen 12:7 [καί omitted]; 13:15; 15:18 [καί omitted]; 17:8; 24:7; 26:3−4 [καί omitted]; 28:4; 28:13; 35:12; 48:4).

    3:17

    [GMN, SN] Προκεκυρωμένην (RPPFSA LF: προκυρόω) is an #anarthrous attributive participle modifying διαθήκην (“a previously ratified covenant”).

    [SN, LN] The #temporal prepositional phrase μετὰ τετρακόσια καὶ τριάκοντα ἔτη translates as “after 430 years.”

    [SN] Γεγονὼς (RAPMSN LF: γίνομαι) is an adjectival participle modifying νόμος (“the Law that came”).

    [SN] Ὁ . . . νόμος is the subject of this clause, with the entire intervening phrase (μετὰ . . . γεγονὼς) acting attributively.

    [GMN] Ἀκυροῖ (PAI3S LF: ἀκυρόω) is a #contract verb.

    [SN] Εἰς τὸ καταργῆσαι is an #articular infinitive functioning adverbially as an #infinitive of purpose.

    3:18

    [SN] Εἰ introduces the #protasis of a #first-class conditional statement, while οὐκέτι introduces the #apodosis.

    [SN] Ἐκ νόμου . . . ἐξ ἐπαγγελίας: Both prepositional phrases are #source usages of ἐκ.

    [GMN]Κληρονομία (FSN) means “inheritance.” It is only used fourteen times in the NT, but it has a much wider use in the LXX (208 times).

    [GMN, SN] Κεχάρισται (RDI3S LF: χαρίζομαι) is translated “has given.” Take note of the reduplication (κε) which signals the perfect tense. Κληρονομία is the (unstated) direct object.

    Discussion Question (3:10−18)

    [3:11] In this verse, Paul quotes Hab 2:4. Compare and contrast Gal 3:11, Rom 1:17, and Heb 10:38 with the verse’s use in LXX Habakkuk.