Front Page Titles (by Subject) A TRANSLATION OF CALVIN'S VERSION OF THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE GALATIANS. - Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and the Ephesians
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A TRANSLATION OF CALVIN’S VERSION OF THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE GALATIANS. - John Calvin, Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and the Ephesians 
Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and the Ephesians, trans. from the original Latin by the Rev. William Pringle (Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1854).
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A TRANSLATION OF CALVIN’S VERSION OF THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE GALATIANS.
1Paul, an apostle, not from men, neither by man, but by 2Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the 3dead, and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches 4of Galatia; grace (be) to you, and peace, from God the Father, and (from) our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from the present wicked age, 5according to the will of God and our Father, to whom (be) glory for ever and ever. Amen.
6I wonder that ye are so soon removed from Christ who 7called you in grace,1 to another gospel; which is not another thing, than that there are some who trouble you, and wish to 8subvert the gospel of Christ. But although we, or an angel from heaven, preach the gospel to you otherwise than what 9we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we said before, now also I say again, if any one shall preach the gospel to you otherwise than what ye have received, let him be accursed.
10For do I now persuade according to men, or according to 11God?2 or do I seek to please men? for if I still pleased men, I should not be a servant of Christ. But I make known to you, brethren, concerning the gospel which was preached by 12me, that it is not according to man; for I neither received nor learned it from man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. 13For ye have heard of my conversation, which formerly was in Judaism;3 that, beyond measure, I persecuted the church of 14God, and wasted it, and profited in Judaism1 above many my equals2 in my nation, being exceedingly zealous for the traditions of the fathers.3
15But after that it pleased God, (who had separated me from 16my mother’s womb, and (who) called me by his grace,) to reveal his son to me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles, 17immediately I conferred not4 with flesh and blood, neither did I return to Jerusalem, to those who were apostles before me; but I went away into Arabia, and again returned to Damascus. 18Next after three years, I returned to Jerusalem, that I might 19see Peter; and I abode with him fifteen days. But I saw none other of the apostles, except James the Lord’s brother.
20Now the things which I write to you, behold, before God, 21I do not speak falsely. Afterwards I came into the countries 22of Syria and Cilicia; and was unknown by face to the 23churches of Judea, which were in Christ. But there was only this report among them:5 He who at one time persecuted us, 24now preacheth the faith which he formerly was destroying, and they glorified God in me.
1Next, after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem 2along with Barnabas, having taken Titus also. And I went up according to revelation,6 and communicated to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles; but privately to them who were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, 3or had run, in vain. But not even Titus, who was with me, 4being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised; on account of false brethren, who had secretly entered in order to spy out our liberty, which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might 5bring us into bondage; to whom we gave place by subjection, not even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.
6But of those who appeared to be something, whatsoever they formerly were, it is of no consequence to me; (God accepteth no man’s person, Deut. x. 17; 2 Chron. xix. 7; Job xxxiv. 19; Wisdom vi. 8; Ecclus. xxxv. 16; Acts x. 34; Rom. ii. 11; Eph. vi. 9; Col. iii. 25; 1 Pet. i. 17;) for they who appeared to 7be in estimation communicated nothing to me; but, on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was communicated to me, as that of the circumcision (was) to 8Peter; (for he who was effectual in Peter in order to the apostleship of circumcision, was also effectual in me towards the 9Gentiles;) and James, and Cephas, and John, (who seemed to be pillars,) having known the grace given to me, gave to me and to Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we might discharge the apostleship among the Gentiles, and they among 10the circumcision. Only that we should be mindful of the poor, which I also was careful to do.
11And when Peter was come to Antioch, I openly withstood 12him, because he was worthy of blame. For before that certain persons came from James, he partook of food along with the Gentiles; but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself from them, dreading those who were of the circumcision. 13And the other Jews also dissembled along with him, so that Barnabas also was led aside into their dissimulation.
14But when I saw that they did not walk uprightly, according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all: If thou, being a Jew, livest like Gentiles, and not like Jews, why 15compellest thou the Gentiles to live like Jews? We, (who 16are) Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that man is not justified by works of the law, but through the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
17But if, seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore the minister of sin? By 18no means. For if I build again those things which I destroyed, 19I make myself a transgressor. For by the law I am dead to 20the law. That I might live to God, I am crucified with Christ.1 Now it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me; and that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the 21Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for, if righteousness is by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
1O foolish Galatians, who hath enchanted you not to obey the truth, before whose eyes hath been clearly exhibited Jesus 2Christ crucified among you? This only I wish to learn from you; Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by 3the preaching of faith? Are ye so foolish, that, having begun 4by the Spirit, ye are now completed by the flesh? Have ye 5suffered so many things in vain? if it be indeed in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, (doth he it) by the works of the law, or by the preaching of faith?
6Even as Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him 7for righteousness. (Gen. xv. 6; Rom. iv. 3; James ii. 23.) Know ye therefore that they who are of faith are the children 8of Abraham. And the scripture, because it foresaw1 that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, formerly preached the gospel to Abraham: In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9And so they who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
10For all that are of the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, (Deut. xxvii. 26,) Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of 11the law to do them. Now that by the law no man is justified before God is evident, for the just by faith shall live. (Hab. 12ii. 4; Rom. i. 17; Heb. x. 38.) And the law is not of faith; but the man who shall do these things shall live in them. 13(Lev. xviii. 5.) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, having been made a curse for us; (for it is written, (Deut. xxi. 23,) Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree;) 14that the blessing of Abraham may come upon the Gentiles by Christ Jesus; that we may receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.
15Brethren, (I speak after the manner of men,) though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man setteth 16aside or addeth any thing. Now to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed. He saith not, And to seeds, as 17of many, but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say: the covenant (which was) formerly confirmed by God concerning Christ, the law, which began four hundred and thirty years after, doth not annul, so as to abolish the promise. 18For, if the inheritance (is) by the law, (it is) no longer by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
19To what then serveth the law?2 It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come, to whom the promise was made; (and it was) ordained by angels in the hand of a 20mediator. Now the mediator is not of one; but God is one. 21(Is) the law then against the promises of God?3 By no means; for, if the law had been given that it might be able to give life,1 certainly righteousness would have been by the law. 22But the scripture hath shut up all things under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
23Now before faith came, we were guarded under the law, 24shut up to the faith which was to be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster unto Christ, that we might be justified 25by faith. But faith being come,2 we are no longer under a 26schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in 27Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in 29Christ Jesus. And if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
1Now I say: As long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing 2from a slave,3 though he is lord of all; but is under tutors and 3guardians, till the time appointed by the father. So also we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of 4the world. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, subjected under the law; 5that he might redeem those who were under the law, that 6we might receive adoption.4 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, 7Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no longer a slave,5 but a son; and if a son, likewise an heir of God by Christ.
8But at the time when ye knew not God, ye served those 9who by nature are not gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather have been known by God, why do ye turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, which you 10again desire to serve anew?6 Ye observe days, and months, 11and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest perhaps I have laboured among you in vain.
12Be ye as I; for I also am as you. Brethren, I beseech you; 13ye have done me no injury. Now ye knew that, through infirmity of the flesh, I formerly preached the gospel to you; 14and the trial of me, which was in my flesh, ye despised not, nor rejected;1 but ye received me as an angel of God, as 15Christ Jesus. Where is then your blessedness? for I bear you witness, that, if it had been possible, ye would even have plucked out your own eyes, and would have given them to me. 16Am I therefore become your enemy by speaking the truth?
17They are jealous of you, not well;2 yea, they wish to exclude 18you, that ye may be jealous of them. But it is good to be the object of jealousy always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.
19My little children, for whom I again travail in birth; till 20Christ be formed in you, I would wish now to be present with you, and to change my voice; for I am distressed about you. 21Tell me, ye who wish to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
22For it is written, that Abraham had two sons; one by the 23bond-maid, the other by the free-woman. But he who (was) of the bond-maid was born according to the flesh; but he who 24(was) of the free-woman, by promise. Which things are allegorical;3 for there are two covenants; one indeed from mount 25Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, that is Agar. For Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and, on the other hand, corresponds to that which is now Jerusalem; for she is in bondage with 26her children. But Jerusalem, which is above, is free, which is the mother of us all.
27For it is written: Rejoice, O barren, who bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for more are the children of the forsaken than of her who hath a husband. (Is. 28liv. 1.) Now we, brethren, like Isaac, are children of the 29promise. (Rom. ix. 7.) But as, at that time, he who was born according to the flesh, persecuted him who was born 30according to the Spirit; so also is it now. But what saith the scripture? Cast out the bond-maid, and her son; for the son of the bond-maid shall not obtain the inheritance with the son 31of the free-woman. Wherefore, brethren, we are not children of the bond-woman, but of the free.
1Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free; and be not again entangled by the yoke of bondage. 2Behold, I Paul protest to you, that, if ye be circumcised, 3Christ will profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man who is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4Whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye have separated 5yourselves from Christ; ye are fallen from grace. For we, 6through the Spirit, by faith, wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith working by love.
7Ye were running well. Who hindered you, that ye should 8not obey the truth? This persuasion is not from him 9who called you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 10I am persuaded concerning you in the Lord, that ye will think nothing else;1 but he that troubleth you shall bear the condemnation, 11whoever he be. And I,2 brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? The offence 12of the cross is abolished. Would that they were even cut off who trouble you!
13For ye, brethren, have been called to liberty; only make not the liberty an occasion to the flesh,3 but by love serve one 14another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, namely, 15this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, see that ye be not consumed by one another.
16Now I say: Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the 17lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit; and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that ye cannot do those things which ye would 18wish. But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are adultery, 20fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, enmities, strife, emulations, wrath, quarrellings, seditions, 21heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I foretell to you, as I also have foretold, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering,423gentleness, kindness, fidelity, meekness, temperance; against 24such there is no law. And they who are Christ’s have crucified 25the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live by the 26Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain-glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
1Brethren, although a man be overtaken in any fault, ye, who are spiritual, restore such a man in the spirit of meekness; 2considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one 3another’s burdens, and thus fulfil the law of Christ. For if any one thinketh himself to be something, though he is nothing, 4he deceiveth himself. But let every one prove his own work; and then shall he have glory in himself alone, and not in 5another.1 For every one shall bear his own burden.
6Let him who is taught in the word communicate to the 7teacher in all good things. Do not mistake: God is not mocked; for what a man shall have sowed, that will he also 8reap. For he who soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he who soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit 9reap everlasting life. And let us not weary in doing good; 10for if we do not faint, we shall reap in due time.2 Therefore, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to them who are of the household of faith.
11Ye see what a letter3 I have written with my own hand. 12As many as wish to please outwardly in the flesh,4 they constrain you to be circumcised; only that they may not suffer 13persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they who hold by circumcision do themselves keep the law; but they wish you to be circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
14But far be it from me to glory, unless in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world is crucified to me, and 15I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision; but a new creature. 16And as many as walk by this rule, peace (be) on them, and 17mercy, and on the Israel of God. Henceforth let no man give me annoyance; for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord 18Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (be) with your spirit. Amen.
To the Galatians it was written from Rome.
[1 ]“Par grace, ou, en la grace de Christ.” “By grace, or, in the grace of Christ.”
[2 ]“Ou, presche-je des hommes ou de Dieu? ou, humainement, ou, Divinement?” “Or, do I preach from men or from God? or, humanly, or Divinely?”
[3 ]“Quelle a este autrefois ma conversation en la Loi Judaique.” “What was formerly my conversation in the Jewish Law.”
[1 ]“En la Loy Judaique.” “In the Jewish Law.”
[2 ]“Plusieurs de mes pareils, ou, de mon age.” “Many of my equals, or, of my age.”
[3 ]“Ou, de mes ancestres.” “Or of my ancestors.”
[4 ]“Je ne prins point conseil.” “I did not take counsel.”
[5 ]“Mais ils avoyent seulement ou y dire.” “But they had only heard it said.”
[6 ]“Et y montai par revelation.” “And I went up to it by revelation.”
[1 ]“Car par la Loy je suis mort a la Loy, et suis crucifié avec Christ, afin que je vive à Dieu.” “For by the Law I am dead to the Law, and am crucified with Christ, that I may live to God.”
[1 ]“Prevoyant.” “Foreseeing.”
[2 ]“A quoy donc sert la Loy?”
[3 ]“Ou, a elle este adjoustee contre les promesses de Dieu?” “Or, was it added against the promises of God?”
[1 ]“Pour pouvoir vivifier.” “In order to be able to give life.”
[2 ]“La foy estant venue.”
[3 ]“Il n’est different en rien du serf.” “He is not different in any respect from the slave.”
[4 ]“A celle fin que receussions l’adoption des enfans.” “To this end, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
[5 ]“Maintenant tu n’es plus serf.”
[6 ]“Ausquels vous voulez derechef servir comme auparavant.” “Which you desire again to serve as formerly.”
[1 ]“Et n’avez point mesprisé ne rejetté l’espreuve de moy, telle qu’elle estoit en ma chair.” “And ye despised not, nor rejected, the trial of me, such as it was in my flesh.”
[2 ]“Non point pour bien.” “Not for good.”
[3 ]“Lesquelles choses sont dites par allegorie.” “Which things are spoken by allegory.”
[1 ]“Que vous n’aurez autre sentiment.” “That ye will have no other opinion.”
[2 ]“Et quant a moy.” “And as to myself.”
[3 ]“Seulement (gardez) que la liberté ne soit occasion à la chair.” “Only beware lest the liberty be an occasion to the flesh.”
[4 ]“Patience, ou, esprit patient.” “Patience, or a patient mind.”
[1 ]“Et alors il aura dequoy se glorifier.” “And then will ye have ground of boasting.”
[2 ]“Nous moissonnerons en la saison.” “We shall reap in the season.”
[3 ]“Vous voyez (ou, voyez) quelles grandes lettres.” “Ye see, (or, See ye) how long a letter.”
[4 ]“Tous ceux qui veuleut selon la face plaire en la chair, ou, Tous ceux qui cherchent belle apparence en la chair.” “All those who wish according to the face to please in the flesh, or, All those who seek a fine show in the flesh.”