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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - GALATIANS 6

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    CHAPTER VI

    1. Overtaken in a fault (prolhmfqh - en tini paraptwmati). The verb means lit. to take before; to anticipate or forestall. Elsewhere only Mark xiv. 8; 1 Cor. xi. 21. LXX, Wisd. xviii. 17. Not, be detected in the act by some one else before he can escape, but surprised by the fault itself; hurried into error. Thus prohas the sense of before he is aware, and ejn is instrumental, by. 86 For fault or trespass, see on Matt. vi. 14. Spiritual (pneumatikoi). Comp. 1 Cor. iii. 1. Mostly in Paul. See 1 Pet. ii. 5. Those who have received the Spirit and are led by him. See ch. iii. 2, 3, 5, 14; iv. 6; v. 5, 16, 18, 25. He leaves it to the readers' own conscience whether or not they answer to this designation.

    Restore (katartizete). See on Matt. iv. 21; xxi. 16; Luke vi. 40; 1 Peter v. 10. The word is used of reconciling factions, as Hdt. v. 28; of setting bones; of mending nets, Mark i. 19; of equipping or preparing, Romans ix. 22, Heb. x. 5; xi. 3; of manning a fleet, or supplying an army with provisions. Usually by Paul metaphorically as here. The idea of amendment is prominent: set him to rights: bring him into line. Comp. 2 Corinthians xiii. 11; 1 Cor. i. 10.

    Spirit of meekness. Comp. 1 Cor. iv. 21. Led by the Spirit of God, whose fruit is meekness (v. 23). For the combinations of pneuma with genitives, see on Rom. viii. 4, p. 87.

    Considering (skopwn). Only in Paul, except Luke xi. 35. The verb means to look attentively; to fix the attention upon a thing with an interest in it. See Rom. xvi. 17; 2 Cor. iv. 18; Philip. ii. 4; iii. 17. Hence, often, to aim at (comp. skopon mark, Philip. iii. 14). Schmidt (Syn.) defines: "To direct one's attention upon a thing, either in order to obtain it, or because one has a peculiar interest in it, or a duty to fulfill toward it. Also to have an eye to with a view of forming a right judgment." Notice the passing to the singular number - "considering thyself." The exhortation is addressed to the conscience of each. Before you deal severely with the erring brother, consider your own weakness and susceptibility to temptation, and restore him in view of that fact.

    2. One another's burdens (allhlwn ta barh). The emphasis is on one another's, in contrast with the selfishness which leaves others to take care of themselves. The primary reference in burdens is to moral infirmities and errors, and the sorrow and shame and remorse which they awaken in the offender.

    So (outwv). By observing this injunction.

    Fulfill (anaplhrwsate). The verb denotes, not the filling up of a perfect vacancy, as the simple plhroun, but the supplying of what is lacking to fulness; the filling up of a partial void. Comp. 1 Cor. xvi. 17; Philip. ii. 30; 1 Thess. ii. 16. 87

    3. Think (dokei). Sometimes rendered seems, 1 Cor. xii. 22; 2 Corinthians x. 9; Gal. ii. 9; but think is Paul's usual meaning. Comp. Matt. iii. 9; 1 Cor. xi. 16; Philip. iii. 4.

    To be something (einai ti). For the phrase see Acts v. 36; viii. 9; 1 Corinthians iii. 7; x. 19; Gal. ii. 6; vi. 15.

    Deceiveth (frenapata). N.T.o . o LXX, o Class. See the noun fenapathv deceiver, Tit. i. 10. Denoting subjective deception; deception of the judgment. The simple ajpatan to deceive, Eph. v. 6; 1 Tim. ii. 14; Jas. i. 26, and often in LXX. Lightfoot thinks the compound verb may possibly have been coined by Paul. 88

    4. Prove (dokimazetw). In Class. of assaying metals Comp. LXX, Prov. viii. 10; xvii. 3; Sir. ii. 5; also 1 Cor. iii. 13; 1 Pet. i. 7. It is the classical verb for testing money; see Plato, Tim. 65 C. Dokimazein and purousqai to burn or try by fire occur together, Jer. ix. 7; Psalm xi. 6; lxv. 10. Generally, to prove or examine, as 1 Cor. xi. 28; 1 Thessalonians v. 21. To accept that which is approved, 1 Cor. xvi. 3; 2 Cor. viii. 22; 1 Thess. ii. 4.

    Rejoicing (to kauchma). Better, as giving the force of the article, "his glorying." Kauchma is the matter or ground of glorying, see Rom. iv. 2; 1 Corinthians ix. 15; not the act (kauchsiv), as Rom. iii. 27; 2 Corinthians i. 12. 89 In himself (eiv eauton). Better, with regard to himself, or as concerns. For this use of eijv see Rom. iv. 20; xv. 2; xvi. 6; Eph. iii. 16. Not, he will keep his glorying to himself or abstain from boasting. He means that if, on examination, one finds in himself anything to boast of, his cause of boasting will lie simply and absolutely in that, and not in his merit as compared, to his own advantage, with that of another.

    Another (ton eteron). Better, the other, or, as Rev., his neighbor. See on Matt. vi. 24.

    5. Bear ye one another's burdens: every man shall bear his own burden. A kind of paradox of which Paul is fond. See Philip. ii. 12, 13; 2 Cor. vi. 8-10; vii. 10; xii. 10. Paul means, no one will have occasion to claim moral superiority to his neighbor, for (gar) each man's self-examination will reveal infirmities enough of his own, even though they may not be the same as those of his neighbor. His own burdens will absorb his whole attention, and will leave him no time to compare himself with others.

    His own burden (to idion fortion). For idion own, see on 1 Timothy vi. 1. With fortion burden comp. barh burdens, ver. 2. It is doubtful whether any different shade of meaning is intended. Originally barh emphasizes the weight of the burden, fortion simply notes the fact that it is something to be born (ferein), which may be either light or heavy. See Matt. xi. 30; xxiii. 4; Psalm xxxvii. 4; Luke xi. 46. Comp. Acts xxvii. 10, the lading of a ship.

    6. But, although each man is thus individualized as regards his burdens, Christian fellowship in all morally good things is to be maintained between the teacher and the taught. The passage is often explained as an injunction to provide for the temporal wants of Christian teachers. 90 But this is entirely foreign to the course of thought, and isolates the verse from the context on both sides of it. As vv. 1-5 refer to moral errors, in all good things has naturally the same reference, as do good in ver. 10 certainly has. The exhortation therefore is, that the disciple should make common cause with the teacher in everything that is morally good and that promotes salvation. The introduction at this point of the relation of disciple and teacher may be explained by the fact that this relation in the Galatian community had been disturbed by the efforts of the Judaising teachers, notably in the case of Paul himself; and this disturbance could not but interfere with their common moral effort and life.

    Him that is taught (o kathcoumenov). See on Luke i. 4.

    In the word (ton logon). The gospel. Usually in Paul with some qualifying word, as of God. Comp. Acts iv. 4; viii. 4; xi. 19; xiv. 25; xvi. 6; 1 Thessalonians i. 6; Col. iv. 3.

    Communicate (koinwneitw). Hold fellowship with; partake with. Not impart to. The word is used of giving and receiving material aid (Philip. iv. 15): of moral or spiritual participation (Rom. xv. 27; 1 Timothy v. 22; 2 John 11): of participation in outward conditions (Heb. ii. 14): in sufferings (1 Pet. iv. 13).

    7. Be not deceived (mh planasqe). For the phrase see 1 Cor. vi. 9; xv. 33; Jas. i. 16. Deceive is a secondary sense; the primary meaning being lead astray. See on Mark xii. 24. The connection of the exhortation may be with the entire section from ver. 1 (Eadie and Sieffert), but is more probably with ver. 6. The Galatians are not to think that it is a matter of no consequence whether their fellowship be with their Christian teachers who preach the word of truth, or with the Judaising innovators who would bring them under bondage to the law.

    Is not mocked (ou mukthrizetai). N.T.o . Quite often in LXX. See 1 Kings xviii. 27; 2 Kings xix. 21; Job xxii. 19; Prov. i. 30. Also the noun mukthrismov mockery, Job xxxiv. 7; Psalm xxxiv. 16. See Ps. of Sol. iv. 8. The verb, literally, to turn up the nose at. Comp. Horace, Sat. i. 6, 5, naso suspendis adunco, ii. 8, 64; Epist. i. 19, 45.

    That (touto). Most emphatic. That and nothing else. Comp. Matthew vii. 16; 2 Cor. ix. 6.

    8. To his flesh (eiv thn sarka eautou). Rather, his own flesh. Eiv into: the flesh being conceived as the soil into which the seed is cast. Comp. Matt. xiii. 22. His own, because the idea of personal, selfish desire is involved.

    Corruption (fqoran). Primarily, destruction, ruin; but it also has the sense of deterioration, decay, as 1 Cor. xv. 42. Comp. Aristotle, Rhet. iii. 3, iv. "And thou didst sow (espeirav) shamefully (aiscrwv) and didst reap (eqerisav) miserably (kakwv)." See also Plato, Phaedrus, 260 D, and on defile, Rom. iii. 17.

    The Spirit. The Holy Spirit: not the higher nature of man.

    Eternal life (zwhn aiwnion). See on 2 Thess. i. 9 (additional note).

    9. Be weary (enkakwmen). Lit. faint or lose heart. Comp. 2 Thessalonians iii. 13.

    In due season (kairw idiw). In the season which is peculiarly the harvest-time of each form of well-doing. See on ver. 5.

    Faint (ekluomenoi). Only here in Paul. See Matt. xv. 32; Mark viii. 3; Heb. xii. 3, 5. Lit. to be loosened or relaxed, like the limbs of the weary.

    10. As we have opportunity (wv kairon ecwmen). As there is a proper season for reaping, there is likewise a proper season for sowing. As this season comes to us, let us sow to the Spirit by doing good. Comp. Eph. v. 16; Col. iv. 5.

    Let us do good (ergazwmeqa to agaqon). Let us work the good. For the distinctive force of ejrgazesqai see on 3 John 5; and for poiein to do, on John iii. 21. Comp. Col. iii. 23 where both verbs occur. To ajgaqon is, of course, the morally good as distinguished from what is merely useful or profitable, but includes what is beneficent or kindly. See Philemon 14; Eph. iv. 28; 1 Thess. iii. 6; Rom. v. 7. Here, in a general sense, embracing all that is specified in vv. 1, 2, 3,10.

    Unto them who are of the household of faith (prov touv oikeiouv thv pistewv). Prov combines with the sense of direction that of active relation with. Comp. Matt. xiii. 56; Mark ix. 16; John i. 1; Acts iii. 25; xxviii. 25; 1 Thess. iv. 12; Heb. ix. 20. Frequently in Class. of all kinds of personal intercourse. See Hom. Od. xiv. 331; xix. 288; Thucyd. ii. 59; iv. 15; vii. 82; Hdt. i. 61. Oikeioi of the household, rare in N.T. See Eph. ii. 19; 1 Tim. v. 8. Quite often in LXX of kinsmen. It is unnecessary to introduce the idea of a household here, as A.V., since the word acquired the general sense of pertaining or belonging to. Thus oijkeioi filosofiav or gewgrafiav belonging to philosophy or geography, philosophers, geographers. So here, belonging to the faith, believers.

    11. How large a letter (phlikoiv grammasin). More correctly, with how large letters. Grammata may mean an epistle, as Lat. literae, or epistles; but Paul habitually uses ejpistolh for an epistle. Grammasin means with characters, and phlikoiv refers to their size. It is claimed by some that the large characters are intended to call the attention of the readers to the special importance of the close of the letter. See below. I have written (egraya). The aorist may refer to the whole of the preceding letter, or to the concluding verses which follow. In either case it is probably an instance of the epistolary aorist, by which the writer puts himself at the time when his correspondent is reading his letter. To the correspondent, I write has changed itself into I wrote. Similarly the Lat. scripsi. Epemya I sent is used in the same way. See Acts xxiii. 30; Philip. ii. 28; Col. iv. 8; Philemon 11.

    With mine own hand (th emh ceiri). The aorist egraya is epistolary, and refers to what follows. The concluding verses emphasize the main issue of the letter, that the Judaising intruders are trying to win the Galatians over to the economy of circumcision which is opposed to the economy of the cross. It is therefore quite probable that Paul may have wished to call special attention to these verses. If so, this special call lies in the words with my own hand, and not in with how large letters, which would seem to have been added to call attention to the apostle's handwriting as distinguished from that of the amanuensis. "Mark carefully these closing words of mine. I write them with my own hand in the large characters which you know."

    12. To make a fair show (euproswphsai). N.T.o . o Class. o LXX. In the flesh (en sarki). Qualifying the verb to make a fair show. The whole phrase is well explained by Ellicott: "To wear a specious exterior in the earthly, unspiritual element in which they move."'En sraki is not = among men, nor being carnal, nor as regards fleshly things. The desire to make a good appearance irrespective of inward truth and righteousness, is prompted by the unrenewed, fleshly nature, and makes its fair showing in that sphere.

    They constrain (outoi anagkazousin). Neither A.V. nor Rev. gives the strong, definitive force of ou=toi. It is these - the Judaising emissaries, that constrain, etc. Comp. ch. iii. 7.

    Only lest (monon ina - mh). Or, that they may not. Having no other object, or only from the motive that, etc.

    For the cross (tw staurw). Better, by reason of the cross. Because of preaching a crucified Messiah. See on ch. v. 11. The Judaisers attempted to cover with the law - the requirement of circumcision - the "offense" of a crucified Messiah.

    13. Neither they themselves who are circumcised (oude - oi peritemnomenoi autoi). For neither, translate not even. Const. themselves with keep the law. The persons referred to are the same as those in ver. 12. The participle tells nothing as to the antecedents of these persons, whether Jewish or heathen. It is general, those who are receiving circumcision. It is = the circumcision-party; and the present participle represents them as in present activity. They are circumcised themselves, and are endeavoring to force circumcision upon others.

    Keep the law (nomon fulassousin). See on ch. v. 3. They are in the same category with all who are circumcised, who do not and cannot fully observe the law. Comp. ch. iii. 10; v. 3. Hence, if circumcision develops no justifying results, it is apparent that their insistence on circumcision proceeds not from moral, but from fleshly motives.

    That they may glory in your flesh (ina en th umetera sarki kauchswntai). May boast, not of your fulfilling the law, but in your ceremonial conformity; your becoming legal zealots like themselves. They desire only that you, like them, should make a fair show in the flesh. For the formula kaucasqai ejn to glory in, see Rom. ii. 17; v. 3; 1 Corinthians i. 31; 2 Cor. x. 15.

    14. Contrast of Paul's own boasting and its ground with those of the false apostles.

    By whom (di ou). The relative may refer either to the cross, by which, or to Christ, by whom. The cross was a stumbling-block to the Jews (ch. iii. 13), and it is the crucified Christ that Paul is emphasizing. Comp. ch. ii. 20; v. 24.

    The world (kosmov). See on John i. 9; Acts xvii. 24; 1 Cor. iv. 9.

    15. A new creature (kainh ktisiv). Comp. 2 Cor. v. 17. For kainh new see on Matt. xxvi. 29. For ktisiv on Rom. viii. 19; 2 Corinthians v. 17. Here of the thing created, not of the act of creating. The phrase was common in Jewish writers for one brought to the knowledge of the true God. Comp. Eph. ii. 10, 15.

    16. Rule (kanoni). P o . See on 2 Cor. x. 13, 16. 91 Emphasis on rule not this.

    Peace be on them (eirhnh ep autouv). The only instance of this formula in N.T. Commonly eijrhnh with the simple dative, peace unto you, as John xx. 19, 21; Rom. i. 7; 1 Cor. i. 3; Gal. i. 3, etc. In the Catholic Epistles, with plhqunqeih be multiplied. See 1 Pet. i. 2; 2 Peter i. 2; Jude 2.

    Mercy (eleov). In the opening salutations of the Pastoral Epistles with grace and peace; also in 2 John 3. In Jude 2 with peace and love. And upon the Israel of God. The kai and may be simply collective, in which case the Israel of God may be different from as many as walk, etc., and may mean truly converted Jews. Or the kai may be explicative, in which case the Israel of God will define and emphasize as many as, etc., and will mean the whole body of Christians, Jewish and Gentile. In other words, they who walk according to this rule form the true Israel of God. The explicative kai is at best doubtful here, and is rather forced, although clear instances of it may be found in 1 Cor. iii. 5; xv. 38. It seems better to regard it as simply connective. Then osoi will refer to the individual Christians, Jewish and Gentile, and Israel of God to the same Christians, regarded collectively, and forming the true messianic community.

    17. Henceforth (tou loipou). Only here and Eph. vi. 10. Commonly to loipon. The genitive is temporal; at any time in the future as distinguished from throughout the future.

    Trouble me (kopouv moi - parecete). Lit. give me troubles; make it necessary for me to vindicate my apostolic authority and the divine truth of my gospel.

    Bear in my body. Comp. 2 Cor. iv. 10.

    Marks (stigmata). N.T.o . The wounds, scars, and other outward signs of persecutions and sufferings in the service of Christ. Comp. 2 Corinthians xi. 23 ff. The metaphor is the brands applied to slaves in order to mark their owners. Hence Rev., I bear branded. Brands were also set upon soldiers, captives, and servants of temples. See on Apoc. xiii. 16, and comp. Apoc. vii. 3; xiv. 1, 9, 11. The scars on the apostle's body marked him as the bondservant of Jesus Christ. The passage naturally recalls the legend of Francis of Assisi.

    18. The grace, etc. The same form of benediction occurs Philemon 25. Brethren. Rev. rightly puts the word at the end of the verse. The position is unusual. It would seem as if Paul intended to close this severe letter with an assurance that the "foolish Galatians" were still his brethren: They are addressed as "brethren," Ch. iv. 12; v. 11; vi. 1. Comp. 1 Corinthians xvi. 24.

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