Lectionary Year A
December 29, 2002
Galatians 4:4-7

Initial Acquaintance/Rough Translation


Here is a comparison of the Contemporary English Version (CEV), the New Living Translation (NLT), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).

4time was righttime camefullness of time had come
and a woman gave birth to himborn of a womanborn of a woman
His son obeyed the lawsubject to the lawborn under the law
5so he could set us free from the LawGod sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the lawinorder to redeem those who were under the law
and we would become God's childrenso that he could adopt us as his very own childrenso we might receive adoption as children
6Now that we are his childrenand because you Gentiles have become his childrenand because you are children
into our heartsinto your heartsinto our hearts, crying
and his spirit tells us that God is our Fatherand now you can call God your dear Father"Abba! Father!
7You are no longer slavesNow you are no longer a slave but God's own childyou are no longer a slave but a child
You are God's childrenAnd since you are his childand if a child
and you will be given what he has promisedeverything he has belong to youthen also an heir, through God
"Abba" is an Aramaic term for "father."


In verse 6, several witnesses would omit the words, "ho theos to pneuma" and the later "ho pater" Many more prefer to retain the text as received. Received is good and probably closer to the originally intended elucidation to such a message that addresses the departures from the norms for the recipients of the epistle and its promptings.

Later in that same verse (6), we read, in Metzger, that "early and diversified witnesses" prefer the first person pronoun rather than change it as would "several later uncials and most minuscules to conform the person of the pronoun with the earlier verb "este".

In the next verse, 7, two witnesses would omit the word "ei". However, the sentence remains clearer if the verb is retained. Many would alter the final phrase in that verse, "dia theou" copyists, according to Metzger, suggested alterations due to the infrequency of the phrase, "dia theou". Some would change it to "theon" or "Christou", others to "Iesou Christou", others to " men Theou sugkleronomos de Christos". The final possibility seems the only one worth considering. Such a phrase might have been original. It does add some explanation to the designation to being heirs of God, fellow heirs with Christ. Metzger cites Romans 8:17 as a similarity. There, we find no variants.


4 But while came the fullness of time, sent God the son of his, being born by a woman, born under the law, 5 so that those under the law might be redeemed, so that the adoption we might receive. 6 But because you are offspring, has sent God the spirit of the son of his into the hearts of yours crying, "Abba, Father". 7 Now no longer are you a slave but a child; but since a child, also an heir through God.

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