4:3 enslaved to the elementary principles. The Greek phrase refers to the basic elements that make up the world; in ancient thought, these were earth, wind, water, and fire. Sometimes these elements were revered as deities governing the universe. Here Paul may be thinking especially of the sacred calendar of the law, its seasons determined by the heavenly bodies (cf. Col. 2:8, 20–22). Legalism subjected life to the control of the structures of the world.