New American Standard Bible
Sonship in Christ
4 Now I say, as long as the heir is a [a]child, he does not differ at all from a slave, although he is [b]owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and [c]managers until the [d]date set by the father. 3 So we too, when we were children, were held (A)in bondage under the [e](B)elementary principles of the world. 4 But when (C)the fullness of the time came, God sent His Son, (D)born of a woman, born (E)under [f]the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under [g]the Law, that we might receive the adoption as (F)sons and daughters. 6 Because you are sons, (G)God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, “(H)Abba! [h]Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and (I)if a son, then an heir [i]through God.
8 However at that time, (J)when you did not know God, you were (K)slaves to (L)those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be (M)known by God, (N)how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless [j](O)elementary principles, to which you want to be enslaved all over again? 10 You (P)meticulously observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored [k]over you in vain.
12 I beg of you, (Q)brothers and sisters, (R)become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong; 13 but you know that it was because of a [l]bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the [m]first time; 14 and you did not despise that which was a trial to you in my [n]bodily condition, nor express contempt, but (S)you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself. 15 Where then is [o]that sense of blessing you had? For I testify about you that, if possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 So have I become your enemy (T)by [p]telling you the truth? 17 They eagerly seek you, not [q]in a commendable way, but they want to shut you out so that you will seek them. 18 But it is good always to be eagerly sought [r]in a commendable way, and (U)not only when I am present with you. 19 (V)My children, with whom (W)I am again in labor until (X)Christ is formed in you— 20 but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone of voice, for (Y)I am at a loss about you!
Slave and Free
21 Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not (Z)listen to the Law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, (AA)one by the slave woman and (AB)one by the free woman. 23 But (AC)the son by the slave woman [s]was born according to the flesh, and (AD)the son by the free woman through the promise. 24 [t](AE)This is speaking allegorically, for these women are two covenants: one coming from (AF)Mount Sinai giving birth to children [u]who are to be (AG)slaves; [v]she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is enslaved with her children. 26 But (AH)the Jerusalem above is free; [w]she is our mother. 27 For it is written:
“(AI)Rejoice, infertile one, you who do not give birth;
Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor;
For the children of the desolate one are more numerous
Than those of the one who has a husband.”
28 And you, brothers and sisters, (AJ)like Isaac, are (AK)children of promise. 29 But as at that time (AL)the son who was born according to the flesh (AM)persecuted the one who was born according to the Spirit, (AN)so it is even now. 30 But what does the Scripture say?
31 So then, brothers and sisters, we are not children of a slave woman, but of the free woman.
- Galatians 4:1 Or minor
- Galatians 4:1 Lit lord
- Galatians 4:2 Or stewards
- Galatians 4:2 I.e., when the child is no longer a minor
- Galatians 4:3 Or rudimentary teachings
- Galatians 4:4 Or law
- Galatians 4:5 Or law
- Galatians 4:6 I.e., Paul’s translation of the Aramaic Abba
- Galatians 4:7 I.e., through the gracious act of
- Galatians 4:9 Or rudimentary teachings
- Galatians 4:11 Or for
- Galatians 4:13 Lit weakness of the flesh
- Galatians 4:13 Or former
- Galatians 4:14 Lit flesh
- Galatians 4:15 I.e., considering yourselves fortunate
- Galatians 4:16 Or dealing truthfully with you
- Galatians 4:17 Or with good intentions
- Galatians 4:18 Or with good intentions
- Galatians 4:23 Lit has been born
- Galatians 4:24 Lit Which
- Galatians 4:24 Lit into slavery
- Galatians 4:24 Lit which
- Galatians 4:26 Lit which
New International Version
4 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery(A) under the elemental spiritual forces[a] of the world.(B) 4 But when the set time had fully come,(C) God sent his Son,(D) born of a woman,(E) born under the law,(F) 5 to redeem(G) those under the law, that we might receive adoption(H) to sonship.[b](I) 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son(J) into our hearts,(K) the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[c] Father.”(L) 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.(M)
Paul’s Concern for the Galatians
8 Formerly, when you did not know God,(N) you were slaves(O) to those who by nature are not gods.(P) 9 But now that you know God—or rather are known by God(Q)—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces[d]? Do you wish to be enslaved(R) by them all over again?(S) 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!(T) 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.(U)
12 I plead with you, brothers and sisters,(V) become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong. 13 As you know, it was because of an illness(W) that I first preached the gospel to you, 14 and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself.(X) 15 Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?(Y)
17 Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them.(Z) 18 It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you.(AA) 19 My dear children,(AB) for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,(AC) 20 how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!
Hagar and Sarah
21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law,(AD) are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman(AE) and the other by the free woman.(AF) 23 His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh,(AG) but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.(AH)
24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above(AI) is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written:
28 Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise.(AK) 29 At that time the son born according to the flesh(AL) persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit.(AM) It is the same now. 30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”[f](AN) 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman,(AO) but of the free woman.(AP)
- Galatians 4:3 Or under the basic principles
- Galatians 4:5 The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture.
- Galatians 4:6 Aramaic for Father
- Galatians 4:9 Or principles
- Galatians 4:27 Isaiah 54:1
- Galatians 4:30 Gen. 21:10