Lectures on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians

By William Kelly

A New Translation


Galatians 1.

Paul, apostle, not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father that raised him out of the dead, 2 and all the brethren with me, to the assemblies of Galatia. 3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 that gave himself for our sins, so that he might deliver us out of the present evil age according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom [be] the glory unto the ages of the ages. Amen.

6 I wonder that thus quickly ye are being removed from him that called you in Christ's grace to a different gospel 7 which is not another, but1 there are some that trouble you and desire to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel out of heaven preach to you contrary to what we preached to you, accursed let him be. 9 As we have said before, now also again I say, if one is preaching to you contrary to what ye received, accursed let him be. 10 For am I now conciliating men or God? or do I seek to please men? [For] if any longer I were pleasing men, Christ's bondservant I should not be.

11 But I let you know, brethren, that the gospel that was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For neither received I it from man nor was I taught [it] but by revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For ye heard of my conversation formerly in Judaism, that I was excessively persecuting the assembly of God and ravaging it; 14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many contemporaries in my nation, being very exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God,2 that set me apart out of my mother's womb and called me by his grace, 16 to reveal his Son in me, that I should preach him among the nations, immediately I took not counsel with flesh and blood, 17 nor went up to Jerusalem to those that were apostles before me; but I went unto Arabia and again returned unto Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up unto Jerusalem to make the acquaintance of Cephas, and I remained with him fifteen days; 19 but no other of the apostles I saw, save James the brother of the Lord. 20 Now what I write to you behold, before God, I lie not. 21 Then I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; 22 but I was unknown personally to the assemblies of Judea that are in Christ: 23 only they were hearing that our former persecutor now preacheth the faith which formerly he was ravaging 24 and they glorified God in me.

Galatians 2.

Then after fourteen years I again went up unto Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus also with [me]; 2 and I went up according to revelation, and laid before them the gospel which I preach among the nations, but in private to those in repute, lest by any means I should be running or had run in vain; 3 (but neither was Titus, that was with me, being a Greek, compelled to be circumcised;) 4 and [this] on account of the false brethren brought in stealthily, who came in stealthily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring into bondage, 5 to whom we yielded in subjection, not for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might abide with you. 6 But from those reputed to be something, whatsoever they were maketh no difference to me — God accepteth no man's person — for to me those in repute imparted nothing; 7 but, on the contrary, having seen that I was entrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, even as Peter [with that] of the circumcision 8 (for he that wrought in Peter for the apostleship of the circumcision, wrought in me also toward the nations), 9 and having known the grace given to me, James and Cephas and John, that were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right-hands of fellowship, that we [should go] unto the nations, and they unto the circumcision, 10 only that we should remember the poor, which very thing also I have been diligent to do.

11 But when Cephas came unto Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was self-condemned;3 12 for before that certain came from James, he ate with the nations; but when they came, he was withdrawing and separating himself, being afraid of those of the circumcision; 13 and the rest of the Jews also dissembled with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away by their dissimulation. 14 But when I saw that they walk not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before all, If thou, being a Jew, livest nationally and not Jewishly, how forcest thou the nations to judaize?

15 We, Jews by nature and not sinners of the nations, and 16 knowing that no man is justified by works of law, but by faith of Jesus Christ, even we believed on Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith of Christ and not by works of law; because by works of law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, ourselves also were found sinners, then is Christ minister of sin. Let it not be. 18 For if the things which I pulled down, these I again build, I constitute myself a transgressor. 19 For I, by law, died to law that I may live to God. 20 With Christ I am crucified, yet I live, no longer I, but Christ liveth in me; but that which I now live in flesh, I live in the faith of the Son of God that loved me and gave himself up for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness is by law, then Christ died gratuitously.

Galatians 3.

O senseless Galatians! who bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I wish to learn from you; received ye the Spirit by works of law, or by the report of faith? 3 Are ye so senseless? Having begun in Spirit, are ye now being perfected in flesh? 4 Suffered ye so many things in vain, if indeed in vain? 5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit and worketh miracles among you, [doeth he it] by works of law or by the hearing of faith? 6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. 7 Know then that they who are of faith, these are sons of Abraham. 8 And the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the nations by faith announced beforehand to Abraham: "In thee shall all the nations be blessed." 9 So that they that are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of works of law are under curse; for it is written, "Cursed is every one who doth not continue in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them;" 11 but that in virtue of law none is justified with God [is] evident, for "the just by faith shall 12 live;" but the law is not of faith, but he who hath done them shall live in virtue of them. 13 Christ bought us out of the curse of the law, having become a curse for us, (for it is written, "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree,") 14 that unto the nations the blessing of Abraham might come in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

15 Brethren, I speak according to man: a ratified covenant, though man's, no one setteth aside or supplementeth. 16 But to Abraham were addressed the promises, and to his seed; he doth not say "and to seeds" as of many, but as of one "and to thy seed," which is Christ. 17 Now this I say: the covenant ratified beforehand by God, the law, which took place four hundred and thirty years after, doth not annul so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance is of law, it is no more of promise; but to Abraham by promise God graciously gave [it]. 19 Why then the law? For the sake of transgressions it was added, until the seed came to whom the promise was made, being ordained by means of angels in a mediator's hand. 20 But the mediator is not of one, but God is one. 21 [Is] therefore the law against the promises of God? Let it not be. For if there had been given a law which could quicken, in very truth by law would have been righteousness. 22 But the scripture hath shut up all things under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to those that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were guarded under law, shut up unto the faith about to be revealed. 24 So that the law hath been our tutor unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But faith having come, we are no longer under a tutor; 26 for ye all are sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized unto Christ, put on Christ. 28 There is no Jew nor Greek, there is no bondservant nor freeman, there is no male and female; for all ye are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise.

Galatians 4.

But I say, as long as the heir is an infant, he differeth nothing from a bondservant, though he be lord of all; 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time fore-appointed by the father. 3 So also we, when we were infants, were held in bondage under the principles of the world; 4 but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under law, 5 that he might buy those under law, that we might receive our sonship. 6 But because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba Father. 7 So that thou art no longer a bondservant but a son; and if a son, an heir also of God through Christ. 8 But then, not knowing God, ye were in bondage to those who by nature are not gods; 9 but now having known God, yea rather being known by God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly principles to which ye wish again afresh to be in bondage? 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest somehow I have laboured in vain as to you.

12 Be as I, for I also [am] as ye, brethren, I beseech you: ye have in nothing wronged me; 13 but ye know that in weakness of the flesh I preached to you the first time; 14 and my temptation which was in my flesh ye slighted not nor loathed, but as an angel of God ye received me — as Christ Jesus. 15 What then was your blessedness? For I bear you witness that, if possible, plucking out your eyes, ye would have given them to me. 16 So that have I become your enemy by being truthful to you? 17 They are zealous about you, not rightly; but wish to shut you out, that ye may be zealous about them. 18 But [it is] right to be zealous in a right thing always, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My children, with whom I again travail, until Christ shall have been formed in you, 20 yea, I could wish to be present with you now and change my voice, for I am perplexed about you. 21 Tell me, ye who wish to be under law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham bad two sons, one of the maidservant and one of the freewoman. 23 But be that was of the maidservant was born according to flesh, and he that was of the free-woman through the promise. 24 Which things are given allegorically, for these are two covenants, one from Mount Sina, gendering unto bondage, which is Agar. 25 For Agar is Mount Sina in Arabia, but correspondeth with the existing Jerusalem, for she is in bondage with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, which is our mother, 27 for it is written, "Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break out and cry, thou that travailest not; for the children of the desolate are many more than of her that hath the husband." 28 But we, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born according to flesh persecuted him that was according to Spirit, so now. 30 But what saith the scripture? "Cast out the maidservant and her son. For in no wise shall the son of the maidservant inherit with the son of the free. woman." 31 Therefore, brethren, we are not children of a maidservant, but of the freewoman.

Galatians 5.

Stand fast in the freedom with which Christ hath freed us, and be not again held in a yoke of bond age. 2 Behold, I Paul say to you, that if ye are circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing 3 And I witness again to every man if circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Ye have derived no effect from Christ, whoever are being justified by law; ye have fallen from grace. 5 For we in the Spirit await by faith the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision hath any force nor uncircumcision, but faith working by love. 7 Ye were running well: who stopped you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 The persuasion [is] not of him that calleth you. 9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 10 I have confidence as to you in the Lord that ye will be of no other mind; but he that troubleth you shall bear the sentence, whoever he may be.

11 But I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why am I yet persecuted? Then is done away the scandal of the cross. 12 I would they would even cut themselves off 4 that are unsettling you. 13 For ye have been called for freedom, brethren: only [use] not your freedom for an opportunity to the flesh; but by love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." 15 But if ye bite and devour one another, see that ye are not consumed by one another.

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and ye shall in no wise fulfil flesh's lust. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these things are opposed one to another, that ye should not do those things which ye would; 18 but if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are under no law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strifes, jealousies, bursts of passion, contentions, divisions, parties, 21 envyings, murders, drunkennesses, revels, and things like these, as to which I forewarn you, even as also I forewarned, that they who do such things shall not inherit God's kingdom. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control: 23 against such things there is no law. 24 But they that are of Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and its lusts. 25 If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk. 26 Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another.

Galatians 6.

Brethren, if a man be even taken in some offence, do ye, the spiritual ones, restore such an one in a spirit of meekness, looking to thyself lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so completely fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if any one reputeth himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let each prove his own work, and then he will have his boast as to himself alone, and not as to the other; 5 for each shall bear his own load.

6 But let him that is taught in the word communicate to him that teacheth in all good things. 7 Be not deceived: God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, this also shall he reap; 8 for he that soweth unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life eternal. 9 But in well-doing let us not be fainthearted, for in due time we shall reap if we do not faint. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all, and especially toward those of the household of faith.

11 See in how large letters I have written to you with my own hand. 12 As many as wish to have a fair appearance in the flesh, these are compelling you to be circumcised, only that they may not be persecuted through the cross of Christ. 13 For neither do they that are being circumcised themselves keep the law, but wish you to be circumcised that in your flesh they may boast. 14 But be it not for me to boast, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me and I to the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as many as walk by this rule, peace [be] upon them and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. 17 For the rest let no one give me trouble, for I bear the marks of the Lord Jesus in my body. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.


[1] Or, 'another gospel, which is nothing else than,' etc.

[2] Or, 'him.'

[3] Or, 'had been blamed.'

[4] Or, 'were even cut off.'