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|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
IntraText - Text
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1 Brothers, even if a person is caught in some
transgression, you who are spiritual should correct that one in a gentle
spirit, looking to yourself, so that you also may not be tempted.
Bear one another's burdens, and so you will
fulfill the law of Christ. 2
For if anyone thinks he is something when he is
nothing, he is deluding himself.
3 Each one must examine his own work, and then
he will have reason to boast with regard to himself alone, and not with regard
to someone else;
for each will bear his own load.
One who is being instructed in the word should
share all good things with his instructor. 4
Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a
person will reap only what he sows,
because the one who sows for his flesh will
reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap
eternal life from the spirit.
Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due
time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.
So then, while we have the opportunity, let us
do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith. 5
6 7 See with what large
letters I am writing to you in my own hand!
8 It is those who want to make a good appearance
in the flesh who are trying to compel you to have yourselves circumcised, only
that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.
Not even those having themselves circumcised 9
observe the law themselves; they only want you to be circumcised so that they
may boast of your flesh.
But may I never boast except in the cross of
our Lord Jesus Christ, through which 10 the world has been
crucified to me, and I to the world.
For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor
does uncircumcision, but only a new creation. 11
Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule 12
and to the Israel of God.
From now on, let no one make troubles for me;
for I bear the marks of Jesus 13 on my body.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your
spirit, brothers. Amen.
1 [1-10] The ethical exhortations
begun at ⇒ Gal 5:1 continue with a variety of
admonitions to the community (brothers: see the note on ⇒ Gal
1:2). Nearly every sentence contains a separate item of practical
advice; the faith and freedom of the gospel underlie each maxim. Tensions and
temptation within communal life have previously been addressed in
⇒ Gal 5:15, ⇒ 26 and
⇒ Gal 6:1 continues with a case in which a person is
caught in some transgression such as those in ⇒ Gal
5:19-21; cf ⇒ Gal 2:17.
2  The law of Christ: cf
⇒ Romans 8:2; ⇒ 1 Cor
9:21; ⇒ Gal 5:14. The principle of love
for others is meant. To bear one another's burdens is to "serve one another
through love" (⇒ Gal 5:13).
3 [4-5] Self-examination is the cure
for self-deception. Compare what you are with what you were before, and give
the glory to God; cf ⇒ Romans 6:19-22. Load: used
elsewhere of a soldier's pack. Correcting one's own conduct avoids burdening
others with it.
4  Implies oral instruction in the
faith by catechists; these are to be remunerated for their service; cf
⇒ Romans 15:27.
5  The family of the faith: the
Christian household or church. Doing good has a universal object (to all), but
the local community makes specific the reality of those to be served.
6 [11-18] A postscript in Paul's own
hand, as was his practice (see ⇒ 1 Cor 16:21;
⇒ 2 Thes 3:17). Paul summarizes his appeal against
his opponents (⇒ Gal 6:12-13), then returns to his
message of glorying in the cross, not in circumcision, as the means of
salvation (⇒ Gal 6:14-15; cf ⇒ Gal
5:11). A benediction follows at ⇒ Gal
6:16. In the polemical spirit that the attack on his apostleship
called forth (⇒ Gal
1:11-⇒ 2:21), Paul reasserts his
missionary credentials (⇒ Gal 6:17) before giving a
final benediction (⇒ Gal 6:18).
7  Large letters: in contrast to
the finer hand of the scribe who wrote the letter up to this point. The larger
Greek letters make Paul's message even more emphatic. Some find a hint of poor
eyesight on Paul's part. See the note on ⇒ Gal 4:13.
8 [12-15] The Jewish Christian
opponents wished not to be persecuted, possibly by Jews. But since Judaism
seems to have had a privileged status as a religion in the Roman empire,
circumcised Christians might, if taken as Jews, thereby avoid persecution from
the Romans. In any case, Paul instead stresses conformity with the cross of our
Lord Jesus Christ; cf ⇒ Gal 2:19-21;
9  Those having themselves circumcised:
other manuscripts read, "those who have had themselves circumcised."
10  Through which: or
11  New creation: or "new
creature"; cf ⇒ 2 Cor 5:17.
12  This rule: the principle in
⇒ Gal 6:14, ⇒ 15. The
Israel of God: while the church may be meant (the phrase can be translated
"to all who follow this rule, even the Israel of God"; cf
⇒ Gal 6:10; ⇒ 1 Cor
10:18), the reference may also be to God's ancient people, Israel; cf
⇒ Psalm 125:5; ⇒ 128:6.
13  The marks of Jesus: slaves
were often branded by marks (stigmata) burned into their flesh to show to whom
they belonged; so also were devotees of pagan gods. Paul implies that instead
of outdated circumcision, his body bears the scars of his apostolic labors
(⇒ 2 Cor 11:22-31), such as floggings
(⇒ Acts 16:22; ⇒ 2 Cor
11:25) and stonings (⇒ Acts 14:19), that
mark him as belonging to the Christ who suffered (cf ⇒ Romans 6:3;
⇒ 2 Cor 4:10; ⇒ Col
1:24) and will protect his own.
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