Index

 

Martin Lutherís Commentary on

the Epistle to the Galatians

1535

 

LUTHERíS PREFACE

INTRODUCTORY

THE ARGUMENT OF THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS

 

CHAPTER 1

Paul, an apostle (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the father, who raised him from the dead).

THE CERTAINTY OF CALLING

Paul an apostle, not of men, etc.

And by God the father, who raised him from the dead

And all the brethren with me

Unto the churches of Galatia

Grace be with you and peace from God the father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ

CHRIST IS GOD BY NATURE

Which gave himself for our sins

That he might deliver us from this present evil world

According to the will of God and our father

Of God and our father

To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen

I marvel

That so soon

Ye are removed away

From him that hath called you in the grace of Christ

Unto another Gospel

Which is not another Gospel, but that there be some which trouble you

And intend to pervert the Gospel of Christ

But though that we, or an angel from heaven, preach unto you otherwise than that we have preached unto you, let him be accursed

As we said before, so say we now again, if any man preach unto you otherwise than that you have received, let him be accursed

For now preach I manís doctrine, or Godís?

Or go I about to please men?

For if I should yet please men, I were not the servant of Christ

Now I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of me, was not after man. For neither received I it of man, neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

For ye have heard of my conversation in times past in Jewish religion, how that I persecuted the church of God extremely and wasted it: and profited in the Jewish religion, above many of my companions of mine own nation

And was much more zealous of the traditions of my fathers

But when it had pleased God (which had separated me from my motherís womb, and called me by his grace) to reveal his son in me, that I should preach him among the gentiles, immediately I communicated not with flesh and blood. Neither came I again to Jerusalem, to them which were apostles before me, but I went into arabia, and turned again unto Damascus

When it pleased God

Which had separated me from my motherís womb

And called me by his grace

To reveal his son in me

That I should preach him among the gentiles

Immediately I communicated not with flesh and blood

Neither came I to Jerusalem, to them that were apostles before me, but went into Arabia, and turned again unto Damascus

Then after three years I came again to Jerusalem, to visit Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. And none other of the apostles saw I, save James, the lordís brother.

And now the things which I write unto you, behold I witness before God I lie not

After that, I went into the coasts of Syria and Cilicia

For I was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ. But they heard only some say, he which persecuted us in times past, now preacheth the faith which before he destroyed. And they glorified God in me

 

CHAPTER 2

Then fourteen years after, I went up again to Jerusalem

With Barnabas, and took with me titus

And I went up by revelation

And I communicated with them touching the Gospel

Which I preach among the gentiles

But particularly with them that were the chiefest

Lest by any means I should run, or had run in vain

But neither yet titus which was with me, though he were a Grecian, was compelled to be circumcised

Because of the false brethren that crept in, who came in privily to espy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage. To whom we gave not place by subjection for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you

But of them which seemed to be somewhat (what they were in times past) it is no matter. To me) etc.

God accepteth no manís person

Nevertheless they that seemed to be the chief, did communicate nothing with me

But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter (for he that was mighty by Peter in the apostleship of the circumcision, was also mighty by me towards the gentiles), &c.

For he that was mighty by Peter etc.

And when they knew of the grace that was given unto me, James and cephas and John (which were counted to be pillars) gave to me and to barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should preach unto the gentiles, and they unto the circumcision

The right hands of fellowship

Warning only that we should remember. The poor, which thing also I was diligent to do.

And when Peter was come to Antiochia, I withstood him to his face: for he was to be blamed

For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the gentiles

But when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision

And the other jews dissembled likewise with him insomuch that barnabas was brought into their dissimulation also

But when I saw that they went not the right way to the truth of the gospel

I said unto Peter openly: if thou, being a jew livest as the gentiles and not as the jews, why constrainest thou the gentiles to do like the jews?

We which are jews by nature, and not sinners of the gentiles

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the laws but by the faith of Jesus Christ

THE TRUE WAY TO CHRISTIANITY

THE DIVINITY OF THE SCHOOLMEN

THE TRUE RULE OF CHRISTIANITY

Even we, I say, have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified etc.

That we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law

Because by the deeds of the law, no flesh shall be justified

If then while we seek to be justified in Christ, we ourselves are found sinners, is Christ therefore the minister of sin? God forbid

Is Christ therefore the minister of sin?

God forbid

For if I build again the things that I have destroyed, I make myself a trespasser.

THE FORM OF A MONKISH ABSOLUTION

For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God

That I might live unto God

I am crucified with Christ

Nevertheless I live

Yet now not I

Nevertheless I live, yet not I now, but Christ liveth in me

And that which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God

Who loved me, and gave himself for me

ĎTo do what in him lieth.í

For me

I do not abrogate or reject the grace of God

For if righteousness come by the law, then Christ died in vain

 

 

CHAPTER 3

O foolish galatians!

Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?

OF THE BODILY AND SPIRITUAL WITCHCRAFT

Who hath bewitched you?

That ye should not obey the truth

Before whose eyes Jesus Christ was evidentlyset forth

Crucified among you

This only would I learn of you: received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

THE ARGUMENT OF THE BOOK CONTAINING THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

THE COMMENDATION OF THE BOOK CONTAINING THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

OF CORNELIUS IN THE TENTH OF ACTS

NAAMAN THE SYRIAN.

THE GENTILES JUSTIFIED WITHOUT THE LAW, EVEN WHEN THE LAW AND POLICY OF MOSES WAS YET IN FORCE

Are ye so foolish, that after ye have begun in the Spirit, ye would now end in the flesh?

Have ye suffered so many things in vain?

If notwithstanding it be in vain

He therefore that ministereth to you the spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doth he it through the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

As Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Christian righteousness consisteth in faith of the heart, and Godís imputation.

Ye know therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Ye know therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Araham.

And the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the gentiles through faith

Preached the Gospel before unto Abraham, saying: in thee shall all the gentiles be blessed.

So then they which are of faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham

For as many as are of the works of the law, are accursed

For it is written: cursed is every man that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them (Deuteronomy 27:26).

AN ANSWER TO THOSE ARGUMENTS WHICH THE ADVERSARIES ALLEGE AGAINST THE DOCTRINE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH

And that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: Ēfor the just shall live by faithĒ (Habakkuk 1:4).

And the law is not of faith

But the man that shall do these things, shall live in them

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having been made a curse for us (for it is written; Ďcursed is everyone that hangeth on a treeí) etc. (Deuteronomy 21:23).

That the blessng of Abraham might come upon the gentiles through Christ Jesus

That we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith

Brethren, I speak according to man : though it be but a manís covenant, when it is confirmed, yet no man doth abrogate it, or addeth anything thereto

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not: and to the seeds, as speaking of many: but, and to thy seed, as of one, which is Christ

And this I say, that the law which was 430 years after, cannot disannul the covenant that was confirmed before of God in respect of Christ, that it should make the promise of none effect.

For if the inhertance be of the law, it is no more by the promise, etc.

But God gave it unto Abraham by promise

Wherefore then serveth the law?

It was added because of transgressions

OF THE DOUBLE USE OF THE LAW

The law was added because of transgressions

Until the seed came, unto the which the promise was made

And it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator

Now a mediator is not a mediator of one

But God is one

Is the law then against the promises of God?

God forbid

For if there had been a law given which could make alive, verily righteousness should have been by the law, etc.

The Scripture hath concluded all under sin

That the promise by the faith of Jesus Christ should be given to them that believe

But before faith came

But before faith came, we were kept in ward under the laws shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed

The law shutteth men under sin two ways, civilly and spiritually.

And shut up unto the faith which should after be revealed

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ

That we may be made righteous by faith

But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster

For ye are all the sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus

For all ye that are baptized, have put on Christ

There is neither jew nor grecian, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female

For ye are all one in Christ Jesus

And if ye be Christís, then are ye Abrahamís seed, and heirs according to the promise

 

 

CHAPTER 4

This I say, that the heir as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors, until the appointed of the father.

So also we, as long as we were children, were in bondage under the rudiments of the world

Under the elements or rudiments of this world, etc.

But after the fulness of time was come, God sent his son, made or born of a woman, and made under the law, that he might redeem them which were under the law

That we might receive the adoption of sons

And because you are sons, God hath sent forth the spirit of his son into your hearts.

Crying, abba father

Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son

Now, if thou be a son, thou art also the heir of God through Christ

Through Christ

But even then when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods, but now seeing ye know God, yea rather are known of God, how turn you again to impotent and beggarly rudiments, whereunto, as from the beginning, ye will be in bondage again?

But now seeing ye know God

Yea rather are known of God, etc.

Whereunto ye will be in bondage again

Ye observe days and months, times and years

I am in fear of you, lest I have bestowed on you labor in vain

Be ye as I am, for I am as ye are.

Be ye as I am, for I am as ye are.

Brethren, I beseech you: ye have not hurt me at all

Ye have not hurt me at all

And ye know how through the infirmity of the flesh, I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And the trial of me which was in my flesh, ye despised not, neither abhorred, but ye received me as an angel of God, yea as Christ Jesus.

What was then your felicity?

For I bear you record, that if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me

Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

They are jealous over you amiss

They would exclude you, that you should altogether love them

But it is a good thing to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again, until Christ be formed in you.

And I would I were with you now, that I might change my voice, etc.

For I am troubled for you

Tell me, ye that will be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a servant, and one by a free woman. But he which was of the servant, was born after the flesh: and he which was of the free woman, was born after the promise

The which things are spoken by allegories

For these mothers are the two testaments: the one from Mount Sinai, which gendereth unto bondage, which is Agar. (for in Arabia Mount Sinai is called Agar) etc.

And answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and she is in bondage with her children

But Jerusalem which is above, is free; which is the mother of us all

For it is written: rejoice thou barren that bearest no children; break forth and cry thou that travailest not, for the desolate hath many more children than she that hath an husband (Isaiah 54: 1)

Now we, brethren, after the manner of Isaac are children of the promise

But as then he that was born after the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the spirit, even so it is now

But what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free-woman

Then brethren we are not children of the servant but of the freewoman

 

 

CHAPTER 5

Stand fast therefore in that liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free

And be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage

Behold, I paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing

For I testify again unto every man which is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law

Ye are abolished (or separated) from Christ, whosoever are justified by the law, and ye are fallen from grace

Ye are fallen from grace

For we through the spirit by faith wait for the hope of righteousness

WHAT DIFFERENCE THERE IS BETWEEN FAITH AND HOPE

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, neither uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love

Ye did run well: who did let you that ye did not obey the truth?

Who did let you that you did not obey the truth?

It is not the persuasion of him that calleth you

A little leaven doth leaven the whole lump

I have trust in you through the lord

That ye will be none otherwise minded

But he that troubleth you shall bear his condemnation, whosoever he be

And brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the slander of the cross abolished

Would to God they were cut off that do disquiet you

THE DOCTRINE OF GOOD WORKS

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not your liberty as an occasion unto the flesh, but by love serve one another

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, which is this: thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself

For all the law is fulfilled in one word

If ye bite and devour one another, take heed lest ye be consumed one of another

But I say, walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh

A CONFUTATION OF THE ARGUMENT OF THE SCHOOLMEN: LOVE IS THE FULFILLING OF THE LAW; THEREFORE THE LAW JUSTIFIETH

And ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh

For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh

And these are contrary one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would

If ye be led by the spirit ye are not under the law

Moreover the works of the flesh be manifest, which are, etc.

WHO BE RIGHTLY CALLED SAINTS, AND BE SO INDEED

The works of the flesh are manifest, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, wantonness, idolatry, witchcraft, etc.

Idolatry

Witchcraft

Sects

Drunkenness, gluttony

And such-like

Whereof I tell you, as I have also told you before, that they which do such things, shall not inherit the kingdom of God

But the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, sweetness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness [or meekness], temperance

Love

Joy

Peace

Long-suffering or perseverance.

Gentleness

Goodness

Faith

Meekness

Temperance

Against such there is no law

For they that are Christís have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts thereof.

If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit

Let us not be desirous of vainglory

Provoking one another, and envying one another

 

 

CHAPTER 6

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in any fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one with the spirit of meekness.

Considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted

Bear ye one anotherís burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ

For if any man think himself to be somewhat, when indeed he is nothing, he deceiveth himself

But let every man try his own work, and then he shall have rejoicing in himself only, and not in another

For every man shall bear his own burden

Let him that is taught in the word, make him that teacheth him partaker of all his goods

Be not deceived, for God is not mocked

For whatsoever a man soweth, that he shall reap

For he that soweth in the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption: but he that soweth in the spirit, shall of the spirit reap everlasting life

And let us not be weary in doing good, for in due time we shall reap without weariness

Therefore while we have time, let us do good unto all men, but specially to those that be of the household of faith

Behold what a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand

As many as desire to please in the flesh, compel you to be circumcised, only because they would not suffer the persecution of the cross of Christ

For they themselves that are circumcised, do not keep the law; but they would have you circumcised, that they might glory in your flesh

But God forbid that I should glory but in the cross of our lord Jesus Christ

By whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world

For in Christ jesu neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature

And to as many as walk according to this rule, peace be upon them and mercy

And upon the Israel of God

From henceforth let no man put me to business

For I bear in my body the marks of the lord Jesus

Brethren, the grace of our lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen

 

 

 

Web-redaktÝr:

Cand.theol Finn B. Andersen

 

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finnbandersen@msn.com