3:1 O 1 foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye
should not obey the truth, a before whose eyes Jesus
Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
(1) The third reason or argument taken of those gifts of the
Holy Spirit, with which they were endued from heaven after
they had heard and believed the gospel by Paul's ministry.
And seeing that they were so evident to all men's eyes,
that they were as it were graphic images, in which they
might behold the truth of the doctrine of the Gospel, just
as much as if they had beheld with their eyes Christ
himself crucified, in whose only death they ought to have
their trust, he marvels how it could be that they could be
so bewitched by the false apostles.
(a) Christ was laid before you so notably and so plainly
that you had a graphic image of him as it were
represented before your eyes, as if he had been
crucified before you.
3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the b Spirit
by the works of the law, or by the hearing of c faith?
(b) Those spiritual graces and gifts, which were a seal as
it were to the Galatians that the Gospel which was
preached to them was true.
(c) Of the doctrine of faith.
3:32 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye
now made perfect by the d flesh?
(2) The fourth argument mixed with the former, and it is
twofold. If the Law is to be joined with faith, this were
not to go forward, but backward, seeing that those
spiritual gifts which were bestowed upon you are more
excellent than any that could proceed from yourselves. And
moreover, it would follow, that the Law is better than
Christ, because it would perfect and bring complete that
which Christ alone began.
(d) By the "flesh" he means the ceremonies of the Law,
against which he sets the Spirit, that is, the
spiritual working of the Gospel.
3:43 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if [it be] yet
(3) An exhortation by manner of reproach, so that they do not
in vain suffer so many conflicts.
3:54 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and
worketh miracles among you, [doeth he it] by the works of
the law, or by the hearing of faith?
(4) He repeats the third argument which was taken of the
effects, because he had included certain other arguments
along the way.
3:65 Even as e Abraham believed God, and it was accounted
to him for righteousness.
(5) The fifth argument which is of great force, and has three
grounds. The first, that Abraham was justified by faith,
that is, by free imputation of righteousness according to
the promise apprehended by faith.
(e) See (Ro 4:1-25).
3:76 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same
are the children of Abraham.
(6) The second, that the sons of Abraham must be esteemed and
considered as his sons by faith.
3:87 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the
heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto
Abraham, [saying], 8 In thee shall all nations be f
(7) The third, that all the people that believe are without
exception included in the promise of the blessing.
(8) A proof of the first and second grounds, from the words of
(f) Blessing in this place signifies the free promise by
3:99 So then they which be of faith are blessed g with
(9) The conclusion of the fifth argument: therefore as Abraham
is blessed by faith, so are all his children (that is to
say, all the Gentiles that believe) blessed, that is to
say, freely justified.
(g) With faithful Abraham, and not by faithful Abraham, to
show us that the blessing comes not from Abraham, but
from him by whom Abraham and all his posterity is
3:1010 For as many as are of the works of the law are under
the curse: 11 for it is written, Cursed [is] every one
that continueth not in all things which are written in the
book of the law to do them.
(10) The sixth argument, the conclusion of which is also in the
former verse, taken from opposites, is this: they are
accursed who are of the works of the Law, that is to say,
who consider their righteousness to come from the
performance of the Law. Therefore they are blessed who
are of faith, that is, those who have righteousness by
(11) A proof of the former sentence or proposition, and the
proposition of this argument is this: cursed is he that
does not fulfil the whole Law.
3:1112 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight
of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
(12) The second proposition with the conclusion: but no man
fulfils the Law. The conclusion therefore is, that no man
is justified by the Law, or, that all are accursed who
seek righteousness by the works of the Law. And there is
added also this manner of proof of the second proposition,
that is, righteousness and life are attributed to faith.
Therefore no man fulfils the Law.
3:1213 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth
them shall live in them.
(13) Here is a reason shown of the former conclusion: because
the law promises life to all that keep it, and therefore
if it is kept, it justifies and gives life. But the
scripture attributing righteousness and life to faith
takes it from the Law, seeing that faith justifies by
imputation, and the Law by the performing of the work.
3:1314 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law,
being made a curse for us: 15 for it is written, h
Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:
(14) A preventing of an objection: how then can they be blessed
whom the Lord pronounces to be accused? Because Christ
suffered the curse which the Law laid upon us, that we
might be acquitted from it.
(15) A proof of the answer by the testimony of Moses.
(h) Christ was accursed for us, because he bore the curse
that was due to us, to make us partakers of his
3:1416 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the
Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the
promise of the Spirit through faith.
(16) A conclusion of all that was said before in the handling
of the fifth and sixth reasons, that is, that both the
Gentiles are made partakers of the free blessing of
Abraham in Christ, and also that the Jews themselves, of
whose number the apostle counted himself to be, cannot
obtain that promised grace of the Gospel, which he calls
the Spirit, except by faith. And the apostle applies the
conclusion in turn, both to the one and to the other,
preparing himself a way to the next argument, by which he
declares that the one and only seed of Abraham, which is
made of all peoples, cannot be joined and grow up
together in any other way but by faith in Christ.
3:1517 Brethren, I speak i after the manner of men; Though
[it be] but a man's covenant, yet [if it be] k confirmed,
no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
(17) He puts forth two general rules before the next argument,
which is the seventh in order. The first is, that it is
not lawful to break covenants and contracts which are
justly made, and are according to law among men, neither
may anything be added to them. The other is, that God did
so make a covenant with Abraham, that he would gather
together his children who consist both of Jews and
Gentiles into one body (as appears by that which has been
said before). For he did not say, that he would be the
God of Abraham and of his "seeds" (which thing nonetheless
should have been said, if he had many and various seeds,
such as the Gentiles on the one hand, and the Jews on the
other) but that he would be the God of Abraham, and of his
"seed", as of one.
(i) I will use an example which is common among you, that
you may be ashamed that you do not give as much to
God's covenant as you do to man's.
(k) Authenticated, as we say.
3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He
saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to
thy seed, 18 which is l Christ.
(18) He puts forth the sum of the seventh argument, that is,
that both the Jews and the Gentiles grow together in one
body of the seed of Abraham, in Christ alone, so that all
are one in Christ, as it is afterward declared in
(l) Paul does not speak of Christ's person, but of two
peoples, who grew together in one, in Christ.
3:1719 And this I say, [that] the covenant, that was
confirmed before of God m in Christ, the 20 law, which
was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul,
that it should make the promise of none effect.
(19) The eighth argument take by comparison, in this way: if a
man's covenant (being authenticated) is firm and strong,
much more is God's covenant. Therefore the Law was not
given to cancel the promise made to Abraham with respect
of Christ, that is to say, the end of which depended upon
(m) Which pertained to Christ.
(20) An enlarging of that argument in this way: moreover and
besides that the promise is of itself firm and strong, it
was also confirmed by virtue of being in place for a long
time, that is, for 430 years, so that it could in no way
3:1821 For if the n inheritance [be] of the law, [it is] no
more of promise: but God gave [it] to Abraham by promise.
(21) An objection: we grant that the promise was not cancelled
by the covenant of the Law, and therefore we join the Law
with the promise. No, the apostle says, these two cannot
stand together, that is, that the inheritance should both
be given by the Law and also by promise, for the promise
is free. And from this it follows that the Law was not
given to justify, for by that means the promise would be
(n) By this word "inheritance" is meant the right of the
seed, which is, that God should be our God, that is to
say, that by virtue of the covenant that was made with
faithful Abraham, we that are faithful might by that
means be blessed by God as well as Abraham.
3:1922 Wherefore then [serveth] the law? It was added because
of o transgressions, p till the seed should come to
whom the promise was made; 23 [and it was] q ordained
by r angels in the hand of a mediator.
(22) An objection which rises from the former answer: if the
inheritance is not by the Law (in the least way) then why
was the Law given after the promise was made? In order,
the apostle says, to reprove men of sin, and so to teach
them to look to Christ, in whom at length that promise of
saving all people together should be fulfilled; the Law
was not given in order to justify men.
(o) That men might understand by discovering their sins
that they are only saved by the grace of God, which he
revealed to Abraham, and that in Christ.
(p) Until the partition wall was broken down, and that
full seed sprang up, made of two peoples, both of Jews
and Gentiles. For by this word "seed" we may not
understand Christ alone by himself, but coupled and
joined together with his body.
(23) A confirmation of the former answer taken from the manner
and form of giving the Law: for it was given by angels,
striking a great terror into all, and by Moses a mediator
coming between. Now they that are one need no mediator,
but they that are in any way separated, and that are at
variance one with another, do. Therefore the Law itself
and the mediator were witnesses of the wrath of God, and
not that God would by this means reconcile men to himself
and abolish the promise, or add the Law to the promise.
(q) Commanded and given, or proclaimed.
(r) By the service and ministry.
3:20 Now a mediator is not [a mediator] of one, 24 but God is
(24) A taking away of an objection, lest any man might say that
sometimes by consent of the parties which have made a
covenant, something is added to the covenant, or the
former covenants are broken. This, the apostle says, does
not come to pass in God, who is always one, and the very
same, and like himself.
3:2125 [Is] the law then against the promises of God? God
forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have
given life, verily righteousness should have been by the
(25) The conclusion uttered by a manner of asking a question,
and it is the same that was uttered before in (Ga 3:17),
but proceeding from another principle, so that the argument
is new, and is this: God is always like himself: therefore
the Law was not given to abolish the promises. But it would
abolish them if it gave life, for by that means it would
justify, and therefore it would abolish that justification
which was promised to Abraham and to his seed by faith. No,
it was rather given to bring to light the guiltiness of all
men, to the end that all believers fleeing to Christ, might
be freely justified in him.
3:22 But the s scripture hath concluded t all under sin,
that the u promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be
given to them that believe.
(s) By this word "scripture" he means the Law.
(t) All mankind, and whatever comes from mankind.
(u) In every one of these words, there lies an argument
against the merits of works: for all these words,
promise, faith, Christ, might be given, to believers,
are against meritorious works, and not one of them can
be included as a meritorious work.
3:2326 But before faith came, we were kept under the law,
shut up unto x the faith which should afterwards be
(26) Now there follows another handling of the second part of
this epistle, the state of which was this: although the
Law (that is, the whole government of God's house
according to the Law) does not justify, is it therefore to
be abolished, seeing that Abraham himself was circumcised,
and his posterity held still the use of Moses' Law? Paul
affirms that it ought to be abolished, because it was
instituted for that end and purpose, that is should be as
it were a schoolmaster, and keeper to the people of God,
until the promise indeed appeared, that is to say, Christ,
and the Gospel manifestly published with great efficacy by
(x) The reason why we were kept under the Law, is set down
3:2627 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ
(27) Because age does not change the condition of servants, he
adds that we are free by condition, and therefore, seeing
we are out of our childhood, we have no more need of a
keeper and schoolmaster.
3:2728 For as many of you as have been y baptized into
Christ have z put on Christ.
(28) Using the words "many of you", lest the Jews should think
themselves free from the ordinance of baptism, he
pronounces that baptism is common to all believers,
because it is a outward sign of our delivery in Christ, to
the Jews as well as to the Greeks, that by this means all
may be truly one in Christ, that is to say, that promised
seed to Abraham, and inheritors of everlasting life.
(y) He sets forth baptism, as opposed to circumcision, which
the false apostles bragged so much of.
(z) The Church must put on Christ, as it were a garment,
and be covered with him, that it may be thoroughly
holy, and without blame.
3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor
free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all a
one in Christ Jesus.
(a) You are all one: and so is this great union and