Paul an Apostle (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father which hath raised him from the dead) and all the brethren which are with me, unto the Churches of Galatia: Grace be with you, and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, which gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world according to the will of God even our Father, to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen.
I marvel that ye are so soon removed away unto another Gospel, from him that had called you in the grace of Christ, which is not another Gospel, save 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, then that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach unto you otherwise, then that ye have received, let him be accursed. For now preach I man’s doctrine, or Gods? 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 time past, in the 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 pleased God (which had separated me from my mothers 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. 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 Lords brother. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, I witness before God, that I lie not. After that, I went into the coasts of Syria and Cilicia: for I was unknown by face unto the Churches of Judea, which were in Christ. But they had heard only some say, He which persecuted us in time past, now preacheth the faith which before he destroyed. And they glorified God for me.
Then fourteen years after, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, & took with me Titus also. And I went up by revelation, and declared unto them that Gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but particularly to them that were the chief, least 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, to wit, for the false brethren which were craftily sent in, and crept in privily to spy 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 by them which seemed to be great, I was not taught (whatsoever they were in time passed, I am nothing the better: God accepteth no mans person) for they that are the chief, did add nothing to me above that I had. But contrariwise, when they saw that the Gospel over the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the Gospel over the circumcision was unto Peter: (For he that was mighty by Peter in the Apostleship over the circumcision, was also mighty by me toward the Gentiles) and when James, and Cephas, and John, knew of the grace that was given unto me, which are counted to be pillars, they gave to me and to Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should preach unto the Gentiles, and they unto the Circumcision, 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 condemned. For before that certain came from James, he ate with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew & separated himself, fearing them which were of the Circumcision. And the other Jews played the hypocrites likewise with him, in so much that Barnabas was led away with them by that their hypocrisy. But when I saw, that they went not the right way to the truth of the Gospel, I said unto Peter before all men, If thou being a Jew, live as the Gentiles, and not like the Jews, why constrain thou the Gentiles to do like the Jews? We which are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, know that a man is not justified by the works of the Law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we, I say, have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, & not by the works of the Law, because that by the works of the Law, no flesh shall be justified. If then while we seek to be made righteous by Christ, we ourselves are found sinners, 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. For I through the Law am dead to the Law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ, but I live, yet not I any more, but Christ liveth in me: and in that that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith in the Son of God, who hath loved me, and given himself for me. I do not abrogate the grace of God: for if righteousness be by the Law, then Christ dyed without a cause.
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, to whom Jesus Christ before was described in your sight, and among you crucified? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith preached? Are ye so foolish, that after ye have begun in the Spirit, ye would now be made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? If so be it be even in vain. He therefore that ministreth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it through the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith preached? Yea rather as Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. For the Scripture foreseeing, that God would justify the Gentiles through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all the Gentiles be blessed. So then they which be of faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the Law, are under the curse: 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. And that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident: for the just shall live by faith. And the Law is not of faith: but the man that shall do those things shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, made a curse for us, (for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on tree) that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak as men do: though it be but a mans covenant, when it is confirmed, yet no man doeth abrogate it, or addeth any thing 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 covenant that was confirmed afore of God in respect of Christ, the Law which was four hundredth and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the Law, it is no more by the promise, but God gave it freely unto Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the Law? It was added because of the transgressions, till 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 have given life, surely righteousness should have been by the Law. But 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, we were kept under the Law, as under a garrison, and shut up unto that faith, which should afterward be revealed. Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ that we might 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 into Christ, 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 Christ’s, then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs by promise. Then 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 time appointed of the Father. Even so, we when we were children were in bondage under the rudiments of the world. But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son made 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 the sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, which crieth, 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. But even then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them, which by nature are not gods: but now seeing ye know God, yea, rather are known of God, how tune ye again unto impotent and beggarly rudiments, whereunto as from the beginning ye will be in bondage again? Ye observe days, and months, and times and years. I am in fear of you, lest I have bestowed on you labor in vain. Be ye as I (for I am even as you) brethren, I beseech you: ye have not hurt me at all. And ye know, how through 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 unto me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? They are jealous over you amiss: yea, they would exclude you, that ye should altogether love them. But it is a good thing to love earnestly 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: for I am in doubt of 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 borne after the flesh: and he which was of the free woman was borne by promise. By the which things another thing is meant: for these mothers are the two testaments, the one which is Agar of mount Sinai, which gendereth unto bondage. (For Agar or Sinai is a mountain in Arabia, and it 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 bear no children: break forth, & cry, thou that travail not: for the desolate hath many more children, then she which hath an husband. Therefore, brethren, we are after the manner of Isaac, children of the promise. But as then he that was borne after the flesh, persecuted him that was borne after the Spirit, even so it is now. But what saith the Scripture? Put out the servant and her son: for the son of the servant shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. Then brethren, we are not children of the servant, but of the free woman.
Stand fast therefore in the 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 to every man, which is circumcised, that he is bound to keep the whole Law. Ye are abolished from Christ: whosoever are justified by the Law, ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness through faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, neither uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well: who did let you, that ye did not obey the truth? It is not the persuasion of him that calleth you. A little leaven doeth 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 even cut off, which do disquiet you. 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 all the Law is fulfilled in one word, which is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self. If ye bite and devour one another, take heed least ye be consumed one of another. Then I say, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary one to another, so that ye cannot do the same things that ye would. And if ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the Law. Moreover the works of the flesh are manifest, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, wantonness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, debate, emulations, wrath, contentions, seditions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, gluttony, and such like, whereof I tell you before, as I also have told you before, that they which do such things, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. For they that are Christ’s, have crucified the flesh with the affections and the lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Brethren, if a man be suddenly taken in any offence, ye which are spiritual, restore such one with the spirit of meekness, considering thy self, least thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burden, & so fulfill the Law of Christ. For if any man seem to himself, that he is somewhat, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself in his imagination. But let every man prove his own work: and then shall he 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 hath taught him, partaker of all his goods. Be not deceived: God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption: but he that soweth to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting. Let us not therefore be weary of well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. While we have therefore time, let us do good unto all men, but specially unto them, which are of the household of faith.
Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. As many as desire to make a faire shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised, only because they would not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For they themselves which are circumcised keep not the law, but desire to have you circumcised, that they might rejoice in your flesh. But God forbid that I should rejoice, but in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified unto me, & I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace shall 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.
Unto the Galatians written from Rome.
1587 Geneva bible in paragraph format and modernized spelling.