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Translations Based on Galatians Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Jul 22nd, 2021

Introduction

In the course of time, the English language changes, and the scholars try to accommodate the Bible to assist the believers in understanding it. Therefore, there are various Bible translation versions that were performed at different periods of history. This paper will target four main translations based on Galatians (3:23-29) to compare their grammatical structures and connotations. In addition, a keyword analysis will be conducted, and an outline of the mentioned excerpt will be created.

Exegetical Sized Table

King James Version (KJV) New American Standard Bible (NASB) New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) New International Version (NIV)
Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith, which was later to be revealed. Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.
Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ so that we may be justified by faith. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came so that we might be justified by faith. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.
Galatians 3:25 But after that, faith comes, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith. So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith,
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as having been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye is all one in Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.

Table 1. Exegetical Sized Table.

While the presented translations of Galatians (3.23-29) focus on the same idea, their linguistic specifics are different. The KJV uses a more outdated language with such words as “Wherefore,” “ye,” and “heirs.” The identified version of the excerpt seems to be appealing, exalted, and pathetic compared to others. The NASB and NRSV are distinguished by the authors’ more free translations, and KJV can be regarded as the example of word-by-word translations (Klein, Blomberg, & Hubbard, 2017). The NIV shows the meaning-for-meaning translations, which helps the believers better understand what exactly was stated. For instance, it seems that the point is clearer in NIV’s “have clothed yourselves with Christ” rather than KJV’s “have put on Christ.”

Key Word Study

The first keyword is to be kept in custody (phroureo (Greek)), which means to guard or keep in prison. The following are four variants used in the Bible translations versions: “kept under the law” (KJV), “kept in custody under the law” (NASB), “imprisoned and guarded under the law” (NRSB), and “held in custody under the law” (NIV). One can note that the first variant omits the custody yet implies it according to the overall connotation of the clause. NASB and NIV use similar options and focus primarily on the word custody, while NRBS strengthens the meaning by adding the words imprisoned and guarded.

The synonyms are to apprehend, detain, incarcerate, and commit; antonyms are to liberate, free, release, and cease. The identified are different from the keyword in a way that they cannot reflect the message put by Apostle Paul in his letter. Hansen (1994) and Moo (2013) agree that the word “procure” refers to a loving God who protects His people and leads them on their way. Personally, it seems that the version provided by NIV (held in custody under the law) is the most relevant to the contemporary church and believers who need to use the exilic images to understand postmodern Christianity.

The second word is a tutor (paidagogos (Greek): pais (child) and agogos (a leader), which means a person who leads others, primarily children. The variants include “schoolmaster” (KJV), “tutor” (NASB), “disciplinarian” (NRSB), and “guardian” (NIV). The former shows the word-by-word translation, and a schoolmaster’s goal is to teach children, while three other variants use synonyms that do not directly appeal to minors. Instead, they demonstrate the power of God that is expressed in protecting and preserving people as His children.

Among other synonyms, it is possible to list an instructor, educator, mentor, lecturer, et cetera; antonyms are students and pupils. These words are not representative of the idea that the law was the main guiding force before the Lord came. Moo (2013) considers that the word guardian seems to be the most appropriate due to its connotation of shielding something or someone from negative events. According to Wright, Elliott, Hafemann, and Frederick (2014), “tutor” (NASB) and “disciplinarian” (NRSB) are also relevant and more comprehensible to modern Bible readers. The opinion of the latter scholars seems to be most important and correct in the context of today’s social needs of the church in exile.

Outline for Galatians (3:23-29)

  1. Introduction.
    1. The context of Galatians (3:23-29) is characterized by Paul’s establishing churches in Galatia.
    2. The genre of this passage is epistle – the evocative letter to certain people to reveal the truth and instruct them (Fee & Stuart, 2014).
  2. Before God Came, there was the Rule of Law.
    1. The law kept Galatians from going to dangerous territories to prepare for the genuine faith.
    2. God gave people the law so that it can act as the regulator of moral behavior.
  3. When Faith has Come, the Need for a Tutor has Gone.
    1. The salvation by law was changed by the salvation by faith (Wright et al., 2014).
    2. The Jewish law was still to be reverted by with less significance.
  4. All One in Christ.
    1. The metaphor with clothing was used to show the transformation of people and their internal being received a new heart (Moo, 2013).
    2. The adoption of Christianity made all people children of God.
  5. Abraham’s Seed.
    1. All divisions by sex, freedom, and ethnicity were declared minor before the Lord.
    2. All Christians belonging to God are Abraham’s offspring who would have free grace.
  6. Conclusion. Thus, the epistle of Paul demonstrates that salvation by faith is the true way.

Conclusion

To conclude, the epistle of Galatians (3:23-29) focuses on a rather important point of Christianity, such as the connection between faith and salvation. This epistle by Apostle Paul shows how Galatians lived according to the law, and God gifted them the opportunity to accomplish salvation through Christianity. This paper analyzed four versions of the Bible translation in terms of its grammar and provided a detailed outline of the mentioned passage.

References

Fee, G., & Stuart, D. (2014). How to read the Bible for all its worth (4th ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Hansen, G. W. (1994). Galatians. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Klein, W., Blomberg, C., & Hubbard, R. (2017). Introduction to Biblical interpretation (3rd ed.). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Moo, D. J. (2013). Galatians (Baker exegetical commentary on the New Testament). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

Wright, N. T., Elliott, M. W., Hafemann, S. J., & Frederick, J. (2014). Galatians and Christian theology: Justification, the gospel, and ethics in Paul’s letter. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Translations Based on Galatians." July 22, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/translations-based-on-galatians/.

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