Galatians 2:15
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles

New Living Translation
"You and I are Jews by birth, not 'sinners' like the Gentiles.

English Standard Version
We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners;

New American Standard Bible
"We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles;

King James Bible
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
We who are Jews by birth and not "Gentile sinners"

International Standard Version
We ourselves are Jews by birth, and not gentile sinners,

NET Bible
We are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For we who are by our nature Judeans and not sinners of the Gentiles,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
We are Jewish by birth, not sinners from other nations.

Jubilee Bible 2000
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

King James 2000 Bible
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

American King James Version
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

American Standard Version
We being Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

Douay-Rheims Bible
We by nature are Jews, and not of the Gentiles sinners.

Darby Bible Translation
We, Jews by nature, and not sinners of [the] nations,

English Revised Version
We being Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

Webster's Bible Translation
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

Weymouth New Testament
You and I, though we are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners,

World English Bible
"We, being Jews by nature, and not Gentile sinners,

Young's Literal Translation
we by nature Jews, and not sinners of the nations,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:15-19 Paul, having thus shown he was not inferior to any apostle, not to Peter himself, speaks of the great foundation doctrine of the gospel. For what did we believe in Christ? Was it not that we might be justified by the faith of Christ? If so, is it not foolish to go back to the law, and to expect to be justified by the merit of moral works, or sacrifices, or ceremonies? The occasion of this declaration doubtless arose from the ceremonial law; but the argument is quite as strong against all dependence upon the works of the moral law, as respects justification. To give the greater weight to this, it is added, But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ the minister of sin? This would be very dishonourable to Christ, and also very hurtful to them. By considering the law itself, he saw that justification was not to be expected by the works of it, and that there was now no further need of the sacrifices and cleansings of it, since they were done away in Christ, by his offering up himself a sacrifice for us. He did not hope or fear any thing from it; any more than a dead man from enemies. But the effect was not a careless, lawless life. It was necessary, that he might live to God, and be devoted to him through the motives and grace of the gospel. It is no new prejudice, though a most unjust one, that the doctrine of justification by faith alone, tends to encourage people in sin. Not so, for to take occasion from free grace, or the doctrine of it, to live in sin, is to try to make Christ the minister of sin, at any thought of which all Christian hearts would shudder.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 15. - We who are Jews by nature (ἡμεῖς φύσει Ἰουδαῖοι); we being Jews by nature; or, we are Jews by nature. In point of construction, it may be observed that, after εἰδότες in the next verse, recent editors concur in inserting δέ. With this correction of the text, we may either make this fifteenth verse a separate sentence, by supplying ἐσμέν, "we are Jews by nature," etc., and begin the next verse with the words, "but yet, knowing that... even we believed," etc.; or we may supply in this verse" being," and, conjoining it with "knowing," take the two verses as forming one sentence; thus: "We being Jews... yet knowing that... even we believed," etc. For the general sense, it is quite immaterial which mode of construing we adopt. The Revisers have preferred the latter. The former makes the passage run more smoothly; but this, in construing St. Paul's writings, is by no means a consideration of weight. "We," that is, "I Paul, and thou Cephas," rather than "I Paul, and thou Cephas, with those who are acting with thee;" for we read before, "I said unto Cephas," not" unto Cephas and the rest of the Jews." "By nature;" because we were Jews by birth. But the two expressions, "by nature" and "by birth," are not convertible terms, as is evident from ch. 4:8 and Romans 2:14; the former covers wider ground than the latter. The prerogatives attaching to the natural position of a born Jew were higher than those which appertained to a circumcised proselyte. This is why he adds," by nature." "Jews;" a term of honourable distinction, closely by its etymology connected in the mind of a Hebrew with the notion of "praise" (comp. Genesis 9:8; Romans 2:29); a term, therefore, of theocratic vaunting (Romans 2:17). And not sinners of the Gentiles (καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἐθνῶν ἁμαρτωλοί); and not of the Gentiles sinners. The word "sinners" must be here taken, not in that purely moral acceptation in which all are "sinners," but in that mixed sense in which moral disapproval was largely tinged with the bigoted disdain which the theocratic Israelite felt for "the uncircumcised;" the Levitically purist Jew for them who, having no" Law "(ἄνομοι), wallowed in every kind of ceremonial pollution, "unclean," "dogs" (comp. Matthew 15:27; Philippians 3:2; Acts 2:23). As a notion correlative to that of "Jews," the word is used by our Lord himself when he spoke of his being delivered into the hands of "sinners" (Matthew 26:45; comp. Matthew 20:19). As correlative to that of persons fit for the society of the righteous and Levitically holy, it is used by Christ and the evangelists in the phrase, "publicans and sinners," in which it is nearly equivalent to "outcasts." So the apostle uses it here. With an ironical mimesis of the tone of language which a self-righteous legalist loved to employ, he means in effect, "not come from among Gentiles, sinful outcasts." May not the apostle be imagined to have quite lately heard such phrases from the lips of some of those Pharisee-minded Christians to whom Cephas was unhappily now truckling? For the right appreciation of the train of thought which the apostle is now pursuing, it is important to observe that both Cephas and Paul had reason to regard themselves as having been, before they were justified, sinners in another sense of the deepest dye. St. Paul felt to the very end of his days that he had once been, and that therefore in himself he still was, a chief of sinners (ἀμαρτωλούς ῶν πρῶτός εἰμι ἐγώ); and surely the wickedness into which Cephas precipitated himself on the morning of his Lord's passion must have left ever alter in his mind too a similar consciousness.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

We who are Jews by nature,.... I Paul, and you Peter and Barnabas, and the rest of the Jews at Antioch. Some are Jews by grace, in a spiritual sense, as all are that are Christ's, that are true believers in him, that are born again, and have internal principles of grace formed in their souls, of whatsoever nation they be; see Romans 2:28. Others become Jews by being proselytes to the Jewish religion: such were the Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven, that were dwelling at Jerusalem, when the Spirit was poured down on the apostles on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:5, but these here spoken of were such as were Jews by birth; they were born so, were descended of Jewish parents, and from their infancy were brought up in the Jewish religion, and under the law of Moses, and in the observance of it:

and not sinners of the Gentiles: , "the wicked of the nations of the world", as the (l) Jews call them. Not but that the Jews also were sinners both by nature and practice, were involved in the guilt of sin, under the power of it, and defiled with it, as the apostle elsewhere most fully proves: nor is this said with regard to the vain opinion the Jews had of themselves, as very holy and righteous persons, who in their own apprehension needed neither repentance nor remission; and who looked upon the Gentiles as very unholy and unfit for conversation with them: but this more particularly respects that part of the character of the Heathens, that they were without the law, and were under no restraints, but lived in all manner of wickedness, without hope and God in the world, and so were notorious sinners, filled with all unrighteousness, profligate and abandoned to every evil work, and are therefore called emphatically "sinful men", Luke 24:7. And indeed the word Gentiles, among themselves is sometimes used for , "a certain most wicked part" of Gentiles in a city (m), and so may here design such who lived the most dissolute lives and conversations, to which the Jews are opposed, who had a written law, and were under a better regulation and discipline. The reason of this description, both in the positive and negative branch of it, is to observe, that since they, the apostles, and others, who were born Jews, and so under the law of Moses, and, until Christ came, were under obligation to observe it, but had now relinquished it, and wholly and alone believed in Christ for righteousness and life; then it was the most unreasonable thing in the world, by any means whatever, to lead the Gentiles, who never were under the law, to an observance of it.

(l) Mattanot Cehunah in Vajikra Rabba, fol. 164. 3.((m) Harpocratian. Lex. p. 93.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

15, 16. Connect these verses together, and read with most of the oldest manuscripts "But" in the beginning of Ga 2:16: "We (I and thou, Peter) by nature (not by proselytism), Jews, and not sinners as (Jewish language termed the Gentiles) from among the Gentiles, YET (literally, 'BUT') knowing that … even we (resuming the 'we' of Ga 2:15, 'we also,' as well as the Gentile sinners; casting away trust in the law), have believed," &c.

Galatians 2:15 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul Confronts Peter
14But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, "If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? 15"We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; 16nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.…
Cross References
1 Samuel 15:18
And he sent you on a mission, saying, 'Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.'

Luke 24:7
The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' "

Galatians 2:17
"But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn't that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not!

Ephesians 2:3
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

Philippians 3:4
though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:
Treasury of Scripture

We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

Jews.

Matthew 3:7-9 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, …

John 8:39-41 They answered and said to him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said …

Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the …

Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the …

sinners.

Matthew 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to his disciples, Why eats …

Mark 7:26-28 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she sought …

Acts 22:21 And he said to me, Depart: for I will send you far hence to the Gentiles.

Romans 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before …

Ephesians 2:11,12 Why remember, that you being in time past Gentiles in the flesh…

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, …

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