Galatians 2:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.

New Living Translation
Even that question came up only because of some so-called Christians there--false ones, really--who were secretly brought in. They sneaked in to spy on us and take away the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. They wanted to enslave us and force us to follow their Jewish regulations.

English Standard Version
Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—

New American Standard Bible
But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.

King James Bible
And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
This issue arose because of false brothers smuggled in, who came in secretly to spy on the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, in order to enslave us.

International Standard Version
However, false brothers were secretly brought in. They slipped in to spy on the freedom we have in the Messiah Jesus so that they might enslave us.

NET Bible
Now this matter arose because of the false brothers with false pretenses who slipped in unnoticed to spy on our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, to make us slaves.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But because of false brethren who came in to spy on the liberty that we have in Yeshua The Messiah, so as to enslave me,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
False Christians were brought in. They slipped in as spies to learn about the freedom Christ Jesus gives us. They hoped to find a way to control us.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And that in spite of the false brethren, who entered secretly to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus that they might bring us into bondage;

King James 2000 Bible
And because of false brethren brought in unawares, who came in secretly to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

American King James Version
And that because of false brothers unawares brought in, who came in privately to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

American Standard Version
and that because of the false brethren privily brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

Douay-Rheims Bible
But because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privately to spy our liberty, which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into servitude.

Darby Bible Translation
and [it was] on account of the false brethren brought in surreptitiously, who came in surreptitiously to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage;

English Revised Version
and that because of the false brethren privily brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

Webster's Bible Translation
And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privately to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

Weymouth New Testament
Yet there was danger of this through the false brethren secretly introduced into the Church, who had stolen in to spy out the freedom which is ours in Christ Jesus, in order to rob us of it.

World English Bible
This was because of the false brothers secretly brought in, who stole in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage;

Young's Literal Translation
and that because of the false brethren brought in unawares, who did come in privily to spy out our liberty that we have in Christ Jesus, that us they might bring under bondage,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:1-10 Observe the apostle's faithfulness in giving a full account of the doctrine he had preached among the Gentiles, and was still resolved to preach, that of Christianity, free from all mixture of Judaism. This doctrine would be ungrateful to many, yet he was not afraid to own it. His care was, lest the success of his past labours should be lessened, or his future usefulness be hindered. While we simply depend upon God for success to our labours, we should use every proper caution to remove mistakes, and against opposers. There are things which may lawfully be complied with, yet, when they cannot be done without betraying the truth, they ought to be refused. We must not give place to any conduct, whereby the truth of the gospel would be reflected upon. Though Paul conversed with the other apostles, yet he did not receive any addition to his knowledge, or authority, from them. Perceiving the grace given to him, they gave unto him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, whereby they acknowledged that he was designed to the honour and office of an apostle as well as themselves. They agreed that these two should go to the heathen, while they continued to preach to the Jews; judging it agreeable to the mind of Christ, so to divide their work. Here we learn that the gospel is not ours, but God's; and that men are but the keepers of it; for this we are to praise God. The apostle showed his charitable disposition, and how ready he was to own the Jewish converts as brethren, though many would scarcely allow the like favour to the converted Gentiles; but mere difference of opinion was no reason to him why he should not help them. Herein is a pattern of Christian charity, which we should extend to all the disciples of Christ.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - And that because of false brethren unawares brought in (διὰ δὲ τοὺς παρεισάκτους ψευδαδέλφους); and that because of the false brethren without warrant brought in. The conjunction δὲ often is not adversative, but only introduces a fresh thought of a qualifying or explanatory character (comp. ἀνέβην δὲ and κατ ἰδίαμ δὲ of ver. 2). The rendering of our English Version represents the connection with the preceding sentence quite correctly. The designation, "false brethren," after the analogy of "false apostles," "false prophets" (ψευδαπόστολοι, ψευδοπροφῆται, 2 Corinthians 11:13; 2 Peter 2:1), were those who were not really brethren in Christ, but had superinduced the profession of such over a state of mind radically incompatible with it; not children of God through faith in Christ Jesus," but only simulating faith in Christ; outwardly "baptized into Christ," but not inwardly, and therefore not really. The loud demand which those false brethren were making, that all Gentile converts should be circumcised, was distinctly rested by them upon the principle that otherwise those converts were not qualified for sonship in God's family or for admission to Church fellowship with, at any rate, the believing circumcision. This demand of theirs, made upon this pernicious principle, it was that had raised the present controversy, and had brought Paul and his fellow-deputies to Jerusalem. If, under such circumstances, Titus, with St. Paul's concurrence, had consented to be circumcised, then, whatever the motive of his consenting, it would have seemed to those false brethren, and not to them only, but indeed to the Church at large, that all had agreed in recognizing the soundness of that principle of theirs that circumcision was indispensable for perfect Divine acceptance. This consideration, we may believe, Titus and St. Paul now urged upon those who, not themselves alleging that principle, nor even allowing it to be true, yet, on other grounds, were recommending and pressing for Titus's circumcision. And the argument prevailed with them. They withdrew that pressure of theirs, and consented to leave Titus to stand there before the Church and the world, a claimant of full admission to all Christian fellowship while still in uncircumcision. It was those false brethren themselves, then, that made it impossible at the present juncture that those who held fast to the truth of the gospel should accept counsels of compromise or conciliation. In matters of indifference (ἀδιάφορα) there is a time for conciliation - this no one could ever be more ready to see and act upon than St. Paul; but there is also a time for the unbending assertion of truth, and the clamours of the false brethren made the present to be one of the latter kind. In that particular juncture of Church development, the doctrine itself of the absolute justification of men through faith in Christ was at stake. If Titus was not qualified for Christian fellowship by simply his faith in Christ, then neither was he qualified for acceptance with God by simply his faith. Without warrant brought in. In the compound verbal παρεισάκτους, the preposition παρὰ, appears to point, not so much to the manner in which they had been brought in, as e.g. stealthily, craftily, as to the circumstance that they had no business to be brought in at all; they were an alien brood. The Greek glosselogists, Hesychius, Photius, and Suidas, render it ἀλλότριος, i.e. alien. In 2 Peter 1:1, παρεισάξουσιν αἱρέσεις ἀπωλείας, reference is made to the alien character of the teaching spoken cf. The apostle's feeling is that men who do not accept the truth that through faith in Christ we are justified, and through faith only, have no proper place in the Church of Christ (comp. Galatians 5:4, 5). If the question be asked - Who brought them in? the parable of the tares suggests the answer - The devil (comp. 2 Corinthians 11:15; 2 Corinthians 2:11). Who came in privily (οἵτινες παρεισῆλθον); a set of men who without warrant came in. The preposition παρὰ in the verb has the same force as it has in παρεισάκτους. So also in παριεσέδυσαν (Jude 1:4). To spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus (κατασκοπῆσαι τὴν ἐλευθερίαν ἡμῶν η{ν ἔχομεν ἐν Ξριστῷ Ἰησοῦ); to spy out that liberty of ours which, etc. These men had come into the Church prepared to detect and to regard with the keenest dislike anything, either in doctrine or in Church action, which would infringe upon their own legalism, and to wage war upon it. For this notion of hostile intent is strongly suggested by the verb "to spy out" (cf. 2 Kings 10:3; 1 Chronicles 19:3; and κατασκοπεῦσαι in Joshua 2:2). The infinitive (of purpose), viewed in reference to the men themselves, can be understood only of their disposed-ness to make this use of their membership; for they can hardly be supposed to have entered into the Church for that definite object; but the apostle views them as emissaries of the great enemy; Satan's design thus to wage war with our gospel liberty (comp. 2 Corinthians 11:13, 15) is by a bold figure ascribed in this infinitive to his instruments. This liberty means the whole spirit of freedom which faith in Christ imparts to the Christian, including, for one thing, his emancipation from the yoke of ceremonialism, but containing also more. That they might bring us into bondage (ἵνα ἡμᾶς καταδουλῶσουσιν [Receptus, καταδουλώσωνται], The reading of six of the uncial manuscripts is καταδουλώσουσιν; of three, σωσιν; of one, -σωνται. The variation in the mood of the verb is immaterial; for the construction of ἵνα (of purpose) with an indicative, though strange to the eye of the student of classical Greek, is not foreign to the writers of the New Testament; but the variation in the voice affects the sense. Καταδουλώσωνται would mean "bring into bondage to themselves," which most probably is not the writer's meaning; he apparently means:rather, "deprive us of our liberty by enslaving us to the Law" (cf. ch. 4:25; 5:1). The simple verb δουλόω, occurs repeatedly; the compound καταδουλόω here and in 2 Corinthians 11:20, intensifies the sense: degrade us into slavery.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And that because of false brethren,.... This is the reason why the elders did not insist upon the circumcision of Titus, why he did not submit to it, and why the apostle would not admit of it: had it been left as a thing indifferent, or had it been moved for in order to satisfy some weak minds, it might have been complied with, as in the case of Timothy; but these men insisted upon it as necessary to salvation; they were sly, artful, designing men; could they have gained their point in such an instance; could they have got such a precedent at such a time, when this matter was canvassing, they would have made great use of it in the Gentile churches, for which reason it was by no means judged proper and expedient. These men are described as "false brethren": they had the name, but not the grace, which entitles to the character of "brethren"; they called themselves Christians, but were in reality Jews: at the head of these, Cerinthus, that arch-heretic, is said (b) to be. They are further described as such,

who were unawares brought in, who came in privily; into the churches, and into the ministry, into private houses, where the apostles were; or rather into the public synod, where they were convened together about this article of the necessity of circumcision to salvation. Their views, aims, and ends were,

to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus; by which is meant, not a liberty to sin, which is no Christian liberty, is contrary to Christ, to the Spirit of Christ, to the principle of grace in believers, and to the doctrines of the Gospel; but a liberty from sin; not the being of it, but the dominion and damning power of it: that branch of Christian liberty the apostle here chiefly designs is a freedom from the law, both the moral law, as in the hands of Moses, and as a covenant of works, though not from obedience to it as in the hands of Christ, and as a rule of walk and conversation; but from obeying it, in order to obtain life, righteousness, and salvation by it, and from the curse and condemnation of it; and chiefly the ceremonial law, circumcision, and all the other rituals of it, and the free use of all things indifferent, provided the glory of God, and the peace of weak believers, are secured. This liberty is said to be had "in Christ", because Christ is the author of it; it is that with which Christ makes his people free; and such as are made free by him, are free indeed; and is what they come to enjoy by being in him; for by having union to him, they come to partake of all the blessings of grace which come by him, and this among the rest. Now the design of these false teachers getting in privily among the apostles, elders, and brethren, was to make their remarks upon this liberty, to object to it, and, if possible, to break in upon it, and destroy it, and so gain another point, which follows:

that they might bring us into bondage; to the moral law, by directing souls to seek for justification and salvation by the works of it, which necessarily induces a spirit of bondage, genders to a state of bondage and involves in it; and to the ceremonial law, by engaging to an observance of circumcision, that yoke of bondage, and of day, months, times, and years, and other beggarly elements, which naturally lead on to such a state.

(b) Epiphan. contr. Haeres. l. 1. Tom. 2. Haeres. 28.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. And that—that is, What I did concerning Titus (namely, by not permitting him to be circumcised) was not from contempt of circumcision, but "on account of the false brethren" (Ac 15:1, 24) who, had I yielded to the demand for his being circumcised, would have perverted the case into a proof that I deemed circumcision necessary.

unawares—"in an underhand manner brought in."

privily—stealthily.

to spy out—as foes in the guise of friends, wishing to destroy and rob us of

our liberty—from the yoke of the ceremonial law. If they had found that we circumcised Titus through fear of the apostles, they would have made that a ground for insisting on imposing the legal yoke on the Gentiles.

bring us into bondage—The Greek future implies the certainty and continuance of the bondage as the result.

Galatians 2:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Council at Jerusalem
3But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.…
Cross References
Acts 15:1
Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved."

Acts 15:24
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.

Romans 8:15
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

2 Corinthians 11:13
For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:20
In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face.

2 Corinthians 11:26
I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.

Galatians 1:7
which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Galatians 4:3
So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world.

Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:12
As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

Galatians 5:13
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

James 1:25
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it--not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it--they will be blessed in what they do.

2 Peter 2:1
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.

Jude 1:4
For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
Treasury of Scripture

And that because of false brothers unawares brought in, who came in privately to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

because.

Galatians 5:10,12 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that you will be none …

Acts 15:1,24 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brothers, …

Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, …

2 Corinthians 11:13,17,26 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves …

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they …

unawares.

2 Timothy 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive …

2 Peter 2:1,2 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there …

Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old …

liberty.

Galatians 3:23-26 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up to the …

Galatians 5:1,13 Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us …

Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation; and uphold me with your free spirit.

Psalm 119:45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek your precepts.

John 8:31-36 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue …

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, …

1 Peter 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, …

2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants …

bring.

Galatians 4:3,9,10,25 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements …

Isaiah 51:23 But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict you; which have …

2 Corinthians 11:20 For you suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour …

Jump to Previous
Account Bondage Christ Church Condition Danger Free Freedom Introduced Jesus Liberty Matter Order Ours Privately Privily Ranks Searching Secretly Servants Slipped Spy Stole Stolen Unawares
Jump to Next
Account Bondage Christ Church Condition Danger Free Freedom Introduced Jesus Liberty Matter Order Ours Privately Privily Ranks Searching Secretly Servants Slipped Spy Stole Stolen Unawares
Links
Galatians 2:4 NIV
Galatians 2:4 NLT
Galatians 2:4 ESV
Galatians 2:4 NASB
Galatians 2:4 KJV

Galatians 2:4 Bible Apps
Galatians 2:4 Bible Suite
Galatians 2:4 Biblia Paralela
Galatians 2:4 Chinese Bible
Galatians 2:4 French Bible
Galatians 2:4 German Bible

Alphabetical: FALSE arose because bondage brethren bring brothers brought But Christ freedom had have in infiltrated into it Jesus liberty make matter of on order our out ranks secretly slaves sneaked some spy the This to us was we which who

NT Letters: Galatians 2:4 This was because of the false brothers (Gal. Ga) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Galatians 2:3
Top of Page
Top of Page