Galatians 3:15
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.

New Living Translation
Dear brothers and sisters, here's an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or amend an irrevocable agreement, so it is in this case.

English Standard Version
To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified.

New American Standard Bible
Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man's covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it.

King James Bible
Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Brothers, I'm using a human illustration. No one sets aside or makes additions to even a human covenant that has been ratified.

International Standard Version
Brothers, let me use an example from everyday life. Once a person's will has been ratified, no one can cancel it or add conditions to it.

NET Bible
Brothers and sisters, I offer an example from everyday life: When a covenant has been ratified, even though it is only a human contract, no one can set it aside or add anything to it.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
My brethren, I speak as among men, that a man does not reject or change anything in a man's covenant which has been confirmed.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Brothers and sisters, let me use an example from everyday life. No one can cancel a person's will or add conditions to it once that will is put into effect.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Brethren, (I speak after the manner of men) Even when a covenant is of man, once it is confirmed, no one cancels it or adds to it.

King James 2000 Bible
Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannuls, or adds thereto.

American King James Version
Brothers, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man cancels, or adds thereto.

American Standard Version
Brethren, I speak after the manner of men: Though it be but a man's covenant, yet when it hath been confirmed, no one maketh it void, or addeth thereto.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Brethren (I speak after the manner of man,) yet a man's testament, if it be confirmed, no man despiseth, nor addeth to it.

Darby Bible Translation
Brethren, (I speak according to man,) even man's confirmed covenant no one sets aside, or adds other dispositions to.

English Revised Version
Brethren, I speak after the manner of men: Though it be but a man's covenant, yet when it hath been confirmed, no one maketh it void, or addeth thereto.

Webster's Bible Translation
Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it is but a man's covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no man disannulleth or addeth to it.

Weymouth New Testament
Brethren, even a covenant made by a man--to borrow an illustration from daily life--when once formally sanctioned is not liable to be set aside or added to.

World English Bible
Brothers, speaking of human terms, though it is only a man's covenant, yet when it has been confirmed, no one makes it void, or adds to it.

Young's Literal Translation
Brethren, as a man I say it, even of man a confirmed covenant no one doth make void or doth add to,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:15-18 The covenant God made with Abraham, was not done away by the giving the law to Moses. The covenant was made with Abraham and his Seed. It is still in force; Christ abideth for ever in his person, and his spiritual seed, who are his by faith. By this we learn the difference between the promises of the law and those of the gospel. The promises of the law are made to the person of every man; the promises of the gospel are first made to Christ, then by him to those who are by faith ingrafted into Christ. Rightly to divide the word of truth, a great difference must be put between the promise and the law, as to the inward affections, and the whole practice of life. When the promise is mingled with the law, it is made nothing but the law. Let Christ be always before our eyes, as a sure argument for the defence of faith, against dependence on human righteousness.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 15. - Brethren, I speak after the manner of men (ἀδελφοί κατὰ ἄνθρωπον λέγω). "Brethren." The tone of indignant reproach with which the chapter opened has gradually subsided in the course of the apostle's argument; so that here he appeals to the Galatian Churchmen as "brethren; ' as if to bespeak their candid attention to the consideration he is about to allege. "I speak after the manner of men." I say it as stating a principle commonly recognized in human life, in respect to contracts between man and man (see note on the phrase, Galatians 1:11). In a similar manner, in Hebrews 6:16, 17 the writer refers to human methods of ratifying solemn engagements, in order to illustrate a course of proceeding on another occasion condescendingly adopted by God. Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be (when it hath been) confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto (ὅμως ἀνθρώπου κεκυρωμένην διαθήκην οὐδεὶς ἀθετεῖ η} ἐπιδιατάσσεται). The Authorized Version has thus happily rendered the ὅμως, which is here transposed cut of its logical position, as it is also in 1 Corinthians 14:7, and as ἔτι is in Romans 5:6. The apostle's meaning is that, if even men are constrained by their sense of justice to abide by this rule, much more may the All-righteous One be expected to do so. This a fortiori suggestion (for St. Paul only hints this consideration by introducing the word ὅμως without explicitly developing it) is similar to the afortiori argument more explicitly stated by our Lord with reference to God's justice, in Luke 18:6, 7; and to his fatherliness, in Luke 11:13. "Covenant." The word διαθήκη, properly "disposition," which, in classical Greek, generally means "will," "testament," is used in the Septuagint to render the Hebrew berith, covenant, in which sense it occurs once in Aristophanes, 'Ayes,' 439; and it appears to denote "covenant" in all the thirty-three places in which it is found in the New Testament; for even Hebrews 9:17 can hardly be allowed to be an exception. Bishop Lightfoot observes that the Septuagint translators and the New Testament writers probably preferred διαθήκη to συνθήκη, the ordinary Greek word for "covenant," when speaking of a Divine dispensation, because, like "promise," it better expresses the free grace of God. Perhaps the terms appeared to them more suitable also in this application, because one of the parties to the engagement was no other than the supreme sovereign Disposer of all things. "Confirmed;" ratified; as it were, signed, sealed, and delivered. "No one;" meaning neither of the two covenanting parties. "Addeth thereto;" addeth any fresh condition, such as would clog the action of the previous engagement. The apostle adds this with reference to the supposition that the Law of Moses might have qualified the Abrahamic covenant by limiting its benefits to persons ceremonially clean.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Brethren,.... Whereas in Galatians 3:1, he calls them "foolish Galatians", which might seem too harsh and severe, therefore, to mitigate and soften their resentments, he styles them brethren; hoping still well of them, and that they were not so far gone, but that they might be recovered; and imputing the blame and fault rather to their leaders and teachers, than to them:

I speak after the manner of men; agreeably to a Talmudic form of speech in use among the Jews, , "the law speaks according to the language of the children of men", or "after the manner of men" (b), when they argue from any Scripture, in which a word is repeated, and the latter word seems to point out something peculiar: but the apostle's meaning is, that the thing he was about to speak of was taken from among men, in common use with them, and what was obvious to the common sense and understanding of men, and might easily be applied and argued from, as it is by him:

though it be but a man's covenant, or testament, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth or addeth thereto; if a covenant made between men, or a man's will and testament, be confirmed, signed, sealed, and witnessed, in a proper manner, no other man can make them void, or take anything from them, or add anything to them, only the parties concerned by their own will and consent; and if this be the case among men, much less can the covenant of God, confirmed by two immutable things, his word and oath, or his will and testament, or any branch of it, be ever disannulled, or be capable of receiving any addition thereunto. The apostle seems to have a particular respect to that branch of the covenant and will of God, which regards the justification of men in his sight by the righteousness of Christ, to which the false teachers were for adding the works of the law.

(b) T. Bab Ceritot, fol. 11. 1. Bava Metzia, fol. 94. 2. Sanhedrin, fol. 90. 2. Maccot, fol. 12. 1. Vid Halicot Olam, tract 4. c. 3. p. 199.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

15. I speak after the manner of men—I take an illustration from a merely human transaction of everyday occurrence.

but a man's covenant—whose purpose it is far less important to maintain.

if it be confirmed—when once it hath been ratified.

no man disannulleth—"none setteth aside," not even the author himself, much less any second party. None does so who acts in common equity. Much less would the righteous God do so. The law is here, by personification, regarded as a second person, distinct from, and subsequent to, the promise of God. The promise is everlasting, and more peculiarly belongs to God. The law is regarded as something extraneous, afterwards introduced, exceptional and temporary (Ga 3:17-19, 21-24).

addeth—None addeth new conditions "making" the covenant "of none effect" (Ga 3:17). So legal Judaism could make no alteration in the fundamental relation between God and man, already established by the promises to Abraham; it could not add as a new condition the observance of the law, in which case the fulfilment of the promise would be attached to a condition impossible for man to perform. The "covenant" here is one of free grace, a promise afterwards carried into effect in the Gospel.

Galatians 3:15 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Purpose of the Law
15Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man's covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. 16Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ.…
Cross References
Acts 1:15
In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)

Romans 1:13
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

Romans 3:5
But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.)

Galatians 6:18
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

Hebrews 6:13
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself,

Hebrews 6:16
People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument.
Treasury of Scripture

Brothers, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man cancels, or adds thereto.

I speak.

Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh…

1 Corinthians 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, …

it be.

Hebrews 9:17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of …

covenant. or, testament.

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Alphabetical: a add adds an as aside been Brethren Brothers can case conditions covenant duly established even everyday example from has human I in is it Just let life man's me no of one only or ratified relations set sets so speak take terms that this though to when yet

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