|New International Version (©2011)|
I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong.
New Living Translation (©2007)
Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things, for I have become like you Gentiles--free from those laws. You did not mistreat me when I first preached to you.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
I beg of you, brethren, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong;
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
I beg you, brothers: Become like me, for I also became like you. You have not wronged me;
International Standard Version (©2012)
I beg you, brothers, to become like me, since I became like you. You did not do anything wrong to me.
NET Bible (©2006)
I beg you, brothers and sisters, become like me, because I have become like you. You have done me no wrong!
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
Be like me because I also have been like you, my brethren, I beg of you. You have wronged me in nothing,
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Brothers and sisters, I beg you to become like me. After all, I became like you were. You didn't do anything wrong to me.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as you are: you have not injured me at all.
American King James Version
Brothers, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as you are: you have not injured me at all.
American Standard Version
I beseech you, brethren, become as I am , for I also am become as ye are . Ye did me no wrong:
Be ye as I, because I also am as you: brethren, I beseech you: you have not injured me at all.
Darby Bible Translation
Be as I am, for I also am as ye, brethren, I beseech you: ye have not at all wronged me.
English Revised Version
I beseech you, brethren, be as I am, for I am as ye are. Ye did me no wrong:
Webster's Bible Translation
Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
Weymouth New Testament
Brethren, become as I am, I beseech you; for I have also become like you. In no respect did you behave badly to me.
World English Bible
I beg you, brothers, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong,
Young's Literal Translation
Become as I am -- because I also am as ye brethren, I beseech you; to me ye did no hurt,
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:12-18 The apostle desires that they would be of one mind with him respecting the law of Moses, as well as united with him in love. In reproving others, we should take care to convince them that our reproofs are from sincere regard to the honour of God and religion and their welfare. The apostle reminds the Galatians of the difficulty under which he laboured when he first came among them. But he notices, that he was a welcome messenger to them. Yet how very uncertain are the favour and respect of men! Let us labour to be accepted of God. You once thought yourselves happy in receiving the gospel; have you now reason to think otherwise? Christians must not forbear speaking the truth, for fear of offending others. The false teachers who drew the Galatians from the truth of the gospel were designing men. They pretended affection, but they were not sincere and upright. An excellent rule is given. It is good to be zealous always in a good thing; not for a time only, or now and then, but always. Happy would it be for the church of Christ, if this zeal was better maintained.
Verse 12. - Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are (γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ ὅτι κἀγὼ ὡς ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί δέομαι; be ye as I; because I on my part an as ye; brethren, I entreat. We may compare 1 Corinthians 11:1, "Be imitators of me, even as on my part I am of Christ (μιμηταί μου γίνεσθε καθὼς κἀγὼ Ξριστοῦ)." There is no need in respect to γίνεσθε to accentuate the notion of change this verb often means simply "show one's self, act as;" as e.g. 1 Corinthians 14:20, Μὴ παιδία γίνεσθε... ταῖς δὲ φρεσὶ τέλειοι γίνεσθε: 1 Corinthians 15:58, and often. "Be as I;" to wit, rejoicing in Christ Jesus as our sole and all-sufficing Righteousness before God, and in that faith letting go all care about rites and ceremonies of the Law of Moses, or indeed ceremonialism of any kind, as if such things mattered at all here, in the business of being well-pleasing to God, whether done or forborne. "Because I on my part am as ye." I, a born Jew, once a zealous worker - out of legal ceremonial righteousness, have put that aside, and have placed myself on the footing of a mere Gentile, content to live like a Gentile (ἐθνικῶς καὶ οὐκ Ἰουδαῖκῶς, Galatians 2:14), trusting in Christ like as any Gentile has to de who was bare alike of Jewish prerogative and of ceremonial righteousness. This "for" or "because" is an appeal to them for loving sympathy and fellow-working. What was to become of him if Gentiles withheld from him their practical sympathy with his religious life? To what other quarter could he look for it? From Jewish sympathy he was an utter outcast. The ἀδελφοί δέομαι, "brethren, I entreat," comes in here as a breathing forth of intense imploring. And a remarkable instance is here afforded of that abrupt, instantaneous transition in the expression of feeling which is one great characteristic of St. Paul when writing in one of his more passionate moods. Compare for this the flexure of passionate feeling prevailing through the tenth and three following chapters of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. Just before, in this chapter, vers. 8-11, the language has been that of stern upbraiding, and, indeed, as if de haut en bas; as from one who from the high level of Israelite pre-eminence was addressing those who quite recently were mere outcast heathens. But here he seems suddenly caught and carried away by a flood of passionate emotion of another kind. The remembrance comes to his soul of his own former sorrows, when he "suffered the less of all things," as he so pathetically tells the Philippians (Philippians 3:4-14); when in the working out of his own salvation, and that of the Gentiles to whom he had been appointed to minister, he had cut himself off from all that he had once prized, and from all the attachments of kindred and party and nation. A terrible rending had it been for him when he had ceased to be a Jew; his flesh still quivered at the recollection, though his spirit rejoiced in Christ Jesus. And now this mood of feeling prompts him to cast himself almost as it were at the feet of these Gentile converts, adjuring them not to turn away from him, not to bereave him of their fellowship and sympathy. Ye have not injured me at all (οὐδέν με ἠδικήσατε); no wrong have ye done me. This commences a new sentence, which runs on through the next three verses. The apostle is anxious to remove from their minds the apprehension that he was offended with them on the ground of unkindness shown by them towards himself. It was true that he had been writing to them in strong terms of displeasure and indignation; but this was altogether on account of their behaviour towards the gospel, not at all on account of any injury that he had himself to complain cf. He is well aware of the virulent operation of the sentiment expressed by the old maxim, "Odimus quos laesimus;" and is therefore eager and anxious to take its sting out of the mutual relations between himself and them. When the apostle is writing under strong emotion, the connecting links of thought are frequently difficult to discover; and this is the case here. But this seems to be the thread of connection: the Galatian Christians would not be ready to accord him any sympathetic compliance with his entreaty that they would "be as he was," if they thought he entertained towards them sentiments of soreness or resentment on personal grounds. There was no reason, he tells them, why they should; they had done him no wrong. There is no reason for supposing that the time of the action referred to in οὐδέν με ἠδικήσατε is identical with that indicated by the aorists of the two next verses. From the words, τὸ πρότερον, "the first time," in ver. 13, it is clear, as critics have generally felt, that there had been a second visit after that one. If so, a disclaimer of offence taken during the first visit would not have obviated the suspicion of offence taken during a later one. The aorist of ἠδικήσατε must, therefore, cover the whole period of intercourse. Perhaps thus: whatever wrong you may suspect me of charging you with, be assured I do not charge you with it; there was no personal affront then offered me. In what follows, it is true, he dwells exclusively upon the enthusiastic demonstration which they made of their personal attachment to him when he first visited them; but though the assertion here made is not to its full extent proved good by the particulars given in vers. 13 and 14, and though the enthusiasm of personal kindness there described must, under the circumstances, have very considerably abated; yet, very supposably, nothing may have occurred since then - nothing, for example, during his second visit - which would show that they now disowned those feelings of love and respect. At all events, he refuses to allow that there had. No personal affront had he to complain of; while, on the other hand, their former intense kindness had laid up as it were a fund of responsive affection and gratitude in his bosom which could not be soon exhausted.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am,.... Though they had gone so far backwards, yet still hoping well of them that they would he reclaimed, he styles them "brethren": not in a carnal but spiritual relation, as being born of God, and belonging to his family; and out of his sincere and hearty love for them as his brethren in Christ, he exhorts them to be as he was; which some understand of affection, as desiring them to show the same love to him as to themselves, that he might be to them as another I, as a part of themselves; so true friendship makes, and true friends look upon each other to be, as Jonathan and David, and the first Christians were, of one heart and soul. But this phrase rather seems to have regard to likeness and imitation; and the sense is, that he would have them to be as he was, and do as he did; to be as free from the law, and the servitude and bondage of it, as he was; to reckon themselves dead unto it, as he did; and to relinquish the observance of days, and months, and times, and years, and any and every part of the ceremonial law, and to account all these things, as he had done, loss and dung for Christ; and this he presses, not in an authoritative way, laying his commands as an apostle upon them, but in a kind and gentle manner entreating them: and which he backs with the following reason or argument,
for I am as ye are; as your very selves; I have the same love for you, you have for yourselves; I love you as I do myself; this way go such interpreters that understand the exhortation to regard love and affection: but rather the meaning is, be as I am, and do as I do, "because I was as you are"; so the Syriac and Arabic versions read the words. Some think that the apostle particularly addresses the Jews in these churches; and that his sense is, that he was born a Jew, as they were, was brought up in the Jewish religion, and in the observance of these things, as they had been, and yet he had relinquished them, therefore would have them do so likewise: or rather his intention is, that he had been as zealous for the observation of the ceremonial law, and all the rituals of it, as they now were; and though he was a Jew by birth, and had had a Jewish education, and so had been prejudiced in favour of these things, yet he had renounced them all; and therefore they who were Gentiles, and were never under obligation to them, should never think of coming into bondage by them; and since he had accommodated himself to them, and had become all things to all, that he might gain some, whether Jews or Gentiles, so he hoped they would condescend to him, and follow his example: or this may have respect, not to his former but present state, according to our version; and the sense be, I am as you are, and you are as I am with respect to things spiritual; we are both alike in Christ, chosen in him, and redeemed by him; are equally regenerated by his Spirit, and are all the children of God by faith in him, and no more servants; are all equally Christ's free men, and have a right to the same privileges and immunities; and therefore be as I am, as free from observing the ceremonies of the law, and so from the bondage of it, since we are upon an equal foot, and upon the same foundation in Christ.
Ye have not injured me at all; what injury they had done was to God, whose will it was that these things should be abolished; and to Christ, who had broken down the middle wall of partition; and to the Gospel, which proclaimed liberty to the captives; and to their own souls, by entangling themselves with the yoke of bondage; but no personal private injury was done to the apostle by their compliance with the law. This he says, lest they should think that he spoke out of anger and resentment, and on account of any personal affront offered to him; which leads him to take notice of their former kindness and respect to him, and which he designs as a reason why they should pay the same deference to him now as then.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. be as I am—"As I have in my life among you cast off Jewish habits, so do ye; for I am become as ye are," namely, in the non-observance of legal ordinances. "The fact of my laying them aside among Gentiles, shows that I regard them as not at all contributing to justification or sanctification. Do you regard them in the same light, and act accordingly." His observing the law among the Jews was not inconsistent with this, for he did so only in order to win them, without compromising principle. On the other hand, the Galatian Gentiles, by adopting legal ordinances, showed that they regarded them as needful for salvation. This Paul combats.
ye have not injured me at all—namely, at the period when I first preached the Gospel among you, and when I made myself as you are, namely, living as a Gentile, not as a Jew. You at that time did me no wrong; "ye did not despise my temptation in the flesh" (Ga 4:14): nay, you "received me as an angel of God." Then in Ga 4:16, he asks, "Have I then, since that time, become your enemy by telling you the truth?"
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