Galatians 1:10
New International Version
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

New Living Translation
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. Paul’s Message Comes from Christ

English Standard Version
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Berean Study Bible
Am I now seeking the approval of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Berean Literal Bible
For presently do I seek approval of men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

New American Standard Bible
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

King James Bible
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Christian Standard Bible
For am I now trying to persuade people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Contemporary English Version
I am not trying to please people. I want to please God. Do you think I am trying to please people? If I were doing that, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Good News Translation
Does this sound as if I am trying to win human approval? No indeed! What I want is God's approval! Am I trying to be popular with people? If I were still trying to do so, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.

International Standard Version
Am I now trying to win the approval of people or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be the Messiah's servant.

NET Bible
Am I now trying to gain the approval of people, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ!

New Heart English Bible
For am I now seeking the favor of people, or of God? Or am I striving to please people? For if I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Do I plead now before the children of men or before God, or do I seek to please the children of men? For if until now I have been pleasing men, I have not been a Servant of The Messiah.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ's servant.

New American Standard 1977
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For do I now persuade men or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the slave of Christ.

King James 2000 Bible
For do I now seek the favor of men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

American King James Version
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

American Standard Version
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? or am I striving to please men? if I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Darby Bible Translation
For do I now seek to satisfy men or God? or do I seek to please men? If I were yet pleasing men, I were not Christ's bondman.

English Revised Version
For am I now persuading men, or God? or am I seeking to please men? if I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.

Webster's Bible Translation
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Weymouth New Testament
For is it man's favour or God's that I aspire to? Or am I seeking to please men? If I were still a man-pleaser, I should not be Christ's bondservant.

World English Bible
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I wouldn't be a servant of Christ.

Young's Literal Translation
for now men do I persuade, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if yet men I did please -- Christ's servant I should not be.
Study Bible
Paul Preaches the Gospel
9As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you embraced, let him be under a divine curse! 10Am I now seeking the approval of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. 11For I certify to you, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not devised by man.…
Cross References
Matthew 6:24
No one can serve two masters: Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Romans 1:1
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, and set apart for the gospel of God,

1 Corinthians 10:33
just as I try to please everyone in all I do. For I am not seeking my own good, but the good of many, that they may be saved.

Ephesians 6:6
And do this not only to please them while they are watching, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.

Philippians 1:1
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:

1 Thessalonians 2:4
Instead, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, not in order to please men but God, who examines our hearts.

Treasury of Scripture

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

do I now.

Acts 4:19,20
But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye…

Acts 5:29
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

2 Corinthians 5:9-11
Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him…

persuade.

1 Samuel 21:7
Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.

Matthew 28:14
And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.

Acts 12:20
And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country.

do I seek.

2 Corinthians 12:19
Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.

1 Thessalonians 2:4
But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

for if.

Matthew 22:16
And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

Romans 15:1,2
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves…

1 Corinthians 10:33
Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

the servant.

Romans 1:1
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,







Lexicon
{Am I} now
Ἄρτι (Arti)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 737: Now, just now, at this moment. Adverb from a derivative of airo through the idea of suspension; just now.

seeking the approval
πείθω (peithō)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3982: A primary verb; to convince; by analogy, to pacify or conciliate; reflexively or passively, to assent, to rely.

of men,
ἀνθρώπους (anthrōpous)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 444: A man, one of the human race. From aner and ops; man-faced, i.e. A human being.

or
(ē)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2228: Or, than. A primary particle of distinction between two connected terms; disjunctive, or; comparative, than.

of God?
Θεόν (Theon)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

Or
(ē)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2228: Or, than. A primary particle of distinction between two connected terms; disjunctive, or; comparative, than.

am I striving
ζητῶ (zētō)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2212: To seek, search for, desire, require, demand. Of uncertain affinity; to seek; specially, to worship, or to plot.

to please
ἀρέσκειν (areskein)
Verb - Present Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 700: To please, with the idea of willing service rendered to others; hence almost: I serve. Probably from airo; to be agreeable.

men?
ἀνθρώποις (anthrōpois)
Noun - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 444: A man, one of the human race. From aner and ops; man-faced, i.e. A human being.

If
εἰ (ei)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1487: If. A primary particle of conditionality; if, whether, that, etc.

I were still trying to please
ἤρεσκον (ēreskon)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 700: To please, with the idea of willing service rendered to others; hence almost: I serve. Probably from airo; to be agreeable.

men,
ἀνθρώποις (anthrōpois)
Noun - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 444: A man, one of the human race. From aner and ops; man-faced, i.e. A human being.

I would not be
ἤμην (ēmēn)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Middle - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

a servant
δοῦλος (doulos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 1401: (a) (as adj.) enslaved, (b) (as noun) a (male) slave. From deo; a slave.

of Christ.
Χριστοῦ (Christou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5547: Anointed One; the Messiah, the Christ. From chrio; Anointed One, i.e. The Messiah, an epithet of Jesus.
(10) You may take this vehemence of language as my answer to another charge that has been brought against me. I am accused of seeking popularity with men. Well, here at least is plainness of speech. If I seek to win favour with any one it is not with men, but God. The two things are really incompatible. If I were a. favourite with men I should be no true servant of Christ.

St. Paul naturally laid himself open to the charge of men-pleasing by the flexibility and largeness of his character. The trifles about which others quarrelled he could look upon with indifference, and his ready power of sympathy led him to enter as much as possible into the point of view of others: "To the Jews he became as a Jew," &c. But where a question of principle was at stake he knew how to take his stand, and he let the Galatians see it in the very unequivocal language he is now using.

(10) Now.--In speaking thus.

Persuade.--Conciliate, seek to win favour with, or to make friends of.

For.--This word is omitted by all the best MSS. and editors. It is characteristic of the Apostle, especially in animated passages like the present, to omit the connecting particles which are so common in Greek. He has a simple answer to give to the accusation of time-serving, and he states it roundly: "If my present conduct was really that of a man-pleaser I should be something very different from what I am."

Yet.--Still; at this late period of my career. The Apostle has cut himself adrift from the current of his age too thoroughly and too long for him to be still floating with the tide.

Verse 10. - For do I now (ἄρτι γάρ); for at this hour. This "for" points back either to the fact of the apostle's having now so solemnly pronounced afresh the awful anathema which at some former time he had uttered; or which, in effect, is nearly the same thing, to the tone of feeling which he in so doing evinced, and to his method of apostolic action which he therein exemplified. The adverb ἄρτι, as used in the New Testament, is distinguished from the more common "now" (νῦν), as denoting that space of time which is most closely present. This shade of meaning is conspicuous, e.g. in the "Suffer it to be so just now" of Matthew 3:15, that is, during that brief, quickly vanishing moment in which the Messiah was by Divine appointment to appear subordinate in position to his forerunner. So Matthew 26:53, "Thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father, and he shall (ἄρτι) at this very moment send me more than twelve legions of angels?" John 16:12, "Ye cannot bear them (ἄρτι) just now;" in a very short while they would be enabled to bear them. 1 Corinthians 13:12, "Just now (ἄρτι) we see in a mirror, darkly;" words written under a vivid sense of how brief the interval is which separates the present state of things from that of the life to come. 1 Peter 1:8, "On whom, though just now (ἄρτι) ye see him not " - another outcome of the same feeling. Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 4:13; 1 Corinthians 8:7, ἔως ἄρτι means "until this very hour;" and, on the other side of the point of time indicated ἀπ ἄρτι is "from this very hour" in Matthew 26:64; John 4:42. Many have supposed that the apostle is speaking of certain characteristics of his present course of behaviour as a believer and a servant of Christ, viewed in contrast with the life which he had once lived when an ardent disciple of Judaism. But the narrowly restrictive form of the adverb resists this interpretation, he could hardly with this reference in view have used the phrase "just now," or "at this very hour," of a tenor of life which he had been pursuing for now more than twenty years. Some eminent critics (Alford, Ellicott, Lightfoot, Sanday) take this ἄρτι as pointing to the style of language which the apostle is "just now" adopting: "Now, when I use such uncompromising language;" or, "There! is that the language of a man-pleaser? Now do I," etc. It is an objection to this view that it gives the adverb a somewhat diverse sense to that which it bears in ver. 9; for whereas in ver. 9 ἄρτι, points to the circumstances of the present hour as prompting the apostle to the utterance of his anathema, according to the view referred to it here points to the present hour as exhibiting the apostle himself in a certain aspect. It is more obvious, and indeed gives the present use of the adverb more force, to take it in both verses with the like reference. In both the apostle refers to the present hour as a juncture in which he felt that it had become necessary to depart from his customary manner of using a winning style of address. At other times he will persuade and please; just now he cannot. Persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? (ἀνθρώπους πείθω η} τὸν Θεόν η} ζητῶ ἀνθρώποις ἀρέσκειν); do I persuade men or God? or do I seek to please men? Expositors have endeavoured to establish, as one sense of the Greek verb rendered "persuade," that of "making So-and-so one's friend." No doubt it often means to prevail, or endeavour to prevail, upon others, by coaxing, persuasion, bribery, or anyhow, to go along with you in some particular course of thinking or acting indicated by the context; but it can nowhere. be shown to mean, when standing alone, "to win So-and-so's friendship." In Acts 12:20, "Having persuaded Blastus" means "Having got Blastus to concur with them." Similarly, Matthew 28:14, "We will persuade him," and 2 Macc. 4:45, "With a view to persuade the king." The verb is used here, in 2 Corinthians 5:11, "Knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men." In that passage the apostle states it to be his practice to make use of all means of persuasion in order to induce men to accept the gospel message (comp. 2 Corinthians 6:1, "Working together with him, we intreat also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain"). He was not content with merely, as an ambassador, delivering the message and there leaving the matter; but made it his anxious concern to gain for the message acceptance, by the use of arguments addressed to the reason, and appeals addressed to the feelings, by putting himself, as it were, by the side of those he was addressing as one who sympathized to a large extent with their ways of thought, for the purpose of conducting them onward to concurrence with more perfect views. Among many examples which might be cited, illustrating his skill in persuasion, it will suffice to refer to the manner in which he dealt with the Athenians, with the Jews when speaking to them from the stairs, with King Agrippa (Acts 17:22-31; Acts 22:1-21; Acts 26:2, 3, 26, 27), and to his Epistle to Philemon. Another feature, closely connected with the one now mentioned, and here likewise referred to, is the care which the apostle took to "please men;" such a care as produced a manner towards his fellow-men far exceeding the courtesy and shows of respectful consideration which the law of charity ordinarily prescribes. For example, instead of thrusting forward into notice, as the spirit of unsympathetic pride naturally prompts us to do, the points on which he differed from others, and in reference to which he knew himself to he standing on higher ground than they, he chose rather to make prominent any points of agreement which he could find already subsisting, conciliating their candid interest by thus fraternally putting himself on a level with them. If this did not suffice for the purpose of enlisting their sympathies on behalf of himself and his views, he did not hesitate, in matters morally indifferent, to mortify and snub his own tastes, and forego the dissenting judgments of his. own superior enlightenment, "to buffet his body, as he expresses himself in 1 Corinthians 9:27, "and bring it into bondage," by following, how ever distasteful to himself, such practices as should get those whose spiritual improvement he was seeking, to feel, so to speak, comfortably at home with himself. In writing to the Corinthians the apostle in one passage (1 Corinthians 9:19-23) dwells at stone length upon this feature of his ministerial conduct, not ashamed of it, but manifestly glorying in it as a triumph of Christ's grace in his soul. Presently after, at the close of the following chapter, he distinctly propounds himself, as in this respect a Christ-like pattern, for their imitation, "Even [he writes] as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved: be ye imitators of me, even as! also am of Christ." Both of these strongly marked features of his ministerial character were liable to he misunderstood, and by his detractors could be easily misconstrued as grave faults, he was, in fact, accused of speciousness and insincerity, of double faced dealings, of simulation and dissimulation. We can easily understand how readily such accusations would be set on foot, and holy colourable they could be made to appear. That they painfully affected the apostle's mind is evidenced by the frequency of the references he makes to them, and by the earnestness and deep pathos of feeling which not seldom mark those references. It is to such sinister criticism that he alludes, when in 2 Corinthians 5:11, cited above, after saying, "we persuade men," he adds, "but we are become manifest unto God," meaning that, though he did make a habit of laying himself out to persuade, yet the entire sincerity of his action, however misconstrued by men, was patent to the Divine eye (comp. 2 Corinthians 1:12). Now, we have reason to believe that the apostle had been apprised, or at least that he suspected, that in Galatia also such misrepresentation of these characteristics of his ministry was rife. The Epistle supplies at least one token of such having probably been the case, We gather from Galatians 5:11 that he had been said to be still "preaching circumcision." They who said this did so apparently in the sense that his having hitherto kept back this point of his doctrine in preaching to them was only an artifice of "persuasion;" that, in order to prevail upon them to accept the Christian faith, he had thought it expedient not at first to press upon them the observances of Judaism, while nevertheless he knew them to be necessary and was prepared by-and-by to insist upon their being attended to. St. Paul is conscious, therefore, of the existence on the part of some of the Galatian Churchmen of unfriendly suspicions with regard to his straightforwardness and uprightness. It is this stinging consciousness that occasions both the substance and the sharp abrupt tone of what he here says. The substance of the verse may be paraphrased thus: "I have written decisively and sternly; for at such a critical juncture as the present is it men that I can make it my business to 'persuade,' as they sneeringly but not un-truly say I love to do? or is it God that I care, so to speak, to persuade, to wit of my fidelity to the gospel which he has committed to my trust? They scoffingly say I love to 'please men;' and I thank God I have been wont to 'please men' to the very utmost of my power for their good; but is it my work just now to be pleasing men by ways of sweet tenderness and forbearance? If at this time I were still laying myself out to 'please men,' these men, to wit, who are making havoc of the gospel message, and you who are ignorantly listening to them, - then were I no true servant of Christ." The interrogative form into which the apostle's language suddenly breaks is apparently, here also as in 2 Corinthians 3:1, due to his that moment bethinking himself of those malicious censurers of him. We have here an example of the form of sentence which the grammarians call zeugma; that is to say, "God" is named in conjunction with "men," as an object to the action of the verb "persuade," whereas this verb, suitable enough with relation to men, can only by a strain upon its proper sense be employed with relation to God. The sentence would possibly have expressed what appears to have been the apostle's real meaning with less ruggedness, but certainly with less intensity, if its second clause had been (perhaps), "or commend myself to God's approval? (η} συνιστάνω ἐμαυτὸν τῷ Θεῷ;)." (For other instances of zeugma, see Luke 1:64; 1 Corinthians 3:2.) The addition of the article before Θεόν, while it is wanting before ἀνθρώπους, gives the noun a more grandiose tone, as if it were, "Do I persuade men or GOD?" For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ (εἰ ἔτι ἀνθρώποις ἤρεσκον Ξριστοῦ δοῦλος οὐκ ἄν ἤμην); if I still were pleasing men, I were no servant (Greek, bondserrant) of Christ's. The received text of the Greek has "For if I still (εἰ γὰρ ἔτι);" but the "for" is omitted by recent editors. It makes no difference in the sense whether we retain it or not, for, retaining the "for," we should have to understand before it, "I trow not," or the like. The word "bondservant" here expresses the official relation of a Christian minister, one especially at his Divine Owner's beck and call. So Romans 1:1; Philippians 1:1; 2 Timothy 2:24; Titus 1:1; James 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1. The apostle means, "I were no servant of Christ in spirit and reality, whatever I might call myself." A good many expositors suppose the "still" to be said with reference to the time before the apostle's conversion: "I were no apostle or Christian at all." But

(1) there is no indication either in this passage or anywhere that the apostle regarded his life before his conversion as characterized by the desire to please men;

(2) with the sense thus given to it, the thought, as Meyer observes, seems excessively tame;

(3) as thus explained, it would not harmonize with the apostle's explicit and repeated declaration that, in the discharge of his high office, he did make a point of pleasing men.

1:10-14 In preaching the gospel, the apostle sought to bring persons to the obedience, not of men, but of God. But Paul would not attempt to alter the doctrine of Christ, either to gain their favour, or to avoid their fury. In so important a matter we must not fear the frowns of men, nor seek their favour, by using words of men's wisdom. Concerning the manner wherein he received the gospel, he had it by revelation from Heaven. He was not led to Christianity, as many are, merely by education.
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