Galatians 3:2
New International Version
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?

New Living Translation
Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ.

English Standard Version
Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?

Berean Study Bible
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

Berean Literal Bible
I wish only to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the Law or by hearing of faith?

New American Standard Bible
This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

King James Bible
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Christian Standard Bible
I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by believing what you heard?

Contemporary English Version
I want to know only one thing. How were you given God's Spirit? Was it by obeying the Law of Moses or by hearing about Christ and having faith in him?

Good News Translation
Tell me this one thing: did you receive God's Spirit by doing what the Law requires or by hearing the gospel and believing it?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?

International Standard Version
I want to learn only one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the actions of the Law or by believing what you heard?

NET Bible
The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard?

New Heart English Bible
I just want to learn this from you. Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
This only I wish to know of you: Did you receive The Spirit by the works of The Written Law or by the hearing of faith?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I want to learn only one thing from you. Did you receive the Spirit by your own efforts to live according to a set of standards or by believing what you heard?

New American Standard 1977
This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

Jubilee Bible 2000
This only would I learn of you, Did ye receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by the obedient ear of faith?

King James 2000 Bible
This only would I learn of you, Received you the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

American King James Version
This only would I learn of you, Received you the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

American Standard Version
This only would I learn from you. Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Douay-Rheims Bible
This only would I learn of you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Darby Bible Translation
This only I wish to learn of you, Have ye received the Spirit on the principle of works of law, or of [the] report of faith?

English Revised Version
This only would I learn from you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Webster's Bible Translation
This only would I learn from you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Weymouth New Testament
Answer me this one question, "Is it on the ground of your obedience to the Law that you received the Spirit, or is it because, when you heard, you believed?"

World English Bible
I just want to learn this from you. Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith?

Young's Literal Translation
this only do I wish to learn from you -- by works of law the Spirit did ye receive, or by the hearing of faith?
Study Bible
Faith and Belief
1O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3Are you so foolish? After starting in the Spirit, are you now finishing in the flesh?…
Cross References
Romans 10:17
Consequently, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:21
To those without the Law I became like one without the Law (though I am not outside the law of God but am under the law of Christ), to win those without the Law.

Galatians 3:3
Are you so foolish? After starting in the Spirit, are you now finishing in the flesh?

Galatians 3:14
He redeemed us in order that the blessing promised to Abraham would come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Hebrews 4:2
For we also received the good news, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, since they did not share the faith of those who comprehended it.

Hebrews 6:4
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,

Treasury of Scripture

This only would I learn of you, Received you the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Received.

Galatians 3:5,14
He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? …

Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 8:15
Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

by the hearing.

Romans 1:17
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Romans 10:16,17
But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? …







Lexicon
I would like
θέλω (thelō)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2309: To will, wish, desire, be willing, intend, design.

to learn
μαθεῖν (mathein)
Verb - Aorist Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 3129: Prolongation from a primary verb, another form of which, matheo, is used as an alternate in certain tenses; to learn.

just
μόνον (monon)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3440: Alone, but, only. Neuter of monos as adverb; merely.

[one thing]
τοῦτο (touto)
Demonstrative Pronoun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3778: This; he, she, it.

from
ἀφ’ (aph’)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 575: From, away from. A primary particle; 'off, ' i.e. Away, in various senses.

you:
ὑμῶν (hymōn)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

Did you receive
ἐλάβετε (elabete)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 2983: (a) I receive, get, (b) I take, lay hold of.

the
τὸ (to)
Article - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

Spirit
Πνεῦμα (Pneuma)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4151: Wind, breath, spirit.

by
ἐξ (ex)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1537: From out, out from among, from, suggesting from the interior outwards. A primary preposition denoting origin, from, out.

works
ἔργων (ergōn)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 2041: From a primary ergo; toil; by implication, an act.

of the Law,
νόμου (nomou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3551: From a primary nemo; law, genitive case, specially, (including the volume); also of the Gospel), or figuratively.

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

by
ἐξ (ex)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1537: From out, out from among, from, suggesting from the interior outwards. A primary preposition denoting origin, from, out.

hearing
ἀκοῆς (akoēs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 189: Hearing, faculty of hearing, ear; report, rumor. From akouo; hearing.

with faith?
πίστεως (pisteōs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 4102: Faith, belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness.
(2) This only.--The Apostle considers a single argument enough. He will only place the present conduct of the Galatians in contrast with their past, and ask how they can possibly reconcile the two.

Received ye the Spirit.--The reference is to those spiritual gifts, described more fully in 1 Corinthians 12, 14--the gift of prophecy, the gift of tongues, the interpretation of tongues, the discerning of spirits, gifts of healing, &c.--which attended the first preaching of the gospel, and were poured out upon the first converts in a manner and degree since unknown. The Galatians, it seems, had had a share in this outpouring, like the other churches, though their fickleness prevented them from reaping the full benefit from it. But a spiritual effect, such as this outpouring was, could only have a spiritual cause; it could not come from a mechanical performance of legal obligations.

By the works of the law.--By works done in obedience to the Law. There is a certain emphasis on both words, for the main point in the contrast which the Apostle is drawing is between the Law, on the one hand, and faith, on the other. Still, faith is as much opposed to works (i.e., a spirit of literal and mechanical obedience) as it is to Law, and excludes both at once. It is to be noted, however, that the works here meant are those done, in a Judaising sense, as themselves the direct means of salvation--not Christian works, the natural product and outcome of faith.

By the hearing of faith.--These words correspond very nearly to a phrase which we should perhaps use more naturally: by the preaching of faith--i.e., by that preaching or hearing (hearing on the part of the recipients, preaching on that of the missionary Apostles) which has for its subject faith. What the Apostle had taught the Galatians on his first coming among them was not any system of laborious observances, but the duty of faith. They at first responded to his teaching: and in answer to their enthusiastic impulse of adhesion to Christ the gifts of the Spirit were abundantly shed upon them. Now all this had ceased. For the use of the word translated "hearing," see the Note on Romans 10:16.

Verse 2. - This only would I learn of you (τοῦτο μόνον θέλω μαθεῖν ἀφ ὑμῶν); this only would I learn from you. I need ask for nothing more to show that the Law is nothing to you, than that you should tell me this. Received ye the Spirit by the works of the Law? (ἐξ ἔργων νόμου τὸ Πνεῦμα ἐλάβετε;); was it in consequence of works of the Law that ye received the Spirit? I came amongst you as an apostle, preaching the gospel, and upon your baptism laying my hands upon you; and the Holy Spirit came down upon you, proving the reality of his presence both by signs and miracles and powers, and also by the love, joy, and peace with which your hearts were filled; sealing at once the truth of my doctrine and your own position individually as recognized heirs of the kingdom of God. You remember that time. Well, how was it then? Had there a word been then spoken touching meats or drinks, or washings of purification (besides your baptism into Christ), or circumcision, or care of ceremonial cleanness? Had you attended to any one point whatever of Levitical ordinance? Had either you or I cast one thought in that direction? The "works of the Law" here referred to must still be works of ceremonial performance, not those of moral obedience; for repentance, the practical breaking off from sin, the surrender of the soul to God and to Christ in faith and loyal obedience, the outward assuming of the character of God's servants, the purpose and inchoate performance of works meet for repentance, - these dotings of compliance with the moral Law were there. The gift of the Spirit was evidenced by charisms plainly supernatural; but it comprised more than the bestowment of these. Or by the hearing of faith? (ἤ ἐξ ἀκοῆς πίστεως;); or was it in consequence of the hearing of faith? The noun ἀκοὴ denotes sometimes (what is heard) "report," "rumour," as Matthew 4:24; Matthew 24:6; Romans 10:16, 17; sometimes, especially in the plural, the organs or sense of hearing, as Mark 7:35; Luke 7:1; Acts 17:20; Hebrews 5:11; 2 Timothy 4:3, 4; sometimes the act of hearing, as Matthew 13:14; 1 Samuel 15:22 (Septuagint). The last appears more suitable here than the first taken (as some take it) as describing the doctrine or message which they heard respecting faith; standing as ἀκοὴ does in contrast to "works" which would have been an acting of theirs, this likewise was most probably meant by the apostle subjectively of something appearing on their own part. "Were you not at once received into the kingdom of God and filled with joy in the Holy Spirit, immediately upon your believing acceptance of the gospel message?" With exquisite propriety, as Bengel observes, is hereby marked the nature of faith, not working, but receiving. This agrees also best with the illustration which in ver. 6 the apostle gives of the phrase as introduced by him again in ver. 5. 3:1-5 Several things made the folly of the Galatian Christians worse. They had the doctrine of the cross preached, and the Lord's supper administered among them, in both which Christ crucified, and the nature of his sufferings, had been fully and clearly set forth. Had they been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, by the ministration of the law, or on account of any works done by them in obedience thereto? Was it not by their hearing and embracing the doctrine of faith in Christ alone for justification? Which of these had God owned with tokens of his favour and acceptance? It was not by the first, but the last. And those must be very unwise, who suffer themselves to be turned away from the ministry and doctrine which have been blessed to their spiritual advantage. Alas, that men should turn from the all-important doctrine of Christ crucified, to listen to useless distinctions, mere moral preaching, or wild fancies! The god of this world, by various men and means, has blinded men's eyes, lest they should learn to trust in a crucified Saviour. We may boldly demand where the fruits of the Holy Spirit are most evidently brought forth? whether among those who preach justification by the works of the law, or those who preach the doctrine of faith? Assuredly among the latter.
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