Galatians 4:1
New International Version
What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.

New Living Translation
Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had.

English Standard Version
I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything,

Berean Study Bible
What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he is the owner of everything.

Berean Literal Bible
Now I say, for as long a time as the heir is a child, he differs not from a slave, though being owner of everything.

King James Bible
Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

New King James Version
Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all,

New American Standard Bible
Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave, although he is owner of everything,

NASB 1995
Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything,

NASB 1977
Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything,

Amplified Bible
Now what I mean [when I talk about children and their guardians] is this: as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave even though he is the [future owner and] master of all [the estate];

Christian Standard Bible
Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave, though he is the owner of everything.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave, though he is the owner of everything.

American Standard Version
But I say that so long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a bondservant though he is lord of all;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I say that as long as the heir is a child, he is not distinct from the Servants, though he is Master over all of them;

Contemporary English Version
Children who are under age are no better off than slaves, even though everything their parents own will someday be theirs.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

English Revised Version
But I say that so long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a bondservant, though he is lord of all;

Good News Translation
But now to continue--the son who will receive his father's property is treated just like a slave while he is young, even though he really owns everything.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Let me explain further. As long as an heir is a child, he is no better off than a slave, even though he owns everything.

International Standard Version
Now what I am saying is this: As long as an heir is a child, he is no better off than a slave, even though he owns everything.

Literal Standard Version
And I say, now as much time as the heir is a child, he differs nothing from a servant, [though] being lord of all,

NET Bible
Now I mean that the heir, as long as he is a minor, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything.

New Heart English Bible
But I say that so long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, though he is lord of all;

Weymouth New Testament
Now I say that so long as an heir is a child, he in no respect differs from a slave, although he is the owner of everything,

World English Bible
But I say that so long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a bondservant, though he is lord of all;

Young's Literal Translation
And I say, so long time as the heir is a babe, he differeth nothing from a servant -- being lord of all,

Additional Translations ...
Context
Sons and Heirs
1What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he is the owner of everything. 2He is subject to guardians and trustees until the date set by his father.…

Cross References
Galatians 3:29
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 4:2
He is subject to guardians and trustees until the date set by his father.

1 John 5:10
Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within him; whoever does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given about His Son.


Treasury of Scripture

Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

That.

Galatians 4:23,29
But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise…

Genesis 24:2,3
And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: …

2 Kings 10:1,2
And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab's children, saying, …









(1-7) A further description, continued from the last chapter, of the state of wardship, with its restraints and servitude, compared with that Christian freedom--the freedom of sons--to which the Galatians had been admitted through their adoption into the Messianic family by adhesion to Christ.

It may be observed that the allusions to the condition of minors are not in strict accordance either with Jewish or Roman law. It has been suggested that they have reference to a special code current in Galatia. It is, however, far more probable that the Apostle is referring exclusively to neither, but has in his mind a sort of abstraction of the law of minority, such as would present itself to one who had not himself had a legal education.

(1) Now I say.--This phrase introduces a further and fuller explanation of what is involved in the state of nonage, as compared with that of adult freedom.

A child--i.e., an infant, a minor; though the term is not technically chosen.

Differeth nothing from a servant.--Both the child and the slave were incapable of any valid act in a legal sense; the guardian was as entirely the representative of the one as the master of the other. Both the child and the slave were subject to the same restraint, discipline, correction.

Though he be lord of all.--Strictly speaking, the inference from this would be that the father was dead. This, however, is a point that does not really enter into the Apostle's thoughts. The illustration does not hold good in all particulars, but in the chief particulars--viz., the state of constraint and subordination in which the minor is placed so long as he is a minor.

Verse 1. - Now I say (λέγω δέ). A form of expression usual with the apostle when introducing a new statement designed either to explain or elucidate something before said (cf. Galatians 3:17; Galatians 5:16; Romans 15:8, according to the Received Text; 1 Corinthians 1:12. So τοῦτο δέ φημι, 1 Corinthians 7:29; 1 Corinthians 15:50). It is intended apparently to quicken attention: "Now I wish to say this." In the present case the apostle designs to throw further light upon the position taken in Galatians 3:24, that God's people, while under the Law, were under a bondage from which they have now been emancipated. Compare the somewhat similar process of illustration adopted in Romans 7:2-4. In both passages it is not a logical demonstration that is put forward, but an illustratively analogous case in human experience. A metaphor, though not strictly an argument, yet frequently helps the reader to an intuitive perception of the justness of the position laid down. That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all (ἐφ ὅσον χρόνονὁ κληρονόμος νήπιός ἐστιν οὐδὲν διαφέερει δόλου κύριος πάντων ὤν); so long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a bondservant, though he is lord of all. The article before κληρονόμος, heir, is the class article, as before μεσίτης, mediator (Galatians 3:20) - "an heir." In the word νήπιος the apostle evidently has in view one who as yet is in his nonage - as in English law phrase, "an infant." In Roman law language, infans is a child under seven, the period of minority reaching to twenty-five. In Attic Greek, the correlate to one registered amongst "men" was a παῖς. It does not appear that the apostle means to use a technical legal expression. He contrasts νήπιος with ἀνὴρ in 1 Corinthians 13:11; Ephesians 4:13, 14. "Differeth nothing from a bond-servant;" i.e. is nothing better than a bond-servant, as Matthew 6:26; Matthew 10:31; Matthew 12:12. The verb διαφέρειν seems used only in the sense of your differing from another to your advantage, so that τὰ διαφέροντα are things that are more excellent. "Lord," "proprietor;" the title to the property inheres in him, though he is not yet fit to handle it.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Greek
[What]
δέ (de)
Conjunction
Strong's 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

I am saying [is that]
Λέγω (Legō)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

as long as
ἐφ’ (eph’)
Preposition
Strong's 1909: On, to, against, on the basis of, at.

the
(ho)
Article - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

heir
κληρονόμος (klēronomos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's 2818: From kleros and the base of nomos (reflexively) getting by apportionment); a sharer by lot, i.e. Inheritor; by implication, a possessor.

is
ἐστιν (estin)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

a child,
νήπιός (nēpios)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's 3516: From an obsolete particle ne- and epos; not speaking, i.e. An infant; figuratively, a simple-minded person, an immature Christian.

he is no different
διαφέρει (diapherei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 1308: From dia and phero; to bear through, i.e. transport; usually to bear apart, i.e. to toss about; subjectively, to 'differ', or surpass.

from a slave,
δούλου (doulou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 1401: (a) (as adj.) enslaved, (b) (as noun) a (male) slave. From deo; a slave.

[although] he is
ὤν (ōn)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

the owner
κύριος (kyrios)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's 2962: Lord, master, sir; the Lord. From kuros; supreme in authority, i.e. controller; by implication, Master.

of everything.
πάντων (pantōn)
Adjective - Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong's 3956: All, the whole, every kind of. Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.


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NT Letters: Galatians 4:1 But I say that so long as (Gal. Ga)
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