Galatians 4:18
New International Version
It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you.

New Living Translation
If someone is eager to do good things for you, that's all right; but let them do it all the time, not just when I'm with you.

English Standard Version
It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you,

Berean Study Bible
Nevertheless, it is good to be zealous if it serves a noble purpose—at any time, and not only when I am with you.

Berean Literal Bible
Now it is good to be zealous in a right thing, at all times and not only in my being present with you.

New American Standard Bible
But it is good always to be eagerly sought in a commendable manner, and not only when I am present with you.

King James Bible
But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

Christian Standard Bible
But it is always good to be pursued in a good manner--and not just when I am with you.

Contemporary English Version
It is always good to give your attention to something worthwhile, even when I am not with you.

Good News Translation
Now, it is good to have such a deep interest if the purpose is good--this is true always, and not merely when I am with you.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now it is always good to be enthusiastic about good--and not just when I am with you.

International Standard Version
(Now it is always good to be devoted to a good cause, even when I am not with you.)

NET Bible
However, it is good to be sought eagerly for a good purpose at all times, and not only when I am present with you.

New Heart English Bible
But it is always good to be zealous in a good cause, and not only when I am present with you.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But it is good that you would imitate excellence always, and not only when I am with you.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
(Devotion to a good cause is always good, even when I'm not with you.)

New American Standard 1977
But it is good always to be eagerly sought in a commendable manner, and not only when I am present with you.

Jubilee Bible 2000
It is good to be always zealous to do good, and not only when I am present with you.

King James 2000 Bible
But it is good to be zealous always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

American King James Version
But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

American Standard Version
But it is good to be zealously sought in a good matter at all times, and not only when I am present with you.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But be zealous for that which is good in a good thing always: and not only when I am present with you.

Darby Bible Translation
But [it is] right to be zealous at all times in what is right, and not only when I am present with you --

English Revised Version
But it is good to be zealously sought in a good matter at all times, and not only when I am present with you.

Webster's Bible Translation
But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

Weymouth New Testament
It is always an honourable thing to be courted in an honourable cause; always, and not only when I am with you, my children--

World English Bible
But it is always good to be zealous in a good cause, and not only when I am present with you.

Young's Literal Translation
and it is good to be zealously regarded, in what is good, at all times, and not only in my being present with you;
Study Bible
Paul's Fears for the Galatians
17Those people are zealous for you, but not in a good way. Instead, they want to isolate you from us, so that you will be zealous for them. 18Nevertheless, it is good to be zealous if it serves a noble purpose— at any time, and not only when I am with you. 19My children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,…
Cross References
Galatians 4:13
You know that it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you.

Galatians 4:17
Those people are zealous for you, but not in a good way. Instead, they want to isolate you from us, so that you will be zealous for them.

Treasury of Scripture

But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

it is.

Numbers 25:11-13
Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy…

Psalm 69:9
For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.

Psalm 119:139
My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.

I am.

Galatians 4:20
I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

Philippians 1:27
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Philippians 2:12
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.







Lexicon
Nevertheless,
δὲ (de)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

[it is] good
καλὸν (kalon)
Adjective - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 2570: Properly, beautiful, but chiefly good, i.e. Valuable or virtuous.

to be zealous
ζηλοῦσθαι (zēlousthai)
Verb - Present Infinitive Middle or Passive
Strong's Greek 2206: From zelos; to have warmth of feeling for or against.

if it serves
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

a noble [purpose]—
καλῷ (kalō)
Adjective - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 2570: Properly, beautiful, but chiefly good, i.e. Valuable or virtuous.

at any time,
πάντοτε (pantote)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3842: Always, at all times, ever. From pas and hote; every when, i.e. At all times.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

not
μὴ (mē)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3361: Not, lest. A primary particle of qualified negation; not, lest; also (whereas ou expects an affirmative one) whether.

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

when
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

I am
με (me)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

with
πρὸς (pros)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 4314: To, towards, with. A strengthened form of pro; a preposition of direction; forward to, i.e. Toward.

you.
ὑμᾶς (hymas)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.
(18) It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing.--A disinterested zeal between teachers and taught is indeed good in itself. The Apostle does not wish to dissuade the Galatians from that. He would be only too glad to see such a mutual interchange himself--in his absence as well as in his presence. It seems a mistake to refer this either to the Galatians alone or to St. Paul alone. The proposition is stated in a general form, so as to cover both. It is right to be zealously affected always. Their eager zeal should not have its ebbs and flows, but should subsist constantly, whether those between whom it is felt are present together or not.

In a good thing.--This expression corresponds to "but not well" in the last verse, and means honestly, disinterestedly, with a view to the spread of the gospel, and not to personal ascendancy.

Verse 18. - But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you (καλὸν δὲ ζηλοῦσθαι, [Receptus, τὸ ζηλοῦσθαι] ἐν καλῷ παντότε καὶ μὴ μόνον ἐν τῷ παρεῖναί με πρὸς ὑμᾶς); but good it is to be admired, in what is good, at all times and not only when I am present with you. That is, but as to being admired and felicitated, the good kind of admiring felicitation is that which, being tendered on a good account, is enjoyed at all times, and not only, my little children, when 1 am with you, as on that first occasion when you were so full of mutual felicitation and joy in the newly found sense of God's adoption and love in Christ Jesus. In signification, this ζηλοῦσθαι, to be admired, is equivalent to μακαρίζεσθαι, to be congratulated, and was illustrated in the first note on ver. 17, especially by the reference to Aristophanes, 'Nubes,' 1188. Ζηλοῦσθαι ἐν τῷ παρεῖναι με πρὸς ὑμας, "to be objects of admiration when I am present with you," is manifestly a recital of the μακαρισμὸς ὑμῶν, "the gratulation of yourselves," of ver. 15. The vivid remembrance of the simple-hearted joy and frank sympathy with each other's happiness of those days comes back to the apostle's mind with fresh force, after his brief mention and rebuke of the false-hearted gratulations and compliments by which they were now in danger of being ensnared. With a gentle reprehension of their levity, in that they were now bartering that former well-founded happiness for this later poor gratification of being recipients of mere false flattery, he yearns to bring them back to what they were so senselessly casting away, and that they should hold it fast, a stable joy, whether he was with them or not. This would be the case if "Christ were truly formed in them." The phrase, ἐν καλῷ, "in what is good," is similar to ἐν κρυπτῷ (John 7:4); ὁ ἐν τῷ φανερῷ ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ Ἰουδαῖος (Romans 2:28, 29). The sphere in which this admiring felicitation acts must be "what is good;" here that highest good which these Galatians were in danger of losing, if, indeed, they possessed it - being, and knowing themselves to be, sons of God. It is a doubtful point whether ver. 19 should be conjoined with this present verse, with a colon between vers. 19 and 20, and a comma only at the end of ver. 18; or whether the sentences should be separated as they appear in our Authorized Version. But at all events, the earnest, anxious, tender affectionateness which, as it were, wrings the apostle's heart in writing ver. 19, is to be felt already working in his soul in the writing of this eighteenth verse. The sense above given to the verb ζηλοῦν, though disallowed by Alford and Bishops Ellicott and Lightfoot, appears to be that recognized by the Greek commentators Chrysostom and Theophylact. 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.
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