Vincent Word Studies - Galatians 2:16 - 2:16

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Vincent Word Studies - Galatians 2:16 - 2:16

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

Justified (δικαιοῦται)

See on Rom 3:20, Rom 3:26. The meaning to declare or pronounce righteous cannot be consistently carried through Paul's writings in the interest of a theological fiction of imputed righteousness. See, for example, Rom 4:25; 1Co 6:11; and all passages where the word is used to describe justification by works of the law, as here, Gal 3:11; Gal 5:4. If one is a real righteousness, founded upon his conformity to the law. Why is the righteousness of faith any less a real righteousness?

By the works of the law (ἐξ ἔργων νόμου)

Lit. out of the works, etc. Comp. Rom 3:20. Works are characteristic of a legal dispensation. Paul often puts “works” alone as representing legal righteousness. See Rom 4:2, Rom 4:6; Rom 9:11, Rom 9:32; Rom 11:6; Eph 2:9.

But by faith (ἐὰν μὴ)

As the Greek stands, it would read, “Is not justified by the works of the law save through faith.” So, unfortunately, Rev. This would mean, as the Romish interpreters, not through works of the law except they be done through faith in Christ, and would ascribe justification to works which grow out of faith. Paul means that justification is by faith alone. The use of ἐὰν μὴ is to be thus explained: A man is not justified by the works of the law: (he is not justified) except by faith in Jesus Christ. Ἑὰν μὴ retains its exceptive force, but the exception refers only to the verb. Comp. εἰ μὴ in Mat 12:4; Luk 4:26, Luk 4:27; Gal 1:19; Rev 21:27.

Flesh (σάρξ)

See on Rom 7:5. For no flesh see on Rom 3:20.