Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 2 Study # 3
March 24, 2013
10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
1901 ASV Translation:
10 I have confidence to you-ward in the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
11 But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? then hath the stumbling-block of the cross been done away.
12 I would that they that unsettle you would even go beyond circumcision.
- I. "I Have Confidence...".
- A. The verb's use, when in the active voice, generally communicates the sense, "I am persuading...".
- 1. In the passive voice, the verb is characteristically translated "be persuaded" (Luke 16:31; 20:6).
- 2. That the translators translate this active voice verb in our text as "I have confidence" moves away from the norm even for Galatians where it is found in four verses.
- B. The translation, "I have confidence" assumes the basic notion of "confidence-building" (i.e., "being subjected to arguments of suasion that take on credibility") with the result that the passive (I have been convinced) is built into the active (I have confidence). The question, then, is whether Paul is addressing the issue of how he became convinced or that he is now confident, or something altogether different.
- 1. The direction of his "confidence" is provided: "you".
- 2. The means of his "confidence" is also provided: "the Lord". The phrase, "I have confidence in respect to you in the Lord" is difficult (the Authorized Version says "through the Lord"). Clearly, if Paul has "confidence" in mind at all, he is saying that the "Lord" had a major part to play in bringing him to "confidence" (if "confidence" is in mind here, the Authorized Version is on track).
- 3. There is another way to translate Paul's sentence that keeps the typical usage in place.
- a. If Paul uses his verb consistently with his other uses in Galatians, the probability is that he is saying, "I have been persuading toward you (leveling arguments toward you) in respect to the Lord that you shall be none otherwise minded...". This is not a "so that" statement (purpose clause), but a "that" (demonstrative clause) statement.
- b. A problem with this translation might be that the demonstrative clause argues for some kind of "I am confident that..." sense rather than a purpose ("I have been persuading you so that...") sense and the introduction of that "whosoever" that is troubling them. However, if what Paul is declaring is that he "has persuaded" the Galatians "that" they shall be of no other mindset than a "grace" orientation" this "problem" disappears. This "persuasion" includes the consequences for the opponents.
- 1) There is an emphatic "I" that precedes this verb. The question is why Paul would be emphatic here. The apparent reason is this text is that he is emphasizing a difference between himself and those opponents who are troubling the Galatians.
- 2) If Paul is drawing this distinction emphatically, it is most likely that he is pressing for an awareness in his readers of a difference between his methodology and that of his opposition. This being the case, "I have persuaded..." is more in line than "I have confidence...".
- II. Paul's Argument in the Paragraph.
- A. The "big idea" of this paragraph regards the Galatians and their "running".
- 1. They had been running well.
- 2. Now they are not.
- 3. Something happened.
- 4. Their former success was rooted in what Paul "persuaded" them to believe.
- 5. Their current failure is rooted in what those who are troubling them have "persuaded" them to believe.
- 6. The Galatians should "believe" the one who has made a genuine sacrifice in order for them to have a good life.
- B. Thus, the translation appears to have been incorrect for a long time: he was not saying "he" was convinced of something; rather, he was saying that "they" should be convinced of something.
- 1. The "that you be none other minded" is simply the motivation to keep the leaven out of their doctrine.
- 2. The "whosoever he might be" is an echo of 1:8.