Galatians 3:1-6 (JDV)
Galatians 3:1 You brainless1 Galatians! Who has hexed you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was placarded as crucified?
Galatians 3:2 I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Breath by the achievements of the law or by believing what you heard?
Galatians 3:3 Are you so brainless? After beginning by the Breath, are you now finishing by the flesh?
Galatians 3:4 Did you experience so much for nothing– if in fact it was for nothing?
Galatians 3:5 So then, does God give you the Breath and achieve miracles among you by your doing the achievements of the law? Or is it by believing what you heard –
Galatians 3:6 just like Abraham who believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness?
a brainless proposal
My translation gets a bit experimental sometimes, and today’s text is a good example. The second person of the Trinity is usually designated the Holy Spirit. Our English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, with a core meaning of breath. That is the same denotation of the Greek πνεῦμα in verses 2 and 5. Often the term is just part of a title, so its translation is not so important. But there are a number of key texts where biblical authors draw attention to the Breath as a key element in a physical or spiritual resurrection.
Today’s text is one of those key texts. The Sacred Breath is the new life breathed into the dead flesh, reviving it and making conversion possible. To introduce the law into the equation is to try to do what the dead flesh couldn’t do in the first place. That was what the different gospel proposed, and it was a brainless proposal indeed.
Lord, thank you for the new life we have through your Sacred Breath!