Galatians 5:17

From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Thu Jun 10 1999 - 00:27:14 EDT

Galatians 5:17: "... hINA MH hA EAN QELHTE TAUTA POIHTE."

Per Richard Young's intermediate grammar, hINA often denotes "purpose" -
"result" is not common (pp. 186-187), though Brooks-Winbery lists it as an
example of "result" (p. 121), and Wallace also cites it as "result" (p.
473). The RSV and NRSV seem to translate it as purpose: "for these are
opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would."

My question/thought is: What would the "purpose" [i.e., God's purpose] be
in having the flesh prevent you from doing the good that you desire to do?
- which is how I naturally read it, a la Romans 7, and how those who
translate it as "result" apparently read it. In other words, why would God
"purposefully" have your flesh oppose your desire to follow the Spirit?

So I ask: Is it possible - IF hINA here is "purpose" - that it is not the
flesh that is purposefully opposed to the Spirit and acting to prevent
"you" from doing the "good" that "you wish to do" - but that it is the
Spirit which is purposefully [by God] set in opposition to the flesh and
acting to prevent "you" from doing the "bad/flesh-inspired activity" that
"you wish to do"?

- Eric S. Weiss

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