Galatians 2:15
New International Version
“We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles

New Living Translation
“You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles.

English Standard Version
We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners;

Berean Standard Bible
We who are Jews by birth and not Gentile “sinners”

Berean Literal Bible
We Jews by birth and not 'sinners' of the Gentiles,

King James Bible
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

New King James Version
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

New American Standard Bible
“We are Jews by nature and not sinners from the Gentiles;

NASB 1995
“We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles;

NASB 1977
“We are Jews by nature, and not sinners from among the Gentiles;

Amplified Bible
[I went on to say] “We are Jews by birth and not sinners from among the Gentiles;

Christian Standard Bible
We are Jews by birth and not “Gentile sinners,”

Holman Christian Standard Bible
We who are Jews by birth and not “Gentile sinners”

American Standard Version
We being Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For we who are by our nature Judeans and not sinners of the Gentiles,

Contemporary English Version
We are Jews by birth and are not sinners like Gentiles.

Douay-Rheims Bible
We by nature are Jews, and not of the Gentiles sinners.

Good News Translation
Indeed, we are Jews by birth and not "Gentile sinners," as they are called.

International Standard Version
We ourselves are Jews by birth, and not gentile sinners,

Literal Standard Version
We by nature Jews, and not sinners of the nations,

New American Bible
We, who are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles,

NET Bible
We are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners,

New Revised Standard Version
We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners;

New Heart English Bible
"We, being Jews by birth, and not non-Jewish sinners,

Weymouth New Testament
You and I, though we are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners,

World English Bible
"We, being Jews by nature, and not Gentile sinners,

Young's Literal Translation
we by nature Jews, and not sinners of the nations,

Additional Translations ...
Paul Confronts Cephas
14When I saw that they were not walking in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “If you, who are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?” 15We who are Jews by birth and not Gentile “sinners” 16know that a man is not justified by works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.…

Cross References
1 Samuel 15:18
and sent you on a mission, saying, 'Go and devote to destruction the sinful Amalekites. Fight against them until you have wiped them out.'

Luke 24:7
The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.'"

Galatians 2:17
But if, while we seek to be justified in Christ, we ourselves are found to be sinners, does that make Christ a minister of sin? Certainly not!

Ephesians 2:3
All of us also lived among them at one time, fulfilling the cravings of our flesh and indulging its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath.

Philippians 3:4
though I myself could have such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more:

Treasury of Scripture

We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,


Matthew 3:7-9
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? …

John 8:39-41
They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham…

Romans 4:16
Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,


Matthew 9:11
And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

Mark 7:26-28
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter…

Acts 22:21
And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.

(15-21) The section which follows is, in form at least, still a continuation of the rebuke addressed to St. Peter; but the Apostle soon drifts away from this, and begins imperceptibly a comment upon his own words, which is addressed directly to the Galatians. We are thus led, without any real break, from the historical and personal to the doctrinal portion of the Epistle. It is impossible to say exactly where the speech at Antioch ends and where the comment upon it begins; the Apostle glides from one to the other without any conscious division in his own mind. A similar mingling of narrative and comment is found in St. John's Gospel: compare, e.g., John 3:14-21; John 3:31-36, the first of which sections formally belongs to the discourse with Nicodemus, and the second to the reply of John the Baptist, though it is clear that much after comment of the Evangelist's is interwoven with them. If we are to draw a dividing line at all in the section before us, it might be said that Galatians 2:15-16 were still most nearly a paraphrase of the words actually addressed to St. Peter; while from Galatians 2:17 onwards the Apostle is giving the rein more freely to his own reflections. The sequence of the thought seems to be somewhat as follows:--

We belong by our birth to a privileged people. We are not of Gentile descent, and therefore abandoned to our sins. And yet, with all our privileges, we found that we could get no justification whatever from the Law; and this sent us to Christ. We thus abdicated our privileged position; we put ourselves on the same level as the Gentiles, and became (in the eye of the Law) sinners like them. Sinners? Must we then admit that all Christ has done for us is to make us sinners? Far be so irreverent a thought. Our sin consists not in quitting the Law, but in returning to that which has once been abandoned. The function of the Law was preparatory and transitional. The Law itself taught me to expect its own abrogation. It was a stage on the way to Christ. To Him have I given in a complete adhesion. In His death I am severed from ancient ties. In His death I ceased to have any life of my own. All the life I have, man as I am, I owe to Christ, my Saviour. Thus I accept and do not reject and frustrate the gift so freely offered me: whereas, by going back to the Law for justification, I should be practically declaring the death of Christ useless and unprofitable.

(15) Who are.--It will be seen that these words are in italics, and have to be supplied in the Greek. The Received text, which is followed in our version, also I omits a connecting particle, found in the best MSS., at the beginning of Galatians 2:16. Restoring this, a better way of taking the whole passage appears to be to supply only the word "are" in the present verse, and make the next mark a certain opposition to it: "We are (indeed) by birth Jews . . . but" (or, and yet), "knowing as we did that the Law cannot justify any one, we believed on Christ." The first clause is concessive: "We grant you that we were born Jews, and not Gentiles: members of the chosen race, and not sinners." The next clause explains why it was that, with all these privileges, the Christian, though thus born a Jew, transferred his allegiance from the Law to Christ. The reason was that the Law failed in the one great object--to justify us or obtain our acquittal in the sight of God. . . .

Verse 15. - We who are Jews by nature (ἡμεῖς φύσει Ἰουδαῖοι); we being Jews by nature; or, we are Jews by nature. In point of construction, it may be observed that, after εἰδότες in the next verse, recent editors concur in inserting δέ. With this correction of the text, we may either make this fifteenth verse a separate sentence, by supplying ἐσμέν, "we are Jews by nature," etc., and begin the next verse with the words, "but yet, knowing that... even we believed," etc.; or we may supply in this verse" being," and, conjoining it with "knowing," take the two verses as forming one sentence; thus: "We being Jews... yet knowing that... even we believed," etc. For the general sense, it is quite immaterial which mode of construing we adopt. The Revisers have preferred the latter. The former makes the passage run more smoothly; but this, in construing St. Paul's writings, is by no means a consideration of weight. "We," that is, "I Paul, and thou Cephas," rather than "I Paul, and thou Cephas, with those who are acting with thee;" for we read before, "I said unto Cephas," not" unto Cephas and the rest of the Jews." "By nature;" because we were Jews by birth. But the two expressions, "by nature" and "by birth," are not convertible terms, as is evident from ch. 4:8 and Romans 2:14; the former covers wider ground than the latter. The prerogatives attaching to the natural position of a born Jew were higher than those which appertained to a circumcised proselyte. This is why he adds," by nature." "Jews;" a term of honourable distinction, closely by its etymology connected in the mind of a Hebrew with the notion of "praise" (comp. Genesis 9:8; Romans 2:29); a term, therefore, of theocratic vaunting (Romans 2:17). And not sinners of the Gentiles (καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἐθνῶν ἁμαρτωλοί); and not of the Gentiles sinners. The word "sinners" must be here taken, not in that purely moral acceptation in which all are "sinners," but in that mixed sense in which moral disapproval was largely tinged with the bigoted disdain which the theocratic Israelite felt for "the uncircumcised;" the Levitically purist Jew for them who, having no" Law "(ἄνομοι), wallowed in every kind of ceremonial pollution, "unclean," "dogs" (comp. Matthew 15:27; Philippians 3:2; Acts 2:23). As a notion correlative to that of "Jews," the word is used by our Lord himself when he spoke of his being delivered into the hands of "sinners" (Matthew 26:45; comp. Matthew 20:19). As correlative to that of persons fit for the society of the righteous and Levitically holy, it is used by Christ and the evangelists in the phrase, "publicans and sinners," in which it is nearly equivalent to "outcasts." So the apostle uses it here. With an ironical mimesis of the tone of language which a self-righteous legalist loved to employ, he means in effect, "not come from among Gentiles, sinful outcasts." May not the apostle be imagined to have quite lately heard such phrases from the lips of some of those Pharisee-minded Christians to whom Cephas was unhappily now truckling? For the right appreciation of the train of thought which the apostle is now pursuing, it is important to observe that both Cephas and Paul had reason to regard themselves as having been, before they were justified, sinners in another sense of the deepest dye. St. Paul felt to the very end of his days that he had once been, and that therefore in himself he still was, a chief of sinners (ἀμαρτωλούς ῶν πρῶτός εἰμι ἐγώ); and surely the wickedness into which Cephas precipitated himself on the morning of his Lord's passion must have left ever alter in his mind too a similar consciousness.

Parallel Commentaries ...

We [who are]
Ἡμεῖς (Hēmeis)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Nominative 1st Person Plural
Strong's 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

Ἰουδαῖοι (Ioudaioi)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's 2453: Jewish. From Iouda; Judaean, i.e. Belonging to Jehudah.

by birth
φύσει (physei)
Noun - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's 5449: From phuo; growth, i.e. natural production; by extension, a genus or sort; figuratively, native disposition, constitution or usage.

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

οὐκ (ouk)
Strong's 3756: No, not. Also ouk, and ouch a primary word; the absolute negative adverb; no or not.

ἐθνῶν (ethnōn)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong's 1484: Probably from etho; a race, i.e. A tribe; specially, a foreign one.

Ἁμαρτωλοί (Hamartōloi)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's 268: Sinning, sinful, depraved, detestable. From hamartano; sinful, i.e. A sinner.

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NT Letters: Galatians 2:15 We being Jews by nature and not (Gal. Ga)
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