New American Standard Bible
Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.
King James Bible
Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
Darby Bible Translation
Is then the law against the promises of God? Far be the thought. For if a law had been given able to quicken, then indeed righteousness were on the principle of law;
World English Bible
Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could make alive, most certainly righteousness would have been of the law.
Young's Literal Translation
the law, then, is against the promises of God? -- let it not be! for if a law was given that was able to make alive, truly by law there would have been the righteousness,
Galatians 3:21 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Is the law then against the promises of God? - Is the Law of Moses to be regarded as opposed to the promises made to Abraham? Does this follow from any view which can be taken of the subject? The object of the apostle in asking this question is, evidently, to take an opportunity to deny in the most positive manner that there can be any such clashing or contradiction. He shows, therefore, what was the design of the Law, and declares that the object was to further the plan contemplated in the promise made to Abraham. It was an auxiliary to that. It was as good as a law could be; and it was designed to prepare the way for the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham.
God forbid - It cannot be. It is impossible. I do not hold such an opinion. Such a sentiment by no means follows from what has been advanced; compare the note at Romans 3:4.
For if there had been a law given which could have given life - The Law of Moses is as good as a law can be. It is pure, and truly, and good. It is not the design to insinuate anything against the Law in itself, or to say that as a law it is defective. But law could not give life. It is not its nature; and man cannot be justified by obedience to it. No man has ever yielded perfect compliance with it and no man, therefore, can be justified by it, compare the notes at Galatians 2:16; Galatians 3:10, note.
Verily righteousness should have been by the law - Or justification would have been secured by the Law. The Law of Moses was as well adapted to this as a law could be. No better law could have been originated for this purpose, and if people were to attempt to justify themselves before God by their own works, the Law of Moses would be as favorable for such an undertaking as any law which could be revealed. It is as reasonable, and equal, and pure. Its demands are as just, and its terms as favorable as could be any of the terms of mere law. And such a law has been given in part in order to show that justification by the Law is out of the question. If people could not be justified by a law so pure, and equal, and just; so reasonable in all its requirements and so perfect, how could they expect to be justified by conformity to any inferior or less perfect rule of life? The fact, therefore, that no one can be justified by the pure law revealed on Mount Sinai, forever settles the question about the possibility of being justified by law.
LibraryThe Universal Prison
'But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.'--GAL. iii. 22. The Apostle uses here a striking and solemn figure, which is much veiled for the English reader by the ambiguity attaching to the word 'concluded.' It literally means 'shut up,' and is to be taken in its literal sense of confining, and not in its secondary sense of inferring. So, then, we are to conceive of a vast prison-house in which mankind is confined. …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
A Call to the Unconverted
The Ordinance of Covenanting
Letter iv. You Reply to the Conclusion of My Letter: "What have we to do with Routiniers?...
"He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others." When they heard it, they said, "May it never be!"
2 Corinthians 3:7
But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was,
"But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be!
"I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."
But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness
(for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
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