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Galatians 4:1–5

Sons and Heirs

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave,1 though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, cwere enslaved to the elementary principles2 of the world. But dwhen the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, eborn fof woman, born gunder the law, hto redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive iadoption as sons.

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Galatians 4:1–5 — The New International Version (NIV)

What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

Galatians 4:1–5 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Galatians 4:1–5 — New Living Translation (NLT)

Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.

Galatians 4:1–5 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Galatians 4:1–5 — New Century Version (NCV)

I want to tell you this: While those who will inherit their fathers’ property are still children, they are no different from slaves. It does not matter that the children own everything. While they are children, they must obey those who are chosen to care for them. But when the children reach the age set by their fathers, they are free. It is the same for us. We were once like children, slaves to the useless rules of this world. But when the right time came, God sent his Son who was born of a woman and lived under the law. God did this so he could buy freedom for those who were under the law and so we could become his children.

Galatians 4:1–5 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

But I say that so long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a bondservant though he is lord of all; but is under guardians and stewards until the day appointed of the father. So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the rudiments of the world: but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Galatians 4:1–5 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

Now I say, As long as the heir is a child, he differs nothing from a bondman, though he be lord of all; but he is under guardians and stewards until the period fixed by the father. So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the principles of the world; but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, come of woman, come under law, that he might redeem those under law, that we might receive sonship.

Galatians 4:1–5 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Let me explain further. As long as an heir is a child, he is no better off than a slave, even though he owns everything. He is placed under the control of guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. It was the same way with us. When we were children, we were slaves to the principles of this world. But when the right time came, God sent his Son into the world. A woman gave birth to him, and he came under the control of God’s laws. God sent him to pay for the freedom of those who were controlled by these laws so that we would be adopted as his children.

Galatians 4:1–5 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave, though he is the owner of everything. Instead, he is under guardians and stewards until the time set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were in slavery under the elemental forces of the world. When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Galatians 4:1–5 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

My point is this: heirs, as long as they are minors, are no better than slaves, though they are the owners of all the property; but they remain under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.

Galatians 4:1–5 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Now I say, for as long a time as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he is master of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the time set by his father. So also we, when we were children, we were enslaved under the elemental spirits of the world. But when the fullness of time came, God sent out his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order that he might redeem those under the law, in order that we might receive the adoption.

Galatians 4:1–5 — New International Reader’s Version (NIrV)

Here is what I have been saying. As long as your own children are young, they are no different from slaves in your house. They are no different, even though they own all of the property. They are under the care of guardians and those who manage the property. They are under their care until the time when their fathers give them the property. It is the same with us. When we were children, we were slaves to the basic things the people of the world believe.

But then the right time came. God sent his Son. A woman gave birth to him. He was born under the authority of the law. He came to set free those who were under the law. He wanted us to be adopted as children with all the rights children have.

Galatians 4:1–5 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything,

but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.

So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world.

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,

so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.