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The Cross, Life and Law (2: 19, 20).
pp. 29 - 32
We have considered the first part of Paul's argument with Peter upon the defection of
the latter at Antioch, and reach the point where Paul gives his own personal testimony to
clinch the matter and place it beyond dispute.
"I through law, to law, died, that I might live unto God" (Gal. 2: 19).
How Paul died both "through" law and "to" law is not stated in so many words, but
the subject is most evidently continued and expanded in the subsequent verse, which we
now proceed to examine.
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and
the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me,
and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2: 20).
In the first place, let us attempt a more literal translation of this passage in order that
we may build on a good foundation. The apostle is most evidently moved by the
solemnity of his subject when he penned these words, for he throws them into a form,
named Epanadiplosis on Encircling, thereby giving completeness to the statement, and
suggesting by the opening and closing members of the circle the most important feature.
This is how the passage appears to the Greek reader:
"CHRIST, I have been crucified-together-with, yet I live: and yet it is no
longer I that live, but, in me, CHRIST."
In the next place we must draw attention to the verb "to be crucified with". In the
A.V. it is cast in the present tense "I am crucified with Christ", whereas the original uses
the perfect tense "I have been crucified with Christ".
There are three primary modes of indicating time--present, past, and future--and any
action can only be regarded as having happened in one or the other of these three modes.
Moreover every action may be (1) finished or perfect, (2) going on, or unfinished and
imperfect, and (3) indefinite.
The verb sunestauromai is in the perfect or finished tense, and should be translated
"I have been crucified with". The thing has been done, gloriously, blessedly, finished,
and the perfect or finished tense together with the Epanadiplosis of the title "Christ" is no
small part of the apostle's conclusive argument.
Alford punctuates the passage thus:
"I have been crucified with Christ but it is no longer I that live but (it is) Christ that
liveth in me" and comments that the punctuation as in the A.V. "is altogether wrong".