Galatians 5:10 seems to have fairly separate meanings in modern translations

The NIV says that Paul is "confident in the Lord" that the Galatians will stay away from false teachings. I understand this to mean that the Lord has made Paul confident of this fact.

Galatians 5:10 (NIV)
10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty.

The NLT, however, says that it is God who will keep the Galatians from false teachings.

Galatians 5:10 (NLT)
10  I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.

The wording is a bit confusing, but I think NASB seems to agree with NIV.

Galatians 5:10 (NASB)
10 I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.

So the NLT seems to put an emphasis on God's action in actually keeping the Galatians from false teachings, while the NIV/NASB only put emphasis on God's action in giving Paul confidence that the Galatians will stay away from false teaching.

From the New Living Translation page on Wikipedia:

[The NLT strives to] convey the thoughts behind the text where a literal translation may have been difficult to understand or even misleading to modern readers. It has been suggested that this "thought-for-thought" methodology, while making the translation easier to understand, is less accurate than a literal (formal equivalence) method, and thus the New Living Translation may not be suitable for those wishing to undertake detailed study of the Bible

So is this an example of the NLT being "less accurate" than a literal translation (like the NASB), or is this an example of the NLT conveying original "thoughts behind the text", where a literal translation is actually "misleading to modern readers"?

2 Answers 2


As you're already aware, the NASB is giving a near-literal translation of the verse. What remains to be done by the reader, then, is the interpretation: What does Paul mean that he is confident "in you in the Lord" (εἰς ὑμᾶς ἐν κυρίῳ)?

The NLT includes an interpretation in its translation for the reader. In this case, they understand that Paul's confidence "in you in the Lord" means that the Lord is the one who ultimately Paul is trusting to safe-keep them from another belief. Perhaps one reason to interpret it like this is to consider Galatians 2:20 where Paul writes, "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me."

In my opinion (and it should be remembered that I am not a scholar like Moo or Schreiner, who worked on the NLT translation of Galatians), the NLT here removes too much of the Galatians from the picture. They are still actors, even as God is acting in them. For this reason, I prefer the NIV interpretation here, which I think captures both.


Maybe it could be translated Paul has confidence in the Galatians if the Galatians are in Christ because God will guide them to the truth. God will help them to think and see things the right way. So Paul’s trust is in the Lord ultimately. The Galatians that are not in Christ can be more easily influenced to false doctrine. Maybe that is why its translations sorta differ.

NLT I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings

NASB I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view


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