Vol. 2 - No. 1

January, 1983

No, Not Another!

by R. L. (Bob) Craig

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel; which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-7).

People look at the suggested passage and sometimes become a little confused. “How can another not be another?” they ask. This is one of the verses that more than likely could be better understood had the translators seen fit to insert a rather lengthy paraphrase. But since paraphrasing, which is basically commentary on a verse, is not the work of translators, they used the same English word in translating two different words of the original language.

That procedure is followed with many different words. For instance, the Greek words huper, eis, gar, anti, apo, achri, dioti, de, dia, ek, en, epi, hoti, and others, are often translated by the English word FOR. Generally, a person need not have a knowledge of Greek in order to understand how the word is being used; he needs only to consider the setting or context in which the word appears.

There are occasions, though, when someone will misuse these words to teach a false idea -- sometimes inadvertently, sometimes deliberately! That has happened, in particular, to Acts 2:38: “ ...for remission of sins.” These who deny the essentiality of baptism say that the word “for” in that passage means “because of.” There are two ways to show that that concept is wrong. One is to go to the Greek. The other is to show the harmony of that passage to similar passages such as Mark 16:16 or Acts 22:16.

But, with that explanation out of the way, let's get back to our passage in Galatians 1. The first usage of the word (unto another gospel) comes from the Greek word “heteros” which means “another of a different sort.” It is used like that in Acts 7:18: “Till another (heteros) king arose, which knew not Joseph.” A king of a different sort or character -- not like the Pharoah that befriended Joseph. So the Galatians were being told that they were removing to another (one of a different sort) gospel, thus Paul's amazement.

Then he says, “which is not another (allos).” This word means “one of the same sort” or “one of like character.” So it is used in John 14:16: “He shall give you another (allos) Comforter...” This Comforter would be of like nature or similar in character or the same sort that he had been. He would not be (heteros) one of a different sort.

So a paraphrase of Galatians 1:6-7 based on a close study of the words would be: “I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to a gospel that is of a different sort, different in quality, different in character, which is not at all similar in nature nor of the same sort that you received from me: but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”