Note: In any translation this is a difficult passage to follow. Here is an attempt to tease out the sense. The Galatians were turning back from the gospel preached by Paul (C) to the ritual of law under the influence of Judaizers (C’) who sought a following. The Galatians had moved away from faith – the “blessedness” referred to in v15.
A. 8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
B. 9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
B’. 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
A’. 11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
A. 12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
B. 13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. 14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
C. 15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of?
B’. for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.
A’. 16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
A. 17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.
B. 18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.
A’. 19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, 20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
One thought on “Galatians 4:8-20”
Larger chiasm (ending at vs 20) fits nicely within the larger structure of Galatians. See link on this site (chiasmusxchange) or also a less detailed alternative at: