The Meaning of “No Jews or Gentiles in Christ Jesus”


“We still recognize the distinction between males and females. So there is also still a distinction between Jews and Gentiles. Galatians 3:28 doesn’t mean what you think it means.” 

Have you ever heard these words, or something similar, from a Christian Zionist or a dispensationalist? I have. At the end of this post I will quote Galatians 3:28, offer my explanation of what Paul meant, and also ask for your thoughts.

Christian Zionism thrives on distinctions. When Paul says that the middle wall of division between Jews and Gentiles has been broken down (Ephesians 2:14), Christian Zionism tries to rebuild that wall – and make it higher than it ever was. When Paul says that Christ created one new man in Himself (Ephesians 2:14-16), Christian Zionism suggests that there are two peoples of God, one based on faith and the other (the important one) based on ethnicity. When the New Testament defines the Israel of God as only those who are in Christ (Romans 2:28-29, 9:6-8; Galatians 3:29, 6:15-16; Ephesians 2:11-22, 3:6; etc.), Christian Zionism insists that only a national / ethnic group known as Israel inherits a large segment of God’s promises.

The Old Testament prophets looked forward to a day when the people of God would be made up of many nations and He would dwell in their midst. Zechariah had that vision (Zech. 2:10-12). Isaiah had that vision (Isaiah 11:10), and Paul taught that it had become a reality in his day (Romans 15:8-12). Amos had that vision (Amos 9:11-12), and James declared at the Jerusalem council that this had become a reality in his day (Acts 15:13-17). Despite these examples and more, Christian Zionism and dispensationalism insist that ethnic “Jews are God’s chosen people” and national Israel is God’s chosen nation (These four posts refute these ideas: #1, #2#3, and #4).

If we take away distinctions, favoritism, partiality, and superiority from the Christian Zionist movement, there wouldn’t be much left. That movement would fall apart without these elements – and that’s what I hope and pray will happen. Here are three instances where Paul taught that, in Christ, there is no difference or distinction between Jews and Gentiles:

“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him” (Romans 10:12).

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26-29).

“[You] have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all in all” (Colossians 3:10-11).

This is how I understand these passages, even Galatians 3:28 in particular: In Christ, there are no blessings available to Jews that are not equally available to non-Jews, or available to males that are not equally available to females, or available to free people that are not equally available to slaves. In Christ, all such distinctions disappear, and there is no favoritism or superiority along racial, gender, or status lines. The line is drawn between faith or no faith in Christ.

Do you agree? Do you understand Paul’s words differently? Feel free to share your thoughts.

 

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23 thoughts on “The Meaning of “No Jews or Gentiles in Christ Jesus”

    • Right. I see a desperation to maintain a sharp distinction along ethnic lines (Jews versus non-Jews), because Christian Zionism would collapse without that distinction. It’s “inconvenient” that Paul said what he said, and no less than three times (also see Romans 3:22-23, etc.).

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      • I Still Maintain that it is a Distinction Between The old Covenant LAW { Doctrine of Leaven } and No Doctrine of Leaven. it is in context of That First century, Two Groups That were Being Reconciled : in Scriptural Context { There is only ONE NEW MAN since 70ad. }
        Christ the First Fruits of that : of Which we are Two Thousand Years Beyond that First Fruits : The Genology of the First Adam has Ended and only that of the Last Adam Remains.
        it in no way states nor Suggests that the WE : OUR : US : is to us today . Since i Stopped Trying to Write myself and others INTO these verses and Try to make it Applicable to us today : GAME Over: it Changes Every thing : I was never a Galatia n and nor is any one else. to say we are is just a GAME of Pretending . it is an abuse of Actual context and gets us trying to find all manner of meaning in them : it gets us Cherry picking verses:
        to make it Applicable to us today is in truth a Denial of the truth that LAW and SIN were put away in that generation :
        it is a West minster confession of faith Belief Structure that Modern Christianity is Founded on : that is to say they TEACH that law sin Although it has been Dealt with the law and sin is STILL that and Applicable today : to say it is is to say the law is still here and so is sin: IS IT ? or did Christ not Deal with it two thousand years ago 😕
        QUOTE :
        The Westminster Confession

        CHAPTER 6

        Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of

        the Punishment thereof.

        I. Our first parents, begin seduced by the subtlety and temptations of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to his own glory.

        II. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.

        III. They being the root of mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by original generation.

        IV. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.

        V. This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated; and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and all the motions thereof, are truly and properly sin.

        VI. Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal, and eternal.
        NONE of this is Scriptural accurate it is FUTURIST Doctrine and it is the traditions handed down that we were taught to believe is truth : and taught that it is HOW we are to interpret Scriptures: UGGggg :
        not only is it anti Christ in it`s Structure and Teaching it is Double minded : and IT IS How they Colonized the World with it from the 1500`s to the 1800`s : just study the History of Colonizing the world : { BEFORE } from the beginning of Creation to this Time Period there was no Bible nor Gospel nor Knowledge of Israel Jews or Christ in Africa Asia Australia Nor the Americas in fact 95% of the World Never Heard of it :What of those who lived and died Before this time ? in fact of History only 1% of the World { A FEW People } had any knowledge of the Bible :
        we were Taught to believe a lie :
        that is all it is a TAUGHT Lie that we hold fast to :
        The Bible is a Detailed Historical Account of the War in the Heavens, that took place from the Birth of John the Baptist to the Destruction in 70 ad :
        to say that the Last Adam and First Adam law and sin Coexists on an equal level throughout redemptive history as Quoted by a Respected Full Preterist is utter nonsense and is just holding on to West Minster Confession of Faith Beliefs :

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  1. As 1Timothy 1:4 and Titus 3:9 say respectively, “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.”; “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” We are not to spend time, or is that waste time enquiry as to our bloodlines, who are ancestors are, or what lineage we belong to? You’re either a child of God, or a sinner yet to become one! All praise and glory to God our Father and Jesus Christ our LORD and Saviour!

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  2. My guess would be that Dispensationalists would argue that the no distinction texts have value only in the church age. After the rapture, during the great tribulation, old covenant rules would apply again. Circular reasoning.

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  3. Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, spoke repeatedly of the “distinction” between Jew and Gentile. Instead of dismissing what he spoke of in Romans 9:3,4,5,30,31 and 10:1-4,20,21 and 11:1-12. I will stop with that scripture. Romans 11:1-12 is very important and argues directly against your point. Just a simple reading of that section straight through reveals that the Holy Spirit does indeed see a distinction, and is still in the process of redeeming the people of the promise.

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    • Chuck,

      In the passages you cited, Paul acknowledged that he was a Jew and that the Jews were his brethren. He also recounted the history of the Israelites and their possession of the covenants, promises, etc. He made the point that a remnant from among the Gentiles had attained to righteousness, but the majority of the Jews had not because they rejected faith in Christ. He spoke of a remnant from among the Jews, though, including himself, who had attained to righteousness because they trusted in Christ. At no point did Paul say that Jews, as a race, are superior or have access to promises that no one else has access to. Yes, the Holy Spirit is still in the process of redeeming people from all races, including the Jewish race.

      What is your understanding of Romans 10:12, Galatians 3:28, and Colossians 3:11 where Paul says that there is no Jew or Gentile in Christ?

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      • I am unaware of any theological position (accept Nazi) that denies that Jewish people can be saved. As Romans points out natural olive branches can be grafted back in. But as I have stated before a final generation of Jews being saved in a tribulation period hardly constitutes “all Israel” being saved. So far there has been at least 49 generations of unfulfilled expectation.

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      • Pat, regarding your comment on May 17th at 14:43, you may want to check out Ezekiel 47 before you decide that the promises of God have failed. Again I can only pray that God leads us into ALL truth, none of us have it all right, but we NEED to make sure that we are getting how big His grace and mercy is and how steadfast and reliable His covenant and His promises are!

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      • I pray God reveals truth to us, as we discuss these important matters. In the Romans 11:1-12 passage, God does preserve a remnant of elect Jews, but why does He put a spirit of slumber on the majority of the nation? My answer would be to usher in a “time of the gentiles” when millions of us can come to know Jesus as Lord, but verse 12 indicates to me that the love of God is far too huge and His commitment to His unilateral covenant with Abraham is too unbreakable and unchangeable for Him to say that the “spirit of slumber” is His last word to Israel (meaning what it does in the vast majority of Paul’s writings, the Jewish nation). Verse 12 states, “Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?” I think it is a very important question for you to consider, what is meant by “their fullness”? As for Romans 10:12 It is the apostles proclamation of the good news that the promises and the everlasting covenant formerly only promises to the Jewish nation is now, through the blood of Christ being made available to all Jew and gentile. The good news is the fact that gentiles are now given equal opportunity to know the God of Israel. But He is still the God of Israel and He still has covenants and promises to them that are outstanding and yet future in fulfillment. The “no difference” is referring to salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, which is available freely to all individuals who believe. This “individual salvation” promise which we are in full agreement on does not negate the promises and the covenant with the chosen people and “His” land. (“My land” references spoken by God, Ezekiel 36:5, 38:16, Joel 3:2) Now onto Galatians 3:28 Again the precious blood of Jesus has opened the way for all to receive the promise given to Abraham by faith. This is a flood of grace and mercy but it does not nullify the specific promise to the specific nation currently under a judgment of a “spirit of slumber” but only UNTIL God in the fullness of time reveals Himself to them as the One whom they have pierced. If the Jews have been forgotten and God’s promises to the nation mean nothing why are the twelve gates in New Jerusalem given the names of the 12 tribes? Isn’t that a question worth asking? Lastly (and I apologize that this is long, but as usual in gratitude for the opportunity, I will yield the ‘last word’ to you) Col. 3:11 Again here is the universal availability of the saving power of Jesus Christ being exalted, but the title given Him later on in this same chapter is Messiah. That is such a key word, One thing that is definitely yet future is the reign of Jesus on the throne in Jerusalem. (Jeremiah 17:19-25) This “spirit of slumber” is only “until” and at that point all the promises that we are grafted into now, come back to the original national vine and are fulfilled, because it is all by grace! I end with my favorite “until” scriptures. Hosea 5:15-6:2, Jeremiah 32:15-18, Micah 5:3,4. If you would you may comment on any of these “until”s. Peace to you, and to all who read.

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  4. Chuck, Romans 11:1-11 says exactly what preterists say. A remnant of Jews chosen by grace believed the message of the new covenant in Christ. The gentiles were then invited in. The gospel was preached first to the Jew and then to the gentile. Jesus parallels this message in his banquet feast parable. The coming in of the gentiles and speaking in tongues were signs to Jews that the last days had come and that they should enter in to a relationship with the new covenant mediator Jesus Christ. You are trying to re-establish types and shaddows just like the jews of Paul’s day. Paul is a minister of the new covenant. We live in the NC. Stop trying to drag people back into the old.

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    • Pat, you forgot to include Romans 11:12, which speaks of a future time when “Israel” which is being contrasted with believing gentiles, so Paul is speaking of the Jews here, who have been temporarily given a “spirit of slumber” by God, comes into their fulness. Now what could that mean?
      And please be aware that the New Covenant is actually the everlasting covenant spoken to Jeremiah and given to Israel and Judah as a nation of people, we gentiles get grafted into it but it is theirs, according to the God who gave it.
      I pray that God reveals the truth. Thank you for considering these points.

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      • Chuck you can’t have a temporarily that lasts over 2000 years. You have to take time statements seriously are they simply become meaningless. Paul’s vision for the Jews as a nation ends with the end of the Old Covenant. I agree that there is only one olive tree but that supports my view not yours, your view would require two trees. James in writing to the church calls it the 12 tribes scattered abroad, Paul refers to the Israel of God in Galatians 6, and says that the church is the telos of the ages in I corinthians 10:11.

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      • Replying to June 6 comment by Pat. The “blindness” imposed by God on the Jews is “until” God removes it. That means it is as long as He wants it to be to fulfill His purpose. The point is when He removes it, they come in “as a nation” in fulfillment of His promise that they would be a “kingdom of priests”. Believing Jews and Gentiles at this time do get this promise but only as being grafted into their tree. As you know the new/everlasting covenant was given to Israel and Judah in Jeremiah, far from signaling the end of God’s promises to the nation, it is the most beautiful promise that they have. As for this quote from you, “You have to take time statements seriously are they simply become meaningless.” let’s talk about Revelation 20:5. .. No wait, let’s not, all these are side issues. The main thing as I see it is God is Hosea and Hosea is faithful to Gomer even when Gomer is a whore. This is about His love and His covenant faithfulness. The only challenge I would offer is to study the “until”‘s of Biblical prophecy and see that God does indeed have a plan that, at tremendous cost, vindicates His faithful love and mercy to the chosen people. May God reveal His heart to you, Pat, and anyone else who happens to read all the way down here.

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  5. These articles that you send are fantastic!!

    tomdurst1@msn.com Medical Lake, WA “Gaining the kingdom of God has to be accomplished inside of our own being. Something must take place within us; there must be a conscious remembrance that the Christ abides in us. Through this conscious remembrance of our oneness with God, the grace of God becomes active, a Grace that brings things and experiences to us that humanly would be improbable, if not impossible. There is a lessening of dependence on our mind, our education, or our pocketbook, and a greater reliance on the Infinite Invisible. Consciousness is being opened to receive the invisible things of God, of which all things that are visible are made.”– from Joel Goldsmith’s “A Parenthesis in Eternity” Chapter 1 – The Two Worlds

    http://advaita.proboards.com/threads/recent

    >

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  6. Chuck, never said God’s promises failed. What has failed is your vision, your paradigm of Biblical interpretation. A system I rejected when studying it at Multnomah School of Bible back in 1977. Old Covenant Israel no longer exists–the Modern State of Israel has no covenant with God. What I have witnessed is close to 40 years of prophetic speculation that has from a pastoral perspective seriously wasted the time of the Christian Church.

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  7. Chuck,If you understood preterism you would already know that we believe the New Covenant to be eternal. We also believe that the promises of the Old Testament have been expanded to include Gentiles. But we clearly have more than just “guest status” in the new covenant. God has made one new man, one new creation in Christ.

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    • Just let me add my two cents to this article. I do not believe that the New Covenant has been “expanded” to include the rest of the world. No. The divine plan was from the beginning to undo the sin of Adam (Gen 3:15) and thus reach the whole world with the message of life and restoration once Jesus reconciled the world back to the Father (2Cor. 5:19, Ro 3:24) through the everlasting covenant (Heb 13:20)

      I don’t read anywhere in the bible that indicates that the Jews were chosen for the sake of being chosen (I’m not saying you believe that). I simply believe that one of the reasons why they were chosen was for the sole purpose of bringing the Deliverer (Messiah) to the world in order to save mankind.

      According to how I see the scriptures, the church (or better said, “the new covenant congregation) was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4, 2Thes 2:13, Rev 13:8b). God’s only plan was for believing Jews to preach to the Gentiles so that all would all be one in Christ (Gal 3:28)

      A Jew without Christ is nothing but a child of the flesh and a lost soul without redemption (Ro 9:8).

      To me the Israel of the flesh is nothing but a distraction and a deception. They as a whole don’t give a dime for the Lord of glory and couldn’t care less about the promises of the bible.

      Jesus is the uniting force that brings both the old covenant congregation and the new one under His Lordship because the entire scriptures are about Jesus and no one else (Lk 24:27, 44, Jn 5:39-40).

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      • This is the description of Jesus ministry, Luke 2:32 “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” Do you see it, both a light to the Gentiles AND a glory for the nation of people Israel. Please be honest and see that in the context there is no way that “thy people Israel” could mean anything but the nation, the people, Israel! One last scripture and I am done, read Ezekiel 16 the whole chapter and be amazed at the love of God for His chosen people in verse 60 “Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.” After a litany of failure on the part of Israel, God renews covenant with His chosen people, His choice, never changing, His love, never changing. That is the heart of God!

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  8. Chuck, the nature of the kingdom is spiritual. Jesus is already sitting on David’s throne. Your problem is contextual. You just cant create your own future context and plug OT verses into it. The gospels from the very beginning predict that the wrath of God is coming upon OC Jerusalem and its Harlot/Babylon leaders. There is no future tribulation period, or pre-tribulation rapture, there is no future millennium. There is no mystery postponement/paranthesis. There are only two ages, the old and the new. Thus we are already in the New Heavens and New Earth. The last days begin at Pentecost and the Day of the Lord occurs with the destruction of the Temple and the end of the old covenant age. Jesus himself links the destruction of the temple with the end of the age in Matthew 24.

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    • Pat, your response to Chuck said it all. It’s all very simple, isn’t it? For the most part, the church tends to complicate matters by adding doctrines that hold no water in the scriptures, providing we are honest enough to understand them from an unbiased perspective.

      Thank you for your valuable insight,

      Joseph

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  9. Chuck, you are right, Jesus is the glory of Israel, meaning an Israel without Jesus is an Israel without glory, without salvation and without hope. Without Jesus, Israel is nothing but an empty shell without substance. Paul makes it abundantly clear in Rom 9:6-8.

    There is a difference between a people of flesh and a people of the Spirit. He who does not have the Spirit of Christ, does not belong to Him (Ro 8:9)

    As for Israel I do not deny they were chosen for a specific purpose, but I also see that from the very beginning God removed unbelieving Israel from believing Israel. It’s all over the old covenant. (Just think what happened to a whole generation that refused to enter the Promised Land. Answer: They all died in the wilderness and delayed the promise for 38 years)

    Israel of the OT was only qualified if they obeyed the terms of the covenant ( meaning they had to have faith). The ones who did became the remnant; the rest were cut off over and over again because of unbelief.

    Faith then is the divine ingredient that allowed the Jews to continue to be God’s people. Those who didn’t have faith in the Lord and disobeyed Him were cut off. (The story of the major prophets is a classic example)

    The everlasting covenant (known also as the new covenant) was established by the Lord on the Last Supper (Lk 22:20, 1Cor 11:25, 2Cor 3:6, Heb 8:8, 13, 9:15, 12:24). It began with the disciples who were 100% Jews and it immediately spread out to only Jews (until Acts 9). Promised fulfilled to the house of Israel and the house of Judah in its representatives.

    The proclamation of the Good News began with the Jews of Judea and continued to expand to Samaria and the other cities of Israel. The only difference is that the new covenant included all the nations of the word—because the plan was always the world!

    When Jesus was about to ascend to His throne, He clearly told His Jewish disciples,

    Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

    This meant that the eternal plan was to start in Jerusalem and proceed to the rest of the world.

    Again, the undoing of the sin of Adam and the blessing of Abraham included all the nations of the world,

    NAU Genesis 12:3 “And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

    NAU Genesis 18:18 “Since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?”

    NAU Genesis 22:18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

    NAU Genesis 26:4 “I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.”

    NAU Galatians 3:8 “The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.”

    Galatians 3:13-14 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us– for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE “– 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

    The clincher is in verse 16,

    Galatians 3:16 “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.”

    It is Christ the Lord who unites all the saints of the old covenant with the saints of the new covenant so that both people may become one.

    God is always a God of oneness:

    The Holy Trinity reveals the perfect and limitless union of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: GOD IS ONE.
    Marriage is God given so that both man and woman so that they may become ONE.
    A godly marriage with children is ONE family.
    The Lord has ONE bride who is made of all the nations of the world which includes all believing Jews.
    God has always had ONE PEOPLE that separated themselves from the rest: These are a people of faith.
    The plan of God was always ONE PLAN from the beginning (Gen 3:15 all the way to the marriage of the Lamb in Revelations)
    All the Jews that believed in Christ instantly became part of ONE church
    All Gentiles that believed in Christ instantly became part of the SAME church (better said, “The New Covenant Congregation. This way we are looking only at ONE PEOPLE, both Jews and Gentiles united to Christ)

    My point is that Israel was chosen so that God would choose the whole world… 🙂

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