Galatians 3:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Galatians 3:8, NIV: Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: 'All nations will be blessed through you.'

Galatians 3:8, ESV: And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”

Galatians 3:8, KJV: And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Galatians 3:8, NASB: 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 3:8, NLT: What's more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, 'All nations will be blessed through you.'

Galatians 3:8, CSB: Now the Scripture saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and proclaimed the gospel ahead of time to Abraham, saying, All the nations will be blessed through you.

What does Galatians 3:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is writing to non-Jewish Christians in Galatia. He is warning them not to believe the false teaching of a group known as the Judaizers. These men are telling people that Christianity only starts by believing in Jesus, and that belief must be followed by being circumcised in order to truly be included in God's family, the Jews, the sons of Abraham (Galatians 2:4).

Paul has answered by declaring that the opposite is true. Abraham was "counted as righteous" by believing the Lord (Galatians 3:6). Therefore, Paul said, everyone who believes the Lord is a child of Abraham and included in God's family. Put in theological terms, justification—being declared right before God—comes by faith in Christ, period. It is not, in any sense or form, something earned or produced by following the law of Moses.

How can Paul say such a thing? What about all the requirements of the law in the Old Testament? Paul reminds his readers of one of the first things God said to Abraham, that through him all the nations of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:3). Paul is clear: This was God's plan all along. The Scriptures were always pointing to the day when all people, not just the Israelites who followed the law, would be included in the family of God by faith, as Abraham was. The law was never meant to be the solution to our sin—Christ was.