Galatians 4:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Galatians 4:16, NIV: Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

Galatians 4:16, ESV: Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?

Galatians 4:16, KJV: Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Galatians 4:16, NASB: So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?

Galatians 4:16, NLT: Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?

Galatians 4:16, CSB: So then, have I become your enemy because I told you the truth?

What does Galatians 4:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has been reminding the Galatians about how enthusiastically they received him and his message. Not only did they treat him with kindness and honor even during an illness (Galatians 4:13–14), they believed his message about salvation through faith in Jesus, and faith alone (Galatians 1:6).

Paul has asked why that has changed. He knows the answer. The false teachers known as the Judaizers have moved in among the Galatians and have begun to convince them that Paul and his teachings are not trustworthy. These former friends have lost their respect for Paul and his message. They lack confidence that faith alone in Christ alone could ever be enough reason for God to accept them as dearly loved children (Galatians 2:4). Surely, they think, Paul was wrong and they must follow the law in order to be truly included in God's family.

Paul now asks them pointedly, "Have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?" Though the Galatians may not describe Paul as their enemy, it is possible they feel angry with him. Perhaps they feel duped. After all, isn't it too good to be true that God will forgive our sins in response to our simple faith? Most likely, they don't feel angst towards Paul, but their rejection of his gospel is deeply hurtful to him.

If Paul was lying or even just wrong, anger on the part of the Galatians would be understandable. But Paul was not lying, and he challenges them now not to be misled by the Judaizers who wish to steal away their freedom and joy. He urges them to go back to the moment they believed and to be convinced again.