Galatians 6:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Galatians 6:16, NIV: Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule--to the Israel of God.

Galatians 6:16, ESV: And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

Galatians 6:16, KJV: And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Galatians 6:16, NASB: And all who will follow this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

Galatians 6:16, NLT: May God's peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.

Galatians 6:16, CSB: May peace come to all those who follow this standard, and mercy even to the Israel of God!

What does Galatians 6:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Coming to the end of his letter to the Galatians, Paul offers a benediction or a blessing to a specific group of people: "all who walk by this rule." The rule he has in mind is what he has just said in the previous verses: It doesn't matter if someone is circumcised; what matters is if someone is a new creation in Christ.

Paul has made the case, from the first words of this letter (Galatians 1:3–5), that being "in Christ" comes only by faith in Christ and His death for our sin on the cross. No component of works, rituals, or sacraments can obtain our salvation (Galatians 3:23–29). In fact, to rely on any aspect of works means not fully trusting in the finished work of Christ (Galatians 5:2–4). The "rule" we are to follow is that of faith in Christ, leading to submissive obedience through His Spirit.

To those in Galatia who follow that rule, Paul prays for peace and mercy. He also prays the same upon "the Israel of God." In Greek, as well as in English, Paul separates these two groups in praying his blessing. The growing body of Christians—the church—does not replace Israel. Even Paul, as shown here, sees them as separate entities.