Galatians 6:5—Are we to bear other’s burdens or our own?

Problem: In Galatians 6:2, Paul exhorts us to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” But only a few verses later he says “every man shall bear his own burden” (v. 5, kjv).

Solution: The word for “burden” is different in each case. In the first passage, Paul urges sympathy for others. In the other, he is speaking of taking responsibility for ourselves. There is no conflict between being accountable for our own lives and being helpful to others.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.