1. Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.
2. Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfil the law of Christ.
NASB  Galatians 6:1-2

4. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.
5. For each one will bear his own load.
NASB  Galatians 6:4-5

SAB Contradiction 76

A clear Bible Contradiction?

Should we bear each other's burdens? According to the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible (SAB) we have a clear contradiction in Galatians chapter 6. YES according to verse 2, but NO according to verse 5.
Indeed the King James Version also has ‘burden’ in verse 5, but does that mean that SAB is right?   

The two words ‘burden’ and ‘load’ can both be used in either literal or figurative sense. In verses 2 and 5 a figurative sense is meant, but not the same one. And that’s the point. The contexts make it all very clear.  

Different contexts

In the first context, the subject is: trespasses; (see verse 1). In some way we have to live with them and with those who acted wrongly. In 1 Corinthians 13:7 it is said about love, that: ‘it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things’. So it is rightly said in verse 2 to ‘bear one another’s burdens’.

In the second context, the subject is: personal way of life; (see verse 4). Nobody can live the life of someone else, or ‘each one will bear his own load’.

Greek roots

Verse 2. Burdens, in Greek ‘barè’ with the root ‘bar-’: burden.
Verse 5. Load, in Greek ‘phortion’ with the root ‘phort-’: lading (of a ship).


Who sees a contradiction in these verses, is limited in handling texts. Two different Greek words. It is not APPROPRIATE TO IDENTIFY THEM; ignoring differences in texts isn’t proper reading anymore.

No Bible Contradiction