Galatians 1:3: Theology from a Greeting

In many Bible translations (but not all), the word order of Galatians 1:3 runs like this: "Grace and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ." The order of the first part of this greeting communicates that the two nouns, grace and peace, are equally applied to the Galatians—and by extension to believers generally—and these blessings come from both God and Christ. There is a difference in the Greek word order, though, and a difference in theological emphasis, which this translation obscures. The English reader would not see much of a distinction between grace and peace; perhaps they are synonyms, equally applied to the Galatian believers. The word order of the the Greek text instead reads "Grace to you and peace . . ." and this implies a theological difference. With the latter word order Paul implies a distinction between the grace given to humanity and the peace that results from that grace. The first word compactly expresses the entirety of God’s disposition towards believers; the latter expresses the entirety of the benefits received. As Lenski simply stated in his work on Galatians (p. 27), “‘Grace’ is fundamental, ‘peace’ is its result.” Believers abundantly receive God's grace, which leads to peace in our relationship to him.