I don't understand quite well Galatians 6:17. What are Jesus marks on Paul's body? Does he want to talk about his strips after being beaten up for the gospel or spiritual marks? Do we believers also bear the same marks and what are they exactly?

From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. (Galatians 6:17)

  • This question has an answer here on the other site. Here you're likely to get a mishmash of different points of view unless you specifically ask for one – Peter Turner Apr 5 '19 at 3:56

The "marks of Jesus" refer to the whippings on Paul that had also been applied to Christ.

The Law commanded that a trouble maker be beaten or whipped not more than 40 times.

Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee. Deut 25:3

This punishment was applied to Christ.

And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. Mar 15:15

So too were 39 lashes applied to Paul. They applied 1 less than 40 lest they accidentally break their Law.

From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. Gal 6:17

This apparently aligns to Luke's recording in Acts.

And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Acts 16:23

From Christ's point of view, this is a witness against them.

But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. Mar 13:9

So, Paul was preaching the Gospel and was punished like Christ for doing so, having the same marks.

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"From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus."

St. Paul's words of Galatians 6:17 are indeed mysterious in meaning and are interpreted differently by various people.

Some claim that the marks St. Paul bore in his flesh were the Stigmata or the manifestations of the bodily wounds, scars and pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ, such as the hands, wrists, and feet.

Stigmata is a term used in Christian mysticism to describe the manifestations of bodily wounds, scars and pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ, such as the hands, wrists, and feet.1 An individual bearing the wounds of stigmata is referred to as a stigmatist or a stigmatic.

The term originates from the line at the end of Saint Paul's Letter to the Galatians where he says, "I bear on my body the marks of Jesus." Stigmata is the plural of the Greek word στίγμα stigma, meaning a mark, tattoo, or brand such as might have been used for identification of an animal or slave.

Stigmata are primarily associated with the Roman Catholic faith. Many reported stigmatics are members of Catholic religious orders.2 St. Francis of Assisi was the first recorded stigmatic in Christian history. For over fifty years, St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin reported stigmata which were studied by several 20th-century physicians. - Stigmata (Wikipedia)

Let us also recall that the Apostle Paul also says:

I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church." (Colossians 1:24)

Amongst many Catholics this interpretation is quite popular, but not the only one.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website has this to say about Galatians 6:17:

The marks of Jesus: Slaves were often branded by marks (stigmata) burned into their flesh to show to whom they belonged; so also were devotees of pagan gods. Paul implies that instead of outdated circumcision, his body bears the scars of his apostolic labors (2 Cor 11:22–31), such as floggings (Acts 16:22; 2 Cor 11:25) and stonings (Acts 14:19), that mark him as belonging to the Christ who suffered (cf. Rom 6:3; 2 Cor 4:10; Col 1:24) and will protect his own.

Take your pick as there is no one general consensus. As for myself, I believe that St. Paul bore in his flesh the marks of Jesus' crucifixion.

Other articles of interest:

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  • I concur with Ken. That has been my understanding coming from a Roman Catholic background. Many Catholics believe that St. Paul, like St. Francis of Assisi and St. Pio of Pietrelcine, bore in his own body the marks of Christ crucified. Ken is correct in saying there is no way to definitively know, but here is a very interesting article on the subject and it is rather thought-provoking! depts.drew.edu/jhc/PaulStigmatic.html – Stephen Brackens-Brinkley Apr 4 '19 at 12:27

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