1 1-5 I, Paul, and my companions in faith here, send greetings to the Galatian churches. My authority for writing to you does not come from any popular vote of the people, nor does it come through the appointment of some human higher-up. It comes directly from Jesus the Messiah and God the Father, who raised him from the dead. I’m God-commissioned. So I greet you with the great words, grace and peace! We know the meaning of those words because Jesus Christ rescued us from this evil world we’re in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. God’s plan is that we all experience that rescue. Glory to God forever! Oh, yes!
6-9 I can’t believe your fickleness—how easily you have turned traitor to him who called you by the grace of Christ by embracing a variant message! It is not a minor variation, you know; it is completely other, an alien message, a no-message, a lie about God. Those who are provoking this agitation among you are turning the Message of Christ on its head. Let me be blunt: If one of us—even if an angel from heaven!—were to preach something other than what we preached originally, let him be cursed. I said it once; I’ll say it again: If anyone, regardless of reputation or credentials, preaches something other than what you received originally, let him be cursed.
10-12 Do you think I speak this strongly in order to manipulate crowds? Or curry favor with God? Or get popular applause? If my goal was popularity, I wouldn’t bother being Christ’s slave. Know this—I am most emphatic here, friends—this great Message I delivered to you is not mere human optimism. I didn’t receive it through the traditions, and I wasn’t taught it in some school. I got it straight from God, received the Message directly from Jesus Christ.
13-16 I’m sure that you’ve heard the story of my earlier life when I lived in the Jewish way. In those days I went all out in persecuting God’s church. I was systematically destroying it. I was so enthusiastic about the traditions of my ancestors that I advanced head and shoulders above my peers in my career. Even then God had designs on me. Why, when I was still in my mother’s womb he chose and called me out of sheer generosity! Now he has intervened and revealed his Son to me so that I might joyfully tell non-Jews about him.
16-20 Immediately after my calling—without consulting anyone around me and without going up to Jerusalem to confer with those who were apostles long before I was—I got away to Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus, but it was three years before I went up to Jerusalem to compare stories with Peter. I was there only fifteen days—but what days they were! Except for our Master’s brother James, I saw no other apostles. (I’m telling you the absolute truth in this.)
21-24 Then I began my ministry in the regions of Syria and Cilicia. After all that time and activity I was still unknown by face among the Christian churches in Judea. There was only this report: “That man who once persecuted us is now preaching the very message he used to try to destroy.” Their response was to recognize and worship God because of me!
New International Version
To the churches in Galatia:(G)
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,(H) 4 who gave himself for our sins(I) to rescue us from the present evil age,(J) according to the will of our God and Father,(K) 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.(L)
No Other Gospel
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called(M) you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel(N)— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion(O) and are trying to pervert(P) the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you,(Q) let them be under God’s curse!(R) 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted,(S) let them be under God’s curse!
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people?(T) If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Paul Called by God
11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters,(U) that the gospel I preached(V) is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man,(W) nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation(X) from Jesus Christ.(Y)
13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism,(Z) how intensely I persecuted the church of God(AA) and tried to destroy it.(AB) 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous(AC) for the traditions of my fathers.(AD) 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb(AE) and called me(AF) by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles,(AG) my immediate response was not to consult any human being.(AH) 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.(AI)
18 Then after three years,(AJ) I went up to Jerusalem(AK) to get acquainted with Cephas[b] and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James,(AL) the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God(AM) that what I am writing you is no lie.(AN)
21 Then I went to Syria(AO) and Cilicia.(AP) 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea(AQ) that are in Christ.(AR) 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith(AS) he once tried to destroy.”(AT) 24 And they praised God(AU) because of me.