New English Translation
Confirmation from the Jerusalem Apostles
2 Then after fourteen years I went up to Jerusalem again with Barnabas, taking Titus along too. 2 I went there[a] because of[b] a revelation and presented[c] to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did so[d] only in a private meeting with the influential people,[e] to make sure that I was not running—or had not run[f]—in vain. 3 Yet[g] not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, although he was a Greek. 4 Now this matter arose[h] because of the false brothers with false pretenses[i] who slipped in unnoticed to spy on[j] our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, to make us slaves.[k] 5 But[l] we did not surrender to them[m] even for a moment,[n] in order that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.[o]
6 But from those who were influential[p] (whatever they were makes no difference to me; God shows no favoritism between people[q])—those influential leaders[r] added[s] nothing to my message.[t] 7 On the contrary, when they saw[u] that I was entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised[v] just as Peter was entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised[w] 8 (for he who empowered[x] Peter for his apostleship[y] to the circumcised[z] also empowered me for my apostleship to the Gentiles)[aa] 9 and when James, Cephas,[ab] and John, who had a reputation as[ac] pillars,[ad] recognized[ae] the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me[af] the right hand of fellowship, agreeing[ag] that we would go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.[ah] 10 They requested[ai] only that we remember the poor, the very thing I also was eager to do.
Paul Rebukes Peter
11 But when Cephas[aj] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he had clearly done wrong.[ak] 12 Until[al] certain people came from James, he had been eating with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he stopped doing this[am] and separated himself[an] because he was afraid of those who were pro-circumcision.[ao] 13 And the rest of the Jews also joined with him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray with them[ap] by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not behaving consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “If you, although you are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you try to force[aq] the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
The Justification of Jews and Gentiles
15 We are Jews by birth[ar] and not Gentile sinners,[as] 16 yet we know[at] that no one[au] is justified by the works of the law[av] but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.[aw] And[ax] we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ[ay] and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one[az] will be justified. 17 But if while seeking to be justified in Christ we ourselves have also been found to be sinners, is Christ then one who encourages[ba] sin? Absolutely not! 18 But if I build up again those things I once destroyed,[bb] I demonstrate that I am one who breaks God’s law.[bc] 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I may live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ,[bd] and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So[be] the life I now live in the body,[bf] I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God,[bg] who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside[bh] God’s grace, because if righteousness[bi] could come through the law, then Christ died for nothing![bj]
- Galatians 2:2 tn Grk “I went up”; one always spoke idiomatically of going “up” to Jerusalem.
- Galatians 2:2 tn Or “in accordance with.” According to BDAG 512 s.v. κατά B.5.a.δ, “Oft. the norm is at the same time the reason, so that in accordance with and because of are merged…Instead of ‘in accordance w.’ κ. can mean simply because of, as a result of, on the basis of…κ. ἀποκάλυψιν Gal 2:2.”
- Galatians 2:2 tn Or “set before them.”
- Galatians 2:2 tn Grk “Gentiles, but only privately…to make sure.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started with “But” and the words “I did so,” an implied repetition from the previous clause, were supplied to make a complete English sentence.
- Galatians 2:2 tn L&N 87.42 has “important persons, influential persons, prominent persons” for οἱ δοκοῦντες and translates this phrase in Gal 2:2 as “in a private meeting with the prominent persons.” The “prominent people” referred to here are the leaders of the Jerusalem church.
- Galatians 2:2 tn Here the first verb (τρέχω, trechō, “was not running”) is present subjunctive, while the second (ἔδραμον, edramon, “had not run”) is aorist indicative.
- Galatians 2:3 tn Grk “But,” translated here as “Yet” for stylistic reasons (note the use of “but” in v. 2).
- Galatians 2:4 tn No subject and verb are expressed in vv. 4-5, but the phrase “Now this matter arose,” implied from v. 3, was supplied to make a complete English sentence.
- Galatians 2:4 tn The adjective παρεισάκτους (pareisaktous), which relates to someone joining a group with false motives or false pretenses, applies to the “false brothers.” Although the expression “false brothers with false pretenses” is somewhat redundant, it captures the emphatic force of Paul’s expression, which labels both these “brothers” as false (ψευδαδέλφους, pseudadelphous) as well as their motives. See L&N 34.29 for more information.
- Galatians 2:4 tn The verb translated here as “spy on” (κατασκοπέω, kataskopeō) can have a neutral nuance, but here the connotation is certainly negative (so F. F. Bruce, Galatians [NIGTC], 112-13, and E. Burton, Galatians [ICC], 83).
- Galatians 2:4 tn Grk “in order that they might enslave us.” The ἵνα (hina) clause with the subjunctive verb καταδουλώσουσιν (katadoulōsousin) has been translated as an English infinitival clause.
- Galatians 2:5 tn Grk “slaves, nor did we…” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, οὐδέ (oude) was translated as “But…even” and a new sentence started in the translation at the beginning of v. 5.
- Galatians 2:5 tn Or “we did not cave in to their demands.”
- Galatians 2:5 tn Grk “even for an hour” (an idiom for a very short period of time).
- Galatians 2:5 sn In order that the truth of the gospel would remain with you. Paul evidently viewed the demands of the so-called “false brothers” as a departure from the truth contained in the gospel he preached. This was a very serious charge (see Gal 1:8).
- Galatians 2:6 tn Or “influential leaders.” BDAG 255 s.v. δοκέω 2.a.β has “the influential men Gal 2:2, 6b. A fuller expr. w. the same mng., w. inf. added…vss. 6a, 9.” This refers to the leadership of the Jerusalem church.
- Galatians 2:6 tn Grk “God does not receive the face of man,” an idiom for showing favoritism or partiality (BDAG 887-88 s.v. πρόσωπον 1.b.α; L&N 88.238).
- Galatians 2:6 tn Or “influential people”; here “leaders” was used rather than “people” for stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy with the word “people” in the previous parenthetical remark. See also the note on the word “influential” at the beginning of this verse.
- Galatians 2:6 tn Or “contributed.” This is the same word translated “go to ask advice from” in 1:16, but it has a different meaning here; see L&N 59.72.
- Galatians 2:6 tn Or “added nothing to my authority.” Grk “added nothing to me,” with what was added (“message,” etc.) implied.
- Galatians 2:7 tn The participle ἰδόντες (idontes) has been taken temporally to retain the structure of the passage. Many modern translations, because of the length of the sentence here, translate this participle as a finite verb and break the Greek sentences into several English sentences (NIV, for example, begins new sentences at the beginning of both vv. 8 and 9).
- Galatians 2:7 tn Grk “to the uncircumcision,” that is, to the Gentiles.
- Galatians 2:7 tn Grk “to the circumcision,” a collective reference to the Jewish people.
- Galatians 2:8 tn Or “worked through”; the same word is also used in relation to Paul later in this verse.
- Galatians 2:8 tn Or “his ministry as an apostle.”
- Galatians 2:8 tn Grk “to the circumcision,” i.e., the Jewish people.
- Galatians 2:8 tn Grk “also empowered me to the Gentiles.”
- Galatians 2:9 sn Cephas. This individual is generally identified with the Apostle Peter (L&N 93.211). Both the Aramaic name “Cephas” and the Greek name “Peter” are related to words in each language which mean “rock.”
- Galatians 2:9 tn Or “who were influential as,” or “who were reputed to be.” See also the note on the word “influential” in 2:6.
- Galatians 2:9 sn Pillars is figurative here for those like James, Peter, and John who were leaders in the Jerusalem church.
- Galatians 2:9 tn The participle γνόντες (gnontes) has been taken temporally. It is structurally parallel to the participle translated “when they saw” in v. 7.
- Galatians 2:9 tn Grk “me and Barnabas.”
- Galatians 2:9 tn Grk “so,” with the ἵνα (hina) indicating the result of the “pillars” extending the “right hand of fellowship,” but the translation “they gave…the right hand of fellowship so that we would go” could be misunderstood as purpose here. The implication of the scene is that an agreement, outlined at the end of v. 10, was reached between Paul and Barnabas on the one hand and the “pillars” of the Jerusalem church on the other.
- Galatians 2:9 tn Grk “to the circumcision,” a collective reference to the Jewish people.
- Galatians 2:10 tn Grk “only that we remember the poor”; the words “They requested” have been supplied from the context to make a complete English sentence.
- Galatians 2:11 sn Cephas. This individual is generally identified with the Apostle Peter (L&N 93.211). Both the Aramaic name “Cephas” and the Greek name “Peter” are related to words in each language which mean “rock.”
- Galatians 2:11 tn Grk “because he stood condemned.”
- Galatians 2:12 tn The conjunction γάρ has not been translated here.
- Galatians 2:12 tn Grk “he drew back.” If ἑαυτόν (heauton) goes with both ὑπέστελλεν (hupestellen) and ἀφώριζεν (aphōrizen) rather than only the latter, the meaning would be “he drew himself back” (see BDAG 1041 s.v. ὑποστέλλω 1.a).
- Galatians 2:12 tn Or “and held himself aloof.”
- Galatians 2:12 tn Grk “the [ones] of the circumcision,” that is, the group of Jewish Christians who insisted on circumcision of Gentiles before they could become Christians.
- Galatians 2:13 tn The words “with them” are a reflection of the σύν- (sun-) prefix on the verb συναπήχθη (sunapēchthē; see L&N 31.76).
- Galatians 2:14 tn Here ἀναγκάζεις (anankazeis) has been translated as a conative present (see ExSyn 534).
- Galatians 2:15 tn Grk “by nature.”
- Galatians 2:15 tn Grk “and not sinners from among the Gentiles.”
- Galatians 2:16 tn Grk “yet knowing”; the participle εἰδότες (eidotes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
- Galatians 2:16 tn Grk “no man,” but ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) is used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women.
- Galatians 2:16 sn The law is a reference to the law of Moses.
- Galatians 2:16 tn Or “faith in Jesus Christ.” A decision is difficult here. Though traditionally translated “faith in Jesus Christ,” an increasing number of NT scholars are arguing that πίστις Χριστοῦ (pistis Christou) and similar phrases in Paul (here and in v. 20; Rom 3:22, 26; Gal 3:22; Eph 3:12; Phil 3:9) involve a subjective genitive and mean “Christ’s faith” or “Christ’s faithfulness” (cf., e.g., G. Howard, “The ‘Faith of Christ’,” ExpTim 85 : 212-15; R. B. Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ [SBLDS]; Morna D. Hooker, “Πίστις Χριστοῦ,” NTS 35 : 321-42). Noteworthy among the arguments for the subjective genitive view is that when πίστις takes a personal genitive it is almost never an objective genitive (cf. Matt 9:2, 22, 29; Mark 2:5; 5:34; 10:52; Luke 5:20; 7:50; 8:25, 48; 17:19; 18:42; 22:32; Rom 1:8; 12; 3:3; 4:5, 12, 16; 1 Cor 2:5; 15:14, 17; 2 Cor 10:15; Phil 2:17; Col 1:4; 2:5; 1 Thess 1:8; 3:2, 5, 10; 2 Thess 1:3; Titus 1:1; Phlm 6; 1 Pet 1:9, 21; 2 Pet 1:5). On the other hand, the objective genitive view has its adherents: A. Hultgren, “The Pistis Christou Formulations in Paul,” NovT 22 (1980): 248-63; J. D. G. Dunn, “Once More, ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ,” SBL Seminar Papers, 1991, 730-44. Most commentaries on Romans and Galatians usually side with the objective view. sn On the phrase translated the faithfulness of Christ, ExSyn 116, which notes that the grammar is not decisive, nevertheless suggests that “the faith/faithfulness of Christ is not a denial of faith in Christ as a Pauline concept (for the idea is expressed in many of the same contexts, only with the verb πιστεύω rather than the noun), but implies that the object of faith is a worthy object, for he himself is faithful.” Though Paul elsewhere teaches justification by faith, this presupposes that the object of our faith is reliable and worthy of such faith.
- Galatians 2:16 tn In Greek this is a continuation of the preceding sentence, but the construction is too long and complex for contemporary English style, so a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Galatians 2:16 tn Or “by faith in Christ.” See comment above on “the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.”
- Galatians 2:16 tn Or “no human being”; Grk “flesh.”
- Galatians 2:17 tn Or “does Christ serve the interests of sin?”; or “is Christ an agent for sin?” See BDAG 230-31 s.v. διάκονος 2.
- Galatians 2:18 tn Or “once tore down.”
- Galatians 2:18 tn Traditionally, “that I am a transgressor.”
- Galatians 2:20 tn The NA28 Greek text, NRSV, NJB, TEV, HCSB, and a few others place the phrase “I have been crucified with Christ” at the end of v. 19, but most English translations place these words at the beginning of v. 20.
- Galatians 2:20 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “So” to bring out the connection of the following clauses with the preceding ones. What Paul says here amounts to a result or inference drawn from his co-crucifixion with Christ and the fact that Christ now lives in him. In Greek this is a continuation of the preceding sentence, but the construction is too long and complex for contemporary English style, so a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Galatians 2:20 tn Grk “flesh.”
- Galatians 2:20 tc A number of significant witnesses (P46 B D* F G) have θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ (theou kai Christou, “of God and Christ”) instead of υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ (huiou tou theou, “the Son of God”), found in the majority of mss, including several important ones (א A C D1 Ψ 0278 33 1175 1241 1739 1881 2464 M lat sy co). The construction “of God and Christ” appears to be motivated as a more explicit affirmation of the deity of Christ (following as it apparently does the Granville Sharp rule). Although Paul certainly has an elevated Christology, explicit “God-talk” with reference to Jesus does not normally appear until the later books (cf., e.g., Titus 2:13, Phil 2:10-11, and probably Rom 9:5). For different arguments but the same textual conclusions, see TCGNT 524.tn Or “I live by faith in the Son of God.” See note on “faithfulness of Jesus Christ” in v. 16 for the rationale behind the translation “the faithfulness of the Son of God.”sn On the phrase because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, ExSyn 116, which notes that the grammar is not decisive, nevertheless suggests that “the faith/faithfulness of Christ is not a denial of faith in Christ as a Pauline concept (for the idea is expressed in many of the same contexts, only with the verb πιστεύω rather than the noun), but implies that the object of faith is a worthy object, for he himself is faithful.” Though Paul elsewhere teaches justification by faith, this presupposes that the object of our faith is reliable and worthy of such faith.
- Galatians 2:21 tn Or “I do not declare invalid,” “I do not nullify.”
- Galatians 2:21 tn Or “justification.”
- Galatians 2:21 tn Or “without cause,” “for no purpose.”