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Standing Firm Against Opposition

Then, after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem. I took Barnabas with me, and Titus. I went up because of a revelation. I laid before them the gospel which I announce among the Gentiles (I did this privately, in the presence of the key people), in case somehow I might be running, or might have run, to no good effect. But even the Greek, Titus, who was with me, was not forced to get circumcised . . . but because of some pseudo-family members who had been secretly smuggled in, who came in on the side to spy on the freedom which we have in the Messiah, Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery . . . I didn’t yield authority to them, no, not for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be maintained for you.

Paul’s Agreement with Peter and James

However, those who appeared to be Something – what sort of ‘thing’ they were makes no difference to me, God shows no partiality – those of reputation added nothing extra to me. On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcision, just as Peter had been with the gospel for the circumcision (for the one who gave Peter the power to be an apostle to the circumcision gave me the power to go to the Gentiles). They knew, moreover, the grace that had been given to me. So James, Cephas and John, who were reputed to be ‘pillars’, gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcision. 10 The only extra thing they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor – the very thing I was eager to do.

Paul Confronts Peter in Antioch

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I stood up to him face to face. He was in the wrong. 12 Before certain persons came from James, Peter was eating with the Gentiles. But when they came, he drew back and separated himself, because he was afraid of the circumcision-people. 13 The rest of the Jews did the same, joining him in this play-acting. Even Barnabas was carried along by their sham. 14 But when I saw that they weren’t walking straight down the line of gospel truth, I said to Cephas in front of them all: ‘Look here: you’re a Jew, but you’ve been living like a Gentile. How can you force Gentiles to become Jews?’

Justified by Faith, Not Works of Law

15 We are Jews by birth, not ‘Gentile sinners’. 16 But we know that a person is not declared ‘righteous’ by works of the Jewish law, but through the faithfulness of Jesus the Messiah.

That is why we too believed in the Messiah, Jesus: so that we might be declared ‘righteous’ on the basis of the Messiah’s faithfulness, and not on the basis of works of the Jewish law. On that basis, you see, no creature will be declared ‘righteous’.

17 Well, then; if, in seeking to be declared ‘righteous’ in the Messiah, we ourselves are found to be ‘sinners’, does that make the Messiah an agent of ‘sin’? Certainly not! 18 If I build up once more the things which I tore down, I demonstrate that I am a lawbreaker.

19 Let me explain it like this. Through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with the Messiah. 20 I am, however, alive – but it isn’t me any longer, it’s the Messiah who lives in me. And the life I do still live in the flesh, I live within the faithfulness of the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

21 I don’t set aside God’s grace. If ‘righteousness’ comes through the law, then the Messiah died for nothing.

Paul Accepted by the Apostles

Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem,(A) this time with Barnabas.(B) I took Titus(C) along also. I went in response to a revelation(D) and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles.(E) I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race(F) in vain. Yet not even Titus,(G) who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek.(H) This matter arose because some false believers(I) had infiltrated our ranks to spy on(J) the freedom(K) we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel(L) might be preserved for you.

As for those who were held in high esteem(M)—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism(N)—they added nothing to my message.(O) On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task(P) of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised,[a](Q) just as Peter(R) had been to the circumcised.[b] For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle(S) to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle(T) to the Gentiles. James,(U) Cephas[c](V) and John, those esteemed as pillars,(W) gave me and Barnabas(X) the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me.(Y) They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles,(Z) and they to the circumcised. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor,(AA) the very thing I had been eager to do all along.

Paul Opposes Cephas

11 When Cephas(AB) came to Antioch,(AC) I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James,(AD) he used to eat with the Gentiles.(AE) But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.(AF) 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas(AG) was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel,(AH) I said to Cephas(AI) in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew.(AJ) How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?(AK)

15 “We who are Jews by birth(AL) and not sinful Gentiles(AM) 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law,(AN) but by faith in Jesus Christ.(AO) So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in[d] Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.(AP)

17 “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners,(AQ) doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not!(AR) 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.

19 “For through the law I died to the law(AS) so that I might live for God.(AT) 20 I have been crucified with Christ(AU) and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.(AV) The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,(AW) who loved me(AX) and gave himself for me.(AY) 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law,(AZ) Christ died for nothing!”[e]

Footnotes

  1. Galatians 2:7 That is, Gentiles
  2. Galatians 2:7 That is, Jews; also in verses 8 and 9
  3. Galatians 2:9 That is, Peter; also in verses 11 and 14
  4. Galatians 2:16 Or but through the faithfulness of … justified on the basis of the faithfulness of
  5. Galatians 2:21 Some interpreters end the quotation after verse 14.

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