2. Historical survey, 1:11-2:14

i] Paul's apologia


From 1:11 to 2:14 Paul presents an autobiographical defense of both his gospel and his apostleship. Paul is aware of the personal attacks directed against his ministry by members of the circumcision party and how these attacks are undermining the gospel which he proclaims in the Gentile churches. Paul therefore, sets out to establish the authenticity of both his ministry and his message.


i] Context: See 1:1-10. Following his opening address, Paul goes on in 1:11-2:14 to relate the events of his life after his conversion, focusing particularly on his relationship with the apostles. This account serves to vindicate Paul's apostolic authority and the independence of his gospel message.


ii] Background: See 1:1-10.


iii] Structure: The legitimacy of Paul's gospel:

Paul's conversion and call, v11-17:

Christ's gospel is Paul's gospel, v11-12;

The source is Christ, v13-17.

The first Jerusalem visit, v18-24.

The second Jerusalem visit, v1-10.

The apostles accept Titus as a brother, v1-5;

The Pauline gospel is accepted by the apostles, v6-9;

The one instruction - remember the poor, v10.


iv] Interpretation:

Paul opens his historical survey, 1:11-2:10, A Personal Defense of my Gospel, with an introduction to the subject in v11-12. The next step in his argument, v13-17, serves as an expansion of the introduction, making the point that his gospel does not derive from a human source. Paul supports this contention by relating his limited contact with both the apostles and the Jerusalem church, as well as the churches throughout Judea, v18-22. Paul then recounts the events surrounding the Jerusalem Council where both his apostolic authority and the validity of his gospel message is recognized by the leaders of the Jerusalem church, 2:1-10.


There is debate as to whether the visit to Jerusalem referred to in 2:1 aligns with the famine visit, Acts 11:30, or the Jerusalem Council, Acts 15:2ff. Although Bruce, Dumbrell, Fung, ... opt for the famine relief visit, the majority of commentators opt for the Jerusalem Council. Given the subject matter, the visit is most likely for the purpose of the Jerusalem Council, where Paul's gospel of grace is examined and confirmed by the apostles. It also works well with regard the sequence of events, particularly if we read a rather interesting little textual variant. Paul's confrontation with Peter at Antioch is possibly in response to Peter's literal reading of the instructions that were circulated to Paul's missionary churches by the Jerusalem church following the Jerusalem Council. In v12 the variant tina is neut. pl. = "certain things" = presumably "the instructions from the Jerusalem church."

So, the account recorded in 2:1-10 refers to Paul's actions prompted by the visit of some members of the circumcision party who came down from Judea to Antioch and attempted to link law-obedience with progress in the Christian life, and thus the full appropriation of the promised Abrahamic blessings. Paul sets off for Jerusalem to sort out the issue, cf., Acts 15:1-35. Paul's understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it relates both to Jew and Gentile believers, is that holiness, righteousness, and thus the full appropriation of God's promised blessings, is through faith (Christ's faith/faithfulness appropriated by faith) and not works of the law. This understanding of the gospel was accepted by the leaders of the Jerusalem church. As Paul put it, the apostles "added nothing to my message", such that he did not give in to the "false brothers" (members of the circumcision party, the "judaizers"). The leaders of the Jerusalem church fully recognized Paul's ministry ("the grace given to me"), giving him the "right hand of fellowship" and agreed that he "should go to the Gentiles." The only thing asked of Paul was that he undertake a collection for the poor.


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage can be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 1:11

Paul's apologia: i] His conversion and call, v11-17: a) Christ's gospel is Paul's gospel, v11-12. Paul begins by arguing that the gospel he proclaims is not a product of human devising, and certainly not something taught him by some other person, rather, it came directly by divine revelation. The gospel which Paul proclaims is actually a revelation that was given him by God through the person of Jesus Christ. Paul may be referring to his Damascus road confrontation with Jesus, but also possibly to the time he spent in Arabia where he grew in his understanding of God's grace in Christ.

gar "-" - for. Variant de, "but/and", may be read as a connective and so untranslated. Sometimes gar serves as a connective and that may well be its function here, but it could be introducing a causal clause explaining why those who do not preach the gospel that was originally accepted by the Galatians should be rightly condemned, v9, namely because their gospel is of human origin.

gnwrizw pres. "I want [you] to know" - i make known. A formula statement, "take note of this"; "I tell you brothers", Barclay.

umin dat. pro. "you" - to you [brothers]. Dative of indirect object.

oJti "-" - that. Here introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Paul makes known to the Galatians, namely, that the gospel he preaches is "not according to man".

to euaggelisqen (euannelizomai) aor. pas. part. "I preached" - [the gospel] having been preached. Accusative of reference. The participle serves as an adjective, attributive, limiting "gospel"; "which I preached." The word euaggelion, "gospel", means an important message, and it is used in the NT of an important message from God regarding the renewal of the covenant in and through Jesus. The verb, as here, refers to the communication of that important message. The message entails "the unsearchable riches of Christ", Eph.3:8.

uJp (uJpo) + gen. "-" - by [me]. Expressing agency.

kata + acc. "[not something that man] made up / not of [human origin]" - [is not] according to [man]. Here expressing standard, although the sense of the prepositional phrase is unclear. The gospel peached by Paul is not:

A product of human thinking;

• Given to Paul by another person;

• Communicated out of human motives (eg. financial).

The first option seems best, as NIV, although v12 implies the second option.


gar "-" - for. Introducing a causal clause explaining why Paul's gospel is not of human devising. "The gospel I preached was not of human invention or devising because it was not communicated to me by any human person."

oude ..... oute "not .... nor" - neither [i from man received it] nor [nor was i taught it]. Forming a negated comparative construction.

parelabon (paralambanw) aor. "I did [not] receive [it]" - In the sense of receive a set tradition.

para + gen. "from [any man]" - from, by [man]. Here expressing source/origin; "from beside." Emphatic, due to the closeness of this preposition to the preposition "according to." "From/by any person."

edidacqhn (didascw) aor. pas. "[nor] was I taught it" - nor was i instructed. In the sense of formal instruction.

alla "I received it" - but. Strong adversative; "I did not receive it ..... but rather."

dia + gen. "by" - through, by means of [revelation]. Instrumental, expressing means.

Ihsou Cristou "from Jesus Christ" - of jesus christ. Is the genitive subjective or objective? If subjective (Longenecker), Jesus produces the action suggested by the verbal noun "revelation", ie. Jesus revealed the gospel to Paul, so NIV and most translations. If objective (Bruce, Fung, Betz, ..), Jesus receives the action suggested by the verbal noun "revelation", ie. "God is the subject of the verb [verbal noun], being the actor who carried out the invasive revealing. Christ is the object of God's revelatory act. And Paul's receipt of the gospel is the result", Martyn. cf. v15-16. The genitive may be plenary, that is, both subjective and objective. Of course, it may simply be ablative, expressing source/origin; "but rather, through a revelation that I received from the person of Jesus Christ."


b) The source is Christ, v13-17. Only a divine revelation could have turned Paul away from his former life as a fanatical Jew, v13-14. As a pious Pharisee, Paul happily persecuted the church, but then he met the risen Lord on the road to Damascus and his world changed. Now, as apostle to the Gentiles, Paul's enemies have suggested that he has moved in his understanding of the gospel from what was first explained to him by the apostles at the time of his conversion. Yet, the truth is, it was years after his conversion that Paul got to meet the apostles. Paul's gospel of grace apart from the law, is a direct revelation from God, as is his commissioning as apostle to the Gentiles. As far as Paul is concerned, his commissioning is a sovereign act of God. The language he uses is of the call of an Old Testament prophet, the servant of Jehovah.

gar "for" - More reason than cause, supporting his claim that he received the gospel by divine revelation, the support being his dramatic conversion.

pote adv. "previous" - once, formerly, at one time. Temporal adverb. Placed to emphasize the former period when Paul was a practicing Jew. "In my former career, that is, when I was a leader in the Jewish religion."

thn ... anastrofhn (h) "way of life" - [my] conduct, behavior, course of life. Accusative of reference; "with regard to my conduct", Silva.

en + dat. "in" - Expressing sphere, as of involvement in; "when the religion of the Jews was my religion", Barclay.

tw/ Ioudaismw/ (oV) "Judaism" - Jewish religious belief and social practice.

oJti "how" - that. Here introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what his readers heard, namely, "that I intensely persecuted the church."

kaq uJperbolhn "intensely" - according to excess = exceedingly. This prepositional phrase is adverbial, expressing manner; "I persecuted the church with fanatical zeal", Phillips.

tou qeou (oV) gen. "[the church] of God" - [i was persecuting the church] of god.The genitive is adjectival, probably possessive; "God's own church."

eporqoun (porqew) imperf. "tried to destroy" - [and] destroying, sacking, devastating, ravaging [it]. Possibly repeating the idea of "persecute" for emphasis sake, but "destroy" is likely. Paul is presumably referring to his persecution of the "church of God" in Jerusalem. "Blast it out of existence", Barclay.


proekopton (prokoptw) imperf. "was advancing" - I was growing, advancing, progressing. Imperfect expressing ongoing action. A technical term referring to progress in the Jewish religion. "I was progressing in my knowledge and exact observance of Jewish law and tradition", Bligh.

en + dat. "in [Judaism]" - [and i was advancing] in [judaism]. Expressing sphere, "in the sphere of"; "in devotion to Judaism", Berkeley.

uJper + acc. "beyond" - Comparative use.

sunhlikiwtaV (hV ou) "[of my] own age" - [many] contemporaries. "Well beyond those of my own age group."

en + dat. "among [my people]" - in [the nation of me]. Local, expressing sphere.

uJparcwn (uJparcw) pres. part. "and was" - being. The participle is adverbial, possibly causal, "because I was extremely zealous", even instrumental, "by being far more zealous."

perissoterwV adv. "extremely" - more abundantly, extremely. Here used as an adjective qualifying the noun "zealous". The comparative force of the word makes for a strong phrase; "fanatical enthusiasm", Barclay.

zhlwthV (hV ou) "zealous" - a zealot. Possibly indicating Paul's association with the Zealots, but more likely a general reference to his "enthusiasm" for Judaism.

twn patrikwn mou paradosewn gen. "for the traditions of my fathers" - of my ancestral traditions. Genitive of direct object after the verbal phrase "being zealous for." Paul is most likely referring to the teachings of the Pharisee party.


oJte "when" - [but/and] when, while. Introducing a temporal clause which covers three verses, serving to form a complex sentence. Note how Barclay moves the temporal idea past the parentheses, v15b-16a; "When he called me I did not seek the advice of any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to visit those who were apostles before I was", Barclay.

oJ aforisaV (aforizw) aor. part. "who set me apart" - [god] the one having separated, divided, set apart [me]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "God". The variant "God" was possibly added to identify who it was who set Paul apart. Probably Paul is alluding to a prophet's call and therefore "set apart" in the sense of "consecrated."

ek + gen. "from [birth]" - from [womb of the mother of me]. Expressing source / origin, but possibly separation, "away from." Again, an OT allusion, Jer.1:5, Isa.49:5. The preposition is probably temporal, rather than local; "from the moment of my birth", Phillips.

oJ ....kalesaV (kalew) aor. part. "called" - the one having called, invited. Again, the participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "God". The strength of this word is determined by our own personal view of election. So, Paul may have been "invited" by God to serve as apostle to the Gentiles, or God may have determined, as an act of his sovereign will, that Paul would serve as apostle to the Gentiles (or both!).

dia + gen. "by" - through, by means of. Identifying the instrument / means of his being "set apart" and "called", namely, God's gracious kindness which is applied apart from any worthiness on the part of the recipient.

autou gen. pro. "his [grace]" - [the grace] of him. The genitive may be adjectival, possessive, or ablative, source / origin, "the grace that flows from him."

eudokhsen (eudokew) aor. "was pleased" - [Christ] was well pleased. Carrying the sense of divine kindliness, graciousness; "in God's good pleasure", REB.


apokaluyai (apokaluptw) aor. inf. "to reveal" - What is the antecedent of this infinitive? If it is the verb "was pleased" then the infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of "pleased", so NIV. If "set apart / called", then it is final, identifying the purpose of the call, "called in order to reveal ..." The first option seems best; God's generous kindness expressed itself in the revelation of Jesus to Paul.

autou gen. pro. "his [Son]" - [the son] of him - The genitive is adjectival, relational.

en + dat. "in [me]" - in, to, with, by [me]. It would be reasonable to argue that Paul is speaking of a revelation that involved a personal indwelling of Christ "in" him, in which case the preposition is local, space, incorporative union, but that the revelation was "to" Paul seems better, ie., en stands in for a dative of indirect object / interest. "He chose to reveal his Son to me", Moffatt.

iJna + subj. "so that [I might preach]" - in order that. This construction introduces a purpose clause. The purpose of the revelation was that Paul might preach the gospel to the Gentiles.

en + dat. "among [the Gentiles]" - [i might preach him] among [the gentiles]. Usually taken as local, expressing sphere, with a distributive sense, "among", but again possibly serving as a dative of indirect object, "to the Gentiles."

ou prosaneqemhn (prosanatiqhmi) aor. "I did not consult" - [immediately] i did not confer. I did not confer with, consult to gain information. "I did not confer with any person as to the substance of the gospel message."

sarki (x koV) dat. "any human being" - in/with flesh [and blood]. The dative of direct object after the pro prefix verb "to consult with."


oude anhlqon (anercomai) aor. "nor did I go up [to Jerusalem]" - Neither height nor direction, but up to the big city.

proV + acc. "to see" - to, toward. "See", "meet with", etc. assumed. Seeing that Paul never met with the apostles, his opponents cannot argue that he had been instructed in the proper place of law, as it relates to the gospel, but has now shifted from this apostolic instruction and is preaching a heretical law-free gospel.

pro emou "[those who were apostles] before I was" - [toward the apostles] before me. Taking a temporal sense, as NIV, and modifying touV ... apostolouV, "the apostles", so adjectival, attributive, "to the apostles who were before me." Paul's apostleship is authorized by having met with the risen Lord and having been commissioned by him.

alla "but" - Strong adversative; "but".

euqewV adv. "immediately" - immediately, at once. Temporal adverb. Taken from v16; "immediately I did not consult ...", but obviously modifying the following positive clause, as NIV.

Arabian (a) "Arabia" - [i went away into] arabia [and again returned to damascus]. The Nabataean kingdom with its capital of Petra. It is often argued that Paul moved into this area, after his meeting with Christ on the Damascus road and subsequent stay in Damascus, to preach, but it would be more likely for reflection - getting his head together. Paul then "returned to Damascus" to commence his preaching ministry. Acts 9 doesn't record Paul's time in Arabia.


ii] Paul's first visit to the Jerusalem church, v18-24. Paul tells us that he did eventually visit Jerusalem. This took place some three years after his conversion. During a fifteen day stay he got to see the apostle Peter, as well as James the Lord's brother, but none of the other apostles. Paul then went off to Syria and Cilicia, during which time he remained out of contact with the Judaean Christian church; they only heard of his preaching ministry.

epeita "then" - next. Introducing the next sequence of events.

meta + acc. "after" - after [three years]. Temporal use of the preposition.

iJstorhsai (iJstorew) aor. inf. "to get acquainted with" - [i went up to jerusalem] to get to know [cephas]. The infinitive here introduces a purpose clause, "in order to ..." Possibly in the sense of visiting for the purpose of getting information, or simply just to "meet", cf., Acts 9:26-30. "I went up to have an interview with Peter", Bruce.

proV + acc. "with" - [and i stayed] to, toward [him fifteen days]. Expressing the not so common sense of association, "with", as NIV.


Some commentators argue that the opening clause, a negated pronoun with a genitive noun, is indefinite, such that Paul is not specifically saying that he saw only Peter. "Apart from the apostles I saw no one but James, the Lord's brother", Trudinger. It is more likely that Paul is stressing the fact that the only apostle he met was Peter, and as an afterthought includes James, and therefore it is not possible to argue that he was instructed by the apostles in the gospel, which instruction, it is claimed, he has now deviated from.

de "-" - but/and. Here contrastive, refining the point made in v18, so Levinsohn; "but I saw none of the other apostles", ESV.

twn apostolwn (oV) gen. "of the [other] apostles" - The genitive is adjectival, partitive.

ei mh "only" - [i did not see] except, only. Introducing an exceptive clause expressing a contrast by designating an exception. James' status as an apostle is raised in this verse. Does the expression "except" refer to the whole first clause, meaning that Paul saw no other apostles while in Jerusalem, although he did get to see James, the brother of Jesus, an important person but not an apostle, or does it refer only to the verb "I did not see", meaning that he did not get to seen any other apostles, other than James, who, although not one of the twelve, did see the risen Lord, and so is properly an apostle? The last option is the one commonly accepted. "The only other apostle I saw was James, the Lord's brother", CEV.

tou kuriou (oV) gen. "[the brother] of the Lord" - [james the brother] of the lord. The genitive is adjectival, relational.


The literal sense of the verse is "Look here, these things I have written to you (regarding my limited contact with the apostolic team) (I witness) before God that I do not lie."

idou "I assure" - [but/and what things i write to you], pay attention, behold. Interjection.

enwpion + gen. "before [God]" - in front of, before [god]. Spacial; "in God's very presence", Cassirer.

oJti "that" - that [i do not lie]. Note actual placement. Introducing a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Paul witnesses (understood) before God, namely "I do not lie."

a} "what" - those things. Accusative direct object of the verb "to write." What particular writings? Presumably Paul's statement that he has only met with Peter, and in passing, James. "If anyone thinks that I met with the whole apostolic team at this time, they are very much mistaken. This I swear before God."

uJmin dat. pro. "[I am writing] you" - to you. Dative of indirect object.


epeita adv. "then" - then [i went into]. Sequential temporal adverb; "afterward I went into the region of Syria", Berkeley.

ta klimata (a atoV) "-" - the regions, districts.

thV SuriaV (a) gen. "Syria [and Cilicia]" - of syria [and of cilicia]. The genitive is adjectival, attributive / idiomatic / locative limiting "region"; "the region known as / which is called Syria and Cilicia."


tw/ proswpw/ (on) dat. "personally" - [but/and i was unknown] to the face. Dative of reference / respect.

agnooumenoV (agnoew) pres. pas. part. "I was [personally] unknown" - i was unknown. The participle with the imperfect verb to-be hmhn forms a periphrastic imperfect construction translated as a simple past tense, probably expressing the idea of continued action. "I remained personally unknown", Bligh; "quite unknown", Moffatt.

taiV ekklhsiaiV (a) dat. "to the churches" - Dative of indirect object, but instrumental is possibly, "by the churches."

thV IoudaiaV (a) gen. "of Judea" - The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / locative, "which are located in Judea", or possibly partitive, so Silva.

taiV "that are" - the. The article serves as an adjectivizer turning the prepositional phrase "in Christ" into an attributive modifier of "the churches."

en "in [Christ]" - in [christ]. Local, expressing sphere, in particular, incorporative union, "in union with, in fellowship with, in association with, united to, one with ...... Christ." This prepositional phrase is equivalent to "Christians / believers", so "Christian congregations in Judea", REB.


de "-" - but/and. Transitional, here introducing a qualification. Paul was unknown to the churches in Judea, "other than."

akouonteV (akouw) "they [only] heard" - [only] they were hearing. The participle with the imperfect verb to-be h\san forms a periphrastic imperfect construction, probably again underlying ongoing action, or particularly here, repeated (iterative) action. "[Other than] they kept on hearing", Bruce.

oJti "-" - that. Introduce a dependent statement of perception expressing what they were hearing, namely the report concerning Paul's activities. The words are in the form that would be spoken by members of the Judean churches as they passed on the news concerning Paul.

oJ diwkwn (diwkw) pres. part. "the man who [formerly] persecuted" - [the one [once] persecuting, pursuing [us]. The present tense expressing ongoing (durative) action, while the participle serves as a substantive. Paul had continued to persecute the church.

thn pistin (iV ewV) "the faith" - [now is preaching] the faith [which once he was ravaging]. Accusative direct object of the verb "to proclaim." Obviously here, a "faith" that is preached is "that which is to be believed", Bligh, meaning "the gospel of salvation by faith", Bruce. Yet, is it right to say Paul once tried to "destroy ("ravage", imperf. = durative) "the faith", namely "that which is believed"? What we have is a kind of zeugma (two nouns joined by a single verb that does not properly apply to one of the nouns) where the verb "preached" is an appropriate action for the object, "the faith", while the other verb "ravage" is not. Possibly what we have is an ellipsis: "he is now preaching the faith of the church he once ravaged."


edoxazon (doxazw) imperf. "they praised" - [and] they were glorifying. The imperfect expressing ongoing action. "They glorified God on my account every time they heard such news", Bruce.

en emoi "because of me" - [god] in, on me. The preposition en, "in, on", is obviously taking a causal sense, "on the basis of / on account of my ministry, therefore "because of me."


iii] Paul's second visit to the Jerusalem church, v1-10. Paul goes on to recount his visit to Jerusalem some fourteen years later. This visit, known as the Jerusalem Council, is recorded in Acts 15. Paul goes up with Barnabas, who is an apostle, but not one of the twelve, and Titus, a Gentile believer. Paul gave the apostles a run-down on his understanding of the gospel, seeking their confirmation, but certainly not their authorization, v2, which confirmation was given, since there was no demand, on their part, that Titus be circumcised, v3. Paul did this to counter the Judaizers who were undermining his ministry, v4. So, Paul stood his ground, v5, and the apostles made no attempt to edit his gospel of grace, v6, but rather entrusted him with the mission to the Gentiles, v7-9. The only request made of Paul was that he continue to collect funds for the Palestinian poor, v10.

dia + gen. "[fourteen years] later" - [then] through [fourteen years i went up again to jerusalem]. Temporal use of the preposition; probably "throughout fourteen years", given the sense "after some fourteen years."

meta + gen. "with [Barnabas]" - Expressing association / accompaniment; indicating Paul is leading the delegation.

sumparalabwn (sumparalambanw) aor. part. "I took [Titus] along" - having taken with [and = also titus]. Attendant circumstance participle identifying action accompanying the main verb "went up"; "I went up ..... and also took along Titus." As in taking someone along as a travelling companion.

kai "also" - and. Here adjunctive; "also".


de "-" - but/and. Transitional, identifying the next step in the narrative.

kata + acc. "in response to" - [i went up] according to. Expressing a standard, "in accordance with", leaning toward result, "as a result of"; "it was in consequence of a revelation", Moffatt.

apokaluyin (iV ewV) "a revelation" - We know nothing of this divine word to Paul.

aneqemhn (anatiqhmi) aor. mid. "set before" - [and] i laid before, declared, communicated. The middle voice carries the sense of communicating information, often of giving a report in a formal setting; "I explained the good news I had been preaching to the Gentiles", CEV. Even of seeking the opinion of a higher authority on that report. Apostolic confirmation of Paul's gospel is certainly at the heart of the Jerusalem Council, which confirmation (not authorization) Paul is emphasizing for his readers; "I submitted the (my) gospel (and got their tick of approval)", Moffatt.

autoiV dat. pro. "them" - to them [the gospel which i proclaim among the gentiles]. Dative of indirect object.

kat idian "privately" - [but/and] privately. Idiomatic adverbial phrase of manner. Why privately? It is generally felt that, due to those opposed to Paul's gospel in the Jerusalem church (the judaizers, members of the circumcision party), it was expedient for Paul to first make his case to the leaders of the church before it was presented to the whole assembly.

toiV dokousin (dokew) dat. pres. part. "to those who seemed to be leaders / with those esteemed as leaders" - to the ones seeming. The participle serves as a substantive, dative of indirect object, standing apposition to autoiV, "them". The sense is unclear, so is Paul being a little facetious, "those who seem to be what they are not", Bligh, or a little vague, as NIV? In 2:6 there is a similar designation. It is more likely that the term is taking its classical sense of "those held in regard", so, "with those of repute", REB, "the authorities", Moffatt.

en + dat. "among [the Gentiles]" - Local, expressing sphere, "among".

mh pwV + subj. / ind. "for fear that [I was running]" - lest somehow [i should run]. The NIV follows Lightfoot and takes the verb trecw, "I run", as a subjunctive and supplies "fear." If subjunctive, it may take a future sense; "to make sure that my course of action would be ....", Moffatt. The construction mh pwV "lest somehow" + subj. possibly forms a purpose clause; "in order to make sure that I was not running ...", NRSV. It is very unlikely that Paul would express doubt when it comes to the substance of the gospel and his mission to the Gentiles. The indicative mood seems best; "is it in any way possible that I am running, or have run my course in vain?", Bligh.

eiV kenon "in vain" - in vain, worthless, foolishness [or did run]. Adverbial, modal, expressing manner, but possibly final, expressing purpose; "uselessly / without effect", Longenecker.


In this parenthesis, Paul makes the point that the apostles happily confirmed the authenticity of his gospel of grace, apart from "works of the law", because there was no demand on their part that the Gentile Titus should undertake that most devout sign of covenant compliance, namely, circumcision. "I submitted my gospel to the apostles and got their tick of approval ..... [By the way, this is evidenced by the fact that Titus, who was with me at the time, a Gentile, was not forced to be circumcised.]" Of course, there is some debate as to whether Paul did (or had), or did not, have Titus circumcised, but most take the view that Paul did not act expediently with regard to this matter.

all (alla) "yet [not even Titus]" - but [not titus]. Adversative, although the argument is not overly clear. Note the emphatic position of the negative oude.

oJ "who was" - the. The article serves as an adjectivizer, turning the prepositional phrase "with me" into an attributive modifier of "Titus", as NIV, but it can be taken as a nominalizer forming a substantival construction in apposition to Titus.

sun + dat. "with [me]" - [the one] with [me, being a greek]. Expressing association.

hnagkasqh (anakaqw) aor. "was compelled" - was compelled, forced, coerced.

peritmhqhnai (peritemnw) aor. pas. inf. "to be circumcised" - The infinitive may be classified as complementary, or epexegetic, explaining what he was not compelled to do, "namely, to be circumcised."

w[n (eimi) part. "even though he was [a Greek]" - being. The participle may be adjectival, attributive, limiting "Titus"; "who is a Greek / Gentile", although often treated as adverbial, concessive, as NIV, "although he was a Gentile", or causal, Moule IB., "because he is a Greek", even temporal, "while a Greek." If concessive, a weak "although" fails to emphasize the point Paul is wanting to make; "despite the fact that he is a Greek / Gentile, as you well know."


dia "because" - [but/and] because of, on account of. Causal. Most commentators take the view that there is an ellipsis (missing words - a subject and main verb) at the beginning of this verse, due to Paul's agitation as he writes concerning this emotional time in his life. The words would ether refer to the Titus situation specifically, "this matter arose (ie. the pressure on Paul to have Titus circumcised)", NIV, "I mention this because certain false brethren did try to force him to submit to circumcision", Bligh, or more generally, the circumcision of Gentile believers; "the question of circumcising Gentile converts was first raised because some false brothers ....", Bruce. Grammatically, we are probably better served if we bracket v3 (ie. identify it clearly as a parenthesis) and allow v4 to pick up on v2. So, Paul is saying that the reason he went up to Jerusalem seeking confirmation from the apostles concerning his gospel of grace, was because of the Judaizers who were infiltrating his missionary churches, undermining the freedom that the Gentile believers had found in Christ, and so enslaving them again to the curse of the law.

touV yeudadelfouV (oV) "false brothers" - the false brothers. The definite article indicates that they are a specific group of false brothers, "the judaizers", obviously well known to the Galatian believers.

pareisaktouV adj. "-" - secretly brought in, infiltrating / alien, foreign [false brothers]. "Spurious Christians", Barclay; "counterfeit Christians", Bruce.

oiJtineV "-" - who. Serving to introduce a relative clause, although for some reason Paul has chosen this indefinite relative pronoun when the antecedent "false brothers" is definite.

pareishlqon (pareisercomai) aor. "had infiltrated our ranks" - came alongside, crept in. Stealth is implied; "had sneaked in among us", CEV.

kataskophsai (kataskopew) inf. "to spy on" - to examine, watch over / to spy out. The infinitive introduces a purpose clause, "in order to spy on." Probably a negative treacherous sense is intended.

thn eleuqerian (a) "the freedom" - This noun is used twice more in Galatians, 5:1, 5:13. In what sense are we free in Christ? Obviously not in the sense of free to sin, free to ignore the guidelines of the law. Yet, we are free from the law, in the sense of free from the curse of the law - its role of holding us to the consequence of sin and thus exposing our need for mercy. In Christ we are free from the condemnation of the law. Right standing in the sight of God, both now and in eternity, is by grace through faith and not by works of the law.

hJmwn gen. pro. "we [have]" - [the freedom] of us [which we have]. The genitive is often taken as verbal, subjective, "the freedom we exercise in Christ", Silva, but adjectival, possessive may be better, "the freedom we possess in Christ."

en + dat. "in [Christ]" - in [christ jesus]. Local, incorporative union, "in our union with Christ", or association, "with Christ", even possibly basis, "on the ground of = because of our union with Christ", so Burton.

iJna + fut. "and to" - in order that [they might enslave us (to the law)]. The variant aorist subjunctive probably seeks to correct the grammar, although hina followed by a verb in the future tense can properly form a purpose clause, as here. "They wanted to make us slaves", NCV.


oude "[We did] not" - not [for an hour did we yield]. Emphatic by position.

oi|V dat. rel. pro. "to them" - to whom. Dative of direct object after the negated verb eixamen, "to withdraw from = we did not yield to." The negative is emphatic, ruling out the possibility of any concession to the theological position held by the judaizers. "We did not make even the slightest concession (with regard Gentile submission to the law) to them."

proV wJran (a) "for a moment" - toward an hour. An adverbial construction, temporal; idiomatic - "a short time."

th/ uJpotagh/ (h) dat. "-" - in/by subjection, obedience (to them / to their teaching). The dative is adverbial, instrumental, expressing means, or modal, expressing manner. "We refused to yield for a single instant to their claims", Moffatt.

iJna + subj. "so that" - that [the truth of the gospel might remain, continue (as apposed to being watered down)]. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose, although a consecutive clause expressing result is possible.

tou euaggeliou (on) gen. "[the truth] of the gospel" - Possibly, "the gospel in its integrity", Lightfoot, so, "the true gospel", Bligh, taking the genitive as adjectival, attributed. Possibly also possessive, "the truth contained in, and so belonging to the gospel", Burton, or attributive, "gospel truth", or epexegetic, specifying which truth was being preserved, so Silva. It was common practice for Semitic Jews to use a genitive noun to modify / limit a noun, even in Greek, since in Hebrew there are few adjectives.

proV + acc. "with [you]" - to, toward [you]. Here we have a preposition expressing movement toward with a stative verb, where motion toward is obviously not intended, so here expressing association; "we were resolved that the truth of the gospel should remain in full force with you", Bruce.


This verse is often treated as a put-down of the apostles, but it more properly affirms them, particularly as these "great-ones" saw no need to add anything to Paul's message. Again, the verse is difficult to translate.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional; introducing the next step in the argument. Paul continues his account of the Jerusalem Council, pointing out that his gospel of grace was wholly accepted by the apostles (ie., Paul's gospel is apostolic, the judaizers' version is not); "and as for those ..."

apo "as for" - from. Expressing source / origin. The grammar of the verse gets confused at this point (an anacolouthon). Paul starts with the idea of "from" the apostles he received nothing, but then in restating, he has the apostles adding nothing - the object of apo becomes the subject of the sentence.

twn dokountwn (dokew) pres. part. "those who seemed / held in high esteem" - the ones seeming, supposing. The participle serves as a substantive. As with v2, it is difficult to understand the sense of Paul's words here such that they are often treated as ironic, so NIV. Yet, it seems more likely that a positive sense is intended, "those regarded important" = "the leading figures in the church (namely James, Peter and John)", Barclay.

einai (eimi) "to be [important]" - to be [something]. The infinitive may be classified as complementary, or better epexegetic, specifying what is seemingly so about the apostles, namely, that they are important.

oJpoioi pro. "whatever" - what kind of, what sort of. Predicate nominative. Referring to the status/rank of the "leading figures."

pote hsan "they were" - they were once, then, formerly they were. This particle with the imperfect verb to-be forms an indefinite temporal adverb, "formerly", NEB. Referring to a previous time in the life of the apostles, probably their early life as common fisherman. Of this life, Paul makes no negative judgment, and neither does God. Of course, a negative sense may be implied where the Judaizers have held up the apostles as those who once walked with Jesus and therefore are to be trusted over and above Paul. The point then being that "whatever they were" is not the point at issue here as far as Paul is concerned, and certainly God is not impressed with externals, what is important is that the apostles accepted Paul's gospel and made no attempt to amend it.

ouden diaferei (diaferw) pres. "makes no different" - matters nothing, makes no difference. Accusative of reference. As above, the sense is probably "the importance, or otherwise, of the apostles, is not the issue at hand." Both verbs in "matters nothing to me" and "God does not accept the face of man", take the present tense. Betz suggests they are proverbial presents. Certainly the second phrase is proverbial: "God is a judge who cannot be corrupted and is no respecter of persons", cf. Deut. 1:17, 16:19, ...

moi dat. pro. "to me" - Dative of reference / respect, "with respect to me = as far as I am concerned", or possibly advantage, "for me."

anqrwpou (oV) gen. "-" - [face] of a man / person. The genitive is adjectival, possessive.

ou lambanei (lambanw) pres. "[God] does not judge [by external appearance] / [God] does not show favoritism" - [god] does not accept, receive = God is not a respecter of persons.

gar "-" - for. More reason than cause, being used to introduce a fix for Paul's opening incomplete sentence. So, the parenthesis beginning "whatever they were ..." ends, and Paul returns to continue the point that he set out to make, namely, that the pillars of the church did not add to his gospel, but as noted above, in doing so he looses track of his grammar.

emoi (egw) dat. pro. "to my message" - to me [the ones seeming to be something added nothing]. Dative of indirect object. "Message" understood. Obviously the addition of law-obedience for the maintaining and progressing of a believer's standing in the sight of God. "They had nothing to add to my gospel", Phillips.


alla tounantion "on the contrary" - but which. Adversative construction, as NIV.

idonteV (eidon) aor. part. "they saw" - having seen. The participle is adverbial, possibly introducing a causal clause, "because ...", or a temporal clause, "when they saw ........ then the so called pillars of the church ...... gave myself and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship", Moffatt.

oJti "that" - Introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what they saw.

pepisteumai (pisteuw) perf. pas. "I had been entrusted" - i have been entrusted [with the gospel]. The NIV assumes an ellipsis (missing word) here, given that there is only one gospel, not two, ie., one for the Gentiles and another for the Jews. So, the differentiation is in the "task of preaching." Paul is possibly using the language of the Jerusalem Council, so Betz (note Paul's use of the name Peter instead of his usual Cephas). "They realized that God had sent me with the good news for Gentiles, and that he had sent Peter with the same message for Jews", CEV.

thV akrobutiaV (a) "to the Gentiles" - of the uncircumcised. This genitive, as with thV peritomhV "of the circumcision", is usually treated as verbal, objective, "for the Gentiles", identifying those who are being evangelized.

kaqwV "just as" - as [peter of the circumcision]. Comparative.


gar "for" - for, then. Introducing a causal clause explaining why both Peter and Paul equally proclaim an apostolic gospel.

oJ energhsaV (energew) aor. part. "God, who was at work" - the one having effectively worked. The participle serves as a substantive. "He who equipped Peter to be an apostle of the circumcised", Moffatt.

Petrw/ dat. "in the ministry of Peter" - in peter. Dative of advantage, "he who wrought a great thing for Peter to make him apostle of the Jews", Bligh, or locative, space / idiomatic, as NIV.

eiV "as [an apostle]" - to, toward, into, for [an apostleship]. Here spacial, of working "toward" a goal / end-view / purpose. The goal of God's work was for apostleship, so for "Peter's mission to the Jews", REB. So also for Paul's mission eiV to eqhn, "to the Gentiles" = "for the Gentiles."

thV peritomhV gen. "to the circumcised" - of the circumcision. The genitive is usually taken as verbal, objective, as NIV.

kai "[was] also" - and [worked]. Adjunctive; "also".

emoi dat. pro. "in me" - in me [to = for the gentiles]. Dative of interest, advantage; "for me."


oi dokounteV (dokew) pres. part. "those reputed / those esteemed" - [and realizing the grace the thing having been given to me, james and cephas and john] the ones seeming. The participle serves as a substantive, as above.

einai (eimi) pres. inf. "as [pillars]" - to be [pillars]. The infinitive is epexegetic, explaining what was seemingly so of "the ones seeming / being esteemed." "Pillars" in the same sense as the Patriarchs were the foundational members of the covenant community of Israel. See above on "reputed". "Whom all regarded as pillars of the church", Barclay.

edwkan (didwmi) aor. "gave" - gave [to me and barnabas]. Finally we come to the main verb; "when they saw (v7) .... they gave...", Moffatt.

koinwniaV (a) gen. "[the right hand] of fellowship" - [right hands] of fellowship. The genitive is adjectival, attributive; "they even gave Barnabas and me a friendly handshake", CEV. Further underlining the apostles' confirmation of Paul's gospel of grace.

gnonteV (ginwskw) aor. part. "when they recognized" - recognizing, knowing. More likely taking a causal sense, "because they recognized", rather than temporal, as NIV. "And so, recognizing as they did the grace which had been bestowed upon me ......... stretched out their right hands to me and to Barnabas in token of fellowship", Cassirer.

thn carin (iV ewV) "the grace" - Taking the specific sense of "the grace of apostleship (to the Gentiles)" that had been given to Paul.

thn doqeisan (didwmi) aor. pas. part. "given" - the thing having been given. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "grace", so identifying that God is the giver and Paul the receiver of this apostolic office, "the grace of apostleship which had been given to me."

moi dat. pro. "to me" - Dative of indirect object.

iJna + subj. "they agreed that" - . As noted below, there is no verb, although we would assume a subjunctive, as NIV "should go." Probably introducing a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing an assumed agreement between Paul and he apostles, as NIV, but possibly expressing purpose, "gave the right hand of fellowship .... in order that we should go ...." This act served to express their "full agreement that our mission was to the Gentiles and theirs to the Jews", Phillips. Some translators regard iJna here as taking the sense "on the condition that", although Paul would more likely say "on the understanding that."

eiV + acc. "we should go to [the Gentiles]" - [we should go] to [the gentiles and they] to [the circumcision]. Spacial, "to", but possibly advantage "for", depending on choice of the verb which we must supply. Most translations opt for "go". There are other possibilities, "our sphere was to be [for] the Gentiles", Moffatt / Barclay (advantage); "we should concentrate on the Gentiles", Bruce; "we should work among the heathen", Goodspeed; "we should preach to the Gentiles", Longenecker.


monon "all they asked" - only. The verb, "they asked" is supplied. Here introducing an exceptive clause.

iJna + subj. "that" - that [we should remember]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what "they asked" (assumed).

twn ptwcwn (oV) gen. "the poor" - Genitive of direct object after the verb mnhmoneuw, "to remember / think of the poor."

kai "-" - [which this thing i was] also [eager to do]. Adjunctive, "also", or emphatic, "indeed".

espoudasa (spoudazw) aor. "I was eager" - The aorist here is often regarded as being equivalent to a pluperfect; "this very thing I had already taken pains to do (since the Jerusalem Council)", Bligh. Yet, the aorist rightly leaves us with a punctiliar sense without a time signature, given that Paul's collections for the saints in Jerusalem are past, present and future. "The very thing I have always made it my business to do", REB.

poihsai (poiew) inf. "to do" - Complementary infinitive completing the verb spoudazw, "to be eager", or it may be classified as forming a dependent statement of perception expressing what Paul was eager to do, namely, help the poor.


Galatians Introduction.



[Pumpkin Cottage]