Online Bible


Galatians 2 - An Understandable Version (2005 edition)

Paul Accepted by the Apostles

1. Then, fourteen years later I went up to Jerusalem again, [along] with Barnabas, and I took Titus also with me [this time].

2. [It was] in response to [a divine] revelation that I went [there] and explained to them [i.e., the apostles and elders] the Gospel [message] that I had been preaching among the Gentiles. Then [later on I presented it] privately before those who were highly regarded [i.e., the three apostles, verse 9] so [they would have verification that] my running [i.e., ministry] had not been, nor was now, in vain.

3. But they did not even require that Titus, a Greek [i . e . , a Gentile] who was with me, become circumcised.

4. For [certain] false brothers, who were secretly brought in to observe us practicing our liberty in Christ Jesus [i.e., by not having Titus circumcised], attempted to place us [back] under the bondage [of Mosaic Law keeping].

5. But we did not submit ourselves to their influence for even an hour, so that you people might be able to continue [following] the truth of the Gospel.

6. These apostles, who were highly regarded (although it really does not matter to me what they are, for God does not show partiality to any particular person); these men, I say, provided me with nothing [concern­ing the Gospel message].

7. On the contrary, they saw that I had [already] been entrusted [by God] with the Gospel for the uncircumcised ones [i.e., for Gentiles], just as Peter [had been entrusted by God] with the Gospel for the circumcised ones [i.e., for Jews].

8. For God assigned Peter to be an apostle to the circumcised ones [i.e., Jews], and me to be an apostle to the Gentiles.

9. Also, when they perceived that this [special] favor [of preaching to Gentiles] was granted to me, James, Cephas [i.e., Peter] and John, the highly regarded pillars [i.e., leaders of the church] extended to me and Barnabas their right hands [signifying an agreement] to share [in the preaching of the Gospel], with us going to the Gentiles and they going to the circumcised ones [i.e., Jews].

10. The only thing that they encouraged us to do was to remember [the needs of] poor people, which I was very eager to do. [See Acts 24:17].

Paul Opposes Cephas

11. But when Cephas came to Antioch [of Syria], I confronted him personally [about a matter] for which he deserved to be condemned.

12. For, before certain [leaders] came from James [i.e., Jesus’ brother, a leader of the Jerusalem church, See Acts 12:17; 15:13-22], he had eaten [a social meal] with some Gentiles. But when these men came, he abruptly discontinued this practice out of fear of the circumcised ones [i.e., out of concern for what the Jews would think of him].

13. Then the rest of the Jews also discontinued [eating with Gentiles] along with Peter, until even Barnabas was influenced to go along with this hypocritical practice.

14. But, when I saw that they did not act in harmony with [the principles of] the truth of the Gospel [message], I said to Cephas in front of everyone, “If you, being a Jew, act like a Gentile [by showing such discrimination], how do you expect to persuade Gentiles to live like Jews [i.e., like Christian Jews who are taught to love all people]?”

15. Although we are Jews by natural birth, and not sinful Gentiles [who do not have a relationship with God],

16. still we know that a person is not justified [i.e., made right with God] by [perfect obedience to] the Law of Moses, but rather through faith in [the person and work of] Christ. [Knowing this] we have trusted in Christ Jesus [to save us], so that we might be made right with God by trusting in Him and not by [our compliance with] the requirements of the Law of Moses. Because by such law-compliance no one can be made right with God.

17. But, if while we were trying to be made right with God through a relationship with Christ, we were discovered to still be sinners [by acting like unsaved Gentiles], does that mean Christ is responsible for our sin? Of course not.

18. For if I try to build up again what I had already destroyed [i.e., by returning to depend on compliance with the Law of Moses to become right with God, after having rejected this system by trusting in Christ to save me], I would certainly be guilty of sin.

19. For it was by means of [this system of] law-keeping that I [realized I] was dead. This was so I could find life through a relationship with God.

20. I have been crucified [i.e., died] with Christ, and so I am not the one who lives [anymore] but rather, it is Christ who lives in my heart. And [now] my entire life is being lived by trusting in the Son of God [to save and keep me], because He loved me and gave Himself up for me.

21. [In doing this] I am not trying to disregard God’s unearned favor, for if a person could become right with God by [perfect obedience to the requirements of] the Law of Moses, then Christ died for nothing.