Paul, an Apostle of God
(1) From Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor through a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—(2) and all the believers with me, to the churches throughout the Roman province of Galatia.
(3) Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, (4) who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father; (5) to him be majestic glory for ever and ever! Amen (let it be).
Jewish False Teachers in Galatia
(6) I’m astonished that you are so quickly deserting God who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel message—(7) which is really no gospel at all.
It is clear that there are some people (Jews) who are throwing you into confusion and are trying to distort the gospel of Christ. (8) But listen to me: Even if we or an angel from heaven proclaims a gospel message other than the one we proclaimed to you, let them be under God’s curse (anathema)! (9) As we have already said, and so now I say again: if anyone proclaims a gospel other than the one you believed, let them be under God’s curse!
(10) Let it be clear, I’m trying to receive the approval of God, not man. For if I was still trying to please man, I would not be a minister (servant) of Christ!
Paul’s Conversion and Mission to Arabia
Galatians 1:11-17 (Acts 9:1-9)
(11) My brothers and sisters, I want you to know that the gospel message I proclaimed to you did not originate with man. (12) I did not receive it from anyone, nor did anyone teach it to me. The truth is, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ (Paul is referring to his conversion on the road into Damascus).
(13) For you have heard of my previous way of life in the religion of Judaism, how violently I persecuted God’s church in an attempt to destroy it! (14) I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of the fathers of Israel.
(15) But when God—who had set me apart in my mother’s womb and called me by his grace—was pleased (16) to reveal his Son to me so that I could proclaim him among the nations, my immediate decision was not to consult (seek advice) from any human being. (17) I did not go up to Jerusalem to talk with those who were apostles before I was, but I went away on a mission journey through Arabia-Nabatea. And later I returned to Damascus (see Acts 9:23-25; 2 Corinthians 11:32). (Paul’s mission journey through Roman Arabia-Natatea took place around AD 31-AD 33, after which he returned to Damascus. Arabia does not refer to modern Saudi Arabia, but the large kingdom of Nabatea, which included parts of southern Syria, Jordan, Israel’s Negev, Sinai, and the northwestern region of Saudi Arabia. Its capital was Petra).
Paul’s First Visit to Jerusalem
Galatians 1:18-20 (Acts 9:26-29) (AD 34)
(18) Then after three years (around AD 34, three years after Paul’s conversion near Damascus; see Acts 9:1-9), I went up to Jerusalem to get to know the apostle Cephas (Peter), and stayed with him 15 days. (19) But I did not visit with any of the other apostles except James, the younger brother of the Lord Jesus. (20) I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
Paul’s Mission Journey Through Syria and Cilicia
Galatians 1:21-24 (Acts 9:30)
(21) Then I went on a mission journey through the regions of Syria and Cilicia. (Paul’s mission journey through the Roman province of Syria and Cilicia took place around AD 34-AD 42, see Acts 9:30. In AD 42; Paul went to Antioch with Barnabas; see Acts 11:25-26). (22) At this time I was still not personally known to the churches of Judea that are in Christ (Paul had spent most of his time in the city of Jerusalem, not in Judea). (23) They were only hearing it reported, “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith that he once tried to destroy.” (24) And so they praised God because of my conversion to Christ.