Galatians 1:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Galatians 1:17, NIV: I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.

Galatians 1:17, ESV: nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

Galatians 1:17, KJV: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

Galatians 1:17, NASB: nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.

Galatians 1:17, NLT: Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus.

Galatians 1:17, CSB: I did not go up to Jerusalem to those who had become apostles before me; instead I went to Arabia and came back to Damascus.

What does Galatians 1:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is making the case that the Judaizers are wrong about him. In the following chapters, he will show they are wrong about the truth of the gospel, as well. They are wrong about him, he insists, for suggesting that a) he did not have the authority to teach the Galatians about Jesus and b) he was simply retelling someone else's version of Jesus' message.

Paul has already referred to his dramatic conversion: from Jesus-persecutor to Jesus-follower (Acts 9:1–22). He now relates that after that moment on the Damascus road, he did not go to Jerusalem to receive training about the things of Christ from the 12 disciples, "those who were apostles before me."

Instead of consulting with a human authority, Paul went off by himself to Arabia and then to Damascus for three years (Galatians 1:18). He seems to be saying that it was during this time, after seeing and being commissioned by Christ, that he came to understand the truth of the gospel as he presented it to the Galatians. Since he had not been trained by anyone but Christ Himself, Paul was qualified to fill the role of apostle and his message was trustworthy.