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Galatians 1:19

ESV But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.
NIV I saw none of the other apostles--only James, the Lord's brother.
NASB But I did not see another one of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.
CSB But I didn't see any of the other apostles except James, the Lord's brother.
NLT The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord’s brother.
KJV But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.

What does Galatians 1:19 mean?

Paul is describing what happened at his conversion to Christianity and in the years that followed. This is being delivered to the Galatian Christians to counter the lies of the Judaizers who were trying to discredit him. For this reason, Paul has emphasized that God chose him before he was even born to be an apostle and called him to preach to the Gentiles—to the non-Jewish people. God revealed Christ to Paul and commissioned him.

In fact, Paul's point is that he is an apostle in full standing, just as the twelve are, because he learned from and was sent out by Jesus directly. He received no doctrinal or theological training from the apostles. They did not convert him, or send him. His message was as trustworthy as theirs, and authoritative as theirs, because it came straight from Jesus.

Paul, in the previous verse, acknowledged that he did spend about two weeks with Peter in Jerusalem three years after his conversion. That time, he pointed out, was long after his conversion and not a time of study. In addition, he now mentions meeting with James, Jesus' brother.

James at this time was serving as a leader of the church of Christians in Jerusalem. He very likely wrote the book of James in the Bible. Oddly, some skeptics try to discredit the Bible by suggesting that the book of James, with its emphasis on the works that follow faith, somehow contradicts Paul's teaching on salvation by grace alone in Galatians and Romans. Instead, these books actually complement each other beautifully.
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