Galatians 2:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Galatians 2:2, NIV: I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.

Galatians 2:2, ESV: I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.

Galatians 2:2, KJV: And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

Galatians 2:2, NASB: It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that somehow I might be running, or had run, in vain.

Galatians 2:2, NLT: I went there because God revealed to me that I should go. While I was there I met privately with those considered to be leaders of the church and shared with them the message I had been preaching to the Gentiles. I wanted to make sure that we were in agreement, for fear that all my efforts had been wasted and I was running the race for nothing.

Galatians 2:2, CSB: I went up according to a revelation and presented to them the gospel I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those recognized as leaders. I wanted to be sure I was not running, and had not been running, in vain.

What does Galatians 2:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is recalling a trip to Jerusalem which may have occurred around AD 45. He traveled there from Antioch in Syria with Barnabas, a Jewish Christian, and Titus, a Gentile Christian. He mentions that he went to Jerusalem because of a revelation. This could refer to the revelation given to a prophet named Agabus that there would be a great famine all over the world (Acts 11:27–28). Paul and Barnabas were sent to bring famine relief to the Christians in and around Judea.

While in Jerusalem, Paul decided to approach the leaders of the church there in private. He explained to them the gospel of Jesus that he had been preaching to Gentiles—to non-Jewish people. This was the very gospel Paul had preached to the Galatians, indicating that Christ's death on the cross was entirely sufficient to forgive our sins. We are forgiven by trusting in God's grace to us through Jesus' substitution in our place. In other words, the Gentiles need not follow the law of Moses in order to be saved.

Paul, it seems, wanted to make sure he was not running the race in vain. For Paul, "running the race" was a metaphor about doing his best to fulfill the mission God had given him. It's not that Paul doubted his message to the Gentiles. It appears that he was concerned about being divided from the other 12 apostles if his message about Christ was not the same as theirs. In other words, would Christ's disciples also be Judaizers, leaving Paul on his own preaching the true gospel of Jesus?