Galatians 2:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Galatians 2:3, NIV: Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek.

Galatians 2:3, ESV: But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek.

Galatians 2:3, KJV: But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

Galatians 2:3, NASB: But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.

Galatians 2:3, NLT: And they supported me and did not even demand that my companion Titus be circumcised, though he was a Gentile.

Galatians 2:3, CSB: But not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek.

What does Galatians 2:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul, on a trip to Jerusalem to deliver famine relief, has a private meeting with some of the influential leaders of the Christian church, which includes other apostles. He wants to talk to them about the gospel of Jesus he has been preaching to the Gentiles, including the Galatians. He appears interested in hearing from them that the gospel he has received from Christ fits with the gospel as they understand it.

In short, Paul has been preaching that salvation comes through God's grace alone and by faith in Christ alone. Specifically, he has said in this letter that Jesus gave Himself on the cross for our sins (Galatians 1:4). He stood in our place as the substitute and received the full payment for our sin. By faith in Him, Paul will go on to say, our sins are fully forgiven, eliminating the need to follow the law of Moses.

Would these influential apostles, trained by Jesus, disagree with Paul? They are Jewish, but would they be like the Judaizers, demanding that Gentiles essentially convert to Judaism before being accepted as Christians? To Paul's great relief, the apostles themselves did not agree with the Judaizers. Instead, they perceived the gospel in exactly the same way as Paul: as one of faith, not works, or of rituals and traditions.

As evidence of their support, Paul points to his friend and follower Titus. Titus was Greek, and a Christian. The law of Moses would have required that Titus be circumcised to be included with the Jewish people of God (Exodus 12:48). The other apostles did not require that Titus be circumcised, however, to belong to the church of God as a Christian.