What does Galatians 1:19 mean?
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.
NKJV: But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
Galatians 1:11–24 begins with Paul's statement that he did not receive the gospel which he taught to the Galatians from any man-made religion, nor training from other people. He received it from Christ Himself. God revealed His Son Jesus to Paul, by His grace, even after Paul spent years as a Pharisee trying to destroy the Christian church. After Christ commissioned Paul to preach the good news to the Gentiles, he went off by himself for a few years and came to know the gospel through Christ directly.
Chapter Summary:
Paul begins his letter to the Galatian churches abruptly, compared to his other writings. He has heard they are deserting the gospel which he preached and they believed: the good news that Jesus died to fully pay for all our sins on the cross. The Judaizers taught that these Gentiles must also follow the law of Moses to be saved and openly questioned Paul's authority. Paul makes the case that he has been made an apostle by Christ, who appeared to him and revealed the truth to him apart from the other apostles.
Chapter Context:
Galatians 1 begins one of the most-loved books about God's grace in all of Scripture. This and the following chapter detail Paul's biography, as he makes the case that he has been made an apostle by Christ and therefore his message is trustworthy. Chapters 3 and 4 go into depth about exactly what the gospel of God's grace is and why it is true. In chapters 5 and 6, Paul teaches about how Christians should live in the world as people who have received the grace of God through faith in Christ.
Book Summary:
Galatians is sometimes called “a short Romans” for its similar themes of justification and sanctification through faith. A group of Christians known as “Judaizers” were preaching a gospel of legalism, rather than grace. Paul’s main purpose in writing the letter to the Galatians was to reiterate the true nature of the gospel: we are justified (made righteous) and sanctified (made more Christlike) through our faith in Jesus Christ alone. This letter was probably written shortly before the church elders in Jerusalem issued their official refutation of the Judaizers, commonly called the Jerusalem Council.
Accessed 5/20/2024 8:55:12 PM
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