What does Galatians 2:13 mean?
ESV: And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
NIV: The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
NASB: The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.
CSB: Then the rest of the Jews joined his hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
NLT: As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
KJV: And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
NKJV: And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
Verse Commentary:
Paul continues to relate a story about confronting Peter, as a way of emphasizing both his legitimate authority and the importance of faith—not works—in salvation.

Peter was in Antioch, visiting the Christians there. Antioch wasn't like Jerusalem. It was a big town with far fewer Jewish people. Peter had apparently gone along with the local customs, and sat down to eat at a table with non-Jewish people. Based on his background, that was no small thing. Peter had grown up in a Jewish culture being faithful to follow the Law and Jewish customs. He had learned early on that is what made him a good person. Jesus had changed all of that. Peter agreed that because of Jesus' death and resurrection, it was not necessary for Gentiles to live as Jews under the Law in order to be saved.

In fact, it was not necessary for Jews to live under the Law, either, but it would be hard for the faithful Jews to stop doing so. For one thing, it had always been forbidden to eat at a table with Gentiles. When a group of men who believed it was still wrong walked in while Peter was eating, he jumped up to move away from the Gentiles. Peter was clearly afraid of what those men would think of him, that they would judge him. Peter was also a leader, though, so his choice led all of the other Jewish people at his table—including even Barnabas, Paul's partner—to leave the table, as well.

It was an ugly moment, and Paul calls it what is was: hypocrisy. Peter said he believed that the Gentiles were fully accepted by God's grace through faith in Christ, but he didn't want to get caught acting like that was true. He showed that, in that moment, he cared more about what people thought of him than he did about pleasing God.
Verse Context:
Galatians 2:11–14 describes a difficult moment, when Paul was forced to confront another apostle for hypocritical behavior. Though Peter has declared his agreement that salvation is by faith in Christ and not the law, he seems hesitant to live out that truth if disapproving people are watching him. Peter's choice to step away from eating with Gentiles leads all the Jewish people in the room to do the same. For the sake of the true gospel, Paul opposes Peter to his face, calling out his hypocrisy. Peter had been ''living like a Gentile,'' by eating with them. How could he force any Gentile, then, to live under the law?
Chapter Summary:
Paul holds a crucial meeting with the other apostles. Do they preach, as he does, that salvation can only be found through faith in Christ and not by following the law? He learns that they do, though ''false brothers'' in their midst are opposed to this gospel of God's grace. After receiving official approval from Peter and the others, Paul later opposes Peter for publicly trying to distance himself from Gentile Christians out of fear of how others might respond. Paul declares that justification comes only through faith in Christ and not by the works of the law.
Chapter Context:
In Galatians 1, Paul defended himself in order to defend the trustworthiness of his message. He made the case that he was a legitimate apostle. He shows in Galatians 2 that the other apostles stand with him in teaching the gospel of salvation through faith in Christ. He describes a moment in which he rebuked Peter for hypocrisy and then makes the case that only faith in Christ can bring justification for any person in the eyes of God. The works of the law can never make anyone righteous, or Christ would not have had to die.
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 8:26:34 PM
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