What does Galatians 2:2 mean?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NKJV: And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.
Verse Commentary:
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?
Verse Context:
Galatians 2:1–10 describes an important meeting in Jerusalem between Paul and the other apostles. Paul is pleased to learn they preach the same gospel of God's grace through faith in Christ that he does. They agree that Gentiles should not be made to follow the law, and they endorse Paul's God-given calling to preach to the Gentiles. Peter, James, and John offer to him and Barnabas, his partner in ministry, the right hand of fellowship, a symbol of their support, approval, and unity with them.
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.
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