1 From Paul, 1 an apostle (not from men, nor by human agency, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead) 2 and all the brothers with me, to the churches of Galatia. 3 Grace and peace to you 2 from God the Father and our 3 Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever and ever! Amen.
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one 4 who called you by the grace of Christ 5 and are following 6 a different 7 gospel – 7 not that there really is another gospel, 8 but 9 there are some who are disturbing you and wanting 10 to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we (or an angel from heaven) should preach 11 a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, 12 let him be condemned to hell! 13 9 As we have said before, and now I say again, if any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let him be condemned to hell! 14 10 Am I now trying to gain the approval of people, 15 or of God? Or am I trying to please people? 16 If I were still trying to please 17 people, 18 I would not be a slave 19 of Christ!
11 Now 20 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, 21 that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 22 12 For I did not receive it or learn it from any human source; 23 instead I received it 24 by a revelation of Jesus Christ. 25
13 For you have heard of my former way of life 26 in Judaism, how I was savagely persecuting the church of God and trying to destroy it. 14 I 27 was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my nation, 28 and was 29 extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. 30 15 But when the one 31 who set me apart from birth 32 and called me by his grace was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in 33 me so that I could preach him 34 among the Gentiles, I did not go to ask advice from 35 any human being, 36 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem 37 to see those who were apostles before me, but right away I departed to Arabia, 38 and then returned to Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem 39 to visit Cephas 40 and get information from him, 41 and I stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles 42 except James the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you 43 that, before God, I am not lying about what I am writing to you! 44 21 Afterward I went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 But I was personally 45 unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They were only hearing, “The one who once persecuted us is now proclaiming the good news 46 of the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 So 47 they glorified God because of me. 48
2 Then after fourteen years I went up to Jerusalem 1 again with Barnabas, taking Titus along too. 2 I went there 2 because of 3 a revelation and presented 4 to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did so 5 only in a private meeting with the influential people, 6 to make sure that I was not running – or had not run 7 – in vain. 3 Yet 8 not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, although he was a Greek. 4 Now this matter arose 9 because of the false brothers with false pretenses 10 who slipped in unnoticed to spy on 11 our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, to make us slaves. 12 5 But 13 we did not surrender to them 14 even for a moment, 15 in order that the truth of the gospel would remain with you. 16
6 But from those who were influential 17 (whatever they were makes no difference to me; God shows no favoritism between people 18 ) – those influential leaders 19 added 20 nothing to my message. 21 7 On the contrary, when they saw 22 that I was entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised 23 just as Peter was to the circumcised 24 8 (for he who empowered 25 Peter for his apostleship 26 to the circumcised 27 also empowered me for my apostleship to the Gentiles) 28 9 and when James, Cephas, 29 and John, who had a reputation as 30 pillars, 31 recognized 32 the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me 33 the right hand of fellowship, agreeing 34 that we would go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 35 10 They requested 36 only that we remember the poor, the very thing I also was eager to do.
11 But when Cephas 37 came to Antioch, 38 I opposed him to his face, because he had clearly done wrong. 39 12 Until 40 certain people came from James, he had been eating with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he stopped doing this 41 and separated himself 42 because he was afraid of those who were pro-circumcision. 43 13 And the rest of the Jews also joined with him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray with them 44 by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not behaving consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas 45 in front of them all, “If you, although you are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you try to force 46 the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
15 We are Jews by birth 47 and not Gentile sinners, 48 16 yet we know 49 that no one 50 is justified by the works of the law 51 but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. 52 And 53 we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ 54 and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one 55 will be justified. 17 But if while seeking to be justified in Christ we ourselves have also been found to be sinners, is Christ then one who encourages 56 sin? Absolutely not! 18 But if I build up again those things I once destroyed, 57 I demonstrate that I am one who breaks God’s law. 58 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I may live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ, 59 and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So 60 the life I now live in the body, 61 I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, 62 who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside 63 God’s grace, because if righteousness 64 could come through the law, then Christ died for nothing! 65
3 You 1 foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell 2 on you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed 3 as crucified! 2 The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law 4 or by believing what you heard? 5 3 Are you so foolish? Although you began 6 with 7 the Spirit, are you now trying to finish 8 by human effort? 9 4 Have you suffered so many things for nothing? – if indeed it was for nothing. 5 Does God then give 10 you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law 11 or by your believing what you heard? 12
6 Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, 13 7 so then, understand 14 that those who believe are the sons of Abraham. 15 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the gospel to Abraham ahead of time, 16 saying, “All the nations 17 will be blessed in you.” 18 9 So then those who believe 19 are blessed along with Abraham the believer. 10 For all who 20 rely on doing the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not keep on doing everything written in the book of the law.” 21 11 Now it is clear no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous one will live by faith. 22 12 But the law is not based on faith, 23 but the one who does the works of the law 24 will live by them. 25 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming 26 a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) 27 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles, 28 so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.
15 Brothers and sisters, 29 I offer an example from everyday life: 30 When a covenant 31 has been ratified, 32 even though it is only a human contract, no one can set it aside or add anything to it. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant. 33 Scripture 34 does not say, “and to the descendants,” 35 referring to many, but “and to your descendant,” 36 referring to one, who is Christ. 17 What I am saying is this: The law that came four hundred thirty years later does not cancel a covenant previously ratified by God, 37 so as to invalidate the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on the law, it is no longer based on the promise, but God graciously gave 38 it to Abraham through the promise.
19 Why then was the law given? 39 It was added 40 because of transgressions, 41 until the arrival of the descendant 42 to whom the promise had been made. It was administered 43 through angels by an intermediary. 44 20 Now an intermediary is not for one party alone, but God is one. 45 21 Is the law therefore opposed to the promises of God? 46 Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 47 22 But the scripture imprisoned 48 everything and everyone 49 under sin so that the promise could be given – because of the faithfulness 50 of Jesus Christ – to those who believe.
23 Now before faith 51 came we were held in custody under the law, being kept as prisoners 52 until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 Thus the law had become our guardian 53 until Christ, so that we could be declared righteous 54 by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 55 26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. 56 27 For all of you who 57 were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave 58 nor free, there is neither male nor female 59 – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, 60 heirs according to the promise.