Galatians 1

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Galatians 1
P051-Gal-1 2-10-POxy2157-IV.jpg
A page showing Galatians 1:2-10 on Papyrus 51, c. 400.
BookEpistle to the Galatians
CategoryPauline epistles
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part9

Galatians 1 is the first chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is authored by Paul the Apostle for the churches in Galatia, written between 49–58 CE.[1] This chapter contains Paul's significant exposition concerning the significance of God's revelation of Jesus Christ.[2]


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 24 verses.

Textual witnesses[edit]

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Opening Greetings (1:1–5)[edit]

The form of the opening words follows the custom in the era 'writer to addresses; greetings' found in other New Testament and early Christian letters.[3] Only Romans 1:1-6 elaborates the greetings at a greater length than in this epistle.[3]

Verse 1[edit]

Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead),[4]
  • "Apostle": translated from Greek word ἀπόστολος, apostolos, which generally means 'one who is sent' (as in John 13:16), but in the New Testament is more specifically applied to those specially commissioned by Jesus Christ.[5] Paul's striking comment on his apostleship ("not from men" etc.) emphasizes his ministry in Galatia under the commission by Jesus Christ and God the Father.[3]

Verse 2[edit]

and all the brethren who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:[6]
  • "All the brethren" (NRSV: "all the members of God’s family"): Unlike the other epistles that name individual co-workers (such as Sosthenes in 1 Corinthians 1:1, Timothy in 2 Corinthians 1:1), Paul alludes to 'God's family' consisting of men and women, using the word adelphoi, literally 'brothers' (or 'brethren'), which can also include 'sisters'.[3]

Rebuke (1:6–9)[edit]

Instead of the usual note of thanksgiving following the greetings, Paul criticizes the Galatians for deserting his teaching of God's grace and turning to a different gospel, while there is no other gospel, and calls those who spread the fake gospel as anathema.[7]

Proclamation of the Gospel (1:10–12)[edit]

Paul claims that his proclamation of the gospel is not of human origin but directly from the revelation of Jesus Christ.[8]

Paul's Pre-Christian Life and Conversion (1:13–17)[edit]

The clarifying account of Paul's pre-Christian life may be a response to an effort by his opponents to use it to undermine his authority.[9] The word 'Judaism' in verses 13 and 14 are the only two references in the whole New Testament, and not until half a century later in the writings of Ignatius, 'Judaism' and 'Christianity' are considered two 'religions'.[10]

Contacts at Jerusalem (1:18–24)[edit]

In this part, Paul recounts his interaction with the leaders in Jerusalem, but maintains his independence of the Jerusalem authorities.[11]

Verse 18[edit]

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days.[12]
  • "After three years": This is after Paul's conversion, not after his return to Damascus. Paul wanted to join the church in Jerusalem, but the members doubted and avoided him, until Barnabas brought him to Simon Peter and James (the brother of Jesus), informing the conversion and his eagerness to preach the Gospel in Damascus.[13]
  • "Peter": Several Alexandrian and Ethiopia copies read "Cephas", which is another name of the same Simon Peter.[13]

Verse 19[edit]

But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stanton 2007, pp. 1152–1153.
  2. ^ Stanton 2007, p. 1152.
  3. ^ a b c d Stanton 2007, p. 1153.
  4. ^ Galatians 1:1 NKJV
  5. ^ Bruce 1982, p. 72.
  6. ^ Galatians 1:2 NKJV
  7. ^ Stanton 2007, pp. 1153-1154.
  8. ^ Stanton 2007, p. 1154.
  9. ^ Stanton 2007, pp. 1154-1155.
  10. ^ Stanton 2007, p. 1155.
  11. ^ Stanton 2007, pp. 1155-1156.
  12. ^ Galatians 1:18 NKJV
  13. ^ a b John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, - Galatians 1:18
  14. ^ Galatians 1:19 KJV
  15. ^ Meyer, Heinrich August Wilhelm (1880). Commentary on the New Testament. "Galatians 1". Translation by Peter Christie from Meyer's sixth edition. Accessed February 14, 2019.


  • Bruce, F. F. (1982). The Epistle to the Galatians. The New International Greek Testament Commentary (reprint ed.). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 9780802823878.
  • Stanton, G. N. (2007). "67. Galatians". In Barton, John; Muddiman, John (eds.). The Oxford Bible Commentary (first (paperback) ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 1152–1165. ISBN 978-0199277186. Retrieved February 6, 2019.

External links[edit]