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Galatians 1:10-17

Context
1:10 Am I now trying to gain the approval of people, 1  or of God? Or am I trying to please people? 2  If I were still trying to please 3  people, 4  I would not be a slave 5  of Christ!

Paul’s Vindication of His Apostleship

1:11 Now 6  I want you to know, brothers and sisters, 7  that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 8  1:12 For I did not receive it or learn it from any human source; 9  instead I received it 10  by a revelation of Jesus Christ. 11 

1:13 For you have heard of my former way of life 12  in Judaism, how I was savagely persecuting the church of God and trying to destroy it. 1:14 I 13  was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my nation, 14  and was 15  extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. 16  1:15 But when the one 17  who set me apart from birth 18  and called me by his grace was pleased 1:16 to reveal his Son in 19  me so that I could preach him 20  among the Gentiles, I did not go to ask advice from 21  any human being, 22  1:17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem 23  to see those who were apostles before me, but right away I departed to Arabia, 24  and then returned to Damascus.

1 tn Grk “of men”; but here ἀνθρώπους (anqrwpou") is used in a generic sense of both men and women.

2 tn Grk “men”; but here ἀνθρώποις (anqrwpoi") is used in a generic sense of both men and women.

3 tn The imperfect verb has been translated conatively (ExSyn 550).

4 tn Grk “men”; but here ἀνθρώποις (anqrwpoi") is used in a generic sense of both men and women.

5 tn Traditionally, “servant” or “bondservant.” Though δοῦλος (doulos) is normally translated “servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times…in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v.). The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος), in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force.

sn Undoubtedly the background for the concept of being the Lord’s slave or servant is to be found in the Old Testament scriptures. For a Jew this concept did not connote drudgery, but honor and privilege. It was used of national Israel at times (Isa 43:10), but was especially associated with famous OT personalities, including such great men as Moses (Josh 14:7), David (Ps 89:3; cf. 2 Sam 7:5, 8) and Elijah (2 Kgs 10:10); all these men were “servants (or slaves) of the Lord.”

6 tc ‡ The conjunction δέ (de) is found in Ì46 א*,2 A D1 Ψ 1739 1881 Ï sy bo, while γάρ (gar) is the conjunction of choice in א1 B D*,c F G 33 pc lat sa. There are thus good representatives on each side. Scribes generally tended to prefer γάρ in such instances, most likely because it was more forceful and explicit. γάρ is thus seen as a motivated reading. For this reason, δέ is preferred.

7 tn Grk “brothers,” but the Greek word may be used for “brothers and sisters” or “fellow Christians” as here (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 1, where considerable nonbiblical evidence for the plural ἀδελφοί [adelfoi] meaning “brothers and sisters” is cited).

8 tn Grk “is not according to man.”

9 tn Or “I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it.”

10 tn The words “I received it” are not in the Greek text but are implied.

11 tn It is difficult to determine what kind of genitive ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ (Ihsou Cristou) is. If it is a subjective genitive, the meaning is “a revelation from Jesus Christ” but if objective genitive, it is “a revelation about Jesus Christ.” Most likely this is objective since the explanation in vv. 15-16 mentions God revealing the Son to Paul so that he might preach, although the idea of a direct revelation to Paul at some point cannot be ruled out.

12 tn Or “lifestyle,” “behavior.”

13 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation. Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

14 tn Or “among my race.”

15 tn Grk “was advancing beyond…nation, being.” The participle ὑπάρχων (Juparcwn) was translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

16 sn The traditions of my ancestors refers to both Pharisaic and popular teachings of this time which eventually were codified in Jewish literature such as the Mishnah, Midrashim, and Targums.

17 tc ‡ Several important witnesses have ὁ θεός (Jo qeos) after εὐδόκησεν (eudokhsen; so א A D Ψ 0278 33 1739 1881 Ï co) while the shorter reading is supported by Ì46 B F G 629 1505 pc lat. There is hardly any reason why scribes would omit the words (although the Beatty papyrus and the Western text do at times omit words and phrases), but several reasons why scribes would add the words (especially the need to clarify). The confluence of witnesses for the shorter reading (including a few fathers and versions) adds strong support for its authenticity. It is also in keeping with Paul’s style to refrain from mentioning God by name as a rhetorical device (cf. ExSyn 437 [although this section deals with passive constructions, the principle is the same]). NA27 includes the words in brackets, indicating some doubts as to their authenticity.

18 tn Grk “from my mother’s womb.”

19 tn Or “to me”; the Greek preposition ἐν (en) can mean either, depending on the context.

20 tn This pronoun refers to “his Son,” mentioned earlier in the verse.

21 tn Or “I did not consult with.” For the translation “I did not go to ask advice from” see L&N 33.175.

22 tn Grk “from flesh and blood.”

23 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

24 sn As a geographical region Arabia included the territory west of Mesopotamia, east and south of Syria and Palestine, extending to the isthmus of Suez. During the Roman occupation, some independent kingdoms arose like that of the Nabateans south of Damascus, and these could be called simply Arabia. In light of the proximity to Damascus, this may well be the territory Paul says he visited here. See also C. W. Briggs, “The Apostle Paul in Arabia,” Biblical World 41 (1913): 255-59.



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