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Daily Prayer New Testament
1-2 Fourteen more years having passed, God called me to Jerusalem, and so I made the journey with Barnabas and Titus as companions. When I arrived, I spoke to the more prominent Christian leaders and fully expounded my Gospel to them. I did in private, not because their prominence means anything to me – God gives no credence to the opinions or reputations of men! - but in case there were any point of disagreement. One purpose of my trip was unity, and a public debate would have rendered it pointless, or even detrimental. I do not want to run my race in vain, as it were.
3-4 All my concerns were, thankfully, illusory. Peter, James, and John, the pillars of the Jerusalem church, all offered me their right hands in brotherhood. Nobody even asked that Titus be circumcised (he being a Greek) although there was a group of people who tried to suggest it. These were phony Christians who had wormed their way into the Jerusalem church to spy on it, hoping to despoil the freedom we have found in Christ and divert us back towards slavery.
5 But it didn’t work. We did not yield an inch to these imposters. We preserved God’s word for you, unadulterated.
6-10 The upshot of our conference was that my Gospel was well-received, exactly as I presented it. They realized that, in the same way Peter had been entrusted with the Gospel for the Jews, I had been entrusted with the Gospel for the Gentiles. Or in other words, that the same force moved us to our respective missions. Despite their prominence, they really had nothing more to teach me. Their only counsel was to remember the poor – welcome advice, as I am eager to help those in need.
11-14 My next meeting with Peter, when he came to Antioch, did not go quite so smoothly. When he first arrived, he showed no reluctance to eat with the Gentile believers in our community. But when a group sent by James arrived, Peter distanced himself from our Gentile members, lest he offend the Jews from Jerusalem. All the Jews then started eating separately -- even Barnabas. This is sheer hypocrisy, an act condemned by the Gospel, and I had no choice but to confront Peter directly.
15-16 “How can you, a Jew by birth, first act like a Gentile, and then turn around and urge the Gentiles to live like Jews?” I asked him. “You and I were not raised like Gentiles, ignorant of right and wrong, yet we know that following the law of Moses, apart from our faith in Christ Jesus, did not and cannot justify us before God. No flesh will be justified by works under the law. So why hold onto it?”
17 “When we, who were born Jews, preach justification through faith in Christ, we are His representatives. We cannot become servants of sin. If we preach the faith of Christ and then sin, do we not imply that Christ Himself is a servant of sin? This cannot be!”
18 “Living by the law, I died by the law, because the law condemned me. Only by tearing down my reliance on the law did I find life in God. But if now I rebuild what I tore down, I become what I was: a transgressor, living under the misconception that the law can make me righteous.
19-20 Saul the Pharisee is no longer alive. I died on the cross with Christ. For as long as I dwell in this flesh, I live in Christ, who handed Himself over for my sake, out of love for me; and He lives in me.
21 Don’t you see that if we continue acting like we expect to find righteousness in the law, we reject God’s grace? For if we can find righteousness by the law, Christ died in vain.”
1 After another fourteen years I went to Jerusalem again in accordance with a revelation, with Barnabas - taking Titus along also - 2 and declared to them the gospel that I preach to the Gentiles, but privately to believers, lest perhaps I be exerting myself, or have exerted myself, in vain.
3 But Titus, who was with me, although being Greek, was not forced to be circumcised, 4 but because of secret false brothers, who snuck in to spy on our freedom in Christ Jesus, that they might enslave us, 5 but to whom we did not yield in submission for a single second, that the truth of the Gospel might remain with you.
6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality) nothing was contributed. 7 To the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the Gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter to the circumcised 8 for what moved Peter to the apostleship of the circumcised also moved me to that of the Gentiles - 9 and knowing the grace being given to me, James and Peter and John, the recognized pillars, gave the right hand of fellowship to me, and to Barnabas, that we were to the Gentiles, and themselves to the circumcised, 10 only that we should remember the poor, which I was already eager to do myself.
11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him, for his actions condemned him. 12 For before a group of Jews arrived from James, he would eat with the Gentiles, but after they came, he drew back and separated himself from the Gentiles, fearing the circumcised group. 13 And all of the Jews joined together in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was convinced to join them.
14 But when I saw that their conduct was incorrect before the truth of the Gospel, I said to Peter in front of all, “If you, Jewish by birth, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you urge Gentiles to live like Jews? 15 We are by nature Jewish, not sinners from the Gentiles, 16 yet we know that man is not justified from works of the law apart from the faith of Jesus Christ and we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faith of Christ and not by works of law, since from works of law, no flesh will be justified. 17 And if we, seeking to be justified in Christ, are found ourselves to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? It cannot be!
18 For if I build up again what I have torn down, I prove myself a transgressor. 19 By the law, I died to the law, that I might live in God. I have been crucified with Christ 20 and I live no longer; rather, Christ lives in me, and while I now dwell in the flesh, in faith I live in the Son of God, who loves me and handed himself over for me.
21 I do not reject God’s grace; for if righteousness came through the law, then Christ died in vain.
1 Then after fourteen years again I went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking-along also Titus,
2 and I went up according to revelation and declared a Or submitted. to them the gospel which I preach to the Gentiles, but in private to the being-recognized bOr acknowledged, with a sense of having a favorable and/or widespread reputation. Alt. influential. This term can be read with a hint of sarcasm, especially in v. 6. , lest somehow in vain I am running cBy extension, exerting myself. Paul calls on his recurrent metaphor of “running the good race”. or ran.
3 Nor Titus the with me, Greek being, was compelled to be circumcised
4 and because the introduced dProb. meaning secretly brought in, snuck in. Paul uses several words here and in v.5 that occur nowhere else in the New Testament, a phenomenon called hapax legomenon (“once said”). This can make translation tricky. pseudo-brothers, who sneaked-in to spy-on the freedom of us which we have in Christ Jesus, that us they might enslave
6 But from the being-recognized to be someone what sort presumably they were not at all to me differs face god of man not shows to me because the being-recognized not added anything gThe ambiguity is also present in the Greek: 1) The reputation of these men did not add anything to Paul’s consideration of them, or 2) The recognized men did not contribute anything to Paul’s work. (Later copiests, who added much of the punctuation to the Greek, missed a good opportunity here.) ,
7 But the opposite hIdiom, on the other hand, or to the contrary. seeing that I had been entrusted-with the gospel of iLit. of the foreskin! uncircumcision just as Peter of circumcision jCircumcision came to be used idiomatically to stand for the class of people who had been circumcised, and BDAG gives the circumcised as a definition, a linguistic phenomenon called “abstract for concrete”. Having imparted this tidbit to the reader, I will hereafter use the extended meaning. ,
8 for the energizing kOr moving, motivating, etc. I used “energize” because it is transliterative; the Greek stem is energe- (although its fundamental meaning is not “energize” but “work” or “act”). Peter to apostleship of the circumcised energized also mine to the Gentiles,
9 and knowing the grace being-given to me, James and Cephas and John, who being-recognized pillars to be, right hands lLit. rights – “hands” is implied. gave to me and Barnabas of fellowship, that we to the Gentiles, and themselves to the circumcised
10 only of the poor mPoss. of poverty. that we should remember, which also being eager same thing to do.
11 But when came Cephas to Antioch, against face to him I stood up, because condemned was he.
12 For before to have come some people from James with the Gentiles he used to eat together but when they came, he drew back and separated himself, fearing those from nIdiom, belonging to (as members of a group). circumcised.
13 And they joined-in-hypocrisy with him and the rest of Jews, so that even Barnabas was carried away by of them the hypocrisy oFyi, hypocrisy is a Greek word, hypokrisei, whose component stems mean roughly “under judgment” or “below righteousness”..
14 But when I saw that not they walk correctly pIdiom, act. As in English (especially among Christians), “walk” is used to describe behavior, especially in regard to a particular standard. before the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before all, if you Jewish inherently being in-Gentile-manner and not in-Jewish-manner live, how the Gentiles urge you to live-in-Jewish-manner?
15 We by nature Jewish and not from sinning Gentiles
16 yet knowing that not is justified man from works of law unless through faith of Jesus Christ qThe meaning of this phrase and its variants is hotly debated by scholars. Here is the problem: The Greek, in effect, has an implied preposition that the reader must fill in: “faith ____ Christ”. And changing the preposition substantially changes the meaning. (It is called the pistis Xristou question.)
At least three meanings are entirely defensible under the rules of Greek syntax: 1) our faith in Christ (the most theologically sensible), 2) faith of Christ, i.e. Christ’s own faith (the most grammatically straightforward), 3) faith like that of Christ. There are even several more less obvious, but grammatically possible, meanings. Some reputable current scholars argue (rather convincingly) that the phrase is intentionally ambiguous, so as to convey multiple meanings. , and we in Christ Jesus have believed, that we might be justified by faith of Christ qSee note q above. and not by works of law, since from works of law not will be justified any flesh.
17 And if seeking to be justified in Christ we are found also ourselves sinners, then Christ of sin is servant? It cannot happen.
18 For if what I tore down these again I build, transgressor myself I prove rMost lit. I stand with (them). .
19 For I by aOr through. law to law died that in god I might live. With Christ I have been co-crucified
20 and live no longer I, but lives in me Christ, and what now I live in flesh, in faith I live in the of the son of god the loving me and handing-over himself for me.
21 Not I reject the grace of god for if through law righteousness, then Christ in vain died.