The Book of Galatians-Chapter 2

(1) Then after an interval of fourteen years (along with the three years mentioned in 1.18, this is seventeen years after his conversion, he was not absolutely dependent on the Apostles and was teaching all of this time) I went up to Jerusalem (the messianic ruling authority was there) with Barnabas (Hebrew “Bar Navi” and his given name was Joseph, a Levite-Acts 4.36), taking Titus (a non-Jew) along also. (2) And it was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles (salvation was by faith, not having to convert to Judaism through ritual circumcision as preached by the believers of the School of Shammai), but I did so in private (either together or separate) to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain (He was not looking for their permission or endorsement. What he taught was the truth. He is concerned with his usefulness to them because false teachers were saying his “gospel” was different than the Apostles in Jerusalem. They tried to overthrow the faith of those who heard him). (3) But not even Titus who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised (ritually, according to the School of Shammai). (4) But because of the circumcised brethren (Jewish believers who were circumcised according to the Abrahamic covenant found in the Torah-Gen 17.1-14) who sneaked in to spy out our liberty (from the 18 Edicts of Shammai) which we have in Christ Jesus (Messiah Yeshua), in order to bring us into bondage (to the oral law of Shammai and a system of works). (5) But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour that the truth of the gospel (basar) might remain with you. (6) But from those who were of high reputation, what they were makes no difference to me (he was not impressed, not intimidated by them, that wasn’t his concern); God shows no partiality (He accepts nobody based on reputation, status or genealogy)-well (anyway) those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me (they added nothing to him, found no fault in what he taught). (7) But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised (the non-Jews), just as Peter with the gospel to the circumcised (Jews) (8) for he who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship (God sent him also) to the circumcised (Jews) worked for me also to the Gentiles (9) and recognizing the grace (chessed) that had been given to me, James (Jacob, the Lord’s brother) and Cephas (Peter) and John (the apostle) who were reputed pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship (accepted his teaching that Gentiles did not have to be circumcised to be saved according to the oral tradition of the School of Shammai and the 18 Edicts-see Niddah 69b of Babylonian Talmud; the Encyclopedia of Talmudic Sages, page 114-115; The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim-all sources that mention these edicts), that we might go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised (the Jews). (10) They only asked us to remember the poor-the very thing I also was eager to do. (11) But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face (as friends, friendly, he did not talk “behind his back”) because he stood condemned. (12) For prior to the coming of certain men (believers who followed the halakah concerning Gentile ritual circumcision according to the School of Shammai) from James ( actually means “towards” James, meaning they were close to him but not sent by him. ), he used to eat with Gentiles (this violated one of the 18 Edicts from the School of Shammai that said a Jew could not eat with a Gentile who was not circumcised. Eating with them showed he accepted them in table fellowship); but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof ( showing he did not accept them), fearing the party of the circumcision (Jewish believers who did not approve of this. Remember, Jewish halakah according to the 18 Edicts of Shammai said that a Jew could not eat or even enter the house of a Gentile. Yeshua ran into this edict with the Roman centurion in Matt 8.8). (13) The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the results that even Barnabas (from the School of Hillel, Paul’s partner, and should have known better) was carried away by their hypocrisy. (14) But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas (Peter) in the presence of all, If you, being a Jew live like a Gentile (in relation to how Jews were to relate to the “Gerim”-non-Jewish believers) and not as the Jews ( who believed in the separation theology of the School of Shammai) why did you compel the Gentiles (and believers in Yeshua) to live as Jews (to obey what applies to the Jews). (15) We are Jews by nature (not through proselytism, converted) and not sinners from among the Gentiles (they didn’t know anything about God-John 4.22), (16) knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law (“ergo nomou”- a system of works righteousness developed by Jewish theology-Rom 9.30-33) but through faith of Christ Jesus (he is the source, origin and cause of our faith-Eph 4.8; Rom 5.8; Gal 3.22), even we have believed in Christ Jesus (Yeshua the Messiah), that we may be justified by the faith of Christ (he is the origin) and not by works of the Law (in this case being ritually circumcised according to the 18 Edicts and the oral law of the School of Shammai in order to be saved -Acts 15.1); for by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified (Hab 2.4). (17) But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have been found sinners, is Christ a minister of sin? May it never be. (18) For if I rebuild (by adding something to justification, in this case ritual circumcision , or “works”, in order to be saved according to man-made doctrines of the School of Shammai. Remember, the first century doctrine was that in order for a non-Jew to have a place in the world to come, they believed a person had to become Jewish through ritual circumcision. Believers in the first century believed this doctrine until Acts 10 and 11 with Cornelius. Peter was involved in that change of doctrine-Acts 11.18- and that is why Paul was so surprised to see Peter involved in this with the Galatians. It cropped up again in Acts 15 but finally put to rest, or so they thought as you can see here in Galatians) what I have destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. (19) For through the Law I died to the Law (sin is the transgression of the Law-1 John 3.4; by the Law is the knowledge of sin-Rom 3.20; by faith are we saved through faith-Eph 2.8; do we then void the law through faith, in other words, since you are a believer, you are “free from the Law? God forbid: yes, we establish the Law-Rom 3.31. As you can see, Torah obedience does not save us, but we obey it because we love the Lord. It was through the Law that Paul knew he was a sinner and needed to be saved by grace) that I might live to God. (20) I have been crucified with Christ (his penalty was paid-Col 1.13-14); and it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me (this means to live a life he would approve of, so he “lives” in those who follow him- 1 Cor 11.1-2); and the life I now live in the flesh (physically) I live by faith of the Son of God (who is the source and origin of his faith and righteousness, and not according to anything Paul has done) who loved me (first), and delivered himself up for me. (21) I do not nullify (frustrate) the grace of God (by performing works to be saved, and in the case of the Galatians, by accepting ritual circumcision in order to gain righteousness with God); for if righteousness came by the law (any law, whether it is the Torah or it was a man-made law, in this case, ritual circumcision as ordained in the 18 Edicts and the School of Shammai), then Christ (Messiah) died needlessly (there was no need for him to die if we could do anything to save ourselves. The Torah never said that you could obtain righteousness with God if you obeyed it. It was a guideline, a teaching, an instruction on how the Lord wanted his people live and interact. You followed the Torah because you were saved and righteousness was a free gift. If you can’t obtain righteousness by obeying God’s law, how can one obtain it by obeying a man-made doctrine, in this case, ritual circumcision to become Jewish to be saved, which was a doctrine of the School of Shammai. The Galatians were believing this to be true and Paul is making the point that they could not be saved by circumcision, or any work whatsoever).

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