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Galatians 1

Paul says ‘Hello’

1 This letter is from me, Paul. I am an apostle of Jesus Christ. It isn't any group of people that has sent me. No human person has given authority to me. It is Jesus Christ who has sent me to speak God's message. God the Father raised Jesus to become alive again after his death. He too has sent me. 2 All the believers who are here with me also say ‘hello’ to you.

I am writing to you, the people of the churches that are in Galatia.

3 I pray that God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ will continue to help you. I pray that they will give you peace in your minds. 4 Jesus gave himself because of all the wrong things that we have done. He did that to save us from this bad world in which we live now. This is what God, our Father, wanted him to do. 5 God is great and we should praise him for ever. This is true.

The believers in Galatia are listening to wrong ideas

6 I am very surprised about you! You are turning away so soon from God, who caused you to come to him by Christ. He caused you to live by Christ, because he is so very kind. But instead, you are listening now to a different ‘good news’. 7 But really, there is no other ‘good news’. Clearly, some people are confusing you. They are trying to change the good news about Christ. 8 Nobody should ever teach a different ‘good news’ from the one that we taught you. Neither we, nor even an angel from the sky, should ever teach a different message. I pray that God will punish always anyone who does that. 9 I will say again what I have just said. Someone may teach a different ‘good news’ from the one that you have believed. But God will punish always anyone who does that.

10 Certainly, I am not trying to make people happy by what I am saying. No, but I am trying to do what God wants. If I were still trying to make people happy, I would not be Christ's servant.

Paul's message is from God

11 The good news that I taught you did not come from any human person. I want you to know this, my friends. 12 No human person gave it to me or taught it to me. No, it was Jesus Christ himself who showed it to me.

13 You know about the things that I did before, as a Jew. At that time, I strongly believed the things that the Jews believe. I caused very much trouble and pain for God's church. I did my best to destroy it. 14 I was a better Jew than many other Jews who were about the same age as me. I wanted very, very much to obey and to teach the things that my grandfathers taught. 15 But God had chosen me even before I was born. He chose me to be his servant because he is so very kind. He decided 16 to show his Son in me, so that I could tell the Gentiles about him. When God did that in me, I did not talk to any human person about it. 17 Nor did I go to Jerusalem to see Christ's special workers and teachers. Those men were Christ's special workers and teachers before I was. But I did not go to see them. No, instead, I went immediately to the place called Arabia, and later I went back to Damascus city.

1:17Arabia was a place south and east from Israel. Damascus city was not very far outside the north border of Israel.

18 Then, three years later, I went to Jerusalem to meet Peter. I stayed there with him for 15 days. 19 I did not see any of Christ's other special workers and teachers, except James, the Lord's brother. 20 What I am writing to you is true. And God knows that it is true! 21 Later I went to places in Syria and Cilicia. 22 The groups of believers in Judea had never met me. 23 They had only heard people say things about me. People said: ‘This man caused bad trouble and pain for us before. He wanted to stop people believing Christ. He tried to destroy us. But now he himself is telling people to believe Christ.’ 24 And so, the believers in Judea thanked God because of me. And they said how good and how great God is.

1:21Syria and Cilicia were places north from Israel, and south and east from Galatia, by the Mediterranean Sea.
1:22Judea was the south part of Israel. Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel, was in Judea.