Galatians 1

Paul says ‘hello’

1 This letter is from me, Paul. I am an apostle of Jesus Christ. It is not any group of people or any human person that has given that authority to me. It is Jesus Christ himself who has chosen me to serve him. And God our Father, who raised Jesus to become alive again after his death, has also sent me. 2 All the believers who are here say ‘hello’ to you. We all send this letter 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 offered himself as a sacrifice because of all the wrong things that we have done. He did that to save us from all the bad things of this 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. Amen. This is true.

The true message of good news

6 I am very surprised that you are turning away so soon from God. He is the one who chose you to come to him. He did that because Christ is very kind to you. But now you want to accept a different message which some people call good news. 7 But really, there is no other message from God which is good news. Some people are confusing you. They are trying to change the good news about Christ and make it something different. 8 Nobody should ever teach a message that is different from the good news that we taught you. Neither we ourselves, nor even an angel from heaven, should ever teach a different message. If anyone does that, I pray that God would punish him for ever. 9 We have already said this, but now I will say it again. Do not accept any message that is different from the message that we taught you. If anyone teaches a different message, I pray that God will punish him very strongly.

10 When I say these things, I am not trying to please people. No, it is God that I want to please. If I only wanted to make people happy, then I would not be a servant of Christ.

Paul's message is from God

11 The good news that I tell people did not come from any human person. I want you to know that, 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 clearly.

13 You know about the things that I did before, when I obeyed the Jewish rules. I caused very much trouble against God's church. I tried to destroy those people completely. 14 I obeyed the Jewish rules better than many other Jews who were my friends. I tried very much to obey the ideas that our Jewish ancestors taught. 15 But God had chosen me to serve him even before I was born. He chose me to be his servant because he is very kind. 16 He decided to show his Son clearly to me, so that I could tell the Gentiles about him. When God chose me to do that, I did not talk about it with any human person. 17 Nor did I go to Jerusalem to see Christ's apostles there. Those men were already his apostles before I was. But I did not go to talk to them. Instead, I went immediately to the place called Arabia. Later, I went back to Damascus city.

1:17God showed Jesus to Paul near the city called Damascus. Damascus was in Syria, not very far from the north part of Israel. Paul had gone there from Jerusalem to cause trouble against the Christians. After Paul met the Lord Jesus, he did not go back to Jerusalem. He went away to Arabia. Arabia was a place south and east from Israel.

18 Then, 3 years later, I did go to Jerusalem. I stayed there with Christ's apostle Peter for 15 days, so that he could teach me. 19 I did not see any other apostles, except James, who is the Lord's brother. 20 God knows that what I am writing to you is completely true! 21 Later, I went to different places in Syria and Cilicia. 22 The Christians in the churches in Judea had never met me. 23 They had only heard people say this about me: ‘This man caused bad trouble against us Christians before. He tried to destroy God's message about Jesus. But now he himself is telling people the good news about Jesus, so that they believe.’ 24 When the believers in Judea heard that, they praised God because of me.

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