Galatians 2:6
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
As for those who were held in high esteem--whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism--they added nothing to my message.

New Living Translation
And the leaders of the church had nothing to add to what I was preaching. (By the way, their reputation as great leaders made no difference to me, for God has no favorites.)

English Standard Version
And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.

Berean Study Bible
But as for the highly esteemed, whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism. For those leaders added nothing to my message.

Berean Literal Bible
Now of those esteemed to be something, whatsoever they were formerly makes no difference to me. God does not accept the person of a man--for the esteemed added nothing to me.

New American Standard Bible
But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)-- well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.

King James Bible
But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now from those recognized as important (what they really were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism)--they added nothing to me.

International Standard Version
Now those who were reputed to be important added nothing to my message. (What sort of people they were makes no difference to me, since God pays no attention to outward appearances.)

NET Bible
But from those who were influential (whatever they were makes no difference to me; God shows no favoritism between people)--those influential leaders added nothing to my message.

New Heart English Bible
But from those who were reputed to be important (whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God does not show partiality to man)--they, I say, who were respected imparted nothing to me,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But those who were esteemed to be something (but who they were does not concern me) for God does not accept the persons of men, but those who are such have not added anything to me.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Those who were recognized as important people didn't add a single thing to my message. (What sort of people they were makes no difference to me, since God doesn't play favorites.)

New American Standard 1977
But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But of these who seemed to be of repute, (whatever they were, it makes no matter to me: God does not accept the appearance of men), for those who seemed to be of repute in conference added nothing to me;

King James 2000 Bible
But of these who seemed to be somebody, (whatsoever they were, it makes no matter to me: God accepts no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somebody in conference added nothing to me:

American King James Version
But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatever they were, it makes no matter to me: God accepts no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

American Standard Version
But from those who were reputed to be somewhat (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth not man's person)-- they, I say, who were of repute imparted nothing to me:

Douay-Rheims Bible
But of them who seemed to be some thing, (what they were some time, it is nothing to me, God accepteth not the person of man,) for to me they that seemed to be some thing added nothing.

Darby Bible Translation
But from those who were conspicuous as being somewhat -- whatsoever they were, it makes no difference to me: God does not accept man's person; for to me those who were conspicuous communicated nothing;

English Revised Version
But from those who were reputed to be somewhat (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth not man's person)--they, I say, who were of repute imparted nothing to me:

Webster's Bible Translation
But of these, who seemed to be somewhat, (whatever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat, in conference added nothing to me:

Weymouth New Testament
From those leaders I gained nothing new. Whether they were men of importance or not, matters nothing to me--God recognizes no external distinctions. To me, at any rate, the leaders imparted nothing new.

World English Bible
But from those who were reputed to be important (whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God doesn't show partiality to man)--they, I say, who were respected imparted nothing to me,

Young's Literal Translation
And from those who were esteemed to be something -- whatever they were then, it maketh no difference to me -- the face of man God accepteth not, for -- to me those esteemed did add nothing,
Study Bible
The Council at Jerusalem
5We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you. 6But as for the highly esteemed, whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism. For those leaders added nothing to my message. 7On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 10:17
"For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.

Job 34:19
Who shows no partiality to princes Nor regards the rich above the poor, For they all are the work of His hands?

Acts 5:36
Some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing.

Acts 10:34
Then Peter began to speak: "I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism,

2 Corinthians 11:5
I consider myself in no way inferior to those "super-apostles."

2 Corinthians 12:11
I have become a fool, but you drove me to it. In fact, you should have commended me, since I am in no way inferior to those "super-apostles," even though I am nothing.

Galatians 2:9
And recognizing the grace I had been given, James, Cephas, and John--those reputed to be pillars--gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the Jews.

Galatians 6:3
If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Treasury of Scripture

But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatever they were, it makes no matter to me: God accepts no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

those who.

Galatians 2:2,9 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel …

Galatians 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he …

2 Corinthians 11:5,21-23 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very most chief apostles…

2 Corinthians 12:11 I am become a fool in glorying; you have compelled me: for I ought …

Hebrews 13:7,17 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken to you …

it maketh.

Galatians 2:11-14 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, …

Job 32:6,7,17-22 And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am …

Matthew 22:16 And they sent out to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, …

Mark 6:17-20 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold on John, and bound …

Mark 12:14 And when they were come, they say to him, Master, we know that you …

Luke 20:21 And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that you say and teach …

2 Corinthians 5:16 Why from now on know we no man after the flesh: yes, though we have …

God. See on

Job 34:19 How much less to him that accepts not the persons of princes, nor …

Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that …

Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

1 Peter 1:17 And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges …

in.

Galatians 2:10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which …

Acts 15:6-29 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter…

2 Corinthians 12:11 I am become a fool in glorying; you have compelled me: for I ought …

(6) The Apostle returns from his digression on the case of Titus to give the result of his experience with the elder Apostles, in continuation of Galatians 2:3. "I did indeed hold conference with them privately; but with all their advantages, real or assumed, I learnt nothing from them that I did not already know, and they ended by recognising the independence and validity of my mission."

But of these who seemed to be somewhat.--Translate rather, But from those who are reputed to be somewhat. The phrase corresponds to "them which are of reputation" in Galatians 2:2; and here, as there, it is important to keep the present tense. It is not only "those who were of authority at the Council," but "those who are the great authorities with you Galatians now." The Apostle speaks with a certain amount of irony. "From these very great authorities, these persons of such especial reputation [I got nothing]."

Whatsoever they were.--We shall, perhaps, not be wrong in keeping to the Authorised version, though some of the best commentators translate rather, What they (once) were, with a stress on "were," and referring to the advantage which they possessed over St. Paul in having "known Christ after the flesh" through their early call to the Apostleship.

God accepteth no man's person.--This phrase is a curious instance of a Greek expression framed after the analogy of the Hebrew, and yet in the process contracting a different signification, through the influence of the idiomatic use of one of the Greek expressions involved. "To accept the face" in the Old Testament is used in a good sense of "showing favour" to any one, but without any imputation of partiality. "To accept the face" (or person) in the New Testament always carries with it the idea of partiality; the word for "face" being idiomatically used for "a mask," and hence coming to mean "the outward, assumed, accidental characteristics of a man" as opposed to his real and inward character. (Comp. Matthew 22:16; Luke 20:21; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; James 2:1; James 2:9; Jude 1:16.) The meaning here is that even if the elder Apostles had "seen with their eyes," and "looked upon and handled the Word of Life" (1John 1:1), God would not regard the advantages implied in this more than any other external advantage of birth, position, natural gifts, &c.

For they who seemed to be somewhat.--The same phrase as in Galatians 2:2 : they who were of reputation. There is here another break in the regular construction of the sentence. The Apostle begins as if he were going to finish differently: "From those who are reputed to be somewhat . . . I received nothing in the conference which I had with them;" but he suddenly changes his point of view: "From those who are reputed to be somewhat" (sentence left unfinished) "to me, I say, these reputable persons added nothing."

In conference added nothing.--"Added in conference" is all one word in the Greek, and corresponds to "communicated" in Galatians 2:2. The idea of "adding" (i.e., imparting fresh knowledge) seems, however, to be derived rather from the context than from the form of the Greek compound, as our translators apparently supposed.

Verse 6. - But of these who seemed to be somewhat (ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν δοκούντων εϊναί τι); now from those who were reputed to be somewhat. The conjunction δὲ does not seem to be adversative here, but simply introductory of a new particular. The writer is about to introduce, which he does in the next five verses (6-10), a fresh illustration of the independent position, which in point both of doctrine and of ministerial footing he held in relation to the first apostles and to the heads of the Jerusalemite Church, and at the same time of the full recognition which in both respects these had accorded to him. The construction of this sentence, as it proceeds, is interrupted and changed. When St. Paul wrote, from those who were reputed to be somewhat, he would seem to have meant to add, "I received nothing fresh either in knowledge of the gospel or in authority as Christ's minister," or some-tiring to that effect; but in his indignant parenthesis asserting his independence with respect to those whom his gainsayers in Galatia would seem to have pronounced his superiors, both in knowledge and in office, he loses sight of the beginning of the sentence, and begins it afresh in another form with the words (ἐμοὶ γὰρ οἱ δοκοῦντες), for they who were of repute, etc. Reputed to be somewhat; that is, thought highly cf. The phrase is of frequent occurrence, both in Greek and in Latin authors. It is obvious that he refers to the twelve and the leaders of the mother Church of Jerusalem. Whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me (ὁποῖοί ποτε η΅σαν οὐδέν μοι διαφέρει); of what sort they at any time were maketh no matter to me. The ὁποῖοι (of what sort) is suggested by the preceding τι (somewhat), and the η΅σαν (they were) by the δοκούντων (reputed); from those reputed to be somewhat whatever they really were. The comparison of the usage of ὁποῖος in other passages (Acts 26:29; 1 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; James 1:24) hardly favours the specific interpretation, "how great." In respect to the ποτέ, in a classical author, as Bishop Light foot observes, we should have no hesitation in taking it as equivalent to cunque. But the word occurs in the New Testament in thirty-one ether places, and in not one is it eunque, but always the adverb of time, either "sometime," "in time past," as above, Galatians 1:13, 23; John 9:13; or "any time," as 1 Corinthians 9:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:5. The latter shade of meaning seems the more appropriate here. The any time, though not to be limited to, would, however, cover the time when the twelve were in personal attendance upon our Lord - a circumstance which St. Paul's detractors were no doubt wont to hold up as a mark of distinction not possessed by him. It seems best to take of what sort as dependent upon the following words, maketh no matter to me. This last clause is not exactly equivalent to "I care not," as if it were an almost supercilious waving aside of the consideration; it is rather a grave assertion of a matter of fact. Whatever were the gifts of knowledge and spiritual insight which the twelve or other heads of the Jerusalemite Church possessed, or whatever their ministerial privileges or authority, whether derived from personal intercourse with the Lord Jesus when upon earth or in any other way, Paul's knowledge of the gospel and Paul's apostolic authority were neither of them at all affected by them. Now, at the time that he is writing this Epistle, he was just the same in respect to the possession of the essential truth of the gospel and to his apostolic authority as if he had had no intercourse with the spiritual rulers of the Jewish Church. God accepteth no man's person (πρόσωπον Θεὸς ἀνθρώπου οὐ λαμβάνει). The order of the words in the Greek throws especial emphasis upon "person:" person of man God accepteth not; that is, it is never on account of his person that God accepteth a man. This phrase, "accept a man's person," is of frequent occurrence in the Bible. In the New Testament it is always used in a bad sense, which in the Old is by no means the case. This difference is due, as Bishop Lightfoot observes, to the secondary sense of actor's mask attaching to the Greek noun, the actor on the Greek stage, as also on the Roman, being wont to wear a mask suited to the character in which he appeared; whence also πρόσωπον got to signify this character itself. The corresponding technical term among the Romans was persona, a word never used of the natural face, as πρόσωπον was. This explains the adoption of this last term in its Anglicized form by our English translators in the phrase now before us. With the like metaphorical application of the idea as that which was so common among the Romans, the word "person" seemed well fitted to denote the part, or certain accessories of the part, which a man plays on the stage, so to speak, of human life, in contradistinction to his more interior and essential character. The phrase denotes accepting a man, for example, for his worldly rank or position, for his office, for his nationality, even for his Church status (see James 2:1, 9; Acts 10:34; 1 Peter 1:17). The special adjuncts of a man's person referred to in the present passage are those of the outward call aforetime to be apostles and personal attendants upon the Lord Jesus while upon earth, and, in the case of St. James the Lord's brother, personal relationship to him. And St. Paul means to intimate that his knowledge of Divine truth and his ministerial fidelity and efficiency might be as real and as great, if God's will were so, as the knowledge and ministerial fidelity and efficiency of the twelve and St. James, whom his gainsayers were honouring so far above him merely for their person's sake. God made no such difference between him and them, but wrought with him just as much. For they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me (ἐμοὶ γὰρ οἱ δοκοῦντες οὐδὲν προσανέθεντο); for to me they who were of repute in conference added nothing. The verb προσανέθεντο, as it stands here, appears related to the ἀνεθέμην of ver. 2. I laid before them my gospel; they imparted to me nothing fresh (πρός). Thus Chrysostom and Theodoret. In Galatians 1:16, where the same verb occurs (see note), there is nothing to accentuate the πρός, as there is here. The "for" appears related to the foregoing clause. That God does not respect man for his person was evidenced by the fact that Paul's knowledge of the gospel was already so complete and his work was so honoured by God, that those whose person seemed to many so markedly superior to his, found that all they had to do was to frankly recognize his teaching as already adequate and complete, and his work as standing on a perfectly equal footing with their own. But of these, who seemed to be somewhat,.... Not the false brethren, but the Apostles James, Cephas, and John, who were "men of great esteem": high in the opinion of all good men; not that they were looked upon to be more than human, as Simon Magus gave out that he was "some great one", and his followers thought him to be "the great power of God"; for such an extravagant conceit of these men was never entertained; nor were they thought to be something when they were nothing, for they really were somewhat; they were ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of grace; they were the Lord's ambassadors, and the apostles of the Lamb. However, says the apostle,

whatsoever they were; "formerly", some time ago, which our version does not so fully express,

it maketh no matter to me, God accepteth no man's person. This is said, not by way of slight or contempt, but in vindication of himself, whom the false teachers endeavoured to lessen, by giving high encomiums of the apostles at Jerusalem. It looks as if they had upbraided the apostle with being a persecutor of the church before his conversion, when nothing of such a nature could be laid to the charge of these men, and therefore he was not to be set upon a level with them: to which he may be thought to reply in such manner as this, that as for himself, it is true, he had been an injurious person to the saints; and he was ready to own it, for his own humiliation, and to illustrate the grace of God in his conversion; and as these excellent men, what they were before their conversion, it was no concern of his; though, perhaps, was he disposed to inquire into their characters then, some blemishes might be found therein, as well as in his; but it is not what he and they had been, but what they now were: he could have observed, that they were persons formerly of a very low figure in life, of mean occupations, fishermen by employment, and very illiterate persons, when he was bred a scholar at the feet of Gamaliel; but he chose not to make such observations, he knew that God was no respecter of persons, nor was he influenced by any such external circumstances, but chose whom he pleased to such an high office; and that he, who of fishermen made them apostles, of a persecutor had made him one also. Or these false teachers perhaps had objected to him, that these valuable men had been with Christ from the beginning, were eyewitnesses of his majesty, heard the doctrines of the Gospel from his lips, and saw his miracles, had had a similar conversation with him, when he was a preacher of much later date, and could not pretend to such advantages, and therefore ought not to be equalled to them: his answer is, that whatever privileges of this kind they had enjoyed, as could not be denied but they were considerable, yet this mattered not, nor did it make any great difference between him and them; he had seen Christ too, though as one born out of due time; had received an immediate commission from him to preach his Gospel, and was appointed an apostle by him as they were, without any respect of persons: and whereas it might have been urged, that these men had entertained different sentiments from him formerly, concerning the observance of the law, he signifies he had nothing to do with that, to their own master they stood, to whom they must give an account, who, without respect of persons, will render to every man according to his works: and, adds he,

for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me; whatever opinions they formerly gave into, in their conversation with him, when he communicated the Gospel he preached to them, they found no fault with it; they did not go about to correct it; nor did they make any addition to it; the scheme of truths he laid before them, which had been the subject of his ministry, was so complete and perfect, containing the whole counsel of God, that they had nothing to add unto it; which shows the agreement between them, that he did not receive his Gospel from them, the perfection of his ministry, and that he was not a whit behind them in knowledge and gifts. 6. Greek, "From those who," etc. He meant to complete the sentence with "I derived no special advantage"; but he alters it into "they … added nothing to me."

accepteth—so as to show any partiality; "respecteth no man's person" (Eph 6:9).

seemed to be somewhat—that is, not that they seemed to be what they were not, but "were reputed as persons of some consequence"; not insinuating a doubt but that they were justly so reputed.

in conference added—or "imparted"; the same Greek as in Ga 1:16, "I conferred not with flesh and blood." As I did not by conference impart to them aught at my conversion, so they now did not impart aught additional to me, above what I already knew. This proves to the Galatians his independence as an apostle.2:1-10 Observe the apostle's faithfulness in giving a full account of the doctrine he had preached among the Gentiles, and was still resolved to preach, that of Christianity, free from all mixture of Judaism. This doctrine would be ungrateful to many, yet he was not afraid to own it. His care was, lest the success of his past labours should be lessened, or his future usefulness be hindered. While we simply depend upon God for success to our labours, we should use every proper caution to remove mistakes, and against opposers. There are things which may lawfully be complied with, yet, when they cannot be done without betraying the truth, they ought to be refused. We must not give place to any conduct, whereby the truth of the gospel would be reflected upon. Though Paul conversed with the other apostles, yet he did not receive any addition to his knowledge, or authority, from them. Perceiving the grace given to him, they gave unto him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, whereby they acknowledged that he was designed to the honour and office of an apostle as well as themselves. They agreed that these two should go to the heathen, while they continued to preach to the Jews; judging it agreeable to the mind of Christ, so to divide their work. Here we learn that the gospel is not ours, but God's; and that men are but the keepers of it; for this we are to praise God. The apostle showed his charitable disposition, and how ready he was to own the Jewish converts as brethren, though many would scarcely allow the like favour to the converted Gentiles; but mere difference of opinion was no reason to him why he should not help them. Herein is a pattern of Christian charity, which we should extend to all the disciples of Christ.
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