Galatians 2:5

5 We didn't give them the time of day. We were determined to preserve the truth of the Message for you.

Galatians 2:5 Meaning and Commentary

Galatians 2:5

To whom we gave place by subjection
Meaning not the apostles, elders, and brethren at Jerusalem, who did not insist upon the observance of the rituals of the law as necessary, but were one and all of opinion that the Gentiles should be free from them; but the false teachers with whom they combated, and would not yield in the least unto, so as to be brought into subjection to their impositions, nor suffer others to yield unto them:

no, not for an hour;
for the least space of time, knowing what advantages and improvements would be made of it, should they allow of the use of these things as necessary for any short time, though it should be agreed then to drop them. This is a way of speaking used by the Jews, when they would express their steady adherence to any principle or practice; of which take the following instance from Gamaliel F3:

``it happened to Rabban Gamaliel, that he read the first night he was married; his disciples said to him, master, hast thou not taught us, that the bridegroom is free from reading the Shema, i.e. "hear, O Israel" the first night? he replied to them, I will not hearken to you to cause to cease from me the yoke of the kingdom of heaven, (txa hev wlypa) , "even one hour".''

The reason why the apostle, and others with him, were so resolute and pertinacious in this matter was,

that the truth of the Gospel might continue with you;
with the Galatians in particular, and with all the Gentiles in general, which otherwise would have been in danger of being entirely removed from them, at least of being adulterated and mixed with the Mosaic rites, and the inventions of men; whereas the apostle's desire was, that, the Gospel might be continued with them genuine, sincere, and unmixed, in opposition to the shadows of the law, and the false doctrines of men.


F3 Misn. Beracot, c. 2. sect. 5.

Galatians 2:5 In-Context

3 Significantly, Titus, non-Jewish though he was, was not required to be circumcised.
4 While we were in conference we were infiltrated by spies pretending to be Christians, who slipped in to find out just how free true Christians are. Their ulterior motive was to reduce us to their brand of servitude.
5 We didn't give them the time of day. We were determined to preserve the truth of the Message for you.
6 As for those who were considered important in the church, their reputation doesn't concern me. God isn't impressed with mere appearances, and neither am I. And of course these leaders were able to add nothing to the message I had been preaching.
7 It was soon evident that God had entrusted me with the same message to the non-Jews as Peter had been preaching to the Jews.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.