1 [This letter is from] Paul, an apostle, (not from [the authority of] men, or through the [agency] of a man, but by [a direct commission from] Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead). 2 [It also comes from] all of the brothers who are with me [and is being sent] to the churches of Galatia [i.e., Iconium, Derbe, Lystra and Antioch of Pisidia].
3 May you have unearned favor and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself to [save us from] our sins so that He might deliver us from [the control and condemnation of] this present evil world. [This is] according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom [may there] be honor forever and ever. May it be so.
6 I am astonished that you people are so quickly abandoning God [i.e., by rejecting His truth], who called you [to Himself] through the unearned favor bestowed [on us] by Christ. [You are turning] to a different "gospel," 7 although it is really not a different one, but rather some people are causing you trouble by trying to pervert the [true] Gospel of Christ. 8 However, if we [apostles] or even an angel [claiming to be] from heaven were to preach any other "gospel" than the one we have [already] preached to you, let that person be cut off from God's [salvation]. 9 I repeat what I have already said: If any person preaches to you a "gospel" other than what you have already received [from us apostles], he should be cut off from God's [salvation].
10 For am I seeking [to gain] the favor of men or of God? Or, am I striving to please people [by what I do]? If I were still [trying] to please people, I would not be a [true] servant of Christ.
11 For I would like to clarify for you, brothers, the situation regarding the Gospel that I have preached: It did not originate from man. 12 [Furthermore], I did not receive this [Gospel message] from any person, nor was I taught it [by anyone]. Instead, it came to me through [a divine] revelation from Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard about the way I lived in the past, when I was in the Jewish religion, [that is], how I mercilessly persecuted the church of God, making havoc of it. 14 I advanced in the Jewish religion beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen. I have been extremely more zealous in advocating the traditions [taught] by my forefathers. 15 But then it was the good pleasure of God, who set me apart [for this purpose] before I was born, to call me [to this ministry] through His unearned favor. 16 [And when I was called], God revealed His Son to me so that I could preach [about] Him to the Gentiles. [When this happened] I immediately avoided discussing the matter with anyone. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to [discuss it with] those who had become apostles before me either; instead I went away into Arabia. [Note: This is probably when Paul received supernatural power from the Holy Spirit]. Then afterward, I returned to Damascus. [Note: This was in Syria where Paul was converted].
18 Then, three years later I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas [i.e., Peter], and stayed with him for fifteen days. 19 But [on this trip] I did not see any of the other apostles except James, the Lord's brother. [Note: This "James" was not one of the original twelve apostles. See Matt. 10:2-4]. 20 Now [realizing I am] in God's presence, I am not lying about any of these things.
21 [Then after that] I went to the territories of Syria and Cilicia. [Note: Cilicia was where Paul's home town of Tarsus was located. See Acts 9:30]. 22 [At this time] I was still unknown personally to churches in [the province of] Judea, which are in [fellowship with] Christ. 23 They had only heard it said about me, "This person, who had once persecuted us [Christians], is now preaching the faith he once made havoc of." 24 So, they gave honor to God for [what He was doing through] me.