1Then after fourteen years I again went up to Yerushalayim, this time with Bar-Nabba; and I took with me Titus. 2I went up in obedience to a revelation, and I explained to them the Good News as I proclaim it among the Gentiles — but privately, to the acknowledged leaders. I did this out of concern that my current or previous work might have been in vain.
3But they didn’t force my Gentile companion Titus to undergo b’rit-milah. 4Indeed, the question came up only because some men who pretended to be brothers had been sneaked in — they came in surreptitiously to spy out the freedom we have in the Messiah Yeshua, so that they might enslave us. 5Not even for a minute did we give in to them, so that the truth of the Good News might be preserved for you.
6Moreover, those who were the acknowledged leaders — what they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by outward appearances — these leaders added nothing to me. 7On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the Good News for the Uncircumcised, just as Kefa had been for the Circumcised; 8since the One working in Kefa to make him an emissary to the Circumcised had worked in me to make me an emissary to the Gentiles. 9So, having perceived what grace had been given to me, Ya‘akov, Kefa and Yochanan, the acknowledged pillars of the community, extended to me and Bar-Nabba the right hand of fellowship; so that we might go to the Gentiles, and they to the Circumcised. 10Their only request was that we should remember the poor — which very thing I have spared no pains to do.
11Furthermore, when Kefa came to Antioch, I opposed him publicly, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12For prior to the arrival of certain people from [the community headed by] Ya‘akov, he had been eating with the Gentile believers; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, because he was afraid of the faction who favored circumcising Gentile believers. 13And the other Jewish believers became hypocrites along with him, so that even Bar-Nabba was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14But when I saw that they were not walking a straight path, keeping in line with the truth of the Good News, I said to Kefa, right in front of everyone, “If you, who are a Jew, live like a Goy and not like a Jew, why are you forcing the Goyim to live like Jews? 15We are Jews by birth, not so-called ‘Goyishe sinners’; 16even so, we have come to realize that a person is not declared righteous by God on the ground of his legalistic observance of Torah commands, but through the Messiah Yeshua’s trusting faithfulness. Therefore, we too have put our trust in Messiah Yeshua and become faithful to him, in order that we might be declared righteous on the ground of the Messiah’s trusting faithfulness and not on the ground of our legalistic observance of Torah commands. For on the ground of legalistic observance of Torah commands, no one will be declared righteous.
17But if, in seeking to be declared righteous by God through our union with the Messiah, we ourselves are indeed found to be sinners, then is the Messiah an aider and abettor of sin? Heaven forbid! 18Indeed, if I build up again the legalistic bondage which I destroyed, I really do make myself a transgressor. 19For it was through letting the Torah speak for itself that I died to its traditional legalistic misinterpretation, so that I might live in direct relationship with God. 20When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, I was too; so that my proud ego no longer lives. But the Messiah lives in me, and the life I now live in my body I live by the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God had, who loved me and gave himself up for me. 21I do not reject God’s gracious gift; for if the way in which one attains righteousness is through legalism, then the Messiah’s death was pointless.