But from those who were of high reputation (whatever they were—in terms of individual importance—makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality—He is not impressed with the positions that people hold nor does He recognize distinctions such as fame or power)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me [that is, they had nothing to add to my gospel message nor did they impose any new requirements on me].
Moreover, [no new requirements were made] by those who were reputed to be something—though what was their individual position and whether they really were of importance or not makes no difference to me; God is not impressed with the positions that men hold and He is not partial and recognizes no external distinctions—those [I say] who were of repute imposed no new requirements upon me [had nothing to add to my Gospel, and from them I received no new suggestions].
And from the ones having-the-reputation-of being something— of-what-sort they ever were makes no difference to me; God does not receive the face of a human— indeed to me the ones having-the-reputation communicated nothing.
Those leaders who ·seemed to be important [or were prominent/influential] did not ·change the Good News that I preach [or add anything to my message]. (It doesn’t matter to me if they were ·“important” [prominent; influential] or not. To God everyone is the same.)
But by them which seemed to be great, I was not taught (whatsoever they were in time passed, I am nothing the better: God accepteth no man’s person) for they that are the chief, did add nothing to me above that I had.
Fourteen years later, I went up to Jerusalem again, this time with Barnabas, and we took Titus with us. My visit on this occasion was by divine command, and I gave a full exposition of the Gospel which I preach among the Gentiles. I did this first in private conference with the church leaders, to make sure that what I had done and proposed doing was acceptable to them. Not one of them intimated that Titus, because he was a Greek, ought to be circumcised. In fact, the suggestion would never have arisen but for the presence of some pseudo-Christians, who wormed their way into our meeting to spy on the liberty we enjoy in Jesus Christ, and then attempted to tie us up with rules and regulations. We did not give those men an inch, for the truth of the Gospel for you and all Gentiles was at stake. And as far as the leaders of the conference were concerned (I neither know nor care what their exact position was: God is not impressed with a man’s office), they had nothing to add to my Gospel. In fact they recognised that the Gospel for the uncircumcised was as much my commission as the Gospel for the circumcised was Peter’s. For the God who had done such great work in Peter’s ministry for the Jews was plainly doing the same in my ministry for the Gentiles. When, therefore, James, Peter and John (who were the recognised “pillars” of the church there) saw how God had given me his grace, they held out to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, in full agreement that our mission was to the Gentiles and theirs to the Jews. The only suggestion they made was that we should not forget the poor—and with this I was, of course, only too ready to agree.
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;
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. 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. Recognizing that my calling had been given by God, James, Peter, and John—the pillars of the church—shook hands with me and Barnabas, assigning us to a ministry to the non-Jews, while they continued to be responsible for reaching out to the Jews. The only additional thing they asked was that we remember the poor, and I was already eager to do that.
But from the men of repute whatever they once were matters nothing to me, ki ein masso panim im Hashem (for there is no respect of persons with G-d, no partiality) for to me these men of repute added nothing.
It makes no difference to me (or to God for that matter) if people have power or influence. God doesn’t choose favorites among His children. Even the so-called pillars of the church didn’t contribute anything new to my understanding of the good news.
But of these that seemed to be somewhat; which they were sometime, it pertaineth not to me [what manner they were sometime, it pertaineth nothing to me], for God taketh not the person of man; for they that seemed to be somewhat, gave me nothing [nothing to me gave].
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