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background

Paul asserts in Galatians 1:18-20 that he saw none of the apostles except Cephas and James the Lord's brother. Acts 9:26-30 (27) But Barnabas brings Paul to the apostles and brought to the Apostles & moving / preaching freely (arguably could be only 2, but walking and preaching freely). These 2 would indicate the same event as Paul has not been accepted. Then you have Galatians 2:1-10 states this time with Barnabas this would imply that Barnabas was not with him in Acts 9.

Galatians 2:1-2

1 Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.

Galatians 1:18-20

18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas[a] and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.

Yet Barnabas says at Acts 9:26-30:

26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

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  • Galatians was written when?
    – kutschkem
    Nov 17, 2020 at 13:40
  • Apart from literal eye-contact, seeing someone usually means having an (in-depth) meeting or (extended) discussion with them, which would also fit the context of the previous verse, which speaks about getting acquainted. It is also unclear whether the two passages even refer to the same event(s), or who exactly the apostles vaguely mentioned in Acts 9:27 are.
    – Lucian
    Nov 17, 2020 at 19:00
  • @Lucian I would love to see you develop that into an answer. Nov 17, 2020 at 21:28
  • Does this answer your question? Which apostles did Paul see while he was in Jerusalem after his conversion?
    – Michael16
    Mar 27, 2023 at 10:40

3 Answers 3

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Paul's personal account of the event is in

Galatians 1:18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.

So Paul met two apostles, Cephas and James.

The book of Acts was written by Luke, not Barnabas. Luke's account is in

Acts 9:26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.

Luke didn't say how many apostles. It is understandable that Paul met only two due to the others' fear and skepticism of Paul's intention.

Galatians 2:1 New International Version

Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also.

The phrase "this time" is not in the Greek manuscript. Berean Study Bible has a better translation:

Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, accompanied by Barnabas. I took Titus along also.

The first time, Paul met Barnabas in Jerusalem. The second time, Barnabas took Paul to Jerusalem.

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  • @Lucian and & others - I have amended the question due to Galatians 2 - which mentions this time with Barnabas which would be in conflict with Acts 9. Nov 18, 2020 at 13:55
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Need to analyse times as well. Please note the high priest in chapter 4 of Acts was Annus (no more Caiphas) , Ananus became hight priest after Pilate was demoted and sent to account in Rome, that will be AD 37 Feb/Mar. Pontius Pilate found Tiberius dead (died 16 Mar 37AD) when he arrived there. minimum time for Paul's conversion should be after 38 AD. 3 years he was in Syria, 38+3 = 41 AD. (41AD + )14 years he went to Jerusalem then is 55 AD . if account years of his preaching after Acts 15 goes beyond 60 and Felix was a governor until AD60. Remember Acts 15 should have happened around 55 AD in this case. The time he spend in Athens 3 years, Ephesus 2 years and other churches. Something does not add up (add 2 years in prison in caesaria)

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There is no conflict between the three verses. Galatians 1:18-20 & Acts 9:26-30 are the same event. Galatians 2:1-2 is another event happened 14 years later from the previous event.

The chronological order is;

  1. Paul witnessed Stephen killed by stoning. All except the apostles were scattered. (Acts 7:54 - 8:1)
  2. Paul's conversion on his way to Damascus. (Acts 9:1-19)
  3. Paul began to preach Jesus' gospel in Damascus and received death threat from local Jews. Paul escaped their plan. (Acts 9:20-25)
  4. Paul went to Arabia. Later he returned to Damascus. (Galatians 1:17)
  5. About 3 years from his conversion, Paul went to Jerusalem. (Galatians 1:18-20; Acts 9:26-28)
  6. Paul received another death threat. He went to Tarsus, his home town in Cilicia, a district of southern Anatolia. (Galatians 1:21; Acts 9:29-30)
  7. News about the church in Antioch reached Jerusalem. Barnabas was sent to visit the church. (Acts 11:22)
  8. Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Paul. They spent a year in the church, and the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch (Acts 11:25-26)
  9. Barnabas and Paul were sent by the church in Antioch to Jerusalem, providing clarity fund to assist the brothers in Jerusalem during famine. It was 14 years after Paul's last visit to the church in Jerusalem. (Galatians 2:1; Acts 27-30)

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