I found conflicting sources on the internet:

  1. The first source said the Letter to the Galatians was written between 52-55 AD.
  2. The second source said it was written between 48-49 AD.

Just comparing the dates did not interest me. When I see the relationship with the Jerusalem Council, it becomes more interesting.

  1. The first source put the Jerusalem council before the writing of the Galatian letter.
  2. The second source put the writing of the Galatian letter before the Jerusalem council. (To be honest, I myself prefer the second source for my own reason).

But since I'm not an expert, I wonder at the different timing between two source?

Which source is correct ?

  • 1
    Scholars don't know when it was written, though some have favorite theories placing it in one period or other. For example, some argue that since Galatians does not mention the judgment against Judiazers at council of Jerusalem (dated sometimes to c.50 CE), the epistle must come before that time. Then again, we don't really know for sure when the council of Jerusalem was either, and it may not have happened as described in Acts anyway (meaning that Paul may not have had reason to mention it in Galatians). That said, beware of non-scholarly "sources" that give empty dates without argument.
    – Ben W
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 18:49
  • @Ben, thanks for the explanation. My reason to choose the second source is because when Paul said "Peter was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group" - I don't think Paul will say like that if Galatian was written after Jerusalem Council. If Galatian was written after Jerusalem Council, how could Paul say like that when he himself knew that Peter reconciled the dispute among the brethren at the Jerusalem Council ?
    – karma
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 20:20
  • 1
    Since Paul was taking up a collection for the 'poor' in Jerusalem, the letter could even have been written at the time of the great famine of the mid-forties, although this creates problems for the chronologies of Luke-Acts. Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 20:41
  • 1
    @BenWallis Looks to me like you have an answer. Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 20:43

1 Answer 1


The differing sources is just because we don't know. New Oxford Annotated Bible with Aprocypha, New Revised Standard Version says:

The date of the letter’s composition is not given. It was written some time between the late 40s and mid 50s ce.

Early Christian Writings site references

It is typically dated c. 54 CE....50-60 AD

The Council of Jerusalem also does not have an exact date

Council of Jerusalem, a conference of the Christian Apostles in Jerusalem about 50 CE....

And Wikipedia:

The Council of Jerusalem is generally dated to c. 48–50 AD...

Given that the cross-section of dates for Galatians is mid 50s, I'd go with that but it's still not definitive.

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