Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles. - Galatians 2:1-2, NASB

I am wondering what Paul's revelation was? Do we have any scripture, tradition, or writings from church fathers which might help answer this?

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    I see you have an account on Biblical Hermeneutics that you haven't used. This question would be an excellent fit over there if you would be interested in migrating it. (It's a fine question for this site too, but it would reach a different audience over there.) – Jon Ericson Apr 24 '12 at 18:59

The revelation was most likely simply a directive from God to go up to Jerusalem to talk with the apostles. This is the most natural way to read the verse, and there would be nothing surprising about this conclusion on the basis of the rest of Paul's life, since he was an apostle.

An apostle had to be someone who had seen Christ directly with his eyes. This is evidenced in the choosing of a replacement for Judas. It is also shown in this chapter itself; Paul is arguing that he has apostolic authority on the basis of the fact that he has had a revelation of Jesus Christ (1:11-12). Thus, he is an apostle not because he was sent by men, nor even commissioned by (authorized) men on behalf of God (this is the usual interpretation of 1:1). See also 1:16. Thus Paul says of himself elsewhere, "Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him."

Other examples of specific revelations he received:

Therefore, given that the Lord seems to have spoken to him not only at his conversion and not only to teach him doctrine, and given that the context is that he had been gone for fourteen years without seeing any need to go to Jerusalem (2:1), it seems extremely likely that the revelation was a specific direction that he ought to go up to Jerusalem and confer with the apostles, particularly James, Peter and John (2:9).

  • Interesting. I'll have to noodle on this for a while. Thanks. – Jas 3.1 May 4 '12 at 21:05

You clearly have missed this central revelation. It was all about the Gospel of the Grace of God that had been given in precise details to Paul which he had been proclaiming among the Gentiles. Which was that one could be justified before God by faith alone without observing the Law of Moses. Prior to Paul the Jerusalem apostles were teaching that one had to only believe that Jesus was the long promised Messiah plus they maintained keeping Law rituals. Paul went up to Jerusalem after 14 years to confer with the Jerusalem congregation showing them the Gospel he had been preaching by direct revelation of the risen Christ Jesus and to get their approval; right hand of fellowship (read Acts 15). As to Paul's Christ given Gospel of the Grace of God we all need to believe in (TRUST with the heart) for salvation he details it in:

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; [2] By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. [3] For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; [4] And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

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    Paul never even uses the phrase "faith alone," so that can't possibly be his central revelation. – Lee Woofenden Feb 10 '18 at 19:33

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