“They were supposed
To be the acknowledged leaders.
What they were
Makes no difference to me.
God shows no partiality.
Those leaders contributed
Nothing to me.”
ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν δοκούντων εἶναί τι, —ὁποῖοί ποτε ἦσαν οὐδέν μοι διαφέρει· πρόσωπον ὁ Θεὸς ἀνθρώπου οὐ λαμβάνει— ἐμοὶ γὰρ οἱ δοκοῦντες οὐδὲν προσανέθεντο,
Paul said, “They were supposed to be the acknowledged leaders or esteemed to be something (ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν δοκούντων εἶναί τι). What they were makes no difference to me (ὁποῖοί ποτε ἦσαν οὐδέν μοι διαφέρει). God shows no partiality or God does not take the face of a person (πρόσωπον ὁ Θεὸς ἀνθρώπου οὐ λαμβάνει). Those leaders contributed nothing to me (ἐμοὶ γὰρ οἱ δοκοῦντες οὐδὲν προσανέθεντο).” Paul called these Jewish Christian leaders in Jerusalem esteemed to be something. He sounded a little sarcastic here, but he was indifferent to who they were. The Jerusalem apostles were generally held in high esteem. Paul was careful here not to dishonor them, although his tone is distant and cool towards them. He used a Hebrew biblical idiom that the ideal judge does not regard the face of a human person or man. Thus, God was not going to show any partiality in his judgment. However, as far as Paul was concerned, these Jewish Christian leaders contributed nothing to him. This might be what the Acts, chapter 15,7 called “much debate”. The author of Acts indicated that after there had been much debate, or discussion that had taken place (Πολλῆς δὲ ζητήσεως γενομένης), Peter (Πέτρος) rose up or got up (ἀναστὰς). Certainly, there was a disagreement between Paul and some of these Jewish Christian leaders in Jerusalem. However, Paul got what he wanted, no demand for circumcision of the gentiles. Have you ever prevailed in a big discussion?