Menu

ESV, NRSV, and Galatians 1:16

I found a subtle difference in the NRSV and ESV than with all other major translations in Galatians 1:15-16.

But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and whocalled me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in orderthat I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; (ESV)

But when God, who from my mother’s womb set me apartand called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me, so that I could preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone. (HCSB)

I could not find any thing to suggest that “was pleased to reveal his Son to me” is correct. All of the other translations read, “was pleased to reveal his Son in me.” Does this mean the same thing? I have a hard time seeing that it does.

To say that the Son was revealed to Paul makes sense because Paul seems to be speaking about the miraculous incident on the road to Damascus where Paul speaks to the Son. But to say that the Son was revealed in Paul seems to indicate that Paul’s life now reflected the life of the Son from this point forward. As Paul would later write, “It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

I would like to know what led the ESV and NRSV to go with the word “to” rather than “in.” It certainly makes the verse easier to understand. But it may miss the point of the statement. Paul seems to be arguing in this context how he was advancing in Judaism and what caused him to leave. His life now revealed Jesus so that “they glorified God because of me” (Galatians 1:24).

Maybe I am reading too much into this, but it seems that the sentence changes based upon that one little word.