“But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. I assure you that, before God, I am not lying about what I am writing to you! (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which This portion of Scripture refers to another important leader within the first-century church: were in Christ” (Galatians 1:19-22).
This portion of Scripture refers to another important leader in the first-century church: “James the Lord’s brother.” While we might be more precise in speaking of James as Jesus’ half-brother (as he had the same mother but a different Father), the Bible identifies him this way in both Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3.
This reference to James as one of “the other apostles” has been subject to some debate over the years. First, this James was not listed among Jesus’ original twelve disciples. Next, it does not appear that James believed in Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah during His earthly ministry. Finally, even though James was a recognized leader within the early church, there is no Biblical mention of his role as an apostle outside this passage.
Here is how one source addresses these issues in the context of this passage…
“James, the presiding elder of the initial church at Jerusalem (Acts 15:13,19; Galatians 2:9), as well as author of one of the New Testament books (James 1:1), is thus confirmed by Paul as one of the human brothers of Jesus. Christ’s brothers at first did not believe on Him (John 7:5), but they later joined their mother in fellowship with the rest of His disciples (Acts 1:14).
Whether the Greek original of this verse requires the understanding that James was also an apostle has been argued by scholars. The fact that the Holy Spirit chose James as one of the authors of the New Testament would indicate that he also had been specially called and prepared as an apostle, even though no particulars have been recorded. He had been among those who had seen Christ after His resurrection (I Corinthians 15:7). The same would then apply to Jude (Jude 1). Both James and Jude are named as among Jesus’ brothers (Matthew 13:55).” (1)
This passage then closes by telling us how Paul the Apostle departed for the regions of Syria and Cilicia following this visit to Jerusalem, an area that was located about 200-700 miles (325-1125 km) away. This effectively moved Paul out of direct contact with Jesus’ other disciples and further served to undercut the allegation that Paul received his teachings from them and not from Jesus.
(1) Institute for Creation Research, New Defender’s Study Bible Notes Galatians 1:19 https://www.icr.org/bible/Gal/1/19