Page images

TEXT. 4 And that, because of false brethren, unawares brought in, who came

in privily to spy out our liberty, which we have in Christ Jesus,

that they might bring us into bondage. 5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour ; that the

truth of the Gospel might continue with you. 6 But of those, who seemed to be somewhat (whatsoever they were, it

PARAPHRASE. 4 was forced to be circumcised : Nor did I yield any thing, one

moment, by way of subjection to the law, to those false brethren, who, by an unwary admittance, were slily crept in, to spy out our liberty from the law, which we have under the

Gospel: that they might bring us into bondaged to the law. 5 But I stood my ground against it, that the truth of the Gospel 6 might' remain among you. But as for those', who were really

NOTES. cumcised he kept with him there, and uncircumcised he took back with him, when he returned. This was a strong and pertinent instance to persuade the

Galatians, that the report of his preaching circumcision was a mere aspersiou. 4.6 Ojdè, “Neither," in the third verse, according to propriety of speech, ought to

have a “nor," to answer it, which is the ovôi, "nor," here ; which, so taken, answers the propriety of the Greek, and very much clears the sense ; oild Tótos ηναγκάσθη, οι δε προς ώραν είξαμεν, “ Neither was Titus compelled, nor did we yield to them a moment.” c Th úxolays, “ by subjection.” The point those false brethren contended for, was, That the law of Moses was to be kept, see Acts xv. 5. St. Paul, who, on other occasions, was so complaisant, that to the Jews he became as a Jew, to those under the law, as under the law (see 1 Cor. ix. 19—22) yet when subjection to the law was claimed, as due in any case, he would not yield the least matter; this I take to be his meaning of oude eis ouby an unclayp; for, where compliance was desired of him, upon the account of expedierice, and vot of subjection to the law, we do not find him stiff and inflexible, as may be seen, Acts xxi. 18—26, which was after the writing of this epistle.

d“ Bondage." What this bondage was, see Acts xv. 1, 5, 10. 3 ¢“The truth of the Gospel." By it he means here, the doctrine of freedom from

the law; and so he calls it again, ver. 14, and chap. iii. 1, and iv. 16. f" Might remain among you.” Here he tells the reason himself, why he yielded flot to those Judaizing false brethren : it was, that the true doctrine, which he had preached to the Gentiles, of their freedom from the law, might stand firin.

A convincing argument to the Galatians, that he preached not circumcision. 4, 5, “ And that,-to whom." There appears a manifest difficulty in these two

verses, which has been observed by most interpreters, and is by several ascribed to a redundancy, which some place in dè, in the beginning of ver. 4, and others to ols in the beginning of ver. 5. The relation between oust, ver. 3, and oudd, ver. 5, methinks puts an easy end to the doubt, by the showing St. Paul's sense to be, that he neither circumcised Titus, nor yielded in the least to the false brethren ; he having told the Galatians, That, upon his laying before the men of most authority in the church at Jerusalem, the doctrine which he preached, Titus was not circumcised ; hc, as a further proof of bis not preaching circumci.

TEXT. maketh no matter to me; God accepteth no man's person); for they, who seemed to be somewhat, in conference added nothing to me.

PARAPHRASE, men b of eminency and value, what they were heretofore, it matters not at all to me: God accepts not the person of any man, but communicates the Gospel to whom he pleases, as he has done to me by revelation, without their help; for, in their conference with me, they added nothing to me, they taught me nothing new, nor that Christ had not taught me before, nor had they any thing to object against what I preached to the Gentiles.

NOTES. sion, tells them how he carried it toward the false brethren, whose design it was, to bring the convert Gentiles into subjection to the law. And," or "moreover,” (for so sè often siguifies) says he, “in regard to the false brethren," &c. Which way of entrance on the matter, would not admit of ovdè after it, to answer cudd, ver. 3, which was already writ, but without cls the negation must have been expressed by oux, as any one will perceive, who attentively reads the Greek origival. And thus ols may be allowed for an Hebrew pleonasın, and the reason of it to be the preventing the former culè to stand alone, to the disturbance of the

sense. 6 a He that considers the beginning of this verse, anò dà sūv doxcúvlwy, with regard to

the Διά δε τους ψευδαδέλφους, in the beginning of the fourth verse, will easily be induced, by the Greek idiom, to conclude, that the author, by these beginnings, intimates a plain distinction of the matter separately treated of, in what follows each of them, viz. what passed between the false brethren and him, contained in ver. 4 and 5, and what passed between the chief of the brethren and him, contained ver. 6–10. And, therefore, some (and I think with reason) introduce this verse with these words: “Thus we have behaved ourselves towards the false bretbrev : but," &c. bo Tierno Soxoúrlwr elvau ti, our translation renders, “who seemed to be somewhat," which, however it may answer the words, yet to an English ear it carries a diminish. ing and ironical sense, contrary to the meaning of the apostle, who speaks here of those, for whom he had a real esteem, and were truly of the first rank; for it is plain, by what follows, that he means Peter, James, and John. Besides, od Esxgyles, being taken in a good sepse, ver. 2, and translated, “those of reputation, the saine expression should have been kept in rendering ver. 6 and 9, where the same term occurs again three times, and may be presumed in the same sense that it was at first used in ver. 2. • Every body sees that there is something to be supplied to make up the sense ; most commentators, that I have seen, add these words, “ I learned nothing: but then, that enervates the reason that follows, “ for in conference they added nothing to me,” giving the same thing as a reason for itself, and making St. Paul talk thus: “I learnt nothing of them, for they taught me nothing." But it is very good reasoning, and suited to his purpose, that it was nothing at all to him, how much those great men were formerly in Christ's favour : this hindered not but that God, who was po respecter of persons, might reveal the Gospel to him also, as it was evident he had dove, and that in its full perfection; for those great men, the most eminent of the apostles, had nothing to add to it, or except against it. This was proper to persuade the Galatians, that he had no.

TEXT. 7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the Gospel of the uncircum

cision was committed unto me, as the Gospel of the circumcision was

unto Peter ; 8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter, to the apostleship of the

circumcision, the same was mighty in me, towards the Gentiles :) 9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, per

PARAPHRASE. 7 But on the contrary, "James, Peter, and John, who were of

reputation, and justly esteemed to be pillars, perceiving that the Gospel, which was to be preached to the Gentiles, was committed

to me; as that which was to be preached to the Jews, was com8 mitted to Peter ; (For be that had wrought powerfully in

Peter, to his executing the office of an apostle to the Jews, had

also wrought powerfully in me, in my application and apostle9 ship, to the Gentiles :) And, knowing the favour that was be

NOTES. where, in his preaching, receded from that doctrine of freedom from the law, which he had preached to them, and was satisfied it was the truth, even before he bad couferred with these apostles. The bare supplying of oi, iu the beginning of the verse, takes away the necessity of any such addition. Examples of the like ellipsis we have, Matt. xxvii. 9, where we read årò úsūr, for os áto úsūr; and Juhu xri. 17, éx Tür uabmlwr, for oi lx Tiùs pafnlwr ; and so here, taking and fun Boxcúvlw, to be for oí áno Tŵr Soxoúlws, all the difficulty is removed ; and St. Paul having, in the foregoing verse, ended the narrative of his deportment towards the false brethren, he here begins an account of what passed between him and the

chief of the apostles. 7 * Peter, James, and John, who, it is manifest, hy ver. 9, are the persons here

spoken of, seem, of all the apostles, to hare been most in esieem and favoar with their Master, during his conversation with thein ou earth. See Mark v. 37, and ix. 2, aud xiv. 33. “But yet that, says St. Paul, is of no moment now to me. The Gospel, which I preach, and which God, who is no respecter of persons, has been pleased to commit to me by immediate revelation, is not the less true, nor is there any reason for me to recede from it, in a tittle ; for these men of the first rank could find nothing to add, alter, or gainsay in it.” This is suitable 10 St. Paul's design here, to let the Galatians see, that as he, in his carriage, had never favoured circumcision; so peither bad he any reasou, by preaching circumcision, to forsake the doctrine of liberty from the law, which he had preached to them as a part of that Gospel, which he had received by revelation. Enpyhcas, “ working in,” may be understood here to signify, both the operation of the Spirit upon the mind of St. Peter and St. Paul, in seuding them, the one to the Jews, the other to the Gentiles : and also the Holy Ghost bestowed on them, whereby they were enabled to do wiracles for the confirmation of their doctrine. In peither of which St. Paul, as he shows, was inferior, and so had

as authentic a seal of his suission and doctrine. 9° Kai, “and," copulates yrórles,“ kuowing,” in this verse, with foósles, "seeing,"

ver. 7, and makes both of them to agree with the nominative case to the verb ,downæv, "gave,” which is no other bui Janies, Cephas, and Johu, and so justifies my transferring those names to ver. 7, for thc more casy construction and under

TEXT. ceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the

heathen, and they unto the circumcision. 10 Only they would that we should remember the poor ; the same which

I also was forward to do. 11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face,

because he was to be blamed. 12 For, before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles:

PARAPHRASE. stowed on me, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellow

ship, that we should preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, and 10 they to the children of Israel. All that they proposed, was,

that we should remember to make collections among the Gen

tiles, for the poor Christians of Judea, which was a thing that of 11 myself I was forward to do. But when Peter came to Antioch,

I openly opposed b him to his face : for, indeed, he was to be 12 blamed. For he conversed there familiarly with the Gentiles,

and eat with them, until some Jews came thither from James :

NOTES. standing of the text, though St. Paul defers the naming of them, until he is, as it were against his will, forced to it, before the end of his discourse. • The giving the right hand," was a symbol amongst the Jews, as well as other

nations, of accurd, admitting men into fellowship. 11 b“ I opposed him." From this opposition to St. Peter, which they suppose to

be before the council at Jerusalem, some would have it, that this epistle to the Galatians was writ before that council; as if what was done before the council, could not be mentioned in a letter writ after the couucil. They also contend, that this journey, mentioned here by St. Paul, was not that wherein he and Barnabas went up to that council to Jerusalem, but that mentioned Acts xi. 30, but this with as little ground as the former. The strongest reason they bring is, that if this journey had been to the council, and this letter after that council, St. Paul would not certainly have omitted to have mentioned to the Galatians that decree. To which I answer, 1. The mention of it was superfluous ; for they had it already, see Acts xvi. 4. 2. The mention of it was impertinent to the design of St. Paul's varrative here. For it is plain, that his aim, in what he relates here of himself, and his past actions, is to show, that having received the Gospel from Christ, by immediate revelation, he had all along preached that, and vothing but that, everywhere; so that he could not be supposed to have preached circumcisiou, or by his carriage to have showu any subjection to the law; all the whole uarrative following being to make good what he says, ch. i. 11, “That the Gospel which he preached, was not accommodated to the humouring of men; nor did he seek to please the Jews (who were the men here meant) in what he taught." Taking this to be his aim, we shall find the whole account he gives of himself, from that ver. 11 of ch. i. to the end of this second, to be very clear and easy, and very proper to invalidate the report of his preaching circumcision.

TEXT but, when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fear

ing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that

Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly, according to the

truth of the Gospel, I said unto Peter before them all : If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews,

why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? 15 We, who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by

the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works

of the law : for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are

found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin ? God forbid.

PARAPHRASE. then he withdrew, and separated from the Gentiles, for fear 13 of those who were of the circumcision : And the rest of the

Jews joined also with him in this hypocrisy, insomuch that

Barnabas himself was carried away with the stream, and 14 dissembled as they did. But when I saw they conformed not

their conduct to the truth a of the Gospel, I said unto Peter before them all: If thou, being a Jew, takest the liberty sometimes to live after the manner of the Gentiles, not keeping to those rules which the Jews observe, why dost thou constrain

the Gentiles to conform themselves to the rites and manner 15 of living of the Jews? We, who are by nature Jews, born

under the instruction and guidance of the law, God's peculiar

people, and not of the unclean and profligate race of the 16 Gentiles, abandoned to sin and death, Knowing that a man

cannot be justified by the deeds of the law, but solely by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have put ourselves upon believing on him, and embraced the profession of the Gospel, for the attain

ment of justification by faith in Christ, and not by the works 17 of the law : But if we seek to be justified in Christ, even we

NOTES. 14 * Anugerx toő ejayyodiou, “the truth of the Gospel,” is put here for that freedom

from the law of Moses, which was a part of the true doctrine of the Gospel. For it was in nothing else, but their uodue and timorous observing some of the Mosaical rites, that St. Paul here blames St. Peter, and the other Judaizing converts at Antioch. In this sense he uses the word “ truth," all along through this epistle, as ch. ii. 5, 14, and iii. 1, and v. 7, insisting on it, that this doctrine

of freedom from the law, was the true Gospel. 15 búgv 'leuônios, “ Jews by nature.” What the Jews thought of themselves in

contradistinction to the Gentiles, see Rom. ii. 17, 23.

« EelmineJätka »