Galatians 2 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)

Galatians 2
Pulpit Commentary
Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
Verse 2. - And I went up by revelation; or, and I went up in accordance with a revela-lion (ἀνέβην δὲ κατὰ ἀποκάλυτιν). The form of sentence in the Greek is similar to that(e.g.) in John 21:1; Romans 3:22; James 1:6: a word of the preceding context is taken up afresh for the purpose of being qualified or explained. Revelations were frequently made to the apostle, both to communicate important truths (Ephesians 3:3) and to direct or encourage his proceedings. They appear to have been made in different ways: as, through dreams or visions (Acts 16:9, 10; Acts 18:9; Acts 22:18-21; Acts 27:23); through prophets (Acts 13:2; Acts 21:11); often, no doubt, through a strong impulse borne in upon his spirit, prompting him to, or debarring him from, some particular line of conduct (Acts 16:6, 7). The journey now in question being that recorded by St. Luke (Acts 15, init.), we have to observe that St. Luke ascribes his going to a decision come to by the brethren at Antioch (Acts 15:2). But there is no discrepancy here. It is an obvious supposition, that the apostle, taking into consideration, perhaps, the prejudice entertained against him at Jerusalem, not only, as Christ had himself intimated to him, by the unbelieving Jews (Acts 22:18), but, as James later on confessed, by even the members of the Church itself (Acts 21:21; comp. on both points, Romans 16:31), felt at first some hesitation in accepting the commission; was he by going likely to forward their views? - but that his hesitation was overruled by Christ himself, who in some way revealed to him that it was his will that he should go. Similarly, when visiting Jerusalem for the first time after his conversion, his hasty departure from the city is attributed by St. Luke to the care of the disciples for his safety (Acts 9:25); whereas St. Paul, in his speech from the stairs, ascribes it to a" trance," in which the Lord appearing to him bade him to depart thence without delay (Acts 22:17, 21) The two accounts in each instance are mutually supplementary, the one viewing the case historically from the outside, the other as an autobiographical reminiscence from within. The apostle's reason for thus pointedly mentioning the especial direction under which he took this journey, had evidently reference to its being the design of Christ, that thereby, together with other objects to be subserved by it, the doctrine and ministerial work of Paul should be sealed with the recognition of his first apostles and of his earliest Church - a result of prime necessity for the prosperous development of the whole Church; more important, perhaps, than even its more ostensible result as described by St. Luke. And communicated unto them (καὶ ἀνεθέμην αὐτοῖς); and I laid before them. The verb occurs in the New Testament besides only in Acts 25:14, where it means simply giving the king an account of Paul's case with the view apparently of getting his opinion upon it. In the present case St. Paul stated his doctrine to the persons referred to, with the view likewise of seeing what they would say; but certainly not with any intention of having it modified by their suggestions (cf. the use of ἀνέθετο in 2 Macc. 3:9, which presents a curiously similar conjunction of particulars). By them, i.e. those there, are obviously meant, not the inhabitants in general, but the Christians of the place, though not immediately before mentioned. We have the like use of the pronoun in Acts 20:2; 2 Corinthians 2:13. That gospel which I preach (τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ο{ κηρύσσω). The present tense of the verb points to the whole period of his ministry up to the time at which he was writing. It is implied that his teaching had been the same all along. Elsewhere he styles it "my gospel" (Romans 2:16; Romans 16:25; 2 Timothy 2:8). Among the Gentiles (ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσι); alluding to the complexion of his doctrine as bearing upon the acceptance of Gentiles before God simply upon their faith in Christ (cf. Ephesians 3:1, 6, 8). But privately (κατ ἰδίαν δέ). The phrase, κατ ἰδίαν, occurs sixteen times besides in the New Testament, always in the sense of privately, apart (cf. e.g. Mark 4:34; Mark 6:31, 32; Mark 7:33; Mark 9:2, 28). To them which were of reputation (τοῖς δοκοῦσι); them who were of repute; men eminent in repute and position. The phrase, οἱ δοκοῦντες, was used in this sense both in classical Greek and in the later "common dialect" (Eurip., 'Hec.,' 294; 'Heracl.,' 897; 'Tread.,' 617; 'Herodian,' 6:1). There is no reason to suppose that there is any tone of disparagement in the phrase, as if the persons spoken of "seemed" to be more than they really were. The apostle repeats this participle thrice in the following context - once (ver. 6), as here, absolutely; and twice (vers. 6, 9) with an infinitive. This harping upon δοκοῦντες suggests a surmise that St. Paul's gainsayers in Galatia had been fond of using the expression to designate the persons referred to in disparagement of himself as a man comparatively of no mark. Compare the almost mocking reiteration of "superlatively chief apostles," in 2 Corinthians 11:5 and 12. l 1, referring to "pseudo-apostles." In order to determine who were the persons the apostle thus distinguishes, we naturally refer to St. Luke's account of the circumstances. St. Luke, then, seems to speak of three several meetings held on this occasion. The first (in ver. 4) when Paul and Barnabas with their fellow-deputies, were "received by the Church and the apostles and the elders;" when "they [Paul and Barnabas] declared what great things God had done in co-operation with them." It cannot have been then that St. Paul gave this exposition of his gospel. But certain of the Pharisees who had joined the Church began loudly to insist upon the necessity of Gentile converts being circumcised and conforming to the Law. Whether it was at this first meeting itself that this took place, or subsequently, at all events "the apostles and the elders" judged it to be undesirable that the matter should be further discussed in so large an assemblage of the circumcision, before, in the calmer atmosphere of a private conference, they had themselves considered what course it would be best to adopt. Accordingly, St. Luke tells us (ver. 6), "the apostles and the elders came together to see about this matter." "After much discussion had taken place," which upon a question so closely touching the Jew's national sensibilities must even in this more select body have been fraught with no ordinary excitement, the rising passions of controversy were stilled by Peter; he recalled the story of Cornelius, and founding thereupon, he warned his hearers, that by imposing, as many perhaps even of those then present were wishful to do, the intolerable yoke of Mosaism upon the neck of the Gentile disciples, they ran the risk of contravening and provoking God; for after all (he significantly reminded them), their own hope of salvation, as well as the hope of Gentile believers, was that they would be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus. Thereupon the "whole company" (πλῆθος, in ver. 12, is used by St. Luke in the same way as in his Gospel (Luke 23:1) when speaking of the Sanhedrin; the eldership of the very large Church of Jerusalem must of itself, without the doubtful addition of elders from Judaean towns, have formed a considerable body) listened with hushed and respectful attention to Paul and Barnabas, while they gave a detailed account of what great signs and wonders God had wrought amongst the Gentiles through them. After this, upon James's proposition, "the apostles and the elders" came to the resolution that, in conjunction with the whole Church, they would choose and depute certain members of their community to convey to the Gentile brethren a certain letter, which very probably (cf. as to diction, vers. 17, 23, with James 2:7; James 1:1) James himself, as presiding in their meeting, with the concurrence of the apostles and the elders, drew up. The words," with the whole Church," coming in here for the first time since ver. 4, indicate a third meeting, in which the general body of believers was prevailed upon to concur in the measures before agreed upon in the second more private meeting. According to the more approved reading of ver. 23 (omitting the καὶ before ἀδελφοί), the letter issues from "the apostles and the elder brethren" alone, as these also were the persons with whom (ver. 2) the deputation from Antioch had been sent to confer. Now, upon the review of all the circumstances as now stated, the second of these three meetings would seem to have presented just such an opportunity as would suit the design which St. Paul had frowned, of expounding his teaching to the leading spirits in Jerusalem. When he and Barnabas were relating those signs and wonders by which the seal of Divine sanction had been put upon their ministry among the Gentiles, it was natural that Paul, here no doubt, as generally "the chief speaker," should tell their hearers with the utmost distinctness what that teaching was which Heaven had thus ratified; most especially that part of it which was so directly relevant to the practical question which was then in debate, and which is so emphatically set forth in the Epistles to the Galatians and the Romans - to wit, that all who believe in Christ are justified and have full peace and sonship with God without any works of Mosaical ceremonialism. This was precisely "the gospel" which here (ver. 2) he speaks of as "preached by him among the Gentiles" "The apostles and the elders" answer perfectly to the description of οἱ δοκοῦντες. For there is no reason for supposing that the οἱ δοκοῦντες of vers. 2 and 6, or the οἱ δοκοῦντες εϊναί τι of ver. 6, represent exactly the same persons as the οἱ δοκοῦντες στύλοι εϊναι of ver. 9. These last are to be conceived of rather as representative of those larger bodies of men recited in the former three references - "James" representing the elders (for the present writer makes no question but that this James "the Lord's brother" was the presiding officer or Bishop of the Church of Jerusalem, and not one of the twelve apostles), and "Cephas and John" representing the twelve, who may be believed to have been all of them at Jerusalem at this time, though these two, certainly the leading ones, are the only ones whose names there happened to be occasion for specifying. Lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain (μή πως εἰς κενὸν τρέχω η} ἔδραμον). The comparison of 1 Thessalonians 3:5 ἐπείρασεν ὑμᾶς ὁ πειρὰζων καὶ εἰς κενὸν γένηται ὁ κόπος ἡμῶν) shows that τρέχω ισ the subjunctive. The present tense, lest I should be running, points to the time of which he is writing and the time onward therefrom. In classical Greek it would have been τρέχοιμι. The use of the verb τρέχω, "run," "rush on," a favourite word with the apostle, well characterizes the zealous forward, speeding manner of his activity. "In vain;" to an empty result; for no good. He intimates that there had been a danger lest the fruits of his earnest work among the Gentiles, might through some cause get wrecked. That this is what he means is clear from 1 Thessalonians 3:5 just cited; and not that there had been any fear lest he might himself have been somehow mistaking his way; most especially, not lest he had been at all mistaken in the doctrine which he taught, a thing which he does not for one moment imagine. His work would have been in danger of being spoilt if the Gentile Churches as planted by himself had been disowned or discountenanced by the mother Church, or if they had got split up into factious parties by the intervention, e.g. of persons coming "from James," telling them that they were not in a state of salvation. To guard against this danger, he was led by Christ himself to seek a formal recognition of his doctrine by the apostles and the elders of the Jerusalemite Church, and through them by that Church itself. As the rank-and-file of the Jewish believers at Jerusalem were even bigotedly attached to the Mosaic Law, and also regarded St. Paul himself with great suspicion, he might very easily have failed of gaining the recognition he required, if he had at once brought the matter before the general body. If their spiritual leaders had not first come forward in the cause of truth, it was but too probable that some fanatical Mosaists would have gained the ear of the multitude, and hurried them away in a course of headlong opposition to Paul and his teaching, from which it might have been very difficult afterwards to recall them.
But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
Verse 3. - But (ἀλλ); and yet. "Though I explicitly stated to the leading men in the Church of Jerusalem what I taught respecting the relation of Gentile converts to circumcision and the Mosaic Law, yet in the end they, by their support, enabled us to withstand the pressure which was for a while applied for getting Titus circumcised." Neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised (οὐδὲ Τίτος ὁ σὺν ἐμοί Ἕλλην ω}ν ἠναγκάσθη περιτμηθῆναι); not even was Titus who was with me, being a Greek, compelled to be circumcised. This, St. Paul intimates, was a crucial case. Titus was a Gentile pure; not (like Timothy) having one parent of Jewish extraction and therefore capable of being identified with the Jewish people, but Gentile-born of both parents. The clause, '"who was with me," after ver. 1, was quite unnecessary for mere definition; in fact, it is not added for definition, but to mark the close association with an uncircumcised Gentile which the apostle openly displayed at Jerusalem. He took him with him, we may suppose, when he came before the Church at its public assemblies; when he appeared before the select meeting of the apostles and elders; when he joined the brethren in the agapae and the Lord's Supper - occasions of fraternal communion, in which the presence of a "dog," "an uncircumcised Greek," would be tenfold obnoxious. We cannot, by the way, but marvel at St. Paul's great courage in thus acting. Not only was this paraded fellowship with Titus sure to give deep offence to the vast majority of his Christian brethren, but it might also well expose him to serious personal risks among the highly inflammable populace of the city. At Jerusalem his "soul was among lions." The two clauses, "who was with me, being a Greek," illustrate the "not even." Openly displayed as was Titus's companionship with St. Paul before the eyes of all the Jews, both believers and unbelievers,and Gentile as he was known to be, yet not even in his case was circumcision persistently insisted upon. The aorist tense of ἠναγκάσθη is significant of the ultimate result; it implies that an attempt was made to get Titus to submit to the rite, but failed. We must observe that St. Paul does not write,"I was not compelled to circumcise Titus," but "Titus was not compelled to be circumcised." This appears to make a material difference. By putting it as he has done, the apostle intimates that it was to Titus himself that the pressure was applied. Titus was plied, we may suppose, with theological argument, with appeals to his brotherly sympathies, with appeals to his prudent care for public peace, with threats of social and religious excommunication, and with stern, indignant remonstrance. But sustained, as he all through knew himself to be, by at least St, Paul, if not also by his fellow-deputies, he through it all maintained his firm stand upon his liberty. The "we" of the εἴχαμεν in ver. 5, no doubt, includes at least Titus. The question, however, arises - Who were they that for a while endeavoured to force circumcision upon Titus? The converts from the sect of the Pharisees, mentioned by St. Luke (Acts 15:5), are naturally the first to occur to our minds. But the moulding of the sentence in the next verse discountenances this solution. We cannot help identifying the "false brethren" there spoken of with just those very Pharisean converts - men who had simply thrown the cloak of professed Christian discipleship over the old Pharisean legalism still wholly clung to. But if we suppose this, we cannot imagine that the writer would have said that Titus was not compelled to be circumcised "by reason of those false brethren," if these had been the very persons alluded to as having tried to compel him. It is more probable that the persons alluded to were certain influential members of the Jewish Church, with a strong body, perhaps, of the elders of that Church, having possibly the concurrence even of James and of Cephas. James and the elders, on a later occasion (Acts 21:18-26), urged Paul himself to undertake the performance of certain Mosaical observances, with the view of conciliating the believers of Jerusalem. It is, therefore, quite supposable, at this earlier and as yet immature stage in the development of the practical application of the evangelical doctrine, that Titus was now being dealt with in a somewhat similar manner. But whoever they were that were doing it, it is plain that, in effect, they were working towards the same practical result as the most eager of the Mosaist legalists, only by a different mode of approach. Titus in particular was fastened upon for this assault, apparently because St. Paul had brought him with him as a crucial instance whereupon to try the general question.
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:
Verse 4. - And that because of false brethren unawares brought in (διὰ δὲ τοὺς παρεισάκτους ψευδαδέλφους); and that because of the false brethren without warrant brought in. The conjunction δὲ often is not adversative, but only introduces a fresh thought of a qualifying or explanatory character (comp. ἀνέβην δὲ and κατ ἰδίαμ δὲ of ver. 2). The rendering of our English Version represents the connection with the preceding sentence quite correctly. The designation, "false brethren," after the analogy of "false apostles," "false prophets" (ψευδαπόστολοι, ψευδοπροφῆται, 2 Corinthians 11:13; 2 Peter 2:1), were those who were not really brethren in Christ, but had superinduced the profession of such over a state of mind radically incompatible with it; not children of God through faith in Christ Jesus," but only simulating faith in Christ; outwardly "baptized into Christ," but not inwardly, and therefore not really. The loud demand which those false brethren were making, that all Gentile converts should be circumcised, was distinctly rested by them upon the principle that otherwise those converts were not qualified for sonship in God's family or for admission to Church fellowship with, at any rate, the believing circumcision. This demand of theirs, made upon this pernicious principle, it was that had raised the present controversy, and had brought Paul and his fellow-deputies to Jerusalem. If, under such circumstances, Titus, with St. Paul's concurrence, had consented to be circumcised, then, whatever the motive of his consenting, it would have seemed to those false brethren, and not to them only, but indeed to the Church at large, that all had agreed in recognizing the soundness of that principle of theirs that circumcision was indispensable for perfect Divine acceptance. This consideration, we may believe, Titus and St. Paul now urged upon those who, not themselves alleging that principle, nor even allowing it to be true, yet, on other grounds, were recommending and pressing for Titus's circumcision. And the argument prevailed with them. They withdrew that pressure of theirs, and consented to leave Titus to stand there before the Church and the world, a claimant of full admission to all Christian fellowship while still in uncircumcision. It was those false brethren themselves, then, that made it impossible at the present juncture that those who held fast to the truth of the gospel should accept counsels of compromise or conciliation. In matters of indifference (ἀδιάφορα) there is a time for conciliation - this no one could ever be more ready to see and act upon than St. Paul; but there is also a time for the unbending assertion of truth, and the clamours of the false brethren made the present to be one of the latter kind. In that particular juncture of Church development, the doctrine itself of the absolute justification of men through faith in Christ was at stake. If Titus was not qualified for Christian fellowship by simply his faith in Christ, then neither was he qualified for acceptance with God by simply his faith. Without warrant brought in. In the compound verbal παρεισάκτους, the preposition παρὰ, appears to point, not so much to the manner in which they had been brought in, as e.g. stealthily, craftily, as to the circumstance that they had no business to be brought in at all; they were an alien brood. The Greek glosselogists, Hesychius, Photius, and Suidas, render it ἀλλότριος, i.e. alien. In 2 Peter 1:1, παρεισάξουσιν αἱρέσεις ἀπωλείας, reference is made to the alien character of the teaching spoken cf. The apostle's feeling is that men who do not accept the truth that through faith in Christ we are justified, and through faith only, have no proper place in the Church of Christ (comp. Galatians 5:4, 5). If the question be asked - Who brought them in? the parable of the tares suggests the answer - The devil (comp. 2 Corinthians 11:15; 2 Corinthians 2:11). Who came in privily (οἵτινες παρεισῆλθον); a set of men who without warrant came in. The preposition παρὰ in the verb has the same force as it has in παρεισάκτους. So also in παριεσέδυσαν (Jude 1:4). To spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus (κατασκοπῆσαι τὴν ἐλευθερίαν ἡμῶν η{ν ἔχομεν ἐν Ξριστῷ Ἰησοῦ); to spy out that liberty of ours which, etc. These men had come into the Church prepared to detect and to regard with the keenest dislike anything, either in doctrine or in Church action, which would infringe upon their own legalism, and to wage war upon it. For this notion of hostile intent is strongly suggested by the verb "to spy out" (cf. 2 Kings 10:3; 1 Chronicles 19:3; and κατασκοπεῦσαι in Joshua 2:2). The infinitive (of purpose), viewed in reference to the men themselves, can be understood only of their disposed-ness to make this use of their membership; for they can hardly be supposed to have entered into the Church for that definite object; but the apostle views them as emissaries of the great enemy; Satan's design thus to wage war with our gospel liberty (comp. 2 Corinthians 11:13, 15) is by a bold figure ascribed in this infinitive to his instruments. This liberty means the whole spirit of freedom which faith in Christ imparts to the Christian, including, for one thing, his emancipation from the yoke of ceremonialism, but containing also more. That they might bring us into bondage (ἵνα ἡμᾶς καταδουλῶσουσιν [Receptus, καταδουλώσωνται], The reading of six of the uncial manuscripts is καταδουλώσουσιν; of three, σωσιν; of one, -σωνται. The variation in the mood of the verb is immaterial; for the construction of ἵνα (of purpose) with an indicative, though strange to the eye of the student of classical Greek, is not foreign to the writers of the New Testament; but the variation in the voice affects the sense. Καταδουλώσωνται would mean "bring into bondage to themselves," which most probably is not the writer's meaning; he apparently means:rather, "deprive us of our liberty by enslaving us to the Law" (cf. ch. 4:25; 5:1). The simple verb δουλόω, occurs repeatedly; the compound καταδουλόω here and in 2 Corinthians 11:20, intensifies the sense: degrade us into slavery.
To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
Verse 5. - To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour (οῖς οὐδὲ πρὸς ὥραν εἴξαμεν) To whom; i.e. to the false brethren; not the persons immediately referred to in ver. 3 as seeking to compel Titus to be circumcised. These last used advice and persuasion; the false brethren demanded with clamour (δεῖ, Acts 15:5). The phrase rendered for an hour occurs also John 5:35; 2 Corinthians 7:8; Philemon 1:15. There seems to be an underlying allusion to those occasions on which the apostle did, as he says, "to the Jews become as a Jew, to the weak, weak" (1 Corinthians 9:20, 22); but this he would not do when dealing with false brethren, whose aim was in effect to turn gospel freedom into legal slavery. We; I, Barnabas, Titus. The words οϊς οὐδὲ most certainly belong to the original text. Not merely does only one uncial manuscript omit them, but their omission would leave behind a sentence self-convicted of absurdity. For it would run thus: "But because of the false brethren without warrant brought in, a set of men who without warrant came in to spy out our liberty, that they might degrade us into slavery, we yielded for a season with subjection, that the truth of the gospel might lastingly abide with you;" - yielded, i.e. by circumcising Titus; for this is what this reading most probably supposes St. Paul to have done. In this sentence the vituperative description of the false brethren, so extended and so intensely emphatic, instead of being an implied argument in favour of the course of action which the apostle states he adopted, namely, concession to those men, both lacks all motive for its introduction here, and works wholly in favour of the opposite course, of resistance to their wishes. The only suitable and logical description of those for whose sake the concession would have been made would have been that they were brethren meaning well, but weak in the faith, who should, by concession for a season, be won over to more perfect accord with the gospel. (On this reading, see Alford, and the fuller discussion of it in Bishop Lightfoot, pp. 121-123.) By subjection (τῇ ὑποταγῇ): in the way of subjection. As ὑποταγὴ In the other passages in which it occurs means the habit or spirit of subjection, and never an act of submission (cf. 2 Corinthians 9:13; 1 Timothy 2:11; 1 Timothy 3:4), it probably denotes here subjection of spirit to those who were so authoritatively laying upon us their injunctions, he might give way in a point of this kind in a spirit of brotherly concession; but he would bow to no man's imperative injunction. The article before ὑποταγῇ is the article before an abstract noun, as in τῆς ἀγάπης (Galatians 5:13); τῇ ἐλαφρίᾳ (2 Corinthians 1:17). That the truth of the gospel (ἵνα ἡ ἀλήθεια τοῦ εὐαγγελίου). The truth, the sure unadulterated doctrine, which is embodied in the gospel, and is its very hinge and substance. The same phrase is found in Colossians 1:5. The "truth" is that enunciated in ver. 16, and that it is the very essence of the gospel is declared Romans 1:17. The refusal of Church fellowship to a believer of this gospel except he were circumcised, by just inference vitiated and, indeed, nullified the truth that faith in Christ is the sole and sufficient ground of justification. Might continue with you (διαμείνῃ πρὸς ὑμᾶς). Might never cease to have its home with you, to be believingly entertained by you. Διαμένω is an intensified form of μένω. The preposition πρὸς is used as in Galatians 1:18, where see note. It is possible that, as Alford observes, the Galatians may not specially have been in St. Paul's mind at that time, but only the Gentile Churches in general; and that for greater impressiveness he applies to the particular what was only shared by it in the general. It is, however, supposable that the cases of the several Churches which he had then lately founded with Barnabas were much in his thoughts at that time; for, as is shown by his numerous references to his specific intercessory prayer, his spirit was incessantly conversant with "all the Churches" (2 Corinthians 11:28); and he was anxiously cognizant of efforts made from the very first by legalizing Christians to pervert their faith. It is not certain that Acts 16:6 records the first occasion of his visiting the "Galatic country;" he may have been there and founded "the Churches of Galatia" before the occurrences described in Acts 15; and the opinion is even held by many that Iconium and Derbe, belonging to the Roman province of Galatia, were two of "the Churches of Galatia" (see Introduction, p. 2).
But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:
Verse 6. - But of these who seemed to be somewhat (ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν δοκούντων εϊναί τι); now from those who were reputed to be somewhat. The conjunction δὲ does not seem to be adversative here, but simply introductory of a new particular. The writer is about to introduce, which he does in the next five verses (6-10), a fresh illustration of the independent position, which in point both of doctrine and of ministerial footing he held in relation to the first apostles and to the heads of the Jerusalemite Church, and at the same time of the full recognition which in both respects these had accorded to him. The construction of this sentence, as it proceeds, is interrupted and changed. When St. Paul wrote, from those who were reputed to be somewhat, he would seem to have meant to add, "I received nothing fresh either in knowledge of the gospel or in authority as Christ's minister," or some-tiring to that effect; but in his indignant parenthesis asserting his independence with respect to those whom his gainsayers in Galatia would seem to have pronounced his superiors, both in knowledge and in office, he loses sight of the beginning of the sentence, and begins it afresh in another form with the words (ἐμοὶ γὰρ οἱ δοκοῦντες), for they who were of repute, etc. Reputed to be somewhat; that is, thought highly cf. The phrase is of frequent occurrence, both in Greek and in Latin authors. It is obvious that he refers to the twelve and the leaders of the mother Church of Jerusalem. Whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me (ὁποῖοί ποτε η΅σαν οὐδέν μοι διαφέρει); of what sort they at any time were maketh no matter to me. The ὁποῖοι (of what sort) is suggested by the preceding τι (somewhat), and the η΅σαν (they were) by the δοκούντων (reputed); from those reputed to be somewhat whatever they really were. The comparison of the usage of ὁποῖος in other passages (Acts 26:29; 1 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; James 1:24) hardly favours the specific interpretation, "how great." In respect to the ποτέ, in a classical author, as Bishop Light foot observes, we should have no hesitation in taking it as equivalent to cunque. But the word occurs in the New Testament in thirty-one ether places, and in not one is it eunque, but always the adverb of time, either "sometime," "in time past," as above, Galatians 1:13, 23; John 9:13; or "any time," as 1 Corinthians 9:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:5. The latter shade of meaning seems the more appropriate here. The any time, though not to be limited to, would, however, cover the time when the twelve were in personal attendance upon our Lord - a circumstance which St. Paul's detractors were no doubt wont to hold up as a mark of distinction not possessed by him. It seems best to take of what sort as dependent upon the following words, maketh no matter to me. This last clause is not exactly equivalent to "I care not," as if it were an almost supercilious waving aside of the consideration; it is rather a grave assertion of a matter of fact. Whatever were the gifts of knowledge and spiritual insight which the twelve or other heads of the Jerusalemite Church possessed, or whatever their ministerial privileges or authority, whether derived from personal intercourse with the Lord Jesus when upon earth or in any other way, Paul's knowledge of the gospel and Paul's apostolic authority were neither of them at all affected by them. Now, at the time that he is writing this Epistle, he was just the same in respect to the possession of the essential truth of the gospel and to his apostolic authority as if he had had no intercourse with the spiritual rulers of the Jewish Church. God accepteth no man's person (πρόσωπον Θεὸς ἀνθρώπου οὐ λαμβάνει). The order of the words in the Greek throws especial emphasis upon "person:" person of man God accepteth not; that is, it is never on account of his person that God accepteth a man. This phrase, "accept a man's person," is of frequent occurrence in the Bible. In the New Testament it is always used in a bad sense, which in the Old is by no means the case. This difference is due, as Bishop Lightfoot observes, to the secondary sense of actor's mask attaching to the Greek noun, the actor on the Greek stage, as also on the Roman, being wont to wear a mask suited to the character in which he appeared; whence also πρόσωπον got to signify this character itself. The corresponding technical term among the Romans was persona, a word never used of the natural face, as πρόσωπον was. This explains the adoption of this last term in its Anglicized form by our English translators in the phrase now before us. With the like metaphorical application of the idea as that which was so common among the Romans, the word "person" seemed well fitted to denote the part, or certain accessories of the part, which a man plays on the stage, so to speak, of human life, in contradistinction to his more interior and essential character. The phrase denotes accepting a man, for example, for his worldly rank or position, for his office, for his nationality, even for his Church status (see James 2:1, 9; Acts 10:34; 1 Peter 1:17). The special adjuncts of a man's person referred to in the present passage are those of the outward call aforetime to be apostles and personal attendants upon the Lord Jesus while upon earth, and, in the case of St. James the Lord's brother, personal relationship to him. And St. Paul means to intimate that his knowledge of Divine truth and his ministerial fidelity and efficiency might be as real and as great, if God's will were so, as the knowledge and ministerial fidelity and efficiency of the twelve and St. James, whom his gainsayers were honouring so far above him merely for their person's sake. God made no such difference between him and them, but wrought with him just as much. For they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me (ἐμοὶ γὰρ οἱ δοκοῦντες οὐδὲν προσανέθεντο); for to me they who were of repute in conference added nothing. The verb προσανέθεντο, as it stands here, appears related to the ἀνεθέμην of ver. 2. I laid before them my gospel; they imparted to me nothing fresh (πρός). Thus Chrysostom and Theodoret. In Galatians 1:16, where the same verb occurs (see note), there is nothing to accentuate the πρός, as there is here. The "for" appears related to the foregoing clause. That God does not respect man for his person was evidenced by the fact that Paul's knowledge of the gospel was already so complete and his work was so honoured by God, that those whose person seemed to many so markedly superior to his, found that all they had to do was to frankly recognize his teaching as already adequate and complete, and his work as standing on a perfectly equal footing with their own.
But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
Verse 7. - But contrariwise (ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον)l as 2 Corinthians 2:7; 1 Peter 3:9. This "contrariwise" is illustrated by the foregoing note. When they saw (ἰδόντες); when they got to see. This implies that the fact was new to them. A few of them, no doubt, were apprised of it previously, Cephas in particular (see Galatians 1:18 and note); but the majority of that assemblage of apostles and elders knew Paul chiefly by hearsay, and hearsay not always the most friendly to him. The three named in the next verse are to be conceived of as acting as they did in order to give expression to this newly awakened feeling of the general body, and not merely to their own individual judgment. That the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter (ὅτι πεπίστευμαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς ἀκροβυστίας καθὼς Πέτροβ τῆς περιτομῆς); that I had been put in trust of the gospel... as Peter of that of, etc. The perfect present πεπίστευμαι, viewed from the time of their seeing it. So the present ὀρθοποδοῦσιν in ver. 14, and μέναι in John 1:40. The perfect is used and not the aorist (cf. Romans 3:2), as marking the then still continuing holding of the trust, and also perhaps, as implying the con-tinning identity of the doctrine preached. (For the construction of the accusative εὐαγγέλιον, after πεπίστευμαι, comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Timothy 1:11.) Gospel of the uncircumcision. The word "gospel" is frequently used by St. Paul to denote, not so much the substance of its doctrine as the business of proclaiming it (comp. Romans 1:1, 9; Romans 15:19; 1 Corinthians 9:14, 18; 2 Corinthians 2:12); and thus the gospel of the uncircumcision does not indicate any diversity in the doctrine communicated to the uncircumcision from that communicatcd to the Jews, but simply a diversity in the sphere of its proclamation. Ἀκροβυστία denotes the class of the uncircumcised in contrast to περιτομή, that of the circumcised, as in Romans 3:30. As Peter of that of the circumcision. This distinction between the spheres of work entrusted severally to the two apostles held good of them only as viewed in the main in either case; for as St. Peter was, in fact, the first who opened the gospel to the Gentiles, and afterwards, towards the close of his work, cared for the welfare of Gentile Christians by writing his two Epistles to them, so also St. Paul everywhere in his ministerial work addressed himself in the first instance to the Jews. Nevertheless, in the main, Peter was the head of the Church of the circumcised, Paul of that of the uncircumcised. But how completely the substance of Peter's doctrine was one with that of Paul's is strikingly evinced by his two Epistles (see 1 Peter 5:12). It is difficult to feel that St. Paul could have written as he here does, if he was aware that St. Peter had been constituted by the Lord Jesus to be his own vicar upon earth, supreme over the whole Church and all its ministers.
(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
Verse 8. - For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision (ὁ γὰρ ἐνεργήσας Πέτρῳ εἰς ἀποστολὴν τῆς περιτομῆς); he that had wrought on Peter's behalf for apostleship of the circumcision. In form, the sentence is an absolute statement of fact; but its bearing in the context would be fairly represented by rendering it relatively, "for that he who," etc.; for it was the perception of the fact here stated which led that assembly to the conviction that Paul had been entrusted with the apostleship of the uncircumcision. The dative Πέτρῳ can scarcely be governed, as the Authorized Version presupposes, by the preposition in ἐνεργήσας, this verb not being a separable compound; it is rather the dativus commodi, as in Proverbs 31:12, Ἐνεργεῖ τῷ ἀνδρὶ εἰς ἀγαθά. When operation in a subject is meant, the preposition ἐν is added, as Ephesians 1:20; Ephesians 2:2; Galatians 3:5. The worker is God, not Christ (comp. 1 Corinthians 12:6; Philippians 2:13). God wrought on Peter's behalf for apostleship of the circumcision; that is, towards, in furtherance of, his work as their apostle, by constituting him their apostle, by making his ministry effectual in turning their hearts to Christ, and by miracles wrought by his hands, including the impartation through him of miraculous gifts to his converts; for such were "the signs of the apostle" (2 Corinthians 12:12). The same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles (ἐνήργησε καὶ ἐμοὶ εἰς τὰ ἔθνη); had wrought also on my behalf towards the Gentiles. Comp. Acts 15:12, "They hearkened unto Barnabas and Paul rehearsing what signs and wonders God had wrought (ἐποίησεν) among the Gentiles by them;" where likewise, as here, the aorist tense is used of action they were then looking back upon as past. The absence of Barnabas's name in this verse, though mentioned in the next, is significant. Barnabas was not an apostle in that highest sense of the term in which Paul was an apostle, and which alone he is now thinking of; although he was associated with Paul, both in ministerial work and in that lower form of apostleship which beth had received from men (comp. Acts 14:4, 14; and Dissertation I. in the Introduction).
And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived 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.
Verse 9. - And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me (καὶ γνόντες τὴν χάριν τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι Ἰάκωβος καὶ Κηφᾶς καὶ Ἰωάννης οἱ δοκοῦντες στύλοι εϊναι); and perceiving of a certainty the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, those reputed to be pillars (gave). This is the order in which the words stand in the Greek, in which the participle γνόντες ("perceiving of a certainty") stands co-ordinate with the participle ἰδόντες ("when they saw") of ver. 7, so that this latter participle has "James, Cephas, and John" for its subject equally with the former, and vers. 7 and 9 appear as forming one sentence. The expression, "the grace that was given unto me," occurs also 1 Corinthians 3:10; Romans 12:3; Romans 15:15; in which passages, as well as here, it is used with a definite reference to the office of apostle having been conferred upon him together with the qualification and aid for its efficient discharge. This definite reference to a heavenly gift connected with his official character is prominent in the apostle's use of the word "grace," also in Romans 1:5; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 12:9. The "grace that was given unto him," therefore, sums up the facts of his having been put in trust of the gospel of the uncircumcision, and of God's having wrought on his behalf in his discharge of that trust, which are presented in the two preceding verses. There is not much difference in the meaning of the participle γνόντες in this verse as compared with the participle ἰδόντες in ver. 7; for as we find the verb "seeing" used with reference to objects not discernible by the bodily sense but perceived only through the medium of evidencing facts, as in ver. 14 of this chapter, and in Luke 9:47; Luke 17:14; Matthew 9:2; Acts 11:23; Acts 14:9; Acts 16:19; so also the verb ἔγνων is sometimes used of perceiving, becoming apprised of, some fact, as Mark 6:38; Mark 8:17; Luke 9:11; John 12:9, when there is no clear intention of emphasizing the idea of certain knowledge. Sometimes, however, it seems as if the writer had such intention, as in Mark 8:17; Mark 15:45; Luke 8:46; Philippians 2:19; and probably it was in this more emphatic sense that the apostle here substituted "knowing" for the foregoing "seeing." "James, and Cephas, and John." This James is, no doubt, the same James as appears in Acts 15. holding so prominent and apparently presidential a position in the great meeting of vers. 6-21. The "James" of the old triumvirate of the Gospels, "Peter, James, and John," was now no more. This James, whose personality has been discussed above in note on Galatians 1:19, is named first, before even Cephas and John, though not an apostle, as being the leading "elder" (bishop, as such a functionary soon got to be designated) of the Church of Jerusalem; for in the classification of the component members of that meeting in Acts 15:6, "the apostles and the elders," James must be assigned to the latter category. The twelve had no distinctive official connection with this particular Church more than with other Churches; and, therefore, in meetings held at Jerusalem, the presidential position would naturally be conceded, not to any one of the apostles, but to the man who was statedly recognized as the superior "elder" of this particular community. St. John's name is not mentioned in Acts 15; but in other places in St. Luke's history "Peter and John" are found acting in conjunction, and this in such a manner as to betoken their holding a very prominent place among the apostles (Acts 3:1; Acts 4:13; Acts 8:14). The reason why these three are named, and none but these, is probably that on the occasion referred to these three alone - James as on behalf of the Church of Jerusalem, and Peter and John as on behalf of the twelve - stepped forward at the general request before the meeting, and formally all three clasped hands with Paul and Barnabas in token of their recognizing and ratifying their doctrine and ministry. In reference to the name "Cephas,' it may be observed that St. Paul finds occasion to name this apostle nine times; in seven of these he writes, according to the best manuscripts, "Cephas' (1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:22; 1 Corinthians 9:5; 1 Corinthians 15:5; Galatians 1:18; Galatians 2:9, 14); in two, "Peter" (Galatians 2:7, 8). The Judaizers in the Church, whether at Corinth or in Galatia, in their morbid hankering after whatever was distinctively Jewish, were sure to affect the use of the Hebraic form; on which account, probably, St. Paul, in dealing with these men, is seen so frequently using this form himself. Those reputed to be pillars. The apostle's object in adding this clause is apparently, to indicate why these three, rather than any others, represented the rest in this act of formal proceeding, and at the same time to intimate to his Galatian readers the supreme character of the attestation thus afforded, both to that gospel of his which certain among the Galatians were now tampering with, and to his official character which those same persons were beginning to disparage. "Pillars." The apostle, years after, in writing to Timothy, speaks of its being the proper function of "the Church of the living God" that she should be "a pillar and settled basis (ἑδραίωμα) of the truth," i.e. upholding the truth (1 Timothy 3:15). This suggests to us his meaning in using the same figure here. Those three men were by general consent looked up to as especially steadfast upholders of the truth of the gospel or of the Christian cause. In Revelation 3:12 the "pillar" seems thought of, not so much as upholding a superstructure as of something itself stationary, and also, perhaps, beautiful and glorious. Clement of Rome, in his Epistle to the Corinthians (§ 5), borrows the phrase with a more extensive application. The idea couched in the word "Cephas," rock, is so nearly identical with that of "settled basis," that the like affinity of ideas as led the apostle to connect "pillar" with the latter term in 1 Timothy 3:15 may be supposed to have led him now to connect "pillar" with "Cephas" and his two illustrious brethren. They gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship (δεξίας ἔδωκαν ἐμοὶ καὶ Βαρνάβα κοινωνίας); they each of them clasped each of us by the right hand, in token that they both did then, and would thereafter continue to, regard us, and we also them, as partners with one another in a common work. We meet with the phrases, "give right hands," "receive right hands," in 1 Macc. 11:50, 52 1 Macc. 13:50, with reference, apparently, to the victor conceding, and the vanquished accepting, terms of peace to be ratified by the mutual clasp of right hands. This, however, is not precisely what is meant in the present case; there is no room here for the notion of reconciliation. Neither seems there intended a signification of love, such as the "kiss of love" would have afforded. This hand-clasp simply ratified by a palpable gesture the formal assurance between the two parties that they regarded each other as friendly partners in a common undertaking. That the use of this gesture in ratifying compact has been very common in all ages, is shown by the instances in Liddell and Scott's 'Lexicon' (Δεξία), and in Facciolati ("Dextra"), as well as by Bishop Light feet's note on the present passage. Its use among the Jews is attested, not only by the very phrase employed here and in the Maccabees, but by the phrases, "strike hands" and "give one's hand," in Job 17:3; Proverbs 6:1; Ezekiel 17:18. Josephus's remark in 'Ant.,' 18. 9:3, on the unique inviolability which the Persians, Parthians, and other Oriental nations felt to attach to engagements thus ratified, by no means precludes the supposition that Jews used this gesture of guarantee, but only shows that it was not with them the most sacred of all forms of covenanting: they would, of course, regard an oath by the Name of God as affording a higher sanction. In the case now under consideration there was no "strife" between James, Cephas, and John, and Paul and Barnabas, which needed to be "ended" by "an oath:" the solemn and cordial mutual pressure of the right hand seems just the kind and measure of form appropriate to the circumstances. That we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision (ἵνα ἡμεῖς εἰς τὰ ἔθνη αὐτοὶ δὲ εἰς τὴν περιτομήν); literally, that we unto (or, for) the Gentiles, and themselves unto (or, for) the circumcision, without any verb. We have a very similar ellipsis of the verb in a carefully balanced antithesis, and before the same preposition εἰς, in Romans 5:16 (comp. also 2 Corinthians 8:14). We may read it either thus, "should go unto," as in both the Authorized and the Revised Versions; or, "should be ministers for," taking the εἰς with the like shade of meaning, as in ver. 8. This distribution of the several provinces of work is shown by the subsequent practice on both sides (see note on ver. 7, subfin.) to have been intended to be geographical rather than national; which understanding is also indicated by the mention in the next verse of "the poor" whom Paul and Barnabas were, notwithstanding this distribution, to bear in mind; they were the poor in Judaea, the province of James, Cephas, and John.
Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
Verse 10. - Only they would that we should remember the poor (μόνον τῶν πτωχῶν ἵνα μνημονεύωμεν); only, that we should be mindful of the poor, or perhaps, their poor; for the clause must be understood subjectively, as referred to the standpoint of those who" gave us the right hands of fellowship." (For the order of the words in the Greek, comp. 2 Corinthians 2:4; John 13:29.) If there is the ellipsis of any participle at all which needs to be supplied, which many critics suppose, though Meyer not unplausibly thinks otherwise, perhaps "stipulating" presents itself more readily than either "willing" or "requesting;" for this ἵνα depends as much upon the δεξίας ἔδωκαν as the preceding ἵνα does, and therefore seems to introduce something as much as that a part of the compact. What the apostle means is this: "In one respect only did this mutual compact of equal brotherly partnership leave us who were ministers of the Gentiles unfree in relation to the circumcision and their ministers; we consented to allow ourselves bound to be mindful of the duty of helping their poor. In all other respects, we were to still pursue the same plan of evangelization as we had been pursuing, with no modification of either our doctrine or Church practice; with no such modification, for example, as these false brethren were clamouring for." St. Paul's methods of work thus received the full sanction of the "pillars," being recognized by them as standing on the same level of truth and heavenly guidance as their own. The same which I also was forward to do (ο{ καὶ ἐσπούδασα αὐτὸ τοῦτο ποιῆσαι); the very thing this which I was even of myself zealous to do. The as; makes prominent the notion of intense earnestness, which St. Paul is wont to express in the use of σπουδάζω, as well as of σπουδὴ and σπουδαῖος. He did not merely consent to bear in mind the poor of Judaea; apart from such stipulation, apart from regard to any request of James, Cephas, and John, it was a matter which of himself he regarded as one of very great importance, demanding his most earnest attention. The especial force of this verb ἐσπούδασα is evinced by Ephesians 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:17; 2 Timothy 2:15; and especially by 2 Corinthians 8:16, 17, in which the frame of mind it expresses is distinguished, as here, from that of mere willingness to consent to another person's request. The principal reason for making this matter so prominent lay, no doubt, in the great distress prevailing amongst the poor in Judaea, justifying the application of the principle stated in 2 Corinthians 8:14, 15 (see Stanley's note on 1 Corinthians 16:1). But we can hardly err in supposing that, as a subsidiary motive, both the leaders of the Jewish Church and St. Paul himself were greatly influenced by the consideration that such practical manifestation of Christian sympathy would both evince, and help to cement, the unity with each other of the Jewish and Gentile Churches. It was this organic unity which constituted the obligation of rendering such assistance (comp. Romans 15:27 with Romans 11:17, 18). How perseveringly and how earnestly the apostle strove to aid the poor of the Jewish Churches both before and after the conference here spoken of, is seen in Acts 11:29, 30; 1 Corinthians 16:1 (where reference is made to collections in Galatia); 2 Corinthians 8, 9; Romans 15:25-27; Acts 24:17. Since in this last cited passage it is only incidentally that St. Luke is led to mention the collection which St. Paul brought with him in that journey of his to Jerusalem recorded in Acts 21:17, it is quite supposable that he brought collections with him also in that former visit merely glanced at in Acts 18:23. We may surmise that St. Paul has a special purpose in mentioning to the Galatians this particular item of that important compact. In his First Epistle to the Corinthians, written at no long interval whether before or after the sending of this letter, he tells them (1 Corinthians 16:1) that he had given order to the Churches of Galatia respecting the manner in which they should collect for this object. It seems the more probable supposition that those directions were not given until this letter had had the happy effect of restoring better relations between himself and them than he was able at present to reckon upon. Meanwhile, however, this historical reference would serve to prepare them in some measure for the appeal, when he should think it prudent to make it (cf. Introduction, pp. 16-18.). It is well to observe, in reference to this whole passage (vers. 6-10), the extent to which the apostle goes in identifying Barnabas's position with his own. Barnabas had laboured with himself as evangelizing "apostle" sent forth with himself from the Antiochian Church, and both before and. after that missionary journey in the neighbourhood of Antioch itself. Accordingly he tells his readers that the "pillars" had without qualification recognized the work of them both and had fraternally greeted their further prosecution of it. But it is of himself alone that he speaks when he contrasts Cephas's apostleship of the circumcision with his own apostleship (for this is implied) to the Gentiles. The reason for this is that Barnabas was not an apostle in that other higher sense of the term in which Cephas and himself were (see Introduction, Dissertation I.). Again, when mentioning the stipulation which the "pillars" made, that we should be mindful of their poor, he does not add, "the very thing this which we were of ourselves resolved to do," but makes the observation with reference to himself only. This is explained by the unhappy rupture which St. Luke tells of as so soon after occurring between them - which account of St. Luke's finds thus here a latent confirmation. What we otherwise know of Barnabas's character leaves no room to doubt but that he too zealously set himself to carry out the stipulation in that separate sphere of work among Gentiles which, after the rupture, he engaged in. But this is no longer St. Paul's business, while relating facts falling under his own cognizance. And this consideration throws light upon the time of the action expressed by the aorist ἐσπούδασα: it does not mean, "I had already before been forward to do so;" for then he would not have left out Barnabas; but, "thenceforward in my whole subsequent career I zealously made it my business," the aorist embracing the whole in one view. Further, our attention is arrested by the extreme importance and the pregnant significance of the incident here related. Here was one who, neither directly nor indirectly, owed to those who had been previously sent forth by Heaven as teachers of the gospel, either his conversion, or his knowledge of the Christian doctrine, or his mission to preach; but had nevertheless gone forth proclaiming what he affirmed to be Christ's gospel communicated to him by Divine revelation, gathering disciples to be baptized into Christ, and combining such disciples into Churches. In what relation did this doctrine of Paul and the Church organizations which he was setting on foot in the Gentile world stand to the doctrine of the twelve and to the Church organizations framed by them in connection therewith at Jerusalem and in Judaea? These last were assumed to be from heaven; were those more recent phenomena, of doctrines taught and societies formed by Paul, in harmony with the previous ones? Unquestionably and glaringly there were important differences between the external religious life of the twelve and the Jewish believers, and the external religious life which Paul taught the Gentile Churches to adopt. The twelve and the Jewish Christians in general still practised in their daily life the usages of Mosaism, blending the use of such outward forms and ceremonies as appertained to Christian discipleship with those older habits of life preserved intact; in the Gentile Church as moulded by Paul the usages of Mosaism were altogether wanting. Was the seal of Heaven to be recognized as affixed to the Pauline doctrine and the Pauline Church life, as certainly as it was seen to be affixed to the doctrine of the twelve and the Judaeo-Christian Church life? Yes. The verdict of the great leaders of the Jewish Church decided for the full recognition of the Pauline doctrine and the Pauline Church life as in root and essence identical with their own, and as equally with their own derived from heaven. It was a decision come to in the teeth of intense and deeply ingrained prejudices prompting to the adoption of a different conclusion; and must have been due to overpowering evidence leaving them no alternative, seconded we may believe by the secret swaying of their souls by the Holy Ghost. We cannot help reflecting

(1) how disastrous the effects would have been of a decision of another kind;

(2) how remarkably is here illustrated the essential oneness of the Christian life amidst most extreme diversity in its outward manifestation; and

(3) what a strong attestation is afforded to the certain truth of the gospel, revealed to the world through two wholly distinct channels of communication, which yet concurred in delivering what was in reality one and the same message.

But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
Verse 11. - In the narrative which the apostle next proceeds to give, several points, we may suppose, were definitely meant by him to be intimated to his readers. Thus to those Gentile Galatians who were wavering in their attachment to himself and to the gospel which he had preached to them, he shows his claim to their firm affectionate adherence, on the ground of the steadfastness with which, as before at Jerusalem so now afresh in Antioch, he had successfully asserted their rights and their equal standing with Jewish believers, when these were assailed by "certain come from James." In contrast with his own unflinching championship of their cause, were here seen vacillation and inconsistency on the part of "Cephas;" were, then, any justified in exalting those "pillars, James and Cephas," as certain were disposed to do, for the sake of disparaging him? This experience at Antioch should lead them to regard with suspicion Jewish or Philo-Judaic brethren, who were setting themselves to tamper with the truth of the gospel. Crooked conduct was sure to accompany such darkening of the truth, as on that occasion was most palpably evinced in the case of even Barnabas, and was in open encounter before the whole Church exposed and rebuked. And, especially, there was the grand principle that the Law of Moses was for the Christian believer annihilated through the crucifixion of Christ; which principle he had then held aloft in the view of the Church, and here takes occasion to enlarge upon, because it was so directly relevant and helpful in respect to the trouble now springing up in Galatia. But when Peter was come to Antioch (ὅτε δὲ η΅λθε Κηφᾶς [Receptus, Πέτρος] εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν); but when Cephas came to Antioch. The reading Κηφᾶς for Πέτρος is generally accepted. The time at which this incident took place is in a measure determined, on the one side, by its being to all appearance after the visit to Jerusalem which has been previously spoken of, and, on the other, by the reference to Barnabas in ver. 13; that is, we are naturally led to assign it to that time of Paul's, and Barnabas's united labours at Antioch which is briefly indicated in Acts 15:35. It can hardly have occurred subsequently to the rupture between them which St. Luke immediately after describes. The manner in which St. Peter's coming to Antioch is introduced seems to betoken that his coming thither was not felt to have been at all an extraordinary circumstance. It is open to us, and indeed obvious, to conjecture that the visit was made in the course of one of those journeyings of St. Peter "throughout all parts," of which another, taking place fourteen years or more previously, is mentioned in Acts 9:33. As the "apostle of the circumcision," he was, we may reasonably suppose, in the habit of traversing, in company often with his wife (1 Corinthians 9:5), the whole of those districts of Palestine which were largely inhabited by Jews, and extending as far as Antioch itself, in the exercise of apostolic supervision over the Jewish converts. Quite supposably, this was not his first visit to this city. The lengthened continuance of his stay, which may be inferred from ver. 12, is thus explained. It may be assumed that it was this exercise of apostolic superintendence that gave rise to the tradition, which gained early acceptance in the Church (Eusebius, ' Hist. Eccl.,' 3:36), that Peter was the first Bishop of Antioch. His presence there now, while St. Paul was also there, found, probably, its analogy, twelve or fourteen years later, in the simultaneous presence of St. Peter and St. Paul at Rome; St.. Peter being there also, we may suppose, in the discharge of his office as apostle of the circumcision. I withstood him to the face (κατὰ πρόσωπον αὐτῷ ἀντέστην). I seized an opportunity at a meeting of the brethren (ver. 14) of publicly confronting him as an adversary. It seems almost suggested that their spheres of work at Antioch, which was a very large city, were so far not identical that they were not commonly to be seen together. The verb ἀντέστην, "set myself to oppose him," expressing deter mined oppugnancy (2 Timothy 3:8; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9), strikes us the more, as coming so soon after the "gave us the right hands of fellowship of ver. 7. His adopting of this mode of recalling his straying brother instead of dealing with him in a more private manner, is indicated with an evidently intended pointedness. His course of proceeding was both justified and required by the public nature of St. Peter's offence, and by the necessity of promptly exposing and beating back the aggressions which Israelitish bigotry was always so ready to make upon the perfectly equal footing possessed by all believers, by virtue simply of their relation to Christ. Because he was to be blamed (ὅτι κατεγνωσμένος η΅ν); because he stood condemned. The perfect passive verb is commonly felt to point, not so much to the censures of bystanders, as to the glaring wrongness of his conduct viewed in itself (comp. John 3:18; Romans 14:23). The rendering to be blamed, correct so far as it reaches, is inadequate in expressing the sense which St. Paul had of the gravity of St. Peter's offence. It is interesting to note the clear reference to this verse made in the second century by the Ebionite author of the ' Clementine Homilies,' who (Bishop Lightfoot observes, 'Galatians,' p. 61), writing in a spirit of bitter hostility to St. Paul, who is covertly attacked in the person of Simon Magus, represents St. Peter as addressing Simon thus: "Thou hast confronted and withstood me (ἐναντίος ἀνθέστηκάς μοι). If thou hadst not been an adversary, thou wouldest not have calumniated and reviled my preaching If thou callest me condemned (κατεγνωσμένον), thou accusest God who revealed Christ to me" ('Hom.,' 17:19). Not only is this a testimony to the authenticity of.. the Epistle; it betokens also the sore feeling which this narrative of St. Paul's and the manner of its diction left behind in the minds of a certain section of Jewish Christians.
For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
Verse 12. - The Judaism of the earliest Pentecostal Church not rabbinical. Any one who will be at the pains of reviewing the contents of the four Gospels with an eye to this particular subject, cannot fail to be struck by the frequency with which Christ in his own conduct placed himself in even the sharpest antagonism to the "traditions of the eiders," and encouraged his disciples in likewise setting them at nought. And this he did in cases in which the contrast of his behaviour to the abject submission to those traditions paraded by the Pharisees must have been most striking, and have jarred, no doubt, very often even painfully, upon the ill-instructed religious sensibilities of those, who had grown up in the belief that to observe the traditions was both seemly and pious and to neglect them unseemly and schismatical. For example, in daily life, neither he nor his disciples would "baptize" themselves when coming home from the market, nor even apply lustral water to their hands before taking a meal, though there before their eyes stood tire vessels filled with water which had been provided for the guests and which the other guests were punctual in using. It was not without significance that in his first miracle he withdrew the water which had been set apart for such lustrations from one use of it which he would pronounce to be utterly frivolous and vain, to apply it to one which should really be serviceable and beneficent. Again, many were the restrictions which the traditions imposed upon men's actions on the sabbath - restrictions which not only were additional to those enjoined by the Law, but also in many cases contravened the calls of mercy and benevolence. Such restrictions Christ very frequently, and in the most public and pointed manner, so as to directly challenge attention to what he did, broke through, and taught his disciples to disregard; the Pharisees being repeatedly so enraged at these transgressions of the traditions as to endeavour in consequence to take his life. The fastings enjoined by the traditions, he and his disciples likewise offended the Pharisees by taking no account cf. The traditions of especially one popular school of teaching allowed so great a facility of divorce as served to disguise a frightful excess of licentiousness, in which many of the Pharisees were themselves implicated; in opposition to which Christ was wont publicly to declare that 'connections formed after divorces not justified by adultery were themselves adulterous. Continually was the Lord warning his followers against the leaven of Pharisaism, to wit, its ostentation in religious observances; its laying so much stress upon the outward act, in neglect of the inward motive and the posture of the spirit; its draining away the forces of moral earnestness from the prosecution of justice, mercy, and truth, to squander them upon scrupulous and vigilant devotion to the veriest trifles of formalism; the consequent hollowness and hypocrisy of the religious character of its votaries; their love of money; their eagerness for social distinction; their cruelty to the poor amid all their ostentatious almsgiving; their hardheartedness to the fallen; their intense, devilish hatred of real piety. All the four Gospels abound in indications of that antipathy to Pharisaism and traditionalism which Christ both entertained himself and was careful to instil into the minds of his disciples. It cannot, therefore, be questioned that the disciples who formed the first nucleus of the Christian community, especially the twelve and the brethren of the Lord, were animated by similar sentiments of anti-Pharisaism; and so also the Pentecostal Church at Jerusalem as moulded under their influence. The Law of Moses, no doubt, they continued to obey, as their Master had done - the Law of Moses, however, as construed in the more humane and spiritual sense put upon it by the Sermon on the Mount, and not as stiffened and hardened into intolerable cruelty by the rabbinism which the Pharisees insisted upon. Such, we may feel certain, had been the attitude of St. Peter's mind in reference to the Law when, years before at Joppa, he had received the summons to go and visit Cornelius at Caesarea. It was with constraint put upon his own hitherto cherished tastes that he submitted to the call; and when he entered the Gentile's house, the fibre of Israelitism in his soul is seen quivering, shrinking back from the step which he was compelled to take. "Ye yourselves know," he said to the company of uncircumcised men among whom he found himself, "that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to join himself or to come unto one of another nation; and yet unto me hath God showed that I should not call any man common or unclean." It was painful to him as an Israelite and a Mosaist; but God's declared will was leaving him no alternative. Now, whence had arisen those feelings of repulsion? Partly it was, no doubt, a kind of caste sentiment. It had been then more than two thousand years a traditional consciousness with the Hebrew race that their circumcision lifted them to a higher level than the rest of mankind stood upon; and the persuasion inspired them with a disdain of uncircumcised nations, which with the most had little or no admixture of really religious feeling, being felt by the idolatrous Ephraimites as well as by the less unfaithful children of Judah. With the more pious members of the nation, this repulsion from Gentiles was partly the outcome of their sense of the deep degradation, religious and moral, in which heathen nations were sunk, steeped as they were in idolatry; but their sense of this was greatly intensified by the moral effect of the separation from other nations enforced by the ceremonial law. This was effected partly by the distinction between clean and unclean animals, which, recognized in an elementary degree as early as the time of Noah, was made in the Levitical legislation a matter of very minutely definite prescription (Leviticus 11.); and partly by the prohibition of eating either certain kinds of fat (Leviticus 3:17) or blood: to partake either of the flesh of an unclean animal, or of suet or blood, was emphatically declared by the Law, and by the long-inherited tradition of the nation had grown to be instinctively felt to be, "defilement" and "abomination." There is no ground for supposing that St. Peter's shrinking back from Gentiles as common or unclean was caused by rabbinism. Rabbin-ism, no doubt, added much to the bitterness of the repulsion with these who served the traditions; but even where there was no bondage owned to the dicta of the elders, repulsion from the contact of a Gentile was a powerful sentiment, having its roots deep in the instinctive sentiments of the Hebrew race and in the feelings instilled by the peremptory enactments of the Divine Law. Now, however, in Cornelius's house, St. Peter does not allow his spirit to be dominated by sentiments such as these. God and Christ his Master were making it manifest, as in other ways, so especially by the astonishing illapse of the Holy Spirit into these believing hearers of the gospel message, that they were no longer unclean, and therefore he cannot possibly any longer treat them as unclean. He tarried with them certain days, and, according to the charge immediately after preferred against him and not denied, ate with them. That he partook of the same food as they, whether of a kind forbidden by the Mosaic Law or not, is not stated and is no necessary inference drawn from the circumstances. He would not, we may well believe, scruple now to recline at the same table with them; but it may be readily imagined that for a guest so highly revered, of whose Jewish sensibilities respecting food they could not be unaware, even if he or the six Jewish brethren who accompanied him from Joppa did not make a point of apprising them, the wealthy centurion and his family would be only too anxious to provide such food as both he and his fellow-visitors would find acceptable. Thus St. Peter might have "eaten bread" with the Gentiles, neither, on the one hand, himself breaking the Levitical Law by partaking of food which was forbidden to him as a child of the legal covenant, nor, on the other, declining to recognize the full acceptableness before God and the equal brotherhood in Christ of believers who were still in their uncircumcision. The caste feeling of proud disdain of uncircumcised men as men of an inferior grade, and the dread of ceremonial defilement from contact with those who were levitically unclean, dared no longer assert themselves, could, indeed, no longer be permitted to lodge in his bosom, in the face of the clear proof which had been afforded that the Almighty had in Christ adopted them as his own children equally with himself. Thus it appears that when at Antioch, at the time here referred to by St. Paul, Cephas was seen partaking of social meals in company with the Gentile converts, he was only acting in the same way as he had acted at Caesarea ten years before.

And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
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?
Verse 14. - But when I saw that they walked not uprightly (ἀλλ ὅτε εϊδον ὅτι οὐκ ὀρθοποδοῦσι); but when I saw that they were not walking rightly. The strongly adversative ἀλλὰ seems to imply: But I set myself to stem the mischief; comp. "withstood" (ver. 11). The precise force of ὀρθοποδεῖν is doubtful. The verb occurs nowhere else except in later writers, who, it is thought, borrowed it from this passage. Etymologically, according to the ambiguous meaning of ὀρθός - "straight," either vertically or horizontally - it may be either "walk up- rightly," that is, "sincerely," which, however, is an unusual application of the notion of ὀρθότης; or, "walk straight onward," that is, "rightly." As the apostle is more concerned on behalf of the truth which he was contending for than on behalf of their sincerity or consistency, the latter seems the preferable view. Compare the force of the same adjective in ὀρθοβατεῖν ὀρθοπραγεῖν, ὀρθοδρομεῖν ὀρθοτομεῖν, etc. According to the truth of the gospel (πρὸς τὴν ἀλήθειαν τοῦ αὐαγγελίου); with an eye to the truth of the gospel. Πρός, "with an eye towards," may refer to the truth of the gospel, either as a rule for one's direction (as in 2 Corinthians 5:10, Πρὸς α{ ἔπραξεν) or as a thing to be forwarded (cf. Ὑπὲρ τῆς ἀγηθείας, 2 Corinthians 13:8). The same ambiguity attaches to the use of the preposition in Luke 12:47. The "truth of the gospel," as in ver. 5, is the truth which the gospel embodies, with especial reference to the doctrine of justification by faith. Peter and Barnabas were acting in a manner which both was inconsistent with their holding of that truth, and contravened its advancement in the world. I said unto Peter (εϊπον τῷ Κηφᾶ [Receptus, Πέτρῳ]); I said to Cephas. Here again we are to read Cephas. Before them all (ἔμπροσθεν πάντων). At some general meeting of the Antiochian brethren. Both the expression and St. Paul's proceeding are illustrated by 1 Timothy 5:20, "Them who sin [sc. of the elders] reprove in the sight of all (ἐνώπιον πάντων ἔλεγχε)." If thou, being a Jew (εἰ σύ Ἰουδαῖος ὑπάρχων); if thou, originally a Jew, as thou art. ὘πάρχων, as distinguished from ὤν, denotes this, together with a reference to subsequent action starting from this foregoing condition. Compare, for example, its use in Galatians 1:14; Philippians 2:6. This distinctive shade of meaning is not always discernible. Livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews (ἐθνικῶς ζῇς καὶ οὐκ Ἰουδαι'κῶς); livest as do the Gentiles and not as the Jews. In what sense, and to what extent, were these words true of St. Peter? When, in the vision at Joppa, unclean animals together with clean were offered to him for food, he had answered, "Not so, Lord; for! have never eaten anything that is common and unclean." This shows that, up to that time, the personal teachings of Christ when he was upon earth had not relieved his mind of the sense that to use certain kinds of meat was for him an unlawful thing. The heavenly rejoinder, "What God hath cleansed, make not thou common," appears to have been understood by him with reference, at least in the first instance, to human beings (Acts 10:28). There seems to be no doubt that the habit of mind generated by long subjection to the Levitical Law. producing repugnance to Gentiles as habitually using unclean meats, he brought with him when crossing Cornelius's threshold; and that it is quite supposable that, in "eating with Gentiles" while his visit to Cornelius continued, he had had no occasion to break through those barriers of restriction which the Law of itself imposed. But, on the other hand, it is also quite supposable that the answer made to him in the vision had, if not at once, at least later, led him on to the further conviction that God had now made all kinds of meat lawful for a Christian's use, although, when consorting, as in the main he had to do, with Jews, he would still bow to the Levitical restrictions. The Petrine Gospel of St. Mark appears, according to the now by many accepted reading of καθαρίζων in the text of Mark 7:19, to have stated that Christ in teaching, "Whatsoever from without goeth into the man, it cannot defile him," had said this, "making all meats clean." There is no question that in St. Paul's own view at that epoch of his ministry when he wrote this Epistle, "nothing," to use his own words, "is unclean of itself" (Romans 14:14; 1 Corinthians 10:23, 25); and we have no reason to doubt that he had "been in the Lord Jesus persuaded" of this long before, - at the very outset probably of his ministry. It is, therefore, not unlikely that this same persuasion of the real indifferency of all kinds of meat had been by Christ instilled into St. Peter's mind as well. But if it were thus in respect to the use of meats, it would be thus also in reference to all other kinds of purely ceremonial restriction. Very shortly before these occurrences at Antioch, St. Peter had at Jerusalem openly and strongly expressed the feeling which he experienced, how intolerably galling were the restraints imposed by the Levitical, not to say by the rabbinical, ceremonialism; "a yoke," he said, "which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear " - language which seems to betoken a mind which had spiritually been set at liberty from the yoke. On the whole, the inference naturally suggested by St. Paul's words, "Thou livest as do the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews," commends itself as the true one; namely this - that St. Peter, not on that occasion only, but also on others, when thrown into contact with masses of Gentile converts, was wont to assert his Christian liberty; that, like as St. Paul did, so did he: while, on the one hand, to the Jews he became as a Jew, to them under the Law as under the Law, that he might gain the Jews, gain them that were under the Law, so also, on the other, to them that were without Law he became as without Law, that he might gain also them (1 Corinthians 9:20, 21). Why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? (πῶς [Receptus, τί] τὰ ἔθνη ἀναγκάζεις Ἰουδαί'ζειν;). In place of τί, why, recent editions read, πῶς, how, which is a more emphatic interrogatory with a tinge of wonderment; as if it were, "How is it possible that?' (so 1 Corinthians 15:12). The verb "Judaize" occurs in the Septuagint of Esther 8:17, "And many of the Gentiles had themselves circumcised and Judaized (ἰουδάι'ζον) by reason of their fear of the Jews." It is plainly equivalent to ἰουδαι'κῶς ζῇν. Compellest, i.e. settest thyself to compel. The "compulsion" applied by Cephas was a moral compulsion; he was, in effect, withholding front them Christian fellowship, unless they Judaized. Put into words, his conduct said this: "If you will Judaize, I will hold fellowship with you; if you will not, you are not qualified for full fraternal recognition from me." The withholding of Christian fraternization, short of formal Church excommunication such as 1 Corinthians 5:3-5, is a powerful engine of Christian influence, the use of which is distinctly authorized and even commanded in Scripture (Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14; 2 Timothy 3:5; Titus 3:10 2 John 10), and may on occasion be employed by private Christians on their own responsibility. But its use, when not clearly justified, is not only a cruelty to our brethren, but an outrage upon what St. Paul here calls the truth of the gospel. It is at our peril that we grieve, by a cold or unbrotherly bearing towards him, one whom we have reason to believe God has "received" (Romans 14:3; Romans 15:7). If God in Christ owns and loves him as a son, we ought to frankly own and love him as a brother.
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
Verse 15. - We who are Jews by nature (ἡμεῖς φύσει Ἰουδαῖοι); we being Jews by nature; or, we are Jews by nature. In point of construction, it may be observed that, after εἰδότες in the next verse, recent editors concur in inserting δέ. With this correction of the text, we may either make this fifteenth verse a separate sentence, by supplying ἐσμέν, "we are Jews by nature," etc., and begin the next verse with the words, "but yet, knowing that... even we believed," etc.; or we may supply in this verse" being," and, conjoining it with "knowing," take the two verses as forming one sentence; thus: "We being Jews... yet knowing that... even we believed," etc. For the general sense, it is quite immaterial which mode of construing we adopt. The Revisers have preferred the latter. The former makes the passage run more smoothly; but this, in construing St. Paul's writings, is by no means a consideration of weight. "We," that is, "I Paul, and thou Cephas," rather than "I Paul, and thou Cephas, with those who are acting with thee;" for we read before, "I said unto Cephas," not" unto Cephas and the rest of the Jews." "By nature;" because we were Jews by birth. But the two expressions, "by nature" and "by birth," are not convertible terms, as is evident from ch. 4:8 and Romans 2:14; the former covers wider ground than the latter. The prerogatives attaching to the natural position of a born Jew were higher than those which appertained to a circumcised proselyte. This is why he adds," by nature." "Jews;" a term of honourable distinction, closely by its etymology connected in the mind of a Hebrew with the notion of "praise" (comp. Genesis 9:8; Romans 2:29); a term, therefore, of theocratic vaunting (Romans 2:17). And not sinners of the Gentiles (καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἐθνῶν ἁμαρτωλοί); and not of the Gentiles sinners. The word "sinners" must be here taken, not in that purely moral acceptation in which all are "sinners," but in that mixed sense in which moral disapproval was largely tinged with the bigoted disdain which the theocratic Israelite felt for "the uncircumcised;" the Levitically purist Jew for them who, having no" Law "(ἄνομοι), wallowed in every kind of ceremonial pollution, "unclean," "dogs" (comp. Matthew 15:27; Philippians 3:2; Acts 2:23). As a notion correlative to that of "Jews," the word is used by our Lord himself when he spoke of his being delivered into the hands of "sinners" (Matthew 26:45; comp. Matthew 20:19). As correlative to that of persons fit for the society of the righteous and Levitically holy, it is used by Christ and the evangelists in the phrase, "publicans and sinners," in which it is nearly equivalent to "outcasts." So the apostle uses it here. With an ironical mimesis of the tone of language which a self-righteous legalist loved to employ, he means in effect, "not come from among Gentiles, sinful outcasts." May not the apostle be imagined to have quite lately heard such phrases from the lips of some of those Pharisee-minded Christians to whom Cephas was unhappily now truckling? For the right appreciation of the train of thought which the apostle is now pursuing, it is important to observe that both Cephas and Paul had reason to regard themselves as having been, before they were justified, sinners in another sense of the deepest dye. St. Paul felt to the very end of his days that he had once been, and that therefore in himself he still was, a chief of sinners (ἀμαρτωλούς ῶν πρῶτός εἰμι ἐγώ); and surely the wickedness into which Cephas precipitated himself on the morning of his Lord's passion must have left ever alter in his mind too a similar consciousness.
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.
Verse 16. - Knowing (εἰδότες δέ: see note on ver. 15); yet knowing. That a man is not justified by the works of the Law (ὅτι οὐ δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος ἐξἔργων νόμον); or, by works of Law; or, by works of the Law. That is, works prescribed by the Law of Moses. The verb δικαιοῦται is in the present tense, because the apostle is stating a general principle. The sentence, Οὐ δικαιοῦται ἐξ ἔργων νόμου, if regard be had to the exact sense of the proposition ἐξ, may be supposed to mean "does not derive righteousness from works of the Law;" does not get to be justly regarded as holy, pure from guilt approvable, in consequence of any things done in obedience to God's positive Law. The precise meaning and bearing of the aphorism will appear presently. But by the faith of Jesus Christ (ἐὰν μὴ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Ξριστοῦ); but only through faith of Jesus Christ. Ἐὰν μή, like εἰ μή, properly means "except," "save;" but St. Paul would have betrayed his own position if he had allowed that "works of the Law" could ever have any part whatever in procuring justification. Ἐὰν μὴ must, therefore, be understood here in that partially exceptive sense remarked upon in the note on Galatians 1:7 as frequently attaching to εἰ μή, that is, it means "but only." The apostle plainly intends to make the categorical affirmation that no man gains justification save through faith in Christ; οὐ δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος εἰ μὴ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Ξριστοῦ. The variation of the proposition, διὰ in this clause for ἐκ in the preceding clause, we find again in Philippians 3:9, "Not having a righteousness which is mine own, that which is (ἐκ νόμου) of the Law [i.e. derived from the Law], but that which is (διὰ πίστεως) through faith of Christ." That no real difference is here intended in the sense is shown by the use immediately after of ἐκ in the clause, ἵνα δικαιωθωμεν ἐκ πίστεως Ξριστοῦ. For the apostle's present argument it is immaterial whether we are said to gain righteousness through faith or from it. As Bishop Lightfoot, however, observes, "Faith is, strictly speaking, only the means, not the source of justification. The one proposition (διὰ) excludes this latter notion, while the other (ἐκ) might imply it. Besides these, we meet also with ἐπὶ πίστει (Philippians 3:9), but never διὰ πίστιν, 'propter fidem,' which would involve [or, might perhaps suggest] a doctrinal error. Compare the careful language in the Latin of our Article XI., per fidem, non propter opera.'" The genitive Ἰησοῦ Ξριστοῦ after πίστεως is paralleled by ἔξετε πίστιν Θεοῦ in Mark 11:22, and by πίστεως αὐτοῦ in Ephesians 3:12. Possibly the genitive was preferred here to saying εἰς Ἰησοῦν Ξριστόν, as verbally presenting the sharper antithesis to ἔργων νόμου. Even we (καὶ ἡμεῖς); just as any sinful outcast of a Gentile would have to do. Have believed in Jesus Christ (εἰς Ξριστὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐπιστεύσαμεν); did in Christ Jesus believe. The aorist of the verb points to the time of first making Christ the object of trust. The changed order, in which our Lord's proper name and his official designation appear in this clause compared with the preceding, and which, somewhat strangely, is ignored in our Authorized Version, does not seem to have any real significance; such variation frequently occurs in St. Paul, as e.g. 1 Timothy 1:15, 16; 2 Timothy 1:8, 10; Ephesians 1:1, 2. In the present instance it may have been dictated by the reversal of the order of the ideas, πίστεως and Ἰησοῦ Ξριστοῦ. That we might be justified by the faith of Christ (ἵνα δικαιωθῶμεν ἐκ πίστεως Ξριστοῦ). Renouncing all thought of gaining righteousness by (or from) doing works of the Law, we fixed our faith upon Christ, in order to gain righteousness by (or from) believing in him. The form of expression does not determine the time when they expected to become righteous; but the whole complexion of the argument points to their justification following immediately upon their believing in Christ. That full recognition of fellow-believers, which is the hinge on which the discussion turns, presupposes their being already righteous through their faith. And not by the works of the Law (καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων νόμον). This is added ex abundanti, to clench more strongly the affirmation that works of the Law have no effect in making men righteous. For by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified (διότι [or rather, ὅτι] οὐ δικαιωθήσεται ἐξ ἔργων νόμου πᾶσα σάρξ). This simply repeats the affirmation in the first clause of the verse, with only an intensified positiveness; the future tense, "shall be justified," expressing, not the time at which the act of justification takes place, but the absoluteness of the rule that no human being is to expect ever to be justified by works of the Law. In Romans 3:20 we have identically the same sentence with the addition of "in his sight." Instead, however, of the διότι, found in that passage, many recent editors here give ὅτι, there being no more difference between διότι, and ὅτι, than between "because that" and "because." In both passages it looks as if the apostle meant to be understood as citing a locus probativus; and the addition of the words, "in his sight," in Romans indicates that the authoritative passage referred to is Psalm 143:2, which in the Septuagint reads, Ὀτι οὐ δικαιωθήσεται ἐνώπιόν σου πᾶς ζῶν. The clause, ἐξ ἔργων νόμου, added in both, is a comment of the apostle's own, founded as it should seem upon the case of the people of Israel, whom the psalmist manifestly included in his universal statement; those who had the Law yet lacked justification before God, every one; those even of them who more or less were doing its works. This verse, viewed as a statement of the individual experience of the two apostles Peter and Paul themselves, is verified with respect to the latter by the accounts given in the Acts of his conversion. With respect to St. Peter, its verification is supplied to the reflective student of the Gospels by his realizing the process of feeling through which that apostle's mind passed in the several situations thus indicated: "This day thou shalt deny me thrice;" "He went out and wept bitterly;" "Go and tell his disciples and Peter, he goeth before you into Galilee;" "The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon;" "Simon, son of John, lovest thou me?" "They worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy." Further, the highly animated language with which, in their writings, each of these apostles - St. Paul, for instance, in the Romans (5. and 8.) and Ephesians, and St. Peter in several passages of his First Epistle - portrays the peace and exulting joy which Christ's disciples experience through faith in him, is evidently drawn from their own mental history. And this happy experience of theirs was, most palpably, in no degree whatever derived from works of the Law, but solely from the grace of Christ As St. Peter had recently intimated at Jerusalem, their hearts, as truly as the hearts of their fellow-believers of the Gentiles, "God had cleansed" from the sense of guilt and pollutedness before him "by faith" (Acts 15:9). It is necessary here to be quite clear as to the nature of those "works of the Law" which the apostle has now in his view. This is determined by the preceding context. The works of the Law now in question were those, the observance of which characterized a man's "living as do the Jews" and their non-observance a man's "living as do the Gentiles." It was the disregard of these works on the part of the Gentile believers which the Jewish Christians, whom St. Peter would fain stand well with, considered as disqualifying them from free association with themselves. So, again, when St. Peter was "living as do the Gentiles," he was viewed as setting at nought, not the moral precepts of the Law, but its positive ceremonial precepts only. It is the making that distinction between believers living as do the Gentiles and believers living as do the Jews, which Peter and the brethren from James were in effect making, that the apostle here sets himself so sternly to reprobate. It is with this view that he here asserts the principle that through faith in Christ a man is made righteous, and that through faith in Christ only can he be, these works having nothing whatever to do with it. "You Cephas," he says, "and I were living as do the Jews; no unclean sinners of Gentiles were we! And both you and I have been made righteous. And how? Not through those works of the Law, but through believing in Christ Jesus. And these Gentile brethren, from whom you are now shrinking back as if they were not good enough for us to associate with, - they believe in Christ as truly as we do; they are therefore as truly righteous as we are. It is absurd for you to try to thrust upon them those works of the Law; by the works of the Law can neither they be made righteous nor yet we. So neither, on the other hand, by disregarding the works of the Law can either they or we be made sinners." This last position, that the neglect of the works of the Law does not disqualify a fellow-Christian for brotherly recognition, is plainly essential to his present argument. But this is true only of the neglect of the positive Levitical precepts of the Law; the neglect of its moral precepts does disqualify him (1 Corinthians 5:11). Does it not seem a just inference from this course of argument, that no man whom we have reason to believe to be justified by faith in Christ is to be refused either Christian association or Church fellowship?
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.
Verse 17. - But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ (εἰ δὲ ζητοῦντες δικαιωθῆναι ἐν Ξριστῷ); but if while seeking to be justified in Christ. The present participle, "while seeking," that is," while we sought," is referred back to the time indicated in the words, "we believed," of the preceding verse - the time, that is, when, made aware that works of the Law could not justify, they, Cephas and Paul, severally set themselves to find righteousness in Christ. At that time they in heart utterly renounced the notion that "works of the Law" had any effect upon a man's standing before God; they saw that his doing them could not make him righteous, as well as that his not doing them would not make him a sinner (see Matthew 15:10-20). This was an essential feature of their state of mind in seeking righteousness in Christ. They distinguished Levitical purity and pollution from spiritual and real. And the principle was not only embraced in their hearts, but, in course of time, it embodied itself also, as occasion served, in outward deed. They, both Paul and Cephas himself, were bold to "live after the manner of Gentiles" (ver. 14), and with Gentiles to freely associate. If this was wrong, it was most heinously wrong; for it would be nothing short of a presumptuous setting at nought of God's own Law by which they flagrantly proved themselves to be, in a fatal and damning sense, sinners. But it was by the gospel that they had been led to think thus and to act thus; in other words, by Christ himself. Would it not, then, follow that Christ was a minister to them, not of righteousness, but of sin, of damning guilt? The participle "seeking" does not merely mark the time at which they were found to be sinners, but also and indeed much more, the course of conduct by which they proved themselves such. The words, "in Christ," are not equivalent to "through Christ," though the former idea includes the latter; the preposition is used in the same sense as in the sentences, "In God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 1:1); "Of him are ye in Christ Jesus" (1 Corinthians 1:30); "Sanctified in Christ Jesus" (1 Corinthians 1:2). It denotes a state of intimate association, union, with Christ, involving justification by necessary consequence. Comp. Philippians 3:9, "That I may be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ." We ourselves also are found sinners (εὑρέθημεν καὶ αὐτοὶ ἁμάρτωλοι); we ourselves also were found sinners. The word "found" hints a certain measure of surprise (comp. Matthew 1:18; Acts 8:40; Romans 7:21; 2 Corinthians 10:12; 2 Corinthians 12:20). Cephas was behaving now as if to his painful surprise he had found himself to have been previously acting m a most guilty manner. The word "sinners" appears to denote more than the state of ceremonial uncleanness incurred by violating the prescriptions of Levitical purity; indeed, it meant more even as used by thorough-going ceremonialists (as in ver. 15); it points to the gross outrage which would in the case supposed have been put upon the majesty of God's Law. In the next verse "transgressor" is used as a convertible term. "Ourselves also" - as truly as any Gentile of them all. There is a touch of sarcasm in the clause, having a covert reference to St. Peter having turned his back upon his Gentile brethren as unfit for him to associate with; he thereby was treating them as "sinners." Is therefore Christ the minister of sin? (α΅ρα Ξριστὸς ἁμαρτίας διάκονος;); is Christ a minister of sin? Αρα is found in the New Testament besides only in Luke 18:8 and Acts 8:30, in both which passages it simply propounds a question, without indicating whether the answer is expected to be negative or affirmative. So Soph., ' (Ed. T.,' α΅ρ ἔφυν κακός; α΅ρ οὐχὶ πᾶς ἄναγνος; The inference here is so shocking that the apostle is unwilling to put it forward except as a question that might fairly be asked upon such premisses. This gives the sentence a less repulsive tone than the reading, which without an interrogative puts it thus: Ἄρα Ξριστὸς ἁμαρτίας διάκονος. God forbid (μὴ γένοιτο). "Abhorred be the thought!" we both say; but (the apostle means his interlocutor to understand) since it cannot without horrid impiety be said that Christ was a minister to us of sin and not of righteousness, it follows of necessity that we did not sin against God when we set the works of the Law aside and sought righteousness in Christ alone without any respect had to them. The Greek phrase is one of several renderings which the Septuagint gives to the Hebrew word chali'lah, ad profana, which is frequently used interjectionally to relegate some thought to the category of what is utterly abhorrent and polluted. The Hebrew word is discussed fully in Gesenius's 'Thesaurus,' in verb. St. Paul uses the Greek phrase twice again in this Epistle (once absolutely, Galatians 3:21, and once inweaved in a sentence, Galatians 6:14); ten times absolutely in his Epistle to the Romans (3, 4, 6, etc.). It occurs also Luke 20:16. It is impossible to mend the vigorous rendering of our Authorized Version.
For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
Verse 18. - For if I build again the things which I destroyed (εἰ γὰρ α} κατέλυσα ταῦτα πάλιν οἰκοδομῶ); for if I am building up again the things which I pulled down. I make myself a transgressor (παραβάτην ἐμαυτὸν συνίστημι [or, συνιστάνω another form of the same verb]); a transgressor is what I am showing my own self to be. I must be wrong one way or the other; if I am right now, was wrong then; and from the very nature of the case now in hand, wrong exceedingly; no less than an absolute transgressor. This word "transgressor" denotes, not one who merely happens to break, perchance inadverdently, some precept of the Law, but one who, perhaps in consequence of even one act of wilful transgression, is to be regarded as trampling upon the authority of the Law altogether (comp. Romans 2:25, 27; James 2:9, 11, which are the only places of the New Testament in which the word occurs; it is therefore a full equivalent to the word "sinner" of ver. 17). The Greek verb συνιστάνω, "to put forward in a clear light," is used similarly in 2 Corinthians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 7:11. It is much debated, and is certainly nowise clear, how far down in the chapter the rebuke addressed to St. Peter extends. If it does not reach to the end of the chapter, as some think it does, the break may be very well placed at the end of this verse. For this verse clearly relates to St. Peter, whether actually addressed to him or not; notwithstanding that the verbs are in the hypothetical first person singular, they cannot be taken as referred to St. Paul, not being at all applicable to his case. On the other hand, with the nineteenth verse the first person is plainly used by St. Paul with reference to his own self, which is indeed marked by the emphatic ἐγὼ with which it opens.
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
Verse 19. - For I through the Law am dead to the Law (ἐγὼ γὰρ διὰ νόμου μόμῳ ἀπέθανον,); for I, for my part, through the Law died unto the Law. This ἐγὼ is not the hypothetical "I" of ver. 18, which in fact recites the personality of St. Peter, but is St. Paul himself in his own concrete historical personality. And the pronoun is in a measure antithetical; as if it were: for whatever may be your feeling, mine is this, that I," etc. The conjunction "for" points back to the whole passage (vers. 15-18), which has described the position to which St. Paul had himself been brought and on which he still now, when writing to the Galatians, is standing; he here justifies that description. "Through the Law;" through the Law's own procuring, through what the Law itself did, I was broken off from all connection with the Law. From the words, "I have been crucified with Christ," in the next verse, and from what we read in Galatians 3:13, most especially when taken in connection with the occurrences at Antioch which at any rate led to the present utterance, and with the hankering after Judaical ceremonialism in Galatia which occasioned the writing of this letter, we may with confidence draw the conclusion that St. Paul is thinking of the Law in its ceremonial aspect, that is, viewed as determining ceremonial purity and ceremonial pollution. He is here most immediately dealing with the question, whether Jewish believers could freely associate without defilement in God's sight with Gentile believers who according to the Levitical Law were unclean, and could partake of the like food with them. The notion of becoming dead to the Law through the cross of Christ has other aspects besides this, as is evinced by Romans 7:1-6; a fact which is indeed glanced at by the apostle even here; but of the several aspects presented by this one and the same many-faced truth, the one which he here more particularly refers to is that which it bore towards the Law as a ceremonial institute. That which the Law as a ceremonial institute did in relation to Christ was this - it pronounced him as crucified to be in the intensest degree ceremonially accursed and polluting; to be most absolutely cherem. But Christ in his death and resurrection-life is appointed by God to be the sinner's only and complete salvation. It follows that he who by faith and sacrament is made one with Christ, does, together with the spiritual life which he draws from Christ, partake also in the pollution and accursedness which the Law fastens upon him; he is by the Law bidden away: he can thenceforth have no connection with it, - the Law itself will have it so. "But (the apostle's feeling is) the Law may curse on as it will: I have life with God and in God nevertheless." This same aspect of the death of Christ as disconnecting believers from the Law viewed as a ceremonial institute, through the pollutedness which the Law attached to most especially that form of death, is referred to in Hebrews 13:10-13. The phrase, "I died unto the Law," is similar to that of "being made dead to the Law" (ἐθανατώθητε τῷ νόμῳ), and being "discharged [or, 'delivered'] from the Law (κατηργήθημεν ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου)," which we have Romans 7:4, 6; though the particular aspect of the fact that the cross disconnects believers from the Law is not precisely the same in the two passages, since in the Romans the Law is viewed more in its character as a rule of moral and spiritual life (see Romans 7:7-23). That I might live unto God (ἵνα Θεῷ ζήσω); that I might become alive unto God. It is not likely that ζήσω is a future indicative, although we have καταδουλώσουσιν after ἵνα in ver. 4, and the form ζήσομεν in Romans 6:2; for the future would most probably have been ζήσομαι, as in Galatians 3:11, 12; and Romans 1:17; Romans 8:13; Romans 10:5. It is more likely to be the subjunctive of the aorist ἔζησα, which, according to the now accepted reading of ἔζησεν for ἐνέστη καὶ ἀνέζησεν, we have in Romans 14:9; where, as well as the ζήσωμεν of 1 Thessalonians 5:10, it means "become alive." In verbs denoting a state of being, the aorist frequently (though not necessarily) means coming into that state, as for example, ἐπτώχευσε, "became poor" (2 Corinthians 9:9). "Living unto God" here, as in Romans 6:10, does not so much denote any form of moral action towards God as that spiritual state towards him out of which suitable moral action would subsequently flow. The apostle died to the Law, in order that through Christ he might come into that vital union with God in which he might both serve him and find happiness in him; this service to God and joy in God being the "fruit-bearing" in which the "life" is manifested (Romans 7:5, 6).
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Verse 20. - This verse brings out into fuller detail the several points bound up in the succinct statement of ver. 19. I am crucified with Christ (Ξριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι); I have been crucified with Christ. I am on the cross, fastened thereto with Christ; the object, therefore, with him of the Law's abhorrence and anathema. If we ask, how and when he became thus blended with Christ in his crucifixion, we have the answer suggested by himself in Romans 6:3, 6, "Are ye ignorant, that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?" - "that our old man was crucified with him?" It was by believing in Christ and being baptized into him; comp. Galatians 3:27, "All ye who were baptized into Christ did put on Christ " - words which have to be taken in connection with the reference to "faith in Christ" in ver. 26. The perfect tense of the verb συνεσταύρωμαι points to a continued state of being, following upon that decisive crisis of his life; the apostle images himself as still hanging on the cross with Christ, while also sharing in his resurrection-life; his "old man" is on the cross, while his spirit partakes in and is renewed by Christ's life in God (Romans 6:6, 8, 11). The pragmatism of the passage, however, that is, its relevancy to the subject discussed by him with St. Peter, consists in the twofold statement:

(1) that the Law as a ceremonial institute has now nothing to do with him nor he with it, except as mutually proclaiming their entire disseverment the one from the other; and

(2) that nevertheless, while thus wholly apart from the Law, he has life in God, as he further proceeds to declare. Nevertheless I live (ζῶ δέ). Notwithstanding all the Law's anathema, I am alive unto God (comp. Romans 6:11), the object of his love, and an heir of his eternal life. With this exalted blessedness of mine the Law cannot in the slightest degree meddle, by any determination which it will fain propound of cleanness or uncleanness. No ceremonial pollution of its constituting can touch this my life. My own life and my fellow-believer's life in God is infinitely removed from the possibility of receiving taint of pollution through eating (say) of blood, or suet, or pork, or through touching a leper or the remains of a deceased man. Nothing of this kind can mar or stain my righteousness or my fellow-believer's righteousness. Both he and I, sharing in the like "life" and righteousness, rejoice and exult together; let the Law denounce us for unclean as loudly and as bitterly as it will. Nay, if I were to allow myself to be disquieted by any such denouncement of pollution, I should, in fact, be allowing myself to harbour misgivings and unbelief touching the very essence of the grace of Jesus Christ. Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me (οὐκ ἔτι ἐγώ ζῇ δὲ ἐν ἐμοὶ Ξριστός); and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me. It was essential to the apostle's argument that he should assert himself to be, in spite of the Law's anathema, "alive," in the full possession of life in God; but he hastens to qualify this assertion by explaining how entirely he owes this life of his to Christ; and, in his eagerness to do this, he compresses the assertion and the qualification in one clause so closely together as, in a way not at all unusual with him, well-nigh to wreck the grammatical construction. A method, indeed, has been proposed by critics of disposing this clause with respect to the preceding in such a manner as to make the sentence run quite smoothly; thus: Ζῶ δὲ οὐκέτι ἀγώ ζῇ δὲ ἐν ἐμοὶ Ξριστός: that is, as given in the margin of the Revised English Version, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me." But not only does this method of construing altogether efface the apostle's assertion of his being alive notwithstanding the Law's malediction - an assertion which agrees so thoroughly with the defiant tone of the argument, but the abruptness of the construction as presented in the ordinary reading of the passage is its very recommendation; for such uncouthness of style is wont to show itself in St. Paul's more eager, impassioned passages. "No longer I;" as in those old days when I prided myself on being an especial favourite of Heaven, eminently righteous through meritorious doings of my own, through my punctilious observance in particular of all that the Law prescribes for gaining and maintaining ceremonial sanctity (comp. Philippians 3:4, 6). "In those days it was I that was alive; it is not so now." The ἐγὼ ἔζων, "I was alive," of Romans 7:9, serves again as a perfect illustration of the phraseology of the present passage; only we have still to bear in mind that the apostle is at present contemplating the ceremonial aspect of his old life, rather than, as in the Romans, the moral; the two being no doubt, however, in his former Pharisee scheme of religion, essentially conjoined. The in-being of Christ is to be understood as blending in one the two notions, of Christ as the ground of our acceptableness before God and of our being alive unto God, and of Christ as the motive spring of true practical well-doing (Romans 8:10). The two things, though notionally distinct, cannot exist apart, but the former is the more prominent idea here. And the life which I now live in the flesh (ο{ δὲ νῦν ζῶ ἐν σαρκί). "Life" still denotes his spiritual state of being, and not his moral activity, though by inference in-relying this latter; as if it were "the life which I now possess." The construction of ο{ ζῶ is paralleled by the ο{ ἀπέθανε, "the death that he died, he died," and the ο{ ζῇ, "the life that he liveth, he liveth," of Romans 6:10. "Now," as well as "no longer," stands in contrast with his old life in Judaism. But, on the other hand, "in the flesh," viewed in conjunction with (ἐν πίστει) "in faith," or "by faith," must be taken as in Philippians 1:22, that is, as contrasted with the future life; while we are in the flesh "we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). I live by the faith of the Son of God (ἐν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ); I live by faith, the faith which is in the Son of God. By faith, not by works of the Levitical Law. It was by faith in Christ that I first became partaker of this life; it is by faith in Christ that I continue to partake of it; letting go my faith in Christ, I partake of the life no longer. The especial relevancy of this statement of the apostle's, whether with respect to the matters agitated at Antioch, or with respect to any such revival of Levitical notions of acceptableness with God as was now perplexing the Churchmen of Galatia, is the warning which it implicitly conveys that, to revert to Levitical notions of uncleanness or of righteousness, was to sin against faith in Christ, and therewith against the very essence of a Christian's spiritual life. It was the strong sense which the apostle had of the absolutely fatal tendency of such relapses towards Judaism that inspired the deep pathos which here tinges his language. Hence the magnificent title by which he recites Christ's personality, "the Son of God;" possessing as such an absolutely commanding claim to his people's adherence, which they dare not decline. Hence, too, the words which follow. Who loved me, and gave himself for me (τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντός με καὶ παραδόντος ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ); who loved me, and gave himself up for me. Fain would the reader realize to his mind the fervid, thrilling tones and accent of voice in which the apostle, while uttering these words, would give vent to the sentiment which so powerfully swayed his whole life, and which he so vividly describes in writing to the Corinthians: "The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died [namely, to all but him]. and he died fur all, that they which live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sakes died and rose again" (2 Corinthians 5:14, 15). The same appropriation of Christ's love to his own individual self which the apostle here gives utterance to, "who loved me, and gave himself up for me," may every human creature also express in whom only is the faith which takes hold of his love. In fact, the apostle speaks thus for the very purpose of prompting every individual believer who hears him to feel and say the same. This, he indicates, should be their feeling just as much as his; a sentiment just as irresistibly regulative of their life. Why not? Do they not also owe to him all their hope on behalf of their souls? For the expression, "gave himself up," comp. Galatians 1:4 and note. The Greek verb παραδόντος is distinguished from the simple δόντος, "gave himself," by its bringing more distinctly into view the notion of Christ's giving himself over into the hands of those who sought his life.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Verse 21. - I do not frustrate the grace of God (οὐκ ἀθετῶ τὴν χάριν τοῦ Θεοῦ); I do not reject the grace of God. As I should be doing, it; instead of resting with "glorified" (1 Peter 1:8) satisfaction in the fatherly love and complacency with which God regards me in Christ, I began to give anxious heed to what the Law prescribes touching things or persons clean or unclean, and to deem it possible and needful to secure acceptableness with God through works of ceremonial performance. If it were only for one single reason alone, I do not, I cannot, thus slight and set at nought the state of grace with all its attendant blessings into which God has in Christ Jesus brought me. The "grace of God" presents that entire notion of the kingdom of grace which the apostle sets forth, and on which he descants with such glowing animation, in the fifth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans. The term of itself stands in vivid contrast to that slavish, anxious, never assured working for acceptance, which characterized the Jewish legalist, and characterizes the legalist Christian as well. As the apostle does not write ἐγὼ οὐκ ἀθετῶ, which would mean, "I do not set aside, not I," he is not to be read as if just now emphasizing a personal contrast between himself, and either St. Peter or the Judaizers with whom St. Peter was then to outward appearance taking sides; he is at present simply winding up his recital of his remonstrance at Antioch with the one terse argument, with which he then justified his own position, and, as if with a sledge-hammer, at once demolished the position of the Judaizers. The verb ἀθετῶ means "reject," "turn from as from a thing unworthy of regard;" as in Mark 7:9, "Ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your tradition;" Luke 7:30, "The Pharisees and lawyers rejected for themselves the counsel of God;" 1 Thessalonians 4:8, "He that rejecteth [our testimony touching this], rejeeteth not man, but God;" Hebrews 10:28, "A man that hath set at nought Moses' Law;" in which last passage it indicates, but without itself fully describing, a more aggressive disobedience. The rendering "made void," adopted by the Revisers, in the sense of "disannul," is doubtless fully authenticated by Galatians 3:15; 1 Timothy 5:12; Hebrews 9:18. Since even an apostle could not "disannul" the "grace of God" viewed in itself, this sense of the word, if adopted, would, as well as the perhaps questionable rendering of our Authorized Version, "frustrate," apply to the previous work of Divine grace wrought upon the apostle's own soul. But the logical connection of the following clause is more easily shown by our reverting to the sense before given to the verb, which in the New Testament is the more usual one. For if righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain (εἰ γὰρ διὰ νόμου δικαιοσύνη ἄρα Ξριστὸς δωρεὰν ἀπέθανεν); for if through the Law is righteousness, then did Christ for nought die. This one reason is decisive. The sole reason why the Son of God came into the world to suffer death was to do away our sins and make us righteous with God. But if sin can be purged by the purifications of the Law, and cleanness before God is procurable by Levitical ceremonies, then there was no need for this; then the Crucifixion, for this one end ordained and from the beginning of time prepared for by the Father, and fur this one end, of his own free choice gone forward to, brought about, and undergone by Christ himself, was a simply superfluous sacrifice. We might have been saved, nay, have perchance saved ourselves, without it. It is impossible to find in all Scripture a more decisive passage than this in proof both of the fact of, the atonement and of its supreme importance in the Christian system. This is emphatically Christ's great work. Compared with this, all besides is either subsidiary or derivative, Δωρεάν, (as a mere gift,) "for nought;" that is, without cause, there being no call or just occasion for it; thus, John 15:25, "They hated me without cause;" 1 Samuel 19:5, Septuagint, "Slay David without a cause;" Ezekiel 6:10, Septuagint, "I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them;" Ecclus. 29:6, "He hath got him an enemy without cause." The apostle adds nothing as to the effect of his remonstrance. It is impossible, however, to doubt that, so instinct as it was with the power of the Holy Spirit, it proved successful, not only in the healing of the mischief which had begun to show itself in the Antiochian Church, but also in its effect upon St. Peter. Nothing has transpired of any later intercourse between the two apostles. But the thorough honesty which in the main was one of St. Peter's great characteristics, notwithstanding the perplexed action in which from time to time he got involved, through the warmth of his sympathetic affections and his sometimes too hasty impulsiveness, would be sure to make him pre-eminently tractable to the voice of a true-speaking and holy friend; and, moreover, in the present instance, St. Paul was appealing to sentiments which he had himself recently proved at Jerusalem to be deeply operative in his own bosom. How deeply operative, is further evinced in his own two Epistles, written some eight or ten years later than this Epistle, and addressed also in part to the same Galatian Churches; in which he not only weaves into his language not a few expressions and turns of thought which have all the appearance of being borrowed from Epistles of St. Paul, but also in the second of them makes direct mention of those Epistles, speaking of them as standing on the footing of "the other Scriptures," and of their author as "our beloved brother Paul;" notwithstanding that one of those very writings contains the extremely plain-spoken account of that sad fall of his at Antioch. which we have here been considering. (On St. Paul's later relations with St. Barnabas, see above on ver. 13.) ADDITIONAL NOTE.
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