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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament
Galatians 1



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Verse 1

Not of men. From various expressions occurring in Paul's Epistles, we infer that his authority as an apostle was sometimes called in question by his enemies. In fact, although he received his commission to preach the gospel directly, and in the most unequivocal manner, from Christ himself, he was not one of the twelve, to whom the term apostle more strictly and properly applied. From the distinct and formal manner in which he maintains the divine origin of his call to preach the gospel, in this chapter, (Galatians 1:11-24,) we may infer that his commission had been questioned by some persons inimical to him among the churches of Galatia.

Verse 6

From him that called you; from him who was the instrument of calling you; referring apparently to himself, as the subsequent train of remark seems to imply. The calling of the sinner is generally, in the writings of Paul, ascribed directly to God; though it may not improperly be ascribed to the human instrument through whose agency it is done.

Verse 7

Which is not another; not another gospel, but only a perversion of the gospel, as is stated in the close of the verse. A similar mode of expression, or rather turn of thought, occurs in 2 Corinthians 11:4.

Galatians 1:8,9. The meaning is simply that it is utterly impossible that there should be another gospel; that is, another system of religious truth, inconsistent with what had been revealed to him.

Verse 10

Persuade men; seek the favor of men.

Verse 11

I certify you; I assure you.--Is not after man; was not communicated to me by man; that is, it does not rest on human authority.

Verse 12

Of Jesus Christ. The apostle here refers to the direct interview which he had with Jesus Christ, when he was first called to preach the gospel, as recorded in Acts 9:3-9.

Verse 13

My conversation; my course of life. See Acts 9:1,2.

Verse 14

And profited in the Jews' religion; went forward ardently and zealously in it.--The traditions of my fathers. There was a large body of doctrines and precepts held as of divine authority by the Jews, which had come down from the fathers by tradition,--not being recorded in the word of God. Our Savior often alluded to these traditions in his conversations with the Pharisees.

Verse 16

To reveal his Son in me; that is, when he was on his way to Damascus.--Conferred not with flesh and blood; consulted not with men.

Verse 17

Neither went I up, &c.; that is, not immediately.--Into Arabia. Of this journey into Arabia, Luke, in the Acts, does not give any account.

Verse 21

Acts 9:29,30.

Verse 22

The churches of Judea; that is, to those churches generally. It would seem, from the account in the Acts, that he must have been well known in Jerusalem. (Acts 9:26-28.)

Verse 24

The design of this whole passage (Galatians 1:11-24) is, to vindicate the views of religious truth which the apostle had inculcated, and which he was about to inculcate in this Epistle, by showing that they rested on no human authority, but on revelations made directly to him from the Lord Jesus Christ.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Galatians 1:4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". 1878.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, May 27th, 2020
the Seventh Week after Easter
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